8 April 2008
Hewell Road, Redditch – Home of the Family of Samuel Thomas Junior
These two images are from old postcards of Hewell Road, Redditch, although today most if not all of the houses no longer exist. They're a little indistinct, but that isn't too important; the date is unknown, and that isn't particularly important either. What is important (or at least, what is of interest) is if 6 Hewell Road is shown here: this is where Samuel Thomas junior – son of Samuel Thomas the needle and fishing tackle manufacturer – lived with his family. At the time of the 1901 census, there were eleven people in the house: Samuel Thomas himself (aged 66); his wife Marie Antoinette Thomas (56); their son Newton Thomas (18); their daughter Florry Thomas (21); Samuel's friend Henri Charles Guillaume (35); Henri's wife (also Samuel and Marie's daughter) Rose Guillaume (23); Rose and Henri's daughter Daisy Guillaume (3) and their son Lionel Guillaume (1); and Samuel and Marie's grandchildren: Ivy Britton (14), Percy Britton – later to be known as Bob (11), and Cyril Britton (9); the eldest son, the later writer Lionel Britton (13) had by this time escaped to London to live in poverty.
A middle-class family of this size must have lived in a large house; the only house of any size in the two postcards appears to be the detached one with the portico to the right of the upper postcard and behind the lamp-post, and on the left in the lower postcard. It may well be that this is 6 Hewell Road.