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G. Boston of Holly Garth, Tarleton Circa 1908

The Autograph Book of G. Boston of Holly Garth, Tarleton, LancashireEarlier this month (Jan 2014) a rather battered little autograph book arrived on the doormat.

It had been posted to the website by Hazel Adam from Manchester.

The book is in the name of G. H. Boston who, at the time, lived at 'Holly Garth' in Tarleton with the first entries being dated 1908.

Hazel originally purchased the book from Bygone Times some time around 1994 and has been trying to make contact with descendants of the families named in the book to no avail.

As was typical in the early 20th Century, autograph books were less for collecting celebrity signatures but were exchanged among friends, family, colleagues, and classmates to fill with poems, drawings, personal messages, small pieces of verse, and other mementos.

Drawing from an early 20th Century autograph bookSome of the entries from the book:

May Rimmer. Nov 1908

F. Boston Dec 1908

Nelly Moss March 26th 1909

Mirriam Tiffin, Back Lane, Hesketh Bank

Elaine Jenkins, New Brighton, July 19th 1909

Jas Rimmer, May 10th 1910

T. H. Bryant June 25th 1909

Martha Moss, May 31st 1909

M. S. Sowerby, 30th July 1909

Thomas Sowerby, August 30th 1909

Rob Young 20th August 1909

Belle Moss 14th September 1910

Lawrence Jenkins

Text from a 1908 Autoograph bookG. J. Rimmer 6th December 1927

John B. Hardy 30th September 1912

May Rimmer 31st September 1910

A Robinson, Tarleton, 10th March 1913

Jane Rimmer May 4th 1910

Minnie Pibbs 24th July 1914

Daisy 22nd August 1913

Lily Rimmer, April 1910

Eugenie Rimmer, April 1910

A Midgley, 23rd August 1914

M Boston, 27th March 1911

M. A. Rimmer, May 5th 1910

Please email the editor if you believe any of the above people are a relative or are of interest to your family history research.

If you have any anecdotes or information that you could add to this article we would love to hear from you.

Text from early 20th century autograph book

Email 30th January 2014: The book on the website belonged to my great-grandparents, my mother's grandparents, who lived at that address on Hesketh Lane. Her maiden name was Rimmer and her mother's maiden name was Boston. I recognise quite a number of great-aunts and great-uncles on that list. I would be very interested to see the book, as would my mother and other family members. I look forward to hearing from you. Regards, Ruth Baybutt.

Ruth collected the book that same evening with a view to showing it her mother the day after.

Email 7th February 2014: The initials in the cover of the book are G.F., which stood for Gladys Frances Boston, my grandmother. She would have been in her teens in 1908 and so was still living in the family home, Holly Garth, prior to her marriage to James Rimmer.

The only 2 remaining grandchildren of Gladys Frances' parents are my mother, May Cookson [nee Rimmer] and Jean Dunn [nee Boston]. Many in our two villages will remember Mrs. Dunn as she taught at Tarleton Council School, as it was then known, on Hesketh Lane and then moved to Tarleton High School when that opened. She now lives in the Midlands near her daughter.

There is an entry in the book, a 'ditty' about the weather, by M. Boston, who we assume would be Montague, who later became Mrs. Dunn's father.

The day was hot and very cold
Exceeding wet and also dry
No gentle zephyr stirred the rain
A hurricane came tearing by.
A paradox? that cannot be?
One cannot have all these together.
Oh! I forgot, I should have said
It was a day of English weather!

Written in 1911. Nothing's changed then!
Ruth Baybutt

Email 15th February 2014: Thankyou so much for all your help. I never thought it would find its rightful owners so quickly. I have contacted Ruth and Alan by email and am so glad that they really appreciate this lovely little book. I have composed a little ditti of my own that you can close the website article down with:

I searched and found a little Gem and held it dear for years
but there came a time to let it go and re-unite it with its peers.
o now it has found its rightful home I’ll say goodbye dear friend; enjoy your special place
I hope your new home will bring joy and a smile to many a face...

Hazel Adams


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