|The Boulton family were descended from Shropshire
gentleman farmers who lived at Donington House, Albrighton.
They had a large farm and employed several servants. The
family also had a farm at The Moors, Upton Warren, near
Droitwich. At least three generations of Boultons farmed
Sometime around the middle of the 19th century
James Boulton, one of the children of farmer John Bolton of
Moor Farm married Elizabeth and they moved to Lloyd Farm,
Penn, where they rented the farm and several pieces of land.
Donington House in about 1900.
On the right is Jim's grandfather George
Waite holding his trusty Sunbeam bicycle. Courtesy of Jim Boulton.
Documents still exist from 1868 listing the family's property and land
that were rented. The documents state that Elizabeth was the tenant
farmer and so her husband James must have died some time before 1868. He
died at Lloyd Farm.
She rented several houses and a lot of land in the Wombourne area. She
grew crops and kept cattle or sheep, because some of the land is
described as pasture.
The list includes her home and garden at Lloyd Farm
and also an area of woodland.
|Elizabeth rented the following fields and
Part of Bearnett arable
Part of Withymere barn and yard
Big Withymere pasture
Withymere Coppice pasture
Gorsty Beach arable
Cow Meadow pasture
Part of Ladywell Hill arable
House and Garden
Brickkiln Piece arable
House and Meadow
Roberts Britch arable
Near Paddock pasture
Far Paddock pasture
Green's Piece arable
Brickkiln Rough pasture
Lloyd Farm House and Homestead
Elizabeth in her younger days.
Elizabeth Boulton in later life. Courtesy
of Roy Lote.
|Lower Penn continued:
Coppice Piece pasture
Part of Horse Meadow
May Field arable
Near May Field pasture
Bagnall's Pulley arable
Part of Barenet
Long Pulley arable
Lower Pulley arable
Part of Paddock
Big Pulley arable
Near Shoulder of Mutton arable
Far Shoulder of Mutton arable
House and Garden
The annual rent was £316.19s.6d.
Some of the land and houses
were let to tenants who paid £46.19s.6d. rent annually.
The farm was clearly a sizeable business.
Lloyd farmhouse stood on the
northern side of Lloyd Farm barns, where the gate is today.
It was demolished to make way for the dual carriageway. Courtesy of May
The old Lloyd Farm barns and stables.
Another view of the barns and stables.
J. H. Boulton in 1901.
|They had at least one child, James who continued in the
family's farming tradition. He enjoyed shooting and would
stalk rabbits and birds on their land.
James junior had at
least two children Herbert William Boulton and Jim H.
Jim H. Boulton emigrated to Canada in 1904 from where he
ran Boulton Auto Service Limited, Simpson Street, City of
|J. H. Boulton in army
uniform. Courtesy of Lea Chatto.
|J. H. Boulton in later
life. Courtesy of Lea Chatto.
||Herbert William "Bill" Boulton was born in 1891 and
married Florence Marion Waite on 19th March, 1923 at St.
Chad's Church, Wolverhampton.
At the time they both lived
at 19 Dalton Street. Florence's family lived in Lime Street
and her father was a locksmith.
Bill's career began at Wolverhampton solicitors, Dallow & Dallow of
57 Lichfield Street where he did typing and shorthand.
In March 1913 he travelled to Canada and set up a garage
in Winnipeg with his brother, but soon returned to the UK.
In 1914 he started to train as a conductor for Wolverhampton Tramways,
but this was short lived as he was offered a better job as a driver at
the Sunbeam Motor Car Co. Limited, Moorfield Works, Wolverhampton.
accepted the offer and started at the works in October. At the time he
lived at 62 Belmont Road, Penn.
On 18th March, 1919 Bill
opened a garage at Penn, called Penn Garage, on the corner of Church Hill and Penn Road, in a
building that used to be occupied by the local blacksmith. He also had a
piece of land on the opposite side of Church Hill next to the Rose and
Bill sold petrol and specialised in repair work. He
purchased second hand cars and motorcycles for resale after
a thorough overhaul.
Jim's mother Florence
in about 1905.
Courtesy of Jim Boulton.
Penn Garage on the corner of Church
The profit for the first year amounted to £195.18s.0d. which
doesn't sound a lot today, but in the early 1920s it was a
decent wage. The business became more successful, and the
profit grew. In 1924 he made £274.13s.2d.
Bill soon moved to larger premises
on Lloyd Hill, Penn, which included a bungalow, where the
Penn Garage was one of the
few garages in this part of town and Bill had a contract
with Ford to fuel model ‘T’s on route from the works to the
He also became an agent for H.B. motorcycles until
production ceased in 1923.
Vehicles were his passion in life and at the garage he built
several motorcycles under the name of “Pen Nib”. There were
two and four stroke versions, each having a petrol tank that
was shaped to resemble a pen nib. The machines were built on
an H.B. frame and powered by a Royal Ruby engine with an
The new Penn Garage at Lloyd Hill.
The family's home next to the garage.
|The garage was on a route used
by the A.J.S. and Sunbeam testers and they used to
meet there for coffee. Bill arranged a number of motorcycle
road racing events which started and ended at the garage.
The route was from the garage, along the Penn Road towards
town, up Church Hill to Upper Penn, down Vicarage Road, and
back along Penn Road.
His interest in vehicles seems to have extended to aircraft
because the sign above the garage was made from an old
The bungalow as it is today, complete with
|At the time there were no ambulances in
Swindon or Wombourne and Bill used to be called out in his
Sunbeam 25-30 double Landaulette to provide transport in an
emergency. He also used to operate a taxi service.
Bill worked long hours. The garage opened daily at 8a.m. and
closed at 9p.m.
Bill Boulton at Penn Garage. Courtesy of Jim
Bill's Sunbeam 25-30 double
Landaulette. He used it for his taxi service and also as an
ambulance, taking people to hospital when necessary. At the
time there was no regular ambulance service covering the
Wombourne and Seisdon areas.
astride a four stroke Pen Nib, in about 1924.
Jim Boulton was unsure about the spelling. Maybe it should
be Penn Nib.
Courtesy of Jim
A final view of a Pen Nib.
Bill Boulton and his Sunbeam car, courtesy of A.B.
Jim's first photo.
|James George ‘Jim’ Boulton was born on 19th
February, 1924 in the family’s bungalow next to the garage.
He was later followed by his sister Mary who was an invalid
throughout her life. She was a backward child and suffered
from epileptic fits.
The other member of the family was
their Great Dane dog.
Mary loved to receive letters and so throughout her life
they would save any envelopes that arrived, re-address them
and push them through the letterbox for her.
|Young Mary and her mother Florence
at Penn Garage. In the family Florence was known as Madge.
A last view of the bungalow at Penn Garage.
Jim's first encounter with a motor car at
the age of 12 months. Courtesy of Jim Boulton.
In November 1925 Bill sold the garage and its
contents. The contents were sold by auction on 13th November. The
auction was conducted by Walker, Lloyd & Hill of Wolverhampton and the
items for sale included the following:
|Motorcycle and car
|Drilling machines and
|Morris Cowley car
|BSA touring car
|Sun Vittese motorcycle
|Gents Sunbeam cycle
|Ladies Sunbeam cycle
|The sale raised £175.19s.0d. including only £25 for
|At the age of 7 or 8 Jim had his first close encounter
with a vehicle when he slipped and fell behind his father’s
car and one of the back wheels ran straight over him.
Luckily he was unhurt.
In those days Penn was very
different from what we know today. Most of the housing
development took place in the 1930s and large fields still
covered the area with just a scattering of houses and
cottages. Jim attended Woodfield Junior School, which is
still there today.
After the sale of the garage Bill got a job with A.J.S.
as a tester. This was in many ways an ideal job for someone
who loved motorcycles and had an in-depth mechanical
knowledge, but it only lasted for a few years. Shortly
before A.J.S. went into liquidation in 1931, Bill was out
testing a machine on the Hermitage at Bridgnorth.
Unfortunately he took a fall and hurt his arm and hand,
which put an end to his testing career.
Bill acquired a poultry and fruit farm at Kemberton
near Shifnal and the family moved to Shropshire. He sold the farm's
produce in Wolverhampton market and Jim daily cycled the three and a
half miles from the farm to Madeley Senior School, where he was in the
same class as footballer Billy Wright. Jim remembered that even in those
days Billy was a superb schoolboy football player.
The results of living on a poultry farm
stayed with Jim for the rest of his life. If possible he
would always avoid eating eggs or chicken.
and working life