Though I (Susan Hogben) didn’t live in the Park district myself, it was an area that I knew fairly well.
I lived over the Embankment and most days would come across the little footpath that skirted the edge of the railway lines, down the slope into the Park area.
From there I would either walk down Ranelagh Road to the town, or cut through Charles Street into Lennox Street and head to my favourite place…the beach.
My best friend also lived at no 1 Brownlow Street behind the pub, and we would spend many an hour wandering the streets and alleys…nothing funnier that bounding down the back alleys, the sound of our running feet echoing off the walls of the houses that backed onto them, (that was until one day a man stuck his head out the back gate and told us off for making too much noise!) after that we would stomp ever harder as we passed his house…then leg it!
This time I want to take you on a short stroll down Lennox Street, but back in time to the year 1915.
Weymouth was as popular as ever as a holiday resort, and many of the houses in the Park District became B&B’s for the thousands of visitors who flocked to our seaside town.
At no 1 Lennox Street lived Miss Bessie Knight, just down from the Esplanade it made the perfect place to have holiday apartments. In fact, as you go through the list, it is surprising how many of those in charge of the holiday homes were ladies…and single, a veritable gaggle of spinsters.
Next door to her, at no 3, was 72-year-old Annie Hagley, a widow who also let out her rooms to visitors, a valuable means of income to a lone female.
A few houses down on the same side, no 13, lived Henry Adam Bond, a baker by trade. Bonds would later own a corner shop in the area with a bakehouse behind the premises, one which my sister bought and ran for a while until it finally closed it doors to customers when it was turned into flats.
At no 19 lived 51-year-old Alfred Vallance, his wife Annie and their brood. It is a name that somehow has links with my own family (Darch), Dad particularly, but for the life of me can I remember what it was! Sorry Dad, didn’t have my listening ears on as good old Judge Judy is fond of saying. Alfred made his living as a carpenter and joiner.
Alfred Henry Davis resided at no 23, he was a baker.
Next door was Louis Rosenthall at no 25.
A bootmaker, Alfred Horler lived at no 31 Lennox Street, he employed 2 men in his shop. His wife Ada took care of the family home..
His neighbour was local lad 33-year-old Bertie Robert Legg (no 33.) and his wife Inez Mabel Poulter Legg. There’s no occupation listed for this pair, but on Bertie’s wedding certificate in 1910 his father, Robert Lovell Legg is listed as a gentleman, a good occupation to have!
Moving on down to no 39, another unmarried lady ran holiday apartments, a Miss Emma R Crabbe.
Thomas Allen Kelly, next door, (41) was the house’s occupier, he was a mechanic.
No 43 was the home of the Russell’s, they and their neighbour, (45) John Hatcher both ran holiday apartments. John’s wife Sarah took care of the guesthouse, while John worked as a bus conductor.
The occupant of no 47 bucked the trend somewhat, this was the home of Irish born William Christopher O’Rourke, a local photographer.
Coming towards the end of the street and we find ourselves at the premises of John Brown Gray & Sons (and of course wife, Hannah) at no 49 (and no 48). This was a busy family, not only were they marquee and tent manufacturers, but also grocers and stationers.
Cross the street and walking in reverse down the road we come to more holiday apartments at no 42 (Park House), these ones belong to Frederick Broad. Frederick was a retired job master and cattle dealer, and he and his wife, Sarah Ann, had left their home region of Berkshire and come to Weymouth to run a boarding house. Their daughter rather fetchingly named Ethel Faithful was a professional pianist.
The occupier of no 38 Lennox Street (also listed as Virginia house in 1911 census) was George Studley Morgan along with his wife June and their extensive family..
His neighbour at no 36 was 48-year-old Sussex born spinster, Miss Frances Carter Goodchild, which would be no surprise to anybody that this single lady was also a B&B housekeeper along with her younger unmarried sister, Florence. Frances ended her days in Westhaven hospital in 1964 at the ripe old age of 98.
Some way down the street, at no 30 lived Alfred George Croad, in 1915 he was listed as a stationer by trade. In 1911 he had worked for the Railway company and was a steward about the Railway steamer the Lynx that sailed out of Weymouth. Alfred was still living at no 30 by the time of his death in 1940, he left his entire, fairly sizeable estate to his second wife Winifred. He had obviously been an astute businessman. In the 1922 Municipal elections, one of the family, Alfred’s first wife, Beatrice Alice Croad of 30 Lennox Street stood as a candidate for the Melcombe Regis North ward.
Joseph Sherry, fishmonger resided next door to him at no 28.
Another tradesman at no 26, Alfred Bandy, he was a general shopkeeper.
No 24 was the property of local lad Alfred Thomas Cosh, the proprietor of the Somerset hotel. Living in the house was 51-year-old George William Caddy, his wife Mary Louisa and their family. George was a bricklayer by trade.
The Drews were in residence at no 22, son George Alfred was a builder. His Mum, 68-year-old Maria Margaret Drew was a beer retailer, they were the licensees of the street’s only pub, the Park Estate Inn. Maria’s husband, Mark, had died not long before 1915, so she was left to carry on the family business. In 1923 Maria transferred the license of the pub over to her son George Alfred Drew. Only one year later and George leaves the pub, when an Arthur A Phillips takes over.
Fifty nine year old George Foot Morey lived next door to the pub (no 20) along with his wife Elizabeth Ann, and their 3 sons, George, Alfred and Richard. George was a bricklayer and builder.
His neighbour at no 18 was Sidney Charles Kill, he was aged 36 and was born in Warminster. Sidney moved to Weymouth where he started work on the railways starting out as a policeman with the company in 1900. In 1909 he married Emma Hancock at Weymouth. By 1913 he had made his way up to the responsible job of shunter.
No 10 was the home of Middlesex lad Samuel James Butler, aged 44, who along with his wife Frances also ran a B&B. Samuel’s main employment was as a boatman, working on the torpedo range in Weymouth bay.
A widow, 54-year-old Mrs Clara Charlotte Whettam resided at no 8, she had moved from Devon to live in Weymouth, but her mother Anna Williams was a Weymouth lass born and bred. Clara originally had a boarding house in Cambridge Terrace but had moved to Lennox Street along with her widowed mother.
At no 4 Lennox Street lived two ladies, London born Miss Isabel Anton, a spritely 61-year-old lady, along with her cousin, 80-year-old Emma Grove, a widow. The pair were yet more landladies in the little street of holiday houses. Isabel had previously owned and run her own guest house in Royal Crescent.
At the end of Lennox Street was the house of no 2. This was the home of 54-year-old Henry Morris, who was a coachman, and his 46-year-old wife, Henrietta who was busy running the family business…yes, you’ve guessed it, another B&B.
The last resident that we have sight of living in the Street is 39-year-old Philip Henry Wilson Batchelor, Weymouth born and bred, an accountant that had followed in his fathers footsteps, who lived in the rather grand sounding Lennox house.
I hope you enjoyed the snapshot of Lennox Street in 1915…things would change only a couple of years later when WWI broke out, and many of the men went off to war.