Folk @ Acton Bridge, The Leigh Arms & The Bowers.

George Henry Bower (1861-1930)


caution !! this is an initial draft ... these notes are on my server for safe keeping !!




George Henry BowerMick Bower tells the story of George Henry Bower (1861-1930)

George H Bower's dad was another George Bower (1816-87) the son of Nicholas & Mary, the eldest of 11 children that were born and lived in Little Leigh and Acton Bridge. Most of this family are buried in the local church, St Michael & All Angels Church, Little Leigh.

At about the age of 21, George married Ann Jane Coates (1818-82) of Barton, but his career as a customs officer took him to West Derby, Liverpool. He spent the next 25 years or so in Liverpool, as all his children were born there, including George H, my g-grandfather, who was the 2nd youngest of 9.

In November 1862 a family tragedy occurred, the 3 youngest daughters (marked X on the family tree) all died in the same week of scarlatina. After this happened it appears (1871 census) that Ann Jane Bower moved back to Acton Bridge with her next 3 youngest, including George H Bower who would have been 4 years old at the time. The decision to move back was probably to start breathing some clean Cheshire air and to get away from the smog and disease of Liverpool.

In 1881 George H Bower was living in Willow Green, Little Leigh. He was working as a general labourer. (the photo was taken about 1880)

In 1882 George H Bower, married Lydia Brocklehurst (1862-1943) and thus became embroiled in an interesting local clan the Brocklehursts. At the time George H was working as a labourer at the chemical works in Acton Bridge. This I believe could well have been Thomas Astles' mill as they later became family related.

In 1883 when my Grandfather Joseph Thomas Bower was born, George H Bower was working as a stationary engine driver, at the Acton Bridge mill.

Brunner Mond watchIn about 1888 George H Bower started a career with Brunner Mond, a position he held for the next 35 years until his retirement in about 1923 when he was presented with a magnificent gold watch.

George Henry ran the Little Leigh post office at one time, about 1900.

A fine wedding in Little Leigh, Jim Ryder married Mary Withenshaw in 1919 ...

A wonderful photo of a family outing from around 1925 provides a telling vision of Cheshire rural life at that time ...

George H Bower died in 1930 aged 72, his obituary was in the local paper. His wife Lydia died in 1943, they are both buried in Little Leigh Baptist chapel as are many of Lydia's Brocklehurst family. 

The Brocklehurst family tree shows the links through to the Hindley family and to the Weaver Refining Company which occupied the old mill site at Acton Bridge from 1900.

The Bower / Astles family tree shows the links to Tommy Astles' bone grinding mill at Acton Bridge.

Nicholas Bower (1796-1846)

George H Bower's granddad was Nicholas an Innkeeper. Not any old pub but The Bridge Inn, Acton Bridge, a steam packet inn, serving the Northwich Liverpool run which flourished in the 1820s. Formerly, The Bridge Inn, later named The Leigh Arms was also, of course, a major source of sustenance for the gangs that worked at the forge site just across the river. And a great spot for auctions and sales in the locality ... and meetings on important matters enclosures and tithes ... Nicholas was a worthy contributor to local life ...

The Leight ArmsThe Leigh Arms is situated wan the village of Little Leigh in the heart of rural Cheshire. There has been an inn there since 17?? and the original road went past the front of the pub just after crossing the River Weaver via the old stone bridge. A propitious position.


Nicholas married Mary Fryer in 1814. The Fryer family were big farmers in Little Leigh.

Nicolas owned land and land adjacent to the mill site at Acton Bridge.

1841 census -

Nicholas Bower, born 1796, living at Oakmere, Delamere, with wife Mary (1796-) and William (1821-), Mary (1826-), Sarah (1828-) & Nicholas (1831-)

1851 census -

Thomas Fryer was 77 he farmed 111 acres in Lowton/Crowton and employed 4 labourers. 

Mary Bower, age 56, was a widow at this time, Nicholas died in 1846, and continued as the publican and farmed 70 acres & employed 4 labourers. Lawton, Acton Bridge.

Thomas Bower, son aged 34. Publican & Farmer’s Son

Mary Bower, daughter in law, 25.

Joseph Bower, son, 28, joiner.

Henry Bower, son, 24, painter.

In 1864 Thomas Bower (1816-) sold up, the year his Mum Mary Fryer (1795-1864) died.

Folk @ Acton Bridge & The Weaver Refining Co Ltd

a pint of porterHugh Dyer (1794-1879)

In 1952 the local WI wrote about some of the folk at Acton Bridge ... there was a fascinating reference to 'Hugh Dyer's brewery'. What was this all about? Did The Bridge Inn have competition? Who was Hugh Dyer?

In 1821 Hugh Dyer married Ann Thomas of Acton, Weaverham. 'Ann' Thomas was better known as Nancy ... they were married by licence, Hugh was farming at the time and Nancy was the daughter James Thomas, a grocer in Northwich.

The Cheshire Tithe Maps of 1836-51 clearly pinpoint Hugh Dyer's house and garden which he rented from Nicholas Bower ... just up the river next door to John Budd's yard.

  Clearly recorded in the 1841 census was the Victoria Brewery on Weaverham Road, the pride and joy of 60 year old Peter Manifold ... and also on Weaverham Road nearby were 46 year old Hugh Dyer, a Porter Dealer, and his wife Nancy ... was Hugh connected to the brewery?

Hugh Dyer gets a mention in The Chester Chronicle in 1845 as a contact man for the sale of an estate in Acton Bridge. Intriguingly his address was given as Acton Forge?

In 1850 Bagshaws Directory of Chesire Hugh Dyer is listed as an ale and porter dealer ...

In 1851 Hugh was a Gardener, at No. 79 Wall Hill Acton,  living next to '2 houses not inhabited' ...

And The Post Office Directory of 1857 lists Hugh Dyer again ... still dealing in ale & porter ...

In 1861, he was now in the village and described as an Ale & Porter Dealer. Hugh & Nancy's nephew, 37 year old John Thomas, a Grocer was living with them ... was this little household supplying victuals and essential to the locals?

Also in the 1861 census at Acton Bridge, Acton, next door to Thomas Gresty who worked at the Zinc Works, and close by was a note No. 89 'Uninhabitable Beer House' ... was this the relic of The Victoria Brewery?

In 1871 they were at 'Wall Hill', still with John Thomas, but now they were gardening a 4 acre smallholding ... no mention of the brewery?

In 1873 Hugh appeared on the electoral roll as occupied of a house & garden in the village of Acton with a Ratable Value above £12. The Roll also included John E Harrison at Acton Bridge; William E Mawel (sic) of New Brighton with a freehold warehouse and Nathaniel Dennis Milner of Moor at Hall Green and Cawley William Milner of Acton at Lower Green.

Hugh Dyer died in Northwich in 1879 aged 84.

We can only speculate about Hugh Dyer and The Victoria Brewery on Weaverham Lane, but for sure the carter & loaders from Wilbraham Quay, and the zinc rollers & moulders from Acton Mill would be regularly enjoying the delights of local beer. For certain quality beer came from Nicholas Bower at The Bridge Inn but also, perhaps, supplies came from one of the many off-licences like The Vitoria Brewery with Ale and Porter peddled by Hugh Dyer?

The Cheshire beer drinking culture was like many others; a social lubricants. The traditions of beer drinking included drinking games, and other associated entertainment, like dominoes, cards, darts or other pub games; attending beer festivals; pub crawling; and even beer-oriented travel & beer rating were also popular.

Beer was the world's most widely consumed, and perhaps the oldest, of the fermented alcoholic beverages; it was the third most popular drink, after water and tea.

Beer was produced by enzymes which hydrolysed starch into sugars which were then fermented producing alcohol. The starch and enzymes were derived from 'malted' barley. The malting process involved germinating the barley grains by soaking in water, and then the germination was stopped by drying with hot air.

The beer was flavoured with hops, which added a distinctive bitter taste and acted as a preservative.

Beer produced before the Industrial Revolution was made and sold on a domestic scale. The development of thermometers (1760) and hydrometers (1780) changed brewing by allowing the brewer better control of larger scale production of a variety of different beers -

Pale ale was a beer which used a top-fermenting yeast and pale malt.

Stout & Porter were dark beers made using roasted malts, and typically brewed with slow fermenting yeast.
The name Porter was first used in 1721 to describe a dark brown beer popular with the street & river porters of London. This same beer later became known as Stout, which originally reflected a beguiling alcoholic strength. Porter was a London style that turned the brewing industry upside down early in the 18th century. Porter was the first beer to be aged at the brewery and dispatched in a condition fit to be drunk immediately. It was the first beer that could be made on any large scale. Arthur Guinness decided to fashion his own interpretation of the style.

Mild ale had malty palate. It was dark coloured with around 3% to 3.5% alcohol, although there were every varieties to suit every taste.

Lager was the English name for cool fermented beers of Central European origin. The name lager came from the German word for 'to store', as Bavarian brewers discovered when they stored beer in cool cellars during the warm summer months, the beers continued to ferment, and also cleared of sediment.

After 1860, the popularity of Porter and its aged taste began to wane and it was increasingly sold 'mild'. In the final decades of the century, many breweries discontinued their Porter, though continued to brew Stouts.

Interestingly tastes, fashion and approval of different beers seemed to follow the futile attempts of the powers that be to discriminate and tax the popular brews to enhance revenue. But just like windows the taxed subjects unsurprisingly became unpopular as the price went up!

Wikipedia told the tale -

increased taxation during the Napoleonic Wars pushed the alcohol content down.

a malt tax was introduced to help to pay for the Napoleonic Wars and gave brewers an incentive to use less malt; and unfortunately for the dark Porters, pale malts produced higher yields of goodies. Thus pale malt was used and colour added to produce the traditional delectable vision.

in 1816 the cynical response was to stipulate that only malt and hops were to be used in the production of beer. A vain attempt to stop this enterprising tax avoidance racket.

in 1817 this clamp down on added colour spurred the invention of the black patent malt which made it possible to brew Porter from 95% pale malt and 5% patent malt.

Was this an example of scientific endeavour being channelled into tax avoidance rather than more useful
services for the poor beer drinking folk in Acton Bridge?

Hugh Dyer knew that for those who understand, no explanation was needed. For those who did not understand, no explanation was possible. Hugh Dyer got on with his job; others, he thought, should mind their own business. Hugh was a beer drinker.

Emilienne MoreauJack Barker

One of the employees at The Weaver Refining Co Ltd was 17378 Lance-Sergeant 'Jack' Barker of The 8th East Lancashire Regiment who spent much of the early part of 1917 in the Loos sector of The Hindenburg Line. A grim part of the line in an industrial landscape, dotted with slag heaps and mine workings. Jack was the last man to die, before his battalion left the Loos area for a prolonged period of training. He was from Barnton in Cheshire and at the outbreak of war he was employed in the production of glue at the Weaver Refining Company. In mid November 1914 the East Lancashires were once again recruiting in nearby Northwich, Jack went with his friend Fred Norrey to join up. Fred, who lived four doors away from the Barkers, was also twenty three. He had attended the same school and worked as a farm labourer.
When the harvest was gathered in, the two hoped that they were going to join their many Barnton friends who had been recruited for the 7th East Lancs. Almost two platoons were formed from the local Brunner Mond chemical works in early September 1914. But it was not to be.
Jack Barker was promoted to Lance-Corporal in early 1916, full corporal soon after the attack at Pozières and Lance-Sergeant after the assault on the REdan Ridge. He went on leave early in 1917, bathing in the tin bath in the back yard on his arrival home, while his mother removed his lousy and filthy kit. His commanding officer took up the story in a letter to his parents - 'It was on the night of February 27th that I took your son to erect wire entanglements. We had just reached the place where we were to do the work, when a machine gun opened fire, and most unfortunately a bullet struck your son just below the heart. The stretcher bearers were on the spot, but could do little for him.'
He is buried in the Maroc British Cemetery, at Grenay, the last in a row of 8th Battalion soldiers ...

I wonder if Jack met Emilienne Moreau, the lady of Loos ... ?

Bernard Pickering

Was Bernard the factory chemist at The Weaver Refining Company or as somebody said the factory manager?

Bernard Pickering (1836-) was born on the farm of John (-) his father, on the Weaver near Frodsham. In 1851 he was apprenticed to William Facer, Chemist & Druggist in the Northwich High Street. He was the youngest of the kids on the farm, after Samuel, Elizabeth, Thomas, John & Martha, so it was not surprising that he left the land to try his hand at chemistry. By 1861 he was an assistant to William Pritchard a chemist in Charring Cross, London.

In 1866 Bernard married young Alice Rawland, a farmer's daughter from Acton, and thus cementing his links to the Weaver. In 1881 he was still a practising chemist in London, now with a daughter Ada and living in Kensington.

By 1891 Bernard described himself as a retired chemist and at 57 he had moved back to Acton Bridge with Alice and Ada. They were still there at Acton Lodge in 1901, with Bernard suffering from paralysis. Ada was on her own there in 1911, Bernard died in 19??. Was this the period during which Bernard kept his hand in and did some chemistry work for the Weaver Refining Company?

George Foster

Skipper George Foster & his wife Hester, with his mate Thomas Allman, were on the barge 'Annie' delivering coal to the Weaver Refining Company's wharf at Acton Bridge on April 3rd 1911, the day of the census.

There was tough competition transporting coal on the Weaver; the local Clarke Brothers had a thriving business next door to Edward Hindleyat Acton Quay, merchanting coal, they also made ropes at Barnton.

Simpson Davies & CoBut 'Annie' was owned by 'Simpson, Davies & Co' merchants from Runcorn who were advertising in Worrall's Directory of Warrington in 1876. Coal came up the Weaver as salt went down ... not only barges but also wagons Simpson's were in railway transportation ... and salt ... and insurance ... it appears John Simpson was into everything! Many of the Northwich & Winsford salt merchants made money out of carrying, at one time Simpsons owned 64 boats ...

Interestingly Simpson's were also boat builders. The National Historic Ships website reported, 'In 1914 the Runcorn boatyard of Simpson Davies built a distinctive style of narrow boat for the Salt Union Company. She was named 'Mull' and was used for cargo carrying on the Bridgewater and connected canals and was originally towed by a horse. In 1929 the boat was sold to Agnes Beech and renamed 'Hazel'. She plied between Leigh and Northwich carrying coal, pulled by a mule. By 1948 this work was finished and 'Hazel' was used for passenger trips. In 1951 she was fitted with a full length cabin and an engine and began a new career as a residential craft and her owners at that time campaigned to save the canals from closure.
In 1988 'Hazel' was donated to the Wooden Canal Craft Trust. Since then a fund for her restoration has been steadily growing. Restoration of this boat is now a high priority for the Wooden Canal Boat Society'.

It seems in some strange way that in 1911 George Foster and his barge connected Edward Hindley's manufactory at Acton Bridge with his g-g-grandfather, George Hindley of Farnworth, who in 1743 was living on top of the coal (perhaps even digging it out of the ground?) and who was excited to hear of the Duke of Bridgewater's great plans (perhaps even helping with the implementation?) ... the coal was floated out of the mines at Farnworth through the tunnels of the Worsley Navigable levels and down the Bridgewater Canal to Runcorn ... and thence up the Weaver to the wharf of the Weaver Refining Company ...

Private HargreavesPrivate Hargreaves (1895-)Cheshire Regiment and The Weaver Refining Company!

1911 Census

... from the 1911 Acton Bridge census we can uncover more snippets ... many were still working on the farms, the railway was a significant player but clearly The Weaver Refining Company was a major employer of labour in Acton Bridge ...

Schedule 32 - Percy Clarke, 24, with his wife Clara, 23, both from Acton Bridge, was a Clerk at the Chemical Works.
33 - Joseph Taylor, 50, from Antrobus, wife Sarah, 47, from Acton Bridge, with Harry, 21, Stanley, 13, Carrie, 11, & Jessie, 10, was a Tailor Maker with young Harry Taylor a Chemical Labourer at the Chemical Works.
34 - Sydney Clarke, 29, from Rose Cottage, Acton, with wife Lillie, 27, from Barnton, was a Chemical Labourer at the Chemical Works.
41 - William Wilkinson, 54, from Acton, wife Martha Ann, 52, from Barnton, with John, 23, Harry, 17, Hannah, 13, William, 12, & Alfred, 9, William & John Wilkinson were both Chemical Labourers in Chemicals but Harry worked for a Timber Merchant.
43 - Joseph Curbishly, 28, from Little Leigh, with wife Elizabeth, 30, from Norley, was a Chemical Labourer at the Chemical Works.
50 - Abraham Lightfoot, 49, with wife Elizabeth, 51, both from Weaverham, and Clifford, 13, plus Thomas Wilkinson a boarder, was a Chemical Labourer in the Chemical Lab.
51 - John Lightfoot, 40, from Weaverham, wife Ann, 33, from Little Leigh, with family, Wilfred, 11, John , 8, & Albert, 5,  was a Chemical Labourer at the Chemical Works.
52 - Lot Sumner, 37, from Crowton, with sisters Leah, 39, from Weaverham & Ruth, 29, from Crowton & nephew Herbert, 8, from Acton Bridge, was a Chemical Labourer at the Chemical Works.
58 - Robert Stewart, 43, from Londonderry, wife Emma, 48, from Levenshulme with son Thomas, 19, a Cycle Mechanic, & lodger Richard Manning, 22, a Plumber, was a Labourer in the Bone Works.
59 - Alfred Lightfoot, 50, wife Hannah, 42, both from Acton with Harry, 17, Arthur, 16, Ambrose, 15, Thomas, 13, William, 11, Harriet, 9, Florence, 7, Alfred, 7, & Hilda, 6, was a Chemical Labourer at the Chemical Works.
61 - John William Ward, 32, wife Annie, 31, both from Acton Bridge with Phyllis, 6, was a Clerk in a Chemical Manufactory. 
69 - James Woods, 45, from Crowton, wife Margaret, 41, from Stockton Heath, with Samuel, 21, and boarder William Henry Roberts, 28, from Chester. James was a Farm Labourer but William Henry Roberts worked as a Labourer at the Refinery (Bone).
76 - Thomas Allen, 35, from Barnton, with wife Emma, 41, from Onston, was a General Labourer at the Bone Works.
78 - Halford Richardson, 68, from Weaverham, wife Ellen, 64, from Dutton with George, 33, & Martha, 23, and lodger Charles Harry Davy, 30, from Worcestershire. Halford was a Farm Labourer but Charles Harry Davy was a Clerk at the Chemical Manufacturers.
89 - George Bean, 56, from Dutton, wife Emmie, 52, from Sutton Weaver, with Fred, 23, Percy, 14, & Hettey, 11. George was a Carter but son Fred Bean was a Labourer at the Bone Works.
94 - William Edward Stocks, 29, from Little Leigh, wife Hannah, 30, from Antrobus, with Lucy, 9, Janie,6, Ethel, 3, & Nellie, 1, was a General Labourer at the Chemical Works.
96 - Arthur Joinson, 38, from Crewe, wife Elizabeth,38, from Winsford, with Francis, 11, Gerty, 8, Mabel, 5, & Mary, 1 month, was a Chemical Worker at the Chemical Works.
98 - Frank Dutton, 28, from Chester, wife Margaret, 30, from Clunton, Salop, with Mary, 4, Sydney, 2, & Richard, 1, was a General Labourer for the Weaver Refining Company at the Refinery Company, Bone Works.
99 - Samuel Clarke, 49, widower with family John, 26, Mary, 24, George, 21, Eliza Alice, 19, Bessie, 17, Florence, 12, William Hiram, 11, Elsie, 8, & Evelyn May, 7, was a Chemical Labourer in the Chemical Manufactory. Eliza Alice Clarke was a Powder Siever in Glue & Powder Manufacture.
101 - J H Wilkinson, 34, from Acton Bridge, with wife M A, 36, from Kingsley, was a Chemical Labourer at the Chemical Works.
104 - Sarah Hannah Sumner, 60, from Lancaster, with son-in-law Percy England, 28, from Addingham, daughter Gertrude Hannah, 25, & grand son John, 4 months. Sarah Hannah was a Shopkeeper but Percy England was a Carpenter in the Mill, the Bone Works.
105 - John Harrison, 53, from Newton le Willows, wife Annie, 47, from Stone & son Thomas, 20, was a Chemical Labourer with the Chemical Manufacturer. Thomas Harrison was a Chemical Carter with the Chemical Manufacturer.
106 - William Burrows, 24, from Little Leigh, wife Gladys, 22, from Croton, with Phylis, 1, was a Chemical Labourer in the Chemical Works.
107 - Francis Wilkinson, 32, from Acton Bridge, wife Jessie, 32, from Holmes Chapel, with William, 9, Jessie, 7, Emily, 5, Sydney, 3, & Gladys, 1, was a General Labourer at the Chemical Works.
110 - James Johnson, 43, from Wincham, wife Martha, 37, from Crowton, with John, 16, Florence, 8, Ada, 5, Elsie May, 1, and boarder William Burgess, 73, a widower from Gorstage, was a Stoker at the Weaver Refining Company, Bone Works.
111 - Albert Edward Hind, 41, from Liverpool, wife Mary Ann, 44, with John, 19, Emily, 16, Albert Edward, 15, and boarder William Haddock, 38, from Acton Bridge, was a Milk Dealer but both Albert Edward Hind junior & William Haddock worked as a Labourers in the Chemical Works.
113 - James Belcher, 45, from Wednesbury, Staffs, wife Rose, 31, from Acton Bridge, with Eva, 6, & Doris, 3, was a General Labourer in the Bone Works.
114 - Arthur Jones, 44, from Weaverham, wife Maria, 44, from Crowton, with Emily, 14, Arthur, 11, Samuel, 6, & John, 2, was a Chemical Labourer in the Chemical Works.
117 - Joseph Vaughan, 48, from Tipton, wife Susannah, 44, from Wednesbury, with Elizabeth, 18, Joseph Henry, 12, Florence May, 10, Bert, 2, and brother/sister in law George, 34, & Elizabeth Belcher, 30, was a Chemical Worker in the Chemical Works.
119 - Walter Anderson, 38, from Northwich, wife Mary Arabella, 35, from Acton Bridge, with Arabella Jessie, 13, John James, 12, Agnes, 10, Walter, 9, Philip, 8, Dorothy, 4, & Percy, 3, was a Chemical Labourer in the Chemical Works.
120 - Martin McHugh, 49, from Galway, wife Elizabeth, 50, from Acton Bridge with boarder Thomas Baker, 29, from Lostock, both men were Labourers General in the Bone Works.

1901 Census

... in 1901 The Weaver Refining Company was a dream for Edward Hindley and Joseph Neill ... was William Edward Maude's old bone grinding business still slowly steaming on? Certainly Tommy Astles had left for Tasmania and The Lowwood Company had retrenched into Ulverston ... but what was left at Acton Bridge? ... In 1902 we know from Kelly's Directory that The Weaver Refining Company was up & running and employing ...

schedule 6 - Railway Houses - George W Lightfoot, 18, from Acton, was living with his Mum & Dad and a Teamsman at the Mill. But this may have been James Gandy's Corn Mill?
9 - Station Hill - Thomas Allen, 24, from Barnton, with his wife Emma, 34, from Onston, was described as a Chemical Labourer, but, as with many others, the enumerator qualified the occupation with 'alk', suggesting in 1901 most 'Chemical Labourers' would be working at Brunner Mond making soda ash? Some like Alfred Lightfoot, 41, from, 26 - Acton Village, specifically described himself as an 'Alkali Worker'.
23 - Post Office - John W Ward, 21, from Acton, living with his Mum, Sarah H W Ward, was a Clerk at the Chemical Works.
Abraham Lightfoot, 39, & Lot Sumner, 27, now 10 years younger, were established as Chemical Labourers.
41 - the Village - George Ashley, 35, a boarder, from Lostock, was a Chemical Labourer.
45 - the Village - William Wilkinson & Martha were there, William as a Chemical Labourer.
91 - Bridge Lane - Walter Anderson & Mary were there, Walter as a Chemical Labourer.
93 - Acton Bridge - Emmanuel Wilkinson, 29, from Little Leigh, living with his father in law, James Tweedle, 69, from Acton, with his wife Ruth, 28. Emmanuel was a Chemical Labourer.
96 - Acton Bridge - Joseph Vaughan & Susannah were there, Joseph as a Chemical Labourer. Brother in law, James Belcher was living with them but working as a General Agricultural Labouer.
98 - Acton Bridge - Herbert Charlton, 30, from Weaverham, wife Emma, 31, from Earlston, with his step family, the Leighs, was a Chemical Labourer.
104 - Acton Bridge - Noah Crook, 23, single, from Crowton was a Chemical Labourer.
109 - Acton Bridge - John H Wilkinson, 29, from Little Leigh, with wife Mary, 33, from Kingsley, was a Chemical Labourer.
110 - Acton Bridge - Ralf Wilkinson, 44, from Stretton, with wife Caroline, 46, from Antrobus, specifically described himself as an Alkali Worker.
111 - Acton Bridge - John Harrison & Annie were there but John called himself a General Labourer. Son John H, 17, was working on the land as an Agricultural Labourer.
112 - Acton Bridge - Enoch Blatt, 25, from Winsford, wife Mary, 27, from Allostock, with Lizzie, 4, & Maggie, 1, was a Chemical Labourer.
117 - Acton Bridge - John Lightfoot & Ann were there, John as a Chemical Labourer.

1891 Census

References to General Labourers may indicate some activity at William Edward Maude's Mill Site, and some names are familiar ... but ...?

20 - Nr The Maypole Inn - James Ward, 32, wife Sarah, 33, with young John W, 11, but at this time James was alive & kicking and an Engine Driver on a Steam Flat.
86 - Acton Mill - James Gandy, 58, wife Elizabeth, 52, was a Corn Miller, employing an Articled Clerk, a Banker's Clerk & a Miller's Clerk. But this was not the mill by the river.
88 - Acton Bridge - John Kerfoot, 59, was a General Labourer.
89 - Acton Bridge - Martin McHugh, 36, & Elizabeth, 38, were there, Martin was a General Labourer.
96 - Acton Bridge - Harry Haddock, 21, living with his mum, was a General Labourer.
96 - Acton Bridge - Thomas Walton, 53, from Peover, was a General Labourer.
98 - Acton Bridge - William Ferguson, 25, was an Engine Fitter from Scotland living with his father in law Joseph Price.
107 - Acton Bridge - John Harrison, 32, & Annie, 28, were there, John was a General Labourer.
109 - Acton Bridge - John Wilkinson, 57, wife Jane, 49, & Emmanuel, 20. John was a General Labourer and Emmanuel was a Bricklayer's Labourer, not yet with the chemical company.
111 - Acton Bridge - Henry Clarke, 71, a widow, was a Retired Zinc & Copper Moulder.
112 - Acton Bridge - Abraham Lightfoot, 29, was there as a General Labourer.

1881 Census

The manure works and the salt petre works were going strong ...

94 - Mill House Acton Mill - James Gandy, 49, was there at the Corn Mill.
96 - Bridge Road Cottage - John Sumner, 54, wife Sarah, 53, with son Samuel, 19, & step children, Joseph Moores, 18, & Sarah Ann Moores, 11. John was a Navigation Labourer but Samuel Sumner, worked in the Chemical Lab as a Manufacturing Chemist.
97 - Bridge Road Cottage - Martin McHugh, 25, was working as a Navigation Labourer.
98 - Bridge Lane Cottage - James Tweedle, 46, wife Ann, 47, with Edward, 26, Arthur, 18, Alfred, 12, & Ruth, 8. James was a Carter at the Corn Mill. Edward Tweedle was a Corn Mill Labourer.
99 - Acton Bridge Mill House - Thomas Astles, 48, from Winnington, wife Harriet, 50, from Warwick, with Mary A Astles, 17, & step daughter, Mary E Reader, 33, was a Corn & Bone Miller & brine Pumper. Mary E Reader was a Clerk in the Mill.
105 - Bridge Lane Cottage - Henry Clarke, 58, from Berkshire, wife Sarah, 54, from Buckingham, was the Salt Petre Works Lab Manager.
106 - Bridge Lane Cottage - Sarah Tweedle, 68, from Crowton, with sons George, 40, & Henry, 29. George was unemployed but Henry Tweedle worked in the Lab at the Salt Petre Works. Sarah died in 1884, buried at St Mary's, Weaverham.
116 - Bridge Lane Cottage - William Barlow, 35, wife Mary, 32, with George R, 11. William was the Mate of Steamer 'Leven'.
120 - Salt Petre Works House - James E Harrison, 55, wife Mary, 53, with granddaughter Jessie E H Youd, 2, & nephew William Wakefield, 23, Engine Driver at Salt Petre Works, plus servant. James E was the Manager at the Salt Petre Works.
121 - Bridge Lane Cottage - James Ward, 28, from Acton Bridge, wife Sarah H, 23, from Stretford, with 3 month old Mary J. James was a Engine Tenter at Salt Peter Works.
123 - Bridge Lane Cottage - John Wilkinson, 40, wife Jane, 38, were there, John was a Boiler at the Salt Petre Works.
124 - Bridge Lane Cottage - Joseph Little, 37, from Crowton, wife Alice, 31, from Davenham, with Sarah Ann, 10, & John, 8, was in the Salt Petre Works Lab.
127 - Acton Lodge - James Longshaw, 32, from Warrington, wife Sarah A, 30, from Denbigh, with Mary, 9, William, 7, Hannah, 4, Bertha, 2, plus servant. James was an Analytical Chemist.

1871 Census

4 - Acton Bridge - Joseph Wilkinson, 29, from Little Leigh, wife Sarah, 26, from Daresbury, with Samuel, 5, & George, 3, was a Labourer at the Salt Petre Works.
9 - Acton Bridge - Joseph Harrison,36, from Winnington, wife Mary, 36, from Northwich, with George H, 14, Martha Ann, 10, Joseph, 6, & Mary, 5, was a Foreman at the Salt Petre Works.
10 - Acton Bridge - John E Harrison, 46, from Winnington, wife Mary, 46, from Northwich, with father in law, Robert M Youd, 34, Eliza Yould, 22, grandson John E H Youd, 1, nephew William Wakefield, 12, brother in law Thomas Wakefield, 56, was the Manager of the Salt Petre Works. Robert M Youd & Thomas Wakefield were Labourers at the Salt Petre Works.
11 - Acton Bridge - George Wilkinson, 37, from Little Leigh, wife Sarah, 39, from Crowton, with Mary E, 12, Sarah E, 10, & Annie, 7, plus a boarder, was a Labourer at the Manure Works.
20 - Acton Bridge - Henry Twedale, 36, living with Sarah, 58, his widowed mum & brother George, 22, was a Labourer at the Salt Petre Works.
26 - Acton Bridge - John Astles, 26, from Winnington, wife Mary, 25, from Barnton, with Maria, 4, & Mary Beatrice, 4, plus servant, was a Foreman at the Manure Works employing 4 men & 3 boys.
29 - Acton Bridge - Henry Clarke, 45, wife Sarah, 42, both from London, was a Labourer at the Manure Works.

1861 Census

88 - Acton Bridge - John Gresty, 41, wife Ann, 41, John worked on the railways but son Thomas Gresty, 24, was a Labourer at the Zinc Works.
(NB next door 89 - was an 'Uninhabitable Beer House')
94 - Acton Bridge - Henry Phipps, 57, was a Zinc Roller from Surrey, wife Margaret, 48, from Ashton, son John, 23, a printer.
101 - Acton Bridge - Thomas Priestley, 44, from Dartford, wife Jemima, 42, from Surrey, with Eliza Ann, 22, & Susanna, 18, was a Zinc Roller.
102 - Acton Bridge - James Twedale, 29, from Acton, wife Ann, 31, from Wapping, and 10 other Twedales, was a Carter at the Zinc Mill.
104 - Acton Bridge - Henry Clark, 39, from Berkshire, wife Sarah, 36, from Buckingham, was a Zinc Roller. And Charles Ford, 67, a boarder was a Labourer at the Zinc Mill.

1851 Census

61 Bridge - John Beecroft, 67, from Halton, with his wife Sarah, from Weaverham was a Smith ...
62 - Bridge Works - Edward P Morris, 40, with his daughter, Ann, 23, was a Millwright, from Dartford in Kent..
63 - Bridge Works - Thomas Priestley, 34, wife Jemima, 32, with Eliza, 11, Jemima, 9, & Thomas, 7, plus lodger, was a Zinc Roller. Also from Dartford. Young Thomas died at 18 years in 1862, buried at St Mary's, Weaverham.
67 - Bridge Works - Hugh Wilkinson, 22, wife Ellen, 20, was a Zinc Labourer, from Little Leigh.
69 - Bridge Works - George Phipps, 35, from Morton, Surrey, wife Charlotte, 32, from Dartford, was a Zinc Roller.
72 - Weaverham Lane - Thomas Wilkinson, 54, wife Sarah, 55, with  John, 32, Joseph, 18, & Betsy, 11, and Mary Stringer, 24, daughter. Thomas and the 2 boys were Labourers at the Saw Mills. They were from Hollaway Head, Cheshire.
73 - Weaverham Lane - Peter Wilkinson, 40, wife Ann, 40, both from Little Leigh, with George, 13, Joseph, 8, Mary, 4, & Ann, 2, was a Labourer at the Zinc Works.
74 - Weaverham Lane - William Whitely, 41, wife Ann, 38, both from Weaverham, with Alice, 12, Thomas, 8, John, 6, & William, 4, was a Labourer at the Saw Mills.
75 - Weaverham Lane - George Tweedle, 48, wife Sarah, 42, with sons Thomas Tweedle, 22, James Tweedle, 20, & George Tweedle, 17, were all Zinc Labourers. Ann, 14, Sarah, 12, William, 10, & Henry, 7, made up a large family, from Crowton.
84 - the Village - William Jameson, 39, from Dutton, with wife Hannah, 37, from Acton, was a Zinc Works Labourer.

1841 Census

Lots of farmers, lots of servants, lots of labourers and the railway ... but little detail ...

Acton Mill - George Joynson, 57, wife Nancy, 54, was at the Mill by The Maypole, with young Thomas, 29, the Miller. Nancy died in 1847, buried at St Mary's, Weaverham.
Weaverham Lane - George Woodward, 24, Joiner - Hugh Dyer, 46, Porter Dealer - John Turner, 48, Labourer - Thomas Wilkinson, 45, Labourer - Peter Manifold, 60, Victoria Grocery, boarder - Hannah Winfield, 60, Independent - George Winfield, 25, Plumber - James Ogden, 55, Draper - George Roscoe, 25, Tailor.
Quere Street - William Burgess, 30, Surgeon, lodger - Samuel Smith, 30, Surgeon - William Barker, 35, Coal Dealer - Henry Phipps, 30, Zinc Roller - Jonathan Dening, 25, Grocer.
Acton Bridge - Peter Hiemason, 60, Shoe Maker - John Beechcroft, 60, blacksmith - George Tweedle, 35, Agricultural Labourer.
Blenheim House - George Phipps, 26, Zinc Roller. Blenheim House was clearly shown on Bryants's Map of 1831 ...
Fuge - Isaac Ashton, 35, Shoemaker - Peter Leigh, 30, Agricultural Labourer - Joseph Sheppard, 30, Cordwainer.


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