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stephen nulty

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Everything posted by stephen nulty

  1. From my 20+ years of genealogical research, about 16 of which have been focused on the Great War, I can say that whenever the question of FWR crops up, the overwhelming majority of respondents advise that they be avoided. The occasional success story gets a mention, but is quickly drowned out by dissatisfied customers who have (usually) spent lots of money for little return
  2. Mmm, followed the link and was confronted by a screen full of scantily clad ladies. That didn't go down too well in the work place
  3. All seems OK to me (10 hours later :-) )
  4. My dad built the Tower. At least, that's what he told me when I was little. He worked as a Rigger for Cubitts. After building the Tower he moved to the Copper Refinery in Prescot (BCR)
  5. The people below are all buried in St Helens Cemetery with their graves under the care of CWGC. They are all classed as "Civilian War Dead". James Bohan, 05/09/1940. Died at Jackson Street Samuel Buckley, 06/09/1940. Died at Farnworth Street John Burke, 05/09/1940. Died at Sankey Street Vera Cassidy, 06/09/1940. Died at Charles Street Charles Green, 05/09/1940. Died at Gaskell Street Francis Smith, 10/09/1940. Injured at Talbot Street, died at Providence Hospital Martha Smith, 06/09/1940. Died at Talbot Street Veronica Smith, 06/09/1940. Died at Talbot Street Mary Tunstall, 06/09/1940. Died at Farnworth Street. Henry Whitehead, 05/09/1940. Died at Jackson Street. So what happened in September 1940 to kill them? Similarly, the two people below, husband and wife, are in CWGC care. What happened to them? Elizabeth Varley, 19/10/1940. Died at Newton Road John Varley, 19/10/1940. Died at Newton Road
  6. zippyshare is dreadful 🙂 All kinds of dodgy links ar offered, including some VERY dodgy images !
  7. My burial data covering 1665-1921 shows only 5 "Flanagan" entries in that period John , buried 28/05/1890 aged 34 Eliza Maud, buried 03/06/1890, aged 23 months Nancy, buried 03/03/1862, aged 50 Daniel, 16/04/1797, no age shown John, 11/05/1797, no age given, son of the above Daniel
  8. Those with any kind of interest in local history will be aware that Prescot has a long and varied history and that the township of Prescot predates many of the other local areas. We’ll all at some point have looked at the likes of Ancestry and found our St Helens forefathers recorded as being born, married or dying in the Prescot registration district. This was the case until the creation of the St Helens RD in (I think) 1937. There was a famous quote (well, not so famous that I can remember who said it!) to the effect that “Prescot was a town when Liverpool was a village”. But in some ways, its location contributed to its demise. The arrival of the railway removed lots of the old coaching traffic that found its way through the town en route in and out of Liverpool, and the monies raised by the Toll Barrs declined at the same time. Most people think of watch making and the BICC when they think of the history of the town. Watch making took place in the town for centuries but there seems to have been a prevalent school of thought that the industry should concentrate on the watch components rather than the finished product. This has now been shown to be a bad call, and so it came to pass that the watch industry in the town declined in the 1880’s. The advent of the Prescot Watch Factory in the 1890’s brought about a resurgence in the industry, but by then it had lost too much ground to the cheaper production coming out of the United States and Switzerland, and so by 1911 the Watch Factory itself had gone out of business. Fortunately for the town, this coincided quite neatly with the advent of the BI. Founded by the Atherton brothers in the 1880’s, the business soon became the very heart of the town, and this was helped by considerable expansion of the company as it took over other (usually smaller) businesses, including the cable works at Helsby, Leigh, Erith (Kent), etc. But more of “the BI” at some other time. As part of my work on the Prescot War Memorial (www.prescot-rollofhonour.info) I transcribed the complete 1901 census for the town (and am now in the process of transcribing the 1891 census). I recorded that there were 7797 people in the town at that time (1901). Of those, 3314 had a recorded occupation of whom 842 (25.4%) were in the Watch industry and 438 (13.2%) were working as Colliers of some sort. 162 can be deduced (by their job names/titles) to be working at the Wire Works, so clearly the factory was still in its infancy. I also found, as part of the transcription, that a significant number of those people working in the watch industry were natives of Warwickshire, specifically from Coventry. I wondered about this and did a bit of Googling, and I also spoke to the staff at Prescot Museum. It turns out that Coventry was also a bit of a hot spot for watch making, but was also in decline at the same time as Prescot. The resurgence of interest and associated jobs in the 1890’s caused a significant migration of people from Coventry, seeking work and a decent life in Prescot. Sadly, I also found that some of the men on my Roll of Honour recorded as being the sons of people who (by the time of the Great War) were back living in Coventry, clearly moving back there as the watch industry collapsed. So it’s a town with an interesting history, and I’m sure we’ll discuss much more of it over the coming weeks.
  9. I lived at 85 Eldon Street in the early 1970's but don't recall any Eldon Row around there
  10. Some interesting (and evocative) footage of the dig before they build the Shakespeare Centre My great grandparents lived in the slums of Highfield Place
  11. There's a 1918 AVL entry for 29 Church Street, so strong possibility that No 27 actually existed
  12. I lost my Popeye figure in there circa 1966 Still traumatised :-(
  13. I reckon that moon explained all the dickhead drivers on the road last night. M56/M6 seemed to have an inordinate number of dickheads cutting in and out of traffic, not signalling, sudden (for no apparent reason) braking, etc.
  14. When I was a kid in the 1960’s, we used to go down through High Hill and over the railway line to play at “The Old Carrs”. (I think that back then we didn’t realise there were two r’s in that – we though it was old cars! We’d jump over the stream (Prescot Brook) and look for golf balls in the ponds of the golf course, then sell them to the older fellers on Kingsway and Shaw Lane. There was also an “iron well”, which as I recall was a circular brick wall of massive height (it was probably only about 7 foot), from which a constant stream of “iron water” ran, and we all used to drink this because it would make us big and strong! Looking now at the 1935 map of the area, shown below, it appears that “Old Carrs Pit” was the reason for the name. I know that there were a few coal mines in this area, such as Rye Hey, but would anybody know whether the Old Carrs was a coal mine and from where the name originated. Also, what is/was the “Hole I’th wall” shown on the map? I don’t remember anything of that name around there. The M57 runs through this area now.
  15. I came across this picture in my files, taken some years ago before they demolished the building to make way for the housing estate. I worked in here from 1977 to 1986, from Trainee Computer Operator through to Senior Programmer. I also recall that when I worked as an Operator and we were on nights, then when it snowed, we would go on to the roof and throw snowballs at passers by, then hide. Bear in mind that it was the middle of the night and most of said "passers by" were well oiled from a night out. Great fun
  16. Also bear in mind that the general usage of GSW to mean Gun Shot Wound also included Shrapnel injuries
  17. There are 4 entries on the AVL for "James Kelly" - 58 Brook Street, Sgt 10455, 6th South Lancs 16 Waterloo Street – no service details 36 Morley Street, Pte 240214, South Lancs 4 Waine Street, Pte 293187, Cheshire Regt
  18. Quite a large turnout at Prescot also, though much smaller scale than St Helens Outline plans already being discussed for next year'e service
  19. If you let me have an email address, I can send you the relevant Echo article. You can contact me via my website (see footer) if you prefer The Reporter would report on deaths if and when advised by the family. In my research, the items in the paper are usually of the type "Mr & Mrs Bloggs have now been officially informed.." and the only way that the newspapers would have that information would be from the family. Official lists would have simply listed the surname, initial, number and (occasionally) the home town of men who had been listed as wounded, missing, taken prisoner of killed/died of wounds but without any associated narrative or picture
  20. Henry would have attested for military service around November 1915 but the 2/10th only went overseas on 2nd February 1917. He would have originally had a four digit service number but was allocated 357722 in the Territorial Force renumbering of February 1917 A family notice appeared in the Liverpool Echo on 8th May 1917 but no picture, I'm afraid
  21. Steve Contact the people at FOPCC via their site. They are working to produce a detailed plan of the marked graves in the old churchyard http://prescotcemetery.org.uk/ I can tell you that Albert was buried in St Mary's on 19th August 1911
  22. Thomas Peter (TP) Hewitt was a Prescot-based businessman in the late 19th Century. In the 1880's, he was one of the founders of the Lancashire Watch Company in Prescot, brining with him the idea of "keyless" works in a watch. Late in the 1880’s, Jacob and Joseph Atherton of Prescot, along with TP Hewitt and Colonel Pilkington from St Helens, established a factory in Prescot to manufacture paper-insulted power cables. This was known as the British Insulated Wire Company Limited. It seems that they were made under patent from US manufacturers. Hewitt had travelled extensively to the United States as part of his work in selling Prescot manufactured watches, so I assume that he came across the idea on his travels. They were joined in the establishment of the factory by Sebastian Ferranti, the electrical engineer born in Liverpool in 1864. Ferranti will probably have been the “brains” behind the operation; at 16, he had already invented and patented the Ferranti dynamo. He was a key innovator in the concept of large scale electricity generation and distribution. His relationship appears to have been short-lived, however, and he was off to London by the mid-1890’s. It isn’t immediately clear why they chose Prescot as the site for their factory, although they all had close links with the town. Some have said that Hewitt wanted it to be close to his Watch Factory as he had anticipated the forthcoming downturn of one industry and thought that he would have a ready made labour force looking for work, although this seems to be slightly cynical! Anyway, within ten to fifteen years, the company was a market leader and the generation of electricity, manufacture of insulated cable and its for street lighting meant that Prescot was one of the first towns in the country with electric street lighting. In 1901, a merger with the Telegraph Cable Company of Helsby resulted in British Insulated & Helsby Cables Ltd., a name that remained until the mid-1920’s. This is the name which was engraved on the War Memorial after the Great War, and many of the men of Prescot who served in the war also worked at the factory. The company was renamed to British Insulated Cables Ltd in 1925 and it then merged with the Callendars Cable Company of Erith in Kent and became British Insulated Callendars Cables Ltd., later becoming BICC Ltd. Along the way, other companies became acquisitions, such as Anchor Cable Company (Leigh), British Copper Refiners Ltd (BCR), Balfour Beatty, etc. Many of these names will be familiar to those of us who worked at any of the sites. Along the way to becoming a huge national and multi-national company, BICC established new practices in company accounting, setting a model for other large companies formed from the merger and acquisition of smaller companies and using different operating models from each other. By the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, the company was at the peak of its power. Over 10,000 people worked at the vast sprawling site at Prescot, summonsed to work each morning by the well-known factory buzzers. As I recall, these sounded at 0730, 0755, 0800, 1230, 1330 and 1700. Within minutes of the five o’clock buzzer each evening, the streets around the factory were overcome by a swarm of men walking and on bikes, as well as a fleet of busses which used to stop in Bridge Road and take men to the outer reaches of Liverpool and St Helens. The company had a well-established Social Club in Scotchbarn Lane, and various social sections came into being. The “Country & Western” nights were sold out weeks in advance, the bowling greens at the rear of the club entertained national competitions and the football team even did reasonably well! When I left school in 1973, I worked in the Drum Shop, building Cable Drums. Other sections I recall were the Builders Yard, Joiners Shop, Telephone Cables Division, Wire Mill Division, Tank House (where my dad worked), the Refinery, Mineral Insulated Cables Division (MI), Transport Section, and of course the General Office. The GO used to go on an annual coach trip to Blackpool, and I recall seeing the line of coaches queuing up to take the office staff away. We on the shop floor were allocated £1 per head to cover the cost of an alternative (we used to go to York races). There was a surgery (three, actually), dentist and even an on-site optician. Safety boots could be acquired from the stores and paid for at 50p a week from your wages. In 1977 I got a job in the Computer Building on Warrington Road. I then found out more about the more remote arms of the company due to the work I did, and I also travelled to visit some of these, such as Head Office in Bloomsbury Square, London. I also went to Thomas Boltons & Sons at Froghall near Stoke, where I was entertained in the Director’s Dining Room as I was visiting staff. As well as the waitress service, there was also bottled pale ale and cigars ! I finally left the company in 1986, and I recall that the same day I left, the Drum Shop (where it all started for me) closed down as the manufacture of cable drums had been sold off to somebody in Knowsley. The company itself was now in steady decline as the cable market changed from paper insulated to the likes of fibre optics. There doesn’t appear to have been any appetite within the company to undergo such a strategic change and eventually, early in the 1990’s, the main parts of the factory closed. Some smaller units remained on site – Continuous Casting & Rolling (Rod Rollers) was bought by Pirelli and I think they’re actually still there, down at the bottom of Carr Lane, but that’s pretty much it. Most of the site was demolished and the Cables Retail Park came into being, along with some smaller office development, but the BI is no more. Even the Social Club burned down last year. The Warrington Road canteen remains, now being Prescot Leisure Centre, but that’s about it. I’d be interested in reading about any memories others might have of the BI. It was something that was always there at the top of the road when I was a lad, and then working there until I was 29 meant that it will always be a huge part of my life. I forgot to add.. To see the cable making in all it's glory, just Google on "Stranded in Prescot" to see a Pathe film from the 1930's where some well spoken people go into a shop and electric cable making is explained to them
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