Road Mending

The picture in this week’s post is of Town Lane, Charlesworth, sometime in the early twentieth century. It’s certainly dates before the First World War, as the war memorial hasn’t been built yet. 

The View up Town Lane, Charlesworth, with roadworks in progress. The second cottage up on the right hand side was our family home for the best part of a century.

Town Lane is a very familiar sight to me. The second cottage from the bottom on the right hand side, number 12, was the home of both my great grandfather and grandfather and it was where my dad was born. Fernley’s were certainly living there by the 1890’s, and I suspect much earlier than that.

But this isn’t where the family interest in this picture ends.  On the back of the picture, in my grandfather’s neat writing, are pencilled ‘EF’ and ‘Mr Fernley’.  For most of his working life, my Great Grandfather, Edward Fernley, was a coal miner. But on the 1911 Census he is listed as  a ‘road man’.  So, I’m guessing that the EF in the photograph is him.

But which man?

Edward Fernley was born in 1839, so he’d have been an old man by the time this photograph was taken. I think the best candidate, based on age and looks, is the figure on the far left of the picture. 

There’s definitely a touch of the Fernley’s about this man. My great-grandfather, Edward Fernley snr.

I’ve quite a few photographs of the Fernley side of the family in the early twentieth century, but they’re mostly formal studio pictures. Even though this one is posed, it’s fascinating to see my great grandfather at work.

Glimpses of the past like this one make studying family history worthwhile.

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