MARGARET BARBARA GARTLY (b. Wrightstone, Glass 1896- d. Poynton, Cheshire 1968)
Margaret Barbara Gartly was always known, in my experience, as ‘Barbara’ so I will continue to call her that here.
She was the youngest daughter of James and Elizabeth Gartly and, like two of her older sisters, Betty and Ella, chose nursing as a career. I guess that since this photograph, with the rather effective backdrop, is by Clark and Sons of Buckie and Huntly, Barbara may have started her training, like Betty, at the Cottage Hospital in Huntly.
Barbara opted for children’s nursing, as her speciality, and it can be seen from this collage of her certificates that she became well qualified in this area.
I mentioned far above that I thought that she had spent some time as a nurse or nanny to the children of a colonial family, in either Rhodesia or Nyasaland, but since writing that I have come across this portrait which is stamped on the back ‘A Krebser, Photographer, Afnemer, Kroonstad, OFS (for Orange Free State)’. So it looks as if she was in South Africa, at least long enough to have her portrait taken.
Incidentally, Kroonstad was the location of a concentration camp established by the British during the Boer War. This, however, would have been well before Barbara’s visit in, I suppose, the late nineteen-twenties.
By the early nineteen-thirties Barbara was back in Britain and seems to have joined Betty in Blackpool. It was then that she met and married Herbert Thompson who had a scrap metal business in Manchester.
Her other four sisters may have missed out on a white wedding for one reason or another but Barbara certainly got hers.
I am afraid I do not have a date for the wedding but, as can be seen from the clipping from a local Blackpool paper, her sister is referred to as ‘Nurse Betty Gartley’.
Since Betty married James Crabtree in 1932 this must date Barbara’s wedding to 1932 or earlier.
The clipping also mentions that Barbara and Herbert will live at Stockport, Manchester. I do not know if, at this time, they had settled in Mere Lodge, seen here from the back.
Certainly, however, by the time I came on the scene in the nineteen-forties this was their home. Being near Poynton in Cheshire I think it could certainly count as Stockport.
Whatever the case here, Stockport was only thirty two miles, as the crow flies across the Peak district, from what became Betty’s home at Dewsbury Moor so the two sisters and brothers-in-law were able to keep in close touch and visit easily.
This photo of the four shows one such visit at Moor End House in the early thirties. Barbara is sitting on the grass with Teddy while James stands at the back. It must have been taken by Will for there is an identical group except Will is sitting in place of Betty.
Barbara and Herbert had one child, Alfred.
I have no exact date of birth for him but it must have been in the mid 1930s. It think it is very likely that it is him that we see here pictured with his Grannie, Elizabeth Gartly. The photo, I suppose, was taken at ‘Heathcot’, 13, East Park Street, Huntly, and I have a vague recollection, from my early years there, of the trunk on which the Grannie is sitting.
This, on the other hand, is definitely Alfred in his school uniform with, on his right, his aunt Nan and, on his left, holding his hand, his mother, Barbara.
I guess this, rather creased, street photo would have been taken in either Manchester or Stockport and that he is wearing the uniform of Manchester Grammar, where he was a pupil. In his teens, Alfred was a keen record collector and I snapped him here putting an LP on the radiogram at Mere Lodge c. 1957.
Alfred married Jean Unwin in 1959 and settled in Sheffield.
It is at this point that my stock of photographs on this branch of the family runs out but I do have this striking picture of Alfred’s son, Mark, with the family dogs c. 1963.
This must be one of the last I have of Barbara, again from c. 1963, seen at the front of Mere Lodge. Barbara died in 1968.
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