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In modern times the Souths originated from Barley, a village near Royston, Hertfordshire, and the surrounding area. Update No.10 reported that the historian, Tom Doig, has traced the line to the sixteenth century. Christopher South has kindly donated a copy of "Two Ears of Barley" - "Chronicle of an English Village" - a book by Jack Wilkerson that was published in 1969 but is out of print at the present time. There is only one reference to a South (page 85):

"Opposite the church is the Town House built about 1530........the rooms underneath were last occupied about 1870 by Sam South, Elizabeth Chapman and Polly Dellow - they were moved out as they were apt to set themselves or the building on fire."

The author also records the memories of Charlie Slater, born 1868, who recalled the stories told by an older resident, John Clark:

"In his [John Clark] young days his master let him have several weeks off in the summer and he and some more men would take their scythes and go 'uppers' or up the road, to cut hay for the cow keepers at Wood Green and 'Sowgit' (Southgate)........'We were not far from London'..........."

After Samuel(1) moved his Pottery business to White Hart Lane on the Tottenham/Wood Green borders in 1886, hay fields were rented in order to provide fodder for the horses used to cart the pots and cows were also kept. Jim South has supplied information about the  intinerant gangs engaged at haymaking. A price was agreed with the "Captain" (foreman). The teams of men would advance across the field in formation, cutting the hay with their scythes. They would lunch on beer and potatoes in the field.

There is no evidence that men from Barley were ever engaged to cut the hay for the Potteries but, nonetheless, a romantic thought. 


Anne King was the mother-in-law of Samuel(2). In her later years, a widow, she lived in Bridport Road, Edmonton, and Gladys recalls visiting her grandmother and sleeping in her mohagany four poster bed with boiled sweets hidden in pockets on the bed curtains.

When Samuel(2) and his family moved from Snells Park to River House in Devonshire Hill Lane in 1917, Anne came to stay with them and slept in a room in the old wing of the house. She died on 20 December 1920.

The photograph is from an album compiled by Hilda.

"Granny [Anne King], Ted, Joyce 1918"


The above photograph was taken at the rear of River House and includes Edwin ("Ted") and Joyce, the youngest of the eight children of Samuel(2). Joyce has recalled the the following memories of Christmas:

"At Christmas father used to go to Covent Garden and come back with boxes of apples and oranges, sometimes pineapple and, best of all, grapes. Then he went to the country for turkeys which seemed to be all over the house. Poor mother, they were not gutted. One was put in the cellar for the New Year. "

Mother also made Christmas puddings with silver threepenny pieces inside. She made one for each of our birthdays. I can remember helping her to mix the puddings in the old house. They were mixed in a large crock and must have been cooked in the wood fired copper. In the new kitchen they were cooked in the same way but boiled in a copper in the corner. The copper was next to a stove which gave us such a treat, hot water. The puddings, once boiled, were put on a shelf in the kitchen. All nice and tidy with calico ties and bows. I never did like Christmas pudding all that much - but tradition was tradition."

The first kitchen mentioned was in the old wing of the house which had a large iron range and a brick bread oven in the wall which projected outside. When the wing was demolished in the late 1920's the roof beams were found to be split tree trunks with the bark still on. The "new" kitchen was in the extension built at the same time onto the opposite elevation of River House.


In response to the request in Update No 15 for information about the Armstrong Siddeley owned by Samuel(2), Graham South has recalled that the registration no. was EMF 420.

The following review appeared in "The Autocar" 22 June 1934  

Armstrong Siddeley (Charles Tompkins at the wheel)

Moderately Priced Limousine

On the Long 20 h.p. Armstrong Siddeley Chassis

On the long wheelbase 20 h.p. Armstrong Siddeley chassis, which is 10ft. 11 ½ in. against 10 ft. 2 ½ in. for the normal chassis, there is now available an improved style of the of the enclosed limousine chauffeur-driven style of body for which the long body is intended. This is a remarkably good production, for not only is it very roomy indeed in the all important rear compartment without the car being of unwieldy bulk, but also the detail work is extremely well done.

The upholstery of the rear compartment of an example which was inspected was done in a very pleasing brown cloth with a wide folding centre arm-rest. There is all the leg and head room that can be desired  - an important point is that there is an adjustment permitting the back seat cushion to be moved forwards and forwards by means of a convenient handle control, and thus give an alteration in angle of the squab from a practically vertical position to one affording a reclining effect if required. Two occasional seats are normally folded back against the partition, and, when raised still leave good leg room for the passengers on the main seat. The occasional seats themselves are wide and set close together, so that, if necessary, three people could occupy them.

The partition has sliding windows, the side windows are deep, so as to give light and a sense of space inside the car, but are not so high to detract from the appearance, and there is evidence where-ever one looks to remarkable attention to detail features and finish. There is a skin rug on the floor and beneath this are concealed foot-rest ramps.

The instrument board is very well done, with a circular type of dial, the burr walnut interior woodwork is tasteful, whilst the door fittings are very neat and do not project in the way that is common. The driving seat is upholstered in leather and also has a folding arm rest, whilst vision is notably good, the screen pillar being thin.

The price of this limousine is £745. Permanently fitted four wheel jacks are included in the chassis equipment. There is luggage accommodation by means of a platform which, when out of use, folds flush into the rear panel of the body.

One of these cars has lately been supplied to Lord Greenwood by Warwick Wright Ltd., New Bond Street, W.1, who are London distributors of Armstrong Siddeley cars.    


KLB 12/98    



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