This page within the people section of the website contains biographies, in alphabetical order, of those who had connections to the local area.
For further information on an individual please select the link button on the relevant entry below.
John Bentley was born in Watford on 19th March 1913 and died on 29th May 1988 aged 75. He and Betty (see below) were married in 1942 and lived at Erewhon, the Old Coach Road, Wrotham for many years. John was the organist at Stansted church for almost 25 years.
Betty Bentley (née Hastings) was born in Chatham on 13th April 1914 and died in July 2014 aged 100. Betty, supported by her husband John (see above), was a tireless worker for local causes, especially the RNLI.
Berry, Ada (Nee Bicknell)
In whose memory the Stansted Almshouses were built was born on 13th July 1831 in Herne Hill. She married Edward Berry and they had a family of 8 children. After her husband died she moved to Kent and lived in Soranks Manor in Fairseat for 18 years from 1893 until her death in 1911 at the age of 80. She is buried in the Stansted churchyard and her daughter Maude (who was an artist and who also lived in Stansted until she died aged 90 in 1949) is buried in the same plot.
Coulson, Robert Gustavus
Robert Coulson was commissioned into the King’s Royal Rifle Corps in 1918 at the age of 19. He was ordained in the 1940s and founded the Fellowship of Contemplative Prayer. Robert was the rector at St Mary’s Church, Stansted, during the 1950’s.
The interview was recorded at his retirement home in Oxfordshire in April 1991 when he was 91 years old.
Oliver, Evelyn May
Evelyn Oliver was the midwife for Fairseat and Stansted for over 30 years from 1926 and added the encampment that preceded Vigo Village to her patch after the war. She lived in the District Nurse’s Cottage (now Oliver’s Cottage) in the centre of Fairseat. This lively account of her life includes recollections from two of her family who grew up in Fairseat.
Shahmoon, Ezekiel Elia
Ezekiel Shahmoon was a wealthy merchant from an Iraqi family who purchased Trosley Towers in 1935 following the death of Sir Philip Waterlow and had it demolished the following year. The estate became the Officer Cadet Training Unit during the war and Croudace Homes Ltd. subsequently developed part of the estate in the 1960s to become Vigo village. Ezekiel Shamoon continued to live in North lodge, Harvel Road, until his death in 1972. Note: The thumbnail image is of Ezekiel’s father, Elia.
Rodney and Pam Sheldon moved to Fairseat in 1954 and lived at Court House and then Fairseat Farm. During his working life, Rodney ran paper mills in Snodland producing soft loo paper (the first in the UK) and newsprint for The Times. He was on the Board of News International with Rupert Murdoch until he retired in 1988. He died in 2007.
Ivor Stoneham was a long-term resident of Stansted and Hodsoll Street and lived at both Mingram (now Stansted House) and Pettings Court. As the owner of Pettings Court, he farmed 184 acres of land between Fairseat Lane and Hodsoll Street. He was unmarried and died aged 73 in February 2018 after a short illness.
Jill and Peter Webb lived at The Old Rectory in Stansted for 40 years until 2010 when they moved to Allens Farm in Plaxtol. Jill had a lifelong love of horses and was the District Commissioner for the West Kent Meopham Pony Club. She helped to organise the annual gymkhana at the Stansted fete for many years. Jill sadly died on Christmas Day 2019.
Brian Wood moved to Fairseat in 1964 and was a well-known gardener and beekeeper. He was recently the subject of a prize-winning portrait photograph by Tom Poole, another Fairseat resident. Brian died in February 2023 aged 87.