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.
I have lots of photos of the Family from the early part of last Century if they are of any interest to you.
I know that the family lived in Blue Row in Heddon in 1895 but they then moved to Falcon Terrace in Wylam.
Down Memory Lane by Percy Reay which was published in the Parish Register, June 1974.
Percival Reay (born in Heddon in 1894) was the brother of Bertha Tone Reay (born Heddon 1893) who was inn-keeper of the Swan for many years.
There are also two public houses in Heddon - The Three Tuns, known as 'Spitty Dicks', and the Swan, known as 'Bertha Reays'. Geordie Reay was the landlord at the Swan, Bertha was his daughter. She kept the pub going long after her father died. She had a bungalow built beside the pub. They kept a donkey in the little field at the back of the pub.
A trap could be hired from Mr Reay, publican of the White Swan, for a day's outing (e.g. to Hexham). Brakes were used by the Newburn Football team for travelling to games in surrounding villages. Newcastle Brewery built the new pub.
The Heddon 'bell-man' was 'Harry the Mayor' , a little old man who dressed up in a red jacket and hat, a long chain and a great big button hole and went around the village once a year in the summer on George Reay's donkey followed by little ones. He was the cowman at Heddon Steads. It was followed by tea in the Crag Field.
George Mason Reay (36 from Scotswood) was innkepper at the Swan pub, which was occupied by his wife Margaret (32) and children Bertha Tone (8) and Percival (7), born in Heddon. Bertha Reay would eventually become landlady and died in Heddon in 1970.
The 1861 Census shows him, aged 45, as unmarried head servant at Close House, in the household of Calverley & Elizabeth Bewicke. The censuses of 1871 and 1881 show that he married Isabella (born c.1820, Ovingham), probably in 1862. Isabella Robson had been housekeeper at Close House in 1861 and is a likely candidate. They both lived in Heddon and Mark gave his occupation as grocer. He died in 1889. Isabella recorded her occupation as grocer in the 1891 Census at age 74.
In 1881, they were living in Common House West, probably one of the now-demolished cottages on the north side of Heddon Common. William is described as a coal miner and Margaret as a dress-maker. They lived at Blayney Row in 1901 and 1911 and had two daughters, Elizabeth J (born 1883, Heddon) and Margaret Ann (born 1889, Heddon; died 1909).
96) In memory of Robert Reay Spearman esqr. of Eachwick Hall who died June 1st 1876 aged 71 years. Also John Spearman his brother died December 10th 1866 aged 55 years. And of Mary their sister who died June 10th 1881 aged 72 years. Also Elizabeth their sister who died June 24th 1900 aged 88 years. And of Edward their brother who died August 31st 1907 aged 93 years.
121) Thy will be done. In loving memory of Margaret Ann Timby the beloved daughter of William & Margaret Reay who died at Blayney Row June 3rd 1909 aged 21 years. Also Mary Elizabeth, George, Thomas, John George their children died in infancy.
[Side] In memory of William John Reay eldest son of John and Elizabeth Sarah Reay and husband of Margaret Reay departed this life February 15th 1927 aged 71 years.
[Side] Also Margaret beloved wife of William John Reay who died Dec 15th 1944 aged 66 years.
226) In loving memory of Gertrude the dearly beloved daughter of George and Margaret Reay who died February 6th 1895 aged 5½ years.
252) In affectionate remembrance of Mark Reay of Heddon on the Wall who died DECr 24th 1889 aged 74 years. Also of Isabella wife of the above who died April 22nd 1893 in her 77th year. "Thy will be done".
258) In affectionate remembrance of Elizabeth Sarah the dearly beloved wife of John Reay of Frenchmans Row who departed this life Feb 12th 1890 aged 64 years. Also of the above John Reay who died April 16th 1905 aged 73 years. Also of Aynsley son of the above Joseph and Mary Maria Reay who died November 14th 1905 aged 1 month. Also John Tone Reay dearly beloved husband of Emma Reay, Wylam who departed this life February 12th 1912 aged 55 years.
259) Memories of my dear husband Joseph Reay died 6th Jan 1954.