In 1911 the census of England was taken on the nights of 2nd and 3rd of April. The census recorded detailed information on the people who spent the night in each household. There were 376 people in the village at that time, 185 females and 191 males, of which 4 were visitors. The youngest was baby Annie Gittins who was just 10 days old, and the eldest person was 95 year old Marie Brien who was boarding at Brook Farm. The most popular occupation was dairy farming and in 1911 we had 11 farms listed as dairy farms: Bellaport Lodge Farm, Yew Tree House, Brook Farm, Church Farm, Number 50, Norton Farm, Brand Farm, Brand Common, Norton Wood Farm, Norton Wood and Bellaport Home Farm. The census covered 83 households and started at Bellaport Lodge Farm and finished at Bellaport Gardens.
Looking at the houses in more detail allows us the chance to take a slightly deeper look at the lives of some of the people living here at the time.
Central View (now known as the Old Post Office): George and Martha Bruckshaw
The Bruckshaw’s were descendents of a large blacksmith family and in 1911 George Bruckshaw and his wife Martha (née Keay) were living opposite the Hinds Head Inn. His older brother John Bruckshaw, aged 62, was also a blacksmith and his wife Frances, aged 65, were just down the road living at 37, Main Street. Their younger brother had left Norton-in-Hales but was also a self employed blacksmith (Christopher Bruckshaw, The Smithy in Nantwich).
The Hinds Head Inn: John Bishop Jones
John Bishop Jones, widower aged 55, was the licensed victualler of the Hinds Head Inn and living with him were his three sons, William Bishop, Arthur George and Reginald Kent Bishop Jones. They also employed Kate Morrey, aged 36, as a barmaid. Reginald K. B. Jones was 6ft 1 inch tall, with sandy hair and grey eyes. He was born in 1893 in Norton-in-Hales, in 1911, aged 18, his occupation is listed as motor mechanic. Around the time of his father’s death in 1914, aged nearly 22, he enlisted into the Collstream Guards and then went into the Royal Engineers. He died at the Regimental Command Depot (military convalescent camp), Thetford, on 4th November 1918.
Post Office and Grocers, 30 Main Road: Benjamin and Harriet Pemberton
Benjamin Pemberton was born 1865 in Market Drayton, he started his career as a cabinet maker apprentice. In 1888
Benjamin married Harriet Austin in Nantwich, by the 1891 census Benjamin, 26, Harriet, 26 were both living at the post office with their two sons, Thomas born in 1889 and Benjamin born 1890.
In 1911 Benjamin was still running the post office and shop both aged 46, they were living with their family Harold George, aged 15, Beatrice Louie, aged 14, William Roland, aged 11. They also employed Agnes Mary Dorricott aged 14, working as a general domestic servant and George
Edgar Dodd, aged 14, working as a boy on the farm.
45, Main Road: James and Ann Wainwright
During the 1840’s, known as the ‘hunger forties‘ due to the potato famine, James Wainwright moved from Cheshire to Norton-in-Hales and settled down with his family by the River Tern living in a caravan. He was soon discovered by the Rev. Silver who befriended him and later found him a house in the village. He found work as a coal dealer and later in 1864 also became parish clerk and sexton, for many years he was organist, bell ringer and Sunday school teacher. In 1911, aged 81, his occupation was listed as boot maker and coal dealer. James Wainwright died in 1912.
Rose Cottage, Norton-in-Hales