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95 Ainsworth Street

This is the story of the Briggs family and the Rickards

Number 95 is one of a terrace of three properties on the west side of Ainsworth Street.


In 1881 the residents of 95 Ainsworth Street were the Briggs family. William Briggs, aged 49, works as a Railway Guard on the Great Eastern Railway, which ran the majority of services at Cambridge Station. This meant he was responsible for the safety of the train and its contents, whether that be goods or passengers. Also resident was his wife Mary Briggs, aged 52; and his five children. Emily Briggs, aged 23, and Caroline Briggs, aged 20, are both unemployed at this time. The eldest son living at home is 15 year old John Henry Briggs, who works as a Railway Clerk on the Great Eastern, and his two younger sons, Edward, aged 13, and Charles, aged 10, who are both in school.

John Henry dies in February 1889, aged just 23.  He is buried in Mill Road Cemetery alongside his parents.


In 1891 the Briggs family still lived at number 95 Ainsworth Street.  William Briggs, aged 59 has potentially been demoted from the role of a guard; his occupation is now listed as a general Railway Servant, which would have been more a general labour job, with fairly limited job security. His wife, Mary Briggs, who is now apparently aged 57, having only aged 5 years in the last ten, and they still have two of their children living there: Emily, now aged 28, with a job as a dressmaker; and Edward Briggs, now aged 23, listed as a Clerk, but where is unknown. Potentially he got the same job as his brother John, working as a Clerk at the GER.


By 1901, the Brigg family have moved on, and the Rickards have moved in. Henry Rickard, a 55 year old Carpenter, is living at number 95 with his wife Prosina, aged 49, from Sudbury in Suffolk, and his 17 year old son, John, who is working as a Butcher, potentially at the Butchers on East Road, Newmarket Road or East Road, or at the Abattoir on Sleaford Street.


In 1911, the Rickards remain at number 95.  Henry, now 66, is still working as a Carpenter, and his wife Rosina, now aged 60, is listed as a ‘chairwoman’ though we can presume she is actually working as a charwoman, a cleaning lady. Their Son John is no longer living with them, but their daughter Susan Marie is, aged 34, working as a domestic cook.

Sources 1881, 1891, 1901 & 1911 Census


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