The Dance Families of the Forest of Dean













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James Dance was baptised by Thomas and Catherine at Ganarew in 1806. He married Drusilla Price (born 1810) from Shropshire at Monmouth in 1831.

They had six children, James 1832, John 1834, Mary Ann 1839, Jane 1843, Agnes 1848 and Elizabeth 1849. The first five were born at Monmouth and Elizabeth at Welsh Newton.

In 1841 James was recorded as a farm labourer living next door to his brother Joseph at Monmouth. Their homes were described on the census as being in "that part of Over Monmow which lies to the West of the turnpike road from Rockfield to Mitchel Troy." (To find that area today - you would walk to the end of Monmouth's main shopping area and cross the medieval Monnow bridge.)

It seems that all his children except for Elizabeth were born there. The girls of the family mainly found work as domestic servants. Their Christian names were carried through to later generations.

Agnes Dance (1848) appears to have not married and also travelled North. She is recorded on the 1871 census at Lancaster and in 1881 near Kendall.

By 1849 James was back at Welsh Newton as a farmer of a modest 5 acres, and may have also worked with his brothers at St Wulstans Farm. He remained at Welsh Newton till his death in 1881.






I was contacted in May 2011 by Ian Pearson who is a Carnforth born descendant of John Dance (1834).  He is an experienced archivist who visited the Monmouthshire Archives and the PRO to research his great-great grandfather's military record.

I discovered that John joined the Royal Monmouth Militia (which makes me wonder if he later went overseas with the regular army.)

I found this record -

John Dance aged 18 years and 6/12 (ie 6 months) enrolled in the Royal Monmouth Militia 7 January 1853. He was described as labourer and living at the Red Lion Inn, Welsh Newton.

Following that visit to South Wales I then went to the Public Record Office and followed him through the Militia records.

I discovered more information. The details of his enrolment in the PRO told me he was 5 ft. 5 1/2 ins.

I also found the enrolment of James Dance (enrolled 25 November 1852 age 20 years and 8/12, 5ft 5 3/4ins, a blacksmith at Llantilio Crosseny.)

I then followed them both through the records of the various Muster Books (WO13.1531 and 1532)

1853 and 1854 both present.

April 1855 - June 1855 : 'Disembodied 4 April' is recorded against both of them.  

I have no idea what that means, and the Muster Books continue to record their names with that comment up to July 1856. Then there's a gap, and the next entry which is for Sep 1858 does not have either of them recorded.  


The Monmouth Militia was made up of part-time soldiers. Its officers were appointed by the Lord Lieutenant of the county, and were from the higher social classes. Most importantly, the regiments were 'embodied' (assembled) from time to time for training. It could only be deployed at home, but provided an important contribution to the maintenance of civil order and to home defence.

From 1816 until the 1850s, the Regiment, in common with other county militias, was for the most part inactive. In 1852, however, another Militia Act revived the militias. The Act abandoned the principle of conscription, which had fallen into disuse, in favour of voluntary recruitment. The Monmouthshire Militia was revived with the name the Royal Monmouthshire Light Infantry. 



The Regiment was embodied in 1854, at the time of the Crimean War, but only for home defence duties. It was posted to Pembroke Dock, South Wales in January 1855 and on Monday the 6th February 1855 relieved the 31st East Surrey Regiment who were bound for the Crimea.

There was always a certain amount of pressure on militiamen to volunteer for overseas service and it appears from Ian's research that the Dance brothers were 'disembodied' in April 1855 and probably attached to a fighting regiment.

The Crimean War ended in 1856.


After serving in the military both brothers moved North. James Dance (1832-1892) went to the Barrow-in-Furness area where he was employed as a blacksmith. He had married Elizabeth Morgan (1843) from Ledbury, Herefordshire, at Cardiff in 1864. The couple had two children, Drusilla (1865) born at Runcorn Gap and Agnes (1868) at Ledbury.

They were living at 37 Rawlinson Street, Dalton in Furness on the 1871 census and 32 Clive Street, Barrow in Furness in 1881 and 1891. Agnes was employed as a servant at Streatham, London according to the 1901 census. Drusilla was an apprenticed dress-maker staying with an aunt at Ledbury in 1881 and back with her parents as a dress-maker in 1891. In 1892 she married widower Henry Herbert Silver (1864). He was a company accountant and from Tipton, Staffordshire. The couple settled at Hawcoat Lane, Barrow.

The widowed Elizabeth Dance was still at Clive Street in 1901 but was living with daughter Drusilla and her husband in 1911.


John & Elizabeth Dance

His brother John Dance (1834) also a blacksmith, married Elizabeth Ann Gandy at Liverpool in 1864. She was born at Widnes in 1848.

They settled at Carnforth, Lancashire and had twelve surviving children. Five of their daughters inherited his sisters and mother's Christian names. John died in June 1895 aged 61.


* The notes below are from Ian Pearson's research.


I think there was a first child born before they came to Carnforth. The Warton burial register shows a James Dance of Carnforth aged 4 in 1869, and the internet tells me of a James Dance born in the Widnes area in 1865.

Although we can't now prove it, we can guess that the Dances went to Carnforth when the ironworks opened in the summer of 1866.

So many came to Carnforth that year that there was an initial accommodation problem and the Dances turn up in the nearby village of Warton (1867 birth of Drusilla), before obtaining an ironworks cottage in Carnforth (Bessemer Terrace) by 1869 (birth of Elizabeth Alice).  

I'm amazed they had 12 children surviving to adulthood in Carnforth. It was not a healthy place, with insanitary conditions and overcrowding in the 1860s and 1870s. My great grandparents on my mother's side (whom I know definitely were living in Carnforth in 1866 and onwards) lost four of their nine children as babies or toddlers between 1868 and 1876. 

Drusilla Dance born at Warton 1867. (You will know this is a family name dating back to the marriage of James Dance and Drusilla Price in 1831).  Drusilla married railway guard Thomas Haydon (born 1867) in 1890 (Prescot district) - I've only realised in the last few weeks that this is her first cousin on her mother's side - the son of Thomas Haydon and Mary Jane Gandy - Thomas, Jane and Thomas jnr were lodging with the Dances on the 1871 census when Drusilla was 4 and Thomas was 3!   ** His father also named Thomas Haydon (1848) was born in Cowes, France to Irish railway labourer Thomas Haydon (born 1816) and his wife Mary. Tom. Sources - Warrington 1861 census and Frodsham, Cheshire 1851.

Thomas and Drusilla Haydon had seven surviving children, all born at Ditton.

Elizabeth Alice Dance born 1869. A school teacher on the 1891 census. She married grocer John Hodgson (born 1870) in 1893 at Carnforth. Nothing was known of them in the 1960s. There was a child May baptized at Carnforth in 1895.    * A family tree on Ancestry and the 1911 census shows 7 surviving children. TB. Grocer at High Street, Blackpool in 1901. Six of their children were born at Blackpool. One son, Edmund (Teddy) Hodgson born Blackpool in 1898, became a respected Pentecostal missionary and was killed by rebels at the Belgian Congo in 1960.          * See photo at bottom of page.

William John Dance (known as Jack) born 1871. Employed as a print compositor and lodging at Blackpool in 1891. He married Agnes Armistead (born 1868) in 1892 at Poulton-le-Sands (Morecambe). He settled as a printer in 11 Queen Street, Morecambe but had his children baptised at Carnforth. The 1911 census records him as a widower living with his four daughters at 1 Hornby Terrace, Morecambe.

Edith Emma Dance bap 1893

Isaac John Edgar Dance bap 1895

Druscilla bap 1898

Clarice Elizabeth Dance bap 1899

Irene Vera 1903

I know nothing about these - and there may have been more children... In the 1960s I was told Jack Dance had been a printer in Morecambe...

Agnes Dance (1873- 1946) married railway signalman William Wood (1870 - 1927) from Ravenglass, Cumberland in 1893. I can't find the marriage at Carnforth Church, which is where I would expect it. Free BMD says Lancaster District June 1893.  

1) Constance Wood (1893 - 1980s) married c.1920 (1) Ernest Smith. One son died as a teenager before WW2. Ernest died early 1950s. Married c.1955 (2) Robert Sanderson (see below)

2) Mabel Annie Wood (1896 - c.1984) married Miles Mason 1917 two sons, one daughter, nine grandchildren

3) Barbara Price Wood  (1898 - 1985) married  Herbert Pearson (1897 - 1968) in 1920 one son, one grandson (me!)

4) William John Birkby Wood (1904 - 1980s) married 1935 Margaret Angus Worked for the railways so lived in family home in Grosvenor Place; his son was still there almost 100 years after his grandparents had moved in! One son, two daughters; four? grandchildren. 

Mary Anne Dance (known as Molly) born 1876. She married Blackburn telegraph clerk  William Henry Hardacre (1875) in 1899 at Carnforth Church. (It looks from the marriage entry that Will Hardacre was lodging with my gt grandparents at 8 Grosvenor Place). Living at 41 Grosvenor Place in 1904 and 1911. Buried at Carnforth.

Three daughters -

1) Mary Gertrude (1901 - 1980s) (known as Gert) married Frank Salisbury Winder in 1928. Lived at Crewe, and probably buried there.

2) Elizabeth Alice (1903 - post 1973) (known as Lal) married James Ezbon Winder (known as Ezbon and brother of the above) in 1932. Both buried at Carnforth

3) Annie (1905 - c.1973) a spinster. Buried at Carnforth. 

Kate Dance (known as Kitty) born 1878. She married Bradford postman Tom Birtles (born 1879) at Carnforth church in 1901 (the marriage register gives them both at 103 Hall Street, so perhaps Tom was a lodger.) Son Tom born 1902.

Daughter Lilian born 1905. Photos of these three show Lilian as very good looking! In 1911 they were living at 85 Westminster Road, Morecambe.

Peter Gandy Dance born 1881. Went to Canada soon after 1900 or thereabouts. 'No contact since the 1930s', I was told in the 1960s, but in recent weeks I have discovered in my family photos box a named photo of him and his wife and their son dated May 1933. I also have other unnamed photos of a family group which look colonial (if you'll excuse the term), and it was this discovery which set me off looking for his descendants. Fortunately with a name like Peter Gandy Dance it proved fairly easy to locate him and his descendants, and I've been corresponding with his great granddaughter (now in New Jersey). She tells me that Peter married Harriet Gertrude Hardacre - which makes me wonder if this was a relative of Wiliam Henry Hardacre...? (free bmd has a Harriet Gertrude Hardacre born Preston District June 1877 which looks like her) Two children. 

Lucy Dance born 1883. A school-teacher on the 1901 census and a confectionary manageress in 1911. She married Robert (Bob) Sanderson in 1919. Son Edgar born 1920 (died 1987). Lucy died some time in the early 1950s.

Bob was a signalman at Carnforth; one of the vivid memories of my childhood is of visiting him in his signal box and watching him at work - big levers and bells, and trains whooshing past!

Bob then married again in about 1955 to Constance Smith (widow) nee Wood - ie his niece, my grandmother's sister (see above under Agnes and William Wood). Bob died just before Christmas 1968. I think Connie died in the 1980s.

Jane Dance born 1886 (known as Ginny - which made my father think she was called Virginia - but Uncle Dave was Scottish - so I think he was calling her 'Jeanie'). A servant at Morecambe and lodging with brother William in 1901. A school teacher living at home with her widowed mother in 1911. She married David Andrews from Scotland (Glasgow I think) in 1913. No children, but this couple were apparently great fun to be with.

It was Uncle Dave who persuaded these Dance Sassenachs to celebrate Hogmanay. Even as late as the 1960s (he was dead by then, I don't remember meeting him) we were still letting in the New Year and then going off first footing..... Buried in Carnforth cemetery.

James Dance born 1888.

Nothing known about him, say my notes of the 1960s.  

A 2001 note from Jonna Dance Gates on Genealogy.Com  relates .. James Dance born Carnforth, Lancashire England 1888. Son of John Dance who was the son of James Dance all of the same district. James Dance, of Montreal Canada, had son John Dance who had son James Dance now of Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada.



Isaac Dance (known as Ike) born 1892. He too 'went back to Widnes'. Married May Shaw at Ditton in 1915. Three children.

John Leslie Dance 1917

Irene (Rene) Dance 1919

Harry Dance 1925

Isaac appears to have been brought up by his mother's sister Jane Fearnett (nee Gandy). He is recorded on the 1901 and 1911 census forms as living with them at Ditton. In 1911 his occupation was given as working in the traffic office of the L&NW Railway.

All three of these were known and remembered in the 1960s, as was Uncle Ike who's the only one of that generation whom I can remember meeting on the occasions when he came to visit my grandmother. I remember a man of fairly slim build, thin in the face, with white hair (like the Uncle John in the 4 generations photo, and very much like my grandmother's brother William John Birkby Wood - obviously some kind of genetic link?)  

Lavinia Dance born 1894. Her father, John, died in June 1895, aged 61. 1911 census records her as a blouse-maker, living at home, the sweet shop 103 Hall Street, Carnforth with her widowed mother and sister Jane.

She married John Winskill of Kendal in 1916. Buried at Carnforth Had two sons 

George Winskill 1917 (who was still alive in the 1980s)  

Ernest Winskill 1919 (killed in 1945 in WW2)

I have several photos of the Winskill boys as choirboys at Kendal Parish Church.

Before I sign off a final note about the Dances. They seem to have been a convivial lot. My father remembered two things vividly

1) Family parties, and not just Hogmanay - in fact any excuse for a party. (I have several photos of family groups outside a house in Grosvenor Place - either that of my gt grandparents or the Hardacres - and some people I can recognise but not others - there's a group of slightly rotund ladies all with round faces - obviously Dance sisters! - but I can no longer say which is which).

2) Family holidays - Bournemouth seemed very popular and they went off together in a large group - about a third of the photos I have are holiday snaps!! I can identify my father and my grandparents and the Sandersons and the Hardacres, and Gert and Frank Winder (and others I don't know) all on the beach looking very much like the British on holiday in the 1930s!        Ian

The Gandys


Elizabeth Ann Dance's father was Penketh born shoemaker Peter Gandy (1827-1900). He had married Alice Atherton (1827-1897) in 1848.

The Gandy family were very well known local cobblers in the Warrington area for many generations. Around 1800-1850 the inhabitants of Penketh were mainly employed as bakers, cabinet makers, cobblers, brewers or boatmen and hauliers on the Mersey and Sankey canal. (the Gandys were a large cobbling family exporting shoes to the United States)

A group of cottages in Chapel Road, Penketh was known as Cobblers Square, called after a cobbler named Gandy. Thomas Gandy (1812-1871) lived in one of the cottages called Gandy´s Cottage. Other names used were Thomas Gandy´s cottages, Gandy´s House and Gandy´s Row. Most of the families in this area were engaged in the business of shoemaking. Thomas Gandy became a very successful master shoemaker employing his brothers Edward and James and many other men apprentices. He sent his boots and shoes to shopkeepers in Wigan and Manchester besides getting up large shipping orders for Liverpool merchants to export abroad. Isaac´s older brothers William, Peter and James were all shoemakers. In 1861 Williams occupation was given as cordwainer employing three men and an apprentice. 

Throughout the 19th century, census, church and other records for the Warrington area contain a wealth of evidence for the Gandy’s involvement in the shoe-making trade and other trades with links to footwear, such as hosiery. For example John Gandy was a hosier in The Market Place and Golden Square in Warrington in the 1820`s while Mrs Mary Gandy served the nobility, gentry and clergy in Church Street and Horsemarket Street.

The connection between the Gandy family and shoes is even older. I have found Gandys who were shoemakers in the 18th century, such as William Gandy of Prescot, who married Sarah Lingham in 1767 and John Gandy, also shoemaker of Prescot, who married Jane Whittle in 1768. Thomas Gandy, clogger, married Mary Houghton in 1826. James Gandy shoemaker married Ann Smethurst in 1761. Thos Gandy shoemaker married Ann Mason in 1768. Joseph

Gandy shoemaker married Betty Wright in 1769. James Gandy shoemaker and wife Ann –christened son James in 1779 and daughter Lydia in 1782. Joseph Gandy, John Gandy, Thomas, James shoemakers carried on 1785, 1787, 1788, 1790,1795, 1796, - 1808.

Warrington volunteers raised in 1798 to help meet the threat of invasion from Napoleonic France. 539 men serving in 1807, including James Gandey, Warrington, shoemaker.  

Another specialty of the Gandy cobblers was clogs: “When you talk of clogs in Warrington, people immediately think of the Gandy’s. And when you mention that name to-day you are referring to 70-year-old Mr. John Gandy, in Buttermarket Street, and his cousin Mr. Douglas Gandy, of Mersey Street — only remaining cloggers in Warrington, and the last of a line of cloggers who began a family business in 1818.” Mr. Douglas Gandy took over his business from his father Mr. William Gandy, who founded it in 1871.  

The main product of the Gandy cloggers were a hand-made wooden clogs, a Lancashire version of the wooden sabot which came to England with Flemish weavers. The clog was used in the tan-yards, factories laundries, breweries and works in the town. “The tiny shop and workrooms at the corner of Mersey Street and Rose and Crown Street date back to around 1850, and over the years tens of thousands of hand-made clogs of all shapes and sizes have been assembled there. These were once sold all over the north to factory and textile workers, and in recent times have been exported to America, Jamaica and other countries.   (from Texan Grant L Davis's tree)

Warrington Memory Lane Poem (click here)


Gandy's clog shop was still at 46 Mersey St (the address given in 'Warrington and District Directory'(1951-52) in my childhood, in the mid to late 1950s, between Littons Row and Bank St. It was a very small shop, about half the width probably of a normal shop front.

As I recall, there was in the window a head-and-shoulders painted icon of a cobbler with a large moustache, and hammer and shoes (and possibly his last) in his hands, and various pairs of clogs on display. Mersey street was by then very run down.

For most of the way from the Buttermarket/Church St end at Downs's Corner, through to the (west) end near Warrington Bridge, all the terraced houses /factory buildings on the south (river) side of the street were derelict and empty, waiting to be pulled down.

As I recall, these were largely the backs of properties, without doors giving on to the street. There were still quite a few active shops further up towards the bridge, on the same side as Gandy's (north side), but across from the bus turning points on the river side, some fairly 'posh', like Mounfield's Gents Outfitters (slogan in the window: 'If you want to get ahead, get a hat').

The 'clogger''s shop was in the narrower part of Mersey St, where there were intermittent small shops and nondescript small houses (it was all, I think, terraced). I used to go down Mersey Street to get the bus to the Grammar school from Bridge Foot regularly from 1954 onwards, but I don't recall ever seeing anybody go in or out of the properties in this part of the street, where the shop was located. The area was shabby and run-down, very much aware of its doomed status.

Halfway along, on the corner of Academy St, there was a Spiritualist chapel, which we kids imagined to harbour ghosts. This link to the afterlife was very much in character with the posthumous nature of the rest of the street, all that was left of a once active community, now waiting for the end. 

My mother recalled that in the 1910s, when she was a girl, the triangle formed by the area between the bottom of Bridge St, Mersey St and Litton's Row was a Chinese quarter, where they were afraid to go, for fear of ending up in the cooking pot! (multicultural understanding was not very widespread in those days). I don't know if anyone else recalls anything about this aspect of the area. Stan Smith


Gandy Research = Today I have been looking at your website for the Dance family, in particular the section on James Dance and his connection with my family, the Gandy family of Widnes.

The website is very impressive and makes very interesting reading , especially the part which describes John Dance - who married Elizabeth Ann Gandy. John and Elizabeth and their offspring are included in my Gandy family tree.

Some years ago I had contact with a person on the east coast of America who a was part of the Dance family. Unfortunately I lost her e-mail address in a computer crash.  

I would like to ask whether you would allow me to include a link to John Dance from my own web site on the Gandy family?

The web site at mainly tells the story of two Isaac Gandys who emigrated to Utah in America and Victoria in Vancouver respectively. However it does also contain material about the Gandy family in Penketh and Widnes.   Yours sincerely Eric Gandy, Sweden, formerly of Farnworth,Widnes. 11/02/2013

Peter and Alice Gandy appear to have had twelve surviving children. Of those six are in this photo -



Back -  Kate, Henry and Lucy

Middle - Jane, Peter and Elizabeth

Front : James


Kate (1856-1936) married Irish cooper William Isaac Bingham (1858-1920) in 1878. He and her brother James were rugby players. The couple had eight children.

Henry (1852-1930) married Phoebe Wareing (1858-1932) at Runcorn in 1877. He worked as a labourer at a chemical works. They had eight children.

Lucy (1859-1935) married joiner Robert Beecroft (1861-1936) in 1884. They had eight children.

Elizabeth Ann (1848) married Monmouth born blacksmith John Dance (1834) in 1864. They produced twelve children.

Jane (Mary Jane) (1849) married carpenter Thomas Haydon (1848) in 1868. Thomas, who was employed as a solicitor's clerk when only 13, was born in France, the son of Irish railway labourer Thomas Haydon (1816) whose children were born in Lancashire, France and Scotland.

In 1871 Thomas & Jane were lodging with her sister Elizabeth's family in Carnforth where Thomas was employed as a clerk in the Iron Works. By 1881 the couple had moved to Wolverhampton where he worked as a carpenter. He died sometime between 1881 and 1884. They had one child, Thomas (1868) who married his cousin Drusilla Dance in 1890.

Jane Haydon remarried in 1885. He was chemical worker Thomas Fearnett (1859).

James Gandy (1864-1928), who was a well-known Widnes rugby player, married Mary Elizabeth Carmichael (1865) in 1885. They had two children, Martha Jane (1886-1974) and James (1903). On the 1901 census James is listed as a self employed carter.

From Ian Pearson

Here's a photo which I think is very special. It actually came from my grandmother, Barbara Pearson, nee Wood (one of Agnes Wood nee Dance daughters)  It shows four generations: 

a) standing - Agnes Wood (nee Dance - my great grandmother)

b) sitting (left to right) Elizabeth Anne Dance - (nee Gandy, my great great grandmother) Mabel Mason, nee Wood (one of Agnes's daughters and one of my grandmother's sisters) and Thelma Mason, her first child on her knee and 'Uncle John' 

I pressed my grandmother several times to identify this man but all she could say was 'Uncle John'  

Having seen photos of other members of the Dance family I don't think he's a Dance since he doesn't look like one. I suspect he's a Gandy or an Atherton, and having met Michael Gandy, a noted genealogist who's related to me not through the Gandys as you might expect, but through the Athertons and who looks rather like this man, my guess is for an Atherton. My grandmother's brother William John Birkby Wood looked much like that too, as did Isaac Dance the only one of John Dance's children whom I met.    Date is about 1920. Elizabeth Anne Dance died in 1921 and Thelma was born in 1918. 

Elizabeth Anne Dance is remembered as a little old lady who kept a confectionery shop in the front room of her house (latterly 103 Hall Street, Carnforth - they moved there from Bessemer Terrace - BT was demolished in the 1880s to make way for the expansion of the ironworks and replaced by Hall Street). Incidentally if you're trying to locate the house today, try 103 Lancaster Road (same address, since Hall Street was an extension of Lancaster Road and the numbering was consecutive).

I was fortunate to begin my research as a schoolboy in the 1960s when there were still people alive who remembered her - and could identify her on a photo. But there was no one alive who could remember meeting John Dance and we always thought he came from Widnes. It was a surprise to discover where he did originate (thank God for the census!)

John Dance is my only great great grandparent from outside Cumberland, Westmorland and Lancashire.  Ian

(1) Here are my great grandparents Agnes (nee Dance, born 1873) and her husband William Wood (1870). William looks rather severe and Agnes a bit snooty - but since I know that my father was so very fond of these two (he spent a lot of his childhood with them and spoke of them often with affection) - they obviously weren't as fierce as they look!        Date - William died in 1927, so 1925?    The photo is by Wynspeare Herbert of Lancaster, a well-known local photographer of the 1920s and 1930s. I have a few of his on both sides of my family. Ian

(2)Lavinia Dance - youngest child 1894 - looks different from the others - long face instead of a round face) with husband John Winskill.Probably about 1920. They lived at Kendal - maybe taken there. Ian

Molly (Mary Ann Dance 1876) and Will Hardacre (1875) with their grandson Raymond Winder.
My father spoke very fondly of these two as well.  They look nice people, and apparently were.    Date about 1930.   ps -
Taken at Crewe where their daughter Mary Gertrude (Gert) lived with her husband Frank Winder. 




More from Ian - The Birtles Family

You have also done some more research and that has opened a new avenue for me. I had no idea that there was a Tom Birtles jr, and this is important because I have four photos of a family wedding in the 1930s (one attached in case you're interested). I've been trying to make it a Hardacre wedding (Gert or Lal) but that just won't fit. I now think it's Lilian Birtles wedding (Lancaster District Sep 1937 to a Robertson). I can recognise Lucy (lady on far left) and Bob Sanderson (kneeling with pipe!), then there's someone who looks like a young version of Tom Birtles (the other person kneeling, so I'm guessing this is TB jr). The bride could be Lilian (I'm fairly certain, but not 100% sure, but it's certainly not Gert Hardacre, and I have only vague memories of Lal).

No idea who the others are. I have noticed there's no TB sr. on the group photo, but he does appear on another photo taken at the same occasion.

The background is not Carnforth, but could certainly be Morecambe (the newer houses built after WW1). You'll notice that strange corrugated iron building behind them, and on another photo taken at the same time from a slightly different viewpoint there's an election poster visible on it: Victoria Ward -Vote for Fred Forbes - illegible line unfortunately 'No Bubbles'

I have no idea what 'no bubbles' could possibly mean, though it is intriguing! There is a Victoria Ward in Morecambe.  Searching through free bmd I noticed a Tom Birtles born Lancaster District Sep 1902, and a Tom Birtles death Lancaster District June 1949 age 71 (this is also by one of those strange coincidences the quarter in which I was born).

 I think the 'No Bubbles' is possibly a reference to the Morecambe Bubbles Swimming complex opened in 1936.  Announced with great fanfare, the Super Swimming Stadium was built at a cost of £185,000 on the site of a former ship breaking business. Boasting room for 1,200 bathers and accommodation for 3,000 spectators the stadium was an almost immediate success with locals and tourists alike enjoying a cool dip in the midday sun. Costing just 6d (half price for children) for a day, and seven shillings & sixpence for a season ticket, the stadium and its 110ft long pool soon became the place to be during the warm summer months. Tom


This photo was taken outside 41 Grosvenor Place, Carnforth, home of Molly and Will Hardacre; date about 1928/9 (the little boy at the front is Edgar Sanderson who was born in 1920.)

Back row - (seven men) : Robert Sanderson, Tom Birtles jr.(?), W.J.Birkby Wood, Frank Winder, J. Ezbon Winder(?), David Andrews(?) 

Second row - (five sisters and one spouse) : Lavinia Winskill, Jane Andrews or Kitty Birtles, Agnes Wood, Molly Hardacre, Will Hardacre, Lucy Sanderson.

Third row (seated) - the three Hardacre sisters - Gert, Lal, Annie (probably in that order)

Front - no idea about the first two, not even educated guesses; then Edgar Sanderson who has the sun in his eyes. Ian

Edmund (Teddy) Hodgson (1898-1960) son of John Hodgson and Elizabeth Alice Dance (1867)


James Salter missionary.

Amongst those he recruited were Teddy Hodgson an old friend who was settled in a prospering business and fighting the call of God. Salter walked into his office thinner than he had seen him last and said "well Teddy what about Congo?" In a matter of seconds as Salter prayed quietly the battle was won and a recruit made. 


In 1960 Congo was falling into terrible conflict, missionaries and Christians were being killed. Jimmy Salter flew out to Congo in September and met up with his good friend Teddy Hodgson. 

Over the next few weeks things got worse until they were taken hostage by the new local regime of fanatical rebels. They only escaped with their lives because of the intervention and rescue by 150 United Nation troops. 

It was just a few weeks later that news came out that Teddy along with a New Zealander had tried to get supplies through to some of their evangelists but were taken prisoner by the rebels and butchered with machetes as they prayed for their murderers.