​​​The Weddin​g of Albert H. Walsh and Hannah Smethurst

Albert 'Bert' Henry Walsh was born  on the 1st April 1880, he was the fifth and youngest child of William and Mary Walsh. The 1901 Census records Bert as a newspaper office clerk; and, by 1908, he was an accountant. 
In 1908, Bert married Mary Annetta Calvert, a teacher, living at Ravenswing Avenue, Revidge, at James Street Independent Chapel, Blackburn, sadly, Mary died on the 22nd of September 1917 at just 37 years.
Henry’s parents William and Mary Walsh were married on the 19th July 1866 and they had five children (3 sons and 2 daughters).

Below is a photograph of the Walsh Family thought to have been taken in 1901 or 1902.

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Back Row L to R; Arthur Walsh, Albert 'Bert' Henry Walsh, Ernest William Walsh
Middle Row L to R; Edith Walsh, Ida Walsh (nee Dixon), Mary Walsh (nee Emmett), William Walsh, Elizabeth 'Lizzie' Ellen Walsh
Front Row; Ernest Walsh (son of Arthur and Ida.)  

Ernest Walsh was born in the 1st Qtr. of 1897, and died from diphtheria age 5, in the 2nd Qtr. of 1902.

Hannah 'Annie' Smethurst was born 17th April 1886 and was baptised at the Zion Chapel. She lived her early years at 15 [40 according to the 1885 directory] Roney Street, Blackburn. The 1901 census, shows her living at 48 Lynwood Road, Blackburn, together with her parents, John and Mary Smethurst, and her brothers Will, Jack and Tom.  Her father, John Smethurst, was described as a Heald Stave manufacturer, and later, was a Labour councillor for Blackburn Borough Council, becoming an Alderman. On 14 September 1933, he opened Accrington Road Council Senior School.​

Her brother Will, Private William Parker Smethurst, 9th Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers was killed on 8th June 1917 aged 23, and is commemorated on panel 22 of the, Ypres Menin Gate Memorial.

SMETHURST, William P​arker
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Marriage of Bert Walsh & Hannah Smethurst 1921

On 18 October 1921, Albert Henry 'Bert' Walsh married Hannah 'Annie' Smethurst at Zion Chapel, Montague Street/Prince's Street Primitive Methodist Church, Blackburn.

The photograph of the wedding party taken after the wedding in the garden of the Smethurst family house at Hillcrest.

1921 - Walsh-Smethurst wedding.jpg

 The individuals in the wedding photograph are as follows:
Back Row L to R: Arthur Walsh (brother of groom); Nellie Pickup (friend of bride); Rev Holden Pickup; Eva Goodall (fiancée of Jack Smethurst); Jack Smethurst (brother of bride);  Harry Holgate (friend of groom)
Middle Row L to R: John Smethurst (father of bride); Ida Walsh (wife of Arthur, sister-in-law of bridegroom);  Edith Walsh (sister of groom); Thomas Smethurst (brother of bride, best man); Catherine Holgate (friend of bride & groom); Rev CC Goodall (minister); Mrs Goodall (wife of minister);  Ernest Walsh (brother of groom).
Front Row L to R: Mary Ann Smethurst (mother of bride); Mary Louisa Smethurst (aunt of bride); Albert Henry 'Bert' Walsh (bridegroom); Hannah 'Annie' Smethurst (bride); Elizabeth Ellen Walsh (sister of groom); William Walsh (father of groom)

Article from the Blackburn Times
22nd October 1921
Weddings of the Week
“Considerable interest was taken in the Marriage at the primitive Methodist Chapel, Montague Street on Tuesday morning, of Miss Hannah Smethurst, only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Smethurst of “Hillcrest,” Fenniscliffe, to Mr. Albert H. Walsh, of 12 Wycollar Road. The bride is a member of the teaching profession, and was temporary headmistress at Moss Street Infant School; and her father is well known in business circles and public life. Mr Smethurst is a heald and stave manufacturer with works in Lune Street. Mr Walsh is a cashier at the “Northern Daly Telegraph.” The officiating minister was the Rev. C.G. Goodall of Arrell, Wigan, and formally of this circuit.
The bride, who was given away by her father, wore a beautiful dress of pale grey crepe de chene with a pale grey velvet hat to match. Her bouquet was composed of pink carnations and white heather. Miss Lizzie Walsh, sister of the bridegroom, was the bridesmaid. Her dress was of Wedgwood blue eolienne worn with a hat of hatters “black plush.” Mr Tom Smethurst, brother of the bride fulfilled the duties of the best man. Mr. T.P. Newell Presided over the organ, and played appropriate music whilst the guests were assembling and leaving the church. While during the course of the ceremony the hymns “O Father all Creating,” and “O Perfect Love,” were sung. Following the ceremony Mr. and Mrs. Smethurst held a reception at “Hillcrest,” and in the afternoon Mr. and Mrs. Walsh left for the south Country [Sussex] for their honeymoon.
Among the many presents received by bride and groom, expressive of the good wishes of the relatives and friends, were a Richelieu afternoon tea-cloth and Madeira table centre from the staff of Accrington Road Infant School where the bride was formerly a teacher; and a Ruskin vase from the staff of Moss Street Infants School gifts to the bride, who also received a present from the teachers and Scholars of the Princess Street Primitive Methodist Sunday School, Primary section. The presents to the bridegroom included a set of the collected works of Lord Morley from the directors of the “Northern Daily Telegraph” and a silver rose bowl on an ebony pedestal from the literary and office staff.”​

Within a few years, Bert became newspaper manager for the Northern Daily Telegraph, the evening paper for North-East Lancashire with its head office in Blackburn.  Their daughters, Alison, born in 1922, and Margaret, born 1925, lived at the family home, at the time of their births, at 12 Wycollar Road. In 1927, the new family moved around the corner to 7 White Road, Blackburn.

Bert Walsh died on 14 December 1954 (aged 74) and Hannah moved soon afterwards to 329 Revidge Road, Blackburn. She survived him for another seven years, and died 17 February 1962 (aged 75). Albert Henry 'Bert' Walsh, Mary Annetta Calvert Walsh and Hannah Walsh are buried in Section B Grave 904 in Blackburn Cemetery, Whalley New Road.

Regarding the Walsh family's connection with the Park Road Congregational Church, Blackburn.
Park Road Congregational Church was founded in 1852 and opened in 1858, 26 people transferred from Chapel Street, including a John Walsh and a Mrs William Walsh. (It is uncertain what relationship, if any, these two people had to William Walsh, father of Albert Henry.)
In February 1908, (at the time of the 50-year anniversary/Jubilee Celebration of the Church) William Walsh the elder, was Church Secretary.
William Walsh.jpg
William Walsh
On Saturday, 22 February 1908, William Walsh unveiled the Church Window, and on Thursday, 27[22] February 1908, Miss Edith Walsh sang “Kathleen Mavourneen” at the Social Gathering*.  
William first attended Park Road church in 1872, and, in 1912, he was presented with a silver bowl commemorating his 40 years of service to the Church;

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Memorial Windows at Park Road Chapel

​​​​​Silver bowl - William Walsh - Park Road Church 1912 copy.jpg​​​
Silver Bowl presented to  William Walsh 
The inscription reads;

Presented to
Mr. William Walsh
for his long and Faithful service to
Park Road Cong Church Blackburn
Dec. 26th 1912

In 1952, a Centenary Souvenir booklet was produced commemorating 100 years since the founding of the Church.  This stated that:
“Arthur Walsh (now aged 84) was the oldest living member of the choir; and Edith Walsh (who had died 5 years earlier in 1947, aged 79), was described as a "valued chorister (having) served efficiently for 60 years".
Edith taught the 3rd class at Park Road Sunday school, and in her obituary in the local newspaper (see attached) it is noted that she was recorded as '1' on Park Road Church's membership register, “the entry having been made 64 years ago”.  At her death she lived at 79 Granville Road, Blackburn. 
 A. H. 'Bert' Walsh's first child, Alison, was baptised at Park Road Church in 1922.  He then transferred from Park Road Church to Chapel Street in 1923 or 1924. His second child, Margaret, was baptised at Chapel Street in 1925. 

*Park Road Church Jubilee Celebrations booklet of 1908.

Photographs and information kindly supplied by Peter Jessup, grandson of the bride and groom.

Published October 2023