We have been looking into the origins of Garden House, a stone-built, two-storey house occupying a prominent position in the centre of the village between the Church and the former Town Farm. It has a large enclosed garden on the south side which fronts onto Towne Gate. The plot is approximately 70m long by 25m wide and is shown as a garden or orchard on the 1st Edition OS Map published in 1859.
I noticed this inscription today on the north facing side of the memorial to John Chicken and Ann Chicken of Lemington . It had not previously been recorded.
The main (east) face reads:
John Chicken of Lemington who died Oct 26th 1913 aged 63 years. Also of Ann Chicken wife of the above who died January 19th 1926 aged 73 years. "In God we trust".
The north side (adjacent to the path and shown in the above photograph) reads:
Lost at sea on the S.S. Cavalier
Dec. 13th 1891
Aged 44 years.
The Wrecksite website gives more information about the disaster.
On December 13th, 1891, the British cargo ship CAVALIER, built in 1878 by Doxford W. & Sons and owned at the time of her loss by Forster William, on voyage from Odessa to Falmouth with a cargo of grain, was last seen in heavy weather by the SS INDIAN PRINCE, abandoned and about 16 miles WSW from Bishop Rock. Since then, nothing was ever heard of her.
MISSING NEWCASTLE STEAMER
The "S.S. Cavalier" was a British iron screw steamship, official number 76,231, built in 1878 by William Doxford & Sons, at Sunderland. Her length was 279.1 ft., breadth 34.7 ft., and depth of hold 24.05 ft.
In October 1891 the "Cavalier" loaded in the Tyne a cargo of 2,538 tons of coal including bunkers for Savona, and before sailing, Captain Jennison finding the vessel with a list to port, ordered some of the crew to fill the two starboard boats with water to get her upright. One of these men, H. S. Broadbent, stated in evidence that as fast as they put water into these boats it ran out again through the seams which were leaking. The steam-steering gear which had been landed for repairs was not re-shipped; and the vessel sailed from the Tyne with a crew of 20 hands, under the command of Captain Jennison. She arrived safely at Savona, where the cargo was discharged, and she proceeded in water ballast to Odessa, where she arrived on the 15th November, and proceeded to load a cargo of wheat.
On the 21st November 1891, the "Cavalier" left Odessa with her crew of 21 hands. After taking on board 135 tons of bunker coals, she sailed from Gibraltar on 7th December, apparently in good condition, being upright and with the centre of the disc above the water.
Nothing more is known of the "Cavalier" until about 4 p.m. of the 13th December, when she was sighted by the s.s. "Indian Prince," about 16 miles W.S.W. of the Bishop's Rock, Scilly, apparently abandoned. The "Indian Prince" steamed round her, and remained near for about an hour, but as the sea was rough, and there was no sign of any life on board, she left the "Cavalier" and proceeded on her voyage. Since then nothing more has been seen of that vessel.
On the 4th January 1892, a body was washed on shore at St. Ives Bay, and on the following day two more bodies were found. One of the bodies was identified as that of the second mate of the "Cavalier." Some wreckage, apparently portions of a boat, were also found near the same place on the 4th, and on the 13th a bucket marked "Cavalier" was also found.
Mr William Stephenson had established a brick and tileworks near the Maria coal pit by 1849, making firebricks, common bricks, quarls, field drainage tiles and soles. Early handmade firebricks were marked “W.S.& Sons, Throckley”, or “Stephenson, Newcastle”. In the 1920s a new grinding plant was installed and two new brick machine presses. The brickyard eventually had 34 Newcastle-type kilns.
In 1951, these kilns were replaced by a 20-chamber Staffordshire transverse-arch kiln, and produced six million bricks per year. A tunnel kiln was built in 1965 and the works modernised by the Northern Brick Company.
The Throckley yard is the only survivor of a group of 26 brickworks that were owned by the National Coal Board in 1947. In 1973, Gibbons (Dudley) Ltd took over the remaining nine brickworks and by 1977 only Throckley and Cramlington were still working.
A brickworks at Newburn was in existence from the 1850s to 1965. The buildings were demolished in 1979 and is now occupied by a recycling plant on the Newburn to Walbottle Road.
The Throckley brickworks is now owned by Ibstock plc, registered in Ibstock Leicestershire.
From Pit to Palace: A Romantic Autobiography by James J Lawler. The Palace Publishing Company, New York (1906).
Just came across this strange book. It can be read or downloaded on the Internet Archive website. It's subtitle is 'A Romantic Autobiography' and is set in Wylam and Heddon on the Wall. It may well be an autobiography of the author, James J Lawler, but then why is the hero of the story called James Raymond? I can find neither of these named individuals in local records. The author's preface only provides this clue (the emphasis is mine):
Many biographies have been written of successful men who began life under the poorest conditions and while this sketch, which consists of more facts than fiction, might appear like repeating an old story ...
Although many recognisable events, descriptions and named people do occur in the book there are also many errors. They could of course be put down to a poor memory of past events and places. There is also much that smacks of fabrication and a huge desire to set the hero in the best possible light. If it is an autobiography it is certainly high on the big-headed side and there is little modesty.
Our meeting on Monday, 11 January 2016 was time for the AGM, discussion of our new year's programme, and listening to part of an oral history recording made by Mr & Mrs Hall speaking about village life in Heddon in the years around 1904 and 1914. The recording (about two hours in length) was made on 08/02/1978, and is available at the Northumberland Archives, Woodhorn, reference T/114 and T/116. I transcribed part of the same recording during my first visit to the archives in 2011.
My background notes to the recording are given below.
The Gibsons are one of the oldest families in Heddon. I managed to piece together some of their lines from Census records. Additional information has been added from a more detailed family tree kindly provided by a living relative, Ralph Gibson, son of Edward Septimus Gibson, now resident in Stamfordham.
Cadwallader J. Bates wrote about Eachwick in Heddon-on-the-Wall: The Church and Parish (Archaeologia aeliana v11 p240-294, 1886)
The family longest connected with Eachwick were the Akensides.  The name of Thomas Akenside, gent., of Eachwick, appears on the list of freeholders in Northumberland in 1628; and immediately to the right on entering Heddon Church is a marble tablet to the memory of "Captain William Akenside of the 14th Regmt. of Foot, son of William Akenside, late of Eachwick, who died 22 October, 1830, aged 49." Mark Akenside, the poet (1721-1770), belonged to this family, of which his father was a younger son settled in business as a butcher in Newcastle, and it was his uncle of Eachwick who bore all the expenses of his education. 
I was interested to find a copy of an artilcle on your web site written by Percy Reay. Percy was a first cousin of my Grandmother, Elizabeth Mary Florence Reay. Her Father was John Tone Reay.
David Payne recently contacted the web site with the following message:
On our transcript of graveyard memorials, the stone (numbered 173) reads:
There are just two Commonwealth War Graves in St Andrew's Churchyard in Heddon on the Wall and I had often wondered how Pilot Officer Trotter of the Royal Australian Air Force came to be buried here. Rev. Audrey McCartan put me in touch with Jean's daughter, Jenefer Creamer, who kindly helped fill in the story.
In 2012, at a private family gathering in St Andrew's Churchyard in Heddon, overseen by Rev. Audrey McCartan, the ashes of a lady, Jean Bainbridge Cummings, who had recently died in Canada, were buried between the Commonwealth War Grave of her first husband, Pilot Officer J A Trotter and the unmarked grave of her father, Thomas Matthew Scott.
Gillian Massiah recently sent me more information and some photos of this family, her relatives.
As described here, Oakwood Lodge, west of Houghton on the Hexham Road, in 1911 was the home of Henry James Chapman (49) working as Head Gardener. Sharing the lodge was his wife, Elizabeth (46), and six sons. He had been employed for his experience in propagation and cultivation of orchids, a passion of Norman Charles Cookson (Tyneside Industrialist, 1841-1909) at Oakwood House. One of the greenhouses still exists today and is to be restored by its current owners.
From Left to Right Standing:
William Henry Chapman (b.1893; colliery clerk); Harold Thomas Chapman (b.1896; school); Wallace Chapman (b.1900, school); George Lewis Chapman (b.1894, teacher)
Henry James Chapman (b.1862, gardener): Frederick Charles Chapman (b.1905, school); Elizabeth Chapman (nee Lewis; b.1865, married 20 years)
Albert Edward Chapman (b.1903, school).
The dog is either Digger or Trencher.
In loving memory of Lieutenant Forbes Tulloch R.A.M.C. fell asleep 20th June 1906 age 27.
"We fall to rise, are baffled to fight better, sleep to wake". "Until the day dawn".
Hexham Courant - Wednesday, 22 October 2014
Heddon village notes
A RARE medal was auctioned in Tyneside on Wednesday and is behind the story of a medical officer from Heddon. A Tulloch Medal was awarded by the Royal Army Medical College as a prize for pathology and only one other example has come up for sale.
The medal was presented to Lt. Dr Forbes Tulloch who served as a civil surgeon from 1902-03 with the South African Field Force and who was the son of John Tulloch who was the deputy surgeon general on the army medical staff.
Following these years in 1905 Lt. Dr Forbes Tulloch joined the Royal Army Medical Corps and in 1905 he was sent to Uganda as part of a team investigating the cause of sleeping sickness who unfortunately died of the disease in 1906 after returning to England. While he was travelling back to England his father also died.
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