This shelter/seat was built by my grandfather, Ezra Dowsing Cotton, in I believe the 1930s to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of George V. At least I think so. As a child I thought it was in memory of those who fell in the First World War .
Ezra Cotton was a carpenter, builder, and importantly the village undertaker, in the early years of the 20th century, and possibly the late 19th century. His daughters Cicely, Violet and Winifred were given the task of embroidering the pillows on which the heads of the deceased lay. He originally lived in Verandah House in the High Street, now an antiques shop (?), and subsequently in a cottage in Brook Street, not far from The King's Head. My cousin Jean and I were sent there on occasions, in his retirement, to bring him home at lunchtime. His son Ezra was also an undertaker in St Albans. His other son Douglas, a schoolmaster, died in Japanese captivity on the Burma Railway, and is commemorated on the War Memorial.
My grandfather was always somewhat reticent about his other name, Dowsing, as it refers to a direct family link with William Dowsing, Cromwell's East Anglian church destroyer-in-chief!
A memory shared byon Nov 26th, 2009.
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