A House Through Time BBC 2

         BBC2 9PM Thursday 18th January

David Olusoga’s fascinating journey through the history of a single Victorian house in Liverpool 62 Falkner Street which was completed in 1841. The programme traced the families who over the years lived at that address. Episode three out of four was about William Snewing his wife Fanny and their six children. Research produced evidence that William Snewing trained in London as a saddler after which he moved to Liverpool where he was listed in the census as a saddler but not trading in his own name.

Research then moved to the Leather Museum in Walsall where the Curator provided evidence that William took over an established saddler’s business Dobell & Son. At that time, they were trading in Church Street a fashionable area of Liverpool and employing eleven staff, they catered for the top end of the market producing high quality harness but later the firm moved to Paradise Street.

William died of Bright’s Disease in 1908 at the age of 48 after which Fanny took over the business and ran it on. The first blow came because of WW1, Dobell & Son continued producing high quality when cheaper alternatives were required by the army. The second blow came after WW1 when motor vehicles quickly replaced horse transport.

Fanny died in 1934 and by that time Dobell & Son having failed to diversify had ceased trading, shortly after 62 Falkner Street was put on the market and the TV programme continued with the next occupants.

If anyone out there has a Noseband or Saddlers brass with the name Dobell & Son, Saddler, Liverpool, above is a good part of the firm’s history. Usually one has the brass then investigates the history, here we have the history and I would be most interested to know if you have the brass. If you have, I suggest it has just gone up in value!!

Jim Speed