Florist And Seedsman

George_and_Lavinia_Welton_c1974 ©2001 Sheila Churchyard > Simply click to enlarge... then use the [Back] button to return The Nurseries, as they were later called, covered a large area taking in the gardens of the house, next door. William Welton, who started the business, moved from Brockdish to Shelfanger in 1876 when he was 17, to become gardener and coachman to the Rev. Blakelock. He married Amelia Brown of Shelfanger Common, who was nurse to the Blakelock children, in 1882. William and Amelia had seven children, the first being born in 1893. Mary Simmonds (née Welton), their eldest daughter who died in 1984, remembered the activities at her home in the early 1900's. The days and evenings were very busy with customers arriving in pony carts and on bicycles to purchase plants and seeds - many departing having imbibed a glass of home brewed ale to cheer them on their way. In addition, on land by the Methodist Church, her father grew cattle cabbage plants which he sold to the farmers (22 per score 'in case two failed''). She also remembered taking baskets of cucumbers to sell around the village. Another memory was of helping to get tea for Mr. Daniels, the Seedsman from Norwich, when he paid his annual visit to the nurseries, and the great treat of being taken to Norwich by her father when he went to purchase seeds. From the time he left school Mr. George Welton worked with his father and eventually took over the business. After the war, because of ill health and with increased work in the Post Office, the nursery became more of a hobby selling mainly tomatoes. In a local paper in June 1969 it showed George Welton with a geranium plant started as a cutting brought from Brockdish by William Welton in 1876. It was then 93 years old and, in 1979, was passed to another member of the Welton family. Clement Welton, the eldest son, carried on his father's work of gardening by joining the War Graves Commission in 1920 and being in charge of many cemeteries in the Ypres area. When he was in his 70's, Mr. William Welton accompanied by Mr. Hopgood of Diss, went to visit his son in Ypres and toured the cemeteries. In May 1954 Mr. Clement Welton was presented with the B.E.M. ©1984 members of Shelfanger WI