ID WW01_431 Article from Mersea Museum / Winifred Hone

TitleMrs Guthrie Smith - Orleans - Winifred Hone memoirs
AbstractOrleans

The Land Army girls had their headquarters there during the war and their efforts helped to cultivate the land by hard work amidst a war raging with death and destruction. Mrs Guthrie Smith was assisted in the development of rehabilitation apparatus by Mr Hawkins, her tenant of Garden Cottage, who having a natural flair for improvisation was able to translate rough sketches and descriptions into working reality. During the life of Mrs Guthrie Smith, Garden Cottage formed part of Orleans Estate, this she resolutely refused to sell to Mr Hawkins who with his wife Toddles held it on tenancy, and it was not until her sudden death that he was able to purchase from the executor and put in hand alterations including the development of a garden from what had been a rubbish heap.


Orleans

Circa 1700
Demolished 1959
Site now occupied by flats
Legend of haunted garden steps washed every mid-summer day as a precaution against calamity for occupant of house.

Final Occupants

Mrs O. Guthrie Smith and her cousin partner Miss Smith (an M.D. in her own right)
Mrs O. Guthrie Smith lived in India for many years where her husband held high Consular rank.

While on a visit to her step mother in London in 1957 Mrs Guthrie Smith died suddenly in her sleep, being brought back to Mersea for a funeral service in the Parish Church attended by many members of the medical and kindred professions. Cremated at Ipswich (there being no facilities at Colchester). Her ashes were returned to Orleans and scattered on the garden terrace.

Miss Smith who inherited the property survived some eighteen months and being cremated at Colchester her ashes were also scattered on the terrace.

Mrs Guthrie smith was medically renowned for her research into and the development of springs in the rehabilitation of the incapacitated with special reference to war wounds. Working for a time at Stoke Mandeville, whe was awarded the OBE for her work amonth civilian bomb victims. Details and illustrations of her methods and cases can can be found in her book .......

Medical appreciation of her work in the Paddington area was expressed by the new library at St. Mary's Hospital being called The Guthrie Smith Library wherein will be a painting of her presented by Miss Smith.

Orleans was a gracious house, its demolition being a tragedy. It was sold excluding Garden Cottage and the plot where now stands Kings Hard for £10,000, a demolition contractor tearing it down for salvage value.

AuthorWinifred Hone
Publishedc1969
SourceMersea Museum / Wendy Woolley
IDWW01_431
Related Images:
 Orleans House, West Mersea, now demolished. From Essex in Literature, Essex County Standard 6 May 1960.  BOXL_045_001_003
ImageID:   BOXL_045_001_003
Title: Orleans House, West Mersea, now demolished. From Essex in Literature, Essex County Standard 6 May 1960.
Date:Before 6 May 1960
Source:John Leather Collection
 Company buys Mersea House for £10,000. 
 Orleans, Cost Road, West Mersea, one of the largest residences on Mersea Island, was sold at a public auction on Friday for £10,000 to a London property company.
</p>
<p>...</p>
<p>The house originally belonged to Miss Isobel Smith and Mrs Guthrie Smith, who were friends but not related. Mrs Guthrie Smith died a few years ago and Miss Smith a few months ago.
</p>  EST_ORL3_001
ImageID:   EST_ORL3_001
Title: Company buys Mersea House for £10,000.
Orleans, Cost Road, West Mersea, one of the largest residences on Mersea Island, was sold at a public auction on Friday for £10,000 to a London property company.

...

The house originally belonged to Miss Isobel Smith and Mrs Guthrie Smith, who were friends but not related. Mrs Guthrie Smith died a few years ago and Miss Smith a few months ago.

Date:c1959
Source:Mersea Museum


This item is part of the Mersea Island Museum Collection. The information is accurate as far as is known, but the Museum does not accept responsibility for errors.