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Birchcliffe garden

From Char March

Friday, 25 August 2017

I live up Birchcliffe Road, and have always wondered what the reasons were behind the garden there being donated to the town.  Does anyone know anything about it?  The plaque in the garden reads:

This garden was opened on 8th June 1961 by Mrs P K Griffiths of Maidenhead and is the gift of Mrs Lilian Blackburn of Darlington formerly of Hebden Bridge in loving and treasured memory of her elder daughter June Megan Blackburn who died on 11th February 1932 aged 9 years.

This raises so many questions, not least, why was there a 29 year gap between little June Megan dying, and the garden being donated.

Does anyone know anything at all about the Blackburn family;  how June Megan died;  why there was such a gap...

Any information very gratefully received.

From Alan E

Friday, 22 September 2017

Hello, looked on the AncestryUK site and June Megan's parents were Lillian (nee Tweddle) and Garnet Blackburn - both seem to be from Hebden Bridge before they married in Darlington, 1920.  

Garnet's WW1 army record show his occupation was Ironmonger & his address as Rydal Mount, Hebden Bridge when he enlisted in the Royal Engineer section.  

He was born 1896 & parents were Thomas (Joiner & Builder, born Hebden bridge 1862) & Ada Amanda, or Ada M?

Sorry I have no more information but did send your message on to a person who has this family on their Family Tree (they also have  a photograph on there of a Calderdale gravestone which commemorates little June Megan and various other members of the family (sorry unable to download but there is a free trial available for the Ancestry site so you can see the photo & find more information from the census records up to 1911).

From Graham Barker

Sunday, 24 September 2017

A bit more to throw into the pot: in the Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer of 31 Jul 1937 in the Decrees Nisi section is information to the effect that Lillian Blackburn divorced Garnet Blackburn and may have been living back in Hebden Bridge, possibly at a house called Clovelly in Birchcliffe. Does this ring any bells with anyone? 

Sorry it’s a bit vague but to dig deeper means paying a subscription to the British Newspaper Archive. It doesn’t quite square with the wording ‘Mrs Lilian Blackburn of Darlington formerly of Hebden Bridge’ but maybe she stayed with family in Hebden Bridge until the divorce was sorted out. It must be possible to discover more - for example June Megan’s death certificate - but at a cost.

From Alan E

Monday, 25 September 2017

The divorce would perhaps explain why the husband is not mentioned on the garden's dedication stone.

We have received the following email reply from the Ancestry Site member who has the photograph of the memorial gravestone:

June Megan Blackburn died Hebden Bridge in 1932
Hi. Sorry, I don’t know! If you can’t find anything on the little girl, you could obtain a copy of her death certificate to the cause of death. Illness or accident? The Blackburn graves are in the cross Lanes burial ground, but perhaps the family owned the house adjoining the memorial garden , even after they left the area. Happy hunting, I’d love to hear how you get on Regards, Sara Tyrrel

From Alan E

Monday, 25 September 2017

There is more information regarding the family (more specifically about Garnet Blackburn) to be found on the Genes Reunited Site - newspaper articles from Todmorden & District News which can only be read fully at a cost, or they may also have a Free Trial available) but you can get the brief details if you google that site....

One article from 19 February 1932 reads - "SERVICE. special memorial service was held at Cross Lanes U.M. Church on Sunday morning for June Blackburn, the nine-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Garnet Blackburn, of Birchfield Villas. The Rev. A. X. Merchant, who was in charge, made very kindly and s........"

and from November 1916 - "We are pleased to hear that Corporal Garnet Blackburn, son of Mr. Thomas Blackburn, has recovered from the effects of a poisoned knee, and has got back to his duties as motor cyclist. Last....."

There are few more snippets on that site re Garnet Blackburn.

Good luck, & please let us know if you solve the mystery