Roads of Hartley - Wickhams Way (DA3 8DH)
Wickhams Way is a small close of 5 large modern houses just off Church Road, built on the site of two older houses "Brumleigh" and "Laxton". It is named in honour of Herbert "Skip" Wickham, who lived opposite at Top O'the Hill. He was for many years the leader of the Forest Cub Pack and the naming of the road shows the high regard he was held in by local people. His abilities as a scout master were great, but even he never could not manage to teach this ten thumbed writer how to tie knots!
Historically this road lies over one of the fields of Woodins farm. The land was bought by Payne and Trapps Limited in 1905, but the eventual development of this end of Church Road owes more to the traditional field pattern than the standard 25 feet plots they envisaged. Wickhams Way formed part of 7 plots bought by James Proctor in 1912. Laxton was built about 1921 and Brumleigh followed in 1928, when the land was bought by David Gray, the proprietor of Fairby Stores, just before he sold the business. Laxton had the same owner for almost 50 years.
A Horton Kirby firm, Avonglade Limited bought both houses in 1986 and got planning permission for the close at the second attempt, in spite of the opposition of the Parish Council.
1929 Advert for Fairby Stores, prop DTR Gray. Note the range of items sold (and the one digit phone number!)