In 1742, Thorpe’s map showed the district that became East Twerton consisted of fields and, some fifty years later, only a few dwellings, principally clustered around the site of Charlton Buildings, appeared on the Parish map of 1807. As the district grew, it attracted two famous authors: Henry Fielding came to lodge on the Bristol Road where, it is claimed, wrote the majority of his most noted novel The History of Tom Jones – A Foundling and, later, Jane Austin preferred the country walks in Twerton rather than the city streets of Bath.
Towards the end of the 19th century, the population of Twerton expanded rapidly with the coming of the railways – the Great Western in 1840 and the Midland in 1869-70 – and the burgeoning population overspilling from the city. It was a time when our manufacturing industries were created.
The district of East Twerton within the parish of Twerton was established when St. Peter’s Church was consecrated in 1880.
Up until the turn of the 20th century Twerton had been a parish within the shire county of Somerset and not part of the City of Bath. In 1908, the city corporation petitioned the government to extend the city boundary ‘in the interests of better government and improving the service to the people in those areas’. The land grab became a reality in 1911 and certainly favoured the city but it is arguable that the people saw much benefit.
Despite the years of two World Wars, businesses, both large and small, flourished during the 20th century in East Twerton giving employment to thousands in the manufacturing industry – the district was the unsung ‘powerhouse of the city’.
East Twerton Revisited is more than another ‘then and now’ picture book. It also vastly differs from most other history books on Bath which are packed with city centre architecture and period grandiosity. East Twerton Revisited is a comprehensive record of people who made the district fascinating, buildings which became worthy landmarks and a proud culture and identity which has been gradually eroded in time. This book shows the district to be rich in history and not the ‘poor relation’ as it is generally portrayed.
The book is on sale at Oldfield Park Bookshop, 43 Moorland Road, Bath, Somerset
Herbert Chivers was born 1876 in Bath and by 1901 was employed at the family business of soap manufacture, a business that was started by his grandfather Samuel Fricker Chivers.
Herbert married Lily Hicks in 1902 Bath but she died in 1907. Herbert remarried in 1909 to Eliza Ponsford and they had a daughter Mary Katherine in 1911.
Herbert became interested in public service and in 1924 was elected as an alderman in Bath.
He twice served as mayor to Bath and died in office on 23 June 1946 after a long illness.
The Chivers family and the soap manufacturing business is featured in the above book.
Follow his family here