Pye’s Timber Yard

Article in the Newsletter of March 1995
Our cover picture is a wartime photograph of one of the two massive “Unipower” units owned by Bob Pye for hauling timber all over the country. Some 20 men were employed at this time by R and R S Pye which was established in the late 19th century. Joe Meekings began 38 years service with the firm in 1936. Robert Pye lived in Mitford House on Ashfield Road and the driveway which separated him from Bank House next door led to Pye’s Meadow and orchard. He was tragically killed at the age of 78 when attempting to manoeuvre his car outside what is now the Mace shop and was crushed by a road tanker.


1919-1920 Sudbury Post & Long Melford Gazette newspaper archive

[kindly provided by David Kerr, Feb 2020]

July 4th 1919

Robert Pye a timber merchant of Elmswell was charged with using a locomotive in Essex without a permit. Defendant had been engaged in hauling timber from Street Farm Pentlow to Cavendish railway station.    Pye said he omitted to apply for a permit as Pentlow is close to the Suffolk border and he was only hauling 400 yards across the boundary.   Fined £ 1.



RobertStephenPye 1932 Obit 

[Feb 2020 – This obituary was kindly provided by David Kerr, although from an unknown publication.]


I am a long-term family history researcher and have recently begun looking into a possible link between my wife’s ancestors and those of the Pye family of Morpeth.  Now Morpeth is a long way from Elmswell and there is certainly the world of difference between the two, but Robert Stephen Pye made that journey sometime in the late 1870’s.  He’d have been in his early twenties but soon married and settled down with Georgiana Eliza Edwards who hailed from Bacton.  For some reason, some of the five children were sent to Morpeth where they lived with their grandmother, and Giorgiana died in 1911 in Linton, Cambridgeshire   Robert was soon married again to Eliza Goode from Shelland with whom he had five children.  Robert was a timber merchant and had a sawmill beside the [Elmswell] railway station.  Following his death in 1932 his children, Ruby and Robert, carried on the business.  

The Elmswell History website provides some excellent information about the family and the business but I would be very pleased to hear from anyone who can help me further piece together both the family and the business.  I would particularly like to make contact with any surviving descendants of Robert.  I think that this will be a very interesting story and I promise that I will share it when it has been pieced together. 

David Kerr         

December 2019