1907: Britain’s Most Prolific Baby Traffickers – Part 4

July 1907: In a stuffy Liverpool court room, the public gallery packed, and the press in full attendance, Sgt Moore appealed for the identities of the mothers and children to be kept secret from the public in order to protect them. The prosecutor then outlined the case against the young couple – the conjurer and…

1907: Britain’s Most Prolific Baby Traffickers – PART 3

“LADY without encumbrance would like healthy BABY; entire surrender requested; good comfortable home, premium £15 . – Write, Baker, 60 Islington, Liverpool.” It was just one of a series of different adverts that had been appearing in papers across the country for the past 6 months, placed there by Lottie and Herbert. They used different…

1907: Britain’s Most Prolific Baby Traffickers – PART 2

Herbert Smith, 21, and Lottie Roberts, 20, stood in the dock at the court room in Liverpool. The charges…obtaining £11 pounds with intent to defraud, and causing the death of the 14 day old baby boy of Lily Kitching from Grimsby. But their story started 18 months earlier. If you haven’t read part 1 –…

1955: Shrewsbury’s Bearded Lady

Woman’s whiskers lovingly crafted in Shrewsbury. “The fearsome-looking Ben Gunn in “Treasure Island,” recently produced at Shrewsbury repertory, is Glenna Wilson, a 27-year-old Southend girl, who is a partner in the theatre. The face-whiskers were specially made by the expert Shrewsbury hair dresser, W. Ecclestone, to match Miss Wilson’s fair hair, with a suspicion of…

QUICK THINKING SAVES PIG AT ROASTING HOT AGRICULTURAL SHOW

Other animals were NOT so lucky… Summer 1914: Shrewsbury. A heatwaves sweeps the country in the last week of June and first week of July as the Royal Agricultural Show comes to Shrewsbury and welcomes King George V. But while he was tipping his hat to the excited dense crowds who had packed in to…

The Hollywood great who came to Shrewsbury – and got burgled!

April 1952: Hollywood greats Laurel and Hardy were on one of their last ever tours of the UK and Ireland with their music hall act before heading back to the US. Their slapstick comedy films had made them worldwide superstars after they got together in 1927, and produced hit after hit on the silver screen through…

Daring Escape From The Dana

1897: Notorious criminal Walter Roach had been quietly planning his escape from the Dana prison in Shrewsbury for weeks. He was awaiting trial for a burglary at a post office at Grindley Brook near Whitchurch. On Saturday 30th October, at around 3 o’clock in the afternoon he decided now was the time. He sprung the…

Harsh Punishment for Scrumping

1886 – Wellington Journal and Shrewsbury News – Saturday 14 August. Stealing Fruit  – Thomas Oban, a lad living in Smithfield Square, was charged with stealing pears, the property of Henry Franklin, of the Raven Hotel, on the 10th inst (10th August). Richard Wild, foreman to Mr. Franklin, said he saw a number of boys in…

PODCAST:VICTORIAN FRANKWELL – A tour

  In Victorian times The ‘little borough’ of Frankwell was a lively and fiercely independent place. In this podcast local historian and author David Trumper takes us on a tour of the many pubs that used to stand there. You’ll learn about some of the antics of the local drunks and hear about the enormous…

1865: Sunday drinking? Don’t you dare!

Sunday drinking? Don’t you dare!  And if you do, hope the person who grassed you up can’t keep their story straight. Shrewsbury Chronicle – Friday 26 May 1865 Picture:   Kate Tyte blog  What did the Victorians drink: A guide to boozing in the 1800s.