Allerton Terrace

Allerton Terrace ~1930
Bells Postcard
Railway Tavern with Allerton Terrace in the background ~1920
Bells Postcard
Plan showing the area of land purchased by GNR in 1890
Photo courtesy of the Chelmsford Record Office
Rear view of Allerton Terrace ~ 1950s
Brian Pepper
Allerton Terrace in 2010
Tim Gane
Young Brian Pepper with Mrs Fincham, who also lived in the terrace, pictured at the rear of Allerton Terrace ~1940
Brian Pepper
Brian Pepper standing by one of the rain water butts at the back of Allerton Terrace c1960
Brian Pepper

Allerton Terrace consists of a block of six terraced cottages numbered 14 to 24 High Street, Meldreth. The cottages were built in 1904 to house railway workers. Each cottage had a rear extension with a small lean-to toilet and shed on the back of the extension.

The houses are not shown on the 1910 Land Valuation map (LVD), but the name of the terrace has been handwritten onto the map and the return lists six men who occupied cottages in the High Street owned by GNR. These cottages are likely to be those making up Allerton Terrace as all of the occupants listed in the 1910 return were occupying the cottages in the 1911 census, with the exception of Chas Disbrey.

The occupants of the cottages were:

  1. Wm Knott
  2. ? Hagger
  3. Geo Fincham
  4. Chas Disbrey
  5. Wm Vellum
  6. Alf Gray

Five of these occupants are listed as living in Allerton Terrace on the 1911 census, and one cottage is unoccupied.

In the census we can see the following occupants in the cottages:

  1. Alfred Gray aged 64 with his wife and 2 sons (plus 3 other family members – a son and his family – who were listed as visitors).  Alfred was born in Hitchin and worked as a railway signalman.
  2. William Vellum, 41, with his wife, 2 sons and 2 daughters.  William was born in Lincolnshire and worked as a railway porter.
  3. unoccupied
  4. Frederick Hagger, 42, with his wife and 2 sons.  Frederick worked as a house painter.
  5. George Fincham, 34, with his wife and son.  George was born in Linton and worked as a railway porter.
  6. William Knott, 59, with wife and boarder.  William was born in Stevenage and worked as a signalman.

Both Alfred Gray and William Vellum were living in Meldreth in 1901, Gray in Chiswick End and Vellum in the High Street.

In the 1921 census, the following are listed as occupants of the cottages:

  1. At no. 1:  John Allen and his wife, Susan. John worked as a signalman at Meldreth Station.
  2. At no. 2: William Vellum, his wife Mary and daughter Fanny Rachel were still in their cottage. William was a Goods Porter at Meldreth Station.
  3. At no. 3: Frank Farnham, his wife Maude and their children Kenneth and Joan. Frank was the only occupant of the cottages who didn’t work for the Great Northern Railway. Instead, he worked for Shepreth Mutual Provident Society.
  4. At no. 4: George Gentle, his wife Edith and their daughter Gladys. George was a Ganger, Foreman Platelayer at Meldreth Station.
  5. At no. 5: George Fincham and his wife Maud were still living there.. George was a platform railway porter at Meldreth Station.
  6. At no. 6: William Knot and his wife Emma. William was a Signalman at Meldreth Station.

Former Meldreth Local History Group member, the late Brian Pepper, lived in Allerton Terrace from 1940.  Brian’s father, Leslie Pepper, was in the Home Guard during WWII and we have a page of Brian’s memories of this time elsewhere on the site.

If you know any more about Allerton Terrace we would be interested in hearing from you. Please add a comment at the bottom of the page.

Comments about this page

  • Hi, I and my family live in Allerton Terrace – we too would be very interested to find out more about the history of the buildings/row!

    By Helen Ogilvie (07/09/2014)
  • I am investigating my family tree and I believe that my great grandfather was the Gray living in Allerton Terrace in the 1911 census. I know my grandfather was born in Meldreth and I am very interested in finding out more about my Meldreth connections.

    By Laura Gray (25/08/2014)
  • My grandfather and grandmother, Tom and Susan Winter, moved into No.6 Allerton Terrace in May 1936. They lived there until my grandfather died in April 1957.

    The house had two bedrooms and downstairs a front room which was for show only. We were not allowed in there. The living room was dark and I remember that there were always 20 to 30 flies flying around the centre ceiling lamp. (I think this was the same in many houses.) The scullery had a mangle and sink. The water supply was piped from the well at the back of our house at Station Hill.

    At the back of the house was an extension. It was dark inside and housed the toilet and an even darker coal cupboard. In the coal cupboard, which had a large door, was a bogeyman!! My grandfather would take us to see the bogeyman. He would open the door and fend off the bogeyman using a hoe or rake, shouting “get back, get back!!” This was quite terrifying.

    When I was older (9 or 10) and was staying the night I was asked to take the torch and get a bucket full of coal. I got the coal and remember it as one of the scariest things I had ever done.

    Outside at the back, every house had a well maintained vegetable garden with maybe a few flowers. But in the late 1950’s Mr and Mrs Brazier moved into No.2 and Mr Brazier errected a large shed which he used as a mechanical workshop for his motorbike and sidecar. Things were begining to change.

    By Ken Winter (26/06/2011)
  • I believe the family was called Fost not Frost. Sid Fost was a signalman at Shepreth station and his daughter Enid was a well known post lady in Meldreth.

    By Gloria Willers (20/06/2011)
  • My family lived at 24 Allerton Terrace in the 50s.  My father worked as the porter at the station.  The other families in the terrace then were Mr & Mrs Bidnell & family, Mr & Mrs Pepper, Mr & Mrs Mead & family, Mr & Mrs Brazer and Mr & Mrs Frost [Fost]. 

    By john foggo (17/06/2011)

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