EVENT – KNAGGS – Coatham Diamond Couple 1881 -1941

Accreditation Cleveland Standard 01/03/1941.   

1881 – Coatham couple – 1941

   Mr. and Mrs. James Knaggs celebrate their diamond wedding at Whitley Bay. They were married at the old Registration Office, Middlesbrough, on February 24th, 1881. Both are natives of Coatham, also their grandparents and parents.

   Mr. Knaggs started work in early life. His father died in 1863. He delivered the “Redcar & Saltburn Gazette & Visitor when only turned eight years of age, for one summer. The, at nine he was an errand lad in a boot and shoe business for four years, making him 13. His mother wanted him to go to learn a trade so he went to be a joiner and stayed three years in Redcar. He worked on the Cemetery, present Council Offices, when built as two villas for Messrs. Hogg & Cochrane. He then went to Whitley to see his sister, and brother-in-law, Mr. Alfred Styan, for a holiday. His brother-in-law was one of the first builders to start Whitley as a seaside resort. He started with him as an improver and stayed with him 16 years. That was in 1891, and was for ten years the foreman. He left him and started on the old N. E. Railway as clerk of works under the architect, and served 34 years service. The rules of the Company are, on reaching the age of 65 you must be put on the shelf. He retired on New Year’s Day of 1924 on superannuation, now being retired 16 years.

   Mr. Knaggs’ grandfather, Mr. Thomas Hardy, born in Coatham in 1803, was a boot and shoe maker and always kept six shoe makers and three or four apprentices. It was in those days a large and important trade as all had to be made by hand.

   Mr. Hardy was for four years sworn in as a special constable in Coatham before a regular one was appointed. Coatham then was in the parish of Kirkleatham, and the Court House was at Guisborough. Mr. Knaggs’ father was one of Mr. Hardy’s apprentices. In after years he married the eldest daughter of Hardy’s. He was cut off at an early age (48) and left a large family of nine. Mr, Knaggs is the last of their family.

Butler to Lady Vansittart 

   Mr. Knaggs’ grandfather, born in 1802, was butler to Lady Vansittart at Kirkleatham Hall. Her grandmother was lady’s maid and travelled with her on her travels. Now like other people they married and left the Hall. That was in 1828. When the Lobster Inn was vacant the Lady put them into it to start life. Mrs. Knaggs’ father was the first born of the family in the Lobster Inn. At the time a farm was attached to it and farm hands were employed. This old gentleman brewed his own beer in part of the present barn now standing. Joseph and his father, when he had grown up, worked together with his father. After staying in the Lobster Inn much over 20 years he left and took Normanby Brewery and brewed for some years. He retired and came back to Coatham in Vansittart Terrace, where he passed away at a big age.

   Her father was then left on his own, was married. His father was the owner of this Old Ship Inn at Masker-by-the-Sea. He bought it from his father and carried on business there for many years until he sold it to the brewers who pulled it down and have built a fine new Ship Hotel on part of the old site. He retired and came back to Coatham. Years after he died when butchering at 66, High Street, Redcar.

The Family

   Mr. and Mrs. Knaggs have had a family of four daughters and one son. Three daughters survive. At their family gathering Mrs. Knaggs’ youngest sister was with them from 49, Zetland Road, Redcar. They received 10 telegrams (one from a nephew, Capt. Harold Richardson, from Galveston, Texas), and 15 letters. They are both in fairly good health considering the war, weather, and old age. Mr. Knaggs is 83 years old and Mrs. Knaggs 82.


Lol Hansom May 15, 2013 Coatham, Events