Glascote Locks and the surrounding area 1900-1918

The history of Glascote Locks and the surrounding area between 1900 and 1918, including the men of Glascote who served and fell in WW1.

Glascote Locks and the surrounding area 1900-1918
Bottom Lock Cottage

Since moving to Glascote Locks in 2022 I have been investigating the history of the area. My favourite period of history to research is the early 1900s, including the Great War, so that is where I began.

1900

I usually begin any project by getting to know the context within the local landscape. I drew the map below to help me get my historical bearings. It has already been useful! It helped me to work out why there are changes in the wall construction alongside the canal here. It also helped me to identify some of the locations which have changed their names over the years, always a challenge for historians. Now I'm looking forward to filling in the stories of the people who lived and worked here over the years, expecially about 100 to 125 years ago.

Map of Glascote Locks in 1900

1901

I always find it useful to log everyone who lived in the area on a census data as a starting point. From here onwards I can dig deeper to investigate each family. In the 1901 Census, the enumerator began the canal area with the Anchor Inn and Anchor Row. He then completed Glascote Main Road to the east, before returning to the the canal cottages at the end of the St Editha parish list.

Ordnance Survey Map Revised 1901

146 Glascote Main Road, The Anchor Inn

The residents were William Heathcote, innkeeper, age 56, his wife Ann, their son Albert, a coal miner and hewer, their daughter Jennie, and a domestic servant, Florence Aucott.

The first two cottages of Anchor Row were in front of the Inn, facing the Main Road. (I drew four cottages on my map in error).

148 Main Road, Anchor Row

The residents were James Busswell, a 26 year old coal miner and hewer, his wife Mary, and their young daughters, Harriet, Florrie, and baby Minnie.

150 Main Road, Anchor Row

The residents were Harry Heathcote, a 25 year old clay worker, his wife Eliza, and their small son, James.

3 Anchor Row

The residents were Samuel Wilson age 71, a farm labourer and his wife Elizabeth.

4 Anchor Row

The residents were Thomas Lycett age 26, a coal miner and hewer, his wife Emily, and their small children, Richard age 3, and Ellen age 7 months.

5 Anchor Row

The residents of this three room cottage were William Willis or Wilks age 38, a general labourer, his wife Sarah, and their large family. The eldest, Mary, was a fancy (tex, for textile?) wrapper at the tape mill. The others were Eliza age 12, Sarah Jane age 8, Sarah Ann age 7, William age 5, Ethel age 4, and Clara age 2.

6 Anchor Row

The residents were John Holmes age 26, a coal miner and hewer, his wife Rose and their six year old daughter Elsie.

7 Anchor Row

The residents were William Rhead a 35, a coal miner and hewer, his wife Elizabeth, and their four children, William age 9, Fanny age 7, Frances age 4, and Henry age 2.

7 Anchor Row

Unoccupied.

9 and 10 Anchor Row

The residents were William Kinson age 55, a market garden labourer, his wife Elizabeth, a tailoress, and their six children, William age 28, an engine fitter, John age 19, a fitter's apprentice, Albert age 15, working at a brewery, Harry age 14, working at a brewery, Minnie age 11, and Florrie age 9.

11 Anchor Row

The residents were William Faulkner age 56, a coal miner and hewer, his wife Frances, and their children, John age 22, a coal miner and hewer, Minnie age 20, a fancy (tex, for textile?) tape weaver, and Jarvis age 17, a coal miner and hewer.

Top Lock Cottages, Glascote

Two Lock Cottages (Top Lock)

Listed as The Canal Locks. The residents were Peter Allsopp, a 49 year old canal boat clerk, his wife Ann, and their children, Frank age 25, a market gardener, Walter age 21, an iron moulder, William age 19, a stoker - see Willie George Allsop, Arthur age 17, an iron moulder, Alice age 13, and Ruth age 8. Also living with them was their grandson Frederick Eddon.

One Lock Cottages (Top Lock)

Listed as The Canal Office. The residents were John Morgan age 52, a canal clerk, his wife Mary, their son Thomas age 18, an iron moulder, and their son Edgar age 13, an office boy at a colliery.

Bottom Lock House

The residents were 39 year old Arthur Crowshaw, a general labourer, his wife Emma, and their children, Joseph age 16, an iron moulder, Sarah, age 13, a tape winder, Albert, age 10, Emma age 7, Arthur age 5, and Thomas age 2.

Wharf Cottage

The residents were George H Collett, a 29 year old market gardener, working from home, and his wife Anna. They had a boarder, John Parry, age 65, who was a garden labourer.

1908

The area around Glascote as shown in Westall's 1908 book, Inland Cruising

In 1908 George Westall provided an outline description of the Coventry Canal in his book "Inland Cruising":

"Coventry Canal extends from the City of Coventry to Fradley in Staffordshire, where it forms a junction with the Trent and Mersey (North Stafford Railways) Canal. Leaving Coventry, the canal proceeds by Hawkesbury - junction with the Oxford Canal - Bedworth and Marston, where it connects with the Ashby (Asby-de-la-Zouch) Canal, and continues by Nuneaton, Atherstone and Polesworth to Fazeley, near Tamworth, where it joins the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal. Thence it proceeds, for 5½ miles, over the Birmingham Canal Navigation line - really part of the original design of this system - to Whittington Brook, and there entering upon its northern section, continues along an unbroken course by Huddlesford, where a junction is affected with the Wyrley Canal, to its termination in the Trent and Mersey Canal at Fradley. The canal forms an important link in the line of communication between the rivers Thames and Mersey, and the navigation is maintained in a state of great efficiency. The district through which it runs is on a pleasantly elevated plane and lends itself peculiarly to pleasure boating, as by starting say, from Coventry there is an ideal waterway extending for 70 miles on one level pool. The Canal itself provides three capital pools of 16½, 9, and 11 miles respectively, and others occur in the connecting Oxford and Ashby systems. It is therefore possible with the aid of four flights of locks to make a total course of 109 miles, or 218 miles for a complete circuit out-and-home, and that through some of the most attractive scenery in the homeland. Coventry - "City of the three Spires" - said to have derived its name from a convent founded by Canute, and popularly associated with romantic legend of Lady Godiva and Peeping Tom, is a highly interesting old town, beautifully seated in the very centre of England, with rural surroundings that may well be likened to a luxurious garden of illimitable extent. In former times the City was largely engaged in silk and ribbon weaving, afterwards in watch making, and is now the metropolis of the bicycle and motor vehicle trade. It is also entitled to rank as an inland aquatic centre for motoring on the quiet waters by which it is environed. Tamworth, Nuneaton and Atherstone, are also good bases for tours. HOTELS. Coventry: Craven Arms, Kings Head, Queens. Atherstone: Red Lion, White Hart. Nuneaton: Bull, Newdegate. Tamworth (Fazeley): Castle, Peel Arms. 14 Locks. Navigable by vessels 72 ft x 7 ft x 3 ft 6 in draught. Toll, whole distance: Launches £1 single journey; £1 10s return within 3 months."

Westall also described his own cruise on the Canal in the opposite direction:

"... after working eight more locks we turned into the Coventry Canal at Fradley, near Alrewas. The toll for motor boats, and distance, on the Trent and Mersey canal is £1 1s, and on the Coventry £1. The Coventry system is an ideal canal for motoring. It commences with a clear run of twelve and a half miles, on one level, from Fradley to a little past Tamworth, leaving Lichfield on the east, by Street Hay and Huddlesford, the junction with the canal to Cannock and Wyrley, Whittington Brook, Hopwas, and Fazeley, through most delightful rural scenery all the way to Glascote Locks (two), where another pool of nine miles is entered leading past Alvecote, Pooley, Polesworth, and Baddesley, ending at Atherstone, where we elected to finish up for that day."

1911

In the 1911 Census, the enumerator changed tactics, and proceeded from Glascote Main Road down the east bank of the canal to Wharf House, to Bottom Lock Cottage, then continued clockwise to the pair of top lock cottages, before moving on the the Anchor Inn, the Anchor Row cottages in front of it, and the main Anchor Row terrace behind it. The 1911 census confirms that the rear part of Anchor Row was also referred to as Anchor Yard. Here are the residents in the area as listed in the 1911 census:

Wharf House – a four room cottage (no longer exists)

George William Matthews, age 43, a canal worker, labouring and repairing, his wife Minnie, age 43, and three of their five surviving children, (one had died and two were away from home), Middleton, age 9, Robert, age 7, and Kate, age 4.

Bottom Lock Cottage

Arthur Croshaw, age 50, a canal labourer, his wife Emma, age 46, and six of their eight surviving children (one had died young): Albert, age 20, a market gardener, Emma, age 17, a cotton polisher at the tape mill, Arthur, age 15, a potter in the stoneware bottle department at the sanitary pipe works, Thomas, Walter and Dora. Arthur still lived here when the 1939 Register was compiled. He was listed as Canal Maintenance Staff (retired). He died 19 Nov 1943, and is buried in Glascote Cemetery.

One Lock Cottages (Top Lock)

This five room cottage is listed as The Canal Office. The head of the household was John Morgan, age 62, a canal toll clerk working from home for the Coventry Canal Company. He had been living and working here since at least 1889. The other members of the family were his wife Mary Ann, age 58, and one of their two surviving children (five had died young), Edgar, age 23, a wages clerk for the Fisher and Co Paper Mill. Although Edgar was of the right age to serve in WW1, as yet I have not been able to identify a service record for him.

Two Lock Cottages (Top Lock)

This four room cottage was occupied by Peter Allsop, age 59, a widower, Toll Clerk for the Coventry Canal Company, and three of his five surviving children (six had died young - see Willie George Allsop): Arthur, age 27, an iron moulder, Alice, age 23, a tape weaver, Ruth, age 18, and his grandsons Frederick Allsop, age 12, and Reginald Allsop, age 5. The Allsops had lived here since at least 1891. (Keith Douce lived here during the 1960s, his dad was lockeeper, had four sons. The cottage was later occupied by Steve Hudson, boatbuilder).

The Anchor Inn (now the Co-op)

The residents were still William Heathcote, age 67, a licensed victualler, his wife Ann, age 73, one of their eight surviving children (two had died young): Jenny Bath, age 32, and her husband Emanuel Bath, age 38, a chimney pot maker, and their son Albert Bath, age 5.

148 Glascote Road

This was a four room cottage. It no longer exists, and the Co-op now uses this number. The residents were Arthur Shadrack Frost, age 28, a waggoner, his wife Emily, age 25, and their children, May, age 2, and baby Arthur, age 1 month.

150 Glascote Road

This four room cottage no longer exists. The residents were still Harry Heathcote, age 35, a clay worker in the sanitary ware works, his wife Eliza, age 32, and their children, Albert, age 12, and Emanuel, age 9.

3 Anchor Row

This four room cottage no longer exists. The residents were Frank Lees, age 27, a coal miner (hewer), his wife Jessie, age 24, a tape weaver, and a visitor, Annie Maria Lycett, age 28, who worked in the local firelighter factory.

4 Anchor Row

This four room cottage no longer exists. The residents were still Thomas Lycett, age 36, a coal miner and hewer, his wife Emily, age 36, and their five surviving children (one little one had died young): Richard, age 13, a clay worker at the Terracotta Works, Nellie, Robert, Thomas and Frank.

5 Anchor Row

This three room cottage no longer exists. The new residents were David Hassall Owen, age 26, a colliery worker (road) below ground, his wife Annie Elizabeth, age 28, and their two surviving children, 3 year old Edgar and 11 month old David (two children had died young).

6 Anchor Row

This three room cottage no longer exists. The residents were Thomas Burton, age 78, a carter, his wife Elizabeth, age 64, and a boarder, William Ward, age 45, a colliery banksman (above ground). Thomas and Elizabeth had only been married for 7 years.

7 Anchor Row

This three room cottage no longer exists. The residents were James Henry Smith, age 32, a road repairer below ground, his wife Emma, age 35, and their five children, William, Frederick, Clarence, Edna, and 10 month old Florence.

8 Anchor Row

This three room cottage no longer exists. The residents were Thomas Chapman, age 33, a bricklayer’s labourer for a builder, his wife Alice Maud, age 31, and their five surviving children, George, Dorothy, Margaret, Thomas, and Elizabeth, (two children had died young).

9 and 10 Anchor Row

This four room cottage no longer exists. The residents were William Kinson, age 67, a market gardener’s labourer, his wife Elizabeth, age 63, a tailoress working at home, and three of their eight surviving children (five had died), Albert, a labourer in the iron foundry, Minnie, a tailoress in a clothing factory, and Florrie, a domestic servant.

11 Anchor Row

This four room cottage no longer exists. The residents were William Faulkner, age 65, a general labourer for a builder, his wife Frances, age 65, her brother Jarvis Ward, age 55, a coal hewer, and his son William Ward, age 14, who was employed below ground in the mine (boy on wire)

There were even numbers descending thereafter, 144, 142 etc. None of these properties exist today until number 112 (currently Next Place Estate Agents).

The 1914-1918 War

The Great War is one of my particular interests, so I have extended this post to cover the men of Glascote who served and fell.

St George’s Church, Bamford Street, Glascote

Sixty-one men are remembered on the WW1 Memorial Tablet in St George’s Church, Bamford Street, Glascote. I intend to research each of their lives in due course. You can click on a man's name to read more about him. Some these links lead to my old website.

Private William Arnold Adie

CSM Alfred Allbrighton, Military Medal

John Allen

Joseph Baker

Joshua Bailey

Albert Edward Ball

Wheeler Arthur Baxter

Arthur Beale

Oliver Bealey

Carpenter's Crew George Brain

Oliver John Brain

Thomas Chetwynd

Samuel Chadwick

Herbert Chiles

Jesse Compton

Thomas Cotton

Charles Cooper

Fred Dimbleby

William Dimbleby

Ernest Downs

Acting Leading Seaman Wilfred Dyke

Tom Edney

Ernest Forster

William Fowler

Thomas Finney

Charles Edward Garrison

Thomas Goodwin

Albert Hatton

Thomas Harper

William Haywood

George Thomas Hawkins

George William Hughes

Frederick James Hunter

Sidney Hunt

Walter Hunt

William Ingram

Frank Keen

Albert Thomas Lacey

Arthur Ainsworth Lacey

Frank Lees

Frederick Martin

Robert Neville MC & BAR

John Orme

William Parnell

Maurice Berkeley Peel

James Prichard

Edmund Revely

Joseph Sanders

Herbert Sharpe

Henry James Skudder

Thomas Henry Smith

Albert William Smith

Frank Startin

Wellington Thompson

Fred Walker (or Walken)

William Henry Ward

John Ward

Joseph William Watson

John Henry White

William Willis

Lance-Corporal Enoch Wright

Glascote Methodist Church

Eight of the above men are also remembered on the Glascote War Memorial in the Methodist Church.

CSM Alfred Allbrighton, Military Medal

Joshua Balley

Arthur Baxter

Arthur Beale

Oliver Bealey

Herbert Chiles

Joseph Sanders

Herbert Sharp

One man is remembered in the Methodist Church, but not on St George's tablet

Horace Windridge

They Also Served

I know from past experience that it is a mammoth job to uncover all those who served and survived the war. Rather than researching every single home (as I did for my last hometown, Royal Wootton Bassett, I will simply add names to this page as I find them.

Private E Beck, 4th West Yorkshire Regiment (named in the Tamworth Herald, 7th Nov 1914)

Private Faulkner, Grenadier Guards, Glascote (named in the Tamworth Herald, 12th Sep 1914)

Private Faulkner, 2nd Worcester Regiment, 7262, Glascote Heath (named in the Tamworth Herald, 10th Oct 1914)

Sergeant French, Bedfordshire Regiment

Private C S Genders, Coldstream Guards (named in the Tamworth Herald, 7th Nov 1914)

Private H Jupp, 2nd Royal Warwick Regiment, 8619.

Private Robert Wood, Grenadier Guards, 12214.

1918

In 1918 the Coventry Canal was controlled by the Canal Control Committee, part of the Board of Trade. The Midland Sub-Committee was responsible for the Birmingham Canal Navigations, the Coventry Canal Navigation, the Erewash Canal, Sharpness New Docks, the Gloucester and Birmingham Navigation Company, the Berkeley Ship Canal, the Worcester and Birmingham Canal, the Leicester Navigation, the Loughborough Navigation, the Severn Commission, the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal, the Stourbridge Canal, the Trent Vavigation, and the Weaver Navigation.

The Head Office of the Coventry Canal was in Bishop Street, Coventry. The Secretary and Manager was A Chadborn. The Clerk and Solicitor was H G Twist, The Quadrant, Coventry. The Engineer was G Crosbie Dawson, 18 Priory Row, Coventry, telegrams "Minerals, Coventry", telephone Coventry 259. The Telegraphic address for the Canal Head Office was "Canal Company - Coventry", and its telephone number was Coventry 289. The Head Office was supported by two branch offices:

  • Glascote Locks Toll Office, near Tamworth
  • Hawkesbury Toll Office, Bedworth, near Coventry

The Canal Control Committee was intended to promote the use of Canals for the carriage of goods, and to supplement the use of railways which were under pressure due to the great service they had rendered throughout the First World War. In 1918 the Committee took an inventory of canal carriers operating along canal and published a directory, the 'Handbook on Canals', to enable senders and receivers of goods to identify suitable carriers.

Glascote area shown in the Canal Control Committee Map, 1918

The following carriers were identified on the Coventry Canal. Their boats would have been a familiar sight at Glascote Locks:

  • Samuel Barlow Limited, Glascote, near Tamworth
  • Thomas Clayton Limited, Oldbury, near Birmingham
  • J F Cox, Smithford Street Chambers, Coventry
  • L B Faulkner, Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire
  • Fellows, Morton and Clayton Limited, Fazeley Street, Birmingham
  • W and S Foster Limited, Tipton, Staffordshire
  • The Executors of J Griffiths, Bedworth, near Nuneaton
  • Harris Brothers, Brierley Hill, Staffordshire
  • J Rayner, Bank Chambers, Runcorn
  • J Rice and Son, St Owen's Wharf, Gloucester
  • The Severn and Canal Carrying Company Limited, Bridge Street, Birmingham
  • The Sharpness New Docks Company, Canal Office, Gas Street, Birmingham
  • The Shropshire Union Railway and Canal Company, Cambridge Street, Birmingham
  • E Smith, Ham Wharf, Brentford, Middlesex
  • W H Walker, Frogmore Wharf, Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire
Ordnance Survey Map Revised 1921

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