In 1954 the Martley Rural District Council, the local authority responsible for the parish of Great Witley, began a post war rural council housing development on the land adjacent to the Stourport Road Great Witley. The land (glebe land) was purchased from the church commissioners by Martley Rural District Council and hence became the Glebe.
By 1955 fourteen three bed roomed houses consisting of five pairs of semi-detached and one block of four mews houses had been completed. The water supply for the new houses was originally from an elevated galvanised tank situated in the field where Woodbury Close now stands. It was supplied from the underground reservoir located at Wynniatts Way on Abberley Hill. In later years the estate transferred to mains supply as the development grew and the demand for water increased. Sewage disposal was via a newly constructed pumping station in the corner of the field in which the property known as ‘The Woodpeckers’ now stands.
For the majority of the tenants the new houses provided their first homes equipped with electricity, running water, inside flush toilets and bathrooms. The houses had reasonably large gardens. A condition of tenancy was that gardens were to be kept tidy and neat. Originally the houses were built for those employed in agriculture or forestry.
The 1955 tenants in Nos 1 to 14 were.
1 Mr & Mrs Coombs.
2 Mr & Mrs Evan Evans.
3 Mr & Mrs Fred Rawlings.
4 Mr & Mrs Painter.
5 Mr & Mrs Eric Cox.
6 Mr & Mrs Ellery.
7 Mr & Mrs Bert Williams.
8 Mr & Mrs Thomas Francis.
9 Mr & Mrs Clifford Medlicot
10 Mr & Mrs George Thompson.
11 Mr & Mrs Jim Rawlings.
12 Mr & Mrs Charles Davies.
13 Mr & Mrs Noel Norton.
14 Mr & Mrs Baldwin.
None of the original fourteen houses had garages or drives for off road parking, the few who had cars had to park on the road. The houses were arranged around a small grassed area with three small trees (only one of which survives to 2015). There were no dedicated play areas or facilities for the children of the estate.
Interestingly, despite being the most densely populated area of the parish, none of the local bus operators ran services past the Glebe until the early 1970s. Villagers wishing to travel by bus had to walk to either the Hundred House for the Worcester bus or to the corner by the police station for the Stourport bus. Around about 1964 six bungalows for older people facing what is known as ‘Quarterman’s field’ were built on behalf of Martley RDC by Stourport builder R W Morris.
The mid 1960s saw the construction of what was then the largest private building development to take place in the village. A significant number (for Great Witley) of semi-detached houses and detached bungalows were constructed behind the Council houses. The Glebe then remained unchanged for a number of years.
This picture was taken from the garden of No 2 The Glebe in 1979, looking west across the fields where Woodbury Close and Chiltern Close now stand. The field that is now Chiltern Close was owned by Dr Johnson (senior) and let out to Jim Rawlings of 19 the Glebe for market gardening.
and this was the view from the same house looking towards Abberley Hill: