It has been quite a number of months since I last posted, however the Volta Tower is never too far from my thoughts. And especially not today. Today as always is a very special day, marking 62 years since the collapse of the Volta Tower. May the tower forever remain in our thoughts, and the loss of Mrs. Florence Northen killed in the tragedy.
On a more upbeat note, I recently was involved with a Parish Records talk given by John Bailey at the Mission Room a few weeks ago. It was during this talk that I met a gentleman I have been in contact with over the past year or so with regards to the history of the tower and specifically information surrounding the death of William Digby, the man whose death sparked the creation of the Volta Tower. Talks with this particular gentleman has also led to me becoming aware of the existence of documents regarding the building's construction. More information coming soon!
For now I continue to thank one and all for the continued support and backing of this website. This is the one and only website on the internet that remembers this beautiful building. I only discovered recently that the information to have been placed onto Wikipedia about the tower had been removed by another user. This website is one that will never allow that to happen, and the Volta Tower will forever belong here.
In my personal life, I have a hefty project ahead of me as I approach the end of my University course and am required to produce a large dissertation. This may mean I may be out of action and even quieter until the summer of this year, however the research never stops and this website carries on! Your continued support, backing and understanding is much appreciated throughout this time.
This is all from me for now. Thank you all for your messages and emails and despite my work, I will keep you all informed of any developments or updates with regards to the ongoing Volta Tower research!
Hello again everybody!
It is less than 24 hours since my last blog post, and I have been in contact with many people in the last day with regards to the Volta Tower, memories they have, or associated items they have in their possession. I have been in touch with a kind gentleman who owns a vintage postcard shop and has sold me a postcard of the tower from 1906, in which the sender mentions they used to live in the tower. Their name looks like 'Holley' but we are yet to trace who this person exactly is. I hope to find this out in due course upon the postcard's arrival! Prior to 1906, inhabitants of the Volta Tower included Elam Cooper and his family in the 1881 census, and David Roberts and his family in the 1891 census. It is possible it could be a member of one of these two families, or perhaps even someone before that? Who knows? We shall try and find this out!
In addition to this, I have now created a 'Coming Soon' page, which you can find in the extra drop down menu on the site. This new page details upcoming developments for the site, and what we have exactly in mind for 2013 on this very website. Keep your eyes peeled for new developments!
That is all for now. Take care one and all, and I shall inform you all of any new developments which should be very soon!
Photo of the Volta Tower site, 18th February 2013
Hello again everybody!
I have had a busy few months and apologise for not posting in that time and apologise to those people who emailed me as far back as August that I had yet replied to until tonight. Upon reading my emails tonight, I was fascinated with some of the people to have contacted me over the months.
Within one of the emails, I have a kind gentleman who has been researching the alleged ship 'HMS Volta' and Lt. William Digby Mackworth Dolben. It has come to light that three months prior to William Digby's death, he was commended for gallantry following a wound of some kind. In addition to this, the gentleman concerned informs me that William was drowned off of Lagos Bar just as they set off for the River Niger.
In addition to this, I have had a man contact me from a Vintage Postcard shop, informing me that they had a postcard come in of the tower, postmarked 1906 and signed by what looks like a 'Holley'. The individual concerned mentions that they used to live in the tower in the letter. I have replied to this man at once to find out more, and provided him with names of the descendants to have occupied the tower prior to 1906.
Furthermore I have also been contacted by a descendant of one of the children of David Roberts, who was living in the tower with his 6 children at the time of the 1891 census. The descendant has provided me with fascinating information with regards to Mr. Roberts who was 38 years old back in 1891, running a shoe factory that made boots for soldiers serving in the Boer War, before going out of business in 1905.
The most fascinating and exciting news I have to behold has literally occurred within the last three days. I have been left a comment in the site guestbook by a direct descendant of the Northens. The descendant concerned is a grandchild and has stated that she actually lived in the Volta Tower, and is quite possibly the last living person to have ever lived in the tower - how amazing is this? I was absolutely delighted to come across this comment tonight, and the lady concerned has been contacted.
Well that is all from me for now! I attach a photo above of the site of the tower, taken on a photographic jaunt around Finedon on the 18th February.
Bye for now folks, and I again thank all those people who take the trouble to look at this website,
I apologise for not blogging for so long, but today was a day that I simply could NOT forget to blog! Today marks 61 years since the day of the Volta Tower's collapse, and it is the very same day of the week as it was back in 1951.
The Volta Tower collapsed in the morning of Friday 16th November 1951. It is rumoured that a rumble could be heard and both John Edgar Northen and Florence Northen had run outside the tower, but with seconds to spare Mrs. Northen ran back in to retrieve her handbag only to be caught in the moments of the tower's collapse, killing her instantly.
Today is a day of remembrance for the tower and a day to reflect on the past and any memories people may have of this beautiful building which stood for 86 glorious years. I have lit a candle in memory of the tower and to the life of Mrs. Florence Northen.
Bye for now and my very best wishes to all who take the time to visit this website
This is just a short blog to let people know that tonight my video of the Volta Tower stones at the Wellingborough Museum was uploaded to YouTube. You can find this video below.
Enjoy and my very best wishes to all who visit this site!
So here we have the new Volta Blog! This is where I will keep people up to date with what's going on and what's been happening in the name of research and Volta Tower developments. Although there are many things I could have talked about in the past, from now on any news and progress will be recorded down and the new blog starts here!Firstly, I must mention my research last month into a gentleman who lived in the Volta Tower in 1910 by the name of Harry Durden. Harry was born in Finedon in 1881 to a William and Louisa Durden who he is recorded down as living with in 1901, in Ivy Cottages in The Grove, Finedon.
Harry was married in 1905 to a Bertha Durden, and according to a relative of mine, he had at least one daughter by the name of Olive. There is a photo of Harry as a young boy in 1892 at the Boys School and by 1910 as already mentioned, he was married and living in the Volta Tower. In 1931, Harry was an undertaker along Wellingborough Road and also a carpenter, with his workshop being an ironstone barn that sat in the yard of Roy Bailey's shoe factory which is now the site of Yorke Close. In 1934, Harry was photographed as a member of the Finedon Bowls Club and in 1946, he is seen in the photograph on the right hand side making the church's current communion rail. Harry Durden died aged 78 in 1959 at 48 Church Street.
A year or two ago I came to own Harry Durden's own copy of the 1912 Finedon Hall Sale catalogue with 'H. Durden' and 'Please do not remove' written on the front. Also enclosed I found a couple of newspaper articles from the Evening Telegraph in November 1951 with information regarding the Volta Tower's collapse a week after, and a coroner's report. This is fascinating to read when I already hold the newspaper from the day the tower collapsed. Harry is buried with his wife Bertha in an unmarked, stoneless spot in the cemetery which I was shown last month. It is only assumed they had only enough money for the grave itself but not a stone, a sad sign of the times back then, and I think quite sad for a man who was so involved with the activity in Finedon. My Nan told me recently how Mr. Durden was a "nice man" who was very little.
In addition to this news, in May I was amazed to discover a display of Volta Tower stones in the Wellingborough Museum on Castle Way in Wellingborough. I went back again and immediately took countless photos, and the new 'Wellingborough Museum' page tonight aired live on the website with photos of the display. This display included a cherub from near the top, the shield bearing the Mackworth Dolben arms that was above the porch, and the two name stones from either side of the front door. I will soon also be posting a video of the display to YouTube, and that too will be featured on this site.
Well this is all from me for now. I hope all that look at this site continue to enjoy it and I will from now on keep people up to date with what's going on with this new page.
All the very Best from me and bye for now folks!