Last updated: February 2009
Continuing: Sidney Street siege. Launched: Titanic. British police fire at demonstrators during a railway strike in Wales; two killed. Big transport strike in London. National Insurance Act; and Official Secrets Act came into force. A year with a long, hot summer: 9 Aug was the hottest recorded day before 1990. First: Monte Carlo rally; Indianapolis 500; Encyclopaedia Britannica; electric escalators (at Earl’s Court station). End: Imperial China. .
During 1911 the Allen and Norris partnership was at its busiest. Building work was continuing on their Southfields Estate. During the year the London Borough of Wandsworth passed the following applications from Allen and Norris:
- 21 houses on the east side of Wimbledon Park Road, opposite Hambledon Road and
Wincanton Road and along to the church at the corner with Granville Road
- 7 houses on the west side of Wimbledon Park Road, between Hambledon Road and
And 131 houses thus:
- 29 houses on the south side of Granville Road
- 31 houses on the north side of Wincanton Road
- 27 houses on the south side of Wincanton Road
- 24 houses on the north side of Hambledon Road
- 20 houses on the south side of Hambledon Road.
That’s a lot of houses. But by the end of the year the London Borough of Fulham had passed these applications by Allen and Norris too:
- 20 houses on Crabtree Lane. This was a row on the north side, opposite the row built by Allen and Norris in 1898-99
- all the houses (38 in each road) in the roads now called Nella Road, Larnach Road,
Silverton Road and Ellaline Road
63 houses at the south end of the road now called Rannoch Road; and
- shops with flats above, along Fulham Palace Road where Nella Road, Larnach Road,
Silverton Road and Ellaline Road meet it.
For what happened at Woolwich Arsenal FC until Norris gave up on Woolwich, see my file Woolwich Arsenal 1911-13 [ROGER I NEED A LINK HERE TO SLWA1013].
9 November 1910 to 8 November 1911 was Henry Norris’ second year as Mayor of Fulham. He continued to attend the regular meetings of the London Borough of Fulham (Wednesday evening every fortnight); and of the Metropolitan Water Board (every other Friday afternoon); and to write his regular Friday column on football for the West London and Fulham Times. He still went to a lot of football matches; probably more at Woolwich Arsenal than at Fulham.
From Mon 16 to Thur 19 January 1911 the final act of the football magazine Football Chat was played out when an associate of its original owner tried to claim the full price agreed in 1908 from the group of which Henry Norris was a member. Although his acquaintance Charles Crisp had to give evidence, Henry Norris didn’t have to go to court. In early February the court found against the claimant, so at least Norris didn’t have to pay him any more money.
On Wed 15 February 1911 the Central Committee of the newly-set up Volunteer Reserve (a pre+cursor of the Territorial Army) issued a letter to all London, asking them to set up a reservist group in their borough. They were to form a committee of local ex-servicemen to encourage recruitment. This would have been Henry Norris’ first experience of recruitment into the armed forces, something he got very involved in again in 1915 and for which he got his knighthood. By April 1911 London’s Veteran Reserve had 4161 members; but when World War One was declared, Kitchener by-passed it entirely preferring to call for completely new volunteers. See May 1911.
On Wed 8 March 1911 at the Criterion Restaurant Piccadilly, Kent Lodge number 15 held its main meeting of the year, the one at which officials of the lodge took office for the next twelve months. I assume Henry Norris would have attended the meeting, although attendance records have not survived. William Hall continued his progress towards a year serving as the lodge’s master, being elected its Senior Warden. And footballer Vivian Woodward, an acquaintance of both Henry Norris and William Hall, was initiated into the lodge, although he doesn’t seem ever to have been a very active member. It’s very likely that he became a member on Norris and Hall’s recommendation. Footballers were not usually recommended for admittance into freemasons’ lodges but Woodward wasn’t a professional, he always played as an amateur, while working in his father’s architect’s practice.
On Sat 25 March 1911 and again on Sat 1 April 1911 adverts appeared on the Times property page announcing the auction of part of the Crabtree Farm Estate. Although the advert didn’t say so, the land now up for sale was the lot that hadn’t reached its reserve price at a previous auction: about 12 acres between the River Thames and Fulham Palace Road immediately north of the land Allen and Norris did buy in the auction of December 1910. This second auction took place beginning at 2pm on Wed 5 April 1911. Again, the land was divided into two lots, into one of about 11 acres that was suitable for housing and a one-acre piece of riverside land suitable for wharves and factories. Allen and Norris bought the 11 acres that was suitable for housing. In a repeat of what happened at the December 1910, the one-acre lot was withdrawn from sale after failing to reach its reserve price; I’m investigating whether Allen and Norris did buy this land at some time during 1913.
Sun 2 April 1911 was the day of the Census. It was the first census where the householder was responsible for completing the form; in all previous censuses householders had given their answers verbally to a government representative who called on them. At Sirron Lodge Alton Road Roehampton, Henry Norris was the head of the household, an “Auctioneer and Builder”. His wife Edith Anne, his daughter Nanette Patience and his unmarried sister Ada Patience lived with him. He employed four servants: a cook, a children’s nurse, a parlourmaid and a housemaid. All the people living at the address described themselves as British. Henry Norris’ elder daughters Mary Joy and Margaret Audrey did not form part of the household on that day; they were away at school.
On Tue 18 April 1911, Allen and Norris’ architect, William Clinch Poole, died. I should imagine both William Gilbert Allen and Henry Norris went to his funeral, although I haven’t found an account of it to confirm their presence. William Clinch Poole’s half-brother Leonard Frank Poole (known as Frank) had been working for the practice for many years. The business carried on under his ownership and maybe Allen and Norris wouldn’t have noticed much difference, on a daily basis. The Allen and Norris partnership continued to be one of Frank Poole’s clients until 1916, when the Crabtree Lane Estate in Fulham was finished.
On Sat 22 April 1911 Henry Norris didn’t go to Woolwich Arsenal 2 Preston North End 0; nor to Blackpool 1 Fulham 2. He went to the FA Cup final at Crystal Palace: Newcastle Utd 0 Bradford C 0, quite the worst in years. Newcastle won the replay on the following Wednesday but he probably didn’t go to that as it was at Old Trafford.
Sat 29 April 1911 was the last of the 1910/11 football season. By dint of 15 points out of 20 over the last seven weeks, Woolwich Arsenal ended 10th in Football League Division One. Fulham ended middling in Football League Division Two. That evening Henry Norris, his brother John Edward and William Hall all went to the first annual dinner of Fulham Amateur Boxing Club, held at the Red Lion Hotel, Walham Green, Fulham.
On Mon 1 May 1911 Henry Norris and Edith as mayor and mayoress attended the opening of a floral exhibition at Fulham Town Hall. It ran for six days and Edith was in charge of one of the stalls.
On Wed 3 May 1911 as mayor of the borough, and following the request - or was it an order? - from the Volunteer Reserve - Henry Norris chaired the first meeting of a council committee formed to recruit a ‘veterans’ troop in Fulham. He also chaired a meeting of another council committee that day, one formed to organise a tea party for all the children in the borough to celebrate the coronation of King George V.
On Fri 5 May 1911 in his last column for West London and Fulham Times before his summer break, Henry Norris went so far as to admit that he’d been very worried about Woolwich Arsenal’s ability to stay in Football League Division One, after their terrible start to the season; he also described Fulham’s form during the season as disappointing (yet again). He didn’t talk about the finances of either club, but during the close season 1911 the board at Fulham were glad to allow Mr L Rosenthal to pay them to rent Craven Cottage. Rosenthal’s firm erected a stage and screens in front of the main grandstand; the main event was showing cine film of the coronation, but the firm also put on some plays.
On 17 May 1911 the London Borough of Fulham approved an application from the Allen and Norris partnership to build 63 houses in the Crabtree Farm Estate, just west of Fulham Palace Road and north of Craven Cottage. During May 1911 the London County Council approved the planning application that went with this (see my file Allen, and Norris, for why two applications were necessary).
The AGMs of the FA and the Football League were held in London on Mon 29 May 1911. Woolwich Arsenal’s director George Leavey probably represented the club at the FL’s AGM. He had been nominated for election to the Football League’s management committee but got the least number of votes of all the 9 candidates; the six candidates who were elected had all been serving on the committee for several years.
In the evening of Sat 17 June 1911 the first AGM of Woolwich Arsenal Football and Athletic Company Limited was held at the Royal Mortar Hotel, Woolwich. See my file Woolwich Arsenal 1911-13 for a full account of this.
On Mon 19 June 1911 there was a dress rehearsal at Westminster Abbey for the coronation of George V and Queen Mary. Henry Norris may have had to attend this although it may just have been for those people with an active role to play in it. On Wed 21 June 1911 Henry Norris and Edith would have attended an eve-of-coronation thanksgiving at Fulham Town Hall. And on Thur 22 June 1911 Henry Norris was present at the coronation of George V and Queen Mary. Proceedings in Westminster Abbey began at 11.15, ending at about 2.30pm but all the guests would have to have been in place long before. Henry Norris got his invitation as the mayor of a London borough; there wasn’t room in the Abbey, however, for any of their wives - and thereby began a tale which ended with the formation of the Freemasons’ Lodge called London Mayors.
On Fri 23 June 1911 George V and Queen Mary went on a drive through London; they didn’t go anywhere near Fulham but at 11.48am they stopped at The Aldwych to listen to speeches and receive gifts from representatives from the London boroughs north of the Thames. I haven’t been able to find out whether Henry Norris was one of the representatives at The Aldwych. Fulham’s children’s tea party took place on Tue 27 Jun 1911 beginning at 3pm in the grounds of Fulham Palace. Both Henry Norris and Edith were there. And if he had had the forethought and connections to buy some tickets, Henry Norris and his guests could have gone to a coronation service on Thur 29 June 1911 at St Paul’s followed by a reception given by the Lord Mayor of London at the Guildhall.
Then, at 8pm on Fri 30 Jun 1911 it was Fulham FC’s AGM. With the club having made a loss of over £1000, and therefore not paying any dividend (again) the directors might have expected a rough ride. They did get some more awkward questions about transfers but in general this was a quieter affair than 1910's had been. Henry Norris even compared season ticket sales at Fulham unfavourably with those at Woolwich Arsenal without getting barracked about it. The report on it in West London and Fulham Times noted, however, that Chelsea FC had managed to make a profit despite being relegated.
In the afternoon of Wed 19 July 1911 Henry Norris and Edith attended the 39th annual garden party of the Butchers’ Charitable Institution, held at their premises in Walham Green.
Around Fri 21 July 1911 the disgruntled mayors of London held a meeting to chew over the insults they’d endured over the coronation. As well as the refusal to let their wives attend the ceremony, they thought they’d been badly done by in the coronation honours’ list: many mayors had been knighted in this, but none in London. I couldn’t find any proof that Henry Norris attended this meeting but he certainly agreed with the tenor of it. A second meeting was held by this irritable group on Tue 25 July 1911 at which they made plans to ensure that mayors of London boroughs had a higher profile in future; and got more of the rewards that were going and that (they felt, with good cause) were their due.
On Sat 2 September 1911 the football season 1911/12 began. Henry Norris went to see Fulham lose 1-0 at Bristol City. His ‘Casual Notes’ column resumed in West London and Fulham Times (published each Friday).
During September 1911 the budding socialist group in Fulham tried to organise a petition to prevent building going ahead on Allen and Norris’ Crabtree Lane site. West London and Fulham Times (for which Norris wrote, of course) described the petition as a subversion of democratic processes; and it doesn’t seem to have been successful.
On Sat 16 September 1911 Fulham Reserves played Woolwich Arsenal Reserves in a South Eastern League match. Henry Norris was at the game, later describing it as “Fulham had all the play and Woolwich Arsenal all the points”. He didn’t specify which side he’d been supporting!
On 20 September 1911 the London Borough of Fulham passed the Allen and Norris partnership’s biggest application on its Crabtree Farm estate: 170 houses in Crabtree Lane in Dalton Road, Ellaline Street, Nanette Road and Gilbert Road. Dalton, Ellaline and Gilbert are all names in the Allen family; Nanette was Henry Norris’ youngest daughter.
On Sat morning 23 September 1911 Henry Norris was scratching around at Woolwich trying to find 11 fit players for the reserves’ game that afternoon. I presume he went to the match but he didn’t record the result in his newspaper column and I couldn’t find it anywhere else.
Amidst speculation that he would not be putting his name forward for a third year as mayor of Fulham, on Thur 5 October 1911 Henry Norris and Edith held a dinner for Henry’s councillors from the London County Council, the Metropolitan Water Board and other London boroughs. His footballing acquaintances were also invited and the event took place at the brand new Coronation Room at the Clarendon Restaurant in Hammersmith, owned and run by his friend Henry Foreman.
At its meeting on Tue 17 October 1911 and for reasons best known to itself, the London County Council refused to allow the Allen and Norris partnership to use the names they’d given Dalton Road and Gilbert Road on the Crabtree Estate. Representatives from Allen and Norris managed to argue them round and the roads were named as William Allen and Henry Norris wanted them.
On Mon 23 October 1911 Henry Norris and his football-watching acquaintance and fellow councillor George Easton represented the London Borough of Fulham at a meeting at the Mansion House (official home of the Lord Mayor of London) to discuss whether London should bid to buy the Crystal Palace site for use as a public amenity.
Presumably Tue 24 October 1911 a legal decision was finally made in the long-drawn-out case of the sports newspaper Football Chat. It was a decision that meant that the group that bought the newspaper in 1908 never got their initial investment back; on the other hand, they were never called on to pay the full sum of the price they’d agreed with its owner.
On Thur 9 Nov 1911 and despite all rumours to the contrary, Henry Norris was elected mayor of Fulham for a third year. On the morning of Sun 12 November 1911 his mayoral year officially began, in the usual way, with a service at Fulham Parish Church.
On Sat 2 December 1911 London County Council officials reached a decision on how near the roadway buildings could be constructed on the west side of Fulham Palace Road - the edge of Allen and Norris’ Crabtree Lane Estate. William Allen and Henry Norris didn’t like the line that the LCC had decided on, so they appealed against it and the case went to arbitration, holding up construction work.
On Mon 4 December 1911 at the Freemasons’ Hall in Great Queen Street, Covent Garden, a ceremony took place to create a new lodge, the London Mayors’ Lodge number 3560, for current and ex mayors of London boroughs. Henry Norris was a founding member of this lodge and was present at this inauguration and the banquet afterwards at the Connaught Rooms (next door); he remained a member until his death. His acquaintances on the mayoral circuit, Henry Busby Bird of Shoreditch and George Elliott of Islington were both present; Bird was the new lodge’s first master being inaugurated as part of the founding ceremony.
The new lodge’s regular meetings took place at the Freemasons’ Hall, Great Queen Street Covent Garden on the third Monday in February, March and October and its master was elected at the one in November. Henry Norris served as its Worshipful Master from November 1914 to 1915. As regards the freemasons amongst those who were mayors in June 1911, this was their ultimate response to the slights they had endured at the coronation.
During the weekend of 9-10 December 1911 negotiations took place for the transfer of Welsh international goalkeeper Dr L R Roose from Aston Villa to Fulham FC; and got as far as Aston Villa sending the necessary papers to Fulham so that he could be registered as a Fulham player. But on Mon 11 December 1911 Roose signed for Woolwich Arsenal instead. See my file Woolwich Arsenal 1911-13 for a bribe probably paid by Henry Norris and William Hall to Roose to secure his signature, in contravention of the Football League rules; never mind the conflict of interest of Norris and Hall in snatching a player destined for one of their clubs to play for the other. [ROGER COULD I HAVE A LINK HERE TO SLWA1013.] And see my file Footballers Who Came Back to Haunt Him for more on Roose’s career and why Norris’ bribe was never investigated by the footballing authorities. [ROGER PLEASE COULD I HAVE A LINK HERE TO SLHAUNT].
On Sat 16 December 1911 the National Insurance Act became law, providing the first, rudimentary, cover for the working man (I’m not so sure about the working woman) in times of sickness and unemployment. It didn’t come into operation until 15 July 1912, giving employers and employees several months to adjust to the idea. Henry Norris would have found himself paying and administering contributions at Allen and Norris and at both football clubs. For Henry Norris it was the last significant event of the year.
IF YOU WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE SOURCES OF ALL THIS INFORMATION, SEND ME AN EMAIL AND I’LL SEND YOU THE SOURCES FILE.
Copyright Sally Davis February 2009