What do we know about ‘Alpha House’, seemingly the first house in the heart of the village at the junction of Chester Road, Tattenhall Road and the High Street? Below is an early image of the property with a ‘family group’ appearing to pose for the photographer outside of the building. Regrettably, the image is of poor quality but it gives a glimpse of social history nonetheless (click on image to enlarge).
The property has changed little albeit that railings can be seen around the front entrance to the house (long since gone as all railings were removed and melted down for the war effort); there appears to be a cobbled pathway running alongside the building and the windows (at least in the upper storey) are leaded. There is speculation that the property was originally a single storey building and was, in effect, ‘raised’. Currently, there is also a date now etched into the front woodwork ‘1894’, though this cannot be seen in the photograph above. Whether the date might refer to the upper section of the house is also an unknown but the house does appear to be of two differing architectural styles i.e. the lower and upper halves. On walking right around the property, we can confirm that both the style and type of brickwork of the lower half is completely different to that of the upper half (the fascia that you can see in the photograph is actually only attached to two out of the four sides of the building and the differing brickworks can be readily identified).
The property, a freehold dwelling house, was advertised for auction at the Bear Hotel, Tattenhall on Wednesday 27 July 1939 at 7pm. There was a good turn out apparently and the property was sold to a Mrs Wright of Burwardsley for the sum of £250. At that time, the house was in the occupation of Mr Frank Mellor, a local Corn Miller (various archived copies of provincial newspapers – Cheshire Observer, Chronicle etc).
‘If Walls Could Talk‘ – Census and the National Register Records confirm that the following families at least occupied the property in its past:
Mrs Emma Evans: In 1901 and according to the Census, Emma Evans (a Widow) aged 78 was resident at Alpha House and was a woman living by her own means. Residing with her was a neice, Emily Burton, aged 33 and a ‘Sick Nurse’ by profession.
The Edwards Family: By the 1911 Census, Edward Mitchell, Head of Household, and his wife Kate Mitchell were recorded as resident at Alpha House. Edward was a ‘Domestic Gardener’ and the enumerator listed 8 rooms in the property.
The Worth Family: Certainly at some point in the early 20th Century, the Worth family had moved into the property and their son, Private Charlie Worth, was KIA (killed in action) on his 20th birthday, 26 October 1917. The report of his death with reference to his parents and sisters (living at Alpha House) is included in ‘The Chester Chronicle’ dated Saturday 17 November 1917. To read his story click here.
The Mellor Family: Frank Mellor was a Corn Miller (presumably at the Tattenhall Steam and Water Mill in the centre of the village). He is recorded on The 1939 National Register as living in the property, together with his wife Martha and two of their sons; Reginald who was a Glue Cutter, Fertiliser Glue and Fat Worker (presumably at the Bone Works), and Philip Mellor who was at school. Reginald Mellor (Reg) was also a winner of the ‘Billiard Handicap Cup‘ in 1958; his name being etched on the cup – click here to be directed to ‘artefacts‘.
If anyone has further information regarding ‘Alpha House’ then please contact us using the ‘contacts’ facility on the Toolbar at the top of the page.
Our thanks to John Stoneley for providing this image. John knew the Mellor Family and his recollections can be read in the history of the Mill – click here to be directed to this area of the Website.