Part Three

Daniel and Helen and family lived in Cannon Street; Thomas, his wife Margaret and daughter, Mary lived in King Street; so did David, his wife, Ann, and daughters, Fanny and Mary; and John with his wife, Mary, but they didn't have any children. After Daniel's sons, Thomas and Daniel were married, they also lived in the vicinity.

Cross Street, Willenhall. From an old postcard.

 Thomas and family first lived in Russell Street and then moved to Raglan Street; Daniel and family lived in King Street, but after the death of his grandmother, he moved to New Railway Street. The lock business seems to dominate the Worrall's family history, Making locks was a hard job and they worked long hours. It is difficult to imagine how they lived in their small houses with such large families, and the kind of transport they would have.
When Daniel and Helen were beginning their married life together progress had been made in public transport with the beginning of railways. However, passenger-carrying vehicles were rare before the seventeenth century. Before that people either walked, climbed above a cart or rode a horse. Roads were often poor as illustrated below.
From Roman times to the eighteenth century little improvement was made in road building. Roads had ruts and potholes which were repaired by filling with soil, which soon washed away. Thomas Telford (1787-1834) and John Macadam (1756-1836 were responsible for building much better roads. The use of passenger carrying vehicles only gradually increased, and they did not become common until the latter half of the eighteenth century, which would be the time when John and Mary Worrall set up home in Willenhall.

An old dirt-track road.

An old coach.

This was also the time when, according to the records, there were in 1770, 148 locksmiths in Willenhall, 134 in Wolverhampton, and 8 in Bilston. Some transport would have been necessary for the Heads of the lock firms to transport their locks on a Saturday night to the factors in Wolverhampton or Birmingham, and then return home with orders for the following week or so.

During the nineteenth century horse drawn vehicles flourished and different types were available in an almost bewildering variety. However, the London to Birmingham Railway Line opened in 1837, operating from the new Euston station. It halved the journey time between the cities to less than six hours, but it had taken 20,000 labourers to build.

A horse-drawn bus. Courtesy of Lawson Cartwright.

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