Martin’s Memories – The Setting

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The Martin’s Memories series has been reproduced with the very kind permission of Tony Martin from his posts on the Old Blaydon and Old Winlaton Facebook group.

OLD Blaydon and OLD Winlaton | MARTIN’S MEMORIES 2 | Facebook

I lived at 3 Park Avenue in the avenues off Widdrington Road. My parents bought the house when they were married in 1938 and they lived there until they died in 1982 and 1988 respectively. In those days, the avenues were a stable community and many people lived there for long periods. In the period 1942 to 1963, only one house in Park Avenue changed hands and two people died, my grandmother and her sister. My mother was born at 7, Ethel Avenue in 1911 and the family moved to 8 Park Avenue when the house was completed in mid 1914. My maternal grandmother, Ada Maud Shotton, lived there until she died in 1958 and my maiden aunt, Elsie, until she died in 1986. An older sister, Glady, emigrated to Australia in 1927. Another sister died in the influenza outbreak in 1919 and two brothers, died very young in 1905 and 1910. My maternal grandfather, James Browell died in 1922.

My father was born at 29 Front Street, Winlaton in 1910 where his parents, Isaac Miles Martin and Mary Ann Carson lived until the outbreak of war. He had two sisters, Mary born 1903 and Grace, born in 1907. Mary died unmarried in 1983 and Grace, who married Bert Turnbull in 1951, died in 1980. My paternal grandmother was born in the Royal Oak pub on Back Street had a newsagents shop on Front Street, but died in 1944. My paternal grandfather died in 1948, partially blind due to an accident at Blaydon Burn Colliery and he was badly affected by the coal dust he had inhaled in the mine, had half his tongue removed quite young. They lived at 2, New Buildings, Winlaton. The back door was on Back Street and in front of the house, theré was an area of rough ground opposite the old Club and later Police Station.

Although I only knew two of my grandparents, this was compensated for by Uncle Stephen. Stephen Hands who married my maternal grandmother’s younger sister. He was born on the Spike, a time served engineer at Smith Patterson’s and then owned a watchmaker and jeweller’s shop, first at 13, Tyne Street and subsequently at 22, Church Street, until he sold out in 1956. They lived at 7 Park Avenue and had no children and I became their “adopted grandchild” Looking back, I was very fortunate to have him as the only male influence on my pre-school days with my father away from home due to the war.

I will return to all these people more fully in the course of my memories.

I have appended some photographs of them so you can see who I talking about.

My father’s family – Aunt Mary, Grandfather, Grandmother, Aunt Grace and my father. from 1930.
My maternal grandparents with their oldest child, Glady. This is the only photo I have of my grandfather. from 1903
The older generation on my parents’ wedding day in 1938. Taken in the garden of 8 Park Avenue. My maternal grandmother, Uncle Stephen and his wife, Aunt Nell, Aunt Grace and Uncle Proc, my grandmother’s brother. They lived in 23, Lynwood Avenue before moving to Benwell.
My mother and my Aunt Elsie taken in Shibdon Dene ca.1935.