TitleE. M. Ware's 'Pinner in the Vale' Collection
RepositoryHarrow Local History Collection & Archive
Ref NoGB1102/EMW
MakerWare; Edwin M. (1888-1971)
DescriptionMaterial collected and compiled by E.M. Ware in preparation for his publication of 'Pinner in the Vale', and for his personal archives.

The Collection includes:
GB1102/EMW/1 - Books
GB1102/EMW/2 - Picture scrapbooks
GB1102/EMW/3 - Pamphlets
GB1102/EMW/4 - Film and glass plate negatives
GB1102/EMW/5 - Photographs, prints and engravings
GB1102/EMW/6 - Manuscripts
GB1102/EMW/7 - Cuttings

The full collection can be browsed by clicking on the hyperlinked Ref No on this page.

E. M. Ware's 'Pinner in the Vale' Collection

AdminHistoryEdwin Marks Ware, a parish clerk and local historian, was born in 1888 in Newton Abbot. He moved to Pinner in 1892, at 4 years old, and attended Pinner National Schools and Harrow Technical School. In 1899 he joined the choir at Pinner Parish Church, going on to be a bell ringer and assistant to the parish clerk Mr. J. Bedford in 1909, before becoming parish clerk himself upon Mr. Bedford’s retirement in 1912. He married Miss. K.E. Bowler of Marlow in 1913. The couple went on to have a son and a daughter, and lived until his death at 16 The Close, Pinner Hill Road, Pinner.

Ware served for 3.5 years during WWI with the Royal Army Medical Corps and was wounded at Ypres (1917), Belgium. As a member of the 36th Field Ambulance, 12th Division, he was injured the Somme (1918), France. He appears in a painting in the collections of the Imperial War Museum. His son, Edwin, also served in WWII, and was a POW in Japan, later returning to Pinner.

After WWI, Ware returned to his position as parish clerk, and was able to pursue his hobbies of historical collecting, photography, woodwork, and horticulture. He won several accolades as a member of the Pinner Horticultural Society, and served as a committeeman for several years. In 1935 the Archdeacon of London requested a history of the parish church, which initiated the publication of Ware’s article ‘Tracing Local History’; this article prompted a wave of publication of church histories when it was circulated nationally. Since childhood, Ware collected pictures, documents, books, and other material related to the parish of Pinner which would later go on to form the basis of his four part Pinner in the Vale, for which he is best known.

From 1955-1957, Ware self-published a four-part title, Pinner in the Vale, An alphabetical history of Pinner. He was extremely militant with his fact-checking, and the book continued to be used as a reference throughout his life. The publication made him an instant local celebrity.

After his retirement from the clerkship, Ware worked for ten years in the accounts department of the North Thames Gas Board at Uxbridge, for three and a half years for the adjutant’s correspondence department at the American air base in South Ruislip, and held various offices in the Pinner branch of the British Legion.

Toward the end of his life, Ware continued to contribute to local history scholarship via articles in The Villager, the periodical produced by the Pinner Association, and via letters to the editor in the Harrow Observer. He served on the committee for the Pinner Association from 1962-1964.

Ware died at Mount Vernon Hospital on December 16, 1971. He was cremated at Ruislip and the funeral was held at Pinner Parish Church on December 21, 1971, conducted by Rev. D. C. Ritchie, Vicar. Obituaries appeared in the Harrow Observer (December 24, 1971; page 2) and The Villager (Issue 102; March 1972; pages 41 and 43).
CustodialHistoryWare’s extensive notes, scrapbooks, photographs, clippings, and manuscripts which were created leading up to the publication of Pinner in the Vale were placed on long-term loan with the Harrow Reference Library, Gayton Road in stages between 1959 and 1961. Dates of the donations are listed in the accession register as: May 1959; 8 September 1959; May 1960; October 1960; November 1960; February 1961 (keys & shrapnel from church); 5 May 1961; October (?) 1961. Coins were deposited in July 1964 and placed into a Pinner in the Vale box, but it is not clear if this deposit was intended as part of the Pinner in the Vale collection.

After the death of the author, Miss J. Ware, Ware’s daughter, donated the aforementioned loaned collection as well as additional material retained in his home, in line with his wishes. A letter is retained in the accession register from the ‘Borough Librarian’ (signature illegible) in response to a letter from Miss Ware (not preserved), dated January 17, 1972 which states that the Librarian looks forward to the upcoming deposit of the remainder of the material. The date of accession of the entire collection was April 5, 1972.

The ‘Borough Librarian’ mentioned in the above letter writes that the collection which was deposited on loan was used frequently by members of the public. The collection seems to have moved from the Gayton Road library as a part of the Local History Collection when the collection to the Civic Centre Library when it opened in 1972. It appears to have been stored in a location called ‘Pinner Shelf’ for most of its life at the Civic Centre. Some pictures were removed from the picture files or scrapbooks by one of the Librarians, likely Bob Thomson, and catalogued with the Local History Collection’s picture collection in filing cabinets organised by OS code.

When the Civic Centre Library closed in 2013, the collection moved to storage at Headstone Manor & Museum. The material was largely kept together on adjoining shelves, except for clippings and glass plate negatives. In November 2019, an inventory determined the location of all objects, including those pictures inserted into filing cabinets, with the intention of reuniting all material in a single physical location. A complete catalogue of the material was begun in November 2019, with digitisation beginning in 2020.

Show related Persons records.

DS/UK/4Ware; Edwin M. (1888-1971)1888-1971
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