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Family History

How to enjoy Family History ... find your way around the fun - 

john p (1939-) was a beer drinker and a saxophone player.

Edward Hindley (1858-1935) - our maternal great grandfather left a legacy of investments in chemicals and the inspiring legacy of 'education & compound interest'.

Edward Hindley - older yarns about nous, wit and hard work, honesty & thrift which touched all the economic happenings in Cheshire which led to, and were consequences of, the scientific & industrial revolutions ... discovering & accumulating business synergies ... mass production in factories -

Deep History of Folk & Cows in Rural Cheshire - cows and the Brits, Romans, English, Danes & Normans; emerging Anglo Saxon language, culture, common law and markets & fairs ... Norton Priory ... Vale Royal Abbey ... & the Gandys of Great Budworth

16th century - out of the dark ages, the reformation, renaissance and Copernicus reached Delamere Forest & Cheshire

17th century - freeholders, dissenters & cheese makers

18th century - feeding the cities & animal husbandry, Warrington grocers & cordwainers, Antrobus life & rivers of change

19th century - Victorian manufactories

Ancient Trades & Crafts of Rural Cheshire - cheese, shire horses, potatoes, cordwainers, tanners, coopers and blacksmiths -

the Old Hindleys of Farnworth/Bedford/Astley were blacksmiths ... and then a new crop arrived for the enterprising ...

the Greenways of Cliff Farm, Alvanley and the Mouldsworth Farms down Mouldsworth Road were into spuds!

Billy Gibson & George Hormbrey - best friends, businessmen, Methodists, Whigs, educators & wealth creators ... ordinary folk of rural Cheshire with nous & wit, who discussed & challenged everything but knew little about the economics of comparative advantage and the rise & fall at Crewood Hall?

These guys probably didn't even know the name of Adam the Smith and would have struggled to cope with the biological notions of moral sentiments & synergies of specialisation & scale that he had hammered out at his forge ... nevertheless they were all survivors and coped well ...

Industrial RevolutionWeaver Refining Co Ltd - our very own family yarns about nous, wit and hard work, honesty & thrift -

Merchants of Liverpool - Liverpool Port, River Weaver, triangular trade and competition from Warrington and Bristol ... and the Industrial Revolution in the North West

Early Industrialists in Flintshire - lead in Gadlys, copper & cotton in The Greenfield Valley, iron in Bersham, zinc in Greenfield and new investment capital from John Freame.

Chemical Manufactories in Cheshire - nitre beds, Northwich salt, Le Blanc, Brunner Mond & ICI and valuable resources, Cattle Products & the tricky issue of Animal Slaughter & Regulation.

in partnership with three remarkable families the Neills & the Grimditches & the Galloways

and building on the legacies of old entrepreneurs -

Nathaniel Milner - Georgian Gentlemen, Salt Proprietors & Brunner Mond & Co ... and Yorkshire Wool from the merchants of Leeds

Thomas Baylies - ironmaster at Acton Forge & Vale Royal Company ... and the Quakers of Baptist Mills & Coalbrookdale

Daniel Whittaker - cotton magnate at Northwich Mill & Cotton Twist Company, Holywell ... and Manchester Cotton & bankruptcy

Thomas Ryder - of Marston Forge & Thomas Ryder & Co ... and Steam Engines & the production of money at Soho

William Sherratt - from Salford Iron Works 

William Swift - Bolton Iron Founders     

John Budd - Zinc Works & Vivian & Sons ... and Cornish Tin & Swansea Coal

Richard Lloyd - Richard Lloyd & Co

William Edward Maude - W E Maude & Co

Tommy Astles - Manure Works

Lowwood Gunpowder - Saltpetre Works

There were local competitors just down stream; the Runcorn Bone Works driven by the Leventons ... and on the Trent & Mersey Canal; the Rookery Bridge Refining Company driven by the Gortons & a young lad who learned how to process cows Terry Goodwin ... and the Tattenhall Bone Works driven by the Smiths from the River Irk in Manchester to the Shropshire Union Canal at Tattenhall ... 

British Glues & Chemicals - amalgamation & modernisation, adding value from manure, to glue, to edible gelatine and Tom Walton, Business Economist - and the legacies of seven pioneering companies -

Charles Massey & Son - Newcastle-under-Lyme

Meggitts - Sutton-in-Ashfield ... and the Browns 

Quibell Brothers - Newark-on-Trent ... and Vivian Suter ... who remembered much

Grove Chemical Company - Appley Bridge ... and the Haworths of Oswaldwhistle

Williamson & Corder - Walker-on-Tyne

Weaver Refining Company - Acton Bridge

J & T Walker - Bestwood

Croda - synergies of specialisation & scale, and global speciality chemicals.

Clara Brocklehurst (1879-1967) - our maternal grandmother left an indelible mark for the good on our chaotic development ... thanks we remember it all ... 

Brocklehurst Clan - prolific & influential family in our part of Cheshire ...

George W Birchall (1875-1960) - our paternal grandfather left a legacy of social nous, he was a craftsman, publican and the sire of a couple of brothers who were soaked in Northwich salt & the chemical industry and were both mean sportsmen and beer drinkers.

Birchall Brothers - East Cheshire industrialisation & the urban trek to the mills and to trades 

Silk Throwing - Stockport, Macclesfield & Congleton with the Martins     

Fustian Cutting - Congleton with the Knappers & in Middlewich with the Fletchers

Technology Transfer -  Egorievsk cotton mills & technology transfer with John Bolton

Early Cheshire Birchalls - of Wybunbury, delving back to Johannis Berchall of Winwick?

and there was Biological History ...

Birchall DNA - the deeper history of the Birchalls ... and what really really happened ... DNA didn't lie ...

John Howarth (1852-1922) - Carole's maternal great grandfather left a legacy in print, 'The Voyage of The Rangitiki' and 'The Padiham Advertiser' and the inspiration of 'pioneering endeavour' as he searched for betterment for his family in the Antipodes ... and through his daughter his genes met up with those of Thomas Telford.   

John Howarth - publisher of 'The Voyage of The Rangitiki' and 'The Padiham Advertiser'

Rangitiki - immigrant sailing ship to New Zealand

Thomas Telford - Civil Engineer extraordinaire and builder of the industrial revolution ...

How do we trace our link back to Thomas Telford ... now that would be interesting!

William Lewis Jackson (1852-1922) - Carole's paternal grandfather also left a legacy but his issue got into rowing!

Norman Jackson (1906-2001) - rowing aficionado 

 and there were others ...

 Birch Smith - distant cousin, who played Dixieland cornet with Turk Murphy and knew a thing or two about rhythms and medical physics.

 Alf Gaskill - gillie, who also ran the Warrington Powders Factory and knew a thing or two about leadership and getting things done.

 The Banjo Player - fettler, who also once actually played a banjo but loved his 'bone and knew a thing or two about team work and nous.

 'Edley - beer drinker, who was also a Headmaster and knew a thing or two about having fun and playing hard.

A fascinating trip thru Cheshire history & family history, focused on 'production processes', progressed from a Bronze Age settlement at Eddisbury via Acton Bridge, where the ancient saltways crossed the river Weaver, culminating in The Weaver Refining Company in the 20th century ...  

Around 1900 a riparian site at Acton Bridge hosted The Weaver Refining Company, a company founded by our great grandfather Edward Hindley. However long before 1900 this propitious location had intimate connections going back to the monks of Vale Royal Abbey & the notable Vale Royal Company and one of its associates, the 'Acton Forge'.  

Interestingly in the mists of history, we can vaguely see an unbroken continuity of production processes which may have started on the Cheshire ridge at Eddisbury and then evolved thru an interconnected network of complex history to the Weaver crossing at Acton Bridge and the Acton Forge ... and then on to great granddad and the The Weaver Refining Company?

 Deep History of Folk & Cows in Rural Cheshire tells of the Ancient Trades & Crafts of Rural Cheshire, social interactions which ebbed & flowed and vanished & reappeared ... nevertheless some imaginative folk could recognise an exciting sequence of emergent path dependent routes thru the possibilities which goes something like this -

Eddisbury Hill Fort - a production centre in the bronze age on the sandstone ridge long before the lowland forests were cleared which later included the management of the Forest

Cheshire Saltways - ancient treks of antiquity, who knows when salt was first traded & transported to the north and crossed the Weaver at Northwich & Acton? Tracks which were to define the Cheshire county   

Roman Watling Street - the road from Deva to York was revealed by the new lidar technology (Cheshire Archaeological Bulletin 9, 1983 and L&CAS, 1985) as it skirted Kelsall, described by Elspeth Thomas, and Eddisbury Hill where the Romans had a fortress ... and later in 914 Ethelfleda built her defences against the Danes on the old hill fort site at Eddisbury with its dominant position overlooking the Roman road from Chester, via Northwich and Manchester, to York it protected the Mercian farming communities of the Dee Valley, without whose surpluses Chester would have been indefensible

Royal Forest of Delamere - Frank A Latham described the ancient twin Forests of Mara and Mondrem, bounded by the three rivers, Mersey, Weaver & Gowy, which covered an extensive area reaching to Frodsham in the north and almost to Nantwich in the south. Peytefynsty approximates to the old Roman Road, the modern A49 divides the twin forests and also defines the Vale Royal Abbey  estates. Thru medieval times they survived under royal patronage as hunting playgrounds used by the Norman Earls. They were gradually erroded in size as described by Hussain 1952 and Joan Fairhurst 1988 but protected fiercely by 'forest law' and notably by the Black Prince in 1350 when he built the Chamber in the Forest in the Eastern corner of the Eddisbury site as a royal hunting lodge and admin  centre for 'conservation' efforts ... later 1610 the medieval hunting forest also had a mysterious connection to John Birchall, the forest surveyor?

Cistercian Abbey of Vale Royal founded in 1270 made glass in 1280 with fuel from Glazier's Hollow in Delamere Forest ... milled corn at Bradford Mill from 1283 ... a superb history was concocted by by John Henry Cooke in 1912 - Ida or the Mystery of the Nun's Grave at Vale Royal Abbey, Cheshire ... at the dissolution in 1538-44 the abbey and estate assets were privatised and went to oligarch Thomas Holcroft, then to the Holford family and in 1615 to the Cholmondeleys, later the Lords of Delamere.

Vale Royal Company formed in 1718 by Thomas Baylies (1678-1756) to take over the blast furnace built by Thomas Hall in 1696 for the Cheshire Partnership of iron masters  ... the company also purchased 'some waste land at Acton for the erection of forges ... 'our' Acton Forge?

1627 Earwaker map of Delamere Forest CRO?

1696 Cheshire Partnership built blast furnace at Vale Royal

1718 Vale Royal Company built forge and splitting mill at Acton Bridge

1781 Daniel Whittaker & Co Cotton Mill proposal was scrapped in favour of a mill in the Greenfield Valley

1800 Weaver Navigation Records mentioned 'forge' for the first time     

1806 Thomas Ryder & Co Iron Masters of Acton Bridge ... Marston Forge and Cranage Forge

1815 William Sherratt of the Salford Iron Works was involved

1828 Gibsons Wharf adjacent wharf operated a packet service to Liverpool

1831 Andrew Bryant Map identifies 'forge'   

1832 Acton Forge Company owned by Messrs J & T Sherratt, Salford Iron Works was up for sale ...

1833 William Swift & Son of Bolton purchased the Acton forge  

1846 John Budd Zinc Works confirmed on the Tithe Maps 

1850 Richard Lloyd & Co zinc works proprietor, now included a saw mill

1850 W E Maude & Co new owners of the zinc works. and a saltpetre works   

1871 Thomas Astles converted the mill into a manure works

1900 Weaver Refining Company founded ...  

Sir Winston helped to motivate our imagination -

'History with its flickering light stumbles along the trail of the past, trying to reconstruct its scenes, to revive its echos and kindle with pale gleams the passion of former days' ...

... but, although we had spent most of our time in the past, strange urges about the future preoccupied our efforts ... funny that ... sort of unfinished business?

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