New Steeple Claydon development recognises contributions of four former parish councillors to village life
A new housing development has recognised four late Steeple Claydon residents, by naming roads after them in recognition of their contributions to village life.
Nightingale Fold, a new development featuring a selection of four, five and six bed homes has named its roads after past parish councillors who are credited with making significant contributions to the village, including the creation of the recreation ground, the football pitch and the clock tower.
The roads were named after former councillors Thomas Sanderson-Mitchinson (Mitchinson Street), Albert Welford (Welford Close), George Beckett (Becketts Lane) and William Hobbs (Hobbs Street) and the signs were unveiled at an event hosted by house builders Bovis Homes.
Heather Suffield, Bovis Homes regional marketing manager said: “We were delighted to welcome the relatives of the councillors to hear about their outstanding contributions.
“All of them were respected and well known in the village and have helped to make it what it is today.”
Kevin Beckett, grandson of George said: “What is really poignant about the development is that it looks over the recreation ground.
"All four played a big part in the management and development of this area, from the acquisition of the football field to the promotion of the football and cricket club.
“My grandad had a real sense of duty towards the village but was always so modest.
"He was a groundsman at the cricket club and I remember when I was a young boy helping him mow the grounds.”
Albert Welford was the chairman of the parish council for 24 years and the chairman of the school governors.
His sons, Colin and Derek, said their father, who passed away in 2016, was a hardworking, conscientious and totally selfless man.
Colin said: "He did an endless amount of work for the community, but was always there as a father for us.
“He was completely committed to the village, but he enjoyed all the work he did.
"I think it gave him a lot of satisfaction.
"He was actually a very shy character, but you’d see him chair meetings, give speeches and stand up in front of people.
"He just wanted to make things happen – and they did.
“If he knew about this tribute, he would have been very honoured, like we all are, but would have probably declined.
"He was always very humble.”
Marcus Mitchinson, Thomas Sanderson-Mitchinson’s grandson, said that his grandfather would have probably thought this was all a bit over-the-top!
He said: “My grandad would have been very proud, but he was someone who liked to just get on.
“He was born in Newcastle and moved to the village in his thirties for work.
"He was a real character and stood out with his Geordie accent.
"He was involved in the installation of the sewerage system and I think he realised he could help make a real difference to the village, so decided to stay.
"He was the chairman of the parish council for over 20 years and did a huge amount for the community.
"He was the brains behind the village pavilion, was involved in the football and cricket club and was always helping his neighbours in one way or another.
"He really gave his whole self to the village.
“As a child, I remember my grandfather used to take me down to the sports pavilion, give me a Vimto and tell me of the proposed clock tower and how it was progressing.
"I was so proud when I was able to be there for its re-commissioning after its recent refurbishment.”
The fourth former resident honoured was William Hobbs.
After suffering from an accident while farming, William dedicated the rest of his life to the village. As well as being chairman of Steeple Claydon Parish Council, he also represented the village as a county councillor.
Bovis Homes told us that there are no pictures of Hobbs Street as none of his relatives were able to make the ceremony.