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Wednesday, 12 March 2014

52 Ancestors: 10 - My Genial Uncle Fred Weston

52ancestorsAmy at No Story Too Small has come up with a new challenge for 2014 - to write a post  each week on a specific ancestor. 

I always think of my Uncle Fred as a very genial man, though my memories of him are hazy.  

He was the eldest child in the family, born in 1905 at Bilston, Wolverhampton, in the West Midlands  to Albert Weston and Mary Barbara Matthews. 

At the time of the 1911 census, the Weston family was living at 33 Lunt Lane, Lunt Gardens, Bilston, Staffordshire.  In the household was  34 year old Albert  Ernest, an engineer,  his wife Mary aged 34,   son Frederick Harry aged 5, daughter Madeleine  1 year old, both born Bilston  and Albert's brother Charles Henry, at 26 a boiler rivetter.

It was interesting to note daughter Madelaine's attractive name,  as I always knew her as the more prosaic  "Auntie Madge". 

My father John Percy was born a year  followed by younger brother Eric Charles - always known as Charles in 1915.   Another daughter, born c.1908 did not survive infancy.   

Sadly hardly any photographs of the young family have survived.  So it was a great pleasure last year that these pictures of young  Fred came to light through a distant relative of my cousin - Charles' daughter.  

I would love to know what occasion Fred was dressed up for  with that fancy coat, and large hat.  
Fred as a choir boy. at St. Mary's Church, Warwick. 
My father too joined the church choir at th age of 7 - a role he continued  in all his life wherever he lived - but unfortunately there is no such photograph.  

Fred  married Frances Green in 1930 in Leicester.  My father is on the left of the picture looking very serious, with brother Charles behind. Their mother is in the cloche hat standing next to Fred. 

I recall visits to Uncle Fred and Auntie  Fran who were then living in Sheffield.  From Lancashire, it meant us crossing the Pennines on the Snake Pass - a journey which had my brother and crouching down at the back of  the car, (no seat belt requirement in those days)   as we did not like the twisting road and steep drops below.  We were more than happy to stop at the Lady Bower Reservoir for a picnic lunch. 

The two brothers  John and Fred - with a rather grumpy looking child between them - me!

Fred, Charles and my father maintained regular contact by letter and later telephone, although they lived in different  parts of the country, meeting only  once or twice a year.

A happy photograph of John and Fred.

Fred became a teacher in further education.  His first wife Fran died in 1976 and he remarried  - his second wife Mollie.   Fred died in  1989 at the age of 84, leaving no family - but with the memory of a genial uncle. 

Copyright © 2014 · Susan Donaldson.  All Rights Reserved

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