REMINISCENCES of OLD TARVIN: Part 3

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Miss Radcliffe continues with her talk to Tarvin Civic Trust and moves on to Holme Street. Before the by-pass this must have continued further into Tarvin as she mentions Miss Smith who lived in the last house before Townfield Lane.

Miss Ratcliffe

"She was head of the Women's Institute. She was rather a forceful sort of lady. Then there was Bank Cottage and Hillcrest where Mrs. George Lea who had lived at Pool Bank before the Radcliffes "had a passion for living underground. She used to do just the same at Hillcrest, down in the cellar!"

"There was no Grosvenor Road. Holme bank was there. Old Mr. Tomlinson who lived there reached his 100th year in 1910 and they rang the Church bells for him. Abbey field was down there and then there was The Limes."

"My Father had the Limes fields for ages. We were always getting more land. We rented land round Hockenhall and we also had Milton Brook at Stamford Bridge during the First World War because we had a lot of Canadian remounts there. Mules and horses were sent over for us to get into condition for war service."

She now returns towards the village and tells us of old Mr. Rowlands, who was a road sweeper. "Fancy having a real road sweeper living in Tarvin! He had a long white beard and a big felt hat. Then there was the Farm, Mr Reece's farm."

In Fortune cottage lived the Bulls. We had a great family of Bulls in Tarvin and all off them were painters. John Bull was the head of them and his daughter Kitty had a forceful voice. They had a little shop and sold paints and wallpaper and things. Then in the black and white cottage was Peb Bull, John Edward was his real name, why they called him Peb I don't know. There was also Robert in the chip shop (middle photo).

Chip Shop - Copy

"Then there was Dr. Moreton, whose surgery was in the house with the little door at the end".(Rode House now.(Bottom photo)

Rode House

The place where the door was can still be seen). Tommy Dodd lived where the surgery later moved across the road. He and his wife celebrated their Diamond wedding but the wedding almost didn't happen as after waiting ages they were about to leave the Church when the curate finally arrived!"

"Mr Dodd worked for the Wigan Coal and Iron Company at a little office at Mouldsworth station. He used to ride his bicycle still when he was 80.Then there was the Parkins living next to the chapel. Mr. Parkin came from London, He was a proper cockney. He was a London tailor. He had one daughter, Bessie, who worked with him. She played the organ at Trinity for years and years.Then there is the shop that is the Post office now. That was kept by the Barkers as a sweet shop. We used to go there to buy black and white humbugs."

"Opposite was the Langford's, it was a very busy yard then, with a forge and building. Mrs. Langford had the shop on the corner that was the wool shop. Everything was spotlessly clean at Mrs. Langford's and she used to make lovely icecream in the summer. Next door was Lee's farm, later Top Farm. Where the pub car park is now there were two little shops and a house. Owen had a butchers shop on the right and Mrs. Owen, I suppose it was his mother, had a little shop on the left. You went up the steps to it and we used to buy brown mug teapots, patty tins and lamp glasses."

"Back across the road to the last shop which belonged to the Brosters. They were original. There were three brothers. Jim was the baker and very good bread he made. Tommy kept cows in Brosters yard (where the Ridgway is now) and Fred was in the shop too. There was Miss Broster, that was Lizzie. She ruled the family with a rod of iron. There was also Elsie, who was very quiet and never seemed to be allowed to come into the shop. They had a reputation for miserliness. I can see Miss Broster now with her gold-rimmed spectacles mended with black cotton and her blouse all patched. It was always reputed that the Brosters had a hatful of gold sovereigns. Harold Lightfoot was called there to mend the stairs. He took up the stair carpet before he could do the job and said, believe it or not, under every tread of the stairs were golden Sovereigns!"

To be continued.........

Ed: It has been brought to our attention that the picture of the young Miss Radcliffe, taken in 1909, is not with her mother but with her nurse, Winnie Rawsthorne. Winnie's mother was cook at The Lodge. When the Radcliffes moved to Pool Bank in 1911 they went too but left in 1912 to emigrate to New Zealand.

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