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: stockman, ploughman, and horsekeeper.

The hamlet also had its stationmaster, Thomas North, and his wife and daughters, in a house built by the railway company.  In small communities where it is almost impossible to identify specific addresses, this is the first evidence in the census returns of a newly-built property here.

The Pugh family no longer feature in Horseshoes hamlet, and the licensed victualler of the Three Horseshoes public house was Alexander Gracey and his wife Emma.  Across the road at the Four Horseshoes James and Maria Hulks continued to manage the beer house; James’ income from agricultural work was still greater than if his wife was in alternative employment.  James’ son Arthur, gives us our first clue about an important improvement in living standards.  He was an “electrician on a gentleman’s estate”.  This may have been Oaklands Mansion or Great Nast Hyde, more likely the former.  At this stage the energy was generated on-site, and the house owner had the resources to “have the place wired”.  In these early days, paying an electrician to look after the new infrastructure was deemed prudent expenditure.

To Great Nast Hyde had come a writer – he described himself as an author – Henry Wisdom. He helped to launch Sphere, an illustrated “magazine for the home”.  He was its assistant editor.  Sphere was published by London Illustrated Newspapers and remained in print from 1900 until 1964.  Ada Noon was Henry’s niece, also living at Great Nast Hyde.  At 19, she was a school teacher.  Although tempting to think her place of employment was Colney Heath School, Great Nast Hyde is not too far from old Hatfield and the Victorian New Town where there were schools.

Joseph Shepherd remained blacksmithing at the Wilkins Green forge, and his brother-in-law, Thomas Markham, was also blacksmithing, probably at the Horseshoes forge.

William Service who, ten years ago, was farming Wilkins Green Farm, is now able to introduce us to a new occupational description – pensioner.  Generally, through most of the 19th century people continued to work until they were physically unable to, or they died.  One way or another, if they did not bring in an income to support themselves, they had to be supported by another member of the family, or previously by the parish.  In this case it is possible that the farm income was able to support a non-working member of the family, William, who was 82.

Little Nast Hyde Farm was worked by James and Sarah Tarry, and Popefield Farm was still run by the Patience family.

The image below is how East Drive looked in the early 1920s, shortly after Oaklands was taken over by the County Council.  There were three drives: South leading to Hatfield Road, North leading to Sandpit Lane, and East, which connected with Sandpit Lane (now Oaklands Lane), but it doesn’t take you more quickly to anywhere the North and South Drives couldn’t.  So the point of East Drive (together with its lodge – which North Drive did not have) is up for discussion.

The image is in the Smallford Group’s collection.

Smallford Postcard - showing East Drive and Lodge

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This