Welcome to the world of one-place studies! Twenty-six of our members are sharing something in their particular place for this year's A-Z Blogging Challenge. Here's Colin Lindsay and the study of Southport.

Bertha Ann Wright, born 1895

Great–aunt Bertha Ann Wright moved from 38, Sunny Road, Southport not long after this photo was taken in 1903. She didn’t move far, just around the corner to 8, School Road, later to become St Cuthberts Road. She would have happily referred to her life in these streets before and after her move as "In My Place" for a number of reasons.

Firstly, she was already attending the local school just a few yards from her house at the junction of Sunny Road and School Road. Secondly, many of her friends and relatives would have also attended. Her brother John, cousins Cissy, Florrie (also Wright) and Harold (Watkinson) would almost certainly have been at this school at the same time since they too lived in Sunny Road. In fact they were living next door (36) and next door-but-one (34). In 1901, Bertha had relatives living in eight different Sunny Road houses! Her grandfather Thomas Wright had leased several (including numbers 2, 4 and 6) many years earlier. In the twenty-odd years from 1881 Sunny Road School must have seen several dozen of Bertha’s cousins through their early education.

Twenty years later, great-aunt Bertha’s niece, Alice Cookson, then living in Hesketh some miles away, also attended Sunny Road School, taught by Miss Davenport under Headmaster Mr Vine. In contrast to Bertha’s very short walk, Alice had to travel by steam train on the West Lancashire Railway to get to school - starting with a half mile walk from home in Moss Lane, Hesketh Bank in the morning, followed by boarding the train at Hundred End station, stopping at Banks and Crossens, before alighting at Churchtown. In the evening, another train retraced her journey back to Hesketh Bank. Churchtown station was on an embankment on the north-east side of what was to become Cambridge Road, over which the line passed on an iron bridge. This was very handily located for the school which was quite near the other end of Sunny Road. The railway line opened on 20th February 1878 and closed on 7th September 1964.

Sunny Road School today
Sunny Road School today

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