01 June 2010

Lily of Lawley Common

My mother has only ever known one grandparent, her grandmother Edith, who was known as Lily. Unlike me, Lily had a beautiful skin in her youth, which is why she was called Lily.

Throughout her life, Lily lived on the edge of Lawley Common in Shropshire. In her childhood she lived with her parents, Enoch and Eliza, her only sister Louisa, known as Louie, and many assorted brothers. I think they went to the Methodist chapel in the village on Sundays.

Shropshire Family History Society

Eliza's father had been a watch maker. Enoch was a farm labourer/waggoner. Edith/Lily lived near to her parents after her marriage to my great grandfather. They lived not far from the railway line as far as I can gather. There is now a heritage railway along some of the old line, though a public bus service now operates for most needs.

A history of Lily's local railway line

A history of Lily's local community

A history of Lily's local district

A map of the area

What did Lily's ancestors wear?

I do not think Lily ever went very far from where she was born. The family was never wealthy. Even in her old age, Lily did not have running water in her rented house. Whenever she wanted any water, she had to walk to a tap (a faucet I think Americans call it) down the lane. The tap was shared by many of the villagers.

The cottage where Lily lived is no longer standing. New housing developments have taken over many of the semi-rural communities and coal mining villages around Lawley Common since the Second World War. Even the open space of the common itself is threatened with the prospect of imminent development.

Naturenet: Common Land

I had hoped to visit Lily's grave when I was in England last year, but unfortunately most of the gravestones from St John's Anglican churchyard in Lawley have been removed. All I can do is pay my respects to my great grandmother here. If you go to a church, temple, mosque or other religious place in Shropshire, you might like to remember Lily, too.

St John's church, Lawley

Lawley Bank Methodist chapel

Hello to Shropshire Hindus

Hello to Shropshire Muslims

Hello to Shropshire Buddhists

Update - December 2010:

Are your ancestors from around the Telford and Wrekin area? I have added a few more links above that you may find of interest. There are a few below, too:

Is this a picture of Lily's mother or mother in law?

Working families

Songs my mother never taught me

Superstitions and traditions

A Shropshire lad called Harry


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I especially appreciate historical insights.