Ena Price, born Ena Boucher in 1915 and brought up at 23 Harold Street, shared her memories with BHG in February 2015. She ran a corner shop at St James Terrace between the wars, before being called up and serving as a sergeant major with the Territorials.
Her father, Thomas Henry Boucher, ran a paraffin and soap delivery business by horse and cart. “ The horses were big and beautiful and we spoiled them, especially the one called Kitty. They were stabled in Mill Street where there was a garage with room for stables.” There were other horses in the street like the one belonging to her school friend (Ena attended St James until she was 11 and then Blueschool until 14) who ran the St James Dairy opposite St James Road.
Ena sold everyday items “and vegetables from our own garden in Harold Street or Sid Wrights’ in Eign Gate”.
The shop was small: “You went up a couple of steps and there was a counter on the right. Behind, it ran through to the other room where we kept the extras.” There was a window onto the street that Ena used to display goods. “My mother, Sarah Ann, helped and I would take orders and do deliveries by bike. The suppliers would come along at night. “
Ena enjoyed her war years. “I was an only child and I liked the company!
Dinedor and Rotherwas Explored (£12.95 Logaston Press) produced by the Dinedor Heritage Group is a voyage of discovery. A comprehensive, informative and well-researched book, revealing so much hidden history, from the Neolithic “ribbon” to the WW2 Dinedor Secret Army Patrol with their accounts of what they would do if the Germans landed.
There are poignant stories, one of which is Ken Hursey’s, aged 16, who was the sole survivor of a second bomb that, in 1942, ricocheted off the sheds of the Rotherwas Munitions Factory and hitting Moorlands, killing all members of his family.
A chapter is devoted to the big estate, Rotherwas House, mentioned in the Domesday Survey of 1086, but of which very little remains today. The Bodenham family owned the estate around middle of 15th century and did so for another 450 years.
Some fascinating facts and figures are listed in A Hundred Years of Dinedor Occupations 1851 – 1951 – wheelwrights, millers, coopers, carpenters, shoe and nail makers, all of whom lived in Dinedor and carried out their occupations from their homes.
Julie Orton-Davies’ chapter on Rotherwas Munitions Factory tells the stories of the Canary Girls, so called as the TNT and picric acid turned their hands and hair yellow. The women, 6,000 of them at the peak of WW1, came from all over the British Isles.
Much has been explored in this excellent publication and wets the appetite to explore even more on foot or bicycle across the Greenway Bridge, along the cycle path, passing the eerie remains of the munitions buildings and on to discover the gem of Rotherwas Chapel.
Review: Eileen Klotz
Chris Vowles remembers the Croudace’s corner shop when he lived in Harold Street in the 1950s.
“It became Wooles’ afterwards,” he writes on Facebook. The late Roy Kennett who worked at Bradley also recalled the Croudaces’ Christmas Club. “3d a week bought a selection a wonderful variety of goodies. The difficult part was not consuming them before Xmas!”
And does anyone recall the St. James Dairy run by Mr Preece in Green Street?
On a Sunday morning, possibly in August 1944, a single engine Proctor aircraft from Madley, crewed by a pilot with an instructor wireless operator and a pupil wireless operator, crashed near an orchard close to what was then the Air Training Corps headquarters of No. 124 Hereford City Squadron in Eign Road. The aircraft caught fire and the crew perished. A witness recalls chickens running about with their feathers on fire and soldiers from the Harold Street barracks endeavouring to fight the flames.
We'll be posting stories and snippets of information here as they come in. We've organised it as a blog so that you can easily see stay up to date with the latest discussions and add your own information or comments. If you have a relevant photo or document, please email these to us on firstname.lastname@example.org thanks.