Friday, 18 August 2017

Personal Histories II

Families, Photos, and Tracing Links to Today

Staff Stories

One of the main early and long serving employees of W. W. Winter was Samuel Wain.
We have highlighted him in some of our social media posts as he was present in a number of staff studio portraits.
Staff group at W. W. Winter, Samuel Wain highlighted.

We were fortune to get a ‘hit’ from these posts as a gentleman got in touch to query whether or not we had identified the correct person. Intriguing!
What we hadn’t noticed was that there were in fact two Samuel Wains in the staff wages ledger - Mr Wain, and S. Wain.
The Mr Wain our gentleman was aware of, was his grandfather who was thought to have worked in a photographers. It turned out this Wain was our S. Wain or, Samuel William Wain, and we could trace him through the census to be the son of Mr Samuel Wain.

Samuel Wain, Framemaker

Mr Samuel Wain (1844-1915) was born to Samuel and Margaret Wain in Littleover, Derby. In the 1861 census, aged 17, Samuel is living with his parents on Devonshire Street in Derby and is already listed as a carver and gilder (i.e. a frame maker).
In the 1871 census we can find no trace of him but we can see his wife (Selina) and child (Samuel William) registered at his parents house in Stockbrook Street. While we can’t account for him, it is likely that he is simply temporarily at another address and his name has been transcribed incorrectly from the original records.
Samuel Wain (back) in the W. W. Winter workshop

Two Generations of Wains

By 1881 Samuel is recorded as living on Burton Road with Selina and son Samuel William who was born in 1869 on the Isle of Wight where his mother, Selina, was originally from. Samuel is listed in 1881 as carver, guilder, and confectioner. Later census data shows Selina as a shopkeeper, so perhaps they owned a sweet shop.
At this point Samuel William is listed as scholar. This changes by the 1891 census where the two generations are working together at W. W. Winter, Samuel as gilder, picture framer, carver; and Samuel William as photographic finisher. They are living at an address on Lower Park which does not appear to exist any more but looks like it was between Wellington Street and Carrington Street.

By 1901 Samuel is working part time at Winters and appears to also be self employed as a confectioner. This coincides with a downturn in the business (by 1911 it would appear that he is a full time gilder and picture framer at Winters, while his wife Selina is a shop keeper). Samuel William has left home by this time, but appears in a ledger of the Railway Employment Records with the details:
Name: Wain, Samuel William
Date of Birth: Jan 5th 1869
Station: Derby
Date / Appointments and Advances / Wages:
April 21 1896 - Employed as Photographic Assistant - £1 1s.
April 28 1899 - Advanced to - £1 4s.
Oct 31 1901 - Left without notice. Competency fair. Conduct good

We can't locate Samuel William or his family on the 1901 census, and it is possible that they travelled abroad, but he reappears in the 1911 census as a 'Warehouseman Core Shop', with his wife, Hannah, listed as a Net Mender. Four of their children are living with them at the time.

Sam Wain

We have been able to fill in a few more details of Samuel William Wain's live via his grandson, Known to his descendants as Sam Wain, Samuel William served in WWI as a stretcher bearer, falsifying his age to join up (he would have been 46 at the start of the war).
He and a companion worked in no man’s land collecting injured troops and brought them back to field hospitals. One day they were overcome by mustard gas and taken prisoner by the Germans. My grandfather’s eyes were damaged by the gas, a German surgeon repaired them, and in due course he was returned to the UK.”

By this time Sam had fathered seven children, the youngest of whom was daughter Ethel. Ethel went on to marry Charles Weston, and it is their son Geoff who has so kindly supplied us with the details about Sam. Winter’s continued to feature in the Wain/Weston family as there are Winter’s portraits of Charles and Ethel taken in the 1930’s most likely by William Henry King.

Geoff tells us: “Unfortunately [Sam’s] eyesight quickly deteriorated [after the war] and he soon went blind in one eye and by 1930 had both his eyes removed. He became a member of St. Dunstan’s (now Blind Veterans UK) and in the late fifties became their oldest surviving member. He died at the grand old age of 96 in 1964.”

Followers of Winter’s heritage will recognise photos of Samuel Wain (above) and we were delighted to bring his great-grandson news of his heritage as well as being able to add to ours. Geoff was unaware of his great-grandfather, and indeed, three generations of Samuels!
Of even greater delight, Geoff has provided us with some images of Sam which we reproduce here with his kind permission. 

Samuel William Wain, carrying grandchild, Geoff, around 1946

Samuel William Wain, 1959

Samuel William Wain, oldest surviving member of St. Dunstans, pictured here in around 1962

Heritage Open Days 2017

Do you think you have a Winters relative? We will be displaying information about staff from around 1900 at our free tours as part of Heritage Open Days. We will be open on 7th, 8th & 9th September with tours at 10am and 12.30pm. Booking is essential due to limited space. Do come along! You can book now by phoning W. W. Winter Ltd on 01332 345224.