A Trip to Kelshall
By Arthur Halls
This article was originally published in the December 2005 edition of Soul Search, the journal of The Sole Society
My grandparents, Daniel and Emily Sole, lived in Lower Cottage, Kelshall, all their lives. They had six children: Nellie, Lily, Sarah, John, Dorrie and Dick.
Sarah was my mother and we spent weekends and holidays at Kelshall, always having a wonderful time. Most of the Sole family are buried at the church.
About 2 years ago my cousin Ann took me for a ride to Kelshall just to have a look at my grandparentsí cottage and I could not believe how it had changed, although there were still parts of the original building there.
On the day we made our visit we were sitting in the car reminiscing when a nice lady came down the road and asked if she could help us as she belonged to neighbourhood watch and liked to keep her eye out for strangers. I told her Lower Cottage had been in our family for about 300 years and I had a cousin living in the village called Joan but I had not seen her for many years. She proudly announced that she was Joan and that her sister Nellie lived just up the road who she took us to see.
Since then we have kept in touch and have made visits back to Kelshall which we have really enjoyed. Joan and Nellie remember all the Sole family and were great friends of Aunt Dorrie, who was the last of the Soles to live in Lower Cottage.
Aunt Dorrie married her childhood sweetheart Bill Bullard, who lived next door at Inglenook, which now belongs to our cousin Nellie. When Bill died in 1962, Dorrie decided to leave Kelshall. When she gave her notice to her landlord Bob Deards he asked her if she would like to buy the cottage for £200 but she refused, telling him the old place needed too much doing to it.
After she left Kelshall Dorrie stayed with her brother John at Therfield. She then came to Stotfold and stayed with us and her niece Ann before getting a bungalow, where she lived until she died in 1987.
I have such wonderful memories of Kelshall, especially Lower Cottage, and can still remember everyoneís name that lived in the street.
Photo: Arthur with his cousins, Joan, Ann and Nellie: Arthur and Ann are descendants of Daniel and Emily Sole; Joan and Nellie are descendants of Danielís brother and sister-in-law, Goodman and Clara SoleReturn to The Sole Society Home Page