The Gubbins family history at Eydon starts late in the 1800s with Syd Tyrrell, our local historian, relating that Jim Gubbins (James William) left Eydon in around 1890 to go to London to join the Police Force although where in the village Jim was living and with whom is not known as he isn’t recorded in any of the earlier Census records for the village. Then in 1888 Alfred James Gubbins, a miller of Culworth, married Louisa Elizabeth Abbott of Eydon in St Nicholas Church and they started married life living in a cottage overlooking Eydon’s village green. Jim and Alf were two sons of John Gubbins (born 1827 in Helpston, Northants) with Jim born at Byfield and Alf in Chipping Warden.
Jim returned to Eydon from London having married Phoebe Eliza Parratt of Bethnal Green and they lived in Royal Oak Cottage which is now part of the pub itself. Jim had served his time in the Police Force in London and the 1911 Census records him as aged 47, a Police Pensioner and Parish Constable. He died in 1936 aged 74 and his wife Phoebe in 1955 aged 87.
Alfred James, known to all as Alf, started married life with Louisa living in a cottage overlooking the village green at Eydon and was an agricultural labourer but in the early 1900s he began working as a Platelayer for the Great Central Railway which provided opportunities for local men to escape the precarious and poorly paid jobs in agriculture.
Alf and Louisa had six children, two boys Charles William (b.1891) and John Arthur (b.1898) and 4 girls Edith Alice (b,1892), Cissy Alice (b.1896), Edith Sarah (b.1901) and Phoebe Alice (b.1905) although sadly Edith Alice and Cissy both died when very young. Alf’s more secure and better paid job with the Great Central helped to enable him and Louisa to rent more of the cottage on the Green as in a housing survey of 1910 they were occupying 6 rooms.
Charles William started work for the Great Central Railway as a signal box worker and in 1914 married Eliza Ann Walker who was working as a Kitchen Maid and later as a Cook at Eydon Hall. By the time of their marriage Charles job as a signalman had moved to Harrow Road and later the family moved for Charles to work in the Calvert Junction Box just north of Aylesbury where they lived in Calvert Cottages in or near Steeple Claydon.
In 1931 Charles William and his family moved from Calvert to East Leake where Charlie continued to work for Great Central and its successors until he retired having worked on the railway for over 39 years. He continued working in other jobs after his retirement from the railway, but Lizzie died in 1975 and Charles in 1979.
The other son of Alf Gubbins, John Arthur, also went on to work for the Great Central Railway moving to Gotham, Nottinghamshire, marrying Sara and working on the station at Rushcliffe Halt and being promoted to Stationmaster at East Leake until his retirement. Sara Died at Gotham in the 1950s and John Arthur in 1972.
Of Alf Gubbins’ two daughters we know little about Edith Sarah who was born in 1901 other than that she died in 1925. Her sister, Phoebe, lived at home with Alf and Louisa and cared for them in their old age and following their deaths she married Frederick Colton a widower of Eydon who had been a Coachman for Lady Hesketh at Eydon Hall. Fred died in 1955 and Phoebe in 1984.
E.H.R.G. is indebted to Marion Wheatley (née Gubbins) the Great Granddaughter of Alf Gubbins and the daughter of Charles Alfred Gubbins and Jean May (née Pepper) for much of the above information and for use of the Gubbins family photos in our photo archive.
E.H.R.G. holds considerably more information about the Gubbins family in its archive of family histories. If you want to know more, please contact us through the email link shown on this website or through this forum.