Ike Gandy not only left his first wife Elizabeth behind in Widnes, but also their son - my grandfather - William Stephen Gandy.
In 1901 William married Mary Agnes Murphy. - see right. They lived first in Church Street, West Bank, and then 20 Midwood Street, Simms Cross, Widnes.
William Stephen and Mary Agnes had 15 children in all, of whom four died when children(*). There were eleven surviving adults, including my father Harold Gandy:
William Steven 1902
Mary Elizabeth 1904 - 1905*
John George "Jack" 1906
David 1918 - 1918*
James 1918 - 1919*
Wilfred 1927 - 1927*
Grandma's and grandfather's house at 20 Midwood Street was a focal point for the family. Two of their children with families also lived in Midwood Street.
I remember visiting Grandma with my Dad and the house was always full of kids, mostly family but a few strays from the neighbourhood.
William Stephen died in 1946, age 69 years and Mary Agnes 10 years later in 1956 age 73 years. They are buried in Widnes Cemetery.
Photo Barry Appleton
William Stephen and Mary Agnes Gandy,
Mary Agnes Murphy
1883 - 1956
Grandma Mary Agnes Gandy, 1951
Mary Agnes' family - the Nicholsons - came from Ireland, place unknown. Mary Agnes' parents were John Murphy and Mary Ann Nicholson, grand-parents John Nicholson and Mary Byrne. So far I know no more about her background. Mary Agnes was Catholic, but not William Stephen. Records of Gandy births, deaths and marriages can be found in several different churches in Widnes, both Catholic and Protestant.
Wedding of youngest daughter Lily in 1951 at St Paul's Church, Widnes.
L-R: Eric Gandy, Minnie Gandy, Grandma Mary Agnes Gandy, Agnes Rimmer and Elizabeth Rimmer
Midwood Street was a compact terrace of back-to-back, two up - two down brick houses with a common back alley.
Photo Peter Moran
Back Alley in Simms Cross, 1968
This picture from a local newspaper had the caption:
"The very essence of Victorian England, when Britannia ruled the waves and the working class was housed in terraces hastily built to accommodate the rapidly expanding populations in industrial areas. Many fall far and away below the existing modern standards laid down in the Housing Acts; the majority are fit only for destruction".
Midwood Street can no longer be found in Simms Cross. Date of demolition unknown.