On July 2nd 1927 my grandparents, Minnie Barratt and
Horace Ashworth were married in Wakefield Cathedral.
Minnie Barratt (1906 - 1991)
Minnie was the third child of Thomas and Harriett Barratt. She was born on 12th November 1906 at 120, Brickhouse Lane, West Bromwich in Staffordshire. Her father, Thomas Barratt, was employed as a haulier.
By the time of the 1911 census Thomas was working as a labourer and there were five children in the family. They continued to live in West Bromwich but by 1914 the family had re-located to Wakefield in Yorkshire and Thomas had become a coal miner. They lived at 28, Picadilly, Westgate in Wakefield.
Minnie was employed as a shop-girl and at the time of her wedding in 1927 she was still living in the family home. This was now 38, Picadilly and her father was once again working as a labourer. Minnie had nine siblings: Sarah (1902 - 1996) and Thomas (1904 - 1953) were older. The younger ones were: Edith (1909 - 1966); Annie (1911 - 1913); John (1914 - 1914); Mary (1915 - 1987); Celia (1919 - 2006); Edmund (1921 - 1966); Dorothy (1923 - 1941).
Horace Ashworth (1905 - 1984)
Horace was the youngest child of John Thomas and Emma Jane Ashworth. He was born on 20th January 1905 at 27, Scotland Road, Nelson in Lancashire. His father, John Thomas Ashworth, was employed as a Master Butcher.
By the time of the 1911 census John Thomas was employed as a Butcher's Manager for the River Plate Meat Company and had re-located to Normanton near Wakefield in Yorkshire. There were six children in the family and they lived at 12, Altofts Road, Normanton.
Horace worked on the railways and by 1927 had progressed as far as becoming a Railway Fireman. For those who were employed on the railway a strict hierarchy was enforced to ensure that the drivers of locomotives were the crème de la crème of the industry. Everyone started off as an Engine Cleaner charged with cleaning all the parts of the huge steam locomotives. Promotion to a Passed Cleaner followed for those who stayed the course which allowed the individual to fire the locomotive in the absence of the regular fireman. This led to becoming a Booked Fireman followed by a Passed Fireman after which if both oral and practical examinations were passed successfully the man could become a relief driver and eventually a full driver. The only way to get a promotion was to have served time and to be in the right place at the right time when a vacancy occurred. It could take fifteen years to progress to the top and take charge of one of the mighty Leviathans of steam.
It can only have helped Horace that his older brother Arthur had been working on the railways since Horace was a schoolboy.
At the time of the wedding, Horace still lived in the family home at 12, Altofts Road but his father was by then employed as a night watchman. Horace had five siblings: Richard, Arthur, Frank, Tom and Fred.
Marriage 2nd July 1927
The marriage took place on July 2nd 1927 at Wakefield Cathedral. This seems to be a wonderfully grand venue but presumably the cathedral was the parish church for the area of Wakefield where Minnie's family lived.
After the wedding they went for a few days holiday in the country at the home of Horace's brother, Tom.
After they were married Minnie and Horace set up home together at 33, Favell Avenue, Normanton near Wakefield. Five months later their first child, Doreen, was born.
By 1933 they had re-located to Royston, near Barnsley in Yorkshire. Minnie and Horace had two more children and Horace reached the pinnacle of his career and became a railway engine driver.
Minnie and Horace continued to live at Cross Lane for nearly fifty years.
I'm a former primary school head teacher now enjoying family history, e-publishing and gardening. I'm the author of "Cabbage and Semolina: Memories of a 1950s Childhood" and was delighted when the book became an Amazon 2015 bestseller in the Social History category. I'm the founder of Spurwing Ebooks which is at http://www.spurwing-ebooks.com for book details and information about new releases and special offers. Details of my books are at https://www.amazon.co.uk/C.-Murray/e/B009R7CRVC and the other books I've published are at https://www.amazon.co.uk/Michael-Murray/e/B007AQZMZK