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The Hermitage circa 1932.

The Hermitage in the 1930s

Shena Lewington

I have learnt that my great-grandfather William Johnstone (1872–1965) lived at The Hermitage (now Wymeswold House) Far Street, Wymeswold, in the 1920s and 1930s.

In 1915 William and his family (my grandmother Norah Hanbury, and her siblings Mary Ellen and William Rodger Johnstone) were living in Quorn. His first wife, Mary Ellen Johnstone (née Sieber), died at The Hermitage in 1932. In 1933 he married another lady called Sophia Cooper, with the marriage registered in Loughborough.

According to the national Register prepared at the start of the Second World War in 1939, William and his second wife Sophia had moved to Woking in Surrey. This indicates their residence at The Hermitage as between 1926 and 1934–5 [see additional information from Joanna Weldon below].

I then lose track of William Johnstone's whereabouts until Sophia died in Woking, Surrey in 1948. William later moved to Kingston Vale (a district of Kingston upon Thames) and died in 1965.

I have a photograph of The Hermitage taken circa 1932 and labelled 'Norah's home', suggesting that the family was there for long enough for the children to grow up there.

Mary Ellen Johnstone (1871–1932) aged 20.

Rodger Johnstone (brother of Norah Hanbury)

The Hermitage garden circa 1932. The people are 'Mummy' (Norah Hanbury, née Johnstone, 1901–64); 'Uncle Rodger' (William Rodger Johnstone, 1902–90); 'Sam' (Samuel William Didsbury Spurr, 1905–64); and 'Aunt Mary' (Mary Ellen Wylie Johnstone, 1904–68).


The marriage of Samuel Spurr to Mary Ellen Wylie Johnstone in London, September 1933.

Additional information from Joanna Weldon

I think Anthony's parents bought the house in 1935 as Anthony was born here in June 1936. As you know I changed the façade. But who took the top floor off, raised the main rooms' ceilings and put the Victorian bays on? I would love to know.

Additional information from Anthony Weldon

I am sure that the house was as owned by the Johnstone family until 1934 when my parents purchased it.

I would be very interested too find the dates when the remodelling was done as we altered the house to its present day situation in 1968. Very pleased to receive any history or comments and discussions.

If anyone reading this has any information about The Hermitage (a.k.a. Wymeswold House) after 1871 then please email bobtrubs@indigogroup.co.uk and I will forward to Shena and the Weldons.

Wymeswold local history articles