The Bagnall's of Wakefield

William Bagnall

William Bagnall

Birth 1875

William Bagnall was born in 1875 and was my Great Grandfather.

Mention of Willie in Wakefield and West Riding Herald

William (or perhaps "Willie" in his early years), was an accomplished musician, if this news article is refering to him? If so it would have been at the tender age of 12.

John Bagnall's Family Edith Louisa Harry John George Milton Hannah Mary Ann
John Bagnall's Family, I believe taken in the rear garden of Moorvilla. Hover for annotationTap here to show/hide annotation. Click to view large.

He appears in this family photograph. the earliest photograph I have of him, courtesy of Margaret

William and Harriett's Marriage Certificate

Marriage 8 May 1897

William marries Harriett Dawson 8 May 1897 Aged 23, Harriett is 22.

With this marriage certificate, I was able to determine Harriett's maiden name and confirm both Harriett and William's ages. I also discovered Harriett's Father's name - Henry Dawson and found the name of another Bagnall - Edith Bagnall, who I had never heard of before and who I suspect may be William's Aunt? If you have any information about Edith, please contact me.

1901 Census

We know that by now, William was his own man, married and living in his own house with his young family since there is also an entry in the 1901 census for William and Harriett's family.

1901 Census entry for William Bagnall Household

William was 26 and a Bricklayor (yes that's how it was spelt). He and Harriett - aged 25, lived at 43 Green Hill Road Stanley Road, Wakefield in the Parish of Saint Andrew. From Isabel's baptism record though they were at 43 Bagnall Terrace (which seems more likely though 43 is quite a hig number for that terrace?). Their children at that time were:

Marion E Bagnall Age 3
John Henry Bagnall Age 1 (My Grandfather)

William Bagnall

25 April 1905 Wakefield Cathedral Choir

Wakefield Cathedral Choir 1905

William is still in the Wakefield Cathedral Choir and appears in the photograph which still hangs in the Cathedral Choir Practice room. He would have been around 30 years old. The photograph was taken at the consecration of the Bishop Walsham Howe Memorial

I only discovered this photograph because of a press cutting from 1979 which mentioned it.

William Bagnall
Close up detail of William Bagnall from the photograph above.

Pamela & Dennis Brockbank and I went to the cathedral and were very kindly allowed into the practice room to look for the photograph where I was able to take these digital copies. Many thanks to the staff of the Cathedral for allowing us in.

1908 Harriett Listed as a Shopkeeper

In a 1908 trade directory, there is an entry:

"Bagnall Harriett (Mrs.), shopkeeper, 15 Field Lane"

1911 Census

1911 Census entry for William Bagnall Household

William was 37 and still a Bricklayer, but also a contractor and employer. Living with Harriett - aged 35, being married for 14 years now at 108 Stanley Road, Wakefield. William's Sister Mabel Bagnall also most likely lived with the family or was staying with them on the night of the census.

Very sadly we see from this census, that they had 5 children, but one had died. Their children at that time were:

Marion E Bagnall Age 13
John Henry Bagnall Age 11 (My Grandfather)
Isabel Bagnall Age 9
Ronald Bagnall Age 3
Arthur Bagnall Age 9 months

36 Cheltenham Road, Blackpool

28th June 1912 Yorkshire Evening Post

Blackpool, N.S. 36, Cheltenham Rd.-Superior homely Aparts, 3 min. #ca; every comfort; bath,piano.-Bagnall

Was it William who built the apartments at 36 Cheltenham Road in Blackpool?

From Google Streetview, I can see they are still there and are still apartments!

I love that they had a bath and a piano!


1912, 6th September Yorkshire Evening Post, William Advertises for Bricklayers

6th September 1912 Yorkshire Evening Post

Bricklayers wanted at Horbury Sewage Works.-Apply on the job. Wm. Bagnall, Contractor, Wakefield.

1912 William advertises for bricklayers at Horbury Sewage Works.

According to this article about Horbury Bridge, the sewage works were built in 1893, so this contract must have been a repair or extend to the site.


1912 William Builds and Runs a New Cinema

A postcard of men working on Wakefield Cathedral spire
A postcard of men working on Wakefield Cathedral spire

This piece was written by Necia Potter and features on the Commanet website

William Bagnall was a prominent builder of Eastmoor and was responsible for much of the property. He lived on Stanley Road for a period and when the Cathedral spire was repaired Mr Bagnall was asked to go up and make sure the repairs had been carried our correctly.

Moorvilla, 108 Stanley Road
Photo courtesy of Commanet.

This photograph shows the Co-op on Stanley Road but the house on the extreme right was where William Bagnall lived for a period. The house front was altered just prior to the 39/45 War when Stanley V. Potter changed the bay window into a shop front for his electrical business. Although the Buildings are now pulled down the tree still stands which was in the garden of the house with bay window.

About 1912 Eastmoor got it's own entertainment when William Bagnall built the Coliseum on Stanley Road just across the road from where he lived. In 1933 sound was installed and the name was changed to the Star. Eastmoor residents had there own cinema until 1959 by then its name had changed to the Rex. Since then the building has been used as a Bingo Hall, Dance Hall and is now a billiard hall. A programme for March 1957 gives forthcoming attractions like "The king and I" and "Don't Knock the Rock" with Bill Haley.

Stanley Road 1920
Another photo of Stanley Road from the 1920s.

Stanley Vere Potter was the son of the manager of the Empire Theatre in Kirkgate and trained as an electrician with the Tram Company. When he married Gladys Godwin they set up home at 108 Stanley Road. Stanley set up his own business building and selling radios and charging batteries. He converted the bay window into a shop front. The business had to close in 1939 when war broke out. Stanley, being a skilled electrician had to work repairing public transport.

In the Kellys Directory of 1922 in the "Wakefield Private Residents" section was listed "Bagnall William, 108 Stanley Road". This was not far away from his brother Harry at 19 Stanley Road.


From his son John Henry's R.A.F. discharge papers, we know William was living at Moorvilla in 1918.


William is listed in a directory both as private resident at 108 Stanley Road (Moorvilla) and as "Bagnall William, builder, Rawling's yard, Stanley Road T N 392". The same year, it is reported that a builder called Bagnall was using the outbuildings of the Stanley Victoria Club for stabling his horses.

William and Harriett attend the wedding of their son, John Henry 19 August 1922

John Henry Bagnall marries Dorothy Townsend John Henry Bagnall marries Dorothy Townsend (Click here to see an annotated wedding photograph) Masonic Fob?

From examining the photo carefully, it looks like William is wearing a watch chain with a Masonic fob. Photo shows two close-ups from different wedding photos (John Henry's Wedding and Isabel's wedding below) and on the right, an example of a masonic fob in 9ct gold.

1923 William and Harriett attend the marriage of their daughter, Isabel

Isabel Bagnall marries Joe Marsh 20/10/1923

1929 William Dies

March 1929, William Died Aged 54 at his house at 211 Westmorland Avenue.

The exact date is unclear. According to the obituary in the Wakefield Express he died March 1929 aged 54 on a Tuesday (Which must therefore have been the 5th, 12th, 19th or 26th).

According to the Church Records at St. Paul's Church, Marton (01253 692047), he died on 7th March.

According to the headstone he died on 4th March.

According to the obituary, he was buried in Marton Cemetery, Blackpool on a Thursday (Which must therefore have been the 7th, 14th, 21st or 28th) .

This Obituary is from the Wakefield Express (click for full text)
This Obituary is from the Wakefield Wesleyan (click for full text)

This is the last resting place of both William & Harriett Bagnall, in Blackpool. The white rose I placed because it is the symbol of Yorkshire.

William and Harriett Bagnall's last resting place