Richard Hawthornthwaite (Sen)

Richard HawthornthwaiteAge: 7218971969

Richard Hawthornthwaite
Given names

Richard Hawthorn

Richard Hawthorn
Birth 11 March 1897 30 27
Christening 6 May 1897 (Age 56 days)
Birth of a sisterClara Hawthornthwaite
1899 (Age 21 months)
Christening of a sisterClara Hawthornthwaite
9 August 1899 (Age 2)
Residence 1901 (Age 3)
Address: 32 Thorntonville, Littletown,
Birth of a brotherJames Hawthornthwaite
14 May 1902 (Age 5)
Address: 32 Thorntonville, Liversedge
Death of a brotherJames Hawthornthwaite
February 1903 (Age 5)
Death of a maternal grandfatherWilliam Henry Shakespeare
1903 (Age 5)
Birth of a brotherWilliam Edward Hawthornthwaite
4 July 1904 (Age 7)
Address: 32 Thorntonville, Littletown,
Death of a brotherWilliam Edward Hawthornthwaite
27 January 1905 (Age 7)
Address: 32 Thorntonville,
Cause: Acute Bronchitis
Burial of a brotherWilliam Edward Hawthornthwaite
30 January 1905 (Age 7)
Cemetery: Cleckheaton Old Cemetery
Birth of a sisterMinnie Hawthornthwaite
4 February 1906 (Age 8)
Birth of a brotherFrank Hawthornthwaite
3 May 1910 (Age 13)
Address: 4 Cross Crown Street,
Setter Worsted
1911 (Age 13)
Residence 1911 (Age 13)
Address: 4 Cross Crown Street,
Death of a brotherFrank Hawthornthwaite
16 August 1912 (Age 15)
Address: 19 Brighton Street,
Cause: haemorrharge and convulsions when his skull was accidentally fractured by falling off a stool onto the kitchen floor
Birth of a sisterLilian Hawthornthwaite
29 December 1912 (Age 15)
Marriage of a siblingSydney SmithAda HawthornthwaiteView family
1918 (Age 20)
Marriage of a siblingHarold HirstClara HawthornthwaiteView family
1927 (Age 29)
Residence between 1930 and 1944 (Age 32)
Address: 54 Firthcliffe Rd,
Death of a fatherWilliam Edward Hawthornthwaite
18 August 1949 (Age 52)
Address: 8 Croft Street
Death of a motherClara Shakespeare
18 January 1953 (Age 55)
Address: 8 Croft Street
Residence between 1944 and 1962 (Age 46)
Address: 123 Leeds Rd,
Death of a sisterAda Hawthornthwaite
17 April 1963 (Age 66)
Residence between 1963 and 1969 (Age 65)
Address: 393 Whitehall Rd, Wyke,
Death 29 August 1969 (Age 72)
Address: 393, Whitehall Rd, Scholes
Family with parents - View family
Marriage: 25 December 1891Salford, Lancashire, England
2 years
elder sister
3 years
elder brother
Edward Hawthornthwaite
Birth: 27 March 1896 29 26Salford, Lancashire, England
Death: 23 April 1896Ambergate, Derbyshire, England
11 months
Richard Hawthornthwaite (Sen)Richard Hawthornthwaite
Birth: 11 March 1897 30 27Heage, Ambergate, Derbyshire, England
Death: 29 August 1969Bradford, Yorkshire, England
3 years
younger sister
3 years
younger brother
James Hawthornthwaite
Birth: 14 May 1902 35 32Yorkshire, England
Death: February 1903Liversedge, Yorkshire, England
2 years
younger brother
William E Hawthornthwaite death noticeWilliam Edward Hawthornthwaite
Birth: 4 July 1904 38 34Liversedge, Yorkshire, England
Death: 27 January 1905Liversedge, Yorkshire, England
19 months
younger sister
Minnie HawthornthwaiteMinnie Hawthornthwaite
Birth: 4 February 1906 39 36Dewsbury, Yorkshire, England
Death: 17 November 1992Cleckheaton, Yorkshire, England
4 years
younger brother
Frank Hawthornthwaite
Birth: 3 May 1910 43 40Cleckheaton, Yorkshire, England
Death: 16 August 1912Heckmondwike, Yorkshire, England
3 years
younger sister
Lilian HawthornthwaiteLilian Hawthornthwaite
Birth: 29 December 1912 46 43Liversedge, Yorkshire, England
Death: 14 June 1993Dewsbury, Yorkshire, England

Media objectRichard Hawthornthwaite (Sen)Richard Hawthornthwaite (Sen)
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Media objectRichard & Sarah (Longworth) HawthornthwaiteRichard & Sarah (Longworth) Hawthornthwaite
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Media objectRichard Hawthornthwaite (Sen)Richard Hawthornthwaite (Sen)
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Media objectSarah (Longworth) & Richard HawthornthwaiteSarah (Longworth) & Richard Hawthornthwaite
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Media objectClara Shakespeare with Ada, Clara and RichardClara Shakespeare with Ada, Clara and Richard
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Media objectSidney Smith Ada Hawthornthwaite weddingSidney Smith Ada Hawthornthwaite wedding
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Media objectLetter to son John and daughter in law MaryLetter to son John and daughter in law Mary
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Note: Unknown to John & Mary, who were still in Singapore at the time, Richard was seriously ill with dropsy, the fatal heart disease. He died in August 1969, just a month after their return to the UK. Mary was able to tell him that she was pregnant and that Richard's grandchild was on its way.
Media objectRichard with Angelica ZissimouRichard with Angelica Zissimou
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Note: Angelica was the sister to Mike Zissimos, who became Sarah's godson in 1945
Media objectRichard Hawthornthwaite Death CertificateRichard Hawthornthwaite Death Certificate
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Media objectA letter from Richard to Mary his daughter in lawA letter from Richard to Mary his daughter in law
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Media objectHerbert L E Burch with Richard Hawthornthwaite 1968Herbert L E Burch with Richard Hawthornthwaite 1968
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Media objectnieces Queenie and Edna on the P & Mnieces Queenie and Edna on the P & M
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Media objectRichard and Sarah Marriage CertificateRichard and Sarah Marriage Certificate
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Richard's Life

Richard Hawthornthwaite 1897 - 1969


Richard Hawthornthwaite was born on March 11th 1897 in Heage, Ambergate, Derbyshire.  His parents, William Edward Hawthornthwaite and Clara Shakespeare were from Manchester.  The family roots are there and to the west of Manchester in the Quarnmore area.


His father had gone to Derbyshire in the late 1880s / early 1890s from Manchester looking for work in the wire mill in Ambergate. (Now no longer a wire mill)  The family moved to Cleckheaton, West Yorkshire again looking for work in the wire mills and finally moved to Heckmondwike, in West Yorkshire where they lived in a small house behind Whitfields Furnishing shop.  The house, (8 Croft Street) had 4 bedrooms and housed his mother and father, his sisters Minnie and Lilian.  Richard moved out on Marriage and Fred Oates moved in and he and Lilian had two children, Janet and Richard.


Throughout his life he was universally known as Dick.  To his family he was “t’old man”.  He married Sarah Longworth (known as Sallie) in 1927 living initially with his parents in 8 Croft Street, Heckmondwike.  Daughter Anne was born in 1929 in Heckmondwike.  .  In 1933/4 he was seriously ill with a perforated duodenal ulcer and very nearly died.  Sallie had a miscarriage at about this time. Son John was born in 1937  in Heckmondwike.  After Anne was born they moved to Cornmill Lane, Heckmondwike, then to 54 Firthcliff Road, Liversedge, West Yorkshire and then, in 1944, to 123, Leeds Road, Liversedge, West Yorkshire.  The final move was in 1961 to Westfield House, Whitehall Road, Wyke, near Bradford in West Yorkshire.


He left Littletown Council School at the age of 11 years. At the age of 13 he was employed as a worsted setter in a wool mill.   He certainly taught himself to read and write in this period, having bought two books: one—‘How to read & write’; the other—‘Simple Maths’.  He told his son John that at 17 he started a small company, making firelighters with his mother’s help.  Because he was only17, and therefore a minor, the company had to be in his father’s name.  Dick, it seems was doing quite well and had obtained a good contract from the local Co-operative Society to provide firelighters, until his father, a bit of a drunkard and a gambler, lost the company in a bet. Presumably due to this loss and his fathers drunkeness, Richard signed the Salvation Army Teetotal pledge.  He never drank alchol again until he was ill at the age of 60, and then he would have a small brandy in the evening.   Because his father wasn’t too good at being a father, Dick had to help to bring up his three younger sisters, Clara, Minnie and Lilian and he began to work in the wire mill.  There were two in Cleckheaton, Smiths (which became British Ropes) and Rigby’s.  Dick joined Smiths and became one of their most skilled wiredrawers.  He was the one who always “ran up” any new machines that were installed.  The wire was pulled through tapered dies to both work harden it and to “draw it out” to the right diameter.  The dies were lubricated with powdered borax.  We knew the borax as soft soap or “green soap” and the old used borax was taken home for washing clothes, dishes, floors etc.  Sadly over the years the powder got into the men’s lungs and Dick had to retire early with breathing problems.  During WWII Dick drew wire for barrage balloon tethers and for anti submarine nets.  He worked 12 hour shifts 6 days a week throughout WWII and for several years afterwards.  It was a stressful time as Sallie had “gone off to war” as a volunteer for the United Nations Refugee Relief Agency and he had to bring up his 7 year old son and his teenaged daughter who had recently had a leg amputated.  Sallie’s mother, Margaret Ann Longworth, came to Liversedge to help, but so irritated Dick that she had to go home.  He never served in the forces.  By the time conscription was started during WWI he was a wiredrawer, a reserved trade. Similarly the trade was reserved in WWII.   (However his brother in law Sydney Smith, also a wiredrawer, volunteered and served in the Army during WWI.)


An interesting little story of this period (1944/45) concerns Dicks’s generosity.  The house (123 Leeds Road, Liversedge) was nearly at the top of a steep hill.  One day a long road train came up at about 1mph.  It was a Pickford’s outfit with two tractors pulling and one tractor pushing a low loader with a huge transformer on.  Its crew stretched their legs up the hill and walked alongside.  Father saw this and invited them in for breakfast, did a “fry up” which they all enjoyed, whilst the train crawled up the road.  Breakfast over, the crew walked up the road, caught it up, got on and carried on as if nothing had happened.


Dick had a second job. Both he and his wife Sallie worked for Broadbent’s,  a furnishing shop in Littletown, Liversedge.  The shop would sell goods for a small deposit and weekly payments of an agreed amount.  Sallie and Dick would go round to the customers’ houses and “collect” the weekly payments, for which they would be paid 1s for each £1 collected.  When Sallie went off with UNRRA Dick took over her round.  It was hard work for little return; sixpence here, a shilling here, perhaps 2/6 from someone who had bought a settee.  His typical take-home pay from a round on Saturday lasting three hours would be about £1/10s.  His pay at the mill at the latter stages of his working life was around £15 to £18 a week.  (But then petrol was only 1s/6p a gallon.  1.7p per litre!!!)


He was a motorcyclist.  His first machine was bought from Phelon and Moore, a Cleckheaton motorcycle manufacturer, in about 1928 (or so).  P&M was the precursor to the Panther marque. ​ It was a 600cc single cylinder bike with a sloping cylinder which replaced the front down-tube of the frame.  It had a cast iron piston which was prone to cracking.  Because of this P&M would give him a spare piston which he carried with him wherever he went on the bike.  If the piston cracked, he would change it at the side of the road; give the cracked one to P&M who would replace it with a new one.  He had a close friend, Frank Dutton, who worked for P&M and who also had a 600cc single P&M.  In 1944, when he took over Sallie’s round Dick bought a 1937 Norton Model 19 with a sidecar, to do the combined round for Broadbent’s.  Again it was a 600cc single cylinder machine, but this time with no piston problems. However, when it did need repair, this was often done in the kitchen as for quite some time Dick didn’t have a garage.  Petrol was rationed and available only to those who needed their vehicles for work.  Dick qualified for 4 gallons of petrol coupons per month as a rounds man for Broadbent’s and by carefully husbanding the petrol (he free-wheeled as much as possible--illegal today) he was able to occasionally take the family to the Yorkshire seaside and daughter Anne and son John to Bradford’s Odsal Top speedway stadium every Saturday for some years, to watch Oliver Hart, who leaned so far over that he used his knee rather than his foot to help him round the track.


Dick was very resourceful.  On a journey home from Darwen once he had a bad puncture which couldn’t be repaired, so he just stuffed the tyre with grass from the side of the road and carried on.  (Try that today!!!!)  He once took Sallie to Hull for the day.  They left it a bit too long as the bike didn’t have any lights and they had to return before dark.  He made it, doing the journey, Hull to Liversedge in just one hour. (Again, try that today)  Sallie never went with him on the bike again!   He had a new sidecar made by Charles Crowther, the resident woodworker at Broadbent’s, in the shape of a speedboat, complete with deck, handrail and ventilator.   He rode the Norton until about 1956, when the engine “wore out”.  He then used daughter Anne’s bike, a 250cc BSA C11 to do the rounds. In 1956 son John took the Norton to Leeds University where the engineering department made new valve guides and the bike was resurrected as a solo.  One Saturday in 1957 whilst on a round with the BSA, Dick forgot that he had left the side stand down and set off from a house.  The stand caught and the bike threw him off, breaking his left shoulder blade.  Although the bike had a hand gear change he managed to put it into gear and drive 3 miles home in first gear.  He then got on a bus and went to hospital. 


He loved music; his favourites being Verdi’s La Traviata, followed by church organs and German blasmusik.   He was a keen member of the Heckmondwike Amateur Operatic Soc. & helped behind the scenes whilst Sallie was on stage.  In his youth he was also a keen and apparently a very good tennis player, a member of the Liversedge Tennis Club.  He was a member of the Literary and Scientific Society in Heckmondwike and treasurer of British Ropes Sick Club for many years.  He kept tropical fish in an aquarium in the wooden entrance porch to the house in Wyke.  Unfortunately he hit the porch with a car and the aquarium glass cracked.  Ever resourceful he “acquired” half the glass from the Scholes Co-op window, which conveniently had been smashed by a lorry, and brought it home, had a frame made & created a big new tank. He put the tank on top of a bookcase & started to fill it via a hose-pipe, the weight was too much and he had to stop filling the tank which he did, just in time. The Siamese cat fished out all his guppies and gold fish. In the garden of every house he moved into he dug out a pond which he filled with water lilies and other water plants and goldfish.


At the end of WWII food was still rationed so the male members of Broadbent’s workforce got together and formed a “Pig Club”.  They converted some outhouses and built new pigsties and successfully bred and raised pigs for slaughter and hens for their eggs. At the height of the enterprise they had some 40 pigs and a similar number of hens.  At this time half of any slaughtered livestock had to be given to the government as a sort of tax.  For many years Dick’s home had sides of bacon and hams hanging at the top of the stairs, the only place with a height enough to do this.  The club was very successful until sadly they were hit by swine fever and had to close down.


Dick was a “knackler”, able to turn his hand to anything mechanical or electrical.  In his day certificates weren’t needed to do or create most things.  He would sit with his eyes shut for hours, claiming that he was “thinking”. Sure enough he would then go into the garage and eventually come out bearing his latest creation in triumph.  He was a very keen and good photographer and in the late 50s dabbled in the bathroom at home with development of colour printing.  He would have been in his element with 21st century digital photography


He enjoyed creating “Hi Fi” s to play gramophone records.  When LPs appeared he didn’t have a 33rpm player so doctored a 78 player.  Ordinary gramophone needles were far too coarse for 33s so he used the points from son John’s drawing instruments.  He converted the sideboard into a hi-fi cabinet by taking the drawers out, fixing their fronts to the door below and filling it all with the latest amplifiers from Leak.  He used 18” diameter bass speakers with 24” long middies and 3” tweeters in two huge housings made by John and filled with old stair carpet roughly the size of large dog kennels on end.


He was essentially a gentle man with a good sense of humour but could have a very sharp temper at times.  An excellent judge of character he didn’t suffer fools gladly.   Because two of his sisters had a child out of wedlock, he was very protective of his daughter Anne. Whenever she went to meet any new boyfriend that he didn't know he would find out where she was going, when and how. If by bus to Leeds, he would catch an earlier bus and hang around near to the bus stop and watch & wait for her! Once the boyfriend was vetted it was OK.  He was quite critical of one or two of son John’s friends. After Sallie returned from the Mediterranean area where she had worked for UNRRA in 1944 and 1945, relationships between them grew very strained.  The shouting matches were long, loud and very stressful to the whole family.  However they remained faithful to each other and eventually they were reconciled.    In the 1960s, Dick travelled in Europe with Sallie, taking in Germany, Austria, Greece, Russia, Spain, Morocco and Tunisia.


In 1968/9 Dick suffered from bronchitis, (exacerbated by the borax from his wiredrawing days) and dropsy, a condition where fluid builds up in the body due, in his case, to a weak heart, which eventually failed.  Before he died his scrotum had swelled up to the size of a football, so much so that he couldn’t put his pyjama trouser bottoms on.  He died on 29th August 1969.  After a short service, Richard was cremated at Dewsbury Crematorium.