Annie Potts

by her Granddaughter, Elizabeth (Betty) Worsley

Annie Potts was my paternal grandmother and was born on 8th August 1869 to Charles Thomas Potts (1835-1884) and Ann Eliza Cooper (1848-1903) at Jane Street, Plaistow. Prior to her marriage to Walter Thomas Warsap on 25 December 1889 she was employed as a Packer in the ‘Victoria’ area of the Bryant & May factory in Fairfield Road, Bow and was one of those listed on the Strike Register. At that time, aged eighteen, she was still living at home with her parents in Powis Road.

 

 Annie married Walter Thomas Warsap and they had eight children, the youngest being my father, Frederick Thomas born 10 December 1912. His older siblings were:

Annie (1890-1975) who married Charles Harrie

Walter (1892-1893)

Florence (1894-1953), who married George Hull

Emily 1895-1978), who married Frederick Clover

Mary (1898-1975), who married William Furnell

William (1901-1988), who married Doris Watling

Frances (1903-1981), who married William Wafforn

and my father, Frederick (1912-1989)
who married Elizabeth Rollason

I have memories of all my father’s siblings (with the exception of course of Walter) and met all of my cousins over the years.

 

My grandmother was a formidable lady and had high expectations of how she should be treated by her offspring! They were expected to visit her regularly and bring a bottle of Guinness (or at least the money to buy a bottle) and I can remember being very cross when she expected this of my father who, at the time of this particular visit that he and I had made, had been away from work, sick and not paid but he was still expected to provide the money or the drink. Annie died on 7th November 1956 aged 87.

 

Four of her grandchildren are, at the time of writing, still living. They are Emily Bamford, nee Wafforn; Gillian Marsh née Warsap (her father was William); my sister Janet Canham née Warsap and myself, Elizabeth (Betty) Worsley, née Warsap.

 

Coincidentally, in 1961/2 I worked at Bryant & May in the Management office and then transferred to the Forestry Department, not realising that my Grandmother had worked in the factory prior to her marriage. One of her daughters, Emily Clover, lived in a cottage in the grounds as her husband was a gate keeper/watchman. Bryant & May at that time was a very good company to work for with a very active social club, canteen, tennis courts, etc all available to the employees.

 

During this time we had a visit from the Queen, were served a special meal and the female staff were presented with a powder compact which had a motif of a swan on the top surface!

 

My husband, Maurice and I, together with our three children migrated to Perth, Western Australia in 1969. Our children are Suzanne (7 years old at the time), Keith (4 years) and Neil (3 years). We have had a good life here and our family has grown — we had eleven grandchildren (two of whom were unfortunately still-born) and the remaining nine have, so far, given us seventeen great grandchildren (plus three ‘step’ ones).

 

As an addendum, Tamsin Ingle, the 3 x great niece of Annie Potts, and second cousin twice removed of Betty Worsley, has told us that her Nan was born in Powis Road in 1928, so she also has a nice link to Annie’s matchmaking past.

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