Weaste Cemetery

Biographies of people buried between 1940 & 49

Walter Crookell (1871 - 1949)

Walter Crookell was an Electrical Engineer and Mayor of Salford City Council in 1941 – 42. He was Chairman of the Cleansing Ctee and also deputy Chairman of the Art Galleries, Libraries, Parks and Cemeteries Committee and a prominent Freemason.

He was born on 14th May 1871 in Salford. His father was Edwin Crookell (born 1845 in Salford) who was a Beer Retailer and Dyer and his mother was Hannah (nee Seel) Crookell (born 1895 in Chorlton-on-Medlock, Manchester), who were married in 1868 at St Matthias Church, Salford. Sadly, Hannah died in December 1884 aged 39, when Walter was only 13 years old. The 1891 census shows 19-year-old Walter (Electrical Instrument Maker) lived with his widowed father Edwin at New Ship Beer House, Broughton Road, Salford with his 13-year-old brother Thomas, his widowed, paternal grandfather Evan Joseph Crookell aged 74, and his widowed maternal aunt Sarah Ellen Grime aged 40 who was the Housekeeper.

In 1898 Walter Crookell married Mary Elizabeth Errington at St Matthias Church, Broughton. Mary was the daughter of Whitfield Thompson Errington (born 1851 in Manchester) and Mary Ellen (nee Dewhurst) Errington (born 1848 in Horwich, near Bolton). In 1901 Walter and Mary lived at 9, Douglas Street, Broughton and in 1911 they lived at 15, Howe Street, Broughton. Their children were Stanley Errington (born 11 August 1899 in Middleton, Lancashire) and Beatrice Errington (born 27 September 1906 in Broughton). By 1939, Walter had retired to 16 Hunston Road, Ashton-upon-Mersey, Cheshire with Mary and daughter Beatrice with husband Peter A Macdiannid.

Walter was a Conservative and his political career took off when he was elected to Kersal Ward in 1925 In the 1933 election for Kersal he was returned unopposed. In 1940 he was appointed Mayor of Salford. In his acceptance speech he said that no town or city of comparable size had better social services and that Salford had more open spaces in proportion to its total area than any other town of similar size. Walter also referred to a "golden square mile" around New Bailey Street, where currently the empty spaces and derelict property could be re-generated to produce high rates with low demands on services, being so close to Manchester City centre.

During his 1 year term of office, in February 1941, he escorted King George VI and Queen Elizabeth around some of the bombed areas of Salford. He was reported by the Guardian as saying that the King and Queen regarded the spirit of the people of Salford as really wonderful and that they had been profoundly impressed by their cheerfulness in such terrible circumstances. In September 1941, Walter, along with the Lord Mayor of Manchester and Mayor of Stretford launched a manifesto calling on the community to prepare now for the post war world, and working for a Christian Britain.

Walter Crookell died in 1949, aged 78 and was buried in the Errington family grave in plot B18/CE/1251 at Weaste Cemetery on 22nd September. His wife Mary Elizabeth died on 22nd February 1966 and was re-united with Walter on 25th February.