Walking Sticks 1

Several makers of walking sticks and umbrellas appear in the records, variously described as Walking Stick Makers, Walking Stick Manufacturers, Stick Dressers and Stick Mounters (this refers to "decorated walking sticks with silver, gold, bone or ivory mountings") and, possibly, "Stickers".  This in itself is probably not peculiar to Islington - walking sticks were big business in the 19th century and were made all over the country in ever more fantastic shapes and sizes (see here for a description).  


Walking Sticks 2


In the Cloudesley Estate it seems to have been a family business.  In the 1881 census, for example, we find John Crossley at 28 Cloudesley Square describing himself proudly as a "Walking Stick Maker employing 6 men + boys", the boys presumably including his sons John and Alfred, then aged 11 and 9 respectively.  Ten years later in the 1891 census he is still there, but the sons, now 21 and 19, now each merit a description under Occupation as "Walking Stick Manufacturers"!

In the Births and Baptism records we come across Edward John Long, a Walking Stick Maker living at 6 Islington Terrace (the forerunner of Cloudesley Road), presiding over a double baptism on May 3 1887 at Holy Trinity Church, of his daughter Sarah Ann Emma Long, and his son, also called Edward John Long.  Turning now to the Marriages records, the son Edward John Long, now aged 28, is shown as marrying Lilian Amelia Braithwaite at Holy Trinity on Boxing Day, 26 December 1909, with both father and son described as "Stick Mounters".  The next year his sister, Alice Rachel Long, aged 20, marries one Henry James Willis, a compositor from nearby Barnsbury Street.  Alice's Father Edward is now described as merely a "Stick Maker"!  Note that this sister is different from the sister Sarah who was baptised in 1887.  This highlights an issue with the Baptism and Birth records, which frequently show the Baptism Date without the birth date, and often feature two or more siblings being baptised on the same day, in a job lot as it were.  In the case of the Longs we can surmise that Edward was baptised at the age of 6 when his sister Sarah was born and that poor Alice was probably not baptised at all.

Later: we've been contacted by Andrew Moss who is publishing "A Visual History of Walking Sticks and Canes" in September.  If you're interested, check it out here.