Hi David …..
First, thanks for the interesting web site. I'm related to the Allen family from Park Road, Dingle.
The dairy was 189 Park Road, but was set back off the road down Ellis Place, as some of the messages indicate, between the old pub and Woolwroths. As a result of its position it was left off many census.
The dairy came into the family in the 1890’s when Thomas Woof moved down from Firbank, Westmorland. His mother was a Capstick as many families, as you know, were linked by marriage. Resulting children and marriages, via the Beck family, led to my father-in-law, William Allen, taking over the business in the 1950’s. The dairy round was sold to Hansons Dairies in early 1970’s. The house itself was sold on after we moved out in 1971 but has now been demolished.
The family has in its possession a trophy from the Liverpool Cowkeepers Association. Whether it was won by the Woof, Beck or Allen family is unknown, but my research at the Liverpool Record Office has not been successfully in getting any more information on the trophy or the Cowkeepers Association.
The inscription on the trophy is:
‘Presented by the Hellifield Auction Mart Co Ltd. To the Liverpool & District Cowkeepers Association Dairy Show December 1908.’
Have you come across any of this information in your researches?
I would be interested to know.
Thanks for getting in touch. I've nearly finished transcribing the lists of 'Cowkeepers' and 'Dairymen' from the Kelly's 1984 directory of Liverpool, in order to post them on this site for information. There is an entry for 'Woof, Thomas, 189 Park Road Toxteth Park' under 'Dairymen'. But like you said, it seems to have been missed by the census.
I would dearly love to track down the records of the Liverpool and District Cowkeepers association - if they still exist - but so far, no luck. So, I have been using reports in newspapers of the time for most of my information. The Lancashire Evening Post of Wednesday 9th December 1908 reports on the Liverpool Dairy Show of the same date. It includes the following reference to prize-winners:
'In calved cows weighing under 10cwt., Mrs A Beck and Son won with the comely big-bagged cow which was first at Preston and at Bentham'.
I hope that helps throw some light on events.
Thanks for your prompt reply with such interesting information. With living in Liverpool I had looked in the Echo and not thought of trying the Lancashire papers, as I thought it to be a local award.
The family had thought it was a trophy (it’s a large goblet) awarded annually and always wondered how it came to still be in the family; obviously not !
Agnes Beck neé Woof married in 1878 and lived in the Park Road farm with her husband Miles. He died in 1898 and the family story, if true, is that after inheriting property with a wine cellar, and liking the odd tipple, he drank himself to death. Sounds like a good way to go! It caused Agnes some concern though as the last of her nine children was born in 1894 and with them all surviving she had an extremely difficult task in managing.
Agnes is the great-grandmother of my wife, Barbara, and after researching family history for 30+ years to know the reason for the award is fantastic news, and very much appreciated.
Hi David. This made interesting reading for me. I am related to the Batty family. Richard Batty, b. 1841, d. 1930, (Occupation 1871 • Everton, Liverpool - Cowkeeper) was my great grandfather.
Hi Brian. Thanks for getting in touch. It appears that the Batty family were quite prolific in Liverpool over the years, with many of them involved in the dairy business. I have found an entry in the 1871 census that seems to match your information. It looks like he was living at 22 Lance Street (?) at the time and married to Isabella. Do I have the right Richard Batty?
David, I have ten Richard Battys in my family tree, the furthest back living 1675-1729 so I can get confused between them all. My great grandfather did indeed marry Isabella Mason on 23 Jul 1867 in Sedbergh, Yorkshire West Riding. In 1861 he was a shepherd in Horton in Ribblesdale, Yorkshire. He seemed to have moved back and forth given where his 12 children were born - variously Liverpool, Sedbergh and Ravenstonedale (where, in 1881, he was a farmer.) I have a record for him: Residence
abt 1953 • 149 Smithdown Road, Liverpool 7. Dairy. In 2014 a Caribbean bar called D'Flava. He died in Toxteth in 1954.
If you can give me an email I can send you a photo of a leaflet "R Batty & Sons, Cowkeepers, Liverpool Recent Awards" btu perhaps you have that already?
Also, if I have your email I can, if it is of interest, invite you to view my family tree on Ancestry.com
Hi dave and brian...I also have some pictures that might be of interest to you both...I have a calender card from 1934 from r. Batty and sons 149 Smithdown rd...this along with other leaflets belonged to my grandad earnie batty son of Richard batty who owned the dairy farm. I would love to hear from you. Many thanks megan
I would be very interested to see the photos you have. I would add them to my family tree and share them with a cousin in Liverpool who appreciates seeing these things.
I am very interested to see where you fit in my family tree. Is your grandfather Ernest Theodore Batty (1924-2008), son of Richard and Florence Myfanwy (nee Roberts) who were indeed at 149 Smithdown Road?
Hi brian...yes Ernie is my husband barries grandad...we have you on our family tree...which I only realised after I messaged...do you have an email address or number?
Hi Megan and Brian. So glad to see that you two are now in touch. I'm sure your exchange of information will prove to be fruitful for both branches of the Batty family. Please let me know how you get on. I would love to see what other photos you have of your cowkeeping ancestors. My email address is: email@example.com
HI HAVE HAVE BEEN A MILKMAN FOR 42 YRS FOR HARRISONS DAIRYS I STARTED WHEN I WAS NINE THERE WAS A MILKMAN BY US CALLED ERNIE BATTY HIS DAIRY WAS AT THE TOP OF HERSCELL ST LIVERPOOL 5 OFF ROBSON ST THANK YOU
Thanks for getting in touch. What was the address of Harrison's Dairy? Were cows kept at either of the two premises you mention or was it just milk retail by then?
I REMBER ERNIE BATTY WHO HAD A DAIRY IN HERSCELL STREET LIVERPOOL 5
Yes please to both! Email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
My email is email@example.com If you could drop me a line I'd like to follow up on this.
My grandfather (Charles Nicholas Newton) born either 1868 or 1878) and great grandfather were farmers around Tunstall and Leck (north Lancs) until about 1895 or so. The next record for my grandfather is 1901 as a cowkeeper in Liverpool. I know they owned and ran a dairy in Priory Road (51 I think - may be 151). He appears in the 1911 census as a 'cook' keeper (poor handwriting). My grandfather died in 1919 - heart attack is the family record but might have been the flu epidemic.
Thanks for that. I'd missed him, probably because I had used a search for 'cowkeeper' and, as you say, that had been mistranscribed on the Ancestry website. I've updated my list for 1911 and included him. Thanks again. Dave.
I have only just come across your book which I will purchase very shortly.
I am contacting you because my mothers first husband was a Sam Metcalfe, dairy was off lower Breck road. I have his membership book from 1919 of the LCA. I have done his family tree, have quite a few photographs and as a youngster met lots of the family including the Halls, Allens and visited Aysgarth and surrounding places and Fairford. So I have quite a lot to offer you on info for any further articles.
Wow! That sounds fascinating! I struggled to find information on the Association whilst researching my book - in the end I had to rely on what was reported in the local newspapers at the time. I would love to see your material. Can you email me? My address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you so much for taking the time to get in touch.
My granddad, Thomas Harper, was a cowkeeper at 2 Vicar Road, off Townsend lane in Anfield. The address is listed in your transcription of the Kelly 1894 Directory and Gore's 1900, but yet not in my family. My great grandfather William Metcalfe is there by the 1911 census, Metcalfe's Dairy. My grandfather married William's youngest daughter Annie in 1933 and took over the business, whereupon it became Harper's Dairy. The cows were sold before WWII but he was not called up as he was in a reserved occupation. I never understood until recently why we had a shippon and a midden and no one knew what I meant. We also had stables.
My granddad delivered milk by horse and cart. I used to help him on Saturday mornings and had my own special deliveries - usually the longest run down the entry!! Granddad retired around 1972 when he would have been about 66.
I have some photos of my granddad. It amuses me that he always dressed like a traditional cowkeeper, all the way to the '70s. Let me know if you would like some copies.
Anne Slater (nee Harper)
Thank you for getting in touch and sharing such lovely memories. Yes, I too can clearly remember going out on the milk round as a child and doing my bit to help the family business. When I came to write my memoir I was surprised at just how much detail I could recall. Even though we probably take them for granted at the time, I think those special experiences stay with you - I just wish I had asked more questions when I had the opportunity.
I also have a couple of Metcalfe cowkeepers in my family tree. I joined the Metcalfe Society this year and have now begun to appreciate just how big the 'clan' is.
Yes please, I would love to see your photos of granddad Harper. I'm starting to build quite a collection, either to use in my talks or - if I can find the time - to do more cowkeepers' family history pages on my website. My email address is as follows: email@example.com
My great-grandfather was George Law, and his youngest brother James Law (b.1867) married in 1891 to Nancy Handley, and they ran a dairy farm known as Handley and Law, and lived in Sedley St. My Law family originated from Sedbergh.
Although I've lived in Australia since the 1970's, I still regularly come over to stay at Sedbergh. My favourite place!
You may already have these, but I came across James Law in a number of sources:
Kelly's 1894 directory - Handley & Law, 51 Sedley Street
Gore's 1900 directory - Handley & Law, 59 Denman Street
!901 Census - James Law, 59 Denman Street
1911 Census - James Law, 59 Denman Street
Though the property in Denman Street no longer exists, 51 Sedley Street is still there.
Do you have any other information?
I thought you may be interested to know that my paternal grandfather George Brockbank was also a cowkeeper in Liverpool. On the 1911 census and at the age of 30 years, he is living with his wife, Ann Maria (nee Kearon), her firstborn Edith May and his brother-in-law Walter Warren aged 16 years at 156 Prescot Road, Fairfield, Liverpool. George Brockbank is listed on the census as having his own account as Cowkeeper with his wife and brother-in-law assisting in the business.
My grandfather George was born in Levens, Westmorland in 1880, the son of the local blacksmith and farmer. He was brought up on a farm in the hamlet of Pool Bank, Crosthwaite, Nr. Kendal and on leaving for Liverpool in the early 1900's was given two cows to set up his own business. Apart from this, I have no other further information on his time as a cowkeeper in Liverpool but would love to know more. I will certainly be buying your book 'Liverpool Cowkeepers' which I will find most interesting to read. Thank you for your interest.
Mrs Jean Abbey
Thanks for the information. I've added him to my list. I'd missed him in my original search of the 1911 census as his occupation has been mis-transcribed on the Ancestry website as 'corokeeper' ! Unfortunately, I've not been able to find George on any other records.
Thank you very much Dave for adding George Brockbank's name to your list on the 1911 census of Liverpool Cowkeepers. It is great to see his name there for posterity. Would it be possible to send to me a signed copy of your book 'Liverpool Cowkeepers'. I will send payment to you if you could give me details. Many thanks
Jean Abbey (nee Brockbank)
Hi Jean. Yes, of course. Drop me an email [firstname.lastname@example.org] and I'll sort it out for you.