The Disappointing Holiday of Hannah Vice

I love this postcard of St Michael’s Mount, Penzance, which was posted to Mrs W J Vice of 222 Clarendon Park Road.  Not because of the picture, but because of the message from Hannah expressing her very English dissatisfaction with her holiday.  Listen to this:

The weather is just as dull as it was at home.  Not much sea and rather a dirty brown.  Did you come here as well as Swansea?  I forget!  There are some nice public gardens but small.  Went to the Baptist Chapel twice yesterday.  Yours with love Hannah.  Penlee Villa, Redinnick,  Penzance.

Poor Hannah!  I’ve been to Penzance once and it was lovely, although the sun was shining and I’ve never been a fan of large public gardens.

Mrs W T Vice was Mary Eliza Vice  (also nee Vice, 1857-1927), wife of William Thomas Vice (1862-1942), originally a corn miller from Blaby but by 1911 manager of flour mills for a biscuit manufacturer.  They had several children: Samuel (1886), Dorothy Martha (1888-1954), Gladys Mary (1890), Hilda Geraldine (1894-1931), and Marjory (1893) who died in infanthood.  All except Dorothy lived at 222 Clarendon Park Road in 1911.  I have no evidence for this, but suspect that the Hannah of rubbish holiday fame was William’s unmarried sister Hannah Eliza Ann Vice (1854-1928).  Virtually all the Vice girls – no pun intended – remained unmarried, and almost the whole Vice family returned to their native Blaby to be buried in the cemetery.

222 Clarendon Park Road - I've often admired this house

It’s a pity Hannah didn’t enjoy her holiday more because it was probably the last one she took for a long time.  The postcard was sent on 1st September 1913, not long before the onset of World War.  My mother in law is off to Penzance in a few weeks – here’s wishing her blue skies and a sparkling sea.  Regards, Elizabeth.


15 responses to “The Disappointing Holiday of Hannah Vice

  1. A great bit of history. Amazing, I’ve walked past this house many times, often daily and wondered about it. This blog is great to learn what I’ve wanted to know.

  2. What a lovely site, i came accross it tracing the Vice family, as i live in the Mill at Blaby where they lived and after seeing the large family memorial in the old cemetery decided to learn more about them.
    Many thanks for this wonderful glimpse into the past.

  3. I live at 222 Clarendon Park Road and I am a local artist. My sister lives next door and we are both originally from West Yorkshire. I love living here and it’s nice to find out a little about the history and of previous occupants.

  4. This is super-spooky.

    I am Hannah Vice!

    Not the Hannah Vice from this story, but Hannah Louise Vice, born in 1980 in Leicester. I have lived all over England (including Cornwall as another coincidence!) and in the United States and I now live in Clarendon Park.

    My brother, Matthew Vice (also now a Clarendon Park resident!) spotted this story and told us at our family Sunday dinner yesterday, and we were all gobsmacked. This is not a very common name and would love to know if these are relatives of ours. Any more details on the Vices would be gratefully received!

    • This is a message for Hannah Vice, not in anyway related to the above information but when I googled your name this came up, so this is probably a bit cheeky. I am researching my Grandmothers family history and wondered if by any chance you are related to the Bott/Grant family, if so would love to hear from you.

      • Hi, Helen.

        Yes! My mother is Linda Grant, daughter of Clarence and Margaret Grant. If you have any information please email me back!


  5. .Hello
    Pleased to read about the Vice family as I am related to Leonard Vice of Blaby mill and have traced the family with a lot of help back to mid 17th century. I would be please to share my researches with any other one interested, to add information about the family to my book.

    • A lot of people seem to be related to the Vice family in Blaby! Good luck with your book.

    • Hi – My great-great grandfather was John VIce, born in Countesthorpe in 1811, and later to become the first Police Inspector in Coventry. Not 100%sure if he was linked to the family who lived at Blaby Mill, but it is almost a certainty. Perhaps you have a definite link that I have been unable to uncover?!!!

      • Sorry Graham but I haven’t done a massive amount of research into the wider Vice family, so I don’t have a link for you. Your great-grandfather sounds like an interesting man though – have you been able to find out much about him?

      • Hello, I have a John Vice in my family tree, born 1811, my father was James Edward Vice, his father – same name, he had two sisters, Annie and Edith, could there be a connection.
        Kate headland

  6. Found out a bit. He came to Coventry in 1826 and joined the city’s police force in March 11th 1836, just 4 days after it’s inauguration. His weekly salary was 14/- and was one of 20 constables sworn in to keep the peace under the eye of a sergeant who was formerly a bow street runner. He served 20 years and attained the rank of Chief Inspector before retiring to take up a position as a bailiff of the county court, where he remained for 30 years until 75, being the oldest and longest serving court administrator to the judges. He died in 1899. He was the first policeman to be made a Chief Inspector in Coventry, and after just 12 years’ service. His retirement from the police was regarded as a promotion by the Watch Committee who regarded his knowledge of court proceedings more beneficial to the High Bailiff. It would be wonderful to be able to find out about his family background and whether he sprang from a family of millers. The search continues . . .
    As a footnote, by a strange coincidence, although born in Coventry I now live in Cornwall.

    • Hi Graham, i am your Auntie Marjories grand daughter Lorraine. I have only just found this on the web. i too am researching our family and i don’t know if you have found out about a “miller” connection yet but i have. On the marriage certificate of John Vice (2nd marriage) it states his father who is named as William was a miller by profession. I’m sure my facts are right as John married a Martha Chandler who was his live in housekeeper before he married her. It states on the certificate Johns profession is a bailiff and a widower. i am now trying to find out about family in Blably but i’m struggling to verify facts!!

      • My distant grandfather was John Vice, I am descendant from his son George, b1853, then James, 1873, James, 1900 – James 1924

  7. I thought it was worth mentioning here that there is a gravestone for several Vice family members (children I think) at Leicester Cathedral (formerly the parish church of St Martin)…worth a look?

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