This article is based on material sent by Dr Jimmy Whittaker, Jan 2018).
- Bill Barnes cutting weed, 1960 (sent by Dr Jimmy Whittaker, Jan 2018).
- Bill and Gert Barnes's headstone, St Saviour's churchyard, 2017.
- Bob and Mary Norris's headstone, St Saviour's churchyard, 2017.
"Bill" Barnes was born in Shalbourne on 25 Nov 1901, the son of William S Barnes and Sarah E Barnes.
Despite the fact that Bill Barnes was born Stephen William Barnes, Hungerford people still called him Bill after his father William (Bill). Further confusion arises as on his marriage and death registrations he was recorded as William Stephen Barnes. These Christian name changes are even carried to his grave stone found in St.Saviour’s churchyard. Bill’s wife also kept up this tradition and although her birth christian names were Elizabeth Gertrude for most of her life she was called Gertrude (Gert).
In 1923 he was living in Atherton Crescent and was working as a gardener at Standen Manor. In 1924 he married Elizabeth Gertrude Mundy who lived in one of the three thatched cottages in Priory Road. Bill was a keen gardener. Perhaps had one of the allotments surrounding Priory Road, and may have met Gert there?
After their marriage in 1924, they lived in a cottage on the Standen Manor estate for 14 years until 1938 when they moved to the Binfied Manor. Binfield Manor was built in 1754 by Sir William Pitt. It is currently (2018) owned by the Sultan of Brunei.
Their daughter Mary Gertrude was born a year later in 1925.
Bill Barnes was called up at the start of WW2 and instead of being a groundsman at an aerodrome, as the recruiting officer suggested, he argued his case that he would be better serving his country working on the land. So during the war Bill was assigned farm work,
After the war, Bill and his wife moved back to Hungerford and in 1948 purchased 2 Charnham Street. His occupation was a boot and shoe repairer.
Bill took an active part in Hungerford, He was a trombone player in the Hungerford Town band, a part-time fireman, secretary of the Hungerford Canal Angling Association for many years and a water keeper and bailiff for the Town and Manor of Hungerford. Bill used a novel method for controlling predatory pike in his stretch of the River Kennet, he’d shoot them with his Royal Enfield 303!
Bill Barnes died on 19 Nov 1983 and when his wife died ten years later on 4 Feb 1993, the property was inherited by their daughter Mary, who had married Robert (Bob) Norris.