Three cottages at the hub of the village which, at times, have accommodated five or six households.
Buildings were often named after people and these cottages were probably named after Eliza Barnard, who appears in censuses from 1861 onwards as living at No 5 High Street and described as ‘Proprietor of Houses’. We know from the Parish Registers that she was the daughter of John Nathaniel Atkins, the prosperous draper, grocer and postmaster who then owned Glenthorne House and much other property including the (then) four houses which occupied the plot now known as Barnards Cottages. In 1844, Eliza married James Barnard, son of a neighbouring butcher; James’ burial was registered in 1849 so Eliza was now a widow. By 1871, she was living with her father, now a ‘retired grocer’, and with her daughter, another Eliza. Eliza senior is now listed as a ‘stationer’.
Overcrowding at the turn of the 20th Century
As a child, Winifred Kate Lambert (nee Micklam) lived in the biggest of the three houses, Barnards, and the 1901 census shows that her father was a baker; there were five children, a boarder and a lodger in that house. Winifred later recounted to Freddie Standfield how many people were crammed into the two tiny cottages next door (in what is now Middle Barnards, a single house):
“The tiny cottage next door was occupied by the Nicholsons, who had about 13 children; and in the equally tiny cottage next door but one, Mr and Mrs Albert Luff had seven children.”
Many other East Meon houses were subdivided and overcrowded during this period.
Herbie Goddard, ‘Mayor’ of East Meon
In 1924, a 16 year-old fatherless boy arrived at Upper House, Oxenbourne, and was employed by farmer Philip Berry. In 1929 he travelled north to join an industrial engineering firm near Manchester. Two years later, he returned to East Meon and worked as chauffeur for the architect, Morley Horder (see Court House). In 1933 he married Nellie Christmas (of a long-standing East Meon family); she had been a childhood sweetheart and a housemaid at Oxenbourne.
Herbie and Nellie Goddard moved to Barnards before WWII, during which the house was designated as suitable for lodging 10 and a half people, including two land girls both of whom married local lads Herbie was a member of the auxiliary fire service. After the war, he first managed, and then bought, the petrol station at Glenthorne House (described in the report on Glenthorne House).
Herbie joined the Parish Council on which he served for 37 years and was chair for 16, known by all the village as the ‘Mayor of East Meon’. He was also Church Warden, a member of the Horticultural Society and, during the war, a fire warden. Herbie became known Among his achievements was the building of the Village Hall, of which he was also chairman.