Monday, 13 February 2017

Annie Holland in Salford in 1911

Annie Holland circa 1911
This is a picture of Annie Holland, and it is one of three photographs which belong to Alan who has kindly given me permission to use them.

The story first appeared in 2013.

The pictures  span the first decade and a bit of the 20th century, and cover the period from when Annie was working at a local mill til sometime around 1917.

She was born in 1889 and grew up around Cobden Street which is sandwiched between two railway lines and runs to the north west of Broughton Road.

In 1891 she was living in Sovereign Street, a decade later on Cobden Street and in 1911 on Alfred Street where she stayed till she was married in 1913.

All three were within a few minutes’ walk of each other and all were dominated by the great viaducts of the twin railway lines that cut through this bit of Salford and by a number of dye, cotton and chemical works of which the biggest were the Albion Rubber Works, the Pendleton New Mills and the Kingston Mills.

Annie was a cotton worker and may have worked for any one of a number of the cotton mills close to her home but there is some evidence that it was a mill on Cobden Street, if so this will have been the Kingston Mill, almost opposite Hardman Street owned by Turner Wright & Sons.

It was the only mill on the street but it competed for space with a printing company, the Unity Rubber Company and Gardener, Telford and Hardman who made boilers along with a tin and copper works, a dry-salter and a firm of engineers.

So this was no peaceful oasis but the centre of noise, dirt and industry where the smoke from the factory chimneys and the incessant buzz of machinery filled the air.

The Kingston Mill beside Cobden Street 1894
Little of what Annie would have seen on her daily walk from Alfred Street to the mill has survived.  Most of the factories and works have gone or are changed out of all recognition and even Alfred Street has vanished.

That said the Kingston Mill is still there although I am not sure for how long.

And as you would expect none of the houses she lived in are still standing.

The last on Alfred Street we know was a four roomed property which she shared with her parents and seven siblings.

I doubt that this was a palace and in time using the rate books it should be possible to get some idea of just how much they paid in rent and just how old they were when the Annie lived in them.  Those on Alfred Street were at least fairly new because they you don’t appear on the OS map for 1894.

That said those on Sovereign Street were there by 1844 and will have been showing their age a full fifty years later.

Now much has been written about the quality of life in these streets and when you get the privilege of tracking just one family it comes with a cost and a dilemma.

You are no longer dealing with a set of statistics but are uncovering a person’s life and the question becomes how far you intrude.

The 1911 census for the first time not only allows the historian to discover more information about the size of properties but more about the family who lived there.

So Mr and Mrs Holland had to declare how long they had been married and how many children they had including those who had died.

Annie’s parents had been married for 24 years and Mrs Holland had given birth to eleven children of which eight had survived.  She had been married at just 18 years of age and given birth to her first just a year later.

Such is the detail that can be revealed but in turn one wonders how far you are intruding into another person’s life.

Which I rather think is the moment to close.

In time with Alan’s permission I shall publish the other pictures including that of Annie her husband and daughter.

This has particular significance as we head towards another Day of Remembrance, for John her husband is in uniform and given that their daughter Nora had been born in 1915 I think this dates our picture to around 1917.

It is a remarkable picture for many reasons not least because his cap badge will allow us to identify his regiment.  But that as they say is for another time.

In the meantime in following Annie across Pendleton I became aware that members of my own family had lived and worked in the same area just half a century before.

They had lived close by made their living in the textile trade and may well have worked at the mill or its predecessor which Annie knew as the Kingston Mill but then in the 1840s had been the Pendleton Mill.

Picture; of Annie Holland courtesy of Alan, and detail from the OS map for South Lancashire, 1888-94 courtesy of Digital Archives Association,

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