The 1900s

As the twentieth century dawned Lucy Grooby lived in Berry Cottage. Queen Victoria was on the throne and Britain was at the height of its success. We don’t know what happened to John Grooby. Presumably he had died by the turn of the century.

The cottage probably didn't have a name at that time - names are quite a modern feature and even as late as the 1990s two homes in Ashton still had no names. They were listed on the Post Office website as "Dunford, Ashton" (now Primrose Cottage) and "Wilkinson, Ashton" (now First House).

So we don't know who named the cottage Berry Cottage but it will have been one of the owners in the 20th Century and we know who they all are.

  • In 1923, Lucy Grooby sold the cottage to Herbert George Sculfer
  • In 1926, Grace Susannah Grossmith bought it.
  • In 1940, Rose Alice Gibson inherited it from Grace Grossmith.
  • In 1949, Mrs Emily Hales bought the cottage and lived in it with her husband, George Hales, and his daughter by a previous marriage, Jean.
  • In 1958, Mrs Norah Gertrude Jones bought it.
  • In 1965, Norman and Virginia Britton bought the cottage.
  • Then, in 1967, Ian Norman Collins bought it and did a major renovation. He added a swimming pool and had wild parties which were still remembered by local residents when we moved in in 1987.
  • In 1971, Thomas and Carlota Brewer, Americans based in the UK at the time, bought Berry Cottage. Carlota is still in touch and now lives back home in America.
  • In 1973, Miss Michelle Frankel bought the cottage but does not seem to have lived it at all. She let it to students who seem not to have looked after it. By the time she sold it, the swimming pool was empty and the pump, etc., didn't work.
  • In 1976, Edith Annie Smith, joint owner of Grossmiths Farm next door, bought the cottage and lived in it until her death in November 1985. She had the downstairs floors dug out and concreted and filled in the swimming pool with the dug out soil plus paint cans etc. We know this because we painstakingly dug them all out!
  • In 1986, Brian and Hilary Smith (that’s us) bought the Berry Cottage from the deceased's estate. John Smith, who farmed Grossmiths Farm next door was executor for Edith Annie Smith (Aunt Edie).
© Brian Smith 2015