Part seven of Andrew's column                                                                                          Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 8 

Memories of Market Street school



The class of 1934 at Market Street Church of England School. The picture appeared in a Memory Lane feature in The Chronicle. The picture had been sent in by a reader who remembered most of the names. These included . . .

   Back row: Dennis Gibson, Ron Heath, Jack Barker, Frank Hope, Marshall Cooper, Bernard Latham, Ernest Davies, John Bull.

   Second row:  Jack Smith, Sidney Clarke, Bernard Rowe, Frank Mullock, Dennis Griffiths, Ronald Jones, John Bostock, Vivian Jones, Harold Davenport,

   Third row: Jack O'Hara, Mr Watkiss (headmaster), Walter Cooper, Joe Pennell, Ken Walton, Cyril Wagstaff, Reginald Cotton, James Moss, Harry Butler, Miss Whitehouse, and William Davies.

   Front row:  Edward Johnson, Colin Russell, Harold Benningwood, Ted Case, and Thomas Kelly.

GREAT to see more old photos, including Market Street Church of England School. I was wondering if you have any old class photos of the school from 1949 to 1956 (those were the years I attended).

Cecilia Tomlinson, Qualicum Beach, British Columbia, Canada                                     JULY 2010


Andrew writes:


I'm sorry that I haven't any class photos between the years you mention. I have been trying to find out more about the school but have been singularly unsuccessful.

   I know that Nantwich man Bryan Bossons was at the school around this time because he told me that they never had "seconds" at school dinners at "The Tech" (the Technical Institute in Beam Street). The reason for this was that Market Street School always went first and Manor Road pupils (including me) were fed last. They had seconds!

   All I can do is share some information - and a picture (courtesy of Nantwich Chronicle) - with you.

   My friend, Nancy Dutton (nee Bradshaw) remembers her time at the school, c1925-27.

   She says "The Infants' teachers were Miss Williams, Miss Phelps and Miss Illingsworth. The Junior Girls' teachers were Miss Davies, Miss Woodhall followed by Miss Gam, Miss Heath, and Miss Jones followed by Miss Upson.

   "The boys' teachers were Miss Meachin, Miss Carrington, Miss Davenport, Miss Whitehead and Mr James. The headmaster was Mr Barker followed by Mr Watson. 

   "In those days, children started school at four years of age and left at 14. 

   "When we got wet walking to school, our coats


Are there any more photos of school?


in life I knew a lot of the boys - too many to write about.   My older brother, Len, and Joe Pennell were in the Navy and at one time both their ships were in Sydney Harbour, Australia, together. Len received a message that he was to report to Joe's ship. He had no idea what for but it had come from Joe.

   Joe's ship was due to sail for England and shore leave, and Len got him to bring back a doll for my younger sister who was in the Cottage Hospital with a badly-burned thigh. The Matron of the hospital was a Mrs Forster who later became Treasurer of my Scout group. Her husband was Geoff Forster, the stonemason, who had a yard in Pratchitt's Row, a little down from the old Crosville bus garage." 


Finally, Cecilia adds the following comments:

BEING a Dabber, I do recognise a lot of the people named in the photo. One guy I did know personally was Jack O'Hara (he was my mother-in-law's brother). The O'Haras lived in Cowfields and my mother-in-law was Emmy.

   The teachers I remember were Miss Davenport, Mr Mercer (the headmaster) and Miss Parry.

   From Market Street school I went to Manor Road school. Some of the teachers there were Mr Williams (woodwork), Mr Jones (music), Mrs Coxey (girls' P.E.), Mr Gorst (boys' P.E.), Mrs Glover (maths) and Mrs Gorst. I don't remember what she taught.

   Malcolm and I were married at St Mary's in 1967 and moved to Shavington before emigrating to Canada in 1975. We have been here ever since.

   It was 1986 before we took our first trip "back home". One day, I went with my sister-in-law to Manor Road school to pick up the kids. Curiosity got the better of me and I had to go in and look around. I stood in the big hall and a lady came up to me to see if she could be of help.

   "I can still see the look on her face as she recognised me, remembering my name. It was Mrs Gorst.

were put to dry around a large wire fireguard. There were coal fires in the Infants and a coal stove in the Juniors.

   "There was no free school milk or cooked dinners in

those days.

   "In the infants, we had slates and chalk. Later we had pencils and pens with nibs. In the Juniors' department the ink wells were in a hole in the desk top. There were wooden desks and seats - some for one pupil, some for two - as well as long forms across the classrooms.

   "If you talked in class, you had the cane across your hands and, if you were really naughty, you were sent out into the corridor with a dunce's hat on!"


Bryan Bossons writes:

I would have been at school about 15 years after Nancy Dutton, although some of the teachers were still there - Miss Upton, Miss Whitehead, Miss Phelps and Miss Davenport all ring a bell.

   We started at five and left at 15 years old. But I left at about 12 years old to go to Manor Road School as the Market Street school became an infants and juniors school only.

   At Market Street, I started in Miss Meachin's class where we had to have a sleep in the afternoon on camp beds. Mr Roberts was one of the boys' teachers and by then Mr Mercer was headmaster. Mr Moss was the caretaker and his daughter attended at the same time as myself.

   We were lucky in that we had central heating - cast iron radiators and pipes.       

   Milk was supplied in one-third-of-a-pint bottles and the ink was powder mixed with water.

   With regard to the photograph of the class of '34, later

When were the streets re-numbered?

DO you know when the re-numbering of Nantwich streets took place?  I am mainly interested in London Road and Hospital Street where my father and grandfather (Eddie and William Chetwood) worked and lived.

   When, I wonder, did the rule of one side for even numbers and the other for the odd ones become fixed?

Lynda Burke (nee Chetwood), Lancaster

MAY 2010

Andrew writes:


A numbering system in Nantwich streets was introduced as late as c1878. It would seem that the main streets were numbered odds on one side, evens on the other. However, as you get further out of town into the outskirts there were, at this time, fewer houses and numbers crossed the road.

   I will deal with Hospital Street first as it's the easier one. I am assuming that your family are

directly connected to the Chetwood family who ran the garage and motoring business just by the archway where you come through from Church Lane car park (picture). If that is the case, then in a Nantwich Street Directory of 1913 we have, at No.23 Hospital Street, W. Chetwode, cycle and motor agent.

   In Kelly's Directory of 1934, we have Wm. Chetwood, automobile agent, 23 Hospital Street and Crewe Road End.

   By 1938, in Johnson's Almanac, the numbering had changed and we find, unnumbered, but between 19a Hospital Street and 17 Hospital Street, "Chetwood's Garage (Chetwood, E)". These numbers are still current.

   London Road is more complex as the original numbering system crossed the road and so is confusing. I haven't found a Chetwood living in London Road - yet!


In a further e-mail, Lynda wrote:

MANY thanks for your kind and swift reply. Yes, Chetwood's Garages was established by my grandfather, William Chetwood.  Two of his brothers, Harry and John, ran similar businesses in Bunbury. The youngest was an electrical engineer but was killed in the RFC, as a flight instructor, in the First World War.  William died in 1937, aged 55, and my father died in 1946, at 39. Before all that, the three brothers had worked together in Chetwood's Cycles, a shop in Bunbury.

   William, as you say, set  up on his own in Hospital Street, initially at No 9 (now Jepson's, on the corner of Church Lane). This is the address on his daughter's birth certificate; also in the 1911 Census.

   When my father was at school (boarding) his address was given as 23 Hospital Street, the  



Georgian building you mentioned, where the family lived in the flat above the car showroom. I also have a listing at 18 Hospital Street, the shop now called Foundations. I wonder if this tallies with the "between 19a and 17" that you mention, which would make sense.

   As for London Road, from 1943 my parents lived next door to The Derby Arms at The Hollies, later to be the home of the Wyche Anglers Club* (below). I'm not exactly sure when we left, but perhaps 1949. I think the house was then No 98 and from what I could track in the census entries, it seemed to have had an odd number in earlier days.

   I believe they bought it from a Mr Harry Oakes. I guess the number 98 was applied in the re-numbering rationalisation, after gaps had been filled in.

   It would seem that Johnson's numbering of Hospital Street was more accurate than the directories which simply perpetuated the previous entries.  Moral: local knowledge is to be preferred!


And, in a further e-mail to Dabber, Lynda wrote:

LIKE you, I am a Dabber, born just off Wellington Road in my grandfather's house, now occupied by Afford Astbury Bond. He and Norman Afford were fellow Methodists. My grandfather had died a few months earlier and soon after that my grandmother and parents moved to two smaller houses further along Wellington Road, and Mr Afford took over.
    My grandfather, William Chetwood, built and named the house "Kenstone" which, I believe, was the birthplace of his mother, Esther Gregory - it's a tiny hamlet in Shropshire.  My parents moved to the white Art Deco house opposite the entrance to Brine Leas School, called "Roszel". Apparently it's a diminutive of the name Roscius or Roscislaw (Polish). The first owner had that name embedded in the plaster of the gable facing the road and insisted that it was never to be removed or known by any other name. I'd love to know why!

   My grandmother's house was the last one before Park Road, called Stobo - they used to visit Scotland often. My grandfather and his brothers made a motor home - I don't think you could buy one in those days - which the  family shared. All the woodwork was done by his brother, John, who left Cheshire to work for Rolls Royce in Derby and


was asked to do the interior woodwork for Mr Rolls' own car.

   William's brother, Harry - once a blacksmith - converted another vehicle into an ambulance for the Red Cross in

the First World War when he was running his own garage in Bunbury. Harry died young and his son, Douglas Harry, ran Chetwood's Garage in Hospital Street after my father's early death in 1946.

   The youngest brother, Joe, was one of the earliest-trained electrical engineers and wired, among other places, the "palaces" of the cotton kings around Manchester. He joined the RFC and was killed in a flying accident in 1917. His fiancee lived until the 1990s. 

   These four brothers were very handy - a pity they only produced one son, Douglas Harry, between them!  John had two girls, and my father and his sister had a girl each. Douglas had no children, There are a few other Chetwood's around Nantwich - all, I believe, originating from Shropshire where William and his brothers were born.


I LOVE Nantwich and still visit friends there. I will be there again in August for the 450th anniversary of the Grammar School.


A FORMER next door neighbour to the garage has thrown more light on the subject.

   Keith Harris, who used to run Harris's Music Shop at No 23, tells me: "Yes, there were changes to the numbering of shops, but only on the odd side.

   "The Music Shop was 17 and renumbered 23 but I don't remember the date. Chetwood's garage was probably 23 to start with. This was accessed via the archway and the service bay was in front of what are now the gates to the Rectory.

   "I am sure this was done when the new building was built at the bottom of Hospital street. This was before you get to the Lamb Hotel (Chatterton House) as it was then. I seem to remember that the office was on the left as you went down through the arch.

   "The shop to the right was a drapery store owned by a Mr Wilson who was living in Wistaston off Nessina Grove until he died. His daughter lived in Springfield Drive but has since died. I still see her husband occasionally in Nantwich."

   Thanks, Keith.

Wyche Anglers is now a housing complex