Cheslyn Hay Weekly News – 12 April 2015

OUR SALEM BASE is open from 9am – 2pm every Tuesday.  Everyone welcome.
REQUESTS    New member Wendy Gough has joined to find more information on her family saying ‘ My Dad, Kenneth Edward Davis, lived in Pinfold Lane for many years but my Mom only moved to Cheslyn Hay upon her marriage on 31st March 1951 before moving to Cannock around 1954 when I was still a toddler. I have limited information about my Dad’s family but I know my Granddad to be Alec or Alick Davis (b1899) and he married Laura Mason (b1900).  They had three sons Stanley, Kenneth and Joseph Davis and my Nan, Laura, passed away 10th October 1946 aged 46 and she is buried in Cheslyn Hay (Plot 13G).  My g-grandparents were George Richard Mason (b1868) and Jane Elizabeth Hall and I think they were married in 1893 but I need more help to find out about my family as I believe I still have relatives living in the area.’
RESPONSES  Carol emails more information on her Sayers family before her planned visit to our Base – ‘I wish to correct a couple of errors that I made – Billy Sayer I believe had six children, four girls – Lilian died young,  Annie, Rose and Maud plus two sons, Bernard (my grandfather) and Edward (died young).  I know that one sister committed suicide in California, but I’m not sure who it was, as mum lost contact with her aunts about 60yrs ago.  Bernard’s son and elder daughter have both died in the last few years but they both have families who still have connections with this area.’  I’ve had a response from descendants of the Sayer family so hopefully we will plan a family get-together for Carol’s visit.
Another welcome visitor to our Base in the next few weeks will be Bernard Scott Jackson from Sacramento in California who emails ‘I have made much progress with the ancestors in and around Staffordshire since we last spoke. In fact, I have additional evidence that the Jackson family started out in Tatenhill and Dunstall before migrating to Holly Bush in Cheslyn Hay and surrounding area but it would be fantastic to locate a living descendant of the Jacksons nearby but I know the last living descendant was Evelyn Hitchens so it may be doubtful’.  Anyone  with connections to Bernard’s family please contact me ( for more information.
After a raft of papers dating back over 100 years were found in a second hand bookshop in Australia last year, the finder forwarded them on to our Society in the hope we could locate anyone from the Boddice family in our area, from where the family had emigrated before settling in Australia.  Since our success in finding Kevin Boddice of Great Wyrley, Kevin now informs me that between the Australian/English researchers he and Ann from Ballarat in Victoria have now discovered seven generations of the Boddice family going back to 1730.  And all through one Australian lady who bought those papers and unselfishly helped to connect the Boddice family from both sides of the Atlantic ….. and how easy it would have been to have dumped them without a second thought.  Let’s hope the favour is somehow returned to that lady….!
NEW PHOTOGRAPHS  Several of the Fletcher family – Reg in WWII as a Medic, Adelaide (nee Roberts) & Davinia and Mary Roberts (nee Tooth), John Redvers Fletcher, Adelaide & Joan Fletcher and Norman receiving a Bravery Award.  Also Corona Price and a small class in the 1940s, Cyril & Doris Smith of Station Street and one of St Marks Church in 1950.
ARCHIVE ADDITIONS/ARTEFACTS/DONATIONS  More items for the Martins Garage & Transport and Landywood Motor Co Ltd Archive.  Also the story of William Gilpin, and records of the setting out of the Walking of the Bounds of Great Wyrley dated 13 March 1823 with names of all the officials plus the Programme of the Great Wyrley Local History Exhibition of 1967.
OLD NEWSPAPERS researched by Dave Washington     Snooker matches involving Harrison Colliery and Cheslyn Hay teams with E Smith, C Hales, K Bickley, J Bull, E Hemingsley, L Whitehead, L Pearson, S Pearson, V Hook, H Stokes (4 Mar 1949).
15th April 1965  The funeral service of Mr Arthur E Fereday, of Highfield, Station Road, Great Wyrley, was held on Thursday of last week at St Mark’s Church, Great Wyrley.  Conducted by the Rev E H Marsh, it was followed by cremation at Bushbury.  Mr Fereday was 82, and was a well-known Cheslyn Hay business man.  He was the founder of the Chase Lodge of Freemasons.
17th April 1915  On Wednesday afternoon, Mr T A Stokes, District Coroner, held an inquest at the Hatherton Arms, on a body of a child named Dorothy Maud Alcock, who suddenly died on Monday morning, under rather sad circumstances.  Mr George Evans was foreman of the jury.
Frank William Alcock said that he was in the Royal Expeditionary Force of the Second South Staffords, but was invalided home and resided at 11 Saredon Road.  He had been at the front in active service, his child Dorothy Maud was eight months and three weeks old.  Continuing he said that the child at 8.45am on Monday was in a chair and a bit of crust was given it.  Shortly afterwards it commenced coughing and in his opinion the child was in a fit.  Witness ran for Dr A H Syree but he was ill and could not attend.  He returned home and went for Dr Hosegood, but as he was going, someone called him back and said the child was dead.  In reply to the coroner: Witness said that the child seemed all right until it fell into a fit, it went black in the face.
Lydia Lockett said she was a neighbour and lived near Mr and Mrs Alcock.  She heard Mrs. Alcock scream and she ran and saw that the child was getting black.  It was in a fit.  She and her husband put a little cold water on its forehead.  The child died in her arms.  The coroner said it was a rather sad case for the parents, but he thought the child died of natural causes.  The jury agreed and a verdict was given accordingly.
17th April 1915  A sad fatality occurred at Cheslyn Hay on Tuesday.  A family named Ansell, the father of which is at the front, reside in a cottage at  80 High Street.  This consisted of the mother and four children.  The oldest of these, Christina, was nine years and six months old.  She had attended school in the morning and had returned home.  Her mother had left her in charge of the family while she went out of the house to make some purchases at the shop of Mr Perks.  While the mother was gone it appears that the child stood near the fire and by some means her clothing caught fire and she screamed and tried to extinguish the flames but she failed to do so.  Some neighbours went to her assistance, but the child was very badly burned, and P.S. Wright who was soon in attendance rendered first aid with good effect and did all that was possible but it was absolutely necessary that the child should be conveyed with all speed to Wolverhampton hospital.  Mr Dakin, with his usual readiness, at once placed the child in his car and conveyed it to Wolverhampton, where it received immediate attention, but the mother was sent for later in the day and, as expected, the child died soon after admission to the institution.
MEMORIES  We continue this week with Pat Everiss’s ‘Life during the Great War’.
Unfortunately the Ministry of Munitions issued an order prohibiting the holding of the Wakes in 1916 but there was still plenty of entertainment.  At Cheslyn Hay Picture Palace run by Mr Thacker in Rosemary Road opened Monday to Thursday and Saturday evenings at popular prices of 2d, 3d, 4d and 6d with a children’s matinee on Saturday afternoons at one penny.  The Picture Palace was also used for Benefit Concerts and one that year featured ‘Mosantus the Handcuffs King’.
Cheslyn Hay Parish Council discussed instructional classes in cheese making but to no avail due to insufficient milk supply.  There were also Social Class activities with lectures given such as ‘My three months with the Boys in France’  by the Rev W T Thompson and a Gleam Class run by the Rev Colbeck‘s sister and a Cheslyn Hay Institute for ‘wholesome amusement’ for the young men of the village and Mr T A Hawkins donated a billiards table for the cause.  Meanwhile the Chairman of the Council, Mr F W Hawkins, made an appeal to all young men to take the pledge and become total abstainers for at least twelve months with the gratifying result of 46 members signing.
APPEAL  From Lisa Davenport who has contacted me about a project she is currently supporting the Friends of Cannock Chase, focusing on sharing information about Cannock Chase’s WWI history to visitors. As part of the project Lisa is looking for volunteers who might be interested in welcoming people to the Great War Hut and/or leading WWI walks around the Chase.  Anyone interested please contact me via the email address below for further information.

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