12: Meanwhile, back on the Waterside


While the Musselwhite drama was unfolding in London life around Fawley and the Waterside carried on much as it had done for a hundred years. In particular the Orman and Bunday families were scratching a living in the nearby hamlets of Exbury, Langley and Blackfield. Using the footpaths the distance between Exbury and Ashlett was under four miles and to people without cars and bicycles that was no distance at all to walk, they could do it in less than an hour and a half.

It was back in 1835 that Samuel Orman married Mary Jones in Exbury. Mary Jones, born 1817, was the “illegitimate” daughter of a Fanny Jones about who we know absolutely nothing at all! Samuel and Mary had a son in 1841 who they named Moses. They already had two older children, James and Hannah. The 1841 census records that they were living in Exbury but there is no specific address given. Samuel Orman was a brickyard labourer so bricks were being made somewhere in the Exbury district.

By 1851 Samuel and Mary had four further children and were still living in Exbury. James, their eldest son, now just 15 was working in the brickyard with his father whilst Moses, only 10, was a ploughboy. Samuel and Mary were to have eight children in all. Both Samuel and Mary died in 1887, Samuel was 77 and Mary 72.

In 1860, at the age of 19, Moses Orman married Eliza Read. Eliza was the daughter of James Read and Sarah (nee Bracher) who lived at Harford Heath near Beaulieu and James Read was a sawyer, an obvious occupation for a man of the New Forest! Once married Moses and Eliza lived in Exbury where Moses was working in the same brickyard as his father and elder brother. They had a baby boy who was born in 1861; the boy was named George.

By 1871 Moses and Eliza Orman had moved to West Common, Langley and still had just the one child, George. George Orman joined the navy and was at sea when the 1881 census was taken, he was then aged 21. George came home from sea and married Annie Bundy in 1889 and they lived in Blackfield and then in 1890 their first daughter was born, Beatrice Orman. Eliza died in 1894, just 55 years old. Samuel died in 1919 aged 79.

The Bundy’s lived in Frost Lane, Fawley. Annie’s father was a general labourer and his wife, Elizabeth was the sister of Sarah Read, an aunt of Eliza who had married Moses Orman. So the families were obviously very close.

By 1901 George and Annie Orman had moved to Fernleigh Cottage at West Common. They had seven children living with them but the eldest, Beatrice, was not there. George Orman died in 1930 aged 69 but Annie lived until 1957 when she died at the age of 88. Their eldest daughter, Beatrice, married Charles Edward Orchard in October 1910 In All Saints, Fawley. Beatrice Orman was, of course, my grandmother.  

After their marriage in 1910 Beatrice (nee Orman) moved in to Seaview Cottage in Ashlett with her new husband Charles Orchard and 'Grannie' Musselwhite (nee Ann Wheeler) and they  lived there until Charles retired at 65 in 1952 and it was in this small cottage where all fourteen of their children were to be born and raised; but as my father (Alfred) was quick to point out, they were not all there at the same time! The cottage was semi-detached so  they only had half of it! One can only marvel at how they managed.

Grannie Mussellwhite continued to live with them until she died in 1925 aged 93! She was remembered with fondness by those children of the family who were old enough to remember her.

When Charles and Beatrice eventually left Seaview Cottage they moved to nearby Blackfield living for a while in Newlands Close before then moving into a house in Heather Road. Many of their children lived nearby on the Waterside and, indeed, many of their grandchildren still do to this day. Seaview Cottage is owned by Cadland Estates and is now rented holiday accommodation. I imagine that Charles Orchard worked for the estate as a painter and was allowed to stay in the cottage whilst he worked for them and had to leave on retirement. That is just speculation of course but does seem likely. 

Beatrice died in 1962 aged 75 and Charles lived on until 1972 when he died at the age 85.


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