148/150 Repps Road (Hill House & Oak Villa)
The black & white photograph shown above shows Hill House, Repps Road that today is numbered 148. It stands on the north side of Repps Road on the opposite side just along from Rising Way. The property is one of a pair and was known as Hill House in 1907 when this photo was taken but became known as Oak Villa by the time of the 1911 census. The house next door at No 150 became Ash Villa. Local historian Ann Meakin lived in Ash Villa from 1965 until 2000 and has confirmed the identification. For comparison below is a colour photo of the houses today. No 148 is on the right. Note how the double windows upstairs and downstairs have since been converted into single widows but the curved set of upright bricks hiding the lintels are both still there from the two original windows. The windows of No 150 have never been converted into one. The dormer shape at the front of the roof is a distinctive design feature.
In 1901 the house was occupied by Walter F Mays, his wife Laura, nee Taylor and their six children. It is almost certain that they are shown in the black & white picture. Mr Mays was a builder, originally from Briston, and the couple married in St Stephen’s Church in Norwich on Christmas Day 1882. Ann Meakin says he built the semi detached pair of houses for himself and one of his daughters. The present occupier told me they were built in 1900. Trade directories show that Mr Mays was in business here until at least 1930. He died in 1935.
If the properties seem familiar it may be because Mr Mays built another pair on the north side of the Village Green at what is now 33/35 The Green and these are shown here. No 33 is now known as Tech House and its neighbour as Girvan House. They are not exactly the same as those in Repps Road but you can see similar characteristic in the vertical roof dormers, style of the windows and the small porch roof joining both properties.
Tech House & Girvan House, The Green
Mr Mays left a wonderful legacy in the village so if anyone knows more about him or other properties he built please contact me with details.