Monday, 11 April 2011

Shrub Hill Station, Worcester ... a sad story

Shrub Hill Station was designed by Edward Wilson in 1865.  Orginally the railway to this area had been narrow gauge, 15 years before in 1850.  The station is Georgian in style, with classical pilasters and parts covered with majolica ceramic tiles.  This was the era when Worcester was famous for glove making, for example the Fownes Glove Factory.

In 1881, just a few years later, at 5 Belmont Road, Worcester lived a little family: William Merriman, his 24 year old wife Edna and their son John William, just one year old.  They had taken in Edna's brother George W Davis, as his father John a wheelsmith, had died aged just 57 in 1879 and his mother died just a year later, also aged 57.  Living next door was James Goodal 37, an Engine driver, his family and mother in law Mary Presdee, still a glover at 80!!

It was 7 March 1883 that disaster struck this family, when William, now 24,  was killed in an accident at Shrub Hill Station. He is buried with his in-laws at St John Baptist Church, Claines.  By 1891 Edna still a widow had moved to Bridge Street, Sturminster, Dorset, where she found work as a glover - perhaps Mary Presdee had passed on her skills.  Most moving of all, is that her son's names have been switched around and he is now known as William John, after his father...!


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