Slept right through til 6:10, the benefits of physio massage and paracetamol, and the heavy-as-forecast snow, perhaps, dulling the aircraft noise: although I should be clear that they don’t wake me, I just hear them. One came over, to make the point, at 06:11. I know the time because (becasue) it’s my bad hand has to hover over the clock and the numbness in the fingertips sometimes doesn’t let me feel what I’m touching, and I can’t always judge the pressure right. Not in the mornings, anyhow.
Snowfall also required pushing B.’s car over the bridge here, which I tried, but couldn’t manage, and was daft to attempt anyway.
The bridge made our street into what it is. Prior to 1891 we were Back Street.
Agnes Winson was born around 1830, and at the age of eleven lived with older sister Emma (later of Kelmarsh Hall), and a Joseph Longdon, a farmer, at Cumber Hill House, recorded phonetically as ‘Cumbrell Farm’, which was owned by John Balguy, who also owned the land around what’s now our street, including ‘the Butcher’s Shop, Yard and Orchard’ – our house.
By 1851, Agnes at twenty-one was living on ‘Old Wirksworth Road’, with Samuel Taylor, his wife Dorothy Agnes Taylor, and their children, Rebecca, Samuel and another Agnes. Samuel later appears as constant resident with the adult Agnes, sometimes listed as ‘Uncle’, and indeed, Agnes Winson is here recorded as niece and dressmaker. Ten years later she’s a mother with a boy called Samuel, a daughter Clara. Uncle Samuel is with her as a boarder, and now a coal merchant. Decade on, Sam is Master Butcher, with Agnes the housekeeper, with Samuel the ‘Godfather’ to Agnes’s expanding brood. And by 1881 our Agnes of Back Street is the Master Butcher, the head, with Uncle Samuel a mention a few lines below; in 1891, Master still, with three adult offspring and servants at her side, in the house where we live. Never a father recorded across all these years.
An older son, Ernest W. Winson, and later his son Frank, went separately into butchering too (Ernest trading on a history back to Agnes’s father, his grandfather, Thomas) and the shop with their name is the building on the village centre bridge, where Godfey’s café now thrives.
With B. unable to get into work, we’ll go there to break up the day.
© Steve Mitchell, Fisher Lane