Elland Wharf, Elland, West Yorkshire

Heman and Janey Earnshaw lived in Wharf House, Elland Wharf for a time after their marriage in 1890. The wharf is on the Calder and Hebble Navigation. On the 1891 census Heman is described as a Canal Agent. In 1892 the birth certificate of their first child (my grandfather Verdi) shows him as a Canal Company Agent. In 1896, on the birth certificate for their second son (George Edward), Heman appears to have been promoted as he is described as Wharf Manager. By 1899, they have moved to West Ham just outside London, where Heman becomes a Dock Labourer.
Why did they move south? Was it simply because Janey wanted to be near her father, who had also moved south from Luddendenfoot in about 1890? Or did something happen that led to Heman being out of work and forced to move away?
Maybe I'll never find out, but perhaps there are records of the canal company still in existence, or there maybe something in a local newspaper.

The first photograph below is of Elland Wharf, taken in 1893, when Verdi was just a year old and the family was still living there. Is Heman standing in the background? It would be nice to think so, but the picture isn't clear enough to tell. Is Wharf House the building behind the shed beyond the barges?

Elland Wharf 1893
Probably taken from Elland Bridge, looking east

Modern photo of Elland Wharf taken from Elland Bridge - almost the same view
Photograph courtesy of Pennine Waterways www.penninewaterways.co.uk where there are many more photographs of the canal

All that seems to have changed is the loss of the mill and the footbridge, plus the addition of the bypass crossing the canal.


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