Above & below.
In this post war postcard view of High
St. & West St. Ware,
the local Morris Agent, 'The Ware Garage', Prop. Messrs. Skipp,
is on the right near to the parked car.
Edmunds College, Ware
Still trading as 'Ware
Garage' in the 1980's
Ware Railway Station and
former Railway Station Hotel
High St, Ware , probably c1960
1926, following the closure of 'Cintra', Winifred and John Fortescue
disposed of 'Admirals House' and moved out of London to
Hertfordshire where the air was 'good' and communication to London and
Cambridge, (for libraries), excellent.
obtained a converted cottage just outside the grounds of St. Edmunds
College, north of Ware on the A10. A Roman Catholic Seminary, School
& College, the first of its kind to be opened in England since the
Reformation and in fact before the law forbidding a catholic to own
property was rescinded.
Winifred described their new home
'A dear little place with the name Little Orchard,
derived from a paddock full of fruit trees.' It was henceforth
known as L.O.
house, along with 3 small cottages which were let and provided
additional income, needed considerable work and it was early June before
they could occupy it. Despite the 'good air' Winifred's health continued
to cause problems for nearly 2 years during which she made trips to Paris for
Little Orchard - the cottage near Ware,
John retired as
Librarian to the King on the 30th June and enjoyed life at their new country
location. He was able to continue work on his famous 'History of the
British Army', Royal
Duties now behind him, and it was whilst living at L.O. that the
'History' was finally completed after 36 years work!
During this time at
L.O. Winifred discovered from a phone call she was no longer Mrs
Fortescue, which worried her, the caller went on to say that she
had just sewn another 'star thing' on Johns coat - he had become
Sir John in gratitude for his 20 years Royal Service and she of
course was now Lady Fortescue.
promised he would sleep for a year when it was finished he embarked on a
new book almost immediately - mainly to provide much needed income. The
task was however handed over to another and Winifred & John made the
decision to live abroad, somewhere with a warmer climate and where the
cost of living was lower than in the U.K. At
about this time they had been reading the books of W. J. Locke and they
decided that Provence sounded like a good place to live.
(Sadly during her years at
Winifred's father and then her mother died. She would not consider
moving abroad while her mother was alive and had hoped she would come
and live with her & John but that was not to be).
On leaving L.O. in September 1930, Winifred and John
drove her gallant little Morris car known as 'Sir William' to the Morris
Agent in Ware who had agreed to take it and find it a new home. (The
agency, 'The Ware Garage', Prop. Messrs. Skipp was still in business in
the late 1980's). It was a
sad parting. The
agent saw them off at Ware Railway Station as they headed for London and
the boat train and a new life in Provence.
(As the train pulled away Winifred realised she had
left their passports and tickets in the car. In a blind panic as the
train arrived at the next station they saw 'Sir William' and the Morris
Agent who had realised and raced ahead with the vital documents!).