History of a House

Recently I received a letter from a firm of Solicitors offering me documents relating to our house. They had discovered them while clearing out old files and would destroy them if I were not interested. I bit their hands off in my haste.

The documents are a mine of information, referring back to the Will of Freeman Frederick Thomas, dated 1865, who died in 1868. The parcel of land our house stands on was once part of Hobbs Farm and was sold to George Sparks and his sister Sarah in 1901.

In 1924 the Receiver, who had been appointed to oversee the dismantling of the Sparks 'empire' following the family dispute, sold it. The parcel of land consisted of 13.04 acres, which stretched from Cinders Lane to approx. Graham Road and from Bilsham Road to the eastern boundary of Cherry Avenue & West View Gardens. Price £3,000. The land and the recently built house was sold to Walter & Ellen Hannams (the house name "Walene" was derived from theirir first names) in 1934 for a sum of £675.

The documents from which the above was taken are a welcome addition to photographs of the house being built, which came into our possession a few years ago.

Sep. 2008

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