1916 – Storer Charity Agreement

In 1916 the firm ran into a disagreement with the trustees of the John Storer Charity, owners of land immediately to the south of the firm’s site. At the time, the land, now a playing field was a series of allotment gardens, which may have been in existence prior to 1862[1]. The current footpath, known as Hospital Way, which separates the existing old workshops from the playing field, appears to be a 1960s introduction. Thus in 1916 it appears that nothing separated the allotments from the workshops, presumably not even a fence. It appears that the firm did not build their workshops against the property boundary but 3ft. in, presumably leaving space for access for maintenance, etc.

 

Ordnance Survey Map – 1910

Who initiated the dispute is uncertain; it appears that the firm was concerned that the allotment holders were using both the 3ft. strip of land and the ends of the workshops for growing purposes. It also appears that the firm inserted two windows into the end wall, to which the Trustees were concerned regarding the entitlement of ‘right of light[2] which may be acquired by ‘anyone who has had uninterrupted use of something over someone else’s land for 20 years without consent, openly and without threat, and without interruption for more than a year.’

 

The dispute was resolved, presumably amicably, with the drawing up a formal agreement between the two parties:

An Agreement made this thirteenth day of October one thousand nine hundred and sixteen Between Messenger and Company Limited horticultural Builders whose registered office is situate in Loughborough (hereinafter called the Company) by their duly constituted Agent and Director Alfred Edwyn Forster Burder of Thurland Cottage Herrick Road Loughborough of the one part and William Henry Wootton Benjamin Braybrook Barrow James Cartwright William Webster Thomas Mayo The Reverend Joseph Hurley Trevor Bowmar Jones Henry Clemerson, Gilbert Tucker Thomas Cook and William Hanford all of Loughborough aforesaid the present Trustees of John Storers Charity (hereinafter called the Trustees) of the other part Whereas the Company are the owners in fee simple of certain land and buildings thereon situate at the lower end of Cumberland Road in Loughborough aforesaid and the Trustees (as Trustees) are the owners in fee simple of various allotment Gardens at Loughborough aforesaid some of which Gardens abut upon and adjoin the property of the Company And whereas the Company have erected a number of brick Pillars at the extreme boundary of their land adjoining that of the Trustees but the buildings of the Company on such land are set back about thirty six inches therefrom And whereas the Company have recently put out two lights or Windows in their Buildings overlooking the land of the Trustees one being in or about the ground level and the other being about the last mentioned Window And whereas several of the allottees of the Trustees have cultivated the small strip of land adjoining their gardens and belonging to the Company as aforesaid and in some cases used the Wall of the Company as the back fence of certain structures erected by the them And whereas the Company and the Trustees have mutually agreed as follows:

  1. The Company shall pay to the Trustees on the thirty first day of March in every year, the first of such payments to be made on the thirty first of March next the sum of one shilling as an acknowledgement for the two lights or windows overlooking the property of the Trustees as aforesaid and the Company shall be required by notice in writing have and keep the said windows glazes with muffled glass and so that they shall not open so as to afford a view of the Property of the Trustees or any part thereof

  1. The Trustees may give the Company six months’ notice to remove the two lights or windows and properly brick up the walls from which the same have been so removed and if the Company fail so to do the Trustees mat thereupon obstruct and take any other stops they may be lawfully entitled to for the purpose of preventing the Company acquiring a right of light over their property through and by means of the said Windows

  1. The Trustees shall on receiving from the Company an application in writing so as to give the aforesaid allottees notice to cease using the said strip of Land of the Company and to remove any erections therefrom and assist the Company so far as they reasonably can in obtaining possession thereof

  2. The Trustees will not by reason of any Trustees of their allottees in manner hereinbefore mentioned make any suggestion to the Freehold of the said strip of Land or is any right or easement over or in receipt of the same or of the aforesaid Wall of the Company

  3. The words “the Company” and “The Trustees” shall extend respectively to their Successors in Title and assigns. In Witness whereof the parties have hereunto set their hands the day and year first before written

New Midland Horticultural Works – view from the playing fields to the south of the site

Exactly which two windows caused the dispute is uncertain. The formal agreement references one window “above ground level” and the other above it. Today (2017), there appears to be two blocked in windows close to ground level, although they are at either end of the original block of four workshops. All four of the original workshops have windows located high in the gable end, although these appear to be original rather than later insertions and were probably used as much for ventilation as for light. Today, there is no obvious combination of windows, either blocked or otherwise, that matches the description in the agreement. Also there was, until around 2010, a plaque located adjacent to one of the close to ground level windows that stated that the firm’s boundary was 3ft. from the end of the workshop. This notice must have been cast and mounted on the end wall prior to May 1898, when the firm became a Limited Company. Therefore should have been in place when the dispute occurred and is probably indirectly referenced in the agreement when it states “the Company have erected a number of brick Pillars at the extreme boundary of their land adjoining that of the Trustees but the buildings of the Company on such land are set back about thirty six inches therefrom”.

Original window at top of workshop gable end

 

References:

  1. An article in The Nottinghamshire Guardian, dated Friday, April 11th, 1862, references a theft from allotments on Ashby Road, owned by the Storer Charity.
  2. Right to light