Ware High Street, Herts

Above & below.
In this post war postcard view of High St. & West St. Ware, 
the local Morris Agent, 'The Ware Garage', Prop. Messrs. Skipp,
 is on the right near to the parked car. 

Ware High Street, Herts

St. Edmunds College, Ware, Herts

St. Edmunds College, Ware

The Ware Garage, Ware, c1980

Still trading as 'Ware Garage' in the 1980's

Ware Railway Stn, Herts

Ware Railway Station and the 
former Railway Station Hotel

High St, Ware in the 50's or 60's

High St, Ware , probably c1960

In 1926, following the closure of 'Cintra', Winifred and John Fortescue disposed of 'Admirals House' and moved out of London to Hertfordshire where the air was 'good' and communication to London and Cambridge, (for libraries), excellent.

They obtained a converted cottage just outside the grounds of St. Edmunds College, north of Ware on the A10. A Roman Catholic Seminary, School & College, the first of its kind to be opened in England since the Reformation and in fact before the law forbidding a catholic to own property was rescinded.

Winifred described their new home as:-


'A dear little place with the name Little Orchard,  derived from a paddock full of fruit trees.'  It was henceforth known as L.O.

The house, along with 3 small cottages which were let and provided additional income, needed considerable work and it was early June before they could occupy it. Despite the 'good air' Winifred's health continued to cause problems for nearly 2 years during which she made trips to Paris for treatment.

Little Orchard or L.O. as it became known

Little Orchard - the cottage near Ware, Herts

John retired as Librarian to the King on the 30th June and enjoyed life at their new country location. He was able to continue work on his famous 'History of the British Army', Royal Duties now behind him, and it was whilst living at L.O. that the 'History' was finally completed after 36 years work!


During this time at L.O. Winifred discovered from a phone call she was no longer Mrs Fortescue, which worried her, the caller went on to say that she had just sewn another 'star thing' on Johns coat - he had become Sir John in gratitude for his 20 years Royal Service and she of course was now Lady Fortescue.

Having promised he would sleep for a year when it was finished he embarked on a new book almost immediately - mainly to provide much needed income. The task was however handed over to another and Winifred & John made the decision to live abroad, somewhere with a warmer climate and where the cost of living was lower than in the U.K. At about this time they had been reading the books of W. J. Locke and they decided that Provence sounded like a good place to live. 

(Sadly during her years at L.O. Winifred's father and then her mother died. She would not consider moving abroad while her mother was alive and had hoped she would come and live with her & John but that was not to be).

On leaving L.O. in September 1930, Winifred and John drove her gallant little Morris car known as 'Sir William' to the Morris Agent in Ware who had agreed to take it and find it a new home. (The agency, 'The Ware Garage', Prop. Messrs. Skipp was still in business in the late 1980's). It was a sad parting. The agent saw them off at Ware Railway Station as they headed for London and the boat train and a new life in Provence.

 (As the train pulled away Winifred realised she had left their passports and tickets in the car. In a blind panic as the train arrived at the next station they saw 'Sir William' and the Morris Agent who had realised and raced ahead with the vital documents!).

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Pictures  - R A Storey & P.Riley