Archive for August, 2013

Eva Hornsby And That Breakfast

August 23, 2013 Leave a comment

Are a bit of a mystery. I know that Eva and her sister were milliners and came to the aid of the famous Mr Cody when his aeroplane came down to local earth [see previous article]. I suppose that being  milliners it was always likely that they could do the sewing that was necessary to repair his aeroplane, but I am open to correction about that.

The local school thought the tumble from the sky was so exciting they gave the school children a half – day off so that they could go and see the aeroplane. Police were in attendance to hold the crowds back.

My understanding is that someone gave Cody breakfast and it was only later that he was invited by the New Brancepeth colliery owner to spend the evening and night at his grand home!

So if I am right about the breakfast, who was it that supplied it? And can anyone tell us more about Eva Hornsby and her sister?


Categories: Memories

Ushaw Moor’s Totem Pole Has Died

August 15, 2013 3 comments

I have just become aware of the very sad news that Norman ‘Soccer’ Gleghorn has passed away. I am reliably informed that the funeral service will be held at St. Lukes Church on 21st of August at 1.45pm, followed by the crematorium – then afterwards at Ushaw Moor Cricket Club.

It seems appropriate to delve into the archive and bring up my interview with him.

He was a gentleman and a rascal all wrapped up in one package. Not many people can claim that. 



Norman ‘Soccer’ Gleghorn – The Interview

July 20, 2010Edit1 comment


Norman greeted me cheerfully on my arrival at his neat and tidy flat. The twinkle in his blue eyes and his love of life remain undiminished despite his considerable years; it showed in his readiness to chat away about himself and life in general. He is not a self absorbed man rather he takes a keen interest in news and sport [by way of his radio and television] but not necessarily in that order!

Norman was born to George and Francis Gleghorn in Eshwood Street, New Brancepeth in 1926. He was one of ten children, but as he pointed out, such a large family was not so unusual at that time.

Norman attended New Brancepeth School and although he recalls that gardening was a prominent part of the school’s curriculum he was not interested in Mr Turnbull’s gardening lessons, or for that matter George Hill’s woodwork; his love was sport and more sport. He represented the school at football and cricket and enjoyed the experience so much.

Having left school at 14 he then spent the next 10 years working at New Brancepeth Coke Ovens as a mechanical fitter. It operated a three shift system; 6am to 2 pm – 2pm to 10pm and 10pm to 6am. During his time there the cokeworks never closed, not even on Christmas Day or New Year’s Day, and Norman finds that fact remarkable to this day.

During our meeting Norman’s daughter Ingrid, and his grand-daughter Sarah, popped in and out. It was obvious that they  love and care for Norman in a very positive way.

Norman went on to say that the poor working conditions at the cokeworks persuaded him to find a healthier occupation and it arrived in the form of window cleaning. Norman is good with people and that, together with his need to keep fit for sport, made window cleaning such an attractive proposition. He spent many a year cleaning windows  and he became a familiar sight on his rounds.

I felt it was time to challenge Norman: did he clean upstairs windows? I asked because a well respected contributor to the site had suggested that Norman had no head for heights. Norman looked at me and declared that he did ups as well as downs! I duly accepted his solemn declaration with a chuckle from me and a smile from him.

We moved on to football. Norman informed me that he had been given a trial by Derby County in 1947, as had Ronnie Peart from Bearpark. Derby booked them into the local Railway hotel on a bed and breakfast basis. The trial itself was played behind closed doors to prevent the possibility of spies from rival clubs having a look at promising players and possibly nicking them. Before the game the trialists were introduced to Horatio ’Raich’ Carter and Peter Doherty, both of whom were two of the finest inside forwards to play in English football. I listened to this, having being a Derby follower since 1954, and felt envious to say the least! At one point during the day of the trial some Derby fans asked Soccer for his autograph and he still enjoys that memory!

As for the trial itself sadly it did not go well enough.  The full back was good and Norman was young and nervous: those factors caused Derby to reject him. How dare they!

At 10.39am, some fifteen minutes into our discussion, Norman offered me a whisky. I declined with  thanks but now regret the lost opportunity. He then pointed to a picture of himself taken with the England Test cricketer Paul Collingwood. He was rightly proud, as well he should be, because Collingwood is a test cricketer that fights hard for the English cause. He then showed me a photograph of himself taken with Cheryl Crowe. Have I got the name right? I get the Crowe’s and Coles mixed up. Soccer described her as being a  beautiful lady. He gets around….

On with his football career. He played for several teams and Ushaw Moor, Spennymoor United, Consett and York City Reserves spring to my mind.

‘The ball was hard in those days and the lace could hurt. The modern ball is like a swerving balloon’. It is hard to disagree with Norman. He reminisced about some local players: it was Billy Findlay [Finlay?} at inside right that had opened the scoring with a header in the 3-1 defeat suffered at the hands of the great Bishop Auckland team. Soccer felt that Ushaw Moor had played well but towards the end Bishop Auckland were playing effective keep ball.   Tommy Sharp was a very good full back and worked as a draughtsman at Mackays factory – at one point he ran a  pub in Durham. Soccer said that  Tommy could head a ball further than he could kick it. Tot Smith was an ex Blackpool player and played well in  local football [at one time he had a pub in Crook]. Alan Lockey was not a world beater but always put on a good show. George Jameson, at centre forward, lacked height but was pacey and effective. Norman recalled fellow winger Harry Richmond and I asked him an ‘innocent’ question: ‘was he as good as you Soccer?’ You can imagine the answer. Actually he laughed and was surprisingly polite, given the question!

Norman married Peggy Harper and then Nancy Whitfield. Although a  widower, with fond memories, he has been able to carry on in a positive vein – an example to us all.

Norman is number seven in the all time magnificent seven of Ushaw Moor [earlier article see archive] and deservedly so. I felt privileged to interview him and will never forget the experience.


Categories: Memories

Vicar Welby And Canterbury?

August 11, 2013 4 comments

I have not been able to establish a connection with the current Archbishop of Canterbury, but that does not necessarily mean there is none.

Vicar Welby was born in Tollerton, Nottinghamshire and he married Jennie Brown [1896-1972]. They had a son Peter Edin Brown Welby. I am not sure whether Peter was an only child.
Vicar Welby’s father was Abraham Adlard Welby [he was born in Uttoxeter, became rector of Tollerton and died in 1923].

His mother was Bertha Sobranoa – she was born in India and died in 1928 at the age of 82.
Vicar Welby’s grandfather, Aldard Welby, was born in Lincolnshire, became a solicitor, married Clara Flint and died before the turn of the 19th century when well into his 80s.
Vicar Welby had at least three brothers and two sisters. One of his brothers was Richard Martin Welby – Richard’s wife was Euphemia Welby [1891-1987] and I understand that she gave distinguished service during WW2, being Supt. of the Women’s Royal Naval Service [WRNS] from June 1939. She became a CBE on 01/01/1944.

The Archbishop’s website states that his father’s family were German Jewish immigrants who moved to England to escape anti-Semitism in the late 19th century, and integrated quickly. Note well, his British ancestors, on his mother’s side, include several clergymen.


Categories: Memories

Vicar Welby’s Charm Captured In The National Library Of Australia

August 10, 2013 2 comments

A New South Wales newspaper, the Barrier Miner, reported the vicar’s romance of 1933 as follows:

The Rev. J. H.P Welby, the vicar of Ushaw Moor, Near Durham, who married Jennie Brown, his church organist, told the story of his romance to the ”Daily Express” correspondent, at a presentation ceremony after their return from their honeymoon.

”I ventured to ask Jennie,” he said ”if she would go along with me, and she could not at first understand.  Jennie and I strolled by the riverside as other lovers have done. It was Wednesday, about eight weeks ago – but Jennie says I have not to tell you too much.

We walked as far as the dear village of Shincliffe, and we went into church together and bound ourselves in loyalty and allegiance.

As I was getting older – but but I am not old yet – I felt that If I could find a partner she would help me in my parish work, and you will agree that I found someone more capable than myself in the one who has been kind enough to share her life with me.

It is particularly kind, because as one is getting older I expect she will be quite young and handsome when she wheels me around in the bath-chair.

We have only a week’s experience, but up to now Jennie has not quarrelled with me, and I hope she won’t”.

What a find that article is!

  Brian McLoughlin’s notes, already on site and reproduced here, will aid those readers not already familiar with this most notable vicar of Ushaw Moor.

 “I well remember Vicar Welby when I was a boy living in Ushaw Moor. I understand that Vicar Welby was a very highly educated man and he gave 35 years of his life looking after the spiritual needs of his flock at Ushaw Moor. I can remember attending weddings and funerals at St. Lukes Church on the Esh Winning road where he officiated at the ceremonies. He lived with his family at the Vicarage at the top of Ladysmith Terrace. I cannot remember Vicar Welby ever having any sort of transport to get around the village as he always appeared to be walking when I remember him. He was well known and highly respected in the village and always had a good word and a smile for us kids. Whether you were Catholic or Protestant Vicar Welby always spoke to everyone. He was the type of good character that is sadly lacking in this world of the present. Vicar Welby is also mentioned in the book by Frank Proctor who emigrated to Canada from Ushaw Moor in the 20s, he made a great impression on the then young Frank Proctor.”




Categories: Memories

This One’s from Daft For Soccer Gleghorn

August 6, 2013 Leave a comment

I have referred to the Durham Amateur Football Trust before and make no apologies for doing so again. It is a very commendable vehicle for remembering and enjoying North East football’s grand and colourful heritage.

If Norman  goes on to its internet site, which is found easily by googling… Daft  Football… he will be able to locate an immense work in progress:  the making available of local newspaper articles from the past. He already has a bit of a mention by means of a football report on the 21st of August 1948 of Spennymoor’s 1-0 defeat to Carlisle Reserves. 

Spennymoor: Burns, Thompson, Harnby; T Smith, Morris, Bounsfield; J Smith, Moore, Garbutt, Feenan, Gleghorn.

Spennymoor had lots of chances to score but failed to take them. The match attendance was in the region of 2,500.

On the same match day Newcastle United drew 3-3 at Everton and Sunderland won at home to Bolton 2-0.  Derby County won 2-1 at Manchester United, I thought I would mention that…

Why not become a friend of Daft. For five pounds a year you are helping and honouring dedicated men that are far from daft; they just love the North-East and its honourable football heritage. They might be a bit daft in their spare time but I cannot swear to it.


Categories: Memories

Will The Real Michael Macnamara Stand Up?

August 3, 2013 12 comments

I have occasionally wondered what happened to young Michael of 1958-60 vintage. He lived about two or three doors up from the house opposite 31 Whitehouse Court. He was a very studious lad but also loved sport, in particular Newcastle United.  I know that in about 1963 he won the Ushaw Moor cricket club second team best  fielding award. Then the trail went cold for many years but I may have located him. 

If I have got it right he won a National Coal Board scholarship to read politics at Nottingham university and spent twenty five years in the UK coal mining industry. Eventually he led a management consultancy company in Nottingham. He had a high powered career and not that long ago received an honorary degree from Nottingham university.


Categories: Memories

Ice Bears Indicate That It’s Time To Put The Bat On E-Bay

August 3, 2013 Leave a comment

There are inevitably incidents in life that presage a change of tack and one of them happened to me a few weeks ago: I fell asleep before finishing my story book reading session with one year old grand-daughter Isla. I am told that she then looked at me in astonishment. The following day I was invited to play a couple of games for a West Sussex cricket club called Hurstpierpoint; sadly I reckoned that if I could no longer keep awake – once I had established that the ice bear could indeed help the little boy to skate – I could no longer walk out, with any conviction at all, to face what might have been fizzy pace bowlers. Old age smack in the eyes and far removed from the young boy in Ushaw Moor.

The young boy in Ushaw Moor would no doubt have wandered down to the cricket club with a view to starting off in the second team during bank holidays, when some players were in Redcar or Blackpool. But it never worked out, despite members of my family’s long history of playing, captaining and administrating the club.   All because we moved to Workington when I was fifteen. I missed out on playing with the Ferguson brothers, and who knows, Norman might not have been the only player pushing seventy and helping out the young ones.


Categories: Memories