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Old 26-09-12, 07:20
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Default Who Do You Think You Are - William Roache 26th Sep

This evening at 9 p.m. on BBC1. Ken Barlow from Coronation Street. (And the father of Linus Roache.)
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Old 26-09-12, 21:08
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Episode Synopsis

William Roache, known as Bill, is 80 years old.

His maternal grandparents were Albert and Mary Zillah Waddicor. His mother was Hester Vera Waddicor, known as Essie.

Bill visited Peggy, the widow of his cousin Geoffrey, in Derbyshire, to look at some old photographs of the family. One of the photos showed Hester with her two older sisters, Flo and May. There was a family story that May was a half-sister to Flo and Hester.

Zillah ran the Alton Towers Cafe.



Bill used to visit his grandparents Albert and Zillah at Alton Towers, when they lived in rooms in the mansion. He returned to Alton Towers to meet a local historian who showed him documents which showed that the cafe was actually a big restaurant. A licensing document showed that Zillah became the licensee in 1925, and in 1933 she also took on the Old Mill Buffet in Alton.

Bill visited the William Salt Library in Stafford and was shown his parents' marriage certificate - William Vincent Roache married Hester Vera Waddicor in 1928. Hester's father Albert was described as a Gentleman on the marriage certificate.

The 1911 census shows Albert as the head of household, age 35, selling ices and temperance drinks, with wife Mary Zillah and daughters Florence Isabel, and Hester age 10. Their address is 4 Princess Street, Blackpool.
Albert Waddicor and family in 1911
Alice and May Waddicor in 1911
Bill went to Blackpool to meet a local historian who showed him where the Waddicors' shop used to be, at 41 Central Parade. They then went to Blackpool Central Library to look at old street directories. The 1924 directory showed the Waddicors' shop at Central Parade. The 1898 directory listed Waddicor, herb beer maker, and the 1896 directory had Waddicor J, medical electrician.

A story from the local newspaper from 1894 stated that Albert Waddicor had been outside his father's shop and threw a marble at a sandwich man who assaulted Albert and broke the boy's leg.

Bill then looked at the 1881 census which showed James Waddicor age 32, quarry man and grocer, living in Darwen, Lancashire, with his wife Alice, 27, and son Albert, 5.
Waddicor family in 1881


Bill went to Blackpool Tower to meet another historian and find out about medical electricity.

They then looked at the 1891 census which shows James Waddicor age 42, phrenologist and medical electrician.
Waddicor family in 1891

In 1898 phrenologists and quack doctors were banned from the foreshore in Blackpool. A rate book from 1898 shows that James Waddicor owned property on Coop Street and York Street which he rented out.

James died in November 1904. He left an estate of £4,792. His will, which was written in 1901, left a trust with the income to go to Alice during her lifetime, then to Albert, but finally to his granddaughter Lavinia Alice May Waddicor (May). Alice and Zillah were named as the executors and trustees.

Bill then looked at the family on the 1901 census. James and Alice have 4 year old May with them, listed as their daughter. (She is also listed as Alice's daughter on the 1911 census entry, which is signed by Alice.) Florence is with her parents Albert and Mary Z, while Bill's mother Hester, at 3 months old, is with Zillah's sister Thomasina Stanier and her family in Leigh, Staffordshire.
James Waddicor in 1901
Albert Waddicor in 1901
Hester Waddicor in 1901 with the Staniers
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Old 26-09-12, 21:11
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Another one that had me shouting at the T.V. Just because a child is in a different house on census night does not mean that they were brought up by that relative. My mother who was born in 1918 was looked after by her aunt as a baby because my grandmother was seriosly ill with flu. Luckily my grandmother recovered and lived into her eighties. I also spent a lot of time wondering if William Roache was wearing a wig. I met him once many years ago when he came to open our local chemist. I did not have a clue who he was and was a bit disgruntled as I was in a hurry. I remember asking him what character he played which seemed to shock him.
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Old 26-09-12, 21:13
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I enjoyed this on the whole but again, so many assumptions and so many unanswered questions!

Why didn't they get May's BC, for instance, to see who her parents were? And why did they ASSUME that just because two of the children were not at home in 1901, that they had been "taken away" from their parents?

The Darwen connection interested me too as I have some Waddicors on my Darwen tree.

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Old 26-09-12, 21:26
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I agree - a lot of assumptions, although he did actually know his grandparents so I suppose he had some first-hand experience of what Albert was like.
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Old 26-09-12, 21:27
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I was wondering why they didn't look for James in the 1891, as they went straight back to the 1881 instead, but that was explained later. I did think there were a lot of assumptions, about why the children weren't with their parents & how long they had been away.
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Old 26-09-12, 21:32
Olde Crone Olde Crone is offline
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Well, May was born respectably within the marriage, so unless there was some jiggery pokery at registration, she was the child of both her parents. I have also found Hester, and a son James born 1900 (died young I assume?) but I haven't found Flo......

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Old 26-09-12, 21:34
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I wonder if the daughters were still with different people in 1911? I don't think they showed that bit, although I only caught the last ten minutes.
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Old 26-09-12, 21:37
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This is Albert and Zillah's marriage, http://www.lan-opc.org.uk/Blackpool/...nns_Windx.html
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Old 26-09-12, 21:38
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Right, found Florence born 1896, on Freebmd, but she isn't listed on Lancsbmd like the other children, hmmmm, so cannot check mother's maiden name.

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