My grandmother Maria Knight nee Ward born 1888 was brougt up in the Hillgate area of Ashton where her father owned three shops. The eldest of tweve children she rarely went to school her father would rather pay the fines as she was needed to help at home. Eventually she escaped by marrying a customer Harry Knight from Bolton. In 1910 they emigrated to Canada where Harry worked for The Bell Telephone Company. On the outbreak of war in 1914 Harry joined the Canadian Army I remember a huge photograph of a battalion of men plus horses by Niagara Falls taken before they were shipped off to the Western Front. Maria was fortunate that Harry's wage was paid to her throughout the war and on his return in1918 had saved enough money to return to Ashton and buy a business. They opened Knights Fish and Chip Shop in Warrinton street which became a thriving family business. I remember porters from Charlestown Station bringing fish packed in ice in wooden boxes to a cold room at the back on the shop where Maria would spend hours gutting and filleting fish. The shop stayed open until the early 60's when it was forced to close due to redevelopment. Maria worked right up to the end into her late seventies despite the cold harsh working conditions she never ailed and outlived all her siblings eventually dying in 1980. Harry died in the early 50's her children helping to run the business keeping it very much a family concern.
A memory shared byon Jan 4th, 2008.
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