In May 1879 my great grandfather, Alfred John Liversedge, left both his job at Messers Hopkinson and Co and his home of Huddersfield to work in Belfast. In October that year he returned to marry Charlotte Fanny Cook and in December 1880 their first child John Arthur was born, followed in July 1882 by my grandfather Herbert James. I can’t imagine what it would have been like for Charlotte, moving to effectively another country and giving birth away from her family. Alfred would have been caught up in his new job and she must have often been alone and probably lonely.
My grandfather’s birth certificate gives their address as 195 Albert Bridge Road Castlereagh. Today it’s described as a standard main arterial road and “streetview” shows me typical small Victorian bay-windowed terraces interspersed with modern developments and industrial and commercial properties. Leading to Albert Bridge, one of main river crossings, I expect it was always thus, but Charlotte and Alfred had lived in the commercial areas of Huddersfield and may well have been used to that type of busy environment.
I chose this picture because, although it pre-dates their arrival, I wonder if they saw something of the hills around Huddersfield in those surrounding Belfast.
Alfred’s new job was with Victor Coates & Co, based at Lagan Foundry and Prince’s Docks Works where they made stationary steam engines and boilers initially for the flax spinning industry although they also had some involvement in ship building.
I can see how my grandfather’s experience at Hopkinson’s Valves would have easily transferred from woollen mills to flax mills, however he only stayed for 5 years; in 1884 they were on the move again.