Matthew Henry Pinder is my great grandfather and son of Francis Pinder and Hannah Berry.
Matthew was born in September 1869 in Waterworks House, at the junction of Frederick Street and Howard Street, Rotherham and lived in and around central Rotherham for all of his life; living on Frederick Street, Carlisle Street, Milton Road and Bethel Road.
In 1897, Matthew married Alice Cunnington in Bourne, Lincolnshire. Alice came from a deeply religious Methodist family. How Matthew and Alice came to meet is a puzzle, although Matthew’s family were also Methodists, so perhaps they somehow met through their respective Churches.
Matthew and Alice issued five children and they were called, John Francis (1899 to 1964), Edith Mary (1901 to 1952), Marjory (1907 to 1993), David Henry (1911 to 1968) and Philip Thomas (1919 to 1998). Edith Mary is my grandmother.
John (known as Jack) was a Company Secretary at Imperial Chemical Industries and lived at Home Farm, Fernhurst in Surrey. Jack married Christiana Bartholomew in 1922 and together issued one child called, Joan Mary. Jack, Christiana and Joan all died in fairly quick succession in the 1960s. Joan married Gordon Wright in 1946 and together issued three children. Gordon is/was in possession of a clock given to Matthew’s father, Francis, when he retired from Yates and Haywood in Rotherham.
Marjory obtained a Degree from Sheffield University in the 1920s and was a Teacher of French and Music at Shiremoor Modern School, Tyne and Wear. Marjory married George Alaister Turnbull in 1934 and together they issued two children. Marjory and her family resided in Morpeth, Northumberland.
David married Evelyn Wakefield in 1935 and they had no issue. David was a Waterworks Manager in Mundesley on Sea, Norfolk, which is where he and Evelyn lived. After David passed away in 1968, my grandfather, John Gilbert Mollekin, often visited Evelyn and semi-lived with her for a while (as friends).
Philip married Mary Isobel Campbell in 1940 and together they issued two children. After Philip’s father, Matthew, had passed away, Philip’s uncle (Francis Thomas Pinder) advised him that he should pursue a career in the Royal Air Force. Philip became a Warrant Officer, served in World War Two and latterly worked in Scotland’s secret radar nuclear bunker. Philip and his family lived in Crail, Fife. Philip was also the Secretary of Saint Andrews Golf Club, Fife.
Because my grandfather, John Gilbert Mollekin, was a Signalman on the railways, he and his family were able to travel for free and my father recalled many happy memories of visiting David and Philip. My father kept in touch with Marjory and Philip until their deaths and visited Philip in Scotland for the final time in 1996. Marjory and Philip helped my father with his genealogical research and helped to identify ancestors on photos.
My father had been led to believe that Matthew was the Waterworks Manager for Rotherham. However, it transpired that it was actually Matthew’s grandfather, Luke Berry, that had occupied this role. Matthew did work in the Rotherham Waterworks Department though, setting off as a Stationary Engine Tender, then Engineer, then Inspector and finally the Corporation Superintendent for the Waterworks.
In 1901, just prior to my grandmother, Edith, being born, Matthew, Alice and Jack moved to 84 Bethel Road, Eastwood in Rotherham. This remained as the main Pinder residence until at least 1929, albeit for a brief period around 1910 when the family, for reasons not known to me, lived a few doors up at number 90.
Matthew died August 1922 in 84 Bethel Road from endocarditis and myocarditis. Basically, Matthew’s heart muscle had become inflamed, possibly due to infection that in turn caused a fatal infection of the inner lining of his heart.
THE ADVERTISER, SATURDAY, AUGUST 26, 1922.
SLAVE TO DUTY.
DEATH OF AN OLD CORPORATION SERVANT.
An old servant of the Rotherham Corporation, in the person of Mr. Matthew Henry Pinder, water superintendent, passed away at 84, Bethel road, Rotherham, on Monday, at the age of 53 years. The deceased gentlemen, who succumbed to heart trouble after an illness of six months’ duration, was noted for his devotion to duty. Conscientious in the service of the public, he had an amazing capacity for work, and the fact that his constant energies affected his health did not restrain him from endeavouring to give of his best. In fact, his colleagues in the water department affirm that his end was hastened by unrelenting toil. He was a remarkable example of faithful and conscientious service.
Born in the waterworks house, Frederick street, in 1869, he started his working career at the old Dalton filter beds, afterwards going to the Aldwarke Pumping Station as driver of the pumps. He was called from there to become water superintendent, the position he held at the time of his death. He had been directly responsible to the waterworks engineer for the supply and distribution of water throughout the borough, and it is a tribute to his untiring efforts in restricting wastage that the consumption of water per head is one of the lowest in the country.
He was a prominent member and trustee of the Manchester Unity of Oddfellows (Parkgate Lodge), and at one time was actively associated with the St. John Ambulance Brigade. During the war he served as a special constable, and was later awarded a medal. He leaves a widow and five children, the youngest being three years of age. His late grandfather, Mr. Berry, was engineer and manager of the Rotherham Waterworks, and was in charge of the erection of the pumping engines in Frederick street in 1855. The funeral of Mr. Pinder took place at the Masbro’ Cemetery yesterday.
PINDER. – On August 21, 1922, at 84 Bethel road, Matthew Henry, beloved husband of Alice Pinder, aged 52 years.
Philip Pinder had told my father that Matthew’s headstone, in Masbrough Cemetery, Rotherham, had been cleared by the Council and we failed to find it on a number of visits to the cemetery. However, in 2013, I stumbled across Matthew’s grave purely by chance. I suspect that quite a lot of vegetation had been cut back, hence revealing the grave.
Matthew’s widow, Alice, ended up in Ruskington, Lincolnshire, living with her two elderly unmarried sisters. I don’t know when she left Bethel Road or when she permanently moved to Ruskington, but I believe that in between, she may have lived with her son Jack in both Rotherham and perhaps Surrey also. I know that in the mid 1940s, Alice was living in Wickersley with my father’s family. Alice died in 1959 and is buried with her two sisters in Ruskington Cemetery.