William Edward WEAVER was born on 20th January 1869, and by all accounts it would seem that he was a bit of a lad. He appears to have loved machines, whether motorbikes or the machines run by the town gas engine, which he installed in the joinery workshop.
He met Esther Elizabeth GARNER (Lizzie) whilst she was a midwife for Mrs Hodgets at Stoke Court, Bromsgrove. Lizzie was a trained nurse and a qualified midwife, and she worked for a time at Queen Charlotte's Hospital in London. Before she was married, she took many cases staying with various families during the wives confinement. William Edward married Lizzie at Hinckley in 1903, and they had two boys, William John and Ralph Willoughby.
In January 1906 William met with an accident driving to Bradley Green to fetch some of his men to vote in the East Worcestershire election. When descending a hill near Sugar Brook his horse fell and he was thrown out and suffered concussion. The next day he had reportedly regained conciousness and was progressing well1. In any event his man, the Liberal Unionist Austen Chamberlain won a resounding victory.
Lizzie nicknamed William John, 'Laddie', when he was very young, and for the rest of his life he was always known to everyone as Laddie. Sadly, Lizzie became ill just before Ralph was born in July 1911, and she died of consumption only two months later. Laddie was only aged 7 at the time, but he can remember being taken to kiss his mother just after she had died. The photograph taken just before she died shows her wearing a coral brooch which Marjorie WEAVER now has.
William Edward was married again on the 4th August 1913 at Bromsgrove All Saints to Lily PICKERING but they had no children. The family business had a difficult time during and after the First World War and had all but failed by 1930. In 1936 he was Bailiff of the Bromsgrove Court Leet, and served for two periods as church warden of All Saints Church.
In 1939 he was lodging at 51 Victoria Road, Bromsgrove, with the HUSKINS family - Leslie, Gladys and son George - and three others including a 22 year old drapery salesman.
William Edward lived until he was 91, and during his last year or two he would sometimes 'escape' from the geriatric ward at the Bromsgrove General Hospital. Two or three times, after walking half a mile, he turned up at the yard in The Strand, and on one occasion he was found on a bus heading for Birmingham.
He died on 25 Aug 1960 of a cerebral thrombosis and cerebral atheroma, that is, hardening of the arteries in the brain.