Our sinister past - The murder of Samual Fell Wilson - by Harry Bletcher and Felisa Hannah (nee Wilson)
A note from the Editor - Harry Bletcher sent his Warsop memories via e.mail for me to publish on the website. Today, March 23 2006, I recieved a hand written letter in the post from Felisa Hannah, the daughter of Samual Fell-Wilson with her own account of the events. Felisa now lives in Spain and was told about Harry's story by her daughter, who lives in Australia but visits Warsop Web.
I am indebted to Felisa for giving me permission to add her story to this website and deeply moved by her words - please see below.
I remember Mr Samuel Fell-Wilson being murdered up by the windmill in the early thirties, they brought in the top detective from Scotland Yard but it remains a mystery forever. There were a lot of people suspect but no one was ever charged with the murder. On the spot where he was found there is a cross made from bricks, in the hedge bottom, just below the windmill on the opposite side of the road. The funeral of this man was witnessed by most of the village, they where lined up the side of the road from the Mill bridge to the doors of the church, he was well respected. There were 4 black horses to draw the black hearse, provided by Jim Lambert and George Townrow the undertaker.
The family moved to the shop on Clumber Street next to Mr Hollingsworth and I often was sent there to run an errand for my grannie. Mrs Wilson's daughter graduated as a doctor from Nottingham University and moved to London.
The next tragedy in Warsop in the thirties was1938, Alma Price and her sister where murdered by their father at home on Sherwood Street, the father lost his job and there was no food in the house. He also tried suicide but was found by his wife. After his trial at Nottingham he was taken to Lincoln Jail where he paid the price.
In 1939 just months before the war started the submarine HMS Thetis went out on sea trials off Portsmouth and didn't resurface, 6 escaped out of 60 personnel and one of the dead was Dr Horan's son from Warsop. Dr Horan lived at the top of Dawney Hill and Sookholme Lane and had his surgery there too, this sad loss devastated the family. They moved out of the house and Dick Bradley, the butcher moved in there. The submarine was raised during the war and saw active service but was finally sunk by the enemy.
On page 3 in the book Old Warsop in Pictures there is a photo of the funeral of Mr Fell Wilson, it was probably the biggest in Warsop history.
Mr Frank Blythman was a great historian of Warsop, he lived on Ridgeway Terrace and had his storage shed in the back garden, it was the end house near Fenwick Street, (there were only 19, 21 and 23 that were fenced off prior to the war, I was born at number 9 and lived there until I was married in 1951 to my one and only) Putty Blythman was his name and he had a yard full of glass and window frames. When the houses where built up Mansfield road to the station, Mr Blythman moved into the one next to the stationmaster house, the last new one.
I worked part time at Mr Beeston's shop on Church Street during the war and I used to take groceries every Saturday morning to Blythmans house at Mansfield road. They had both married Eastwood sisters so they where well respected by everyone. The rent my parents paid was collected by either Cora Eastwood or Daisey Eastwood, the rent was 2/6d prewar to 12 shilling in 1951.
The enclosed is in response to your mention of my father on your web page. You may if you wish put it on the web. The page from the web was sent to me from my daughter in Australia. I do not have an e-mail address but may be contacted on:- (address withheld). I might add that I have much information about Warsop from the Almanacs my grandfather wrote from 1895 – 1915.
Yours sincerely - F Hannah
My name is Filisa Hannah née Wilson. I was born on 19th April 1929 at 2 Sherwood Street Warsop. My father was Samuel Fell Wilson. He was murdered as he drove home in his 4 seater Morris Cowley convertible down past the Windmill at about 9pm on 22nd September 1930. He was forty years old. He had been visiting his Aunt Mary who had a farm in Ollerton.
Nottinghamshire Constabulary called in Scotland Yard to help with enquiries under the leaderships of Chief Inspector Berrett and Detective Sergeant Harris. After extensive investigations no-one was ever charged. No motive and no weapon were found. A £200 reward was issued for any information but led nowhere. My mothers’ sister Miss Beatrice Carrier identified the body and told us she found only one small hole in his left temple.
My mother was devastated and never really recovered from her grief. I was 17 months old. We continued to live with Mr & Mrs Samuel Fell Wilson senior at 2, Sherwood Street where they owned a wine, spirit and grocery business. They were an illustrious family, well known and respected in the village. My grandfather became Chairman of the town council in 1904 and wrote the Warsop Almanac for many years. Fell Wilson Street was named after him. He was born on 20th December 1850 in Warsop, so by the time my father was killed, he was nearly 80 years. My grandmother was a little younger.
I was 3½ years old when she died and shortly afterwards my grandfather went to live with his sister in Ollerton. The business was sold.
My mother and I were alone. We had little help from the Wilson family. However, my mother was a resourceful and hardworking lady. In March 1933 we moved to 62 Clumber Street and my mother opened her grocery shop next to Mr Hollingsworth. My grandmother, Mrs Jane Carrier, came to live with us and although nearly blind did the cooking and helped with the household chores. The local people, mainly miners and their wives, were very kind and always watched out for us.
I went to Hetts Lane Infants School and then the Junior School. The shop prospered and my mother was able to take on a Mr Harry Plant to help in the shop and with deliveries and the heavy work. Then came the war, September 3rd 1939. My grandma died on 20th March 1941.
After the 11 plus exams I went to Queen Elizabeth Grammar School Mansfield. Harry was conscripted into the Army. My mother had to cope on her own, also with the extra strain dealing with ration book points, tokens etc., her health began to deteriorate.
I did well at school gaining a Matriculation Certificate but that was the end of my formal education. My dream of becoming a doctor never materialised. I became my mothers’ carer. The shop was sold to a Miss Yates and we moved to just the other side of Mansfield. After a series of strokes my mother died on 1st February 1950, two days before her 59th birthday.
I married a boy from Carlton,
Nottingham and we moved south. Life goes on. I bear no grudge or wish for
retribution but Dear God after all these years only to know why my father
had to die and whose hand pulled the trigger?
Crime writer Scott Lomax has included this mystery in his latest book of unsolved murders - More information >>>