Edwin Rooke (1855 – 1918) – a Neston Stationmaster
by Mick Pope
The photo below is of my grandparent’s wedding in 1904 and it was taken outside Neston South station where my great grandfather, Edwin Rook, was stationmaster in the early 1900s. I think he is the seated gent in the bowler hat. He was also a prominent member of the parish church choir and there is a plaque in his name in the choir stalls. There are various family tales of life in the station house, one being that my grandmother[Catherine]and her sister Lillian [Oxton – standing second from right] used to amuse themselves by spitting out of the bedroom window onto the bowler hats of the city gents on the platform heading for work in Liverpool! My grandmother never admitted to this as she was latterly a teacher in the Burton Road school until the 1930s and didn’t want her reputation to suffer. Other branches of the family still live in the area and it is worth mentioning that one of my Aunt Lill’s daughters was the ‘Dene’ in Salon Dene. I’m the only member of my branch of the family left living in Neston, or rather returned to live ten years ago My grandfather, Will Llewellyn, was a joiner with Albert Fleming builders whose yard was situated at the end of Station Road where the old persons housing now sits.
My mother got hold of her mother’s birth certificate and saw that she was born in a place called Grange Court in Gloucestershire. She thought this must be some grand house and was therefore descended from gentry. Now Edwin R worked for the Great Western Railway, and that was probably why he was promoted to the job at Neston station and was therefore not from aristocratic stock. Having thought about it for a while I remembered that Grange Court is a railway junction near Gloucester and therefore my gran was most probably born in a humble tied railway cottage at that location!