Friday, 2 June 2017

Leaving Salford part 3 ................... a new life and looking back

This will be the last of the stories on the Hampson family who left Salford for Canada and a new life sometime after 1849 and is part catch up on how their lives turned out and a reflection on what is left of the Salford they knew.

Railway posted, date unknown
James Hampson was born in 1816 and married Sarah Tildesley in December 1838 at the Parish Church of Eccles.  In 1841 he described himself as a cotton dyer and in that year was living in Pendleton.  Sarah’s father was an engineer and both James and his father were cotton dyers.

Before the 1850s the process still relied on natural dyes using the flowers, berries, leaves, barks and roots of plants and herbs.  As such the work would not have been as dangerous as it was to become with the introduction of chemical dyes.

But it must still have been very uncomfortable.  James would have constantly been exposed to hot and cold water and dyes which left his hands stained different colours.

The family lived on Ashton Street within a few minute’s walk from cotton mills, a dye works and a coal mine with the newly built railway and the slightly older canal close by.

Looking out from their home the Hampson’s would have been faced with a row of one up one down back to back houses which backed on to Miners Row.

Aston Street, Pendleton, 1848
Theirs might have been a slightly bigger house but the detailed 1848 OS map shows that their nearest water pump was some distance away.

Now bits of their new life in Ontario are still vague but their son Henry who had been born in 1839 worked on the railways, as did his son William.

William married Agness Beetham whose family were farmers from Albion which was just outside of Toronto.  Her family had settled in Canada in the early 19th century.

Which just leaves me to ponder on what is left of where they lived. 
Just a short 40 years after they left, their street had gone, replaced by a whole set of small terraced houses, and while by 1894 there were still textile factories close by I can’t say which he may have worked in or whether it still survived.

Pendleton, 1894
The railway is still there but he would be hard pressed to recognise the old Manchester and Bury Canal which ran alongside the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway.

He may of course not given that much thought to Salford.  

Certainly my great aunt who left Britain in 1925 and married into the family pretty much left the old country behind. 

She returned only once in 1968.  

Her brother who had been migrated as a British Home Child nine years earlier came back only one on his way via a training camp to the Western Front in 1916.

Fastest to Canada, date unknown
But that is not quite the end.  Just as I finished the story my friend Neil Simpson sent over these wonderful railway posters which were produced by the Canadian Railway company and distributed across Britain.  
They will post date the Hampson’s journey but are similar to those being produced by steamship lines in the 1850s. 

Neil came across them during a week touring Ontario while taking the train from Toronto to Vancouver and spotted them on a railway station in Jasper.

So there you have it.  The Hampson’s never returned to Salford but there is lots of evidence that some at least who went out to Canada, Australia and New Zealand in the middle decades of the 19th century made the journey more than once.

Pictures; 1848 OS map for Lancashire, Salford, 1894 from the OS South Lancashire, 1894, courtesy of Digital Archives Association, http://digitalarchives.co.uk/ and railway posters from the collection of Neil Simpson


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