No:4 Upton Park
Known as Rhossili since being built in 1923.
Earliest history of these developments
This property was built on a 720 Sq Yd plot for Charles Hartwell
Compston - an engineer?
in the steel trade. The builder went brankrupt during the
construction period and
Charles Compston had to complete the building himself.
Daughter Joan recalls the house -
The exterior was grey pebbledash - very popular in the 1920s.
As originally built there was no dorma window.
The roof tiles were especially shipped from Marseilles reflecting
Charles' affectionate memories of visits to France in 1900.
Internally; there were parquet suspended floors and electricity
was installed in 1923 but as it was so very new Charles had gas put
in as well. The electric switches were sideways for on/off.
The garage - later demolished - was built in brick and pebbledashed
and with the Marseilles tiles all matching the house. It had an
inspection pit and was used by Charles and later by Geoffrey
to carry out their own car servicing.The house was well built with parquet suspended floors. We had electricity
installed in 1923 but as it was so very new my father had gas put in as well
so we had the choice. The electric swithes were sideways for on/off.
- Charles Compston with his wife Margaret
Penny and children Kathleen, Joan and Geoffrey were lodging
(no:56) at the time but were forced to leave there and take up
before the house
was completed during their son's illness.
See Joan's (now Mrs Robinson)
of her childhood in the Park.
They named the house after the venue of their holidays spent on the
By 1940 Margaret Compston had moved to Kingsheath, Birmingham;
renting out Rhossili - initially to The Cox family who then moved into
The Westings next door.
Mr & Mrs Harold Sumption moved in during 1939; initially as tenants
eventually buying. Harold was in the RAF during WW2.
After Harold's death; Jessie Sumption continued to live in no:4 for
many years. She moved into a nursing home during the 1980's and
died in the 1990's. It is reputed that her dog Pepe was shut in the kitchen
during the Blaster Bates demolision of the mill chimney and then refused to
ever go in the kitchen again.
When the house was sold, after her death, it had escaped much of the
'modernisation of the postWW2 decades. Electric lighting was used
but the gas lighting remained. All fireplaces were intact
including all the bedrooms.
Dr Anthony Kaufman who bought the property in
the late 1990s took care to retain many
of these preserved features while refurbishing the property.
New owners acquired the property in 2002.