Pete Dawson’s scrapbook

Here is a Dawson family miscellany, provided by Pete Dawson, son of Ronald Arthur ….

Samuel Poad 1900

The Ebenezer Chapel in Awsworth Road housed the Sunday School attended by Pete’s grandfather John Arthur Dawson.
Samuel Poad was an itinerant minister of the Free Methodist Church who had his origin in Cornwall. At this time he was residing in Cotmanhay Road. In August 1899 he and his wife had left Milk Street Free Methodist Chapel in Bristol where they had worked for three years. At his departure he was presented with a purse of gold while his wife was gifted a silk umbrella and a Morocco bound Bristol tune book.

Men in uniform
And here are two boys from World War I … names unknown.

WW1 lad 1

WW1 lad 2

The portrait on the left has the name ‘Ellis’ in the bottom corner. The photo on the right was taken by J.J.Payne’s Studio at 140 Cleethorpes Rd, Grimsby.

And no clues for this one !!

WW1 lads 3

WW1 Regiment
Pete thinks this shows a First World War regiment, the photo possibly taken in Victoria Park, Ilkeston.

WW 1 Discharged soldiers

Self explanatory

Norman Street lockout

And here is a friendship group, the photo taken in the 1920’s in Norman Street.

Norman St group

Pete believes that it may have been posed during a pit lockout in 1926. The lad with the curly hair and wearing the cap in the centre of the photo is his father’s cousin, William Hart junior, born in 1907. William’s mother was Mary Jane Wright, (younger sister of Ellen Edna Dawson) who married William Hart senior in 1904.

The young lad in the centre front of the above photo appears in other photos …

Norman St group 2 (1)

Norman St group 3


The Mysterious ‘Brock

‘Breathtaking. Remarkable. Original. Complete. Knife-edge. EQUILIBRIST’

Brock 2

Brock 1

Enoch Brocklehurst …

On both of the above posters there is the same written inscription … ‘To Aunty & Gladys from Enoch 1967‘. This was written by Enoch Brocklehurst, born in Ilkeston on February 22nd 1890, the son of William and Alice Ann (nee Wright). His mother was the elder sister of Ellen Edna Wright, the wife of John Arthur Dawson and the subject of Enoch’s dedication. Gladys (Dawson) was Enoch’s cousin, the daughter of John Arthur and Ellen Edna.

Enoch lived part of his early life in Club Row and it was while there that ‘the law’ — in the form of Police Constable Snaith — came calling for him and his elder brother Edward in August 1903. The lads were charged with stealing a bike, value £8, belonging to Joseph White of Norman Street, from the premises of John Joseph Sanders … he had a cycle and hardware store in Bath Street and a workshop backing on to Club Row, and had taken in the bike to repair. The workshop was locked up for the night and there was a dog roaming in the Sander’s backyard. However the two Brocklehurst brothers decided that the bike was too much of a temptation and had spirited it away, taken it to the recreation ground in Pimlico for overnight ‘storage’, and the following day had taken it to Derby. There they tried to sell it to Percy Buxton, a local bicycle manufacturer, for £1, met with a temporary refusal, but later returned to offer it at the bargain price of ten bob. However Percy had had time to alert the police and the lads were taken into custody.
A couple of days later the two appeared before Alderman William Merry at Ilkeston Petty Sessions in the town hall, where the lads’ father William ‘expressed his regret at the position his sons occupied’ … Enoch had been in bed while Edward was the one who stole the bike. Both were punished however; 18-year-old Edward was sent to prison for four weeks while 13-year-old Enoch was given six strokes of the birch.

In 1917 Enoch married Elizabeth May Harvey alias Buttery, the adopted daughter of William and Elizabeth Buttery.

In 1969 — towards the end of his life — Enoch was living in Shaw’s Yard, Kilburn. From there he wrote to Barry Duncan, a London theatrical bookseller of some note, advertising himself …
“I have been knocking around for 60 years i think i have played every theatre of note and played with some of the best/ but i am getting tired with this club stuff you play a diffrent club every night some time you double them in a night un packing and packing up/ so i am waiting for GALAS one show a day will do me”.
He also wrote to Jimmy Lynton (the stage name of entertainer Charles Parsons and the natural grandfather of prime minister Anthony Charles Lynton ‘Tony’ Blair), noting that his act was ‘Booked, Re-booked and Recommended‘ and ‘always kept fresh by addition of Clever and Original material‘.
Enoch died in the following year.

… and brother Edward Brocklehurst.

Standing beside his brother Enoch ‘in the dock’ at the Town Hall Petty Sessions in August 1903, Edward Brocklehurst could have been forgiven if he had thought that the occasion seemed very familiar to him.
In April 1896 he had stood in the same building, pleading guilty to stealing 9d from Bath Street fruiterer John Chadwick for which he was ordered to receive three strokes of the birch.
And just over a year later, at the same place, he was sent to an Industrial School until the age of 16, as punishment for ‘frequenting the company of reputed thieves‘.
Later, back in Ilkeston, Edward couldn’t keep his hands under control.  In December 1900 he was charged with stealing a suit of clothes from printer Harry Cox of Jackson Avenue. Another admission of guilt followed — but pleas on Edward’s behalf from the victim and from Baptist Minister Arthur Copley limited his punishment to a fine of 10s and 23s costs. However the Bench reminded the respected supplicants that they had the public to protect, as well as sympathise with the lad’s relatives and friends.

After his month in prison in the summer of 1903, it was almost exactly two years before Edward returned to the Town Hall Petty Sessions. This time he was charged with breaking into and entering the bakehouse of confectioner William Donson of Bath street, a neighbour of the Chadwick shop premises of one of his previous victims. Edward made off with enough provisions to stock a stall on Ilson Market … 52 eggs, 13lbs of mixed dried fruit, 1lb of citron peel, one tin of lard, 6lbs of raspberry jam, two loaves of bread, a pair of boots, a pair of gloves and a pocket book, total value 14s 6d.
Acting on ‘information’, P.C Elliott visited Edward’s lodgings in Daykin’s Row where he discovered some of the stolen provisions displayed upon the table. At the subsequent petty sessions Edward vigorously denied having to break into the bakehouse .. ‘the window was open !!’
Two months later, Edward appeared at Derby Assizes where he pleaded guilty and where his previous convictions counted against him … he was sentenced to six months with hard labour.

On December 28th 1907, at Queen Street Baptist Chapel in Ilkeston, Edward married Edith Harker, daughter of Nottingham-born coalminer John George and Maria (nee Duro).
Would his new marital status now lead him to a more responsible, law-abiding lifestyle ??
What do you think ??

Less than a week passed and Edward was in trouble once more.
On the day that Edward was getting married, another Ilkeston collier, Thomas Johnson, was playing football in nearby Heanor. Immediately after the match he needed to travel to Nottingham, and so he handed over his boots to his mate Alfred Wheatcroft, to take care of …. Thomas told Alfred he would pick them up a few days later.
However before he could retrieve them, enter Edward Brocklehurst !! 
On January 3rd the latter had gone around to Alfred’s Mill Street home, told Alfred that he had Thomas’s permission to pick up the boots, left with them, handed them over to his recently-acquired mother-in-law Maria Harker and asked her to pawn them. She did so, and gave the pawn money and ticket to Edward.
Naturally Thomas was somewhat peeved when he discovered what had happened to his boots and complained to the police … and this is why Edward found himself, once more, making an appearance at Ilkeston Petty Sessions in March 1908. And there he was committed for trial at the Derby Assizes in the following month.
This pause in proceedings seems to have given Edward time to reflect upon his predicament. When his trial came, he declared that Thomas’s mother had owed him money and so he felt entitled to keep the boots until she paid up !! … although he had forgotten to tell this to the Petty Sessions magistrates.
The jury at the Assizes thus found Edward guilty of taking the boots, but not guilty of intending to keep them. He was discharged, with the Chairman’s final words echoing in his ears … ‘The jury have taken a very merciful view of your conduct, and I can only recommend to you to be more careful in the future’.
A recommendation that went totally unheeded.

By August 1908 Edward no longer had any use for his mother-in-law, had deserted his wife Edith and was back at the Town Hall, this time charged with stealing a garden fork, a quantity of potatoes and about a dozen sticks of rhubarb. He had made an early morning excursion into the garden of collier Frederick Blackwell of Third Avenue off Stanton Road, had borrowed the latter’s fork to dig up the produce and had then decided to take the lot. Unfortunately for the rogue he was spotted by Frederick’s nephew George Glossop who informed his uncle who informed the police. By the time the law caught up with Edward, the potatoes and rhubarb were ‘no more’ but he had lodged the garden fork with his older sister Lily … who when she realised it had been stolen, at once handed it over to the police.
Déjà vu …. two months later, Edward appeared at Derby Assizes where he pleaded guilty and where his previous convictions counted against him … he was sentenced to six twelve months with hard labour.
At this time, Edward’s prison records show that he was a painter (?) born at Ilkeston in 1880 (incorrect), that he was 5 feet 5 inches tall, with brown hair and blue eyes. And he was now highly decorated … with tattoos. At his left hand  were an anchor and a heart, with the words ‘Edith’ and ‘Love me’; on his left forearm were two hearts and the words ‘True Love’, clasped hands and a man’s head, another man’s head and flag, another heart, and the names ‘Rigley’, ‘Lizzie’ and ‘Lilly’.

A search for our Edward Brocklehurst (sic) on the 1911 census would prove fruitless.
However if we look for his brother Enoch we will find him (as Enock Brockhurst) at South Elmsall in Yorkshire, working as a labourer and boarding with another ex-Ilkestonian, Jonathan Frederick Longdon and his family.
However a few miles down the road, at Bentley near Doncaster, there is another Enock Brocklehurst, born in Cradley, a bachelor aged 28 and a boarder with Henry Black and his family. This is, in fact, Enoch’s older brother Edward who seems to have escaped his ‘responsibilities’ in Ilkeston and sought a new life — and identity — in Yorkshire.
And using his new name, just over a week after the census was taken, Edward/Enoch married Bessy Black, eldest daughter of his ‘host’.
Meanwhile his first wife Edith had reverted to her maiden name and was living, as a spinster, with her parents at Grove Terrace off Station Road in Ilkeston.

Bigamy is having one wife too many. Monogamy is the same …. Oscar Wilde

Edward’s second marriage also proved difficult …. he neglected his work, fell into debt and then temporarily deserted wife Bessy. However he was still living with her and his in-laws when ‘the law’ again caught up with him, and he again pleaded guilty, this time to bigamy … and again, in November 1913, he was sentenced to 12 months with hard labour, this time in Wakefield Prison.

My thanks to Natalie Smithson who has added further interesting details of Edward’s later life ….

Edward Brocklehurst is my great-grandfather and his brother Enoch is my great (grand-)uncle.

My grandma is Alice May Brocklehurst Bamford, the illegitimate daughter of Edward Brocklehurst and Florence Bamford. On her birth certificate, the birth date is shown as 5th May 1920 at Greasley, Basford, Nottinghamshire, (mother Florence Bamford , domestic servant and living at Bennerley Cottage, Awsworth , father Edward Brocklehurst); the birth was registered on the 8th June 1920.

Edward’s name is on this certificate although there is a line through it, and someone (I’m guessing Edward) has visited on the 12th June and had the registrar put a line through his name …   to hide his ways perhaps ?    I have a copy of this birth certificate, but I had to apply for it myself as my grandma destroyed most related document.
Edward never married Florence … and he didn’t hang around for long either !!

However my grandmother kept some contact with Edward  …. he was at her wedding for example , and I know that she did attend his funeral … he lived (his later life) in Huddersfield and I know he died in the 1950’s (1954?) … I  have a newspaper cutting of his death.

My grandma was very secretive about Edward and now I think I understand why; I only have one picture of Edward in his later life and its stamped foreign office in the corner.

I have been trying to solve the secret of why my grandma never spoke about her father, or kept any documents or photos …   rumours were of someone doing wrong but we thought it to be a brother of my grandmother (whom we have no proof existed)

My grandma Alice married Bernard Taylor on Christmas Eve, 1940 … it was a register office wedding… the marriage will probably have been in either Doncaster or South Elmsall which is where Bernard was from.
My father is their son, Keith Taylor, an only child, who died 13 years ago, aged 56 years.

My grandma Alice often saw Edward’s brother Enoch and his wife …  they often came to visit my grandma …. he’s the only relative we have pictures of, and my dad remembers his wife seeming a bit ‘stuck up’
My grandma Alice died in 1993 (Sheffield District)
There’s speculation that she also had a brother called William (Billie) born to her parents Florence and Edward , but I can’t seem to find evidence he really existed.

Physically, I do have Edward’s nose and my grandmother looked a lot like him. I must say he wasn’t the brightest of criminals and he didn’t seem to learn his lesson …  I wonder if he continued into old age thieving and ‘womanising’ ??    (May 17th-May 20th 2017)

(to be continued ?……)

I believe that Edith Brocklehurst nee Harker continued to live in Ilkeston, had several illegitimate children, and died in the town in 1961.
Meanwhile Edward Brocklehurst lived his later life in Huddersfield and died there in 1954.
And did Bessy Black marry Harold Bulley in 1913 at Doncaster, later moving to Altrincham, Cheshire where she died in 1964?


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