The Anonymous Widower

The Tailor Of Bexley

When I had my family traced, the earliest ancestor of mine that could be found was Robert Miller, who was a tailor in Bexley in 1837.

He was found to have had one son; Edward, who was born about 1816 in Bexley, Kent and died in 1871 at Shoreditch.

Linking backwards from the modern day.

My father was Wilfred Ewart born in 1904

My paternal grandfather was Herbert born in 1878 and died in 1929

My paternal great-grandfather was William born in 1853 and died in 1911.

My paternal great-great-grandfather was Edward born in 1816 and died in 1871.

So the tailor of Bexley was my paternal great-great-great grandfather.

My father once told me, that his grandfather, who must have been William, once told him, of a first hand account of Robert the tailor of Bexley, who was his grandfather.

He said that he was German and that he didn’t speak any English. Because of my coeliac disease, which is quite common in East European Jews and his profession, we can probably assume that Robert; the tailor of Bexley was Jewish. My father also told me that the family name was Müller, which had been Anglicised.

Robert Winder in his excellent book; Bloody Foreigners, talks about how many poor Germans came over to London in the early days of the nineteenth  century and lived in terrible conditions in the East End of London.

So was Robert one of those poor Germans?

When you dig into your family history, you find professions that are no longer PC. Some of my ancestors were ivory turners and skin dressers in the fur trade.


October 12, 2015 Posted by | World | , , , | 3 Comments

I Wonder If This Happens In Europe

This article from Rail News entitled Level crossing upgrade hits deadlock is priceless. This is the first couple of paragraphs.

A bid to upgrade the gates at a ‘high risk’ level crossing in Sussex has fallen foul of planning laws, and Network Rail has written a letter of apology to local residents who have been protesting that the road across the railway has now been closed for several weeks.

The gates at Plumpton between Burgess Hill and Lewes are of the traditional pattern, and controlled from the box alongside. But Network Rail said that “despite its local popularity and heritage, independent risk assessments had identified that the level crossing posed a high safety risk, as well as being increasingly difficult to operate and maintain”.

They now need to be replaced with modern lifting barriers which could in future be controlled by the new Rail Operating Centre at Three Bridges. The upgrade is costing £2 million.

This all sounds straightforward.

But it isn’t as Lewes Council has refused planning permission on heritage grounds.

The lawyers must be loving this one, as it will obviously run and run.

But as it’s a high risk crossing, surely this crossing should be closed before a serious accident happens.

Remember, I used to live in East Anglia and every few months or so, there was a news story about a serious level crossing accident.

Network Rail should be tasked to get rid of them all as soon as possible, so more tragedies like Elsenham and Ufton Nervet never happen again.

I suppose they could always close the East Coastway Line and run Rail Replacement Buses instead.

I wonder if other countries in Europe handle this sort of problem better!

October 12, 2015 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | 1 Comment