My research into former Waterfurlong gardeners is continuing and I have recently added a biography for Edward Joyce (1848-1935) to the website. Edward is the gentleman with his arms crossed in the front row of the above photograph.
Edward and his wife Mary gardened Plot 3 on the east side of Waterfurlong for many decades in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. They gave over part of their plot to a tennis court, and during the 1880s the Sandall children next door enjoyed watching the Joyces' matches from the eyrie of their tree house.
Born into poverty in nearby Barnack, Edward was the epitome of the Victorian self-made man, rising to the prominent position of general manager of the Stamford Mercury, where he worked for nearly 60 years.
The old Stamford Mercury shop and offices at 62 High Street
Edward and Mary started off their married life in a house close to the junction of Tinwell Road and Waterfurlong, and by 1889 Edward was in the position to buy Walsoken House in St Peter's Street, where the four Joyce children - Muriel, Clifford, Evelyn and Cyril grew up.
Walsoken House, 2 St Peter's Street
The family were staunch Congregationalists. Edward ran the Star Lane chapel Sunday school and was involved in the building of Stamford's now lost Albert Hall. He was invited to become president of the Stamford Institution - a stone's throw from his front door - but turned it down following allegations of gambling being permitted on the premises! But I suspect he was less staid than his biography suggests - Edward was musical and sporty and had a distinct twinkle in his eye in surviving photographs. He was also canny enough to wed into money and enjoyed a long and apparently very happy marriage.
The Albert Hall, situated where Tesco's car park now stands.
Edward and Mary had three war heroes among their children and grandchildren, but sadly only one of their descendants - Norah Butler Joyce, a registered nurse and midwife - remained in Stamford.
Readers with Tidd and Hensman ancestors might also be interested in Edward's biography.