A Change of Name

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When did the name change to Wedderburn Road?

For the first 20 years the road was known as Barbers HillThe name was changed to Wedderburn Road in the 1920sFor the first 20 or more years of its existence the road was known as Barbers Hill. There is some uncertainty as to when the street became Wedderburn Road. Interestingly the 1923 Stevens’ Annual lists all the houses under the heading Barbers Hill, but below this name and in brackets, is Wedderburn Road. Curiously the name appears later in the same street directory but this time for Pound Bank. Clearly by 1923 Wedderburn Road is being used as an alternative street name in this district.

Why might it have happened?

According to anecdotal information, the name was changed after a boundary dispute in the 1920s. The disagreement was between the landowner and one of the residents, possibly Mr Henry Floyd. One of the two parties, probably the landowner, engaged a solicitor or barrister called Wedderburn who won the case. As a way of acknowledging the legal victory, the street was renamed after the legal expert!

Frederick William Hayes

Advertisment for W Hayes and Sons. The property developers who owned land in Wedderburn Road

Advertisment for W Hayes and Sons. The property developers who owned land in Wedderburn Road

From property deeds it is clear that much of the land belonged to the well known builder, Frederick William Hayes of Link Top. He had built the first pair of houses on the south side in 1901 (Summerhayes and Horsley).

Article announcing the repossession of a house in Barbers Hill by W F Hayes after the tenant failed to pay his rent

House repossession 1922

A Malvern Gazette article in 1922 refers to F W Hayes winning a court order to evict a tenant from one of his houses for non-payment of rent. The deeds for No 41 show how Hayes bought, sold, bought and resold the orchard land half way down the north side of the road in 1924. One of the conditions was that he retained rights over all sewage, drainage and other pipe work across the land.  This was presumably to houses built lower down such as Eastfield Villa. The deeds also refer to the local land belonging to Barbers Hill Building Estates. The evidence suggests F W Hayes had bought Barbers Hill field by 1901 (he was 35 then and a well-known Malvern builder, living at Orelton on Worcester Road). He was certainly developing the land over the next 25 years.

Hat box and top hat belonging to William Frederick Hayes.  His initials are printed on the box

Hat box and top hat belonging to William Frederick Hayes
(Courtesy Malvern Museum)