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Hearse/Bier made by Joseph Hand on Freehold Street – More information needed!

Quorn Village On-line Museum has been approached about the hearse/bier pictured below.

This fascinating ‘vehicle’ was made by Joseph Hand who was born in 1860 in Scalford, Leicestershire and later moved to Quorn during the 1880’s, where he had a funeral and cabinet-making business in Freehold Street, almost until he died in the 1940s. Joseph married Mary Ann Glover in 1886 and they had two daughters; Daisy Mary, born in 1890 and Elsie born in 1902. His wife Mary died on March 19th 1936 aged 72 and Joseph died February 6th 1946 aged 86. They are both buried in the Parish Churchyard in Quorn.

Information associated with the hearse in 1986/1987 is interesting, but seems very strange and not totally accurate. It says:

“Joseph Hand was a carpenter, cabinet-maker, undertaker, wheelwright and boat builder. The hearse was made primarily because Quorn church was on a hillside and consequently difficult to transport coffins for services and burial in the churchyard. It was made in the Quorn workshop by Joseph Hand and his assistant Albert Simpson of Barrow-upon-Soar. Henry Walker whose name appears on the bier was in fact a later apprentice. Joseph Hand was a devout Methodist, Sunday school teacher and Superintendent at Quorn Methodist Church for over 50 years.”

This is puzzling, because whilst Quorn Church is on slightly higher ground, it is certainly not on a hill.

Also in 1986 or 1987, a lady from Quorn wrote to say that she had contacted the grandchildren of Joseph Hand. She said that Joseph’s granddaughter had said that the hearse was made in 1930s by Joseph Hand himself, and she remembered it being used for her granny’s funeral [Mary Ann] in 1936, when she was 9 years old.

Daisy Mary Hand went on to marry Charles Goodacre in 1914, and Elsie Hand married Wilfred Priestley in 1926.

Joseph Hand's workshop was where 33 and 33a Freehold Street are today and he and his family lived at 2 Freehold Street. The hearse was housed in a small outhouse belonging to 4 Freehold Street and fronting the road. Thank you to Jane Tyler who used to live at 4 Freehold Street and remembers the son of the Sewell family (who used to live there), telling them about where the hearse was stored!

Can you help? Do you remember Joseph Hand or any of his descendants – or remember anyone mentioning him? Do you remember the hearse ever having been used in Quorn?

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 missing information Missing information: Do you remember Joseph Hand or any of his descendents – or remember anyone mentioning him? Do you remember the hearse ever having been used in Quorn?
Please email us at: team2023@quornmuseum.com
 Submitted on: 2011-09-27
 Submitted by: Sue Templeman
 Artefact ID: 1404
 Artefact URL: www.quornmuseum.com/display.php?id=1404
 Print: View artefact in printer-friendly page or just on its own (new browser tab).

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