born 5 April 1835
in Adlington, Lancashire
died 13 January 1910
in Abergavenny, Monmouthshire
Thomas was a fireman and later engine-driver on the railway at Preston, Crewe and Abergavenny.
Date of birth from Thomas Baron's diary.
The Lancashire Online Parish Clerk Project has a record of his baptism on 19 April 1835 in St Wilfrids, Standish (Register: Baptisms 1835 - 1840, Page 4, Entry 28).
1841 census: living with parents and siblings on Lady Lane, Pemberton. Age is 6, born in county. Harry Jack notes that 'the 1840s Ordnance 6" map shows Lady Lane in Pemberton, a half-mile country road running south-east to the hamlet of Goose Green, nearly 2 miles south-west from Wigan town centre, so quite rural in those days'.
1851: living with (step-)grandmother and uncle on Adlington Common, working for them as an errand boy. Age is 15 and place of birth is Adlington.
1855: In June Thomas starts at Preston engine shed as a cleaner, aged 20. (This from the very start of his diary.) He took occasional 'firing turns', the first with driver T. Booth, 5 December 1855, on No 243 'Chillington' ("Old Crewe" Goods 2-4-0, built 5.1849.)
1857: at time of marriage he is 22, living in Water St West, and working as a stoker. According to this page Water St West occupied the later intersection of Corporation St. and Fishergate.
1861: living with wife, daughter, and mother-in-law at 8 Lodge Street, Preston. Occupation is Fireman on Railway. Age is 26 and place of birth is Adlington.
1861/62: Thomas transferred to Crewe 5 October 1861, and moved his family there 14 February 1862. He became a regular driver from 30 April 1862.
1862: He then transferred to Abergavenny, and moved his family there 7 August 1862. Thomas was a driver on the Abergavenny branch from September 1862 to 24 April 1877.
1864: living at "Groffield" [Grofield], Abergavenny, at time of death of daughter Elizabeth (according to Harry Jack).
1868: on son Joseph's birth certificate his occupation is given as Locomotive Engine Driver, and residence as Chapel Road.
1871: Thomas Baron is recorded in the census of Abergavenny as head of household at 'The Cantriff', Chapel Road. He is aged 36 and described as an Engine Driver. Born in 'ADDINGTON (Lancs.)'.
Although he is head of household at The Cantref in 1871, he is not mentioned in connexion with the pub in Abergavenny Pubs. The owner at that time (1868–80) was Walter Morgan, and the publican (1868–75) was Samuel Munn Jones. Perhaps Thomas ran the place informally?
1872: Thomas's diary records: "Took Springfield Cottage Cantrif October 11 1872. Came in October 22 1872." Rose adds: 'could well be the cottage next-door-but-one to the Cantref (with Auntie Violet's little cottage in between)'.
1877: He became night foreman at Abergavenny shed on the 25 April 1877.
1891 census: Living at Prospect Cottage, North Street, Abergavenny, with wife and children. Age is 55 and place of birth is Adlington. Occupation is Night Locomotive Foreman.
1901: In census he is 65, living at Prospect House, North Street, and is described as a railway foreman, born in Adlington.
1910: Harry Jack has a copy of the death certificate:
Died 13th January 1910 at Prospect House, North Street, Abergavenny Urban District. Age 74, formerly Night Foreman, Locomotive Sheds, L. & N. W. R. [London & North Western Railway]. Cause of death: Influenza 3 days Syncope. Certified by R. M. Foley, M. B. Informant: Edith A. Baron, daughter, Prospect House, North Street, Abergavenny, on 14th January 1910. B. C. Morris, Registrar.
Rose says: 'Some time ago Grandpa told me the only thing he knew about his grandfather Baron was that he'd been told by somebody that he used to stand by the gate of his house in North Street and he had a big beard. Prospect Cottage/House, presumably. By the way, North Street and Orchard St and the Cantref (and Park St where I grew up) were all near the Brecon Rd railway station and the goods yards. Convenient for work. That railway was removed by Dr Beeching in the sixties, but it ran on a bridge across the bottom of Chapel Rd [...]. Orchard St runs across from North St to Chapel Rd.'
Rose adds: 'He was based at the railway sheds which used to be in the area stretching between Brecon Road and Union Lane.'
Harry Jack, a railway enthusiast, has a diary kept by Thomas—mostly a list of the locomotives he worked on between 1855 and 1862, but there are some family particulars at the back.