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Mill Workers who lived in Saltaire
Researched by Colin Coates

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Naylor, Ezra
22 November 1851 – 23 March 1913

Ezra Naylor was the son of Isaac Naylor. Isaac was born c1816 in Bradford. He married Lydia Ward, 14 July 1839 at Bradford Cathedral.

Ezra was born 22 November 1851 in Bradford. In 1861 & 1871 they were living at 8 George Street (re-numbered 34) in Saltaire, where Isaac was a cotton warp dresser. In 1871 Ezra was working as a clerk.

In August 1870, Ezra is reported as being secretary of the Saltaire Club & Institute, a role he carried out until March 1873. In April 1874, he was one of sixteen gentlemen elected on to the Saltaire Institute Committee. In April 1878, Ezra is listed as being a member of the Shipley Choral Society.

Ezra married Maria Hardaker, 28 September 1880, at Killinghall church. In 1881 he was a woollen manufacturer living with his wife in her widowed mother’s house in Killinghall near Harrogate.

Ezra and Maria’s only child, John Herbert Naylor, was born 11 October 1882. In December 1882, Ezra was taken to court for refusing to have his child vaccinated.

In January 1890, Ezra was reported as being chairman of the New Year Assemblies at the Saltaire Institute. In July 1890 Ezra was elected on to the Shipley School Board.

In 1891 & 1901 the family were living at 3 Albert Road (re-numbered 5) in Saltaire. Ezra was working as a yarn salesman.

In March 1892 it was reported that Ezra was re-elected as a governor of the Salt Schools. He was elected again in March 1901 for a period of three years.

In September 1901 following the retirement of Mr John Rhodes from the firm of Sir Titus Salt Bart., Sons & Co, Ezra joined the board of directors.

In October 1902, Ezra was appointed President of the Shipley Textile Society.

By September 1905, Ezra and his family were living at “Broxholme”, 13 Staveley Road, Nab Wood, Shipley.

In October 1906 Ezra was reported as being chairman of the Salt School of Governors. He was elected as a Shipley District Councillor for the West ward in 1912.

In February 1913 treasurer Ezra, was appointed a life member of the West Bradford Golf Club.

Ezra died 25 March 1913. He was buried at Nab Wood Cemetery in Shipley.

Report from the Shipley Times 28 March 1913: -


Expressions of regret were heard on all hands in the Shipley district on Wednesday, when it became known that Mr. Ezra Naylor, who had had practically a lifelong connection with the firm of Sir Titus Salt. Bart., Sons and Co., Ltd., Saltaire Mills, had died the previous night, after a brief illness.

The sad intelligence caused quite a painful sensation in Saltaire, where the deceased gentleman was known to everybody, and where he had won the respect and esteem of the inhabitants generally. Mr. Naylor had not enjoyed good health for some time past, but nothing of a serious nature been apprehended. He was at the mills as recently as last Friday morning, and, accompanied by Mrs. Naylor, left Shipley by the 11.8 a.m. train that day with the intention of attending the marriage of his niece at a village in the neighbourhood of Nottingham the following day.

While in the train he complained of severe internal pains, and these became more acute later in the evening, when and Mrs. Naylor had reached the residence of relatives with whom they had arranged to stay. A local doctor was called in that night, and after seeing Mr. Naylor again the following morning he advised him to return home immediately.

This advice was acted upon, and Mr. Naylor was driven to the nearest station (Chesterfield) in a motor. Shipley was reached shortly after four o’clock in the afternoon, and Mr. Naylor obviously in a very exhausted condition, had to be wheeled through the subway in an invalid carriage. He was then placed in a taxi-cab and driven to his residence, Broxholme, Nab Wood, where he was immediately seen by his medical adviser, Dr. Thornton.

The latter had reason to believe that appendicitis was the cause of the trouble, and this suspicion was confirmed when he made a further examination of his patient the following morning. An immediate operation was deemed imperative, and this was performed by Dr. Thornton, with Dr. Selkirk and Dr. Eames, at mid-day. Although the patient stood the operation remarkably well, the doctors were unable to hold out much hope of his recovery. Mr. Naylor did not lose consciousness up to within about an hour of his death, which took place at a quarter to ten on Tuesday night.

The deceased gentleman was the only son of Mr. Isaac Naylor, who was foreman over the warp dressers at Saltaire Mills. He is survived by one sister, Mrs. Bramma, of Birmingham.

At an early age Mr. Ezra Naylor worked half-days at Saltaire Mills, during which time he attended the half-time school then held under the firm’s auspices at the building adjoining Saltaire Station, now used as a cafe. He was one the senior pupils at this school who came under the influence of Mr. George Morrell, a gentleman who, after a long and honourable record in the work of education in Shipley, has now a post under the Saltaire firm in connection with the management of the house property. Like many other youths who have entered Saltaire Mills in a humble capacity, Mr. Naylor saw promotion ahead for those who deserved it, and the determination with which he set about this qualification may be judged from the fact that before he was out of his teens was attending the wool market in Bradford on behalf of the firm.

He was given charge of the spinning department, and held this responsible post for over forty years, during which time, as our readers are aware, he witnessed important changes at Saltaire. The chief of these was when, about twenty years ago, the mills and village passed out of the hands of the family of the founder. Mr. Naylor quickly gained the confidence of and present principal, Sir James Roberts, Bart.

Before the Salt Schools were municipalised Mr. Naylor rendered excellent service as member, for several years, of the governing body. For a considerable time had also sat on the Board of Governors of the Sir Titus Salt Charity.

A year ago, on the retirement from the Shipley District Council of Sir James Roberts, Mr. Naylor was pressed to accept the nomination for the West Ward, and on his agreeing to do so ho was elected unopposed His duties as a Councillor and member of the Education Committee again brought him into touch with the administration the educational institutions at Saltaire, and during the post year he evinced great interest in public work. The last meeting which he attended in connection with the District Council was Tuesday evening of last week, and colleagues who were present that occasion recall the fact that then appeared to be far from well.

For the last three yean Mr. Naylor had been president of the Bradford Textile Managers’ Association, and formerly occupied a similar position in connection with the Shipley Textile Society. Although a staunch Liberal, was not a keen politician.

He was regular worshipper at the Saltaire Congregational Church, and a generous supporter of the cause at that place. In his younger days he took an active part in the work of the Sunday school.

Mr. Naylor is survived his widow and one son (Mr. J. H. Naylor).

As a mark of respect the flag was flown at half-mast at the District Council Offices.

The funeral takes place at Nab Wood Cemetery to-day (Friday).

In his will he left £7,377 1s 8d (worth c£860,000 in 2020).

His widow, Maria, died 13 January 1936 at “Strathroy”, 115 Franklin Road, Harrogate. She was buried alongside Ezra. In her will she left £815 17s 9d (worth c£600,000 in 2020).

Their son, John Herbert, died in 1971.

Nab Wood Cemetery and Crematorium: Monumental Inscriptions

In loving memory of a devoted husband and father, EZRA NAYLOR, born November 22 nd, 1851, entered into rest March 25 th, 1913.

Also MARIA, wife of above, died January 13 th, 1936.


Naylor, Isaac
c1816 – 31 August 1892

Isaac Naylor was the son of Joseph & Martha Naylor

Isaac was born c1816 in Bradford. He was baptised 8 August 1816 in Manningham. Isaac married Lydia Ward 14 July 1839 at Bradford Cathedral. They had a son, Ezra Naylor, born 22 November 1851.

In 1861 they were living at 8 George Street (re-numbered 34) in Saltaire, where Isaac was a cotton warp dresser. His wife, Lydia died in 1865. She was buried in Charlestown Cemetery, Baildon.

Widower Isaac married Hannah Bland 18 April 1870 at Saltaire Congregational Church. Hannah was 19 years younger than Isaac. They lived at 34 George Street.

In 1881 they were living at 20 Victoria Road and in 1891 at 35 George Street. Isaac was a foreman over the warp dressers at Saltaire Mills.

Isaac died, 31 August 1892. He was buried with his first wife in Charlestown Cemetery.

Hannah, Isaac’s second wife, died 18 November 1901.

Isaac Naylor's gravestone


Naylor, John Herbert
11 October 1882 – 23 July 1971

John Herbert Naylor was the son of Ezra Naylor. Ezra was born 22 November 1851 in Bradford. He married Maria Hardaker 28 September 1880 at Killinghall church, near Harrogate.

John, their only child, was born 11 October 1882.

In 1891 & 1901 the family were living at 3 Albert Road (re-numbered 5) in Saltaire. Ezra was working as a yarn salesman. In 1901 John was an apprentice mohair spinner. In July 1901 he passed a City and Guilds of London examination in Wool and Worsted at Salt School. In January 1904 John passed a first aid exam taught by the St John Ambulance Association in Shipley. In April 1904 he sang at a performance by the Salt Schools Amateur Dramatic Society in the Victoria Hall. 3 March 1906, John was M.C. at a whist drive and dance held by the Shipley Textile Society in the Victoria Hall.

He was working at Saltaire Mills when he married Lydia Mary Holmes, 23 June 1909, at Saltaire Congregational church.

Report from the Shipley Times 25 June: -

A wedding that aroused much local interest was solemnised on Wednesday at Saltaire Congregational Church, the contracting parties being Miss Lydia Mary Holmes, the only daughter of Mr. George Holmes, of Cottingley Grange, near Bingley, and Mr. John Herbert Naylor, the only son of Mr. Ezra Naylor, the manager of Saltaire Mills, Broxholme, Nab Wood. Shipley.

The officiating minister was the Rev. P. D. Pringle, M.A., the cousin of the bride, and during the service the hymns “Welcome was the call” and “The voice that breathed o’er Eden” were sung. Mr. A. Sutcliffe, who officiated at the organ, rendered suitable selections.

The bride, who was given away by her father, was gowned in ducheese satin, with an overdress of ninon trimmed with silver embroidery, and a Court train, trimmed with chiffon and orange blossoms. She wore a bridal veil of embroidered Brussels net with bandeaux orange blossoms. She travelled in a grey faced costume, prettily embroidered, and wore a picture hat of Tuscan straw, trimmed with roses. She carried a shower bouquet of white ruses, lilies of the valley, and white heather.

Mr. G. Holmes, the brother of the bride, officiated as best man, and the bridesmaids were Miss Dorothy Rush worth, Miss Gertrude Wilcock, Miss Lydia Illingworth (cousins of the bride), and Miss Louie Wardman (cousin of the bridegroom). They wore white Rodney dresses, tinged with pink, and large picture hats Tuscan straw, trimmed with pink roses, and earned bouquets of Kaiserin Augusta Victoria roses. Each wore a pearl and gold brooch, the gift of the bridegroom.

The bride’s mother was gowned in beautiful mauve poplin silk, richly trimmed with silver embroidery and real lace, with a toque and carried a bouquet of pink carnations. Mrs. Naylor, the mother of the bridegroom, wore a gown of pearl grey Imperial satin, handsomely trimmed with embroidery and real Bruges lace. She carried a bouquet mauve pears and lilies of the valley.

The couple were the recipients of a large number of handsome presents. The gift of the bridegroom to the bride was a gold and pearl pendant and the present from the bride to the bridegroom was a handsome bookcase. There was also a solid silver table lamp from the bridegroom’s fellow workers at Saltaire Mills. After the ceremony, a very largely attended reception was held at Cottingley Grange, where a marque had been erected for the accommodation of the guests.

The happy pair later in the afternoon left for London and the Isle of Wight, where the honeymoon is to be spent.

John and his wife lived at 3 Woodside Av in Shipley. In 1911 he was working as a tarn salesman. By 1918 they were living at 28 New Close Rd, only to return to 3 Woodside Avenue in 1926. They remained there until 1960 when they moved to 18 Lindisfarne Rd, where they remained the rest of their lives.

At the Shipley Canine Association’s monthly show held at the Oddfellow’s Hall Hotel in February 1913 John won several prizes with his dogs “Nipper” and “Jerry.” In May 1914 he was elected president of the association. He retired as president in 1922.

In July 1913 John presented a picture draught screen to Saltaire Hospital.

As a yarn salesman at Saltaire Mills John was exempted from military duty at a meeting of the Shipley Tribunal held in March 1917.

John was elected vice-chairman of the Saltaire Conversazioni at their annual meeting in 1932, a position he held for a number of years. Upon the Conversazioni’s revival in 1947 he was elected as the chairman. John retired from the chair in 1954. He had been connected with the Conversazioni for over 40 years.

Report from the Shipley Times 23 June 1934: -

In honour of their silver wedding, Mr, and Mrs J H Naylor, 3 Woodside Av, Shipley, entertained several friends at the Victoria Hall, Saltaire, last night, and the party celebrated until the wee small hours of this (Saturday) morning.

John was reported as being the oldest member attending the Old Salt’s Association Dinner in Bradford on 22 March 1957.

Lydia died 10 January 1964; John died 23 July 1974.


Neild, Annie (nee Fieldhouse)
1888 – 1956

Annie Fieldhouse was born in 1888 in Shipley to Jabez Fieldhouse & Esther Illingworth.

In 1887 they were living at 21 Amelia St in Saltaire. They moved to 4 Oxford Street in Shipley in 1891. By 1900 they were at 7 George Street in Saltaire. In 1911 Annie was working as a weaver.

Annie married Willie Neild in 1917. He was born in 1888 in Saltaire. They had no children. They lived the rest of their lives at 33 Caroline Street.

In 1921 they were both working at Saltaire Mills. Willie was a wool sorter and Annie a weaver.

Annie died in 1956.

Willie’s dead body was found in his house, 26 March 1964. He was last seen alive 23 March.


Neild, Mary Elizabeth (nee Pearson)
14 January 1884 – 22 July 1950

Mary Elizabeth Pearson was born 14 January 1884 in Bradford.

She married Thomas Neild in 1908. They had a daughter, Annie, born 30 July 1910, and a son William born in 1913.

In 1911 they were living at 12 Herbert Street in Saltaire.

Thomas served as a Private with the Labour Corps and survived the war. In 1918 Thomas and his family were living at 81 Bradford Road in Shipley.

In 1921 they were living at 74 Hirst Road, Shipley. Thomas was a painter & paperhanger working for Shipley Urban District Council. Mary was a comb minder working at Saltaire Mills.

By 1931 they were living at 9 Ashley Road in Shipley, where they lived the rest of their lives. In the 1939 Register Thomas was a painter and an A.R.P. Warden.

Thomas died in 1949, he is remembered on the Saltaire URC Roll of Honour.

Mary died 22 July 1950.


Newell, James Alfred
2 September 1880 – 1957

 James Alfred Newell was the son of James Newell. James was born, 1857, in Hertfordshire. He married Annie (maiden name and date of marriage unknown.)

James Alfred, the second eldest of nine children, was born 2 September 1880 in Gainsborough in Lincolnshire. In 1881 & 1891 the family lived in Gainsborough with his father working as a labourer in an iron works. In 1901 they were living at 3 Bath Buildings in Saltaire with both James and his father working as wool combers.

James Alfred married Bertha Oliver in 1903. She was born in 1881 in Shipley. They had two sons – Arthur born in 1903, Walter in 1905. They lived at 18 Caroline Street in Saltaire. By 1905 they were living at 41 Whitlam Street.

Extract from a report in the Shipley Times Friday 10 March 1905 as follows: -

Alfred Newell (24), woolcomber of 41 Whitlam Street, Saltaire, met with an accident following his employment at Saltaire Mills on Tuesday morning.

Another man was tapping a barrel of carbolic acid when a quantity of the liquid squirted out and burnt Newell rather severely on the face, neck, and arms. The sufferer was removed to the Saltaire Hospital.

Working at Saltaire Mills, James Alfred did not serve in WW1.

Extract from a report in the Shipley Times 17 May 1918 as follows: -

Sixty-eight cases from Sir Titus Salt, Bart., Sons and Co., Ltd., Saltaire, were disposed of last Friday night by the Shipley Tribunal. Coun. T. Hill, J.P., presiding.

Postponements to various dates were given to the following (including) James A Newell, 37, married, Grade 3, wash house overlooker.

In 1921 James was a wool warehouse overlooker, at Saltaire Mills. He was living with his family at 21 Loughrigg Street, Bradford.

In 1939, James was a wool warehouse overlooker living with his wife in Bradford.

Bertha died in 1955; James Alfred in 1957.


Newsome, Richard
1847 – 21 April 1917

Richard Newsome was the son of Thomas Newsome. Thomas was born 1823 in Baildon. He married Rebecca (maiden name and date unknown).

Richard, the third of four children, was born 1847 in Baildon. In 1851 & 1861the family lived in Baildon with Thomas working as blacksmith.

Richard married Miranda Giles in 1875. They had three children: Alice born 1876, Benjamin born July 1880, died 4 September 1880, and James born 1882. In 1881 & 1891 they were living at Saltaire Park Lodge with Miranda’s father, Benjamin Giles, who was the park keeper. Richard worked at Salts Mill as a mechanic.

In February 1890 Richard was reported as having a piggery which was affected by swine fever.

By 1900 Richard and Miranda were living at 46 Caroline Street in Saltaire. In March 1917, it was reported that they were taken to court to be evicted from their home.

Richard died 21 April 1917 at 37 Albert Road (renumbered 73) in Saltaire. He was buried 25 April 1917 at Baildon. In 1918 his widow, Miranda, was living at 53 Victoria Road in Saltaire. Miranda died 18 September 1920.


Nunn, Hezekiah Charles
c1847 – 2 December 1933

Hezekiah Charles Nunn (known as Charles) was the son of James Nunn. James was born c1807 in Suffolk. He married Harriet Baker (date unknown). They had seven children.

Charles, their fourth child, was born c1847 in Suffolk. In 1851 they were living in Morton, Keighley with James working as a labourer. In 1861 they were living in Wilsden, where Charles was a worsted factory hand and his father a farmer.

Charles married Mary Sugden in 1868. They had a daughter, and two sons; Thomas Diggins Nunn and Joe Harry Nunn. In 1871 they were living at Ovenden, Halifax, with Charles working as a flax overlooker. Mary died in 1874 in Ovenden aged just 26.

In 1881 widower Charles, a weaving overlooker, and his two sons, were living with his widowed mother in Horton, Bradford. In 1891 Charles Nunn and his son, Thomas, were living at 17 Albert Terrace, Saltaire.

Charles died at The Brewers Arms, Galphay, Ripon, 2 December 1933.

Report in the Shipley Times 9 December: -



An eventful career in the textile industry in England and America, extending over 60 years, ended in the death on Saturday (2 December), at Galphay, near Ripon, of Mr. Charles Nunn, father of Mr. J. H. Nunn, of Danefield Terrace, Otley.

Mr. Nunn, who was aged 87, and died at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Taylor, was known in the Wharfedale district, particularly at Burley, where he held a responsible position at Greenholme Mills, during the war, and also at Otley Auction Mart, where he was an occasional visitor for business purposes.

A native of Suffolk, Mr. Nunn came to Yorkshire as a child, and served his apprenticeship in spinning mill at Hewenden, near Wilsden. Afterwards he worked as a flat spinner at Crossley’s Mill, Halifax. His next move was to Bradford, to the Atlas Mills of Thomas Ambler & Sons. He left there to become a botany mixer the Saltaire Mills, in the days when Sir Titus Salt’s son was in charge.

About 40 years ago he emigrated to the United States, and there he became superintendent of the Washington Mills of the American Woollen Company at Lawrence, Mass., and saved sufficient money to retire.

He had reached Liverpool on his way home, when he received a telegram from the American firm of Salt, Kipp & Co., of Bridgeport, Conn., asking him to return to assume control of the Griswold Worsted Mills at Darby, Pa., and introduce silk spinning.

He undertook to return for one year, but he remained five, and when he finally retired in 1911, he was handsomely feted, and presented with a gold watch.

On his return to England, Mr. Nunn retired on to small farm at Hartwith, near Harrogate, which he had bought some years previously, but during the war he again entered the textile industry and took over at Greenholme Mills, Burley. When the war ended he was presented with a clock with Westminster chimes and went back to his farm and again interested himself in cattle rearing.

“Mr. Nunn is unmistakably a spinner,” an American paper once said of him, “knowing the whole from the sheep’s back to the finished yarn. Much new machinery has boon put in by the Griswold Worsted Company since his advent, with more to follow, making under his able superintendency one of the best spinning mills in the country. The well-ordered running of the mill is certainly due to his oversight.”

Mr. Nunn leaves two sons and a daughter. Both the sons were at the Saltaire Mills in their younger days. The elder Mr. Thomas Nunn, also went to the United States and had charge of the Globe Worsted Mills in Lawrence. He is now living in retirement at Bradford Moor. The younger son, Mr. J. H. Nunn, is now in business in Otley as a builder and contractor. It was while at Saltaire Mills that he met with an accident that resulted in the loss of his arm.

The interment took place at Undercliffe cemetery on Wednesday (6 December).

In his will he left £3769 13s 6d to his son, Joe Harry.


Nunn, Joe Harry
9 October 1871 – 31 July 1951

Joe Harry Nunn was the son of Hezekiah Charles Nunn (known as Charles). Charles, was born c1847 in Suffolk. He married Mary Sugden in 1868. They had a daughter, and two sons.

Joe, the younger son, was born 9 October 1871 in Ovenden, Halifax. His mother, Mary, died in 1874 in Ovenden, aged just 26.

In 1881 widower Charles, a weaving overlooker, and his two sons, were living with his widowed mother in Horton, Bradford.

Joe worked in Saltaire Mills as did his elder brother Thomas Diggins Nunn.

Report in the Shipley Times 11 June 1887: -

About 4.30 on Friday (3 June) afternoon, a serious accident happened to a lad named J. H. Nunn, age 15, who resides with his grandmother at 39 Whitlam Street, Saltaire and is employed in the spinning room at the works of Sir Titus Salt Bart, Sons and Co. Limited.

About the time stated, Nunn was engaged replenishing oil bottles, in certain of the spinning frames. In order to do this, he placed his arm through one of the wheels to reach the bottle, which was in the interior of the frame.

He was in the act of replacing one of the bottles, which had been replenished with oil, when a girl on the other side of the frame, unaware of the presence of the lad, set the machine in motion. The result was that Nunn’s right arm was caught by the wheel and torn completely away from the elbow joint and also the flesh of several inches of the upper portion of the arm.

The latter was immediately removed to the Saltaire Infirmary, where it was found necessary to amputate the arm close to the shoulder.

Mr. D’Arcy Carter perform the operation, and the lad is now progressing favourably under his care.

In November 1890 Joe gave a recital at the second smoking concert of the Saltaire Institute Men’s Social Club.

Working as a clerk, he married Sarah Batley 4 May 1891 at St. Wilfrid’s, Calverley. They had eight children, three of whom died as infants. The five surviving children were: Mary, born 1892; Edgar, 1894; Edith, 1898; Harry, 1901; Charles 1908.

In 1901 they were living at Chevin Wood, Otley, with Joe working as a builder’s clerk. In 1911 & 1939 they were at 59 Danefield Terrace, Otley, with Joe working as a builder and contractor.

Advert in the Shipley Times 14 January 1927: -

TO LET OR SELL, newly-erected BULDING, in Sugar Street, Otley; suitable for Workshop, Warehouse, Garage, &c.; fit up with w.c. and sink – Apply J. H. Nunn, Builder, Otley.

Advert in the Shipley Times 25 April 1931: -

THREE 6ft. S.-Glazed MANGERS, as new. – J. H. Nunn & Sons, Contractors, Fox and Hounds Hotel, Menston.

Wife Sarah died 23 June 1942. She was buried in Otley Cemetery.

Living at 59 Danefield Terrace, Joe died, 31 July 1951, at Otley General Hospital. He was buried alongside his wife.

In his will he left £1,614 2s 2d to sons Edgar & Harry, who were master builders, and spinster daughter Edith.


Nunn, Thomas Diggins
1869 – 11 February 1934

Thomas Diggins Nunn was the son of Hezekiah Charles Nunn (known as Charles). Charles, was born c1847 in Suffolk. He married Mary Sugden in 1868. They had a daughter, and two sons.

Thomas, the elder son, was born in 1869 in Wilsden. His mother, Mary, died in 1874 in Ovenden, Halifax aged just 26.

In 1881 widower Charles, a weaving overlooker, and his two sons, were living with his widowed mother in Horton, Bradford.

In 1891 Thomas was living with his father at 17 Albert Terrace, Saltaire.

Having worked at Saltaire Mills, Thomas emigrated to America after 1901, where he had charge of the Globe Worsted Mills in Lawrence, Massachusetts.

Once retired Thomas returned to England. He died 11 February 1934 at 4 Roydstone Terrace, Bradford Moor. In his will he left £4,637 3s 5d to his brother, Joe Harry Nunn, and Edgar Nunn, a son of Joe.


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