Memories of the Edwardian Worker’s Cottage

The Edwardian Worker’s Cottage provides an opportunity for visitors to Port Sunlight Museum to step back in time to experience everyday life in the village over a century ago. But who used to live there?

The cottage’s beginnings

The cottage, at No. 22 King George’s Drive, was built in 1913 as the village expanded around the wide boulevard known as the Diamond.  The cottage is part of a block which included a new Girls’ Club, now Port Sunlight Museum. It was designed by James Lomax-Simpson, son of Jonathan Simpson, a childhood friend of William Lever who had also designed housing blocks in the village. Lomax-Simpson was appointed head of Lever Brothers Architectural Department in 1910 and was responsible for much of the village’s appearance from this period.

The Carr family

The cottage was also the home of James and Gertrude Carr, who moved into the newly built cottage on 23rd July 1913.  James had arrived in the area from mid-Cheshire when he took up a job as a soap maker at Lever Brothers but it took a few years before he was able to rent a home in the village. He worked for the company until his retirement in 1951, and his children, Florence and Allan also worked for Lever Brothers. 

Treasured memories

We were recently visited by Lynette, who is the granddaughter of James and Gertrude Carr. Lynette brought with her a treasure trove of family photos to show us and was kind enough to spend some time with us going through each image, sharing family anecdotes and memories. We were delighted to learn more about the Carr family, who play such a central part in the story of the Worker’s Cottage. 

Here are just a few of the many images Lynette brought. We would like to thank Lynette for her donating both her time and her collection of family photographs to our museum collection for future generations to enjoy.