A lady whose maiden name was Miss Gomm, whose father and grandfather had worked at the brewery, told me the men were allowed to drink all they wanted at work and a gallon a day to take home. She remembered taking a stone gallon jar to the brewery each day to be filled, and said her grandmother, who had ten babies and breast fed them all, attributed this success to the excellence of the beer.
There is a clock on top of the market hall near the end of Church Lane, with one of its faces visible from the brewery. Some of the workers would slip out to see how near it was to knocking off time, so the Wellers had it blacked out.
We met a Mr. Keen whose first job as a young boy had been bottle-filling at the brewery. He remembered George, who lived at The Plantation on Amersham Common, arriving at work at 9am. sharp in a two-horse carriage with a coachman wearing a top hat with a cockade, or in bad weather in a chauffeur-driven car, a Belgian Minerva, registration number BH 5. We had never heard of such a car but soon after this saw one being driven through Gerrards Cross, a splendid looking vehicle with its horn in the form of a coiled serpent.
Mr. Keen also told us of the time the Post Office asked for all houses to be numbered. The Drakes objected to this but complied by putting the numbers on the insides of the doors! The Wellers numbered their properties independently so there was some duplication.
Mr. Dobson, whose father had been a coachman for the Wellers, and who was still living in the tiny cottage in the stable yard that had been his boyhood home, told me the family had a horse-drawn sleigh for times when there was snow on the ground.
The Plantation was built on Amersham Common. Eventually it was converted to flats and renamed Park Place, and then demolished in the 70's. Worse still, there is now a modern development of council flats there called Park Place which has a really dodgy reputation. Plantation Road still exists. We have some rose bushes from there, and my uncle rescued the stone balls form the gate posts which the developers had rolled into the pond, and they now sit atop the gateposts of Strickstenning Hall in Herefordshire. I have seen photos of the old Wellers and Fawcetts outside the Plantation.
George Weller in his younger days 'was seeing' Jessie Rosa Masterman (nee Heath), who was reputed to be a belle of her time. However, he then ran off with and married her daughter, Blanche, who was also very beautiful (I can send you a photo of her wedding portrait). Their daughter Gladys married into the Fawcetts who took over the Plantation, and further down that line I turn up - my mother was born in Amersham, so they stuck around the area! Their son Carlen Lacey Weller (Carl) was an excellent figure skater, and my mother can remember him even in his eigties out-skating everyone on Amersham Pond - he also skied into his eighties. He married Gwen Forward who became my mother's godmother. Gerard's wife you have on the tree as Ernestine - my mother knew of her as 'Timmie'.
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