J J Liddell – Gone but not forgotten

On 25 January this year our club hosted Hugh and Lesley Cadwallader from Whitley Bay. Lesley and her sister Hazel are the great granddaughters of J J Liddell a founder member of Lyndhurst Bowling Club. He was vice president in 1917 and president in 1918 & 1919. The purpose of the visit was to present our club with a silver coffee pot, milk jug and sugar bowl won by J J Liddell at Lyndhurst way back in 1908.

Who then was J J Liddell? I have looked at our own records and together with some information from Hugh and a bit of digging myself put this biography together.

John Joseph Liddell was baptised at All Saints church in Newcastle on 28 May 1852. That’s the round one at the north end of the Tyne Bridge. He was the eldest of two sons born to Thomas Robson Liddell a mason born in Gateshead and Jane Liddell nee Baker from Newcastle. The 1851 Census shows them living in Gateshead with no children. A look at the 1861 Census states that Jane Liddell was now a widow living at Wesley Street in the Shield Field area with John and Thomas now age 10 and 7 years old, she worked as a laundress for a living.

On 26 February 1873 John, who was nearly 21 years old, took out a marriage bond it stated his address was living in the Parish of St. Stephen’s which was on Scotswood Road in Newcastle. His bride to be was Hannah Kellett of Stanhope, County Durham. The marriage took place on 4 March 1873 at Stanhope. Throughout their married life they had four daughters, Jane, Laura, Florence and Alice.

Whatever John did for a living before he was 21 years old, he gave it up and went to work for the Co-operative Wholesale Society when they opened in Gateshead. Starting off behind the counter in Wellington Street where the shop was before they moved to Jackson Street. He was soon promoted to cashier and by 1887 he was treasurer. By the time he retired he had worked for them for 57 years. The 1881 Census shows he lived at 7 Lincoln Street, from there he moved to 14 Grasmere Street where he and Hannah ended their days. When John retired, he was probably the longest serving official in the north of England. They were lifelong Methodists and worshipped at the Methodist church on High West Street. Hannah died 15 April 1934 and John died 9 November 1935. Both were laid to rest
in the family grave in Saltwell Cemetery.

To bring this up to date the silver coffee set has now been transformed into “The Liddell Trophy”, presented to the winners of the Men’s Triple’s Competition each year, won this year by David Thompson, Don Smith and Geoff Challis.