Norton Court Estate Cottage - No 20

At the time the Inclosures came to Norton in 1807 Plot No 71 was a house of 24 perches already in the ownership of Edward Webb of the Norton Court Estate and later to become cottage No 20.

In 1838 Richard Wheeler occupied No 20 described as a cottage and garden, still of 24 perches, that was still owned by Edward Webb and the Norton Court Estate.  

Richard had been born at Longdon, Worcs, in approximately 1777, he later married Mary and in April 1802 their first child, Sarah, was baptised at Norton and it is likely they were already at No 20.  By 1841 Richard was a widowed, 60 year old, agricultural labourer.  He may have been living here alone although his married daughter, Ann Pinchin, and family are listed next to him in the census so they were either next door or living with him, it is not clear.  They were both still listed as 'neighbours' in 1851 when Richard was recorded as a pauper.  In 1861, Norton Court Estate papers record that No 20 was still occupied by Richard Wheeler.  The census for 1861 confirms that Richard, then an 84 year old agricultural labourer, was resident now along with his widowed daughter Ann Pinchin and her young daughter Ellen.  Richard died in October 1863.

In 1871 Ann Pinchin, now an invalid, is still here with her daughter Ellen.  Daughter Ellen married Jeremiah Collins at St Mary’s, Norton, in 1876, mother Ann died in 1877, and in 1881 Jeremiah and Ellen were living at The Green, Norton, most likely in the same cottage. In 1908 Jeremiah was paying £4 4s Lady Day Rental for cottage No 20.  By 1910 Jeremiah was recorded as being at one of the Tythe Cottages near Hill Farm but this may be a mistake as by 1911 he was again in a four room property near The Green along with his wife and one son.  At this time it was recorded that they had had eight children but that five had died.

From at least 1939 Cecil Ernest and Alice Mary Hadley were in residence with Cecil employed as a market gardener.

At the time of the 1952 auction of the Norton Court Estate the house was Lot No 15 and was described as follows; 

“a brick and tiled semi-detached cottage situate close to The Park gates being No 20 and containing: Living room with cupboard, back kitchen, landing bedroom and bedroom.  Garden, pigscot and EC.  Council water is connected to the cottage.  In the occupation of Mr C E Hadley at a rent of £10 per annum.  The greenhouse, board and galvanised shed and Elsan sanitary closet are claimed by the Tenant.  This Lot is sold subject to the owner bearing one quarter of the cost of maintaining the gate giving access to the three adjoining cottages”.  At the auction it appears to have sold for £300.

With the property now named 'Cemarie' – a corruption of his and his wife’s forenames - Cecil Ernest & Alice Mary Hadley were certainly still here in 1966.  It is likely that they remained here until their deaths; Cecil in 1972, Alice in 1977.  Some years ago Bette Welch then of Court Hay Farm, shared the following memories of Cecil;

"I have fond memories of Cecil Hadley who was the Horticultural Show Organiser for many years.  Cecil was a champion onion grower and was thrilled one year to win the cup for onion sets given in his memory.  

In 1956 I was fortunate to start working at Hurran’s Nursery, Churchdown, before it became a garden centre and worked with Cecil and other local characters.  Previous to his twenty five plus years working at Hurrans I believe he had worked at Wheelers or Hopwoods nursery for many years.  Cecil was chirpy, always whistling or singing, always had a joke to tell, a great tease who worked in his shirt-sleeves winter and summer.  His responsibilities at Hurrans at that time were the cucumber house, a tomato house and hundreds of cyclamen.  He was a firm believer in fish meal fertilizer much to the amusement of rival tomato growers at the nursery who teased him that his tomatoes tasted fishy.  He also did up all of the decorative pots and baskets for the Christmas trade at Hurrans shops in Eastgate Market and Cheltenham Promenade.  The working week then was 5½ days with a 07:30 start.  On Saturday afternoons several of the staff went to see Gloucester City play football at Horton Road; where their ground used to be.  Alfred Hurran was very involved with the football club.  On Sundays Cecil worked overtime until 16:00, always cycling from Norton for he never owned a car.  On his way home from Churchdown he would stop off at Norton Village Hall to water the hanging baskets; a real commitment.  However Cecil found time to grow prize-winning vegetables in his lovely garden at Norton Green and also cultivate the Reading Room garden I shall never know.  When the decision was made to change from nursery to garden centre Cecil, who was then foreman, was given instant dismissal and I feel it broke his heart.  Cecil finished his working days as a County Council roadman and suffered ill health for his remaining years.  Cecil died on 27th December 1972, aged 65 years.  No organist was available for his funeral service at Norton Church and though several of his former colleagues came it was a sad affair but I felt Cecil was chuckling away somewhere.  He was buried at Prinknash Abbey as was his wife when she died on 17th October 1977, aged 78 years.  I am grateful to Mrs Bette Davies, who tends the graves, for this last piece of information”.

In 1985 Ian M and Lorraine C Orchard were here.

No 20 is the white painted property to the right of the semi.  [2002]

Howard E, Josh and James Foster were living here in 2002.