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Image: Michael de Greasley Added to website on 30 March 2011
Elizabeth Bennett, born on 25 February 1865 at 14 Caroline Street, Saltaire

The Saltaire History Club welcomes emails from people researching the Saltaire connections of their family history. Val Moss of Manchester is researching her great grandmother, Elizabeth Bennett, who was born in Saltaire in 1865. Val shared her research with us and local historian and writer, David King, did some casting around to colour some of the detail of Elizabeth's life and situation.


Sent: 18 March 2011 16:23
Subject: Bath Manager in Saltaire in 1865

Dear Historians,

I have been researching my family tree and have the birth certificate for my great grandmother, Elizabeth Bennett. She was born at 14 Caroline Street , Saltaire on 25th February 1865. Elizabeth had a daughter, Laura, who was my grandmother. Laura died in 1968. I'm afraid I don't know when Elizabeth died.  My mother talked about Elizabeth being bedridden and earning money by doing embroidery and drawn thread work which she sold to department stores in Bradford ( Marshall 's?) and I do have some table cloths she made.

Elizabeth’s father was Alexander Bennett, his address is given as 16 Caroline Street and his occupation as Bath Manager.

I found some editions of the Saltaire Sentinel on line where the future use of the area called Silver Square on Caroline Street is discussed, and it says that this was the old wash house. Would the wash house and the bath house be on the same site? If so that could be where Alexander worked.

I wonder why the door numbers do not match and the baby was born next door to where the family lived? Perhaps just a clerical error?

I hope this is of some interest to you and wonder if you can tell me anything about my family or give me any ideas for further research.

I have visited Saltaire and taken photos of 14 and 16 Caroline Street . What a marvellous model village and World Heritage site. I am truly proud to have a small connection with it.

Kind regards,
Val Moss, Manchester


From: David King
Subject: RE: Bath Manager in Saltaire in 1865
To: "'VAL MOSS'"
Date: Sunday, 20 March, 2011, 14:09

Hello Val

Thanks for your interesting email about your great grandmother. It’s always nice to be in contact with people whose relatives were in Saltaire in Victorian times and it helps to build up our knowledge of Saltaire and its inhabitants in times gone by.

Yes, the wash house and the baths were one and the same building. There were facilities for washing and drying clothes, separate slipper baths for men and women and a Turkish bath for men and women on separate days.

I don’t know how much you know about your great grandmother but a little digging around has produced the following information.

Your great grandmother was the daughter of Alexander Bennett and Hannah Dobson who were married in 1854 in Bradford. Alexander was born in 1826/1827 in Leicester and Hannah was born in 1827 in Bradford.

They had two children; Mary Ann born in Bradford in 1857, and your great grandmother, Elizabeth, who, as you know, was born in 1865, in Saltaire.

At the 1861 census Alexander, Hannah and Mary Ann were living at 137 Jowett Street in the Thornton Road area of Bradford. Alexander’s occupation is given as ‘Turkish Bath man’. It is doubtful that he would be working at the Saltaire baths at this time, probably at some baths in Bradford, but perhaps he was the manager of the Turkish bath at Saltaire when Elizabeth was born.

Alexander died in 1870 at the age of 42, so was not working at the Saltaire baths for a very long time. Hannah was left with two little girls to bring up on her own but she was soon to marry again in 1871 to Isaac Furniss who had been born in 1816/1817 in Leeds and was therefore some years older than Hannah. So Elizabeth would have spent much of her younger years with her step father Isaac and probably had very little memory of her father Alexander.

Hannah and the family cannot be traced in the 1871 census before the marriage to Isaac, but in 1881 Isaac, Hannah and the two girls were living at 96 Sticker Lane in the Bowling district of Bradford. Isaac is described as an engine fitter, Mary Ann is a weaver and Elizabeth, now 16, is a dress maker.

At the 1891 census Hannah and Isaac are at 108 Sticker Lane with Laura Bennett, age 5, who is described as Hannah’s granddaughter. [She was, in fact, Elizabeth’s daughter.] Isaac is a Corporation scavenger (refuse collector). At this time Elizabeth was a patient in the Bradford Infirmary. Isaac died later in the year 1891 at the age of 73.

Elizabeth obviously recovered from her illness and at the 1901 census Hannah, Elizabeth and her daughter, Laura, were living at 1 Redmayne’s Buildings, Sticker Lane , Bradford . Elizabeth is a dressmaker.

Hannah eventually died in 1908, at the age of 80. I suppose you know the rest of the story.

In 1911 Laura and her mother were living at 81 Swaine Green, Laisterdyke which is in the same Sticker Lane area where they had been living for some time. At that time Laura was a warper which is a textile occupation. Elizabeth was still a dressmaker.

I hope that this has filled in some of the background on your great grandmother Elizabeth.

Kind regards,
David King 






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