Florence's Sampler...

Towards the end of 2013, one of our Group's founding members - Mary McRobie - discovered the Edwardian 'sampler' pictured above.

(...you can just click on any of the images on this page to see a more detailed version...

...use your back button to get back to here...

It is believed to have been among the items at one of her famous 'garage sales' - which some of you may remember?...

These 'samplers' ( this one is about 20cm x 20cm) were common items thoughout the 19th and early 20th century - and were often made by teenage girls.

The girls used the creation of these samplers as part of their training in learning how to sew - but also, I suspect, as a hobby as well...

With the word 'Moordown' clearly  prominent in the item, Mary had wondered who 'F.B. Meech' was - and where she had lived in Moordown in 1905?...

I called upon the expertise of my friend Maurice Sheppard - a keen genealogist - to see if he could discover anything about 'F.B. Meech'....Fortunately, the name was rare enough for Maurice to establish that only one 'F.B. Meech'  - who would fall into the approriate age range - had been born in the whole of Hampshire during the period......

Florence Beatrice Meech was 9 years old in 1901, and was one of the daughters of Joseph and Fanny Meech of Latimer Rd in Winton (See census entry below - click on the image for a clearer version).

...So - the family was not in Moordown at that time.

Further investigations showed that by 1911 (the next census) the family had indeed moved to Moordown - to St. John's Rd (now Vicarage Rd) --(click on the image for a clearer version)..

 

From the date on the 'Moordown' sampler (1905), we can perhaps assume the family move had occured soon after the 1901 census?...

However, Florence - now 19 - was no longer living at home, but was working as a 'live in' servant to a lady in Meyrick Park.

The 1911 census entry shown below here reveals the house as 12 Meyrick Park Crescent - which - amazingly - still exists as a large family home, and has not been broken up into flats, as so many of the Bournemouth villas have.

 

(Some recent estate agent photos below show that most of the rooms in that house still have their original fireplaces... We can imagine that they would have probably kept Florence quite busy in 1911 !)


Maurice also discovered that Florence had married one Thomas Owen towards the end of 1919, and that she had - sadly - died quite young - at the age of 48 - in 1940.

So we had some idea - from those discoveries - who the author of the sampler had been........

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'Fast forward' 5 years, and out of the blue in May 2019 we received an email from Paul Luckhurst - Florence Meech's great-grandson!

Paul had seen our original page displaying the sampler, and wrote in to ask if we would like a photo of Florence?...As you can imagine, I sent Paul an immediate reply! 

He duly sent the photo below, which shows the image of a very pretty lady, taken in 1914...

So this is what 'our' Florence looked like, aged 22.


In addition, Paul was able to supply a photo of Florence's parents - Joseph and Fanny Meech -- and one of her husband, Thomas Owen.

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paul has done a lot of family research, and has lots more details on other family members, should they be of interest?.....  Do let us know if you'd like to know more about the Meech family


It seemed appropriate that the sampler should be re-united with Florence's descendants, and at the end of June 2019 I took the sampler to Paul. It was lovely to meet 3 generations of the famliy ...Florence's grand-daughter Barbara - her great-grandson Paul  - and her great-great grandson Toby.

                 Paul and Barbara                                                    Barbara and Toby

 

.... And all from a mysterious Edwardian 'cross-stitch' sampler found in a garage sale! ....


(P.S. --- one final snippet.   Florence's mother - Fanny  Meech - was born a Troke ..

....It wouldn't really be a complete Moordown story without at least one Troke! )

 

Copyright MLHS 2019