The Trick family in Brixworth - 1872 to 1961
Clementina Trick arrived in Brixworth sometime between May 1872 when her illegitimate son Arthur Edward Cotton Trick was born in Marylebone, London and Sept 1873 when she married George Adams. There are two conflicting references to her in the 1871 census, one at a girls’ school, Grove End Rd, Marylebone and another with her mother, brother and sisters in Tower Hamlets aged 18. George Adams was living at The Crown Inn on Church Street, Brixworth as “son” and “groom” aged 21 in this same census.
Clementina had 3 more children in the 1870’s, Georgiana in 1873, John in 1876, and Martha in 1879. In the 1881 census they were living at Berry Bank Cottage (which I believe was somewhere between Church Street and Silver Street) where George is a higler. At this same census George’s parents had moved to a farm of 31 acres on Northampton road. By the 1891 census George Adams and family had moved to Holcot Rd (believed to be the house in the picture on page 61 of A Pictorial History of Brixworth) and he is described as a carter while his stepson Arthur Trick aged 19 is described as carter (assistant).
In 1901 they are still at the same address but now referred to as Farmer and farmer’s son. In 1907 Arthur Edward Trick married Clara Ball in Longsight, Manchester. Clara Ball although born in Bedford was a nurse at Manchester Royal Infirmary at the time and was married from the home of her brother Frederick. It was said that Arthur and Clara met when she went to Brixworth as a temporary district nurse (the previous nurse had been sacked because she dropped a baby into hot water and scalded it!)
By the time of the 1911 census George Adams had died and Clementina had move to Hastings with her unmarried daughter Martha. Arthur Edward Trick was still living at Holcot Rd with wife Clara and 3 year old Arthur Frederick (my father) and listed as general carter. He is listed in Kelly’s Directory in 1920 as a carter and in the 1940 edition as farmer.
My father Arthur Frederick ( Eric) travelled to Northampton Grammar School on the train from Brixworth station, he then left school to work on the farm with his father also driving a lorry still acting as carters. I believe he spent some time moving horses to the various hunt venues for the Pytcheley hunt as well as lots of fodder; he also carried stone to the workhouse. All his life my father would never eat Weetabix because he said they ill-treated their horses at the Burton Latimer factory so I presume he carried grain there too. In his teens he rode a motorbike and later had a Morgan car.
Hearsay from my mother says the farm on the corner of Holcot rd was condemned because of the bad water in the well, but I have read that it was because of road widening and the building of the Co-op. The family moved to The Old Farm on Northampton Rd next to Pytcheley Hunt cottages with one field behind the farm yard which stretched up to Holcot Road.
In 1934 Arthur Frederick married Elsie Jowers, the eldest daughter of Sergeant Elijah Edward Jowers, the village policeman and they lived at the end Pytchely cottage (behind the little tree in the picture on page 17, Pictorial history of Brixworth) now demolished and a garage for the adjoining cottage. I remember we shared a yard and garden with the huntsman next door. Five children were born there, David in 1934, Mary in 1936, Robert in 1938 (died in infancy) Joan in 1941 (me) and Alan in1944. I believe I was actually born at Haddon Hall, East Haddon which was being used as a nursing home for expectant mothers from London during the war.
Grandfather, Arthur Edward Trick died on Dec 29th 1944 at The Old farm and soon afterwards his sister-in-law Fanny Ball who lived with them also died.
(Fanny Ball, born Bedford, brought up in Hyde; Cheshire trained as a dressmaker, came to Brixworth and had a milliner/haberdashery shop on Northampton Rd somewhere near Bates the butchers)
In the early days the Tricks seemed to have fields dotted all around the village and milked cows and reared calves in the farmyard but later dad farmed a block of land up Holcot Rd just beyond the four corners junction (it might have been behind East Lodge). He cycled up there twice a day and kept bullocks and sheep and a horse and cart.
Granny (Clara Trick) moved from the Old Farm to a 3 storey house opposite the Co-op and next door to the Post Office. It was a very run down property with no water or electricity, one room at the front had a shop window and was rented out for a while to a cobbler/shoe mender. A man came from Northampton in the evenings to mend shoes and seemed quite busy; ironically electricity was laid on for him to work his machines but not to the rest of the house. There was a small backyard and drinking water was obtained by going through two other back yards to a tap in the third. When those three houses became empty granny had to carry water from a tap in the yard of The George. Sadly granny fell and broke her hip in 1961 and after a brief stay in hospital she died at Pitsford nursing home. Thus this was the end of the four generations and 90 years of the Trick’s in Brixworth.
As well as happy memories of our early upbringing in Brixworth my brother and I went to stay with granny for our holidays in the 1950’s. We knew all the streets, caught sticklebacks in the stream at the bottom of Pond close, sneaked into the Hall grounds over the wall opposite The Red Lion and found large fresh water mussel shells alongside the lake.
I remember the iron workings (or navvy banks as we called them), we gathered loads of blackberries on the ones up the Harborough Rd and remember hearing the eerie sound of the buckets on the overhead gantries. When the workings moved further up Holcot road we used to watch the little trains of loaded trucks going through my dad’s fields and also the huge excavators in the big holes in the ground. It was quite a shock to return in the 1980’s and find no trace of all the old workings (even the “black sausage – a water tank? on the Holcot road had gone).
My brother and I spent many hours playing near The Coach and Horses in Tantree lane: there were sheds there with lots of agricultural machinery and big four wheeled wagons, it was possible to walk right through to Holcot road in those days. My mother was very surprised to see a picture of us playing there in a shop window just around the corner from the Red Lion; I think it was a chemist’s shop. Next door was a grocery store that sold sweets and when ice-creams first became available after the war we qued up for very thin wafers.
I started school in the brick building at the bottom of the church lane and sat at the back in a very long desk and wrote on a slate, later I moved to the very bottom of the stone building across the yard (now the Brixworth centre, I think my teacher was then the famous Mrs Moody, I believe my sister had moved up the classrooms to the very top one as she became older, my older brother David was ill at the time and was in the hospital at Creaton.
My father was in the Observer Corps during the war and my brother said when he took him some food one night, he told “Go home and tell your mother to take the children down the cellar, there’s a big raid on “.
I remember walking in the May Day parade and sitting in a group on the bank outside The Hall, my sister Mary carried the banner that year.
After we moved away to Daventry in 1949 and then Wales in 1950, my granny walked up the Holcot road everyday with milk in a medicine bottle to feed the cats left at the farm and we went too, when we were on holiday with her, also further on to Sid Smith’s farm (now right down by the reservoir) for a visit.
All in all I have very happy memories of my childhood in Brixworth it is hardly recognisable now (whatever happened to “the four corners). It is amazing how much freedom we had wandering around the village and never felt in any danger, we must have been only aged 7 or less. I walked to school on my own and regularly went down to the Crown pub backdoor with a 2/- piece to buy Bruno tobacco for my dad and also going up to my other granny’s at 2 lesson Rd calling on the way at May’s sweet shop.