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David Nicoll

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See Email 2010 27 January update

Front of postcard circa 1915


Full postcard. Below the postcard has been rotated



Hello Gary,

I think I have reached a reasonable conclusion to the story behind the short note on the postcard. Feel free to correct. It goes something like this:


I bought this postcard from EBay (apologies to any Brierley folk who also bid) because it was a picture of my old school in 1915 and i was intrigued to see who had sent it and to whom. I did not know what i was letting myself in for but here are the results.


The Alice referred to is ALICE BEATRICE BRIGGS , one of  only two Alice's in infants class at the time the card was written, 1915. Alice Briggs is recorded on the 1911 census as a 3 year old boarder with the BAUM family in Brierley along with another boarder, ARTHUR EVAN COLEMAN aged 28 and a domestic chauffeur. Alice Briggs was boarded with the Baum family because her mother EMMA JANE BRIGGS was working as a live in cook at LINDLEY HOUSE, Brierley,  the home of Miss EDITH MARY CORDEUX. Also working at Lindley House as a maid was EDITH BAUM hence the placing of young Alice with her family. I am guessing that Arthur Coleman was also the chauffeur to Miss Cordeux.


Emma Jane Briggs was born EMMA JANE HILL around 1876 in the MAILING district of Kent and had two sisters ALICE HILL and BEATRICE HILL hence young Alice being named after them. Emma Jane worked variously as maid ,domestic nurse etc in Kent , London and Nottingham. She married ROBERT BRIGGS in about 1906 and was living in NOTTINGHAM (Lenton) at the time of Aliceís birth in 1908. Robert Briggs is variously recorded as a journeyman house painter or an estate farm worker. A Robert Briggs death is recorded around the time of Alice Briggs birth and this may have prompted a move to Brierley.


The card is addressed to EVA MANNERING care of J B REEVES at an address in TONBRIDGE WELLS. Eva was born EVA ANNIE MANNERING in AYLESFORD in Kent in 1898 and worked in service for families around Tonbridge Wells and Speldhurst locally in Kent, including J B Reeves.


Aliceís mum Emma Jane and Eva Mannering must have been relatives ,friends ,workmates or neighbours at some time; they were born in the same area and both worked in the same jobs. Further confirmation of this comes from a member of Evaís family who remembers a MISS HILL as a regular visitor to the now married EVA TIMMS house in Speldhurst. Miss Hill was probably one of young Aliceís aunts.


Alice and her mum may have arrived in Brierley by chance but the Cordeux family name is recorded in Nottingham ,where Alice was born ,again in London and indeed a KATHLEEN CORDEUX is recorded in 1911 as a pupil at a boarding school in Tonbridge Wells ,an area where Eva lived and worked .


Please feel free to correct or add to these facts and best guesses.


My thanks to the family of Eva Mannering for the link with Miss Hill and to friend and webmaster Gary for searching the school records when he should have been decorating.


Dave Nicoll.

Always of Brierley but now living in Pogmoor, Barnsley.


Gary  I have two more postcards; I will need a long lie down after this one but if it proves popular I will do the others later. They arenít as complicated; famous last words. Dave

I would think that this email took you as long to write as it you to research the postcard Dave. I think you have done well researching it and thank you for sharing it with us.


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