On 1st February 100 years ago there was an event that affected many people in the village. Messrs J R Page & Co’s brewery was bought and taken over by Messrs Wells & Winch of Biggleswade, who consequently closed it down. All the staff lost their jobs including Mr S Parkhouse who had been with the firm for over 38 years. Joshua Page, for whatever reason, soon left Ashwell as elsewhere in the newspaper there was an advert for the sale, by order, of his home, Westbury House, with the household and outside furniture and effects.
In 1843 John Sale and Benjamin Christy began brewing at Westbury Farm. They then moved next door and constructed a malting, a brewery, stables and a brewery house. Shortly after 1850 John Sale withdrew from the partnership. In 1876 the brewery encountered financial difficulties and was sold to J R Page who continued the business until 1921. Part of the brewery then became the Village Hall and continues in this use to the present day.
There was another full and successful month for the Football Club. They played at Walkern and won 4-3. At Letchworth they played the Temple Press and won by 5 goals and at home to Letchworth Boys they won 3-2. The boys of Merchant Taylors School played the boys of Odsey School but lost 2-1. The Football Club also held a Whist Drive at the Merchant Taylors School to raise funds.
In other societies there was a talk entitled ‘The Precious Things of the Ancient Days’ – a history of Westmill Church. The Women’s Institute was marching from strength to strength. An increased membership meant the committee alone was made of 18 individuals and this months talk was a cookery demonstration using eggs.
A meeting agreed that the planned War memorial, designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, should go ahead as soon as possible.
Joseph Ball, 79, who lived with his daughter Mrs Andrews of Station Rd, was thrown from a cart, sustained head injuries and died at home after 5 days on the 22nd February. At the Inquest it was said he was a former employee of Mr Wilfred Bryant and still did some work for him. This day he was returning to field work in a small spring cart. Near the Waggon and Horses in Lucas Lane he was passing two (steam) engines which had pulled over and stopped for him. Although there was plenty of room a wheel of his cart struck the bank, ran up 20 yards then overturned. He fell out and struck his head on the side of the cart causing the fatal injuries.
The funeral service of Mrs Eliza Covington, wife of Charles, who died at Redhill, Sandon was held at the Congregational Church.