Pakenham History : The History of Nether Hall

"The History of Nether Hall and the Various Owners "
A short history written by W.R. Rayner
with kind permission given by his daughter Gill Applegate to publish on
the Pakenham -Village web site.

PAGE - 10

The following reply was published by Mr. Walter Greene's agent: "This ill-conceived cartoon which has been circulated by Mr. de Stern and his agents throughout the division, constitutes as barefaced and cowardly a lie as could well have been devised, while the incident which is pictured can only have been designed to inflict the most poignant grief and sorrow upon the bereaved family to which Mr. Walter Greene belongs. It has been reproduced here for the purpose of exposing the miserable and disgraceful steps to which Mr. de Stern and his agents are prepared to descend in their efforts to get a seat in Parliament at any cost. We have made further reference to the cartoon elsewhere."

Inspite of this reply Mr. Walter Greene lost the election; but he was returned as M.P. for Bury St. Edmunds at the next election when the controversy had died down. He was created a baronet in 1900, and became the "Sir Walter", a benevolent though stern landlord, who still lives in the memory of a few of the older residents of Pakenham and Thurston. They remember how they were reprimanded by the Agent if by any chance they omitted to raise their caps or curtsey when Sir Walter, or his lady passed by in their carriage, or on horseback. All village children were expected to do likewise, and their parents, if they were workers on the estate, were threatened with dismissal if their children were persistent offenders in failing to acknowledge their benefactors.

Every tenant was expected to vote for the Conservative cause. There was one instance, which can be recalled, where an estate employee, who openly boasted that he voted for the Liberal candidate, was immediately given a week's notice to quit his employment and vacate his cottage by the Agent. This unfortunate man was immediately re-housed in an empty cottage owned by "American" Reeve - he who had made a fortune by shipping pedigree cattle to the Prairies of U.S.A. and returned to purchase the Newe House estate - in Pakenham Street. Accordingly Sir Walter was treated with deferential respect by his loyal tenants; and he in turn rewarded them with a tranquil and secure existence.

Sir Walter Greene, Bart.
There was a distinct streak of humour in the character of Sir Walter. He was very fond of playing practical jokes upon his guests at Nether Hall. The late Mr. Edward Pawsey, who in his early life was a groom in the service of Sir Walter, told how footmen would often be required to fit the earliest type of motor horn underneath the cushions of certain chairs in the drawing room. One can imagine the hilarious scenes as staccato hoots greeted certain guests as the unwittingly sat in the offending chairs.