Wednesday, 13 June 2018

That house on Wellington Road ....... with a history

Now I was recently asked the age of this house on Wellington Road in Whalley Range.

Wellington Road, 2018
I guessed it was late Victorian or Edwardian, and there the story began.

It was there on the OS map for 1894, which sat comfortably with my guess, and  in the course of digging deep I found out who was there in 1939 and back beyond 1911 to 1874, which I must confess was earlier than I thought.

The first owner appears to have been a J Littlewood who took up residence in the June of 1874 but quickly sold it on to William James Crighton in December of that year.

Mr Littlewood still lurks in the shadows, but of Mr and Mrs Crighton we know a lot.

They were married in 1868, spent some of their early years on Great Ancoats Street near to Port Street, and in 1881 they had five children ranging in age from ten down to one month.

He was a buyer for various companies and seems to have moved from tea to other goods across the years.

By 1891 they have moved around the corner to Whalley Road.

The back, 2018
And I know that not everyone will be interested in this house, but because I can I will push on and pick out just two more of its residents.  These were the Rev Robert Simpson who was there in 1911 with his wife and two grown up children and Mr and Mrs Simpson who called Wellington Road home in 1939.

At which point I have to say there is no connection between me and either or the two families.

The Rev Simpson had by 1911 retired from being a Wesleyan preacher while his two daughters were working as high school teachers.

The other Simpson’s shared the house with Police Constable Hughes, who had joined the Police Force in the July of 1939, and was just 23 years old.

There is a lot more to find out about our house, but that is it for now, other than to say that in 1911 the Rev Simpson listed the property as having nine rooms, which included the kitchen but not the “scullery, landing, lobby, closet, bathroom or the outhouses”.

Wellington Road, 1894
Other than to say, the romantic in me, wonders whether Mr and Mrs Crighton took turns round the newly opened Alexandra Park just round the corner.*

It had opened in 1868 and was, as it is now, a wonderful place to take a stroll on a warm summer’s day.

Location; Whalley Range

Pictures; the house, 2018 from the  collection of Lisa Ann Davies, and detail of Wellington Road, from the 1894 OS map of South Lancashire, courtesy of Digital Archives Association,

*Alexandra Park,

Sources;Census Returns,1871-1911, the 1939 Register,Manchester Rate Books, 1870-1900

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