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The Barker Family (1)

 

 

In early 2006, we were contacted through the website by David Dennis, who spent his early years in Ridgeway and whose mother was Ida Barker. David has maintained a keen interest in Ridgeway and has provided us with access to many photographs and documents which he has saved over the years. Davidís cousin was Monica Seaton (daughter of Len and Hannah Barker), with whom he maintained close contact and who was able to provide him with additional information about the family.

Davidís grandfather was Hugh Barker, who was born in 1864 and married his wife Mary on December 27, 1888 in St Johnís Parish Church, Ridgeway. Like his father George, Hugh was a sickle-grinder and is shown below, seated behind the grindstone.

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Hugh and Mary had six children, William Arthur (Billy), Leonard Hugh (Len), Ida Mary, John Walter (Walt), Joseph Edward (Eddie) and Reginald George (Reg).

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Billy, Reg, Eddie and Walter

Len, Billy, Ida, Walter and Mary

As was the case for many workers in the sickle industry, the summer months meant working on the farm and the following photograph shows this, with Hugh leading the horse and Billy seated on the shaft.

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Flower and vegetable competitions were popular in those days and the photo on the left shows Eddie (centre), displaying the Barker produce, probably around 1910. The photo on the right shows this family skill continuing some 40 years later at the Ridgeway Horticultural Show of 1952.

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Eddie and friends Ridgeway Horticultural Show 1952

The First World War had a significant impact on the lives of Ridgeway people, and the Barker family saw several of its younger men go to France. The pictures below show Walt in uniform, together with a postcard that he sent home to his young brother Reg.

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Cards from France were often embroidered with multi-coloured silks, but they always had to pass the Censor's scrutiny before being allowed to come to England:

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During the 1914/18 war, David's mother, Ida, was a Postwoman based at Mosborough Post Office and she made daily deliveries throughout Ridgeway.

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For many years, the Barker family lived at "20 Palais" which was across the road from the school and is seen in the following photograph:

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The Ridgeway cricket team owed much of its success to the enthusiasm of the Barker family. In the following photograph, Hugh is the Umpire and, standing on the extreme right, is Eddie as scorer. Billy is seated on the front row at second left and Walt is seated on the extreme right.

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The following photograph is taken outside the Queen's Head and was taken at the wedding of Edith Marsh and Billy Barker in 1921. The bridesmaid in the front seat of the car is David's mother Ida, sister of Billy.

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David's uncles were regular drivers of the Fisher & Barlow buses (shown here at Ford) which made the journey from Ridgeway to Elm Tree.

Reg Barker looked after the cricket square at Ridgeway for many years and was then appointed as groundsman at Bramall Lane. He was featured (centre photo) in the match programme of 27 April 1957 (shown below). He retired in 1975 after more than 20 years' service, but was still called on to prepare the wicket for county matches (below right).

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Click thumbnail to view full-size image

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