The church and the school from c 1910


This church card was new to the site in April 2020 and unlike some that

turn up, has proved quite simple to follow up. It was sent on New Year's Eve 1910

at a time when next day delivery was the norm. It conveys the Happy New Year

sentiments from a Ryburgh mother to her married daughter living in Wymondham. 





Being so close to 1911 and a Census that is easy to consult, I soon found the

couple. They were domestic gardener, Frederick Howard aged 30,  born in Willian,

a small village in Hertfordshire and his wife of 4 years duration, 28 year old Laura,

born in Great Ryburgh. Knowing this meant that there was a good chance that

they had been married in St Andrew's and the register's transcript revealed

chapter and verse:





In spite of the evidence above, the 1891 Census records 8 year old Laura as

the grandaughter and not the daughter of 61 year old Henry Whiteside. A search

of the previous census records finds no other Henry in that family group, only

sons and daughters who were of an age to be the parent of Laura and therefore

suggesting possible candidates to be the "mother" of the card.


The next search took place on the pages of Ancestry and the family history, 

complete with images soon tumbled off the pages of Erica Smith's and

David Wickham's, Nelson Family Tree pages.  Erica is the great-grandaughter

of "Mother" and  David is married to Cynthia Nelson from Ryburgh who will

be known to some readers of this page and have kindly allowed us to reproduce

the following images and to whom many thanks:




                        Laura Ethel Bowman Howard at about the time of the postcard?

                                born September 5th.1882 died  February 21st. 1966




                                         Laura and Fred Howard ( died May 1966)


                        " Mother"  Blanch Adeline Whiteside (b.1861 - d.October 4th.1948)


who married John (Jack) Nelson (b. January 11th. 1860 - d.February 24th. 1939)

in St Andrews on Decmber 2nd. 1884  and who is pictured  on this crop from the

1901 Maltings workers photo, a crop of a family group from David and (to the

incurably romantic) an altogether idyllic harvest scene?:










We already had a copy of this image of the school, when a card came up for sale

on an auction site. I won the card and had already asked the seller if they could

let me have some details of the reverse of the card. They very kindly sent a photo  

and I waited for the card to arrive. Unfortunately it never did and so was refunded

my purchase price. I was naturally fascinated by the message on the reverse which

I was able to transcribe from the photograph  as follows:

Dear L. I am sorry I have 

not wrote but dear I will 

write to you sometime next 

week I thought you would 

like this card Millie 

is on there. Alfred 

sat too far on the wall so 

they did not get him in 

poor little boy  will tell you 

all new in a letter hear from 

Jane (?) yesterday with love from May.


However it was only after I bought the church card that I realised that not only

had I purchased it from the same seller but the card had been sent to the same

addressee, i.e. Laura Howard 


Mrs. F Howard

The Crossways Lodge




In researching, I checked the school log book and registers for any evidence

of the day the photographer was at the school.  Unfortunately, although it was

clearly a disruptive occasion,there is no mention of the photographer coming

to the school at all to confirm a date for the image. The register shows just two

Mildreds at this time The first was Mildred Cranmer,  but the whole family moved

to Norwich in April 1909 which is probably too early for the photograph to have

been taken. The other candidate was Mildred Whiteside, daughter of Laura Howard’s

Uncle, David Boaz Whiteside and therefore Laura’s cousin. Mildred Whiteside left

the school, being “of age” on November 8th 1912 which made  much more sense.

After consultation with Erica Smith,  she agreed that MIllie would be Mildred Whiteside

and confirmed that May is May Blanch Nelson (1887-1975) Laura's sister and

Erica's grandmother,  Alfred would have been their baby brother Alfred Percy

Nelson 1901-1992.

The Jane mentioned has not yet been identified and I may not have transcribed

the name correctly as the perspective of the photo is a little distorted at that point!





Page last updated: Tuesday 5th May 2020 9:08 PM
Powered by Church Edit