Those who have purchased a copy of the history group’s book (‘Tollerton: A Village History’) will have seen that delightful poem about the village written by Frank Joseph Plowright. Some weeks ago the group established contact with two of Frank’s daughters now in their 80s and visited one of them in person in late February, 2016. Neither of the daughters had seen the poem before nor a letter that Frank wrote in 1974 to the owners of Bassingfield House after revisiting Tollerton and his childhood home.
Through our visit to Frank’s daughter we acquired some family photographs including one of Frank Joseph Plowright as a young man. It’s good to be able to put a face to the name of this talented man.
Frank Plowright was the youngest child born to Henry and Frances Plowright (nee Taylor). Given that Frank was born in Tollerton in 1895 but their second youngest child, Edith, was born in 1892 in Ruddington it would appear that the family came to Tollerton sometime between 1892 and 1895 from Ruddington where they had been farming for some 30+ years. However prior to farming, Henry’s father, Richard born 1808 (that would be Frank’s grandfather) and three of Richard’s sons were framework knitters, like many residents in Ruddington in the first half of the 19th century. The 1851 Census lists Richard and his sons John, Richard and Thomas as FWKs.
Other family photographs show the Plowright family gathered outside Bassingfield Farm in April 1912 on the occasion of Edith Plowright 21st birthday. Edith was one of Frank’s older sisters. Frank is on the far left in this photograph and his parents, Henry and Frances, are in the centre of the picture, surrounded by their other children.
A year later, in 1913, Edith Plowright married Roy Fielding and he also features in this family photograph, far right.
Further photographs are of Frank’s mother, Frances (nee Taylor), and Henry, his father. In the latter Henry is gazing across the fields in Tollerton though we have no exact location nor a date for when this photograph was taken but likely to be around 1912-1916.
By 1918 Henry, his wife, Frances, and other family members had moved to Bingham Road, Radcliffe on Trent and Frank had joined the army. According to information held in the National Archives at Kew, Frank Joseph Plowright was a 2nd Lieutenant in the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the Bedfordshire Regiment and served in this regiment between 1915 and 1921. Henry died in 1922 and Frances in 1933 at the age of 86 years.
A further photograph shows Frances Plowright and her daughter, Hannah born 1878, though we have no idea when and where this photograph was taken. As indicated in the history group’s book Hannah was a trained nurse based in Nottingham.
In 1911 Frank’s brother, Richard Henry Plowright, along with his wife Mabel Annie (nee Chamberlain) born in Plumtree and two daughters, Adeline Mary born 1909 and Myre Annie born 1911, were living at Russells Farm, Tollerton but this arm of family appear to have come back to live at Bassingfield Farm as documents indicate they were here in 1924 and 1928.
Frank Joseph Plowright married Margaret Welch in 1921. They had five daughters all of whom were born in the Sutton Coldfield area or Derbyshire where Frank established himself as a dairyman. Margaret Welch’s family lived in central Nottingham. The final photograph shows Frank and Margaret on their wedding day surrounded by members of both the Plowright and Welch families and it is thought this photograph was taken outside one of the houses near the Arboretum in Nottingham. What a lovely photograph it is.
Our sincere thanks go to members of the Plowright family for sharing these photographs and enabling us to extend our knowledge of this family who resided in Tollerton at the end of the 1800s and early 1900s.