Garden Street

Garden Street, formerly Farm Lane

When Penkhull Square was completed, Spode proceeded to develop further workers’ dwellings in the village of Penkhull. In May 1810, he acquired two sites with existing properties owned by Thomas Chapman, a resident of Penkhull, who lived in an old property called Doody’s in what was then known as Victoria Place. The first site contained five old cottages described as being the inheritance of Joseph Bourne and afterwards his sister Margery Chapman. These five cottages stood in what was Farm Lane and were either demolished or converted into six cottages by Josiah Spode.

The new or converted cottages were built in a similar layout to those described for Penkhull Square. At the rear was a communal yard with shared privies, ash pit and one shared water pump. Even with the lack of facilities compared with other houses built by Spode, the occupants were charged the same rent as those houses in Ten Row at 8s 9d, subsequently creating a high turnover of tenants. The second acquisition by Spode was at the same copyhold court, where a further five cottages, described as comprising of a barn the same having been many years ago converted into dwelling houses in the respective occupations of. . . Spode demolished or converted this row of cottages and in its place constructed a row of ten workers’ dwellings, appropriately known as Ten Row at the top of Penkhull New Road.

The census of 1841 for Garden Street lists six families the heads being No.1 William Smith, aged 30, potter, with six children; No.3 John Smith, aged 40, potter, with six children; No.5, Thomas Hulme, aged 30, with five children; No.7 William Sutton, aged 25, potter with three children; No 1 Victoria Place, Ellen Ball, potter, with four children; No.2 Victoria Place, Thomas Swetnam, aged 30, potter with five children.

Census returns every ten years show a different set of tenants by 1891. Firstly, the house numbers had changed but by this time they were under a private landlord, and no longer tied to the pottery industry as the occupation of the tenants varied. Samuel Beardsley, aged 29, general labourer, born Rochester; Martha Plant, widow, aged 56, potters presser, born Stoke; John Ridgeway, aged 35, potter’s presser, born Penkhull; George Horne, widower, aged 76, pig and cattle salesman, born Penkhull; James McPherson, aged 33, drayman, born Scotland. James McPherson occupied both No.12 and 13 Garden Street.

James was married to Elizabeth, aged 37, who came from Warwick. They had two daughters Emma and Rose. There was also a visitor staying in the home as well as a border, Richard Cabry, aged 23, from Leicester. His occupation was also a drayman. It can be assumed that he worked alongside James at the brewery and therefore found accommodation with James and his family.

By 1901 there was no change as to details, apart from ages. James died in 1905, aged 48, leaving Elizabeth, a widow. It is probably through a change of circumstances that she commenced business and converted her front room into a beer off-licence in addition to selling groceries and sweets.

Trade listings of 1907 and 1912, confirm Mrs Elizabeth McPherson as grocer and beer retailer. The business continued through the First World War after which, with a change in the law, it was not possible to sell beer alongside groceries and sweets. By this time Elizabeth had acquired two properties around the corner Nos. 3 and 4 Church Street (now Manor Court Street) and decided to build a lean-to adjacent to No.4 from which she could continue to sell few groceries and sweets.

When the sweet and grocery business ceased

Ten Row