This is Waverley Drive, in the 1920s. The estate around the large house, ‘Waverley Court’ was being sold, piecemeal, for re-development. The sinking of RMS Titanic, in April 1912, however, was still a fresh memory. Valerie Norman has kindly sent me the following local story.
Waverley Court had been built in 1882 Thomas Dyer-Edwardes, a very rich man with several homes, including a villa in Nice, and Prinknash Abbey in Gloucestershire. He boarded the Titanic at Southampton, with his wife, his daughter, her maid and a cousin. Thomas and his wife were only making a short trip across the channel and disembarked at Cherbourg. His daughter, however, who had married the Earl of Rothes in 1900, was travelling on to Vancouver. After the sinking all three ladies were put in a lifeboat and the Countess was put in charge of the tiller of a lifeboat because, “….as able seaman Thomas Jones put it “She had a lot to say, so I put her to steering the boat”. This was not meant as a sarcastic remark, Jones seemed to admire the Countess very much and later presented her with the brass number plate from the boat, in later years they maintained a correspondence”.
There is obviously masses of information available about the Titanic victims and survivors, and Valerie has found the following:
For the maid: http://drewmoffatt.wordpress.com/miss-roberta-elizabeth-mary-maioni/
For the cousin: http://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/titanic-survivor/gladys-cherry.html
For the Countess: http://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/titanic-survivor/countess-of-rothes.html
and I have found the following….
For Thomas Dyer-Edwardes: http://www.prinknashabbey.org/about-prinknash/history-of-prinknash/
I am hoping to write some more about Waverley Court at a later date.