Walter, Ada and Fanny

Agecroft’s architect Walter Sharp married Ada Simpole in 1883 and took up residence with Ada’s widowed mother in Broughton, Salford. Ada was born in 1860 into the Simpole family, a successful firm of cabinetmakers with premises at Cathedral Steps, Manchester. The Sharp’s continued to live in the Lower Broughton Road area throughout much of their married life but by 1911 they had moved to St Anne’s-on-Sea on the Lancashire coast. Here Sharp was in practice with Gerald Cowburn. Ada died in 1928 and in September 1929 Sharp married Fanny Rounds at the Wesleyan Church, St Anne’s where he held office. Sharp lived in two houses in St Anne’s, both identical in design and both named Paxford in memory of his birthplace. Further research is necessary to establish whether Walter Sharp designed these houses which still exist. Sharp’s obituary mentions that he designed ‘the handsome shop property on the north side of St Anne’s Road West’, possibly those at the junction with Clifton Drive North and applauded his efforts in ‘beautifying the town’. Sharp died in August 1931, his probate of £3968 was left to his widow, Fanny and his niece Ada Pemberton. He is interred in St Anne’s Church, St Anne’s-on-Sea.

Frederick Foster: co-architect of Agecroft

The architect Frederick Foster was in partnership with Walter Sharp and together they were responsible for the design of the buildings at Agecroft. Very little is known about Fred Foster at the present time but what we do know is that Foster was born in Manchester in 1850/51. In the 1891 census he was living with his family at 59 Withington Road, Chorlton where his occupation is recorded as architect’s assistant and lay reader in the Church of England. Foster’s wife Amelia Geake was also born in Manchester around 1848. Frederick and Amelia married in 1873 and had 8 children. During the early years of their marriage they live in Sale but later moved back to Manchester. Son Fred jnr, born in 1889, became a draughtsman and mill architect. Frederick Foster snr died in 1904 aged 53 very soon after the opening of the Northern Cemetery at Agecroft.