William Ward Sanderson (1874-1963) was born at Dale House Farm near Whitby. He became interested in agricultural engineering and the pioneering use of steam engines for ploughing and threshing. After studying at Wye College, he had various jobs servicing and selling farm implements throughout the country and, for three years, in South Africa.
The sequence of events reported in the local newspapers can be found here. At 6.30 pm the Weston family, owners of a large timber framed house on the Eagles Nest estate at Capel-le-Ferne noticed cracks in their ceiling. They abandoned the house which slid down the cliff, although remaining upright and reportedly with pictures still hanging vertically on its walls.
In 1927, William moved back to the north-east working for the Northern Agricultural Supply Company in Newcastle. He rented East Town Farm in Heddon on the Wall which was owned at the time by James Hedley of Bays Leap Farm. The family lived in the farmhouse and farmed successfully on the fields here, milking cows in a parlour (now part of Tulip's yard), cutting hay on the site of the Roman Wall and running a local shop selling cigarettes and confectionery. William Sanderson served for many years on the Parish Council, including a stint as Chairman.
There was some discussion at the end of Philip's talk about growing up in Heddon village and the operation of the Home Guard during the Second World War.
William Ward Sanderson, agricultural engineer and pioneer, died on 13th May 1963 at Ponteland, to where he had retired when East Town farm was sold for the building of Vallum Estate in the 1950s.