Bell's Postcards

Introduction

We are fortunate that several early twentieth century photographers took photographs of our village. Robert H Clarke from Royston and Bell’s Photo Company of Westcliff-on-Sea are two such companies and on this page, I have attempted to catalogue and date the Meldreth postcards produced by Bell’s.

Bell’s took photographs not only of the Church and the village’s quaint thatched cottages, but also of the school, the railway station and the newly built council houses, so creating an invaluable picture of the village.

Despite our best efforts, we have been unable to find a catalogue of Bell’s postcards.

Each of their postcards of Meldreth has a six digit number, starting with “1023..”.  So far, we have identified a sequence of 71 numbers and from that sequence, have found and scanned all but three of the postcards (numbers 102330, 102383 and 102391). We would be particularly grateful to receive scans of any of these.

The images below are shown in numerical order of reference number. Where evidence of the date of the postcard exists, this has been noted below each photograph’s caption. All the evidence so far points to all of these photographs having been taken in the 1920s.  

How you can help

Please add a comment to the bottom of this page or email us if you can help with the following:

  • If you know of a catalogue of Bell’s postcards
  • If you can date any of these images
  • If you are a postcard collector and have additional images of Meldreth, we would be very grateful for copies of those.
  • If you own any Bell’s postcards that have been postally used, then it would be a great help to us to know the date of posting.

Thank you.

102329 Meldreth Station
Bell's postcard supplied by Ann Handscombe
102331 Meldreth War Memorial, Station Road
Taken after February 1920; the dedication of the war memorial took place in February 1920
Bell's postcard supplied by Ann Handscombe
102332 Entrance to Meldreth
Taken after February 1920, as the dedication of the war memorial took place in February of that year
Bell's postcard supplied by Ann Handscombe
102333 Greetings from Meldreth:
Multiview postcard showing Meldreth Church (102335), the Manor House (102345), North End (102340), High Street (102349) and Gilton Bridge (102338)
Bell's postcard supplied by Ann Handscombe
102334 Just a Card from Meldreth:
Multiview postcard showing Allerton Terrace (102348), North End (102341), Meldreth Church (102335), The Gables (102343) and the Manor House (102346)
Bell's postcard supplied by Ann Handscombe
102335 Meldreth Church
Bell's postcard supplied by Ann Handscombe
102336 Meldreth Church interior
Bell's postcard supplied by Ann Handscombe
102337 The Doorway, Meldreth Church
Bell's postcard supplied by Ann Handscombe
102338 Gilton [Gilden] Bridge, North End, Meldreth
Bell's postcard supplied by Ann Handscombe
102339 The Stream, North End, Meldreth
Bell's postcard supplied by Ann Handscombe
102340 North End, Meldreth
Bell's postcard supplied by Ann Handscombe
102341 North End, Meldreth [Jubilee Cottages]
Bell's postcard supplied by Ann Handscombe
102342 North End, Meldreth
Bell's postcard supplied by Ann Handscombe
102343 The Gables, Meldreth [High Street]
Bell's postcard supplied by Ann Handscombe
102344 Cross Roads, Meldreth
(final digit of reference number not clear, presumably "4")
Bell's postcard supplied by Ann Handscombe
102345 "Manor House", Meldreth
Bell's postcard supplied by Ann Handscombe
102346 "Manor House", Meldreth
Bell's postcard supplied by Ann Handscombe
102347 Kneesworth Road, Meldreth
Now known as West Way. The first row of council houses (pictured) was built in the 1920s and the first residents moved in in 1931.
Bell's postcard supplied by Ann Handscombe
102348 Allerton Terrace, Meldreth
Photograph dates from after 1910/11, when these houses were built. Two versions of this card exist, numbered 102348 and 105348 (which was presumably an error).
Bell's postcard supplied by Ann Handscombe
102349 The Street, Meldreth
Keys Cottage is in the foreground
Bell's postcard supplied by Ann Handscombe
102350 Meldreth [Wesleyan Chapel, North End]
Message on reverse of one copy of this postcard is dated 1948 (postmark indistinct) (source: Ebay)
Bell's postcard supplied by Ann Handscombe
102351 Meldreth Church
Bell's postcard supplied by Ann Handscombe
102352 Vicarage and Church, Meldreth
Postmarked 1930
Bell's postcard supplied by Joan Gane
102353 Wesleyan Church, Meldreth [North End]
Bell's postcard supplied by Ann Handscombe
102354 The Mill, Meldreth [Topcliffe Mill, North End]
Bell's postcard supplied by Ann Handscombe
102355 Post Office, Meldreth
Postmarked 1927. The single storey extension is believed to have been added in 1924.
Bell's postcard supplied by Brian Clarke
102356 Malton, Meldreth
Postmarked 1926
Bell's postcard supplied by Joan Gane
102357 Council Houses, Meldreth [North End, looking north]
The last digit looks like "9" but is probably "7"
Bell's postcard supplied by Ann Handscombe
102358 Council Houses, Meldreth [North End; the Parish Room is in the distance]
The land for the Council Houses was sold in 1921, and they are likely to have been built 1923-4. The parish room is shown in a dilapidated condition. It was certainly ruinous by 1942 and was demolished after the war.
Bell's postcard supplied by Ann Handscombe
102359 The Schools, Meldreth
The school was opened in 1910
Bell's postcard supplied by Ann Handscombe
102360 Old Cottages, Meldreth
Shows a North End cottage which was demolished in 1947
Bell's postcard supplied by Ann Handscombe
102361 Old Cottages, Meldreth
Now 13 North End
Bell's postcard supplied by Ann Handscombe
102362 Old Cottages, Meldreth [North End]
Bell's postcard supplied by Ann Handscombe
102363 Old Cottages, Meldreth
Willow Way Cottages, North End
Bell's postcard supplied by Ann Handscombe
102364 Old Smithy, Meldreth North End
Bell's postcard supplied by Ann Handscombe
102365 The Stocks, Meldreth
Bell's postcard supplied by Ann Handscombe
102366 The Stocks, Meldreth
Bell's postcard supplied by Ann Handscombe
102367 The "Sailor's Return" Meldreth [North End]
Bell's postcard supplied by Ann Handscombe
102368 The Mill, Meldreth [Flambards Mill]
The photograph was taken after the mill burnt down (believed to be in 1910 or later
Bell's postcard supplied by Ann Handscombe
102369 The Mill, Meldreth [Flambards Mill]
Bell's postcard supplied by Ann Handscombe
102370 Meldreth Station
Bell's postcard supplied by Ann Handscombe
102371 Station Road, Meldreth
Bell's postcard supplied by Ann Handscombe
102372 War Memorial, Meldreth
Taken after February 1920, when the dedication of the war memorial took place
Bell's postcard supplied by Ann Handscombe
102373 Station Hill, Meldreth
Taken after February 1920, when the dedication of the War Memorial took place
Bell's postcard supplied by Ann Handscombe
102374 Rose Cottages, Meldreth [Whitecroft Road]
Bell's postcard supplied by Tony Abrey
102375 Orchard Cottage, Meldreth [Whitecroft Road: now known as Bramble Cottage]
Bell's postcard supplied by Ann Handscombe
102376 The "Dumb Flea" Inn, Meldreth [Chiswick End]
Bell's postcard supplied by Joan Gane
102377 Donkey Hall, Meldreth
Taken before the early 1930s. These cottages were pulled down by Charlie Plumb after 1931 when the residents were re-housed in the newly-built council houses in Kneesworth Road (now West Way). See 102347 above.
Bell's postcard supplied by Ann Handscombe
102378 Meldreth [Cottage in Whitecroft Road]
Bell's postcard supplied by Ann Handscombe
102379 Allerton Terrace, Meldreth
Photograph taken after 1910/11, when Allerton Terrace was built. The Railway Tavern is also pictured.
Bell's postcard supplied by Tim Gane
102380 Chiswick End, Meldreth
Bell's postcard supplied by Ann Handscombe
102381 Chiswick End, Meldreth [Chestnut Cottage]
Bell's postcard supplied by Ann Handscombe
102382 Chiswick End, Meldreth [Addlestone Cottages]
Bell's postcard supplied by Ann Handscombe
102384 Chiswick End, Meldreth [Junction with Whitecroft Road]
Bell's postcard supplied by Ann Handscombe
102385 Post Office, Meldreth [High Street]
The single storey extension is believed to have been added in 1924.
Bell's postcard supplied by Ann Handscombe
102386 High Street, Meldreth [The Old Bell Public House]
Bell's postcard supplied by Brian Clarke
102387 The Old Cottage, Meldreth [Applecote Cottage]
Bell's postcard supplied by Ann Handscombe
102388 Council Houses, Whitecroft Road, Meldreth
Bell's postcard supplied by Ann Handscombe
102389 "Manor House", Meldreth [Meldreth Manor]
Bell's postcard supplied by Ann Handscombe
102390 "Manor House", Meldreth [Meldreth Manor]
Bell's postcard supplied by Ann Handscombe
102392 Meldreth Court
Bell's postcard supplied by Ann Hanscombe
102393 The Garden, Meldreth Court
Bell's postcard supplied by Tim Gane
102394 The Rockery, Meldreth Court
Bell's postcard supplied by Ann Handscombe
102395 The Fountain, Meldreth Court
Bell's postcard supplied by Ann Handscombe
102396 Meldreth Mill [Topcliffe Mill, North End]
Bell's postcard supplied by Ann Handscombe
102397 Greetings from Meldreth
Multiview postcard showing Meldreth Church and vicarage (102352), Post Office (102355), Council Houses (102357), Railway Tavern (102379) and Flambards Mill (102368)
Bell's postcard supplied by Ann Handscombe
102398 Just a Card from Meldreth
Multiview postcard showing Meldreth Church and vicarage (102352), Post Office (102385), The Schools (102359), The Stocks (102365) and Flambards Mill (102368)
Bell's postcard supplied by Ann Handscombe
102399 Greetings from Meldreth
Multiview postcard showing the Post Office (102355), High Street (102349), Meldreth Church (102335), Topcliffe Mill (102399) and the Stocks (102365)
Bell's postcard supplied by Ann Handscombe

Comments about this page

  • Hi, I would date these cards as 1925. I have hundreds of Bell’s cards on my web site harwichanddovercourt.com

    By Gavin Bleakley (24/04/2017)
  • Many thanks adding a comment, Gail. A William Flitton was a miller at Sheene Mill from at least 1858 until 1869. An auction of his goods and “live and dead farming stock” was held at the mill in September 1869 because he was “quitting”. He is listed in several of the trade directories which we have transcribed on this site. Members of his family later lived in the Mill House in Shepreth (a neighbouring village). Ralph Henry Flitton was listed as a miller in 1888, and was almost certainly at Sheene Mill. By the time of the 1891 census, he was a “fruit grower” living in North End, Meldreth.

    By Kathryn Betts (30/01/2013)
  • I have a photo postcard of Meldreth Brewery, not numbered but “Pub by Robert H Clark” is printed in the bottom right corner. It is postmarked Royston May 4 05 and was received by my great grandmother Mrs Ralph Henry Flitton in Vancouver on May 8 1905. I can scan it for you if you are interested. I also have postcards 102389 and 102394 and on the back of the latter someone has written “still Miss Mortlocks they look older” which may help with dating. Sadly no postmark. I believe my great grandfather was a miller in Meldreth – possibly Sheene Mill – until 1892 when he encountered “financial difficulties”. I would be grateful if anyone could verify this for me. Many thanks.

    By Gail Flitton (28/01/2013)
  • I am involved with the Barton Turf History Project. I have images of a number of postcards of Barton Turf and Barton Broad which I believe are Bell’s. Number 84960 shows Barton Turf Church with two lines of lime saplings which were planted in 1922 when the Lychgate War Memorial was completed, so this photograph was probably taken soon after. Number 84962 shows the Lychgate itself and was obviously taken at the same time. I also have a postcard of Barton Broad that was posted in 1935. It is numbered 157925. That puts your Meldreth sequence somewhere between 1922 and 1935. I hope this helps.

    By Colin Gilbert (05/11/2012)

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