Wood Lane – The Changing Face of Wesley Street

 

Researched by Robert Mayer

 

Wesley Street started to be developed in the late 19th century and the southern end was completed by 1900 and was initially called Wesleyan Street.

 

At the time of the 1901 census Wesley Street was reported as New Street and contained 8 properties.

 

After 1901 Wesley Street was named Heathcote Street after the owner who had first sold the land. Due to confusion with Heathcote Road in Miles Green, it was renamed about 1910. Houses were built on the east side, with a large reserved plot for a new Wesleyan school on the west adjoining their large chapel. (Stan Brassington, More Audley Street Names, Audley Historian No. 3 (Endon 1997))  

7
A detail from the ordinance survey map of 1900. The street is called Wesleyan Street and numbers 1-5 and 2-10 appear to have been built.

 

Wesley Street was recorded as Heathcote Street in the 1905 Electoral Register.

 

The change of name from Heathcote Street to Wesley Street appears to have taken place after 1910. When Albert Durber died in Jan 1910 (see No.22) he was reported as living in Heathcote Street, Wood Lane. The Heathcote Street name may have continued for some time as on 29 July 1912, Johnson, a builder of Audley sold a five-room house in Heathcote Street, Wood Lane. (This may be No.6)

 

 

 

1
The entrance to Wesley Street from High Street in 2015. (Photograph: Robert Mayer) At the of the street the distant house centre left is No. 34 and centre right is No. 30.

 

Fact File No.1

 

In 1901 Aaron Platt lived here.
In 1910 John Durber was the occupier and Aaron Platt was the owner.
In 1911 John and Harriett Durber and their children: Reuben, Isaac, Jabez and Eunice Durber lived here. John was a coal miner, fireman and the house was reported as having seven rooms.
In December 1917 Isaac Rhodes was baptised while living here.
On 5 July 1919, it was announced that J Durber of 1, Wesley Street, Wood Lane had won a mining prize.
In Mar 1926 John Durber died while living here.
Harriett Durber died while living here in May 1930.
In 1933 Eunice Durber, Alfred, John and George Cooper lived here.
On 29 September 1939 Eunice, Alfred and George Durber lived here. Alfred was a miner driver born on 21 Aug 1892. George was a shop assistant at a grocers, born I July 1907 and Eunice was a day school caretaker born 13 Sep 1898.
In 1950 Eunice and George Durber lived here.
Eunice Durber was the school caretaker.

 

2

Wesley Street in 2012, looking South (Photograph R. Mayer)

No. 30 is the first house on the left.

 

Fact File No.3

In 1901 George Browning lived here.
In 1910 Thomas Groom was the occupier and Aaron Platt was the owner.
On 2nd April 1911 Thomas and Mary Elizabeth Groom and their son in law John Thomas Rice and daughter Lizzie Rice and their grandchildren: Vera, John Thomas and Stanley lived here. The house was reported as having five rooms.
On 25 December 1924 Harry Fernyhough, the son of Henry Fernyhough married Grace Katherine Dale while living here. Harry was the brother of the politician Ernest Fernyhough. (See No. 26 Church Street).
In March 1928 Harry Fernyhough died while living here.
Thomas Fernyhough lived here in 1929.
In 1933 Fanny, Thomas, Ernest and Lily Fernyhough lived here.
In November 1933 Henry Fernyhough and his daughter Norma Fernyhough lived here.
In December 1933, the Fernyhough family 'returned' to Hamil Road, Burslem.
In March 1935 John Johnson and his son Ronald Arthur Johnson lived here.
In September 1938 Fred Johnson and his son Norman Arthur Johnson lived here.
On 29 September 1939 Fred, Jennie and Ronald Johnson lived here. Fred was a colliery main road ripper born on 16 Dec 1907.  Jennie had unpaid domestic duties, born 16 Jan 1908 and Ronald was at school, born 19 Mar 1930.
In 1950 Stanley and Jennie Davenport lived here.  Stanley Davenport was a miner and had a son named Michael.
In 1977- 80 Peter Antrobus lived here.

 

 

Fact File No.4

In 1901 Isaac Lowe lived here.
In 1910 Isaac Lowe was the occupier and owner.
On 2nd April 1911 Isaac John Lowe, a widower, his children: Isaac, Frederick and Mary and his mother in law Hannah Shufflebotham lived here. The house was reported as having six rooms.
In 1933 Isaac Lowe, John William and Mary Bailey lived here.
In 1934 Isaac Lowe died while living here.
On 29 September 1939 John and Mary Bailey lived here. John was a builder’s labourer born on 1 Jul 1892.  Mary had unpaid domestic duties, born 24 Sep 1889.
In 1950 John William and Mary Bailey lived here. Known as Jack, he was a security guard at ROF Radway Green.
In June 1962 Albert Rowley and his son Christopher Paul lived here.
In January 1963 Albert Rowley and his daughter Sandra Christine lived here.
In May 1963 the family emigrated to Australia.
In November 1963 Raymond Daniels and his sons David Edward and John William lived here.
In January 1964 Raymond Daniels and his daughter Valerie Ann lived here.
In April 1965 Raymond Daniels and his daughter Linda Christine lived here.
In 1972 -74 Michael Finney lived here.
In 1986 Elsie and William Finney lived here.
In 1994 the Bain family lived here.

 

Fact File No.5

 

In 1901 Thomas Symms lived here.
William Atkins lived here in 1905.
In 1910 William Atkins was the occupier and Aaron Platt was the owner.
On 2nd April 1911 John and ??ella Lowe and their son John lived here. The house was reported as having four rooms.
Daniel and James Brayford lived here in 1929.
In 1933 Daniel, Emmie, James and George Brayford lived here.
In 1934 Daniel Brayford died while living here.
On 29 September 1939 Emma Brayford lived here. Emma had unpaid domestic duties, born 30 Jun 1882.  
In 1950 Emma Brayford lived here.
In 1976- 79 Robert Daniels lived here.
In 1996 - 99 the Handley family lived here.

 

YMCA

After No. 5 was the YMCA, a large wooden building. This was the location of the Wood Lane reading rooms at the turn of the 20th century. Eventually the building was moved beyond No. 30 on the opposite side of the road and became the workshop for Mr Oldershaw, who built No. 30 Wesley Street. (See no. 30)

 

3

Wesley Street in 1982, looking North East (Photograph courtesy of Albert Harrison)

The light painted houses centre/right are the rears of No’s 1 to 5.

 

Fact File No.6

 

In 1901 Thomas Plant lived here.
In 1910 Emma Plant was the occupier and the representatives of H. Johnson were the owners.
On 2nd April 1911 George and Edith Ellen Statham and their daughter Rita Irene and lived here together with Gwendoline Rosella Leasson, who was an assistant teacher at the school. The house was reported as having five rooms.
In May 1928 Geoffrey Lovatt was baptised while living here.
In 1933 Mary Emberton, George and Sarah Clutton, Edith Barlow and John Benson lived here.
In January 1935 Samuel Hall and his son William Thomas Watkins Hall lived here. They had previously lived at 23, Church Street. (See Church Street).
On 29 September 1939 Alice Higginson, Dora Cope and Samuel and Lily Hall lived here. Alice had unpaid domestic duties and was born 12 Aug 1875. Dora was a mineral water maker’s assistant, born 5 May 1918. Samuel Hall was a motor lorry driver, born 19 Jun 1902 and Lily Hall had unpaid domestic duties, born 19 Apr 1909.
In 1950 Samuel, Lily and William T. Hall lived here. Samuel was a driver for the NCB and had a son Called Thomas.
In 1976 - 87 Christopher Finney lived here.

 

 

 

 

 

4

Wesley Street in 1948, looking North West (Photograph courtesy of Albert Harrison)

The houses are the rears of No’s 4 to 20.

 

Fact File No.8

In 1901 Samuel Maydew lived here.
In 1910 Samuel Maydew was the occupier and owner.
On 2nd April 1911 Samuel Madew, a widower, lived here. The house was reported as having five rooms.
In January 1927 Ernest Garbutt and his daughter Norah Garbutt lived here.
In September 1929 Ernest Garbutt and his daughter Sheila Garbutt lived here.
In 1933 Samuel Madew, Ernest and May Garbutt lived here.
In September 1933 Ernest Garbutt and his daughter Bulah Garbutt lived here.
In January 1934 Ernest Garbutt and his daughter Ida Garbutt lived here.
In June 1934 Bulah Garbutt died while living here.
Mr and Mrs E Joynson lived here in August 1938.
In 1934 Samuel Madew died while living here.
On 29 September 1939 Ernest and Hannah Joynson and James Hassall lived here. Ernest was an unemployed coal miner, born 30 Nov 1888, while Hannah had unpaid domestic duties, born 20 May 1891. James Hassall was a colliery hewer, born 8 Aug 1913.
In January 1953 Henry Hopwood died while living here.
In September 1960 John William Jebb died while living here.
In March 1962 Leonard Marsh lived here with his daughter Edith Susan. They had arrived from Church Minshull and in July 1962 left the district.
In 1975 Denise Gardner lived here.
In 1977 Alfred Martin lived here.
In 1987 - 89 Robert and Karen Knight lived here.

 

 

Fact File No.10

In 1901 William Platt lived here.
In 1910 John W. Platt was the occupier and owner.
On 2nd April 1911 William John and Priscilla Platt and their children: Gertrude, Frank James and Harold lived here. The house was reported as having six rooms.
In Jan 1927 Frederick Turner and his son Gordon Turner lived here.
In 1933 Thomas Walter and Margaret Esther Evanson lived here.
In October 1934 Tom Evanson and his daughter Margaret Evelyn Evanson lived here.
In February 1935 Harry Ratcliffe and his sons; Warren Norman and Maurice Stanley lived here.
In October 1935 Archie Timmis and his daughter Joan Timmis lived here. In May 1937, the Timmis family moved to Basford, Stoke on Trent.
On 29 September 1939 Thomas and Elizabeth Evanson lived here. Thomas was a colliery surface worker, born 15 Sep 1899, while Elizabeth had unpaid domestic duties, born 10 Apr 1900.
In 1950 George and Selina Locket lived here. George Locket worked as a miner.
In 1981 Paul Proudman lived here.
In 1989 - 91 Kevin and Karen Scott lived here.

 

 

Fact File No.12

In 1901 Samuel Platt lived here.
In 1910 Samuel Platt was the occupier and owner.
On 2nd April 1911 Samuel and Edna Platt and their children: Bertha and Ethel lived here and Frank William Lowe was a visitor. The house was reported as having six rooms.
In January 1927 Daniel Statham and his daughter Hazel Statham lived here.
In September 1931 Daniel Statham and his son Gerald Barry Statham lived here.
In 1933 Daniel and Hannah Statham Lived here.
In March 1933, the family moved to Burslem temporarily. In April 1933, they returned to the parish but lived in Diglake House, Bignall Hill.
On 29 September 1939 Leslie, Joseph, Percy and Hannah Brayford lived here, together with Leonard and Molly Ikin. Leslie was a colliery hewer below ground, born 12 Jun 1911. Joseph was a colliery hewer below ground, born 16 Jul 1914. Percy was a colliery hewer below ground, born 13 Feb 1912, while Hannah had unpaid domestic duties, born 10 Feb 1888. Leonard Ikin was a surface colliery fitter born 23 Oct 1915 while Molly had unpaid domestic duties, born 31 Mar 1918.
In July 1943 Leonard Ikin and his son John Leslie Ikin lived here.
In January 1948 Leslie and his son Alan Brayford lived here.
In 1950 Hannah, Leslie and Ethel M. Brayford and Molly and Frank Billington lived here.
In September 1950 Leslie and his daughter Barbara Brayford lived here.
This was the family of Joe Brayford who lived in the cottage by the sand hole or Brayford’s Pool that was named after him, in Apedale. He went to live in the cottage before 1950. The cottage is remembered as having no services and lighting was by oil lamps.

5
Joe Brayford

 

In October 1970 Hannah Brayford died while living here.
In July 1980 Frank Billington died while living here.
In 1988 the Mayes family lived here.
In 1998 the Finney family lived here.

 

 

Fact File No.14

In 1910 Thomas Clutton was the occupier and owner.
On 2nd April 1911 Thomas and Elizabeth Clutton and their children: Lionel Thomas and Lilian lived here and George Dale was a boarder. The house was reported as having six rooms.
In August 1928 Anthony Daniel, the son of Fred and Alice Janet Riley, was baptised while living here.
In September 1931 William Nixon and his daughter Joyce Mary Nixon lived here.
In 1933 William and Mary Jane Nixon lived here.
On 29 September 1939 William, Mary J. and Jemima Nixon lived here. William was a general labourer, born 15 Oct 1889, while Mary had unpaid domestic duties, born 8 Nov 1908 and Jemima had unpaid domestic duties, born 8 Nov 1869.
In 1950 William, Jemima and Mary J. Nixon and Thomas W. and Joyce M, Owen lived here. Thomas Owen was a sailor and the family moved to the south coast.
In 1956 Jemima Nixon died while living here.
In November 1960 William Nixon died while living here. William Nixon was a miner and the family were strong Wesleyan Chapel people.
In January 1962 Thomas Owen and his daughter Arlene Lillian lived here. The family had arrived from Montpelier, Plymouth and in July 1962 moved on to Coventry.
In May 1968 Donald Carter and his son Trevor Donald Thomas lived here.
In 1987 Sandra and Brian Till lived here.

6
Wesley Street in 2012, looking north (Photograph R. Mayer)
The Properties on the left are No’s 1,3 and 5. To the right the first property is No.4.

 

 

Fact File No.16

In 1910 George Breeze was the occupier and James Day was the owner.
On 2nd April 1911 George and Sarah Breeze and their children: Mary Elizabeth, Nellie, Percy and Adeline Francis lived here and Levison Frank Rhodes was a boarder. The house was reported as having six rooms.
In April 1913 Adeline Breeze was baptised while living here.
In April 1913 Nellie Breeze was baptised while living here.
In April 1913 Percy Breeze was baptised while living here.
On 5 July 1919 it was announced that J Durber of 1, Wesley Street, Wood Lane had won a mining prize. Percy Breeze of 16, Wesley Street had also won one
In Mar 1929 Clement Joynson died while living here. Killed in Burley Pit.
In 1933 Mary Alice Joynson lived here.
On 29 September 1939 Wilmot and Irene Fryer lived here. Wilmot was a Colliery screen railway worker and Air Raid Warden, born 7 Apr 1909, while Irene had unpaid domestic duties, born 19 Jun 1915.
In September 1946 Wilmot Fryer and his daughter Anne Fryer lived here.
In September 1948 Wilmot E. Fryer and his daughter Beryl Fryer lived here.
In 1950 Wilmot E. and Irene Fryer lived here. Wilmot Fryer was a miner and had a daughter called Anne.
In 1994 the Riley family lived here.

 

Fact File No. 20

In 1910 James Nixon was the occupier and Harry Nixon was the owner.
On 2nd April 1911 James and Elizabeth Nixon and their son Thomas Nixon lived here. The house was reported as having six rooms.
In 1933 Elizabeth and James Nixon lived here.
In 1938 James Nixon died while living here.
On 29 September 1939 Elizabeth Nixon lived here. Elizabeth had unpaid domestic duties, born 17 Jan 1875.
In 1950 Elizabeth Nixon lived here.
In April 1965 Martha Brown died while living here.
In July 1989 Molly Billington died while living here.
Leslie Brayford lived here in 1963
In October 1990 Leslie Thomas Brayford died while living here.

 

Fact File No.22

In 1910 Albert Durber was the occupier and Sarah Ann Durber was the owner.
On 2nd April 1911 Sarah Ann Durber, a widow, and her children: Olive, Arnold, Maud, Vera, Clarence and Colin lived here. The house was reported as having six rooms.
Sarah Ann Durber was buried on 22 Sep 1919.
In July 1923 Thomas Clutton died while living here. He died in the Minnie Pit (not the disaster)
In March 1926 Arthur Stanley Pittwood was baptised while living here.
In June 1927 Betty, the daughter of Harry and Sarah Moorely was baptised while living here.
In 1933 Alice and George William Poole lived here.
In October 1937 Peter Taylor and his son Peter Taylor lived here. In December 1937 the family moved to Basford, Stoke on Trent.
In January 1938 Josiah Brooks and his sons Eric and Royston Clive and daughter Mavis Hillary Brooks lived here. In December 1939, the family moved to Cheltenham.
In February 1939 John and his son Rodney Matthews lived here.
On 29 September 1939 John W. and Florrie Mathews lived here. John was a colliery hewer below ground, born 15 Apr 1905, while Florrie had unpaid domestic duties, born 2 Dec 1900.
In December 1939 John and his daughter Jacqueline Matthews lived here.
In March 1940 Leonard Christopher Matthews was baptised while living here.
In March 1940 Jacqueline Matthews was baptised while living here.
In 1950 Arthur, Mercy, William and Arthur (Jnr.) Jones lived here. Arthur Jones worked as a miner.
In May 1959 Lynda Deakin was baptised while living here. Her parents were Eric and Cynthia Deakin.
In September 1960 Eric and his daughter Christine Deakin lived here.
In January 1968 Keith Beech and his son Andrew Robert lived here.
In January 1970 Keith Beech and his daughter Tracy Anne lived here.
In 1972 -73 Keith Beech lived here.
In 1998 the Gaynor family lived here.

 

Fact File No.23

In Aug 1917 Enos Raymond Joynson was baptised while living here.

 

Fact File No.24

In 1910 Samuel Nixon was the occupier and Peter Brittain was the owner.
On 2nd April 1911 Samuel and Ethel Nixon and their children: Margaret and Ernest lived here. The house was reported as having five rooms
In 1933 Emma and William Shaw lived here.
On 29 September 1939 William and Emma Shaw lived here. William had been a miner but in 1939 was a poultry farmer, born 17 Jan 1879, while Emma had unpaid domestic duties, born 12 Mar 1884.
In 1950 Emma and William Shaw lived here.
In February 1964 William Shaw died while living here. William Shaw worked as a miner.
In January 1971 Mansell Baker, his wife Christine and their son Ian Michael lived here. They had moved from 11, High Street. (See High Street)
In December 1972 Emma Shaw died while living here.

 

Fact File No.26

In 1910 James Jackson was the occupier and owner.
On 2nd April 1911 James and Sarah Ann Jackson and their children: Fred, William, James and Martha lived here. The house was reported as having five rooms.
In May 1921 Sybil, the daughter of George and Martha Richardson was baptised while living here.
In June 1925 Vera, the daughter of George and Martha Richardson was baptised while living here.
In June 1932 George Richardson and his daughter Vera Richardson lived here.
In March 1933, the Richardson family left Wood Lane to go to Leicester.

In 1933 Sarah Jane Jackson lived here.
On 29 September 1939 Sarah A. Jackson lived here. Sarah had unpaid domestic duties, born 12 Apr 1866.
In November 1939 William Jackson and his daughter Mildred lived here. They moved to here from 17, Church Street. (See Church Street)
.
In 1933 Sarah Jane Jackson lived here.
In 1950 Cyril F. and Doreen M. Smith lived here.
In October 1962 Percy Brayford died while living here. Percy Brayford worked as a miner.
In August 1976 Emily Brayford died while living here.
In 1990 - 92 Yvonne Jones lived here.

 

Fact File No.28

In 1910 Charles Greatbach was the occupier and owner.
On 2nd April 1911 Charles and Sarah Greatbatch (née Clutton) and their children: Ernest and Charles lived here. The house was reported as having four rooms.

47 men and boys, led by deputy Charles Greatbatch of Wood Lane, on an almost vertical crawl to safety, with minutes to spare before they were overcome through the dark and steep grades of the “Rearers” to sunlight at the old shaft at Miles Green, known as the “Busted Onion.”

In 1933 George and Hannah Maria Poole lived here.
On 29 September 1939 George and Hannah M Poole lived here. George was an additional Constable at a colliery, born 30 Jun 1862, while Hannah had unpaid domestic duties, born 8 Nov 1867.
In January 1945 Hannah Poole died while living here.
In 1950 Douglas E. and Dorothy Garvin lived here. Douglas Garvin was a bricklayer who became Clerk of Works in Cheshire County Council, responsible for Sandbach, he had a son named Robert.
In 1994, the Bould family lived here.

 

 

Fact File No.30

In 1910 Walter (Should be Watson – see below) Aldershaw was the owner-occupier.
Alice and Watson Oldershaw and their children: Florence, Walter, Watson and Elsie lived here in 2nd April 1911. At the time the house was recorded as having five rooms.
Watson Oldershaw was a builder and built this house.

In 1933 Alice and Watson Oldershaw lived here.
On Christmas day 1935 Watson Oldershaw died while living here.
On 29 September 1939 Alice and Elsie Oldershaw lived here. Alice had unpaid domestic duties, born 7 Jun 1872, while Elsie was a shorthand typist, born 17 Sep 1908.
In April 1941 Wendy Brough lived here under the guardianship of Mrs Oldershaw. She may have been an evacuee as in July 1946 she 'returned to Coventry'.
In October 1946, Fred Riley and his daughter Margaret Riley lived here.

In 1950 Sydney and Vera Riley lived here.
In February 1984 Sidney Riley died while living here.
George and Margaret Clutton lived here from the mid 1980’s.

 

Fact File No.34
(Chapel Cottage)

In May 1995 Anthony Steele lived here. Anthony Steele had this property built as a new home.