The history of Smallford is rich in heritage and diversity which has evolved over the many centuries since it first appeared on maps – initially not as Smallford at all!

Occupations: forwards from the 1920s

Occupations: forwards from the 1920s

1911 is the most recent census available to us, as the records are retained in secret for 100 years.  However, the gap between it and recent times is relatively small, and other data is available to us to summarise changes in employment more recently. The popularity...

Occupations: 1911 census

Occupations: 1911 census

From 1911 occupations became more varied still, with opportunities to travel away to work: bookbinders and printers in St Albans, and motor fitters and brewers in Hatfield. The motor trade also came to Horseshoes! William Sheppard was blacksmithing at Wilkins Green...

Occupations: 1901 census

Occupations: 1901 census

In 1901 was the first evidence of a school teacher, an author, a carman, bricklayers, woodman and an electrician. So the range of occupations was widening, and therefore the skill levels of a proportion of them.  Some labouring occupations became more specialised:...

Occupations: 1891 census

Occupations: 1891 census

In 1891 the many straw plaiters and hat makers had gone – not a single one left; women instead became dressmakers, housekeepers and farm servants instead. The latter were probably employed in the dairy parlours on farms which had turned from mixed to dairy farms....

Occupations: 1881 census

Occupations: 1881 census

In 1881 one occupation was suddenly absent: one of the last turnpikes to be closed was the Reading and Hatfield Trust at the end of 1880, responsibility for maintenance now being vested in the Highways Board.  So, the Simpkins family were out of toll collecting work....

Occupations: 1871 census

Occupations: 1871 census

By 1871 there was an increase in the number of (Brazilian) hat makers, possibly indicating a more mature market for these products. As with straw plaiting, whereas previously only the wives were identified with the activity, now the daughters were active participants,...

Occupations: 1861 census

Occupations: 1861 census

In 1861 only two or three plaiters and hat makers are mentioned.  Although this does not mean that others were not carrying out this work, but there may have been a reason to keep the information to themselves.  Several women left the occupation column blank.  A...

Occupations: 1851 census

Occupations: 1851 census

In 1851, the census was more specific about some occupations and we can obtain a clearer idea of the nature of work in the parish. The general term Labourer was replaced by a more specific agricultural labourer.  That still covered all who were casually, seasonally or...

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