The Budd Family

Robert Alfred Budd

Marion Meadows

Robert was born at Warren Farm, Cuddington 16 November 1876 (Father Isaac Budd was a farm labourer) and like many farming families of that era they moved around.  Robert grew up in Buckland where he went to school.

Isaac Budd died on 4 March 1891 and as the family were in a tied cottage Robert moved with his mother and some of his siblings to Brockham.  They lived in a cottage which is now part of what is now Noyesend.  They are on the 1901 census in one of four cottages as Home Lane shown between Weir Mead Farm and Moat House Farm.

Robert Alfred Budd married Jessie Grace Darling at Holy Trinity Farm, Reading on 2 January 1904.  His wife was born in Reading but Robert met her when she was working in Brockham as a Laundress.  She can be found listed on the 1901 census as a laundress status "Servant" with the Phillips family at Moleside Cottage (corner of Brockham Lane and The Borough).  Mr Phillips is shown as a builder but I understand a Laundry business was run from the premises.

Following their marriage Robert and Jessie lived at 3 Jubilee Terrace Strood Green and house moves from there for the family are in the notes re: Edith Meadows (Nee Budd).

Jessie Grace Budd died Leighs Farm Brockham Green 14 August 1930 and Robert Alfred died there on 2 March 1974.

Laundries - My mother told me of various people in Brockham who took in washing much of it for families in Betchworth where there were a number of sizeable houses.


Edith Meadows nee Budd

Marion Meadows: Edith also known as Ede and Edie by friends and family was born on the 23 August 1905 at 3 Jubilee Terrace, Brockham the eldest of five children born to Robert Alfred Budd (Coal Merchant/Farmer) and Jessie Grace Budd (nee Darling).

When Edith was starting to walk her mother was afraid she would fall in the ditch at Jubilee so her father rented what is now part of Dells Cottage opposite the school for six months whilst 4 Oakdene Road was being built. Edith would probably have been about twenty months old when they moved into the new house. This property along with No 2 built for the Holman family were the first two houses built in Oakdene Road. 

Edith's brother Ted was born at No 4 on 13 July 1907 and he was proud of the fact that he was the first child to be born in that road.  Their brothers Arthur and Sydney and sister Alice were also born there.  On the day Sydney was born (6 March1912) their father Robert Budd signed for the tenancy of Leighs Farm which was on the Deepdene Estate. However it was not until 1st May 1914 that the family were able to move there as Mrs Batchelor, widow of the previous tenant was still living in the house.  Number 4 Oakdene Road was then rented out for many years but now belongs to my brother Eric and his wife Ann.

Before she started school she remembered her Granny Budd (who was then living at what is now Dells Cottage) taking her across to the school playground to see the Empire Day celebrations and other school events.  She told of following the Holman girls (Lily and Ivy) to school after they had been home to lunch and having to be taken back home and of going out and about with her father in the horse and cart when he went around on his deliveries. She laughed when I suggested perhaps she was being taken out of the way.  Edith also used to go to stay with her Aunt Emily (one of her mother's sisters) in Reading initially she thought when another baby was on the way but continued to visit until Emily died around 1960.

Edith lost some of her early schooling due to ear troubles and had two operations for mastoid performed on the kitchen table at about the age of 6.  During one of these she tells that her mother fainted.

On the outbreak of World War 1 Edith remembers standing by the church wall (where the lychgate now stands) and seeing young men sign on (1st City of London Company) and tells that this group of young men did not return and their names are on the war memorial in the churchyard.  She also remembers sitting round the pond opposite the butchers shop with other girls chatting and telling yarns whilst they knitted socks for soldiers.  She learned to knit socks at an early age and she and her mother kept her father and brothers in socks (she continued to knit her fathers socks until his death in 1974).   The school children also collected plants for medicinal purposes, which were dried in sheds at the bottom of the school playground.

Edith talked of the headmaster Mr Pinnock (known as the Gaffer) whom she said should have been on the stage.  He produced various performances in which the pupils took part and apparently the Pinnock family were musical and sang harmonies.  Another teacher was Miss Sherlock described as a good teacher but very strict.  Mum recalled that on Thursday afternoons the boys were taught gardening by the caretaker Mr Rich and the girls had needlework lessons taken by Miss Sherlock. My Mum told of an incident when caught talking to another girl and was called to bring her work out front.  This was an apron pleated into a waistband which she had tacked and on inspection was told to "take it undone" and whilst telling her this Mum said Miss Sherlock pulled the offending garment and as it was only tacked it came undone whereupon she laughed and was rebuked and told to "take that beastly grin off your face" which was apparently a common cry.

After school there were various tasks to do which for her and her brother Ted included cutting chaff ready for the horses' nosebags the next day and mangles for the cattle.

A school outing to Crystal Palace was recalled and Sunday school outings to Pippbrook when it was a private house and the ruins of Betchworth Castle.

Edith left school at 14 in 1919 having been top of her class for that year.  She went into service in the household of Sir Benjamin Brodie on Boxhill where she worked as a kitchen maid.  Due to her mother's ill health her father fetched her home after 2½ years to assist in the running of the home.  She was also required to help outside on the farm undertaking various tasks including working in the fields, turning the hay with a horse rake and picking and selling apples.  The one task she said she made sure she did not get involved in though was milking the cows as she said she could foresee the men folk taking advantage of her and going out and leaving her to do the necessary.  However, she says she knew how to obtain the odd drop if they were short in the house.

She also recalled that during the General Strike of 1926 with Ivy Holman she weighed out 28lbs of coal at a time for customers.  One winter they took sheep from Romney Marsh - sheep were taken off out of the wet for the winter and boarded on farms inland - however they were troublesome as they kept getting out so they did not take any again.     

Edith played stool ball on Brockham Green and in matches against other village sides.  She also played badminton firstly at Brockham, where she was secretary, and then in Dorking where she was a member of the team.  She also belonged to the Girls Friendly Society and whilst researching other family history I came across an account of a concert they performed in January 1923 where she got two mentions. A production of The Quaker Girl was also talked about this put on by Mrs Rickett.  Along with her sister and brothers she attended dances in Brockham Village Hall and also Betchworth.  They used to go swimming in the River Mole at the back of what is now Nutwood Avenue where there was a bathing hut in which to change.

Visits to Dorking were made for shopping and the cattle market which in those days was held on the cobbles either side of the High Street.  Edith used to ride with her father through the coach road.  Tenants of the Deepdene had keys to the gates at either end and there was a kissing gate by the side for pedestrians.

On 10 September 1935 Edith married Charles Frederick Meadows at Christ Church, Brockham. Charles was the eldest son of Frederick William Meadows and Jane Sophia  Meadows of The Spotted Cow.  Charles and Edith set up home at 3 Punchbowl Lane Dorking where they raised their three children Marion Jessie, Eric Charles, and Barbara Mary.  They were able to buy the cottage in Punchbowl Lane in 1955 from The Deepdene Estate as sitting tenants when the estate was broken up.  Edith liked her garden and was particularly fond on floribunda roses and fuchsias and was a founder member of the Dorking Fuchsia Club.  She enjoyed the television particularly watching gardening programmes, documentaries and various sports she particularly enjoyed horseracing.  She loved horses especially working horses.  A regular joke was "Mum's not mechanically minded" to which she used to reply, "No I was brought up with horses".

As children Mum used to make our clothes and was very good at making things out of adult garments particularly during World War II when new fabric was rationed.  Her Aunt Emma (one of her father's sisters) would bring a skirt to be cut up and I remember her making Barbara and me shorts out of the legs of a pair of Dads discarded cords.

Mum and Dad remained at 3 Punchbowl Lane until 1st November 1985 when they sold it and moved with me to 96 Fairfield Drive Dorking.  Dad died on 18 May 1992 at Dorking Hospital. Edith continued living with me until February 2003 when she suffered fractures to the tibia and fibular of her left leg and on her discharge from hospital went to live at Downsvale Nursing Home in Pixham Lane Dorking where she died on 4 March 2004.  


Syd Budd

Ann Clinch nee Budd: Robert Budd moved to Brockham from Buckland when he was fifteen after his father had died of pneumonia. Robert and his father undertook a rescue of a man with a broken leg on Box Hill in snow and took him by cart to the hospital in Redhill. Father was to contract pneumonia as a result of the weather during the rescue and died.

Syd Budd:  Syd was born 1912 in Brockham. He had five children Alice and Edith, Arthur (who worked Pondtail Farm and died aged sixty four), Ted and Syd. Syd was christened in 1912 by probably Rev Fear as Dad did not come to Brockham until 1915, and his first memory is moving down Wheelers Lane to the new house with the furniture on a horse and cart. His mother shouted out that the cat had escaped and outside Way House the animal was recaptured. Syd was two! Schooling started at five years in the school in Wheelers lane before the hall and kitchens were built. There were five classes and five teachers including the Head Mr H B Pinnock. The classes were all about the same size with about ninety pupils in the school. Half term holidays were just a Friday and Monday although summer was about six weeks. We had a fortnight off in September to pick potatoes. On Pondtail we grew two acres of potatoes. Syd left school at fourteen to work with his father and Mr Holman in their coal merchant business.

Syd and his family lived in what is now Leighs Farm next to Churchfell lived in by the Holmans. Next door in number 67 now Fell Cottage and 66 Leighs Cottage were homes for workmen.

Pondtail Farm was bought in 1921 by Holman and Budd where Mr Barrow had been a tenant before he died. The name of the farm is Pondtail and refers to the end of a string of ponds filled from drainage ditches to the farm.  Syd's father and his friend Holman rented Leighs Farm which had 36 acres until it was bought by them in 1953

Leighs Farm included land to the east of Middle Street and the barn where they kept their Lorries is now Barn Cottage the old building being torn down in the late 1950s early 1960s. The land also included the area where the council houses were built after the Second World War. Whiteways was there when Syd was small and a Mrs Ricket's relation lived in Brockham House. Mrs Rickett set up the Scouts and Syd joined after he had been caught scrumping her apples and she offered him dreadful retribution or the Cubs!

The Cubs were active and included camping trip to Eastbourne and 3 nights at the Scout camp on Ranmore.

Within the village Syd was able to play foot ball, cricket, badminton in the village hall which then had a high ceiling, (they were part of the West Weald league and played as far away as Ockley, Roffey, Forest Row) There was billiards and darts in the village hall and club where there were pantomimes he became involved in. The shows were run by Elsie Spain (Mrs Rickett's professional name) who produced two or three and gathered up all the boys into the chorus. There were rehearsals and then the show was on for three or four nights. One year we went to Rusper and performed there. Syd and his family and friends would go to the oaks and the Derby at Epsom often by horse and cart. However they could walk there. They walked to most places including Kingswood on a Sunday evening to the pub. For football and cricket away from the village after the war, they travelled on the back of one of the Budd's lorries cleaned up and seats fitted. Also Harding's were able to supply a lorry for transport.

The village hall was paid for by Mr Whitelaw in the 1920s. At the front was a veranda, and behind that was a reading room. Then there was a bar with billiard tables and finally the hall. The snooker room was added much later. There was also a church hall where the present one is, made of elm boarding, and where Syd went to Sunday school

In the 1920s there was a post office and general store run by a man called Miles, with another where Surrey house now is run by Harmans and is also a general store and bakery. The bakery was around the back accessed by North View between the house and the cobblers shop run by Webb. Mr Webb collected the 1/6d a month payment into the National Deposit Friendly Society which allowed 1/6d a day paid out if unable to work. Where century Cottage now is, a further general store run by Mr Sherlock whose sister taught in the school. Everybody shopped locally. Behind what is now Rose Cottage and on the site of the Postles house was Claude Tickner's yard where he kept his two taxis; the only vehicles in Brockham at the time.

Bonfire in my time was always on The Green and in the early days after the First World War was given life by Bob Chudleigh of Vicarage Cottage. We bought things from Woolworths and made torches with sacking and paraffin. The procession was long and longer because of the time spent in the pubs. The procession started on The Green and went to the Barley Moe and from there back to the village, Wheelers lane to the Spotted Cow and back to The Green. The fire took about a week to build. When we heard of the end of the Second World War the hedge in front of the vicarage in Wheelers Lane up as far as the school was cut down and put on a fire and burnt - I can only think the vicar agreed! 

On leaving school Syd worked with his father and Mr Holman as a coalman. They had five horses and carts and employed three men along with Syd and ted and Percy Holman to deliver the coal. They sold Nottinghamshire coal and anthracite from the Seven Sisters Mine in South Wales. This was delivered to Betchworth where it was bagged and delivered all over Brockham and Betchworth. Len Smith of Horton the builders granddad, Joe Smith, lived in Fell Cottage and worked for the business as did Tommy Flint who lived in dells Cottage which was rented to Holman and Budd. Arthur Hunt lived in 66, next door to Fell Cottage - he was originally the blacksmith in Wheelers Lane. There was another coal merchant at Betchworth station Young. The yard closed and coal was diverted to Dorking where following Beeching cuts they had to go Dorking and later to Crawley to collect the coal. In more modern times the men also delivered grains of coal the most expensive, in thick polythene bags used to drip feed large boilers and were used mostly in the big house where boilers heated the radiators. The five horses and carts were kept in a barn at the rear of Leighs farm in an area where the large barn conversion house now is. During the 1927 coal strike nothing came by rail and a haulier from Holmwood went to the pit areas of Nottinghamshire and brought us back our supplies.  A new lorry was bought two weeks before the outbreak of war, in August 1939, the first move away from horses. As soon as war broke out the army came and commandeered the vehicle - they did pay, and we bought a fine second hand lorry from Bakers in Reigate. It lasted for years. It was possible in the early days to take a horse and cart off Wheelers Lane, past Noys End on Blind Lane down to the Home in Wheelers Lane. This became impossible when the land was sold to build Oakdene Close and the path narrowed. This land and that for the allotments and other areas at where the houses are was a part of Tumbledown Farm owned by John Berry in the 1920/30s. Bob Chudleigh developed Wheelwrights Cottage which was two houses (he also developed Mynthurst at Leigh) Horton's yard is known as Noy's Yard again a link back to a family on The Green and Noys End.

Frank Anning lived in The Meadows in the 1920s - he was a furrier like Mr Poland. After him came Commander Over retired RN, and then Shawqi Sultan from the Oman who left the village earlier this century. Commander Peers RN retired lived in Holly Cottage and he son had a bungalow built on part of the garden of Holly Cottage but on the other side of Middle Street.

In 1951 a number of coaches went from the village to the opening of the Festival of Britain gardens in London a trip organised by Eric Symons.

During the First World War Eric Meadows' father Charles recalled a German Zeppelin flying over the village. There were searchlights that frightened him at the site of Betchworth Post Office and along the coach road near to where the golf coarse now is. After the war another airship the R101 was seen flying over the village and was later to explode over Beauvais - this may well have been 1930. Syd's brother born in 1903 saw a German Zeppelin looking like a large cigar flying along the North Downs above Box Hill going towards Guildford.

In the Second World War the German's dropped a large number of incendiary bombs on Box Hill catching in the trees. It looked lovely - like fairy lights. About 100 high explosive bombs were dropped on Brockham area and there were two occasions when people were killed.

Marion Meadows July 2010 to the editor

Marion Meadows to editor July 2010