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Belchers at Manor Farm and elsewhere in the village 1913-1923

Shelley Hughes, Newberg, Oregon (Feb 2019): My grandmother, Olive Dora Belcher, spent her early years in the village. Her father, Frank Belcher purchased a farm in Charney in about 1913. My grandmother always referred to it as The Manor farmhouse. The family lived in Charney for about ten years before moving to Great Coxwell.

My grandmother was born in Burford in 1911, moved to Charney Bassett about 1913, moved to Great Coxwell in 1923, moved to Oregon 1947 (war bride), died in 2008.

My Grandmother had many fond memories of her time in the village. Her grandparents, Elizabeth and Thomas Belcher and uncle, Stanley Arthur Belcher are buried at St. Peter’s Church.  

An article was published in the Christian Age and Sunday Pictures newspaper in July 1916. It appears that it was a national newspaper as there articles are from many parts of England. The paper includes a photo of my grandmother, age 4, milking a cow at the farm in Charney. [Click to enlarge and scroll]

My grandmother was corresponding with John Hobson while he was working on his book on Manor Farm. I have a letter from Mr Hobson sent to my grandmother dated Feb. 13, 2003. In the letter that he sent to my grandmother, with a copy of the book, said “At last my manor farm project is finished!”

I think perhaps the Belcher children receiving the school awards (A Belcher and G Belcher, July 1910) might be my grandmother’s cousins. My mom remembers grandmother talking about her cousins who lived in Charney. I found Sidney Baden Belcher listed on the WW1 page. Fred and Walter Belcher are listed in the St. Peter’s Church burial records. I know that Sidney is my grandmother’s uncle and I believe that the Fred and Walter were also her uncles. I have photos of all three of uncles.

Memories by Doris Belcher

[Click to enlarge and scroll]

Included below is a picture of my grandparents taken about the time of their wedding in 1935.  It is outside The Chequers looking across The Green towards Manor Farm.

Stanley Belcher died in 1923, aged 26, I believe from tuberculosis.

I believe that the wagon in one of the pictures below might belong to Percy C. Belcher, another of my grandmother’s uncle’s. 

[Click to enlarge and scroll]

Fred Belcher

Reading Mercury – Saturday 23 December 1939 Fred Belcher

Reading Mercury – Saturday 23 December 1939
Death of Mr. F. Belcher. —Mr. Fred Belcher, of Church View, Charney Bassett, near Wantage, well-known local farmer, died at his home on Monday, at the age of 59. Mr. Belcher had farmed at Charney Bassett for over 30 years. For 17 years he took an active interest in public affairs, representing Charney Bassett on the Faringdon Rural District Council, relinquishing the position about four or five years ago. He also served on the Berkshire County Council’s Smallholders’ Sub-Committee, and was a member of the Faringdon branch of the N.F.U.