One Generation


A hundred of years of one Addingham family: The Brears

by Anne Knight


My decision to record the story of this one generation came from general research into my family history, and further inspiration from local historians Kate Mason, Alison Armstrong, Arnold Pacey and Catherine Snape. There is nothing special about this family but the generation that I am highlighting covers over 100 years.

There are many gaps in my knowledge and I have relied heavily on websites, but I have also wandered through churchyards and burial grounds and dragged my sister round old streets of towns in the north of England.

I hope I have managed to preserve the privacy of current generations while revealing something of the lives of the individuals who are their parents and grandparents. I apologise if I have shown too many connections with the present but everything held here is available to anyone seeking information on the open world-wide-web; my source.

Although individuals live their lives as families, working, marrying and dying as everyone does, this particular family also reflects the history and society of the village of Addingham. They were employers in, and builders of, the village; involved in social activities, parish councils, churches and chapels.

The Brear name is now disappearing from the current generation of the twenty-first century. I know there are family members, some who still hold the Brear name, who hold information beyond my parameters, but I have not involved them greatly in my deliberations. Therefore now could be the time to record the facts that I have found of one particular generation.

William Brear 1840 – 1911

William Brear was born at Hag Head, a farm of 50 acres on the edge of Addingham, north of the A65 Skipton Road, the old Skipton and Otley turnpike.
He was baptised on 21 June 1840. His father had combined chairmaking with farming and William’s brothers continued farming for their father, who later moved to a farm on Silsden Moor. Several generations later there are still farmers in the family, but by 1845 village crofts had gone and farming was the preserve of the outer fields (Addingham: Brigantes to Bypass. Kate Mason).

What was then known as ‘Long Addingham’ was a village of under two thousand people on the south side of the River Wharfe in the West Riding of Yorkshire. It was a textile village as well as being set in a valley of farmland. (Addingham: Glimpses of the past. Addingham Civic Society.) However, by the middle of the nineteenth-century handloom workers had been replaced by mechanical methods (Woolcombers, worsteds and watermills. Kate Mason.) but the textile industry was struggling and the population reflected, this as it had been in higher numbers. 

As a young man, William moved into Addingham village and, perhaps as a show of independence, he left farming to concentrate on the trade of chairmaking, setting up his own business in what had been Fentiman’s textile mill, beside the beck in Cross End, off Main Street. 

Stagecoaches travelled through the village, which is mid-way between Liverpool and Hull (Slater’s Royal National Commercial directory of 1855 states the coach went to Skipton through Addingham on Monday, Thursday and Saturday, but daily in the summer).  The route from Lancashire was improved with the opening of the Blackburn and Addingham turnpike which came from New Road bottom at the Kings Arms in Silsden to New Road top on the corner of Church Street in Addingham (Addingham: Brigantes to bypass. Kate Mason). Perhaps William envisaged a growth in the village and a market for his chairs; the Enclosure Act had changed the appearance of the countryside over the preceding century but walls needed gates and these were also made of timber. By the time of his death in August 1911, the sawmill produced not just chairs but other domestic items and agricultural products. Perhaps it was William who planted the walnut trees near the mill, one or two of which remain to the present day.

The 1861 census shows that William lived at Mill Yard, Cross (‘Cross’ was the name used for the area now known as Cross End Fold and Sawmill Lane, just off Main Street, next to the present Co-Op Store).  Apart from his wife, Adaline, the census shows that the home included William Duckett, a widower from Burnsall, who was a woodturner and lodged with his employer. William Duckett’s presence is evidence that workers and tenants moved around, as he had previously worked in Draughton for John Gill of Silsden. (At various points in the previous centuries the Gill family has been linked with the Brear family, sometimes by marriage). After remarrying, William Duckett moved on to live in Hunslet and then Driffield. At that time, men were forced to seek employment as there was little support for the unemployed, but it also gave them the opportunity to set up in business themselves after they had learned their trade while working for others. In contrast, William Brear remained in Addingham for the rest of his life and brought up his children there. He was a tenant of E.C.L. Lister Kay, one of an important family of local landowners and textile industrialists (Woolcombers, worsteds and watermills. Kate Mason).

The Addingham Sawmill  c.1900. The mill is at the far end, beyond the three cottages.

Buildings appear to have been developed in a haphazard manner as machinery was introduced, powered by a wheel using water from the dammed beck. This was originally undershot but later improved to run as an overshot wheel (comments on this and power to the sawmill can be found in Addingham: A view from the Moorside. Kate Mason). Later, a gas engine was introduced, powered by ‘producer gas’ made from waste sawdust. It was still in existence after the 1939-45 war (see later notes on Bailey).  In the second half of the twentieth century, a diesel engine was introduced. The power led to belts which drove the lathes and saws. The belts appeared as a spider’s web in the ill-lit sheds and shafts of light fell where men worked in a bed of sawdust.

In his lifetime William Brear established a thriving business, William Brear & Sons, employing men from the village and elsewhere. At the time of the Great War of 1914-18, a considerable number of the Addingham men who volunteered listed their occupation as chairmaker or their address as the Saw Mill. (We who served… Catherine Snape).

William & Adaline

William and his wife Adaline (see above) had a large family, not exceptional for the period and similar to that into which William had been born.

Not all the children survived into adulthood, which was also not unusual at the end of the nineteenth century. Four are buried with their parents in the Methodist graveyard in Addingham. Nonetheless, both parents lived long enough to see even the youngest of the surviving children at the beginning of their adult lives. Adaline died in 1913, little more than a year after her husband. In their lifetimes Victoria had reigned and died, Edward VII had been and gone, the labour party had begun to develop and the Suffragette movement was marching on. Internationally this was a period when Britain was involved in wars in Africa leading to the Zulu war in 1879 and later Boer wars. The world was opening to trade inspired by the industrial revolution. Transport had advanced from sailing ships to steam and aircraft could be seen in the sky. Many of the children lived through dramatic changes in education, employment and society. One generation of one Addingham family gives an insight into this era.

Their Children

Anne Currer Brear   About 1860

Anne may have been the first child of William and Adaline and was possibly born in late 1859 or early 1860. Currer was a family name.  William’s mother was Anne Currer Peel. It is not clear when the name was introduced to the family, probably by marriage. The surname crops up frequently in the nearby villages of Bradley and Kildwick in earlier centuries. She died in the same year.

It was not unusual for first children to fail to live beyond infancy. Research has shown that it was a time when inherited sexual diseases caused early death of a child or even death in childbirth of child and parent. Infectious diseases affected the poorer members of society and spread easily among communities. Child mortality resulted from poor sanitation, poor nutrition, illnesses such as tuberculosis and scarlet fever and absence of vaccination. For example, Joseph Lister began investigating post-operative infection in 1861 but Penicillin was yet to be discovered. Florence Nightingale’s reforms only began with the Crimean war in 1854. The Coronation Hospital in Ilkley was not opened until the next century, vaccinations were not widely available until the 1920s and local health support was minimal.

Anne was remembered on the gravestone of her parents’ burial place beside the old Methodist chapel. It is not clear exactly when she was born or how old her mother was. The cause of her death is not known and she did not have her own grave.

Martha Brear  1861 – 1939

Martha was recorded as six months old in the 1861 census. She was staying with her mother at Adaline’s parents’ house in Shipley but also recorded in error as being with her parents in Addingham. It is not unusual that people misunderstood the census system that began in 1841. Individuals were duplicated when they were travelling or holidaying or omitted because they were tenants or lodgers.

By 1871 Martha was attending school in Addingham; there were now three new siblings and her father was employing, and providing lodging for, three boys little older than her. Ten years later the eldest of these unrelated boys recorded his occupation as a chairmaker and lived with his new wife and family in Main Street. His brother returned to his parents in Knaresborough, working as a joiner. The third employee disappeared from records after 1881 until 1901 when he was recorded in Addingham making a living for his young family as a journeyman woodturner. These lodgers again reflect the movement of people, particularly men, gaining experience and changing employment until they settled with a family of their own. Obviously, while lodging with their employers they were being paid less or having to return a portion of their income to the employer.

Martha was married in 1884 at the age of 23 and the 1891 census shows her living in Main Street with her father-in-law, husband and second child. Martha’s father-in-law was Thomas Benson, an Addingham grocer. The census shows the neighbour on one side as ‘The coffee tavern’ with the Benson name appearing in family members. On the other side was the Fleece Inn. Whether this is the same shop later taken over by Mr Attack, the grocer recorded in Main Street memories, is not clear. (Main Street memories.  Don Barrett, Beryl Falkingham & Gloria Stitt.)

Martha had three children. The first child was staying with William and Adaline at the Saw Mill on this census day of 1891. The couple’s third daughter was born in 1891 after the census and named after her grandmother. It appears that Adaline Benson never married. Many women of her period were of marriageable age when men were being lost in the battles of 1914-18. This meant that many remained unmarried and the shortage of men was evident some years after the war.  She was twenty-three in 1914. 

At the end of the century, the Benson family moved to Lancashire.  The west coast was by then a popular holiday destination; St Annes-on-Sea, Blackpool and Morecambe easily reached by rail. It remained popular with Addingham residents until the line was dismantled. It was usual for families in the textile industry to spend their two weeks holiday visiting the seaside. The Wakes weeks in the Pennines saw trainloads of families in their Sunday best clothes seeking leisure and ozone on the west coast.

By 1901 the Benson family of Martha and Abraham were living at 27, St Annes Road West according to the census and postcards of the time describe the area as St Annes Square. The house was large enough for the whole family and Martha’s visiting brother, Bailey, who was twenty years her junior. Lack of house names means that I have been unable to clarify identification of some of the properties in the present town but St Annes Road West is the main area of shops at the time of writing and number 27 is currently a pizza parlour. This is the main road, less than half a mile from the pier which was built in 1895 and was an attractive source of entertainment and recreation for visitors in its heyday. It must have been an ideal position for rental accommodation.

References to the family are confusing in the number of properties recorded. Barrett’s directory in 1895 states Abraham Benson is a Lodging House Keeper in St Annes Road West. In 1904 the ‘Miscellaneous’ section of the same directory has Mr Abraham Benson at 28, St Annes Road West. Between 1895 and 1905 Kelly’s directory shows Abraham Benson gaining his living from running apartments in Sunny Holme, St. Annes Road West, St. Annes on Sea. Whether he owned or rented several properties or simply moved frequently is not clear.

In 1895 William Henry Hughes may have lived at Sunny Beach, St. Annes Road West, near to Abraham Benson’s business address (Sunny Holme).  The Barrett’s Directory for this year records William Hy. Hughes at St Andrews Road. By 1901 the census records that he lived next door to Martha’s home address in St. Annes Road West. He was an auctioneer and valuer.  In Barrett’s Directory, his business is in bold print in the alphabetical section: Auctioneers and Valuers (and estate agents) William Henry Hughes and Sons, Sunny Beach, St Annes Road West. He was obviously building his business at the same time as Abraham Benson.  The telephone directory for 1873 had advertised in bold print: William Henry Hughes and Sons, Auctioneers and Valuers, Commercial Sale Rooms- 5, 7 and 11 Tib Lane, Cross Street, Manchester.  By 1903 he had premises at 3, Clarence Street, Manchester. All this is relevant in future notes on the family.

By 1911 Martha’s family had moved further up the coast to Blackpool. All three daughters are shown as being at home on the day of the census. Two were to marry in the 1920s but Adaline remained a spinster living in Lancashire to a good age. Martha’s husband was no longer in the grocery business (aged 61years by 1911) and it is not clear when the transition from grocery to landlord happened, possibly with the move to Lancashire. This census shows a boarder as well as a visitor so we can assume an income from paying customers but relatives may well have visited regularly without contributing to the family income.

The boarder was an auctioneer (working with William Hughes perhaps) who married three years later, dying just after WWII leaving nearly £80,000 to his family. A considerable sum. There appeared to be no licensing system for auctioneers and valuers. Trade associations for the valuing of jewellery, fine arts or livestock began to be formed after the turn of the century. Even now there are only five notable valuers’ companies in Manchester, but auctions exist all over the British Isles as can be seen on popular current television programmes. The movement of auctioneers seeking items for sale and selling at different venues meant they were constantly moving lodging. Perhaps Abraham Benson recognised the value of contacts with the trade, particularly in the winter months when even family members saw no attraction in the seaside.

In 1915 Martha’s husband died. She continued to live in central Blackpool but seems to have moved several times further down the road. Tax records and directories have her at 52, 82, 168 and 172 Reads Avenue. I assume these were rented properties. She died in July 1939 just before having to experience another world war and left her few remaining effects to a friend. She was 78 years old.

Joseph Brear  1863 – 1869

Joseph was born around 1863. He died when he was a child and was buried on Boxing Day 1869. I have been unable to confirm the details or the cause of his death. It was ten years after William and Adaline’s first child had died and three other children were still alive in 1869.

Abraham Parker Brear  1865 – 1951

Although he was named Abraham the child born in 1865 was always spoken of as Parker. It is very common in this area for a child to bear the surname of another family member.  His mother’s maiden name was Parker and her father’s first name was Abraham.

Abraham Parker lived with his family at the sawmill. He was 26 in 1891 and still lived at home with his parents, a sister and three younger brothers as well as Martha’s daughter and his uncle Thomas.

This shows Parker Brear in about 1920 with two children, possibly Dinah’s children
Parker worked on the big saw but retired in 1930 when he was 66 after his wife had died. He was given a pension of £5 (or £10) as his share of the business.

Abraham Parker was married two years later. And this is where we are reminded of William Hughes, Martha Benson’s next-door neighbour in St. Annes on Sea. William Hughes had a daughter Ellen. Abraham Parker obviously met and courted her as a result of visiting his sister Martha. They were married in St. Annes 6 November 1893 when Ellen was 27 years old. Their witnesses were her father and William Brear. His younger sister Ada was also present. Abraham Parker was 28 and recorded as a perambulator maker from the parish of St Agnes, Burmantofts. Burmantofts was an industrial area of grime and ill health in the centre of Leeds. It is not known where Abraham Parker was living or working but it is possible that he was employed at the expanding business of Silver Cross prams in Hunslet which had begun manufacture in 1877. I have no confirmation of this supposition and it is strange that he would have changed his occupation just before marriage. (A century earlier, perambulator was a term used for the wheel used by surveyors when measuring and mapping but it is highly unlikely that this is the item referred to in the marriage document.) It is possible that the marriage record is incorrect but we will see that Burmantofts is referred to in the section about Abraham Parker’s younger sister Dinah and there may have remained a connection.

Ellen had lived in various areas of Manchester before Park Road in St. Annes and St Annes Road West. Again we have to remember these movements of her family as Manchester will crop up again. It seems that not only was Ellen’s father an auctioneer and valuer but her elder brother apparently became an auctioneer and her other brother seems to have been an estate agent. After their marriage, Abraham Parker and Ellen lived in Cragg View, Addingham and were probably there throughout the period leading up to the end of the Great War. Their neighbour, two doors along, was Abraham Parker’s younger brother Edward. In 1910 the properties of Cragg View, 2 to 12, were owned by Hubert Wilkinson, the husband of their younger sister Dinah. Abraham Parker was listed as a journeyman chair maker on the censuses of the time, apparently having returned to the family business. After the war, they moved to Low House as the 1918 electoral register confirms. By this time Abraham Parker was 53 years old.

I can find no record of any children and Ellen died 16 May 1927 when she was 60 years old. Abraham Parker had spent his later years at Low House as the tax records of 1947 show him still there with the family of his brother Job. He was 86 years old when he died 10 August 1951 leaving just over £3000 to William and Abraham’s brother, Benjamin. Of course, his father had died years before but the beneficiary may have been Job’s son William, known locally as Bill or Billy, or the will had simply never been brought up to date.

I never knew Abraham Parker but he was spoken of as a loved member of the family and his name cropped up regularly in conversations when I was a child. Abraham Parker and Ellen are buried in St. Peter’s churchyard.

Ada Brear  1867 – 1951

Ada was born in Addingham in January of 1867. By 1871, when she was 4 years old, the census shows Ada with her grandparents in Shipley. She appears to have lived with them as she is also shown in the census of 1881 as being with the family at 32, Commercial Street but by then her grandfather had retired and her uncle was the head of the Parker household. Commercial Street today is the busy main road and the property has recently been renovated from near dereliction. In 1881 it was probably the business premises as well as the home. Abraham Parker and his son were auctioneers and valuers, an interesting coincidence remembering Abraham Parker Brear’s father-in-law.  A receipt from the sawmill to the business was addressed to Exchange Rooms, Shipley – an address I have been unable to verify (Yorkshire archaeological and historical society. I note that the prices were in full and there seemed to be no discounts for the family!

When she was eighteen, Ada’s sister Fanny died. Ada remained with her grandfather as he moved to Bilton, Harrogate. The next census shows her as his assistant housekeeper but I suspect she had a caring role in the family as her grandfather was in his seventies by 1891.

It is not clear how Ada came to meet her husband but in October 1899 she married Samson Firth who worked in the textile industry. As there were textile mills in Addingham it is possible she met him in the village. He came from Wibsey, Bradford. Bradford was a centre of textiles by the second half of the nineteenth century (see; Woolcombers, worsteds and watermills.  Kate Mason). All of Samson’s five sisters worked in the textile industry and his father was a labourer in the dying industry, which was a cold, wet, dirty occupation often done in small sheds. These may have been open to the weather with dripping lengths of yarn hanging from the rafters, as I saw, in the Seventies, when the local industry was diminishing.

1901 was the year Edward VII was crowned, after the death of Queen Victoria. This was a notable change for the population of England but the Brear household continued as it had always done at the sawmill. By then William was 60 and three adult children were living as a family with their parents, plus their uncle Thomas, their sister Ada and her husband Samson. The couple is not referred to as visitors but Samson’s sister and another female are visiting on the day of the census. Samson is employed as a cloth finisher in worsteds but no occupation is shown for Ada, even though she is 34 years old by now. Samson’s younger sister Pollie went on to marry an Addingham shoemaker so she moved into the village as Ada moved out, with her husband.

By 1911 records seem confused. There is a census record of a Samson Firth living in 12, Far Hills, Slack Side, Wibsey. Samson is recorded on the census as being employed as a stuff presser in the textile industry (one of the finishing processes). His parents seem to have moved from this house, their second in Slack Side in Samson’s lifetime. Two of his sisters were living at number 14 at this time. In fact, the whole street seems to have been occupied by textile workers and their families, many of whom also worked in textiles. This suggests the properties may have been owned by the mill company. However, land records in 1910 show Samson Firth at Reevy Avenue in Bradford, in a property owned by Mena, his mother. Problematically there is another record in the same year that has him at 102, St. Enoch’s Road which is not far away. The Far Hills property will have been an older construction but many of the houses in Reevy Avenue and St. Enoch’s Road must have been built at the end of the nineteenth century. Some three-storey houses remain but most of the area has been demolished. Slackside is now an area of parkland between the two roads.

The couple disappears from records until Samson is in his seventies and they seem to have had no children. Probably, having retired, the couple came back to Addingham and in 1946 they were living in Marchup Cottages. Samson died in Springfield 20 March 1947 but as his burial was recorded as a different month there may be errors in the details. We can assume Springfield is the terrace now known as Springfield Mount (Page 66, Addingham: Glimpses of the past. Addingham Civic Soc. and Don Barrett’s photographs on Records suggest that two daughters of Samson’s sister were also at this address so it is reasonable to assume they were caring for him at the end. He left £5 to his widow. Ada then moved to 9a, Main Street and died in May 1951 leaving £1672 to an incorporated accountant who was a son of her sister-in-law, so it is possible that the ownership of 9a remained in the family for some decades, being used by another sibling after Ada (9 Main Street is attributed to Joshua Brear – Addingham Houses 1750-1850, Arnold Pacey). Both Ada and Samson Firth are recorded on William and Adaline’s gravestone

Edward Brear   1868 – 1960

Edward appears to have been born in 1868. He lived with his parents at the sawmill but, unlike Abraham, married relatively young at 21 years old. His wife-to-be, Mary Jane Taylor, was a textile worker. Her father had been born in Oldham, Lancashire and was an overlooker in a silk mill. We can only assume this was Lister’s Low Mill, Addingham. She was a silk (velvet?) cutter, probably at the same mill. Her sister worked as a wincey weaver. The marriage took place in St. Peter’s church on the 12 February 1890 witnessed by his bother Abraham Parker and sister Ada.

By the census of 1891, Edward was living with his wife and two children at Cross, later known as Cross End. Fanny, the couple’s first child was born in 1889 but does not seem to have survived to adulthood. Edward was working as a chair maker. Four children had been added to the original two by 1901 and they had moved to 4, Cragg View. Edward’s occupation was described as a journeyman chair maker by this time. Edward, his wife and growing family were still living in Cragg View in 1911 and the census recorder chose to declare Edward’s occupation as Windsor chair maker.

Chairmakers were differentiated from cabinet makers because each specialised in their craft; Spindles for chairs were made on lathes and different woods were used in chair making from those used in cabinet making.  Thomas Chippendale had lived only a few miles away from Addingham in the eighteenth century but every town had a chair maker, as even ordinary people needed chairs. Chairs were needed for everything from dining to nursing and at least ten types were manufactured. The sawmill also made stools of different kinds, some with four legs and some with three. The repertoire expanded to include washing dollies among household items and work items such as wheelbarrows. Customers included farmers, blacksmiths and landowners.

At some point, the brothers built a wooden bridge connecting Farfield Hall to the riverside fields. It was removed at the end of the last century for safety reasons but, as children, my sister and I knew it as the Wishing Bridge. (The Farfield estate was leased and sold many times until the early 19th century when the Cunliffe Listers bought the hall and its estate. From the early 20th century, the house was owned by the Smith family and then, after a period of multiple tenancies, by George Douglas of the Bradford Dyers Association, who transformed the garden and estate. In the mid-20th century, the house was used as a home for the elderly and has been in private ownership since 1989 (website – Addingham .info)).

The London Gazette of 3 October 1944 refers to the partnership between Edward, Timothy and Job carrying on business under the style William Brear and Sons. The entry stated that this partnership was dissolved 31.07.1944. Edward and Job carried on the business even though Edward was in his seventies.

Edward and Mary Jane had a family of nine children, though four of these did not grow to old age. This must have been difficult for the couple, but I remember Edward as a cheery man who had a way with children and a bag of sweets to the ready. One of the boys, Ronald, is recognised in Catherine Snape’s book “We who served…“. In about 1930 Edward built three houses at the end of Bark Lane; he lived in High Lawns where I remember playing clock golf in the garden. A bungalow now stands on what was the lawn. Two of his sons lived in Hill Crest and Overdale. These were some of the first houses in the village to have electricity. I am told (by Andrew Watson) it was generated from a Pelton wheel in the sawmill with an elaborate means of turning it on and off remotely (A Pelton wheel is like a water wheel, designed to be an impulse turbine extracting more energy from the water. It extracts energy from the impulse of moving water, as opposed to water’s dead weight like the traditional overshot water wheel). A newspaper article later recorded that Edward was the first passenger to buy a ticket from Addingham when the railway line opened in 1888. (This story may be in conjunction or conflict with the recorded suggestion that Welbury Kendall, also a timber merchant, bought the first ticket at Skipton.)

Brear family members round car at Sawmill c.1926. L-R Edward Brear, Nellie Brear, Florence Brear, Jennie Brear, Hugh Hill (driver) Joan Brear, Parker Brear, Job Brear.

Edward and Mary Jane are buried together with two infants, Ethel and Adeline Ruth and their young daughter, Una. Mary Jane, known as Jenny, was relatively young when she died 29 February 1928. Like some of his siblings, Edward lived into his nineties, dying 25 March 1960 and leaving his estate to his son and unmarried daughter who lived with her father at High lawns in earlier years.

Fanny Brear  1871 – 1885

Fanny was 11 weeks old when the 1871 census was taken. Her sister Marion was born just before Fanny’s tenth birthday but Fanny never lived to see another census and died in the summer of 1885. She is also remembered on her parents’ gravestone.

Dinah Brear 1872 – 1956

Dinah is a name I have not found elsewhere in the family. When Dinah was born in 1872 there were eight siblings in the household aged between twenty (Martha) and one-year-old Marion.

(One member of the household was described as a servant, probably a worker in the sawmill. He was a lad of 16 years and had been born in Leeds. Like William Brear’s family, his background was non-conformist. Unlike the Brear family, he can be traced returning to Leeds where he is recorded at the Catholic St Vincent’s home, near where he originated in Mabgate. He died a short while later and was buried opposite what is now St James’ hospital in Beckett Street cemetery. (You will remember that Abraham Parker may have been in this area in 1893)).

At the age of 26, Dinah married Hubert Wilkinson, son of a travelling draper from Silsden. By the time he was 26 Hubert was a sales manager in a worsted mill which may have been Woodlands Mill, Steeton, bought by John Clough in 1845. The overlooker of Clough’s mill was Superintendent of the Wesleyan Sunday school. (William Asquith Sugden, The Primitive Methodist chapel had opened in Steeton in 1890. Methodism was as important here as in other villages in the area. Dinah’s father, William, was a man of standing in the chapel in Addingham.

Dinah had two children and Hubert’s sister and father lived with the couple in Emsley Street, Steeton. The Mechanics Institute at the end of the street was built in 1900 virtually opposite the house and Steeton had an established day school. In the 1911 census, the family had moved to Keighley Road, Steeton. During the time of Dinah’s life, Steeton’s population had doubled and her husband had obviously made his place in local society. Hubert also held a position in the Three Graces Masonic Lodge in Haworth.

Hubert had acquired part or all of Cragg View in Addingham, so his brothers-in-law were living in his property, probably paying rent. He left the house in Keighley Road to Dinah and his money to his children when he died. Dinah outlived her husband by only six years, dying in 1956 at the age of 84. She also made her children the beneficiaries of her will. When she died Dinah was still living in Steeton, apparently with her daughter Ruth whose husband had bought a new house in the village in 1938. Hubert and Dinah were buried in Addingham at the parish church, with their son and his wife.

Ruth was already a widow herself when Dinah died and she lived to the age of 91. Ruth remained at the house in Steeton, the first place I used a telephone. Ruth regularly visited her uncle, Bailey. He was William and Adaline’s youngest child who was only eighteen years older than Ruth. She appeared to be a competent businesswoman and had inherited the family’s firm individual confidence.

Timothy Brear   1874 – 1944

Timothy was the next child, born in 1874. At the time of the 1901 census, he was 26 years old and still living with his parents at the sawmill and working as a chair maker. His marriage banns are recorded at St Peter’s but he was married in St. Paul’s, Morley, near Leeds, to Mary Elizabeth Scholes. Her father was described as a manufacturer in Morley, for which I can find no further details. I also do not know how the couple came to meet.

By 1911 the couple had a five-year-old daughter and were living in Moorlands, Moor Lane.  I do not know whether he built this large stone house but Timothy owned the property. Mary’s father had died in 1896 and her mother died in November 1907. Not only was Mary’s mother, Lavinia, shown as being in Addingham at the time but Lavinia’s sons, Mary’s siblings, were shown as beneficiaries of her will.  Both men were living in Morley three years later: one in his own property and one with property in the same street which he let out while living in Fountain Street. Over the years they lived in other residences which no longer exist. The younger son married a Morley girl whose father was also in textile manufacture but by the time of his death they lived in Addingham, maybe to avoid the wartime destruction in Leeds. Mary Elizabeth’s elder brother died before WWII and was still in King Street, Morley. Women did not get the vote until 1928 so, even though the Suffragette movement had begun, it was no surprise that Mary Elizabeth had no place in her mother Lavinia’s will.

The couple’s first daughter, born 1905, died at 13 years old in 1919. There had been a flu pandemic in 1918 which may have been the cause of their daughter’s death but I can find no record of the true cause. Another daughter was born in 1913 who lived in the vicinity of Addingham for much of her life. Timothy and Mary continued to live at Moorlands until Timothy’s death in 1944 when, as stated earlier, the business partnership of William Brear and Sons changed with Mary and his daughter acting as Timothy’s attorneys. Housing developed further up Moor Lane after 1945. It is likely his wife lived with family thereafter and Mary Ellen died in 1956 leaving her estate to a nephew and her surviving daughter. She had outlived her brothers and her husband, Timothy.

Benjamin Brear   1877 – 1965

The name Benjamin is probably of Biblical origin and fashionable at the time of his birth in 1877. He also had an uncle named Benjamin. Some of his brothers had names from the Bible. This son of William and Adeline showed Low House as his home well into his thirties but Benjamin seems to have become the most travelled of the sons.

At the 1881 census Benjamin was shown as being at the sawmill but by 1891 he was staying with an aunt, his mother’s half-sister. This may be because his sister had died six years earlier when he was seven. Adeline seems to have relied on her sisters when there were family pressures. It seems to have been a close family even though Adeline’s father had married twice. In the nineteenth century, two marriages were not uncommon. A man may lose a wife in childbirth and be left with a family of children with no care while he was at work. Therefore he would marry again. The second wife may have been a widow herself or much younger than the man. A younger wife would then be widowed when he reached old age and would have to find a second husband if she had been left with no means of support. In Benjamin’s case, this did not apply as he did not marry until he was 54 years old.

Benjamin (left) seems to have taken his younger brother under his wing as shown in a letter from his mother dated 7 March 1900. She addressed her letter to the ‘boys’. Her spelling suggested a poor education but better than expected for a woman. Her sons must have been unwell as she suggested they come home to get better “or buy malt extract at 3/6d a bottle (17.5p)” to strengthen them. She also asked Benjamin to “tell Bailey not to smoke.” (This had no effect as Benjamin’s brother was still smoking a pipe when he was ninety.)

Before he married Benjamin lived the kind of life which would be normal in the 21st century. He became an engineer, although I have no record of his schooling or qualifications. At the age of twenty-three, Benjamin is recorded in the 1901 census as living at the sawmill.

In April 1910 a postcard from SS Persia showed the sender in Gibraltar. The ship was a P&O cargo/passenger carrier in all probability. (This vessel was torpedoed in 1915 during the war period with the loss of 353 of the people on board.)

For some reason, it appears Benjamin went abroad again as a postcard dated at the end of 1910 shows a scene of Colombo (now in Sri Lanka) with a message to Bailey that the sender was arriving on the Orontes. This was the first ship of this name in the Orient line which sailed between London and Australia, calling at Colombo.

By 1911 he is recorded as a boarder in Dacre Gardens, Beeding, Sussex. With him is a carpenter, Joseph Brear, the eighteen-year-old son of Edward. The census shows them working for Chemney Ferro Concrete, a Leeds firm. (The website of British History Online quotes “A history of the county of Sussex”, Volume 6, Part 3, published by Victoria County History, London, 1987, stating that a wooden bridge existed over the River Adur in 1905. This was replaced by an iron bridge soon after that date. This is possibly the construction in which Benjamin was involved.)

Soon after, Benjamin took on a contract to construct a jetty for Joseph Crosfield and Sons, Bank Quay, Warrington, Cheshire.  Joseph Crosfield and Sons was a chemical company, one of the three largest soap-makers in the country, using the raw material of palm oil. The new jetty being built in Guinea Bissau would ease the docking of ships exporting the palm oil. Guinea-Bissau is the former Portuguese Guinea, a small country wedged into the south side of West Africa between Senegal and the Republic of Guinea. Before World War I, Portuguese forces, with some assistance from the Muslim population, subdued animist tribes and eventually established the territory’s borders.  Benjamin took his brother Bailey with him to help with the construction in the town of Boloma.

They left Liverpool 5 September 1912 bound for Lisbon on the Ortega, a ship of the Pacific Line. (This ship was scrapped in 1927.) From there they took a more local ship plying the west coast of Africa.  They were in a Portuguese country at the time of struggles for independence. Even now Guinea Bissau is a place of unrest as the government of the country has never been stabilised in the last hundred years.

His mother seems to have written to him as the elder brother, reminding him to care for Bailey, although it is unlikely she had any real comprehension of the dangers around them. Guinea-Bissau’s climatic condition can be characterised as typically tropical in nature, where the weather remains relatively hot and humid with downpours affecting the area through the months of May to November. During the rainy seasons, the average temperature ascends from 26°C to 28°C. The Harmattan wind moves from the Sahara region during the dry season, reducing the temperature to about 24°C. 

Below: Postcard from Bailey while in Bissau with Benjamin

It is possible that Benjamin remained in Africa without a break until he arrived in Southampton 20 October 1913, having boarded the Cap Blanco at a port of call on its journey from Buenos Aires. This is unlikely as spells in the difficult working conditions seem to have been limited to six months but I have no proof of other journeys. Bailey, who remained in Africa, had forewarned the family of Benjamin’s homecoming, adding on the postcard that he “heard nothing from Crosfields”. Employees and contractors spent fixed terms in Boloma as letters refer to the movement of men. They obviously found conditions difficult and were sometimes kept longer than expected. One letter refers to two sent home and “we expect two more on the German boat”.  Shipping was not affected by the unforeseen war. Benjamin may have gone out again 2 January 1914 on a Royal Mail Steam Packet, Aragon, as far as Lisbon. (This ship was to go on to serve as a troop ship in Gallipoli.) He certainly arrived in London 4 November 1914 on the Norman of the Union-Castle Steamship Coy. line, which had begun its journey in Durban, South Africa (also taking troops to France a little later). The First World War had already begun.

All of William and Adaline’s sons were too old to be called up at the beginning of the Great War. However, Benjamin enlisted 22.03.15  in the 211th. Field Coy of the Royal Engineers. His last employer, recorded at enlistment, was the Yorkshire Hennebique Co. of Leeds, another ferro-concrete company. (Hennebique was a Frenchman who devised the process of construction using iron and concrete toward the end of the nineteenth century.)

Benjamin saw several theatres between 1915 and his discharge 15 March 1919. He left Devonport to disembark at Port Said in November 1915 and was in Egypt until March 1916. He was then in France until February 1919. At the end of the war, his records showed that he claimed indigestion as a result of broken false teeth and a decision for treatment was made at St. Omer. The teeth were replaced by January 1919 at 39 Stationery Hospital, Lille.

His conduct was mostly of good order but having been offered a promotion in 1916 he requested to return to the rank of Sapper. He seemed to be poor at dealing with the discipline of rank in the army and was charged with using improper language to a Sergeant Major after absence without leave. 28 days of pay were docked. He previously overstayed his leave in December 1917 and was stopped 5 days’ pay on that occasion.

His personal details showed Benjamin to be 36 years old in 1915, 5’10’’ in height with a weight of 158lbs. His physique was described as good with a scar on his left wrist and the artificial teeth which he managed to have replaced at the army’s expense! He must have been a cheeky chap as he sent a postcard to his brother from the Field Post Office 26 July 1916. He stated “to let you know I am keeping fit and well” with “not too much work”. However, the card itself was a “(captured German) P.P.C.”.

It seems that Benjamin lived in Lancashire for some of the time after the war but in 1926 he declared his home address as Low House. In 1931, at the age of 54, he married 32-year-old Doris Sarah Wood in Warrington. She originated in Lincolnshire but it is not clear why she was in Warrington. Family information states she had been a nurse. Benjamin’s address was London Road, Stockton Heath, Warrington.

There is no definite evidence but Benjamin may have continued to work with ferro-concrete contractors. A person of the same name can be found travelling to USA, Australia and Africa but without proof, I cannot be sure that this is Benjamin doing engineering work over the world. His working life is a mystery to me.

Benjamin and Doris lived in Marchup through the thirties, forties and fifties. During that time Benjamin must have been in contact with a relative by marriage, Arthur T England, who was an architect. They no doubt had mutual family and business contacts. The evidence for their awareness of each other is in the probate reference for Arthur England Senr. It seems logical that an engineer should befriend an architect whose family had previously lived in Addingham. Benjamin was popular with the children because he always had sweets in his pocket!

The couple then moved to Low House in 1957 when Benjamin was eighty years old. Benjamin died 12 March 1965 at Middleton Hospital and his widow continued to live in Low House until her death in 1980.

Marion Brear 1879 – 1882

The last child to die in infancy was Marion. She was born in 1879. At the 1881 census, the household also included Martha, Abraham, Edward, Fanny, Dinah, Timothy, Benjamin and the teenage employee from Leeds. William is noted as employing 12 men and boys at the time. Marion died a year later but there is no record of the cause of death.

Job Brear   1881- 1982

Job was born 5 April 1881 and was to prove to be the longest living of the children. He is shown at the sawmill in the censuses of 1891 and 1901. In 1911 he is still there but only his parents and uncle remain at the sawmill for the census record. He began work at the sawmill at the age of 14.

Job’s father died just before Job was married, on 26 September 1911. His wife Florence Maud Redshaw gave birth to their first child in the next year. His mother died the following year and war broke out just before the birth of their second child. They were shown as living at 155, Main Street in 1914. Florence Maud had two more children before she died, at the age of forty-six, in 1929. Her father, a local farmer, had died in 1925, leaving Job as the beneficiary of his will. Later his sister-in-law, Doris, became his housekeeper when she was widowed, but the family must have supported Job in bringing up his teenage children.

Job was the joint owner of the business, Low House, High House and Cross End after the death of his father. Abraham Parker lived at the sawmill, Edward at Cragg View and Timothy was already at Moor Lane. Following Timothy’s death in 1944 the partnership had changed. Abraham Parker died in 1951, Edward in 1960. A limited company was set up in 1960 which is still in existence having passed through Job’s family.

Job Brear in Church St. Addingham. He took part in a campaign to save the sycamore tree in the background.

Job continued to manage the business with his son, born in 1914. A cine film exists which shows them working on the Broughton estate, felling trees  (Copyright of the estate of Michael Rayner, published by Addingham Civic Society). The sawmill accounts of 1861-1880 (Yorkshire Archaeological Society, Brotherton Library, Leeds University) showed, for example, that wood-felling on the Moorside drew an income of £3-2-6d. They worked all over the country and the wagons were constantly moving in Main Street, bringing in timber and delivering sawn lengths or fully made farm gates. Some items were ”settled by note” or “settled by labour”. The old cottages of the sawmill were the workshops and external steps led up to the office in the end building which could be seen from Low House kitchen. A large wall clock seemed to fill the office as the secretary typed throughout the working hours. The horizontal and vertical saws cut up the trees at the back where wagons could run alongside. Beside Low House, a large covered barn stored sawn timber, the longer lengths vertically and the shorter lengths in stacks. Hens ran freely and vegetables were grown beside the beck. An old summerhouse was home to a vine which was fed with pigs’ blood. Ducks lived on the mill pond and sawdust slipped down the banks into the beck.

The Ilkley Gazette recorded how Job displayed a keen interest in conservation as village values changed. He was instrumental in saving the Church Street sycamore from destruction (see left).

Once he retired Job had more time for cricket. A newspaper article celebrating his hundredth birthday recalled: “the days when Addingham boasted more shops than Ilkley”, “when Main Street was a dirt track……and Mr Brear and his friends were safe to play cricket because there would be no more than half a dozen horse-drawn carriages a day.” (Ilkley Gazette 1981)  When his younger brother was dying, Job visited and as he left said “He hasn’t got long now. I’m off to watch the cricket.” His brother would have understood as they had regularly sat on the ground, with their backs to the road, watching the Saturday cricket and enjoying the sunshine.

In his later years, Job visited his children in Lancashire and Yorkshire. He died in Yorkshire, just short of his hundred and first birthday in 1982 and was buried with his wife in St Peter’s Churchyard.

Bailey Brear   1882 – 1974

The youngest child was named after his maternal grandmother’s maiden name. Bailey was born in 1882. The 1891 census shows him at home with his parents, an uncle, his siblings and his five-year-old niece. Ten years later, at the age of nineteen, Bailey is with his sister Martha and her family at St. Annes on Sea, as mentioned earlier.

His childhood education had probably been at the village school before he attended Keighley Trade and Grammar school. Sometimes he would walk to school on the old road via Wingate Nick at the top of Addingham Moorside, as this was a shorter distance than following the turnpike through Silsden which had been completed just before his birth. There is a suggestion that he and Job would walk to Steeton then get the train to Keighley (in 1879 the fare was five and a half old pennies). In 1896 and 1897 Bailey was in the upper half of his class with good attendance and only one mark in the detention register. His school reports were signed by the headmaster Denis Barrett MA, who was noted in the area. Bailey did not study German and Latin but was good at Physics, Geometry, Drawing and French which would be proved valuable in his future employment.

In 1901 Bailey was training as an auctioneer and valuer, probably with W H Hughes. The census for that year shows the eighteen-year-old boarding, with his sister and family, at St Anne’s Road West, as mentioned in reference to Martha. In 1903 he was in digs with Mrs Horsfall of Beresford Street, Manchester but in 1906 a further postcard was addressed to him living in Raikes Parade, Blackpool. He was still working as an auctioneer in 1910, based at the Windmill Hotel, just off Rochdale Road, Manchester.

He took a break from this work and spent 1910-1911 in Roubaix, France. It is thought he was a construction assistant (which could have been anything from a labourer to a mechanic) and he worked at the fairground of the 1911 Roubaix exhibition ( His father died August 1911.

After this, he is found boarding again with the Emmott family. Mr Emmott is described in the 1911 census as a hotel manager of the Windmill Hotel.  The accommodation was near Rochdale Road, Manchester and Bailey is described as a hotel valuer. This address is half a mile from W H Hughes’ business in Clarence Street. References exist for Bailey at W H Hughes in August 1912 and one also exists for R S Banks, Auctioneers and Valuers, up to July 1912. Their premises were at 37, Bridge Street, Deansgate, Manchester. While he was doing this work, in 1910 and 1911, Bailey may also have lodged in Ducie Grove with the Baskervilles as postcards were sent to this address during those two years. The Baskerville son was younger than Bailey but they have must have become friends as the surname appears as a witness at Bailey’s wedding. He left W H Hughes’ in August 1912, after a time visiting friends in Newcastle, but records show him working at R S Banks’ business in September 1912.

The area of Shudehill and Tib Street, Manchester, at the bottom end of Rochdale Road, was a jewellery quarter (now known as the Northern Quarter) and this may be where Bailey met Minnie Bray. There is a record that she worked, up to 1909, for the Sanolene Manufacturing Co. of Thorburn Street, Upper Brook Street, Manchester. She then worked for H. Samuel jewellers (this concern began clock making in Liverpool in 1862, but when Harriet Samuel took over the business she moved to Market Street, Manchester, running it as a mail order company). Minnie’s family had moved to Manchester from Hunslet, Leeds, between 1901 and 1911, just after H. Samuel’s first store was opened. She is recorded as being an auctioneer’s clerk in 1911 but, unfortunately, the name is not noted, so this is also possibly where Bailey met Minnie.

On the 5 September 1912, Bailey left Liverpool with his brother Benjamin. As stated earlier, they sailed on the Ortega of the Pacific Line as far as Lisbon. Here Bailey sent a postcard marking their cabin position with a cross. (There is little accuracy in the ship’s record of passengers. They are shown as travelling 2nd. Class but Benjamin is recorded as a merchant returning to Scotland and Bailey as a jeweller.) Their last residence is shown as Scotland which may be correct. From Lisbon the pair travelled onward by local coastal shipping to Guinea Bissau. This period is recorded in letters between Bailey and other individuals concerned, or with Minnie. There was even a postcard dated March 1913 from Minnie’s father who was visiting Brighton.

Benjamin had a contract to build a jetty but Bailey’s work is not clear. There is a record of this period in the form of letters between Minnie and Bailey, as well as from work colleagues, after Bailey and Benjamin’s departure. It is apparent that another contractor let Bailey down, but the reasons are not clear. A letter refers to Buluma Ltd, Boloma. This company went into liquidation on 19 December 1913. Bailey showed in later business dealings that he may have been too trusting of new associates. He is recorded as being employed by the British Construction Company of London in 1913.

While in Africa the two brothers received a letter telling them that their mother had died. Their mother had written regularly to her sons, giving them news of the family. Bailey also wrote to Minnie. She wrote back and even sent a tobacco jar which not only survived the journey into this wild region but also remained intact on its return to England. The content of these letters must have been romantic at times as Bailey wrote asking for her letters to be addressed to ‘Bailey’, “as Benj claims all letters addressed to ‘B Brear’”.

Once returning home Bailey could not wait to get to England so he sent a postcard every time the “Guildford Castle” docked, between Las Palmas and Southampton. He arrived 22 October 1913 and was married in Old Trafford, Manchester, on 9 November 1913. Most of Bailey’s siblings had married local people but Bailey’s new wife was born in Clerkenwell, London. Her family had moved to Eastbourne and then Hunslet in Yorkshire which was a village at the time, separated from Leeds by open fields. Minnie’s father was an engineer and Hunslet was a developing centre of engineering. He then got a job as an electrical engineer on the Manchester Ship Canal which was opened in 1894, which is why Minnie was living in Manchester at the same time as Bailey. The wedding gift from Minnie’s employer, H. Samuel, was a mantel clock (which, like so many, never worked properly again after Bailey’s death!)

After coming home from Africa and getting married, Bailey returned to auctioneering and paid his One Guinea (£1 and 5pence) to join the Auctioneers and Estate Agents Institute in 1915 and 1916.  On 6 December 1915, he was transferred to the army reserve, aged thirty-three, but he was never called up though it has been recorded that he led a development and construction team converting engines and making transmissions for the new tanks and aeroplanes. His address was given as that of his wife’s parents’ in Shrewsbury Street, Old Trafford. Bailey and Minnie’s only son was born May 1919 after the war and in the same year, Bailey was a beneficiary of a few hundred pounds from a deceased relative. The letter suggested that he had moved to a new family home in Potters Bar, Manchester, near to Minnie’s parents.

Then Bailey (see photo below) changed his employment and there is a record of ‘Rimmer and Brear Ltd’ between 27 January 1920 and 1924. Bailey’s partner was John Rimmer of Pendleton, Manchester, and a second company; ‘Brear and Randulph Ltd’, went into liquidation 31 August 1925. I once had sight of an advertisement for a motor show where Bailey was displaying a car he built but production never followed.

A directory records Bailey, in 1927, working as a motor engineer at Broughton Road, Pendleton, while living in a house he bought in Waverley Avenue, Stretford, Manchester. It is unsurprising that the family moved here as the properties were new but still close to Minnie’s family. Perhaps more importantly, the house was close to Trafford Cricket Ground; Bailey had played cricket as an amateur in St Annes and continued to do so in Stretford.

He then became an employee of Newton and Bennett Ltd. who manufactured vehicle parts and had premises at William Street, Salford. This company was well-known at the time as sole concessionaires of Newton-Cierano cars. These cars were built in Turin and the company had an outlet in King Street West, Manchester as well as a showroom in Knightsbridge, London. This information is recorded in the reference the company provided to Bailey in March 1927 as he left to set up yet another partnership.

At some point, after his failed businesses, Bailey became an employee of Garlic, Burrell and Edwards, Road Hauliers, as a third maintenance manager at their Manchester and Salford depots. He held this position until about 1938, according to an article in the Ilkley Gazette (1972). Bailey then joined the management of Deansgate Hotel to develop a garage and workshop.

The City of Manchester produced Air Raid Precautions identity cards to assist individuals during the Second World War. Bailey’s was dated 23 September 1939 recording the address of the Deansgate Garage Ltd. as 30, Deansgate, Manchester. During the war, in 1942, a fire broke out in the hotel. This was not related to enemy action but sixteen people died and many jumped into the River Irwell. The burned hulk remained for thirty years before the Ramada Hotel was built on the site. (This information was supplied by Manchester Fire Service Museum in Rochdale when I was seeking information on the father, a fireman, of the woman who was to become Bailey’s daughter-in-law.)

Both Bailey and Minnie were issued with Identity Cards stating their home address 2, Waverley Avenue in May 1943. Their son was fighting in the Eighth Army. The same card records a change of address 21 June 1951 to 9(a) Main Street, Addingham. Bailey had taken over the property on his retirement, after his sister Ada’s death, but this was only a temporary home.

Bailey bought Fir Cottage in Church Street, Addingham, for £875 in 1952. Although he had retired, he began working with his brothers again. He crossed the land at the back of Park Crescent every morning to go and start up the engine for the sawmill. He would shovel sawdust into the gas generator furnace, or shift it with his foot to provide the gas for the engine. The engine was about twenty feet long, from memory. It was painted dark green and the brass was kept shining; the pistons and cranks well-oiled. At the end of the day, Bailey made sure everything was run down safely and returned home to feed his hens. He did no other work at the sawmill but occasionally used the machines to make small pieces of furniture and toys for his grandchildren.

Bailey collected the rents from Cragg View in Addingham, which his niece Ruth owned. He shopped at Bert Whitham’s (grocers), Terry Smith’s (butchers) and Riley’s (bakers). Minnie had always kept good records and part of a cash book from 1907 showed details even before she met Bailey. Her income seemed to be 8 shillings (40pence). She shows purchases after paying a regular weekly sum of 3 shillings such as a scarf 1/9, hat 4/-, making an apron 9d, a pattern book 1d, and later in the year: petticoat 2/6, corsets 2/11, combinations 4/6 and flannelette drawers 2/0. She also recorded spending 3/- on a couple of presents but 5/3 on a gift for her mother. Everything was in the form of double-entry bookkeeping, showing the level of her education. After Minnie died, in 1967, Bailey occupied himself with his garden and hens, watching village cricket and he attended the same Haworth lodge of Freemasons as his brother-in-law Hubert had done. Bailey had picked up the old cashbook by mistake, in the 1960s, and begun his grocery order of half a pound of bacon, half a pound of butter, a pat of sliced cheese, an ounce of Redbreast tobacco, a tube of mustard and 1 cwt of mixed corn. He always had a bag of dusted caramels in the bureau to give to his dog and Mintoes to suck while watching the cricket on the television. Bailey lived alone until a few months before his death in 1974. He left Fir Cottage to his son. Bailey and his wife are also buried in St Peter’s, Addingham.

The photo below, taken in the woodyard in about 1940, shows the six brothers – l-r Job, Bailey, Ben, Parker, Timothy and Edward


In conclusion

William had not only developed his business but had fathered thirteen children, although four had died young. Of the remaining children, six were males. Abraham Parker and Benjamin had no children and Timothy only had daughters. Bailey and Job each had a son and Edward had three sons, which was only to be expected as he had the largest number of children among his siblings. However, by the time William’s great-grandchildren are numbered, the presence of males is diminishing notably. From one generation which covered over a hundred years, there is now little evidence of the surname that William carried to the village of Addingham.


Gallery of other pictures from the Brears’ family album