People

Fred Knighton 1874-1941

Fred Knighton was born in 1874 to David (b Raunds) and Marian (b Swansea).

Father, David was the innkeeper of the Coach and Horses Public house in the village in 1874 according to Whellens Directory, but in 1871 he had worked as a shoemaker in Raunds, By 1873 the family had moved to Woodford where Fred's elder brother William was born.

Fred's father was a keen businessman outbidding all comers for the monopoly on serving refreshments at the Thrapston Sports in 1881 paying the sum of £10 to do so. The following two years he also won bids to have the stall closest to the entrance at the same event. Likewise, his wife won the auction in 1884 following David's untimely death in 1883 at the young age of 46. Marian left the pub and married widower Henry Sanders (shopkeeper - tobacconist) in February 1885. Fred worked as a shoemaker in 1891 and in 1892 he was also captain of the Woodford Victoria Football Club.

Fred married Mary Groom (b Denford) on 6 August 1896.

The 1901 census reveals he worked from home as an Army bootmaker and records show that in 1902 he was also the Parish Constable (appointed by the Parish Council, to which he was appointed as a Councillor a few years later). In 1903 Fred was appointed as treasurer of the Woodford Hockey team. He was also a keen village cricketer.  By 1911 Fred had given up the bootmaking and was running a grocer's shop and also working as a photographer, a trade for which he is best remembered. Not only did he photograph many parts of the village, but also many village events. His initials also appear on postcards of neighbouring villages. He lived at the three storey property now 3 Addington Road and had a number of rooms to the rear of the property including photographic studios used for portrait work especially in the early days when photographic equipment was large and awkward to move to different locations. There was also a meeting room which was once the meeting place of the WI. A garage workshop was also to the rear of the premises, and in his later years Mr Knighton worked as a motor mechanic.

 During the first world war he served in the transport section of the Royal Army Service Corps.

The 1901 census reveals two children Reginald and "baby", the latter being named Carmen on the 1911 census.

Mary (Fred's wife) died in May 1941 and Fred passed away in November of the same year as a result of a heart attack at the wheel of his taxi whilst driving back to Woodford from St Neots. Their shared resting place is in Woodford St Mary's Churchyard.