Dean Evans Family History


Extracts from oral history recording by Sam Thomas. (Ironbridge Gorge Museum).Museum Link
Reference to Number 13 Holywell Lane. Mrs Betsey Bailey and her husband lived here, they were old people, their son lived in part of the cottage, he had three girls in his family.
Reference to Number 17 Holywell Lane. That belonged to, and was occupied by Mr and Mrs Robert Bailey and their son Tom.
Reference to Number 22 Holywell Lane. Mr and Mrs Robert Evans lived here. They had two sons Ben and Robert and a daughter Annie. Robert went to America when I was about 100 or 11; he never came back. Ben was a moulder, and he worked at Coalbrookdale for mnay years, and afterwards he went to Sinclairs at Ketley. Annie was in the choir at Little Dawley and eventually married a shopkeeper. Ben had two daughters - one married a Mr Wooding from Dawley, and I think still lives there. Ben also had one son named Ralph, he would have have been about 60 now, but he was kiled in the second world war, he was a pal of a son of mine.
Reference to Number 25 Holywell Lane. No 25 was occupied by Mr Evans and his wife and one son and one daughter. The daughter died in my time, so did Mr Benjamin Evans, who was a Sunday School Superintendant at Little Dawley Chapel. He was a very old man when I was a boy. His son Harry married a Miss baldwin, she was also a choirister at Little Dawley Chapel, they lived here and brought up a family. One of the daughters has lived here to this day, October 25 1977. Mr Harry Evans had one or two horses and carts. he had a few fields near the lane. He used to fetch coal from Kemberton Pit for all the people in the lane. He started work at Coalbrookdale as a blacksmith; when he left the dale, he put a blacksmith's hearth on his ground, and when his fathe, Ben, died he took over the horses, he carried out a few repairs in his blacksmiths shop. He met a sad end when he was out with his horse and cart one day, the horse bolted, and the wheel of the cart went over him.
One time when I was a lad, old Mr Benjamin Evans, he would be about 70 then,had heard people talking about a Dictionary, and he said that he had never heard about it. My father said to him, "I've got one, I'll lend it to you". He kept it for about a week, then he brought it back. He said: "Albert I've been trying to read it, but I conna mek ends or middles on it, yo'd better have it back". One ady, I remember I was going down the lane, and there was an old chap that used to come around selling spectacles. He used to charge sixpence for them, and you could have a change of spectacles. When I went by No 25, Mr Evans was just changing his, he tried six or seven pairs on, and he said: "ah, these are better than mine". and he put them on and gave him his old ones and sixpence, and he got a pair of glasses. That is how they used to do 80 years ago.
Refering to a brick wall opposite No 25. The brick wall, that was an old cistern as we called it, it was set in the ground like a well four or five feet deep, and it was filled up with pig swill for feeding the pigs; the old potatoes and cabbage tops were thrown in there. This swill would be mixed with a bit of meal. They would then get a ladle about four feet long and they would fill their buckets with this swill for the pigs. These swill cisterns were quite common around the district , although this is the only one in the Lane. I... it just belonged to Mr Evans at No 25. He used to keep a few pigs and a few horses .... The buildings down below on the right were where Mr Evans kept his horses; he usually had two horses, and later on he had one or two cows. He also had a field where he grew hay, and a field for wheat. The building adjoining No 25 in my day was used by Mr Powell and his son, they lived further up the lane; they used this building for making coffins. We very often used to go in and watch them making the coffins, been a house at one time, but not in my days in the Lane. but now all that remains is just two walls standing; this house was situated round the back. (of number 25)
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