1923 August

The Clock from Royston Union Workhouse
Royston Union Workhouse

August was a rather gloomy month of news. Three deaths were reported and although they all occurred elsewhere there was a close association with Ashwell.

On 8th August John Chalkley died at the age of 67. He was formerly from Ashwell but he ended his days living in the ‘Royston Union’. After 1835 the responsibility for the poor was transferred from the parish to a wider area of ‘Union’. For Ashwell this was centred on Royston and a new workhouse was built in 1835 on the north side of Baldock Road. After the workhouse system was officially ended in 1930 the building passed to the Local Council and was demolished in 1972. When it closed the longcase clock which timed away the hours and days for the inmates was given to Ashwell Museum by the Guardians and is now on display.

The death occurred on the 18th August at Langham, Rutland, of Nora Caroline Ruddle, aged 57, the wife of George Ruddle. She was the second daughter of the late Herbert Fordham of Odsey. The Ruddles were another dynasty of brewers and they are still producing fine beers today.

Mr Peter Waldock died aged 47. Formerly of Springhead he moved to Acton to be looked after during the last months of a long and painful illness. The funeral was at Willesden.

The only bright spots of the month were the two cricket matches the 1st XI played against the Hitchin Blue Cross team, which they won away but lost at home. And the Bank Holiday Fete, which was to metamorphose to the Horse Show Gymkhana then into our current Ashwell Show, was a resounding success.

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