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The Fulford’s Of The Cedars, 1929 — 1954

This information as been supplied by Robert F. Fulford of Dorset.

My father John H.P Fulford was born in Lambert, London in 1887 and attended Dulwich College before studying at the R. A. School of Architecture where he trained to be an architect. His father died when he was only 18 months old; therefore he was brought up by his mother. After qualifying he brought his mother to Isle of Wight each year for a holiday starting in 1909, they stayed at a guesthouse in Dudley Road, Ventnor, run by Mrs Ennor who was the widow of the late Rev.Trehane Ennor, at one time vicar of the Methodist church in Ventnor.

The Ennor family youngest daughter Kate, was a student who was studying for civil service examinations and quickly became the “apple of my father’s eye”. In 1914 they were married and moved to London as my father was in the RFC. and stationed in Whitehall, prior to being transferred to East Anglia.

In 1922 they returned to live on the island at Binfield Farm with three of their children, two more were born at the farm [including me] before we moved to the Cedars in spring 1929.

Picture of Mr. and Mrs. Fulford at the front entrance, 1945
Mr. and Mrs. Fulford
at the front entrance, 1945
Picture of Mrs. Fulford, 1943
Mrs. Fulford, 1943
Picture of Mr. Fulford and Daughter, 1954
Mr. Fulford and Daughter, 1954

The Fulford family consisted of; -

  • My father, John Harry Parker Fulford. Died in 1964 aged 77 years.
  • My mother, Beatrice Kate. Born in 1895 died in 1979 aged 84 years.
  • Emma Jane, my father’s mother, and grandma. Died 1951 aged 85 years.
  • Beatrice Emma, sister. Born Wandsworth, 1915. Died 1989 aged 73 years.
  • John Henry Charles, brother. Born Wandsworth 1918, Died 1991 aged 72 years.
  • Violet Dorothy, sister. Born Mutford, 1921.
  • Doris Kathleen, sister. Born Isle of Wight 1924.
  • Myself. Born Isle of Wight, 1928.

We then moved to the Cedars [a name derived from the cedars trees in the garden] at the junction of the High Street and Station Road in Wootton in spring 1929 the house was larger and gave more room for the family, it became our home for the next 25 years. Shortly after moving in we had a telephone installed and the number was Wootton Bridge 31.

Picture of The Cedars in 1910
The Cedars in 1910

My sisters were educated at Braunstone School, Newport, at the time Miss Parker was the principal. My brother and I, we were educated at Ryde Grammar School, Mr McIsaacs was the head master.

Now to my sisters; -

  • Beatrice Emma, joined the Civil Defence at County Hall at the outset of the war, the head of the unit was Mt Johnson who lived at Wootton lodge. In 1942 my sister received her “call up” papers and joined the Women’s Land Army, she was eventually posted to a farm in Shalfleet. It was here that she met her long time friend, Miss A. Spanner who was the daughter of Mr and Mrs Spanner, the owners of the clothing shop “Spanners of Newport”. After the war and her discharge, she worked for a time at “Bubbles” Brooke @ the ‘Candy’ shop, in St Thomas Square. She then moved to Saunders Roe in the stores and purchasing department, this company later became British Hovercraft, she retired from there in 1975 and died in 1989 aged 73.
  • Violet Dorothy, trained as a shorthand typist and worked at the West Cowes offices of the haulage company Pickfords, their offices were located by the floating bridge. In 1941 she joined the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force and was stationed at Ford in Sussex, then in RAF records at Gloucester. In 1939 she met her future husband Robert Myram [Bob] was a draughtsman at the shipbuilders John Samuel White of West Cowes. In 1940 Robert joined the RAF and trained as a fighter pilot in South Africa, on his return to England he was posted to a Spitfire squadron. Later around 1943 he was transferred to the Fleet Air Arm being stationed at HMS. Dipper and piloting Sea Fires, this plane is on display at RNAS. Museum, Yeovilton. The couple were married at St Edmunds in 1944. After the war they ran the Victoria Tavern in East Cowes when Bob’s parents retired, before moving to the mainland. Bob died in Somerset in 2002 and Vi., still lives there.
  • Doris Kathleen, went straight into Women’s Land Army on leaving school, and became part of a mobile team under the auspices of the Isle of Wight WAC. She was a member of Dr. Kennedy’s dance troupe and concert party; this small group was the start of the Wootton amateur society. The group provided entertainment at service camps in the area and this included the Spithead Fort in the Solent. After the war, she was employed as a “nannie to a family in Kensington, London, returning to the island in 1950. She then became a nurse training at Ryde hospital, on qualifying she moved to Odstock hospital in Salisbury, which specialised in burns. While still in Salisbury she met and married John Melville in 1959. Returning to the island she became the matron at an old persons home in Shanklin. Her eldest son John, regretfully died we he was only 13 years old, Geoffrey her younger son lives and works on the island. Her husband died in 1990 but Doris still lives on the island.
  • Now my brother, John Henry Charles, on leaving Ryde Grammar School, he became an articled pupil to Mr. Holness, the then Ryde Borough Surveyor; until he was called up for the army. Prior to joining the army in 1940 he married Peggy Burgess. He joined the Royal Artillery - 4th Durham Service Regiment and saw service in France being evacuated from Dunkirk; he then joined the 8th army and fought in the western desert. He was then part of the forces that invaded Italy, and fought up to Monte Casino, was then was posted back to the UK in readiness for the “D” landing in France. He was part of the force that crossed the Rhine into Germany, and was in one of the units involved in opening up concentration camps such as Belson. On his discharge from the army his health deteriorated after a time, one assumes due to what he had gone though, and seen, the result of this was he spent most of his last 25 years in hospital until his death in 1991. His family still live on the island.
  • Robert Francis, me, on leaving school I worked in the architect’s department of the London County Council [L.C.C.], prior the joining the army. I also joined the Royal Artillery 52nd Observation Regiment and saw service in Palestine, the Canal Zone and North Africa. On demob from the army I rejoined the London County Council and studied Town and County Planning and architecture and worked on the County of London Plan 1951. In 1949 I met my future wife Gladys, a qualified “nannie” who was working in Kensington for the then Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire grandchildren. We married in 1951 and remained so for 60 years until her death in 2008.

On leaving the L.C.C., in a career that span 40 years I worked for many companies in England and Iraq. In the UK. These included “High rise projects in Portsmouth, London, Liverpool and Birmingham. My last working years were here on the island with Howard Lobb and Gilbert and Hobson, Architects of Cowes and Ventnor.

We have two sons Robert, who lives in Suffolk, who in turn has two sons, and David who lives on the Island.

Footnote;- My father designed the alteration to the Wootton First World War memorial; this was originally sited backing onto church the wall at the entrance to St. Edmunds Church. He was commissioned by The Rev Genower and the Ecclesiatical Board and I believe the work was carried out by Ellerys the stonemasons and funeral directors of Ryde. The memorial had to be resited to allow the Second World War names to be added on the reverse face. The memorial was moved to its current position in the upper churchyard and mounted on a plinth of island stone.

This page was last edited on: 26th January, 2022 17:50:29

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