Fred Hargreaves Magnall (my paternal grandfather) was born on the 5th July 1908 in Rosegrove, Burnley (RoB Burnley 1908 Q3 Vol.8e p.216). He was the fourth child of Fred (EM001) and Beatrice (EM028)

The 1911 Census shows that Fred was 2 years old, the youngest of four children living at 42 Sunderland Street in Burnley with his parents and his older sisters Dorothy (aged 8), Emma (aged 6) and Sarah (aged 4)

Fred attended Rosegrove Congregational Chapel with the rest of the family. He became a member of the choir singing in the “young men’s section”. He was a member of the Lowerhouse Tennis Club and was a good swimmer – he taught his sister Mary to swim.

When Fred was older he joined the Burnley motor cycle club. They used to meet on Sunday and the last call was at 98 Accrington Road, the Magnall household where his mother used to have a pan of onion and lentil soup for them before they set off on their outings. Fred had a “Dunelt” motor cycle. One of the group was Joe Abbott, who became a speedway champion at Belle Vue, Manchester. Mary and Clara used to watch them compete in motor bike scrambles, to which they were taken by their father. Fred remained interested in motor cycle racing and went to the T.T. races in the Isle of Man, even after he was married.

Fred married Mona Scott (DM037) on 3rd September 1932 in St Stephen’s Church, Little Harwood, Blackburn (RoM Blackburn 1932 Q3 Vol.8e p.897). We think that the photo on the right dates from about this time. When Fred was going out with Mona, he bought the record “Oh! Mona” and the family eventually got a bit fed up with listening to it!

The photo on the left shows Fred and Mona in Blackpool with their first son in a pram. Mona was born on 18th January 1907 in Great Budworth, Cheshire and was the daughter of James Scott and Mary Vahey. My father is researching the Scott and Vahey family trees.

Fred and Mona had four sons:

  • Peter (CM001) b.8th October 1934 – my father;
  • James Scott (CM002) b.14th November 1935, Brierfield;
  • Roger, (CM003) b.14th July 1937;
  • David, (CM004) b.18th July 1939.

During World War II Fred worked at the Bristol Aircraft Factory at Clayton-le-Moors. He also had two stints towards the end of the war of about a month each down in London  as a Doodlebug watcher His account of what it was like was pretty awful to hear. After his first spell we did not want him to go but he had no option. Roger remembers him saying that he had very little sleep all the time he was there, and lived off sandwiches, with unknown filling, and cocoa.

After World War II a German prisoner of war who had been a photographer before the war took these photos of Fred.

Fred worked at a number of places after the war including Willowers in Padiham (part of Padiham Cotton Waste), and for his Uncle Leonard at Nelson Mill.

Fred died on 6th June 1958 in Brierfield, LAN (RoD Nelson 1958 Q2 Vol.10e p.564 age 49) and was buried on 11th June 1958 in Skipton. Mona died on 10th March 2000 in Burnley and was cremated on 17th March 2000 at Burnley.

[Last updated 10 Dec 2023]