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Saturday, 22 March 2014

52 Ancestors: 11 - Postman Bob - My Great Uncle (1881-1970)

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.  


Bob is the uniformed figure standing by the wagonette in Poulton Square.

My great uncle Bob was a postman, the third son of James Danson and Maria Rawcliffe of Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire, near the famous seaside resort of Blackpool.    According to the family bible, Bob was born on 3rd June 1881, and most probably named after his maternal grandfather Robert Rawcliffe.  I

interest in recording family births must have palled after the fourth son Albert (who died in infancy),   as there was no further note of William, another Albert, Tom, Frank, George and only daughter Jennie. 

Like many of his brothers, Bob married late in life  - his wife Annie Grimshaw from Manchester, with www.findmypast.co.uk recording the wedding in 1932 when Bob must have been around 51 years of age.   

I was pleased to see  that the British Postal Service Appointment Books had been made available on www.ancestry.co.uk.    It is always fascinating to see an original record relating to an ancestor, but  to be honest they gave little information besides recording his name and appointment in  1907 in Preston as a Rural Postman with a further entry showing  his appointment  as postman in Blackpool in May 1925.  

His daughter Irene  presents a much more colourful picture of his work and recollects that:

"He went a long way on his bicycle from Poulton over Shard Bridge [where his grandfather Henry Danson had been a toll keeper] to deliver the post over Wyre.  He had a little hut at Presall where he had to wait until it was time to do the collections and then ride all the way back to Poulton.

In later years he worked from Blackpool General Post Office where his round was North Promenade and the Cliffs - very windy, but it seems the hotel people looked after him with cups of tea now and again. 

He was told at the oubreak of the First World War when his five brothers were joining the army, that he had a bad heart.   But work must have kept him fit, as he lived to be 89 years old and died in 1970."

Great Uncle Bob in 1929 at the wedding of his only sister Jennie.
Copyright © 2014 · Susan Donaldson.  All Rights Reserved

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