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89 Ainsworth Street

The Tyler family

Number 89 is one of a pair of terraced houses on the west side of Ainsworth Street.

The 1871 census records 21 inhabited houses in Ainsworth Street, plus another 9 under construction. However, they are not numbered, and at present it is not possible to identify all of them.

1881 census

Richard E Hardy, head,  35, ironmonger’s valuer’s assistant, b. Norwich
Harriet Hardy, wife,  29, b. Norwich

1891 census

Thomas Tyler, head, 41, railway porter, b. Sible Hedingham, Essex
Leavnea [Lavinia] Tyler, wife, 34, b. Erith, Kent
Arthur Tyler, son, 12, scholar, b. Cambridge
Edith Tyler, daughter, 10, scholar, b. Cambridge
Ernest Tyler, son, 7, scholar, b. Cambridge
Ethel Tyler, daughter, 5, scholar, b. Cambridge
George Tyler, son, 3, b. Cambridge
Edwin Tyler, son, 1, b. Cambridge

Thomas Tyler was born in Sible Hedingham in Essex, and arrived in Cambridge by 1881, living at 20 Kingston Street. His wife Lavinia was born in Erith, north Kent, which is today in the London Borough of Bexley. Thomas worked as a railway porter, which suggests he would have worked at Cambridge station for one of the three railway companies serving it at the time, carting people’s luggage to and from trains.

1901 census

Thomas Tyler, head, 51, railway porter, b. Sible Hedingham, Essex
Lavinia Tyler, wife, 44, b. Erith, Kent
Ernest Tyler, son, 17, printer’s apprentice, b. Cambridge
George Tyler, son, 13, b. Cambridge
Edwin Tyler, son, 11, b. Cambridge
Frank Tyler, son, 9, b. Cambridge
Sidney Tyler, son, 6, b. Cambridge
Hilda Tyler, daughter, 3, b. Cambridge

1911 census

Thomas Tyler, head, 61, railway porter, GNR, b. Sible Hedingham, Essex
Lavinia Tyler, wife, 54, b. Erith, Kent
Edwin Tyler, son, 21, provision shop assistant, b. Cambridge
Frank Tyler, son, 19, clerk for soap manufacture, b. Cambridge
Sidney Tyler, son, 16, bootmaker (apprentice), b. Cambridge
Hilda Tyler, daughter, 13, at school, b. Cambridge

Thomas and Lavinia Tyler had now been married for 33 years and had had ten children, of which two had died.

Thomas was now working for the GNR, Great Northern Railway, which ran services from London Kings Cross to Cambridge, to Ely and to Peterborough. They were also the dominant company on the East Coast route from Kings Cross to Edinburgh.

Frank Tyler was working as a clerk for a soap manufacturer, potentially the local soap factory which was off Staffordshire Street on the now demolished Gas Lane. Ethel had left Cambridge and was working as a domestic servant – a cook – in Notting Hill in London.

1921 census

Hilda Tyler, daughter, single, 23, home duties, b. Cambridge

Thomas Tyler had died in 1917. Lavinia died in the summer of 1921, her death registered in July, August or September. The census was taken on 21 June, and the ‘person responsible for making the return’ was named as Mrs L Tyler. But Hilda Tyler, aged 23, was alone in the family home.

The following year, 1922, Hilda married William Aves, and on the 1939 register we see that Hilda Aves was living at no. 89 with their daughter Doris Aves, who was born in 1923 and married Frederick Cross in 1951. Frederick would have served as a soldier in the Second World War, which is likely when they met. Doris Cross died in 1994 and today their grandson Stuart Cross still lives at 89 Ainsworth Street.

Sources: 1881–1921 Census, 1939 Register


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