In around the mid-1910s, my 2x Great Grandfather, Joseph Metcalf, started running the Masons Arms, Manchester Street, Morpeth.
Joseph Metcalf was born in 1871 in the midst of the Durham coalfields at Stanley, Durham to Thomas Metcalf and Mary Ann Steel. In 1893 he married Ann Jane Knox, a girl originally from Bedlington, Northumberland who moved to Stanley to live with her Aunt and Uncle. In the same year their first daughter, Minnie, was born. Three more daughters followed; Nellie, Lily and Cassie.
As a young man, Joseph became a sinker in the mines, and as a result went to many mining towns and villages across Northumberland and Durham. He soon rose through the mining ranks and became a Deputy at Morpeth. It was here in Morpeth where he became a publican, after retiring from mining. When he became tenant at the Masons Arms, he made sure to tell the regulars to mind their language, as he had four impressionable young daughters!
|Manchester Street, Morpeth|
Joseph's dear wife, Ann died in 1937, but by that time the Metcalfs had already left the Masons Arms and their daughters had married and moved away from home - some a little further than others as Minnie had emigrated to Australia in 1920. Finding himself lonely, Joseph often went to visit and stay with his daughter Nellie and son-in-law, Tom Todd at their home in Sidcup, Kent. Although he loved living in Kent, life was quite distressing for him. Living so close to London, Joseph, Nellie and Tom regularly found themselves having to stay in air raid shelters most nights during the second World War. After the War, life was easier for Joseph as he was able relax and enjoyed playing dominoes in his daughter's garden.
Joseph died on 7th August 1953 at his daughter's home in Sidcup, Kent.