Hilda Brooker’s notes in 1874 that accompanied her paintings of the village commented that: “Today it is possible to find someone who will come to your house and do your hair. Mr. Chapman worked in the fields but in the evenings he cut men's hair for 2d a time. His wife was the village midwife and helped to bring many villagers into the world. Even though she was untrained by today's standards she was good at her job.
Mrs Saunders fulfilled a very necessary role in the village - the laying out of the dead. People in those days used to make great preparation for dying. They always had a clean white shift and cap, white cotton gloves and stockings put away somewhere so they should look nice in their coffins when all the relatives, friends and neighbours came to say goodbye.
The village shop was kept by Mr & Mrs Giggle. Mr Giggle was blinded in an accident when blasting holes to find Coprolite in a field along Sandy Road called "Money looser." Although blind, he used to carry baskets of groceries round the village using a stick to find gateways. He used to say he knew where he was by the sound of his footsteps on the paths.
Dick Hull used to be a gardener at Hazell Hall and Mr Gurney was a gardener at Woodbury Hall. Mrs. Gurney, apart from bringing up a large family, did the washing for the Woodbury Hall ladies. All the water had to be drawn from a well on the green and all the white clothes boiled in a copper the opposite side of the green from the house. Besides this she cleaned the church every Friday and in the winter filled, trimmed and cleaned all the oil lamps. These were large and heavy so Mr Gurney took them down on his way to work and put them up again on his way home. There were several rows of them hanging from chains. For all this they were paid one and sixpence a week and twice a year Mrs Gurney washed, boiled, starched and ironed all the choir's robes for another one shilling and sixpence (£0.07). (Hilda Brooker p.6)
"Jim Toft" was church clerk and sexton at Everton for 50 years. He attended every christening, wedding, funeral and Sunday service at the church, always smartly dressed in a dark suit, clean white shirt, shining black shoes and bowler hat. He helped to ring the five bells, dug the graves and mowed the grass in the churchyard. He also worked in the vicarage gardens. His wife made children's' dresses so they were both very good people to have in the village.
Estate village. Most of the early cottages were estate cottages built to house the agricultural labourers of the landed gentry. They went with the job as tied cottages are today. If they for whatever reason ceased employment with the landowner they had to vacate the premises ready for the family who would take their place. It was essential that all the employees were seen in the best clothes at church on Sunday. The farm manager could have you sacked and evicted if you didn't. He lived at the Elms and it was he who decided whether you got a job or not.
The blacksmith and baker as these were very important people in the village and helped to make it a happy place in which to live. There was also the people who came knocking on our doors with things to sell, such as the oil man, umbrella man, hat man, tinker, Billy Pettingel who sold anything he could carry on his bicycle and his back, also the woman with the baskets full of pins, needles, buttons, tapes, ribbons, lace and cottons. All very welcome people to those who lived two miles from a town and had to walk there and back.
We also had a village band and a Feast Day - all great days in a quiet village.
SUB POST OFFICE Mr and Mrs John Giles next to the pub - now pulled down
Mr Giles was a churchwarden.
VILLAGE SHOP - closed in 1997 following three “ram raids“ and the lease not being renewed.
BLACKSMITH at the top of the hill opposite the entrance Manor Farm Old blowers used to keep hands warm. Mr Baker, son had a sweet shop in the shed.
(Hilda Brooker’s notes)