House History #6: Ronald Beresford Weston-Webb

 

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Ronald Beresford Weston-Webb was 32 years old when he bought this house for £1450 on March 16, 1931, taking out a mortgage of £1000 from the Leicester Permanent Building Society. On the conveyance he gives his previous address as Holly Lodge, Queniborough, Leicestershire. He lived in this house for four years, selling it on May 18, 1935 for just £1000 (it was the Depression). In the 1935 sale documents he gives his occupation as Farm Agent but I have also seen references to him being a Yarn Merchant and a Farmer.

When Ronald bought the house he had been married to Pamela Antonia Hart for around seven years. They had a two year-old son, Anthony Patrick Weston-Webb. Ronald and Pamela’s marriage came to an end when he petitioned for divorce in 1935, thus I imagine their time in this house, spanning the last few years of their marriage, may not have been a happy one. The divorce documents are in the National Archives and I’d be very interested to read them. I know that he petitioned for the divorce and that a gentleman named Cecil Holroyd Russell (the owner of a ‘fancy hosiery manufactory’) was named as the co-respondent, with “Dollie Ash intervening”. Sounds intriguing.

Ronald was born on November 9, 1899 in Gedling, Nottinghamshire, the son of a wealthy hosiery merchant called Weston Fulford Marrriot Weston-Webb and the third of his four wives, Agnes Josephine Littlewood (she was twenty five years his junior – he 49, Agnes 24). In 1901 they were living at The Lodge, Gedling, and had five servants. Ronald was Weston’s eldest son and he had five brothers and one sister. Weston-Webb senior published an autobiography in 1929 entitled Autobiography of a British Yarn Merchant: A Rise from Rags to Riches.

In the 1911 Census, Ronald is at boarding school – Bilton Grange Preparatory School near Rugby in Warwickshire. According to Edward Walford’s The County Families of the United Kingdom or Royal Manual of the Titled and Untitled Aristocracy of Great Britain he attended Sandhurst Royal Military Academy. Arthur Charles Fox Davies’ Armorial Families: A Directory of Gentlemen of Coat Armour says that Ronald was a 2nd Lieutenant in the Queen Mary’s Own Regiment (the Royal Hussars, 18th Regiment).

Ronald’s mother dies in 1922, his father re-marrying in 1923 (Mabel Hodges, Hanover Square, London). The next historical reference to Ronald is in 1923 in the London Gazette, which announces his promotion to a Lieutenant in the 18th Regiment Cavalry. There are no war records for him.

Ronald marries Pamela Antonia Hart in Scarborough, Yorkshire in 1924. Their son Anthony Patrick is born in 1929 (he died in 2005). Their years at this house span 1931-1935. Ronald divorces Pamela in 1935 and I know she dies in 1962.

In March 1937 Ronald marries Susan Porter in Kensington, London. Also that year Ronald’s father Weston dies, leaving a vast fortune to his fourth wife Mabel. She has residences in Belgravia and the Cote d’Azur, dying in Switzerland in 1938.

Ronald and his new wife Susan have two children – Joseph, born in 1938 (died 2012), and Peter, born in 1941, possibly still living in Australia.

In 1949, Ronald is living at The Grove, Cossington, Leicestershire, and gains his Royal Aero Club Aviator’s Certificate at the Rearsby Flying School. There are various mentions of him in the magazine Flight in the early 1950s.

Ronald has a number of addresses in this region over the next couple of decades. He dies in Australia at the age of 83 on August 18, 1983 in Kiama Downs, New South Wales.

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11 thoughts on “House History #6: Ronald Beresford Weston-Webb

  1. wonderful stuff. and none of them imagined that in 2014 their business could so easily be laid out by complete strangers for anyone in the whole world to read.
    Ronald’s Kiama death indicates he came to stay with son at the end of his life.
    His step-mother Mabel took the money and ran to the Riviera ho ho.
    and that first Mrs Ron had a hosiery ‘pal’ and his father was a hosierist tells me she might have been seduced by her father-in-laws friend.
    What is it about stockings and some men? 50 years ago when I was in Year 12 I went to the general store with my friend Julie in one of the small towns along the peninsula where we lived, because we needed stockings for the school dance. The shop guy leered at us and said “You can have them for free if you let me put them on you”.
    We fled. Scarred for life.
    Isn’t that cursive script on the house contract just beautiful?

  2. This is fantastic! I need to do some research into the history of my house, I just need to find some time first! Have you got any pictures of your house when it was originally built? This is something I would also love to get hold of, or even of the road, as I’d like them framed and put up in the hall…. That’s as soon as we have plastered and painted walls of course! Ha!

    • I wish I had photos of the house – inside and out – but I don’t. When the house is finished I want to get a local illustrator/artist to do a pen and ink drawing of the house to frame and display.

  3. Pingback: House History #7 – The Harrisons | Edwardian House Renovation

  4. My mum is a Weston-Webb, the only daughter of Leslie Weston-Webb, who migrated to New Zealand with two of his brothers in 1924. Great to see this added to as part of the family history. I have photos, etc. Tony Rasmussen

  5. Pingback: House History | Edwardian House Renovation

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