South View / South View Cottage, Lea Road
A brief history
(Undated view of South View) (Photograph courtesy of Hixon Local History Society)
South View, now known as South View Cottage, has changed considerably since it was built. It is thought to have been built by James Dale probably between 1820 and 1840. James Dale was a local business man who also manufactured bricks in Hixon. He also built The Bath House in Bath Lane and many of the houses behind it. At the time of building South View had no electricity or running water which had to be pumped. The toilet was outside in the garden. In the early 20th century the cellar of the house was used to store beers for The Travellers Rest public house which was attached to the South View on the land now occupied by The Bungalow, on the corner of Ashlands. Unfortunately no photographs of The Travellers Rest are known to exist. It closed as a public house C1920 and was demolished C1965 after the last owner, Basset Huntbatch, died. Although always known locally as The Travellers Rest for a period it said to have been known as Colton House. It is possible to see where the pub was attached to South View by the area of pebble dashing on the wall on The Ashlands side of the house.
In the 1841 Census William and Mary Hill, and Alice Shaw, lived in one of the four properties close to The Green Man; probably South View.
In 1845 The Tithe Map for Colwich Parish showed five properties in a small area, four houses with gardens and a croft. One of the houses was South View. The properties were only listed by number on the map with the one assumed to be South View listed as being owned by James Allen and lived in by Alice Shaw. Of the other properties two were listed as houses with gardens and being owned by Mary Hill, one being occupied by Mary Hill and the other being occupied by Thomas Bond. The fourth property was listed as a house with garden, owned by William Leadbetter and occupied by William Pearce. The final property was listed as a croft owned by James Allen and occupied by Mary Hill.
In 1847 Mary Felkin Hill married Vernon Bowers and moved to a 130 acres farm in Callow Hill, Dilhorne.
In 1851 The Census lists Alice Shaw living close to The Green Man. It is assumed that she is Alice Felkin Shaw and that she was living in South View. As in 1845 there were four other properties listed in a close group. One house was being lived in by Henry Williams and his wife Ann and their three children Thomas, William and John. Another property was occupied by Benjamin and Mary Betts and their children Hannah and Richard. The fourth property was occupied by William and Elizabeth Peace with their children Robert, John, Elizabeth, Mary Ann and Aeron. Benjamin and Elizabeth Leadbetter lived in the final property with their son Benjamin.
In 1861 Mary Felkin Bowers lived in South View with Vernon Bowers.
In 1861 Henry Fradley was landlord of The Travellers Rest.
In 1870 Mary Amelia Felkin Bowers appointed Eli Myatt as sole executor of her Will. The Will left five houses which were “for the use and enjoyment of her daughter Sarah Charles McQueen.” One of the houses is assumed to be South View as legal documents referring to the Will have been passed to the various owners of South View. The other four houses are thought to have been cottages which were included in the 1949 sale of plots listed as 640, all close to South View, and had been occupied, in 1870, by the families of Henry Fradley, Ann Walker, Sarah Foster, William Wood, and Elizabeth Brigwood.
In 1873, on January 4th, Mary Amelia Felkin Bowers died.
In 1873 letters showed that Eli Myatt had renounced the Probate and Execution of the Will and the properties had been passed to Sarah Charles McQueen, Wife of Thomas McQueen, and Elizabeth Morris née Matchett, wife of Edwin Morris.
In 1901 Sarah McQueen and MNS (Margaret?) McQueen lived in the house.
In 1901 William Cope, along with his wife Catherine Elizabeth, was landlord of The Travellers Rest and later became landlord of The Green Man. He died in 1907. His daughter, Mary Cope became landlady of The Bank House in 1913.
In 1902 Sarah Charles McQueen died. Her quarter share in the five houses in Hixon were divided between her six children; Charles Felkin Macqueen, Margaret Price, Elizabeth Frances Forsyth, Edwin Macqueen, Mary Anne Jackson and John Craddock Llewellyn Davidson Macqueen.
The 1911 Census lists William, aged 40 and born in Chester, and Sarah Ann Hopwood, aged 30 and born in Stowe-by-Chartley and their 4 month old daughter, Alice Edith, living in South View. William was a clerk in the Estate Office.
In 1911 Thomas Leadbetter and his sister, Martha Leadbetter lived in The Travellers Rest with Thomas’s daughter Mary Elizabeth Leadbetter. The Census of that year lists Thomas as a publican and butcher.
There are gaps in the details of who has lived in South View over the years.
In 1930 Beryl Cunnion née Astle lived in South View
In 1941 Mary Amelia Felkin Bowers, died.
In 1941 legal papers indicate that the properties ownership was divided as follows.
- Robert Wallace Forsyth, a wholesale clothing manufacturer in North Berwick, was entitled to the 1/6th share previously owned by Elizabeth Frances Forsyth, plus ¼ of the original 1/6th share previously owned by Charles Felkin McQueen.
- Joseph Henry Jackson was entitled to 1/6th share previously owned by Mary Anne Jackson.
- John Craddock Llewellyn Macqueen would have been entitled to his original 1/6th share plus ¼ of the original 1/6th share previously owned by Charles Felkin McQueen. However John Craddock Llewellyn Macqueen died in 1939. His share was left to his wife, Edith Hilda Brown Rowland Morrell (her name as listed in 1949)
- The original 1/6th share owned by Margret Price plus her ¼ of the original 1/6th share previously owned by Charles Felkin McQueen was passed to William John Henry Price.
- The original 1/6th share owned by Edwin Macqueen plus his ¼ of the original 1/6th of share previously owned by Charles Felkin McQueen was passed to Amy Beatrice Cecilia Macqueen, the wife of Edwin Macqueen
In the 1930’s and 40’s South View was a police house. In the late 1920’s and early 1930’s PC Bertie Craik was the village policeman, living for some of that time in South View.
(Photograph courtesy of Hixon Local History Society)
In 2002 Bertie’s son Edmund had a book of his memories published by Hixon Local History Society. The book was called “Memories of Hixon” and was full of personal memories and photographs, including this photograph of his father. For those interested in the history of Hixon this is a must read.
From 1937 to 1949 the village policeman was PC Bertram Johnson. He and his family lived in a then rather sad South View. In 1940 PC Johnson wrote to The Chief Constable of Staffordshire to complain about the house, which was in his words, “Not fit to be tenanted by anyone”. “There are about five places where it rains in and there are crevices in the wall through which daylight can be seen.”
(Photograph courtesy of Mrs Pamela Godwin)
In 1949 The Reverend Donald Dowty Macqueen, Robert Wallace Forsyth, Edith Hilda Brown Rowland Morrell and Joseph Henry Jackson sold South View to John and Mary Leadbetter for £800. The house was bought with sitting tenants who had been in the house since about 1943. The tenants were Mr Fred Jeffries and his daughter Miss Rose Hannah, Granddaughter Marjorie, and Great Granddaughter Thelma. Granddaughter Doris Steveton also lived here with her husband Jack when he was on leave from the army. Two photographs of Fred Jeffries, as one of Hixon “Old Cronies”, may be seen in Hixon Memorial Hall, one in the main hall and the other in the meeting room. Fred was a former bailiff for Lord Shrewsbury at Ingestre. Prior to living in South View Fred had lived at The Hanyards and also the black and white cottage which was at the bottom of Smithy Lane. During the Second World War the family took in two refugee boys from Birmingham, Albert Griffin and Doug Rolls. Being new to the countryside they enjoyed wandering around, especially along the canal. One day they returned from their walk with a special gift for tea, some swans eggs. They were told in no uncertain terms to return them to the nest as all swans belonged to the King.
Fred died in South View after which Doris moved into her own home as did Marjorie and her daughter Thelma with her husband. Rose moved into the newly built bungalow, 2 The Croft. Thelma now lives with her husband in Greenfields.
Fred Jeffries Great Granddaughter Thelma in the back garden of South View C 1943. (Photograph courtesy of Thelma Boulton)
John Steveton with his niece Thelma in the back garden of South View C 1943. (Photograph courtesy of Thelma Boulton)
The large building in the picture is the cowshed owned by the landlord of the Travellers Rest. To the left is the privy for the Travellers Rest and in front of the cowshed the privy for South View.
Fred Jeffries with his wife. (Photograph courtesy of Margaret Prince)
During the 1950’s Katherine Sargeant, now of Stowe By Chartley, lived in South View with her grandmother. She talked about children playing in the cellar of the house and having fires down there.
(South View in 1950’s) (History of Photograph unknown)
In 1953 John Leadbetter died. He had never lived in South View. His wife Mary moved in, with her Granddaughter, Katherine, and spent much time tending her lovely garden, especially the roses.
(South View 1960’s) (Photograph courtesy of Mrs Katherine Sargeant)
Mary Leadbetter died in 1982. Whilst South View was in better condition than it had been it still needed much work doing to it and it was put up for sale for £16,500. The neighbours on either side of the house discussed buying it jointly with a view to demolishing it to give each of them better parking facilities and bigger gardens. However this did not happen.
South View early 1970’s (Photograph courtesy of Joe Craen)
The house was eventually bought in 1985 by Brian and Mary Shepherd. It was this couple that completely modernised and extended the house and changed its appearance to what is seen today. Sadly due to poor timber work in the cellar it was decided to fill it in.
In 1987 the Shepherds moved on and William and Susan Slocombe and their two boys moved in, with the house now valued at £54,000. They only stayed for two years and little changed in the house.
By 1989 the house value had reached £98,500 and in moved Joe, Linda, Elliot and Matthew Craen.
Today Joe and Matthew still live in what is now known as South View Cottage, renamed to avoid confusion with another South View in the village.
(South View Cottage 2019) (Photograph courtesy of Joe Craen)
Note: for historians, in legal papers the name Macqueen was also spelt McQueen.
Censuses pre First World War do not list the address of a person only a reference number. Any help with who lived in this house in the past would be appreciated.
Thanks for help and information given in the writing of this history to the following.
Kath Sargeant, Thelma Boulton, Margaret Prince, Les Milnes and Pamela Godwin.
Joe Craen 27 April 2021