This sign used to be fixed above the doorway of Elizabeth Shakeshaft’s
shop at
No. 15 High Street. It was removed at the start of World War II


Above is Doug Holloway with the builders truck, the one he pushed around for 23 years during the time he worked for the firm, it was never superseded by anything more modern. It has been stored away since the mid 1970s.until this photograph was taken in 2006.

It is difficult to pinpoint the exact date that George Shakeshaft moved into the village of Yardley Gobion. He was not there in 1891 but appeared in the1901 census, he had a daughter, Nora, at that time aged 2 years who was born in Yardley Gobion so it is almost certain that he would have been here in 1899. It looks probable that he took over the business from Samuel Weston whose father Thomas ran it before his son. They lived near to Chestnut Green before the trees were planted there . On this grass was a saw pit and piles of timber, as nearby was a busy carpenters and wheelwrights yard. George was the wheelwright and carpenter employing workers from this time, living in the same cottage as Samuel Weston that runs along the side of the green, now number 2 Chestnut Road. At a later date he moved over to the other side of the High Street and built the workshop behind the house and had a general store in the house.

I have since seen an invoice from 1942 marked ESTABLISHED 1895 which answers the above question.


Below are extracts from the Yardley Gobion Census returns for 1891 and 1901 showing the changes in the inhabitants and employers living in the stone cottages now No. 2 Chestnut Road.

Census Yardley Gobion 1891


Samuel Weston, Head,Mar ,48, Carpenter & wheelwright , Employer, Yardley Gobion , Northants
Harriet J Weston, Wife, 49, Paulerspury,Northants
Jane E Weston, Daughter, 26, Yardley Gobion, Northants
Arthur Weston, Son, 18, Wheelwright’s apprentice, Yardley Gobion, Northants
Walter J Weston, Son, 13, Scholar, Yardley Gobion, Northants


George W Weston, Head, Mar, 29, Carpenter ,Yardley Gobion, Northants
Emma T Weston, Wife, Mar, 27, Yardley Gobion, Northants
Fanny M Tench, Lodger, 19, Assistant governess, Sunbury, Middlesex

Census Yardley Gobion 1901

George Shakeshaft, Head, Mar, 33, Carpenter & Wheelwright, Employer at Home, Stantonbury Bucks
Elizabeth Shakeshaft, Wife, Mar, 27, Northampton, Northants
Nora Ruth Shakeshaft, Daughter, 2, Yardley Gobion, Northants

Samuel’s widow now living at the other end of the village.

Harriet Weston Head F 57, Paulerspury
Arthur Weston Son M 28 Wheelwright, Yardley Gobion
Walter Weston Son M 23 General railway labourer, Yardley Gobion


Harriett Weston, Head, Wid,74,Hanging Houghton, Northants


George Weston, Head, Mar, 38,Carpenter ,Yardley Gobion, Northants
Rachel Weston, Wife, Mar, 38, Scotland, Scotland
Ezra Weston, Daughter, 7, Yardley Gobion, Northants
Hazel Weston, Daughter, 5,Yardley Gobion, Northants
Lispeth Logie/ Sister, 31, Scotland, Scotland

It looks as if Samuel Weston died between these censuses and provision was made for Harriett Weston to live in part of the cottage (she was the wife of his older brother George) and it now accommodated three rather than two families, his wife moved to a cottage towards the Moorend part of the village.