Fred Goode of Compton Wynyates

A lawn mower harnessed to a donkey, led by one man and guided by another.
Warwickshire County Record Office reference PH 1271/1/9

The Friends of the Warwickshire County Record Office recently purchased this rather lovely album of early 20th century photographs for Warwickshire County Record Office.  Many of the 34 photographs have the house at Compton Wynyates, with its garden and church, as the subject, but a couple of gems, I suspect, will come to feature in our displays, talks and visits.  Of particular note is a boy with an elderly gentleman; the boy has a shotgun under one arm and a rabbit hanging from his hand.  Another is this superb image of a lawn-mower harnessed to a donkey, led by one man and guided by another.  There’s a wry comment to be made there somewhere…

Fred Goode

The 1901 census emphatically places Fred Goode as a gardener in the parish of Compton Wynyates. The photographs indicate he may have been gardener for the Compton Wynyates estate; further evidence of this came with the offer of a book, ‘The History of the Comptons of Compton Wynyates’, (declined as we have a good copy) with a handwritten note in the flyleaf, ‘to Fred Goode’. As this was a privately published book with a small circulation and was probably presented to Fred by a member of the Compton family, the logical assumption is that he worked for the Comptons on the estate.

In addition, in the 1911 census Fred’s wife, Mary, gives her occupation as ‘care-taker of the mansion and assists husband’, and the mansion, incidentally, is the place they both appear to have been residing. We know from death records, including Fred Goode’s will, made 26 Jan 1949, that Fred died on 28 August 1961 in the parish of Upper Tysoe, Warwickshire; at the time he made his will he gave his occupation as ‘retired Estate Foreman’.

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