WORK
On the land, in the shop & at a trade

Commenting on the village of Bracon Ash in the 1940s, Ted Moore remarks, 'Bracon Ash used to be a thriving little village with two shops, a bakery, a post office, a harness maker, a builder (Mr Duffin) and Mr Waters' lorries. Today there is the motor repair & cycle shop, the farms and no doubt a number of businesses run from peoples' homes.... But what of the more distant past?

Information from Directories

Trade Directories are a wonderful source of information about trades and tradesmen because before telephones were common they were listed by place. Hethel people are almost all farmers or agricultural workers - no shops, no workshops in the parish it seems, from census data (see LINKS). But we can build up a picture of the tradesmen (and a few women) of Bracon Ash, then visit the other pages for details of some of the shops, the saddler, the blacksmithfarms and market gardens.  

1845 - from WHITE'S DIRECTORY
Ewen Cossey, shopkeeper, Post Office 
William Crisp and William Middleton, shopkeepers
Robert Girling, butcher 
Samuel Spurgeon, bricklayer
Charles Myhill, saddler
Robert Myhill, glover       + 8 farmers, all employing workers

1854 - from WHITE'S DIRECTORY
Ewen Cossey is still shop keeper and Post Office;
Samuel Spurgeon, Charles & Robert Myhill continue at their trades, joined by:
Jeremiah Dawson, butcher 
George Lawn & William Middleton, shoemakers 

1869 POST OFFICE DIRECTORY
Church James, market gardener & farmer
Dawson, Jeremiah, butcher 
Lawn George, boot & shoe maker
Middleton William, boot & shoe maker
Myhill Frederick Charles, saddle & harness maker, farmer & collector of rates
Rice Robert, Blacksmith
Spurgeon Susanna (Mrs) postmistress & shopkeeper 

1877 HARROD'S DIRECTORY
Dawson Ann, butcher 
Lawn George, boot & shoemaker
Middleton William, boot & shoemaker
Myhill Frederick C, saddle & harness maker - and in 1883, but living in Hethel
Rice Robert, blacksmith - and in 1883
Spurgeon Mrs Elizabeth, postmistress & shopkeeper - and again in 1883
Spurgeon Robert, carpenter & builder 

By 1892 and a KELLY'S DIRECTORY
Church Joseph Watts, farmer, landowner & fruit grower, The Vineyards (and in 1904)
Funnell Robert, carpenter, builder & grocer, Post Office 
Middleton Arthur, market gardener
Middleton William, boot & shoe maker (replaced in the 1896 Directory by Shearing George)
Myhill Frederick Charles, saddle & harness maker, farmer & collector of taxes at Hethel
Rice Robert, blacksmith [still, on the border of Bracon Ash & Mulbarton] 

In the 1908 KELLY'S DIRECTORY
Eke Evret, blacksmith 
Middleton Arthur, market gardener
Morse Ernest, fruit & flower grower, The Vineyards
Myhill, Frederick William, saddle & harness maker
Stackyard William, gardener to Mr E Morse
Stubbings Charles, shopkeeper 
Watling Arthur Henry, grocer & baker 

A few new names by the 1912 KELLY'S DIRECTORY
Dunham J W, dairyman
Mallett James, carpenter
Middleton Arthur, market gardener
Morse Ernest, fruit & rose grower & horticulturalis, The Vineyards
Myhill Frederick William, saddle & harness maker
Stackyard William, gardener to Mr E Morse
Stubbings Charles, shopkeeper
Watling Arthur Henry, grocer & baker [and sub-postmaster]

And a snapshot after the Great War with the 1922 KELLY'S DIRECTORY
Hammond Harry, Farmer, thrashing machine & traction engine proprietor & agricultural engineer 
Middleton Arthur, market gardener
Morse Ernest, rose grower, the Vineyards
Stackyard William, gardener to Mr E Morse
Stubbings Charles, Shopkeeper
Waters Frederick saddle & harness maker 
Westgate Ernest, cattle dealer