Grandma & Grandad Waterson

I have already mentioned that my Mother was the 3rd of 4 sisters, 

born to John & Annie Waterson. 

The following are not my memories, but are authentic and accurate.
My Grandma was born Annie Hebden on 16 November 1891,

 in Spa Cottage, Eldon Street North, Barnsley. 

She came from a big family, as was the norm in those days, her parents were 

John William & Sarah Hebden (nee Conduit).

Upon leaving school, Annie went to work at Taylors Weaving Mill, Peel Street, Barnsley. 

(As a point of interest Barnsley linen was famous, this industry being as important as coal mining, within this area).



Annie Waterson 


 When Annie was about 18 years old, she met my Grandad, John (Jack) Waterson, 

who was born on the 18 June 1889




Sarah Waterson sitting on the right of the picture.

Standing on the left is Maggie Ward, Little is known about Maggie, 

so if you know of her please get in touch with Mary.


the eldest son of Dan & Sarah Waterson (nee Quinn), 

at 4 Court 13, New Street, Barnsley, his parents had come to live in Barnsley from Ireland, 

Jack went to work in the Pit when he left school.


N0 74 Old Mill Lane Barnsley (today) 


Annie & Jack were married in February in 1912 and lived at 74 Old Mill Lane, Barnsley. 

Sarah Ellen (Sarah) their first daughter soon made an appearance, followed by Annie, 

exactly 2 years later, then by my Mother, Norah, exactly 2 years later than Annie. 

Mary Alice (Mary) the youngest daughter was born when my Mother was 2yrs & 4 months old. Jack continued working in the pit until he went into the army 

when The Great War started (World War 1). 



Jack Waterson 


He served in France and I still have many silk embroidered cards which he sent regularly 

to my Grandma and his little girls. The messages written on the back of these cards,

 are very touching to read, they are so full of love and affection for his family. 

(My Mother once wryly remarked that he must have had at least 2 leaves from France 

leaving my Mother and Auntie Mary on the way, after each leave). 


Jack (bottom left) part of the TUG OF WAR TEAM


In October 1918 just before the end of the war he narrowly escaped death 

when he was wounded, after his discharge from the army,

he returned to work in the pit, 

in August 1919 he went to work at Newera Concrete Works, Smithies, Barnsley. 

My Grandma had been anxious that he did not return to work in the coal mine, 

she thought that it was too dangerous.

 I must say that my Grandad was a very handsome young man,
who was liked by everyone who knew him, all he lived for was his wife and little girls. 

The three eldest were allowed to go and stand at the end of Honeywell Street, 

and wait for him coming home from work, 



Honeywell Street (today) 


one of my Aunts recalls shouting Dadda as he approached 

and he would scoop up all three of them together, giving them a hug.

In Barnsley it was the tradition to hold The October Fair Day on Churchfields,
this was apparently the only holiday which families had. 

In 1919 the Fair was held on the 11 October. 

The following is in quotes as told to me by my Grandma.

“On October Fair Day, your Grandad, got up for work, 

he would not take a day off because we couldn’t afford it.

 I can remember him giving all of us a kiss before he set off, 

within a minute he was back, I asked him what was wrong and he said nothing, 

he just felt uneasy. This happened 3 times, I told him to take the day off work 

because he must be feeling tired, but he refused, and I saw him pass the window, 

it was quite early in the morning, 

and I was busy getting the four children ready to take them to the fair. 

Your Grandad had been gone for quite some time when I heard the ambulance 

going past our front door, I went cold and I thought it is Jack. 

I asked my neighbour to come in to keep an eye on the children, 

grabbed a shawl and went running down Old Mill Lane, 

I reached the Concrete Works, just in time to see Jack being put into the ambulance 

on a stretcher, he looked as if he was asleep. 
There was quite a crowd of people gathered around and I heard someone say that 

one man was dead. 

I ran back home and by this time my Mother had come to our house, 

which was a rare event although she only lived round the corner in John Edward Street. 


She had objected  to your Grandad being a Roman Catholic 

and the fact that our children had been baptised in the Roman Catholic Church. 


Beckett Hospital



She told me to stay with the children, 

whilst she went up to Beckett Hospital to see what was happening, 

I was too numb to do anything, except sit rocking your Auntie Mary, who was only 10 months old,

 I can’t even remember now which neighbour took your Mam, 

our Sarah & Annie to be looked after. I sat in the chair for ages and kept saying

 “Please God, don’t let Jack be dead, what ever state he is in I will look after him.”

 When it got to the afternoon I couldn’t stand it any longer, 

so I set off with your Auntie Mary to go to the hospital, 

I met my Mother coming down Old Mill Lane, 

and from the look on her face I knew that your Grandad had died, 

he had been killed instantly and his work mate, 

Arthur McCoubrey had died in hospital from a fractured skull. 

The only mark on your Grandad was a bruise on his mouth 

and the Coroner could not find evidence of the cause of his death, 

other than a concrete column had collapsed on the 2 men, breaking your Grandad’s neck”.

I could give more details, but I will finish by telling you that, it took quite
sometime for things to be sorted out. 

My Grandma had no money, and with 4 children, aged 7,5,3 and 10 months old, 

she had no option but to swallow her pride and they lived from 

donations to the “poor box” of Saint Mary’s Church. 
Eventually she received £200 compensation and when she had spent that,
she went back to her old job as a weaver, her Mother reluctantly cared for the children, 

she moved to the Linen Mill at Redbrook which was owned by Hickson Lloyd & King, 

she worked there until she was 60 years old.

Redbook Mill

I have a copy of my Grandad’s Death Certificate, a report of the inquest which
was held at Beckett Hospital, Barnsley, plus photographs of him, he was only
30 years old when he died.