Bell's Postcards

A snapshot of the village in the 1920s

By Kathryn Betts

We are fortunate that several early twentieth century photographers felt that it was worthwhile to come to Meldreth and take photographs of the village.  Robert H Clarke from Royston and Bell's Photo Company of Westcliff-on-Sea are two such companies and on this page, I have attempted to catalogue and date the Meldreth postcards produced by Bell's.  Each of their postcards of Meldreth has a six digit number, starting with "1023..".  So far, we have identified a sequence of 71 numbers and from that sequence, have found and scanned all but three of the postcards (numbers 102330, 102383 and 102391).  The evidence so far points to these photographs all having been taken in the 1920s.

Bell's took photographs not only of the Church and the village's quaint thatched cottages, but also of the school, the railway station and the newly built council houses, so creating an invaluable picture of the village. 

Despite our best efforts, we have been unable to find a catalogue of Bell's postcards. 

How you can help

Please add a comment to the bottom of this page or email us if you can help with the following:

  • If you know of a catalogue of Bell's postcards
  • If you can date any of these images
  • If you are a postcard collector and have additional images of Meldreth, we would be very grateful for copies of those.
  • If you own any Bell's postcards that have been postally used, then it would be a great help to us to know the date of posting.

Thank you.


Click on any of the thumbnails below to show a larger version of the image.

Reference Number

Postcard and Caption

Details

Date and/or Comments

102329
Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Bell's Postcards' page

Supplied by Ann Handscombe

Meldreth Station 
102330   

102331

 

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Bell's Postcards' page

Supplied by Ann Handscombe

Station Road, Meldreth (war memorial)

After 1920.  The dedication of the war memorial took place in February 1920.

102332

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Bell's Postcards' page

Supplied by Ann Handscombe

Entrance to Meldreth

After 1920 (see above).

102333

 

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Bell's Postcards' page

Supplied by Ann Handscombe

Greetings from Meldreth

Multiview postcard showing Meldreth Church (102335), the Manor House (102345), North End (102340), High Street (102349) and Gilton Bridge (102338)

102334

 

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Bell's Postcards' page

Supplied by Ann Handscombe

Just a Card from Meldreth

Multiview postcard showing Allerton Terrace (102348), North End (102341), Meldreth Church (102335), The Gables (102343) and the Manor House (102346)

102335

 

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Bell's Postcards' page

Supplied by Ann Handscombe

Meldreth Church

 

102336

 

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Bell's Postcards' page

Supplied by Ann Handscombe

Meldreth Church

Showing interior

102337

 

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Bell's Postcards' page

Supplied by Ann Handscombe

The Doorway, Meldreth Church

 

102338

 

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Bell's Postcards' page

Supplied by Ann Handscombe

Gilton Bridge, North End, Meldreth

 

102339

 

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Bell's Postcards' page

Supplied by Ann Handscombe

The Stream, North End, Meldreth

 

102340

 

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Bell's Postcards' page

Supplied by Ann Handscombe

North End, Meldreth

 

102341

 

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Bell's Postcards' page

Supplied by Ann Handscombe

Jubilee cottages

 

102342

 

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Bell's Postcards' page

Supplied by Ann Handscombe

North End, Meldreth

 

102343

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Bell's Postcards' page

Supplied by Ann Handscombe

The Gables

 

102344

 

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Bell's Postcards' page

Supplied by Ann Handscombe

Cross Roads, Meldreth

Final digit not clear, presumably "4"

102345

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Bell's Postcards' page

Supplied by Ann Handscombe

"Manor House", Meldreth

Meldreth Manor

102346

 

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Bell's Postcards' page

Supplied by Ann Handscombe

"Manor House", Meldreth

Meldreth Manor

102347

 

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Bell's Postcards' page

Supplied by Ann Handscombe

Kneesworth Road, Meldreth

Now known as West Way.  The first row of council houses (pictured) was built in the 1920s and the first residents moved in in 1931.

102348

 

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Bell's Postcards' page

Supplied by Ann Handscombe

Allerton Terrace, Meldreth

After 1910/11, when the houses were built.

(Two versions of this card exist, numbered 102348 and 105348.)

102349

 

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Bell's Postcards' page

Supplied by Ann Handscombe

The Street, Meldreth

High Street, showing Keys Cottage in the foreground

102350

 

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Bell's Postcards' page

Supplied by Ann Handscombe

Wesleyan Chapel, North End

Message on reverse of one copy of this postcard is dated 1948 (postmark indistinct) (source: Ebay)

102351

 

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Bell's Postcards' page

Supplied by Ann Handscombe

Meldreth Church

 

102352

 

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Bell's Postcards' page

Supplied by Joan Gane

Vicarage & Church, Meldreth

Postmarked 1930

102353

 

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Bell's Postcards' page

Supplied by Ann Handscombe

Wesleyan Chapel, Meldreth

 

102354

 

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Bell's Postcards' page

Supplied by Ann Handscombe

The Mill, Meldreth 

Topcliffe Mill

102355

 

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Bell's Postcards' page

Supplied by Brian Clarke

Post Office Meldreth

Postmarked 1927

102356

 

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Bell's Postcards' page

Supplied by Joan Gane

"Malton" Meldreth

Postmarked 1926

102357

 

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Bell's Postcards' page

Supplied by Ann Handscombe

Council Houses, Meldreth (North End, looking north) (last digit looks like 9 but guessing it is 7)

The land for the Council Houses was sold in 1921, and they are likely to have been built 1923-4.

102358

 

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Bell's Postcards' page

Supplied by Ann Handscombe

Council Houses, Meldreth (North End looking south + parish Room)

The land for the Council Houses was sold in 1921, and they are likely to have been built 1923-4.  The parish room is shown in a dilapidated condition.  It was certainly ruinous by 1942 and was demolished after the war.

102359

 

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Bell's Postcards' page

Supplied by Ann Handscombe

Meldreth Schools

After 1910

102360

 

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Bell's Postcards' page

Supplied by Ann Handscombe

Old Cottages, Meldreth

North End cottage demolished 1947

102361

 

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Bell's Postcards' page

Supplied by Ann Handscombe

Old Cottages, Meldreth

Now no 13, North End

102362

 

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Bell's Postcards' page

Supplied by Ann Handscombe

Old Cottages, Meldreth

Thatched cottage, North End

102363

 

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Bell's Postcards' page

Supplied by Ann Handscombe

Old Cottages, Meldreth

Willow Way Cottages, North End

102364

 

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Bell's Postcards' page

Supplied by Ann Handscombe

Old Smithy, Meldreth

 

102365

 

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Bell's Postcards' page

Supplied by Ann Handscombe

The Stocks, Meldreth

 

102366

 

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Bell's Postcards' page

Supplied by Ann Handscombe

The Stocks, Meldreth

 

102367

 

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Bell's Postcards' page

Supplied by Ann Handscombe

The "Sailors Return", Meldreth

 

102368

 

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Bell's Postcards' page

Supplied by Ann Handscombe

The Mill, Meldreth 

Flambards Mill.  After 1910. The photograph was taken after the mill burnt down (believed to be in 1910 or later).

102369

 

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Bell's Postcards' page

Supplied by Ann Handscombe

The Mill, Meldreth

Flambards Mill.  See 102368, above.

102370

 

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Bell's Postcards' page

Supplied by Ann Handscombe

Meldreth Station

 

102371

 

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Bell's Postcards' page

Supplied by Ann Handscombe

Station Road, Meldreth

 

102372

 

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Bell's Postcards' page

Supplied by Ann Handscombe

 

 

102373

 

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Bell's Postcards' page

Supplied by Ann Handscombe

Station Hill, Meldreth

 

102374

 

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Bell's Postcards' page

Supplied by Tony Abrey

Rose Cottages, Meldreth

 

102375

 

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Bell's Postcards' page

Supplied by Ann Handscombe

Orchard Cottage, Meldreth

Now known as Bramble Cottage

102376

 

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Bell's Postcards' page

Supplied by Joan Gane

The "Dumb Flea" Inn, Meldreth

 

102377

 

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Bell's Postcards' page

Supplied by Ann Handscombe

Donkey Hall, Meldreth

Before early 1930s.  These cottages were pulled down by Charlie Plumb after 1931 when the residents were re-housed in the newly-built council houses in Kneesworth Road (now West Way).  See 102347 above. 

102378

 

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Bell's Postcards' page

Supplied by Ann Handscombe

Meldreth

Cottage in Whitecroft Road

102379

 

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Bell's Postcards' page

Supplied by Tim Gane

Allerton Terrace, Meldreth

After 1910/11, when Allerton Terrace was built.  The Railway Tavern is also pictured.

102380

 

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Bell's Postcards' page

Supplied by Ann Handscombe

Chiswick End, Meldreth

 

102381

 

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Bell's Postcards' page

Supplied by Ann Handscombe

Chiswick End, Meldreth

Chestnut Cottage

102382

 

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Bell's Postcards' page

Supplied by Ann Handscombe

Chiswick End, Meldreth

Addleston Cottages

102383

 

 

 

102384

 

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Bell's Postcards' page

Supplied by Ann Handscombe

Chiswick End, Meldreth

Showing the junction with Whitecroft Road

102385

 

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Bell's Postcards' page

Supplied by Ann Handscombe

Post Office, Meldreth

1924?

102386

 

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Bell's Postcards' page

Supplied by Brian Clarke

High Street, Meldreth

The Old Bell Public House

102387

 

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Bell's Postcards' page

Supplied by Ann Handscombe

The Old Cottage, Meldreth

Applecote Cottage

102388

 

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Bell's Postcards' page

Supplied by Ann Handscombe

Council Houses, Whitecroft Road, Meldreth

 

102389

 

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Bell's Postcards' page

Supplied by Ann Handscombe

"Manor House", Meldreth

 Meldreth Manor

102390

 

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Bell's Postcards' page

Supplied by Ann Handscombe

"Manor House", Meldreth

 Meldreth Manor

102391

 

 

 

102392

 

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Bell's Postcards' page

Supplied by Ann Hanscombe

Meldreth Court, Meldreth

 

102393

 

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Bell's Postcards' page

Supplied by Tim Gane

The Garden, Meldreth Court

 

102394

 

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Bell's Postcards' page

Supplied by Ann Handscombe

The Rockery, Meldreth Court

 

102395

 

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Bell's Postcards' page

Supplied by Ann Handscombe

The Fountain, Meldreth Court

 

102396

 

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Bell's Postcards' page

Supplied by Ann Handscombe

Meldreth Mill

Topcliffe Mill

102397
Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Bell's Postcards' page

Supplied by Ann Handscombe

Greetings from MeldrethMultiview postcard showing Meldreth Church and vicarage (102352), Post Office (102355), Council Houses (102357), Railway Tavern (102379) and Flambards Mill (102368)
102398
Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Bell's Postcards' page

Supplied by Ann Handscombe

Just a Card from MeldrethMultiview postcard showing Meldreth Church and vicarage (102352), Post Office (102385), The Schools (102359), The Stocks (102365) and Flambards Mill (102368)
102399
Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Bell's Postcards' page

Supplied by Ann Handscombe

Greetings from MeldrethMultiview postcard showing the Post Office (102355), High Street (102349), Meldreth Church (102335), Topcliffe Mill (102399) and the Stocks (102365)
This page was added by Kathryn Betts on 21/06/2012.
Comments about this page

I am involved with the Barton Turf History Project. I have images of a number of postcards of Barton Turf and Barton Broad which I believe are Bell’s. Number 84960 shows Barton Turf Church with two lines of lime saplings which were planted in 1922 when the Lychgate War Memorial was completed, so this photograph was probably taken soon after. Number 84962 shows the Lychgate itself and was obviously taken at the same time. I also have a postcard of Barton Broad that was posted in 1935. It is numbered 157925. That puts your Meldreth sequence somewhere between 1922 and 1935. I hope this helps.

By Colin Gilbert
On 05/11/2012

I have a photo postcard of Meldreth Brewery, not numbered but "Pub by Robert H Clark" is printed in the bottom right corner. It is postmarked Royston May 4 05 and was received by my great grandmother Mrs Ralph Henry Flitton in Vancouver on May 8 1905. I can scan it for you if you are interested. I also have postcards 102389 and 102394 and on the back of the latter someone has written "still Miss Mortlocks they look older" which may help with dating. Sadly no postmark. I believe my great grandfather was a miller in Meldreth - possibly Sheene Mill - until 1892 when he encountered "financial difficulties". I would be grateful if anyone could verify this for me. Many thanks.

By Gail Flitton
On 30/01/2013

Many thanks adding a comment, Gail. A William Flitton was a miller at Sheene Mill from at least 1858 until 1869. An auction of his goods and "live and dead farming stock" was held at the mill in September 1869 because he was "quitting". He is listed in several of the trade directories which we have transcribed on this site. Members of his family later lived in the Mill House in Shepreth (a neighbouring village). Ralph Henry Flitton was listed as a miller in 1888, and was almost certainly at Sheene Mill. By the time of the 1891 census, he was a "fruit grower" living in North End, Meldreth.

By Kathryn Betts
On 30/01/2013

Hi, I would date these cards as 1925. I have hundreds of Bell's cards on my web site harwichanddovercourt.com

By Gavin Bleakley
On 25/04/2017

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