Saturday, 17 October 2015

A Man of the Sea

Frank Burgess Platt appears in a Verdin Technical School gymnastics team portrait of 1908. Also included within the team is Thomas Minshall. On 25 October 1909 Frank married Thomas’ sister Marian Minshall (b.1886) at St.Wilfrid’s Church, Davenham, Cheshire.

Frank was born in Northwich, Cheshire, on 18 May 1886, the son of James Henry and Elizabeth Ada (nee Burgess) Platt. James was a draper. He was as an apprentice with local shipbuilders Yarwoods, the 1901 census identifying his occupation as “Steam Engineer Fitter (Apprentice).” After serving his time with Yarwoods he went to sea. Spells of service in the Royal Navy in both wars were sandwiched in his long career with the Merchant Navy which lasted until he was 66.

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Exercise is the means of Health

Thomas Minshall was a keen gymnast, and a member of the Verdin Technical School gymnastics team. He later became a physical instructor at the gymnasium, and was a member of the Lancashire and Cheshire Judges Association.

Verdin Technical School gymnasium team
name? - Professor Cullen - Tom Ward - Frank Platt
name? - Thomas Minshall - name? - name? - name?
name? - what trophy is this? - name?

The Verdin Technical School gymnastics team portrait above is from 1908, the trophy apparently being won at the expense of Winsford. The team was coached by Professor Cullen (the man in the suit on the back row). Standing on the right in the back row is Frank Burgess Platt (1886-1987) and back row, second right, is Tom Ward. Thomas Minshall is seated left of centre. [see footnote]

On a personal letter head Thomas identifies himself as a Bronze Medallist at the Health & Strength Worlds’ Pose and Physical Development Competition, of 1912. Can anyone provide any detail on this competition and where it was held?

In May 1914, and while Thomas was Secretary and Instructor at the Verdin Gymnasium, the Northwich Guardian reported on a display of physical exercises given by the ladies, men and boys of the gymnasium. One of those performing was Eva Cooper, who in 1915 became Thomas’ wife. The report notes “Miss Cooper was responsible for club solo, which was splendidly performed and of which the audience showed their appreciation by a hearty round of applause.”

Friday, 9 October 2015

Grammar School Boy

Thomas Brookes Minshall
Thomas Brookes Minshall was born in Northwich, Cheshire, on 18 August 1888. He was the son of William and Mary Jane (née Brookes) Minshall. William and Mary already had three daughters, Ellen Beatrice, Lilian Mary and Marion, at the time of Thomas’s birth. In 1890 their fifth child, Jane, was born. William, a timber merchant, died in 1894 at the age of 38. Mary Jane lived to the age of 78, and passed away in 1937.

Thomas was educated at Witton Grammar School, in Northwich, and is pictured right and below in the school cricket team in 1904. That year, aged 16, he joined Brunner Mond & Co. and started work in the Goods Received Section.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Yeoman's Wedding

Eva Cooper and Thomas Minshall
Thomas Brookes Minshall married Eva Cooper at St. Wilfrid’s Church, Davenham, Cheshire on Monday 26 April 1915.

The ceremony was conducted by the bride's uncle, the Rev. James Nunn, vicar of Wick, Gloucestershire.

The couple honeymooned in Buxton.

The wedding was reported upon in The Guardian (Northwich) on Friday, 30 April 1915.