Mr Woodley, Beedon’s Beekeeper, would send various bee-products to customers around Britain using the railway. He would use a carrier to take goods to Newbury station. I like to think that the goods going north would use the Didcot, Newbury & Southampton line and pass Mr Dyers apiary at Crossing Cottage in Compton. Below are Mr Woodley’s words and advice on using the railways; this is from his column ‘Notes By The Way’ (NBTW) from the British Bee Journal. Read More
Mr Woodley’s bee-farming business was reliant on the railways to send swarms of bees and bee products to customers as well as to ship various products to shows for judging. No doubt,
Mr Woodley would use the railways to travel. Mr Woodley writes in ‘Notes By The Way’ of using Newbury station and I would imagine many of his goods which needed to travel north would travel via the Newbury to Didcot railway. Read More
I am currently holidaying in Scotland. For several weeks I have been on the look-out for beeboles. A beebole is an alcove or hole in a wall, where a skep or skeps could be placed; they were used to protect the skep and its bee inhabitants from the wind and rain.
Mr Woodley described Beedon (England) as having skeps within hackles as described in my previous blog. My research in Beedon has, alas, found no beeboles. Yesterday, I went to Dunfermline and visited the Abbots House and guess what, I found a beebole with skep! I must add that there were no bees in skep. Read More
Back to the annotated photograph and with particular reference to 3 and 5.
Today I discuss the barn in the photo. If we look at 3 we can see a barn and that barn formed an L-sharp with another barn to form an enclosure. See map below probably pre-1930. Read More
Each time I visited Worlds End, I badly wanted to knock on Mr Woodley’s door; I don’t know what stopped me on previous occasions but because I was armed with the 1896 photo and a copy of my extracts from ‘Notes by the Way’ I had a little more confidence.
Today I knocked on the door; the door opened but it wasn’t Mr Woodley. I showed the current owner the 1896 photo and after a fair amount of talking about Mr Woodley, the gates to the magic kingdom opened! Read More
[UPDATE 15 DEC 2014: I have done a follow-up blog about Compton Crossing which was Mr Dyer’s home to find it click here]
[UPDATE 21 DECEMBER 2014 Footage on-board the train passing Crossing Cottage can be found here]
I found the two articles below about a beekeeper called Mr Dyer. I hope this page finds its way to the historians of Compton. I would love to know where ‘Compting Crossing’ [sic] is and also what happened to Mr Dyer. Read More
I have been reviewing the notes I have been making on Mr Woodley’s column in the British Bee Journal. To date I have made notes from 1906 – 1918. Below is a selection from the pen of William Woodley which describes life at his home apiary which today is called Garden Cottage. The reference of [NBTW + date] after the quotes below refers to’ Notes By The Way’ the title of Mr Woodley’s column. Read More
[13/8/2014 – I have made a few updates since this blog was originally posted. New photographs of the entrance to Chapel Close and a little surprise at the end.]
I am very fortunately to have been given access to a set of photographs relating to Worlds End, Beedon. I extend my thanks and gratitude to Victor and Cynthia Pocock of Beedon for this.
I refer my readers back to the annotated photograph of Mr and Mrs Woodley with the numerous beehives at Garden Cottage, Worlds End (see below).
If you have been following my blog, you would have seen this photo before, however this copy is the best one I have found so far. I found it in the British Bee-Keepers Journal of January 1897 and you can find it on the internet. I recently made a visit to Worlds End and this is what I found. Read More
“In addition to the home-apiary, with its over a hundred hives, shown in the illustration, Mr. Woodley has an out-apiary of fifty to sixty hives at Stanmore, a little over two miles from his house at Beedon. This entails considerable labour during the Summer months, and the only help he gets in all the actual work at both apiaries is that of Mrs. Woodley, who may be taken an ideal bee-man’s wife. To use her husband’s own worth, “she has proved a true helpmeet in everything pertaining to the work in the apiary, either in hiving and packing swarms, folding and preparing sections for putting on the hives, cleaning and glazing sections after removal from the hives, for show or market, and thus handling in some way nearly all the output for the past fifteen years from both apiaries. The only help we have being that of an old man to watch for and hive swarms into straw skeps of the out-apiary during the swarming season.” – The British Bee Journal of January 1909
During my childhood I lived in a small village on the Berkshire downs called Beedon. As a child I used to envisage that Beedon would have been inhabited with bees and hence its name. As a child, I saw no evidence of beekeepers or beehives in my village and the village largely consisted of open fields which were occasionally traversed by tractors and combine harvesters. Then during the 1980’s, most of the hedgerows had been rooted up and many of the trees felled especially after Dutch elm disease. None of the patchwork of fields that once created the patterns and textures of the countryside remained. Read More