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.
1744 … Ann Cowgill and Turner Snowden married at Thornton in Craven, Yorkshire. They are the 2x great grandparents of the wife of my 2nd great grand uncle.
1910 … Alice Musgrove was born to parents Joseph Musgrove and Elizabeth An Turner. She is my grand aunt.
Saturday 4th August 1951 – Alice Musgrove and Graham Dawson married at the Parish Church of St. James, in Clitheroe, Lancashire.
So today would have been their diamond wedding anniversary. Sadly dad passed away in 2008 so there will be no anniversary celebrations – and he really enjoyed a good old “knees up”. However it is still a time to remember and mark the special day.
Alice and Graham were married at 2.00pm. The witnesses were Harry Dawson (dad’s brother – see yesterday’s Wordless Wednesday photograph) and Elsie Bartlett (mum’s best friend). There were four bridesmaids and a page boy
The reception for 77 guests was held at the Craven Heifer Hotel on Whalley Road, Clitheroe.
As was the case for many couples in those days mum and dad took their honeymoon in Blackpool – about thirty six miles away.
The country was still in the post war ration era and you can see from the hotel confirmation (below) that mum and dad were required to take with them their complete ration books (with points), tea coupons and their own soap & towels.
Mum has kept all the paperwork related to the wedding and this has now been scanned and preserved as part of my digital treasure chest.
1866 … Esther Dawson and Pearson Holmes married at St. Andrew’s church in Kildwick, West Yorkshire. Esther is my 2x great grand aunt.
1951 … My parents Graham Dawson and Alice Musgrove were married at St. James’s church in Clitheroe, Lancashire.
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.