1817 - 1906
Abraham Slade was born in Upton Noble, Somerset, the son of Jacob and Sarah. At the age of 17 he was apprenticed in Wincanton and after some years, during which time he married, he made his way to Twickenham in 1848. Here, he found employment, perhaps in a building business and in 1852 he started his own business as a cabinet-maker and later, general builder. His wife died in 1847 but he married again though Maria, the daughter of his first marriage remained in Wincanton. He mentioned the children of his second marriage in his journals: Arthur, born in 1854 and drowned I 1863, an un-named son born on 2 August 1856 (he may have been Archie who joined him in the business), Isaac, born on 27 December 1859, another un-named son born on 29 May 1861, William Alfred, born on 7 October 1863. There were two daughters, one named Miriam born in April 1865 who died in 1867.
In 1856/7 he built himself a house and workshop on Twickenham Green (no.56). His business prospered and he was able to acquire land both near Twickenham Green and in what was then known as the Popesgrove area of Twickenham, and to build houses to let. Extracts from his Journal describe much of his activity over his long working life:
1 Oct. repaired a sofa for Dr Diamond (Twickenham House, Heath Lane) and made two mattresses for Miss Proby at Devoncroft (Oak Lane).
27 Feb. Furnishing no1 Apsley Cottage (for Polledine or Aitkens?).
30 Feb. bought furniture from Mr Litchfield (surgeon in Heath Lane)
29 Aug. “To day I have the order to repair all Apsley cottages (now 1-29 The Green), 15 in number (Mr Goatley surveyor)” value £375-10s
11 Jan. I am building Batcombe Lodge near Popes Grove (now 57 Popes Avenue)-
24 Feb. I am commenced yesterday 22nd. with another Villa to be called Longleat Villa (now 59 Popes Avenue) after the celebrated seat of the Marquis of Bath in Somersetshire
14 Sep. I have 3 moving jobs in hand and a job for Mr Twining's Museum (to slate the roof).
27 Dec. We have some cases (showcases) for Mr Twining's Museum.
8 Mar. Have taken a piece of ground next the 2nd Cross road of Mr Saunders. I intend D.V. to build 3 shops on it
! Jan. I built 3 shops in Chesnut Place (corner of Staines Road) at the beginning of the year, and now I am about beginning 3 cottages at the back of them.
1 Oct. I have taken a lease of the corner piece of ground with the house called The Willows at the corner of 1st Cross Road for 99 years at £62.10 rent. I have built 2 houses on it and have enough land for building 2 more.
31 Dec. Am finishing of my corner shop for Mr Goatly (Henry Nash Goatly was a butcher. The business later ran, as Caress & Seymour, at the corner of 1st Cross Road for many years). It is to be a butcher's let on lease for 21 years -
21 Oct. I am again building 2 Villas in Popes Grove (probably Carnarvon Villas, 65 & 67 Popes Avenue) and hope to get them done by Christmas
21 Sep. I have now started to build a house and bakers shop in the Hampton Road
1 Jan. Built the bakers shop at Willow Place, Hampton Road...
2 Jan. I have Willow Cottage empty and one cottage beside. No prospect of any trade at present - now finishing my bakers Shop and rep[airing] a house in Popes Grove for Miss M. Goatly (Radstock Lodge,now 71 Popes Avenue)
28 Jun. Been painting the outsides and part inside of Apsley Villas
25 Feb. This day I have sold Batcombe Lodge to Mr Buver for 420£ - have nearly finished Clovelly (Clovelly Lodge at the corner of Popes Grove & Popes Avenue), Popes Grove.
10 Nov. Have finished one of Carnarvon Villas (now 65 & 67 Popes Avenue) and Mr & Mrs Norton are going into it (Mrs Norton was his married daughter)
3 Nov. Sold Willow Cottage property to Mr Hall for 950£.
18 Feb. Bought a piece of land at Chestnut Grove of Mr Rushton for 75 pounds
21 Mar. Miss Draught has left Carnarvon Villas and behaved very bad-
Jun. Building two freehold cottages corner Chesnut Grove (?behind the shops in Staines Road), i.e. Chesnut Terrace.
29 Sep. Got the cottages up and both let - at corner Chesnut Grove
5 Mar. Alfred Taylor is removing into Kneller Villa from Bute Villa
14 Mar. Began the rooms at Bute Villa (on the south side of the start of Staines Road).
20May. Began removing to Bute Villa. ...
22 Jun. Got my house papered and varnished at last...
10 May. All my houses let at presant. No 2 Carlton Villas leaves at Midsummer
4 Mar. Got my 3 cottages in 2nd Cross Road as good as being empty as I get no rent for them
10 Jan. I have all my houses let at presant except no 3 shop Grove place, 2nd X Road. I have been cheated again with the last tenant. These shops are a great bore to me.
1 Aug. We are building 3 cottages called 7,8,9 Grove Terrace in the Staines Rd, Twickenham
6 Feb. Last summer I bought a piece of, freehold land in the 5th Cross Road. Arch (Archibald Slade, son) built me 3 cottages on it. They are let at 7/6 a week - cost altogether about 620
note: extracted from The Journal of Abraham Slade. The full version can be seen on the website of the Twickenham United Reformed Church at www.twickenhamurc.org.uk/slade