Memories of Withington and a family history request

posted 13 Feb 2011, 00:30 by Nick Maton-Williams   [ updated 13 Feb 2011, 00:40 ]
Almost as soon as the new Withington website went live last month we received an email from David Merideth, from Manchester, whose family has long established connections with Withington dating back to the 19th century.
 
David has shared some of the recollections that have been passed down to him for publication on this site. If any of the names ring a bell, or if you are able to provide some further information, David would be delighted to hear from you.
 
Writing about his connection with the area, David told us, “My grandmother (Louisa Corser born 26 Sep 1874 in Rodington) went into service as a cook to a Doctor Cooper in Brosely where she met my grandfather Samuel John Meredith."
 
"Louisa had a good store of late Victorian recipes which included making jellies and lemon meringue pies from natural foods, not out of a packet as we do today. She also used to make a tasty budget meal of fresh peas, broad beans and bacon. This was difficult to time as the peas and the broad beans were only in season together for about two weeks.”
 
“Until my father left school at 13 in 1916 he and his siblings used stay with their grandmother in Withington every year during the school summer holidays. He mentioned the village shop, the “big” house and the canal where he had rescued his younger sister from drowning.”
 
“Dad told me that whilst at Withington they used to get up before 6am to gather wild mushrooms from the fields. If you didn’t get there before 6am the mushrooms had gone! He also mentioned that my great grandmother Sarah Corser (nee Breeze born 1838 ) in her latter years kept hens, and used to sell eggs on Shrewsbury Market, travelling there by train.
 
“Fred Corser (born 1876), my great grandmothers son, was a gardener and went to live in the Co-op cottages at Roden. As I understand it, the village of Roden was actually created by the Co op for the workers in the Co op Market Garden.”
 
The Cottages
“After he left school I don’t think my father went back to Withington, until in 1981 we took him for a day trip to the Withington area. I remember it being a beautiful summer’s day, and as we travelled Dad was able to relate to much of the scenery which had changed very little.”
 
“Dad was able to show me where his grandmothers cottage still stood (in the middle of a field)  This had no obvious connection to the road, except for what could best be described as a footpath cum cart track through the field to the block of 5 cottages. Sadly I had forgotten to take my camera with me, so I have no photographic record of it, as it then was.”
“In 2009 I again visited the area only to discover there was now a small housing development and that there was a tar macadamed  road to the cottages.
 
Corser Family (Withington) Genealogy
“As was the norm at the end of the 19th Century my grandmother Louisa was one of a large family. Her father (my great grandfather) a railway plater, was born at Hodnet Shropshire. My great grandmother,  Sarah Corser (nee Breeze ) was christened at High Ercall on 25 Nov 1838 and she probably lived in Withington until just before she died in the early 1930’s. They were married at Ercall Magna Parish Church on 5 Dec 1859. As was common in those days, neither of them was able to read or write.”
 
Sarah died at the age of 94 on 17 Feb 1933 in Manchester where for the last year of her life her daughter Louisa nursed her.
 
If the above names or recollections ring a bell, or if there are any members of the Corser or Breeze family in the area, please email David directly: davidmeredith9@googlemail.com
 
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