Monday, 19 February 2018

In Eltham with the Reverend John Kenward Shaw Brooke and some revealing records

John Kenward Shaw Brooke from an engraving in the church
am sitting looking at a picture of the Reverend John Kenward Shaw Brooke and have been reflecting on what started as a simple piece of research about the man led me off in all sorts of directions.


John Kenward Shaw Brooke was vicar of St John’s in Eltham from the age of 24 in 1783 till his death in 1840.

Such was his reputation in the parish that on the jubilee of his tenure in office the newly built row of cottages owned by John Fry became known as Jubilee Cottages, a name they retained till their demolition in 1957.

He was in the words of the local historian R.R.C. Gregory “a man greatly revered of strong character, and holding the office of Vicar for the long period of fifty-seven years, he has left a mark upon parochial history more indelible, perhaps, than that of any preceding Vicar.”*

So much so that over 70 years after his death in the summer of 1909 there were engravings of the man “in many of the homes of Eltham ...and so impressive were the demonstrations that took place [to commemorate his fifty years on office in 1833] that the children and grandchildren of those who witnessed them find to this day, a congenial theme for conversational purposes.”

Cover of the by Rev Myers, 1841 
Nor was this all for just a year after his death his life and contribution were recorded in a 22 page booklet focusing particularly on his establishment of the National Infant and Sunday Schools, the endowment he left to the school and his other charity work.**

And as I dug deeper I got side tracked and despite serious efforts to return to our man I was led off on different tracks.

All of which began with the poll books which are not only a record of who could vote in Parliamentary elections but also how they voted.

John Kenward Shaw Brooke appears in a number of them from the late 18th century into the 19th and encompassing the great election after the 1832 Reform Act.

The first comes from 1790 and the last in 1838, and what they show is that the Reverend Shaw Brooke consistently voted Tory.

One of thast enteries by the Reverend Shaw Brook in December 1839
Nor is this all for like so many men of the period he voted in more than one place.

So along with Eltham he was registered in the parish of St Dunstan in the West in the City of London and Wickhambreaux which is just five miles from Canterbury.

And like so many clergymen of the period he also managed more than one church.

In his case the second living was at the Rectory of Hurst-Pierpoint, in Sussex, “where respect and esteem ever awaited him; and where, although his residence was limited to a few weeks annually, he lost no opportunity of promoting the well being of his parishioners, by his sanction and liberal support of every means of advancing their temporal and spiritual interests.”***

But it was in Eltham where he was most busy and trawling the parish records there frequently is his name and of course his handwriting which for any historian is an exciting link with both the man and the period.


Here too purely by chance I came across the burial record of Lucy Jeffery who died in her first year in the June of 1841.

Only weeks before I had uncovered her baptismal records along with her siblings and in the course of charting the family through from the 1840s noted she had fallen off the official records.  At the time I assumed she had changed her name on marriage, and thought that I would follow it up in the future.

Not so, she was buried on June 19th in the parish church yard, which led me to ponder on the ages of the others laid to rest during the period. In time I think it will turn into a major piece of research but for now of the 48 buried during 1840, 19 were under the age of 5 of which many were never to see their first birthday.

Burial record for John Kenward Shaw Brook
It is unscientific, lacks at present any details of the causes of death and is confined to that one year but most of us will I suspect reflect on the lost lives and unfilled futures which they represent.

John Kenward Shaw Brooke had died the year before aged 81 and was buried on December 23rd 1840.

Pictures; John Kenward Shaw Brookes from The story of Royal Eltham, R.R.C. Gregory, 1909 and published on The story of Royal Eltham, by Roy Ayers, http://www.gregory.elthamhistory.org.uk/bookpages/i001.htm,

*The story of Royal Eltham, R.R.C. Gregory, 1909

**Rev W.T.Myers, 1841

***ibid R.R.C. Gregory

A late day in summer on Barlow Moor Road sometime after 1911

It is one of those pictures which are easily recognisable.

We are on Barlow Moor Road and just by the tram is the junction with High Land and Sandy Lane.

Now I can’t be sure of the date but it will be after 1911 when the parade of shops on the left had been built.

Just at the edge of our picture is Christopher Wilson who in 1911 was dealing in furniture.

That’s him I think standing in his shirts sleeves underneath the awning displaying his name.

Next to him was Mrs Winifred Blake the tobacconist with William Armstead confectioner at number 90 and on the corner with High Lane was John Gordon, the fruitier.

Judging by the shadows and trees we must be in the late afternoon of a summers’ day and given the number of people about perhaps close to the end of the working day.

In the middle of the road staring back at the camera are the crew of car number 150 who along with a few other bystanders seem to have little else to do.

Not that everyone is over bothered by the presence f the photographer, so much so that the two men by the lamp post seem oblivious to what is going on while in the distance on the benches in front of the church sit a group of people taking in the sunshine.

And what I like is the little details which fix it in another age.

To our left is the ladder and handcart while beside the tram is another cart and just coming out of Holland Road is a waggon.

There will be lots more I could say about the picture but I rather think I will just leave it at that.

Picture; from the Lloyd collection




Lost and forgotten Streets of Salford Nu 3 .......... Clowes Street

Of the threes streets that stretch from Chapel Street down to the river Clowes Street has fared the worst.

Clowes Street, 2016
True, at the bottom there are some new blocks of flats overlooking the Irk but the rest is at present a plot of open land waiting development on one side and a car park on the other.

Back in 1850 there were a shed load of properties including some closed courts, the Barley Sheaf pub and the Eagle Foundry.

And the occupations of the street included, a book keeper, beer retailers, skewer maker, button turner, hat box maker and engineer along with a smallware manufacture and Stiffener.

That said not everyone seemed worthy of a mention on the street directory, and quite a few houses are not listed.

Added to which there is the fascinating fact that nine people are recorded at number 21.  All of were male and single.

And as I promised yesterday in the fullness of time I will go looking for the census returns to find out more about Peter Pennington, bookkeeper, Thomas Schofield , beer retailer, Henry Sutcliffe, button turner.

Clowes Street, 1849
Of course nothing stays the same, and that open space will be developed. I might even check out the planning applications to see what will take the place of those small back to backs and closed courts.

Location; Salford 3

Pictures; Clowes Street, 2016 from the collection of Andrew Simpson and in 1849 from the OS for Manchester & Salford, 1842-49 courtesy of Digital Archives Association, http://digitalarchives.co.uk/

On Market Street on a summer day sometime before 1908


Judging by this postcard from 1908 nothing much has changed on Market Street.

Then as now it was a busy and bustling place which was compounded back then by the presence of traffic which pushed the crowds to the sides.

And it is the sheer detail that fascinates me.  Lewis’s still retains its individual shop fronts and each window is cluttered with advertisements and price notices.  It is the old “pile ‘em high and sell ‘em cheap approach but Lewis’s still had style and so hanging in front of the shop are a series of elegant light globes, which in the late afternoon of a winter’s day must have added to the magic of shopping there.

But this looks to be a warm summers’ morning heading towards lunch time with some of the crowd in shirt sleeves and at least one couple protected by a parasol.

As you would expect there are plenty of horse drawn vehicles and my attention is drawn to the horse drawn carriage at the bottom of the photograph loaded with a large trunk and basket.  Something has caught the driver’s interest but whatever it is has been blotted out by the superimposed coat of arms of the City.

Which is a shame really but whatever it was seems not to have bothered anyone else, they all continue on their way with just a few attracted by the shops.

So just another day on Market Street then.

Picture; from the collection of Rita Bishop, courtesy of David Bishop

Mr Brasch, and the ongoing tale of our own brewery

Now this is another of those stories which is just about to give up its secrets.

The Bavarian Brewery, 1887
Most will know we had a brewery but my old friend Tricia has uncovered a bit more.

She told me, “I found the following entry in The Post Office Home County Directory for 1887.  Bavarian Brewery Co Ltd  (Moritz Brash Manager) High Street Eltham. 

Apparently it was originally  established under the name of Bavarian Brewing co in 1866 in Covington, Kentucky by Julius Deglow but became known as Bavarian Brewery in the 1870's. It was family owned until it was acquired by International Breweries in 1959. 

I wonder if this was the brewery at Outtrims Yard by Jubilee Cotts? I would love to find out more”.

The page with the clue, 1887
And so would I, and knowing Tricia she will uncover more.

A quick trawl of the records uncovered an entry in another directory for a Moritz Brasch at 6 Grove Terrace in High Road in Tottenham.

The date was 1882 and while there is an inconsistency in the way the name is spelt, I think this is our chap.

And that will allow us to find out more.

Location; Eltham

Pictures; extracts from The Post Office Home County Directory, Kent, 1886, sourced by Tricia Leslie

* The Post Office Home County Directory, Kent, 1886

**Post Office County Directory, Middlesex, 1882

Lost Images of Whalley Range number 8 ....... the Allied Library 1962

This was the Allied Library which was on the corner of Upper Chorlton Road and Wood Road North.

It had grown as a chain of rental libraries in the years after the last world war and at its peak in March 1962 it hired out 362, 000 books through 1,489 bookshops.

And it is a reminder that a long side the public libraries there were a shed load of small shops ranging from newsagent to bookshops which rented out books.*

Picture; Allied Libraries at No 202 Upper Chorlton Road taken in August 1960 Downes A H m40870 Courtesy of Manchester Libraries, Information and Archives, Manchester City Council, http://images.manchester.gov.uk/index.php?session=pass


Sunday, 18 February 2018

The grimy ones ........ our River

Now here is another of those short series taken from the family archive.

All were taken around 1979 and offer up scenes of the River which we knew but most tourists seldom saw.

Location; the River


Pictures; the River, 1979, from the collection of Andrew Simpson