My Fenwick Family

Part 1: The Fenwicks of 1 Prudhoe Street (1874-1894)

30 JANUARY 2022

1 Prudhoe Street & 1 Prudhoe Terrace in 1905 (courtesy of North Tyneside Libraries)

Over a period of twenty years, this was the home in North Shields of my maternal grandmother, great grandparents, and great grandfather. In this substantial terrace house located on the corner of Prudhoe Street and Prudhoe Terrace, four of the extended family died and five Fenwick children including my grandmother Thomasina Johnston Fenwick were born.

From an early age, I recall some intriguing stories about life at 1 Prudhoe Street from Thomasina (known as Cissy) that of fear of gypsies, the drowning of white mice, picnics in bedrooms, singeing of a beard, deaths of her younger siblings and the image of the oldest resident, William Fenwick (ship-owner), a seemingly terrifying Dickensian character who wore a Wee-Willie-Winkie hat with a striped nightshirt and slept in an enormous four-poster bed.

I purchased the photograph last year dated 1905, an image of a grocery store 'Gallon's Ltd' with residential property above and adjoining. It wasn’t until yesterday (21st January 2022

) that I was able to confirm that my Fenwick ancestors occupied the entire building. A physician, Dr Alexander Angus Martin (1862-1943) was listed in Ward’s Directory of 1900 as living at both addresses. He presumably sold the part of the building at 1 Prudhoe Street for commercial purposes, as by 1904 he had re- located to 25 Northumberland Square Today, the ground-floor configuration is similar and now it is the premises of R D Flooring, 1A Prudhoe Street.