Who is Annie?
My cousin, David Pitman, allowed me to copy the following postcard that belonged to his mother Elwyn. The postcard is from someone called Annie to Mr. W. Thomas, who was Elwyn’s (and also my father’s) great grandfather.
I presume the explanation (“Annie is Puppa Thomas’ niece. Puppa Thomas’ house in M’boro was called “Henor” & he lived in Coventry St.”) in blue pen was written by Elwyn.
The original text reads:
My dear Uncle,
Many thanks for postcard received of Black boys. I am sending you a p.c. of part of our Village the house at the top of the picture is our doctors. We live right opposite there hope all are well.
Love from Annie
Mr W. Thomas
C/o G Horsburgh Co
Who is Annie? Where did she live? Where is the picture of? When was it sent?
The address on the front of the card is Coventry Rd. Kingsbury. A closer look at the street image yields the name “Swan Terrace” on the row of houses, a shop sign “Cadbury’s”, and a sign with a white swan on it,
The additional information on the reverse of the card is minimal. The stamp has been removed, and so only a partial postmark remains, which reads “KINGSB” and “TAX” but no date is visible.
Doing a Google search for “UK post card Coventry Rd. Kingsbury.” and looking at the images returned results in the identical image being found at https://www.ourwarwickshire.org.uk/content/catalogue_wow/kingsbury-coventry-road-2, a map location, and a suggested date of 1900-1909. The location is (52.56551891790918, -1.6820562306851514) or https://goo.gl/maps/9au5pQ6DwWGyT8Ss8. Looking at Google Street View the White Swan is still existing, but the rest of Swan Terrace has been demolished.
The National Library of Scotland site at https://maps.nls.uk/geo/explore/ allows current and historical maps to be overlayed. The comparison here shows the current OpenStreetMap map and the Ordnance Survey 25 inch 1892-1914 maps for the same area. Tamworth Road, also labelled Coventry Road, now runs diagonally through where Swan Terrace was, and the hotel has been painted in Tudor style. The doctor’s house still exists, and is more visible in this view as some buildings to the north of the White Swan have been demolished. It’s likely that the house just opposite, where Annie lived, has been demolished, and now forms part of the car park adjacent to the White Swan.
Looking at my family history database I realise that I don’t have any details of the families of William Thomas’s brothers and sisters.
The UK Census 1861 for Little Cowarne, Herefordshire, Wales (PRO Ref: RG9 Piece: 1827 Folio: 50 Page: 8)
Household at Glebe Cottage
Philip Thomas, Head, Mar, M, 43, Labourer, Herefordshire Wool Hope
Elizabeth Thomas, Wife, Mar, F, 38, Dressmaker, Herefordshire Tarrington
Henry Thomas, Son, Un, M, 14, , Herefordshire Wool Hope
Mary Elizabeth Thomas, Daur, Un, F, 11, , Herefordshire Wool Hope
Sarah Thomas, Daur, Un, F, 8, , Herefordshire Wool Hope
William Jas. Thomas, Son, Un, M, 5, , Herefordshire Wool Hope
Philip Thomas, Son, Un, M, 2, , Herefordshire Wool Hope
A further child, Walter, shows up on the 1871 census, but the older children are no longer at home.
A quick review of the hints on Ancestry trees shows that Mary Elizabeth Thomas married Charles James at Leominster, Herefordshire on 26 Dec 1870. Their daughter Anne Maria James, born 27 Jan 1876, married Arthur James Wright at Tamworth, Staffordshire. In the 1901 census (Class: RG13; Piece: 2653; Folio: 52; Page: 9) Annie, Arthur, and their infant son Howard are living in Coventry Road, Kingsbury, Warwickshire.
In the 1911 Census the family appears with postal address 3 Church View, Coventry Road, near Tamworth Road, Kingsbury, Warwickshire. It is possible this is the same address, but given that they now have six children, it is possible that they are living in a larger house nearby to their 1901 address. Annie and Arthur are still living in Tamworth Road, Kingsbury in 1939, possibly in the same residence. Annie seems to have died in the October quarter of 1943.
So the postcard depicts Coventry Road, now Tamworth Road, Kingsbury, Warwickshire, and was sent to William Thomas by his niece, Annie Wright (nee James), daughter of William’s sister Mary. It was probably sent between 1900-1910, but possibly later.
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