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Historic Images of Cromford Wharf

Following yesterdays post, which showed my New Years Day photographs of Cromford Wharf, todays images are of times past. The first image is particularly interesting as it shows employees of Wheatcroft’s around the turn of the 20th century ie. at the very time when my great, great grandfather was resident at the Coal Wharf, Cromford. When I compare the photo (below) to images of my great grandfather, the gentleman standing second from the right in the flat cap and sporting a large moustache bears an uncanny resemblance to him – is that John Allen?  

Staff outside Wheatcroft’s Office 1900’s
1811 Plan of the Wharf showing the original basin and the ‘agents’ house

The image (above) from 1811, seems to confirm that there has only ever been one residence on the wharf ie. the agent’s house. However, as the drawing is little more than a sketch impression, and the rectangle labelled ‘agent’s house’ may actually be more than one dwelling, or perhaps further extensions, creating perhaps a short row of two or  three cottages could have been created later.  It’s therefore not possible to say at this point whether my great, great grandfather and his family lived at the agent’s house, or in a sub-divided or extended agent;s house ie. in a slightly less substantial residence…

March 1963, with the agents house visible behind the diesel tank on the right-hand side

A shame that the once pristine coal yard, captured in images at the turn of the 20th century, has long gone by the early 60’s, with the wharf relegated to little more than a parking space for lorries.

3 comments
  1. Janet Joyce

    Hi Nick

    Looking for information on John and William Allen. I always thought that the gentleman you mention looked like an Allen, but couldn’t prove it. It would be great to hear if you have any other information. My name is Janet Joyce (nee Allen), my Great, Great, Great Grandfather was John Allen, who resided at the Wharf Cottages.

  2. Janet Joyce

    Apologies…getting mixed up with John and James. If you are suggesting that this is John Allen, then my Great Great Grandfather was William Allen, John’s brother? William was a boat man and also kept The Boat in at Scarthin Nick. His father was James Allen, who I have on census as living at the Wharf Cottage too.

  3. Cromford Connections |

    […] And the reason I took the photos? Well, the man standing second from the right is my Great, Great Grandfather John Allen who was the wharf foreman and previously the ‘Ganger’ in charge of maintaining the terminus end of the Cromford Canal around the turn of the last century. There’s more information HERE and HERE. […]

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