Thomas William Turner

Locomotives like this Midland Railway 156 Class 2-4-0 would have passed through Woodlesford during Thomas William Turner’s time at the station.

The Midland Railway records held at the National Archives at Kew in London indicate that Thomas William Turner was “called upon to resign.” The reason isn’t stated. All we know officially is that he was in post at Woodlesford in 1871 and he left on 31 March 1874. His salary in 1871 was £78 which rose to £90 a year before he left. 

He was born into a railway family in 1845 at Normanton and grew up there. His father, John, who came from Buxton, was a porter, then a goods clerk and rose to become the Midland’s goods agent in the town living at Woodhouse Villas. By the time he was 15 years old in 1861 Thomas William was a railway clerk and lodging at Elswick in Newcastle, working possibly for the North Eastern Railway. 

Ten years later at Woodlesford he was also the post master. He was married to Agnes, 30, who had been born in Sheffield. They had two children by then, a two year old boy, also called Thomas William, born in Sheffield, and baby Agnes, 8 months, born in Derby in July 1870, indicating that the family had not been at Woodlesford for long. Both children were baptised together at Woodlesford church on 8 March 1874.

The next census in 1881 shows Turner as a railway clerk living in a lodging house with his wife in Upper Parliament Street, Liverpool. It’s not known which company he was employed by. 

In the 1891 and 1901 censuses he was a confectioner living in Marsh Lane, Bootle. He died in 1903.

Staff at Woodlesford in 1871.

Joseph Marriott, 26. Born 1845 at Handley in Derbyshire, son of a farmer and horse keeper. In 1861 was a farm servant at Alderwasley. Probably started on railway at Stretton station on the North Midland. In 1866 was a pointsman at Normanton. In 1871 listed in the records as a pointsman at Woodlesford and as a porter in the census. Lodged with James and Martha Jackson on Station Lane. James was a quarry or “delf” labourer. Joseph went to Leeds as a relief pointsman in March 1873 and by 1876 was earning 26 shillings a week. In 1877 was a relief signalman when he married Elizabeth Hill daughter of a cordwainer born in Selby. She had worked as a nail cutter in Hunslet. In 1881 he is listed as a railway porter living on Galway Street in Hunslet. By 1891 was managing a spirit merchants and in 1901 was the landlord at the Three Tuns on Marshall Street in Holbeck. By then they had 8 children.  

James Priest, 22. Porter. Born Stockingford, Warwickshire. Also lodged with James and Martha Jackson.

John Hodgkinson, 18. Goods clerk. Born Great Longstone, Derbyshire. Lodged with Eliza Wignell, nee Baldwin, on Stockings Lane. She was born at Corby in Northamptonshire in 1846 and was married to signalman Ebenezer Wignell from Caldecott in Rutland. He had started as a horseman at Woodlesford in 1868 but by the time of the 1871 census had become a signalman based at Rotherham Masborough. His wife joined him later.

George Doxey, 16. Booking clerk. Born Middleton by Wirksworth, Derbyshire. Also lodged with Eliza Wignell. 1881 at Davies Street in New Cross area of  Manchester and married with a son born in Newton Heath.

George Hall, 22. Rothley, Leicestershire.

Matthew William Mason, 17. Born Mildenhall, Suffolk.

John Edward Kirton. Born Woodlesford. Son of a papermaker turned shopkeeper from Exeter. Shop was on Princess Street. Run as a grocery and drapery by John’s mother after his father died.

William Kimber, 20. Porter. Born Grittleton, Wiltshire.

Charles Jellyman, 15. Born Cheltenham.

William Boyes, 62. Railway labourer. Born Billington Lincolnshire.