Dinwoodie Family

From Hoole History and Heritage Society

Dinwoodie Family[1]

Butchers in Hoole for 115 years

This article traces the history of the Dinwoodie family's butchers' business in Hoole. A chronology of John Dinwoodie Senior (1817-1892) who ran butchers' shops in various parts of Chester appears as an Appendix (below).

John Dinwoodie Junior was born in 1842 and married Mary Ann Lanceley, a plumber's daughter in 1860. In the 1861 Census they were living at 22 St. Anne's Street in Newtown, Chester. By December 1861 he was running a butcher's shop at 2 Faulkner Street. Possibly his father set him up in business as a wedding present. A later advertisement claims that the shop was established in 1860.

John Dinwoodie's display Christmas 1876

A newspaper article in 1861 on the provenance of Christmas livestock shows John Dinwoodie Jnr displaying in his Faulkner Street shop, two heifers bred in Helsby, ten sheep from Charles Higginson's farm in Hoole Village and two pigs from Shocklach. John was then 19 years old. A similar article in December 1876 said that he had some of the highest priced beasts from the Ermine Show; also excellent mutton from sheep bred by His Grace the Duke of Westminster.

In 1872 a son, Frederick Turner, was born and in 1875 a second son, John Hamilton, who only lived for 20 months.

John Jnr. was elected to the Hoole Local Board. In 1869 he was appointed as one of the two overseers for the Township of Hoole, and in 1876 took the chair of the Vestry Committee (Local Township Council) at its meeting in the Bromfield Arms. A black mark occurred in 1870 when he was charged with having a 56lb weight, 2lbs light and was ordered to pay costs of 4s 6d.

An advertisement in 1878 shows his involvement in the letting of No.1 Hamilton Terrace on Hoole Road. Following this, the family moved to Manchester, the 1881 Census showing them living at Moss Side, his occupation being a butcher and cattle dealer. No records have been found to show what happened to the business in Manchester. Whilst they were there the shop in Faulkner Street was occupied by Samuel Weaver, a butcher and cattle dealer from Newton.

In 1882, soon after the family returned to Hoole, John Jnr. died at the age of 41.

After his death, the business at 2 Faulkner Street was carried on by his wife, Mary Ann. Her signature can be seen on the Memorial (Petition) drawn up in 1889 to access the General Railway Station from Hoole.

At the age of 13, son Frederick can be found playing cricket for Hoole 2nd XI, All Saints Church and its Choir; it is not known if he was actually a member of the Church. He went on to play for Hoole 1st XI into the early years of the 20th Century and took an active interest for the rest of his life. In the 1890s he became Secretary of the Hoole Literary Institute which met in Faulkner Street.

Dinwoodie's shop No. 65/67 Faulkner Street

In September 1890, the premises described as "a dwellinghouse, shop, stables and outbuildings in the occupation of Mrs. Dinwoodie, butcher" was sold by auction. Mrs. Dinwoodie continued the business there assisted by her son Frederick until at least 1902. By 1905 the shop was no longer a butcher's and had become a greengrocer’s.

This appears to be the time when Frederick who was then in his 30s took over the business from his mother. He moved to the butcher's shop previously run by Edward Hopper at 65/67 Faulkner Street. Those premises had only been built some 10 years earlier. Hoole History & Heritage Society has looked at the effect in 1906 of the opening of the Cooperative store in Walker Street which contained a butcher's shop. At that time there were five independent butchers in Hoole. See Retail & Trades for a history of Butchers' Shops in Hoole.

The 1911 Census shows Frederick living at 67 Faulkner Street with his wife Sara and 5 children: John Hamilton born 1902, Hilda Mabel b.1903, Dora Adelaide b.1904, Marjorie Louise b.1905, Roger Frederick b.1906 and Ruby Lillian b.1909.

The date of the well-known photograph of carcasses hanging outside 65/67 Faulkner Street seems to be confirmed as 1909, Mary Hayward (nee Dinwoodie) wrote in Chester Memories Facebook that the picture included her father, Roger Frederick, then aged 3. Another later photograph shows the shop frontage tiled with the family name.

By 1922 Frederick had opened another shop at 20 Walker Street, perhaps like his grandfather before him, setting up one of his sons there. This shop had also previously been a butcher's shop run by George Harvey. It closed in 1969.

Also, by 1922, Frederick had moved into the prestigious area of Hoole Park living at No.7 - interestingly next door to another butcher, Edward Bagshaw. Frederick was a member of Hoole Bowling Club. His daughters Ruby Lillian and Hilda Mabel were apparently formidable tennis doubles players; they both played for Upton Tennis Club. Ruby won the Ladies Singles Tournament at Hoole Alexandra Park three times in the 1930s. She also played hockey and was a member of Cheshire County Ladies Hockey Team.

1951 Advertisment in Hoole's Festival of Britain Handbook

Frederick became President of Cheshire's Master Butchers Association and a Freeman. He died in 1935 but his wife Sara continued to live at Hoole Park until 1956 when she died aged 82. Her obituary confirmed that their two sons had taken over the business. An advertisement appeared for the shops in the 1951 Festival of Britain Handbook.

John Hamilton Dinwoodie married Kathleen Mary Heath and eventually lived at 40 Park Drive on the then newly built Hoole Lodge Estate; his brother Roger Frederick lived with his wife Eileen at 112 Faulkner Street.

The business at Faulkner Street closed in 1974 when 115 years of Dinwoodie butchers' shops in Hoole came to an end.

John Hamilton died in 1991 and Roger Frederick in 1999.

John Dinwoodie Senior (1817-1892)

Dates relate to incidents and are not necessarily start dates.

1817 Born in Dumfries, Scotland

1838 Came to Chester (advertisement in 1858 indicates 20 years as a butcher)

1838 Married Rebecca

1841 Petitions for Insolvency

1842 Son John born

John Dinwoodie Snr. announces change of premises 1858

1849 Shop in Frodsham Street

1851 Residing at Cottage Street, Great Boughton (Census)

1856 Shops at Eastgate Street and No.9 Watergate Street (run by his wife)

1858 Announced that his shop in Eastgate Street was closing down because it was about to be demolished

1860 Set up son in shop in recently built Faulkner Street

1861 Living at Garden Lane (Census)

1863 Made bankrupt

1863 Shop in Chester Market

1876 Shop still at Watergate Street (provenance of Christmas livestock described)

1882 Gave evidence at Court about cruelty at Cunnah's Bowling Green cattle sales

1892 Death announced

  1. Article researched and written by Ralph Earlam, July 2020, Hoole History & Heritage Society