Compiled by Chris Humby (2022)
This picture is allegedly members of Bishopstoke Carnival Committee taken in 1904
Maypole dancing by Bishopstoke Girls in 1906
More Maypole dancing, year unknown.
Another picture of Maypole dancing, believed to have been taken in Bishopstoke.
The caption on this picture reads “Tea Party. Children’s Carnival at Bishopstoke, October 3rd, 1906.” This picture was taken at Copse House, next to Stoke Lodge. The house is not well known as it lays well back, and is not visible from Church Road, but in the 1960s my good friend Kevin lived here, and I was a frequent visitor. The roofline of Stoke Lodge can be seen in the background.
Donkey carts would appear to have been popular in the early 1900s. Perhaps this is the same cart from the previous picture. This card is from my family collection.
A good turnout in 1907, but is this gathering in the old Rectory Orchard, or Stagg’s Field? This card was sent to Alice Apps, at Shanklin, Isle of Wight, in September 1907. The message said: “Just to let you know we had a prize, and we had a lovely time. Glad to hear you was all right, and sorry to say Mary is not well. I will write to you in a day or two. With love from all at home from me and father.”
The caption on the back of both these cards reads: “Fancy Fete at Bishopstoke, July 1909.
This delightful picture was taken outside J.J. Boyt’s butchers’ shop at No 3, Riverside, in 1909. This shop remained as a butchers for over 100 years, L.J. Smith being the last proprietor.
Members of the Roger’s family collecting for Bishopstoke Hospital Carnival Fund in Leigh Road, Eastleigh, during 1909. In the early 1900s, Bishopstoke Carnival funds were raised to support local hospitals, prior to the introduction of the National Health Service in 1948.
More charity collectors for Bishopstoke Hospital Fund. This picture is believed to have been taken in Bishopstoke, but location and family are unknown.
Bishopstoke Carnival at Riverside.
This particular postcard is from my family collection, which shows boats on the river, was sent by my uncle to his mother in August,1913 from one of the early Scout Camps at Lee on Solent. This picture had probably been taken a few years earlier. The card, addressed to his mother in Spring Lane reads: “Dear Mother. I arrived here safe. We have been very busy this morning putting up tents and different things. We had a lot of rain when we got to camp, afterwards it has been raining at intervals. My address is 1st Bishopstoke Scout Troop, Lee on Solent.”
Quite a turnout at Riverside, however, it is probable that this gathering was for a Band of Hope event being held at The Mount, Bishopstoke, rather than the carnival.
This picture taken in July 1908, shows members of the Bishopstoke Band of Hope parading past the entrance to the Carriage Works in Bishopstoke Road. At the centre of the Temperance movement was the Band of Hope Union which had been founded in 1847. In many parts of the country, the conditions for children were wretched and alcohol misuse was often implicated. The Band of Hope was adopted nationally by Christians of all faiths. In 1897, Queen Victoria, in her jubilee year became patron.
Thomas Cotton who lived at The Mount was a fervent supporter of the Band of Hope Union and frequently hosted events in the grounds of his estate to support their cause. He is pictured in his motor car with his wife, daughter and Marriner the chauffer.
Thomas Cotton and family in his car, decorated for a fete in 1912.
Thomas Cotton and family leading a Band of Hope parade at Riverside. The road in those days ran between the mound and the river, and this picture was taken on what nowadays is referred to as “Bishopstoke Beach.”
Band of Hope fetes centred on tea, cake, and games for children as well as religious instruction, and raising funds. The box cart in the background belonged to Palmer’s Bakery in Spring Lane, who were probably contracted to provide refreshments.
More events at The Mount, hosted by Thomas Cotton and his wife Charlotte, on behalf of The Independent Order of Rechabites, which was affiliated with the Band of Hope Union, and other members of the temperance league.
As was the social convention at the time, boys’ and girls’ activities were segregated.
Whatever the occasion, large crowds of villagers gathered at Riverside to take part in the festivities.
When these pictures were taken, Bishopstoke as a community had expanded due to the arrival of workers employed by the Carriage Works, but was still relatively small, with many families accommodated in new Victorian terrace housing. From the number of people in these pictures, most of the residents must have attended.
This picture, taken at the junction of Riverside and Church Road shows people enthusiastically clambering up an earth bank to gain access to festivities in the recreation ground. All controlled by a single policeman stood by the opening in the fence.
This picture, taken in the recreation ground is probably members of the cast of a play by Reverend Sidney Sedgwick, Rector of Bishopstoke. The picture shows the old rectory, in the background. This land had once been the rectory orchard and fruit trees can still be seen in the background when this picture was taken. The recreation ground was renamed glebe meadow sometime in the 1970s.
Everybody in this picture seems to be straining to see what is happening out of the picture to the left.
This picture, and the next two pictures may well have been taken at the same fair, judging by the positioning of the roundabout and swing boat rides, and were probably taken in the recreation ground.
Spring Lane at the junction with Hamilton Road bedecked with flags. The corner shop is still there, but all the cottages pictured have been demolished.
Dressed for the carnival in Spring Lane outside of the new post office. Beyond the post office is the “Tin Chapel”. Spring Lane was a dry dirt track when this picture was taken during the summer.
Villagers congregate at the junction of Spring Lane and Riverside during a carnival. Date unknown.
This parade in Church Road, during July 1907 was held to raise funds for the London & South Western Railway Servant’s Orphanage at Wokingham. A charity well supported in the village with so many men being employed by the railway. Most railwaymen regularly donated 1p per week from their wages to support this cause.
The picture of this parade also captures the image of Church Road in 1907. The sign post, on the right, clearly states Stoke Park Road, yet there is only one house on the corner. No other houses have been built between Stoke Park Road and St. Mary’s church. These pictures of the parade show St. Mary’s church before the bell tower was built, and are the only pictures, that we know of, which show what the front of the church looked like before the bell tower was constructed in 1909.
Marching bands were always popular. This band, possibly the Boy’s Brigade, are marching down Church Road, passing the old Rectory. The house in the background, which stood opposite Spring Lane is Asfordbye.
Stoke Common was once a separate community within Bishopstoke. In this picture the Stoke Common Bible Christian Band of Hope are holding a parade. The people would have been members of the congregation at the “Garden Chapel” in Stoke Common Road.
This is probably a picture of children that attended St Mary’s Sunday School, parading with their banner. This picture was taken in St Mary’s Road, although it looks as if the houses had been built on only one side of the road only when it was taken.
Another picture of a parade by members of Bishopstoke St Mary’s Sunday School, this time about to enter St Mary’s Church, in Church Road, opposite the gates to Bishopstoke School.
These pictures reflect a time when Bishopstoke was a village, far smaller than it is today. In those days people had to work together, support each other, rely on each other, and events like those shown in these pictures were moments when villagers came together to celebrate.