Ten loom weavers

This Sunday, 28th November is my mother’s 80th birthday.  So I thought I would take a look back to a time when she was 17 year’s old and working as a weaver in one of the local mills in Clitheroe, Lancashire.

Here is a newspaper article about changes to working practices recommended in a Cotton Manufacturers Commission report and Government White Paper.

The report and White Paper recommended a 20% increase in production mainly by weavers operating more looms.  The tradition was for weavers to operate 4 looms and the new plan was for them to operate 10 looms.

The article tells the story of “Mrs Lucy Eccles (53), weaver since she was nine years old, moved on to 10 looms a months ago.” and my mother Alice Musgrove.

“What it took Mrs Eccles 44 years to reach, 17 year old Alice Musgrove did it in 18 months.  Then she was training as a weaver with two looms.  Now she has 10 and is the champion wage earner among the younger weavers with £6 10s a week.”

Happy birthday mum – I hope you’ve saved up your wages to pay for lunch on Sunday.

Luckiest man alive?

All the torrential rain and flooding in Cornwall recently prompted me to dig out the newspaper clipping below.  This is an extract from the local paper in Clitheroe (Lancashire) published in 2000.  This particular piece looks back 50 years to 1950.  My dad, Graham Dawson (1930-2008) gets a mention – perhaps his first claim to fame.

To say my dad was a bit accident prone is perhaps an understatement.  Mind you the accidents were not always his fault.  However, enough for now – I will post again about my dad and mishaps.

Tied the knot 130 years ago today

St James Church, Clitheroe

Today in 1880 my great grandparents married in the Parish Church of St. James in Clitheroe, Lancashire.

Thomas Ainsworth Musgrove was 20 and Ellen Stowell was 19.

Thomas was a bachelor and worked as a spinner. Ellen was a spinster and her occupation is described as a carder. At the time of their marriage they were both living in Clitheroe, although Thomas was born in Darwen (about 16 miles away) and Ellen was born in Burnley (about 11 eleven miles away).

The two witnesses at the marriage were John Simeon Lord and Sarah Ellen Aspin. I don’t know anything about these two people. They don’t appear in my family tree so I am guessing that they were either friends or relatives that I haven’t traced yet.

In the 1891 census they were living at 79 Moor Lane, Clitheroe. Thomas was working as a cotton cloth marker and Ellen still as a cotton carder. In 1901 they were living at 62 Moor Lane, Clitheroe and Tomas was a cotton spinner.

Thomas and Ellen had seven children

Ellen 1881-1961

Mary Alice 1886-1952

Harry 1889-1976

Annie 1895-1989

Fred Ainsworth Stowell 1898-1975 – my grandfather

Robert 1885

Joseph Ainsworth Stowell 1888

 Happy anniversary Thomas and Ellen.