The Publican Who Built The Village Hall
John George Lidwell and his sons have left their indelible mark on the village of Swannington by building the Miners’ Welfare Institute (now the village hall) and various houses. Records are incomplete and if anyone can share which houses were built by them it would be very helpful.
The Bricklayer Opposite The Fountain Inn
John George Lidwell married Clara Elizabeth Fewkes at St George’s church on the 24th November 1900. They settled into one of the houses opposite the Fountain Inn. While living there he would have seen how handy it was for the Robinsons at the Fountain Inn to have plenty of storage space for their building business.
They were still opposite the Fountain Inn at the time of the 1911 census and had a five year old daughter Ursula and a two year old son George.
Rented House Sold
The Coalville Times of the 7th and 14th April contained the following advertisment:
SWANNINGTON. LEICESTERSHIRE – FREEHOLD COTTAGES AND BUILDING LAND – MOORE & MILLER
have received instructions from the Excrs. of the will of Mr. Daniel Fewekes, deceased to Sell by Auction at the ROBIN HOOD HOTEL, SWANNINGTON on THURSDAY, APRIL 20th, 1911, at 6 for 7 o’clock in the evening prompt, and subject to Conditions of Sale to be then produced:
Lot 1. – THREE well-built brick and slated 4-room MESSUAGES or Dwelling-Houses with the Outbuildings’, Pigstyes and Large. productive Gardens at the rear thereof, in the occupation of Messrs G. Lidwell, T. Haywood, and T. Wright, at the weekly rentals of 3s. respectively.
The property is well situated on the East side of Main Street, Swannington, to which it has a frontage of 33 feet. and adjoins property belonging to Lady Beaumont and Mr. Chas. Atkins, respsectively. The total area is 898 square yards or thereabouts, and there is a good supply of both Hard and Soft Water.
This could well have spurred John George into taking on the Robin Hood, as the landlord was leaving.
Landlord at the Robin Hood
The 11th May 1911 Melton Mowbray Mercury and Oakham and Uppingham News, plus the 12th May 1911 Coalville Times both reported on the Ashby Petty Sessions:
- The licence of the Engine Inn at Peggs Green was transferred to Stephen William Blythe (the landlord of the Robin Hood at the 1911 census).
- The licence of the Robin Hood Transferred To John George Lidwell.
John George’s tenure at the Robin Hood is confirmed by several electoral rolls and Kelly’s directories between 1912 and 1926. The 1927 electoral roll records John and Eliza Wilkins at the Robin Hood.
From 1927 John George Lidwell and his wife Clara Elizabeth are listed under a Brook Terrace address. They are still there in 1939, John George being a building contractor.
The Leicester Evening Mail reported
- 17th March 1925 – a proposal by John George to build 25 houses on Spring Lane.
- 4th October 1933 – on a new building estate being opened by John George at Hoo Ash.
It would be very helpful if anyone could identify these properties.
Swannington Miners’ Welfare Institute (now Village Hall)
John built the Miners’ Welfare Institute in the early 1930s.
Ursula Eliza Lidwell 1905-1922
Ursula Eliza was just 16 years old when she was buried at St George’s churchyard on the 28th February 1922.
John George Lidwell 1909-1961
Builder John George junior married Florence Charlotte Beniston at Whitwick on the 15th April 1933.
At the 1939 register John George was described as a builder’s foreman. John George and Florence Charlotte were living at Deepdale, Clink Lane with their children George Terrance and Joan. John George was also an A.R.P. Warden.
Henry Wright Lidwell 1911-1985
Joiner Henry Wright Lidwell was still living with his parents at Brook House, near the Robin Hood, on the 4th April 1934 when he married Marjorie Margaret Godfrey, the daughter of Bert Godfrey the Inn Keeper at the Station Inn, at St George’s church.
At the 1939 register Henry Wright was described as a building contractor. Henry Wright and Marjorie Margaret were living at Roseleigh, Station Hill, next door to his brother.
Herbert Lidwell 1913-1999
Bricklayer Herbert Lidwell married Vera Gertrude Flower at Hugglescote on the 14th April 1936.
At the 1939 register Herbert was described as a building contractor. Herbert and Vera were living at Beverley House, Station Hill, next door to his brother.