Who lived here?
1 Lower Road
In 1891 Arthur Crook and his wife Jane with their five children lived here. Arthur was a skinner. By 1898 the Crooks had moved elsewhere, and the occupants of the house remained unknown for some time. By 1911 William and Alice Leach were here with their four daughters. They also had a son called William, who was serving in the Army. William was a grocer’s clerk and two of his daughters were milliners; another daughter was an assistant school mistress and the fourth daughter was still at school. Members of the Leach family lived here until the 1930s. The travails of the Leach family will feature in a separate article in our Miscellany section at a later date; check back from time to time for further details.
3 Lower Road
Tabitha Webb and her sister Maria, both single, were financially independent in 1891; by 1897 Maria was living on her own. In 1911 John and Maud Warner were living in the house with their baby daughter. John was a quartermaster sergeant with the Army Ordinance Corps. The family lived here until the 1930s.
5 Lower Road
In 1891 Edith Cottle, a widow, was living in this house with her son James and daughter Louisa but by 1898 James, an engineer, was living alone. By 1901 the property was occupied by Althea Hopgood, her daughter Dollie, her mother Mary and her nephew Willie. John and Alice Bucknall, together with their five daughters and three sons - all still at school - also lived in the house in 1901. John was a railway engine driver. One of the sons, Arthur, enlisted in the Navy but did not survive. On 14 October 1939, HMS Royal Oak was anchored at Scapa Flow in Orkney, Scotland, when she was torpedoed by the German submarine U-47. Arthur's name appears on the Lych Gate at St John's Church.
7 Lower Road
Henry Flower, a commercial traveller, was living here in 1891 with his wife Frances and their two sons. One of the boys was a draper’s assistant and the other an ironmonger’s assistant. By 1898, Henry had become a commission agent and by 1901 he was a self-employed land surveyor and cattle dealer. In 1911 postman James Sims and his wife Lydia lived in the property with their son and daughter. James junior was employed as a blacksmith and Mabel was working as a lady’s maid. Members of the Sims family were living in the house in the 1920s.
9 Lower Road
Sidney and Annie Britton lived in this house in 1911 and were still here in the 1930s. Sidney was a clerk with the Post Office.
11 Lower Road
George Cooper was a house painter and lived here in 1911 with his wife Jessie and their four young children. Ann Norton, a 79-year-old widow, was boarding with them.
15 Lower Road
In 1911 Charles and Hannah Spicer occupied the property, along with boarder William Stacey. Charles was a baker and William was a railway fireman.
17 Lower Road
In 1911 Sarah Riley lived here with her four children and her widowed mother. The eldest child Annie was an apprentice dressmaker. Sarah was married, not widowed, but there was no indication of the whereabouts of her husband.
19 Lower Road
Fred and Elizabeth Pern lived here in 1901 when Fred was a retired brewer. When Fred died, Elizabeth moved to a smaller property at 41 Church Lane. Thomas Jenkins was a Post Office sorting clerk and telegraphist and lived here in 1911 with his wife Beatrice and son Ronald.
21 Lower Road
In 1911 George Johnston and his wife Ellen lived here with their young daughter Eileen. George was a lance corporal in the Royal Army Medical Corps. The Johnston’s shared the house with another family, James and Alice Hunt and their baby daughter; James was a private in the Army.