»  Other Places

Another place



This page lists places mentioned in letters and documents, other than the main centers of family history described on their own pages.


       — A —

       — B —

Black Country:     The region of the English West Midlands between Birmingham and Wolverhampton, where south Staffordshire, north Worcestershire, and northwest Warwickshire meet. The boundaries of the Black Country are controversial. Most definitions include Wolverhampton but not Birmingham. Wikipedia has an article here. The center of the Black Country is Dudley, where Grandad Knowles grew up before his family moved to Hednesford (which is not in the Black Country, though the local accent is — to my ears at any rate — indistinguishable from Black Country dialect).

Blisworth:     A village five miles south of Northampton.

Bugbrooke:     A village five miles WSW of Northampton, home to some kind of fundamentalist Christian group to which my parents' 1980-ish neighbor Mrs. Taylor belonged.

Bushbury:     A northern suburb of Wolverhampton, Staffordshire, where Uncle Bill spent his last days.

       — C —

Canary Wharf:     The northernmost part of the Isle of Dogs (see below). This is the business part of the redeveloped Isle of Dogs, with big office towers housing major corporations, a couple of hotels, etc.

Chapel Brampton:     A pretty village near Northampton: near the right-hand edge of the top left map here.

Colwyn Road:     Just south of the Racecourse in the center map on the top row here. My parents lived in lodgings here, 1943-44.

Cromwell Cottage:     An old (17th-century, if the name is anything to go by, which may not necessarily be the case) village pub/restaurant at Kislingbury. Near the left-hand edge, just below center, of the central map here

       — D —

Dudley:     A town in the English West Midlands, unofficial capital of the Black Country, and ancestral home of the Knowles family.

       — E —

Ecton:     A small village a few miles west of Northampton: near the right-hand edge of the center map here.

       — F —

       — G —

       — H —

Halifax Building Society:     A savings & loan that held the mortgage on the house at 62 Friars Avenue from 1981 to 1991.

       — I —

Isle of Dogs:     Part of the Docklands region in east-central London, redeveloped in the 1980s and 1990s as a business and residential center. Not really an island, the Isle of Dogs is formed by an oxbow where the River Thames, on its way generally eastward to the sea, turns south, then back east, then north, then back east again. The Clippers Quay estate, where we owned a flat at 50 Whiteadder Way and lived 1990-91, is at the south end of the Isle of Dogs.

       — J —

       — K —

       — L —

       — M —

Moulton:     A village near Northampton: middle of the top right map the here.

       — N —

Newlyn:     A seaside town in Cornwall. My cousin Harold (Uncle Harold's son) lived there. My mother went to stay with them once or twice.

Northampton General Hospital:     The main hospital in Northampton, right of center on the bottom center map here.

       — O —

Oakwood Nursing Home:     Oakwood Nursing Home was a small maternity facility in Northampton during the 1940s. My sister and I were both born there. I don't know the precise location, but it must have been somewhere on Oakwood Road, which joins Kingsley Park Terrace to Abington Avenue here. St. Matthew's church is a block south, on the corner of the Terrace and Collingwood Road.

       — P —

Perry Street:     In the very top left-hand corner of the right-hand map on the bottom row here. My parents lived in lodgings here 1944-48.

Pitsford:     A pretty village a few miles due north of Northampton: see the map in the first row, second column here. At some date later than that map, in the early 1950s I think, the river north of Pitsford was dammed, creating a reservoir that now stretches east to Holcot. My Sea Cadet contingent used to go sailing on the reservoir.

       — Q —

       — R —

       — S —

St. Crispin's:     St. Crispin's was the big mental hospital at Duston, just west of Northampton. It is on the map in the second row, first column here, bottom left-hand corner. St. Crispin's was opened in 1876 as the Berrywood Asylum. In my childhood local people still used "Berrywood" light-heartedly to indicate the place you'd be taken to if you did something exceptionally foolish. My father spent the last few days of his life at St. Crispin's as an Alzheimer's patient, and died there. The hospital was closed in 1995, and the whole site has been redeveloped as a residential estate.

St. Edmund's:     St. Edmund's was the hospital where my mother worked for the last few years of her nursing career. It is in the center map on the bottom row here, near the top right-hand corner.

       — T —

Towcester:     Towcester (pronounced "Toe-stuh") is a small old town — it was the Roman Lactodorum — on the Watling Street, eight miles south-southwest of Northampton.

T.S.B.:     Trustee Savings Bank, where both my parents had accounts.

       — U —

       — V —

       — W —

Watling Street:     (In ordinary speech, usually the Watling Street.) The main trunk road going northwest across the English Midlands from London to Wroxeter. It follows the line of a Roman road. The Watling Street passes within seven miles of Northampton. As a trunk road, it has been superseded by the modern motorway system, but it's still busy.

Wood Street:     Wood Street was in central Northampton, going north from Abington Street. It passes through the red pointing hand in the center map on the bottom row here. When my father first came to Northampton in 1943, he reported to an office of the Air Minstry in Wood Street.

Office, Wood Street, and the Air Ministry itself have all ceased to exist. However, a neighboring office was occupied by an optometrist, Mr Howe. When it was discovered, circa 1958, that I needed glasses, I was sent to Mr Howe, by that time a middle-aged bachelor. He had a large red birth-mark down one side of his face. For ever after I cannot go for an eye exam without it summoning up Mr Howe's dark, atmospheric little office, all lined with wooden racks and cabinets of lenses, frames and other optometric paraphernalia. Mr Howe eventually had the birthmark removed and got married.

       — X —

       — Y —

       — Z —