In 1911 William Bell was running a business as a tailor at 9 Scarcroft Road (now the Corner Gallery). He was a newly wed man, at 42, having been married to his wife Nellie only four years. He also occupied 2 Nunmill Street, round the corner.
The surname ‘Bell’ is just about discernible on the door on this photo.
Next door at no. 7, Emily Elders was running her confectionery business (now Melton’s restaurant).
She had previously lived with her husband John Elders at 50 Thorpe Street, but started to run the business at 7 Scarcroft Road after John died in 1897, aged only 43. John had been a master mariner from the Whitby area. It is interesting to speculate how the two of them got together and wound up in York – so far from the sea. It looks as though Emily had her hands full in 1911. She was 52 and running the confectionary business with her three of her five daughters, Gertrude, Bertha and Lilian. She also had her widowed 86-year-old mother, Ann Watson living with her.
Her son John Francis, who had been brought up at 50 Thorpe Street, was away in Hammersmith, in what they then called ‘diggings’, learning to be a Civil Service Clerk. John Francis was 18 years old. We don’t know how far he progressed up the civil service ladder but by 1917 he was a Second Lieutenant in the 16th London Regiment and fighting in France. Sadly, John Francis was killed in action in October 1917 and buried in Buissy in France.
Emily Elders subsequently moved to 3 Southlands Road and died in 1944, aged 85.
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