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Occupations - Disappeared

Vivienne14

Super Moderator
Staff member
For all the beer enthusiasts out there, some of these 6 ale occupation names are no longer in use. Any volunteers for the ale conner role?! Viv.

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mikejee

Super Moderator
Staff member
One of the old methods for testing ale was supposedly to sit in it in leather breeches and see if the breeches stuck to the bench after a period of time, though there seem to be some differences as to how the results were to be judged (https://zythophile.co.uk/false-ale-...-in-it-and-seeing-if-they-stuck-to-the-bench/). There may be some truth in the story. Speaking as a chemist it might show whether sugars had been added to the brew (providing they had not all been turned to alcohol), but I it would probably only relatively recently have been an economical benefit to do that, because of the present low price of sugar
 

Vivienne14

Super Moderator
Staff member
An occupation that hasn't entirely disappeared, but one that is less common. Demand for baskets must have significantly tailed off with the introduction of alternative containers and materials. Demand still exists, but I suspect it's mainly in the home decor/storage market. And are these products today made by a machine or hand ? Viv.

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Eric Gibson

master brummie
My mother used to talk about one of her uncles who was a lamplighter, I've been trying to find out more about him but I'm struggling because I don't know which part of the family he came from.

He could be a Taylor or a Coughlin, those are direct family names but he could also be an in-law from either side.

As she used to say he lifted her on his shoulder and lent her his cap I can only guess she would have been very young at the time, she was born in 1909.

Any suggestions please?
 

Radiorails

master brummie
I still have a coal man, his dad is also a chimney sweep. Milk deliveries are still done but are few, however, lockdown, I believe, has been a bonus for them. There are still some of the old style occupations but are more prevalent in rural areas where habits die hard. ;)
 

sospiri

Ex-pat Brummie
Well Edifi, you could spend the new few weeks trawling occupations in the area on the 1911 Census, but as they no longer appear to be indexed by occupation, it could be a long job.

EDIT: You may have noticed that occupations are coded by number from 000 to 998, but I can't find a lamplighter listed, so it may come under the miscellaneous code X. See here:-

https://www.findmypast.co.uk/articles/1911-census-occupation-codes

US Censuses use a similar system but different numbering - lamp lighters come under section 77,71 there:-

https://www2.census.gov/library/pub...occupation-indexes/occupation-index-class.pdf

It's actually code 953, but if you are using FindMyPast stick the word lamplighter in the optional keyword box.

Maurice :cool:
 
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MWS

master brummie
My mother used to talk about one of her uncles who was a lamplighter, I've been trying to find out more about him but I'm struggling because I don't know which part of the family he came from.

He could be a Taylor or a Coughlin, those are direct family names but he could also be an in-law from either side.

As she used to say he lifted her on his shoulder and lent her his cap I can only guess she would have been very young at the time, she was born in 1909.

Any suggestions please?
Occupations are always a little tricky to search for.

The only local Taylor or Coughlin listed as a lamp lighter on the 1911 census is a Thomas Taylor b1857 Bham living in Yardley.
 

sospiri

Ex-pat Brummie
I'll go a bit further than that. There are actually 184 lamplighters in Brum in 1911 including the following TAYLORS:-
Henry Edward (49) & his son George Thomas (16) living at 30 Potter Street and
William Henry (34) living at Gt Colmore Street, but no COUGHLIN that I can see so far.

EDIT: Just one more TAYLOR - John Thomas (38) of 116 Havelock Road, Saltley. That's it - TAYLORs but no COUGHLINs. :)

Maurice :cool:
 
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Eric Gibson

master brummie
I think you might have cracked it Maurice, I have a Henry Edward Taylor in my tree born 1861 died 1920 he has a son George but I don't have his dates.
I'll have a look at the census, there are more children named
 

Eric Gibson

master brummie
Maurice, looking through the paperwork for this I found in the 1939 register that my cousin Victor, (Biddle the chemist), was living with my grandparents in the Potters Hill court.

Any chance you would have known him as a boy?
 

sospiri

Ex-pat Brummie
Eric,

I'm pretty I sure I wouldn't have known him by name. I only went with my parents, generally my mother, to Barton's Bank to visit my grandmother and my Uncle Albert from about 1944 to 1960. If my uncle was there, I would be spending most of my time with him in his shed. He had a small lathe in there & various other tools and once built me a small electric motor. I met your grandmother on a couple of occasions, but she really spoke to my mother more so than me. His chemists shop at 38 Potters Hill only appears in the trade directories from 1962 onwards and my grandmother & uncle moved to Kings Heath in 1960 and I move to Dorset in 1961.

Maurice :cool:
 

mw0njm.

A Brummie Dude
Chimney sweeps are doing well after a resurgence of solid fuel burning stoves. They even have their own association or guild - The National Association of Chimney Sweeps (NACS) formed in 1982 as a professional Trade Association. My Dad would have been surprised.
they are still in use here in wales. we have open fires still.
 

Dave89

master brummie
Hi Pete,

It wasn't Maturi's was it? I remember they specialised in sharpening knives and tools,
including things like lawnmowers.

Kind regards
Dave
 

Bob Davis

Bob Davis
An occupation that hasn't entirely disappeared, but one that is less common. Demand for baskets must have significantly tailed off with the introduction of alternative containers and materials. Demand still exists, but I suspect it's mainly in the home decor/storage market. And are these products today erythi


Next timeanyone goes down the M5 look to the right just before junction 23 and the basket makers who used to be on the Taunton to Street road have moved out of their shed like factory into a big new modern premises. In Somerset basket making is alive and well
Bob
 

colin dainty

proper brummie kid
Just been writing down forgotten scenes, that I remember.
.
These are some of the activities that have disappeared from day-to-day street scenes during the course of my life:

BARRREL ORGAIN GRINDER: The King of beggars with his upright-piano-like machine. He made quite a pleasant
sound.
BOOTBLACK: In railway stations, city centres. He knelt in front of his customers to produce a highly glossed shoe.

CINEMA COMMISSIONAIRE: Adorned the front of every super-cinema. Resplendent in his gold braided uniform.
CINEMA USHERETTE: Mini torch in hand, led the patrons down the aisle, and lit up a seat for each and everyone.
CINEMA ORGANIST: The Mighty Wurlitzer, played melodiously as it rose from the depths in front of the screen, to
disappear as the lights dimmed for the next film.

INSURANCE COLLECTOR: Collected small amounts from 'door to door'.

KNIFE GRINDER: He sharpened knives, with a wonderful tread mill driven apparatus with a large wheel on top.

LAMPLIGHTER: The system required only a long pole, with a hook on the end. He rode his bike, holding the long
pole on his shoulder.
LIFT ATTENDANT: Either sex. A major employment in shop stores offices and hotels, often calling out the name of
each floor, and the goods available.

PARK KEEPER: The uniformed 'Parkie' was the scourge of all small boys.
PETROL PUMP ATTENDANT: Surely the last to go. Always there, whatever the weather
POINT DUTY POLICEMAN: His white over sleeves could not be missed.

SOLDIER/SAILOR/AIRMAN: Sadly missed. Home on leave, or whatever. The sailor with his 'Bell Bottoms, and ship name on his cap. The soldier, with his regiment markings, and rank, and the airman, with his smart collar and tie, and the R.A.F uniform, so unmistakable.
STREET TRADER: He had a tray in front, suspended by a string around his neck, selling matches or shoe laces.

WATCHMAN: To be seen on every road works or building site, with a canvas type shelter, with his coke brazier on
which he warmed himself, and cooked his supper. He would light the hurricane lamps of an evening to
mark the site.

No doubt there are many more that I have not covered.

Eddie
 
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