Old photographs: Holt

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Holt, Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire

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Beavens' factory, The Midlands, HoltJ. & T. Beavens’ leather factory (left) in the Midlands, Holt. James Beaven started a leather works in Holt in the early 18th century and the firm began making leather gloves about 1800.

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workers at J. & T. Beaven's leather factoryA group photograph of some of the workers at the J. & T. Beaven factory in Holt in the early 20th century.

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Holt Home Guard in The Courts gardenThe Holt Home Guard posed for a photograph in the gardens of The Courts. The large tulip tree in the background became a victim of a storm in January 1995.

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The Ham Tree and turnpike gate, c1880The huge elm tree stood on the village green called the Ham, with a girth of 36 feet and an estimated height of 120 feet. In 1883 a large branch fell and it was realised that the tree was diseased. The Ham Tree public house, previously the New Inn, took its name from the tree. Also in this photograph of about 1880 is part of the turnpike tollgate.

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Fall of the Ham Tree, Holt 1884The old Ham Tree fell in an enormous gale on the night of 19 December 1884. In the process it almost demolished the cottage of James Scott, tiler and plasterer; luckily for him the Duke of Beaufort’s hunt met on the green on the next day and the Duke and other worthies took up a collection. A new elm tree was planted to replace it, but this fell victim to “Dutch” elm disease and had to be felled in 1975.

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Tollgate and White Hart public house, HoltLooking from Ham Green, with its posts and chains made in Bradford by Henry Martin, towards the tollgate. The toll house is on the right and its board of charges is just about visible. On the left is the public house that was called the White Hart until recently. Beyond is the big house on the corner of Leigh Road.

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Holt tollgateThe Holt tollgate house (the nearest building of this row of houses) with a better view of its board of charges. The steep pitch of the roof suggests that it was originally covered with thatch instead of the clay and stone tiles in the photograph. The tollgate was removed after the abolition of the Bradford Roads Trust and the cost was shifted to local taxation in 1883. The group of houses was the Bell Inn and three tenements in 1841.

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The White Hart (now Toll Gate) innNext to the turnpike gate was the White Hart Inn. Since about 1980 it has been called the Tollgate Inn and the building has changed a good deal: the far part has lost its mansard roof and dormer windows, the middle part is now taller and the nearer part has been completely rebuilt in a 17th century style.

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The Three Lions public house, HoltThe Three Lions public house with a horse and cart outside -perhaps William Deverell, the publican from the 1870s until he sold it to the Wilkins Brewery of Bradford in 1896. Deverell combined running the pub with being a timber merchant and in 1884 purchased the timber of the Ham Tree at auction.

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The New Inn, HoltThe other public house in Holt, the New Inn, seen from Ham Green. It was new in 1774 and continued under that name until the beginning of the 20th century. By 1915 it had become the Old Ham Tree, named after the old elm.

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Holt Spa Great HouseThe Great House was built in the 1730s to house visitors to the Holt Spa. It later became a private school and was Beavens’ glove department from 1868. It became more and more run down and was finally demolished in 1957.

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Sawtell's bed factoryThe other old factory in the Midlands at Holt was John Sawtell & Co where Sleepline beds were made. It grew out of the business of Benjamin Sawtell, feather merchant, in about 1859.

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Holt Football Team 1918Holt Football Club was the oldest in Wiltshire to have been set up under the Football Association’s rules. It was founded in 1864. In the photograph is the team from the 1917-1918 season. Seated far right is Jim Ladd, who went on to found a large building and builders’ merchant company in Trowbridge.

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Holt Football Club 1906-7Members of Holt Football Club 1906-7, the season in which they won the Trowbridge District League.

Back row: F. Drewitt, F. Harris (committee), H. Sydee, R. Edwards (asst. sec.), S. Barton, C. Young (committee), E. Jones, Ernest Stokes. Middle row:  H. Perry, A.J. Beaven (president), D. Scrine, J. Hunt (captain), D. Drewitt, A. Cliff. Front row: E. Skinner, C. Giles, B. Nibbs (hon. sec.), H. Ryan.

 

Holt Congregational Church musical entertainmentSome of the cast of a musical entertainment at the school room of the Congregational Church, Holt. The date would be around the early years of the 20th century.

Back row from left: Grace Pullen, Len Smith, Flo Watts, Gert Ladd, Horace Stephens, Vi Edwards, Sonny Edwards. Middle: ? Aldridge, Stan Scrine, Pete Heavyside, Jim Ladd (seated), Isobel Ladd, Cyril Pretty, Stan Stillman, Joe Coles. Front: ? Aldridge, Bill Hart, ? Aldridge, Harold Harford.

 

Holt, Wiltshire history

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