Thursday 29 April 2021

The Return of my First Draft Chapter for my PhD on Barnsley's War Memorials


Last night I got my first draft chapter back from my supervisor, Prof Laura Ugolini, at the University of Wolverhampton. As expected there were lots of useful comments, and some which made it apparent to me that I have been overestimating what I will be able to include in my thesis. It also seems that I need to include a lot of explanations that I had hoped would be unnecessary, such as 'what is a war memorial?' and the difference between and obelisk and a plaque (surely not .... aren't the names self explanatory?)

University of Wolverhampton history theses have a word limit of 90,000 - now that looks like a lot, but it includes footnotes and the bibliography (the list of books and articles that I have used as reference for the work). You are allowed a certain amount of extra space in your Appendices - which is where I usually put tables and maps and lists - but that must not exceed 20% of the total allowed for the thesis, so in my case 18k words, which is soon taken up with long lists of memorials and various tables showing categories and groupings. 

For comparison my MA dissertation had a word limit of 15k, but that did not include footnotes and the Bibliography. I carefully wrote 14,992 words, but if I include everything it came to 23961 with the footnotes and Bibliography and I used 6506 words in my Appendices (as opposed to 20% of 15k which is just 3k). One table alone, that of the 237 memorials we knew about in Barnsley in February 2019 (not counting 520 war memorial gravestones or 47 memorials that don't commemorate the FWW), came to 3278 words. Should I miss out that table? No, of course not, it's what everything is about after all.

For my first draft chapter, which was on the different groups of people who had planned memorials, I started off aiming at 10k words, that was soon upped to 15k when I realised the lower amount didn't allow enough space to fully discuss all the categories I had devised. 

Table of Memorial Types (horizontal axis) by Groups (vertical axis) as of 14 April 2021

Prof Laura made a useful comment about the table above - using codes was not helpful for readers, who would be forced to flick backwards and forwards to discover what the types of memorial were. She suggested presenting it landscape (ie turning that page on its side) so that I could write in the words Obelisk, Plaque, Roll of Honour etc in full. Later on she pointed out that I use the category 'Individuals' to describe memorials erected by family members to commemorate individuals. I had got the people being commemorated mixed up in my head with the people planning the commemoration. She proposed calling that group Families and I totally agree. 

As you can't see what my codes mean either here's the list:

Obelisks, Cenotaphs, Crosses, Columns, Figures etc (O)
Plaques, Tablets, Boards (P)
Rolls of Honour, Books of Remembrance (R)
Church fittings (like bells, pews, lecterns, windows, altars, screens, candlesticks, etc) (C)
Trophies, Relics etc (T)
Lychgates (G)
Endowed Beds (B)

Even landscape it will be 'fun' fitting the Church Fittings (ha!) at the top of a column if I use the full list.

Additions to Gravestones (but not graves) is also a main IWM category - which I am excluding from the main part of my thesis as they are really hard to research and never (?) appear in newspaper reports. I really didn't want to do this - there are hundreds and hundreds of them in Barnsley - but apart from analysing the inscriptions and researching the families I can't really say much about them.
On the other hand, mass-produced commemorative items, which the IWM exclude - I am including these - items such as gold medals or watches given by work places to men who returned or the dependents of men who were killed. There will have been hundreds of these, most of them inscribed with an individual's name. They are particularly common amongst the collieries in Barnsley who awarded little medals to all their workmen who had gone to the war at large, well reported events, often rather than erecting a stone or metal memorial or plaque. Did they feel this fostered good will as it showed they were considering everyone? Or was it a good advertisment for the paternalism of the company?

I can see another problem in my list above - use of etc is not advised in a thesis, I should write out lists in full. The Imperial War Museum's categories contain etc and these are the ones on which Pete and I based most of the above.  Not all the categories the IWM use are useful for my thesis - for example, we have no land based memorials such as parks or gardens which date back to the First World War. 

Here a couple of screen grabs from the IWM War Memorials Register site, specifically the filters for choosing what kind of result you want to get when you do a search:

The IWM call the above 'Types'

The IWM call the above 'Components'

Yet if you search for 'Bed' on the website you get 906 hits! Ok, some of them are in Bedfordshire! And if you open up an entry for an actual bed the type used in the listing is 'Endowed Bed', which doesn't appear in either of the lists above. Clicking on Endowed Bed in a listing (where it is underlined to show it is a link or option) brings back 109 records. None for Barnsley because we only have an existing plaque for one and that one hasn't been added to the War Memorials Register yet. However I know, from newspaper reports, that there were at least 5 endowed beds relating to the FWW in Beckett Hospital.

The IWM doesn't use Groups of people as a category, I'm not surprised, it can be very difficult to allocate a memorial to one of my groups. One example is the memorial plaque for Tom Lockwood in Hoylandswaine Church, a Community memorial, a church memorial or a family memorial? Well, the church must have applied for a Diocesan Faculty in order to erect it, but it was possibly proposed by the local Council because he was a local hero. It's for just one man and usually those memorials are promoted by family members. As I haven't seen the Faculty yet, or read the Hoylandswaine Council minutes I've been calling it a Family memorial in case it was his family behind the proposal after all. 

Prof Laura also suggested I explain who people were. I had done that for some of the names mentioned in the newspaper cuttings - I find it quite easy, and very satifying, to track a man down, either in the census returns or using the newspaper indexes, or both. The trouble is it uses up quite a few words to explain who they are. For example, one of the churchwardens at Darfield, named on the Diocesan Faculty for the church memorial tablet, was Thomas Cherry. I wrote a little about him in a footnote to try to explain why his opinion might have carried weight when he spoke at a meeting. 

"Thomas Cherry was the treasurer of the Darfield Conservative Club, MST, 29 July 1922, p. 2, and the secretary of the Parish Church War Memorial Committee, PSHE, 16 July 1921, p. 9. His son John Albert Cherry served in the Royal Navy during the war."

MST = Mexborough & Swinton Times, PSHE = Penistone, Stocksbridge and Hoyland Express.

That little biography was 44 words! And I haven't referenced how I know who his son was (I looked Thomas up in the 1911 census and checked his son in the military records on Ancestry to see if he served). I will have to reference it, but that will be quite a lot more words. 

It will be useful to do these little biographies, as I do want to try to explain the differences in social class between some of the groups. But I suppose it also means I'm going to have to be very choosy about which men (and they are usually men) I mention in my text. Actually I don't like the idea of editing the words I use from the newspaper reports so much (picking and choosing which speaker to name and research) as it might unfairly bias my analysis of the committee or group. A man with a distinctive name, like Thomas Cherry, would be much easier to find than a John Smith for example. A local clergyman or businessman would be easier to find in the newspapers than a bricklayer. Such a lot of pitfalls once you really start looking at the pros and cons. I did ask if I could put the biographies in an Appendix, but that is when Prof Laura reminded me about the 20% rule. I suppose I will just have to see what they amount to.

The main reason I was running out of words and failing to provide a good discussion about each group of people appears to have been that I was including too many examples in each section. With 249 memorials to choose from I am quite spoilt for choice, but if we imagine I divide the 65,000 words I have allowed for my main body by 249 that allows only 261 words per memorial which is about one long paragraph. Nothing left for headings, or footnotes, or discussion or the (very important) argument. Going forward I will have to be even more selective about which memorials I discuss, thinking about what I want to propose as the unique feature of each group and picking examples to illustrate my argument. 

I feel somewhat hampered by my MA as when I want to include a mention of an aspect of a memorial that I talked about in my dissertation I now need to reference it in the same way I would if they were someone else's work - I think that's how to do it - anyway I mustn't plagarise myself, that is, reuse my own discussion as if it were new thoughts. One of Prof Laura's comments said that I should explain what I discovered in my MA, just like outlining another historian's 'unique contribution' to the topic of war memorials. Sometimes I forget which memorials I talked about ... and I have to open up the final copy of my dissertation and do a 'Find' on it.

Here's a list of the memorials I mainly discussed in my MA:

The main Barnsley Civic memorial (now in front of the Town Hall and previously discussed by Alex King in his book but I added a lot more detail about fundraising and the whole lack of names scandal [that's my own personal opinion of the matter by the way, during the planning of the memorial the Council said they were going to produce a list of names and it was never done, hence, partially, the reason the BWMP produced their Roll of Honour in 2018])
Farrar Street Congregational's plaque (Non-conformist, I discussed fundraising and how that influenced what they eventually ended up with)
Dodworth's obelisk with a soldier on the top (a combination of the Council there and the Gardeners Association and way in which the two groups had initially been in competition with each other)
Barnsley Co-op's endowed beds (a Workplace - though I now see I got the number of beds wrong in my MA)
Shaw Lane Sportsman's obelisk type memorial (a Club, I mainly discussed the arguments about who had contributed subsciptions and who was invited to the unveiling ceremony)
Hoylandswaine's obelisk (proposed by the Council there but where the working committee included working class men as well as councillors and clergymen and got on with the job quite speedily)
Monk Bretton's church memorial (initially proposed by the Council there, but which was objected to by non-conformist groups and some smaller parts of the area which resented being clumped together by the Anglican parish boundaries)
Monk Bretton Cliffe Bridge Wesleyan Reform Chapel and Monk Bretton WMC (as a response to the above)
Thurlstone's various plans culminating in brass plaque in the church (ambitious utilitarian plans were originally suggested but came to nothing)
Worsborough Dale's obelisk (which had to be scaled down due to cost)
Thurgoland's stone cross - grouped with obelisks in my categories (the elements of the inscription changed due to space available)
St Peter's Church, on Doncaster Road, large wooden tablet (which had to have extra names added later)
Woolley's stone cross (how they collected the names and discussed who should be included)
The York and Lancs memorial plaque in St Mary's Church (who was intended to be commemorated and how the funding was taken from the town's civic memorial fund - because the Council had promised a contribution to it in the early days when they combined both funds)

That is only 14 memorials in 15k words. I only really discussed the main Civic memorial's whole story, the rest appeared in bits and bobs under fundraising or changes to plans. I mentioned at least 33 memorials in my 15k word draft chapter, and some others just in passing, so definitely far too many. 

I have an online meeting booked with Prof Laura for next week, and I'll happily re-write the chapter taking her comments into consideration. I will aim to use no more than two or three memorials per section (2 or 3 x 7 sections = 14 to 21 memorials in 15k words), and write nice long paragraphs beginning with my argument explaining and justifying the inclusion of each example. It will be a different kind of writing to get used to.

It can only get better??

Monday 19 April 2021

George Kay - Manager of Barnsley Co-op's First Shop

 Completed Tuesday 20 April 2021 at 2.43pm.

This post is not completely random - I already had an inking that George Kay was related to my OH in some way. But it was after reading an article in the most recent issue of Memories of Barnsley (Spring 2021) that I decided to look into him in more detail.  On pp. 16-19 there is a piece on 'The Co-op Celebrates its Centenary 1862 -1962' which features some nice old photos and a reproduction of an article from the 1962 Barnsley Chronicle.

Memories of Barnsley, Spring 2021 pp. 16-17

The above section mentions Edwin Kay, a Barnsley businessman, who rented a shop to the very first iteration of the Barnsley Co-op. George Kay, his nephew, was employed 'as salesman and manager for a wage of 15s (15 shillings = 75p but would be equivalent to about £120 today) a week with a house, gas and coal thrown in. The shop, on Market Street, Barnsley, opened its door for the first time on 13 March 1862. 

My OH's 4x great-grandmother, Esther Leech, was first married to Thomas Duncan in 1818. Sadly 23 years later Thomas passed away leaving Esther with eight children to care for. They had 10 children in all but two appear to have died before their father. Esther remarried in 1846 to William Kay. He was 11 years her junior and had not previously been married as far as I can tell, certainly he claims to be a bachelor when he marries Esther. In the meantime another of Esther's children had died, and two had married, but that still left William taking on five children not his own. In addition he brought his own son, George Kay Walton, to the marriage.

In 1841, the household of Thomas and Esther Duncan on Westgate had included seven children and three boarder or lodgers, including a William Kay, aged 27 years, and a Weaver. This is too much of a coincidence. I know that Thomas Duncan died on 7 June 1841, just one day after the 1841 census was taken (evidenced by his gravestone at St Mary's Barnsley), but it did take a very reasonable five years for Esther to marry her lodger.

Another of Esther and Thomas's children died in 1849 and I have lost track of one (Henry Duncan born 1826, present in the 1841 census but not thereafter), the OH's 3x great-grandfather Peter Duncan married Harriet Newsom in 1850, just before the next census, leaving the following household living on Westgate in Barnsley in 1851.

1851 census for Westgate, Barnsley. Piece 2332 Folio 347F

William Kay    Head    38    Warehouseman        b. Ardsley
Esther Kay       Wife    49                                     b. Barnsley
Elizabeth Duncan    Dau in Law  22                    b. Barnsley
Thomas Duncan    Son in Law    15    Brush Maker    b. Dodworth
George Kay Walton    Natural Son    14    Warehouse Boy    b. Dodworth
James Harstone    Lodger     21    Hand loom weaver    b. Notts
William Hardcastle  Lodger 24    Hand loom weaver    b. Barnsley 

Two of Esther and Thomas's children are still living with her and there is George Kay Walton aged 14, natural son of William Kay, a warehouse boy, born in Dodworth. Note that William and Esther have two lodgers, probably to contribute to the household income. 

Natural son in the relationship column means that George Kay Walton was born out of wedlock (he was illegitimate) but the fact that he is living with William Kay means that he had been acknowledged by his father.  Being 14 years old in 1851 suggests that he was born in 1837 or thereabouts, so probably before civil registration began.  I have found a baptism, 1 January 1837, of a George Walton born 2 August 1836, parents William and Jane Walton of Gawber. I suppose this might be him? In 1841 I found a four year old George Walton living with Joseph Mitchell, a schoolmaster, and his family in Dodworth. Maybe George's mother had died and William Kay had paid for him to be fostered out until he married and was able to provide a home for him? This is all just guesswork of course. It was fairly common for brides to be pregnant when they got married in days gone by - but even so it's odd that William didn't marry George's mother when he was obviously so willing to acknowledge him. 

William Kay, George's father, was born in Ardsley in 1813, and baptised at Darfield 19 December 1813, son of Henry and Hannah Kay. Henry was a labourer and William appears to have been his and Hannah's third child. Edwin Kay, mentioned in the article above as the owner of the building where the first Co-op shop was opened, was William's younger brother, born in 1818 in Ardsley, and baptised at Darfield 5 April 1818.

Edwin Kay married Sarah Dyson at Silkstone in October 1845. Edwin's occupation was weaver and his wife's father was a labourer. In the 1851 census Edwin and Sarah Kay were living on Shambles Street in Barnsley and Edwin, now aged 33, was a grocer and provision dealer. They appear to have had no children, none are living with them in the 1851 or 1861 census returns and I can find no births Kay, mmn Dyson, in the GRO indexes.

1859 marriage of George Kay Walton and Sarah Greaves at the Congregational Church, Barnsley

On 3 November 1859 George Kay Walton married Sarah Greaves at the Congregational Church in Barnsley. I was not been able to find this marriage anywhere online except in the indexes so I sent for the certificate - it was worth the £11 to see that George was still using Walton as his surname at this point, but that he gave William Kay, a warehouseman, as his father. It appears there was no secrecy about the irregularity in George's antecedents. George's occupation at his marriage was also warehouseman. The address George gave at marriage was 9 Churchfields, which is where Esther and William Kay were living when the 1861 census was taken just 18 months later. Sarah Greaves gave her address as 12 Regent Street, Barnsley and her father was George Greaves, a shoemaker.

1852 map of Barnsley showing Churchfield Terrace (from Old Maps)

In 1861, George and Sarah Kay were living at 2 Churchfield Terrace, in Barnsley. This was a short street of 12 houses adjacent to the still extant High Field Terrace on Churchfield, Barnsley. The street is long gone and is now under the tarmac of the car park next to Barnsley police station.

George and Sarah had one child, Emily, aged one year, and George's occupation was linen warehouseman. Sarah, however, was a shopkeeper (confectioner), so she ran a sweet shop! I noticed that George now appears to have stopped using Walton as his surname despite marrying under that name less than two years previously. I could see that Emily was born in Greasborough which is near Rotherham, which struck me as odd for a moment or two, then I noticed that Sarah was born in Thornhill, near Rotherham. I didn't know where that was, so I looked it up. It seems Thornhill was a tiny little place just to the west of Rotherham town centre in 1851. Greasborough, on the other hand, was about two miles further north, heading towards Wentworth from Rotherham. This was just not making sense. 

Emily Kaywalton's baptism at Greasborough in 1860

Eventually I found Emily's baptism, in Greasborough, under the surname Kaywalton.

Baptism 22 January 1860, birth 29 December 1859, Emily [daughter of] George and Sarah Kaywalton [of] Barnsley [father's occupation] Warehouseman.

So Emily was born less than two months after George and Sarah's marriage, born and baptised at Greasborough, where there had been some mistake or misunderstanding about what her surname actually was. Her parents' abode was given as Barnsley, so what were they doing in Greasborough? I thought I should look up Sarah's parents to see if they had moved to the area. Yes indeed, Sarah's parents, George and Hannah Greaves, were living in Greasborough in 1841. George's occupation was cordwainer, which is another name for a shoemaker. I looked for Sarah Greaves' baptism and that was also in Greasborough, October 1834, parents George and Hannah, with George's occupation given as cordwainer. Thornhill had turned out to be a bit of a red herring. 

I am imagining that Sarah met George in Barnsley - maybe she was a servant, 12 Regent Street, Barnsley sounds like a large house, or possibly the old courthouse (there are insufficient detailed old maps of that area at the right time for me to say for certain) - she became pregnant and they married. Then she went back to her parents' home until she had the baby, had little Emily baptised in the local church near her parents' home (hence the confusion over George's correct surname) before rejoining George once he had set up a household in Barnsley. That would have disguised the short gap between the marriage and the birth from the gossips in Barnsley.  None of the above irregularity over George's birth or his hasty marriage was sufficient to prevent Edwin Kay from suggesting or offering the job George with the Co-op in 1862, which, as we have read, came with a house included. Edwin maybe looked upon George as the son he didn't have?

In 1861 Edwin Kay was a Linen Manufacturer living in a new house on Regent Street - so new it didn't have a number in the census return. Living with Edwin and Sarah were two nieces, Hannah and Harriet Dyson, the daughters of one of Sarah's brothers I would imagine. Yes, further investigation showed that Hannah was the daughter of Christopher Dyson, Sarah's older brother, who had passed away in 1853. Another example of Edwin taking in young relatives because he had no children of his own? I wonder how Edwin made his money - both his and Sarah's fathers had been labourers, and yet by 1861/62 he is living in a new house on Regent Street and has property on Market Street to let out to the new Barnsley Co-op?

Edwin Kay's Obituary
Barnsley Chronicle
24 April 1880

I found Edwin's obituary in the Barnsley Chronicle on 24 April 1880. It seems he was a 'steady, industrious and persevering young man' and had a shop on Shambles Street, opposite the top of Dog Lane, and was eventually able to buy the property. He sold that business and entered into a partnership with a Mr Carr as a linen manufacturer. In 1862 he became a Councillor and was a supporter of the Beckett Hospital, the Methodist New Connexion, for whom he was a preacher, and the Mechanics' Institute. He laid the foundation stone for the New Connexion Methodist Chapel at Ardsley in 1866. He died on 22 April 1880, just nine days after his wife Sarah, who had fallen in their house, and had been very ill. In modern terms it sounds as if he may have had cancer as various growths had been removed from his eye, ear and cheek. Maybe once his wife had passed he gave up struggling against his disease and followed her into death. He was 62 years old and Sarah was 67. There were no children and the executor of his will was his brother William Kay, George's father. 

Sarah and Edwin Kay were buried in Barnsley Cemetery in the same plot, E 669.  It's on my list for visiting and looking for a gravestone.

William Kay had unfortunately lost his wife Esther (my OH's 4x great-grandmother if you recall) in an accident in 1870 when she fell from his gig near Kexborough after the horse took fright. William, who had been leading the horse to drink at a trough, was knocked down as the horse bolted. Esther, having struck her head, survived only 40 minutes after the accident, despite a doctor rushing to attend. William Kay had an injured ankle, but it was not too serious. (Barnsley Chronicle 23 July 1870) William remarried at the Wesleyan Chapel in Pitt Street in February 1871 to Mary Coldwell, but died himself in 1884, just three years after his brother. 

I noticed that in 1881 William and Mary were living at 21 Hope Street, Barnsley an address that is, in 1901 and 1911, the home of Sarah Kay, George's widow.

Esther and William's Gravestone
Esther and William Kay were buried in Barnsley Cemetery in plot H 493 where they were later joined by William's second wife, who had remarried to a John Beaumont after William's death. There is some interesting detail on the gravestone - Esther was apparently killed 'while trying to help her husband William Kay in his endeavours to do his duty for the Barnsley Corn, Flour and Provision Company Ltd'.  William changed his occupation from Linen Warehouseman to Miller between the 1861 and 1871 census returns but this inscription gives the exact place where he was working.

Meanwhile George Kay and his wife Sarah were living at 16 Wellington Street, quite near to the Co-op shop in Market Street when the 1871 census was taken, and had added a son Arthur (b.1863) and a daughter Sarah Ellen (b.1867) to their family. 

In the 1881 census George and Sarah Kaye (note the extra e) were living 'above the shop' at 44 Market Street with other shop staff living at number 40. A son, William Henry Kay, had been added to the family in 1875.

They had lost some children at birth or very young, and I have listed all those I can find below.

In 1881 Emily was 21 years old and a milliner, maybe making hats for the Co-op. Arthur was 17 years old and a Pawnbroker's Apprentice. Sarah Ellen and William Henry were both at school.

In 1891 George and Sarah were living at 58 Station Road in Barnsley. George's occupation was now Co-operative Society Secretary (Cashier) suggesting he had taken on additional responsibilities over and above running the shop. Still living at home was Sarah Ellen, now aged 24 years and working as a confectionary saleswoman. Also in the household was a little grandaughter, Dorkas M Rogers just 2 years old. Enumerated after Dorkas and a servant I found William H. Kay, son, aged 16, and a Joiners Apprentice. I wonder why he was listed at the end?

All seven children of George and Sarah Kay in birth order:

*Emily Kay Walton b. 29 December 1859 in Greasborough, baptised 22 January 1860 at Greasborough
William Kay Walton b. Q1 1862 in Barnsley, buried in Barnsley Cemetery 26 January 1862 aged 3 weeks from Churchfield Terrace
*Arthur Kay             b. 1863 in Barnsley (I can't find a birth registration or baptism for Arthur)
Unnamed male Kay  b. Q4 1864 in Barnsley, buried in Barnsley Cemetery 2 Nov 1964 aged 30 hours from Wellington Street
*Sarah Ellen Kay     b. Q3 1867 in Barnsley - baptised at the Ebenezer Methodist Church 25 Dec 1871 aged 4 years and 9 months
George William Kay b. November 1873 in Barnsley, buried in Barnsley Cemetery aged 1 day, 10 Nov 1873 from Market Street.
*William Henry Kay b. March 1875 (I can't find a birth registration) - baptised Ebenezer Methodist 7 April 1875 aged 3 weeks

* = survived to adulthood

Sheffield Evening Telegraph
4 October 1895
Death of George Kay
George Kay died at Perseverence Villa, 58 Station Road on 4 October 1895 aged 59 years. There was a very swift obituary published in the Sheffield Evening Telegraph the same day which noted that he had been ailing for two or three years, although when he tried to resign his post as secretary of the Barnsley British Co-operative Society the shareholders refused to accept it. The obituary went on, 'He was a member of the Methodist New Connextion and held the office of circuit and chapel steward, and indeed every post open to a layman'.  

George Kay was buried in Barnsley Cemetery on 7 October 1895 and there was a huge response across the town. The directors of the Co-op decided to close all their places of business and the employees 'turned out as a vast body of mourners to show their unanimous tokens of respect'. The article in the Barnsley Chronicle fills an entire column of the then broadsheet newspaper, overflowing into the next column. There are lists of names of the main mourners, including fifteen coaches bearing family and friends.  For example in the first coach was Mrs Kay (widow), Mr. Arthur (son), Mr. W. and Miss Nellie (son and daughter), Misses Cissie Rogers and Emily Kay (granddaughters), in the second coach were Mrs Arthur Kay, Mrs Wm. Kay (daughters in law), Mrs Sykes and Miss Stephenson (nieces) and on and on and on ... The heads of the various departments at the Co-op are named, for example, Mr. Gandy (grocery), Mr. Langford (butchering), Mr. Reeves (boot and shoe), Mr. Taylor and Mr. Peak (drapery) and many more.

1889 map of junction of Station Road and Perseverance Street
(Old Maps)

I have worked out that Perseverance Villa was the square house in the centre of the map above. The end house on Station Road (just to the right of the label for Summer Lane Station) was number 56, and until the spare land between it and the square house was redeveloped it meant that the large square house was number 58 Station Road. It was later taken into the buildings of the Corn Mill, which is in the bottom left on the map above.

Part of a 1929 picture of the Perseverance Estate
(from Barnsley Council's YOCOCO site)

This is a very small piece of a large aerial photograph of the Corn Mill and Perseverance Estate, but I can make out the square house in the centre. Station Road is running off on the top left, the bend in the road is where the houses used to end.

George Kay's interment procession wound its way from Persverance Villa via Station Road, Summer Lane, Town End, Peel Street, Peel Square, Queen Street, Cheapside and Sheffield Road to the Ebenezer New Connexion Chapel on the junction of Sheffield Road and Doncaster Road. Both sides of the streets along the route were lined with spectators and there were crowds at the chapel and the cemetery. At the chapel the coffin was taken inside by the central entrance and placed on trestles in front of the pulpit. The Rev. A. Smith addressed the congregation and the Barnsley Chronicle appears to have captured his entire speech. Various hymns were sung and after the benedition the coffin was taken to the cemetery. There is even a description of the coffin, which was of solid oak, unpolished, with deep gilt mountings. There was a coffin plate bearing the inscription "George Kay. Died October 4th 1895. Aged 59 years." The coffin was covered in floral wreaths, many of them from workers at the different departments of the Co-op, such as the mill department, the tailoring department, the bakery department and so on. 

It surprised me to see that the article ended with a note that the funeral service would be held in the Ebenezer Chapel the following Sunday (or Sunday evening week as it said in the article which I calculate would be 20 October) and would again be conducted by the Rev. A. Smith.  So a burial (interment) was not the same as the funeral in 1895 and there was more ceremony to come. 

The memorial service was reported in the Barnsley Chronicle on 26 October 1895. It was a slightly shorter article and gave a very brief precis of George's life. 'In the sermon Mr. Smith gave an outline of Mr. Kay's career from his early days in Dodworth, where he attended the Town School, down to the close of his life. The rise and progress of the Co-operative Society was briefly touched upon but it was the upon the leading traits of Mr. Kay's character that the preacher chiefly dealt.' And that was it!

Given in how much detail the speeches had been reported in the previous article I found this editing frustrating. There were a couple of odd notes 'A stranger might think my picture of Mr. Kay a little highly coloured' ... 'I have spoken but simple truth' ... 'You may remind me that he was a man and therefore imperfect' ... I would love to have a transcript of the entire speech!

George Kay was buried in plot H 491 in Barnsley Cemetery, the same plot in which George William Kay, the 1 day old baby, was buried in 1873.  That's another gravestone for me to search for when I can finally get out of the house. Sarah Kay survived George for another 17 years before joining him in the same plot in November 1912 from 21 Hope Street, as previously mentioned. The house then passed to the Thompson family of her daughter Sarah Ellen.

What Became of George's Children?

Arthur Kay, eldest son of George Kay, married Elizabeth Taylor on 14 June 1886 at the Ebenezer Methodist Chapel in Barnsley.
They moved to Hoyland Common where he set up shop as a Pawnbroker. They had two children.

 - Emilie Margaret Kay b. Q4 1887 in Barnsley, baptised at the Ebenezer Methodist Church 29 December 1887. She died in Q1 1896 aged 8 years.  

Penistone, Stocksbridge & Hoyland Express
25 February 1928, p. 2
 - George Taylor Kay b. 1894 in Hoyland Common, baptised at the Ebenezer Methodist Church 23 August 1894. In 1911, aged 16, he was 'assisting in the business' of being a Pawnbroker. He married Mabel Portman on 20 February 1928 at Thorpe Hesley church. In 1939 he was a Haulage Contractor living in Beaumont Street, Hoyland. They do not appear to have had any children. George Taylor Kay died in 1957.

Arthur's niece Jennie Ivy Kay, aged 12, was living in his household at Hoyland Common in 1911.

Arthur Kay died on 25 January 1930. His obituary in the Sheffield Daily Telegraph (26 February 1930 p. 4) said that he had been a jeweller and outfitter in Hoyland Common for over 40 years, and a prominent member of the United Methodist Church. He left a widow, son and adopted daughter (could this have been Jennie Kay?) Note that in the article about his son's marriage in 1928 the name of Arthur and Elizabeth's home was 'Perseverance House' a similar name to that of his father, George's, home in Barnsley.


Barnsley Chronicle 26 June 1886, p. 5

Emily Kay, eldest daughter of George Kay, married John Rogers on 25 Jun 1886 in Barnsley at the Ebenezer Chapel on Sheffield Road. John was a Congregational Minister from Leek in Staffordshire. They appear to have travelled around the country after their marriage, presumably as part of his job as a minister, and had two children.

 - David Rogers b. Q2 1887 in Barnsley. David died in Leek, Staffordshire in July 1887 aged 3 months, and was buried in Barnsley Cemetery, plot Q 517.
 - Dorcas Mary Rogers b. 6 October 1888, in Barnsley, but baptised in Manchester in December 1888. She was living with her grandparents George and Sarah Kay in 1891, but was back with her father in Staffordshire in 1901 and 1911. She became a Registered Nurse in 1916. She did not marry.

Emily Rogers (nee Kay) died in March 1890 at 58 Station Road, Barnsley, the home of her parents. She was buried in Barnsley Cemetery, plot Q 518, right next to her little son. John Rogers remarried to Janette Chambers in Wakefield RD in Q3 1891. They went on to have at least three children together, one of whom, Persis Rogers b. Q3 1892 in Dudley RD and died Q4 1892 in Chester RD, appears to be buried in the same grave, Q 517, as little David Rogers. I cannot see any other reason why a child who died in Hawarden, Flintshire, would be buried in that grave in Barnsley.

William Henry Kay married Sarah Jane Stephenson on 28 March 1895 at St George's Church, Barnsley. They only had one child.
  - Jennie Ivy Kay b. 8 Oct 1898 in Barnsley, baptised at the Ebenezer Methodist Church 1 January 1899. Jenny Ivy Kay was living with Sarah Ellen and George Edward Thompson in 1901 and with Arthur and Elizabeth Kay in 1911. Jenny Kay married Arthur Peasegood in Q3 1928 in Barnsley. Arthur had served in the First World War.  In 1939 Arthur and Jenny were the gardener and cook in the household of a businessman in Exeter, Devon. They too only had one child, who died young.
     - Joan Peasegood was born in Barnsley in Q3 1929. She died in Q2 1931 in Barnsley.
Sarah Jane Kay(e) (nee Stephenson) died in October 1898 aged 28 at 13 Middlesex Street, Barnsley, and was buried in Barnsley Cemetery, plot H 583. The closeness between the dates of her death and Jenny's birth suggest she may have died from the effects of childbirth.
I have been unable to discover, with any certainty, what happened next to William Henry Kay. It is a more common name than you might realise. He appears to have left Barnsley, possibly in grief after the death of his wife, leaving his little girl to be cared for by his family. There is no-one else buried in Sarah Jane Kay's grave plot to give me any clues.

Barnsley Independent 17 August 1918, p. 3
Sarah Ellen Kay married George Edward Thompson in Q4 1896. In 1901 they were living on King Street, Barnsley. George Thompson was a Professor of Music. As well as their own son George aged 3, and their daughter Doris, aged 1, they also had had Jenny Ivy Kay, aged 2, their niece, living with them. Quite a house full of little children!

In 1911 Sarah and George were living at 21 Hope Street in Barnsley. Sarah Kay, George's widow was the head of the household. George was now a Commercial Clerk working on 'his own account'. They had three children of their own now, Kathleen having come along. Jenny Ivy Kay had gone to live with her uncle Arthur and his wife in Hoyland.

 - George Oswald Kay Thompson b. Q3 1897 in Barnsley. In October 1915 he was a shop assistant in the tailoring department of the Co-op when he enlisted in the York and Lancaster Regiment, 14th Battalion, 2nd Barnsley Pals. His service number was 14/1553. He did not serve overseas straight away as he was under 19 years of age. He arrived in France in April 1916 and was wounded in October 1917. He returned to France in April 1918 and was killed in action on 20 July 1918. He was buried in the Courmas British Cemetery in Champagne-Ardenne, France. 

 - Doris Isabella Thompson b. Q3 1899 in Barnsley, baptised at the Ebenezer Methodist Church on 7 September 1899 from Queens Road, Barnsley. She married Ernest Wright in Q4 1923 in Barnsley.
        - Oswald Wright was born 11 December 1924 in Barnsley.
        - Joyce Wright was born 25 September 1927 in Barnsley.
    Doris Wright died in July 1929 aged 29 years, and was buried in Barnsley Cemetery, plot 4 331.            Ernest remarried in 1932 to Ida Firth.

 - Kathleen Thompson b. Q4 1901 in Barnsley. She died in July 1923 at 21 Hope Street aged 21 years, and was buried in Barnsley Cemetery in plot 4. 333.
George Edward Thompson died in August 1923 at 21 Hope Street and was buried in Barnsley Cemetery in plot 4 333.
Sarah Ellen Thompson (nee Kay) died in July 1938 at 21 Hope Street and was buried in Barnsley Cemetery in plot 4 333. 

What does this all mean?

At the end of all research that it seems that any descendants of George Kay still living would have to come via Doris Isabella Thompson's children Oswald and Joyce Wright. All the other family lines appear to end with premature death or childless marriages. Unless William Henry Kay started a family somewhere else in the country after he left Barnsley?
It was nice to find a couple of First World War men connected to George Kay though - it just goes to show that most people in Barnsley had some relatives who served in the war, it is just a case of finding them.  Now I just have to add all this information into my OH's family tree before I forget how I worked it all out! 

Thank you for reading.

Friday 9 April 2021

Finding Smithies Working Men's Club - a great 'Rabbit Hole' to research

Eons ago I wrote a post about war memorials in Monk Bretton. I had only been researching war memorials for a year or so and my only resources were the newspapers in Barnsley Archives. It was about a week after the first meeting of what would become the Barnsley War Memorials Project (BWMP, but now Barnsley & District War Memorials B&DWM). I had read an article in the Barnsley Chronicle from 1919 that suggested photographs of the men who had gone to war and not returned should be hung as a form of memorial in three places in the Old Mill/Smithies part of Monk Bretton. I couldn't find anything more out about these photos at the time so I mostly forgot about them.

From a Tweet by Cavalier Postcards
on 2 Nov 2016 (Twitter)

Then a postcard was reproduced on the Readers' page of Spring 2017 issue of Memories of Barnsley magazine showing the Roll of Honour from the Old Mill Wesleyan Reform Chapel. I was able to backtrack to a tweet advertising the postcard for sale online and took a copy of the image.

The names checked out as being Barnsley men but I just filed the images and a scan of the magazine as I was busy with Lives of the First World War and reading for my MA at the time. Another BWMP volunteer worked out that there were 24 names including 3 men who had been killed. 

It has only been in the last few days that I realised that this might be how the photographs proposed in the article about Smithies were eventually displayed. It looks like an elaborate wooden frame with the photos attached in some way. I assume the three in the centre were the men who died. 

Yes, their names were Frank Horbury (died of illness 16 November 1918 in Britain)and Thomas Hilton Horbury (died of illness 12 May 1917 in France), a pair of brothers and Herbert Kaye (missing presumed dead 7 October 1917). (Thanks PS!)

Last August I found a cutting online from the Barnsley Independent that referred to an unveiling ceremony at Smithies Working Men's Club. The Independent had only just reached the post war years then on the British Newspaper Archive and its coverage of the war years and beyond is still patchy. Anyway, I filed the cutting and sent a copy to PS for adding to the List. (He and I found out long ago that it's much better if just one person looks after an online spreadsheet. When two of us tried to edit it we ended up with corrupt copies and each having different versions. Now I just send him cuttings and suggestions (memorials and men) and he adds them to the lists.)  

And once more I was too busy to think more about it until someone asked a question about Smithies Club on our Barnsley's History - The Great War Facebook page a few days ago.  The Smithies Roll of Honour apparently listed 190 names including ten men who had fallen during the war. Only the names of these ten and of four men who were awarded distinctions are listed in the newspaper cutting. PS had written a bit about one of the men and someone had asked where Smithies Club had been. It may sound like I'm constantly off with the fairies these days but I have been trying to buckle down and write a 15k word draft chapter for my PhD so I have been trying to avoid getting too deeply drawn into 'rabbit holes'. PS replied that another member of the group had suggested the club might have been the on Smithies Lane opposite the Council Depot - well I've been down there (there's a Dumpit Site which was handy for where we used to live) and there's not a lot across the road from that depot. 

Then we get to today - I've now written nearly three quarters of my draft chapter and most of that in the last week - today I wrote 800+ words half of them on .... Smithies Club! Only that cutting about the unveiling is relevant to my academic writing so I thought I'd come onto my blog and pour out my workings about how I discovered where the club used to be and who was involved in it. 

1931 map of Smithies from Old Maps

In the 1931 map of the area above (click to enlarge) you should be able to see the club just off centre on a triangular road called Short Row. There wasn't a short row of houses there by 1931, some of them had been turned into the club and the rest had been demolished long before. I found some invitations to tender for decorating and repairs at the club in the Barnsley Chronicle in 1909 and 1912.  You do get some idea of how the club is arranged as one item mentions a billiard room and a bar.

1906 map of Smithies (Old Maps)

The 1906 map shows a row of eight houses in that triangle shape, it looks like three of them were turned into the club. This is confirmed by a report in the Barnsley Chronicle 21 March 1903 concerning five clubs in the Barnsley area which were suspended for breaking various licencing rules.

Barnsley Chronicle 21 March 1903 p.6 (Find My Past newspapers)

I love the detail - all the little facts about the costs and the times, the numbers of times drunken members had been seen leaving the building. The clubs suspended  were Smithies Club, Carlton Club, Jump Club (12 month suspension), Hemingfield Club (6 months suspension) and Wombwell Club (3 month suspension). You can clearly see that Smithies Club 'rented three cottages at 5s a week'. 

The earliest item I've found for Smithies Club is from November 1901. It's about a lecture on the importance of mining, miners and labour. I expect it was meant to be both educational and political  ... The speaker was a Mr. E. A. Rymer, 'how wonderful it was to find the miner emerge from the depths of the earth, emancipated from slavery, to think and act as a rational being and responsible citizen', he then complimented the club and gave some statistics about the success of the Working Men's Clubs movement. Importantly the article does refer to the Smithies Club as new.

It took me a while but I did eventually manage to find some census entries for the area - searching for addresses on Ancestry and Find My Past is much more difficult than searching for a name as the sites revolve around family history and most people want to look for their ancestors of course.

Thomas Taylor wasn't at the club in the 1901 census, but he wasn't far away. Smithies Lane runs between Wakefield Road and Cockerham Lane just before Huddersfield Road. It's about a mile long. The road crosses the River Dearne and that means that some of Smithies Lane lies in Barnsley and some in Monk Bretton, the river being the boundary between the two areas. As you are going up from the river towards Huddersfield Road, Rockingham Street is the left turn just before the railway bridge. Thomas Taylor, aged 26, his wife Alice, aged 24 and their children Jane, 6, Charley, 3 and Esther, 1, were living at number 54 in 1901.

Thomas Taylor was a Hewer in a coal mine and was born in East Hartlepool, Durham (I have some ancestors who lived there!) and his wife Alice was from West Hartlepool. I wonder how they both got to Barnsley? I found what I am sure is their marriage register entry, at St Mary's church in Barnsley on 26 March 1894, so they didn't marry and then move ... maybe their families moved together and then the youngsters (Alice claimed to be 19 years old when they married, but if she was 24 in 1901 she was only 17 when she got married) married in their new locale. All three of the children named above were born in Barnsley. When Esther and her younger sister Alice (born only a month before her baptism but who appears to have died young) were baptised at Monk Bretton church Thomas' occupation was given as Club Caretaker. 

Thomas may have answered the advert I found in the Barnsley Chronicle on 13 September 1902 for a Steward at the Smithies Working Men's Club and Institute. I sort of hope he came along a bit later because if he was there in 1903, well, then it was on his watch that the club got suspended. I haven't seen any other adverts yet, but I'll keep looking.

1911 census for Smithies Working Men's Club

The 1911 census tells us that Thomas and Alice had a total of eight children but that four of them had died before 1911. Oh, dear. The only surviving addition to the 1901 census is Elliott Taylor, aged 1 year and born in Short Row, Smithies, so actually born in the club I assume.

In December 1912 the club made a presentation to a local couple on the occasion of their Golden Wedding anniversary. The article in the Barnsley Independent gives a few little details about the club. The members had subscribed to a collection for gifts for the couple, apparently 'most energetically' organised by Thomas Taylor. The presents were  a silver snuff box for Mr Linsey, aged 74 and a brooch for his wife, aged 72. Mr Linsey had been born in 1838 in a house adjoining the club which had since been demolished and his parents had been handloom weavers. The article says Mr and Mrs Linsey lived at the Barnsley Corporation Water Works at Smithies and Councillor Lingard when making his speech referred to them as close neighbours of twenty years standing. The census summary book for 1911 shows Mr T Lindsey (a spelling mistake maybe) living at Waterworks House, Mr Lingard living at Mill House and on the other side of him the Club with Thomas Taylor. It would be nice to try to work out which shape on the old maps are which houses.

I will skip the war years as I have written about them today already.

Sadly Alice Taylor died in 1919 aged 44 and is buried in Monk Bretton Cemetery. Thomas joined her there in 1941 aged 67. He had remarried in the interim and in 1939 he was living at 23 Carlton Lane which is the address where he dies. I don't know when Thomas left the club - or what happened to his children (yet) but given their connection to the North East and that interesting fib about Alice's age when they got married I might take a look one day.

Roll on the 1921 census - only about nine months to wait - that will plug a few gaps!

The 1939 register suggests the club may have been split back into smaller houses again. The occupants of 'Club House', Smithy Green are Mr Percy and Mrs Ada Pedley, both aged 41. The next three rows are redacted so may be their children.

1962 map of Smithy Bridge and Short Row (Old Maps)

This map of the area in 1962 shows 'The Clubhouse' as the end building of a row of three, with a long thin building at some kind at the other end of the row. I don't know what those little outbuildings immediately to the north might be. Any ideas, or does anyone remember the area? Note the 'Ruins' where the houses on Smithy Green used to be.  

Percy Pedley was still living in 'Clubhouse', Smithies Lane at the time of his death in December 1970 according to the index entry for Probate on his will. Does anyone remember him? He would have been 72 or thereabouts.

13 April 1970 River Dearne flooding - Short Row in the middle of the picture

I found the image above on Barnsley Council's YOCOCO site. Percy must have witnessed this flood. 

I have cropped the picture and reduced the size a little. I imagine it is looking over Smithy Bridge or more probably the bridge over the flow out off the reservoir, so you can place it on the 1962 map above. Could this be the only picture of Smithies Club?

When did the Club close? What happened to the Roll of Honour? Did the Club amalgamate with another one and were the trophies, pictures and records saved? When were the buildings demolished? 

I have more questions than usual after one of these posts. More recent history is much harder to research online and Barnsley Archives won't be open for a while yet.