Part six of Andrew's column                              Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 7 | Part 8

Remembering pupils from the 1950s








The Class of 1954 - pupils of Nantwich County Primary School, Manor Road

I USED to attend Manor Road Primary School, the Junior School and the first year of the Secondary School until the girls were sent to Audlem Road Secondary School.

   I wondered if you had any pictures of the Manor Road school and of pupils who attended there between 1952 and 1959.

Val McGuffie, Nantwich                  AUGUST 2011


Andrew replies:

I WAS a pupil in the infants from 1950 to 1955. The class photo of Mrs Ritchies' class (above)


taken in 1954 is the property of former pupil Pam George, nee Smith. (My thanks to her for permission to use it.)  Together we can name 90 per cent of the pupils. Question marks show pupils whose names we cannot remember.

   I was amazed how big the class was. Only 48 pupils!

   Back row, left to right: Alan Edwards, Michael Ashforth, David Blackhurst, ?, Graham Dean, Conrad Elson, Leon Betteley, Andrew Lamberton, ?, and David French.

   Extreme left: David Banks and Howard Smith. Extreme right: Robert Humphries and David Woodcock.

   Next to back row: ?, ?, Delia Evans, Sylvia Sanders, Christine Thompson, Geraldine Ashwell, Margaret


Evans, Miranda Holland, ?, Christine Hammersley, and Susan Bush.

   Girls, sitting: Christine Ashley, Joyce Spear, Jennifer Tomkinson, Alma Thompson, Linda Price, ?, Ann Lindop, ?, Pamela Smith, ?, ?, and Lillian McLeod.

   Boys, front row: John Durber, Robert Bates, Peter Wakefield, John Downes, Peter Stubbs, John Ridgway, ?, Colin Edwards, ?, Michael Price, and Richard Sheasby.


l Manor Road School – or Wyche School as it is now – celebrated 100 years of existence in July 2011.

Research found inn keeper and maltster




The Black Lion (left) and the Red Melon Indian restaurant.

Could the restaurant be a former public house?  

I WONDER if you could help me. I have been researching my mother's family who came from Nantwich.

    I have a reference to a Charles Eaton listed as an innkeeper in the town in the late 1700s, also his father, John Eaton, listed as a maltster.

   Do you have any information on this family name and their inn? Charles was married to a Catherine Gaunton. I wondered if this was a local name.


Eric Withers, Prestwich                      JULY 2011


Andrew replies:

With Charles Eaton being an innkeeper we can look up the information in a booklet titled "The Inns and Innkeepers of Nantwich" written by Dr A.J.McGregor.

   In it, he tells us that Charles held the licence of the Cotton Arms public house at 33 Welsh Row, just two doors to the west of The Black Lion pub. It was only in existence as a public house from 1749 to 1799 and Charles only held the licence from 1795 to 1798.

    There is no evidence today of this public house but it just might be the building which is now an Indian restaurant.


   I have come across the surname Gaunton before but it is unusual. I looked on the Cheshire Parish Register website and there are no Gauntons mentioned.

   The surname Eaton, however, is quite common in Nantwich.

   I haven't come across a reference to the marriage.

   There is a reference to the baptism of a John Eaton at Nantwich on June 9, 1779, but I think he would be too young to be Charles' father.

Is my father on Tannery photograph?

MY father worked at Harvey's Tannery all his working life. He retired as the tannery closed down and would have been one of the last men to leave.  His name was Harry Thelwell.

   I have looked at the photograph of the workers in the 1930s (Old Pictures of Nantwich) but don't recognize him. However, this photo was taken 11 years before I was born. I would like to know if he is in the photo or if anyone who knew him could give me any additional information.

   My father died in 1978.

Marilyn Simons, Nantwich               MARCH 2011


Andrew replies:

I ONLY knew the two, Joe Pennell and Robert Farrington, who gave me all the names they knew at the time we put the picture on the website asking for further names. Unfortunately, we had no response.

   But I have found a copy of an article from The Nantwich Guardian of May 5th, 1950, headed "Britain's Toughest Workers is Their Claim.

    This said: "Over in the lime yard department


where hides from many foreign and home markets lay piled, awaiting the initial cleaning and hair-scraping process, I watched Charles Foxley of Manor Road North, busily scraping hides as wet and slippery as freshly caught eels.

   "After being immersed in agitating tanks for eight or nine days, lime solution takes most of the hair off the skins and they are passed on to fleshing machine operators, Jack Prince and Harry Thelwell."

   That's all I have from that article, but I have another article from the Nantwich Chronicle some time in 1948. It mentions the long service by many employees and I quote again:

   "Long Service. Twelve years after the Harveys took over the Nantwich Tannery, Mr Jack Astley began work there and he is still going strong. He heads the list of 'long service' employees with 56 years and is followed by Messrs W.Hodgkinson (55 years), G.Fisher (53), and John Basford (52). The Tannery manager, Mr J.S.Barnett, has completed 38 years with the firm and other employees who have made Harveys their life's work are Messrs Fred Bebbingtonm (34 years), W.Brassington (35), G.Crawford (36), Albert Dutton (38), (34 years),


W.Brassington (35), G.Crawford (36), Albert Dutton (38), F.Ellerton (37), E.Edge (34), F.Edgeley (30), D.Farrington (30), G.Green (46), W.Glover (30), W.Hill (29), S.Hassall (35), P.Knibbs (37), W.Lloyd (37), J.Lloyd (33), G.Lloyd (28), D.Merrill (35), L.Mason (29), H.Myford (34), A.Myford (28), F.Ormes (37), J.Prince (27), J.Ruscoe (38), H.Riley (45), A,Robinson (29), J.Samways (28), H.Sandlands (38), E.Sandlands (29), E.Shenton (33), W.Smith (37), J.Smith (36), J.Stanton (35), S.Tilley (30), J.Tilley (28), T.Thelwell (30), F.O'Hara (28), G.Wainwright (27) and R. Willett (29)."

   T.Thelwell could be Harry Thelwell, but I'm not sure. If it is him he started there in 1918. What a long service record for all those men. 


Marilyn later wrote: "It was interesting reading the articles from the Nantwich Guardian and the Nantwich Chronicle. The T.Thelwell mentioned at the end of the article would have been my father as he started working there when he was 14 - straight from Acton School - in 1918.

Was there a Durham Heifer here?










Now a private house, this building had many names in its history

Picture: Andrew Lamberton

I HOPE you can help me. I am tracing my family history and have discovered some on the 1901 census ( RG13/3360 SCH 09) in London Road, located immediately after Willaston School.  They are Edwin and Hannah Metcalf, born 1855 and 1857 respectively, with their nine children.

   My question is, can you please tell me their address as I cannot decipher the handwriting on the census. It appears to read "Durham Heifer" or something similar. Was there a public house by this name?

   Thanks in advance for any help you can give and thanks for an interesting website. I was born at the Barony Hospital and found its history very enlightening. (See the Family Lines feature).

Mike Metcalfe, Barkestone,  Notts

                                         FEBRUARY 2011















 Andrew replies:

I can confirm that the house in question was the

Durham Heifer, a public house. We know a little of its history. Its earliest name was the Machine House and its publicans were: 1778-89, Daniel Clowes; 1790-96, John Clowes; 1797-1813, John Poole; 1814-18, Thomas Blagg;



and 1819-22, George Cookson.

  Then there is a bit of a gap and we know that there were several name changes for the building. It became the Plume of Feathers, then the Durham Ox and finally the Durham Heifer as is shown on Bryant's 1832 map of Nantwich (left).

    In charge at these times were: 1841, John Corns, publican; 1851, George Bebbington, publican and glazier; 1861, George Bebbington, publican and farmer; 1871, Thomas Youd, publican and farmer of seven acres; and 1881, Benjamin South, innkeeper.

   The building ceased being a public house in the early 20th century, but it still stands.


Andrew later received this e-mail from Mike: "Thank you so much for all the information and images regarding the Durham Heifer. It is greatly appreciated.

   This now brings my public house total to seven in my ancestry searches, three of which are still trading. I must visit them all soon."

Does the Black Horse Inn still exist?







This photograph, showing the Black Horse Inn - the white building -  is in Andrew’s book “Lost Houses in Nantwich”.

IS there still a Black Horse Inn in Hospital Street in Nantwich?
Victoria Rodgers
                               NOVEMBER 2010

Andrew replies:

The Black Horse Inn in Hospital Street no longer exists. It stood on the corner of the Gullet and the site is now occupied by Rogers' Masonry Yard. We know that its licence ran from 1844 until its closure in 1910.

    In Dr. J. A. MacGregor's book, “The Inns and Innkeepers of Nantwich”, he mentions the circumstances of closure which make interesting reading.

   To quote: "By 1891 it had come into the possession of the Stockport brewers, Showell and Sons. In 1909, this fully-licensed house next to the Gullet was referred for closure under the Compensation Act.

   "The report gave a number of reasons for extinguishing its licence. Very little trade was being done, the rooms had low ceilings, and the building


generally was structurally unfit for licensed premises.

   “There had been eight licensees since 1897. In its favour, it was admitted that the house was now well conducted and was used by 'a respectable class of people'; and the house remained open."

   However, the inn was referred again the following year, after Hardy Fletcher had been made temporary manager in November 1909. The new report added that the Black Horse provided the worst accommodation in the vicinity, and that Evan Hayes had confessed to using the 'long pull'."

   There is also a list of the names of the 16 licensees attached to this extract. It is not known when the building was demolished but it is thought to be some time after 1913.


Then Victoria’s mother, Nena Rodgers, contacted Andrew. Victoria has posed the question on behalf of her mother who had spent a day in Nantwich trying to find the Black Horse. Nena is tracing her family history, of which the Stone family is a part. Victoria added: "I must admit your website is very interesting. I'm going back to have another read."


I WOULD like to thank you for the information. It was very interesting. My great great uncle, John Stone, ran the inn in 1861. George Stone, my great grandfather (John's nephew) was staying with him at the time. He was 13 years old.
   I am over the moon to see a photo of the inn. I can’t thank you enough for that information. I am going to see if I can get the books you mentioned.

Nena Rodgers, Birkenhead



I can't add much more. MacGregor has the licensees as Henry Vickers 1853-60, John Stone 1861 and Lawrence Place 1864-5, so John Stone wasn't there very long.

   You'll have difficulty getting copies of the books as they're both out of print, but not impossible if you search the Internet for a second-hand copy.


FOOTNOTE: Nena later found a copy of the book.


Lost Houses of Nantwich

When did Wood Street School close?


I WONDER if you know when the Wood Street National School closed? I have a newspaper cutting of the attendance record of a number of children for the years 1887, 1888, 1889 (list above). Perhaps there may be some Dabbers who had


great grandparents on the list.

John Prince, Nantwich.                  OCTOBER 2010


Andrew replies:

I can tell you that the Wood Street (Church of England


School, Nantwich, opened in 1874 and closed in 1911. There are three school log books relating to this period at the County Record Office at Chester. Would you have a great grandparent in the list?

Wood Street School, July 1, 1886, to June 30, 1887, open 433 times.

John Dutton, 433;  Martha Dutton, 431; Emma Boyer, 430; Nellie Wardell, 430; Wm Platt, 428; Walter Peake, 427; Harry Maybury, 424; Wm Maybury, 424; Eliza Wright, 423; Frank Platt, 420; Amelia Lamb, 420.

Infants: Elizabeth Lamb, 433; John Wardell, 432; Walter Shenton, 429; George Walley, 426; George Fisher, 413; Margaret Cooper, 413; John Sutton, 410.


Wood Street School, June 30, 1887, to June 30, 1888, open 438 times.

John Dutton, 437; Aaron Davies, 436; Harry Maybury, 436; George Walley, 436; Walter Peake, 435; John Wardell, 432; Wm Devonport, 430; Eliza Wright, 430; Elizabeth Lamb, 429; Annie Downing, 427; Wm Maybury, 424; George Barnett, 424; Margaret Cooper, 423; Wm Downing, 423; Alice Knowles,  423.

Infants: John Walley, 434; Fred Downing, 425; Sarah A Bullock, 421; Wm Williamson, 420.


Wood Street National School, June 30, 1888, to June 30, 1889, open 425 times.

Walter Peake, 425; Alice Knowles, 422; Alfred Lumb, 412; Harry Maybury, 422; Wm Maybury, 422; Tom Barker, 414; Annie Williamson, 412; Emma Bowyer, 411; James Bullock, 411; Maggie Chesworth, 411; Mary Bolance, 409; Martha Bowyer, 408; Florrie Chesworth, 407; Wm Noden, 407; John Wardell, 406; Nellie Wardell, 405; Horace Davenport, 404; Annie Downing, 404; Eliza Wright, 404; Albert Knowles, 402; Wm Taylor, 401. (No separate list of Infants).