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, giving the impression that it was a more widespread occupation.

In first references to the railway, a coal dealer (Robert Hill) and a platelayer (Henry Nash) can be identified, just three years after the branch railway opened.

Children of school age may previously have been child labourers; in 1871 around a dozen are identified as scholars.  In this and later census orders this term meant “of school age” – not quite the same as meaning that they attended school.  Since others of school age were not named scholars it is probable that only most of the children between five and 12 were walking along to the school in Colney Heath.

John McNair was still a wheelwright; we can’t say that he was still at The Ship, but we assume so.  Philip Pugh and his family were at the public house, where he was publican, but he continued to deal in hay.  His entry suggests that the role of handling and delivering the crop was important, as he describes himself as a hay carter, not as a publican.  Being the owner of a cart would also enable him to fetch and carry other loads on demand, and probably coffins to the parish church, which by now was St Mark’s.

Hester Haddington, of Horseshoes was a monthly nurse, attending patients, perhaps not only for midwifery functions, but for patients needing attendance over an extended period.  Seventy-six-year-old Martha Ward, also living at Horseshoes, was awarded parish relief, and by contrast, next door lived Charlotte Mansell, whose income came from property.

Ann Simpkins was responsible for the Toll gate – a decade previously it was Rebecca Simpkins.  And John Simpkins, living in a different Horseshoes house, was occupied as a road man.  Possibly both Ann and John were employed by the Turnpike Trust.

This photograph looks east from the crossroads.  On the extreme left is the former toll house.  When in use there was a pair of white gates across the road, a wide one for traffic and a narrow pedestrian gate.  It is not confirmed whether the toll house was occupied after 1880 or remained empty.  Beyond the toll house was the Four Horseshoes.  On the right only the Three Horseshoes (with sign) is present today.  The photograph was taken before 1935 when the County Council demolished the toll house.  The image is in the Smallford Group’s collection.

Horsehoe Village

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