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Memories of an Usworth Family

The Richardsons of Railway Terrace  ( 3 of 3 )


Robert & Margaret Richardson's Family

Usworth Homes occupied by Robert & Margaret's Family

1. Margaret's husband, Robert, was the son of Thomas and Mary Richardson who lived in Inkerman Terrace.
2. Ex-miner Ralph Richardson had his Sweet Shop at 1, Monument Terrace - it later became Moran's Sweet Shop.
3. Pensher View, Cooperative Terrace, Richardson Terrace, Manor View, Wood Terrace and Elliot Terrace are still standing.

Moran's Shop - 1 Monument Terrace - at the top of Edith Avenue.
Previously, Ralph Richardson's Sweet Shop.
Before Moran's, it was John Carr's.

( Giulio Forte in the Foreground. )

Pensher View
Pensher View
( Looking towards St. Michael's Church. Corner with Railway Terrace. )

Railway Terrace
Railway Terrace
( Usworth Colliery in the Background )

[ Family information courtesy of W.P. 'Bill' Richardson. ]


When was it built?  Who was it named after?

( Manor Road )

Who Was It Named After?

"I began this article thinking Richardson Terrace was probably named in honour of W. P. Richardson,
It was obvious that it could have been his elder brother Tom, but unlikely to be anyone else."

W. P. Richardson

Consider these facts:
1. W.P. (as he was known) lived in Usworth and was a highly respected, God-fearing member of the tight-knit, local mining community.
2. A Pony Driver, Putter, then Hewer at Usworth Colliery, he was appointed Usworth Lodge Secretary, in 1898, while still a young man.
3. In 1912 he became a member of the Durham Miners’ Federation Board, and in 1915 became an agent of the Durham Miners’ Association.
4. In 1916, he was honoured for his services as Branch Secretary to Usworth Miners and was presented with a gold watch, chain and medal.
5. In July 1924, after the death of Mr. Thomas Cann, he was appointed General Secretary of the Durham Miners' Association.
6. For 15 years before he went to the Durham Miners’ offices, W.P. also served the community as Chairman of Usworth Parish Council.
7. W.P.'s father, Robert Richardson, was a casualty in the dreadful Usworth Colliery Disaster of 1885.
8. In Esther, William Pallister Richardson had the perfect wife. She assisted him with his Parish Council, Community and Church duties and gave him sterling support throughout their marriage. She was active, in her own right, within the local community and Labour movement.

Extract from the Minutes of Usworth Parish Council

It was resolved that it be recorded in the minutes that the Council highly appreciated the services that have been rendered as Chairman of the Council by Mr W. P. Richardson, and we offer him our best thanks and express the wish that he may be highly successful in the new sphere of work upon which he has entered.

Only his elder brother Thomas could compete with that.

Thomas Richardson

Tom Richardson's Certificate (Page 2, Tab 5) shows the high regard in which he was held in 1907 - before Richardson Terrace was built!
It also shows that he was a valued member of Chester-le-Street Rural District Council.

The 1911 census shows only 18 houses in Richardson Terrace, together with their occupants.
Davey Barron has seen the house deeds for no.19.  It was built in 1912.

House No. Residents
1 Dunn, J.
2 Marshall, E.
3 Tyson, J.
4 Clements, H.
5 Brown, T.
6 Williams, J. G.
7 Anderson, H.
8 Gaunt, L.
9 Devenport, W. J.
10 Robinson, S.
11 Wardle, A.
12 Stephenson, J.
13 Fullerton, W.
14 Wilson, F.
15 Nevins, W.
16 Hughes E.
17 Muncanton, G.
18 Affleck, J.

Note Leinan Gaunt - Bella's Husband.
[ Thanks to W.P. (Bill) Richardson ]


Crucial Piece of New Evidence

Extract from a Durham University, Master of Philosophy Thesis
Council House Building in County Durham, 1900-1939:
The Local Implementation of National Policy,
by Robert Ryder, 1979.

•   •   ◊   •   •

Extract: W.P.'s Presentation Night in 1916.
( See Page 1,  Usworth Miners Honour W.P. )

•   •   ◊   •   •

William Pallister Richardson was Chairman of Usworth Parish Council in 1904.
The Vice-Chairman of Chester-le-Street Council must have been Tom.
Therefore, according to Robert Ryder's Thesis / Research,

Richardson Terrace was probably named after Thomas Richardson M.P.

What do you think?

[ Thanks to Mr Ryder for making his Thesis available on-line. ]


( 1806 - 1867 )

Tragic Railway Accident at Usworth

  Father of Usworth Colliery Disaster victim, Robert Richardson ( 1846-1885 ) and his brothers, Thomas & John Richardson.
Grandfather of Robert's sons, Thomas Richardson MP ( 1868-1928 ) and W.P. Richardson ( 1873-1930 ).

( Courant: Heraldic term from the French verb, Courir - to Run.  Newcastle Courant: Newcastle Running. )

Strother House still stands on Follingsby Lane, half a mile East from the disused Leamside Line Railway Crossing.
The easiest route from anywhere near Usworth Station would have been North, along the Railway Line, passing Usworth Colliery
and the small community of Waterloo - both left of the tracks.  A few hundred yards past Waterloo, John and Thomas
would have planned to turn right onto a farm track passing through East House Farm. This track would have
taken them to Follingsby Lane, with Strother House a few hundred yards to their right.

[ Press Cutting and Family information courtesy of W.P. 'Bill' Richardson - Thomas Richardson's Great Great Grandson. ]


( Niece of Robert Richardson and First Cousin to his children, including Tom MP and Miners' Leader W.P. )

Mother of a Mining Family who lived in several Usworth Locations

Daughter of W.P. 'Bill' Richardson's Great Great Uncle, John Richardson, Isabella was born in the third quarter of 1861, her birth was registered in the Chester le Street Registration District. She was the third child of John Richardson and his wife Elizabeth (nee Coyle).

The census of 1871 recorded the family in Waterloo Terrace, Usworth, Co. Durham. Isabella was 9 years old, her father, John, was 40 and worked in the mine, her mother, Elizabeth, was 33. Isabella had an older sister, Mary Ann (11) and a younger sister Elizabeth (5) and the new baby was Thomas (2 months). Isabella's other brother, James, had been born in 1857 but sadly he died when he was just a few weeks old.

The family were still in Usworth at the time of the 1881 census, but were living at Old Row. Isabella was 20, there was no occupation listed for her on the census form. Her Dad was 50, listed as a widower and working in the mine. Her older sister, Mary Ann was no longer in the family home, but her younger sister Elizabeth was at home, she was 16.

Isabella's mother, Elizabeth had left her family and returned to Seaham Harbour with her youngest child, Thomas. She was living with Richard Clark and listed as his wife, though they were not married until after Isabella's father, John, died.

In the second quarter of 1882, Isabella married Joseph Hopson. Their marriage was registered in the Chester le Street Registration District.

The couple set up home in Usworth and were recorded there on the 1891 census, living at 8 Railway Terrace. Isabella was 29 and her husband was 34, he worked in the coal mine. They had four children, Hannah (9), Elizabeth (5), Isabella (3) and Joseph (1). Another baby had been born in 1884, John Joseph, but sadly he only lived a few days, his burial was recorded in the Usworth Holy Trinity parish register and that says he died when he was 3 days old.

1901, still in Usworth but living at 61 Old Row. Isabella was 40 and her husband was 48, his occupation was given as coal miner - hewer. Isabella's two oldest daughters, Hannah and Elizabeth were no longer in the family home, they were both working in Newcastle, 'living in' as domestic servants. Its probably just as well, as the house was jam packed with people! As well as Isabella and Joseph, there were six children: Isabella (13), Joseph (11), Mary Ann (8), Margaret (6), John (3) and Alice (1). Isabella's father, John (70) also lived with them and as if those nine weren't enough, they also had a lodger, Henry Todd (57) who was a coal miner. Eleven people in a house that was described on the census form as having 2 rooms occupied!

Isabella's father, John, died in 1905.

The census of 1911 showed that the family had moved house again and were living at 8 Edith Avenue, Usworth Colliery. This house had three rooms counted and was slightly less crowded, with eight people in it. Isabella was 50 and Joseph was 60. His occupation was given as coal miner - shifter. The census return said they had been married for 29 years and they'd had eleven children, of whom ten were still alive. Their children still at home were: Joseph (21) who worked as a coal miner, Margaret (16), John James (13), Alice (11), Jane Ellen (9) and Thomas (7).

Isabella's husband, Joseph Hopson, died in the first quarter of 1917, he was 64 years old and his death was registered in the Chester le Street Registration District.

Isabella died in the first quarter of 1941, her death was registered in the Durham Northern Registration District.

You may have noticed that the 'age-gap', between Isabella and her husband Joseph, isn't consistent in the quoted censuses.

[ Family information courtesy of W.P. 'Bill' Richardson.   Isabella's father John Richardson was Bill's Great Great Uncle. ]


( Great-Grandson of Thomas Richardson, Grandson of Robert Richardson, Son of W.P. Richardson )

Mentioned In Despatches


•   •   ◊   •   •

Sergeant Richardson's Son, W.P. 'Bill' Richardson, says:
"In September 1944, my Dad was still in the RAF though back in England.  He got leave to attend the funeral of his Aunt Bella
and his visit to County Durham was reported in the Durham Chronicle, Friday September 1st 1944.
I was born at the end of May 1945!"

[ Thanks to W.P. 'Bill' Richardson ]