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Thursday, 18 March 2021

Lettice Floyd

The Floyd family were wealthy local landowners who owned several local farms including Arnold Farm in Cromwell Lane. They were social reformers and philanthropists and had a long association with Burton Green School.

Education in Burton Green can be traced back to the 1840s, when local children were educated by Mrs Chatterway in her cottage which was very near to Moat Farm, in Hob Lane. She was supported by Ann Floyd (1813-1884). 

In 1842 Ann Floyd's father, William Floyd (b1771) put up the money to build a purpose-build school, which was built on land donated by Lord Claverdon.  

This was the large brick-built building that we know today. The building was intended to be used as a school and also as a place of worship on Sundays.

This figure shows part of the Floyd family tree. 

Ann's brother, William (1807-1879), married Alison Clapperton who was the sister of Jane Hume Clapperton, the philosopher and social reformer.  

The Floyd family owned many farms and other properties in the area including Beanit Farm in Hob Lane, Arnold's Farm in Cromwell Lane, Beechwood House Farm in Tanners Lane, and Home Farm in Spencers Lane, plus several cottages around the district. 

In the 1800s the large field just behind Arnold Farm was known as Floyd's Close. 

The Burton Green School Log Book and Miss Floyd

There is a Burton Green School Log Book, which is effectively a diary of school activities written by the head teacher. The log book is now kept in the archives of the Warwick Records Office. 

The log book includes numerous references to a 'Miss Floyd'. One or other of the Floyd sisters visited the school occasionally, over a period of 36 years, the first visit being in 1875 and the last visit in 1910. 

Most of the entries simply say 'Miss Floyd visited', but there are a few more informative entries. These are some examples...

12 February 1881
"Miss Floyd and a lady-friend came in on Thursday and heard the children sing.
 Miss Floyd spoke to the children after school about the 'Missionaries'"

20 January 1883
"Miss Floyd came in today and heard the 1st Class read, 
she afterwards promised the children a Tea for Monday"

25 November 1887
"Miss Floyd visited the school on Friday morning and gave the children some apples"

20 December 1889 (Christmas)
"Miss Floyd and a lady friend visited on Friday morning & heard the children sing. Afterwards each child received a prize from Miss Floyd who also gave them a Christmas Card and an orange."

17 July 1908
"Miss Floyd invited all the children to tea at her house today"

William Floyd (1807-1879) had two daughters - Lettice Floyd and Mary Floyd. Most of the entries in the school log book simply refer to 'Miss Floyd' and it is not clear whether this refers to Lettice Floyd or Mary Floyd. A very small number of entries do include an initial - L Floyd or M Floyd, and on a few occasions both women visited the school together. There are some periods when we know that Lettice Floyd was working away from home but, in general, we do not know which sister each of the entries in the school log refers to.

An article about the Floyd family, written by Jean Musgrove, which was published by the Berkswell Local History Group, includes a paragraph about Lettice Floyd and states that she was an active supporter of the suffragette movement and that visiting Burton Green school was one of her activities:

Social Activism

Jean Musgrove's article does not give any further details about Lettice Floyd's activities in the suffragette movement.

In 1888 Lettice Floyd went to work as a nurse a children's hospital, and we know that from September 1895 to September 1898 she was working as a sister (in charge of a ward) at the Nottingham Children's hospital. Her time spent working in the children's hospital motivated her to become an active social justice campaigner.

In 1907 Lettice Floyd returned to Berkswell, and together with her sister, founded a local branch of the non-militant Women's Suffrage Society. But shortly afterwards, in 1908, the Berkswell branch was dissolved and its members joined the militant Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU).

The first significant reference to Lettice Floyd in a national newspaper occurs in October 1908. This would have been three months after the Floyd sisters had entertained all of the school children at their house...

At their trial the accused were ordered to be of good behaviour for 12 months, otherwise they would be sent to prison. None of them would agree to be bound over to be of good behaviour...

After they had served their sentences...

This is from the women's suffrage newspaper 'Votes For Women'...

Lettice took part in a further demonstration and was arrested a second time, but not charged, a year later, on 'Black Friday', 13 November 1910. This occasion was notable for the violence which the Police used against the suffragettes. This is from Lettice Floyd's entry in the National Biography
She was arrested for a second time the following November after travelling to London to take part in the mass protest organized against the loss of the women's suffrage 'Conciliation Bill'. The demonstrators encountered considerable violence, the day becoming notorious as ‘Black Friday’, but no charges were brought, the government realizing that to do so would be to incur adverse publicity.

Lettice travelled to London again in March 1912 to take part in a further protest...

Lettice Floyd was one of those arrested and subsequently sentenced to two months hard labour...

According to her entry in the National Biography, on this occasion, in prison she went on hunger strike and was forcibly fed. 

Being forcibly fed was a very unpleasant experience, and came to be regarded as the hallmark of the suffragette martyr. 

After their release from prison, suffragettes who had been force fed or received other exceptionally harsh treatment were given a personalised Certificate of Thanks showing their name in a bold script and signed by Emmeline Pankhurst. This image of such a certificate is a screenshot from a BBC documentary (The Suffragettes).

Click to enlarge

This image is not original. but it is a reasonably accurate reconstruction of a Certificate of Thanks. 

The suffragette campaign was suspended at the outset of WWI. Women's suffrage was eventually granted, at the end of the World War, in 1918

Disposal of the Estate - Legacy - Margaret McMillan House

After the deaths of her brothers William (d1895) and George (d1922), and her elder sister, Mary (d1918), the entire estate, of Beanit Farm, Arnold Farm, Home Farm and other properties, was inherited by Lettice Floyd (1922). 

Lettice Floyd maintained ownership of the entire estate until her own death in 1934.

After her death the estate was divided into lots and sold at a public auction. Arnold Farm was sold for £1,600. The two cottages adjacent to Arnold's Farm which had also been part of the estate were sold for £450 for the pair. The sale of the estate fetched £13,810. 

Lettice Floyd's total assets amounted to £51,660.

As directed in her will, various bequests of sums of money were made to friends and acquaintances, but the majority was gifted to the Rachel McMillan Centre, a children's charity, and was subsequently used to build the Margaret McMillan House at Wrotham, Kent. This is a country retreat outside London where children from deprived backgrounds can go to experience adventure holidays and other activities.

Rachel McMillan (1857-1917) was a social reformer with a particular interest in children's welfare. Rachel McMillan had taught at a girls' school in Coventry for 3 years c1874-1876.

The Margaret McMillan House at Wrotham was opened by the Duke of York  (shortly to become King George VI) in May 1936 ...

The Duchess of Cambridge visiting the Margaret McMillan House at Wrotham, 12th June 2012.

For most of these children it was the first time they had seen the countryside. 

Talk by the Royal College of Nursing 

Lettice Floyd was featured in a talk given by the RCN Library and Archive Service, on 11 March 2021, and which was presented over the internet during the pandemic. 

The section about Lettice Floyd begins at 15 minutes into the talk..


There is a complete biography of Lettice Floyd here:

That biography is a verbatim copy of the biography of Lettice Floyd which appears in the book The Women's Suffrage Movement, A Reference Guide, 1866-1928, written by Elizabeth Crawford.

Sunday, 14 March 2021

Minutes of Residents' Association Committee Meeting March 11th 2021

The meeting was held virtually via Zoom because of the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic restrictions.


Dianne Adams; Paddy Deeley; Andy Gibbs; Judi Hibberd; Janet Hickinbottom; Rona Taylor; Faith Ward; Mary Webb.

1  Apologies and Minutes of the last meeting (January 21st 2021)

Apologies had been received from Bron Putnam, Hilary Cox and Helen Hehir. Cheryl Wall, Chair of the Village Hal committee had also sent apologies.

Summary of actions following the meetingResponsible
Find out about emptying of binsPaddy
Purchase long-handles litter grabbersMary
Set up fund-raising page for Children in Need rambleDianne
Ask LM about turfing the Jubilee VergeRona
Contact Parish Council suggesting noticeboard on Cala Estate Hilary 


Minutes of the last meeting and Matters Arising

See January 21st 2021 meeting

Matters Arising from the previous minutes

  • Community Fund item to remain on agenda - ongoing
  • Maintain list of suggestions for funding requests – ongoing
  • Arrangements for next year’s end of year accounts – Sally Keys who had been recommended by Marlene Hills had carried out the inspection in 2020 and had agreed to do the same this year. 
  • List of suggestions for HS2 funding - maintained
  • List of priorities for precept money - maintained
  • Funding required via Parish Council grant – request submitted
  • Locate defibrillator notices – new notices would be ordered to be placed in the Parish Council noticeboard and suggestions requested for other places. The locations would be explained in a future edition of the Bugle.
  • Ask LM about facilitating plugging Christmas tree lights into lamppost 2021. Reply received from Melanie Ryan, Community Engagement Officer, LM:
 LM has put this to HS2, and we or HS2 will also put it to Warwickshire County Council. From what I understand about maintenance arrangements going forward, HS2 will be coordinating/covering management of the temporary Greenway infrastructure – but WCC will be the local authority for that particular lamppost. We’re hoping we can get everyone’s agreement and sign-off on this so Christmas lights could be plugged in, in December 2021.
  • Plan for re-use of materials for British Legion centenary in Nov 2021- to be included in future meetings.
  • Contact WCC regarding blocked drain on Red Lane. Completed. Potholes still to be dealt with.
  • Send flowers to Betty Woodward – completed.

The minutes of the January meeting were approved.

2 Village Hall

Paddy reported that there was still no start date for the commencement of the Village Hall building. Discussions were still taking place regarding drainage issues. The field was currently being levelled.

3 Treasurer’s Report

A report had been circulated as follows:
Current Account net balance: £1781.49
Deposit Account net balance: £1006.09
Total Funds (A): £2787.58
Ring Fenced Funds (B) (Balance remaining of monies donated/allocated for specific purposes but not yet spent):- Defibrillator: £ 149.56
Freely available/unallocated Funds (A – B): £2638.02 

For Information: Major Expenditure Since Last Meeting:
Book tokens for Snowman Competition - £10
Litter Pickers – 38.98
Income Since Last Meeting - None
Outstanding Parish Funds to be used by 31 March 2021 - £240.88.
These would be used for the next edition of the Bugle.

Thanks were given to Dianne for her efficient handling of the accounts. 

4 Residents’ views/concerns

  • HS2 issues
Access to and use of Greenway - 
LM had been asked about signage on the Greenway. A response had been received as follows:
There are various types of signs for the Greenway diversion being installed, and we will also be putting up information boards showing the diversion route and giving HS2 Helpdesk details. We’ve had several requests from Burton Green residents to add more signs with specific instructions, e.g. ‘must keep dogs on a lead’, ‘cycle slowly’, etc. Some of these, we won’t be able to accommodate/install – because they would go against local authority guidelines for country parks. However, we’ll install as much information as we can (without making it too cluttered) and we’ll make sure the information boards carry general messages about using the temporary Greenway in a safe and responsible manner – covering dog walkers, cyclists, horse riders, and all types of users with messages about being careful and considerate.

Questions were asked about who had been consulted about signage. It was agreed a watching brief should be kept on the erection of further signs. Was the Greenway Trust involved? It was thought this was not the case. The bin at the top of the closed-off ramp had still not been moved. It appeared a plethora of bins was now in existence. Who would be responsible for the emptying of the bins? Paddy agreed to ask. Action: Paddy
A discussion took place with reference to the new temporary Greenway with mixed views expressed. There remained concerns about its width and the Parish Council was pursuing this matter. Waste materials continued to be left by the contractors but it was hoped all these would be removed in a final clear up of the area as LM completed its work. 
Parking for those visiting the Greenway was a problem which would be exacerbated once the roadworks on Cromwell Lane took place. This issue was also being addressed by the Parish Council.
  • A resident was pursuing the difficulties caused by parking on pavements by leaving notices showing vehicles parked in a similar way having parking tickets.

5 Update on and discussion of Residents’ Association initiatives and issues

  • Approach council re plugging in lights on lamppost on the verge for Christmas 2021. Already discussed under Matters Arising.
  • Wooden sculptures – Discussions had taken place and it had been agreed that Burton Green community would receive two benches and two sculptures of a fox and an owl made from felled trees along the Greenway.  These would be placed in the grounds of the new Village Hall at an appropriate time.  Receipt and storage of other timber was being discussed. Charlie Hubbard was being very helpful in this matter.
  • Sandstone blocks from the Greenway bridges to be saved for plant troughs –Demolition of the bridges along the Greenway (between Cromwell Lane and Waste Lane) was imminent. Paddy had not received replies from any questions. It was hoped that BBV would be amenable to creating the troughs at the entrances to the village.
  • March 21st litter pick – volunteers should meet in the Village Hall car park at 11a.m. Nigel and Faith Ward would book a slot at Kenilworth recycling centre and Nigel would be asked to collect up the bags of rubbish gathered by volunteers. Mary would investigate the purchase of long-handles grabbers to add to the ones already owned by the Residents’ Association. Action: Mary
  • Children in Need Ramble – the date for this fund-raising event would need to be flexible to meet government guidelines. It would be announced in the June edition of the Bugle. It was planned to sell yellow sashes for people to wear on the ramble and Dianne agreed to investigate setting up a fund-raising page. Action: Dianne

  • HS2 fund- what should we ask for?
Entrance gates
Trees around the village
Top of the tunnel ideas
Village hall signage recycling
Car park where VH car park was
  • Priorities for precept money- ideas so far
Bugle funding
Lots of Spring bulbs
  • Bugle
    Thanks were given to Mary for her work on the Bugle.

6 Greenway Trust Update

There was no report.

7 Parish Councillor's Report

An interview had taken place for the vacancy for a Parish Clerk and it was hoped to fill the role soon.

Matters recently discussed by the Parish Council included ongoing complaints to LM; arranging a meeting with BBV for when the tunnel work begins; submitting a response to the Phase 2 Relief Road; traffic calming; and Westwood Heath housing developments which now seemed to involve revamping of some housing models and the purchase of the land. 

8  Any Other Business

  • A resident had queried the muddy state of the Jubilee Verge following all the works at the junction of Red Lane/Cromwell Lane. Rona would ask if LM would be prepared to turf the area. Action: Rona
  • Hilary had offered to write to the Parish Council suggesting a noticeboard on the Cala Estate. Action: Hilary
  • Having received a copy of the Warwick University newsletter, Rona had written to say residents were pleased to hear the Coventry City football club would be returning to the Ricoh Arena and assumed this meant the university would no longer be pursuing its plans for a stadium .  The following response was received:

News of the agreement for Coventry City Football Club to return to Coventry at the Ricoh Arena is great news for the supporters, the community and the city of Coventry as a whole, and of course the Football Club.

Coventry City Football Club and the University of Warwick are actively continuing their discussions regarding a long-term collaboration to provide a new home for the Sky Blues.

Those discussions are progressing positively and further details will be announced when both the club and the University are able to do so.

We will engage with our neighbours on this when we are able to do so, and of course Burton Green are some of our closest neighbours and your views are important to us.

Post meeting note: Burton Green speed monitoring was top of the police priority vote. Thank you to all residents who voted. There will be a number of police speed monitoring sessions over the next 3 months

9 Date of next Meeting

All meetings would be held via Zoom until further notice.

The next committee meeting was scheduled for May 13th
July 15th
September 9th
Monday September 27th AGM
November 25th

Thanks were given to Judi for arranging the Zoom call and to committee members for attending.

Saturday, 6 March 2021

Bugle - March 2021

The March 2021 edition of the Bugle has been published.

Just below are thumbnails of the page images. To enlarge any page image, click on the thumbnail below. Once you have the individual page, you may also need to click on the magnifying glass in your browser, where you can view the page at its original size...

The text of the Chair's Report has also been added to the Residents' Association page.

The archive of back issues of the Bugle is here: Bugle Archive.