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Learning at Black Country Living Museum

Rose Bradley

The date is 1911 and Rose is 9 years old. She lives in a "pit-pulled" cottage at Cooper's Bank, Gornal Wood with her parents, Grandfather, younger brother Jack and a 17 year old relative working as a brickyard labourer. Her father works as a mines' drainage clerk and her mother keeps house.

The family are better off than some - they have two pigs and a large plot of land where they grow vegetables. They have also just built an extension to the side of the house to provide a brew'us and kitchen, and have improved the front with a new door and larger windows to the living room and main bedroom. Rose and her brother Jack go to the Red Hall Schools in Gornal. They are both musical - Jack playing the violin and Rose playing the piano. 

Rose Bradley Detective Trail

Download the Rose Bradley Detective Trail below which lists all the sites relevant to Rose's life. Your students can choose which sites they wish to visit and in which order. There is also a selection of linked activities to undertake at the different sites, including shopping lists and mystery objects to find and identify.

Investigation Resources

These are the downloadable links for all the resources associated with Rose Bradley. 

Please begin by downloading the Teachers' Notes. When you are ready, download the relevant PDF documents by clicking on the highlighted links. 


Rose’s Family Tree
A summary of the family relationships revealed by the Census Records

Census Records

Rose’s Parents & Siblings

This shows Rose’s father, Joseph Bradley, living with his parents and brother and two sisters at 9 Cooper’s Bank Road.

  • The head of the house is John Bradley (Rose’s Grandfather). He is 52 and an unemployed general labourer
  • Also living in the house are:

    - Sarah (Rose’s Grandmother) - also 52
    - Joseph (Rose’s father) aged 25 and also an unemployed general labourer
    - Jo Hannah (Rose’s aunt) aged 19 and not working
    - Joshua (Rose’s uncle) aged 15 and a coal miner
    - Sarah (Rose’s aunt) aged 11 and at school

1901 Census: Bradley Family

This is before Rose has been born. Her parents are staying at 25 Cooper’s Bank.

  • The Head of the house is William H Simmons – Seneh’s (Rose’s mother’s ) brother. He is working as a coal miner
  • Rose’s parents, Joseph (aged 46) and Seneh (aged 33), are recorded as visitors living at 25 Cooper’s Bank
  • Ernest Simmons (7) is also recorded as a visitor

1911 Census: Bradley Family

The family are now living at 12 Cooper’s Bank Road:

  • Rose’s father, Joseph (aged 55), is now a Mine Drainage Clerk
  • Seneh is recorded as giving birth to 3 children, but only 2 have survived:

    - Rose, aged 9, at school
    - John, aged 6, at school

  • Also living in the house is:

   - Joseph’s father, John Bradley (aged 81). He is claiming a private old age pension

    - Ernest Simmons – now 17 and working as a brickyard labourer. He is recorded    as a “relative”, crossed out and replaced with “visitor”. As he has Seneh’s maiden name, it is likely that he is a relative.


Rose’s Husband’s Family – the Joinsons

Rose marries into the Joinson family. This census shows her husband William’s family. William’s father was born in Burton in Cheshire. In this census his father, Thomas, is living with his parents on a farm in Burton:

  • Thomas’ father, William, is 51 years old and a farmer at 50 acres
  • Living at the farm are:

    - Thomas’s mother, Jane (aged 50)
    - Thomas’s sister, aged 20
    - Thomas, aged 14
    - Thomas’s brother, Noah J. aged 8 and still at school 

Thomas (aged 24) has now moved to 6½ Humphrey Street in Sedgley. He is lodging with the Cox family and working as a farmer.

Living in the house are:

  • The head of the household, Mary Cox, a widow aged 64 and a retired laundress
  • A 31 year old daughter, Ann Maria, working as a laundress
  • A 26 year old son, Samuel, working as a Hairdresser
  • A 21 year old son, Theophilus, working as a merchant’s clerk

1901 Census: Joinson Family

Thomas has now married and is living with his family at 17 Church Street, Sedgley.

  • Thomas is 34 and working as a domestic gardener
  • His wife, Ann M, is 41
  • They have three children:

    - Daughter Jessie, 5 years of age
    - Son William, 4 years of age
    - Son Harold, 2 years of age

1911 Census: Joinson Family

William and Harold are now living with their Aunt and Uncle in 9 Church Street, Lower Gornal.

  • Their uncle, Thomas Greenway, is 46 years old and works as a Blacksmith’s Striker
  • Their aunt, Lizzie, is 44. She has not had any children of her own
  • William, aged 14, and Harold, aged 12, are both at school

The Simmons Family (Rose’s Mother’s Family)

This Census shows Rose’s Grandfather and Grandmother (on her mother’s side) – Joseph and Hannah Simmons – living at 68 "Diddly" Lane, Sedgley (could be Dudley Street?).

  • Rose’s Grandfather, Joseph, is 34 years old and working as a coal miner
  • Rose’s Grandmother, Hannah, is 28 and working as a Nail Maker
  • They have three children living with them (Rose’s uncle and aunts) – Charles (aged 13) working as a coal miner, Sarah A (aged 5) at school, and Susannah (aged 1)

This Census shows Rose’s Grandfather and Grandmother living at 25 Cooper’s Bank. The property is listed as a “private house”. Also living at the house are:

  • Rose’s Great Grandfather, Richard Simmons. He is recorded as Head of the family. He is 77 years old, a widow, and still working as a miner
  • Rose’s Grandfather, Joseph, is 44 years old, and working as a miner
  • Rose’s Grandmother, Hannah, is 40. No occupation is listed so she is probably keeping house and looking after the children.
  • They have four children living with them:

    - The oldest – Sarahann - is 15 and working as a nailor
    - None of the other children are listed as having an occupation or being at school. They are Susannah, aged 10, Daniel aged 5 and Hannah aged 3. It is possible that Hannah is Rose’s mother – later known as Seneh

1881 Census: Simmons Family

The family are still at 25 Cottage, Cooper’s Bank Road:

  • Joseph, Rose’s Grandfather, is 55 years old and still working as a miner
  • Hannah, Rose’s Grandmother, is 49
  • Daniel is now 15 and working as a labourer
  • Hannah (or Seneh) would now be about 13. She is no longer living at the house – most likely working away
  • There are four new children, all at school:

    - Joseph aged 10
    - Naomy aged 8
    - William aged 5
    - Edward aged 4

1891 Census: Simmons Family

Rose’s Grandparents are still living at 25 Cottage, Cooper’s Bank Road, Sedgley

  • Joseph is now 64 years old and is no longer working
  • Hannah is 59
  • Also living in the house are their four sons and one daughter:

    - Daniel is 25 and still working as a labourer
    - Joseph now 19 and a coal miner
    - Naomy now 18 and a tailoress
    - William H now 15 and a coal miner
    - Edward now 14 and not in work

  • There is also a visitor staying at the house, Mary A Pritchards, a 70 year old widow

1891 Census: Susannah Davies (née Simmons)

Rose’s Aunt, Susannah, married William Davies in 1890 and moved to Palmerston Street in Stoke on Trent. Rose’s mother, Seneh, also moved to Stoke on Trent and set up a Dress Making Business with two sisters – possibly Susannah. (See Kelly’s Directory extract and Hilda Simmons’ oral history)

  • Susannah’s husband, William, is 40 and working as a Potter’s Labourer
  • They have two sons – William Thomas (aged 7) and at school, and Percy Victor (under a year old). Percy dies in 1917, aged 26, serving as a Private in the Nottinghamshire & Derby Regiment

1901 Census: Susannah Davies

Rose’s Aunt, Susannah, is now living with her family at 30 Ludlow Street, Hanley:

  • Her husband, William, now aged 50, is still working as a Labourer at a Pottery
  • William Thomas is now 17 and working as an apprentice holloware presser
  • There is a new child, Wilfred S, who is only 6 months old
  • Hannah Simmons, Susannah’s mother (and Rose’s Grandmother) is also living at the house. She is 70 years old and a widow
  • Percy Victor, who must be nearly 11 years old, is no longer living with the family – so probably working away

Hilda was Rose’s cousin and they were very close, seeing each other regularly and both going to the same piano teachers. Hilda’s father, William, was Rose’s uncle. He was brother to Seneh – Rose’s mother.

BMD (Births, Marriages, Deaths)

Rose’s Birth Certificate for 28 July 1901. Born at 26a Cooper’s Bank
Road, Lower Gornal. Her father, Joseph Bradley, is recorded as a
Commercial Clerk.

Marriage Certificate: Rosena Martha May Bradley and William Joinson

  • Date of marriage: 13 August 1927.
  • Took place at St James’ Church, Lower Gornal
  • Rose was living with her parents at 12 Cooper’s Bank Road before her marriage
  • William Joinson, Rose’s husband, is recorded as a Clerk
  • Rose’s father, Joseph, is recorded as a retired clerk
  • William’s father, Thomas, is recorded as a Verger

Oral History Testaments

Rose’s memories of 12 Cooper’s Bank Road

Hilda’s memories of Rose’s parents and life at their house


  • Semi-rural location, surrounded by fields and close to Cooper’s Bank Farm
  • Local landscape dotted with mine shafts and collieries – some in use, and some disused.
  • Cooper’s Bank – a Cooper turned wood into barrels and buckets and other useful containers. The cooper would start with lengths or “stave” of pine or oak. The staves had to fit together perfectly to make barrels to hold liquids or flour. The cooper used wooden or metal hoops to hold the staves together and to keep the top and bottom of the barrel on tightly. By using different length and width staves, the cooper could make different size containers.

STAFFORDSHIRE Scale: 1:10,560 Date: 1903-1904

  • Area has not changed greatly since 1883-4.

Enlarged detail of above map


Photograph of the tilted cottage prior to its relocation to the Museum

Rose Bradley c1914

Photograph of Rose taken during the First World War and probably sent to her boyfriend, William Joinson, at the Royal Naval Barracks in Chatham

Rose Bradley c1920

Portrait image of Rose wearing evening dress

Rose and William Joinson 1927

Wedding photograph of Rose and William, taken on 13 August 1927 in the garden outside 12 Cooper’s Bank Road. Rose’s wedding dress was made by her mother, Seneh.

Joseph Bradley c1930

Studio portrait of Rose’s father, Joseph taken around 1930

Seneh Bradley c1930

Photograph of Rose’s mother, Seneh, sitting in the back garden of 12 Cooper’s Bank Road

Rose Joinson and Seneh Bradley c1940

Photograph of Rose and her mother

A similar set-up to the shop established by Rose’s mother

Kelly's Trade Directory

Listing showing Rose’s mother, Seneh Bradley, as a dressmaker in Stoke on Trent


Booking a Visit


Our Booking Team are available to offer help and advice when planning a visit. All educational groups must book in advance.

Plan your booking




Did you know?

interesting fact image

John Fowler & Company (Leeds) Limited produced around 10% of all Steam Rollers in the United Kingdom.

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