Thursday, 10 May 2012

Albert David Ivall (1889-1960), furniture maker and shop fitter

Albert David Ivall was the younger brother of my grandfather George William Ivall (1880 – 1934).

Albert was born on 10 January 1889 in Somerstown (an area of London near St Pancras), the fifth of the five children of George Ivall (1853 - 1932) and Alice Ivall nee Newman (1855 - 1935). He was baptized in St Pancras Church on 4 February 1889. The baptism record mistakenly gives his name as Alfred David Ivall. The family’s address was 16 Clarendon Place, Seymour Street. The 1891 census shows George Ivall (aged 38, a cabinet maker), Alice (36), Alice (13), George (10), Rose (5) and Albert (2) living at 51 Freeling Street*, Islington. Charles Booth did a poverty survey of London in 1891. He classified the inhabitants of Freeling Street as being in the category “Poor. 18s. to 21s. a week for a moderate family.”

School admission records show that in 1896 Albert (aged 7) attended Tottenham Road Junior Mixed School, Kingsland. His family's address was 33 Boleyn Road, Kingsland. By 1899 he had moved to Shap Street School, Hackney and his address was 61 Spencer Road.

By 1901 the family were living at 125a Holly St*, Hackney and consisted of George (aged 49, still a cabinet maker), Alice (47), Alice (23, a theatre bar manageress), Rose (15) and Albert (12). The inhabitants of Holly St are classified in the 1898-9 Booth poverty survey as being “Fairly comfortable. Good ordinary earnings.”

The 1910 London Post Office Directory contains an entry for Albert David Ivall, Sign writer. He was part of Boynett & Ivall, Sign writers of Ruthven Street, Hackney. It seems to have been a short lived partnership as it is not listed in 1909 and in 1911, the entry is for Boynett & Co, Sign writers.

The 1911 census shows Albert (22, a general cabinet maker) living at 76 Princess May Rd, Stoke Newington with his father George (57, a general cabinet maker), mother Alice (55) and sister Rose (25, a restaurant waitress).

Albert married Florence Edith Armitage on 24 January 1914 in St Matthias Church, Stoke Newington, Hackney. The marriage certificate gives his age as 25 and hers as 26. His occupation is given as cabinet joiner. The witnesses were Florence’s eldest brother Robert (who died in World War 1) and my grandmother Emma Ivall nee Armitage. Florence was the younger sister of Emma Armitage (1883 - 1970), who had married George Ivall (Albert’s brother) in 1906. Albert and Florence had two children namely Kathleen Edith Ivall (1916 - 1999) and Marjorie Joan Ivall (b 1921). My mother, Grace Evelyn Ivall (1922-2006) and Marjorie were similar ages and became close childhood friends.

During World War 1, Albert served as a Sapper (Regimental No 552789) in the Royal Engineers. His campaign medals (the British and Victory Medals) indicate that he was conscripted in 1916. Electoral registers show Albert living at 101 Farleigh Road, Hackney in 1919. Trade Union records show that Albert joined the Kingsland and Hackney branch of the Amalgamated Society of Carpenters, Cabinetmakers & Joiners on January 20th 1919, having been in the trade for 14 years. However, they also show that he was excluded from the Union later that year. The reason is not given.

Albert and Florence moved to 8 Mapledene Rd*, Dalston (in Hackney) in 1920. Alice (Albert’s mother), came to live there in 1932 after George Ivall (his father) died that year. She died at 8 Mapledene Rd on 12 May 1935.

Albert, his children Kathleen and Marjorie and wife Florence in 1933

The family moved to 75 Osidge Lane, Southgate, North London in 1937. My mother stayed with them for 6 months in 1939 to 40. While she was there a large bomb fell on a house nearby and lives were lost. Also an incendiary bomb resulted in a house opposite being badly damaged by fire. 75 Osidge Lane still exists – it is a 1930’s chalet style semi-detached house. Albert was a perfectionist by nature, who liked everything to be just right. My mother remembered that, when she was living in Osidge Lane, he used to tell her off for leaving the sink plug in the wrong place ! He believed that children should be well behaved.

Albert was part of the furniture making firm, Andrews, Scroggs and Ivall. He later worked as a shop fitter for Cooks of Finsbury. In 1938 his occupation was a given as “work manager” on his daughter Kathleen’s marriage certificate. It was listed as "shop fitting work manager" in the 1939 national register. In 1942 it was given as “shopfitter’s manager”. Albert “gave away” my mother at her wedding in 1944 (her father had died in 1934). His name is on the marriage certificate as a witness.

Florence Ivall (Albert’s wife) died on 2 February 1945 aged 57. Probate records show that administration of her estate was granted to “Albert David Ivall, inspector.” He inspected timber for the Government. The Imperial Calender (an annual publication giving the names of salaried Civil Servants) shows A D Ivall as a Senior Assistant in the Timber Control section of the Board of Trade between 1948 and 1952. The salary range for his grade in 1948 was £750 to £900 (equivalent to £17,100 to £20,500 now).

Albert and his second wife, Grace on their wedding day

Albert married Grace Nettleton (1903 - 1976) on 8 May 1946 in Edmonton. He was aged 57, she was 42. They both went to the same church, St Andrew’s, Chase Side, Southgate. Grace had been the Sunday school teacher to both Kathleen and Marjorie. They were living at 75 Osidge Lane in 1951. By 1952 their address was 51 The Drive, Potters Bar (where Albert ran an ironmonger’s shop) and by 1957 they were living at 45 Trent Gardens, Southgate.

Albert died on 24 February 1960 aged 71, at Highlands Hospital, Southgate. He was buried in Southgate Cemetery (grave HA 442) with his wife Florence. The gravestone says

Father in thy gracious keeping
Leave we now our loved one sleeping
Treasured memories of
Died 2nd February 1945 Aged 57
Ever thoughtful, faithful loving and true
Selfishness she never knew
Her thoughts were for others to the last
We shall miss her sadly
Till our lives have passed
Died 24th February 1960 Aged 71
(There is a line below, which is illegible)

There are three stained glass windows in the baptistry at the West end of St Andrew’s Church, Southgate which are dedicated to Albert. A plaque reads “To the Glory of God and in memory of Albert David Ivall died 24th February 1960, church warden of this parish 1939 – 1946”.

Albert’s second wife, Grace, died in 1976 aged 72.

* None of these houses exist now, their sites having been developed with new housing

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