Granfer Henry reads the news; Every Day Lives in Weymouth; September 1884.

What I find fascinating about mooching through the old newspapers is not only the sensational crimes and usual misdemeanors that fill the columns of the local papers, but also those mundane snippets that give us every day glimpses of our Victorian ancestors lives.

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In some sense, they really weren’t that much different from us.

Take The Dorset County Chronicle of 11th September 1884.

Just like we do today (well, those of us that still browse the physical pages of print rather than online) your GGG Grandfather Henry might well be sat in his plush, red velvet armchair that late summer’s afternoon, his pince-nez slid down to the tip of his nose as he perused the trials and tribulations of his fellow townsmen.

Would he have nodded in satisfaction when  he read that Reuben Newberry of Upwey  had a great year when it comes to growing his Dahlias.

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Well, of course, he knew old man Reuben was a perfectionist when it came to the floral side of things, after all, he did run Upwey Nurseries alongside his wife Miriam. They often exhibited in the local flower shows and came away with many of the prizes.

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He was also rather good when it came to cultivating families it seems, managing to germinate ten offspring.

Reuben had been showing some remarkably fine specimens of these flowers lately. Those that he had put on display being very much admired.

(Only a couple of years later and 73-year-old Reuben hung up his hose and laid down his dibber, an advert appeared advertising his very desirable and compact nursery and market garden. )

Maybe Granfer Henry’s eyes would catch sight of a name he knew well…that caused him to sigh heavily…’What’s Wheeler been up to now’ he’d muse to himself. ‘Always trying to get himself noticed, that fellow.’

FINE ARTS the headline proclaimed. Specimens of photographic portraits &c. in every style of the art, take by Mr Wheeler of the Vandyke Studio, are now being shown by him.

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The studio was run by Harry Wheeler, a man with fingers in many profitable pies! One of them being photography.

Harry also ran a fine art studio, library and printing press, something that had got him into a spot of bother with the law in 1878. Apparently his press had been churning out defamatory leaflets concerning a certain borough magistrate, Joseph Drew that had hit the streets of Weymouth just before  the municipal elections.

That September day though, the attending reporter waxed lyrical of Harry’s talents. He may well be proud of the work he has turned out, for we doubt whether it is possible for any photographer, either in London or the provinces to show a better collection.

Harry and Mary Marie Wheeler and their veritable brood (must be something the Weymouth waters!) lived along Frederick Place.

When Harry passed to the dark room in the heavens (1895) his fingers in pies scheme had obviously worked their magic because he bequeathed to his wife and son, Frank Augustus Wheeler, dealer in fine arts, the princely sum of £4494 13s 11d.

Granfer would certainly have approved of the more sedate culture to be found in Weymouth’s theatres.

Mr Doryly Carte’s Opera Company were taking to the stage,  performing the fairy opera Iolanthe in the theatre (though it doesn’t actually say which one, for Weymouth had quite a few in those days.) The article claims that It will have splendid scene, effects and be most gorgeously dressed.

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Maybe some of the entertainment on offer wasn’t quite to his taste.

There was even a lengthy report on a Swimming Exhibition by Dr Jennings.

It was supposed to have taken place on the Wednesday, but as per usual fickle mother Nature soon put paid to those plans.

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But brave Dr Jennings, not one to be deterred, set out again on the Thursday, unwilling to disappoint his audience. Although the weather overhead was fine, the air was exceedingly cold, a “north-easter” blowing and the sea was very “loppy”.

About 300 folk had forked out their hard earned sixpenny pier toll to watch this intrepid swimmer take his leave of Weymouth’s pier. Of course, as human nature dictates, there were always those few, about 100 more were in boats and therefore viewed this exhibition for nothing.

Ever the showman, Dr Jennings (who is a well developed man) made his appearance  dressed in an old suit. He then stepped up onto the specially prepared stage and made a great performance of putting on a pair of sturdy boots and lacing them up tightly, then donned a heavy overcoat, taking care to button it up right to his chin..

Jennings clambered down into a waiting boat and to the gasp of his audience, promptly tipped over the side and disappeared under the waves.

Of course, this was all part of his display…for he soon bobbed up to the surface like a fisherman’s cork.

Whilst fighting the tide and the swell, Jennings then proceeded to unbutton and remove his heavily sodden overcoat, followed by a jacket and then his waist coat. As each layer was discarded a great roar went up from the expectant crowd. His underwater striptease show continued with the untying and removal and his boot whilst being tossed around on the choppy surface, then off came his trousers and his shirt until at last he was down to his proper swimming attire.

He then proceeded to give a demonstration of how easy it was for man to float on seawater, reclining in a variety of postures on the troubled waves.

Not content with that, a chair was thrown to him, upon which he sat as if it was in deed on ‘terra firma‘.

All in all a jolly spiffing display.

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Not that Granfer Henry would have been overly impressed with Jennings japes, what he enjoyed most of all was perusing the columns of the naughtier Weymouth residents misdeeds.

Henry he could tut and humph with the best them.

Not much tittle tattle in todays paper he thought.

Only Granfer’s best friend, old John Vincent, who had been hoodwinked by a pretty maid entering his shop. She asked to look at diamond rings then sent John off to retrieve some from the window…and promptly took her leave of the premises, leaving John one sparkler short.

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The pretty maid then popped up in the watchmaker and jewellery shop of Henry Talzner in St Thomas Street. But he was immune to her fresh complexion and fluttering lashes and informed the police she had tried to sell a dodgy ring to him.

Weymouth’s PC Hansford knew his criminals though, he went along to stake out her mothers house in Trinity Road, where he collared her later that night as she returned home.

When questioned about the ring he noticed she was trying to remove something from her finger…something rather large and sparkly.

17-year-old Elizabeth White was convicted of theft and sent to prison for 4 months hard labour.

Maybe reading todays news had been all too much for Granfer Henry!

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Interested in Weymouth military and naval history? Why not pop on over to my other blog Nothe fort and Beyond…

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https://nothefortandbeyond.wordpress.com/blog/

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Park Street, Weymouth; 1901

Often I see pictures, or catch snippets of a conversation that lead me to a subject that I want to write about in my blog.

Todays offering is about the old Park Street, Weymouth after seeing a fantastic photo of the  street taken back in the early 20th c on a Facebook website that I often frequent, You’re Over 30 and Come from Weymouth. (A great source of information, photos and illustrations, both historical and present day…used with the owners permission of course!)Image

This picture was taken looking down towards the large stone edifice and tower on the right hand corner, what was once Christ Church. This great stone building had been erected in 1847  as a chapel-of-ease to St Mary’s in town. It was closed in 1939 because the Rector of the time, Rev E L Langston had been left struggling to run both churches and he could no longer go on doing so. Also, with war looming, the good Rev stated that as the huge church had so many windows it would have been impossible to black them all out…so there it stood, empty, its fate to be decided if it survived the war.

As it so happens it became a very valuable place of sanctuary in the wartime, within its walls were the men and women who looked after Weymouth’s residents, it became a Nookery Cook, a place where those people in need could get a decent hot meal for a reasonable price.(They obviously had no problems in blacking the windows out!) By 1941 all the church contents, pews, woodwork etc had been given to the newly built St Aldham’s church at Radipole.

Right at the end of the street stood Weymouth’s original railway station opened in 1857, designed by T H Bertram, one of Brunel’s assistants.

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Many of those large old  buildings now gone, the church demolished, the old Brunel style railway station redesigned and rebuilt for the 20th c commuter, but a lot of the original Victorian terraced shops and houses remain, you can still spot the odd attractive bow windows and old shop fronts, you just have to look behind the modern day facades.

I shall take you for a nostalgic stroll down what was once a very well-heeled and extremely  busy street, bustling with numerous shops, businesses and public houses, the main fairway for most of the thousands of Victorian train travellers into and out of the town.

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The year is 1901, betwixt Victoria’s rule, (she died in the January,) and that of her son Edward, who succeeded her.

It is hard to match exactly the house numbers with those of todays because so much has changed, some buildings demolished, new ones added, but where I can do so with certainty I will attempt to.

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no 1 Park Street was the home of 36-year-old Elizabeth Alice Butler, a  shop keeper. She ran the local greengrocers store, and took care of her family, sons Alfred Vernon and John Albert and daughters Evelyn Gladys and Florence, or Flossie as she was better known. To help her run the business and take care of the children was Florence Bartlett, one of her extended family, as Elizabeth had been a Bartlett before her wedding to husband Alfred.

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Those living at no 2 were the members of the Dovey family.

The building had originally belonged to London born Joseph Dovey, a confectioner and baker, and his wife Mary Ann, they ran their business from the premises. Joseph had died in 1900. Taking over his fathers role in the family business, under the watchful eyes of his mother, by the 1901 census was son 24-year-old Frank. Frank was living (or lodging as the poll book says) in the lower half of the house, occupying the rooms on the first and second floor. He was also an active member of many of the clubs and societies in the town. One of his passions was appearing in amateur dramatics and musicals, he was a member of the Weymouth White Star Minstrels, in 1899 they were appearing at St Mary’s School hall, where Frank played the character Bones. He was not beyond a spot of theatrical cross dressing either…having played widow Mrs Grey in the sketch ‘The Hypochondriac Secretary.”

Another of his past times was bicycling, and as a young lad he had joined the Weymouth Bicycle Club, which oddly enough I had only written about in my last post. ( https://susanhogben.wordpress.com/2014/06/25/victorian-weymouth-bicycle-club/) Joseph is even mentioned briefly as one of the young men who gave a demonstration of trick cycling.

Funny how things link up unintentionally sometimes.

Also living and working at the bakery premises were the rest of the Dovey clan, Frances and Laura Eunace, and two single men who were employed by the family, Charles James Hazell and Ernest Stickland.

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Moving onto no.3, here we find the home of the Atkins family, but with another link to the Bartletts. Head of the family 47-year-old Samuel has Bartlett as his middle name. Samuel was also a baker by trade. Living with him were his wife Louisa, and his four children, 16-year-old William Arthur, 14-year-old Jessie, Lillie aged 9 and Florrie aged 8. The family had lodgers living in the house with them, a necessity to eke the money out.

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The house of 4 Park Street contained the Emes family, James and his wife Ellen. James was a Devon lad who had moved down this way to work, his occupation was a clothier. With them were their 4 children, Elsie Gertrude, Hilda May, Mabel Evelyn and Leonard.

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5 Park Street was the domaine of the Mayne family, 48-year-old Henry and his wife Sarah Ann. The Maynes owned and ran a grocery business alongside that of a milkman.

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There is an incredible photo on one of the Ancestry trees of Henry , and what looks like the very well-fed family cat, stood outside his grocery shop in Park Street taken a little later, by then they had moved into the premises of no 4. Thank you to Julie for letting me post it on here.

Two of their adult children were at the address in 1901, Matilda and Ernest.

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At the time of the 1901  census, the house of  no.6 was stood empty, but a Frederick William Gould was on the electoral lists as owner, he was dairyman.

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We arrive at the home of the Bartlett’s, who live at no.7. This is the house of Thomas George Bartlett who is aged 37 and runs his own business from the house. Thomas is a successful plumber and glazier. Living with him are his wife, Elizabeth (also 37,) and five of their children. Edith, Albert, Ernest, Cecil and Harold.

Thomas was another Weymouth resident that liked to take part in some of the social activities around town. He too was a member of the Weymouth Bicycle Club, along with his neighbour Joseph Dovey. Thomas is one of  the cyclists in the photo of the cycling post mentioned above, stood proudly by their machines in front of the Kings statue. According to the report in the papers of the time (June 1884,) these men had cycled all the way from Deptford, London to Weymouth, no mean feat on those dangerous, dodgy old boneshakers!

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A retired hairdresser lived at no 8, he was only aged 48, either he had already made his money, or had health problems.

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This was James Harrington Williams, who lived there with his wife Agnes, she brought in an income to the household as a dressmaker, and their daughter 24-year-old Alice, who was a teacher of music.

James died only 3 years later, aged 50.

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Living at the property of no 9 was James’s elder brother, Charles Richard Williams. Charles was a baker by trade, he lived with his wife Ellen and grown up son Charles Richard jnr, who was a minister and schoolmaster. Like his brother James, Richard wasn’t destined to make old bones, he died in 1906, aged just 56.

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Seventy-two-year old widow, Elizabeth Ann Gale lived at no 10. She had been married to George Gale until his death. Now living with her was her unmarried daughter Ellen, aged 36. Also living in the household was Eliza Atkins, another widowed lady of a ripe old age.

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Next on the street is one of the pubs, this was nos. 11&12 Park Street and the Prince of Wales public house. This watering hole stood on the corner of Park Street and Bath Street.

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Mine host at the time of 1901 was Charles Joseph Stone aged 38. Charles was a carpenter and builder by trade, but the family had taken over the pub some years earlier. His wife Charlotte helped behind the bar, as well as taking care of their family, Not long after the census details were taken, later that year Charles decided that the licensed victualler trade wasn’t for them any more and the Prince of Wales pub was transferred to Frederick Meech.

Sadly, Charles lost his wife Charlotte, and by the time of the next census he has moved from Park Street and is living with his widowed mother and children, working in his own building business.

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Cross over Bath Street, and right on the opposite corner is The Duke of Albany  public house, at no 13 & 14 Park Street.

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In 1901 this was being run by Surrey born Thomas and his wife, local born girl Mary Ann Masters, (Watts.) They were in the first flush of their marriage, in their 30’s and had a young family, Alfred and Reginald. Also living and working with the family in the business was 25-year-old Bessie Watts, she was the younger sister of Mary Ann. But like many publicans, they moved on after a while, the next census sees the family living and running a pub in Bridport.

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Next door to the pub was another business, this time that of a hairdressers. At no. 15 was the salon of Thomas Reed, a London lad. He had originally worked and trained with London hairdresser Louis Jacob, but then moved down South in about the early 1890’s to start his own business. Here he had met and married his wife, Ellen, and they were quite happy raising their brood in the busy seaside town. However, the hair dressing business couldn’t have been that brisk for the Reed family, because by the time of the next census,(1911) they  had changed their business premises to a newsagents.

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16 Park Street was a house of mulitiple occupency.

There was 39-year-old Harry Howard Bishop and his wife Louisa (nee Mayne) with two children, Charles and Rose. Harry was a now working as a verger at the local church, but in his former life he had been a ships steward on board the HM Duke of Wellington. The couple had married in 1887 at their local church just down on the corner, Christ Church, and presumably this is where Harry was now verger. Not long after this census the Bishop family moved to a dwelling in Bath Street.

Also living on the premises was 69-year-old Margaret Stroud, a widow originally from Ireland, who lived with her married daughter, Margaret Leahy and grand daughter, 8-year-old Rose.

In 1891 Margaret senior had been running the Railway Tavern public house, along with her 3 daughters, Jane, Eliza and Margaret. She was no stranger to the life of a publican, before she became a proper licensed victualler, she ran a beer house in Wesley Street. Beer houses popped up everywhere when the Government in their infinite wisdom had decided to loosen the licensing laws. They were working on the slightly dodgy assumption that if beer was cheaper and more available, then the working man was less likely to get drunk on hard spirits…consequently any Tom Dick or Harry, (or Margaret,) could apply for a license to brew beer and open a beer house on their own premises for a couple of quid! It was one way that a widow could earn an income from home while looking after her family, and as Margaret had lost her husband, an ex-soldier, early, it had been vital to keep the wolf from the door.

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Two spinsters lived at no. 18. The Oliver sisters, Mary Ann (aged 44,) and her younger sibling, Frances (at a mere 41.) They were general shop keepers who ran a business from their home address. By the time of the next census, Frances was still living at no 18, but the head of the household was another single lady, 53-year-old Elizabeth White, both were listed as dressmakers.

What of Mary Ann? Well,…she upped and got married!

At the ripe old age of 52, Mary Ann found herself a husband, Edwin Richard Charles,a local boot manufacturer and dealer with a nice house on Dorchester Road.

You go Mary Ann….

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Next door to them (19) were the England family, William Robert and Ellen who had moved up from Devon. William was a confectioner running his own business, their 10-year-old son Frank had been born in Weymouth.

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By the time of the next census the family were still living and working at no.19 as confectioners, Frank was following in his Dads footsteps.

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The Riggs lived at no. 20. Husband and wife, John and Sarah, and their adult children, Lilian, Masie, Herbert and Arthur, they ran the local greengrocers shop. John is still living at no 20 and running the family shop by the time of the 1911 census, but his wife Sarah has since died, helping Dad out in the store is 31-year-old Minnie.

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Next door to the Rigg family were the Martins, (no.21.) They had not long since moved here from Edward Street. Dad, 39-year-old William Samuel, was a tailor who ran his business from home, Mum (also 39,) was Elizabeth, living with them was their sizeable brood, Henry, Lilian, Adelaide, Alfred, Reginald, Hilda and the baby of the family 4-year-old Myrtle. As befitted their lifestyle as a business class family, they had a personal servant living in the household, this was Young Nellie Thresher. The family are still at no.21 ten years later…all 7 of them!

The eldest son, Henry, now aged 27, had followed in his Dads footsteps and was a tailor working in the family firm. Adelaide was working as a shop assistant in the confectioners shop. Alfred was a cobbler, Reginald a clerk in the motor works.

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Moving swiftly along to the home of no.22, where 47-year-old Simon John Rabjohns Lock was the master of the household. Simon was a monumental stonemason running his own business, as had his father been before him. Along side him was his wife, Ann, and three of their children, 19-year-old Helen, 17-year-old Frederick, an apprentice mason to his father, and Ethel who was aged 14.

But this wasn’t just a private house, this was also a licensed premises, known as the Dolphin Inn, they had already been living here at least 10 years.

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Simon outlived his wife, she died in 1906. By the year of 1911 Simon was still living at the Dolphin Inn, along with two of his unmarried daughters.

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Over the road from the pub was the butchers shop at no. 23. This was owned and run by the Bazell family, 44-year-old local man, Henry and his wife Elizabeth Annie (nee Woodland.) This couple also had  another sizeable brood, they had 7 children living with them in 1901, Charles Henry, Florence Annie, Beatrice Eleanor, Thomas Woodland, Reginald John, George, and bringing up the rear, Walter Lindley, and another on the way, soon to be born Arthur William..

They had moved to their present location(no 23) from no.18 Park Street.

By 1911 they had upped sticks again, this time they had moved lock stock and sausage barrel to Crescent Street, along with 5 of their 8 children who were still living at home. Their twenty-one-year old son Thomas was now working as a coppersmith at the newly constructed torpedo works, which had somehow enabled a couple of his work colleagues to weedle their way into the already crowded house to live.

Things never change do they?

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Of course, next to the butchers what else could there be but a bakers.

At no.24 was James and Eliza Thompson, (Atkins.) They were only a young couple, but already James was running his own bakery business. When not helping in the shop alongside her husband, Eliza was kept busy looking after their firstborn toddler son, Leslie.

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A stables sat between the bakers and the next dwelling.

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Not quite a candle stick maker but close…jewellers and watch repairers occupied the premises on no. 25. Here lived a fine fellow with a fine name, Cockney lad, William Augustus Weygang.

William had moved down from London to work as an apprentice at the business of German watch maker Herman Jatnez, who ran his business at 77, St Thomas Street. William lived above the business with the family, Herman and his wife, Johanne, had taken him under their wings. As Williams parents had both been German, presumably there had been some sort of family connection there.

While here William had met and fallen in love with a  young  lass, Louisa Maria Shoobert, another Londoner, and even though the couple had their banns called in  their local Christ Church in Weymouth,  when they got married  it was in East Brixton, London in 1892.

By 1901 the couple had set up their jewellers business in Park Street, and had two children living with them, 7-year-old Meta, and George Edward aged 4.

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They appear in the records for Park Street, Weymouth right up until 1907, and then the family seem to split apart when rather oddly only William and his young son George  leave these shores on board the vessel Geelong, heading for a life in Sydney Australia!

George obviously went on to live his life there, we can follow him in the electoral rolls, but William Augustus died in 1916 in Melbourne.

His  17-year-old daughter Meta and wife Louisa are both back in London working by the 1911 census, for some reason they did not follow father and son to the other side of the world.

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A bit like the marriage of William and Louisa, the house next door to them stood empty, so we’ll move on to no 27.

Here lived a widow, 60-year-old Jane Orchard, a Yorkshire lass, along with her 15-year-old servant Mabel. Jane had been a resident in Park Street for many years, and been married to George, a gardener until his death in 1883. Now Jane had to earn her own living, which she did as a dressmaker until her own death in 1914 aged 75.

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No 28 was the home of the Stoodleys.  Husband and wife, Robert Morgan and Ellen weren’t exactly in the first flush of youth, but the couple managed the business, a bootmakers alongside that of a provisions dealer. They too had lived in Park Street for some time. Robert died in 1911.

Though the couple never had any children of their own, they did have a house full of relatives. Living with them was their nephew, 26-year-old James Hampton, his wife Edith along with their 5 month old daughter, as was the practise of the day, also named Edith. James worked as a cycle agent.

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Also living there was Morton Britton, another Londoner…he was 53, single and a glass dealer.

The third family living at no 28 were the Coakers, London born Edward and Eva who was Welsh.

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Weymouth certainly was a mixing pot, even in those days.

Widower, 36-year-old Francis Curtis, was head of the household of no. 29. By 1901 Francis had set himself up in business as a  fish dealer in Park Street.

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Living on the premises with him were the Clark family from Somerset. Dad, Samuel Robert Clark, a carpenter, Mum, Annie, and their three children, Richard Alfred,  Ellen Mercy and Alfred Thomas, who by then were adults really, not children. The two lads had followed in their fathers footsteps and were joiners in their fathers business.

By the 1911 census, the Clark family had moved to Abbotsbury Road, that was  the ENTIRE family…none of the children had left home or married. Samuel was running a building firm, and his sons had changed careers, they were now trained as electricians.

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Step next door (30) into the home of the disappearing Rimmerpate (?) family, with Dad, 55-year-old Frank at the helm, born Bridlington, yorkshire, and he’s an army pensioner. this is born out by the fact that his eldest daughter Elizabeth was born in the Chelsea Barracks. He had two other children, 14-year-old Weymouth born James and Florence who was 10 and born in Sutton Poyntz. Could be that frank had been with the Coastal Garrison artillery, and moved down to Weymouth as a posting until his time with the army ran out.

In the 1891 census, the enumerator has pencilled in beneath this address ‘The Friendship Inn,’

This family are somewhat of a mystery though….

Apart from the fact that the census enumerator’s writing is atrocious, I simply cannot find any trace whatsoever of this family anywhere else, no births, marriages, census etc…..maybe my reading of the name Rimmerpate is incorrect.

If you should happen to be reading this blog, and the family jumps out you as one of yours, please, please, please let me know…they have cost me an afternoon of head-scratching and a sleepless night.

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At least the Frederick next door was easier to read and trace!

31 Park Street was the domain of the Jolliffe family. Thirty two-year-old Frederick William and his wife Annie Louise,(nee Ozzard,) aged 25, were the sole occupants of the house, he was working as a store keeper for the Corporation. They had only been married for a year, and Annie’s Dad, Daniel,  had given her away, wonder if he brought them good luck?…he was a chimney sweep.

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But maybe not…by the time of the next census they had seemingly gone down in the world as they had moved to the notorious Burdon Buildings, Bond street.

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Walter and Elizabeth Banks Jerrard lived in no. 32.

This was another well established Weymouth business. Seventy-year-old Walter was  a hair cutter and had been one for …well, you could say a fair few years. The couple had lived and worked from these premises in 1901, 1891, 1881, even 1871, and then back again to 1861. Before then (1951) Walter had been coiffing ladies and mens hair in his Dads, Matthew, hair salon in Bond Street.

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He’d probably been working with hair ever since he had been knee high to the salon chair.

The couple had finally retired by the time of the next census because Walter and Elizabeth had moved up to London of all places, both in their late 70’s by now.

I think they certainly deserved a bit of R&R.

Walter died on the 11th July, 1915 aged 84, and left a tidy sum to his two sons, Albert and Alfred.

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His  neighbour John Charles Chaddock could only watch and dream that his business would be as successful, long lasting and profitable as that of his elderly friend. He had a few years to go, but wasn’t doing too bad.

John and his wife Emily ran a groceries and provisions shop at the premises of no. 33. Living and working with them was their 20-year-old daughter Kate. They too had been in the street for at least 20 years.

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The family were still there in the 1911 census, but daughter Kate had now trained as a piano forte teacher.

By the time of Johns passing, he died September 28th 1922, the couple were still residents of the street.

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Alfred John Bunn and wife Elizabeth Jane (nee Marsh,) lived at no. 34. not surprisingly, Alfred, with a surname like that, became  a baker by trade, and of course the name Bunn’s became synonymous with bakery in Weymouth.

Ten years earlier, in their 40’s the couple had started out their business at no 2 Park Street, as bakers and grocers. Previous to that they had lived at Chapelhay where Alfred was the manager of the bottled mineral works. Well, he’d obviously decided that he wanted more out of life, and to run his own business instead of dancing to the tune of others.

Consequently Alfred and Elizabeth had simply upped sticks and moved to the other side of the harbour and into prosperous Park Street, where they opened their very own shop. Despite having worked at times as a porter and business manager, Alfred was already a qualified baker, as that had been his original trade.

Rather oddly, by the time of the 1911 census, the couple had moved again, this time to 15 West Parade, but 62-year-old Alfred is now running his own gardening business!

Obviously a man of many talents.

Their premises in Park Street were now the home of their son William Winzer Bunn.

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A provisions dealer lived and traded from  no. 35.

Fifty five-year-old Edward Bowring and his wife Ellen ran the store. Edward obviously didn’t like his first given Christian name, Ishmael, because once he was old enough, he simply dropped it and referred to himself as plain old Edward. His wife wasn’t much better, she was christened Mary Ellen, and throughout the censuses she seemed to flit between both…those pesky ancestors certainly didn’t like to make life easy when trying to trace them.

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John Richard and Edith Fuszard of no. 36, were ex-publicans.

They used to run the Sailors Return in St Nicholas Street along with their widowed daughter Jane Dimond Whicker. Jane had married William George Whicker in 1882, but was already a widow by 1890. She moved in with her parents along with two grandchildren…but not apparently Janes despite the fact that they are down as Whickers, because in the 1911 census she lists ‘NIL’ children in that column. maybe it was the enumeratots assumption that the children had been hers?

Jane tried wedded bliss again in 1907, this time marrying Frederick Tuncliffe, but even he disappears for the 1911 census.

We’re nearly at the end of our tour of the old street, only a few more houses and businesses to go.

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John and Jane Lake, a couple from down Devon way were in no.37, he was a saddler by trade, running his business from home.

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No. 38 was a tailors shop and the home of the Tye family, with 39-year-old London born James and Kent gal, Jessie, aged 38, at the helm.

Living with Mum and Dad were their 4 children, Bessie Elder Lennet, Violet Rose Minnie, Gladys Dorothy Jessie and toddler George James.

The family had decamped from their previous premises in Prospect Terrace over to the more prosperous and busier Park Street area .

By the 1911 census though, things had gone badly wrong for the family. James is still living in Park Street, along with four of his children, Bessie, Gladys, Violet and Edward, and according to him, he is still married. Where is his wife?

Mum Jessie is living alone on Chickerell Road, and working as a cook, her entry on the  census form declares her woes…’living apart from husband.’

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The Harding family were in at no.39.

Arthur and Ellen were both in their 50’s, Dad was a watch maker originally from Surrey. They had moved to Weymouth in the late 1870’s, first to Hartford Terrace, then not long after to Park Street, where we find them in the 1901 census. Their daughter, twenty nine-year-old Margaret was employed as a mothers help, Fanny (28) was a shop assistant in the tobacconists, their teenage son, Archibald held a responsible position as a solicitors clerk, even their youngest, 14-year-old Claud was put out to work.

Come 1911 and the family have lost mum, Ellen, she passed away in 1908 at the age of 62. They are still living and trading in 39 Park Street, Dad along with his two unmarried daughters, Margaret and Fanny who helped in the shop.

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In the shop at no.40 was a furniture dealer, George Merret who was well in his 60’s, and his wife, Mary Ann.

George had started out his young life as a lowly hand loom weaver living with his parents Henry and Hannah back in his home county of Gloucestershire. But times were changing fast, and these centuries old cottage industries dying out fast with the industrial revolution, things were going to have to change.

This  had promoted a move to Weymouth by 1859 along with his wife, Sarah Sophia,  and family, when they found themselves living in King Street, and George working as a labourer in the coal trade (1861.)George and his family move around constantly, one job here, another there, anything to keep his head above water. Then in 1882 George lost his wife Sarah, and he was left alone to bring up the kids.

On the 6th June 1884, George tied the knot again, this time to a Dorset lass, or rather, Dorset widow, Mary Ann Smith. By now he’s working as an auctioneer foreman and coming up in the world, they can even lay claim to possessing a live-in servant.

By the start of the Edwardian era (1901) George and Mary Ann were the proud owners of their own furniture business in Park Street, life was sweet, it had been a hard old rocky route, but they had finally made it.

What god gives, he takes away…and so was the case with George, on the 29th February 1904, aged 69 years, George was laid to rest in the Melcombe Regis churchyard.

He had cut his last upholstery cloth.

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That only leaves one residential and business building left…that of 41 Park Street.

Here lived 50-year-old George William Munden an incomer from the Channel Islands and his wife Annie Jane (Paul,) a local girl. They too were in the business of cutting cloth, not of furnishings but smartly dressed men. William was a master tailor.

The couple and their family had moved into the premises in Park street sometime between 1881 and 1891, and from there they traded successfully for many a year until 1921 when they moved to Wesley Street.

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However, that isn’t quite the end of the street, as we had started at one end with the tall spires of Christ Church, so too at the other end stood another monument to religion.

Sitting tall and proud on the corner of Park Street and Gloucester Street was the great stone edifice of the Gloucester Street Congregational Chapel, and alongside it with its entrance in Park Street was the Chapel House.

Gloucester Congregational chapel

Here dwelled the appointed caretakers of the building, Thomas and Frances Rousell with their four children, and a penchant for the letter A…Amos, a stepson, Annie and Arthur and 1-year-old daughter, Alma.

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I hope you enjoyed your little walk through time and place…next time you walk down that street, look closely at the buildings as you pass by, you may well spot tell tale signs that the Victorians had been here, who knows, maybe even a few of your relatives lived, worked and shopped in this once busy street.

 

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