Arthur Edward Chaplin was my maternal grandfather and was born on 15 October 1864 at Bulkington, Warwickshire and christened 6 November 1864 at St Lawrence's Church. He died on 2 February 1953 at Gulson Road Hospital, Coventry.
Both my mother and her brother Allan were under the impression that Arthur's parents had died when he was a young boy. The 1871 and 1881 Census show him living, with his younger brother Walter, at his grandfather's house in Bell Green. However, the St Lawrence Church records show that his mother, Frances Elizabeth (Flavell) had died in Liverpool in 1868 and that her name had been wrongly recorded as NEWMAN. What happened to his father is a mystery but the facts as I have determined them are given under his own entry. Arthur is recorded as an apprentice baker in 1881 and was probably working for his Uncle Edwin. According to Irene Chaplin "His uncle was very strict and told him that he must work hard just to earn his keep. He earned some money holding horses for people, then when he had enough he ran away to Litchfield and got a job in a bakehouse and learned the trade."
He had returned to Bedworth by 1886 when he married Annie Taylor, daughter of William Taylor and Sarah. Annie was born in Bedworth and was christened on 11 March 1866 at Bedworth Parish Church. Annie was a Dressmakers Apprentice, living in Market Street, Bedworth, in 1881.
In 1891 they are living in High Street but then moved to a shop and house in Newtown Road, Bedworth, Warwickshire, calling it "A Chaplin, Baker..
I understand that they had at least 6 children only two of which survived to adulthood. Those that I have record of are:-
Frances May Chaplin was born about 1888. May suffered from fits following a fall from a pony as a child. Her brother, Allan, said that she always sat in the same seat near the door in Church (St Laurence's) in case she had a fit and needed to be taken out. When she died she was buried just outside the church door. She died in 1929 aged 40, at The Gables, Hall Green Road, Bell Green. My grandfather sold this house just after May died. Annie Chaplin was born about 1896 and died early in 1902. Allan Chaplin (1903-1997)
Annie died early in 1908 and gradfather soon remarried. Arthur married my grandmother, Elizabeth Ann Gardner "Cissie", daughter of John Gardner and Ann Lovell, in 1908 at Exhall Church. Cissie was born 29 Jan 1872 in Welford, Northamptonshire and died 1941 in Foleshill, Coventry. My mother said that her parents met when granddad was delivering bread to the Cross Keys at Kersley where she was working.
They had the following children:
Winifred Irene Chaplin (my mother) Cyril Chaplin. Born in 1910 Cyril married Hetty Hill. Ellen Dorothy Chaplin, b 1911 Eric Chaplin, b 1913 Ivy Chaplin (died at 12 months from measles)
After my mother was born, granddad moved back to Bell Green ( in 1909/10) to keep the Bell Hotel At around that time my mother was sent to be brought up by an Aunt in Guilsborough, Leicestershire, where she stayed until she was about 6 or 7. According to Allan, he also bought 10 acres of land in Hall Green Road and started to work the land as a sandpit. He had the Gables built, in Hall Green Road, and moved in, around 1927. He thought that the sand would last for up to 10 years but within a few years it was finished. May Chaplin died at the Gables in 1930 and grandfather auctioned the house and land within a couple of years. The Auction would have been at the Bell Hotel and fetched £1000. Joe Wealdon was the manager of the Bell around that time.
Edwin Chaplin, granddad's uncle had died in 1908. Did Granddad keep away from Bell Green until then?
After leaving the Gables granddad moved to 5 Mason Road, Foleshill a small end of terrace house, very different to the Gables. During the second world war they went to stay with Cissie's relative (Aunt Lizzie) at Hinkley, returning after the bomb damage had been repaired sufficiently for them to return.
Allan's daughter, Irene, noted, "Because granddad had been self employed all his life he should have stamped his insurance card- and this he never did, so at 65 when he retired he had no pension for the next 5 years- that is until he was 70. He then received the standard pension of 10/- per week (50p)".At that time all of Cissie's children would have been at home, although my mother (Win) went to work at Conway, Wales, at one point, to work in a Convalesence home. I am told that Granddad did own other property which he sold off gradually to live on. His Will indicated that he had sold off everything other than the house in which he lived.