Trawling through the records reveals the following makers of sporting goods living in the Cloudesley Estate in the early 20th century:

  • Billiard Maker, Frank Williams, 25 Cloudesley Square, 1901
  • Tennis Bat Maker, George Watkins Capel, 347 Liverpool Rd, 1902
  • Billiard Maker, James Beazley, 6 Cloudesley Place, 1902
  • Cricket Bat Maker, William James Shaw, 17 Cloudesley Square, 1910
  • Lawn Tennis Bat Stringer, Edward Sheppard, 33 Cloudesley Square, 1910
  • Tennis Racquet Maker, John Thomas Berry, 32 Cloudesley Place, 1910
  • Tennis Racquet Maker, Albert Baker, 7 Cloudesley Square, 1923

A quick Google search suggests that these residents, at least the Tennis Racquet or "Bat" Makers, may have been employed by T.H. Prosser & Sons on Pentonville Rd.  According to British History Online:

"A notable manufacturer based here from the 1880s into the early 1900s was T. H. Prosser & Sons, at Nos 198–200, the leading makers of rackets, lawn tennis and athletic equipment.  Established in Pentonville in the 1850s, Prossers supplied universities and schools, and were official makers to Princes Club in Knightsbridge and Queen's Club in West Kensington. They were also the first to make lawn tennis rackets, under the direction of Major Wingfield, inventor of the game."

More speculatively, it is tempting to make an association between the Cricket Bat Maker and the Cricket Ground at White Conduit Fields, predecessor of The MCC

 

 

A surpring number of residents were involved with manufacturing pianos and related occupations:

  • Piano Forte Key Maker, Alfred Charles Lowe, 12 Cloudesley Place, 1885Piano Factory
  • Harmonium Maker, William Graham, 144 Cloudesley Road, 1887
  • Piano Forte Maker, Alexander Linton, 10 Cloudesley Place, 1909
  • Pianoforte Maker, Thomas Marden (Deceased), 103 Cloudesley Rd, 1910
  • Organ Builder, Ernest Mason, 20 Cloudesley St, 1911
  • Pianoforte Maker, Harry Erwin Stuart Hinks, 17 Clarendon Square, Somers Town, 1917
  • Piano Manufacturer, Arthur Charles Cons, 46 Hamden Rd, 1917
  • Piano Maker, Walter Sidney Roberts, 18 Cloudesley Rd, 1920

It turns out that Camden and Islington were a world centre for piano manufacturing in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  Some of this activity took place in large firms such as Collard & Collard based in the famous circular building on Oval Road in Camden (see image).  But hundreds of smaller firms were part of the industry, some no more than "small assembly shops in back kitchens, with parts bought in ready made" (see "Piano Manufacture in Camden").  These firms were, in turn supported by a host of related trades including veneering, fretworking, woodturning, glue boiling, stringing shops, key loading, case making, timber and ivory work, hammer work, and marquetry.  Sure enough, all these crafts figure in our records.  Here, for example, are a father and son both employed as veneerers from the Marriages data:

Married 25.12.1930:  Robert Mathew Clark-Ward, Bachelor, Veneerer, 2 Cloudesley Square. Father: Charles Clerk-Ward, Veneerer

One reason the area was suitable for Piano Making was the presence of the Regents Canal and the emerging Kings Cross rail network for transporting the bulky pianos.  Another might be the nearby "Belle Isle" site which hosted a variety of noxious commercial activities, mostly involving the boiling down of dead animals to yield, for example, varnish, glue, and bones!  More on Belle Isle later.

 

 

 

Walking Sticks 1

Several makers of walking sticks and umbrellas appear in the records, variously described as Walking Stick Makers, Walking Stick Manufacturers, Stick Dressers and Stick Mounters (this refers to "decorated walking sticks with silver, gold, bone or ivory mountings") and, possibly, "Stickers".  This in itself is probably not peculiar to Islington - walking sticks were big business in the 19th century and were made all over the country in ever more fantastic shapes and sizes (see here for a description).  

 

Walking Sticks 2

 

In the Cloudesley Estate it seems to have been a family business.  In the 1881 census, for example, we find John Crossley at 28 Cloudesley Square describing himself proudly as a "Walking Stick Maker employing 6 men + boys", the boys presumably including his sons John and Alfred, then aged 11 and 9 respectively.  Ten years later in the 1891 census he is still there, but the sons, now 21 and 19, now each merit a description under Occupation as "Walking Stick Manufacturers"!

In the Births and Baptism records we come across Edward John Long, a Walking Stick Maker living at 6 Islington Terrace (the forerunner of Cloudesley Road), presiding over a double baptism on May 3 1887 at Holy Trinity Church, of his daughter Sarah Ann Emma Long, and his son, also called Edward John Long.  Turning now to the Marriages records, the son Edward John Long, now aged 28, is shown as marrying Lilian Amelia Braithwaite at Holy Trinity on Boxing Day, 26 December 1909, with both father and son described as "Stick Mounters".  The next year his sister, Alice Rachel Long, aged 20, marries one Henry James Willis, a compositor from nearby Barnsbury Street.  Alice's Father Edward is now described as merely a "Stick Maker"!  Note that this sister is different from the sister Sarah who was baptised in 1887.  This highlights an issue with the Baptism and Birth records, which frequently show the Baptism Date without the birth date, and often feature two or more siblings being baptised on the same day, in a job lot as it were.  In the case of the Longs we can surmise that Edward was baptised at the age of 6 when his sister Sarah was born and that poor Alice was probably not baptised at all.

 

The Cloudesley Estate was home to many other artisans and craftmen, particularly towards the latter half of the 19th and early 20th centuries.  From the Baptisms and Births data, 1829-1917, we can identify the following parental occupations.

Occupation

Number

Jeweller

14

Carpenter

10

Cabinet Maker or Related

10

Silversmith or Related

12

Painter

8

Bookbinder or Related

8

Watch, Clock or Escapement Maker

8

Engraver

7

Walking Stick Maker or Related

6

French Polisher

5

Goldsmith or Related

4

Jewel Case Maker

6

Artificial Florist

3

Grainer

3

Vellum Binder

3

Perfumier

2

Lithographer

2

Mathematical Instrument Maker

2

Photographer

2

Pianoforte Maker

2

Occupation

Number

Slate Mason

2

Brass Finisher

2

Diamond Setter

2

Upholsterer

2

Glass Blower

2

Zinc Worker

2

Harmonium Maker 

2

Surgical Instrument Maker

2

Carver

1

Portmanteau Maker

1

Tinplate Worker

1

Bicycle Maker

1

Fancy Paper Manufacturer

1

Church Organ Builder

1

Cooper

1

Hatter

1

Shoemaker

1

Cinematograph Operator

1

Sign Writer

1

Writer

1

Occupation

Number

Straw Hat Manufacturer

1

Electro-plater and Gilder

1

Instrument Maker

1

Piano Forte Key Maker

1

Lapidary

1

Leather Case Maker

1

Copper Plate Printer

1

Marble Mason

1

Cycle Maker

1

Basket Maker

1

Dressmaker

1

Enameller

1

Veneerer

1

Watch Case Polisher

1

Braid Maker

1

     
           

Finally, from the Marriages data, we have the following entry for 1921!

183 Barnsbury Rd William Henry Gambier Rocking Horse Maker

Some of these artisans may have been employed at local factories or workshops (see Belle Isle below), but many were no doubt self-employed and working from their homes in the Cloudesley area.

 

The Burials and Births data list no less than 19 parents with the occupation of Schoolmaster (no schoolmistresses, but see below).  This is a little misleading, however, since there are separate records for each new baptism and several of the schoolmasters had quite a lot of children.  In fact, it turns out there are a total of 8 schoolmasters in the baptism records, as follows:

(Later Note: Mr Nunn is mentioned in grandiloquent terms in the 1850 Annual Report of the Committee responsible for the Holy Trinity Schools, thus:

In the inscrutable but unerring ordering of Divine Providence, your long-tried and much-valued master, Mr. Nunn, was laid upon the bed of lingering and dangerous sickness, and for a length of time your Committee were in painful suspense as to the result. But the prayers of the friends of riper years, and of the loving children under his training, were heard, and it pleased God to give him and all who were deeply interested in his or their own welfare, β€œan happy issue out of their affliction.”

You can download the full report, entirely written in such flowery language, here. )

  • Richard Clarke, 20 Cloudesley Terrace.  4 children baptised: 1839, 1842, 1848.
  • William Cornish, 1 Stonefield Street.  1 child baptised: 1839.

(Later Note: the Cornish family included one son, also called William, who became a professor of music, and another, Alfred, who is listed in the 1851 census as a merchant's clerk.  Alfred's son, Albert, became a sergeant in the South Wales Borderers and died of dysentry in Basra, Iraq in 1916 - download his war record here)

  • Thomas MacDougal, 27 Lower Islington Terrace.  1 child baptised: 1849.
  • Edward Stevens, 14 Cloudesley Square.  2 children baptised: 1860, 1862.
  • Robert Sturman, 11A Stonefield Street.  1 child baptised: 1864.
  • Lawrence Major, School House Cloudesley Street.  4 children baptised: 1870, 1872, 1874, 1878.
  • Arthur Gibbard, 1 Cloudesley Square.  1 child baptised: 1889.

Note that at least two of these families actually lived in the school variously described as "Infant School Trinity District", "Infant School House", and "School House Cloudesley Street".  It seems likely that the others also taught there.  Another source - the Post Office London Directory for 1860 - confirms that James Nunn and Edward Stevens were teachers at "Trinity Church National and Infant Schools" as "Infant Master" and "Master" respectively, and lists Mrs Isabella Hannah Stevens as "Mistress".  From a later Directory for 1900 we can identify two more teachers at the school as the following entry makes clear:

  • In 1900 (see image below):

- "Cloudesley National Schools"

Lawrence Major, Master (see above)

Mrs Major, Mistress (Jane Ann - Mr Major's wife!)

- "Cloudesley Infants Schools"

Miss Ebbels, Mistress

Trinity School Record 1900