Horden And St Marys Church - a Memory of Horden.

My mum was born in March 1931 in the Easington Colliery area, 26 Boyd Street, and was the youngest of 5.  All the men in the family were miners - they lived close to Easington and Horden for work. The two elder sisters, Doris and Greta (named after the Greta Bridge in Rokeby), were away from home for the latter part of the war years working in bigger towns.  My Aunt Greta never returned to live in the north east, finally settling in Telford. The family were very musical.  As part of the "war effort" my grandma, Alice Mosey, put on charity concerts at the Hall in Horden (Salvation Army I think) in which she used to recite poems and monologues (in dialect) she had written herself. Along with other "local talent", my mum and her brothers used to join in the entertainment and my grandad Mark Mosey, who was in the ARP at that time, as part of his contribution provided a blackout curtain for the stage! My mum remembered a particular occasion when she was 11 (in 1942) when she and her brother "Wally" sang a few songs, and her other brother "Totty" played the banjo.  A family friend was often roped in to play the piano.

My mum and dad, mum's brother and his intended were married in a double wedding at St. Mary's Church, Horden in April 1948. Mum was just 17 and her name was Joan, my dad's name was Thomas (Fisher). His family were from Easington originally but they had moved to Newcastle but after his own mum's death, he had come back to Cotsford Park to live with his grandmother Anderson.  Mum lived a few doors away.  They met at a local dance when she was 14. My mum's brother was also named Thomas and was, I think, around 19, and his bride was named Joan. Mum told me that the vicar who married them made the comment at the time that he would have to be sure to marry the right Joan to the right Thomas!  Sadly, I never met my Uncle Totty as he died, aged 21, leaving a little girl named Anne, whom I never met as her mother moved away and eventually re-married.

I was born in No. 120 on 3rd Street, Horden in 1951. We lived in the same house as my grandparents and my Uncle Wallace and Aunt Edna with their two children.  In late 1953 we moved to the 'new town' of Peterlee for a short while where my brother, Geoffrey, was born in 1954. Mum remembered sitting on the upstairs outside window ledge cleaning the windows whilst heavily pregnant! (We had followed my Uncle Wally who was the very first tenant in the 'new' Peterlee.) Both families then moved to Rugeley in Staffordshire (a new coalmining estate) but due to dad's deteriorating health we left my Uncle Wally behind in Rugeley where he brought up his own family, and he died there some years ago. We moved down to London to find lighter work for my dad, and joined my grandparents who'd moved from Horden some time before. Unfortunately dad's health never improved and he died (aged 32) when I was 6 in 1957, so I don't remember him very much, except on one occasion when a jumping jack firework chased him around the garden on bonfire night and we all fell about laughing!  Six months before my dad's death my grandmother suddenly passed away shortly after my grandparents had re-located to Coventry.  By that time my grandad had a good job and stayed put.  We'd remained in London because dad was ill in hospital, and after his death we also did not move until Mum remarried about 8 years later - eventually moving to Essex.  After a short illness, mum died in April 2008 (aged 77).

We did occasionally return to Horden to visit my Aunt Doris and Uncle Tom (Brady) who had re-settled there after the war and who lived on 4th street for many years bringing up their own family, until they also went to Peterlee.  As a child on such visits, I remember playing in the local park, also the nearby pebble beach and going to the local hall to hear a brass band play (my cousin Eileen was a majorette), and visiting Crimden Dean.  However, it wasn't until about 12 years ago that mum and I made a 'memory lane' visit and she took me round the places she remembered. I have a photo of her standing outside St. Mary's Church, and one of me outside the house where I was born. I had forgotten how close to the North Sea we had been in Horden (literally yards away) and Mum said that she used to play there with her brothers when they were kids, and often took me there in the summer when I was a small baby. We found that the mine had been filled in and grassed over and all that remained on the surface was, I believe, an airshaft wheel; she remembered as a young girl sometimes going to the mine when a shift was over to meet her dad and brothers coming home.  Rather sadly, she also remembered that, two days after I was born on Sunday 27th May 1951, there was a terrible explosion and a lot of miners lost their lives at Easington Colliery.
There is no-one left from the Mosey family living in Horden, or indeed County Durham, any longer. Happily though, a few years before her death Mum did manage to again make contact with her former best friend, Ethel Sayer, who now lives in Peterlee and they corresponded often. Mum even made a couple of visits "up north" - one shortly before she passed away.

Through some investigative work I have found three previously unknown cousins from my dad's side of the family still living in Peterlee.

 Comments & Feedback

Be the first to comment on this Memory! Starting a conversation is a great way to share, and get involved! Why not give some feedback on this Memory, add your own recollections, or ask questions below.

Add your comment

You must be signed-in to your Frith account to post a comment.

or Register to post a Comment.

Sparked a Memory for you?

If this has sparked a memory, why not share it here?

Tips & Ideas

Not sure what to write? It's easy - just think of an important place in your life and ask yourself:

  • How does it feature in your personal history?
  • What are your best memories of this place?
  • How has it changed over the years?
  • How does it feel, seeing these places again?
  • Do you remember stories about the community, its history and people?

This week's Places

Here are some of the places people are talking about in our Share Your Memories community this week:

...and hundreds more! Enjoy browsing more recent contributions now.