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33 Abbey Walk

A fireman, a dressmaker, a printer's machine minder, a bricklayer, a compositor, and a railway fireman

33 Abbey Walk is one of a terrace of six houses built in the 1890s and referred to as Rosa Terrace in some early census records.

1901 census for 6 Rosa Terrace, Abbey Walk

James Wm Papworth, head, 40, fireman for fire brigade, b. Cambridge
Elizabeth N Papworth, wife, 40, b. Chingford, Essex
Ellen Papworth, daughter, 14, apprentice dressmaker, b. Cambridge
William J Papworth, son, 9, b. Cambridge
Florence E Papworth, daughter, 7, b. Cambridge
Winfred C Papworth, daughter, 5, b. Cambridge
Elsie N Papworth, daughter, 9 months, b. Cambridge

In 1891, when James and his family were living in Stockwell Street, he gave his occupation as painter. Apparently he was successful as a fireman; by 1911 he was a foreman of Cambridge Fire Brigade.

1911 census for 33 Rosa Terrace, Abbey Walk

Robert Goodrum, head, 63, printer’s machine minder, b. Tibenham, Norfolk
Clara Goodrum, wife, 63, b. Wennington, Huntingdonshire
Horace Goodrum, son, 33, bricklayer, b. Cambridge
Eva Goodrum, daughter, 26, b. Cambridge
Cecil Goodrum, son, 22, compositor, b. Cambridge
Mary Curtis, aunt, 87, b. Wennington, Huntingdonshire
Married 37 years, 11 children of which 6 died

10 years earlier, the Goodrum family had lived next door at 5 Rosa Terrace, now 34 Abbey Walk. Robert Goodrum was from Tasburgh near Norwick, and Clara (née Clarke) was from near Abbots Ripton in Huntingdonshire. They had moved into Cambridge by 1874 when their eldest child was born, and they lived in Auckland Road and Upper Gwydir Street before moving to Abbey Walk.

The 1911 census says that 6 of their 11 children had died. Three of them died in 1893 and 1894 when the family were in Upper Gwydir Street, and another had died in 1898. The deaths had occurred at different ages – 16 months, and 5, 16 and 20 years. Another of their children, Cecil, was to die in 1915, aged 25, and this time we have a cause of death. Cecil Goodrum had joined Kitchener’s Army in 1914 but had soon been discharged as medically unfit. He took a job at a printing works in London, but within three months fell ill with influenza, which turned into double pneumonia and killed him within days (Cambridge Independent Press, 19 Mar 1915, page 4).

1939 England and Wales register

Cecil A Abbs, 20 Apr 1902, married, loco fireman LNER
Lilian G Abbs, 12 Oct 1907, married, unpaid domestic duties
Ramon C Abbs, 12 Sep 1928, single, at school
One child [closed record]

Cecil Abbs had lived in Abbey Walk for most of his life, having lived at #38 with his family in 1911, and his parents and two of his siblings were still living there in 1939. Cecil and Lilian were still at #33 in 1960, while Cecil’s mother Ellen was still at #38 and Ramon and his wife Marie were at #36.


UK census records (1841 to 1911), General Register Office birth, marriage and death indexes (1837 onwards), the 1939 England and Wales Register, electoral registers, and local newspapers available via


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