R is for Roe Greave Road

April 21, 2014 at 8:34 am | Posted in Family History, History, Ways of Living | 11 Comments
Tags: , , , , , ,

A2Z-BADGE-000 [2014]

 

Roe Greave Rd 2014 Google Maps

Roe Greave Rd in 2014. From Google Maps

Roe Greave Road was originally an unpaved road at the south west corner of Oswaldtwistle that led from Union Rd, the main thoroughfare, to Rhoden Rd and the farms on the edge of town. It was later cobbled – possibly when the nearby cotton mills were built.

I cannot discover the meaning of Roe Greave, except that there was a Roe Grove I discovered on a 1848 map in that area. So perhaps it was the site of a grove of trees, and the name changed from grove to greave. The Roe part of the name may refer to the roe deer, a small forest deer that was once native to Britain, but had died out there by 1800. Oswaldtwistle certainly existed at least as far back as the 13th century, so perhaps the name originally referred to a small forest where roe deer could be found. This is all my own supposition.

Oswaldtwistle, about 1950

Oswaldtwistle, about 1950

A row of stone terrace house was built along Roe Greave Rd about 1870s or 1880s to house mill workers and their families at Rose Mill (later to be known as Houghton’s Mill). I believe it was there in the 1891 census.

Houghton’s was a large brick weaving mill that backed onto Roe Greave Rd and ran alongside the backs of many houses there. A laneway ran between the towering wall of the mill and the double-storey terraces.

The back wall of the tiny terrace house yards had access to the alley via gated chutes in the wall to the coal scuttle for each house. Coal would be delivered by cart (later truck). One day, when we were going out and I was wearing a new red coat (I was 2 or 3 at the time), I went missing. Mum & Dad found me eating coal in the coal scuttle.

Mum with her dog at the door of #139. 1940s

Mum with her dog at the door of #139. 1940s

Another small gate opened to a place where household rubbish was left. A contractor would come and shovel it out from the laneway side into the sanitary cart.

The toilet was also in the back yard, a brick outhouse in a corner that had a ‘tippler’ toilet. One day, Mum caught my brother trying to put the cat down the hole.

At some stage possibly in the second decade of the 20th century, and perhaps because the mill employed fewer workers, the homes in the row were sold to individuals who either lived in them or rented them out.

Agnes & Ernie Thompson in back yard at Roe Greave

Agnes & Ernie Thompson in back yard at Roe Greave, c.1946.

During WWII, in about 1943/44, my parents bought number 139 in the row of terraces. The house was a three-up-three-down. That is, there were three rooms upstairs and three downstairs. Between 1945 and 1950, my older brother & sister, myself and my younger sister were born there (no hospital for most then).

Me & my siblings, 1951

Me & my siblings, 1951

The front doors of the terrace houses opened directly onto the footpath that ran alongside the street. We would play on the pavement with our trike. We also had a sit-on horse with small wheels but no pedals. I remember pushing it along with my feet, but having to lift it up every time I came to a ‘nick’ in the flagstone pavement.

PaulineThompson &trike.at139 Abt.1950

My sister on our trike. Note flagstone pavement.

We lived at 139 until we left to come to Australia in early 1954. My mother’s brother took over payments on the house and lived there for some years, then sold it at a handsome profit.

Mum & her 3 girls on Roe Greave Rd, c.1952

Mum & her 3 girls on Roe Greave Rd, c.1952. Note the cobblestone street surface.

When I was researching my family history, I discovered that my great-grandfather Peter Thompson had rented the very same house during WWI and that my grandfather lived there before he joined up. Peter Thompson died at # 139 Roe Greave Rd in 1917. I found it satisfying to find that, unknown to my parents, we’d already had a connection to the house before they bought it, and that four of Peter’s descendants were born in the house where he died.

139 Roe Greave Rd 2014, Google maps

139 Roe Greave Rd (centre door) 2014, Google maps

 

Do you still remember the house where you were a child? Are any of your family members still there?

 

© Linda Visman  21.04.14  (702 words)

 

Advertisements

11 Comments »

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

  1. I didn’t know you liked eating coal. You live in a good area to get it now! Very interesting. Thanks.

  2. Gosh, the street looks very like Penn Street, Treharris, South Wales. No front yards as well. I came back there to live with my parents in law when Lee was a baby. I was sitting in the small lounge room with Lee in my arms, the very day I came home from hospital.
    They had a coal fire and my father-in-law put more coal in the fireplace and slammed the steel door shut. Lee leapt up in my arms.
    “Well! There’s nothing wrong with his hearing,” my father-in-law said.
    Do you know I still have a slight Welsh accent.

    • I hadn’t noticed the accent Debbie, and didn’t know you’d spent early years in Wales.
      I have always wanted to go back to the town where I was born, but never had the means to do it.

      • It would be frustrating not to be able to go back! The accent is only slight (generally when I’m annoyed). I was there for only about 17 months (aged 19 to 20) but of course both kids are half Welsh and I’ve been back several times.

  3. Yes, Linda, I remember my childhood home. There was a stone staircase up to the verandah, which was also stone-floored, with cracks large enough for pennies and half-pennies to slip down. 🙂 It was Victorian. Unfortunately it was demolished a few years ago to make way for home units.

  4. Linda

    I well remember my childhood home. It was 142 Roegreave Road, Oswaldtwistle and is shown in the top left-hand corner of your photograph with the girls on the motorbike. It was finally sold in 2009 after my mum had gone into a care home. It was a sad day. I came across this webpage whilst trying to discover the origin of the word Roegreave.

    • Wow, Geoff, how lives can intersect!
      I have Rileys in my ancestry, so we could even be related way back. 🙂
      I’m sorry I couldn’t have been more specific about the origins of the street name. I hope that, if you find anything more positive, you will let me know. Best regards.

      • I should have mentioned that I too was born in 1948 so we must have lived across the road from each other untill you went from Ozzie to Aussie!

      • Gosh, Geoff, that’s so good! Our parents probably knew each other!
        Sadly, my mother died in 1994 and my dad in 2013, so I cannot ask them.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.
Entries and comments feeds.

Half Baked In Paradise

Searching, settling, sauteeing and spritzing

The Curry Apple Orchard

A blog designed to remember the past and celebrate the present.

barsetshirediaries

A site for the Barsetshire Diaries Books and others

Cee's Photography

Learning and teaching the art of composition.

Leigh Warren :: Country Music Outlaw

The ramblings of Leigh Warren about himself, country music and maybe... well who knows

Diane Tibert

~ writer - editor - publisher ~

Looking Back

With Mick Roberts. Est. Online 2000

Explore China

Four weeks of flying, cycling, hiking, cruising, eating and exploring

Repurposed Genealogy

Explore What's Possible

Appalachian Ink ~ Home of Anna Wess (and Granny)

Home of Anna Wess, Writer & Ghost Chaser

Myths of the Mirror

Life is make believe, fantasy given form

Writing on the Pages of Life

Exploring, creating and celebrating the writing life

ME and the Boss

Motivation and life......lived and loved one day at a time.

QP and Eye

Easy Going Introvert Blogs Here

Our Rumbling Ocean

Every day brings new adventures

Victoria Norton

Short stories, poems, and comments on life.

%d bloggers like this: