The following is a history of Great Witley & Hillhampton Parish Council. Formed in 1894 the two parishes originally had separate parish councils, but later merged to create one joint council overseeing both parishes.
Hillhampton was a hamlet of Martley Parish, with a population 149. By 1881 it had reduced slightly to 137. Redmarley was a hamlet of Gt. Witley, population 380.
Lord Dudley presided over a meeting in the schoolroom to discuss the Parish Council Act. The Rev Carnegie explained the Act and candidates were suggested for an election to be held on December 4th at a Parish Meeting. Candidates were the rector, for the parish, J Twinberrow & RA Proudman for farmers, W Cooke for the estate, W Butler (a carpenter) for the mechanics, G Morgan (gardener) for labourers, E Fryer (blacksmith) for tradesmen. RA Proudman would also act as District Counsellor. Hillhampton decided to have their own council.
At the last meeting of ‘old’ Parish Council members were chairman W. Cooke, Vice chairman J. Cotton, councillors Beddard, Bonell, Goode, Green, Milton & Young. They had spent £3-5s. and received £3-9s. The road between Stanford & Martley had been improved. All were re-elected.
Hillhampton Parish meeting was held at Hillhampton Farm. Present were: Messrs J. Adkins, E. Blackwell, G. Dukes, W. Hardwick, S. Hill, J. Hook, W.C. Watkins. As Beville Stanier had left the district John Adkins & Edward Blackwell became overseers of the poor.
In the same year Great Witley held a special meeting to discuss the application to transfer the parish of Malvern Link from the Martley Union of Parishes for poor-law purposes, to Upton on Severn. An undesirable idea, the building had cost £30,000, it would be too large and with most of the staff kept on rates would rise. The accommodation was sufficient for a district that was entirely agricultural and farmers were opposed to rate rises. Regarding Holt Fleet Bridge, the Council favoured an application to purchase the bridge and suggested that all local councils affected should negotiate with the owners at the Holt Fleet Hotel. W. Cooke & J. Cotton were chosen, with those present being Messrs Beddard, Bolton, Fryer, Goode, Green, Hogg & Young.
The Parish Council members were; Chairman W. Cooke, John Bache, Walsgrove Farm, Joseph Beddard (engineer), C. Hicks Bolton (headmaster), John Cotton (Home Farm), Edward Fryer (blacksmith), George Green (baker & grocer), Thomas Hogg (head forester). AW Goodwin was clerk.
Chairman W. Cooke, vice chairman A Young (head gardener), Messrs J Beddard, J Braid (forester), Fryer (Messrs Fryer & Young) represented Hillhampton. The clerk reported that the weighbridge at the left of the Hundred House was being well used, A W Goodwin resigned after 25 years due to ill health. In March, W Mytton & G Hayward were appointed assistant overseers, and W H Wall (headmaster) as clerk.
April. Chairman W Cooke was ill, a veteran of the Crimean War he retired soon after. He died in1921 aged 80. New members were J Hodgetts (Walsgrove Farm), W Austen and L Averil, also overseers of the poor – they asked for a mortuary.
March. Councillors were W G Austen, J Beddard, E Fryer, Victor Fryer (his son), B Smith, A C Pratley (Post Office), G Tottenham (Walsgrove Farm). They discussed a new village hall as the present one was inadequate. They had a long wait – the new one was built 70 years later in 1989!
1940 to present day
Chairmen included John Brinton (1940s), and then Edward Robert Fortey. Douglas Bowen, Geoffrey Goodman (Walsgrove Farm), Mike Pennington, & Derek Skinner, presided in the 1960s onwards. Roger Perkins was elected in 2015
Research from local press articles, by Ruth Butler and Judith Henshaw.