The Brighton Family

The Brighton family seem to have been the main village butchers over two generations. Their shop and slaughterhouse were located adjacent to the kink in Church Lane at a property now known as Willey’s Croft. The present-day National Heritage List for England includes Willey’s Croft.

Villagers regularly traded with each other. This double-page for 1884/5 lists the “industrial quantities” of meal which Robert Dennis Day provided to Robert Brighton.

The maize and barley meal was bought in either 14 stone or one hundredweight sackfuls. Over a nine month period during 1887, Robert Brighton bought about two tons. That suggests they sold a huge number of sausages!

Trade could not exist without paperwork! Here is a June 1894 bill from Robert Dennis Day printing Mr Brighton’s blank invoice / receipt documents – apparently, in three different sizes.

Robert’s son, Tom Brighton, born in 1891, carried on his father’s butcher’s business at Toprow. The Silver Jubilee booklet (1977) tells us that Tom Brighton closed his village butchers shop in 1963.

A Leicester Connection

At the top of the page we see Samuel Folwell a pork butcher from Leicester apparently coming to a business agreement with a farmer at Hill House Farm. We believe the Hill House Farm man in the photo may have been tenant farmer, Arthur Morse.

Samuel Folwell’s son, Horace, moved to Norfolk and married Dorothy Bothway in 1915.

Their son, Keith Folwell, became a local farmer and is shown in this 1950s photograph in the Toprow area.

Some recent genealogy research resulted in exchanges with current-day descendant’s of the Leicester Folwell family. It was discovered that, on on Census day, 1911, Folwell family friends, Arthur Morse and his wife, were in Leicester visiting the senior Mrs Folwell who was on her deathbed.

Trading pork – or live pigs, from Wreningham to Leicester must have been made much more straightforward by existence of the the railway – especially with Ashwellthorpe Station being so close. At the other “end” of the line, Leicester’s London Road station was only about a mile from the Follwell family butchery.

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