A selection of articles describing the history of the streets of Hoole.
One of the Lost Streets of Hoole.
From the Bromfield Arms to Westminster Road
Charles Street was given its name to recognise Charles, the last of the Hamilton family to own this part of Hoole. When it was built in the 1850s it was mainly residential and remained so even 100 years later. Some shops were built, the earliest reference being the sale in 1854 of a “recently erected dwellinghouse with spacious shop, warehouse, yard and shippons (cattle sheds), situate on the north side in the occupation of Thomas Pemberton”. It is almost certain that this became No.24, occupied for many years by the Roberts family, cow keepers and butchers. It was then briefly occupied by George Stalker, dairyman, and William Wild, fishmonger, before continuing as a butcher's shop run by the Roberts family again.
Chatwins the bakers is the only shop still carrying out its original trade. The first baker and grocer there (in the 1857 Directory) was Henry Richards, a prominent member of Hoole Local Board from its founding in 1864. His son took over the business and for a number of years also ran Hoole Post Office from there which had transferred from Balshaw's shop (now Lewis's Ice Cream) in Peploe Street (now Westminster Rd). The bakery later became a branch of Charles Roberts of 19 Brook Street and, following the death in 1894 of Mr. Roberts who lived at 1 Alexandra Terrace, it was run by Thomas Langford. The Post Office had meanwhile moved to the chemist's shop run by David Dickinson at 2 Faulkner Street.
In 1914 Thomas Jones who had run a bakery in Peploe Street, also at Lewis's, took over the Charles Street premises and continued until the 1950s. P.A. Davies from Newtown then installed one of their branches there until it was recently taken over by Chatwins. Remarkably, for over 100 years a horse and cart delivery service was operated. An incident is recorded when a horse broke the shafts of Richards' delivery trap and bolted in Phillip Street!
The first advertisement for houses appeared in January 1855 when “seven substantially built and neatly finished dwellinghouses let to respectable tenants at the low rent of £83 p.a.” were put on sale. In 1873 the shop on the corner of Faulkner Street with two attached cottages in Charles Street was advertised. (This is now Sainsbury's but many readers will remember Peters Electrics which occupied the site from 1956 until 2011). In a subsequent sale in 1890 the shop and cottages were bought by William Stringer, licensee of the Faulkner Arms, for £600. The original shop was a grocery run by Charles Harrison in the 1890s and by William Holmes in the mid-20th century. In the 1860s Miss Carver's School occupied the premises before moving to Westminster Road School. On the other side of the entry, in 1871, No.8 was a butcher's shop which became Thomas Baldwin's greengrocery from 1891 to the late 1950s.
Occupants of some of the houses ran businesses from their premises. A shoemaker, dressmaker, milliner, commission agent (bookmaker) and a piano tuner are listed in early Directories, and in 1871 Hoole Local Board rented one as an office for its surveyor, William Grice. Front rooms were gradually converted into shops and some of the tenants within living memory included Magnus Clark the chemist at No.12, Miss Thacker's smallwares (haberdashery) shop at No.6, Mrs. Mutch's sweetshop No.9 and at No.18 Isaac Simpson the dairyman who sold his business to Deva Dairies.
Charles Street was to become the sartorial district of Hoole, if not Chester. Its tailors, drapers and outfitters included James Beck, Thomas Todd, J.S. Hornby, James Broadhurst and Alice Benyon. The well-dressed inhabitants of Hoole would no doubt have enjoyed using the bars, cafés and restaurants and the high-class hairdressers which have now replaced many of the retail shops.
Beyond Westminster Road
The last house on the south side of Charles Street was No.17; next door was the yard and storeroom for the off licence run for many years by Archibald Manley on the corner with Westminster Road which provided its entrance and address. Opposite, No.19 Charles Street (now a wine shop, formerly a cycle dealer) was the retirement home of Henry Richards the baker. Nos.21 and 23 (now carpet and trophy shops) appear from 1891 as furniture shops run by Clarissa Goldstraw. In 1897 she became insolvent and clearly took the law into her own hands, being charged with “feloniously stealing” some furniture which she had sold on the easy payment system to a Mrs. Saunders of Halkyn Road, turning up with a hand cart and two men claiming that the goods had not been paid for and taking them away.
From 1933 J.M. Baldwin, son of the greengrocer at No.8, ran a painting and decorating business at No.21, before it became a Laundromat. No.23 became a confectioners run by H.J. Brewster who was the contact for the Westminster Dance Band. In the 1940s Charles Ives continued the confectionery business there and his daughter Wendy became Hoole's Festival of Britain Queen in 1951. This was a national event but in the mid-20th century there was a Carnival every year on the Playing Field off Canadian Avenue, where marquees and flags were erected. There were dancing troupes, sporting events, and attractions such as motorcycle races. The Carnival Queen and her retinue attended after processing through the District on floats.
On the other side of Charles Street, Robert Daniels was a newsagent on the corner at No.26 succeeded by James Beck, tailors. That block was occupied for many years by Thomas Norbury, plumber, glazier and gas fitter; his workshop and store were in Westminster Road next to the School and his family ran a restaurant in Chester which was alluded to in his advertisements. The row of three shops built in the garden of No.29 Hamilton Street in the 1920s was occupied by Charles Morris, grocers, and greengrocers at Nos.30 and 32; No.34 has always seemed to be a sweetshop. In very recent memory it was an acupuncture parlour and now it sells a different kind of bytes!
The need to protect consumers' rights is not new. Even in the 19th Century shoppers were safeguarded. In 1869 William Jones of Charles Street was summoned, his scales being 4 drams against the purchaser, and he was ordered to pay costs of 4s 6d. Records show that in 1891 George Stalker was also summonsed for refusing to sell milk for the purposes of analysis by Mr. Watts, Inspector of Weights & Measures. The bench imposed a fine of forty shillings (over £120 in today's money!) and costs, and ordered Stalker to pay the advocate's fee.
The local delivery of fresh produce was not confined to the bakery at No.3; Thomas Baldwin delivered fruit & veg, George Stalker and Isaac Simpson brought fresh milk to the doorstep, ladled out from churns; their successor, Deva Dairies continued providing milk in bottles – two choices, pasteurised with a cardboard top or gold foil top (Jersey milk). The Co-op also had milk rounds (tokens needed, bought at the Walker Street shop). Other horse drawn deliveries were made by various coalmen, and Patsy Dobbins, rag and bone merchants from Canalside were Chester's ‘Steptoe & Son’. In Hoole's leafy suburbs there was great rivalry to be the first with bucket and shovel to collect what the horses left behind to spread on prize roses or rhubarb!
The first record of Faulkner Street, built on land belonging to the Faulkner family, appears in the 1851 Census showing 23 houses. The 1861 Census records the 60 premises we see today terminating where Griffiths Terrace used to be. The continuation of Faulkner Street was not built until the 1880s on the field called Cowpastures (see Lightfoot Street article below).
The name Faulkner is derived from 'falconer' which explains why until recently three black falcons appeared on the prominent corner pub sign of the Faulkner Arms.
Residential to Retail
Faulkner Street was initially virtually all housing, usually let on short term rentals. The 1861 Census shows 26 railway workers living there. Retail businesses started from front rooms which were eventually converted into shops joining the very few purpose-built ones.
An 1857 Directory lists two boot and shoemakers, a provision dealer, a tailor and also a school academy; the 1861 Census added to the range of outlets with a butcher, a cowkeeper (fresh milk), a baker, a grocer and a beer retailer.
In 1888 James Freeman Fletcher who owned Upton View (recently Natwest Bank) built a block of shops in his garden (now Boots etc.). One of the first occupants was David Dickinson, a chemist [whose prescription book Hoole History & Heritage Society has been able to study]; he also ran the Post Office which had transferred from No.2 Charles Street, and which continued until the 1950s under Goodman Roberts. The addition of these shops and the demolition of houses to allow the later built Walker Street access meant that Faulkner Street properties had to be re-numbered.
An extract and plan from the deeds for five houses at the original end of the street show the renumbering on that side. No.74 (originally No.66) was occupied by Leonard Riley from before 1871 until his death in 1892. He was a cowkeeper, using the yard and outbuildings there, and the field behind called Cowpastures, to raise his dairy cattle. His son, also named Leonard Riley, who continued to live there was appointed as the first park keeper of Alexandra Park in 1904. His daughter was married to Thomas Baldwin the greengrocer from Charles Street.
Like Goodman Roberts some family businesses thrived throughout the first part of the 20th century. Many readers will remember, among others, Dinwoodie the butcher, originally at No.2 but later at Nos.65 and 67, Tommy Lloyd the fishmonger at No.38, whose front window opened completely to display his wares, Dawson's newsagents whose business was in Faulkner Street for 102 years and Smith's (Pioneer) shoe sales and repairs, run by the father and grandfather of Bill Smith, Hoole’s well known participant in the Isle of Man TT Races.
Past members of the Boys' Brigade will recall Faichney's taxis and coaches at No.10 who provided transport for the Brigade on their outings.
Only four private houses now remain in the northern part of the street where takeaways, estate and travel agents, cafe, bar and restaurant are now a part of the vibrant street scene.
The first pub to open was the Faulkner Arms an advertisement for a pigeon shooting there appearing in the Chester Chronicle on 16 August 1851.
In 1855 the landlord was a Mr. Brown who also worked at the Leadworks. A succession of landlords followed until the Stringer family took over in 1878, running the pub until at least 1906. The brewery was Wilderspool Ales from Warrington. The Faulkner Arms was often used to hold coroner's inquests sometimes with a jury present.
The Bromfield Arms is first mentioned in a licence transfer in 1864. The earliest innkeeper recorded in 1867 was Thomas Balshaw who had opened one of Hoole's first shops in Peploe Street (this shop later became Lewis's Ice Cream shop). He died in 1874 and there were then six other landlords to the turn of the century. A keystone over the door on the Walker Street corner shows that in 1900 the Bromfield doubled in size following the demolition of two adjoining cottages Nos.45 and 47. The Northgate Brewery were then the owners.
The Hamilton Arms appears to have been an earlier name for the Royal Oak whose first landlord was Edward Edwards in 1864. He was followed in 1871 by Philip Gorst, in 1878 by Rebecca Hughes and in 1899 by George Ryan who was also a taxi driver. The Gatehouse Brewery, Birkenhead which became the West Cheshire Brewery supplied the beer. Eventually the West Cheshire Brewery was taken over by Threlfalls of Liverpool.
There were also two other licensed premises in Faulkner Street at the end of the 19th century: Dickinson the Chemist for medical purposes and Denson the grocer at No.8 who was also a wine merchant.
As a result of reading these articles, John Walker, a member of the Society, has written his reminiscences as a boy growing up in Faulkner Street in the post-World War 2 years (John Walker Reminiscences).
Fieldway & Sandileigh
Current information held by the Society on Fieldway & Sandileigh is available in the article on Hoole Road - Folly House.
One of the Lost Streets of Hoole.
Hamilton Street is one of the oldest roads in Hoole; it was the through way from Newton (Lane) into Boughton and Chester. Its route was via the Narrows (originally “the Narrows Lane”) and the unmade road (now known as Crawford's Walk) across a bridge that used to be over Flookers Brook and then over the canal bridge (built in 1772) into Hoole Lane.
The street name comes from the Hamilton family who, in the late 1700s and the early 1800s, acquired a large part of the land on which urban Hoole was developed after the railways arrived in Chester. They built Hoole House in 1760 and acquired Hoole Old Hall (not the present Hoole Hall) in 1800. Charles Hamilton lived at Hoole Lodge (the manor house which was on the west corner of what is now Park Drive and Hoole Road) which they leased from the Earl of Shrewsbury who was Lord of the Manor.
In the mid-19th century, in contrast to the people living in the narrow-terraced streets closer to the railway station, the residents of Hamilton Street were undoubtedly among the prosperous and professional middle classes. A sample of Directory entries from 1857 and 1864 shows, among others,
- David Adams, a Cheese Factor
- John McCormack, Comptroller of Customs, Watergate Street
- John Hogg, Inspector of Railways, Great Western Railway
- John J Clark, Assistant Overseer and Rate Collector living at “The Hermitage”
- Frederick Marshall, Editor Cheshire Observer residing in “Alma Villas”
- Phillip H. Keay, Coal Merchant in “Hoole Villa”.
The Offices of the Hoole Local Board set up in 1864 (forerunner of Hoole Urban District Council) were at No.21, and a 1902 Directory even records a purpose-built laundry operating from No.43. An 1874 map also shows that several of the houses had wells on their premises.
A Methodist Chapel which opened in 1903 was replaced by the present Church in 1928.
Some older readers will recall that Crosville's Piper's Ash / Guilden Sutton bus to and from Chester went via Hamilton Street (impossible to imagine today with cars parked along the length of it!).
The Hoole Road is a major artery through Hoole and several articles have been written about the history of separate sections. These include: Hoole Bridge to Lightfoot Street; Lightfoot Street to the 'Shell' Garage; the 'Shell' Garage itself; and Folly House. Further articles will describe other sections in due course.
One of the Lost Streets of Hoole.
The Residential Side
If you pass by quickly, the eastern side of Lightfoot Street appears to be a continuous row of terraced houses. Look closely and you will see differences in style which came about with the development of that side of the street.
The first houses at the northern end were built in 1880/1 but the gap shown in the 1889 OS Map indicates where the landowner and solicitor Mr. J.P. Court applied on behalf of Mr. Fisher, Builder, of Hoole for a full licence for a public house about to be erected. This would have been 232 yards from the Ermine Hotel and was refused. Terraced houses were then built to Walker Street, where larger houses were eventually erected on each corner. Building continued southwards onto 323 sq. yds. of land which had been bought by Frederick Lipsham in 1886, but only as far as No.39 (No.40, an odd shaped dwelling was squeezed in later).
It stopped there because the boundary with Cowpastures had been reached. This was the remainder of the field sold to the Railway Company by Macclesfield School, subsequently purchased by the Marquis of Westminster in 1842 and exchanged by him for land in Handbridge which was owned by the Bluecoat Hospital. This apparently simple deal in fact contravened a condition of a legal Trust governing the land and the matter was not resolved until 1896/7!
In 1894 Chester Football Club rented Cowpastures for their ground (complete with grandstand) from the Bluecoat Hospital. Attendances of up to 2000 were recorded. Cycle racing and bank holiday fêtes also took place there.
William Williams, a builder from Halkyn Road, then bought the land for £3,608 and began the extension of Lightfoot Street from No.41. These newer houses crossed the end of Faulkner Street and if you look closely next time you pass you will see that the change in the facade of these dwellings is quite distinctive.
For the history of the site at the junction with Westminster Road see Westminster Road article.
The Railway Station Side
The western side of Lightfoot Street has been railway property since the arrival of the line from Crewe which opened in 1840. By the time Chester General Railway Station was built in 1848 the Railway Company had purchased lands in Hoole from Macclesfield School and the estate of John Lightfoot which included the stream known as Flookers Brook, which was diverted and eventually piped. The Station and the many lines that enter it were actually built on the boggy flood plain of Flookers Brook, which was the original boundary of the townships of Hoole and Newton with Chester, and early OS maps show how it meandered across the Station site as far as Lower Brook Street.
The Station’s water reservoir and gas works were located here with a house for the Station’s General Manager, the first being Robert Lewis Jones appointed in 1847. The house eventually became offices and Mr. Jones appears in the 1861 Census living at Brook Lodge on Hoole Road. Cattle pens were also built and the huge LNWR goods shed dominated the area. At the junction with Westminster Road Bridge allotments were provided for the use of railway workers.
Lightfoot Street was not yet a road and it was not until Brabner & Court, Solicitors from Liverpool, acquired lands from the estate of John Lightfoot in the 1870s that the street was built but only as far as Peploe Street (now Westminster Road), the extension to Hoole Lane not being completed until the 1960s.
In the 20th century the Railway authorities released property not required for railway purposes. Pickfords had a warehouse here which was destroyed by fire in 1996 and in 2010 the goods shed which had become an Enterprise Centre suffered a similar fate; these huge fires had a devastating effect on the nearby residential properties.
Other land not needed for railway purposes was eventually developed for the light industrial use, garages, and workshops that we see today. On the other side of Westminster Road Bridge the Railway Social Club was built (a model steam train used to operate here) and more recently Thomas Brassey Close has been erected named of course after the builder of Chester’s General Railway Station.
Because of its origins, the road was often in a bad state of repair, cab drivers refused to deliver there, and the council received a lot of criticism. It could never have been envisaged that the street along which cattle were driven would eventually contain so many parked cars and require speed humps.
In the early 1890s there was at least one persistent complainant to the Hoole Local Board about the state of Lightfoot Street but the Board agreed to “…treat the letters with contempt…”.
In 1893, however, with the prospect of the Royal Agricultural Show taking place in Hoole, the Hoole Local Board and the Joint Railway Companies had agreed plans and costs for “…putting Lightfoot St in a proper condition…”. However, as the Cheshire Observer of 2nd May 1893 reported, “This thoroughfare which we are assured is going to be made one of the most beautiful in Europe is still unfinished…”. Tensions between the Board and the Railway companies led the Observer to report also that the Hoole Local Board would be “… unable to prevent the Railway Companies from using the road by strength of arms”.
What a pity that we don’t know if any pitched battles were fought out on Lightfoot Street in the 1890s over who had right of way!
Lightfoot Street was part of the one-way traffic plan for the thousands of visitors arriving by rail for the Royal Agricultural Show in 1895 who would use the newly opened Hoole entrance to the station. Hackney carriages would bring their passengers back down Hoole Road, along Hamilton Street, Peploe Street (now Westminster Road) and so back to the station entrance via Lightfoot Street.
On 22 June 1893, the Cheshire Observer printed an irate letter (from the resident whom the Local Board agreed, according to their minutes, to treat with contempt?). This complained that “…the working of the plan has caused universal irritation and execration…” and that “…repeated remonstrances … have been met with an autocratic consideration worthy of the Czar of Russia”.
When the Society was asked if there is any information about Queensway, it seemed unlikely that a residential road developed partially before and partially after the Second World War would have any detailed history, but research has established some facts which are of interest not only to Queensway but to the surrounding areas.
For many years there was a route from Upton into Chester via Boughton; a plan of Proposed Parliamentary Boundary Changes in 1868 calls Newton Lane the “Upton and Newton Road”. This crossed Hoole Road into what became Hamilton Street, through the Narrow Lane (the Narrows), down Crawford’s Walk, across a bridge over Flookersbrook and then over the canal bridge (built in 1772) into Hoole Lane.
The area of Queensway was historically in the township of Newton and the Tithe Map c.1838 shows the area to be pastureland owned by the Earl of Kilmorey, rented out in fields with wonderful names such as 'Mainwaring Hayes', 'The Great Lammas Cote' and 'Boswell’s Strive on Traver’s End'. An aerial photograph taken in 1931 enables the field pattern to be seen and also shows houses built on the east side of Newton Lane, where the gap that was to be Queensway can be observed. It also shows properties that already been built at the start of Kingsway.
Pressure for homes in Chester City meant that possible building land outside its boundaries was investigated, Newton, Blacon and Lache coming into consideration. In 1936 Hoole Urban District Council, a housing authority, took over from Newton which was only a Parish Council, 288 acres of building land. A map of the District in the late 1940s illustrates how much land was transferred.
The first 12 houses of Queensway were built at right angles to Newton Lane by William Arthur Davies who lived at 'Shavington' which was 50 Newton Lane. He had already built properties on Brook Lane. He employed an Architect, C.H. Coppack of Hunter Street to design some of them just as War broke out and they were not completed until 1952. During the War, fields on the west side of Newton Lane were converted into allotments for the ‘Dig for Victory’ campaign.
Most of the houses in the remainder of Queensway (round the bend No.13 being omitted) were built and sold by E.H. Barley, a builder from Charlotte Street in Chester, between 1957 and 1960. E.H. Barley built a large number of properties on the Plas Newton Estate and many house deeds will contain his details.
It has been suggested that Queensway and Kingsway were so named because of the support for the Monarchy following the abdication of King Edward VIII in 1936. Unfortunately, part of Kingsway was already built and named by then.
The houses 189–203 Hoole Lane were built in the late 1920s on land which was a market garden run by H. S. Roberts called 'The Oaks'. Two of the properties appear in a 1927/8 Directory and all are listed in a 1929/30 Directory. An aerial view (“Britain from Above” website) shows them in 1931. Locally they were known as Roberts Row. Apparently, the Roberts family owned the land and were able to build on it, and in 1933/34 no fewer than three of the houses were actually occupied by families called Roberts.
Originally all the houses had individual names – the only one displaying its name today is No.195 'Sunningdale'. In the 1933/4 Directory only three of the four houses to the east of it (i.e. in the direction of Piper's Ash) were named (presumably one was unoccupied). There is speculation which could have been called 'Marna', 'Deepdene' or 'Brindlewood'.
The original No.205 was a farmhouse set back where Hornbeam Close is today. This was occupied from 1927/8 until the 1950's by a George E. Roberts and was called “Lynwood”. George E. Roberts looked after the spinney behind Pine Grove and had large chicken houses there. (The spinney had been planted to block out the view of the Workhouse lower down Hoole Lane so that the then lady owner of Hoole House could see neither it nor the poor and destitute of Chester forced to seek shelter therein.) The spinney can be seen on the aerial photograph which was taken before Pine Grove was built around 1932, Myrtle Grove having already been completed. The white building very near to Hoole Lane below Myrtle Grove (level with the smoke from a passing train) was Shortridge's Dairy Farm which was still operating and selling milk in the late 1950s.
When the Royal Agricultural Show was held in Hoole in 1893 the site extended from Hoole Road across the current playing field, also taking in what is now Alexandra Park, Lime Grove, Canadian Avenue, and the allotment area to Hoole Lane. The cattle pens for the Show were located near to where Roberts Row stands today.
Even earlier, the Tithe Map for Hoole circa 1839 showed that the field name for the narrow north side of Hoole Lane from Canadian Avenue to Pine Grove was “Lower Slang” owned jointly by Mrs. Frances Bagnall and the Rev. Peploe William Hamilton.
This land on the north side was sold in 1852 – the sale details show that Hoole Lane was then called St. Anne's Lane. When the Workhouse was built in 1878 it was for a short time known as Workhouse Lane. Hoole Lane was a long-established route from Chester through Boughton to Guilden Sutton and remained a country lane for many years, the last farm “Batemans” not being developed for housing until the middle of the 20th century.
An exploration of the early history of this street which "dog-legs" from Faulkner Street to Lightfoot Street.
Tithe maps in the Cheshire Record Office show that a Thomas Walker (1782-1857) owned properties in Newton Township in the area we now know as Flookersbrook. These included a tan-yard, a brewery, a brick bank and at least 6 houses and cottages. On the south side of Hoole Road, in Hoole Township, he owned plots of land and a number of dwellings including Ashtree House (recent research show that the rightful owners were the Trustees of the Estate of John Lightfoot, his father-in-law).
Thomas Walker’s father, George, was a brewer and liquor merchant but Thomas became a tanner and he married Katherine Lightfoot. When the lands in question were finally sold the part south of Hoole Road was acquired by Brabner & Court, Solicitors from Liverpool, who developed the properties we see today between Faulkner Street and Lightfoot Street.
Walker Street was built in 1881 from an opening in Lightfoot Street (see article above). Initially it only went as far as Pickering Street, the dogleg, its link to Faulkner Street, known as New Walker Street, not being built until 1887 when All Saints School was erected. It was necessary to demolish houses in Faulkner Street by the Bromfield Arms to create the opening for Walker Street.
Unlike Faulkner Street and Charles Street where houses were turned into shops, Walker Street had shops on every corner. The range of shop provided all that one could need; grocers, bakers, butchers, newsagent, smallwares, boots and shoes, as well as a bicycle dealer. They changed hands and their type of trade frequently. Old “Hooligans” fondly recall Lowndes' fish & chip shop being there.
A special feature of these corner shops was the entrance actually built into the corner. The photographs show where the current owners at the junction with Phillip Street still have their front door actually on the corner while others have shifted the doors around the corner.
The arrival of the Co-op in 1906 which included a grocer, a butcher, and a shoe and clothing store on the upper floor, was a major event. Many will remember getting their ‘divi’ and buying milk tokens there as well as the cash pulley system. The car park was called Hoole Bank and bonfires were lit there on 5th November but, miraculously, the Co-op wasn't burnt down.
The Co-op in Walker Street closed in July 2017 (the Faulkner Street shop had already closed) in order to concentrate business on The Elms site on Hoole Road. This brought to an end 110 years of the Co-op on its Walker Street site.
In the 1950s, football fans could catch a double decker bus from behind the Bromfield Arms to take them to Chester Stadium in Sealand Road. It’s unlikely that the bus would get through today.
A Cinema in Hoole
It is not widely known that in 1913 an application was made to build a picture house opposite the Co-operative Store which opened in 1906 in Walker Street. The proposal by William Williams, Hoole’s well known builder, would have seated 450/500 people. The architect was R. Cecil Davies recognised for founding Hoole's Volunteer Fire Brigade and who became Mayor of Chester. A major concern was protection in case of fire, and exits and equipment came under scrutiny. Mr. Williams said that, if a license was granted, he would allow firemen to be on duty there, as they did in cinematograph halls in Chester.
The plans were not proceeded with and today's terrace of houses with then a shop at either end was eventually built on the site. Hoole residents had to go to the pictures in Chester and a montage of the cinemas there is shown.
The area between Pickering Street and School Street
The area of land between Pickering Street and School Street has over the years seen some interesting activities. The Hoole Millennium Book incorrectly attributes the street’s name to George Pickering, an artist who lived at Brook Lodge and whose work included paintings of the gardens in Hoole House. Pickering Street was actually named after Thomas Walker's daughter, Elizabeth Pickering, who had married Charles William Harrison Pickering a merchant banker from Liverpool, who helped finance the second transatlantic cable.
The area once contained two chapels - a Wesleyan Methodist Chapel opposite All Saints School built in 1889 and closed in 1895, and the Tin (Congregational) Chapel on Walker Street. This was erected in 1894 following a dispute between Nonconformists, who had run a successful Sunday School at Westminster Road Schools, and the Church of England to whom the Duke of Westminster eventually gifted the Schools. More details of these chapels can be found in the article on Religion in Hoole & Newton.
At the end of School Street, Weaver Bros. who advertised themselves as “Removers, Packers & Storers of Furniture” ran their business from the turn of the century to 1914 when they sold off their carts and equipment and advertised the premises as “a large yard with stabling for 5 horses, loose box and coach house etc. to be let".
During this time Thomas Mangel set up his carriage hire business with landau and hansom cabs being available. His business continued throughout the First World War and despite the development of motor transport was still running in 1923.
A photograph taken in School Street in the 1930s shows Jack Smith and 3 colleagues on motorbikes and it seems that they were garaged there. Jack Smith, well known for his Pioneer Shoe Shop in Faulkner Street, was a motorcycle enthusiast and a prominent member of Chester Motor Club becoming its chairman. In 1933 he was captain of the Hoole side in a motorcycle football match against Chester. He was responsible for bringing motorcycle grass track racing to Hoole Playing Field and his son, Bill, became a prominent TT rider.
In 1931 the end property was sold, and it became the base for Crimes Removals, their vans becoming a regular sight in the area. George Arthur Crimes lived at No.2 School Street and after war service he became the first Treasurer of Hoole & Newton British Legion and of their Poppy Day Appeal. Following his death in 1968, Lewis’s Ice Cream acquired the premises using it to garage their own vehicles and sub-letting it to the Schools Meals Service and for car repair work. Unfortunately, in 1979 John Lewis, a partner in the firm was found hanged there.
From 1963 School Street Garage advertised its business and occasional car sales. Tom Parry and Chris Vollands became the owners. Tom still works there today using the name ‘The Black Taxi Garage’.
School Street was originally a cul-de-sac and the entrance to the Urban District Council’s Depot. It was opened up to provide access to the misnamed Ashtree Court which was built on the site behind the Council’s offices at The Elms. Ashtree House was a large west facing mansion some 300 yds further down Hoole Road next to the 'Beehive' pub, at the end of what is now Phillip Street.A number of images relating to the Walker Street area follows.
Site plan for the Co-Op in Walker Street
The Co-Op circa 1912
Co-Op staff moved for a close up
The Co-Op before its funeral department moved in (note the doorway to the corner shop opposite)
No. 5 Walker Street on corner of Phillip Street
No. 6 Walker Street on opposite corner. T. Weedon was a tailor in the 1950s
No. 20 Walker Street on corner of Tomkinson Street
Warrington Road - Mayfield House
Mayfield House - the home of Rev. Isaac Temple from 1833-1880 and the family of S.J.R. Dickson from 1881-1949.
The Rev. Isaac Temple became Rector of Plemstall in 1833. He was born in Harrington, Cumberland in 1793 and attended Queen’s College, Cambridge obtaining his B.A. in 1817 and M.A. in 1821. He was ordained as a Deacon by the Bishop of Chester in 1816, and as a Priest by the Bishop of Norwich in 1821. An advertisement for his Curate tells us that he ran Plemstall Church on “sound Evangelical Church principles, without ritualistic sympathies”.
Newspaper reports show that in addition to officiating in his own church, he played a major part in diocesan affairs. At a meeting of the Cheshire Bible Society in November 1833 he “spoke with considerable effect in urging all present to increasing liberality and activity on behalf of the Society”.
He was very active on his community. In 1847 a petition from him, “praying that the Birkenhead, Lancashire and Cheshire Junction Railway Bill may not pass into law was presented and read and ordered by the House of Commons to lie on the table”. He was objecting against another railway line being built very near the church; the first had already impeded access from the main road, the very low bridge remaining today.
In 1854 he is recorded as paying £2 into the Patriotic Fund set up by Royal Warrant during the Crimean War to provide assistance to the widows, orphans and other dependants of the armed forces. His wife and two daughters separately gave one and a half guineas. Other Hoole donors included Lady Broughton and (separately from their own pockets) her servants at Hoole House, Mr. F. Boydell and (also separately) servants at Hoole Hall, Mr. Peter Ewart at Hoole Bank House, Mrs. Grindley at Hoole Old Hall, and Mrs. Hamilton and (also separately) servants at Hoole Lodge.
Isaac Temple was married twice. His first wife, Sarah Jane was born in 1797 in Endon, Staffordshire and died in the 1860s. His second wife, Anne, was local from Trafford. There were 5 children from his first marriage:
- Charlotte born 1829, married Francis Boydell of Hoole Hall in 1855
- Emily born 1831
- Lucy born 1834
- Georgina born 1839
- Edward also born 1839. He became a minister.
Isaac Temple lived at Mayfield House in Hoole Village on the Warrington Road. The Hoole Tithe Map (mid 1830s) shows that he owned the house, which was set in an acre of grounds, plus another 4 acres called ‘Bottoms’. The 1851 Census shows that he acquired another 28 acres which he farmed. An advertisement in 1858 publicises the sale of oat straw from there, through John Chamberlain who could also be reached at The Parsonage in Plemstall. Isaac chose to live at Mayfield which enabled him to run both his school and farm there. There was a Rectory at Plemstall shown on O.S. maps next to the Church, which was lived in by the aforesaid John Chamberlain.
Samuel Bagshaw's History Gazetteer & Directory 1850 shows John Chamberlain was the Parish Clerk, and the 1851 and 1861 Censuses list him and his family, with the occupation of Parish Clerk and Labourer.
Isaac Temple's School
In the 1841 and 1851 Censuses, Isaac Temple is listed as running a Boarding School at Mayfield House. It was not an uncommon practice for clergymen to do this.
The 1841 Census shows 16 boys between the age of 9 and 14 boarding at Mayfield. It was assumed that these were likely to be children of well to do families in Cheshire but because many of them had common names making identification difficult, only the details of two of them can be verified.
Philip R. Egerton of Bunbury, Cheshire then aged 8, went on to become a Fellow of New College, Oxford, by 1861 was a clergyman and became the Head of All Saints Grammar School at Bloxham.
William Orford then aged 10 from Tilston, Cheshire was in 1851 an agricultural student at Akeld College in Northumberland.
The 1851 Census lists 12 pupils and because that Census includes their place of birth, the whereabouts of their families can be ascertained and eight lived within 30 miles. Details of the lives of some have been investigated.
Although James Folliott was born in Rome, he was the son of a clergyman of the same name from Stapeley, Nantwich, who was also a J.P. for Cheshire. James Jnr., at the age of 24 was an undergraduate at Oxford and a medical student at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital. Unfortunately, his death is recorded at Stapeley in 1869 when he was 33 years old.
Herbert Mather from Everton, Lancashire was found in 1861 lodging with his brother in Cambridge. He became a Vicar, incumbent of Loddington, Leicestershire in 1881, Bishop of Antigua from 1897 to 1904 and then Chancellor of Hereford Cathedral where he died in 1922.
Thomas Boydell from Gresford, then in Denbighshire, was a Lieutenant in the Denbighshire Militia in 1861, and pursued a military career which ended in India. A memorial in Gresford church shows that he was with the 39th Regiment and died at Dagshai in the Punjab aged 36 from wounds inflicted by a tiger when out shooting.
It appears that Isaac Temple gave up his Boys’ School in 1852 (he was by then aged 59) because in February 1853 his daughters advertised “to receive a few young ladies in their father’s house to educate”. There are no records to show that this happened.
The history of the Parish School is intriguing and something of a mystery. A memorial in the church records that Charles Hurleston of Newton Esq. left the sum of £50, "the interest to the Schoole". Samuel Bagshaw’s History Gazetteer & Directory of 1850 states that “several benefactions, given at various periods towards the support of a free school, have, with the exception of £3 per annum, been entirely lost; the school is now carried on as a private establishment by Mr. George Weaver”. The same Directory confirms George Weaver as the Schoolmaster and the 1851 Census also lists him as such. The 1854 Patriotic Fund shows children of Plemstall Parish School which was in Mickle Trafford donating 3 guineas. However, in 1862 Isaac Temple advertised for a Master and Mistress for Plemstall Parish and Sunday Schools.
It has not been possible to identify a school building in Plemstall. A newspaper report in April 1875 refers to the National School at Plemstall, which appears to be the same National School in Mickle Trafford; in the report Mr. S. W. Crump received a presentation for being the schoolmaster.
After Isaac Temple’s death in December 1880, Mayfield House was sold by auction. The House had a productive kitchen garden, pleasure grounds and 3 pieces of fine old pastureland, then comprising of 11 acres. There were 4 spacious entertaining rooms, 11 bedrooms and the school room convertible into a billiard room.
It was bought by Samuel Johnson Robert Dickson, a solicitor and a son of James Husband Dickson, one of the original Dicksons Ltd. Nurserymen. S.J.R. Dickson was born in 1839, qualified as a solicitor in 1864, and at the time of his death in February 1917 was the senior partner in the firm of Messrs. Dickson, Barnes & Dickson of Chester “the second in seniority of practising solicitors in the city”.
He quickly established himself at Mayfield; by 1885 he was appointed to represent Plemstall Church at the diocesan conference, became secretary of Mickle Trafford Schools and in 1887 hosted the procession organised to celebrate the Silver Jubilee of Queen Victoria (this had started at Hoole Lodge, visited Hoole Hall, Hoole Bank House, Mayfield and finished at Trafford Lodge).
Farming still took place at Mayfield – in 1883, 1886 and 1889 cows in calf were advertised for sale by Joseph Whitby, employed as a farmer there. In 1892 and succeeding years, Guilden Sutton Flower Show was held at Mayfield. S.J.R. Dickson being its President. Newspaper reports show the intense competition between the local gentry to grow the best exotic plants. Unsurprisingly, Dickson’s Nurseries put on grand floral exhibitions.
S.J.R. Dickson was one of the signatories of the 1889 memorial (petition) to build an entrance into the general railway station from Hoole. The Dicksons were a very large family and when S.J.R. died in February 1917 it was noted that 20 of his nephews were serving in the armed forces. Mayfield remained in the possession of the Dickson family until the death in August 1949 of Major V.H. Dickson D.S.O.
In 1971 the Trustees of Mr. W. Jones who had lived at the property for a number of years applied to change Mayfield into a private hotel. The planners recommended that this be refused because the site lay within the green belt. Furthermore, four applications for different types of usage had been received including a caravan park and a petrol filling station. The house still remains today as a private residence.
Westminster Road is a main link running from Hoole Road in the North to Lightfoot Street in the South.
Lost Streets of Hoole
The Lost Streets of Hoole include Bishop Street, Law Street, and Griffiths Terrace. These properties along with those in Faulkner Street, Charles Street, and the northern end of Peploe Street (Westminster Road) were the first streets of urban Hoole.
- Article by Ralph Earlam, some parts of which were initially published in ‘Hoole Roundabout’ in May and June 2016 - http://www.hooleroundabout.com
- Article by Ralph Earlam, some parts of which were initially published in ‘Hoole Roundabout’ in April and May 2015 - http://www.hooleroundabout.com
- Article by Ralph Earlam, some parts of which were initially published in ‘Hoole Roundabout’ in March 2015 - http://www.hooleroundabout.com
- Article by Ralph Earlam, some parts of which were initially published in ‘Hoole Roundabout’ in March and April 2016 - http://www.hooleroundabout.com
- Article by Ralph Earlam, some parts of which were initially published in ‘Hoole Roundabout’ in January 2017 - http://www.hooleroundabout.com
- Article by Ralph Earlam, some parts of which were initially published in ‘Hoole Roundabout’ in December 2015 - http://www.hooleroundabout.com
- Copyright ‘Historic England’ http://www.britainfromabove.org.uk/image/EPW037241
- Article by Ralph Earlam, some parts of which were initially published in ‘Hoole Roundabout’ in February 2016 - http://www.hooleroundabout.com
- Article researched and written by Ralph Earlam, August 2019, Hoole History & Heritage Society