In and around Runwell

Photographs from the John Neville Collection

Old School house
Chelmsford Road,Runwell
Runwell Road. Where the old man is standing was the original site for Darbys

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  • In response to Denis Gode: I am not aware of any such item being manufactured in Runwell, Wickford. Without seeing the item, and from your brief description, it would appear you have found a “wheel” from a semi-rotary pump manufactured by Ashwell and Nesbit Ltd. The original business was founded by Frank Ashwell in 1879. They traded from Barkby Lane, Leicester in 1919/1920 and their items have been found in Australia. On the “wheel”of these rotary pumps was the “Runwell” name (trade mark), “British Make” or similar, and a number. A pump with the number “4” was found at Alderney. To find out more, you may want to Google (or similar) “Ashwell and Nesbit rotary pump” where you should be able to call up a few photographs to see if the “wheels” in the pictures are similar to the one you found. Searching “village pumps” may also prove useful.

    By David C Rayment (12/09/2021)
  • Hi Denis, Hope you are well.
    Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately your Runwell Foundry No 4 “wheel” has no connection to Wickford.
    I looked up a UK website and Runwell pumps were manufactured by a company in Leicester, UK, called Ashwell and Nesbit. They were founded in 1879. They exported pumps, etc, all over the world.

    By Geoff Whiter (11/09/2021)
  • Hello. Live in North Queensland and playing with a metal detector found a wheel, for want of a better word. Cast iron with Runwell foundry Britain. No.4 . Can anyone shed some light on this please?

    By Denis gode (07/09/2021)
  • I used to have a friend who lived in the staff houses at Runwell Hospital. Her name was Anne Blenkinsop…(I think), her dad was a head nurse there, and we used to go on his rounds with him, and were given boiled sweets. I lived nearby in Church Lane, Runwell.

    By Shirley Hellings(that was) (19/04/2019)
  • Yes I knew a Birch family who lived in Waverley Crescent, Brock Hill, in the 1940s.

    As a child I played with the children, but do not ask me names, I can’t remember.

    I was playing with them in the coal shed and a lump of timber with a nail in split my head open and my mum rushed me down to the emergency doctors [opposite 99 shop] for stitches. That’s not the reason for me  not to remember names, it was long time ago.

    By bob croot (03/03/2015)
  • Does anyone know the date of the Quart Pot photograph please? 3rd picture down on this page.


    By Derek Brasier (22/07/2014)
  • My paternal grandmother married local man James Birch in 1939. James’ mother, Sarah Jane Birch, was living at “Phoebe”, Runwell Estate, Runwell Road, when she died in 1949. It would be interesting if anyone has photos of the estate, or indeed, any memories of a Birch family in Wickford.

    By Sylvia Ross (11/10/2013)
  • Does anyone have any picture of the Runwell Estate on Runwell Road please.

    By Sylvia Ross (11/10/2013)
  • Thanks to Bob Croot for pointing out the Quart Pot tree. Wow–in my day (’50s & ’60s) I only ever saw the magnificent old hollow remains! Used to play in it when my family took us there for a lemonade and crisps. We lived in the staff houses at Runwell Hospital. Many of us Runwell folk are still in close touch.

    By Lyn Humphrey (30/09/2013)
  • My grandfather’s first cousin, Mary Ann True, was living at Orchard House, Runwell Road when she died in 1936. Mary Ann was aged 77 years and was unmarried in 1936. COULD ANYONE HELP ME WITH INFO ON ORCHARD HOUSE? DOES ANYONE HAVE ANY MEMORIES OR INFO ON MARY ANN? Her obituary in 1936 said that she was a member of the Congregational Church. kind regards, Marcia (Australia).

    By Marcia Mc (16/07/2013)
  • Thanks for all the great photo’s and the site generally. I remember being invited in for a lemonade by a lady who lived at the old school house, Runwell Rd ca 1960, one hot sunny day when I’d have been 5 or 6. Those days we kids seemed to roam wherever we wanted without fear. With regards the old oak tree which stood outside the Quart Pot PH. I recall reading somewhere that that tree was estimated to be at least a thousand years old. When I got to see it, all that was left was the hollow base and just the scantiest of live growth visible. That tree should have been fenced off as I’m sure it’s passing was hastened by the Kids who’d scramble around and climb over it, it also became a rubbish bin – quite an undignified ending to what must have been (going by it’s girth) a majestic tree when in it’s prime. Then there’s St. Mary’s Church, by far and away the most interesting church in the Wickford area, everyone’s heard it’s reputation for being haunted. My favourite story about it went like this: One night the drinkers across the road in the Quart Pot were discussing the eeriness of the Church graveyard that night and bets were made when someone agreed to walk around the church three times. The man who accepted the bet, completed the first circuit but on the second didn’t re-emerge. A torch party went to check the situation and found the man lying on the ground stone dead. The cause of the death was never known, but it’s believed it wasn’t the devils work but in the dark a branch brushed his shoulder like as if a hand was being placed there. The already petrified drinker collapsed in shock and died of a heart attack. I always wondered whether this was local folklore or if there’s any truth behind the tale.

    By Philip Merrin (14/04/2013)
  • Third picture down looks like the Quart Pot public house in Runwell when the tree was in all its glory, way back in time,before my time,

    By BOBCROOT (10/04/2013)

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