Diary of Rev Edward Stevens

1894, December 6, Thursday 

Received notice from G Selwyn Edwards Esq, Kingsdown, Newbury, the local Inspector, that the examination of school children in drawing will take place on Friday, December 21 at 11 am. I walked to Sibford Ferris this evening and called on Mr and Mrs Woolgrove. He told me that it had been agreed that the labourers should have a field of Richard H Lamb’s for allotments at about £2 an acre, including Rates, taxes, etc. Mr W added that Mr R had said that if any men failed to pay the rent when due, the other tenants would have to make it up. Mr Joshua Lamb, his eldest son, Chairman of the Allotment Committee is to have the management of these allotments. But that the tenants will not be able to take possession till Michaelmas 1896.

1894, December 7, Friday   a

Slight rain nearly all day. Drove Bell and Rosa to Bloxham to lunch with Mrs Kershaw. Left about 3.45. The roads were dreadfully stony and our progress was very slow in consequence.

Rev J Goodwin, Vicar of Milcombe and Mrs G (who were recently married) called just before we left. She told us that Miss M Dix and her niece Mary Thame who had been in the habit of attending choir practice at Swalcliffe in Dr Wilkinson’s time and, as regards Mary Thame, playing the organ when required, went one evening soon after the new Vicar arrived. He asked them what they wanted. They replied that they had been in the habit of attending the practice. The vicar said he could not allow it and showed them out. Mary Thame said she had a key of the organ, which their late “Dear Vicar” had given her in order that she might practise when she could, to which he replied that the key which their “Dear Vicar” had lent her must be given up to himself. I fear that the youthful vicar is boiling water to scald himself with. This only one of the very indiscreet things he is said to have done in his new Parish.

Visited Job Harris’s who is better but has not yet been to work. Also visited Thomas Keen, who is better. He was sitting in front of his fire and seemed as well as I have known him for several years. Matilda, Mark Barnes’s daughter is at home again. I saw her standing outside her father’s gate as usual this morning at 11.45 and this evening at 9.45. It is a pity she comes “home”, for she has no society there and her father spends nearly all his evenings at “the public”

1894, December 9, Sunday 

2nd Sunday in Advent. Cold and foggy. Baptised Jesse Edwin, son of Thomas and Rhoda Lamb, Sawyer, Sibford, Gower. The child was one year eight months old, a sturdy little chap with a marvellous voice, who roared like a “Great bull of Bashan”. Attended and taught in Boys’ School this morning. Attended choir practice this evening, 20 children present. James Lively working in garden.

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