No 84 Upton Park
Now known as Millside
The 1872 and 1898 OS surveys show the property as a pair of cottages. All the other pre-1870 properties were pairs and it is likely that William Pitt and family lived in one half with his in-laws Evan & Margaret Evans in the other half. Although the layout of internal walls with the central staircase does not support a notion of two equal size halves nevertheless there are enough indicators that the property was a double later converted to a single to satisfy the new 1870 covenant regarding the building of WestView (no:80) on the same plot. The front porch appears to have been added early in the 20th century and at some point a ribbon line of bricks has been painted yellow probably following the fashion of many 1870s Park houses which feature a course of yellow bricks.
The first owner after William Pitt was railway goods guard David Horsefield. The 1871 census records him at 32 years residing with wife Mary (32yrs); nephew David Horsfield Dodd and lodger the Upton curate Miles Hodgson Towers who was later to move into Westview (no:80).
In 1876 the property was acquired by James and Elizabeth Prince
who moved in shortly after their marriage. Subsequently the home
of their daughter Mrs Gowings; the property stayed in the
Prince / Gowings
family for a half century.
Although recorded in the 1881
and 1891 census records and the early
Park accounts ledger; much of the history of this era comes through
daughter Margaret's recollections
of the house and garden.
Graham Hinde of no:3 relates that whilst he was at Oswestry School, his artmaster , George Roland Harding Webster, informed him that he had previously lived in Millside. Webster died c1951 while in his mid-80s and it is likely that he lived at Millside sometime in the period after the Gowings left. Graham further recalls that Webster was a talented artist/craftsman who had studied at The Slade and worked in a Pre-Raphaelite style.
Captain (later Major) John Sidney Smith and his wife Kathleen Lily acquired the property in 1927 and then in 1934 by army dentist Major Henry Erasmus Flavelle (b 1894). He lived at Millside with his first wife and three daughters - Margaret, Moyna and Diana. Mrs Flavelle died in 1938 and the Mary Margaret Barton recorded in the 1939 electoral roll was the nanny engaged to look after the young family. During WW2 Henry was stationed in Edinburgh and Colchester and the house was let out.
Stories suggest that during WW2; three Free French pilots were billoted at Millside and Windmill girls up from London were entertained with no shortage in the flow of drinks and the resulting display of empties.
Henry Flavelle remarried at the outbreak of war - September 1939 - to Cecily Rowland and the family returned to Millside after the war; now with a further daughter Alison.
The garden was significantly increased post WW1 to take in non-covenanted land originally outside the Park area. During the Flavelle era this featured a tennis court and Mrs Flavelle is remembered as serving silver service tea after a match. In 1975 the Flavelles sold Millside to the Beard family
Brian Beard first occupied Millside on his own while renovation work was carried out. The family - wife Olive with children Caroline and Nicholas joining him later. The roof was rebuilt - one large tree causing major problems. A damp proof course was established and electrics improved whilst removing the remains of the early gas facilities. The roof of the coachhouse had totally collapsed and Brian built a flatroof double garage in its place. When the Beards took over the lounge had a small room at the back - a butler's pantry - accessed down two steps. Brian integrated it with the lounge raising its floor level. This involved removing the partition wall - an exercise which revealed some interesting historical finds. Brian's renovation work also revealed that the extended back portion of the house had been been constructed from old ship timbers bolted onto the (then) exterior wall of the house. The timbers still having the large boltholes of their earlier life.
The Beard's played a major part in the social life of the Park and hosted the adults 'street party' for the Royal Wedding celebrations in 1981.
After the Beards; the next owners were Simon and Sylve Kirk who built the conservatory on the north side between garage and kitchen. They moved to the USA and then house was vacant for several months before being acquired by Simon Nixon in 1998.