Author Topic: Tracing an illusive Railway employee, London, 1930s  (Read 2816 times)

Offline MollyC

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Re: Tracing an illusive Railway employee, London, 1930s
« Reply #36 on: Sunday 11 February 24 19:52 GMT (UK) »
This map surveyed in 1952 has house numbers.  Nos. 2 & 4 Dalby Street are at the south end, backing on to Kentish Town West railway station.  You can see where the badly damaged houses were replaced in a different style.

https://maps.nls.uk/view/103029633

Offline BobB1

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Re: Tracing an illusive Railway employee, London, 1930s
« Reply #37 on: Sunday 11 February 24 21:12 GMT (UK) »
This map surveyed in 1952 has house numbers.  Nos. 2 & 4 Dalby Street are at the south end, backing on to Kentish Town West railway station.  You can see where the badly damaged houses were replaced in a different style.

Thanks Molly C. If I'm reading that map correctly it looks like No2 Dalby was not hit by bomb damage after all. So perhaps he had to give the home up for other (as yet) unknown reasons. But certainly by 1940 he's at Arlington Road.

Offline MollyC

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Re: Tracing an illusive Railway employee, London, 1930s
« Reply #38 on: Sunday 11 February 24 21:47 GMT (UK) »
Looks like a very handy place to live if you worked for a railway, to get to a main line station for work.  But if his work changed because the dining cars were closed...?

Offline BobB1

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Re: Tracing an illusive Railway employee, London, 1930s
« Reply #39 on: Monday 12 February 24 09:30 GMT (UK) »
Hi all interested parties.

I spent yesterday talking to my Mother to see if any memories could be unlocked. Nothing significant, only the following:

1. For some reason, she thought for most of her life that he originally came from the Birmingham area (Aston rings a bell), but on reflection she's not sure and it's just as likely this could be just where he and Madge (somehow) might have met. She never really knew if they originally met here, or in London.

2. She recalls sometime on the late 50s that Madge dropped into a rare conversation that Alf came from a 'well to do' family and was disinherited. Intriguing, but no further info.

3. Apparently Alf was quite 'pally' with Flanagan and Allen and she recalls a specific occasion (age about 5 or 6) being taken to some pub or club while 'dad and his friends' were drinking.

4. Madge at some stage during her final years in another moment of apparent lucidity claimed Alf had (or knew?) two sisters who had a stage act called the Dolly Sisters - or some permutation of 'Dolly'. This seems strange. There was a very famous Dolly Sisters duo at the time, so if this can be accepted as true, they couldn't use that name. So perhaps a tribute/copy act - maybe this is the connection to F&A?  Or did he get to know them as they used the dining cars travelling to various theatres? Probably a Red herring, but who knows? 

Bob







Offline MollyC

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Re: Tracing an illusive Railway employee, London, 1930s
« Reply #40 on: Monday 12 February 24 10:18 GMT (UK) »
Does your mother remember whether Alf had a London or Midlands accent?  Similar to her mother's accent or not?  There are a number of people with his possible names who had births registered Jun and Sep quarters of 1900.  Assuming a single forename, using Wilson, and selecting some of the more likely phonetic etc. variations for "Speirs" in the GRO and FreeBMD indexes.

If you could limit these to a region, it may be possible to track some of them in the census, 1901 onwards, some may have died as children, 1st world war etc. to narrow down his birth record.

Offline BobB1

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Re: Tracing an illusive Railway employee, London, 1930s
« Reply #41 on: Monday 12 February 24 10:47 GMT (UK) »
Does your mother remember whether Alf had a London or Midlands accent?  Similar to her mother's accent or not?  There are a number of people with his possible names who had births registered Jun and Sep quarters of 1900.  Assuming a single forename, using Wilson, and selecting some of the more likely phonetic etc. variations for "Speirs" in the GRO and FreeBMD indexes.

If you could limit these to a region, it may be possible to track some of them in the census, 1901 onwards, some may have died as children, 1st world war etc. to narrow down his birth record.

Hi MollyC - First I thought of was an accent. She doesn't know. Mother was only 9 when he died and about 6 years old when they moved to Luton. She only saw him very occasionally after that and then at a distance when he was in TB treatment/Sanitorium. Such a young child would have no idea.

I repeat that it seems to me, the best bet is to try to find mention of anyone in any Rail records of the time in that London location(employee/union membership/accident records etc) as being registered at the Dalby Street, or perhaps the earlier 166 Hampstead address. Assuming such records exist and home addresses recorded. A correlation might just find him, or someone at these addresses with a different name that can be investigated.

Other than a trip to Kew, I don't know how to verify this theory.

Offline MollyC

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Re: Tracing an illusive Railway employee, London, 1930s
« Reply #42 on: Monday 12 February 24 11:39 GMT (UK) »
You can probably access Ancestry (and Findmypast) at a local library or archives if you enquire.  There you can at least get an idea of what is available before you subscribe or make a trip to Kew.

Offline Girl Guide

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Re: Tracing an illusive Railway employee, London, 1930s
« Reply #43 on: Monday 12 February 24 12:07 GMT (UK) »
Did he work for the LMS railway company?  If so the below may help give you some pointers for further information:-

https://www.lmssociety.org.uk/staffRecords.php
Ashford: Somerset, London
England: Devon, London, New Zealand
Holdway: Wiltshire
Hooper: Bristol, Somerset
Knowling: Devon, London
Southcott: Devon, China
Strong: Wiltshire
Watson: Cambridgeshire
White: Bristol
Windo - Gloucestershire, Somerset, Wiltshire

Offline BobB1

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Re: Tracing an illusive Railway employee, London, 1930s
« Reply #44 on: Monday 12 February 24 12:30 GMT (UK) »
Did he work for the LMS railway company?  If so the below may help give you some pointers for further information:-

https://www.lmssociety.org.uk/staffRecords.php

Thanks for that Girl Guide - LMS is a strong possibility, but according to their site they don't hold any staff records.