Battle of Nantwich

While out shopping on Tuesday I lunched in the Wickstead Arms.  I only went there because the Red Cow does not serve food on Mondays.  So it was lucky that on the wall opposite my table was a map showing the location of the Battle of Nantwich in the English Civil War, near to Acton, a small settlement just west of Nantwich. Continue reading “Battle of Nantwich”


Welsh Row

I spent two nights moored near Nantwich Aqueduct on the Shropshire Union Canal.  Yesterday morning I went shopping and took my camera to get some shots of Welsh Row, the main route into town from the aqueduct.  I know some of you like old things and hope you enjoy at least some of my images. Continue reading “Welsh Row”

Right as nine pence

Here are two old coins (one is just about 100 years old) that my father obtained when he was in charge of the payroll at Ever Ready, Park Lane, Wolverhampton, in the second half of the 1960s.  These coins were still legal tender, and in use, at the time.  They were still legal tender until decimalisation in 1971.

geo iii 6 d geo v 3d obv
George III sixpenny and George V threepenny (1918) bits (obverse).

On the left the outline of George III is just discernible on this well-worn coin and must have been minted before his death in 1820, so it is probably over 200 years old.  The George V ‘thrupenny’ bit is remarkably clear given that it had been in circulation for about 50 years (though it has lived in a small box for the last 50 or so).

geo iii 6 d geo v 3d rev
George III sixpenny and George V threepenny (1918) bits (reverse).

 On the left the detail of the George III coin is completely worn away, but it was still worth six pennies.  I wonder how many Christmas puddings it was used in.

So what would these coins be worth at the time?  In 1820 six pence would be the equivalent of £1.90 today, in terms of buying power, and the three penny coin would be worth 60 pence.  (Calculated using Measuring Worth).



Cutting the mustard

Just a few randomly ordered images accumulated (mainly) this month along the Middlewich Branch; a good mix of wildflowers and other things.


U is for …

The latest in my ad hoc series on surname origins.

Based on: Reaney, P H, (ed. Wilson, R M), 1997, Oxford Dictionary of English Surnames, 3rd ed., OUP, Oxford, unless otherwise stated.


Earliest in Andrew’s Kindred:  John Underwood, father of Mary Underwood, baptised 25 January 1713, St Mary, Stafford, Staffordshire.

St Mary the Virgin Stafford font Geograph Alan Murray-Rust
Medieval font, St Mary the Virgin, Stafford, where Mary was baptised. Via Geograph, copyright Alan Murray-Rust, creative commons.

A dweller below a wood on a hillside, or from a place named Underwood, such as in Derbyshire or Nottinghamshire.  There is a Weston Underwood about five miles north west of Derby.


Earliest in Andrew’s Kindred:  Richard Upton, born about 1754, probably at Bishops Wood, Staffordshire.

From one of the numerous places named Upton.

Ushawood / Usherwood

Earliest in Andrew’s Kindred:  John Usherwood, father of Elizabeth Usherwood, baptised 6 February 1687, Measham, Derbyshire.

This name is bundled up with Isherwood.  “From an unknown place, probably in Lancashire”.  The Internet Surname Database suggests derivation from a lost village in the parish of Bolton-le-Moors, Lancashire (today just Bolton).  On the Ordnance Survey of 1844 is an Isherwood Fold, to the north east of Bolton.  There seems to be no other landscape recollection at that time.


Pygmalion and the motorbus

The other day I went to Chester.  Parked outside the City Hall was an old bus, which runs tours of the city.

From what I can gather 946 WAE was originally built in 1964 as a single-deck Bedford coach for Wessex Coaches in Bristol. In 1982 it was re-designed and re-built as a replica of a London General Omnibus Company B-Type motorbus.  It has belonged to Chester Heritage since May 2005.

I believe this style of bus was in service from about 1910.  The lady’s costume looks as though it could be from that time, and there is something of Eliza Doolittle about her (as portrayed in My Fair Lady – 1964 movie), based on George Bernard Shaw’s play Pygmalion, which was first presented in 1913.  It is the sort of vehicle that grandparents and their parents might have used.

Bloomers on the Branch

To be precise, the Shropshire Union Middlewich Branch (SUMB); some of the flora in this neck of the woods.  The second part is about some of the history of the SUMB, and it is strangely topical.

Although this is not about family history, it is inconceivable that my Evans ancestors did not travel along this section of canal on their way to Wombourne. Continue reading “Bloomers on the Branch”