William Harris
Old Plate Photo

William Harris was 19 years old when he ran away from home in Tineveli which is part of the Madras area in South India. He came over with a troupe of perfomers in a circus and was a juggler. After an accident ended up working in the canteen at the Victoria Colliery near Biddulph. I am sure that William would have been quite an unusal site being the first black man in the area.

An article from the Congleton Chronicle mentions him

...we even had one coloured miner at Mow Cop- the only coloured resident we knew in the whole district-and he was universally known in those days as "Billy The Black," which would no doubt bring the busybody Commision for Racial Equality down on you today, creating a problem that never existed, but the term was used with great affection for a man universally respected throughout the district that we dare repeat it even though his family still survives in the area..

William married Emma Dale in 1902, they had seven children, George, Doris, Millicent, Evelyn, Emma, Vera, & Marion. Their first home together was one of the bungalows on Woodcock Lane, then they moved to Station Road. Young George and one of the daughters sang in the choir at Woodcocks' Well School.

William growing Crysanths at
Station Road

William and Emma outside their home on Woodcock Lane

The Wedding of Evelyn Harris To George Dale