I have here an excellent enquiry for a Sunday afternoon which I feel many readers will be very, very interested in – not least Andy Dennis, if he’s passing, but maybe others concerned with the Newtown area on the Watling Street, which has been the subject of so many past articles here on the blog.
Colin Ray wrote to me in the week with a couple of great pictures and an intriguing enquiry:
I have just found your blog while researching my family history.
My late mother born 1910 was born in a cottage in Newtown, was baptised in the Primitive Methodist Chapel and was at Watling Street School. She died in 2006. I have her Birth and Baptism Certificates and a class photograph of Watling Street School form 1915 or 1916.
Mother described where she lived up until her marriage in the late 1920s as a terrace of cottages with a railway behind and a field, a canal and then a tar works in front. She used to fetch jugs of beer for her uncles from a pub near the cottage. Her mother, she said, ran a small shop in the terrace. I am trying to establish exactly where this might have been. From the description of the railway and tar works it sounds like the area near the Chase Inn, but it may have been cottages near the now demolished Anglesey Arms.
My mother was born in 1910, so I think the photo must be about 1915. She is the girl in the centre, leaning back slightly with the dark curly hair. Her maiden name was Dorothy Emma Tunstall. I hope people find this of interest and perhaps might be able to identify others. If you get any information I would love to see it. As I said before I am trying to find out exactly where the family cottage was and which pub my other used to visit to collect the jugs of beer from for her uncles, who were miners.
In 1911, when she was nine months old, the family, including her grandmother, mother and uncles are described as living in Newtown Brownhills, and I would like to try and narrow this down to exactly whereabouts this was, which I think must either be near the Chase Inn or the Anglesey Arms.
For interest I also attach a photo of her age 16.
For illustration of the area, and in case Colin hasn’t seen it, I also include Fred Shingler’s Watling Street film as it shows many of the buildings concerned, just about to be lost.
Please, if you can help, comment here or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Thanks.