What do we know about Barbers Hill in this period?

Picnic in Henry Drew's orchard, Barbers Hill Cottage 1913
Picnic in Henry Drew’s orchard, Barbers Hill Cottage, with John Tandy sitting lower right with his young son and Polly his wife behind

A useful source of local history comes from street directories.  These were produced every year. They offer a detailed summary of all the major organisations in Malvern and surrounding villages. Information about local government, churches, businesses, clubs and societies provide some fascinating details. The directories also list all the streets and houses, as well as names of the heads of households. Stevens’ Annuals and the later Kelly’s Directories cover the area of Malvern.

According to the 1901 Stevens’ Annual, the only house in the area was Barbers Hill Cottage. Henry Drew, a plasterer, lived there. Barbers Hill Cottage is the house at the corner of Bellars Lane.

The photograph above shows a picnic that probably took place in Henry’s orchard. The mature trees in the background suggest the trees had been on the land for many decades.

Marriage of John Henry Tandy and Mary (Polly) Drew 1909 in front of Barbers Hill Cottage on the corner of Pound Bank Road and Bellars Lane
The marriage of John Henry Tandy and Mary (Polly) Drew 1909, in front of her parents’ home, Barbers Hill Cottage

The second photograph shows the wedding of Henry Drew’s daughter.  Mary Drew, known as Polly, married John Tandy and they later had two children. The photograph was taken in front of the family home in 1909.  The house today still has a similar porch although the ivy has been removed from the walls. More information about the Drew family can be found on the Guarlford History website.  The page on this link contains a photograph of Henry and Emily Drew taken in 1914 with their Diamond Wedding cake.  Remarkably, ten years later, they celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary.

The First Houses appear in Barbers Hill

1904 Map showing Barbers Hill and its original 10 houses
1904 Map showing Barbers Hill and its original 10 houses

The new houses built in Barbers Hill are recorded in Stevens’ Annual for 1902. The first pair of houses was Summerhayes and Horsley.  Both are described as being unoccupied. The next 8 houses were called Barbers Hill Cottages in the directory. (These are not to be confused with Barbers Hill Cottage mentioned above). Sparsholt and Beacon View were built in 1904 but after the 1904 map had been drawn. The houses were brick built with small front gardens and long narrow rear plots.  They were built by W F Hayes who favoured a mixed development of detached and semi-detached family homes. The new occupiers had jobs that included a market inspector, a cab driver and a baker.

In 1905, Stevens’ Annual records more details. The Harris family were living in Summerhayes (the granddaughter still lives there). Harry Harris was a painter. Their neighbour was William Drew, a plasterer and relative of the Drew family mentioned above. The other occupants had all changed since the previous year although Fred Fryer the cab driver moved from No 2 (now 12) to No 7 (now 22). Presumably houses were rented as most occupants would be on low wages.

The 1904 map shows the land to the left of Barbers Hill as being used mainly for orchards. Elm trees formed a boundary between the Bellars Lane and Barbers Hill properties for many decades. It is likely that W F Hayes owned the Allotment Gardens marked on the map. It is not known who rented the allotments but it was probably how the builder raised more income from land he would later develop.