SHEILA CRANE of Sutton, wife of the late Gordon Crane, was the daughter of Charlie and Miriam Favell late of Sutton. Sheila has lived in Sutton all her life, apart from the first 18 months of her married life.




Richard Favell   = Annie                                                                                                Elizabeth Papworth




Dolly    Charlie              Dora     Florence Cyril                           Olive   Winnie   Iona   Miriam   Gertrude

            Favell                                                                                                             Rachel

            m                                                                                                                     m

            Miriam Papworth                                                                                  Charlie Favell



                                                            Sheila                           Beverley

                                    Gordon Crane m Favell                          Favell


                                    Judith                            Stella


Early Life :


Charlie Favell and Miriam Rachel Papworth, Sheila’s parents were married at Hemingford Abbots in January 1936. Charie Favell came from Hemingford Grey, and Miriam from Hemingford Abbots. They moved to Sutton in 1937. Their house was known as Crosskeys, by the junction of Manor Road and Nene Way by repute a former pub. Charlie went to work for Mrs Graeme, but the house they lived in belonged to Mr Jack Button, the farmer at Manor Farm Sutton. Mrs Graeme must have rented Sheila’s parents house off Mr Button. Sheila was born in Sutton on 15th August 1938. Mrs Graeme employed three gardeners at The Grange: Mr Gathercoal who lived at 1 Lovers’ Lane, Mr Arthur Mason (gardener/chauffeur) and Charlie Favell.. Mrs Graeme, Sheila remembers as a stern lady. She was the daughter of Canon Hopkinson. Her husband, Lt Col Graeme was killed at the Battle of Loos in the First World War – they had no children. Lt Col Graeme has a memorial in Sutton Church, and his pipe-banner hangs in the church. Mrs Graeme lived at The Grange by herself (her sister Judith had died). She had a number of house servants, including Rosalie Brittain and her sister-in-law Nellie. You were only allowed to hang out your washing on a Monday, and no bonfires were allowed  anywhere the church side of the railway bridge. The farm horses used to be kept in the yard where there are now bungalows opposite the church. The horseman was billy Brown. The horses stopped in the 1950s. After harvest, they would go gleaning in the fields,picking up corn for their hens. The children were always smartly turned out for Easter Sunday, with new dresses with smocking on the front, new knickers to match, new white socks, new sandals,(Sheila remembers the sandals always had to be Clarke’s – nothing else would do) new straw hat. Mrs Graeme, when older moved out of the Grange, to John Lodder’s house and left everything to a cousin, Commander Hopkinson and his wife, the parents of Verity and Gunnery.


Sheila went to Castor School. They were taken in a bus by Cecil Taylor (son Tony Taylor – they used to live in the house almost opposite The Royal Oak in Castor). The headmaster was Mr Berridge. She then went onto Glinton College in 1949 as one of their first pupils.


Church Life:

The church was an important part of her father’s life. He was the Sexton, and was in the choir. Ther were about 8 or so people in the choir, the men wore surplices. In adition to her father, Steve Britten, and Charles Gathercoal were in the choir, so was Sheila. Mrs Graeme played the organ. The vicar was also the vicar of Upton, so they had alternate services with Upton: one week a morning services at Sutton and the next week an evening service at Sutton. The morning service was Mattins, followed by Holy Communion, for those who wanted to stay for it. The evening service was prayer Book Evensong. If some-one was not present for church, Mrs Graeme would send for them, and the service would not start until the missing person had arrived. They would go Carol Singing round the village, and would call on The Grange, where they went in to sing for Mrs Graeme. There would be choir outings, for example to Cheddar Gorge, or Matlock- long journeys but they always returned the same day. The trip was free for members of the choir. Other people in the village could also go if they paid for their fare. The priests in Sheila’s time were Revd Hasler, then Revd Beeny, Mr Matthews who rode to church on a bicycle, Canon Turner, Adrian Davies (also Rector of Castor and Marholm,) and then Mr Herbert, who was also an industrial chaplain. They all lived in the Vicarage at Upton (apart from Adrian Davies) – now known as Glebe House. Charlie Favell, never went on holiday, never stayed out of the village. He loved the church and his garden. Sometimes as a family they would go for a drive to Hunstanton, or picnic at Sandringham. On Years’ Eve, he would go up to the church, and toll out the Old Year and ring in the New Year, and then call in at No 1 lover’s Lane for a whiskey. He would light the coke fire in church at Saturday tea-time, and then at midnight, go up to the church to stoke the fire, so it was ready for Sunday. Sheila’s father had a beautiful singing voice. Sheila’s mother  used to clean the church on Friday afternoons. During the war, her father was in the Home Guard.if a lay-reader came to take a service, Charlie would always ask them in for tea. Charlie Favell died 11th April 1984 aged 79.


Later Life:

Sheila met Gordon through Horace Ward of Sutton, who worked for the same  bus company as Gordon. Sheila and Gordon were married at Sutton Church by Canon Watson on 22nd March 1958. After living in the St Paul’s Road area of Peterborough for a short while, they moved into 1 Lovers’ Lane Sutton, a house owned by Mrs Graeme. All the houses and cottages in Sutton were owned by Mrs Graeme apart from Manor Farmhouse and its associated buildings. Ther were no new houses then at all, only the old cottages, Manor Farmhouse and so on.


Copy of Written Notes by Sheila Crane:

“ I attended Castor Infants’ School when I was 5 years old, then the primary school, and Glinton College when I was 11, then worked as a shop assistant. Life in Sutton was a lot different to what it is now, all the men either worked on the farm, which belonged to Mr Jack Button or worked as a gardener at the Grange for Mrs Graeme, There were only 20 houses at that time, my father worked for Mrs Graeme, but in summer-time he would work in the harvest field for Mr Rawlings who had  a small-holding; my sister Beverley and I would ride home on the hay cart. I was in the church choir, we always had a church outing, and a choir supper once a year given by Mrs Graeme.

In 1947 we had so much snow, the drifts were so high nobody could get in or out of the village. It was great fun for us as children.

In 1949 I was one of the first children to go to Arthur Mellow’s Village College Glinton, when it opened. I was in the school choir and also the Girl Guides when I was there. I left in 1953 and worked as a shop assistant for RJ Glass in Peterborough.

Every year on Good Friday the choir would walk to Sutton Woods which is up the Southorpe Road to pick primroses to decorate the church.” (Sheila Crane)




These notes were made by William Burke, while talking to Sheila on 14  July 2003.