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{$text['mgr_teal1']} Cook 1b

What's cooking in Hertfordshire? Cousins All! (Part 2b GEORGE)

by Alan D Craxford and Stuart Cook
with contributions from Gillian Graney and Lynn Johnston

Introduction: Where it began

Other articles within the website which relate to particular aspects of this story are noted within square brackets in the text. Links to these articles can be found in the table towards the bottom of column 2

Three cooks

Three Cook fathers - LEFT to RIGHT: Vincent; Walter; George

Three girls

Three Cook daughters - LEFT to RIGHT: Annie; Maud; Evelyn

The common heritage of the authors dates back to the first quarter of the nineteenth century in the small village of Grandborough, Buckinghamshire (See: "What's cooking in Buckinghamshire? Cousins All [Article A.]). This should not be confused with a village of the same name about 50 miles to the north west in Warwickshire. There is also some confusion regarding the actual spelling of the name although late Victorian Ordnance Survey maps print it that way. Nowadays most authorities call the village Granborough, although many references and genealogy sites still cling to Grandborough. One anecdotal account suggests that around the turn of the last century, Grandborough was considered too "grand" by the inhabitants and the "d" was dropped. Because of the period in which this article is set, we will persist with the old spelling.

The photographs above are composites of our respective Cook great grandfathers and three of their daughters. Vincent and Walter Cook were brothers; George Cook was their first cousin. The girls were born within three years of each other but by the time of their births the branches of the families had separated. Annie was Walter's daughter; Maud belonged to Vincent and Evelyn was George's last born. Walter Cook moved from Buckinghamshire to Leicestershire where he married and raised his own family. His story can be followed in the articles "Too many Cooks ... spoil the brats?" [Article B.] and "A Cook's tour of my family" [Article C.]. Vincent also left Grandborough and made his home in Watford to the south of Hertfordshire. (See "What's cooking in Hertfordshire? Cousins All! (Part 2a Vincent)" [Article D.]. The rest of this article will concentrate on the origins and progress of George.

George William Cook: his early days

Holy Trinity

Holy Trinity (2)

That George William Cook's childhood was dominated by tragedy is by no means an exaggeration; a tragedy which forged a lasting bond between him and his older brother, Walter Stephen. His father, Stephen Cook was born in Grandborough, Buckinghamshire in 1825, the third of the ten children of William Cook and Sarah Janes. He was about two years older than his brother Joseph who was the father of both Walter and Vincent. Stephen, who trained as a cordwainer, married Elizabeth Neal in the village on August 21st 1848. She was eighteen years old and already pregnant at the time of the ceremony. Within a year or so of his son, Joseph Stephen Neal's, birth Stephen moved his new family 30 miles south east to Leverstock Green, a village on the edge of Hemel Hempstead in Hertfordshire. There he continued his trade as a shoemaker although the 1861 census also notes him to be a publican. A second son, Walter Stephen arrived in 1852 followed by George William himself on January 7th 1854. He was baptised at Holy Trinity Church in the village on April 9th 1854.


Victorian TB (3)

Something devastating befell the family sometime over the next two years. Stephen and Elizabeth were to have another three babies over the next three years but all three, along with Joseph Stephen and the mother herself, were dead by February 1860. Elizabeth was known to have contracted tuberculosis and it had been clinically apparent for at least two years. She is likely to have displayed pallor, weight loss, languidity, racking cough, bloody phlegm and night sweats. Her death certificate, recording Phthisis, confirms this. Although tuberculosis is not mentioned in respect of the deaths of the children and is now known generally not to infect the newborn directly, the disease does have marked effects on pregnancy causing prematurity, low birth weight, damaged immune systems and failure to thrive. The child may well be deprived of its mother's attention and end up being malnourished and prone to other infections. The bacillus is spread in milk and one form of the condition affecting glands in the abdomen was known as Tabes mesenterica. The disease was widespread in the Victorian community and indeed as it affected so many young women, their sallow face and thin appearance was often viewed as "highly desirable and linked to poetic and aesthetic qualities". (3).

Joseph Stephen died at the age of seven years on September 15th 1856 of "inflammation of the bowels". Next born, Thomas also died in 1856 aged nine months of "atrophy" - a general term signifying failure to thrive or malnutrition. A daughter, Ellen, died in February 1859 aged seven months of a severe skin condition labelled acute eczema. Lastly, a boy was born just after Christmas 1859 and Elizabeth died on January 9th 1860. She was just 30 years old. There is no telling whether the last child was premature but he too died of "bowel disease" on February 12th 1860 just four days after a private baptism naming him Joseph had been carried out. This pattern of spread to children within and between families was widely discussed at the time as "the inherited tubercular diathesis" (4).

Stephen Cook married again, to Hannah Theed, on October 17th 1861. Stephen and Hannah added three more children to the household, although their first born daughter, born in the summer of 1864, may have suffered from a brain injury at birth and died at six months of "irritation of the brain" and convulsions. In his late teens, George started working as a postman, presumably for their next door but one neighbour Rebecca Child who was the village postmistress. Rebecca's husband, John, was a wheelwright. By 1881, George too had become a wheelwright probably under the tutilage of John Child. Brother Walter Stephen left to get married in 1874. George remained with Stephen and Hannah in the family home until his father died on July 20th 1881.

The family of George William Cook and Sarah Dell

Three Horseshoes

Three Horseshoes (5)

George married Sarah Dell at Holy Trinity Church, Leverstock Green, on Wednesday July 4th 1883. Sarah, born on February 14th 1855 in the village, was the daughter of another licensed victualler George Dell and his wife Sarah Martin. Sarah had one brother and four sisters. George Dell was a beerseller who in 1861 was the licensee of the Three Horseshoes public house in the centre of the village. He was in trouble with the authorities on two counts during that decade. In September 1864 he was charged with keeping his public house open for the sale of beer during prohibited hours (6). He was fined 6d (six pence) with 14/- (fourteen shillings) costs. In December the same year he was summoned under the Vaccination Act of 1853 (7, 8) which made it compulsory for all children born after August 1st 1853 to be vaccinated during their first three months of life. He was charged with failing to have one of his children vaccinated and having the fact registered. During the Court session it was recorded that smallpox was very prevalent in Leverstock Green at the time.


Sarah Dell with
Reginald Cook and Rosa Graney holding baby Gillian

The Cook family had a close association with the licenced trade in the village following their arrival there. As well as George Dell, the landlord of The Three Horse Shoes, Stephen's uncle, Vincent Cook, was already in residence as a shoemaker and, in 1851, a beerseller occupying the Rose & Crown. Indeed Stephen's two oldest sons were baptised in a joint ceremony with two of Vincent's children on November 13th 1853. In 1861 Stephen also declared himself to be a beerseller: the property identified as the White Horse.

George and Sarah initially stayed in Leverstock Green which was where their first son, Reginald Stephen, was born in 1884. Almost immediately, George made the decision to move. There is evidence that they spent a short period of time in the Boxmoor district of Hemel Hempstead, which is where his two sons were baptised, before moving on to Kings Langley, a village about 4 miles south west of Leverstock Green. The village was once the location for one of the royal palaces of the Plantagenet kings, the name derived from the Anglo-Saxon "Langalega" meaning long wood or clearing. In Victorian times it had a single main road, named variously Village Street and High Street. The main area of commercial activity lay between the junction with Vicarage Lane and the Methodist Chapel to the north and Church Lane and All Saints' Church to the south. The population at the time of the 1881 census was just short of 1500 people. He purchased the premises, business and stock from wheelwright William Austen for the sum of £90 on April 26th 1886. The contract was witnessed by his brother Walter Stephen Cook and Austen's associate William Cromach, a retired saddler in the village. The property was on the east side of the street, two doors away from the Jolly Miller public house in one direction and four doors away from The Swan in the other. It was here that George and Sarah made their home and he set up his own business, first as a wheelwright which by the turn of the century had expanded into coachbuilding.

The Limes

The Limes


George's workshop

Kings Langley

Main street, Kings Langley (from an old postcard)
The Jolly Miller is on the extreme left edge of the picture and became a cycle shop. Next door is the shed and the shop which became Cook & sons

George and Sarah were to have five children in their first ten years of marriage. Second born son, Alfred George, was baptised at St John's, the parish church of Boxmoor in Hemel Hempstead on August 8th 1886 but their three daughters (Beatrice Naomi, 1889; Dora Amy, 1891; Evelyn Alice May, 1893) were all baptised at All Saints' Church in Kings Langley. The couple continued living at the same address in Kings Langley until George William's death on March 29th 1933. He left his effects to Sarah. By 1939, Sarah was living with her unmarried youngest daughter Evelyn Alice at 9 High Street. Sarah died on April 18th 1942 on a visit to her daughter Beatrice Naomi at 10 Stratford Way, Watford.

Reginald Stephen (1884 - 1967)

Although born before his parents moved from Leverstock Green, Reginald spent all of his working life in Kings Langley. His family and descendants are the subject of a future section of this article.

Alfred George (1886 - 1969)


St John's Church, Boxmoor (10)

Alfred George Cook was born on January 24th 1886 and was baptised at St John's Church, Boxmoor on August 8th 1886. He moved with the family to Kings Langley and by the turn of the century he was working in the business as a coach painter. On September 8th 1908 Alfred officiated as best man at the wedding of Alfred William Goodman, who was to become his future brother in law, to Alice Perry at St John's Church, Boxmoor (9). On October 12th 1912, Alfred married Effie Georgina Goodman at All Saints' Church, Kings Langley; the banns also having been called in Effie's home parish in Boxmoor.

Effie was the middle child of seven (2 sons and 5 daughters) of Alfred Goodman and Sarah Knight and was born on June 16th 1885 in Ware Hertfordshire. Her aforementioned brother Alfred, who was a twin, was her senior by one year. Alfred Goodman, the father, was employed as a solicitor's clerk in Ware but by the turn of the century he had moved the family to the Apsley End district of Hemel Hempstead and had taken a post as clerk to the local Frogmore papermill. This was where Stephen Cook's son, Walter and daughter, Jessie Marion, lived and worked and presumably where the two families first met. Effie herself also become a clerk at the papermill and her two brothers worked as bookbinders. Effie was also socially active and had been noted to organise fund raising evenings for the Wesley Guild at the Weslayan Chapel (11).

The couple had two children. A boy they named Dennis Alfred was born on May 22nd 1916. A daughter, May, was born in the autumn of 1917 but died within a few weeks (death certificate awaited). By 1939 the couple were living at No 10, High Street where Alfred was running his own business as a motor and general engineer. Dennis was still with them and was employed as a stores and costs clerk for an electrical supplies company. At the same time Alfred was on the permanent staff of the Volunteer Fire Brigade as their 2nd officer. Dennis was also with the Volunteer Fire Brigade as a fireman.

Effie died in the village in the early months of 1963. She was 77 years old. Alfred lived for a further six years and died on October 2nd 1969.


Hilda Flint

Son Dennis married Hilda Bertha Flint, who was born in Abbots Langley on May 1st 1923, in the spring of 1943. They had a son in 1951. Hilda was a jolly, vivacious person but sadly she suffered from diabetes which rendered her blind. She died in the winter of 1955. Dennis married again in the summer of 1974 to Jean McGavin. She was born Daphne Jean Kimber on May 22nd 1925, the daughter of Cecil Kimber, a motor car designer and the driving force behind the M.G. Car Company, and Irene Hunt. Cecil was killed in a railway accident in a tunnel outside King's Cross Station on February 4th 1945 (12). Jean was a widow whose husband Eric Alexander McGavin had died in 1925. In the early 1980s they were living in Meadow Way, a cul de sac off Great Park, due east of the High Street. Dennis died at Cowes on the Isle of Wight on June 2nd 1994. Jean was Vice President of the MG Car Club and an honorary member of the Early MG Society. She had not been in good health for some years and died on November 12th 2013 (13, 14).


Left: The Kimber Car; Right Top: Cecil Kimber; Bottom: Jean Kimber Cook

Beatrice Naomi (1889 - 1978)


Reginald and Beatrice

First of George and Sarah's three daughters was born on September 11th 1889 and baptised Beatrice Naomi at All Saints' Church, Kings Langley on the 24th November the same year. By 1911 she had become an assisant teacher at the local school. She married Leonard George Bunker in the village in the spring of 1915. 25 year old Leonard was a commercial clerk at the Apsley Mill paper pasting and cardboard works. Initially they lived with her family on the High Street but by 1923 had moved to their own house at 46 Ruckler's Lane a couple of miles north of the village. During the 1930s Leonard was promoted to works manager of the mill. This job did involve travelling which included a trip to New York on RMS Britannic in May 1938. The couple had also moved to 10 Stratford Way, Watford. At the outbreak of hostilities Beatrice took on the post of Air Raid Precautions warden at a hospital supplies facility. It was at the Watford address that Beatrice's mother Sarah died in April 1942. The couple had no children. Leonard died in Watford on August 26th 1960, leaving his effects to Beatrice. Beatrice remained at Stratford Way until she too died on June 1st 1978.

Leonard and Beatrice were always known to be well off and they did a lot of entertaining there. One notable feature was a cocktail cabinet that opened up almost like a paper origami exposing all the glasses and liquor on shelves that levered out. 10 Stratford Way was also the location where they had an Anderson shelter put in the back yard with a rockery built on top. I recall visiting there in the 1960s and it was still fully stocked with canned food, helmets with their names on them, gas masks, beds and bedding. After Beatrice's death and her will was settled I received two or three sets of very nice cut glass wine glasses of differing sizes and a small table with a drawer. It now stands in our hall here in New Jersey. [- S.C.]

Continued in column 2...

The family of George William Cook and Sarah Dell (Continued)

Dora Amy (1891 - 1962)

All Saints

All Saints' Church, Kings Langley (15)

Next daughter Dora Amy arrived on October 21st and was baptised on November 22nd 1891. The National Schools Register records that she attended the Kings Langley Junior, Middle & Infants School between September 12th 1895 and February 1st 1899. In her late teens she became a typist. She married Owen Jack Oakins at All Saint's Church in the spring of 1922. Owen was born on November 17th 1893 at Potten End, a village lying three miles north west of Hemel Hepstead, the son of nurseyman Charles Oakins and his wife Martha Grace. Prior to the first World War, Owen had become a butcher's assistant. He enlisted as Private 291339 with the 10th Battalion, the Middlesex Regiment on June 15th 1915. He was posted with the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force to the Gallipoli Campaign on November 15th 1915. On March 26th 1917 he was initially reported to have been wounded and missing in action. His status was subsequently changed to a prisoner of war being held in Turkey. In a letter dated July 10th 1917 his mother reports receiving postcards saying that he had been in a hospital in Nazareth and was then a prisoner of war in Damascus. He was repatriated at the end of the war and had returned home to Potten End by February 1919.

After their wedding they lived temporarily at 'The Limes', now numbered 7 and 9, the High Street. However soon after that they made the transition to London. They had one son they named John who was born in the West Ham district on November 12th 1926. By September 1939 Owen was established as a confectioner in the sweet manufacturing trade and the couple were living in Barfield Road, Leytonstone in Essex. Son John was away at school in Ongar. Owen and Dora both died within a few months of each other. Owen was admitted to Wanstead Hospital where he died on January 5th 1962. Dora died in Whipps Cross Hospital, Leytonestone on April 18th 1962.

Evelyn Alice May (1893 - 1970)

Third daughter Evelyn Alice May was born on September 16th and baptised on October 22nd 1893. By 1911 she had become a shorthand typist. She never married. She was still living at 9, High Street Kings Langley at the outbreak of the second World War along with Sarah, her 84 year old mother. Evelyn was working as secretary to an antique dealer. Sometime after the war, she moved to a house on Waterside, which branched from the end of Church Lane on the east side of the village. She died there on February 2nd 1970.

The family of Reginald Stephen Cook and Sophia Langston


Reginald Cook


Sophia Langston

As noted previously, the first of George and Sarah's sons was born in Leverstock Green on August 14th 1884 and was baptised at St John's Church, Boxmoor on the outskirts of Hemel Hempstead on October 12th 1884. No doubt under the tutilage of his father, Reginald trained from being a teenager as a wheelwright. He married Sophia Langston at her local church in the winter of 1906, the Banns having been called in Kings Langley on three successive Sundays commencing November 25th 1906. Sophia was the third daughter of agricultural labourer George Langston and his wife Rosa Page and was born on June 3rd 1884. As she was growing up, the family lived in the hamlet of Hughenden about 4½ miles south west of the village of Great Missenden which lies in the midst of the Chiltern Hills in Buckinghamshire. At the turn of the century Sophia had entered domestic service at Wycombe Abbey School in High Wycombe.


Fire Brigade outside 'The Limes'

Sophia gave birth to a daughter, Rosa Stephanie, in 1907. By 1911, Reginald and Sophia were settled into their own house on the High Street next door but one to The Swan public house and six doors away from his parents. Reginald had set up his own offshoot business as a wheelwright. Another daughter, Edna May, was born on May 15th 1912. She was followed by two boys: Stanley George on May 11th 1915 (and baptised on June 20th 1915) and Alan Victor on February 9th 1919.

Reg Sophia

Reginald and Sophia

On the death of his father in 1933, Reginald took over the premises, now numbered 3 & 5 High Street, and business. This is recorded as a cycle agency and repair shop in the 1939 Register. His two younger children were still at home with him. Reginald was also the chief officer of the Kings Langley Fire Brigade. After the war, Reginald moved to Hunstanton in Norfolk where he bought a garage business. He and Sophia settled into a house they called 'The Privets' on Lynn Road where they lived for the next twenty years. He had retired from the business by the early 1960s leaving his two sons as directors of the company. Sophia died there on August 8th 1966. Reginald was admitted to St James' Hospital, Kings Lynn at the beginning of the following year and died there on February 21st 1967.

Rosa Stephanie (1907 - 2002)


The School on Church Lane, Kings Langley (16)

The first of two daughters, Rosa Stephanie was born on September 20th 1907 and baptised on December 15th 1907. She attended the Kings Langley school between October 25th 1911 and July 30th 1913. Rosa trained as a teacher. She married Joseph Edwin Graney in the summer of 1934. Joseph was the son of silversmith Joseph Charles Graney and his wife Sarah Rhodes. Sarah, a native of Boxmore, had married Londoner Joseph in Hemel Hempstead in 1904 but had moved back to Albion Grove, Islington after the ceremony which is where there son was born on April 25th 1905. However in the early 1920s the family had moved back to Hertfordshire and in 1928 they were living in Waterside, Kings Langley.

By 1939 the couple had settled in Hyde Lane, Nash Mills to the north east of Kings Langley; Rosa was a supply teacher, Joseph a plumber. They had two children: a daughter in 1940 and a son, who became a farmer, in 1944. Joseph was taken ill and was admitted to St Paul's Hospital, Hemel Hempstead where he died on April 10th 1966. Rosa ultimately moved to the Mendip area of Somerset (which covers the city of Wells and the owns of Frome and Glastonbury) where she died on January 22nd 2002.

Edna May (1912 - 1990)

Second daughter Edna May was born on May 15th 1912. She remained at home with her parents through the 1930s where she was employed as an insurance clerk. At the outbreak of war she was a member of the British Red Cross. She married Howard Stallabrass (who was always known as Bill by Edna and the rest of the family) in Kings Langley towards the end of 1939. Little is known of Howard. He was born on December 16th 1916 to Frederick W.C. Stallabrass and Florence Helen Howard, who had married in Hampstead, London in 1908. Florence had spent the time around the date of the 1911 census as an in patient at University College Hospital in Gower Street London. Her further history is unknown. Frederick was running a tobacconist and confectionary shop on the Mile End Road, London in 1939.

Howard and Edna had no children. Sometime after the end of the second World War, they moved to the Isle of Wight, buying a house in Cook Avenue, Newport. Howard died there in the spring of 1974. Edna lived on for another 20 years before she too died on June 30th 1994.

Stanley George (1915 - 1990)


Stanley Cook

The older of the two sons arrived on May 11th and was baptised Stanley George on June 20th 1915. As a young man, Stanley obtained work with Scammell, the commercial road transport builder. Originating in London in the late nineteenth century the company moved to a new factory in Watford in 1922 (17). In 1939 he was still living at home with his parents and Edna, the younger of his two sisters, in the High Street. His occupation was described as an engine fitter in the heavy motor industry. He was also a member of the Kings Langley Fire Brigade. He had developed a passion for motor cycles. On one occasion shortly before the second World War started he sustained injuries in a road traffic accident. He was riding his Royal Enfield motor cycle when he was in a collision on a bend with a car driven by a famous speedway driver of the time.

Dorothy Clark

Dorothy Clark

Percival Anker

Percival Anker

He married Barbara Anker in Hemel Hempstead in the spring of 1940. Barbara was born on August 17th 1916 in Brandon, Manitoba, Canada, the daughter of Percival Joseph Anker and Dorothy Ellen Clark. Percival, a native of Whittlesey in Cambridgeshore, had emigrated to Canada in 1913 and was killed in action in France in September 1918. An account of his life can be found in "Percival Joseph Anker, MM" [Article E.]. Of interest here is that Dorothy Clark was born on June 10th 1892 at Shaftesbury Road, Watford, only a stone's throw away from where Vincent Cook had lived in both Clifford Street and Water Lane. She emigrated to Canada in 1914 and married Percival in October 1915. A second daughter, Gwendoline, was born in March 1918. After Percival's death, Dorothy did marry again to Hugh Peat in Fort Garry Manitoba in December 13th 1924. They had a daughter they named Isabelle Dorothy. Dorothy Ellen died on January 22nd 1930 in Rivers, Manitiba.


Barbara Anker

With both their parents dead, Barbara and Gwendoline returned together to England in July 1932, sailing on the RMS Ausonia from Montreal. Their initial stop was with the Burton family, whose son Alfred Gwendoline married in 1942, at Home Park Cottages in Kings Langley. The sisters then went their separate ways. By 1939 Barbara was working as a clerk at the paper mill and was lodging with butcher's assistant Harold Holliman and his wife Violet in Belswains Lane, Apsley End, Hemel Hempstead.

Stanley and Barbara had two sons: Graham Alan born on March 4th 1941 and Stuart George on June 13th 1942. Stanley, Barbara and their two sons followed Reginald to Hunstanton in Norfolk ultimately taking over the garage business. They lived initially on Westgate, Hunstanton before moving to a bungalow on Nelson Drive. Stanley died in the town on May 15th 1990. Barbara moved again, this time to Wooton-Under-Edge in Gloucestershire to be near her son Graham. She had a new apartment in the centre of the town. She died in Gloucester Hospital on April 11th 2001.


A passion for motorcycles: Stanley Cook on his Royal Enfield

Alan Victor (1919 - 1982)

The last child of Reginald and Sophia, son Alan Victor, was born on February 9th and baptised on March 9th 1919 in Kings Langley. He enlisted in the Army during the second World War and was stationed at Fakenham, Norfolk where he married Marjorie Mitchley in the spring of 1942. Marjorie was born on September 9th 1916, the daughter of house painter William Mitchley and his wife Gertie Wacey. She was working as a typist for the Post Office in Kings Lynn in 1936 and still living at home with her parents in Seagate Road, Hunstanton in 1939. Alan joined the family initially on Seagate Road. Eventually they had a bungalow built next down to 'The Privets' on Lynn Road. The couple had no children. Alan died on January 19th 1982 of pancreatic cancer. Marjorie continued to live in Kings Lynn Road into the new millenium. She died in a nursing home on June 3rd 2006.

The sons of George William Cook - A Personal Remembrance

Our grandfather, Reginald Cook, was a bellringer and was in charge of the tower at All Saints' Church, Kings Langley up to the last war. There are eight bells and the tenor, which is the heaviest bell, weighs about 11cwt (bellringers don't do Kilos!) I did ring in the band for his funeral. We rang a Quarter Peal of Grandsire Triples (his favourite method) and it took about 45 minutes. That was the only time I saw Uncle Alan ringing as he came up the tower for a short time before the QP. I also rang in a Quarter Peal about 10 years ago to mark the 100th anniversary of the first ever Quarter Peal on the bells which was conducted by Reg Cook (18).

There is more than that though. I believe that our great grandfather who I think was called George Cook, tolled a bell at Kings Langley for the death of Queen Victoria. Uncle Alfred could also ring. My mother, Rosa, was taught to ring by her dad and my father learned to ring "to keep the old man happy so that he could marry my mother!" I learned to ring in 1954 and still ring a little here in Somerset. [- G.G.]


Duckers, Hunstanton

I always wondered why the sons of George William Cook, Reginald and Alfred, parted ways. Reginald and his two sons purchased the garage business in Hunstanton, Norfolk. Alfred and his son remained at the location in Kings Langley which became a petrol and full service garage business. Maybe it would have been a case of too many Cooks had they stayed together.

I believe I'm right in saying that Alan Cook was stationed with the Army near Hunstanton and met Marjory Mitchley who he married. The garage business in Hunstanton belonging to Ducker & Sons came up for sale and Alan saw it. Somehow from there the Reginald side all ended up in Hunstanton in 1946. We never changed the name of the garage as it was well known throughout the area as Duckers. I think they just did away with the "& Sons" and added an 'S' to read Duckers. (The photograph was taken shortly after we moved to Norfolk. I'm the one in front, standing pigeon toed with braces on my shorts!)

For my mother it was a devastating move. She went from a new modern house in Croxley Green, Hertfordshire to a cottage with no heat and no indoor facilities. The bathtub was actually in the kitchen! The two toilets were in the garage in the form of stalls used also by the workers. The cottage was literally in the middle of the garage with the garage having been built around it. The front and back doors opened into the garage! You can imagine the garage fumes in the house. Looking out of the kitchen and living room windows you looked into the garage seeing men working on cars etc. The roof line of the garage cut across the center of one of the bedrooms and the hall windows - the top half you saw the sky and the outside world, the bottom half you looked into the garage! All this while raising two active boys. I spent a lot of time in and around the garage often helping my father with chores - cleaning engine parts, sweeping floors etc. How on earth my mother tolerated this for 5 or 6 years I will never know. Eventually the cottage at 72 Westgate was condemned and we moved to a "real" house across the road at 89 Westgate when I was about 10. [- S.C.]


The authors would like to express their thanks for the help, comments and suggestions from the following in the construction of this article: Contributors to the Hertfordshire Forum (including Ray and ShaunJ) at RootsChat.Com.

Links to the articles mentioned in the text are in italic capitals below:

Article A.: An examination of the Cook family in Grandborough What's cooking in Buckinghamshire? Cousins All!.
Article B: The original Winslow Boy Too many cooks ... spoil the brats?.
Article C: A personal memory of Walter Cook A Cook's tour of my family.
Article D: Vincent in Watford What's cooking in Hertfordshire? Cousins All! (Part 2a Vincent).
Article E: A Cambridgeshire lad in the Canadian Expeditionary Force Percival Joseph Anker, MM (1892 - 1918).


1. Family tree graphic: Freeware Graphics: Vintage Kin Design Studio, Australia
2.Photograph: Leverstock Green, Holy Trinity Church © Nigel Cox, on Geograph and licenced for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
3. John Keats and La Belle Dame A literary rendition of a romantic disease by S. Basu
4. Stickler, Joseph William, M.D., Orange, N.J. "The Management of Children with Inherited Tubercular Diathese" Paper presented to the Section of Diseases of Children at the 48th Annual Meeting of the American Medical Association, Philadephia June 1st to 4th 1897: in Journal of the American Medical Association pages 18-22 published January 1st 1898
5. One of Leverstock Green's Lost Properties The Three Horseshoes in Leverstock Green Chronicle
6. "Largessing": Charged with keeping his house open during prohibited hours: The Hertford Mercury and Reformer Page 3 September 24th 1864. The British Newspaper Archive; © The British Library Board.
7. Summoned under The Vaccination Act: The Hertford Mercury and Reformer Page 4 Saturday December 31st 1864. The British Newspaper Archive; © The British Library Board.
8. A commentary on The Smallpox Vaccination Act 1853 Intriguing History
9. Goodman - Perry: A Pretty Wedding at St John's Church, Boxmoor: The West Herts and Watford Observer Page 3 Saturday September 12 1908. The British Newspaper Archive; © The British Library Board.
10. St John the Evangelist Church, Boxmoor, Hemel Hempstead: The Churches of Great Britain and Ireland. (c) Bernard Franklin.
11. A Social Evening at Apsely End arranged by Effie Goodman: The Herts Advertised Page 8 Saturday December 8th 1906 The British Newspaper Archive; © The British Library Board.
12. Cecil Kimber Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
13. Jean Kimber Cook The MG Car Club
14. Jean Kimber Cook on The MG Cars Channel A Youtube presentation
15. Photograph: All Saints Parish Church Kings Langley from an old postcard. Hertfordshire Genealogy
16. Photograph: Church Lane School Kings Langley from an old postcard. Kings Langley Local History & Museum Society
17. The History of Scammell Lorries Limited The Scammell Register
18. Kings Langley, All Saints The Hertford County Association of Change-Ringers

Page added: June 30th 2020

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