Woodford Halse Archive

Woodford People

The Fennell Chapter

The Fennell family dates back centuries but records determine where I can begin. Family members were born in Badby, Charwelton and Woodford and I shall begin with George who was born in 1818. Using a simple line from here I shall arrive at Woodford 2016. He married Mary and in 1850 his fourth child Joseph was born to accompany siblings Elizabeth (3) Henry (15) and William (17) all of whom entered the world in Badby.

Joseph married Ann circa 1877 and fathered three sons, Thomas H, Edwin G and Albert Charles all of whom were also native to Badby.

Albert Charles married Julia circa 1900 and lived for a short while in Warton, Warwickshire before settling in Charwelton. During this age it was common to accept lodgers to help with financing the household only this was more often than not an obvious case of overcrowding. And this was a typical situation for the Fennells of Charwelton, with children Henry, George, Sidney, Herbert, Alice and Francis plus lodgers Harry and Alfred Beasley, the house was the home of ten occupants - hard living indeed.

Both George and Herbert moved to Woodford where George and his wife Ivy produced Doreen, Brenda, Dorothy, Phyllis, Alfred and Roland.

Herbert began his working life as an Engine Fireman which was to be his vocation for the next 22 years until he ‘passed out’ becoming a Driver. For most a spouse was found locally as travelling and widespread social events were nowhere near as commonplace as they are today, however this was not the case for Herbert or indeed his wife. A certain Gertrude Genevive would travel daily from her home in West Acre, Norfolk, to work in the tea rooms on Marylebone Station. It was here that the two met as this station was a regularly used terminal for Herbert. They produced 6 children Albert, Eric, Malcolm, Thomas, Iris and Jaqueline all of whom were born in Woodford, albeit not in the same house. When Albert, the eldest child, started work the options were seriously limited to working on the land ( Agricultural Labourer) or on the railway and he chose the latter as did Eric and Malcolm. Iris worked as a nurse and Jaqueline was employed at the Woodyard in Fawsley. Thomas ventured further afield and took an apprenticeship with B.T.H. in Rugby. These were all initial employments after finishing national education. This particular family of Fennells have all played active and prominent parts connected to the community of the village. Albert himself was once the Steward of the now Social club while Malcolm and Thomas have both taken on the role of Secretary with Malcolm putting himself in the firing line on two separate occasions. This is proof of their contribution to the village because Herbert himself was also secretary in 1955. Today there are members of this family still residing in Woodford while the oldest surviving Fennell to be born here is Albert who now lives in Binley, Coventry and he celebrated his 85th birthday on 18th March 2016.

By kind permission of Tom Fennell, Albert Fennel & Godfrey Syers

The wedding of Herbert & Gertrude in 1929. The lady on the right is the brides‘ sister Francis Everard.
The wedding of Herbert & Gertrude in 1929
Malcolm (standing), Jaqueline and Thomas - Margate 1952
Malcolm (standing), Jaqueline and Thomas - Margate 1952
Albert Fennell
Albert Fennell 1950