Hatterells: Paying the rent

2 Feb

Yesterday I mentioned that I didn’t know exactly when my grandmother Dorothy Annie GASSON and her children were at Hatterells, West Grinstead, Sussex,  but I do have some hard evidence which might help fill in some of the gaps.

This is the rent book for Hatteralls [sic] used by my grandmother, and as you can see she was not the first person to use it. The previous tenant appears to have been V. Patching.

The name of the landlord is not clear, but I believe it is D Berry. The address is certainly clear, Clothalls Farm, which is the closest building to Hatterells, about a quarter of a mile as the crow flies to the north-west of Hatterells, and which is still standing.

[I think the landlord is probably Dudley Berry, who was listed as a farmer in West Grinstead in the 1938 Kelly’s Directory of Sussex, and is definitely at Clothalls Farm in 1951-52 according to The Silver Eagle Horsham Urban and Rural Directory]

The book consists of a cardboard cover and now holds three sheets of paper (although presumably it once had more), two of which are blotting paper. To my surprise they are actually stapled into the book, I would have expected the blotting paper to be removable so that it could be used facing which ever page was being written on.

The other sheet is shown below and has entries on both sides detailing the amount of rent due and the date it was due along with a record of how much was actually paid.

As you can see someone (I don’t know if it was definitely my grandmother, it may have been the previous tenant still), was paying 10 shillings a week in rent, and on occasion they missed a week and paid double the following week.

Whether this was due to a lack of money, not being home when the landlord called or just that the landlord didn’t come to collect the money I will probably never know.

More importantly this show that someone was paying rent from at least the 18th September 1943 and the reverse of the page shows that the entries continue until the 9th September 1944.

Interestingly for the last two entries it seems that the weekly rent had gone up to 10s 8d, which may be why the entries finish (although it was the end of the page), did my grandmother seek cheaper accommodation when the rent was increased?

This is not the only rent book in my collection and I should be looking more closely at the others to see what other clues and insights that they hold.

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