Monday, 13 April 2015

The Vestry Door

A photograph I took at the Church of St Michael, Flixton. An old and pretty Church on a rise of land overlooking the water meadows of the Mersey river towards Cheshire. As is often the case with such an old edifice, there are stories of secret passages down to the river and interesting anecdotes of time gone by, so I wanted to convey that look with this picture. The effects were created with photo effects, brushes and shapes.
Hilary Hartigan 2015

Monday, 6 April 2015

Easter Sunday at Alderley

A lovely afternoon at the Church of St Mary, Alderley in Cheshire. Hidden from the traffic at the end of Church Lane and surrounded by meadows and birdsong, this was where the search for our Salthouse family began when we discovered that my great great grandparents, John Salthouse and Lucy Walters, were married there on 31st March 1842. Over the years mother and I had visited quite often, found where most of the family lived and were buried and discovered a few stories and artifacts related to the family, so it was nice to visit again with David and meet our Alderley friends.
Hilary Hartigan 2015

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Bill Belton, 62 Squadron RAF

This is the formal picture of my father when he joined the Volunteer Regiment of the RAF as an armourer (he was younger than the conscription age when he volunteered). After a period of training he joined 62 Squadron and sailed out to Singapore. He escaped Singapore on the last plane and later escaped Sumatra on an old Dutch cargo ship, the Kota Gede, which only made the journey to Ceylon safely because the Captain disobeyed orders and steered a different course to safety. My father then became seriously ill with rheumatic fever and spent some months in a mountain hospital at the foot of the Himalayas before returning home. Despite all the danger that he had been in, he enjoyed his time in the RAF and tried to rejoin after the war but the cost of going to London for an interview was prohibitive at the time.
Hilary Hartigan 2011

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

William Salthouse

A recently discovered picture of my great grandfather, William Salthouse.

I would guess that this picture of William Salthouse was taken between 1900 and 1912. It shows a successful, but not rich, businessman, well clothed and well presented. William Salthouse was born at Soss Moss Farmhouse in the Cheshire village of Nether Alderley in 1845. His father, John Salthouse, was a master boot and shoemaker and also a smallholder. Gardening and smallholding was very much the natural way of life in Cheshire villages in the mid 19th century and many young men found work of that kind on the Stanley estate. A surprising number of young men made a different choice - to join the police force.

When William first left home he went to Birkenhead where he worked for a nurseryman but, as soon as he was old enough, he applied to join the Lancashire police force. His application was successful and he was posted to Kirkdale in Liverpool. His police records show that he was a diligent constable and when he asked his superior for permission to marry Janet Braidwood, permission was granted. William and Janet were married in 1871. At about that time, William and another constable were sent on plain clothes duty to try and apprehend some notorious and violent burglars who were terrorising residents of the larger houses in the area. William noticed a light in a house and, on investigation, discovered the burglars. A fight ensued between him and both burglars, with William Salthouse and one of the burglars being badly injured before help finally arrived. The burglars were arrested and charged. The residents were so relieved to be saved from these criminals that they arranged a collection for William, and he was awarded the sum of £25.

Shortly afterwards William Salthouse left the police force in order to "enter into business on his own account". I have never discovered the name of the business and, in the census returns, William is always described as an employee. But by the manner of his appearance in this photograph and from the stories handed down, it is likely that William Salthouse may have bought into a business as a partner.
Hilary Hartigan 2010

Olga Bahler

This is a favourite picture of mine, three sisters from Switzerland, one of whom - Olga Bahler - married my Uncle Ernest. Olga Bahler, I am told, was a very clever lady. She could speak four languages fluently. She met my grandmother, Edith Davies Williams, whilst they were both working in service in Ireland. When Edith (and another friend) decided to return to North Wales, Olga returned with them. That is how a beautiful lady from Switzerland came to meet and marry Ernest Davies Williams at Minera in Denbighshire. (Olga is the sister on the left)
Hilary Belton 2010

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

The Great Great Aunts of Alderley

John Salthouse, a shoemaker, and his wife Lucy (Walters) lived at Soss Moss, Nether Alderly, they had eleven children. In this wedding photograph of 1910 Sophia, the first born, is sitting next to Lucy, the tenth child. Sophia had married Francis Worth in 1865 and this was the wedding of their daughter, Sarah Ellen Worth, to William Henry Adshead in the spring of 1910. The wedding took place in the village Church of St Mary and the wedding party was photographed on the swathe of green just outside Park Lodge, Alderley.

Sophia Salthouse was widowed by this time but still working as a laundress, mainly on her own account. No doubt she obtained much of her work from the Hall (the Stanley family), but the Parish records also show that she was employed regularly to launder the choir's surplices.

Sarah Ellen Adshead, to give her married name, probably had a life that was quite different from that of her mother. Just one year after her marriage the couple were living in a red brick terraced house in the nearby town of Stockport and her husband was employed as a foreman hatter - Stockport being famous for the manufacture of hats.

If you drive past Park Lodge today, on the road to Monks Heath, the road passes at the back of the Lodge whereas, in the days of Lord Stanley of Alderley, all vehicular traffic to Lord Stanley's residence would have stopped at the front of the Lodge for the gate to be opened. This postcard is a reasonable representation of how the road from Nether Alderley to Monks Heath would have looked when Sarah Ellen Worth married William Henry Adshead.

Hilary Belton 2010

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Dad With Bella

This is a scrapbook page of my father, William Arthur Belton, more usually known as Bill, as a young man. He is photographed sitting in a deck chair and making a fuss of his dog, Bella, in the garden of the family home at 17 Wesley Road, Bwlchgwyn.

The original photo, inset, shows them sitting at the bottom of the garden; beyond the garden wall the land fell quite sharply down to the main road opposite the Hwntw public house before falling even further to the beautiful Nant-y-Ffrith valley and rising again to form the Penllyn mountain. In those days (probably c1939) there were very few trees in Bwlchgwyn and the summit of Penllyn mountain was carpeted in purple heathers in the summer.

To create the main picture I added a more recent photograph of the view from their garden but, because it was taken from the War Memorial on the hairpin bend, the angle is slightly different. The Penllyn (that was how we used to say it and spell it) was then carpeted in trees, the work of the forestry commission.
Hilary Belton 2010