Old Stratford - Wharf House near Hayes Wharf

A view of Wharf House near "Hayes Wharf", during the mid 1800s it was used as the "Tramp Ward"

David Jones purchased Wharf House from Edward Hayes 9th October 1902, William Henry Samson had been in occupation according to the deeds.

Electoral Roll records show David Jones as an "occupation voter" (successive) from house at Old Stratford to Wharf house in 1898.

David Jones (Headmaster of the British School, Stony Stratford) with his wife Mary Ann 'Minnie' Smith, standing outside their home, Wharf House, Old stratford, with thier family, c.1918. Both were from Worcester.

Back row L-R: David Jones, Mary Ann Jones, Minnie Jones (who married Jim Payne of Paynes' Coaches), Evelyn Jones who married Archie Dormer. Headmaster of Russell Street School, Stony Stratford).
Front row: Dora (who married Walter Mackerness, chemist, Wolverton) with her daughter 'Little Dora', Eric Jones (in the chair) , "Joe " Horace Jones (on his lap).
Harold Jones was absent: he was away in the army as a result of the First World War. [text Audrey Lambert]

'Little Dora' Mackerness taking her doll for a walk. Her gandpaarents' home, Wharf House, Old Stratford, is in the background. David Jones, her grandfather, also owned the three brick cottages nearby and Dora lived in the nearest to Wharf House. She later married Lewis Clark . Dora was a W.I. member for many years and held pillowlace-making classes at her home in Clarence Road, Stony Stratford.
[text Audrey Lambert]
Lace make by Dora Mackerness

The Wolverton Express June 30th 1961

Sixteen young Germans crowded into the lounge and dining room of 112 Clarence Road, Stony Stratford, on Monday evening to see a demonstration of one of Buckinghamshire’s most famous crafts of bygone years – pillow lace making.
They watched fascinated as Mrs. Dora Clark, whose home they were in manipulated the colourful bobbins on her 100-year-old pillow and the intricate pattern slowly came to life on the delicate lace edging. Helping her demonstrate this rural craft was her mother, Mrs. W. H. Mackerness (70), of Leighton Buzzard and formerly of Old Stratford. Mrs. Mackerness kept the chemist’s shop in Stratford Road, Wolverton, for many years.
The young Germans came from Trier some ten to 12 miles from the Luxembourg border. Eleven were still at school and five in full time work. Their ages ranged from 17 to 23.
They were evidently most interested to see lacemakers at work and explained that there is nothing like this in their part of Germany. Lace is however handmade in the Black Forest and Luxembourg.
Mrs. Clark who has been making lace since someone gave her a pillow as a child was able to show them a bobbin winder over 100 years old and examples of Bucks, Beds, and Torchon lace. She made lace on a pillow on a wooden “horse” and was able to display many interesting bobbins including one that read “If I like boys that’s nothing to nobody.”
The oldest bobbin was one bearing a small medallion dated 1827, and there were many others bearing names or recording family happenings.
Mrs. Mackerness, though she knew something of lacemaking as a child, did not take it up as a hobby until she went to live in Bedfordshire. She has now been making lace for some 18 months.

Eric Jones. In the background are the three cottages owned by David Jones.

"Joe" Horace Jones

"Joe" Horace Jones by Hayes Wharf buildings
"Joe" Horace and Eric Jones on the canal spur to Hayes Wharf

L-R: "Joe" Horace Jones, Mimmie Jones, Mary Ann Jones with relatives from Worcester.
Do you know where this yard is in Old Stratford?


We regret to record the death of Mr. David Jones, who passed away yesterday (Thursday) afternoon at his at his residence, Old Stratford. He had been in indifferent health for some time and about two months ago ceased work altogether.
Mr. Jones no well-known in the Stony Stratford district, having been headmaster of the British and Council School for 36 years.
He was born at Worcester. In early years he showed great aptitude for knowledge. He was successful in winning a scholarship and was sent to the Worcester Grammar School. He decided to adopt the teaching profession and after leaving Worcester proceeded to the Borough Road Training College, where he passed out with honours an matriculation. From the Training College he came to Stony Stratford, where he resided for the rest of his days. He very soon entered into the activities of the town, being well-known for his out, spoken views on all subjects. His early efforts were greatly in demand with the formation of a Philharmonic Orchestra, and he took a leading part in the doings of the Debating Society which flourished twenty years ago. He was also interested in fishing and the Angling Association of the town found in him an enthusiastic supporter. In politics his views were regarded by many as being too idealistic, but many who differed from him admired his outspoken courage. During the Boer War his views created some hostility. Later on he ceased political work for the more congenial atmosphere of teaching.
For many years he conducted a Sunday afternoon class, which proved a great success and help to the town. His addresses Sunday by Sunday drew large audiences, and although non -religious they were of a high ethical tone. The philanthropic work conducted by the Class brought much relief to distressed homes.
Mr. Jones's keenest interests, however, were in teaching, he experienced a large amount of private coaching, in which he was most successful. All subjects came to him with facility, but in mathematics he was supreme. His past students run into hundreds and many successful men to-day are indebted to his kindly interest in starting them on the road to success. He was always ready to assist anyone to whom his knowledge could of service and freely did he give his talents to rich and poor alike. He was held its great esteem by both children and parents. But his strenuous efforts at last told upon his constitution and he realised late in life that be had been using up his energies too quickly. He was 55 years of age and passed away peacefully yesterday afternoon.

Bucks Standard 22nd March 1924

David Jones – Schoolmaster

An appreciation by R Ewart Barley, an old scholar, now in New Zealand

“To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die!” Tennyson

One months ago I sat with four other Stony Stratford young men, all living in New Zealand. We were talking of early days and old times, old scenes and old associations. We were all British schoolboys and each agreed that David jones had been the greatest influence outside our home circle in the moulding of character and the shaping of life’s outlook. The potency of influence in the plastic years can never be tabulated. I venture to affirm that hundreds of men in useful positions throughout our far flung Empire look back to the old British schooldays and the tenets taught by a man of unusual ability and stupendous energy of mind. When I heard that David Jones, schoolmaster, of Stony Stratford, was dead, the floodgate of my memory lifted. Scenes of happy childhood and youth came singing out of the misty past. I saw myself sitting once again in the old yellow brick British School with its lantern windows and whitewashed walls. All the school were the tiptoe of expectancy. We all breathed deeply, wondering who he would be, and how hard he could wield the lash.

The door opened, and a youth on the verge of manhood stepped in. I remember him now, fresh from Borough Road Training College. His face was ruddy and hairless, and he wore a silk bell topper. The first and last I ever saw of it.

The Rev T Baker, the Baptist Minister at that time, introduced him to the school. He spoke to us, and his deep, stentorian West Country rang through the room like the murmur of many waters.

“Children,“ he said, “I have come to be your master, but not only your master, I want to be your friend.”

Something in the man (child as I was) appealed to me and I felt the hot tears course down my cheeks.

“There is a cane in this desk,” he said, “I hope that I shall get such obedience during my sojourn here that I shall never need to use it.” The time came when he took the cane from the desk and burnt it before our eyes and abolished the system of corporal punishment from the school with marked success. In those early days, in school and out of school I found him a friend as he suggested.

He was a great fisherman, and nothing gave me greater pleasure when he was living with Mrs John Canvin at the corner of the High Street, than to get up early on a Saturday and accompany him to Woods Mill in Passenham and spend the day by the winding stream. He was a great student, and most of his odd moments, even when spent fishing, were spent reading or working out some subject for future work.

From the very earliest days I was attracted by the charm of his language and his exceptional gift of eloquence. I remember he preached to a crowded congregation in the Baptist Church soon after his arrival. Hi prayer and reading of the Scripture were a revelation, but his address was a blaze of oratory, and his peroration an avalanche of adjectives with a climax that set the soul on fire. It was the story of the Shunammite women, and the burden of the theme was “Don’t send a Deputy – if you want a thing done well, do it yourself.”

I may say that most of the knowledge I have of Old Testament history and heroes, Psalmists, patriarchs and prophets, I gained from the early morning scripture lessons in those days at school. David and Jonathan, Abraham and Moses, became living realities as we heard of them in these descriptive morning talks. Our master’s love of music went a long way in holding the school together. I think I can say without doubt more children with a love of music were turned out from that school than any seminary of its size.

David Jones spurned the stale, stilted songs of the education department and wrote the words and composed the ever-haunting melodies that the children loved, and delighted to sing. Songs of nature, of flowers, and bees and butterflies and babbling brooks, they well up through my subconscious mind as fresh and as new as in the bygone yesterday.

Singing up high are we

Laughing in childish glee

Swinging beneath the trees

Blossoms and twigs and leaves.

The flowers bloomed in a fairy glen

Beside a murmuring stream.

Away from town and haunts of men

They passed life’s little dream.

If I forget the hard sums and the grinding grammar I shall ever reverence David Jones for this love of song and his knowledge of the child heart. There was poetry and music in his soul. When he sat down to the piano and ran his fingers over the keys he thrilled me through and through. I can see him even now in the school concert at Xmastide. In the school I felt his power, but it was after my schooldays, I think, he played even a greater part in the formation of my character. At that time a Sunday afternoon class (afterwards merged into the Brotherhood movement) was started by a Mr J S Tibbetts in the Congregational Schoolroom. With a few more I ventured in each Sunday. Mr Jones was the speaker and he dealt with early Biblical subjects such as the Creation, Cain and Abel, David and Jonathan etc. The Class grew and we moved to the Public Hall and from there to the College Chapel where Mr Fegan’s Orphanage is today.

It was in these Sunday meetings of Song and music and speech that we heard our friend at his very best. It was in those years that he burned himself out with a desire for the betterment of mankind. He passed from the religious side to the social gospel and waged a weekly word war against the iniquities and oppression that beset humanity. There was nothing secular to him. His gospel of utilitarianism and humanitarianism was new to those days and he was ostracised by heresy hunters, but today the ship which he helped to launch has sailed successfully into port.

Always an ardent pacifist, he suffered unpopularity to the extent of half bricks during the Boer War for his peace principles. From the Stony Stratford S.A.C. his fame as a speaker spread and many were the calls on his strength and time and ability. At Northampton he addressed thousands in the theatre. He went to Wellingborough and Rushden and Towcester and earned a wide reputation as a speaker, but he was only human and “nature (to use one of his own sentences) is a just creditor”.

Years ago he felt the lamp of life burn dim and the fires which blazed with such fury for a number of seasons began to wane. It is a joy today to think of his ability in debate, his quick repartee, his literary satire, his power in reply. His lecture on Oliver Cromwell was a marvellous feat of memory. How he could take a character like Cromwell and make him live before his audience for an hour or more, give dates, incidents and anecdotes without a note of any kind and finish up with a rushing tornado of rhetoric dazzling in its climax. Ah, but he suffered for it and his wife only knew too well what it meant in nerve output to face such ordeals on top of his school duties and a host of coaching engagements. I do not hold him up as a perfect man. He knew himself that he had faults, and who had not?

I write this in after years. I have not left these memory bouquets for his burial. I wrote to him and thanked him personally for his interest and his devotion to the cause of education and the welfare of child life. When I heard that David Jones was dead I say in all honesty I shed a silent tear and mourned, with many others, the loss of one whose hand I would have liked to grasp again – one of those with whom I have felt a soul unity that 16,000 miles of ocean blue has never severed.

He has gone, “The hand of time has snatched him into the erstwhile shadows.”

“The master has gone and the school is out.”

Many in the latter years only knew him as the schoolmaster but in the early years he flamed with a holy passion against the evils and iniquities that beset mankind. Ever and anon his influence will go out. This is the unquenchable immutability that lives undying and unfading down the changing centuries. As Thompson says:

“Good deeds can never die.

They with the sun and moon renew their light

Forever blessing those that look on them.”

I said he has gone, but there is no death –

“Tis but the portal to the larger life

Free from the fret, the fever and the strife

Of Earth’s hard way.

And today I hear his ringing peroration:

“Twilight, sunset and evening bell

And one clear call for me

And may there be no sadness of farewell

When I put out to sea.”