With the Roberts’ boy

This page summaries the families known to have lived in the cottage known as 29 Gillingstool in Thornbury, other than the ones who owned it.  This house is on the corner of Gillingstool and Oakleaze Road.

William Eyles

The 1901 census shows William was a blacksmith aged 30 living there with his wife, Minnie and daughter, Hilda.  In 1930 Willie bought this cottage, although he continued to let it out to tenants.  Click here to read more


William Geoge and Matilda Legge

The 1911 census shows the Legges were living in this house which was noted to have 3 rooms.  William was a coal porter aged 31.  Matilda was aged 31 born in Trowbridge.  They had five children living them.  Click here to read more


Austin Gingell

 According to the deeds of the house Austin was living there when the property was sold to Thomas Exell in 1925.  The electoral registers show Austin and his wife Annie Victoria were living in Gillingstool from 1918 to 1927.

Austin James Gingell was born on 5th April 1882 and baptised in Thornbury on 4th June 1882.  He was the son of Henry Hand Gingell, a labourer and his wife, Georgina who were living at Aston Hill at the time.  Austin lived with his parents and siblings in Eastland Hill Lane in the 1891 and 1901 census.  By 1901 he was working as a general labourer like his father.

On 16th September 1909 Austin married Annie Victoria Harvey in St Mary’s Church in Thornbury.  Annie was the daughter of John Harvey, a labourer of Whitewall Lane.  She was aged 22 at the time of the marriage.  The 1911 census shows they settled to live in The Hackett.

During the War Austin was working as ‘gardener, cowman and general homely man for Captain Bennett at The Parks’.  In 1917 he applied for exemption on military service on the grounds that he was needed by Captain Bennett for vegetable garden and electricity plant at The Parks.  The record shows that he had been in Captain Bennett’s employment for three years, having previously worked as a carter for Philip Hawkins of Warwick House.  Austin was granted a conditional discharge.  He was living at The Hackett at the time of the application.

Austin and Annie had two children:  Austin John born on 6th April 1911 and George Vernon born on 17th April 1917.  Austin and George both attended the Council School and they both went on to the Grammar School.  George left the Council School in 1921 because he was ‘delicate’ but he returned to the school later in the year.  Austin left the Grammar School in 1922 at the age of eleven to become ‘a gardener to a gentleman’.

By 1928 when their son George left the Grammar School the family had moved to live in Eastland Avenue.  The 1938 electoral registers shows it was 13 Eastland Avenue where they lived.  By 1954 Austin and Annie had moved to 1 Eastland Road.  Annie died in Thornbury Hospital aged 69 on 26th March 1957 and was buried in Thornbury Cemetery.

Austin was living in North Road when he died aged 82.  He was buried in Thornbury Cemetery on 1st March 1965.  George Vernon Gingell was living in the Eastland Avenue area of Thornbury  in 1950.


Clara Long

Clara Long was living in the house as a tenant when it was put up for sale at auction in 1930.  The electoral registers show that she continued to live in Gillingstool until her death in 1938 so we think it likely that she continued living in the same house.  She was the widow of Robert Long.  Click here to read more


Charles Thomas

Charles Thomas and sons

Charles Thomas and sons

Charles and Fanny Elizabeth Thomas moved to live in the cottage in 1938 and they were to remain there over 30 years.

Charles was born at Bucknell, Shropshire on 16th January 1895.  He was the son of Charles Henry Thomas and Jane Elizabeth Lewis.  In 1901 his father was a cattleman on a farm and the family lived at Adforton near Wigmore, Herefordshire.  In the 1911 census he was a ‘farmer’ son’ living with his uncle Thomas Lloyd and aunt Charlotte Lloyd at Yew Tree Farm, Shobden, Herefordshire.

On 9th June 1927 Charles married Fanny Elizabeth Morris at Newcastle Court, Evenjobb.  Charles was a chauffeur at that time and was employed by Major Samuel Nock Thompson D.L. J.P. of Newcastle Court, who was a former High Sheriff of Radnorshire.

Charles’s wife Fanny was born on 7th August 1902 at Radnors Wood, Evenjobb, Radnorshire.  She was the daughter of George Hugh Morris and Amy Elizabeth Harris.

Charles and Fanny lived in Beggars Bush, Evenjobb up to about 1938.  Charles continued to work as a chauffeur.  They had two children whilst living there: Henry Hugh (known as ‘Harry’) was born in 1927 and Herbert William Thomas born on 24th October 1934.

We understand that the family’s move to Thornbury came about because of the death of Charles’s employer Major Thompson who died aged 87 on April 9th 1938.  This meant both the end of the Charles’s employment at Newcastle House and a need to move because of the loss of a tied home.  When Charles moved to Thornbury with the family in 1938 he worked as a RAC patrolman .  The family first lodged with Mrs Wheeler in Gillingstool before moving into number 29 Gillingstool.  During the War Charles also worked as an ARP ambulance driver.

On leaving school their son Harry did his national service joining the Army just after VE Day.  On leaving the army he joined the Gloucestershire Police force.  He later wrote an interesting account of his memories of life growing up in Thornbury during the War which was included in the BBC website ‘People’s War’.  With the family’s permission, we have copied this story to this website in the hope that this will mean it can be shared by a wider audience. Click here to read Harry’s war story

Herbert was admitted to the Thornbury Council Upper School in 1939.  He left the school in 1946 to go to the Grammar School and he stayed there until 1952.  On leaving school he did his national service in the Army and then joined the Gloucestershire Police Force.

In 1960 Charles was working as a boiler engineer at Hortham Hospital.

Fanny died on 30th April 1970 aged 67 and she was buried in Thornbury Cemetery.  Charles  continued to live in Gillingstool until at least 1970 after which he went to live with his son Herbert. Charles died aged 79 in Hereford Hospital on 28th July 1974.   He had been visiting his sister in Adforton near Hereford when he became ill.  Charles was buried in the same grave as Fanny in Thornbury Cemetery.

Click on the thumbnails below to see larger images.

Fanny Thomas

Fanny Thomas

Charles, Fanny and Harry Thomas

Charles, Fanny and Harry Thomas