Tales of disgraceful behaviour;  Christmas Cheer and suicide

1844 – Disgraceful Conduct in the Bodenham Wesleyan Chapel

During a Sunday evening service, some “ignorant or wanton” person outside, broke the window behind the minister causing some considerable mayhem.

The minister was hit on the head by flying glass, and some women near to the pulpit were also struck, although fortunately they had their backs to the window at the time.

If the culprits were caught, they would be served a penalty of £40, a huge amount in those days, or if they could not pay, a long term of imprisonment.

1844 – Accidental Drowing at Bodenham

Thomas Norgrove fell into the river Lugg near to Bodenham Church and drowned.

1859 – Christmas Cheer at Butchers in Bodenham

According to the Hereford Times:

“Messrs. Daniel and Walker, Butchers of Bodenham, who have for several years past at the festive season of Christmas, spared no pains in providing an abundant supply of the good things of this life, have again this year displayed such a show of meat which makes no mean appearance in any town in the kingdom. In the shop of Mr. Walker were one excellent cow, weighting 11 stone per quarter, fed by Mr. Hodges of Amberly; a splendid four year old heifer fed by Mr. Hayes of Burghope; four fine sheep and two wethers, fed by Mr. George Powell; two ewes fed by Mr. Jones of Rowberry and Mr. Rudge of Marden, and a prime porker.

In the shop of Mr. Daniel was a splendid cow weighing 18 stone per quarter fed by Mr. Jones of Rowberry Farm, Bodenham; two very fine sheep, a very large bacon and a first rate porker.

1863 – Opening of new School at Bodenham

On 14th July 1863, the village rejoiced as the new school was opened and were full of hope for the future of their children, summed up as follows:

“Now he is nothing more than a lad with unkempt  locks, clumsy gait and ignorant look, and yet some day the fire of intense intelligence may be seen in his eye;  his words of eloquence burst forth like the water of a copious fountain, and he add honour to the village that saw his birth, and the school where he first started in the pathway of learning”.

The Earlier School at Bodenham

30 years earlier, John Arkwright had donated the Warehouse, the house near the bridge over the Lugg, rent free for a school room, and it was a huge improvement on what went before.  However, the building was so close to the river that it was always cold and damp;  in fact in 1852 the floods invaded the school room and water was several feet deep.

It was also considered that the school room was not large enough and the Vicar, the Rev. H. Arkwright vowed to create a bigger and better school.  Although he donated the land, the villagers were initially a little backward in trying to raise funds for the building work, but Bazaars and donations by the landowners soon raised enough money to enable work to be carried out.

The new School takes Shape

The architect was F. Kempson of Hereford, and Mr. Mason of Hereford was the builder;  the schoolroom had a fine open timber roof with a lovely window and a bell turret.

The doors and benches were made of varnished red pine, and there were two large fire places with huge stone mantelpieces.

The whole building was declared to be beautiful.


1899 – Suicide of a Tailor at Bodenham

John Weaver, a Tailor from Bodenham, had become very depressed about ongoing ill health, and was found floating in the River Lugg having apparently decided to end his life.

John had no children, but left a wife.

1903 – Tragic Drowning of Child at Bodenham

Thomas Allright Went was nearly 5 and was the son of John William Went a Blacksmith of Bodenham.

On 27th August, Thomas was playing with other children and his elder brother on a plank bridge over the river, when he slipped and fell in.  The children raced to get help, but the body was not found until the following Monday.