Monday, 9 May 2016

A Progress Estate Family – Well Hall Estate

The Tester family moved into 18 Dickson Road with their children in 1915. Frederick Tester was a munitions worker at the Arsenal and was 40 at this time. He had been married eighteen years and he and his wife Ada had had seven children the eldest of whom would have been eighteen and the youngest about four years old. Five of the children were registered at Deansfield Primary School in December along with many other children from the estate.
Albert Edward born 26th August 1903
William John born 2nd November 1905
Ena (or Edna) May born 30th April 1907
Ernest born 30th July 1908
Marjorie Lily born 7th October 1910
The two oldest children Frederick James (18) and Ada Alexandra (14) may have been working and so living elsewhere. In the 1911 census all the family had been living in Wandsworth Road in a nine roomed house. Frederick was a licensed victualler and the family had a live-in servant and also had room for a tenant. 18 Dickson Road seems to have been a Class 3 House with living room, scullery and three bedrooms and so this move to Dickson Road was to smaller accommodation.
We have no way of knowing whether he earned more or less money through this move especially as the school register gives no detail about the nature of his work. It might at least, however, have provided a more reliable income. We don’t know whether Ada had time for paid work, especially given the five children. In addition, during the war a further child, Queen, was born in 1917 so there was a small baby to look after.Frederick and Ada were still living at 18 Dickson Road with some of their grown up children during the ‘30s although by the end of the Second World War they had moved to 31, Granby Road.

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