Monday, January 16, 2017

Herry Lawford's Archive Index

Patrick Lawford 1914-2002
Annette Lawford 1911-1998
Family History
Lawford Family History
The Drapers' Livery Company
Pugh Evans Family History
Pugh Evans Family History - the Lovesgrove Line
The Powell Edwards Line
Lawford Ancestors
Edward Lawford 1787 - 1864
Edward Acland Lawford and his Descendants
HF Lawford 1851 - 1925
General Sir Sydney Lawford 1865 - 1953
Maternal Grandparents
Sir Arundel Arundel 1843 - 1922
Col AJ Pugh 1871 - 1923
Marian 'Nina' Lady Herbert 1874 - 1967
Paternal Grandparents
John Lawford 1811 - 1875
Capt VA Lawford 1871 - 1959
Pugh Cousins
Brig-General Lewis Pugh Evans 1887 - 1962
Maj-General Lewis Pugh 1907 - 1981
Ruth Stevens Howard 1910-2010
Capt Humphrey Drummond of Megginch 1922 - 2009
Dr Griffith Pugh 1909 - 1994
Valentine Lawford 1911-1991
Luxmoore History
Wing-Commander Arthur Luxmoore 1909 - 1940
Fairfax Luxmoore
Herberts See also Sir Alfred Herbert
Sir Alfred Herbert 1866 - 1957
Nina Lady Herbert 1874 - 1967
Dunley 1917-1957
Wadwick House
Alfred Herbert Ltd
Lady Herbert's Homes and Garden, Coventry
Lady Herbert's Memorial at Litchfield
Sir Alfred Herbert on Shooting
Sir Alfred Herbert on Fishing
Sir Alfred Herbert's Memorial Service in the Cathedral 1957
The Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, Coventry
The Church of St James the Less, Litchfield

Patrick Lawford's Farming Career
Headbourne Worthy 1934-1938
Litchfield 1938-1946
Danegate 1946 - 1950
Stocks Farm 1950 - 1970
The Shooting Book
Stocks Farm 1970 - 2002
Obituary: Ernie Stiles 1941 - 2014


My Parents' Friends
Friends 1950-1970
Friends 1970 -1980s
Friends 1990s - present
Cmdr Colin Balfour 1924 - 2009
Sally Macpherson 1940 - 2012
Nick Duke 1945 - 2013
Annie May 1944 - 2014
Lucie Skipwith 1942 - 2014

Business Friends
Bill Birch Reynardson
Richard Harwood 1933 - 2016

Early Memories of Home Life
A Short History of Tractors in Hampshire
Schools 1949-1967
St Ronan's 1953 - 1958
Winchester College 1959- 1964
Engleberg Winter 1963
Early Social Life 1950-1970
Early Encounters with France
Early Experiences of Banking
The Pubs of our Youth
The Cars of Our Youth
Herry's European Tour 1967
What Did We Wear?
Careers in the 60s
10 Shouldham St 1967-1993
Thomas Miller 1967-2006
Salary and Pay 1967 - 2015
Herry's Wedding to Prue Watson 1971
Watson Family
Harvestgate Farm 1971-1982
Ramatuelle and the South of France
Friends 1970 -1980s
24 Edna St 1993 - 1998
Futatsumori Family
Cap Ferrat and Les Azuriales
The Orangery 1998 - 2102
Swanage and the Dorset Coast
The Family in Sydney
Christmas in Sydney 2006
The Church of St James the Less, Litchfield
New Year in Ireland and London 2008/9
The Family at Christmas in Australia 2011
The Family in New York July 2012
The Archives and the Internet
My Life in Wine
The Family at Christmas in Australia 2013
Lawford Lunch at the Drapers' Hall
The Family at Old Swan House Post-Christmas 2014
Herry's 70th Birthday Party July 2015
The Garden at Old Swan House

Richard Harwood 1933 - 2016

Richard Harwood's retirement at Castle Carey with his wife Jan, Tony Payne, Roger Lewis and Julie Mavropoulos. Photo Stuart Munro 

Our Dad was an exceptional man; he was a highly intelligent, resourceful and loyal father.
Born in 1933, he lived in Sanderstead, the youngest son of Sydney and Grace Harwood and had two siblings, John and Margaret.
He attended Sanderstead Grammer School where he excelled on the cricket pitch. Following school he went on to study for an HND in Electrical Engineering.
During his younger years he developed a passion for motorbikes, cars and a life-long love for railways.
We have a photograph of him and his mates sitting in his Delage prior to heading off to Spain. He told us that they had had a slight mishap on the journey and a chap in a small garage in the middle of nowhere rebuilt the back of the car in ash; all for the princely sum of £5.
The engine of the Delage eventually gave out and Dad in his normal ‘can do’ attitude managed to find another engine under a sheet in a garage in Croydon and repair the car. He sold it for £70 having paid £60 for it originally.....that car is one of two left in the world and is now worth in excess of seven figures, but as Dad said, in those days cars like this were two-a-penny.
I think though his favourite car was a Mark III Austin Healey. I know that it had tremendous brakes as I still have a scar where my forehead hit the dashboard! No seat belts in those days of course.
My favourite car of his was his 1952 Lancia Aurelia sadly written off on one of our Devon holidays by a US Marine on a motorbike nonetheless I think he missed that car very much.
He was a strong proponent of classical music which often caused consternation on our journeys to school when despite our protests, we were always subjected to Radios 3 and 4. We rarely got our way. When I worked in the workshop with him, Radio 3 was always playing on his Panasonic radio with a Silk Cut as usual hanging from his lips!
An early role for Dad was with a company called Power Sammers who in the 1950s were making British built computers, competing in a small way with the likes of IBM. In reality the only computer they finished was sold to Lloyds Bank; Lloyds then asked Dad to join them to write the first share registration systems for the Power Sammers computer which he did; and pointed out to me that he actually programmed using a 4 digit year thus making the program Y2K compliant in 1960!
He stayed on at Lloyds who then invested in a very early IBM Mainframe which had a Heath-Robinson looking disk drive, the size of a small room with a number of arms sticking out of the contraption to enable the disk to be read; but these arms had to be warmed up before the disk drive could be used. Dad was asked to write a program to do this. He wrote it, but had not finished testing when the next night he had a phone call from the Lloyds data centre saying they had used his program and the disk drive was literally walking around the room!
He was also a man who would not only decide to do something, but do the research and put the time in on the design before starting the project.
page3image27712 page3image27872
While we lived in Tunbridge Wells he put in an entire central heating system. I remember being under the floorboards with him, and he excitedly pointed out that the house sat on timbers stamped LB&SCR, or London Brighton and South Coast Railway. Especially poignant as the first Gauge One loco he built was Abergavenny an LB&SCR steam engine.
The three of us also remember Dad playing both tennis and badminton on the court in the back garden often playing until the sun finally disappeared behind the horizon on those always warm sunny summer evenings.
He also put nets up on the tennis court to teach me the finer points of batting we had many enjoyable evenings (and frustrasting as he regularly bowled me out!) in the early seventies.
Which brings us on to his love of railways (and I think my sisters will agree, a love that was shared across the family).
His first line was in Tunbridge Wells, with cuttings, tunnels and a figure of eight design; often confusing people running their locos when their trains shot off in odd directions. I remember the get-togethers once a year which Father and I ran with mother ably producing afternoon teas and evening meals for the long-stayers.
Dad was never happier than in his workshop building locos or railway stock some might argue he possibly spent too long in there but over the years he produced in excess of 17 locomotives for himself and later on, for clients. In the summers while living in Tunbridge Wells we would frequently go to others get-togethers around the South East. He even made the poster for the UK National Model Railway Exhibition in London the picture being typical Dad him watering the loco with a cigarette hanging from his lips!
We moved to Somerset in 1977 (he had decided to save his company a huge amount of money by moving the business from Holborn to Bristol). Sadly the company was later sold to a Swedish firm and the UK directors lost their jobs.
Being Dad, and rather than giving up, he decided to turn Scotland House into a B&B, which meant converting the garages into bedrooms for Anna and Kate and me being off-loaded into a static caravan in the drive which was actually pretty cool!
Whilst running the guest house, he also built locomotives for customers so that with mothers income, the house was safe. If there was a downside to the redundancy, it was that Anna and Kate moved from school in Bristol to a school in Wells, and I would have to cycle 4 miles in to Wells to get the 06:58 bus to Bristol everyday!
Kate remembers Dad teaching her to drive. She also remembers travelling at some speed through Bleadney. Dad shouted at her to slow down, but Kate, who in those days thought she knew it all, decided to pull into the forecourt of the local petrol station. Quick thinking by Dad, who had to grab the wheel to avoid Kate driving into the petrol pumps, saved the day!
Dad at that time found a project via a very old friend of his, David Martin-Clark, who is sadly unable to be here today; that project was to build an insurance and claims system for the shipping industry and would be something he worked on for around 20 years until he retired.
In 1987 Dad and I bought a house in Bath where he met Jan; a step on the house-ladder for me and a soul-mate for him!
He then moved down to Castle Cary around 25 years ago where he and Jan have been living happily ever since with regular walks in the country, and afternoons sat peacefully in their conservatory admiring their stunning garden.

Of course another railway was built and many happy days were spent with both the national and local Gauge One society; something Dad loved doing. He was indeed a sociable person, engaging and informative and much loved amongst the society.
I said that Dad was a serious person and indeed he was, but he could and did enjoy a good laugh. I remember when Fawlty Towers first came out in the 70s, that he was struggling to breath through laughing so much, and a good joke would always crack a grin.
He had a full life; excepting that he would never actually enjoy himself on holidays. Whilst the family frolicked in the waves, Dad would be sat on the beach with a sports jacket on – in fact I can’t actually ever remember seeing him in trunks – shocking!
We all have lots of memories of Dad someone we all loved very much, and someone who will be missed massively. God bless you dad. 

Jonathan Harwood 

And from Stuart Munro on our behalf: 

I had the pleasure of working with your father from 1990 when he was setting up and then refining the computer system for ITIC (or TIMIA as it was known first when he worked on it originally in the late 1980s). His innovative and personal approach made it a great success and gave us the flexibility to do a wide range of things on the system that many other vastly more expensive systems available at the time could not do. We were constantly showing off the flexibility of Richard’s insurance computer system to IT gurus  who went away muttering that it would not last (they were wrong there) or it could only be replicated elsewhere for millions of pounds. Eventually it was upgraded in 2003-5 and the weekly visits of your father then ceased although we did endeavour to meet up with him in Castle Carey, occasionally, for lunch. His system is still the basis of our computer system to this day even down to the occasional quirk which still makes us laugh.

I know that many other who worked with your father will wish for their condolences to be passed on, namely Herry Lawford, Tony Payne, Roger Lewis, Julia Mavropoulos, Alistair Mactavish, Andrew Jamieson, Robert Sniffen and Charlotte Kirk.  

Your father, truly, was a lovely man to work with.”

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Origin of the name 'Lawford'

This surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from any of the various places called Lawford which have as their component elements the Olde English pre 7th Century personal name "Lealla", cognate with the Old High German "Lallo", and the Olde English "ford", a ford. These places include: Lawford in Essex, recorded as "Lalleford", circa 1042 in the Anglo-Saxon Wills Records, and as "Laleforda" in the omesday Book of 1086; Church and Long Lawford in Warwickshire, appearing as "Leileforde, Lilleford" and "Lelleford" in the Domesday Book, and respectively as "Churche", and "Long Lalleford" in the 1235 Charter Rolls of Warwickshire; and Lawford, a locality in the Williton rural district of Somerset. Locational surnames such as this, were originally given to local landowners, and the lord of the manor, and especially as a means of identification to those who left their birthplace to settle elsewhere. On December 2nd 1589, Thomas Lawford and Isabella Holbech were married at Fillongley, Warwickshire. Dr. Richard Lawford, an early settler in the New World, appears on a List of the Inhabitants of St. Michaell's Town, Barbados, in 1680. A Coat of Arms granted to the Lawford family is an azure shield with seven silver crescents, three, three and one. Symbolically, the crescent is associated with Faith and Hope. An arrow point downwards and palm branch in saltire all proper is on the Crest. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Lawforde, which was dated November 9th 1569, marriage to Elizabeth Carlett, at St. Giles' Cripplegate, London, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603.  Internet Surname Database

Read more:

Return to the Archive Index

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

My Life in Wine

Koko, a bruschetta and a sauvignon
I've never been much of a drinker and indeed was teetotal until I was about 25 and drank mainly coke.  I never acquired a taste for beer, probably because my father hardly drank it, and didn't like the effects of alcohol - and still don't. But after I was given champagne at Annie Ommanney's wedding and became laughing drunk, I took up drinking wine which I came to love. My friend Charlie Skipwith sent into the wine trade at the end of the 60s and went to study at the Ginestet's at Chateau Margaux and I visited him and became interested in its production. By the 70's I was spending quite bit of time reading about wine and visiting wine regions in France. My bible was a book by Alexis Lichine called 'An Encyclopaedia of Wines and Spirits'. He endeared himself to me by writing: 'How does one drink a Chateau d'Yquem? On one's knees with one's head bared'. Hugh Johnson on Wine was another regular source of information - and my father made me a member of the Wine Society whose catalogues were most informative.

Soulutre in the Macon 1979

In time I started to acquire some serious wines and even kept a cellar book at Harvestgate. Charlie Skipwith gave me a dozen Leoville Las Cases and Nick Duke and I bought a case of Chateau Mouton Rothschild 1970 to share and these and other wines were stored in my father's cellar st Stocks. There were two drawbacks to this. One was that he would go down and help himself to them (and why not?). The other was that the cellar flooded in wet years and many bottles lost their labels (though this also encouraged one to draw their corks to see what they were....)

The first two pages of the cellar book dated December 1979
The first two pages of the cellar book dated December 1979
For a while I also bought wine at Christie's wine sales with another friend, Bruce Harris, but our enthusiasm dimmed somewhat when we paid quite a bit for a 1961 Chateau Tasta which turned out to be undrinkable.

I was lucky to be introduced to Australian and New Zealand wines early on. Once I spent a happy afternoon with a business colleague at Len Evans's wine bar in Sydney drinking Petaluma riesling and on another memorable occasion my brother-in-law, Peter Crittle and I selected three bottles of Grange Hermitage from his extensive cellar, drunk them at a sitting and ended up sleeping face-down on the lawn. In New Zealand, our business was looked after by Ian McKay, a well known local figure who had a share in the Cloudy Bay vineyard that began that country's rise to wine prominence.

In Japan, I soon grew to love sake (more properly a beer rather than a wine) and sought out the finer drier sakes from Niigata (like Hakubai) to go with sashimi and other delicacies. I still love them though find them impossible to get at home, even in good restaurants.

Devil's Lair

I no longer maintain anything like a cellar, but I do buy small quantities of wines that I really like and which are worth opening with friends who appreciate them. Although with the right food it's difficult to beat the mouth-filling properties of Yarra Yering 'Agincourt' (Cabernet Merlot), mostly I prefer to drink lighter wines, preferably Pinot Noir, the best of which I think come from Central Otago - like Mt Difficulty, Neudorf or Felton Road. My favourites whites are Devil's Lair from Margaret River. Far Niente from Napa (both chardonnays) and the exceptional new Spanish whites such as Lapola. All winemaking seems to have undergone a great transformation in recent years and lovely wines at reasonable prices abound, and although one can still find absolutely delicious French wines (such as Gevrey-Chamertin) at a price, I do still have difficulty with many French wines that seem not to meet the taste grade.

Return to Archive Index

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Bill Birch Reynardson

Bill Birch Reynardson and Peter Wright (foreground) 

This post is about Bill Birch Reynardson, who was the 'original cause' of my joining Thomas Miller and my subsequent 39 year career in the  City. How this happy occurrence took place was that one of my father Patrick's closest friends was Colin Balfour. Patrick was asked shooting with him one day in the autumn of 1966 and met Bill, who was also an old friend of Colin Balfour's.  They got talking and my father mentioned that I was reading law and intended to practice at the bar. 'I wouldn't do that', said Bill. 'I was at the bar for a while; very dull. I'm now with a firm in the City called Thomas Miller. Tell Herry to come and see me.' Needless to say, we made some enquiries (from the likes of John Colgrave) as Thomas Miller was a firm that no one appeared to have heard of, but they revealed the intriguing information that the Millers (Dawson and Cyril) ran something called a Shipowners' Mutual or 'P&I Club' and were two of the richest people in the City, had racehorses and a chateau in France, and the firm was known as one of most successful and prestigious in the world of shipping law and insurance.  And so I came up from university for a few days and was shown (by Terence Coghlin, another important mentor) the files relating to the current legal 'cause celebre', the 'General Guisan' - otherwise known as 'Suisse-Altantique' -  a case involving the issue of fundamental breach, and another enormous set of files involving an even more important case, the 'Wagon Mound', a Privy Council decision on remoteness of damage, which had been handled by Frank Ledwith. You can imagine how fascinating it was to be suddenly at heart of such momentous legal decisions, seeing how the relevant partners had handled the cases and guided the shipowners concerned in their appeals - with the Club in these cases paying their legal costs*.

Bill lived at Adwell House, an ancient pile in Oxfordshire that had been in his family since the late C17th and was once a Civil War prison. There is a good description of the house and the family's history here. Having joined Thomas Miller in October 1967 I was placed in Frank Ledwith's training room with my colleagues Stephen James, Francis Frost, Christopher Bird and Roger Day, with Nigel Lindrea, who had joined a year earlier, nominally looking after us (but in fact getting mercilessly ragged). Bill was a partner then and so soon was Terence Coghlin, and it was with Terence I initially sat, after the two- year training period, and only later with Bill. But almost immediately, Bill began to take me on business trips, particularly to Yugoslavia, often accompanied by his wife Nik (and sometimes his daughter Juliet), and of course I got to know them well as a result. Later on we visited India, Iran and Iraq, as well as Japan, but it was to Yugoslavia we went most often and we also dealt with their shipowners' annual renewal as well as their cases.

Bill was a good lawyer and negotiator was consummate at large international gatherings. He was for many years president of the CMI (Comite Maritime International) from which new international shipping laws emerged. When the Torrey Canyon spilt its cargo of oil on the Scilly Isles in 1967 and it was realised that there was no international regime to determine who paid for the consequences of an accidental oil spill, Bill got together with Lord Diplock in his kitchen and drafted what became the Civil Liability Convention on which most international oil spill compensation law has been based since 1970.

Bill later became senior partner, and I continued to travel with him in places like Japan, where he used to go off to have dinner with his old friend the ambassador, and I made the rounds of the shipowners. Here we are at the top of the Palace Hotel - where we always stayed - giving lunch to a Japanese lawyer and his colleague. The lawyer was a crucial link to the top echelon of the top Japanese shipping line and was a good friend as well. The photo includes Terence Coghlin who was revered in Japan.

I also learned how to travel: we went to the races in Baghdad (Bill in a grey flannel suit with brown hat and shoes), and took time out of a visit to Tehran to visit Persepolis, the year after the Shah's incredible party, coming home via Rome and staying in the Hassler. At the Taj in Bombay, Bill would invite the senior figures in the industry to dinner in his suite. They all came.

Bill put me in charge of a new insurance Club in 1984, and supported me against those who thought I should have stayed in the main P&I business. But TIM was successful and by1991 having completed a merger with a competing mutual and making the combined entity ITIC the largest insurer of such risks in the world, Herry returned to P&I.

Bill retired in 1992 and was made a CBE. He was a consumate countryman and sportsman and rode to hounds until late in life (before being nearly killed when his horse fell out hunting), was chairman of Garsington Opera for years and was very well-connected both in the City and society generally. His lovely garden at Adwell was being constantly expanded and is open annually for charity.

A vignette will put Bill into better context: his father had made friends in the South of France with the Swedish royals and Bill continued the relationship. One day in 1970 he invited me to dinner at Adwell and told me to stay the night and bring my black tie. It was a fascinating evening as the guest list included the King and Queen of Sweden, Princess Margareta and John Ambler, Lord Carrington and his wife and one of the Swedish princesses, who was my age. I very much enjoy the evening but have never encountered one quite its equal since.

* In both these cases the shipowners were insured by the Club only for their legal costs as the principal losses - time, (in the case of the "General Guisan') can't be insured - and physical damage to the ship itself (in the case of the 'Wagon Mound') is covered by the ship's hull policy). Of course the Club covered a multitude of types of loss to third parties, from oil spills to death and injury to passengers and crew, to cargo loss and damage, fines and penalties and many more esoteric claims.

Return to Archive Index 
Return to Thomas Miller

Cmdr Colin Balfour, RN, DL 1924 - 2009

Colin and Prue Balfour

Cmdr Colin Balfour, RN, DL, who died on 19th July 2009 after suffering an eight-year illness brought on by a fall, was a most charming and amusing man and, with his wife Prue, one of my parents' closest friends. He was brought up in Oxfordshire and was an early friend of Bill Birch Reynardson's and was with him at Eton. Both of them went to war in 1942, Colin joining the navy and Bill the army, and saw a great deal of action (and Bill was wounded). Colin retired from the navy in 1952 and took up farming on his family's estate at Wintershill and in Scotland, which he loved. He was for many years chairman of the govenors of the local school, chairman and treasurer of the Parish Council aand a church warden at Durley Church for 24 years. An excellent shot, a superb mimic and story-teller (and mathematician) and a kind and generous man, he and Prue maintained a wonderful social life in Hampshire and in Scotland. Among my parents' fondest memories (apart from many hilarious dinner parties) were when they visited them in the South of France and the annual cricket matches against the village, played on the pitch at Wintershill.  Prue, the daughter of an admiral, who died in 2016 was as charming and gregarious as he was and both enhanced the lives of all those around them.
I have a particular reason to be grateful to Colin and Prue as it was when my father was shooting at Wintershill that he met Bill Birch Reynardson who offered me a job at Thomas Miller where I happily remained for 39 years.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

General Sir Sydney Lawford 1865 - 1953

General Sir Sydney Turing Barlow Lawford KCB

The General’s Sword

Dear Mr. Lawford,

Firstly, please allow me to introduce myself;

My name is Troy Zwicker. I am a Deputy Sheriff who resides in Nova Scotia, Canada. One of my hobbies is collecting British military swords, which is the reason I am writing to you.

I discovered your blog while conducting research into a Wilkinson sword in my collection. I read your articles on the Lawford connection to the Draper's Guild with fascination, not least because your articles helped confirm in my mind my working theory on the original owner of said sword.

I have enclosed a link to an on-line article that was put together by a very good friend of mine on his blog regarding the sword in question and its connection to a member of the Lawford family.

Might I prevail upon you to peruse the article and share your thoughts with me regarding my deductive reasoning on the purchaser and owner of this fascinating historical artifact?

Here is the link to the article;

In closing Sir, I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks and gratitude to you for your efforts in making available to the world (including amateur historians such as myself!) the fascinating history of your family.

Respectively yours,

Troy Zwicker
Nova Scotia,

5th August 2016

to which my cousin Jeremy replied: 

I am sure Troy Zwicker’s conclusion is correct, and that this was indeed Sydney’s sword.  And he is right that Sydney’s father had died just a few months before, so it is not unreasonable to assume that a relative might have bought 19 year old Sydney his regimental sword.

However, my first thought was that there are no Lawfords in that period with those initials – indeed, there are few apart from Sydney himself who had as many as three initials,   And Troy Zwicker is absolutely right that Sydney was the only Lawford in the Royal Fusiliers.  Certainly not second cousin Percy (who had no other initials anyway),  nor his father’s cousin George (ditto).

So I looked again at the initials in the Wilkinson ledger, and I think the answer may be quite straightforward.  The first initial could be almost anything, but it is certainly not a ‘P’ and I don’t think it’s a ‘G’ either.  If anything it looks like the sort of terminal small case ‘s’ that I was taught to form at Miss Melsom’s school in Deddington 70+ years ago.  The second letter is, I think, a ‘T’ rather than an ‘S’.  And the third letter, which is unquestionably a ‘V’, was written down in error when Sydney gave his name as S T B Lawford.  Not much difference in sound between B and V, as anyone who has tried learning modern Greek will know!

So the purchaser, in my opinion, was S T B Lawford of the 7th Fusiliers, which was, I believe, the battalion to which he was attached after gaining his commission in the Royal Fusiliers on 5th February i885.  The service record which I attach indicates as much.

Jeremy Lawford
8th August 2016