The Mystery Of The Crump Family Of Gravelly Hill
A very interesting photo I have in my collection is one which has been posted as a postcard and has a message on the back. It is of a couple with a little girl outside their house. I love it much more than any studio shot as somehow their personalities are in the photo. When whoever took this photo asked them to pose, the mother and daughter chose to proudly stand with their bikes. Both of them wearing their outside clothes before setting off on a ride. I'm amazed at how they chose to dress for a bike ride in those days. What would they make of all the lycra and helmets worn by cyclists today I wonder.
Lewis Blanche And Elise Crump Outside
The postcard was sent in 1903 to an address in Cardiff and the message was signed Lewis and Blanche Crump. I managed to find them quite easily with such unusual names. Lewis Crump was born on the 2nd Oct 1862 in Dudley, Worcestershire. In 1892 he married Blanche Sidney Oram in Birmingham and they had one daughter Elsie Kate born 1893. On the 1911 census the family lived at "Pendennis" 65 Oval Rd, Gravelly Hill Warwickshire. If you look closely on the photo you can see the name "Pendennis" on the wall above the front door. It was also recorded that Lewis and Blanche had one daughter Elsie and no children had died.
The postcard message is quite cryptic. Posted to a Mr Maton, Langland House, Oakfield Street, Roath, Cardiff. It read : Dr Mr Maton, Many thanks for the interesting communication. We both join in hearty congratulations & trust the progress will be maintained. Very Kindest Regards from Lewis & Blanche Crump.
By the late 1920s a strange thing happened to the records. On the electoral register Elsie is no longer living with Lewis and Blanche but a woman called Daphne Queenie Crump. I presumed Elsie had left home to get married, although I couldn't find a marriage record for her, and another female relative had moved in but it became even more confusing in 1931 when Elsie appeared on the register too.
Lewis Crump died on 16 April 1936 when he was 73 years old in Bournemouth. After this the mystery deepens. On the 1939 register Blanche now registered as a widow is living with Daphne Queenie who's date of birth is the same as Elsie's in 1893 and she is listed as daughter. There seem to be only two possibilities, either Elsie changed her name to Daphne Queenie or the couple adopted another daughter who coincidentally was born in the same month and year as Elsie. Blanche died on the 28th September 1953 and the sole beneficiary of her will was Daphne Crump, spinster. Daphne died in Bournemouth in 1976 and appeared not to leave a will as a notice was posted in the London Gazette asking for people who may have a claim on her estate to contact the bank. I can not know for sure if little Elsie in the photo changed her name to Daphne Queenie and if she did what was the reason, but it makes me realise, the more research I do there are mysteries in every family.
The house at 65 Oval Rd, Gravelly Hill still stands but everything looks very different today. Gravelly Hill, an area of Birmingham, is home to the present day interchange known as Spaghetti Junction. If only walls could talk 65 Oval Road may be able to answer the puzzle of what happened there to the Crump family in the 1920s, it seems it will remain a mystery.
Keywords: family history
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