Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Broadgate People's History 1927 and 1953

Thanks to Bill Pinder I’ve come across a fascinating Directory of Preston and District published by Barretts in 1927. It features all the roads in Broadgate and who lives in them and most interestingly what they did for a living.

Naturally I plunged straight for Meath Road, where I live, but curiously it doesn’t list Meath Road as existing. It follows Broadgate along and correctly states that between 42 and 43 is Ardee and between 52 and 53 is Balderstone. Nothing between 46 and 48. Ardee starts at number 10 and a J Selby lived at 22 and he was a car finisher – whatever that was.

The Directory also lists churches with a brief history and accordingly St Stephen’s was built in 1888 in the early English style from designs by Mr Joseph Harding. Owing to limited funds only a portion of the church had been completed i.e. the nave and the south aisle and cost, including fittings, was £4,500. The original design included nave, chancel, north and south aisle, transept, organ chamber, vestry and tower of 92 feet. The walls are faced with Yorkshire parpoints in diminishing courses ( no, I don’t know what that means ) and red sandstone dressings. It contained 393 sittings (?) all free. There was a vicarage held by the Rev Oswald Albert Peach MA. It was a successor to the Bairstow Memorial Chapel built in 1869. I’ll try to find out some information on this in a future edition.

It would be a bit boring just to list the roads and occupants so I’ve chosen a few which are a bit different like at somewhere not numbered but past 13 Riverside where a Mr T A Cooton lived who was a boat builder. Mr William Bee had the Hotel Continental.

The lucky devil at number 12 South Meadow Lane was a Mr S Burgess who was an Engine Driver – my dream job. At 6 Fishergate Hill there was an L Welcome, Dentist. And between Beech Street and Elm Street was the L.M. and S. Railway Company’s engineering department.

I’m not sure whether Mr W McKillop of 26, Hartington Road would be pleased to see himself advertised as an Excise Officer. Christ Church Street had a few interesting professions in 1927. There was a picture framer at 58, a violin maker at 46, several engine drivers, a mariner and not least a dress maker.

Bill also provided me with the Directory for 1953 and it was interesting to read how the professions in the area had changed a bit over the years. 48 Broadgate now has a Mr Pickup who was a traveller. The Salvation Army had its HQ at number 38. There was a radio dealer at 38 Fishergate Hill and a Messrs H & G Gooizee, Confectioners at 55. Bring that one back.

I think that at some point in the future I’d like to take one small street and trace the occupiers and professions over a longer period of time. If anyone could help with that it would be appreciated.

Incidentally – Meath Road is in in 1953. There was a Mr J Howson at number 3 who was a watchman (?). A body builder called Dean at 5, several policemen, an electrician called Aspden at 8 and over the road at number 6 a clerk by the name of Helme. This is a bit addictive.

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