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Elford

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Elford Local History

We are trying to get people interested in the local history of the village if you can help with this venture or have any information that might be of interest please use the links below to contact Richard or Ron.
Richard has spent some time at the library and has found a book that details documents relating to the estate from 1100 to 1920 when it is all sorted out we will get it put on this site.
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We have kindly been given permission by Sian Roberts of Birmingham Archives to use the following photogaphs on this web site.
THE GRANT FROM LADY LEOUCCA OF ELFORD
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TO THE MONKS OF MERRIVALE
The photograph above is of the grant of the mill and land to the monks of Merrivale Warwickshire circa 1140 by the Mistress of Elford the Lady Leoucca.
The photograph below is a blow up of the seal it maybe the earliest image of an Elford resident
THIS IS THE SEAL OF LADY LEOUCCA MISTRESS
leouca005.jpg
OF ELFORD
The text below is taken from a book on the Elford family by Laura Elford kindly supplied by Dan Elford.
 
                                1002 - 1304.

The earliest date I have been able to obtain is in a 1002
charter.

 There is a small village between Tamworth and Lichfield called Elford. 

 After some correspondence with the late and present Rectors, I was invited to stay with a Mrs. Hodgetts,  who is the last of the Lords of Elford whose history is recorded and housed at the British Museum.

  Her grandfather who was Rector of Elford, attempted a booklet on the history of the church and Manor,and it was from this I obtained the earliest history.

 

"Within fifty years after the Conquest there was a Hugo de Elleforda, (that is about 1116) and from the family of the de Elleford, the manor seems to have passed  by marriage  to the Ardernes, somewhere about the year 1250.

 

Now, since on the evidence of Doomsday Book, there was no church at Elford, up to the year of the Conqueror's death (1087)and that style of architecture which is called "Norman", only continued in use for a hundred years afterwards, a de Elleford was probably the founder of the first church, and we may fix the period of its construction between the years 1086 and 1168 and I think the earlier is more likely than the latter period, when the simplicity of the first Norman style was lost and was passing into that transitional state which led to the adoption of the "first Pointed" or Early polish style.

 

In the church is a Chantry Chapel with the tombs of the Lords of Elford, the earliest being John Ardenne and his wife John was Physician to the Black Prince and as you will see later, was probaly still related to the Elfords.

 

 Around the top of the walls are the coats of arms of the head of the family of the Lords of Elford and number 8 shows Elford crossed with Ardennes, indicating the marriage into that family at one time.

 

The manor was on the pilgrims route to Lichfieldand the local legend is that the name Elford arose from the ford across the Tame, and the fact of the quantities of eels to be found there, but the Oxford Dictionary of Place names gives "Ella'sford’. Or O.E. ellern ford "elder's ford'', from a charter dated 1002.

 

At Elford Park Farm the remains of the moat around the original "stockade" may be seen* The only part of the moat still full of water is now the farm pond, but the extent of the area thus fortified may still be traced as a low circular area through the farmyard.

 

Strangely enough, the people of Elford village, although
justly proud of it, had no idea that the surname Elford was still in existence.

World War 2 Evacuation
Mrs Marjorie Dare
marjorie.jpg
on her visit to Elford

A few days ago I received an e-mail from Elaine Leonard about her mother Marjorie Dare (nee Smith) who was evacuated to the village in 1940 from Margate in Kent asking for information which I sent her and asked if her mother would write a few words about her time in the village and below is her kind reply.

 

EVACUATION TO ELFORD

 

It was early June 1940, I was ten years old and waiting on Margate station with my friends from Draper Mills school. Other trains were coming in bringing soldiers rescued from Dunkirk-someone on our train found a servicemans abandoned hat. I was lucky-my mum was coming with us on the special train to Lichfield, she had made us kit bags so we could carry our belongings on our backs. I remember we all had our gas masks.

Following our arrival in Lichfield our class travelled on to Elford where we assembled in the school. Here the villagers came and choose their evacuees. Mum and I were chosen by nurse Statham the local district nurse. I can remember her going on her rounds on her motorbike. After a few months, Mum went to join Dad in rented rooms in Burton where he had found a job; I moved to be with the Moores in The Beck. Mr Moore worked on one of the local farms. My lasting impression of their house were the many, many pairs of Staffordshire pot dogs- in fact years later my husband bought my a pair of my own as I had been so taken with them.

I recall a big house down the road I think the family were called Jebens-my friends Jean Crammond and Joyce Nethersole stayed with them and were treated v.well. Norma and Mavis Adkins stayed with the Pickering family. Other classmates included Evelyn Huxtable (and her two younger brothers) and Cyril Andrews-Cyril went back to Elford some years ago and told me it had not changed.

In the summer of 1940 I remember playing in a field in front of the church where swings and a slide had been erected. On another occasion we were playing on the outskirts of the village; the combine harvester was working its way around the outside of the field towards the centre, all the rabbits edged further and further towards the middle. Eventually, they had to make a run for it: thats when we dived to catch them. We had no luck until one of the Huxtable boys suddenly stood in the middle of the field holding up a rabbit shouting Look what Ive got! Another novel experience for us evacuees was walking to the farm with a can to get some milk straight from the cows.

After the summer holidays I left Elford primary school and went on the school bus to a secondary school in Tamworth. I have to say I did not enjoy it there and at around Christmas time left the village to be with my parents in Burton. By 1944 the urge to return to Margate had become too great so back we went.

Can any villagers remember the evacuees coming from Margate? Perhaps someone has an old school photo from 1940. It has been a long term ambition of mine to return to Elford, visit the school and find where I was billeted. Looking at the photos and maps on your wonderful website has brought lots of memories flooding back and I am looking forward to visiting later in the year.

Mrs. Marjorie Dare (nee Smith).

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The photographs below this text were taken we believe in or around 1910 and it seems that it was to do with the Elford Friendly Society,if you look at the picture of the men you will see the fence down the middle of the playground to keep the boys and girls seperated.
THE ELFORD FRIENDLY SOCIETY AT ELFORD SCHOOL
the howard school 1910-
AROUND 1910
ELFORD FRIENDLY SOCIETY AT ELFORD SCHOOL
the howard school 1910-1920
AROUND 1910
Below are the certificate to the winner of the Elford Womens Institute best baby competition 1917 also the clinic card for the same baby
BEST BABY 1917
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RECORD CARD 1917
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THE TWO PICTURES BELOW DATE FROM AROUND THE 1790s THE MAP IS DATED 1936

SKETCH OF ELFORD AROUND 1790
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AS SEEN FROM ELFORD LOW

LICHFIELD CATHEDRAL AS SEEN FROM THE GORE
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LOOKING OVER MILL HOUSE

The map below shows that the area now called Victoria Park is actually the old village ash & rubbish dump

1936 PLAN OF THE VILLAGE
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ELFORD FIRE SERVICE
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THE VILLAGE FIRE PUMP