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Garden Village


The Garden Village was inaugurated by Sir James Reckitt, Bart. The estate comprises 130 acres. The total number of houses is about 600, and the population is slightly over 3,000.

“The objects of this Garden Village,” said Sir James Reckitt, in opening the Village in July, 1908, “are to provide a House and a good Garden, in fact a better house if possible, and a garden attached for the same rent as is now paid for inferior houses with no garden at all.” That the undertaking had fulfilled the hopes of its founder was shown by the fact that the occupiers of the houses a year or two later presented Sir James with a beautiful album containing an address and photographs, expressing their deep appreciation of the conditions under which they were living. The Firm are large debenture holders.

Garden Village Hall in 1910The Village Hall, the gift of Sir James Reckitt, is available for religious services, public meetings and social events; its organ was the gift of Lady Reckitt. The Village Club of which Mr. Albert R. Reckitt was the donor, in memory of his father, Mr. George Reckitt, is the centre of the social activities of the Village. The Village Green known as the “Oval” is used for recreative purposes in the form of tennis and bowls. At the rear of the Club is a Children’s Playing Ground. In a quiet corner of the Village is situated a block of eight Almshouses, the gift of Miss Juliet Reckitt, daughter of Mr. George Reckitt, reserved for aged employees of the Company, or residents of the Village. The Houses are allotted rent free to the occupiers. In another corner there is a block of twelve similar Homes, the gift of the late Mr. Frederick I. Reckitt, with similar facilities.

A Horticultural Society of the Village holds annual Exhibitions, and Prizes are given annually by the Right Hon. T.R. Ferens for the best gardens in the various classes.

On the occasion of his ninetieth birthday Sir James Reckitt, Bart., made the gift of a dozen almshouses, known as “The Sir James Reckitt Village Haven,” erected on the Garden Village road which is the main approach to the Village. “The Haven” consists of twelve self-contained houses, designed to give the maximum amount of comfort and requiring the minimum amount of domestic work. Each house has a light cheerful living room looking on the Village road, with comfortable bedroom annex, separate bathroom, and scullery, with hot and cold water service, and the usual conveniences all contained under the one roof. With half-timbered gables and red-tiled roofs, the houses are in keeping with the Village architecture.

(Excerpt from Reckitt & Sons Ltd. and their Welfare Work, 1925.)

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