are details of people connected over the years with Hethersett.
Some will be well remembered in the village, others virtually
unheard of. I will be building this into a comprehensive
database of people who have helped make our village what it is.
Children in Africa
Musician of the Year 1986
of the United States
H W Bush
of the United States
of the Village
Horse - Winner of English Classic
of Hethersett Tool Hire
Johnson - Norwich City Footballer
known local Methodist
2007 at the age of 17 Julianna Ball spent some time in Uganda helping
young children. To read how she got on click on the following links.
Newsletter - Christmas 2007
violinist Alan Brind was brought up in the village and won the 1986
Young Musician of the Year award at the age of 17.
winning the competition, Alan studied at the Royal Academy of Music but
for a short while stopped playing the violin in favour of snooker.
then returned to study with Viktoria Mullova and led the European Union
Youth Orchestra. He has made several recordings including the work with
which he won Young Musician of the Year, the Sibelius Violin Concerto, and
a disc of Stravinsky Chamber works with Vladimir Ashkenazy. He is now an
orchestral musician and for a time a member of the Philharmonia Orchestra.
Walker Bush (descendants of)
is a little known fact that the current President of the United States of
America - George Walker Bush (born 6th July, 1946) and his father and
former president - George Herbert Walker Bush (born 1924) - have
descendants from Hethersett.
20th generation of the Bush family from George Walker Bush shows the name
of Sibel Hethersett who was born in Hethersett and died about 1445 at
Friars Preachers, England. She married John Pagrave.
21st generation shows Sibel Hethersett's father as William Hethersett. The
name of his wife is not known.
first mention of English ancestry in the Bush family appears to be in the
seventh generation in the form of James Uncles who was born in Bradford on
5th August, 1794, and died on 25th January, 1835 in Columbus, Ohio. He
married Elizabeth Criswell who came from Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
back to the 25th generation, a number of other Norfolk place names appear
including Lynn (presumably King's Lynn), South Acre, Calthorp, Dalling
(presumably Wood Dalling) and Great Carbroke.
TONY CURSON 1928-1999
Tony Curson was one of the best known residents
of the village and totally immersed himself in school and village life. He was
fully involved in parish church activities for about 50 years. He was a church
warden for many years and treasurer and chairman of numerous church committees.
He was also a long standing parish councillor and
vice-chairman at the time of his death.
Over the years he helped backstage with the
annual village pantomime and was also involved with the Memorial Playing Field
Committee, the parochial charity. He was a former chairman of the Middle School
governing body and vice-chairman of Hethersett Choral Society.
Tony held just about every position within
Hethersett Cricket Club having notched up over 22,000 runs, taken over 2,500
wickets and held nearly 700 catches.
He died whilst mowing the cricket square on May
born in 1959 and was the European Champion three year old in 1962 when he
won the St. Leger Stakes at Doncaster - one of the classic British flat
races. Hethersett also won a number of other group one prestigious races
including the Great Voltigeur Stakes, the Duke of Edinburgh Stakes, the
Derby Trial Stakes. He also came second in the Champion Stakes, the
Coronation Cup and the Jockey Club Stakes.
is well known in the village as owner of the tool hire business in Great
was educated at the William Lilley Infant School in Stapleford,
Nottinghamshire (1954-1957), Fairfield County Primary School, Stapleford
(1957-1961), Bramcote Hill Grammar School (1961-1965) and Beeston College of
Further Education (1965-1966).
After a Merchant
Navy induction course in London in late 1966, he joined Houlder Bros. &
Co. Ltd., as a Navigating Apprentice. With the same company he obtained all
his certificates of Competency up to Master (Foreign Going), which he gained
Peter then served
then served a further six years to the rank of Master in a Swedish, then
American company, before finally deciding to make a break with the sea and
start a home-based career.
Instead, he entered the world of
self-employment in 1984, operating an equipment hire business, and
subsequently a machinery repair arm since 1989.
Peter's wife Jenny is equally
well known in the village as Head Librarian at Hethersett Library.
Ralph (Ginger) Johnson
Footballer during the second world war. Ralph was born in Hethersett
on 15th April, 1922 and became a prolific scorer in wartime friendly
matches. At the outbreak of war he was just 17 years of age and was denied
playing competitive league football.
friendlies he scored an amazing 123 goals in 107 matches with five
hat-tricks, two four goal hauls, two five goal hauls, and two double
hat-tricks on November 11th, 1944 and 24th March, 1945 against the RAF and
REME respectively. He once scored in 19 successive Norwich City games and
in 24 out of 25 matches on another occasion including 13 goals in three
In his fleeting
league career he netted in 10 seconds on 19th October, 1946 in a match
against Orient. In 23 official league and cup games he scored 10 goals and
would have had many more but for the war. His Norwich City league debut
was against Ipswich Town on September 9th, 1946.
still lives in Hethersett at the age of 85. Ralph was interviewed for this
web site and you can read the story of his career by clicking
Lindley is a fascinating figure in the history of the village. A great
educationalist and benefactor, her kindness and philanthropic outlook on
life was a shining example of altruism.
of the credit for the building of the British School in the
village must go to the efforts of Caroline Lindley who
tirelessly raised money to provide education for both children
and adults in the Great Melton district.
original benefactor of the British School was Edward Lombe of
Great Melton Hall who financially supported the project but died
in 1852 which is the point at which Caroline Lindley enters the
visited her brother Joseph who was the agent for Edward Lombe. Caroline had a great interest in the provision of education
for children and, although by this point in her 50s and living
in London, she raised sufficient capital for the school to be
established in Henstead Road.
Lindley was a friend of London businessman William Ellis who,
despite having no connections with Hethersett, was to play a
major part in education in the village.
was manager of the Indemnity Marine Assurance Company and had a
reputation for integrity whilst being both successful and
affluent. He had
little use for personal extravagance and devoted a large portion
of his income to education throughout the country.
wishes were for children to study Social Economy alongside the 3
Rs. This included the study of moral principles and behaviour
'leading to honest workmanship and reliable business dealings.'
Ellis believed these principles would lead to a happy and
prosperous society full of industry, skill, economy, sobriety,
honesty, punctuality, courage and fidelity.
established schools in numerous parts of London including the
Birkbeck School, London Mechanics (1848), the Finsbury Birkbeck
School (1849), Paddington Birkbeck School (1850), Bethnal Green
Birkbeck School (1851), Westminister Birkbeck School (1851) and
Beckham Birkbeck School (1852). The Birkbeck schools were named in memory of George Birkbeck
a mechanics lecturer, scholar and philanthropist.
London he established schools in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leith,
Manchester, Salford, Blandford, King’s Sambourne in Hampshire,
Dunton Bassett in Leicestershire and of course Hethersett.
Caroline Lindley approached Ellis she found his heart as open as
always and in her diary of 23 July 1853 notes:
Mr Ellis’ answer to my letter, overjoyed with it and school
purchased the British School with money belonging to himself and
vested the property in four trustees – himself, his son
Edward, Joseph Lindley and Julian Hill.
The first management committee consisted of Caroline
Lindley of London and William Buckingham, William Morton,
Benjamin Baker and James Spurgeon of Hethersett.
was obviously much taken with Caroline Lindley whom he described
'Possessing feelings ever ready to melt at the sight of misery and an
intelligence prepared to examine the various means suggested for
its relief, and to seize and apply the real ones.'
commending Caroline’s efforts, Ellis said: 'To us be the
delight of aiding her in her labour of love.'
altruism ran in the Lindley family as Caroline’s sister Kate
founded a school at Warmfield in Yorkshire.
in the 21st century Caroline Lindley's name lives on in an
Educational Foundation which exists to offer support to students
from Hethersett going on to study at university, college or
other Higher Education establishments. The trustees meet twice a
year to make their awards.
above information on Caroline Lindley is taken from a chapter on
education in the village written for the book of Hethersett by
Peter Steward. The full text of this is available by clicking
were contacted by Keith Hobday who wanted to pay tribute and for
us to remember Nora Pearson who was a noted local
conservationist, artist, musician and teacher and who had a very
close connection with Hethersett Methodist Church. Nora's memory
lives on in many homes in the form of a 1997 diagram map of the
parish. Keith had the following to say:
was my first violin teacher and had a huge influence on my life.
She was an inspirational teacher who was just what a slightly
difficult and stroppy teenage boy needed to realise his violin
playing potential. My whole life revolves around music now and
her patience, fortitude, resolve and perseverence with me,
shaped my attitude and disposition towards music. I have founded
a successful semi-pro orchestra in Norwich (Norwich Pops
Orchestra), a blossoming Baroque Orchestra (Norwich Baroque) and
continue to run a String Quarter. I would not have done any of
these things if Miss Pearson had not stuck with me for those
formative eight years. Interestingly, Norwich Pops Orchestra has
managed to book another name on the remembrance list - Elizabeth
Watts (Soprano) for our New Year's Day Concert 2010. This is a
bit of a coup, as she is heading for stardom at the moment.
Hardman Smith was born at the Grange in Hethersett on July 22nd, 1868, the
son of James and Sarah (nee Sunter) Smith. The family emigrated to the
United States in 1880 where his father farmed at LeMars, Iowa.
attended high school in Iowa and farmed with his father until 1897 when he
moved with his brother to Carberry, Manitoba, in Canada where he again
engaged in farming and later real estate.
1901 he moved to Edmonton where he formed the Western Reality Company Ltd
and had interests in coal mining and other industrial enterprises. He
became vice-president of Western Clays Ltd and vice president of Sandeman
and Cope Company Ltd. He served as an Alderman of Edmonton Council from
1906 to 1907 and was a member of the Edmonton Club. He married Florence
White in 1907. No further details available.
who was an active Methodist and keen supporter of TOC H, died on
April 7th, 2007 at the age of 96 after what was
described as a "life of service."
was born in September 1910 and came to Norfolk with his
family at the age of two, firstly to North Elmham and
subsequently to Dereham. After leaving school he was employed in
the accounts department of Hobbies and continued to live in
Dereham when his parents moved to Wymondham.
was at Dereham that Fred became interested in the work of the
local branch of TOC H – an organisation founded to provide
respite care for servicemen during the First World War.
always engendered the aims of TOCH which were fellowship,
service, fair mindedness and a celebration of the kingdom of
God. I have heard some lovely things said about a wonderful man.
Fred was a man who loved and was loved dearly,” Rev Derek
Grimshaw told a memorial service in the Methodist Church.
became secretary of the local branch of TOC H and in 1936
travelled to Great Yarmouth to hear the Rev Tubby Clayton speak
about leper colonies in Nigeria.
nephew Richard Flower spoke of this meeting being a “defining
moment in Fred’s life.”
weeks later he decided to work amongst the lepers and sailed
from Liverpool to West Africa. He later said that going to
Nigeria was the best thing he ever did,” Mr Flower said.
in Nigeria Fred met and married his wife Edna and they were
married for 54 years before Edna’s death in 1995.
and Edna returned to the United Kingdom in 1958 and Fred worked
for eight years for
the Methodist Church in London and then for seven years at the
Queen Victoria Seamen’s Rest. He later worked for the justice
department on the Isle of Wight before moving back to Norfolk to
live in Hethersett in 1975.
became closely involved with the village Methodist Church and
was also a founder member of Wymondham Probus Club. Fred was
also a keen supporter of Norwich City Football Club and loved
music, poetry and literature.
had a mischevious sense of humour, but was a true gentleman,”
Mr Flower added. The memorial service was preceded by cremation
at St Faiths. The readings and hymns featured at both the
crematorium and Hethersett were chosen by Fred himself.
Elizabeth grew up in Hethersett and was a
girl chorister at Norwich Cathedral before moving to
Sheffield to study at the University. Although reading
archaeology, she became heavily involved in the musical
life of the city and was singing tutor to the choristers
of Sheffield Cathedral. She graduated in 2000 with first
class honours and was awarded a scholarship to study at the
Royal College of Music in 2002.
An experienced performer in recital, opera, and oratorio,
Elizabeth has sung Bach's Christmas Oratorio with Peter
Schreier, Vivaldi's Gloria with the BT Scottish Ensemble
and Mozart's Requiem with Sir David Willcocks. Future
projects include Poppea in Handel's Agrippina and a
performance of songs by Anthony Scott at the Wigmore Hall.
In September she will take up a scholarship at the
Benjamin Britten International Opera School.
In 2007 she
was chosen to represent England in a major international
contest in Cardiff. A special interview with Liz can be
read by clicking here.