William George Hockley
I am indebted to various individuals for information concerning this gentleman. In particular I would like to thank Mr Ken Stowell, Mr Les Wright and Mrs Jane Clulow.
William George Hockley was born in Harlow, Essex in 1904. The family moved to Windsor when he was a young child.
On leaving school he joined the staff of the Earl of Athlone as a chauffeur and valet and he travelled extensively throughout Africa with the Earls family. During this time he met his future wife, Freda Vine, who was also in the Earls employ
In 1934, he came to Feltwell where he opened a confectionery shop. During the Second World War he joined the REME.
After the war he and his wife continued to manage the confectionery shop, and he was a part-time postman until his retirement. Church magazines from the 1960s carried advert for W. G. Hockleys with the description Grocer and Tobacconist Confectioner and Fruiterer, Frozen Foods.
They lived in a bungalow on Long Lane and the shop was located about three properties down from Vincents opposite a pub (The Elm Tree?). (The hedge in the photo has now gone but railings that may have been in the hedge mark the spot Les). "They were a very nice couple". Jane and John Clulow bought the bungalow and shop in 1986 and had it demolished in order build their house. The right hand wall of the original property is still standing and marks the edge of the plot. Jane confirms that the railings are original. Mr Hockley was a staunch member of the British Legion and raised large sums of money for their cause by organising dances and other events. He also worked for some time with the village Ex-Servicemens Club. He was a well-known amateur photographer and keen gardener.
He died in 1981 at the age of 77 years.In the 1953 Coronation Souvenir is this mention. " ..no one can remember the Factory, a building close to the Square (behind Vincents), but several can remember the Factory Cottages; there were six of them in all and they stood on the parcel of ground know as Factory Yard, behind Mr Hockleys shop. (Unfortunately no photos exist)
An additional bit of history that came to light whilst I was talking to Jane concerns the three cottages known as Rose Villas. Jane was born Jane Walker, daughter of Iris and John Walker. Grandfather Walker who owned the farm at the back also owned the cottages. The residents were as shown below.
Doreen and Freddie Reeve
Iris and John Walker
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