Month: January 2012

Sunday Snap – Street Party

Given that this year we might see some street parties to celebrate the Queens Diamond Jubilee I thought I post a photograph from my own collection.

I have no idea what the celebration is – perhaps the Coronation in 1953; perhaps VE Day, although I think it looks later than that; or perhaps it was some local celebration.

Whatever the occasion I hope that they had a good day.  Certainly some of the people in the photograph seem happy to be there but others do look a bit miserable.

I have tried to examine it closely to see if I recognise anyone.  And to be honest I’m not sure.  There is a lady on there with a look of my grandmother – think I need to ask my mum if she knows anything at all about the picture.

If anyone has any suggestions about the period or event please leave a comment.

Surname Saturday – Brockbank

I have eleven people with the surname Brockbank in my family tree.  The connection begins with  the marriage of my 2x great grand aunt, Ellen Carradice, to Robert Brockbank on Christmas Eve 1864 in Kendal, Westmorland.

According to surnamedb Brockbank is a medieval name of English origin with two possible meanings.

The first suggestion is that it is a dialectal variant of ‘Brocklebank’ which itself is a locational name from a place near Wigton in Cumbria.  The derivation is said to be from the Middle English ‘brock’ meaning a badger and the Northern Middle English ‘bank’, meaning bank or slope.  It is apparently descriptive of a bank that was a favouite haunt of badgers.

The second suggestion is that Brockbank may be a topographical name for a dweller by the bank of a brook – ‘brock’ being a variant of brook from the Old English pre 7th Century ‘broc’ meaning a brook or water meadow.

OK – did you follow that?

The first recorded spelling of the family name is said to be that of Thomas Brokesbank dated 1379 on the Poll Tax records of Yorkshire.

A surname search of the 1911 census produces a list of 1334 people, predominantly from Lancashire, Westmorland and Cumberland.

Here’s a couple of links to famous ‘Brockbank’s’

Russell Brockbank – cartoonist

William Brockbank M.D. – The Scouting Doctor

The street where they lived – Whalley Road, Clitheroe

This is a photograph of 102 Whalley Road, Clitheroe, Lancashire.  It was the home of my granddad and nannie – Fred and Florrie Musgrove.  Although they lived in other houses in Clitheroe this is the only one I ever knew.

I don’t know if the photograph gives an accurate impression of size.  There are four floors – a cellar with two rooms and a door leading to the back garden; ground floor with a front parlour, living room and kitchen; first floor with two bedrooms; and second floor with a further two bedrooms.

The house always seemed to have a warm and cozy feel.  I remember my granddad sitting in his armchair next to the coal fire.  My mother recalls the front bedroom on the first floor also having a fireplace and coal fire but doesn’t think any of the other bedrooms had fireplaces.

Whenever I think of Fred and Florrie I remember them at 102 Whalley Road.  However the original address was 26 Russell Street – the name changed sometime in the 1930’s.

The house was built probably early 19th century.  The block of numbers from 90-110 are now Grade II listed buildings – they were listed in September 1976.  The listing text on the British Listed Buildings website comments briefly on number 102 – the doorway to No. 102 has plain pilasters, cornice and entablature.

Looking back at the census returns I can see who lived at 26 Russell Street:-

• 1911 – William James Heyes, a cotton weaver, his wife and six children plus two of his wife’s sisters

• 1901 – Richard Bridge, a fire beater at the paper works, his wife and their ten children

• 1891 – James Hargreaves, a block cutter in the print works, his wife and five grandchildren

• 1881 – Mary Dewhurst, working at the paper mill, and her sister Ann

• 1871 – Mary Dewhurst, working at the paper mill, and her sister Ann.  Also Thomas Hargreaves, a plasterer and slater, and his wife and son

• 1861 – Thomas Dewhurst, a machine calico printer, and his two daughters Mary and Ann

• 1851 – Thomas Dewhurst, a machine printer, five children, three grandchildren and a son-in-law

These houses are now probably close on 200 years old and will no doubt be standing for many more years.

The street where they lived

I am starting what I hope will become a regular blog theme – The Street Where They Lived.  I have collected loads of information from census returns about the places where my ancestors lived.  Sometimes I have the house number and street name and sometimes just the street name.  Often in rural locations there is just the name of the hamlet or village.

I have a few old photographs in my own personal collection which I can post.  And by using Street View I can see images of the locations as they are today.  I will try to do some research about the street, hamlet or area and include this. in the post.

Look out for the first post coming soon.  I hope you will enjoy reading this new theme and thanks for your continuing support.

Tombstone Tuesday – Elizabeth Dawson (nee Overton)


This is the headstone at the grave of Elizabeth Dawson (nee Overton) at Holy Trinity Church, Cowling, West Yorkshire.  She married my 2nd cousin 3x removed, Thompson Dawson.

Elizabeth was born about 1848, probably in Cowling.  There are two births registered in the name of Elizabeth Overton, one in 1847 and the other in 1848.  Both are registered in the Skipton registration district.  So without getting at least the marriage certificate and probably one or both birth certificates I can’t be sure which is the correct person.

Anyway, Elizabeth and Thompson married in the December quarter of 1868.  Again this was probably at Holy Trinity Church in Cowling.

Thompson and Elizabeth made their home in the small hamlet of Middleton on the outskirts of Cowling.  I have found them in the 1871 census together with their son William Henry Dawson.

They had at least one other son, Ernest, born in 1874.

Elizabeth died on 8 June 1880 and was buried four days later at the young age of 32.

Military Monday – Philip Melville Cardell (1917-1940)

Philip Melville Cardell is my 3rd cousin 1x removed.  He is the grandson of John Gawthrop, who I have written about twice before – here and here.

Philip was born in 1917 to parents Harold S Cardell and Elsie Louise Gawthrop.

He joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve (RAFVR) in May 1939 as an Airman u/t Pilot.  His service number was 80818.

He was called up on 1st September 1939 and, after completing his flying training, was commissioned and went to No. 5 Operational Training Unit (OTU) on 10th June 1940.  He was posted to 263 Squadron at Drem on the 23rd June 1940.  After a few days he went to 603 Squadron at Dyce.  The squadron went south to Hornchurch in late August.

I read one account on the Internet which suggests that Philip was flying his Spitfire (L1020) for 616 Squadron on 1st September 1940 when he had to make a forced landing at Ilford, Essex at 16:45 hours.  His Spitfire was a write off due to damage but he escaped injury.

On 27th September 1940 Philip was flying his Spitfire (N3244) in combat with Me109’s over the English Channel.  He destroyed one but it is believed that he was wounded in the engagement.  Philip attempted to get back to the English coast but had to bale out a quarter of a mile off Folkestone.  I have read that his parachute failed to open.

His friend, Pilot Officer PG Dexter, tried to attract peoples’ attention to Philip’s plight.  When he failed to do so, he made a forced-landing on Folkestone beach, commandeered a boat and headed for his friend but sadly Philip was dead when they reached him.

Philip was only 23.

He is buried in Holy Trinity churchyard, Great Paxton, Huntingdonshire.

Great Paxton War Memorial

‘Never Was So Much Owed By So Many To So Few’

Sunday Snap – Dad and his dumper

This is a photograph of my dad, Graham Dawson, taken sometime in the late 1940’s or early 1950’s.  It is taken at one of two locations and I can’t be sure which one it is.

My dad met my mother (Alice Musgrove) when he lived and worked in Clitheroe, Lancashire.  He was employed for a time at the local quarry where he was a “dumper” driver.  My mother tells the story that my dad named his “dumper” Alice – I’m sure that must have been out of some sort of affection for her (my mother that is).

The other possibility is that the photograph was taken when he worked at the Barnbow site in Leeds.  I don’t know what his job was but I understand that he drove a “dumper” there as well.

Barnbow was originally built as a munitions factory during the First World War – this is quite apt as we have just been to see a preview showing of the film War Horse which is set during WW1.

Surname Saturday – Almond

The surname Almond appears in my tree eleven times at the moment.  The name is found in my ancestry and also my wife’s.  As far as I can tell so far there is no direct connection between the two family lines.  My ancestors are found in Lancashire and those of my wife are in Lincolnshire.

According to surnamedb website the surname is of Old French and Anglo Saxon origin.  It is said to have two possible sources.

Firstly, it may be from the English name for someone from Germany.  This is derived from the Anglo Norman French word “aleman” meaning German or “alemayne” meaning Germany.  This is said to be a Germanic tribal name, probably meaning “all the men”.

The second source is from the Olde English pre 7th Century personal name “ Athelmund”.  This is made up of two elements – “athel” meaning noble, and “mund” meaning protection.

There is no evidence of any connection with the almond nut or tree.

The personal name was first recorded as “Almund” and “Ailmundus” in the Domesday Book of 1086.  The surname was first recorded in the late 13th Century when Thomas Ailmun can be found in the “Hundred Rolls of Cambridgeshire” dated 1279.

William and Awdry Almond were some of the earliest settlers in the New World, leaving London on the “Abigail” in JUne 1635, bound for New England.

In the 1911 Census for England and Wales there are at least 5147 people recorded with the name Almond.