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Thomas Aldous (1877 - 1925)

Thomas ALDOUS  - was the third child of Edgar and Mary Aldous, born on 26th July 1877 at New Street, Tintwistle in Cheshire. Like Joseph, he was also living in the family home at Deepcar, South Yorkshire,  with the rest of his family, at the time of the 1901 census.

He was working as Boiler Fireman, at Samuel Fox & Companyís steel works in Stocksbridge at the time of the census, and working on steam cranes according to his younger son, in the latter years of his life. Chances are they were one and the same job.

He married Machel Serenna (Sarena) SIDEBOTTOM on the 2nd April 1902. The wedding was witnessed by Charley Wolley and Ann Maria Sidebottom.   Machel was born on the 11th of Novemeber 1882 in Midhopstones, a small village 2 miles west of Stocksbridge and was the daughter of Moses and Sally Sidebottom (see also The Sidebottoms).

Thomas and Machel had five children; Annie, Wilfred, John, Frank and Fred and they lived at the family home in Grove Row on Manchester Road in Haywoods, Deepcar. Just across from the Stocksbridge Methodist Church, which at that time was known as the Wesleyan Chapel.

Grove Row was Demolished towards the latter end of 1982, and is currently been sought after by the nearby medical practice as the site for a new medical center.

Thomas was caretaker of the chapel hall for a while, and his son Fred told the tale of going over there with him, and on one occasion while Thomas was playing billiards Fred had fallen asleep, and at the end of the evening Thomas had forgotten Fred, and gone home locking him in the building. Fred had to break a window to get out.

When Thomas had nothing better to do, he would enjoy standing at the open door of the family home, passing the time of day with the many people he knew as they walked by. As time went by Thomas began to succumb to ill health, and when his family heard passers by call to him and he did not reply, they knew he had fallen asleep leaning against the doorjamb and would go and wake him up and bring him inside and sit him down.

Thomas finally submitted to his health on the 22nd of November 1925 in The Royal Infirmary on Infirmary Road, Sheffield. He was buried in the graveyard of St Maryís Church of England church at Bolsterstone near Sheffield on the 24th November 1925. His death certificate listed the cause of death as (1) Chronic parenchymatous nephritis (inflammation of the kidney akin to dropsy). (2) Chronic bronchitis. This was certified by B R Wallis M.B. Annie Aldous (later Dearden) was present at his death. Around five years after Thomasís death his wife Machel Serenna was committed to the South Yorkshire Mental Hospital, Wadsley, Sheffield but then part of Bradfield Rural District. The hospital was later called The Middlewood Hospital, and was demolished in 1998/9 to make way for a housing development. The only remaining building being the church.

Ray's mother, Dorothy Aldous, remembers that the family used to visit her every weekend, but they would never take her with them, so she never got to meet her although she did attend her funeral. When shown the photo on the right she realised she had seen her around the town (prior to meeting John) but not known who she was.

Serenna was suffering from Systematised Delusional Insanity, a form of schizophrenia.

She died on 20th July 1933 in the hospital and was buried in the churchyard at St Maryís Church of England church Bolsterstone. Her death certificate listed the cause of death as :-

  1)   (a) Chronic Mitral Disease.

        (b) Adherent Pericardium.

11)       Suffered from Systematised Delusional Insanity.      

Post mortem certified by Daniel Gillespie. Funeral expenses were:-


Elm Coffin £7/10/0d £7.50
Grave Expenses £2/0/6d £2.02
Hearse £2/2/0d £2.10
3 Cars Stocksbridge Co-op Soc £5-8s-0p £5.40
Gloves £1 £1.00
Remove body from S.Y.A to Stocksbridge £1 £1.00
Catering for teas at Wesleyan school, use of room £1/14/0d £1.70
1 Wreath 10/6d 52p


£20/5/0d £20.25

Ray Aldous 2003

Machel Serenna Sidebottom and Thomas Aldous - early 1900's


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Thomas Aldous aged about 40


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Machel Serenna Sidebottom aged about 40


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Thomas Aldous aged about 47


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Grove Row - Deepcar

Photographed just prior to its demolition in 1982


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Barry Aldous

Last Modified : 22-01-2012 11:53 PM

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