Lilian Frances Osborne (1900 – 1990)

Lilian was born on 11 June 1900 at 9 Sumpter Pathway, Hoole, Chester. She was the only child of George Francis Osborne and Phoebe Ann Beech.

She grew up in Chester and went to school there. She was successful in her matriculation  She went on to study at Birmingham University where she read Metallurgical Chemistry.

In about 1914 the family moved to 4 Newry Park, Chester and in 1921 to Prestatyn in North Wales.

On leaving University she moved to Sheffield where she taught at the Royal School for the Blind. In those days there was no radio (and certainly no television) and the children were rather football mad (what has changed!). Every Saturday evening during the football season the staff took it in turns to read out the full score lines from the local evening paper. It’s quite difficult to imagine what this aspect of life was like. The local newspapers gathered the scores from matches up and down the country (often using news agencies). They would, of course, have sent their own reporters to the matches being played by local teams. These scores then had to be set in type, printed and distributed around the area. This system provided a lot of local employment which has now largely been replaced by a few newsreaders (and a lot of technical backup).

The school was a boarding school and the staff lived in. During her time in Sheffield, however, she became very friendly with the Boswell family. They were involved in the cutlery trade. The family business being A J Boswell & Co. When Lilian married the one of the Boswell daughters was one of her bridesmaids.

Lilian’s life was changed when she went on holiday with her mother in the summer of 1932. They went on a Mediterranean cruise on a White Star liner and on the same cruise were two brothers – Robert and Jack Stockwell, Although Robert was 7 years her junior, they struck up such a friendship that by the end of the holiday they were planning their engagement. Lilian’s father was happy to give his consent and the formal announcement followed. The wedding planning must have been quite complicated with Lilian living in Sheffield, her parents living in Prestatyn and Robert and his family living in South London. The telephone service was not used as much in those days as we are used to today. I expect many letters passed between the three locations.

The marriage took place just over a year later on 23 September 1933 at Trinity Methodist Church, Prestatyn. The reception was at the nearby Nant Hall Hotel.

The story continues . . .

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