Further to Lisa’s research into village trades, 1912-1940, she has compiled this snapshot of village industry today. It is fascinating to see how much has changed, whilst some elements remain the same.
Today, in 2013, the population of Abberley is approximately 830. When we look back at the previous Trade Directories there are still some similarities. The IT revolution has heralded dramatic changes in the way that people work today, many can be based from home for at least part of the week and can be working on a National or even global basis from an office in Abberley.
We still have one of the pubs, The Manor Arms, the ownership by contrast in the last 25 years or so has been varied and for shorter periods of time. The Royal George is now a private house.
The garage remains and has kept the original name. The village shop was opened in the 1960s next door to the site of Manchester House. The Post Office relocated to the shop in more recent years when the Post Office became a private house again.
The village school has similar pupil numbers of 1912 of around 100 but is three times bigger and has many times more staff.
Abberley Hall school is now co educational and after a large extension offers facilities for children from 2 years to 13 years . It is both a day and boarding school.
The Police Station is now a children’s home.
The Elms is an impressive Country House Hotel and Spa, all provide significant employment opportunities.
The village has a community-led pre-school at the new Village hall, again employing a number of local people part time and offering much needed child care.
Other noted businesses include: Jukes Wine Merchants, Abberley Stud Racing Stables, commercial photographers, engineers, chiropodist, land agent, Developer, painters and decorators, gardeners, IT consultants, caterers, accountants………. Unlike the time of the trade Directories it is more difficult to list all the employment based activities in the area as they can be difficult to trace.
Agriculture has changed dramatically. There are only a handful of the farms listed in all the other directories that are still farming today. A number of farmhouses were sold on with small land holdings. The surrounding farm land was acquired by the farms that remain, these are much bigger and require far less man power to work due to the development of tractors, combine harvesters and general farm practice. Fewer people are employed on the land. Most farms specialize in arable or sheep farming.
Due to the size of modern farm machinery many old barns were not used. The popularity of barn conversions resulted in many being converted.
Whilst few farms remain it is interesting to note that the families who run the remaining farms have been around for generations such as the Neaths, Norwoods and Ballards.