More Town Views Sawbridgeworth Fire Brigade 1897 - to the early 1970's and beyond.
with other town information and views
Dedicated to those who unselfeshly gave of their time and loyalty to their fellow citizens.
Town Views - Events More Town Views Other Contributions Miscellanea More MiscellaneaRoll of Honour Home
      The Pictures on this page will enlarge when clicked with your mouse  
Page last updated: 23/05/2021 With acknowledgment to Tony Marshall of Sawbridgeworth  
           A little bit of history about the Cricket Club  

This is from c.1900 when the club played at Pishiobury Park (behind the modern East Park) . The club moved back to the present ground of Town Fields the year after in 1897 (the official founding date of the modern club), where many games involving the local aristocracy had been played for years before. The person at the far left on the front row was club secretary Arthur Morris (*), of 32 Knight Street. This photo was donated by his grandchildren in 1995.

This photograph is undated, although I would say it looks 1920s (before the pavilion was built in 1930 anyway).

This photograph was taken in 1974, when Sawbridgeworth were a very strong club, and many of the players had minor county experience. Names as follows:

Back Row - Alan Watson, Barry Birch, Ted Levey, David Warne, John Pyle, Henry Holland. Front Row - Alan Buck, Terry Dash, Alan Webb (captain), David Abbey, Tony Cooke

Photograph taken in 1929 - probably Whit. Monday - in front of the old pavilion replaced in 1930 by Sir Walter Lawrence. Team as follows: Back Row (LtoR) A. Batt (umpire), M.(Marvin?(*)) Everett, Harry Cole, Sir Arthur Cutforth, Ernie Clarke, W.W. Lawrence, Pat Lawrence, Arthur Clements. Front Row (LtoR) A. Greengrass, F. Prior, Reg Salmon, Sir Walter Lawrence (Club President), Harry Boatman (Club Captain), F. Poher, R. Mayfield. 20th May 1929 (Whit. Monday) the game against Woodford Green with over 100 spectators visible around the ground. Obviously a significant village event for the locals on a Bank Holiday.
(*) See the connection in
Photo Gallery 1
Tony mentions that there were other players who had connections or were members of the Fire Brigade.
============================================= =OOO= ==============================================
Left - A most interesting aerial photograph of the Southern part of Sawbridgeworth taken in 1929. The Cricket Field is top left with the newly planted Chestnut Trees only about 8 feet tall around the perimeter of the field and running down the side of the 'Town Fields' footpath connecting the Fair Green with Springhall Road On the very edge of the photograph just above where the name Vantorts Farm is shown is the Playground of the then National (Church) School that stood at the top of the hill in Sheering Mill Road - in about 1947 to become the Secondary Modern School. The large tree in Vantorts Road near the farm is a Walnut tree and is still standing in 2009. This tree is in the front garden of the house now built on that land which, when the picture was taken, was a stack yard to the farm. Right - A close-up enlargement of Vantorts Farm showing the use of the buildings and area as they were later in the 1940's 50's. The farm was sold for housing in around 1968.
Vantorts Farm
  Sawbridgeworth from the air in 1929 Quickbury Farm Sawbridgeworth
   In the enlarged photo the Sawbridgeworth Cinema is just visible on the left and end of Sayesbury Road - the wide one going South to North.
Photo kindly contributed from research by Hilary Matthews.
A charming photograph of harvest time at Quickbury Farm in 1917. The photo was provided by Mrs. Josephine Cock whose Grandfather and Grandmother are in the picture. Mrs. Cock was born, raised and basically educated in Sawbridgeworth but now lives near Snowdonia in Wales.

horizontal rule

Other Organisations - Pictures from the Webmaster's Library
In the early part of the 20th century the thought of the working classes having holidays from, for most, long working days from 6am to 6pm and 6 days a week was almost unheard of. By the time of the mid. 20's though, breaks at weekends (getting a Saturday off) were becoming more common and for some, they forego their wages for a week to be able to get away. A very popular Sawbridgeworth club that met throughout the year was the Young Men's Meeting (YMM) run by Sidney Parmeter, the Manager of the then grocery store in Knight Street, Forest Stores. There were annual camps arranged, mainly at 'local' seaside venues and these were popular and well attended. As mentioned elsewhere quite a few of those who attended these camps became volunteer firemen and went through to serving as Retained members of the Sawbridgeworth Brigade. Below are some records of the camps. (If anyone can name others in these pictures please advise the Webmaster)
Sidney Parmeter (Centre - front seated). Sidney Parmeter (Centre - centre row) Back: ?, Arthur Bambridge
Front: Frank Wright, Sidney and Sid Morgan
Little Holland (Essex) 1923
Middle left 2nd in - Len Rix & Sid Morgan, Front seated second left - Arthur Bambridge & Frank Wright. Front row 3rd from right Les Brinkworth Back row - 5th from right Len Rix, Middle row 2nd from left Frank Wright & Arthur Bambridge - 3rd from right - Sid Morgan. Front row far right - Reg. Wright, 4th from right - Jack Searl. Back row: left - Arthur Bambridge. Centre row - 2nd left - Stan Levey. Frank Wright with football.
Little Holland 1922 Little Holland 1922 Little Holland 1923 Lowestoft 1927
Lowestoft 1928 Lowestoft 1928 Little Holland 1923 Old Boys pay tribute
Above Left: On the anniversary of Sidney W. Parmeter's 80th birthday those that had benefitted from the social activities and camps in their younger days showed their appreciation. With, (left to right) ? Read, Frank Wright (making the presentation) Ernie Clark, Les Brinkworth, Stan Levey,?,Bill Fish, Bert Russell, Arthur Bambridge,? Wybrow?,?
Above Right: The full assembly attending the occasion three of whom are members of the Fire Brigade... Frank Wright, Reg Wright and Jack Searle.


Sawbridgeworth Football Club c.1925 Journeys to and fro camp were not always straight forward! The Charabanc was not a very comfortable ride at any time with solid wheels but having no wheels at the front put a stop to any travel.
Team members recognisable in the picture are: Arthur Marshall (next to Bowler Hat); Fred Harryman  (fourth from the left); Reg Salmon (sixth from left) and Frank Wright (kneeling right).
Lowestoft 1928 Little Holland 1924

horizontal rule

Sawbridgeworth Industry
Picture with acknowledgment to John Dear and David Radford of Sawbridgeworth
The picture below is also available for viewing in its full size Full Size (close-up)  
There are two pictures available by 'clicking' "Full Size" above replicating the picture below but with Picture 2 showing more clearly the extent of the gardens of the then existing terrace of houses on the Northern side of Sheering Mill Road (Lane) and also allotments that were accessed from Lower Sheering Road. Until about 1957 these houses had no flush toilets or bathrooms - the 'Privy' was in a separate wooden building at the rear of each house.

This aerial view of the Joinery Works is thought to be around 1948. The river Stort is in the foreground and was still much in use on a commercial basis with horse drawn barges but mainly with grain to Burton's Mill in Station Road - about a further of a mile to the North. Close inspection of the main Cambridge to Liverpool Street railway line shows a goods train going South and it is just possible to make out both the loop line refuge, between the Station Yard and the Sheering Mill Road (Lane) bridge, and the Signal adjacent to the bridge that controlled the loop. The works had its own rail siding that ran down the centre roadway between the two lines of buildings. The wood chip cyclone that can be seen on the roof of the works often caught fire. The works was also a venue for sizable Fire Brigade exercises involving both Hertfordshire and Essex brigades - the county boundary is the little back stream that can be seen and runs behind the Lock Keeper's bungalow - his well tended garden can be seen near the bottom of the picture.

The works was a sizeable enterprise and created quite a hazard (of bicycles) at lunch time 12:30pm and 5:30pm. The open area towards the road and close to the railway was the Saw Mill where trees were 'sliced' lengthwise into planks. These were then stacked with gaps between each plank - still in the shape of the original tree - to be seasoned, in the area of where Sun Street now is. The building close to the road at the works entrance is the Worker's 'Institute', a very popular venue for local dances. The row of houses now on the North of Sheering Mill Road (Lane) did not materialise until around the mid fifties. Far right is Luxfords Nursery (Carnation Growers) greenhouses. In the foreground, adjacent to the arched bridge, is the Mill (House). At the bottom of the picture in the main river can be seen a steam dredger and an open barge for the dredged material that was in use frequently to keep open the navigation between Bishop' Stortford and the river Lee much nearer London. In the little backwater on the other side of the arched bridge can be seen the river maintenance team's boats of which Bill Hurren (a retained member of the fire brigade) was a member. The field opposite the works with the bridge over the stream was farmed by Vantorts Farm. It was a rather wet area in winter and was used mainly for grazing cattle. The field on the opposite side of the road was rarely used for anything as it was also wet for long periods. However, on the far side a small ditch ran into the Lock Keeper's stream and it was a good source of Water Cress.

Walter Lawrence & Sons Joinery Works Click picture to Enlarge   Picture below kindly donated by Richard Dyer
Picture (left) from the
Webmaster's Library


The Joinery Works - from the Road Bridge  
The fuselage building section of Walter Lawrence presumably at its peak production period c. 1943-44. It can be seen that a number of women were employed in the section. The fuselages themselves were built on plywood jigs which were very intricate 'moulds' on which the fuselage was assembled. These jigs were also manufactured on site by specialist Joiners.

Above is another view of the Joinery Works apparently from 1938. The works were badly damaged by an intense bombardment by German incendiary bombs in the early 1940's which completely gutted the line of buildings nearest the river Stort. The buildings on that side were almost entirely of wood construction! This is where the fuselages for the Mosquito aeroplane were manufactured for deHavilland at Hatfield. The Saw Yard, where whole trees were processed, is nearest the camera,  The saws themselves were just inside the building. After the WWII damage the buildings nearest the river were fairly quickly rebuilt, this time in brick, and camouflaged - later to be painted in white.

More information on this can be found on the BBC Peoples War Web Site - details are on this site at the bottom of the page of the link below.
[ The War Years ]

horizontal rule

Pictures from the Webmaster's Library

After WWII Sir Walter Lawrence, who lived at Easton Manor Essex, provided a function for the works staff at his home each year. The photograph left records those staff that attended on Sunday the 10th August 1952. (The webmaster's maternal Grandfather is 2nd from the right - middle row)  
Left: The United Grand Lodge of England
Walter Lawrence & Sons was a substantial company and very well respected in the building industry. Pre WWII they were engaged in many prestigious building projects such as hospitals, large schools, town halls and other public buildings of merit. Such a project was that of the building of the then new Masonic Grand Lodge in Great Queen Street, London together with the Connaught Rooms next door. Here it can be seen under construction in around 1927/28. Today (), it remains the head quarters of English Masonry and is also frequently used for period filming.
There is an interesting connection with the Masonic Hall in Vantorts Road, situated just South of the King William IV Public House. Both Sir Walter Lawrence and Bryan Nockolds, Chief Officer of the Fire Brigade, were members of the Sawbridgeworth Lodge. Sawbridgeworth Lodge This picture of the finished Masonic Hall is thought to have been taken very soon after completion of the project in the early to mid. 1930's and is of the main entrance door on the corner of Great Queen Street and Wild Street. The webmaster's maternal grandfather worked on the project - see above.

horizontal rule