Date:January 06, 2013

Nellie Shellaker


A Gathering, a Wedding, Grandchildren and a new Home

Shellaker Siblings over 80The photograph on the right, taken at Nellie’s home at the New Nursery the year after the end of the Second World War, celebrated the four firstborn children of the Richard of Richard & Mary Shellaker all reaching the milestone of reaching eighty years old. Emma, who was the fourth, and the youngest of this group, reached eighty in August 1946.

The photograph was taken around that time as her brother William was to die two months later in October 1946. Polly’s husband Frank Brown, who was at one time was a professional photographer, may have taken the picture or maybe it was Nellie Brown herself behind the camera. At the back is Polly Brown (née Shellaker) and the left with Emma Geary (née Shellaker) on the right. Seated is Sarah Shellaker with her brother William Shellaker.

As mentioned above, William Shellaker was the first of these siblings to die in October 1946 aged 83 years. Sister Emma died in 1951 having reached the age of 84 years. Polly died in 1954 being around 89 years. Nellie’s unmarried sister Sarah continued to live at the ‘New Nursery’ until her own death in 1953, aged 90 years.

It is interesting to mention, and encouraging to those of us who have Shellaker DNA, that of the original thirteen children, the six who survived into adulthood all lived into their eighties. The average age of the six Shellaker siblings at their respective deaths was 85 years old.

Olive & Ken marriageOn Wednesday 12th September 1945 Nellie’s daughter Olive, marries KEN SWIFT at the Baptist Chapel. The couple had met at the Baptist Chapel where Ken’s family had worshipped for several generations. Nellie’s daughter Olive was 26 years on her wedding day.

Newlyweds Olive and Ken made their home at the Nursery where Ken helped his father-in-law John with the task of running the Nurseries.

The couple had two hymns on the occasion of their wedding; “We bless Thee for Thy peace, O God” and “Through all the changing scenes of life”. Pictured right are the bride & groom with John Brown and an army friend of Ken’s, George Heggs, who was the best man.

In 1947 the first of Nellie’s three grandchildren arrives. The winter of 1946/1947 was very severe. Thick snow lay everywhere. It was into this snowy white world that Olive gave birth to a baby girl on Tuesday 11th February, the girl was named HAZEL. Just over three years later, on Tuesday 23rd May 1950 a second granddaughter for Nellie and John arrived, she was named, BERYL.

Seven years pass until 1957 and a grandson was born on Monday 1st July 1957. He was named TIMOTHY. These children were the 5th generation of Swifts that Nellie had known in her lifetime. In the same year as Timothy was born the family sold the Nurseries in Back Street, Billesdon and they all moved to Rolleston.

Hazel, Beryl & Timothy Swift - Nellie Shellakers Grandchildren

Nellie’s grandchildren –  On the far left Hazel with her sister Beryl. On the right is Nellie’s grandson Timothy.

Woodbine Cottage RollestonIn November 1957 Nellie and John Brown, together with Olive and Ken and their three children Hazel, Beryl and Timothy, move to Rolleston.

Nellie’s sister Sarah is no longer with the family having died four years previously in 1953.

Their new home is pictured right, known later as ‘Woodbine Cottage’  – a name given for the house by Nellie’s daughter Olive.

At this time Nellie had reached seventy-eight years, her husband John was around seventy-two years old. Their son-in-law Ken worked as the gardener on Rolleston estate owned by the Eske family.




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