Page 8 - HGS Suburb News 136 - Autumn 2018
P. 8


                                                                                                                added: “Particulars inserted from information obtained by
                                                                                                                intermediaries of Registrar General.”
                                                                Households contained a variety of family members other   Several people involved with the development of Hampstead
                                                             than sons and daughters and there were 14 visitors staying in   Garden Suburb lived in Willifield Way at the time: at 28 – the
            A 1911 Census snapshot                           the road on census night. There were 21 boarders, or paying   HGS Trust Public Company Secretary, George William Rousham;
                                                             guests. There were 27 live-in staff, mostly servants, but also
                   of Willifield Way                         housekeepers, family helps, companions, nurses and cooks.    at 37 – the HGS Trust Public garden foreman, Leonard Smith; at
                                                                                                                51 – an Architect and Surveyor of a Housing Company (the
                                                             One house had only the housekeeper in residence on census   Suburb one?), Martin Thomas Ernest Jackson; at 57 – a Clerk in
         Between the start of building work in Hampstead Garden   night, but her employer had completed the return, not her.  Materials in Co-Partnership Housing (Suburb?); at 89 – an Estate
         Suburb in 1907 and the date of the 1911 Census a large number   19 of the 527 residents had been born abroad, including 13   (Suburb?) Office Clerk, Eric Walter Ryall, who was a son of the
         of the houses planned in the Old Suburb had already been   in Europe. 16 hailed from Scotland, seven apiece from Wales   head of the household.
         erected. Willifield Way was part of this initial phase of building   and Ireland, with two from each of Jersey and the Isle of Man.   Thus the demographics of Willifield Way in 1911 were rather
         work. The Census was taken on the night of April 2nd/3rd 1911,   But by far the majority, 331 or 63%, had been born in London,   different from those of today. A striking difference is that most of
         by which time 160 of the eventual 167 houses in the road had   with another 43 or 8%, in the Home Counties. 96 or 17.7%   the houses would then have been leased rather than owned. As
         already been built, although five were still unfinished buildings.   came from elsewhere in England and the birthplace of four was   part of a brand new suburb of London it is not surprising that it
         Thus there were seven plots still to be developed. Four of the   not given. Of the heads of household, 97 or 65% had been   was younger people who moved into road.
         houses had been subdivided, three of which had two census   born in London or the Home Counties.                          Janice Blackstaffe, Garden Suburb Archives
         returns submitted. Ten of the properties were unoccupied on   The average age of the heads of household was 40.4 years,
         census night, as presumably their tenants were away from home.   with the 28.2 being the average age overall for the street. Only
         So there were 149 returns filed for the road.       11 inhabitants of the street claimed to be retired, and only 16
            The numbering system begins at the junction with   were over 65. There was one lady who was 80, and she was the
         Hampstead Way, with the odds on the west or south side and   oldest inhabitant.
         evens on the east or north. Not all numerals exist, for instance   238 or 42.5% of the residents had occupations and this
         there is no number 1, 3 or 5. The six houses on Willifield Green   included the live-in staff who formed 11.8% of the employees.
         were not originally part of the numbering system of the rest    By far the most common career was that of a clerk; there were
         of the road, and were then numbered 1 - 6 Willifield Green.   52 people (21.8%) living in Willifield Way with that occupation,
         Today these houses have been incorporated as the odd    many working in the Civil service, but in many other industries
         numbers 113 - 123.                                  too. There were also a lot of printers, 16 (6.7%), who worked
            The houses/properties came in a variety of sizes and had   either as compositors, linotype operators, or lithographic
         between one and nine rooms. For census purposes halls,   draughtsmen. The post office employed 10 (4.2%), as sorters or
         landings or bathrooms are not considered as rooms, but   postmen. There were ten teachers, seven upholsterers, seven
         kitchens, studies, as well as living rooms and bedrooms, are.    commercial travellers, three architects, a doctor, a priest, six in
         The largest houses were around Willifield Green. 129 houses had   tailoring, two hairdressers, and three gardeners. Nine people   Willifield Way from tower of Club House
         between four and seven rooms, and the average number of   said they were of Private Means. In only one couple was there a
         rooms was 4.9.                                      working wife. She was a teacher.
                                                                Number 138 was the HGS Social Club House where the
                     PROPERTIES PER NUMBER OF ROOMS          Club Steward, Charles William Henshaw, aged 39, from Alderley
 5  6  5  6
 4  4                     8  9 2  3                          Edge, Cheshire, lived with his wife and 12 year-old son. After the
                                                                               9 2
                                                             building was bombed in WW2 the site was divided into the
 3                                                           three properties which exist today: a modern house at 138,
                                                 1%  1       Fellowship House at 136A and Mercury Tennis Club at 138A.
                                                 1%  2          The return for number 180 had been defaced and gave scant
                                                 6%  3       information. A (presumably) suffragette/suffragist, a wife with
                                                44%  4
 1                                              13%  5       the surname Stockman, had written on the Census form: “I
     1        6                                 19%  6       refuse all information to a Government which governs without my
                                                11%  7       consent.” The Registrar, Alf E Taylor, amended the return and
                                           4     4%  8
 2                                                                                             4
 2                                               1%  9
                                                                                                                Willifield Way, Hampstead Way junction

            There were 527 people living in the road on census night:
         256 males and 271 females. 53%, or 79, of the households were
         families with children under 16, and there were 146 children
         under 16 living in the street, that is 27.7% of the residents. 40
         families had only one child aged under 16, 24 had two, seven
         had three, and there was one family with six children. The
         average number of children per family was 1.85. There were of
         course some families with children aged 16 and over still living
         at home with them. These older children were mostly part of
         the workforce.
                     FAMILIES PER NUMBER OF CHILDREN         Children in Willifield Way pre WW1                 Willifield Way paving under construction
                        5  6 5  6
                    4  4                                                                                           8 8  9 2  3 3
                                                                                                                     9 2
              3  3                                                                                           7
                                                 51%  1
                                                30%  2
                                                 9%  3
                                                 5%  4
                                          1  1
                                                 4%  5                                                 6 6
                                                 1%  6
                                                                                                                                    4 4
              2  2

                                                                                                              5 5
                                                                                                                Willifield Way paving
            17 of the heads of household were women, three of whom   Cricket on Willifield Green
         were married, seven were widowed, and seven were single
         ladies. 132 heads of household were men, 124 of whom were
         married, three were widowed, and five were single. Five of the
         married households only had one partner at home that night.                                                                            The Hampstead
         The average length of a marriage was 10.1 years.                                                                      Garden Suburb Archives Trust
                                                                                                                 exists to preserve the history and culture of the Suburb
                                                                                                         Contact: 020 8455 8813 or 8455 2877 · Email:

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