Sauntering through a neighborhood ladened with shortcuts was the world I loved as a 9-year-old. A trail of worn grass or sandy terrain brought a feeling of warmth in the Bob’s Valley West, Somerset neighborhood where many relatives lived.
Doors of homes remained unlocked and goods such as a cup of flour or sugar were frequently borrowed.
In 1894 at the age of 18, Albert Wellington, son of Robert and Francis Harriet Cann gained employment at the Naval Dockyard. After 6 years, he was promoted to Storehouseman and married Charlotte Cornelia Lightbourn.
Albert and Charlotte purchased property off Bobs Valley in Dec 1919 and raised 8 children. The story told by Uncle ‘Puddy’, was that Charlotte saved the money that Albert gave her in a biscuit tin and presented him with a large sum to pay off their mortgage years later.
Known as a quiet, well-dressed family man, Albert often walked with a cane, a symbol of social status, and fashion in the early 1900’s. He was stern with his 5 sons encouraging them to work diligently. Albert enjoyed working in his garden and served as Secretary of the Odd Fellows.
In May 1935, Albert was awarded a Silver Jubilee Medal ‘for faithful and distinguished service during His Majesty’s reign’ while a Storehouseman.
Four years following Charlotte’s death, Albert passed in 1961 aged 85. He was survived by 5 sons ( Olsin, Norris, Crofton, Norman, Hewlett and 2 daughters: Inez and Winifred. Helen predeceased him.
It was the foresight of my great grandparents, Albert Cann and Charlotte Cornelia nee Lightbourn, his wife of 56 years, that contributed to the legacy of his descendants in area, now known as Cann Drive.
The neighbourhood remains intact. Homes are larger, brightly painted, the pace is faster, but the childhood feeling of family pride remains.
Researcher Betty Ann (Cann) Townsell – great great granddaughter