PEOPLE – FRAZER. The Last of the Frazer’s

Accreditation Cleveland Standard 18/01/1936

Death of Redcar’s Grand Old Lady

   In the early hours of Wednesday morning (15/10/1936) a 90-years-old Redcar woman passed quietly away, the last human link of the of the Frazer family who played an important past in the past that is gone – a past when Redcar meant a collection of a few fishermen’s cottages and sand and sea.
The old lady was Miss Mary Ann Frazer, and she was in her 91st year. During her last hours she called incessantly the names of her two nephews, who reside respectively at Leeds and Dalton, near Thirsk, to whom she was passionately devoted. Born at Coatham in 1845, when the old High Street overlooked the sea, she had lived in Redcar all her life and spent her last sixty years in the same little cottage in Coatham High Street.
As an historian she would have been a valuable woman to Redcar during the late years of her life, but a proud reserve and shyness made her rather self – contained and reporters found her reluctant to reveal to them the past. She was a staunch pillar of the Coatham Parish Church, being a teacher there for more than half a century, and she attended regularly every Sunday morning as long as she could get about.
A few years ago, while on her way to church, she fell and hurt her head and since then she had been more or less an invalid. But in spite of her 90 years of life, with all its trouble and cares, it was a proud boast of her friends that the little old lady never bore a single wrinkle on her face.
By trade she was a dressmaker and did not retire from business until well over 70, and when nearing her 90th year she still made her own dresses. Both her parents lived to be over 90.
The Frazer family came to Redcar over a hundred year ago form Ireland. Her father Edward Lawrence Frazer, was a Coastguard here, and a Coastguard of some importance judging by the many old documents still in the little cottage.
One old faded certificate reads: “To all people whom presents shall come, we, Commissioners of Her Majesties’ Customs do hereby authorise Lawrence Frazer to seize any goods, vessels, boats, horse, cattle, carriages, or other things which may be liable to forfeiture under law or laws relating to the Revenue of Customs. And the said Lawrence Frazer, after any such seizure, is hereby required to deliver the same to the proper Officers of Customs appointed to receive same. In all which premises he is to proceed in such manner as the law directs. – Given under our Hands at the Custom House, London, this Seventeenth Day of November in the Eleventh Year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lady Queen Victoria and in the Year of our Lord one thousand, eight hundred and forty-seven.”
This document suggests that this old lady’s father was some kind of policeman as well as Coastguard. The faded old will of Lawrence Frazer still exists, by which it is discovered that he left all his possessions to his wife Susanne Frazer, who later bequeathed them to her daughter, Mary Ann. Miss Frazer’s sister married the founder of the Coatham Convalescent Home, the Rev. J. Postlethwaite.
For a number of years her interests had received attention from one of the two nephews, to whom she was devoted, Mr. W. E. Nutley, of Leeds.
The nephews are anxious that some relatives of the old Frazer family may still occupy the little cottage at No. 80, Coatham High Street, and the housekeeper, a Mrs. Dunnings of Carlin How, will live in the house for a month. Mr. Nutley, of Leeds, who new Redcar very well, having stayed with his aunt regularly, is considering keeping the house in the family, until his retirement from the railway service, which is not far distant, when he hopes to reside there.        


dean April 11, 2010 People & Characters