Updated 27 Jan 2005

WIRKSWORTH Parish Records 1600-1900

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Photo 262


Gwenillian FLINT

Gwenillian married William FLINT.
See Census: 1901 and 1891.
William Flint born 1863 marr Gwenllian Sprake dau of Edwin Sprake Blaenavon South Wales ..My Grandparents. Gwenillian's father Edwin was Iron Master at Blaenavon Iron Works...Edwin was born at Glasgow in 1823 His Grt Grandfather was of Hueganot extraction who fled the persecution of the Protestant church in Belgium and France in the late 1600s early 1700s ..Her mother was Anne Williams born at Trevinioth marr at Abergavenny...All her male family worked either at the Iron Works or at Big Pit Colliery Blaenavon.....or at Aberdare Colliery in the Rhondda Valley. Gwenllian came to Middleton when she was employed as Governess to the family of Lord and Lady Battley from Monmouth who had interest I believe in Blaeanavon Iron Works and the Colliery Fields of Derbyshire...They stayed at a house in Middleton at the foot of Chapel lane owned by the Axe family...and it was here in 1884 that William and Gwenllian met and married.... William was a Steam Engine Driver at Killers Quarry Middleton.. On Dec 5th 1905 William went to work as usual down at "the firm" He lit the boiler to get up steam, then made his way up the cut to the face. Killers prided themselves on cutting out great blocks of Hopton Woodstone rather than using explosives, which is why they employed masons and stonecutters...At the face he tranferred to the Steam Crane which was used to pull out the blocks and then loaded onto the wagons for transportation down to Cromford Wharf bound south to Nottingham London..or to the north Whaley Bridge and the docks at Liverpool or Manchester. He had only just climbed into the crane which was built on a wooden tripod foundation, when a fault gave way, and the whole face descended with a terrible force.....As the dust settled..Williams body was found crushed beyond repair..He died soon after..His grave in Middleton Parish Church yard was marked by a memorial stone the masonary work fashioned by his kin ...The irony to me is that the stone was one of the blocks which crushed out his life..and was a reason why...when my father died, days before he made me promise.".no stones over my resting place". We adhered to his wish and he lies near his mother at Middleton Congregational Church in a flat lawned piece of ground with just a simple vase to mark his resting place. Gwenllian was left with a young family to bring up..but being made of stoic Welsh/Hueganot spirit, she set to with a will making home made confectionary and ice cream, which she sold from their home on The Alley Middleton..Her three eldest daughters were already working at Masson / Lea Mills and my father aged 12 years, being the eldest son left school and went apprentice to Hunters the Grocers at Wirksworth managed by his relative George Frost... Gwenllian died in 1943 aged 80 years of Cancer...

Photo taken:c1922
Source:Stuart Flint, 6 Oat Hill, Wirksworth
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