1931 to 1974

Geoffrey and Dora Bushby

Geoffrey and Dorothy Bushby Geoffrey and Dorothy Bushby

Geoffrey Campbell Bushby (1878 - 23 September 1974, 97 years old) and Dorothy Lina Bushby (nee Minoprio) (1884 - 24 March 1973, 89 years old. They were married 66 years.)

Geoffrey was 53 and Dora was 47 when they arrived at Sibbersfield.Geoffrey lived at Sibbersfield for 43 years, to the best of our knowlege, its longest owner.


In 1931, the Sibbersfield estate was purchased by Dorothy Lina Bushby, known as Dora, for herself and her husband, Geoffrey Campbell Bushby. Geoffrey Bushby was a cotton merchant and the former captain of the Cheshire Tennis Team. Dora's father Franz was a well known Liverpool business man. Extensive details of his business life and family can be found here .


Geoffrey and Dora moved to Sibbersfield from The Old Parsonage at Gresford. The circumstances surrounding their move and details of their previous house can be found here.It makes very interesting reading.


During their time here they were ably assisted in the running of Sibbersfield by -







 We have been able to gather some lovely photographs and reminiscenses regarding all five.Please click on the names above for more information.

Mr and Mrs Bushby (taken in New York during their visit to New York on the Mauretania in Dec 1919, with thanks to Rob and Anne Burrows (* see below) who supplied the photographs)
Mauretania December 1919


Both Dora and Geoffrey Bushby were active members of St Chad's church in Farndon. Mrs Bushby always sat in the very front pew for services and was responsible for arranging the flowers for the base of the window behind the altar. Apparently, she had a reputation for arriving late and the vicar would often wait for her before starting the service. Mr Bushby was a churchwarden for the year 1936-7.


During the Second World War, Alice and Kathleen Morgan of Liverpool were evacuated and lived with the Bushbys. A very detailed and interesting profile of their experience at Sibbersfield can be found here.


At some point whilst the Bushbys owned the Hall, famous children's author and illustrator Gladys Peto visited and painted what is now the rear of the property.



Sibbersfield Hall by Gladys Peto Sibbersfield Hall by Gladys Peto


Geoffrey Bushby made some major changes to the Hall, including moving the front door from the west elevation to the north and constructing a ha-ha in the grounds. The soil taken from the excavation for the ha-ha was used to realign the driveway with the new entrance.


Bushby also commissioned Percy Cane, a celebrated landscape designer of the period, to design the garden. Cane is famous for designing the Addis Ababa palace grounds, Dartington Hall and Falkland Palace, amongst others. The Bushbys held an annual garden party for the people of the community for a number of years.


Drawing of Sibbersfield Hall garden by Percy Cane Drawing of Sibbersfield Hall garden by Percy Cane

In 1936 Eleanor Sinclair Rohde wrote in her book Herbs and Herb Gardening


'Whether in stately gardens with their clipped yews, their lichen-stained walls, their air of peace and ordered ways, or in humble cottage plots, lavender, the queen of herbs, is equally at home -


""Sprawling for elbow room,

Spearing straight spikes of bloom,

Clean, wayward, and tough;

Sweet and tall and slender,

Buouyant, and bold, and bluff,

Simplest, sanest of stuff -

Thus grows lavender, thence breathes England""

Eleanor goes on to describe the 'Four Seasons Garden' at Sibbersfield.


'Many Lavender pictures flit through my mind.I think of Sibbersfield Hall, where one enclosure is known as the Garden of Four Seasons.In this plot two runnels of water in stone channels are set crosswise and at the ends are exquisite early eighteenth-century French statues of children, each one representing a season. The rest of the enclosure is smooth greensward and the whole surrounded by a Lavender hedge.'

Sibbersfield Gardens 1937 prior to the redesign by Percy Cane 

The majority of work for this website was completed in the period 2007 to 2013 as after that we were finding 'new' material hard to find. Then out of the blue and thanks to the internet, we have made some real breakthrough steps forward.


When reading the above passage by Eleanor Rhode I never imagined that we would actually ever be able to see what the Four Seasons garden looked like, then thanks to Alison Haviland (daughter of John Read) in September 2018, a whole new batch of photograph of the garden from c1937 (pre the garden redesign) and 1938 (when the existing pond and garden layout was put in place) came to light ...









                                                          Screenshow of images from 1937

                                         (please left click on any images you wish to pause on)

Six images of Sibbersfield Gardens 1938 post the redesign by Percy Cane 

And a very rare internal shot of the Hall

Mr and Mrs Bushby in later years in the garden in Sibbersfield. Thanks to Jayne Jones (* see below) who supplied this and the subsequent photos of the Youdes

In addition to their obvious love of gardening the Bushby's were very passionate about collecting fine art and antiques (the sale brochure which details their extensive collection can be found here)


Like Major Philip Durning Holt before him Mr Bushby owned two original works by J.M.W.Turner (London, 1775-1851)

The Lake of Zug. Currently owned by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

From The Met website - Returning from an extended sojourn in the Swiss Alps, Turner solicited patrons for large watercolors to be based on sketches from the trip. This view was commissioned as part of the scheme by Hugh Andrew Johnstone Munro of Novar (1797-1864) in 1843, and was later owned by John Ruskin (1819-1900). Its accomplished rendering of light and atmospheric effects is characteristic of Turner's finest work.


Provenance :Hugh Andrew Johnstone Munro, of Novar (British (Scottish), London 1797–1865), not in list compiled at his death, 1865; John Ruskin (British, London 1819–1900 Brantwood, Cumbria); William Humble 1st Earl of Dudley (British, died 1885); William Humble, 2nd Earl of Dudley (British, succeeded to title in 1885); T. S. Kennedy (British, died 1895), sold by his estate at the following; Christie's, London, May 15, 1895, no. 95, bought by Agnew; Thomas Agnew & Sons, Ltd. (London); Sir Donald Currie and Currie Family (British), 1899-1959; Major F. D. Mirrielees (British), grandson of Sir Donald Currie, sold at the following; Christie's, London, sale March 20, 1959, no. 56, ill.; Thomas Agnew & Sons, Ltd. (London), bought at the preceding; Vendor: Thomas Agnew & Sons, Ltd. (London) G. Bushby.

View of the Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye.Currently owned by The Louvre, Paris.

From The Louvre website - This delightfully fresh watercolour once belonged to Hugh A. J. Munro of Novar, one of Turner's executors and keenest admirers. It is one of the seventeen watercolours printed in the annual magazine The Keepsake, which was very popular in England in the 19th century. Turner contributed to the magazine between 1828 and 1839. It was the first of his drawings to be purchased by the Louvre, in 1976.

Turner went to France several times after 1802. On each occasion he made short excursions, which gave him  an opportunity to note his impressions in his sketchbooks. These studies gave rise to very few oil paintings;  however, they were used for more finished drawings suitable for publication. This is the case with  View of the Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, which was engraved by Robert Wallis for the 1832 edition  of the annual The Keepsake. Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, a royal abode linked to English history because the Stuart king James II died  there, was in a pitiful state in the 1820s; only the terraces above the Seine still attracted visitors. For this view,  Turner positioned himself opposite the castle, near the river, accentuating the figures sitting on the river bank  and on the scaffolding on the bridge over the Seine. In the foreground, a woman is looking at what seems to be  a painting, no doubt an allusion to the castle's former splendor. Executed at a time of intense creative activity,  the watercolor is appealing in its flowing strokes and beautiful colors, dominated by reds, ochre, and yellows.  Bathed in light, this recollection of a journey heralds the boldness of Turner's evanescent, lyrical later landscapes. A colour study (London, Tate Gallery) in which the structure of the composition is obtained solely by the use of  plum and pink tones has been linked to this work.


Provenance: Sale of H. A. J. Munro of Novar collection, London, Christie's, 2 June 1877, no. 36; sale of J. A. Baumbach collection, London, Christie's, 23 June 1900, no. 34; sale of Barnet-Lewis collection, London, Christie's, 28 February 1930, no. 51; purchased by Agnew's, London; G. Bushby of Sibbersfield Hall collection; purchased by Richard Green, Agnew's and Colnaghi, London, 1974; purchase by the Louvre, 1976

The Times December 2 1937







In 1937 some very bad news for Mr Bushby and the surrounding farms.


There were also some internal improvements made. The panelling in the Hall came  from the Bushbys' previous home The Old Parsonage in Gresford and the living room and bathroom were both redesigned.




Mrs Bushby died on 24th March 1973. On Mr Bushby's death on 23rd September 1974, his nephew Mr Francis Theodore Minoprio inherited the estate.

Announcement of Geoffrey Bushby's death from The Times, 1974 Announcement of Geoffrey Bushby's death from The Times, 1974

* The photographs supplied by Jayne, Rob and Anne were from Jayne and Annes' Great Aunt Annie, known as Nancy.


Jayne recalls -

'They were found when we were clearing my Great Aunt's house after she died many years ago. As far as we can remember, we think her brother was the butler and his wife was the housekeeper'

Jayne's Aunt was sister to Mr Youde, Mr Bushby's butler.



We also know from research carried out on the history of the Banford Haughton family that a Miss Majorie Smythe (1891-1956) lived at Sibbersfield Cottage from the 1930's.



What was happening in the world at large ?


Mr and Mrs Bushby observed many changes in the world during their 43 years of tranquility at Sibbersfield, from Adolf Hitler becoming Chancellor of Germany to the Moon landings ...


George V 1910-1936, Edward VII 1936, George VI 1936-1952, Elizabeth II 1952


  •  1932:The Nazi party becomes the largest single party in the German parliament. BBC World Service starts broadcasting.The Neutron is discovered.
  • 1933Adolf Hitler becomes Chancellor of Germany.
  • 1934:Adolf Hitler instigates the Night of the Long Knives, which cements his power over both the Nazi Party and Germany. With the death of President Hindenburg, Hitler declares himself Fuhrer of Germany.
  • 1935:Stanley Baldwin, British Prime Minister, Conservative.Elvis Presley born January 8.
  • 1936: Beginning of the Spanish Civil WarGreat Purge begins under Stalin. Edward VIII becomes King of the British Commonwealth and Emperor of India, before abdicating and handing the throne to his brother, George VIHoover Dam is completed.
  • 1937: Neville Chamberlain, British Prime Minister, Conservative.
  • 1938:Time Magazine declares Adolf Hitler as Man of the Year. DC Comics hero Superman has its first appearance.Neville Chamberlain declares "Peace for our time" 30 September, after the Munich Agreement.
  • 1939: End of Spanish Civil War;Nazi invasion of Poland triggers the beginning of World War II in EuropeSoviet invasion of Poland begins 16 days later.
  • 1940: Nazis invade Francethe NetherlandsDenmark and NorwayWinston Churchill, British Prime Minister Minister, ConservativeBattle of Britain,The Blitz begins. 
  • 1941Operation Reinhard commences the main phase of The HolocaustAttack on Pearl Harbor, which leads to the USA joining World War II. Hitler commences the Nazi invasion of the Soviet UnionSiege of Tobruk in North Africa is the first major defeat for Hitler's land forces. Siege of Leningrad begins.
  • 1942Battle of MidwayFirst and second Battles of El Alamein. Battle of Stalingrad. 
  • 1943Battle of Stalingrad ends with over two million casualties and the retreat of the German Army.  Tehran Conference been Franklin RooseveltWinston Churchill and Joseph Stalin agrees to launch Operation Overlord
  • 1944D-Day. The Siege of Leningrad ends with Soviet victory after over a million deaths.First operational electronic computer, Colossus, comes online.
  • 1945Bombing of DresdenBattle of BerlinYalta Conference. End of World War II. The Holocaust ends after 12 million deaths.Deaths of Adolf Hitler (30th April age 56) and Benito Mussolini. Creation of the atomic bomb, and the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and NagasakiPotsdam Conference divides Europe into Western and Soviet blocs. United Nations founded. 
  • 1949: Creation of NATOBerlin Blockade ends. Partition of Germany into the Soviet socialist German Democratic Republic and the NATO-backed Federal Republic of Germany. Soviet Union tests atomic bomb.
  • 1950: Beginning of the Korean War.
  • 1952:Queen Elizabeth II becomes Monarch of the Commonwealth realmsBonn–Paris conventions end allied occupation of West Germany. Slansky Trial in Czechoslovakia. Detonation of the hydrogen bomb. First scheduled flight by commercial jet. Development of the first effective polio vaccine by Jonas Salk
  •  Discovery of DNA. First ascent of Mount Everest; Death of Joseph StalinElvis Presley's musical career is launched.
  • 1954Rock Around the Clock by Bill Haley and His Comets, brings rock and roll to the mainstream. 
  • 1957: Launch of Sputnik 1 and the beginning of the Space Age. Harold Macmillan becomes British Prime Minister.
  • (CND) founded. CND's symbol, the peace sign, is first used. Invention of the optical disc and the cassette tape.
  • 1959Cuban Revolution.First documented AIDS cases. Beginning of the Vietnam War. First images of the far side of the MoonRichie ValensBuddy Holly die in a plane crash.  World population reaches 3 billion.
  • 1960The Beatles form in LiverpoolMuhammad Ali wins gold medal in Rome.
  • 1961: Construction of the Berlin Wall; first human spaceflight.
  • 1962Cuban missile crisis;  The Beatles' first record 'Love me do' is released on 5 October.
  • 1963: Martin Luther King, Jr. delivers "I Have a Dream" at the March on WashingtonAssassination of John F. Kennedy.
  • 1964:First close-up images of Mars.
  • 1965: Deaths of Winston Churchill and Malcolm X.
  • 1967Summer of LoveSix Day War.
  • 1968: Assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert F. Kennedy  The Troubles begin in Northern Ireland.
  • 1969Moon landingsWoodstock festival; creation of ARPANET, the earliest incarnation of the Internet
  • 1970Edward Heath becomes Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.Maiden flight of the Boeing 747Deaths of Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin.
  • 1971:Internment begins in Northern Ireland. Invention of the microchipIdi Amin comes to power in Uganda.
  • 1972Northern Ireland's Bloody SundayMunich massacre occurs at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany.
  • 1973: Beginning of the Watergate scandal. First space stationSkylab, is launched. First close-up images of Jupiter.
  • 1974:  First close-up images of Mercury.World population reaches 4 billion. Resignation of Richard Nixon.