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 Forge, as had his family for decades.
Augustus Carpenter, John Attwood and Charles Ray were all horsemen on the farms. They may have been responsible for draft animals, as well as lighter hacks and hunting horses, and those for pulling carts and carriages along roads.
Two residents were working for Hertfordshire County Council as road labourers; in the days of the toll road they would presumably have undertaken similar work for the Turnpike Trust.
James Turner, living on farm premises at Popefield, pursued the occupation of farm bailiff. Meanwhile, William Smith and a young boarder living with him at The Beech were both gamekeepers. Harry Butters at Wilkins Green was employed as a chauffeur.
One of James Turner’s daughters was employed at a printing factory, either at Fleetville or Campfield. She may have boarded the train at Smallford, but equally she may have used a bicycle, or been taken there in a trap. A daughter of Ian Tomblin of Wilkins Green was also a folder at a print works. Print machine minding was only carried out by men, and George Underhill at the Four Horseshoes Beer House, was the third resident of the hamlet to work in the St Albans print industry.
The Three Horseshoes remained in the hands of Alexander Gracey.
Samuel Smith worked for the St Albans Corporation at the sewage works. This was located adjacent to the present Park Street roundabout.
We tend to think of greengrocery as a retail trade from a shop. William Simpkins and George Smith both stated they were greengrocers. They probably each had one of the Ellenbrook smallholdings, or one behind the cottages at Horseshoes, and the trade was probably mobile, selling from a cart around the various nearby hamlets. Each may have worked on his own account or they may have been in a loose partnership.
Two boarders living with Frederick Simpkins at Horseshoes, Charles Prickett and Frank Legg, were employed at the Hatfield Road Links; Charles as a greenskeeper and Frank as a golf labourer. This brings a higher status of activity to the district, but so far we are uncertain about the location of the links. The stretch of the Hatfield road east of Popefield was, and still is, called St Albans Road west. This suggests it was west of Horseshoes. But if the new name of the road is ignored the site may have been at Great Nast Hyde.
There continued to be a range of labouring jobs, both general and on farms, with, of course, the tenant farmers in charge of them. But this is the first census where a completely new range of occupations have become embedded in the community. During the previous decade, a spread of substantial detached homes had been constructed on the north side of St Albans Road at Ellenbrook, in a virtually unbroken line as far as the present police headquarters. Those at the Ellenbrook end had lives of less than forty years, for they were demolished in favour of the aeroplane factory activities. Their occupants were well off and employed house servants in dwellings which had up to ten rooms (living rooms and bedrooms), with jobs like solicitors and bankers. Given that the Nast Hyde Halt was opened a year before this census, have we stumbled across its function?
In the final article in this series we will discover how Horseshoes has changed further, from the 1920s to the post-war period.
The image of Station Road below was two decades later than 1911, but it demonstrates how quickly Horseshoes would change. Motor vehicles would use the road to gain access to the 1920s bypass. Houses would soon line the east side of the road – and the north side of Wilkins Green Lane to the right of the photo; and plant nurseries would sprout on three corners of the crossroads and all the way to the station along this road.
The image is in the Smallford Group’s collection.