On Tuesday we examined a number of documents relating to Shawbrook Villa, which lies across the road from the library. Glenis, one of our group, had produced for us a list of the occupiers of the property from 1871 until 1911:
A Burnage Miscellany 4 was consulted first, with a piece by Scott and Anne Cooper about the Lings on Burnage Lane. It mentions Charles Scott Ling’s involvement at Houldsworth Mills in Reddish, before describing his son ‘Badger’ (quite the character) in great detail.
We looked at articles in The Manchester Guardian referring to Charles Scott Ling’s philanthropic involvement with the Hospital for Incurables at Mauldeth Hall, and his sizeable donation to the Manchester Cathedral restoration fund in 1883. Speaking at a bazaar in Reddish in 1893 Sir William Houldsworth said, ‘It was about thirty years since he paid his first visit to Reddish Green, accompanied by his late valued partner, Mr. Charles Lings.’
A further item in the Miscellany about Burnage Hall told us that William Henry Crabtree, who’d been living at Oakleigh House, Burnage in 1861 (aged 14), and is listed above at Shawbrook in 1881 and 1883, had moved on to live at Burnage Hall by 1885.
Our group then glanced at the census records for 1871, 1901 and 1911. These gave us an indication of the size of each household, the number and type of domestic servants employed at the time, and the birthplaces of each inhabitant. Of special interest was the ‘Certificate of Naturalization to an Alien’ document of Max Edward Cohen from 1870, a German citizen who was living at Shawbrook in 1911. The census of that year also shows him employing a German governess for his children.
We hope to continue our research into the history of this imposing building, which is languishing in a very sorry state at the moment. If you have any information to share, feel free to pop by on Tuesday afternoon at 2:00!