“Us and Them
Way Back When"
Relationships Centre is a charity supporting young people and their
families. It is based at 19 Museum Street in Warrington town centre.
About the project.
We are looking at what life was like for young people in
Victorian Warrington. The research is based on the families who lived in
our property, 19 Museum Street, and the neighbouring properties at 17
and 21, from 1877, when our property was built. We are also looking at
the workhouse and the fustian industry in Lymm. Information on that
will follow later.
Inspired by our building, our young people have delved
into the lives of youngsters of the past to discover what life was like
for them way back when.
By researching the inhabitant’s of our building and
the neighbouring addresses, participants have used the key themes of
emotional health, physical health and wellbeing, education, expectations
of behaviour and punishments, and networks and support to explore the
experiences of Warrington’s teenagers over the past 130 years. They
have investigated support systems of the past available to teenagers
experiencing challenges in their life and compared them to the support
Our young people have, through research and interviewing
people within the community, uncovered a wealth of information of
Warrington’s past. The work created will continue to build a portfolio
for some of our young people, which will be accredited by a nationally
recognised Arts Award.
We are also engaging with pupils from St Gregory’s
High School and Penketh High School, who are to engage with the project
in history, art and drama classes.
To share this heritage with the wider community, our
young people will exhibit their findings both in our building and in the
community. This will enable those traditionally least likely to access
heritage the opportunity to experience the wealth of knowledge our young
people will gain from their research. Part of that work is reproduced
here on mywarrington. If you can add anything to the project, contact
Jackie Cooling at the Relationships Centre, 19 Museum street, Warrington
WA1 1JA or phone 01925 576757.
mywarrington is pleased to support the project and gives Jackie and
the youngsters the space here to promote it in the hope that some of you
will be related to them or know what became of them. So here goes...
19-21 Museum Street as they looked on 10 Sep 2006.
17 Museum Street
Worrall family - lived at 17 Museum
Street in 1881
Higginson Worrall was 21 years old at the time of the census and was
employed as a post office clerk. His mother was Sarah Worrall, nee
Higginson, a widow, and the family originated from Liverpool, moving to
Warrington some time after Samuel's father's death when Samuel was only
thirteen years old. Samuel's sister Mary Ann Milne and her daughter Mary
Kirkaldy Milne, seven years old, also lived at the address. Samuel made
the headlines in 1883 when he was imprisoned for five years for thefts
of post from Warrington post office. The family eventually relocated to
Stockport and on his release from prison, Samuel married a lady in
Stockport and they eventually settled in Bury.
the Worrall family were not natives of Warrington and moved on, I know
it is unlikely that any of you are related to them. However, it would be
interesting to know if any of you have similar stories, maybe of young
relatives who ended up on the wrong side of the law during Victorian
times and what happened to them. Punishments were certainly more severe
in those days!
Greening family -
lived at 17 Museum Street in 1891
The head of the
household, Nathaniel Greening, wire manufacturer, was a member of the
Greening family who were instrumental in bringing the wire industry to
Warrington. Nathaniel and his wife, Elizabeth (nee Grime), had four
children. Their eldest daughter, Elizabeth Annie, went on to marry
Warrington Yorke, a famous parasitologist and professor of tropical
medicine at Liverpool University. (You can read more from his Wikipedia
page at the end of this page. Click here
to read it now). Jackie Cooling has traced a descendant of theirs who
she has spoken to about the project.
Sadly, Nathaniel and
Elizabeth’s daughter, Lucy, died when she was 19 years old, and their
other daughter, Gladys Mary, died when she was only six years old. Their
only son, Nathaniel, known to the family as Jack, married a lady called
Elsie Brotherton in 1917.
Do any of you know
any stories of child workers employed by the Greening family in the wire
industry, or any of the other industries in Warrington?
It is fair to say
that many of the children of the Victorian era did not have a childhood.
Many of them were employed in local industry from eight years of age,
helping their cash-strapped parents to make ends meet. Any views on this
would be welcome.
Although the Greening family were well provided for, they suffered two
child deaths. It would be interesting to know what their cause of death
was, and to compare this with the causes of deaths of other children in
Warrington in the same era. Health care was not free and conditions for
many were squalid, as clearly shown in images of Oliver Street, Hell
Fire Square and the back alley ways off the town centre area.
Annie Barlow Woodcock
was the Greening family's servant.
Annie was 17 years
old at the time of the census.
Richard, was originally from Bradford and his occupation is given as
letter cutter and dye sinker on census returns. Annie's middle name,
Barlow, was her mother Ann's maiden name. Annie's eldest sister,
Elizabeth, was only thirteen years old when she died in 1879, and her
brother, Henry Brook Woodcock died of heart disease in 1888, aged 19. Annie had two other siblings, Eliza born in 1871, and William,
born in 1874.
Annie went on to
marry Thomas Thurlow Cooper in Warrington in 1899, and it is believed
that the couple had two daughters, Dorothy, born in Golborne in 1901,
and Bertha, born in Earlestown in 1909. Thomas, Annie's husband, was a
cycle maker and watch and clock repairer. The England Census 1911 shows
the family living at 81 Haydock Street, Earlestown. There is a possible
death recorded for Annie in Newton in 1963, aged 89.
one possible relative for Annie. Does anyone else have any recollection
of the family? It would be lovely to trace living relatives of Annie and
show them where she used to work all those years ago.
We will also be
looking at what life was like for servants during the Victorian era. No
hoovers and washing machines then! We are also interested in what
relations were like between masters and their servants....was it really
like Downton Abbey?
Any thoughts on any of the above would be greatly appreciated.
The Toft family -
lived at 17 Museum Street, Warrington in 1911
Charles Edward Toft lived at the address with his wife, Clara, and their
only son, John Edward Toft, who was 14 years old in 1911. Charles
was a baker, and it would appear that John Edward also became a baker
and there is a
possibility that he owned Toft's bakery in the town centre (maybe on
Jackie has spoken to
someone who has completed a family tree which includes John Edward and
his family. It would appear that John Edward went on to marry a lady
called Olive Mary Pennington at Bold Street Methodist Chapel in 1921
when he was 24 years old. The couple went on to have three
children, Eileen Mary, born in 1924, John Pennington, born in 1929, and
Gordon Charles, born in 1933.
A lady called Sue
Wilson put a message on the Francis Firth website about Toft Bakery, It
is believed that John Edward might have been her grandfather.
John Edward died at
the age of 76 in Torbay, Devon in 1973.
Can anyone share any memories of Toft Bakery, or do you have any old
images showing the Bakery? Are you related to the Toft family? It would
love to hear from you!
The year when 19 Museum Street
was built in the brickwork of the building
The Willcocks family - lived at 19 Museum Street in 1881.
The head of the
household, Edward John Willcocks, a clergyman, was the headmaster of
Warrington Grammar School, which later went on to become Sir Thomas
Boteler High. Rev. Willcocks was headmaster at the school from 1881
through to his death in 1907. Mr Willcocks was highly regarded and after
his death a tablet was placed in the school in his memory.
Mr Willcocks and his
wife, Edith Annie, had four children. The eldest child Edith Maud, was
born in 1875. Edith went to a private school for girls in Sussex. Edith
Maud was 23 when she married Reverend James Forbes in 1898. The couple
had one daughter, Edith Annot H Forbes who was born in Bolton in 1900.
Sadly Edith Maud died the following year aged 26. James went on to
Willcocks was born in 1876 and he attended Warrington Grammar School. Roger
went to university and became a surgeon/physician and he served in the
army in India. There are records of him being a surgeon at an asylum in
Calicut, India. Roger married in India and later returned to Warrington
with his wife and died in 1927 at the age of 50.
Willcocks was born in 1878, and he, like Roger, attended the grammar
school where his father was headmaster. Edward was a Captain in the
British Army during WW1. Edward married and was a solicitor in South
Africa, which is where it would appear he resided until his death.
The address given for
both Roger and Edward on records is Stanley House, Stanley Place in
Warrington, which is shown in 1911 to be the address of their widowed
born in 1883, was the youngest child. It would appear that Dorothy never
married and there is a possible death for Dorothy in Warrington in 1956.
Do any of you know of the Willcocks family? Have you any stories about
Warrington Grammar School or what other education was available for children in
the Victorian era? As we know, the majority of families were not as
fortunate as the Willcocks family and the children had to work from a
very young age and education was not a priority.
Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!
Skinner family -
lived at 19 Museum Street in 1891
Charles Skinner, the
head of the household, was a glass manufacturer and a partner in the
glass company, Messrs. Robinson & Sons and Skinner, Mersey Flint
Glassworks, Warrington. He and his wife, Elizabeth, did not have any
Clara Andrews was the
family's 20-year-old servant. Clara was born in Stratford, Manchester in
1871, the youngest daughter of Abraham and Emma Andrews. Clara had one
older sister, Mary Emma, born in 1868.
Her father, Abraham
was a warehouseman. Clara was only a small child when her mum passed
away in 1874 at the age of 31. Abraham and his daughters went to live
with his uncle and family after his wife's death.
Clara was 23 years
old when she married Thomas Middleton, a wiredrawer, in 1893. The couple
went on to have three daughters, Ada, born in 1893, Isabel, born in
1896, and Joyce born in 1906. There is a possible death listing for
Clara in Warrington in 1966 at the grand age of 95.
Does anyone know the
Middleton family and what became of Clara's daughters?
Does anyone have any
stories of the life of relatives who were servants in the Victorian era?
What became of
families who lost a parent early in life. There was no welfare state
Mr Skinner was a glass manufacturer. Does anyone have any stories or
memorabilia for families who works in Warrington in the glass industry
at the turn of the twentieth century ? Any thoughts or comment would be
The Richmond family
- lived in 19 Museum Street in 1901
Richmond, a native of Manchester, was the head of the household. He was
a surgeon, and newspaper articles show him working in Manchester and
Warrington infirmaries. Charles and his wife, Harriet, did not have any
They had one servant,
Maria Skidmore, born in Warrington in 1880, who was 21 years old at the
time of the census in 1901. The family had a visitor when the census was
taken, a lady called Annie Green who was Maria Skidmore's aunt. So it
can only be assumed that the Richmond's must have had a good
relationship with Maria if they allowed her aunt to visit and stay with
Maria had seven
siblings. Her mother and father, Ann and Joseph, originated from
Silverdale in Staffordshire, and her father was employed in an
ironworks. Maria's family are an example of families who came to
Warrington from all over the country to work in the local industry.
In 1904, Maria
married a local man, Henry Lawton, and the 1911 census shows Maria and
Henry living at 12 Nelson Street, Warrington. Henry was employed as a
labourer in a soap manufacturers.
The census shows that
the couple had two children, Inez, born in 1908, and Henry born in 1910.
Jackie has also found two other possible children from the marriage,
Joseph born in 1914 and Lily born in 1919.
Maria passed away in
Warrington in 1970, aged 90.
Do any of you know the Skidmore or Lawton family? It would be good to
hear from you!
HJ in the brickwork of 21 Museum Street.
Do you know the origin of the initials?
The architect, perhaps?
21 Museum Street
Skelton family - lived at 21 Museum Street in 1881
William Partington Skelton, the head of the household,
was born in Sheffield in 1856, and his family moved to Warrington
sometime before 1861, because the census of that year shows them
residing in Buttermarket Street. William’s father, Elijah, was a
cutler (a person who makes cutlery). William was one of five children.
William was 24 years old when he married Mary Elizabeth
Humphreys at St Mary’s Chapel, Great Sankey, in 1880. Mary was the
only child of Charles and Mary Humphreys and Charles was a butler.
William was an ironmonger by trade and records show that
his father, Elijah, did run a hardware and general dealership business
from 20–22 Buttermarket Street.
William and Mary went on to have five children, all
baptised at St Mary’s Church in Great Sankey. Their eldest son,
Charles Partington Skelton, was born in 1881, Arthur was born in 1882,
William Taylor in 1883, Wilfred in 1885 and Mary Elsie in 1886.
Sadly, Mary Elizabeth died in the winter of 1893, aged
just 35 years. The couple’s eldest child, Charles, was only 12 years
old, and the youngest, Mary Elsie was only seven.
What became of the Skelton children? How did their
father cope which such a large family after the death of their mother at
such a young age?
Can anyone help?
Hesketh family - lived at 21 Museum Street,
Warrington from 1891- 1911
John Hesketh, the head of the household, was a painter and
decorator. He must have been successful because the census of 1881 shows
that he employed four men and three boys. John was married to Jane
Elizabeth (nee Ferriday). The couple had four children, Evelyn Mary, born
in 1876, Ernest Sydney, born in 1878, George Evan, born on 5 April 1880,
and Eleanor Ferriday, born in 1883.
Ernest died in 1881, when he was only three years old.
Evelyn Mary died in 1886, aged nine.
George Evan went to Cambridge University, and he served as
a Lieutenant in WW1. He then went on to be a schoolmaster in a private
school in Surrey.
There is very little information available for Eleanor
Ferriday, the couples youngest child. There is a death for Eleanor in
1942, and her probate record shows that she was a spinster, and that she
died in The Sanatorium, Delamere, Cheshire, and that her home address was
in Huyton, Liverpool. There is a listing for Crossley Sanatorium in
Delamere, which was a tuberculosis sanatorium, so that is possibly where
Eleanor spent her last days.
Does anyone know if any of the Hesketh family still live
you can add any more information to the project, email
me here at mywarrington. Sadly, the Relationships Centre closed in
summer 2017 due to a lack of funds.
All information, apart from the photographs and the
Wikipedia article, has been supplied to mywarrington
by Jackie Cooling,
project worker for Us and Them and Way Back When Heritage Project. Many
(Fellow of the Royal Society) (11 April 1883 – 24 April 1943) was
a British parasitologist, and Professor of Tropical Medicine at the University
life and education
born at Lancaster, the son of Rev Henry Lefroy Yorke, a Wesleyan
minister, and his wife, Margaret Warrington, the eldest of four brothers
and two sisters.
attended University School, Southport, and Epworth College,
Rhyl, before studying medicine at the University of Liverpool.
1907, he joined the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. From
1914 to 1929, he was Walter Myers professor of parasitology, and from
1929 until his death he was the Alfred Jones professor of tropical
medicine, University of Liverpool.
World War I, Yorke served as a Captain in the Royal Army Medical
Corps, based in Malta from 1915-16. He returned to Liverpool in 1916,
and produced more than thirty reports, "Studies in the treatment of
Nematode Parasites of Vertebrates" (1926), with Philip Alan
1925, he was awarded the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and
Hygiene Chalmers memorial gold medal, for his services to tropical
made a Fellow of the Royal Society on 5 May 1932.
1916, he married Elizabeth Annie Greening; they had a son and a daughter.
died at his home, 4 Bryanston Road, Prenton, Birkenhead, on 24 April
1943 and was survived by his wife.
more in Wikipedia.