Cowling – Postcard #16

This is a postcard from my own collection – one I have recently bought.  The view is of Keighley Road, Cowling, with the old Co-op building on the left hand side.

If you are a regular reader of my blog you might remember that the village of Cowling is an important part of my ancestral roots.  The village falls under North Yorkshire County Council.  But the Royal Mail post code is BD22 which means it is a North Yorkshire village with a West Yorkshire post code.

I prefer to think of it as being in West Yorkshire.

Anyway, I digress.

The postcard is part of The Wrench Series with the number 6679 and was printed in Saxony.

I understand the company was established as E Wrench in 1900 at 20 Haymarket, London, and soon moved to Arthur Street, London.  It then became E Wrench Ltd in 1902.   The company held a large percentage of the postcard market in the early 1900’s.  In 1904 the name changed to Wrench Postcards but they soon ran into difficulties and closed sometime between 1904 and 1906.  The main problems appear to have been caused through exclusively selling its own cards.

The card has been postally used as you can see below.

It was posted in Cross Hills on 11 December 1903 and sent to Miss M H Smith at 19 Mosley Street, Nelson, Lancashire.  The postcard was sent by someone described as her ‘better haaf’ with ten kisses.

I was interested to find out what became of Miss M H Smith so I checked the 1911 census and found her still living at 19 Mosley Street, Nelson.  Her full name is Martha Hannah Smith and she is 25 years old, which means she was born about 1886.  Her place of birth is given as Colne, Lancashire.  The census shows her as being single and living with her parents Holmes and Betty Smith.  Also at home are two siblings, a sister Sarah Jane aged 32 and a brother Albert Edward aged 18.

I was left wondering what happened between Martha and her ‘better haaf’.  I decided to do a bit more research.

I found a marriage for Martha H Smith in Q1 of 1916 in the Burnley registration district.  She married Francis C Smith.  So a good start, the marriage is in the right area at least.

I also found a death record for Martha H Smith in Q3 1966 in the Worth Valley registration district.  She was 80 years old when she died – which means she was born in 1886.  Could this be the same person I wondered.

Worth Valley district covers the town of Keighley which is not a million miles from Cowling, Colne and Nelson.  It was common for people to move across the Lancashire / Yorkshire border – between Cowling and Colne – to live and to work.

So while I can’t be 100% sure I really feel that this is the Miss M H Smith who received the postcard in 1903.

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2 comments

  1. How fun to find this postcard. I was on Ancestry.com today working on part of my tree. I googled Mosley St., Nelson so I could attach a picture of the neighborhood to my family members that lived there according to the 1901 census. This postcard came up. While M H Smith is not my ancestor, I find it an interesting little piece of history. I love that you looked into M H Smith. I think that’s just what I would have done! I looked through your relatives list and did not see any names that are in my tree. Thank you for posting these photos.

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