Powys: A Day in the Life

1891

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Transport

Transport in Welshpool

Map of Welshpool
Map of Welshpool showing road (brown), rail (grey), and canal (blue).
Colour added for emphasis
Powys County Archives

Staff, Welshpool Station
Staff, Welshpool Station
Powysland Museum and Montgomery Canal Centre




As with many other towns in 1891, Welshpool benefited from the coming of the railway, and many of its townspeople were employed in connection with it. The London and North Western and Great Western Joint Railways and the Cambrian Railways served the town.



Excerpt from Sutton's Directory
Powys County Archives
However, the canal was still an active part of the transport infrastructure through the Shropshire Union Railways and Canal Company. In Sutton's Directory of 1890 it advertised:


Consequently the canal still employed workers from Welshpool. These included people who worked on the barges themselves, such as John Jones:

1891 Census
7 Canal Cottage, Welshpool
Name Position in
household
Marital
status
Age Occupation Place of Birth English/Welsh
speaker
John Jones Head M 30 Boatman Berriew Montgomeryshire English
Mary A Jones Wife M 24   Chirbury Salop English
John J Jones Son   4   Guilsfield Montgomeryshire English
Bertram C Jones Son   2   Forden Montgomeryshire English

Barge
Barge near Mardy Bridge, Welshpool
Powysland Museum and Montgomery Canal Museum

It also included people like Francis R Hawkins, who was a labourer on the canal, loading and unloading barges:

1891 Census
4 Canal Wharf, Welshpool
Name Position in
household
Marital
status
Age Occupation Place of Birth English/Welsh
speaker
Francis R Hawkins Head M 29 Canal Porter Stafford Wolverhampton English
Emily Hawkins Wife M 29   Cheshire Congelton English
Amy Hawkins Dau   7 Scholar Cheshire Chester English
Muriel Hawkins Dau   4 Scholar Montgomery Welshpool English
Percy Hawkins Son   2   Montgomery Welshpool English

There was also the lock keeper who lived with his large family at Canal Lock Houses:

1891 Census
1 Canal Lock Houses, Welshpool
Name Position in
household
Marital
status
Age Occupation Place of Birth English/Welsh
speaker
Pryce Bebb Head M 43 Lock Tender Castle Caereinion English
Sarah Bebb Wife M 39   Castle Caereinion English
Cornelius Bebb Son S 21 Labourer Welshpool English
Richard Bebb Son S 19 Labourer Welshpool English
Alice Anne Bebb Dau   10 Scholar Welshpool English
Albert Bebb Son   8 Scholar Welshpool English
William Henry Bebb Son   6 Scholar Welshpool English
Ellen Bebb Dau   4 Scholar Welshpool English
Emily Bebb Dau   2   Welshpool English
George Bebb Dau   1 month   Welshpool English

Pryce Bebb died around 1897 as a result of an operation performed on a kitchen table to remove a kidney stone. However, his son Cornelius (known as 'Neil') went on to become a lock keeper himself, as did another son, also called Pryce.

You can find out more about the history of the Montgomery Canal on the Powys Digital History website.

There was another, rather interesting group of people who travelled to Welshpool by road and were in the town for the 1891 census.


The Circus Comes to Welshpool

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