Received 12 February 2012
I am impressed by the Blackmore village history web site, there is a lot of information here, and a lot of work has obviously gone into it. I hope it was a labour of love!
I used to live in Blackmore, enjoyed my time there and only moved away as my job moved and commuting from Blackmore was just not on. I was made redundant a few years ago and now fill in some of my time as a volunteer at the London Metropolitan Archives (LMA), where I have recently been working with the records of the training Ship ‘Exmouth’. It was moored on the Thames off Grays in Essex, and was used in a scheme set up in the mid C19 by the Metropolitan Asylums Board to look after boys, usually either orphans, or with a single parent who was unable to look after them, so the boys had to be taken into care. The boys, who had to be ‘of good character’, lived on the ship and were given training that would suit them either for the Navy or the Merchant Marine. They were on the ship for varying periods of time, starting anytime after age 11, and required to leave, if still there, by their 16th birthday.
I wondered if you would be interested to know that there is a record of a boy Alfred Charles Martin, son of A.C. Martin (possibly the same name) of Vine Cottage Blackmore, on the ship in 1920. I am sure I remember a Vine Cottage being in the village when I lived there, is it near the little round-about? (the only house I do remember was Swan Cottage at the end of Church Lane because of the pargetting that it carried). The record of Alfred Charles Martin on the ship gives a note of his height, weight, leg length and boot size (which is unusual, most entries do not carry that much information) and also say that he was a somnambulist.
Might this be of any interest for your record of names?
Replied 13 February 2012
Thank you for your E Mail. This is an interesting piece of social history.
Vine Cottage was the home of Emma Bass. I understand that she was a foster-parent to a number of children, one of whom was Edwin Alexander, a victim of the First World War.
It would be interesting to find out more about Alfred Martin. I will take a look through the notes I have, and come back to you.