Historical Timeline of Facts & Events for Warmley & hamlets and villages of old Gloucestershire. (now South Gloucestershire)
1900 – Warmley Rural District Council moved from Crown Farm to new premises at Stanley Road known as The Union Offices.
Gabriel Goldney purchased Mill Lane Pit in Warmley, renamed it Goldney Pit.
Oldland Board School renamed Oldland Council School. (now Redfield Edge.)
(Other schools in the village are St. Anne’s Church of England Primary School (built in 1837 & initially called Oldland National School), Redfield Edge Primary School and Cherry Gardens Primary School.)
The larger of the 2 smoke stacks at the Crown Colliery in Warmley was built by Dawson’s of Clutton.
1901 (Queen Victoria died at 81)
1902 (Edward VII crowned King) Webb’s cycle shop established in Warmley at premises now run as an estate agency (across the road).
1903 – Warmley Rural District Council made a successful application to have ELECTRICITY supplied to it’s residents, a project which took almost 30 years to be realised.
Warmley Military Band was founded. The Golden Valley Paper Mills opens in Bitton.
1904 Feb – California pit closes because of repeated flooding.
The West of England Ochre and Oxide Company open a new purpose built factory at the rear of Station Road in Warmley. The bright red dust produced during the process got everywhere, even staining the men’s sweat. It looked like they were sweating blood, the possible origin of the phrase. Factory ceased production between the wars, exact date unknown. The factory boasted the tallest smoke stack in the district.
Oldland Board School renamed Oldland Council School. (now Redfield Edge.)
1905 – Lacey’s Bakery was built in Chapel Lane Warmley, opposite the large redbrick flourmills. The flourmill building still exists as a commercial premises.
A stone coffin containing the remains of a Roman girl was found at Keelings Lime Works in Longwell Green. The site is now Kilnhurst Close (off Court Farm Road)
1906 – Minnie Haskins wrote the poem GOD KNOWS, used by King George VI in 1939, to end his address to the nation.
A massive steam pump was installed at the bottom of Cowhorn Hill (Red brick pumping house still exists today). The pump was used to extract water from the flooded coal workings nearby. The water was pumped to Soundwell where it was filtered and piped back to Warmley for public consumption.
The Brethren Meeting Room opened in Cloverlea Road Oldland.
1908 (Old age pensions introduced in England. Scout movement founded) William Henry Ettle was one of the last miners to be killed locally in an accident at Goldney pit in Warmley. He drowned after falling down a shaft. An inquest was held in the King William IV pub nearby.
1909 – Goldney coal pit, previously known as Mill Lane Pit, closes in Warmley. Bitton Council School now The Meadows opens in Bitton.
1910 (Edward VII died.Talking films were demonstrated.) Warmley outdoor swimming pool which could accommodate up to 400 people was built adjoining what is now Warmley Community Centre, (pool closed in the 60’s) Site is now part of the ringroad roundabout, only the car park remains adjacent to Wamley Community Centre.
The inauguration of Warmley District Club and Reading Room adjacent to the swimming baths. This was the forerunner of the Community Centre in Warmley.
1911 (South Wales miners strike for 10 months)
1912 (Titanic sank. Beer was 1p a pint.) Willsbridge Mill is restored.
A large "beehive" kiln was built at Haskins Pottery Factory. One of the largest of the day it was christened "Titanic". Thankfully, despite the name, no disasters befell it.
Diphtheria epidemic throughout most of the year.
1913 – St Anne’s Church Hall is built.
Although not really in the remit for this timeline it’s worth mentioning that Carson’s Chocolate Factory at Mangotsfield was finished in this year. Built of redbrick from Shortwood and Cattybrook. The building was a well known local landmark until demolition in 1998.
Oldland Village Hall opened.
Sir Bernard Lovell the astronomer was born in Rose Cottage, West Street, Oldland.
1915 (W G Grace the cricketer and local doctor died.) July – one of the fiercest thunderstorms on record hit the Warmley area. Hailstones as big as eggs were reported causing much damage to property.
1916 (A loaf of bread cost 5p.) Crane’s firework factory switched to hand grenade production. Also known as Mill’s Bombs, some 10 million were produced and shipped to the troops via Warmley station.
Bob Lewis’ Boot Factory opened at Tweeny Lane, North Common (supplied boots for soldiers in the Great War)
1918 (Women over 30 got the vote.1/9/1918). New Signal box (still existing) is built at Warmley Station.
Bitton "Rec." Club is given to Bitton village by Golden Valley Paper Mills.
Following the death of Louise Haskins, the Pottery Factory at Tower Lane was purchased by Sir Seymour Williams.
1920 – Warmley Park and War Memorial were opened. There was a dedication service to remember the 37 Warmley men who died in the Great War.
Webb’s Cycles moves to current premises in High Street Warmley. Premises vacated by Brizil’s grocery shop. Records and electrical items were sold powered by large accumulators, no mains power yet. Shoe repairs and the first sales of petrol in the area were also undertaken.
Other shops in Warmley High Street at this time were: Brain’s, a Milliners and Chemist, Nash’s Paper Shop and Stores (now a hairdressers), Bowen’s the Butcher, Ma Exley’s Hardware Emporium, Charley Taylor the Saddler, Mrs Haggett, who made Iced Cakes, Mrs Amos, who sold faggotts and Ben Fussell the Blacksmith.
Warmley and District Allotments Ltd. was formed. A kind of early co-operative set up to help local farmers, supplying low cost seed and equipment etc.
1922 (Petrol was around 7p per gallon.) Demolition of the first of two chimney stacks of Crown Colliery in Warmley, the other was to be felled in 1981.
1925 – Oldland Hall at Longwell Green was converted into a "Home for Girls" run by Admiral and Mrs Arden-Close. (now private residences)
1926 (Television first demonstrated by Baird.) Bridgeyate becomes part of Siston Parish. (prev. part of Wick)
Local unemployed march through Warmley and demonstrate outside the District Council Office in Stanley Road. (building also used to issue means tested benefit to poor families)
Oldland Gospel Hall was built.
1928 – Wakeford’s Garage opened opposite the Griffin pub at Bridgeyate crossroads. The site remained a garage until 1998 when Bridgeyate Motors moved to new premises at North Common. The site has now been redeveloped for housing (2004)
1929 – The original wooden railway bridge at Warmley station was replaced this year with one of steel girder and solid side panel construction.
1931 – Diphtheria, Mumps, German Measles and Chicken Pox epidemics during the year. How easily we forget and take for granted modern medicine.
1932 (Unemployment reaches 3 million, hunger marches follow) March – Warmley’s electricity supply, costing £25,000 to install, was inaugurated by the Earl of Plymouth. At this time just 120 consumers were connected. (1932 – 1,260 consumers – 1938 – 2,081 consumers) The electricity supply was controlled from Bridge House, what became the MEB showroom in Warmley. (building survives)
1933 (Hoover Vacs. sold at just under £5.00.) Fred Bryant moved to Crown Farm at Tower Road North in Warmley. From this base Fred and his son Denis began their dairy business serving the local community for over 50 years.
Bob Lewis’ Boot Factory at Tweeny Lane, North Common closed down.
1934 – P.C. Gowing, was transferred from Staple Hill Police Station to Warmley as Officer in Charge. What a change it was to make to his hours of working, no longer set hours, but on call 24 hours. His pay was 2/6d per week. (£4.62)
1935 (Rail ticket to Bristol 4p before 9.30 am, 7.5p afterwards Eggs cost 2-3p per doz.30 MPH speed limit introduced) Mar 8th A Bristol 133 prototype aircraft crashed at Mt Pleasant Farm in Longwell Green whilst on handling trials. The pilot bailed out landing near Fry’s in Keynsham and escaped injury
Dec – Oldland railway station opened for passengers.
Explosion at Crane’s firework factory in Warmley. Nellie Brewer aged 18 died from her injuries while shielding others from harm.
Simplex Bookcase Company open in High Street Oldland. They occupied the building that was once Bayers Corset Factory.
1936 (School leaving age raised from 14 to 15. BBC starts regular TV service) ABC Cleaners was founded by Ernest Haycock at Siston Common. Became Beaumont Dyers then Conway Cleaners. The company moved out in 1993 and the factory was demolished in 1999 to make way for the new ring road.
1937 – "The Rec." sports ground opens at Castle Road.
Oldland. Coronation Park in Cadbury Heath is opened. (named to commemorate the Coronation of George VI.)
A huge fire at Crane’s firework factory effectively ended firework production in Warmley. Over 80 local jobs were lost. Only a few road names now bear testament to the industry.
Warmley Military Band "disbanded".
1938 – Parnall’s Foundry was built on land adjoining Crown Farm in Tower Road North. The factory was known as the Magnal Works. The following year production of aluminium aircraft parts was expanded, the war was coming.
1939 – Aug – Earth tremor felt in Oldland – no serious damage reported.
1940 (Penicillin the first anti-biotic introduced) Dramroad Tunnel at Oldland is converted to an air raid shelter for up to 300 people.
Warmley and Siston were directly under the flight path of the Luftwaffe on its horrific raids on Filton’s aeroplane factories.
Incendiary bombs were dropped on the Magnal Works in Tower Road North, a prime target as aircraft parts for the war effort were produced there.
Warmley Rural District Council move from the "Union Offices" in Stanley Road to larger premises at Warmley House on the old Champion estate adjoining Tower Road North. (building now a nursing home)
1941 – (June) Ernest Stone, aged 10, was drowned in the quarry pools near the brickyard on London Road Warmley.
1942 – The Americans set up a military camp on Siston Common (nr Fisher Road). This was the first time many local people had seen a real Yankee.
1944 (PAYE tax scheme introduced) Camp to house Italian POW’s is built at Wraxall Road Cadbury Heath.
1947 (Coal mines nationalised) Oldland Women’s Institute formed.
Warmley War Memorial Hall and Community Centre was opened in Deanery Road this year.
1948 – St Barnabas Church Hall was built.
1949 – First Oldland Show is held.
1951 – Oldland Common Secondary Modern School opens (now SBL)
1952 (The Lynmouth flood disaster occurred) July – Police station moved from High Street to West Street Oldland. (Now Closed)
1954 (Roger Bannister runs first 4 minute mile)
1955 (ITV & VHF radio begin broadcasting) Rising Sun pub in Bitton closes.
First land released for building of West Court Estate area in Oldland.
1956 (Premium Bonds introduced) Foot and Mouth Disease outbreak at Court Farm, Oldland.
One of the oldest buildings in the area (circa 1600), Crown Farm at Tower Road North, was demolished in this year.
Building commenced on the Oaklands estate Oldland.
Secondary Modern School for girls opens in North Street, Oldland.
1957 – Minnie Haskins the local poet died in Tunbridge Wells aged 82. (see 1906)
Christopher Bell Ltd opened a large bakery in Crown Road Warmley. The supplied on a regional basis and the fleet of red and white vans with the "chipmunk" on top became a trademark. The bakery is now a distribution centre for RHM.
Grimster’s Nursery was founded in Tower Road North and still exists today as a thriving local fruit, veg and flower business.
United Biscuits, Motorway Tyres and Kraft Products all moved to the Crown Road area in this year.
1958 (First motorway opened near Preston in Lancashire.) July – Greyhound pub in West Street, Oldland closes.
1959 (First part of M1 motorway opened) July 4th – Cadbury Heath Library opened.
McBradia Engineering PLC moved from Hanham to it’s current location in Bridgeyate.
1960 – Bridgeyate Methodist Church, believed to be the oldest Methodist church in the Bristol area still holding regular services, celebrated its 150th anniversary in February this year.
1961 (Farthings cease to be legal tender) On the 25th April 1961, clearance orders were sent to the residents of Nos. 178 to 220 Tower Road North (Tower Rank) as their homes were considered unsuitable for human habitation and would have to be demolished. What was not realised at the time was that these buildings were probably the oldest industrial houses in the country.
1962 (Cigarettes about 20p for 20. The Beeching Report begins national & local rail closures)
1963 – Railway Inn at Willsbridge closed down. The building stood at the juction of the 3 roads going to Hanham, Bitton and Keynsham. (now a roundabout). The Inn was named after the dramway which crossed the road nearby.
1964 (Av. weekly wage about £16.75p. First colour TV’s cost about £300.) Warmley pool built in 1910 was closed and filled in, new indoor heated pools were more the "modern" taste. Centenary celebrations at Warmley School. Festivities ended with a parade along Church Avenue and a Centenary Service which, to the delight of all, was recorded for T.V.
1965 (Oil & gas found in the North Sea) Steam pump dismantled and removed from Cowhorn Hill pumping station. Red brick pump house still remains used as a council store.
May – Goods traffic ceased at Warmley Station, a few days later, coal delivery also stopped. (By now British Rail network cut by almost 50%)
1966 (Aberfan disaster – 116 children & 28 adults are killed) March – Warmley / Oldland / Bitton stations close for passengers. 23rd April Mr. Airy Neave, M.P. for Abingdon, opened the Refuse Disposal Plant at Carsons Road.This amenity was the solution to the ever-growing problem of household refuse. Site rebuilt and modernised to meet recycling needs in 2004.
1967 (Road side breath tests are introduced) Haskins Pottery, formerly Champions Brassworks closed down. (Clock Tower Building still exists) Leach’s Farm land sold for building Court Farm Estate.
1968 (Two-tier postal service introduced) Oldland Common secondary Modern School is renamed Sir Bernard Lovell after famous astronomer. (born in Oldland)
Bitton village is flooded after very heavy rain. Warmley was also badly affected. In the Midland Spinner Pub there is a plaque showing the water level during the flood showing it to be about 5 feet above ground level.
Warmley 18 hole approach golf course is built on a reclaimed rubbish tip at the bottom of Cowhorn Hill.
Blackhorse Inn, Tower Road North, Warmley closed down.
The worst rainstorm in over half a century occurred this year with more than five inches of rain falling on some areas in less than 24 hours.
1969 (Voting age was reduced from 21 to 18. Troops deployed in Northern Ireland. First man on the moon.)The last remnants of Haskin’s Factory were demolished including the kilns and twin chimneys.
The last commercial users of the Warmley Clock Tower building moved out and the building began a new life as a community, charity and historic support centre.
1970 – The Grange Comprehensive School combined the boys school at Woodstock Road and the girls school in Hanham Road.
1971 (Decimal currency introduced. First heart and lung transplant.) North Common Community Association founded.
The OFFICIAL closure of the branch line twixt Bristol & Bath took place on 28/5/1971, however the line was still used on an unofficial basis until April 1972 for the storage of condemned vans at Bath (mainly banana box vans)
1972 ("Bloody Sunday" riots in N.I.) The BSRS (Bristol Suburban Railway Society) was formed (itself coming out of a group called the South Gloucestershire Railway Retention Group or similar name, formed 1969 we believe). The BSRS was formed at a school meeting in the Cock Road area. (The group originally held meetings at The Midland Railway Hotel, they suggested the new name for the pub)
During this year the remaining railway track between Bath and Mangotsfield Station was dis-mantled and removed using a large train mounted crane. The level crossing & signal box at Warmley Station became redundant.
The Midland Railway Hotel in Warmley was ordered, under the Trades Description Act, to change it’s name. It was renamed after a steam locomotive called The Midland Spinner. NB Pub was originally known as the Crown Hotel after Crown Colliery next door.
1973 (Britain joins the Common Market. Power cuts lead to the "3 day week". VAT introduced to the UK.) Oldland Horticultural Society is founded.
The Clock Tower Building on Tower Road North became the Arts Lab, known locally as the SLAB. It functioned as a youth Arts and Community centre
Warmley Rural District Council & Kingswood Urban District Council amalgamate.
Congregational Church & Gospel Hall, both in High Street, Oldland close. Methodist Church in West Street and Brethren Meeting Room in Cloverlea Road both close.
1974 (Miners vote to strike, they win a 35% pay rise (those were the days) Warmley Church of England School at Bridgeyate closed down and re-located to a new building at North Common.
This year saw a dramatic change in local government. Siston Parish Council remained unaffected but the District Councils of Warmley, Kingswood and Mangotsfield came together under the umbrella of Kingswood District Council.
Warmley Church of England School re-opens at Poplar Road, N. Common.
First Oldland Horticultural Society Show is held.
1975 ("Cod War" with Iceland) Oldland/N. Common/Bridgeyate/Bitton become part of Avon. (prev. S Glos)
1976 (The hottest recorded summer of the 20th century) Oldland Motorbody Builders in High Street closed down.
Jarrett’s Slaughterhouse moved from Cloverlea Road to site in Oldland.
1978 (First "test tube" baby is born. Louise Brown in Bristol) 2 floodlights installed at Warmley War Memorial and the area given a facelift to try and combat vandalism etc.
1979 (Margaret Thatcher becomes first woman Prime Minister. The "winter of discontent" follows) The former railway line which ran through the area was purchased from British Rail by the council for £5.00 and was converted to be used as a cycle track. It has grown in popularity and is a feature of the area to this day.
1980 – Building work starts on Longbeach Road area of Longwell Green.
The Barrettine Group of companies move from their Tower Lane site to St Ivel Way in Warmley. The group has diversified and is a major employer in the Warmley area to this day.
Sept. – Cherry Gardens Primary School, Oldland opens.
1981 – The long awaited Village Hall opened in Cadbury Heath.
The last remaining chimney stack (b.1900) at the Crown Colliery site in Warmley was demolished. The first one disappeared in 1922. The stack was constructed of redbrick from the brickworks opposite the pit. After it’s demolition most of the bricks were returned as landfill on the same brickwork’s site. (ashes to ashes etc.)
1982 (3 million people were unemployed. Argentina seize the Faulkland Islands (for 10 weeks). The year of the "big freeze" when upwards of 150 lorries were stranded by snow and ice between Tog Hill and Warmley. The lorries were trapped for almost a week and pictures of the mayhem made world news. The trapped drivers were looked after in Warmley Community Centre. Hot food was provided freely by the local community.
The New Work Trust took over the old Warmley Church of England School Building in Bridgeyate.
1983 – Temporary Village Hall opens at North Common.
The Ochre Works at Station Road in Warmley (b. 1904) was demolished this year. Ochre production had ceased in the years between the wars.
Signal box at Warmley Station is re-furbished. This must have been a good time for community funding! Neptune’s statue behind Clock Tower is re-furbished.
1984 – "Painter’s Pit" Ventilation Furnace re-furbished in Bitton.
1987 (The ferry "Herald of Free Enterprise" sinks killing 200. Worst storm in 250 years kills 18 people and fells 18 million trees) Cadbury Heath Local History Group is formed.
1988 – The building of the Avon Ring Road between Wraxall Road and Deanery Road was started.
1989 – The Ring Road roundabout and underpasses at the junction of Deanery Road were constructed. The Community Centre was almost a "casualty" until public pressure prompted a re-alignment of the workings.
1990 (A violent storm lashes southern England killing 46)
1991 – New Village Hall opens at North Common. March – Rail extension from Bitton to Oldland opens.
1992 – Sculptor Gordon Young completed his Gaius Sentius drinking fountain sculpture of a thirsty Roman Legionnaire. It’s located on the cycle track were it intersects with the roman road which stretched from Bitton to Gloucester. (approx ¼ mile south of Warmley Station)
1993 (The Queen celebrates 40 years since her coronation) The ghostly silhouettes of various travellers were installed at Warmley Station. The works are known as "Brief Encounters".
1998 – Popular local girl Jenny King was murdered near her home in Warmley. Carson’s chocolate factory at Mangotsfield is demolished to make way for new housing and the Ring Road’s completion.
1999 – Work to complete the Ring Road link from Warmley to Shortwood is started. We say goodbye to parts of the cycle track and after a well publicised protest, the old ABC Cleaners factory on Siston Common is demolished.
Phase 1 of the Aspects Leisure Centre opened in Longwell Green. 55 years after American GI’s first came to the area (camped near Fisher Road on Siston Common), their culture arrives in the form of McDonalds.
Warmley Then & Now 2005
See my historic photograph set of Warmley and Siston
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