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The Turvey Website The history and families of Turvey in Bedfordshire, England

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Turvey is a small, rural village and most of its residents were involved in home-based craft-trades, particularly lace making and straw plait. Others offered goods and services for the villagers themselves.  There were many shops and various public houses.

Lace Making Straw Plait Pubs & Inns

At the turn of the century the main form of transport was still horses.  The blacksmith had his forge on the corner of Newton Lane. This rare old photo shows the Turvey smith at his work.  

As the horse population dwindled with the coming of the motor vehicle, most smiths turned to making fancy ironwork (gates etc) until even this trade reduced the profession to its current rarity.

Nowadays, people who shoe horses are known as farriers and the term blacksmith is used for those who make fancy ironwork.

Click the image on the left to enlarge it.

Here is a very rare photograph of the little Turvey garage on the corner of Newton Lane.  Here, residents could have their 'new fangled' motor cars fixed and serviced.  The garage is no longer there, villagers now use the petrol station at nearby Lavendon for their fuel and buy their cars at the many big salesrooms in the area.  There are still a few privately run small garages in the area (there are two at nearby Warrington for example).  If anyone out there knows the make and date of this car I would love to hear from you!

Who was the Tinker of Turvey?

If you have seen the Pubs page or the page on Nell's Well, you may have heard of the Tinker of Turvey.  What is now the village stores was once a public house called 'The Tinker of Turvey'.  See the previously mentioned pages for more info.

Anyway, a tinker was a man who mended pots, kettles and other metal household utensils.  Many could also make such items.  Some had workshops but many travelled from village to village.  Over the years the name 'tinker' fell into disrepute, becoming something of an insult.

On the left are The 'Specials'  - Turvey's voluntary police force.  I believe this picture is from about 1900.

On the right is a picture of a Bedfordshire policeman of around 1910.

Click on this picture to enlarge it

Bailey's Transport

Click here to find out lots more about the well-known local firm of Bailey's Transporters

Trade in Turvey

This rare picture from 1900 shows the tea rooms that were at Abbey Square in Turvey.

Click on it to enlarge.

The People’s March for Jobs of 1981, going over the bridge and into Turvey.

Click the picture to enlarge it.


In 1877 Thomas and William Hinde were the village blacksmiths.

The Supply Stores were being run in 1911 by the very efficient Walter John Harpur and his wife, Elizabeth Jane.

Their daughter Edith and son, Thomas, were assistants in the shop.

The postmistress in 1911 was Jane Mardlin, aged 51.

She lived in the post office with her parents, retired policeman George (77) and Mary Jane (75).

Her brother, Alfred, 49,  was also a police pensioner.

Her married sister, Emily Elizabeth White, 45, also lived with them.

Her other sister, Eliza, 42, worked as the telegraph clerk.

A cheeky dog pokes his head out of the back window of the Turvey Garage delivery van!

This picture was almost certainly taken in 1938.

Click on it to enlarge.

The Covington family were blacksmiths in the village for many generations.  The Parish Registers note:

Peter who was buried 24 Jan 1627

Peter who was buried 2 Sep 1744

Henry who was buried 27 Jan 1802

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