Cricket Club

kingston cricket ground 1926

Kingston Cricket Ground, with pavillion, to the south of the village, on the site of the former Rope Factory

In his book ‘Odds and Ends from My Century’ (1992), Bob Dorey wrote:

Kingston had cricket teams. The Earl had his own team, including, of course, the Vicar, who had been a Cambridge Blue, and other local gentry; the Earl also took the four best of the village lads to play in his team.

 

There was also a village team. Twice during the summer they would play the Earl’s team, once “at home” for the Earl on his well kept pitch out on Steart Field (above “London Doors”) and once on the village pitch up in “Rope Walk” (a field at the top of South Street, … the site of a rope-making works in earlier times). Traditionally refreshments at half time were provided by the Earl, as was a roller to keep the pitches in good order.

 

As a young man, a little while after coming back from the war, I found myself Secretary trying to restart the Cricket Club. The Earl, and his Team, had gone; so had the roller.

Former Vicar, the Rev. F.S. Horan commented in his book ‘From the Crack of the Pistol’:

The Kingston Cricket Club was quite a going concern. A certain Ernest Hixson was Captain – a tricky left-hand bowler; and we had a redoubtable demon bowler in one of the Dorey family – Arthur. With a long run and a hop, skip and jump, he would deliver a ball calculated, on a rough village wicket, to strike terror into the most intrpid bastsman.

 

Ken Orchard (son of Charley Orchard and Mrs. Orchard the postmistress) was our champion heavy-weight slogger. He used to stride up to the wicket with his bat over his shoulder, a braod assured grin on his face – a Hercules, but for the leopard skin. Fielders fell back – he took his centre – and then with every ball bowled it was “six” or “out” with him. Ken certainly didn’t believe in slow cricket – he quickly brought any match to life. We had fixtures with most of the villages round and our Kingston boys generally gave a good account of themselves.

Match Reports

1922

KINGSTON v. CORFE CASTLE

Played at Kingston on Saturday, and won by Corfe Castle by 32 runs. Scores:- Corfe, 66 (Major Woodhouse 20, Dr. Drury, not out, 18); Kingston, 34 (Jeffs 12). Loxton bowled well for the home side, and Savage and Beath for Corfe.

Western Gazette, 25 August 1922

1925 – WAREHAM AND DISTRICT LEAGUE

KINGSTON v. CORFE CASTLE

Played at Kingston on Saturday, and resulted in an easy win for the home team by 79 runs. Batting first Corfe Castle made a bad start, and lost five wickets for 28 runs, the total reaching 84 (Colonel Strange 31). The home team made a good reply, the first wicket putting on 35 runs, and the Corfe total was passed with five wickets in hand, the total eventually reaching 163, the last wicket putting on 38 runs (G. Travers 41, Loxton 22, Hixson 20). For Kingston Hunt took four wickets for 18 and Hixson three for 18. The most successful bowler for Corfe was the Rev. F. Corfield, with five for 49.

Western Gazette, 24 July 1925

1931 – DIVISION I.

CORFE CASTLE DEFEATED BY KINGSTON

By 47 runs (33-80) Kingston beat Corfe Castle on the latter’s ground. G. Travers (3-8), C. Dorey (4-12), and E. Hixson (3-11) were responsible for Corfe’s dismissal, whilst the chief scorers for the winners were W. Stickland (21), K. Orchard (18), Travers (12), and F. Cooper (10). Five Corfe bowlers shared the wickets – Stockley (2-5), Fooks (3-23), D. Cooper (2-16), P. Crofts (2-20), and K. Greenstock (1-10).

Western Gazette, 3 July 1931

Page last updated: 20 February 2016

Hixson

Albert ‘Ernest’ Hixson (1886-1962)

Ernest was one of eight children born to Swanage boatman Thomas Nicholas Hixson (1845-1922) and  Mary Emma ‘Emma’ Hixson neé Farwell (1855-1911).

In 1909 Ernest was living in a furnished bedroom on the High Street, Swanage for which he paid rent of 6s. 6d. a week to his father Thomas whose address was given as 1 Seaside, Swanage. By 1911, Ernest aged 24 was back living in the family home then at Exeter House, Swanage. He was a solictor’s clerk. His mother was running a fancy goods business.

The following year, Ernest married Elsie Collins (1885-1957). Ernest and Elsie had four children (see later). In 1915, Ernie and Elsie were living at Dalkeith in Princess Road, Swanage. By 1918 they were living at Encombe and Ernest was working for the Encombe Estate. By 1921 the family were living in Kingston. Later on the family are known to have lived in the property on West Street, Kingston between the Forge and the Scott Arms (which now forms part of the Scott Arms).

Ernest gained quite a reputation on the cricket pitch and played for Kingston for many years. In an end of season match in 1932, when Wareham & District League champions Swanage took on the ‘Rest’ of the League, the report stated “but E. Hixson, a member of the Kingston Club, was almost unplayable, a fact which is borne out by his analysis, which shows eight wickets for ten runs”. In February 1935, Ernest was elected Vice-Chairman of the Wareham Cricket League (which included up to ten clubs in the wider area which extended as far as Poole, including Kingston, Corfe Castle and Swanage). Ernest was also Secretary of the Swanage Pier Company from at least 1931 to 1939. In 1938, Ernest was an eyewitness to the Fairy Swordfish crash at Polar Wood in which three RAF men were killed.

Elsie died in May 1957 aged 72 and was buried at Kingston on 29 May 1957. Later that  year Ernest married Ellen Martha ‘Pat’ Ward (1889-1980). They lived in West Street. Ernest died on 30 April 1962 and Pat died in 1980.

Children of Ernest & Elsie:

1.   William Gerald Hixson (1913-1983)

William was born at Swanage on 7 June 1913. In 1939 he married Helena May Werrey-Easterbrook (1920–2000). William and Helena had two daughters.

william and helena2

William and Helena. Photographs courtesy of Andrew Gibson.

2.   Frank Arthur Hixson (1914-1982)

Frank was born at Swanage on 15 November 1914.

3.   Douglas John ‘Jack’ Hixson (1920-1949)

Jack is believed to have been invalided during World War 2. He died at The Borough Sanitorium, Weymouth on 14 November 1949 aged 29. Jack was buried at Kingston on 19 November 1949. He is remembered on the World War 2 memorial plaque in Kingston New Church.

4.   Kenneth ‘Ken’ Oswald Collins Hixson (1922-2007)

Ken was born on 1 November 1922. In 1950 he married Doreen H Hawkes. Ken and Doreen had one daughter and three grandchildren. Ken was Secretary of the Wareham & District Skittles League for 40 years. Ken died at Poole Hospital on 24 October 2007 aged 84.

ken via andrew gibson

Ken Hickson

william douglasjack frank via andrew gibson cropped

William, Jack and Frank. Photographs courtesy of Andrew Gibson.

If you have any further information, memories, photographs etc. about the Hixson family then please get in touch with us.

Page last updated: 8 January 2016

1952: Recollections of a former vicar

Extracts from ‘From the crack of the pistol‘ (published c. 1952) by F.S. Horan, Vicar of Kingston from 1932-1938:

Quot Homines, Tot Amici

I found my Chilton experience of a country parish a help at Kingston. Muriel and I soon got going and found plenty to do, visiting the cottages, the school and the distant farms, of which there were several.

“What are the special needs of this place?” was a question I asked myself. It had a rather pleasant feudal atmosphere about it. Nearly all the men worked on the Encombe Estate. The polite manners of an earlier generation had not quite died out. ‘Sir’, ‘Mam’, capping and even a curtsey from an aged inhabitant, lent a nice touch of dignity to everyday intercourse; yet there was a delightful sense of cameraderie in all our relationships. The children under the care of Miss Broad and Mrs Cottrell, in our village (church) school, which I visited regularly, rose politely and gave me a cheery chorus of welcome when I appeared. Muriel, as always, was my great help in a hundred ways. She took over the Sunday School, and it was everything to me to have her opinion on the various village problems which arose from time to time. She was quick to help in any emergency of sickness or trouble.

Our great stand-bys in the village were Mr. and Mrs. Tom Joyce, and Mr. Gerald Loxton.

Joyce was the village blacksmith – a pillar of the church, and one of the nicest, friendliest, staunchest men who ever stepped. His wife was as nice as he was, gentle and refined. She had been the village school mistress. They both knew the village inside out, and were wise and understanding. It was a great help to discuss with them any plans or alterations that one might have in mind.

Sir Ernest was the Vicar’s warden, and Gerald Loxton, the People’s warden. Gerald could see further through a brick wall than most people and had a delightful, dry, Dorset sense of humour. I was very fortunate in having such men as Joyce and Loxton. They are proofs of what wonderful help laymen can be in a parish.

They weren’t the only ones I learnt to value and love at Kingston. We had so many willing helpers in all our plans and schemes for the good of the village. There was a keen spirit of co-operation – nearly everyone was glad to pull his weight in the village life. Some have passed on: I can see them now. Gilbert Dorey, the Estate woodman, with a natural musical talent and a wonderful mastery of the beautiful organ in the church, that he loved and played so well. Mrs. Orchard, the postmistress, our untiring helper in the W.I. and in all our socials, and in every project. Bill Hooper, our most reliable Captain of the Bells. George Hunt, always ready to help in anything, a very kind, open-hearted fellow. I salute them all!

There were a good many young men in the village who seemed rather at a loose end. I was keen to get into touch with them, and found the Boys’ Club Room helpful for this purpose. There we played games of an evening, and arranged cricket club fixtures and so on.

The Kingston Cricket Club was quite a going concern. A certain Ernest Hixson was Captain – a tricky left-hand bowler; and we had a redoubtable demon bowler in one of the Dorey family – Arthur. With a long run and a hop, skip, and jump, he would deliver a ball calculated, on a rough village wicket, to strike terror into the most intrepid batsman.

Ken Orchard (son of Charley Orchard and Mrs. Orchard the postmistress) was our champion heavy-weight slogger. He used to stride up to the wicket with his bat over his shoulder, a broad assured grin on his face – a Hercules, but for the leopard skin. Fielders fell back – he took his centre – and then with every ball bowled it was “six” or “out” with him. Ken certainly didn’t believe in slow cricket – he quickly brought any match to life. We had fixtures with most of the villages round and our Kingston boys generally gave a good account of themselves.

When the cricket season was over, I suggested play-acting during the winter months. How would they like to try a One-Act play as a start? At first they were shy; but I got them going. We started with Shivering Socks, an appropriate title for us at the moment! They came and rehearsed, undisturbed, at the Vicarage.

On a given day we gave the performance. The only place we had for such an outbreak was the small village schoolroom, where all socials and functions – even dances – had to be held. The audience, packed like sardines, too perspiring even to boo or cat-call – took it well on the whole and let themselves go at the end with a round of applause. Thus a Kingston Dramatic Society was started and on we went to further triumphs!

We found much unexpected talent among young and old. Little did we think that before long England – and even Canada – would lend an ear to us – that, in fact, we should broadcast! But so it proved.

We couln’t have done it without outside help. The person in the village to whom we owed most was Mrs. Fenwick-Owen. She and her daughter, Morvyne, were very keen on the dramatic effort: they loved acting, and realised what a good thing it is for a village to get people out of their shells and give them a form of self-expression combined with lots of fun. “Mrs. F-O” was untiring in the help she gave, and was always so jolly about it – rehearsing, producing and suggesting plays.

We were greatly handicapped at Kingston for want of a village hall for social activities. When I went there I saw this was an urgent need. There were two churches – the new and the old. The old church, though it bore signs of its Norman origin in the walls, and had an Elizabethan bell, had been re-built only some fifty years before the new one arose.

The new one was almost a miniature cathedral, and stood upon a hilly eminence. It was built in 1887 by Lord Eldon (the father of Sir Ernest Scott), of Purbeck stone and marble, in the Gothic style. Street, the architect, was given carte blanche and made a wonderful thing of it. Grand and imposing, it cast the little old church – a stone’s throw away – into the shade. Our services were held in the new church: the old church was hardly ever used.

What a pity I thought, not to make some use of the old church? Could it not still serve a good purpose? Could we get leave to turn it into a Village Hall? I talked this idea over with Sir Ernest Scott and members of the Church Council, and they were quite willing for me to approach the Church Authorities at Salisbury with the suggestion. This I did, with the welcome result that permission was granted. The Union of Benefices Measure allowed such a change to be made where there was a redundancy of churches: so we obtained leave to transform the old church into a Village Hall.

It took time and effort to do this; but the great work was accomplished at last, thanks to the many willing workers in the village who came forward to give their voluntary help – especially the young men of the Boys’ Club. They took off their coats and slaved away in their spare time – reflooring the building, making a platform and doing a hundred things. So, by its own voluntary labour, Kingston had a village hall.

Some other places besides Kingston benifited from our labours. ‘Chaddy’ [Revd. R.M. Chadwick] was thankful to purchase the pews, stained oak, plain and good, for the chapel at Forres. He had them scraped and now they look beautiful in their new setting. The altar and fittings were given to the Infirmary Chapel at Wareham. The attractive candelabra now hang in Arne’s tiny church which survived the bombing there. Memorial tablets were transferred to the new Kingston Church.

The Village Hall has proved an untold boon to Kingston. Scouts and Cubs and Brownies, which we started, have functioned there. A flourishing Kingston W.I. which we also started, has had it for all their meetings and doings ever since. It has served for village dances, concerts, whist drives and shows of all descriptions.

When the Second World War came, I don’t know what Kingston would have done without it as a place for the flood of evacuated school children that descended on the village to be schooled, helped, entertained and catered for in all conceivable ways. Indeed, it came just in time for Hitler’s outbreak and its consequences!

The Village Hall was not only used for secular purposes. We sometimes had religious services there – especially in Lent – and lantern lectures on various subjects. It was quite invaluable to us. Through this strange metamorphosis the old church had come to life again and was able to do something for the new church which greatly needed help for there was no endowment for the upkeep of that majestic building. It wanted a better system of heating and lighting and the organ was crying out for repairs. Where was the money to come from?

The old church by becoming a village hall, where funds could be raised throughout the year by shows and sales and other things, was able to make some welcome response to the appeal of its new neighbour. More was needed however than it could manage so I got busy and staged a Fete on a large scale in the beautiful grounds of Encombe, by permission of Sir Ernest Scott.

Sir Ernest was dubious about it at first; thought it was a big undertaking and felt people would never want the long walk from Kingston down to Encombe and back again. But I advertised it terrifically. Went down to Swanage to broadcast it. Booked buses to run right down to Encombe. Went to great trouble with George Bartlett, the proprietor of the Eldon Arms, to get a licence to have a bar on the Fete grounds to give the villagers a chance of having their pint down at Encombe instead of leaving the side-shows to go back to Kingston for a drink.

The W.I. arranged for large numbers of teas (and how well they organized them!). We got a Band to play for us and to wind up the Fete with dancing on the lawn by moonlight.

The day came. It was August: there were many visitors about – and posters on all the hoardings. People came in flocks from Swanage, Langton and Worth Matravers, Corfe Castle and Wareham – from all round the countryside – had a great time and emptied their pockets for the benefit of our Church Fund.

We raked in £170, and the fete was such a success that it has become an annual affair. In August 1937 it was opened by Leslie Banks who had a holiday cottage at Worth Matravers, the charming little village on the coast near St. Aldhelm’s Head. He was always ready to do a good turn.

Our first ambitious venture in the acting line was a performance of the Morality Play, Everyman. We were fortunate in getting a talented actress, Miss Joyce Bailey, as our producer and to play the part of ‘Everyman’. Two artist friends of ours – near neighbours – Miss Jane Welsh and Miss May Wilson were our mainstays. Miss Welsh was assistant producer, and Miss Wilson was mistress of the robes – and much more besides. These two gifted people provided all the dresses and props and, with a wide experience of producing and acting, helped us in all our doubts and difficulties. Without them, our production could never have reached such a high pitch.

Everyman has a big cast, so that friends from round about and many of our own villagers were roped in for the parts. I was ‘Death’. Muriel, ‘Faith’. Skrimmy was ‘Goods’ and was brought onto the stage in a wonderful chest, out of which he emerged with arms and face covered in gold paint – from which he suffered afterwards. Sir Ernest Scott started the play off by reading the prologue from the stage.

It was a great success at Kingston and also at Swanage where we played it for two nights at the Mowlem Theatre. It was felt to be an exceptional production for  a small village. So the Kingston Players had made a good start.

This was only the beginning of many plays that village talent provided. Those who didn’t act themselves were only too ready to help behind the scenes. Ken Orchard (the Hercules of the Cricket Club) was our lighting expert and he never failed us. The plays we did after Everyman were generally produced by Mrs. Fenwick-Owen and gave scope for all and sundry, both male and female, to show their capabilities.

We were keen to do a Dorset Dialogue play – so one day Mrs. Fenwick-Owen and Muriel returning from a W.I. meeting in Dorchester, called on Mrs. Thomas Hardy at Max Gate to ask if her husband had ever written a short play suitable for village acting. She at once gave them a privately printed copy of The Three Wayfarers – a play adapted from one of his Wessex Tales which, she said, was very dramatic and would be most suitable. So we got going on that and performed it with success both at Kingston and at the W.I. Drama Festival at Dorchester.

This was the play we were asked to broadcast. Francis Dillon of the B.B.C. Western Regional saw us do it at the Dorchester Festival  and arranged with Mrs. Fenwick-Owen, who produced us, to broadcast it from our Village Hall. We were naturally elated.

Francis Dillon came and stayed in Kingston for a week, and put us through our paces for the broadcast. We were tremendously interested in the arrangements for it, especially for the “noises off” which were done direct from Bristol and made to synchronise exactly with our spoken words. It seemed wonderful! We had many rehearsals through the week. On the day, it went without a hitch and, so far as we know, was heard by listeners from John o’Groats to Lands End, and certainly in Canada by the relations of some of our broadcasters. It was a Red Letter Day for the Kingston Players.

We once made a new departure, and tried our hand at a … Minstrel Show – male and female … It took some doing to collect good jokes and patter. Muriel went about with a red note-book and wrote down all she could get hold of. Then we had to fit them in with the songs and dancing. We had full audiences at Kingston, Corfe Castle, Langton Matravers and Swanage. Sir Ernest, in the audience at Kingston, was absolutely convulsed with laughter. He himself supplied one of our best jokes.

For a time much interest was taken in Folk dancing. Miss Ruth Dawson came over from Langton Matravers to teach us. Several of the older people were beautiful dancers – George Hunt and Mrs. Senneck especially.

I could count on those who helped most in social activities to help in religious activity too – as sidesmen, choirmen, bell-ringers or anything connected with the Church. We were all good mixers. I think our strenuous work in creating a Village Hall had helped us in this: it had drawn us together in a very matey way.

One Lent we had a Village Mission taken by the Diocesan Lay Missioner, Mr. C. S. Agar. It was very well attended and we had special meetings for men, women and children, besides the daily Mission Services. The Mission was a help to many. It was to Muriel and me.

On Good Fridays we generally had a Sacred Cantata in the evening, such as Stainer’s Crucifixion, Maunder’s From Olivet to Calvary and Darkness and Dawn. These were arranged by our good organist, Gilbert Dorey, who took infinite trouble over the practices. We had an augmented choir for them – Muriel, and Morvyne Fenwick-Owen (who had a charming voice which she later took on stage proper), and several other women from the village were in it, as well as extra men. The Cantatas were very much appreciated by the village and many who came from outside.

One Good Friday morning we had a Procession of Witness through the village, with hymns and a short address, which I have on the rising ground opposite the Post Office. Sir Ernest Scott, the Choir, and a number of others joined us in the witness. Our Easter services were always delightful, full of life.

After his ordination ‘Chaddy’ came up several times of a Sunday and preached at Evensong. Sometimes we exchanged and I went to Forres Chapel.

Muriel found some good helpers among the girls for her Sunday School work – especially Irene Sansom (now married with two little boys of her own). For a time Miss Joan Muspratt kindly came up from Swanage to take the class of older girls.

I was anxious that, with all our considerable social activities, we should put first things first, and I think that everyone knew I was keen on this: while at the same time I did not wish to draw a hard and fast line between secular and sacred – bearing in mind the words of Archbishop Magee: “There is nothing secular but sin”.

We had a strong British Legion contingent in the village, and we made much of every 11th of November. On the Saturday evening before Remembrance Sunday, we assembled in force at the Eldon Arms (now the Scott Arms). There we had a truly wonderful Dinner – with Sir Ernest Scott in the Chair. With speeches and a sing-song we kept it up pretty late. My usual song was Father O’Flynn. It was a most enjoyable re-union. Mrs. Bartlett, the Proprietress, excelled herself each year with her marvellous Roast beef, roast fowls, plum pudding and apple tart and other things. She was a striking old Victorian character immensely respected and very dignified in her glossy black silk; rather grim till you got on the right side of her – but she certainly delivered the goods.

On Remembrance Sunday we always had a packed church for the Service. Our British Legion men came in force, and the Swanage Legion Band. They were marshalled and paraded to church by our Charley Orchard, who had served in the Dorsetshire Yeomanry, and now marched in front of the Ex-servicemen like a Drum Major.

Inside the Church we had a moving Service – the Silence, the special hymns, the Bugle Calls sounded by Gerald White (our gardener), the placing of a wreath against the War Memorial Tablet, and at the close, the March off to the tune of “Onward Christian Soldiers” played by the Band.

The congregations at our usual Sunday morning Services were greatly helped by Oldfield (Co-educational) and Spyway (Preparatory) Schools, who came along and added considerably to our numbers. When Forres Chapel was built, Oldfield missed the schools’ service I had taken at All Saints’, Swanage, and which was discontinued; so they came up to Kingston in buses on alternate Sundays all the time I was vicar there. The Hicksons of Oldfield and the Warners of Spyway, were long-standing frends and we were always very glad to see them with their bus loads of boys and girls whom they brought along because they liked our simple short service.

St. James was our patron Saint – one of the “Sons of Thunder”. Our Cathedral-like Church, dedicated to him, lent itself well to services on special occasions, such as the Remembrance Service and Harvest Thanksgiving and the big Festivals.

In the Summer months, too, it came into its own with Summer visitors, and Scouts and Guides from camps near by. So then we had very good morning congregations and hearty services and were glad of the size and beauty of St. James’s Church. It was an impressive and worshipful place.

The Church Tower commanded a grand view towards Corfe and Poole Harbour beyond. It had a fine peal of eight bells, and we had a hefty team of keen bellringers under the Captain of the Bells, Bill Hooper.

Every New Year’s Eve was the occasion of another dinner at the Eldon Arms, with Mrs. Bartlett going strong as ever in the matter of beef, puddings and apple tarts. This was the Choir and Bellringers’ Dinner. It was kept up with song and merriment till about 11.15pm when we all adjourned to the Belfry where we rang the Old Year out and the New Year in, had a prayer, and then closed with the hymn “Father, let me dedicate all this Year to Thee”.

During my time at Kingston I was much indebted to the Agent of Encombe Estate, Mr W. E. Candy, who invariably gave his willing help and co-operation in all that was undertaken for the good of the Village. He was one of the School Managers, served on the Parochial Church Council and on the Village Hall Committee; and gave valuable help as Hon. Treasurer of the Fetes we had at Encombe. If I was ever in any difficulty I could always count on his sound advice.

Mr. Candy had entered the service of the third Lord Eldon (Sir Ernest Scott’s father) as long ago as 1890, and continued to serve the same family when Sir Ernest Scott became the owner.

Sometimes in the summer we let the Vicarage and trekked off for a holiday. In 1935 we let it for some weeks to a Mr. and Mrs. Milligan and their young family. We went to Chagford first for fishing … From there Muriel and I set off for the Shakespeare Festival at Stratford-on-Avon. We did some sight-seeing too …Then we turned our faces towards home and this time, as the Vicarage was still let, we parked ourselves in a wizard little stone cottage on the cliffs above Dancing Ledge , called “Sea Spray”. This enabled me to do the duty at Kingston and make arrangements for the Encombe Fete and Flower Show.

Here we were joined again by Editha Roupell … She brought her young nephew and niece … They brought a tent with them … and pitched alongside “Sea Spray” … We mealed together in the cottage – or more often on the terrace, and had a great time, lots of fun. So did the two Kingston girls, Margaret Senneck and Edna Turner, whom we brought along to work for us.

The Encombe Fete and Flower Show was again a huge success. We had lovely weather. All the entrance tickets were sold, and about a thousand people came, including many Scouts and guides. Our Church Funds benefited very considerably. We were fortunate in having many good helpers …

Towards the end of 1936 we were much saddened at Kingston by Tom Joyce‘s failing health – he had been such a good friend to us. Some internal trouble developed and caused him a good deal of discomfort and suffering. He was taken to the West Hants Hospital at Boscombe, where I visited him several times. I remember him smiling up at me after a talk – it was my last visit, I think – and saying, “I’m having a rough passage, Vicar”. It was over for him just after Christmas. His wife did not long survive him. She passed on the following summer. In them we had lost two whom we could ill spare.

Dr. Dru Drury of Corfe Castle and his daughter were special friends of ours. He has an extensive practice there and in the surrounding villages, including Kingston. He is a man of many parts, a great supporter of the Church and a keen archaeologist.

Janet, living in such surroundings, could not fail to have both the historic and histrionic sense. She roped in many of us at Kingston for various plays and pageants. She now runs an amateur troupe known as “The Purbeck Players” and regularly carries off bouquets at the annual Dorset Drama Festival.

She produced The Tempest at Corfe Castle, and Kingston, and in the grounds of Encombe. I played ‘Prospero’ which meant much memorizing, but was well worth it. A Kingston girl – Dulcie Curtis, made a charming little ‘Ariel’, and Morvyne Fenwick-Owen played ‘Miranda’ with much feeling. … Encombe afforded a beautiful outdoor setting and we had a large and appreciative audience there.

Janet, now Mrs. Wilson, is an exceptionally able and imaginative producer and gets the best out of a cast. Her “Purbeck Players” today are highly skilled. They have performaed a variety of plays .. Some outstanding acting has been shown in these productions by Dulcie Curtis as ‘Velvet’, Syd Payne as ‘The Farmer’, Gerald Loxston as ‘Churdles Ash’, Mrs. Elford as ‘Araminta’ and Mrs. John Lawrence in several parts, to take but a few instances.

In July 1939, just before the awful cloudburst of World War II, a wonderful Dorset Pageant was performed in the grounds of Lulworth  Castle (by permission of Colonel Weld). Many Dorset W.I.’s contributed episodes to illustrate historic events in Dorset from earliest times. It fell to the villages of Worth Matravers, Kingston and Corfe Castle to act an episode entitled Benjamin Jesty, the discoverer of the use of cow-pox injections against the small pox. For Jesty lived at Dunshay in the parish ofWorth Matravers, and his tomb is in the churchyard of Worth’s ancient and lovely little church.

Janet Drury produced our episode. My part in it was to make a speech in honour of ‘Jesty’. A Mr. Drew drove on with Muriel in a dog-cart as “parson” and “parson’s wife”!

A date that stands out in my Kingston period is May 12th, 1937 – the day of the Coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. In the morning , we assembled in the Church to listen to the broadcast of the Service from Westminster Abbey – very moving and impressive.

For the rest of the day we flag-wagged, junketed and racketed: sports and races for both children and grown-ups; a fancy dress procession; ‘cakes and ale’, tea and buns for anyone and everyone; fireworks and a bonfire after dark; a dance in the Village Hall to finish with. A day to be remembered!

In August this same year a word began to echo in my mind, and a wish in my heart – “Retirement”: not from active service as a “Sky Pilot”, but from being restricted to one place for my efforts. I had now been forty years in orders, and I began to feel I should like to cut adrift from the daily humfdrum routine of parochialities and be a free-lance – free to give what clerical help and assistance I could in the neighbourhood and diocese, unfettered by a parish.

When I sent my resignation to Sir Ernest Scott, I received a charming letter from him, regretting my decision, thanking me for my work at Kingston, and saying how sorry the people would be to hear that I was leaving, for it was, he said, ‘a case of Quot homines, tot amici‘.

I could not have had a nicer nor kinder patron than Sir Ernest – always willing to help and co-operate in any way he could. He was a good sportsman, a most considerate landlord to the people on his estate and a friend to all.

My last Sunday as Vicar of Kingston was July 10th, 1938. For some weeks previously Muriel and I had been busy paying farewell visits, always a sad business: but we were cheered by the thought we were only going to live a short distance away and would often see our Kingston friends. We had an extremely happy and interesting time there and were genuinely sorry to leave. I was succeeded by the Rev. M. de Burgh Scott, long well-known to us in Swanage.

 

 

 

1938: The Late Mr. Gilbert V. Dorey

Three former vicars of Kingston (Corfe Castle) attended the funeral service at St. James’ Church, on Saturday afternoon, of Mr. Gilbert Victor Dorey, who for over 30 years had been organist at the church. The interior of the building which deceased knew and loved so well, still bore its Christmas decorations, as the coffin, borne by four senior employees (Messrs. Gerald Loxton, Charlie Orchard, George Hunt and Jesse Marsh), of the Encombe Estate, was carried into the church, the cortege being preceded by the choir, with the congregation joining in the hymn, “Peace, perfect peace.” As the cortege left the church the “Nunc Dimittis” was chanted.

The Vicar (the Rev. M. de Burgh Scott) conducted the service, assisted by the Rev. F. S. Horan (the former vicar). Mr. Charles Pond was at the organ.

The principal mourners were the widow, Mrs. C. Clark, Mrs. G. Randall, Mrs. E. Brake, and Mrs. W. Neale (sisters), Mr. A. Dorey and Mr. R. Dorey (brothers), Mr. C. Dorey, Mr. W. Randall, Mr. and Mrs. P. Hann, and Miss O. Dorey (nephews and nieces), Mr. G. Dorey, Mr. and Mrs. E. Dorey, and Mrs. W. Smith (cousins). Mrs. F. Dorey, Mrs. A. S. Dorey, Mrs. A. Dorey, Mrs. W. Dorey, and Miss Jukes (sisters-in-law), Mr. and Mrs. F. Cooper, Mr. and Mrs. L. Turner, Mr. J. Marsh, and Mr. and Mrs. Donald Barnes.

Mr. W. Dorey (eldest brother) was unable to attend owing to illness.

Included among those present in the church were Archdeacon Smith and the Rev. Raymond A. Bond (former vicars), Mrs. M. de B. Scott, Mrs. F. S. Horan, Mrs. Raymond A. Bond, Mrs. Fenwick-Owen, Captain J. Docrwa Rogers, Mr. Walter E. Candy (agent to the Encombe Estate), and Mr. E. A. Hixson, together with many estate employees and villagers.

The large number of wreaths included tributes from the bellringers, choirmen, boys and girls, and sidesmen of St. James’ Church, Kingston, Mr. W. E. Candy (agent), and Messrs. Hixson, Loxton, Gale, and Marsh (senior employees), Estate and farm employees, Kingston ex-Service men and Kingston Women’s Institute.

FLORAL TRIBUTES.

The beautiful floral tokens included the following:- In ever-loving memory of my darling Husband, from his sorrowing Wife; Cecil and Ron (sons); Charlotte and family; Bessie and family; Jennie and Ernest; Lou and George (Canada); Mabel and Will and Phillip; Walt, Gert, and Marjorie; Alf, Rose, Fred, and Iris; Bob, Bet, Grace, and Betty; Art, Irene, Olive (nephew and nieces); Annie, Agnes, and family, Charlie, Kath, Michael; Lot, George, Nance, Ern and Rose, and Amy (cousins); Alice (sister-in-law); Ben, Fred, and Frank (brother-in-law and nephews); Walt and Ern (brother-in-law and sister); Bert and family (brother-in-law and sister); Vicar and Mrs. Scott; Rev. Raymond and Mrs. Bond and Miss Margaret; Mr. and Mrs. A. Cooper and family; Mr. and Mrs. W. Stickland; ”Eldon Arms,” Kingston; Mr. and Mrs. F. Tatchell; Mrs. Allen, Corfe Castle; Mr. and Mrs. P. Damer and Nellie; Mrs. N. Phillips; Mr. and Mrs. D. Barnes; Rhoda and Will; Ronald and Hubert; Jack.

Mrs. Dorey and family sincerely thank the many friends who have expressed sympathy and sent floral tributes in their bereavement.

NATIVE OF THE VILLAGE.

The late Mr. Dorey passed away at his home, 3, West-street, Kingston on Tuesday, after a fairly long period of ill-health, although his last illness was of short duration. Aged 51 years, he was a native of the village, and throughout the whole of his working life had been employed on the Encombe Estate. As far as the communal spirit of the village was concerned Mr. Dorey was one of the greatest stalwarts. His greatest interest was in the church, which he served faithfully for 44 years, as choirboy from the age of seven and upwards of 30 years as organist and choirmaster. He also lent a hand at bell-ringing, and at times he rang regularly for fairly long periods, in spite of the calls made upon his time by other church duties. As a tribute to his memory the bells were rung half-muffled following the committal on Saturday afternoon.

A KEEN MUSICIAN.

A keen musician deceased could play a number of instruments and for many years was one of the leading members of the Kingston Village Band. He was also interested in the many social functions which have produced such a happy village life at Kingston, and he was ever ready to lend a hand in whatever direction the call was made. Only a fortnight before his death he took part in a play in the village hall, while it may be recalled that just 12 months before his passing – on December 26th 1937 – he was one of the Kingston Players taking part in Thos. Hardy’s “The Three Strangers,” broadcast by the B.B.C.

Mr. Dorey leaves a widow and two sons aged 13 and 9, with whom much sympathy is felt.

Western Gazette, Friday 6 January 1939

 

1938: Dorset R.A.F. Crash

Disaster in Coastal Fog – Three Men Killed near Corfe Castle – Aircraft in Flames

The three occupants of an R.A.F. aeroplane, a Fairy Swordfish, bound from Gosport to Roborough, near Plymouth, on Friday afternoon, were killed when the machine, after hitting some trees, crashed in a coastal fog, near Encombe House, the Dorsetshire residence of the Hon. Sir Ernest S. Scott, K.C.M.G., M.V.O. Hearing the noise of the crash, Sir Ernest went to the scene with some of his employees, but was unable to render assistance owing to the flames which burst from the wreckage.

The dead men were Pilot-Officer Frederick Edgar Williams, Corporal Cyril John Coles, and Leading-Aircraftsman David Samuel Hurrell.

Eye-Witness’s Story

Mr. E. Hixon [Hixson], of the Encombe Estate Office, who, with others, heard the crash and rushed to the spot in a motor-car, told a representative of this paper that the ‘plane was flying in the fog over the coast line at 2.45 p.m. and must have hit some tree on the road to Swyre Head, just outside the village of Kingston, near Corfe Castle. When he arrived the aeroplane was in flames. “There were three men in it, but we could not get near them owing to the great heat. I think the men must have been killed when the plane crashed.” The aeroplane had rolled down through the trees and then down the hill-side in the vale. An overcoat of R.A.F. blue, was thrown out of the aeroplane, and in the pocket was a handkerchief bearing the name ‘Williams, Gosport.’”

The bodies were subsequently removed to the mortuary at the Poor-law Institution, at Wareham, pending the inquest on Tuesday by the Coroner for East Dorset (Mr. R. N. Neville-Jones).

“Flying Too Low”

Coroner and Cause of Accident.

Graphic stories of the disaster were told the Coroner by witnesses and the jury, of whom Mr. S. W. Roshier was foreman, returned a verdict of “Accidental Death.”

The Coroner, reviewing the evidence, observed for some reason or other the aeroplane was flying very much too low round the Purbeck Hills, and one of the probable reasons for that was that there was a good deal of low cloud about, and the pilot, having lost sight of the ground, came down to see if he could see it again, and in doing so, unfortunately, came down too low and had the very great misfortune to strike some trees. Had he been a very few feet further up he would have missed them altogether and got out to sea quite safely.

How Men were Identified

Leading Aircraftsman Gwyn Lewis, of the R.A.F., stationed at Gosport, identified Pilot-Officer Williams (aged 21 and single) by his flying overalls, and Corporal Coles (married, aged 32) by his name on a piece of his trousers, which was not burned. Hurrell was aged 21 and single.

Squadron-Leader John Goodenough Elton, commanding the R.A.F.  training squadron at Gosport, stated Mr. Williams was a pupil on torpedo training course, and was on a cross-country training flight to Roborough, which witness had authorised. Williams had had just over 200 hours flying as a pilot, and he was considered one of the best pilots, being qualified in all respects. The two passengers were both members of the training squadron and on a pilot course.

Flying Low Regulations

Coroner: What are the regulations about flying low?

Witness: In the normal course of events a pilot is not supposed to fly lower than 1,000 feet, but he is occasionally forced lower by the weather.

The Coroner: The visibility in places was very good apparently that afternoon, but over the Purbeck Hills and the particular spot where he crashed there was fog.

Witness observed it was supposition, but he thought probably the aeroplane was flying under a cloud and keeping sight of the ground, which a pilot would often do. “They should actually keep up high and wait until they came out of it,” added witness.

The Coroner pointed out that this was the second fatality which had occurred in his district within the last few months due to almost exactly the same cause – fog and low flying, and there was an instruction the pilot should keep up.

Witness: Pilots are definitely instructed not to fly low when they get in bad weather, but remain at a safe height and turn round and trace their way back into the fair weather again. The machine was completely equipped with instruments which showed its height.

The Coroner: What it really amounts to was inexperience and he was doing what he ought not to do – a dangerous procedure? – Yes.

Witness: Oh, yes. In this particular case I instructed the pilot to return if the weather deteriorated after leaving Gosport, where it was quite fine. There were special orders about low flying.

The Coroner: Which are honoured in the breach apparently.

Eye-Witnesses’ Stories

Stories of the disaster were told by witnesses – Misses Bessie Beatrice Marsh, of Orchard Hill Farm, Kingston, Mr Ernest Albert Hixon [Hixson] of Rabling-road, Swanage, a clerk employed at the Encombe Estate Office, Kingston, and Mrs. Alice Pamela Sampson [Sansom], of Encombe.

Mrs. Marsh said her husband remarked, “He is going to hit the house,” it was flying so low – within another foot it would have touched the chimney. There was a very thick mist and she was only just able to make out the outline of the ‘plane as it passed straight over the house. A few seconds later she heard a loud crash in the direction the ‘plane had gone, followed by a loud bang or explosion. She went in a lorry with her husband and found the machine in flames. It had torn right through Polar Wood and was burning fiercely on the hill-side – the sea side of the wood – just below.

Mr. Hixon [Hixson] stated there was a very thick fog. He heard the roar of a ‘plane which seemed directly over-head and apparently travelling at a very fast speed. Next he heard a crash of splintering wood.

From her upstairs window, Mrs. Sampson [Sansom] said she saw the ‘plane fall in flames half-way down the hillside, and she observed an object – what it was she did not know – roll down the hill.

Replying to Mr. R. C. Hockey, Air Ministry Inspector of Accidents, witness said she could not quite remember but she was under the impression the aeroplane hit the hillside before bursting into flames.

P.C. Cutler produced the overcoat of an R.A.F. officer, singed but not badly burnt., which he said he found near where the ‘plane crashed. Parts of the aeroplane were scattered all over the hillside, and trees in polar Wood had had their tops cut off by the plane. Later, with the assistance of other policemen, he recovered the bodies from the wreckage.

The Coroner, on behalf of himself and the jury, expressed to the relatives of deceased, the sympathy which they all felt for them in this “most unfortunate tragedy.” – Inspector G. E. Burt, on behalf on the police, associated himself with these remarks.

Western Gazette, 25 March 1938

1936: Obituary: Funeral of Mr. Andrew Dorey

KINGSTON – FUNERAL OF MR. ANDREW DOREY – VICTIM OF GRAVEL PIT ACCIDENT

The beautiful little village of Kingston was in mourning on Tuesday  for the loss of Mr. Andrew Stephen Dorey, aged 57, who (as reported in another column) met his death in tragic circumstances on Friday, when he was killed by a fall of gravel in the course of his work on the Encombe Estate. Mr. Dorey worked from his boyhood on the Encombe Estate, and was for many years shepherd, but during recent years, since Mr. and Mrs. Dorey have been resident at Encombe House, where Mrs. Dorey is housekeeper, he has done general work on the estate. He was known and highly respected throughout the neighbourhood, and his lossis very keenly felt. He was a staunch churchman, and a chorister and bellringer for many years, also a bandsman in the Village Band. Mr. Dorey leaves his widow, one son and two daughters to mourn their loss.

The Vicar, the Rev. F. S. Horan, conducted the funeral service, during which he paid tribute to the character of Mr. Andrew Dorey who, through a life well lived, was leaving a happy memory for those who loved him. He was a friend to all, his cheery smile will always be remembered, and he leaves the village poorer for his loss.

Sir Ernest Scott was among those attending, and the large congregation included estate employees and parishioners. Mr. E. A. Hixson represnted Mr. W. E. Candy, the agent, who was prevented being present, and Mr. F. Pond represented the Swanage Town Band, deceased having been a member of the Kingston Band. Estate employees – Messrs. G. Hunt, H. Sansom, C. Brown, and C. Orchard – acted as bearers.

The chief mourners were the widow and family.

THE WREATHS

Beautiful wreaths were sent by the following: His loving and sorrowing wife; Art and Gladys (son and daughter-in-law); Irene and Percy (daughter and son-in-law); Olive (daughter); Charlotte, Mabel and Bill (sisters and brother-in-law) and Philip (nephew); Bessie (sister) and family; Jennie and Ernest (sister and brother-in-law); Walt and Gertie (brother and sister-in-law) and Marjorie (niece); Gilb and Frances (brother and sister-in-law); Alf and Rose (brother and sister-law); Fred and Iris (nephew and niece); Bob and Bet (brother and sister-in-law); Grace and Betty (nieces); Mabel, Will, Winnie and Gilbert (nieces and nephews); Jim and Kath (nephew and niece); Cecil and Ron (nephews); Lottie, Annie, Rose, Amy, George and Jennie (cousins); Ern (cousin); Aunt Fan, Bert, Fred, Win, Nancy and Len; Fred and Em; Bob; Cousin Poll (Ellen); Jim and Kate; Mr. and Mrs. Frank Hann; Mr. and Mrs. W. Barnes and family (East Holme); Mr. and Mrs. D. Barnes (Arne); Mr. and Mrs. W. Cooper; Charlie, Nellie and Ken Orchard; Percy and Ada Damer; Mrs. Robert Damer and Dawson; Jack and Elsie; Joan; Mr. and Mrs. Seymour and family; In memory of our comrade and workmate, from men of Encombe Farm and Estate; From Garden staff, Encombe; Churchwardens, sidesman, choirmen and bellringers; Mrs C. Bartlett and Mr. and Mrs. G. Bartlett; H. Sansom and family; Mrs. Joyce; The Rev. and Mrs. F. S. Horan; Charlie and Beat (Creech); Bill and Maud; Mrs. Loxton; Mr. and Mrs. P. Churchill; Mrs. Pooss (Preston).

Mrs. Dorey and family wish to thank all who gave their assistance, also for sympathy in their sad bereavement, and floral tributes sent.

September 1936

Our thanks to Carol Brown who provided this cutting