Saturday, 13 January 2018

Miss Caroline Kane ..... a dress, a cake and a steam ship....... Chorlton in the 1900s

Now I came across Miss Caroline Kane while looking for a relative of someone who lives in Chorlton.

Miss Kane's shop,trading in 1960 as Meadow's
The brief was that the Kane’s had lived in Chorlton and had a shop.

Finding Miss Kane who ran a dress making business from 24 Wilbraham Road proved relatively easy except that my Miss Kane didn’t belong to the family I was researching.

And that of course is how it often goes.  At which point anyone who has gone looking for their family will know that out there, there are the desperate who will hoover up anyone who vaguely seems connected which might tick a box but is pretty pointless.

So back to Miss Kane, who’s life like everyone’s is fascinating and offers up an interesting take on how a single woman in the early 20th century made her living.

She was born in Shropshire in 1874 and was one of eight children born to Mary and Arthur Kane who was a French polisher.

Sometime between 1879 and 1880, they settled in Pendleton in Salford and by 1901 Miss Kane describes her occupation as “Confectionary Bakery” adding “on her own account” which suggests she was working for herself.

But to what degree is unclear, because she is not listed in the business directory before 1907 when she has changed direction and is selling dresses on Wilbraham Road.

And in 1979 as Budget Wallpapers.
The change may have been connected with her sister Martha who six years earlier is listed a “Tailoress” and who in 1911 is working in the Wilbraham Road business as a “shop assistant”.

The devil will now be in the detail because to track her after 1911 will mean visiting Central Ref and trawling through the hard copies of the street and business directories.

I know that in 1930 she returned from New York aboard the Cunard steam ship Scythia having visited Boston, and her address is listed as Cranbourne Road which where she is still living nine years later in the company of a Louise Keogh.

By 1939 Miss Kane describes her occupation as “unpaid domestic duties” while Ms Keogh was a retired accounts clerk.

And there for now the trail goes cold, although I do know she died in 1967 in Manchester leaving me to ponder on when her shop became Meadows which then became Kyle’s the wallpaper shop and changed its name to Budget Wallpapers.

Leaving me just to thank Luisse who set me off on the search for the Kane's and led me to Miss Caroline

Location; Chorlton

Pictures; Wilbraham Road, 1960, A E Landers, m18302, courtesy of Manchester Libraries, Information and Archives, Manchester City Council, http://images.manchester.gov.uk/index.php?session=pass, and in 1979, from the collection of Andrew Simpson

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