Author Topic: John Bibby's Copper Works, Window Lane, Garston, Lancs (now Liverpool)  (Read 206 times)

Offline johneowens

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My gggrandfather and ggrandfather (and namesake)worked at John Bibby's Copper Works in Garston, which moved from across the Mersey at Poulton cum Seacombe in 1865.

A recently discovered 82 yo cousin has given me copies of 4 unique photos, which he says were given to him by a bloke in a pub in Garston many years ago who knew his grandfather. His grandfather Johnny Owens was foreman copper rollerman (succeeding his father, my gt grandfather and namesake) in about 1916. My cousin says he thinks the pics were originally published in The Gentleman's Magazine in about 1915. I have accessed this publication online. However, it does not appear to include photos, and it ceased publication in 1907.

So, my question is where were these pics originally published - possibly in some other specialist magazine of the late 19th or early 20thC? Three of the pics are of the copper works, two of them including Johnny (b.1875), who is the big guy (22 stone) shown in 2 of the pics holding what looks to me like some kind of measurement instrument. Judging by Johnny's age, I reckon the 3 older, less focused, pics were taken just after he became foreman, say, 1916-17. The fourth photo (in the next message), is a "team" photo of 11 copper workers, including the manager at the time, Fred Bawden (b.Cornwall, 1857) and Johnny, and probably taken about 1925.

I already know quite a bit about the history of the copper works but am now seeking specific details of these 4 photos. If anyone knows about their origins or detailed information on the work personnel in the late 19th and early 20th centuries I would love to hear it. I have attached 2 of the photos. I shall attach the other two in my next message.

If you have seen this photos previously or if you have any other information on them, please let me know.

Many thanks and best wishes - especially Stan who directed me to this page where I can upload the photos.

John
Owens-Swansea/Wallasey/Garston,Lípool
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Offline johneowens

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Re: John Bibby's Copper Works, Window Lane, Garston, Lancs (now Liverpool)
« Reply #1 on: Tuesday 14 May 19 15:11 BST (UK) »
... and the other 2 photos.

John

Owens-Swansea/Wallasey/Garston,Lípool
Jones-Erbistock/Widnes
Allen-Tetsworth/Hoole/Runcorn/St.Helens/Iowa/Kansas/Nebraska
Yieveley/Yevily/Everley/Heviley-Little Ness,Salop/Oldbury/St Helens/Garston,L'pool
Davies-Holywell,Garston,L'pool
Ithel-Bagilt,Mold
Fletcher-Rainhill/Widnes
Hughes-Marchwiel,Bangor-Is-Coed,Denbs
Thomas-Oswestry, Salop/Liverpool
Cole-Cliffe Peppard/Lyneham, Wilts
Frawley-Rathkeale, Co. Limerick
Conway-Coolanoran,Co.Limerick
Dinneen-Ballingarry,Co. Limerick

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Online ainslie

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Re: John Bibby's Copper Works, Window Lane, Garston, Lancs (now Liverpool)
« Reply #2 on: Tuesday 14 May 19 20:16 BST (UK) »
There is a Garston &District Historical Society which has a website, but I canít give you the link via this gadget.  I am sure they would be interested in your pics and might know where they were published.
A

Offline johneowens

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Re: John Bibby's Copper Works, Window Lane, Garston, Lancs (now Liverpool)
« Reply #3 on: Tuesday 14 May 19 22:16 BST (UK) »
Thanks, Ainslie. Yes, I know the folks at the GDHA and have emailed them the photos with a similar enquiry.

Best

John
Owens-Swansea/Wallasey/Garston,Lípool
Jones-Erbistock/Widnes
Allen-Tetsworth/Hoole/Runcorn/St.Helens/Iowa/Kansas/Nebraska
Yieveley/Yevily/Everley/Heviley-Little Ness,Salop/Oldbury/St Helens/Garston,L'pool
Davies-Holywell,Garston,L'pool
Ithel-Bagilt,Mold
Fletcher-Rainhill/Widnes
Hughes-Marchwiel,Bangor-Is-Coed,Denbs
Thomas-Oswestry, Salop/Liverpool
Cole-Cliffe Peppard/Lyneham, Wilts
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Offline garstonite

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Re: John Bibby's Copper Works, Window Lane, Garston, Lancs (now Liverpool)
« Reply #4 on: Wednesday 15 May 19 05:58 BST (UK) »
The only info I can give you is that when the Copper Works opened they had English workers - they weren't that well versed in working with Copper - so the Copper Works hired WELSH men - evicted the English from their homes and moved the Welsh in ....this caused MAJOR fighting etc ...Ludlow used to be the Capital of Wales - but is now just inside the English Border - MY nan born 1907 always used to talk about the LUDLOW SCABS ...the men who took the jobs in the Copper Works ...
SO
Was your GG Grandfather John Owens Welsh ??  it may be the reason he came to Garston - because the Welsh knew how to work Copper - the English didn't ... :) - this is ALL family gossip - I have no idea if it is the truth - but it seems feasible .
.......................
My guess is that those photos would have been in "The Garston Weekly News " - printed and sold every Thursday - just once a week in James Street - next door but one to the Empire Cinema ..
oakes,liverpool..neston..backford..poulton cum spittal(bebington)middlewich,cheshire......†† sacht,helgoland† .......merrick,herefordshire adams,shropshire...tipping..ellis..† jones,garston,liverpool..hartley.dunham massey..barker. salford

Offline johneowens

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Re: John Bibby's Copper Works, Window Lane, Garston, Lancs (now Liverpool)
« Reply #5 on: Wednesday 15 May 19 10:32 BST (UK) »
Thanks, Alan

You may be correct in the source of the pics being the Garston & Woolton Weekly News although I'm a tad sceptical as the pics would take up a great deal of print space in a non-specialist local newspaper without attracting a great deal of reader interest. Even so, do you know if the Garston & Woolton Weekly News is available online so that I may check?

You have mentioned the "Ludlow Scabs" previously although apart from your nan's story neither of us have discovered other confirmatory evidence. We need also to bear in mind that after 1880 Garston had 2 copper works: Bibby's and the Crown. It's not clear which one your nan was talking about, or both.

Bibby's was originally established by John Bibby across the water at Poulton cum Seacombe as part of his business with Richard Nevill, who owned the Swansea Copper Works. My gt gt grandfather David Owens (and William Roberts, the subsequent owner of W. Roberts & Co., the Crown Copper works, also in Window Lane) was recruited from Morriston, Swansea, by Bibby in the 1830s. If you look at the 1841 Census for Poulton you will see that many of the workers were recruited from different parts of Wales. In 1865, in order to accommodate the then new Birkenhead docks, Bibby's business was transferred to Garston. My gt gt grandfather and his family followed and by some time in the 1870s or 80s my gt grandfather and namesake (b.1844) became foreman copper rollerman, and of course, by that time, English of Welsh descent. The same was true of Roberts' business e.g. Peter Davies, who took over from Roberts, was my gt grandfather's wife's brother. He and his family hailed from Bagilt, where the Greenfield Copper Works was located outside Holywell, Flintshire. Many other Crown workers were also recruited from the same area of North Wales.

Now, my gt grandfather and namesake died in 1923. Probably, by 1916 his son Johnny (in the pics) had become foreman. However, in 1906 Bibby's had been acquired by the Broughton Copper Co., of Manchester  although it continued under the Bibby name with John Hartley Bibby managing director. In 1934, it was taken over by ICI the same firm having bought the Crown Works and closed it down the previous year. This of course was the time of the Great Depression. It might well be that a strikes and/or industrial disputes at one or both of the copper works occurred in this context of rising unemployment and dire economic conditions. Swift (1937: 171, 190) states that the ICI takeover of Bibby's and the Crown "was a severe blow to Garston" with numerous workers being transferred elsewhere. Since your nan was born 1907, she might well have witnessed and been involved in all this. It could well be that scabs were shipped in from Wales and elsewhere at this time to displace the existing workers, many of whom were of Welsh descent.

A fascinating story that is an important part of Garston's history. If only I could get RootChat to load photos more efficiently, I would attach a couple of cuttings from the Garston & Woolton Weekly News handed down to me by my grandfather, which show the chief honchos in the Bibby firm, including my gt grandfather and namesake.

Best

John

Owens-Swansea/Wallasey/Garston,Lípool
Jones-Erbistock/Widnes
Allen-Tetsworth/Hoole/Runcorn/St.Helens/Iowa/Kansas/Nebraska
Yieveley/Yevily/Everley/Heviley-Little Ness,Salop/Oldbury/St Helens/Garston,L'pool
Davies-Holywell,Garston,L'pool
Ithel-Bagilt,Mold
Fletcher-Rainhill/Widnes
Hughes-Marchwiel,Bangor-Is-Coed,Denbs
Thomas-Oswestry, Salop/Liverpool
Cole-Cliffe Peppard/Lyneham, Wilts
Frawley-Rathkeale, Co. Limerick
Conway-Coolanoran,Co.Limerick
Dinneen-Ballingarry,Co. Limerick