4 April 2009

Two birthday boys

So, two birthday boys today: Isaac Moore, born in 1807 in Aldwinckle (honest) in Northamptonshire, who married Mary Culpin in the village in 1827. Up to until about three hours ago that was all I knew, other than the year he died; now, after a bit of a furkle about on t'internet, I have found that they had nine children and stayed in the village for the rest of their lives. More about them all another time, I'll be bound.

And our second birthday boy is another link to the Culpin family. Albert, aka Dick, was born today in 1875 in St Ives. He broke from family tradition - being the fourth son, there were probably few opportunities for more blacksmiths - and became a grocer/provision merchant in the town.

The best way to do credit to him is to quote from the Hunts Post of 14 February 1946:-


Death of Mr "Dick" Culpin

Prominent St Ives grocer and former Town Councillor, Mr Albert "Dick" Culpin, 4 East St, passed away on Wednesday after a prolonged illness at the age of 70.

A native of St Ives and fourth son of the late Mr E [sic] Culpin, blacksmith of the Quadrant, he did not follow his father's business but was apprenticed to the grocery trade with the late Mr J Johnson. Later he started to trade on his own account and successfully conducted the business for the past 40 years.

At the request of many townspeople, Mr Culpin offered himself as a Ratepayers' Association Candidate for the Town Council Election of 1933, when controversy raged over the purchase of "Stanley House" as a town hall. He was elected and did invaluable work as Chairman of the Park Committee amongst other duties. On medical advice however, he did not contest the 1938 election.

Mr Culpin was the Hon. Sec. for the Addenbrooke's Hospital Scheme at St Ives for several years and as a younger man was in the forefront of any effort for the Hunts and Cambridge Hospitals. Many will remember the popular "6d Pops" which the late Mr Dick Turner ran when Mayor and in which Mr Culpin took such a big lead. He was a prominent Odd Fellow and a former trustee of the St Ives Lodge.

He was married to Miss Florence Measures at St Ives Parish Church in 1898, and is survived by his widow and three daughters. As a churchman, few worked harder than he for the Restoration of the church after one of our own aeroplanes crashed into the steeple in 1918, a disaster which meant the raising of some thousands of pounds in addition to the Government grant. During the 1914-18 war he served with the L.D.V. and as far as health would permit did service during the World War II as a member of the Observer Corps.

He loved all forms of sport, especially football. He was a Town Club player as a young man.

There was also a photo but it's a very bad reproduction so I'll resist the temptation to put it up.

More tomorrow, methinks.

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