A Family of Many Blessings and Gifts
Home Page & Introduction
- Phyllis Williamson
Family Web Gallery
Nolan 1891-1955 and Ruth Lloyd 1905-1990
The Nolan's, Ford's and the Williamson's merged as related families when the Farrell sisters married , Mary the Nolan's, Margaret the Ford's and Ellen the Williamson's
Michael James Nolan was born May 31 1891 and died November 24, 1955 in Widnes, Lancashire. He was called "Jim" by family and friends. His eldest daughter Therese (Terry) has kindly given us a quick peek at her Dad's life:
"Our Dad remained to look after his parents when his brothers and sisters had left 8 Major Cross St. The alternative would have been to send them to the workhouse. It was only in 1934 after their deaths that he was free to marry. Having left school at twelve, he had little choice but manual labour and during our childhood he was a galvaniser at the Birmingham Corrugated Iron Company. I believe what saved him from utter frustration was his part-time work for the Transport and General Workers Union on their arbitration boards. He was a keen socialist and an avid reader, a fan of George Bernard Shaw and Bertrand Russell and the poet Longfellow.
Dad kept the six of us in order, often did the vacuuming, made our clothes on Great-Grandma's Singer sewing machine and mended our shoes in his spare time. A practicing Catholic, his views on the rules of the Church would have horrified the Pope. He had decided long ago that God did not demand regular communion and confession, the weekly mass would suffice; he also thought the Bible was not to be taken literally.
His early death was due to an extremely hard working life."
Ruth Lloyd was born in Ainsdale, Southport, Lancashire on April 26, 1905 and died in Manchester, Lancashire in May 10, 1990. Therese has also given us a glance of her sweet wonderful mother Ruth.
"Our mother was 29 years old by the time she and Dad married . She came from a rural background and a better-off family than Dad. Her father, Peter Lloyd was a farmer's son turned builder with his own small business in Ainsdale, a small village on the Irish sea coast. if Dad was strict, she definitely was not. I remember her as a mother who was difficult to disobey because she was so gentle and unworldly. Time off or time out were unknown to her because she was eternally on the go, a slight, neat figure cooking, cleaning, playing with us or shopping with two in the pram and the rest clutching her skirts.
Ruth had a constant supply of stories, Welsh folk tales, histories of Eyam the plague village where her mother had lived and many cautionary tales of children who had come to a bad end by their misdeeds. She set great store by politeness and correct behaviour. Bad language was forbidden. I remember once when exasperated by us children and her own exhaustion, she uttered the word "damn!" and sat down hard, shocked at herself.
Mum loved the countryside and it was her dream to return to it, but she never did."
"Jim" and Ruth were married in 1934. Their children were Therese 1935, Michael Jerome, 1937, Paul 1938, Barry 1940, Felicity 1941, Cecilia 1947. Therese continues with her memories of her brothers and sisters as children:
"The Nolan Children"
"When I told my sister-in-law that we had a happy childhood, she said 'Well, I don't know how you managed that !' Of course, it wasn't owing to our management, but our parents who gave us security. I also believe that in some measure it was due to the war when nothing and nobody changed in our young lives.
I'd have to qualify this in the matter of education because, although the teachers at St Marie's Girls' School stayed put, Michael, Paul and Barry were in far less competent hands. Many young male teachers had volunteered for the services. When older male teachers retired, they were replaced by old ladies or unqualified men, to the detriment of the boys' schooling.
Michael, a year my junior, was a wanderer. He would be found roaming far from home and at least once I went with Dad to collect him from the police who had picked him up a mile away. He and Paul were partial to what Paul called 'sendupfers', advertised goods that you sent up for, such as details of body building as claimed by Charles Atlas: 'I was a skinny 7 stone weakling. You too can have a body like mine'.
Barry used to sit drawing quietly or stroking one of the cats, observing everybody. Felicity, having three good looking older brothers, always had several friends sitting round the kitchen, pretending to read comics while hoping for a glance from one of the boys. Felicity was never still. I was proud of her dancing and her prettiness.
Celia, twelve years younger than I, was a much petted little sister for all of us. She was quiet and well-behaved, with beautiful blue eyes. and pink cheeks. Only eight years old when Dad died, she became mature beyond her years and seemed to feel responsible for our mother."
Therese Nolan was born in Widnes was born in Widnes in 1935. Alan Freedman was born in 1933. They were married in London in 1962. They had two sons, Daniel 1969 and David 1972 Sadly, Alan passed away in 1995
Alan and I met in 1956 in Manchester where I was a student and he was managing his father's wholesale woolens' business. We married in 1962 and rented a cottage in the village of Carlops near Edinburgh when he took up a post in the university. I have never lived in a modern house, but after our marriage I was never to move into a dwelling that was ready to live in. Alan had a passion for restoring ruins, so our first Edinburgh purchase was 13 St Ronan's Terrace, an empty stone villa untouched for years. Luckily it was just about inhabitable by the time Dan and David were born.
In 1976 Alan moved to Salford University and bought the mother of all ruins, a huge wreck of a water mill in Cheshire. His mother had pity on us and let us use her Manchester house while the restoration was taking place, though often we lived in our caravan on site. This is where we have lived ever since, with the exception of periods spent in Italy.
died, I gave each son one wing of the mill building and they created separate
houses for their families. The two water wheels and the main machinery are
intact because we had hoped to restore them. In the seventies the water
authority was against this, but policies are changing now and it may yet be
possible to exploit the water power."
Dan is :Mundo Jazz" a popular jazz group who tour the comedy clubs and festivals of the UK with his band. He often plays at Glastonbury, which must be one of the worlds largest festivals.
Michael Jerome Nolan and Margaret Brindle & Family
Michael Jerome Nolan was born January 1, 1937 in Widnes, Lancashire. Margaret Brindle was born October 2 1941 in Northenden, Manchester, Lancashire. The couple were married at St Cuthbert's church, Withington, Manchester on July 22, 1974 and have two children, John James 1975 and Stephen Michael 1978.
Michael gives us a interesting look at his life growing up in Widnes, with loving parents, alongside many other Irish families and of his adventures in the Royal Air Force (RAF) with exciting times in the forefront of electronics plus seeing much of the wide world. This is followed by kind Margaret's lovely story highlighted by her chance romantic meet with Michael at the noisy crowded Red Lion in Didsbury --- Michael's old haunt.
"I was born in Widnes on the 1st of January 1937. Born into a warm and loving family, our parents sacrificed a lot to ensure that even under hard and difficult economic circumstances and the war, we, my brothers and sisters and I, had as much as they could give. We lived in a small cramped house our parents and six children. The house was always clean warm and welcoming. Mum ensured that with the meagre rations available at that time we were always well nourished, well turned out sometimes in hand me downs or clothes made by Dad on the sewing machine. Mum and Dad set high standards which we were all expected to follow. I always knew that we were loved and treasured.
I had a great deal of freedom and was allowed to wander far
and wide, it was wonderful playing in abandoned factory buildings, chemical
waste tips ,woods fields, streets and parks. I suppose we were poor but not as
poor as some neighbours. Childhood friends thought we were very posh
because we had electricity, an electric iron and a vacuum cleaner, electric
night lights. Also to the fascination of our friends a bread slicer. The
community we lived in was close and tight knit mostly first or second generation
Irish. As my sister Terry has indicated practically everyone had
nicknames. A few spring to mind -- Quanta Branca aka Johnny Roberts, Kenneth
Twigg aka Sigmund Twigg, Umper Dumper Dido, real name forgotten. Some real
characters Sammy Mackin who ran away to join the circus. Johnny Morrisey a happy
singing sometimes drunk larger than life character. Mary Morrisey
always broke and borrowing things from everyone.
And Margaret's Story
"I am Margaret Nolan (nee Brindle), married to Michael Nolan. I was born on 2nd October 1941 at 10 Baxter Gardens, Manchester. When I was eleven months old we moved to 26 Heathside Road, Withington, Manchester (which was closer to my mother's family) and lived there until I married.
I was the second child of four. The eldest is my sister Veronica, then myself, brother Gerard and last but not least Christine. I went to St. Cuthbert's RC Elementary School and then The Hollies FCJ Grammar School. I left at 16 having completed my GCE 'O' Levels. At that time there was no question of staying on to take 'A' Levels. My sister and I had to get jobs and contribute to the family income. On leaving school I worked as a clerk at the Refuge Assurance Company, where both my grandfather and aunt had previously been employed. Three years later I applied for a job in the Civil Service and was assigned as a Clerical Officer to the North Western HQ of the Post Office in Manchester. I worked at the PO until I got married, by this time I was an Executive Officer.
Mike and I met by chance in the Red Lion Pub, Withington in December 1973 and got married the following July. At that time Mike was still in the RAF, working his last tour of duty at RAF Sealand; which is just over the border in Wales but not far from Chester. We lived in married quarters in Hawarden until the end of 1976 when Mike came out of the RAF. We then bought our house in Didsbury, Manchester. John, the first of our two boys was born in Chester and Stephen (two years and ten months later) in Manchester.
The boys went to St Catherine's RC Primary School, the Barlow RC High School and the Xaverian Sixth Form College. Whilst the boys were still at St Catherine's I started work at the school as a Lunch Time Organiser, then for a short time as an assistant at the After School Care Club and finally I was appointed as a Non teaching Assistant, which segued into what is now a Teaching Assistant. After a total of 15 years at St Catherine's I retired at 60 years of age. Now amongst other things my time is occupied with yoga, a book club and looking after our two beautiful grand daughters, oh and also looking after Michael."
Michael and Margaret's Children
John and Ellie met at a
party about twelve years ago prior to Ellie going to Japan to teach
English. They stayed in touch and when Ellie returned after three
years the relationship developed. Eventually they set up home
together and bought a house in the Trafford district of Manchester.
John and Ellie have two children, Scarlett born 20/11/2005 and
Tallulah born 10/08/2008. Ellie a graduate of Manchester University
has a part time job in the Psychology Department of Manchester
University. John is a Software Development Engineer and works for
the UK's largest travel and leisure company. John is in his final
year of an Msc in Computer Sciences. They have a wide circle of
friends and have many interests.
Paul Nolan and Patricia Allison and Family
Paul Nolan was born in Widnes in 1938 . Patricia Allison was born in Widnes Sept 1940. They were married Oct 1960. They had two sons Ian 1966 and Carl 1962. Ian wrote and Carl edited the following:
My Mother & Father met on blind-date in 1957 while dad was doing his national service in the army. The date must have been a success, because they went on to get married in 1960. Initially they lived with Mumís mother Sally Allison in a council house at Blackburne Avenue, Halebank. My brother Carl made an appearance in May 1962 and in 1963 they bought a small semi-detatched house in Lytham Road Widnes. I was born in the front bedroom of that house in March 1966. A few years later they moved to a larger house on Liverpool Road, where Mum still lives to this day.
Paul and Pat (1) Paul and Pat (2) Paul and Ruth at Speke
After leaving the army, Dad worked as a shoe repairer in Widnes. He disliked the term 'Cobbler' because this inferred low quality workmanship; something he could never be accused of. Later he went to work at the transmission plant of the Ford motor factory in nearby Speke, Merseyside. This inevitably involved long hours and night shifts, but I was never aware of him complaining. He once took me to the next factory he worked at - British Leyland - and I thought it was very exciting to see all the huge machines stamping out car parts, but it can't have been much fun working there for 8 hours plus, per-day. British car production in the 1970's seemed to be regularly punctuated by strikes and Dad was often out of work, sometimes for weeks on-end, but he always found some other way of making ends meet, such as window cleaning. He was never likely to be found standing round a brazier at the factory gates.
Mum worked in the offices of various factories around Widnes, and the hours must have been less demanding, because she always seemed to be around to look after Carl & myself. She cooked fresh bread twice a week, and dad usually had home-brewed beer or wine bubbling away in some cupboard or other, so I certainly have pleasant memory's of the aroma in the house. Dad was quite an accomplished musician, he played guitar, the penny whistle and mandolin. I am told he was rather less talented on the violin, but maybe I have erased that memory from my mind for the sake of my sanity. He was in a folk band with some friends, and they mainly seemed to gig in our front room, often into the wee small hours. The musical talent rubbed-off on Carl, who still entertains the family at get-togethers on his guitar with great gusto. Alas, such skill seems to have evaded me.
In 1979 Mum and Dad were both made redundant from their respective jobs and after successfully completing a pub management course with Tetley, they were offered a pub, but decided the anti-social hours were not for them. Instead they bought their own business, a corner shop in Lowerhouse Lane. This was a typical grocers selling food and provisions to the neighbourhood. Together they turned it from a slightly grubby, failing business into a hub of the local community and at lunchtimes there would be a queue of hungry people stretching out of the door eager to purchase the freshly made sandwiches and pies they sold. Dad then went on to deliver milk for the local dairy, mostly to outlying areas of Widnes and Cronton, and was very popular with his customers. The round was quite profitable and eventually they sold the shop and Mum worked with Dad on the milk round. Mum looks back on this period with fondness as they worked together as a team.
Early family holidays were almost always taken under canvas, and we would load up the Ford Cortina to visit nearby North Wales for the weekend or venture further afield to South Wales or Cornwall which seemed to take forever to get to, but worth it when we got there. Sometimes we would head to High Wycombe to stay with Auntie Liss & Uncle Derick and cousins Andrew & Mark. High Wycombe seemed like another world compared to Widnes, being much less industrial and the landscape almost mountainous by comparison.
Photos of Ian and Wajeeha Nolan and Family
On a night out in London in 1997 with cousin David, I met the lady who was to become my wife - Wajeeha. We now live in Tooting Bec, South London and are lucky to have had two lovely children Barnaby aged 4, and Jemima is 19 months.
I often get back to Widnes to visit family, though Mum would say not often enough. Luckily for me, the train from London is direct, and takes under 2 hours. Widnes has a vastly reduced chemical industry now, and the economy seems to be more retail based, or to put it another way there are a lot of big supermarkets. The foul smell from chemical and animal rendering plants has long since disappeared, Major Cross Street, to make way for New housing back in the late 1980ís.
Barry Nolan and Lana Nolan & Family
Barry Nolan was born January 31, 1940 in Widnes and with Patricia, his first wife, raised Elaine 1966, Peter 1968, and Stephanie 1972 and in 1975 moved to New Zealand. Later in 1996 he married Lana. They reside in Ashurst.
I had been offered a job here before leaving England, but this wasn't satisfactory and the pay was barely enough to support the family. I think the stress imposed on the relationship this caused led to our eventual divorce in 1994. After this, Pat and the children returned to live in England whilst I remained in NZ. I met Lana in 1995 and we married in 1996 and we set up home in the village called Ashhurst where we still live."
Barry's daughter Stephanie with husband Sean and their new baby Millie, Freya Pearce - born June 5, 2011
Felicity Gidge nee Nolan and FamilyFelicity Nolan was born July 2, 1941. She married Derek Gidge Oct 26, 1964 in London and raised three lovely children, Mark 1965, Andrew 1967 and Natalia 1977. The family lived for some years near High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. Felicity resides in Cheshire.
"I met Derek Gidge in London in 1959 and we were married in 1964. at St Stephen's West Brompton. We had our first child Mark in October 1965 and our second, Andrew, in 1967. We lived with my in-laws in Fulham, London, then moved to a flat in Shepherd' Bush for 3 years , then to our own house in the village of Sands near High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire and stayed there for 10 years before my husband's job brought us back to Cheshire on the outskirts of Chester. Natalie, our daughter, was born there in 1977.
Unfortunately my husband fell into an alcohol dependent life style which made it impossible to carry on a normal life and we were divorced in 1990. My eldest son Mark has 3 children, Dominic 18, Alex 15 and Emily 10. Mark had decided before his children were born, that we were not quite good enough for him and we have had no contact since 1992, sadly. Andrew is now 42 years old and is planning to marry Dorota next year in 2011. Natalie, in a similar position to me, split up with her abusive partner 3 years ago. She has 2 lovely children, Luke 8 years and Kiera 5 years.
I have worked mostly in nursing, latterly in Chiropody departments. I retired in 2005 due to government regulations, not from choice, but have since wondered how I found the time to go out to work.
I must add that never a day goes by without I bless our parents who were so kind and loving and that we were encouraged to follow a decent, caring and moral pathway in life."
Andrew Gidge Dorota Gidge Natalie Gidge
Cecilia Nolan and Colin Yates
Cecilia (Celia) Nolan was born on December 19, 1947 in Widnes, Lancs. Colin Yates was born xxxxx in xxxxxx. Celia and Colin married on October 17, 1973. They have 2 children, Richard 1982 and Rachael 1984. Sadly, Colin died prematurely of cancer in January 2008.
" I was brought up in Widnes, the youngest child of Ruth and (Michael) James Nolan. After a happy childhood I attended primary and secondary schools, then went on to Catering College in Liverpool. After working in the catering industry for many years, I came to live with Mum in Manchester to a flat in Withington which was owned by my sister Terry's mother-in-law. I changed direction and obtained a job in a laboratory as a technician. Firstly in the dairy industry and then in the snack food industry.
I met and married Colin in 1973,
but it was 9 years before we had our first child. Richard was born in
1982 followed by Rachael in 1984. Richard is now 28 years old and
still lives at home --- Rachael is 26 years old. She has a
partner Daniel and they have a baby girl "Maisy Grace". Rachael and
Dan are to be married in October 2010. Richard is in retail and
Rachael is a nursery nurse and now lives in Gloucester.
I am now retired but do lots of voluntary work. Colin died in January 2008 after a two year battle with cancer and dementia. It was sad really as he was very talented --- he could draw, paint and was a talented singer. Singing in church many parishioners remember his beautiful voice. He was also a member of an amateur opera society and could also play the harmonica and the keyboard."
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