Races, water and fire

1846 – Dilwyn Annual Races

As reported in the Hereford Journal:

“On Monday 14th September will be run for on Dilwyn Common, a sweepstakes of one sovereign each, with not less than seven sovereigns added from the fund, free for any horse, mare or gelding, that never started for any Plate, Match or Sweepstakes of the value of fifty pounds at any one time; such horse mare or gelding to be the bona fide property of the owner at least two months previous to 14th September, and such owner to reside within thirty miles of Dilwyn.

Three year olds to carry 7st 10lbs; four, 8st 4lb; five, 9st 4lb. A winner once this year to carry 3lb extra; twice 7lb extra.

A Hackney race of ten shillings each, with not less than three sovereigns added from the funds; the owner to reside within six miles of Dilwyn. Entrance 7s 6d for each horse.

Also on the same day will be run for a purse of not less than two sovereigns, free for any pony not exceeding 13 hands high that never won ten pounds at any one time, to carry catch weight.”

1859 – The first traffic warden?

John Davies and George Palmer, both of Dilwyn, were fined for separate offences of parking a wagon on the turnpike road for longer than was necessary for the purpose of loading or unloading.

1859 – Dispute settled with buckets of Water

Ann Abley, wife of Martin Abley of Dilwyn, was fine 9s 6d plus 10s 6d costs, for chucking three buckets of water over James Bowyer, also of Dilwyn.

It was Ann’s way of settling a dispute and “washing out” an old grievance.

1863 – Coming of Age of Lacon Lambe

For Lacon Lambe’s birthday on May 16th, the tenants of his father Dr. Lambe’s estate at Dilwyn determined to thoroughly celebrate the day.

The church bells started ringing early in the morning, and the village was decorated with arches of flowers and evergreens. A banquet was prepared for all the tenants, farm labourers, and also some old servants, as well as friends and tradesmen employed by Dr. Lambe. All in all about 70 sat down to eat in a beautifully decorated room.

Out on the lawns there was dancing, whilst the bells continued to ring, and eventually tea, with good plum cake, was served to hundreds outside.

During the evening, the beef remaining from the earlier meal was distributed along with chunks of bread to 60 people who had won the honour by raffle, and oranges and cake was given to the children.

Everyone went home happy and respectful of Dr. Lambe for his generosity, and it was hoped that his son would turn out to be of the same cloth.

Strangely, there was absolutely no mention in the write up of the birthday boy!!

1863 – Destructive Fire at Dilwyn

A fire broke out at Alton Court about a mile from Dilwyn and owned by Mr. Stephen Dent. It was thought to have been started when a steam threshing machine sent sparks into the buildings.

On discovery of the fire, a mounted messenger was sent to Leominster for the fire engine, whilst people from near and far rushed to help with putting out the flames.

Unfortunately, all efforts were in vain and by the time the firemen arrive the barn and many other buildings were destroyed. Eleven calves were moved to another building, in which was stored a large amount of hay, and the fire moved steadily towards this barn. The remedy was to cut away a large portion of the building, whilst a strong jet of water from the engine cleared the roof of tiles. With manual help, a gap was made so that the fire could not move further.

Thankfully, no animals were harmed but the fire engine was kept working until the following day. The building was insured.

1889 – Another Destructive Farm Fire

This fire broke out during the morning at Little Dilwyn Farm, occupied by Thomas H. Griffiths – most of the previous year’s produce was destroyed.

The fire started in the rickyard by the farm buildings, when a pipe in the boiler of a threshing machine burst, shooting flames in all directions. A nearby peastack instantly was ablaze, and several men and two women who were perched on top engaged in “pitching” into the thresher, were in grave danger. One woman didn’t wait for a ladder to be brought, and jumped off the stack – it was some 15 feet to the ground, but she escaped unhurt.

Thomas Griffiths was standing next to the engine, and his hair caught fire, but he too was not seriously injured.

Two mounted messengers raced to Hereford and Leominster for the fire brigade, but by the time they arrived the ricks and two barns were one mass of fire, and the threshing machine was destroyed. Fortunately, due to a good local supply of water, the remaining buildings were saved; the peas which were the produce of 17 acres, were lost, as well as all the wheat.

The property was fully insured, but sadly the threshing machine was not.