Local History Society

 Families: Ernest Bowyer

Changes at Newland Farm, Local History Recording Scheme

Newland Parish Council




Ernest Bowyer was for a long time associated with Newland Farm, near Arborfield Cross, but he had originally been at Arborfield Hall Farm. The Kelly's Directory of 1907 described him as 'farmer & farm bailiff to Mrs. S. Hargreaves, Hall Farm', which he had been since at least 1901.

The 1901 Census traces 28-year-old Ernest back to Warfield, and his 27-year-old wife Annie to Woodley. Son Frank was aged 1, while his sister Kathleen was only 3 months old. Charles and Howard were born in 1902 and 1904. By 1910 Ernest had moved to Mungells Farm, King Street, Winnersh, but the family continued to worship at Arborfield where his daughter Mabel was baptised.

By at least 1922, Ernest was farming at Newland, as the Newland Parish Council Minutes show. In 1923, the Chairman John Simonds had raised the question of the rubbish being dumped by the Villagers, "at the end of Coombes Lane" (actually Coles Lane), near his cottages. He stated that he understood that the rubbish was being deposited in such a manner that it was becoming an obstruction.  Mr Ernest Bowyer,  a councillor and the tenant of Newland Farm,  supported this statement and mentioned that on one occasion when he was sending his carts down the Lane he had to send a man to throw the rubbish back, before they could go past. We know more of Ernest's time at Newland Farm from the Local History Recording Scheme, which describes changes at the farm between 1940 and the 1950s.

September 7th 1940: Presentation to Mr. E. Bowyer On Wednesday a pleasing ceremony took place at the Village Hall when Mr. J. H. Simonds presented an armchair to Mr. Bowyer, subscribed for by 101 parishioners and friends. Canon Anderson presided. There were also present: Mrs. Anderson, Mrs. Simonds, Mrs. Bowyer, Miss A. M. Edwards, Mrs. S. G. Bentley, Mr. G. St. Clare Collis, Mr. W. J. Verrall, Mr. W. T. Cox, Mr. Foster and others.

The chairman said that they had met for the purpose of expressing in some tangible form an appreciation of the services rendered to the church as warden by Mr. Bowyer during the years 1907-10, 1922-27 and 1929 till he left in the spring to reside at Arborcot, Whatmore Lane [sic], Hurst. The rector stated that in Mr. Bowyer he had found a friend and wise counsellor, who had helped him so much in church and parish. To Mrs. Bowyer, too, he was most grateful for her help and interest on so many occasions.

Mr. J. H. Simonds, in making the presentation, said that he felt proud to do so, for they were very much indebted to Mr. Bowyer ever since he came from Hurst the mother parish to live amongst them. His heart had been in the work and welfare of the church and village, for he had been a school manager, a member of both the parish and district councils, as well as a trustee of the Hurst Parochial Charities. He also thanked Mrs. Bowyer for all she had done. The volume containing the names of 101 contributors was handed to Mr. Bowyer by Mrs. S. G. Bentley. In accepting the gift, Mr. Bowyer said that what he had done for the church and the parish had been a labour of love.

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