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Harrison Barber—Horse Slaughterers

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    I’m hampered by my equipment (matron).

    Can anyone provide a sharper image of this?


    http://www.bl.uk/onlinegallery/onlin...age151010.html


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    • No 33 is the shop on the opposite corner to the pub.
      Was that listed as a cat's meat shop?
      It was well within the 250 yard (if my memory serves) search radius.

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      • Originally posted by Edward Stow View Post
        No 33 is the shop on the opposite corner to the pub.
        Was that listed as a cat's meat shop?
        It was well within the 250 yard (if my memory serves) search radius.
        You’re getting warm.

        Any chance you could put up a clearer image?

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        • When I get home. I downloaded the Old Maps Online Ap

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          • Is this better?
            Attached Files

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            • The end of the road?

              The address of the ‘Liquidator’ is familiar. :-)

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              • The name at least lasted until the 1980s. This HB was a pet food company based in Widnes. Presumably this was the company liquidated by the man from Tithebarn Street, which, as I’m sure everybody knows, was where James Maybrick had his office.
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                • Originally posted by Gary Barnett View Post
                  The end of the road?

                  The address of the ‘Liquidator’ is familiar. :-)
                  Would that address be described by our average Scouser as 'off' Tithebarn Street, Gary?

                  Love,

                  Caz
                  X
                  I wish I were two puppies then I could play together - Storm Petersen

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                  • Originally posted by Caroline Brown View Post

                    Would that address be described by our average Scouser as 'off' Tithebarn Street, Gary?

                    Love,

                    Caz
                    X
                    Only if he had a copy of ‘The Poisoned Life…’ on his bookshelf.

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                    • Someone very kindly contacted the site to give us a piece of oral history that I'm sure people will find interesting, as follows:

                      Back in the 1970's I worked for some 15 months for Harrison Barber (pet food producers. The company was, at that time, owned by a larger company called Zwananberg.
                      The depot was in Markfield Road Tottenham North London.and also had a licensed slaughter house specifically for horses. These carcases were exported to the continent.
                      The pet food site employed approx 15/20 men. Among them was an 'old boy' who swept up, did general cleaning and made the tea.
                      During my time there he celebrated 50 years with the company which would indicate that he started work for them in the early 20's.
                      At that time he worked at the companies Whitechapel depot. I recall him saying that they used to slaughter police and cavalry horses and he would drive three horses bridled together, sit on the middle one and gallop the string down the High Street, much to the consternation of the local police.

                      The Ripper connection is a bit tenuous, but as a teenager he worked with men who were interviewed by the police investigating the murders.
                      This [when he was a teenager] would have only been just over 30 years since those terrible events.
                      I do not recall him providing any other detail but it is worth recording as a connection to the murders.

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                      • Thanks, Chris, and thanks to your informant. Did they give a name for the man?

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                        • Tomkins and Bretton were dead by 1920. I can’t recall if Mumford was still knocking about. I’ll look it up later,

                          But there will have been other men working at the yard whose names don’t appear in the Ripper literature. Alfred Barber for one, who died in 1927. His funeral was a lavish affair which was attended by the workmen from HB’s Whitechapel depot.

                          Fred Ling was another. He had been a young lad in 1888, living in the same street as Henry Tomkins and working for HB.

                          As I mentioned elsewhere, the 1921 census recorded my paternal grandfather as an unemployed horse slaughterer living in Millwall whose last employer had been a Mr Ling. His father and grandfather had worked for HB in Islington and his great grandfather had worked alongside William Barber ( Alf’s dad) in Winthrop Street.

                          We know the police took statements from Tomkins, Mumford and Bretton, I imagine Barber was also questioned to establish how many men he had working in the yard that night. And maybe a few of the other employees were spoken to less formally.

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                          • I’m grateful to the person who contacted Chris about their employment at HB. We had alighted on the Zwanenberg connection before, but what intrigued me was the mention of horsemeat being exported to the continent. This would presumably have been for human consumption, so not a knacker operation.

                            As I was going through the list of HB employees on the 1921 census I had noticed a few foreign sounding names and I’d wondered if the might have been Belgian. The reason I thought that is because my grandparents apparently used to occasionally travel there for some inexplicable reason.

                            I just purchased a census image for a potentially Belgian HB employee - Clement Vossole - and sure enough his nationality turned out to be ‘resident Belgium’.

                            His place of work was ‘Pleasant Grove, 186, York Road, Kings Cross.’



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                            • I’m currently revisiting Belle Isle and I just looked up the Fortune of War photo on the Historic England site from where I originally obtained it. The online image is so much sharper than it was a few years back.

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                              • The more you drill down into knackerdom, the more interesting little details and connections you discover.

                                The 1861 census recorded 8 households residing in Atcheler’s Yard, off Maiden Lane, Islington, directly behind the Fortune of War pub and Jack Atcheler’s ‘counting house’ (office).

                                In 1860, the office had been described as ‘Jacks Castle Up The Lane…a substantial modern erection, of thoroughly respectable appearance.’ It had (has) the appearance of a four-storeyed house, and although Jack’s main residence was Selina Villa in Finchley I imagine he often stayed there to keep an eye on his business - John Harrison was certainly there on the night the 1871 census was taken.

                                The heads of household in the Yard in 1861 were:

                                No. 1: Charles Fletcher, a labourer in the slaughterhouse.

                                No. A 1: Thomas Wallis, a horse slaughterer. Wallis had been born in Surrey, he was a member of the Wallis family who ran the large knacker’s yard in Garratt Lane, Wandsworth.

                                No. 3: William Jordan, a horse slaughterer.

                                No. 3: William Thompson, a drover.

                                No. 4: Caleb J. Hunt. Recorded as a brush maker on the census, Hunt was also the slaughterhouse inspector, and was often described as a farrier. Every year he presented details of the animals killed at the yard to the Islington vestry. He held the position for several decades, although on one occasion he was accused of running the yard on John Harrison’s behalf while Harrison was ill and came close to being sacked. Several vestry members questioned his impartiality, it being his job to oversee the operation of the yard to ensure that it complied with the various ‘Knackers Acts’, and the vote to reappoint him came very close that year.

                                No. 4: James Cutler, a horse slaughterer. I’m convinced Cutler was the superstar knacker named ‘Potler’ in the 1869 All The Year Round article. By 1869 he was the foreman at the yard, but in 1861, aged 26, he was just another slaughterman. Cutler had been born in Clerkenwell, where Jack Atcheler had his original premises, his father was described as a farrier and a vendor of meat.

                                No. 4: John Franklin, a butcher. Franklin was aged 59 in 1861, and was very likely the foreman ‘Frankman’ described in an 1860 All The Year Round article as a ‘small dapper man in a wide-awake’. Franklin had been born in Putney and had operated as a master butcher in Hackney before arriving in Islington. The fact that a master butcher was running a knacker’s yard is somewhat suspicious. Franklin died in 1866, and by 1869 Cutler/Potler had taken over as foreman.

                                No. 6: James Bunting, a groom. Atcheler kept his own horses at the yard, so presumably Bunting looked after them rather than the poor half-starved nags awaiting their appointment with the pole axe.


                                The next street north of Atcheler’s premises was the amusingly named Pleasant Grove. It had once been called Belle Isle Shoot - shoot meaning a dumping place - but had been renamed in a farcical attempt to improve its reputation. There was another knacker’s yard in Pleasant Grove which was later in the hands of John Harrison . There are a few names we might recognise there, the most obvious being Henry Tomkins. The Tomkins family and their Carvell in-laws were there, as was Charles Wallis, another of the Wandsworth Wallises. There was also a fat maker named Ford. Jack Atcheler had worked for a knacker/tallow/fat-maker named Ford in Sharps Alley in Clerkenwell before setting up on his own account after Ford’s death. I haven’t established a direct connection between the Sharp’s Alley and Belle Isle Fords (yet). The full list of occupations of those living in Pleasant Grove in 1861 gives a flavour of the ‘nuisance’ trades operating in Belle Isle:


                                Brick maker
                                Brick maker
                                Cattle dealer
                                Manure maker
                                Grease maker
                                Grease maker
                                Horse slaughterer
                                Drover
                                Drover
                                Manure maker
                                Carman
                                Fat maker
                                Match maker
                                Town traveller
                                Match maker
                                Match box maker
                                Manure maker
                                House servant
                                Manure maker
                                Fat maker
                                Engineer
                                Seaman


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