Where did your Granny buy her vegetables?

Posted on 12th August 2011 | in Heritage & Tourism , Photos

Geoffrey Fleet, a long term resident of Amble, is posing a challenge to Ambler readers!  He is in search of any information about this shop (see pic) which he believes to have been in Amble around 1885, though he cannot trace an address. Geoff discovered this photo, along with other family documents, photos and certificates in an old cash bag from Simpson’s Mineral Water Business.

Was this shop in Amble? Reflections of trees in the window add to the mystery

With the help of the other information in the bag, he discovered that his Great Grandfather Francis Hedley lived his whole life in Amble, at 30 Newburgh Street, and married Jane Turner in 1885.

Sadly they only shared ten years together before his death in 1895 at the age of only 31. After Francis’s death, Jane continued to run J. Hedley’s, as records still document Jane as a fruiterer in 1897.

Geoffrey believes his grandfather is the little boy in the window of the shop and his great grandmother Jane Turner, is the lady standing outside the shop. Some of our more observant readers will notice the reflection of trees, in the window, and that the door on the right hand side of the photo has a number two door sign. Could these be possible clues as to the location of the fruiterer’s?

So, did any of your Grannies shop at J Hedley’s fruit shop? Do you have any tales from past relatives about this mysterious shop, can you recall the Hedley name in Amble? Why not get in touch with any information so you can help Mr Fleet take that step closer to his ancestors.

Contact Geoffrey at geoff@flotstop.co.uk.

Anna Warren

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5 thoughts on "Where did your Granny buy her vegetables?"

  1. Doug Ford says:

    Can you pass this information on to Geoff Fleet.

    I don’t think that the photograph in the Ambler is Amble. Sorry the following is a bit jumbled but it might give you some clues as to where the shop might be.

    A quick search using the infomation Geoff gave shows that the ’fruit’ link with Hedley family is through Geoff’s great grandmother Jane Turner. She was born in Seaton Delaval in 1865. Her father Thomas Turner, was born in Shiney Row in Co Durham in 1825.

    Jane married Francis Hedley in Newcastle in the second quarter of 1885. Francis was born in Cramlington in 1865 and his father, also called Francis, was a miner born in Gateshead in 1825 and in 1871 the Hedley’s were living in New Colliery Row, Bedlington. Francis senior died in late 1874 and his wife Margaret remarried. Her new husband, James Archbold, was also a miner. In 1881 the family is shown as living in South Broomhill and the 16 year old Francis has followed his father and stepfather and his brothers and become a miner.

    In 1887 Jane and Francis’s daughter Maggie was born in Newcastle and in the 1891 census they are shown as living in Elswick Lane, Newcastle. Francis was described as a fruiter cartman which might indicate he was working off the back of a cart rather than an actual shop. His assistant was Jane’s widowed father Thomas Turner.

    It was after the 1891 census that the family moved to Amble for it was here their son Norman Leslie was born in late 1892 and that Francis died three years later in the last quarter of 1895.

    In 1901 census Jane was operating as a Green grocer in her own right from an address Adelaide Terrace, Benwell. She was living there with Norman and two lodgers. She remarried the following year in 1902. Her second husband was William Elliott, a mineral water manufacturer from Stakeford near Choppington. In 1911 both she and her son Norman are working in the mineral water business.

    The link with 30 Newburgh St comes with Jane’s brother Matthew , born in Seaton Delaval in 1867.

    In 1881 when the family were living in the Westgate Rd in Newcastle, father Thomas was recorded as a Provision dealer, Jane a Shop Assistant, but 14 year old Thomas was noted as a fruiterer. (Their next door neighbour at this stage was a John Wright, a Fruit Merchant).

    In 1901 Matthew was a Green Grocer , living at 30 Newburgh Street, along with his wife Jane A Turner, born in Burnley in 1865 and their 4 year old son Thomas D Turner. Thomas D Turner was born in Newcastle so the family move to Amble appears to have been recent – possibly dating after Jane had left.

    Newburgh Street was only built in the 1880s and the family living there in the 1891 census were the Turnbulls who had moved up to Amble from Howdon Pans (just below the north entrance to the Tyne Tunnel).

    I hope this is of some help.



    1. theambler says:

      Wow! Thank you Doug. I will pass on this info to Geoff. Sounds like you should be working for ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’

      1. Peter Cannon says:

        In the 1897 Kelly’s Directory of Northumberland listed in Amble in the Parish of Warkworth ! There is a George Turner listed as a Fruiterer & Greengrocer . Shop as at ” West End” ?

  2. Angela says:

    Crums…my small piece of information fades to nothing compared to that of the last entry. I grew up in Amble born in 51 …the only Headly I knew of was Headleys paper shop at the top of Queen Street on the left hand side.I have to say that is a lovely photo. Good luck

  3. Lynda Crackett says:

    Peter, The George Turner listed as a Fruiterer and Greengrocer in Kelly’s Directory is my great grandfather. Known as George Murray Turner (Aad Geordie Turner) he was born George Murray in Coldstream in 1861, the illegitimate son of Barbara Murray from Aberdeenshire. Barbara later married William Robinson Turner from Chester le Street and they settled in Amble.

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