Joe and Amy Green lived in the house now known as 5 St John Street in Thornbury from 1935. They were to stay in the house for over 20 years.
Joe was born in Hill and baptised on 6 May 1877. He was the son of Joseph Green, an agricultural labourer and his wife, Caroline. The 1881 Census showed that they lived at Woodend Lane in Hill and at that time Joe at the age of three was the youngest of six children .
In 1891 young Joe was a servant at New Park Farm in Berkeley, but by 1901 he was back living with his parents in Hill working as a carter on a farm.
On September 27th 1905, Joe married Amy Georgina Stickler in St Leonard’s Church in Tortworth. Amy was born in 1883 in Huntingford, Gloucestershire. She was the daughter of Robert Stickler, a labourer, and his wife, Georgina. In 1891 they were living in Avening Green. In 1901 Amy was a servant working in Fleet, Hants. Presumably soon afterwards Amy must have moved to live in Tortworth. We understand that Amy and Joe both worked for the Tortworth estate and probably met there. We have a photograph on the right, kindly given us by Bill Derham of the staff of the Tortworth Estate taken some time before Joe and Amy were married. Please click on it for a larger image.
The 1911 census shows that the family lived at Charity Cottage in Hystfield near Berkeley. Joe and Amy had been married for six years and by that time they had had three children; Gwendoline, Robert and Thomas (born on 23rd October 1910). At that time they also had a niece called Emily Smart living with them. Robert and Thomas had both been born whilst the family lived in Hystfield but Gwendoline then aged four was born at Tortworth.
Joe continued working as an agricultural labourer. He and Amy Georgina eventually had eight children: Gwendoline, Robert, Thomas, Joseph (born on 9th April 1912), Charles (born on 10th September 1915), Amy, Annie, and Margaret. It was noted in the Gazette when Joe died that he had worked for many years at Morton Farm, Thornbury. We understand from Joe’s grandson, Bill Derham that Joe was labourer on the farm and that the family lived in a tied cottage there until an accident whilst hay-making prevented him from working for some time and led to them leaving the tied cottage.
The Council School records show that in 1927 and 1928 the Green family were living in Upper Morton when Annie and Margaret started at the school. In 1935 Joe and Amy were living in St John Street with Joe junior and Tom. Another son Charles was listed in the 1939 electoral register.
The register compiled in 1939 in preparation for the war lists Joe and Amy and their sons, Tom, Joe and Charles living at the house. Joe was described as a general farm labourer (disabled). Tom was a motor van driver, Joe was a road repairer and Charles was a bread baker. There were three other names ‘blacked out’ and two other people, Horace G. Jones, a pork butcher and bacon curer born on 6th May 1915 and William E. Proctor a slaughterman born on 28th January 1881. It was noted that during the war Tom was a full time fireman and young Joe was an auxiliary fireman.
We understand that Joe kept pigs whilst he lived at St John Street. They were housed in a ruined stone building at the back of the property and on occasion the pigs were driven through the house to Trayhurn‘s slaughter house, which was conveniently opposite number 5.
Joe died on 19th January 1946 aged 69 years and was buried in Thornbury Cemetery. Amy continued to live in the house with her son, Tom and his wife. She died on 3rd July 1961 aged 77 years and was buried with Joe in Thornbury Cemetery.
The house continued to be occupied by the family until 1957.
Of their children
Robert Green. Sadly we know nothing of Robert Green but we believe that he died in Gloucester in 1996 aged 87.
Thomas Green. Better known as ‘Tom’, he married in 1941. His wife was Joan Muriel Blanchard, the daughter of Lawford Henry and Florence Blanchard from Tytherington. They married in Tytherington Parish church. They met while Joan was working in the kitchens at Thornbury Grammar School. After a couple of years living in Tytherington, Tom and Joan moved to his parents house in St John Street which they shared with several other members of the family. They had one son, Adrian born in 1946.
Tom was a transport driver, starting first at Weatherheads in Thornbury when he left the Council School. After other short-term employments he worked for many years with ARC at Tytherington Quarry. Tom had already been a part-time fireman for several years and then during the War he became a full time fireman, travelling as far away as London and Plymouth to fight fires during the Blitz, as well as fires in Bristol and the local area.
Around 1966, he moved from the Quarry to Berkeley Power Station where he worked in their labs. Tom must have been well known to different generations of Thornburians because his other jobs included being caretaker of Manorbrook School and, with the help of Joan, his wife, caretaker of Armstrong Hall.
Tom and Joan moved from St John Street to Stafford Crescent in 1957, and after a couple of years in Wotton-Under-Edge they returned to Thornbury about 1969/1970 to live in 5 Horseshoe Lane before being moved on to Stafford Crescent when their house was demolished for the development of Rock Street car park!
Tom died in 2000 aged 89 years and he is buried in Thornbury Cemetery in the same grave as his wife’s parents. Joan lived in Quaker Court in John Street, directly opposite her old home, for some time until she died on 20th October 2011 aged 93.
Margaret Green married in 1941 when she was only 17. Her husband was Joseph Ernest Parker, a carpenter aged 29 who was living with the Green family at the time. Edward’s father was Ernest Henry Parker a collier. His mother was called Madeline. Joe was described as an agricultural labourer. Amy and William Green were witnesses. Joseph was killed on 8th January 1944 when he was serving as a gunner in the Royal Artillery 494 Battery, 146 Lt. Anti- Aircraft Regiment. Apparently he was crushed by a lorry in the Mansfield area and buried in Cresswell.
In July 1945 Margaret married again. Her new husband was Edward Lawlor, who was in the Army aged 37. They had a son, Nigel John Edward, born in 1946. The record of his baptism shows that Edward and Margaret were living at 5 St John Street. Godparents were Robert Ernest Victor Organ, Tom Green and Nancy Farr, who was the friend of Charles Green.
Annie Green married in September 1945. Annie was then a post office worker aged 23. We have been told that she worked in Horfield. Her husband was Harold Lawrence Lotinga, who was in the army at the time of his marriage. Harold was from Newport in Wales where he was born in 1912. We have been told by Bill Derham that Harold had come to the area when the government requisitioned vehicles during the war. Apparently Harold drove a pickup lorry that sold lemonade and other soft drinks and this was required for the war effort. Tom Green was a witness.
The birth of their first child Paul was registered in Newport but that of their second, Penelope was registered in Thornbury in 1958. However we have no record of them living in Thornbury at this time.
Amy Green married Robert Victor Organ whose widowed mother, Sarah Organ, lived in Laburnum Terrace. After the wedding they lived in The Court House, 2 St John Street, directly opposite number 5. They later moved to Wotton-Under-Edge after Robert bought a shop there.
Caroline Georgina Gwendolen Green was born 29th July 1906 and baptised at St Leonard’s Church Tortworth 2nd September 1906. She married William Derham in 1933 in the Dursley District. She died in Dursley on January 4th 1985 aged 78.
Joe Green junior was born 9th April 1912 and baptised 9th June 1912 also baptised at St Leonard’s Church.
An article in the Gazette of 1937 described an accident in which Joe Green sustained some injuries in a head-on collision between his cart and a motor lorry. The article says that Joe Green worked for Trayhurn Brothers and was driving down the High Street on a cart with a load of hay. The load over-ran the horse which set off down the street at some speed. It was going so fast that it could not take the corner on The Plain and instead went straight down Castle Street and crashed into a van from Messrs Shield of Filton Laundry. Joe Green was hurled to the ground. Don Trayhurn slid off the hay and got away with minor bruises. The pony was only slightly injured, although the shafts of the cart were broken. The radiator of the van was dented. Joe however was more seriously injured. He was given first aid by Dr E. M. Grace and sent to Bristol Infirmary where he was detained.
We know that Joe Green joined the Royal Engineers during World War II and that he became a Sergeant. A newspaper article of that time gives a little more detail. It seems from this that he served in North Africa. His army record shows only that he was awarded the Victory medal and the British medal.
Joe Green married Joan Coates in 1947.