Judith's new home is part of her family heritage

19 April 2011

Judith Chalton Hayes 10

Retired Patchway school cook Judith Davies is reviving a family tradition going back two centuries - by living as close to she can to the lost village of Charlton.

Both Judith's father, grandfather and fore fathers were Charlton villagers born and bred and she has traced her Charlton ancestors back to the early 1800s.

So when she began house-hunting earlier this year she knew exactly where she wanted to be. And with a modern twist to the family tradition, Judith has bought herself a new two bedroom apartment at Charlton Hayes, the new Bovis Homes development that is within a mile of the lost village site.

Each day 66-year-old Judith surveys the local scene from the kitchen window of her new fourth floor home and can see the historic woodland behind which the old village of Charlton used to sit. She thinks fondly of the times when Charlton was a bustling village and was home to generations of her family including her father Frederick George Pople and her grandfather Frederick Thomas Pople.

Judith said: "It was such a shame what happened to Charlton. It was a lovely village with a duck pond, a pub, shops and cottages. My Dad was born in Charlton in 1910, as was his father before him and he was the village shoemaker. I was born nearby in Catbrain Lane, Henbury , in 1944, so have a close link with Charlton. The flattening of an old village like that would never be allowed to happen today."

The village was destroyed in the mid 1940s to enable the lengthening of the airfield's runway for the take off of a prototype airliner the Bristol Brabazon, built in 1949 and the first of its kind designed for transatlantic flights. However, it was considered too large and expensive to use and was never put into production with the prototype was turned into scrap metal in 1953.

Judith said: "It's quite ironic really that the reason the village was flattened and its inhabitants all moved elsewhere was for this amazing, great new plane, but then it never came to be."

When Judith heard the new development on the former airfield was to be named Charlton Hayes, she immediately felt it would one day be her home because of her strong family links to the old village.

"I think fate took a hand because I was intending to move to Bradley Stoke near my two sons, but the sale fell through and that's when I decided to go back to my roots and settle at Charlton Hayes."

The widowed former cook who retired from Coniston Junior School in 1995, after 19 years, happily climbs the stairs to her new two bedroom apartment to help keep herself fit and regularly enjoys a stroll to the shops at The Mall, Cribb's Causeway.

Her mother, 94 year old Elsie Pople and her brother and sister, all live in nearby Patchway and her cousin June Keating, also a former Charlton villager, has written several books on the lost village and was the VIP guest who opened the new Bovis Homes development last year.

Judith said: "From my kitchen window I have a superb view. I watch the planes refuelling and can see part of the runway that leads to where Charlton used to be. I think I'm as close to my family roots as I can get at Charlton Hayes and I'm very happy here."

Bovis Homes Charlton Hayes development has a range of two bedroom apartments and coach houses and three bedroom homes available. Visit www.bovishomes.co.uk for full details.


Media contact: ScottCurtis, Group PR and Communications Manager, Bovis Homes. Tel: 01242 662675; scott.curtis@bovishomes.co.uk