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Emma's Working Draft, Part II

Basil, Emily and Montgomery Hall
NOTE:  factual corrections to N.Twicks history-- death date of Basil Hall

Basil Blake Hall was educated at Eton and attended Christ College, Cambridge from 1919-1922, where he took a degree in History and was an star cricketer for his College (Cambridge records include registration info, degree and news clippings on various cricket successes). In 1925 he was engaged to be married to Miss Edith Weatherston, but she drown in a boating accident six weeks before the wedding (London Times, 12 April, 1925; see also family letter file). Basil remained a bachelor for the remainder of his life. During the 1930s, he became politically active. Though he never stood for office, he lent behind-the-scenes support to various right-wing organisations and is rumoured to have had ties with  British fascists lead by Oswald Mosley (see family letter file, also B. Hall journal, 1930-1934; 1934-1938; 1938-1942). These associations made him widely unpopular following the outbreak of the Second World War and he became quite reclusive.

Basil  Hall greeting guests to a spring party, Stoney Grove 1939.  Monty is the young man leaning against the column on the north portico of the house. Stoney Grove party, 1939

During this period, B. Hall's intellectual energies found an outlet in a comprehensive study of the history of Puckering. The manuscript for this work, whilst known to have been quite lengthy, has disappeared.  During the late 1940s and early 1950s, Basil underwent a political and personal transformation. It was at this time he picked up the nickname "Rum Man" and began bringing West Indian immigrants to Stoney Grove. Several families settled in Puckering.

Why? Appears to have turned into a drunkard and philanthropist at the same time. Look for journals.

Died in 1962.


Ellen Hope Hall –educated at Roedean in Brighton. Active socially; hosted annual charity ball at Stoney Grove with her mother from 1920-1939; continued after the war until Basil’s death in 1962. Passionate naturalist, wrote a book on birdwatching in W. Sussex, which did surprisingly well (see correspondence from J. Batherton at Highcote Press 1940-1970; see also personal accounts file, 1955-1963). She hired Martin Johnson in 1939; hired Shirley Greenestow, a land girl, in 1942. They married in 1944 and Shirley became the head cook and housekeeper for the estate.

Died 1973 after short illness


ellen1941.jpg (10986 bytes)

Ellen in Upper Puckering, 1946

Montgomery Kent Hall also attended Eton, but did not go to University. Spent his entire life at Stoney Grove, remembered as a quiet, friendly man. Active in local charity work, never married.  Died in 1995.