In addition to the owners, we know of several families who lived there as tenants:
Rossiter – the 1876 rate book just shows the surname of the person living there as ‘Rossiter’. We don’t know anything about this person.
Vizard – the 1880 rate book just shows the surname of the person living there as ‘Vizard’. We have been unable to identify which member of the various branches of the Vizard family this was.
In the 1881 census the house appears vacant.
James Bendall – at the time of the sale of the property on 3rd December 1883 James Bendall was the tenant.
Daniel Bull – the 1885 rate books shows that Daniel is occupying the house. We don’t know any more about Daniel.
William and Charlotte Ellen Cole – the 1887 rate book shows that William Cole was renting the house from William Yarnold. The 1890 rate book shows Mrs Cole was living there.
On 9th November 1861 William Cole married Charlotte Ellen Cossham at Thornbury. The marriage record shows William was a farmer and the son of Thomas Cole, a farmer. Charlotte was a spinster and the daughter of William Coley, gentleman. In the 1871 census William and Ellen (as she seemed to be called then) were living at the corner of St John Street and St Mary Street. William was a butcher aged 43 and born in Tortworth. Ellen was aged 44 and born in Wotton Under Edge. They had one lodger, George Birt, a groom aged 30. We know that in 1880 William leased the orchard and garden ground between next to the Church Institute at 11 St Mary Street. The 1881 census shows William and Ellen still living there. They now had a domestic servant, Annie Pick aged 13 living with them.
The Coles moved to live in 6 St Mary Street as early as 1887. William died on 13th November 1889 aged 63. Mysteriously Charlotte is not listed as living there (or anywhere else!) in the 1891 census. She re-appears in the house in all the rate books from 1894 to 1910 and the 1901 census shows that Charlotte was a widow aged 61 and ‘living on her own means’. She had one boarder Thomas Hext, a gardener aged 21 from Mortonhampstead in Devon. The 1911 census shows Charlotte as still living in the house. Charlotte died in 1914 aged 87.
There is a long period when we don’t know who occupied the house.
George Skuse – the 1925 Valuation List and 1926 rate book show that the house was occupied by George Skuse.
The Rogers family – from about 1935 until the house was acquired for demolition in the late 60’s, the house was occupied by the Rogers family.
Albert Collins Austin Rogers was born in the Godstone area of Surrey in 1903. We don’t know anything about his parents or early life. In September quarter 1925 Albert married Lilian Annie Billett the daughter of Charlotte and Henry Billett. Lilian was born on 22nd January 1896. Albert and Lilian had two children: Albert H. J. born in 1926 and Pamela May born on 6th April 1929. When Pamela started at the Council Infants School in 1934, the family were living at Whitfield, but they appeared to move to St Mary Street about 1935.
Albert served as an able seaman in the Royal Navy for 30 years. In 1945 he was awarded an ‘Distinguished Service Medal for, in the words of the citation; “outstanding zeal, cheerfulness and devotion to duty, whilst serving in the H.M.S. Colonsay in mine-sweeping operations to clear a channel from the Humber to Heligoland and thence along the North German coast to Cuxhaven, Hamburg and Bremerhaven during May 1945”. After being demobbed from the Navy he worked for Fisons Ltd in Avonmouth. In April 1949 Albert died aged 46.
Albert H. J Rogers was always known as “Joe.” He worked for the Co-op in the Patchway Branch and later moved to Patchway.
On 2nd January 1954 Pam Rogers married Michael Francis Beard, a design draughtsman of Yate. Pam was a cashier’s ledger clerk at the Co-op in Thornbury High Street at that time. Lilian carried on living in the house until at least 1965. There was no-one living in the house when the TRDC wanted to acquire the property for the town re-development. Lilian moved to Stafford Crescent. She lived until at the age of 95 she died on 21st February 1991.