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Matlock: The Fleet Family of Bakewell Road and the Dimple
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The Bridge family to whom the Fleets were related by marriage



This photographic portrait of Daniel Fleet was taken by Vernon Lamb outside the back of the Lamb home on Bank Road. A number of Mr. Lamb's photos were taken at the same location[1].

Daniel, a son of John and Sarah Fleet, was born on 6 Sept 1860 at Christleton in Cheshire and was baptised at the Parish Church there on 2 Dec 1860[2]. The family lived at Brown Heath, Christleton and Daniel was the eighth of their eleven children[3]. He married Mary Tushingham at Tarvin on 27 Dec 1880[2] and the couple moved in with Mary's widowed father, Joseph, who was a Corn Miller in Foulk-Stapleford (parish of Tarvin), Chester. Daniel was then a blacksmith by trade[3]. His wife Mary was christened at Shotwick, Chester, on 2 Nov 1862, the youngest daughter of Joseph and Hannah Tushingham of Queens Ferry. Her father was employed as a labourer at the time[2]. Mary's mother died in 1864 and Mary and her siblings were brought up partly by their maternal grandparents Samuel and Elizabeth Bennett in the parish of St. Oswald, Chester[3].

All the daughters of Daniel and Mary were born at Kelsall apart from Mary Hannah (Annie) so the couple must have moved from Foulk-Stapleford in late 1881 or early 1882. By 1891 they were at Hollands Lane, Kelsall and Daniel had changed his occupation and become a Life Assurance Agent[3], although he had still been working as a blacksmith when his second daughter was born in 1889[2]. Daniel was elected to Kelsall's parish council in March 1896[4] and he was appointed as one of the two overseers in 1899[5]. The family had moved to 22, George Street, Chester by 1901 when Daniel must have been promoted as he was then a Life Assurance Assistant Superintendent[3].



Mary doing the family wash, using a dolly tub and ponch. The photo was taken at Kelsall in the 1880s.
Her tub was wooden, bound by large iron rings.
She would have boiled the water for her washing and carried it to the dolly tub. The receptacle on the
right of the dolly was probably to hold the washing prior to it being rinsed. She may have used a mangle
to squeeze out the excess water but if she did it wasn't in this picture.
To her right is an oval bath tub on trestle steps. If the bath tub was stored outside, as appears
to be the case here, it would keep it clean as it was off the ground.
Wash day was usually on a Monday and dolly tubs were in use up to the late 1950s.
Photographer unknown.



Sarah Alice (Alice) and Mary Hannah (Annie) Fleet, Kelsall, about 1892.
Photographer unknown.
Alice, on the left, was born at Kelsall on 11 Nov 1888 and baptised at Hargrave on 27 Jan 1889[2].
Mary Hannah was baptised at Hargrave on 11 Dec 1881 when the family were at Green Looms[2].
She married William Samuel Lowndes on 8 Dec 1902[2] and moved to Bootle[6] and
Alice became the wife of Tom Bridge of Matlock in early 1910[7].


By 1911 the Fleets were settled in their five roomed house called Gresley Villa on Bakewell Road[3] having moved to Derbyshire in 1906[8]. All Saints' School records show Ida, Eva and Ada being admitted to the school on 30 April that year, having transferred from St. Thomas at Chester[8]. Daniel must have joined the Matlock Liberal Club almost immediately as at the beginning of 1910 he was one of the proposers of Mr. Himners, the Liberal candidate for the constituency[9]. The Club was then located in the Town Hall buildings[10].

Vernon Lamb took the three photos of Eva and Ada below. Eva is shown playing the violin whilst Ada was playing what appears to be a lute. The photograph of Ada with the cane and hat was possibly taken a year later than the ones with them playing their respective instruments. Their Canadian family say that it wasn't just the youngest two who were musical as all the Fleet daughters were musicians. Ada played piano and mandolin and her instrument still belongs to the family. Alice, the second daughter, played the harpsichord. All of them probably played the piano and violins. "Grandad" Fleet tuned their instruments and, as a former blacksmith, was expert at making fixtures and accoutrements for kitchen, musical instruments and the like[11].



Eva Gladys, born 1897
 
Ada Elizabeth, born 1899


 

Eva and Ada


In 1911 Ida Eunice Fleet, the middle daughter, was away from home as she was visiting her sister Annie and Annie's children in Bootle. Ida had been born in Kelsall on 12 Dec 1893 and her occupation was shown as an "assistant in boot shop" in the 1911 census[3]. She worked for Timothy Payne, a boot and shoe dealer on Wellington Street, and in 1910 she gave evidence about a theft from Payne's shop[12]. It was probably on one of her trips to see Annie that she met George J Smith, whom she married in 1914[13].



From left to right: Eva Fleet, Ada Fleet, William Ernest Lowndes (Annie's eldest child and
known as "Bill") who was born in Bootle in 1905 and Ida Fleet.
It is difficult to know where the picture was taken but the group were possibly photographed in
Bootle about 1911.
Photographer unknown.


Sadly, Ida's marriage was short-lived as her husband died in 1918, aged only 26[13]. He was said to be in a wheelchair and may have suffered from polio[11]. He did not even see their daughter, Ida Georgina (Georgina), as she was not born until 24 Oct 1918. Ida went on to marry John Astles at the end of 1919 and their son Kenneth was born in 1921[13]. Ida and her two children were living on Holt Drive in Matlock by 1939[14]. After John's death in 1951 Ida went on the marry Hawley Croft who died in Matlock in 1968, aged 70. Ida passed away in 1984. Some of her descendants are still in Matlock.



Eva with her son George Allwood, who was born in 1916[14].


Daniel and Mary's fourth daughter, Eva Gladys, married at Farley Hill Congregational Chapel in the summer of 1915[15]. The groom was Raymond Clifford (Clifford) Allwood, the son of Mr Joseph Allwood, of Darley Hill Side. They had probably first met at All Saints' School[8]. Ada was their bridesmaid and the couple were to live in Chesterfield at first[15]. However, they returned to Matlock as their children were all born in the Matlocks. In 1939 Eva, Raymond, their four children and son-in-law were living at 4 West Block, Darley House Estate[14]. Both Eva and Raymond passed away in Matlock; Eva in 1988, aged 92 and Raymond in 1976, age 83. When Eva and Raymond married Daniel and Mary Fleet were at Mount View on Dimple Road[15]. This was their last home in Matlock as they emigrated to Canada in 1920[11], moving next door to their son in law and daughter Tom and Alice Bridge[7]. Ada, who had married William (Bill) Hicklin in 1918[13], was already in Canada as she and Bill went to Montreal after their marriage but eventually moved to Ottawa where Bill worked for the Canadian Government[15]. Whilst several of the Fleet daughters lived into their 90s, Ada was the most long lived.

Mary Fleet died at Ellerlie Street, North York, on 25 June 1937 and was buried on 28 Jun 1937 at Mount Pleasant cemetery[17]. Daniel, who is shown in the splendid photograph at the top of the page, died the following year and was also buried at Mount Pleasant[11].



Images of the Fleet family found in the Vernon Lamb archives

VLA5102

VLA5115

VAL5121

VLA5135
 

Image supplied by and copyright © the Bridge family collection.
Researched, written by and © Ann Andrews. With thanks to Bob Morton and Barbara and Debbie, both nee Bridge, for additional information.
Intended for personal use only.

References (coloured links are to transcripts or more information elsewhere on this web site):

[1] See The Vernon Lamb Archive.

[2] All Cheshire baptisms and Marriage have been extracted from the parish registers, including Diocese of Chester parish registers of baptisms and Diocese of Chester Bishop's Transcripts of Baptisms. The Lowndes-Fleet marriage is from a copy of the marriage register of St. Oswald's Parish Church, Chester. Her death record reveals that Mary Fleet, nee Tushingham, was born on 3 Sep 1862.

[3] Census information extracted from England and Wales Census returns, 1861-1911. All are available on Find My Past. There is more information about All Saints' School.

[4] "Cheshire Observer", 4 July 1896 and 8 May 1897. The first date shows him elected and the second as taking part in a Council meeting.

[5] "ibid", 22 April 1899. Daniel Fleet was one of two Council members appointed as an overseer.

[6] William Samuel Lowndes and his wife Annie (nee Bridge) eventually moved to New Ferry Road in New Ferry (Bebington borough) on the Wirral and remained in Cheshire for the rest of their lives. In 1939 William was employed as a Lounge Steward for the steamship company Cunard, which presumably meant long periods away from home. He died on 22 Nov 1964 at the Clatterbridge General Hospital in Bebington and Mary Hannah died on 3 Aug 1966.

[7] See Thomas Stephen Bridge & his Family, 19th & 20th Century.

[8] National School Admission Registers & Log-books, 1870-1914 (Find My Past). The family's address was given as Gresley Villa. The only one of the three where a leaving year was provided for was Ada who left All Saints' in 1913 when she was 14.

[9] "Derbyshire Courier", 25 January 1910.

[10] See Kelly's Directory 1908 | Kelly's Directory 1912.

[11] Information provided by Bob Morton.

[12] "Derbyshire Courier", 18 January 1910. Theft of Boots at Matlock.

[13] GRO indexes show the various births, marriages and deaths of the Smith and Astle families in the West Derby district and the marriage of Ada Fleet in 1918.

[14] From the 1939 Register,available on Find My Past.

[15] "Derbyshire Courier", 14 August 1915.

[16] Bob Morton says that Bill died in 1986 and Ada passed away in 1993.

[17] Courtesy of Archives of Ontario.