BRANCH Consett
Citizens House,
Station Rd,
Consett, DH8 5RL

A small number of talks are being arranged to see if there is local interest in forming a branch of the Society in Consett.

The meetings will be on the Second Tuesday of the month, starting at 3pm.

All visitors are welcome


Date Subject of Talk Speaker
12th December 2023 Members Forum

Reports of meetings

November 2023

Minutes of Last Meeting: Approved

No update was available regarding a change of date/time as it has not been possible to talk to Citizens House staff and no volunteers for tea/coffee duty or admin support. It was proposed the purchase of some vacuum jugs and tea and coffee supplies for use at meetings with funds being raised by holding a raffle and book sale at the December meeting. Attendees said that they were not interested in having drinks at the meetings.
Tony Patterson gave an excellent presentation on his Patterson ancestors and their pottery in the
Gateshead area. This included fascinating details of Tony’s quest to trace pieces of pottery made by his
family, a search which has taken him all over the country and includes global purchases. Tony brought
a number of pieces of his pottery for us to look at and copies of his book were on sale. Tony’s passion
for his subject was clearly evident in his presentation.

October 2023

Meeting held 12 October 2023 – Attendees: 12
The Acting Chairman mentioned that as from January 2024 the meeting day and time will change due to conflict with the trustees meeting. Catherine and Barbara had hoped to talk to venue staff to discuss available dates and times but unfortunately no one was available. It was also mentioned that a representative from Consett Branch needs to attend the trustees meeting and noted that the Acting Chairman would be happy to do so.

A volunteer was requested for tea and coffee duties for next month. A further request for volunteers for admin support was made, particularly in view of forthcoming holidays. No one present was able to volunteer so in the meantime Catherine and Barbara will explore ways of Barbara attending the meeting remotely.

The Presentation this month was by Catherine Meades on the topic of the “Hoppers of Iveston” She began with a short biography and explained her reasons for selecting this topic. The Hoppers were a Quaker Family, and the presentation gave historical insight into the origins of the Quaker Movement and the rate at which is expanded and spread across the England in the early to mid 1600’s. Although baptism, marriage and burial records were sparse for this time, information available together with a series of family wills enabled the family movements to be plotted and gave insight into the economic and social status of the family. Catherine provided several resource links throughout the presentation while explaining the value of each resource in family history research. The presentation was engaging, interactive and very well received

September 2023

Inaugural Meeting of the NDFHS Consett Branch.

The first meeting of the Consett Branch of the Northumberland and Durham Family History Society took place on Tuesday 14th September 2023 commencing at 1500 at Citizens House, Station Road Consett. After several days of increasing nervousness and anxiety on the part of Catherine Meades, the Acting Branch Chairperson, and Barbara Allison, the Acting Branch Secretary we are delighted to report that we got off to a resounding start. Apart from a few issues with audio visual equipment the session passed smoothly, and I think it’s safe to say all present had a superb time.

The session opened with a brief introduction from Catherine concerning the purpose of convening a Consett Branch and a brief introduction to the NDFHS itself. She explained why we are presenting ourselves as acting personnel and called upon any interested parties to volunteer to help us grow and develop. Society application forms were made available. After mentioning some administrative issues such as fire escapes and tea and coffee facilities she introduced our first ever speaker, Alan Swinburne who shared an excellent and well received presentation “Born in Blackhill, cast in the Steelworks”. The presentation was not only humorous but described many colourful characters he had encountered at the works over the years. His overarching theme was one of camaraderie, clearly describing how managers led by example while suffering no nonsense. The presentation resonated with several members of the audience who had actually worked at the Iron Works.

After an engaging, interactive questions and answer session we received our first volunteer who has offered to assume tea and coffee distribution at the next meeting. There being no other business we informed those present of the date and time of the next meeting and goodbyes ensued.

I think it’s safe to say a good time was had by all and lots of positive feedback was received.

Last updated 5th December 2023