Mary Ellen Procter

Strictly Ballroom – Arthur & Mary Louisa Cambage

Mary Louisa Myers is my 2nd cousin 2x removed. Her parents are Tom Myers and Mary Ellen Procter. Our common ancestors are William Stowell and Ellen Lane – my 3x great grandparents.

Mary Louisa was born on 2 May 1899 in Burnley, Lancashire. Sometime in the September quarter of 1922 she married Arthur C Cambage in Burnley.

Now no one could ever accuse me of being able to dance – I have two left feet and no sense of rhythm or coordination whatsoever.

I’m very glad to say that was not the case for Arthur and Mary Cambage – in fact you could say they were the Fred and Ginger of their day in Britain.

According to the newspaper article below Arthur was “the outstanding personality in dancing, not only locally but in many parts of the country, for years”. Either by himself or with Mary he gave dancing demonstrations and was also in demand as a judge at both amateur and professional competitions.

In the 1939 Register Arthur and Mary lived at 19 Broadway, Fleetwood, Lancashire. Arthur was employed by Fleetwood Corporation as Entertainments Manager. Before moving to Fleetwood Arthur had been organising manager at the Nelson Entertainments Company.

The Nelson Leader of 24 January 1936 reported on Arthur and Mary’s impending move to Fleetwood.

Arthur Cambage - Nelson Leader 24 January 1936.png

LEAVING NELSON

MR A C CAMBAGE SECURES IMPORTANT POSITION

MANAGER AT FLEETWOOD’S NEW HALL

Scores of friends and literally thousands of people who know him by sight if not by name will be interested to know that Mr Arthur C Cambage, the organising manager for the Nelson Entertainments Company, Imperial Ballroom, is leaving Nelson shortly to take up the position of manager of the new Marine Hall and sun parlour and colonnades at Fleetwood.
Mr Cambage has been at the Imperial for the last six years, and for several years before was the manager of the Empress Ballroom, Burnley. Undoubtedly Mr Cambage has been the outstanding personality in dancing, not only locally but in many parts of the country, for years. He alone, or accompanied by his wife, has given demonstrations of dancing in London and other big cities, and at one time he was also in great demand as an adjudicator at both amateur and professional dancing competitions. Mr Cambage has also been well-known as a teacher of dancing, a profession which his father and mother were expert in for many years, and his departure from this district will bring an end to the Cambage family’s connection with local entertainments since 1902.
Mrs Arthur Cambage’s departure from the district will also be felt by many organisations in which she has been interested, and particularly the Burnley Garrick Club. She has played many leading roles for the club in productions privately and at the Victoria Theatre, Burnley, and about three years ago she was invited by Col. Robert Loraine to go to London to take part in his productions. Mrs Cambage has also appeared on the concert platform as a pianist, and her fame as a ballroom dancing expert is also well-known.
The position Mr Cambage has secured is regarded as one of the plums of the profession. The Marine Hall at Fleetwood was only opened in November last, and is one of the finest of its kind in the country, the ballroom being most modern and up-tp-date.
Mr and Mrs Cambage will take with them the good wishes of everyone who know them.

So as well as being an extremely accomplished dancer Mary Louisa played the piano and was a leading actress.

Arthur and Mary Louisa spent about eight years in Fleetwood before Arthur took over as manager of the Excel Hotel in Garstang, Lancashire.

Away from the world of entertainment Arthur served in the Army in WW1 for over three years, mostly in France and Belgium. During WW2 he joined the Home Guard in Fleetwood as a private in May 1940, eventually rising to Major and Commanding Officer in May 1944.

Arthur and Mary Louisa both died in 1966.

Black Sheep Sunday – Frederick Stephen Myers

Frederick Stephen Myers is my 2nd cousin 2x removed. His parents are Tom Myers and Mary Ellen Procter. Our common ancestors are William Stowell and Ellen Lane – my 3x great grandparents.

Frederick was born on 24 April 1893 in Burnley, Lancashire.

In the 1911 census Frederick is living at 4 Forrest Street, Nelson, Lancashire and working as a cotton weaver. At some point in the next eleven years Frederick went into partnership with George Mitchell and Daniel Roscoe working as electricians under the name of George Mitchell &Co.

On 2 February 1922 that partnership was dissolved but Frederick and George continued in business under the same name. Just over five years later the pair found themselves in court over National Insurance Contributions failures. The Burnley News of Saturday 19 March 1927 ran the following story (image from http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk).

Frederick Stephen Myers - Burnley News 10 March 1927.png

UNSTAMPED CARDS

Burnley Firm and Insurance Contributions

BENCH AND A BAD CASE

At Burnley Police Court, on Wednesday, George Mitchell, 4 Forrest Street, Nelson, and Frederick Stephen Myers, 43 Clevelands Road, Burnley, trading as G. Mitchell and Co., electrical and mechanical engineers, Burnley, pleaded guilty to two breaches of the Unemployment Insurance Acts, 1920 to 1925, and three breaches of the National Health Insurance Act, 1924.
Mr. J. H. Sinkinson, prosecuting, said the defendants had three employees, Henry Hargreaves, Harold Barrett and Cecil Ibbotson, an apprentice, to whose unemployment and health insurance cards they had failed to affix stamps. In the case of Hargreaves defendants failed to pay health insurance and pensions contributions for 20 weeks at 1s. 6d. a week, a total of £1 10s. No contribution was made for the whole of the last half year up to the time of the visit in November of an official of the Ministry.
Regarding unemployment insurance contributions, the defendants during the period 1925-26, failed to make, in respect of Hargreaves, sixteen contribution at 1s. 3d. weekly, and during the current period had failed to pay for twenty weeks, a total of £2 5s. In the case of Barrett twenty health insurance payments, representing £1 10s., and twenty-four unemployment insurance payments representing another £1 10s. were not made. With reference to Ibbotson, nineteen health insurance contributions were not paid – £1 8s. 6d. in all – and they could have taken proceedings in that case in respect of non-payment of unemployment insurance. The total amount of arrears for which defendants were summoned was £8 3s 6d.
“I don’t know how your worships look on these cases.” said Mr. Sinkinson, “but to me they appear as very serious matters.” Proceedings had been taken in that Court previously, and the Bench had expressed very strongly their feelings concerning the neglect of employers who failed to affix the required stamps. The newspapers, recognising the importance of such cases had given most extensive reports of them which must have been read by defendants, who could hardly plead that they knew nothing about it. Personally, he could hardly find words sometimes to describe employers who thus would deliberately jeopardise the rights of working men and women to the health insurance, unemployment insurance, and pensions provided for them by the State. Often officials had great difficulty in securing benefits for claimants because of the neglect of employers to affix stamps. In that case each defendant had rendered himself liable to a £10 fine in each case. Of the two he was afraid that Myers was the most to blame, for he had undertaken the clerical work of the firm. A bad feature too, was that Myers had taken 1s. 6d. a week from the wages of his employees as their contributions to health and unemployment stamps, or 2d. more than he was entitled to deduct.
Mitchell said that he did not know that the cards had not been stamped.
Myers said at the time the cards should have been filled up he was off ill for a fortnight. He could not find Hargreaves’s card when he came back. He offered to stamp them, but they were taken away. He was told by a cashier at a local engineering shop that 1s. 6d. a week should be deducted from wages, and since he had been informed that it was 1s. 4d. he had refunded the difference. On account of Hargreaves’ card having been lost he kept putting off the stamping of the cards.
The Mayor said the magistrates regarded the case as a bad one. Defendants would be required to pay the arrears and each would be fined 10s. including costs in each case, and special costs, a total of £13 7s. 6d.

Sunday’s Obituary – Tom Myers (1862-1945)

Tom Myers is the husband of my 1st cousin 3x removed, Mary Ellen Procter. Mary’s parents are William Procter and Nancy Stowell. Our common ancestors are John Stowell and Ann Riddeoff, my 4x great grandparents.

Tom was born about 1862 in Burnley, Lancashire – his birth is registered in the June quarter of that year.

Tom and Mary Ellen were married on 22 April 1884 at St. Peter’s church in Burnley. They had at least seven children between 1885 and 1904.

In the census returns for 1891, 1901 and 1911 Tom’s occupation is described as “barber” or “hairdresser and tobacconist”.

Sadly Mary Ellen died at the relatively young age of 44 early in 1908.

Tom lived for another 37 years passing away on 30 August 1945. The following notice was published in the Burnley Express on 5 September 1945.

Tom Myers - Burnley Express 5 Sep 1945.png

Mr TOM MYERS

Mt Tom Myers, last of four brothers who did so much for the musical life of Burnley, was laid to rest in Burnley Cemetery on Monday. Mr Myers, who was 83, had been residing for the past few years at 294, Scotland Road, Nelson. He was a brother of the late Mr Fred Myers, who was one of the founders and conductors of the old Philharmonic Orchestra in Burnley which afterwards became the nucleus of the Municipal Orchestra.