Joseph Musgrove is my great grand uncle (the brother of my great grandfather Thomas Ainsworth Musgrove).
Joseph was born on 13 April 1864 to parents John Musgrove and Catherine Ainsworth (my 2x great grandparents).
On 16 May 1891 Joseph married Bridget Maria Grainger in Clitheroe, Lancashire. Bridget had been born on 23 February 1867 in Devon.
On the 9 May 1941 the Clitheroe Advertiser and Times published an article celebrating the golden wedding anniversary of Joseph and Bridget.
FAMILY OF ELEVEN
REARED ON £1 A WEEK
GOLDEN WEDDING MEMORIES OF MR. & MRS. J. MUSGROVE
An insight into conditions of life which obtained fifty or more years ago was given in an interview by Mr and Mrs Joseph Musgrove, of 66 Wilkin Street, Clitheroe, who will celebrate their golden wedding on Monday next. They were married on May 12, 1891, at St James’s Church, by the curate, the Rev Mr Ince.
STARTED WORK WHEN SIX!
Seventy-seven years of age and a native of Darwen, Mr Musgrove came to Clitheroe at the age of six and a half years, and started work in the spinning room at Messrs Dewhurst’s Salford Bridge Mills on attaining his eighth year. He was employed full time at eleven. When sixteen, he went to the print works at Barrow, but left there in 1896 to enter the employ of Clitheroe Corporation highways department, continuing for thirty years, except for a break of six years during which he worked as a mason’s labourer.
All his life, Mr Musgrove has taken a keen interest in both football and cricket, rarely missing a match either at Shaw Bridge or at Chatburn Road. For fifty-six years he has been identified with Court “Royal Castle” (No. 8549) of the Ancient Order of Foresters, and still holds the post of senior door beadle. For eleven years he was one of the borough’s halberdiers. “We had to buy our own top hats and white gloves in those days,” he said, adding: “There were none o’these fancy cloaks and three-cornered hats!”
SIXPENCE A WEEK!
Mrs Musgrove, whose maiden name was Miss Bridget Maria Grainger – she is a sister of the late Mr Luke Grainger, formerly of West View – was born seventy-four years ago near Taunton, Somerset, and came to Clitheroe at the age of sixteen. She learnt to weave at Salford Bridge Mill, where Mr Musgrove learnt spinning, but she had not had charge of two looms long when the mill closed down, and she was accordingly out of work for some time.
“Of course, I had been working for years before I came to Clitheroe,” she said. “Maybe you won’t believe me when I tell you that when eight years old, my wage was sixpence a week.”
Mrs Musgrove added the information that this remuneration was for looking after the smaller children of a well-to-do family, who also provided her with meals. “They regarded the sixpence as spending money, but my mother had to clothe me out of it,” she added.
Speaking of old times, Mrs Musgrove said: “Yes, they were hard, I can’t say I would like to live them over again – not under the same conditions, at any rate.” She went on to say that it was a big problem to bring up a family of eleven on £1 a week. “I can’t tell you how we managed, but we did. It was a hard struggle, but we were fortunate in having good health.”
Of a family of eleven children, seven – three daughters and four sons survive. Of four sons who served in the last Great War, two made the supreme sacrifice.
All their married life Mr and Mrs Musgrove have been associated with St Mary’s Parish Church. Mrs Musgrove being one of the oldest and a founder member of the Mothers’ Union. Their golden wedding anniversary will be celebrated quietly at home, with just a few relatives and neighbours for tea. “Lord Woolton won’t let us do much more.” Mrs Musgrove said with a laugh.
In conjunction with their many friends, we wish them health and many more years of happiness together.