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A Shout From The Attic: Louie Bennett

Ronnie Bray tells of his mother, the daughter of a cook in service at a mill owner’s home.

My mother is Louie Bennett, one of two daughters born to Margaret “Maggie” Ann Myers and Harold Bennett. She is the only mother I have ever had. She was born on the 15th of May in nineteen hundred and fifteen. She was born in Uttoxeter. Her mother came from Longton, Staffordshire, and her father Harold was from Derby. Each of them came to live in Huddersfield.

Maggie was a cook in service at a mill owner’s home in Edgerton, and Harold was an engineer. All the years I knew him work, he was a mill boring turner at Thomas Broadbent’s Central Ironworks on Queen Street South at the bottom of town.

According to mother, her father wouldn’t work, and so Maggie bought 121 Fitzwilliam Street and operated it as a lodging house. She took in theatricals, and workmen, many of whom were referred by the Police from the main station on Princess Street, which was off Ramsden Street below the Town hall.

Of mother’s childhood days, I know little, for her memory fades, but she believes that she spent a happy childhood in an unhappy home, for her parents suffered a breach in their relationship that lasted down until her mother died in 1955. Her father lived until he was in his seventies, but he suffered from some dementia in his later years.

When the family moved to Fitzwilliam Street, mother went to nearby Portland Street School. It was whilst she was there that she met fellow student Ernest Knowles, who became her third husband.

When she was seventeen, she met my father-to-be George Frederick Bray, and the rest is history.


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