Article provided courtesy of John Robinson, Canada, 25th January 2018

When the family of William and Eveline Robinson moved to the Village from the Colliery in 1933, son Jim started at the Trimdon Parochial School. Jim was a great grandson of “Granny” Hannah and he recollects that Granny lived in small house on Front Street in Trimdon Village with her son “Lucky” Jim”, granddaughter Hannah and Jim’s nephew Albert. She was old and nearly blind, always in a rocking chair with purse on knee counting her money.  On sunny afternoons she had her chair on the street path outside the front door. He had to pass the house on the way to and from school and always stopped and talked to granny. When she died in November of 1934, her open coffin was in a bedroom up some dark narrow stairs, and we children had to pay our last respects, a scary experience.

Hannah Lazonby was born in Trimdon Village in 1841, she was baptized on the 11th April 1841, the first legitimate child of James Lazonby and Ann Gates. Before her marriage to James on the 1st January 1841, Ann had three illegitimate children supposedly fathered by James. Their parents were Robert Lazonby (farmer, Glebe Farm) and William Gates (Cordwainer and Parish Clerk).


Francis Robinson was the first of our Robinson family to live in Trimdon Village. He was born on the 23rd March 1840 at the Howley Hope farm, Fishburn. He married Hannah Lazonby in St Mary Magdalen Church on Nov 4, 1860. Both were recorded as being residents of Trimdon.  They made their home and lived the rest of their lives in Trimdon Village, Francis died in 1898 and Hannah in 1934.

It has always been a puzzle as to why Francis as the eldest son did not continue in farming, like the rest of his family. He was in Trimdon working as an agricultural labourer when he married Hannah. Initially they lived with Hannah’s parents and eventually moved into a house in Farm Terrace. Francis got out of farming and started work as a colliery labourer. He continued in this work until he died in 1898 at the age of 58 from a malignant growth in the intestines. His last job was that of caller, this required him to go around the village waking up miners before the start of their shifts. The family were now living in the last house of Front Street North (east end) before the turn to the Parochial School (both long since demolished).

Francis and Hannah had a total of 14 children in the Village and despite the fact that the houses were relatively small, most of that time they had William Robson, the blacksmith, lodging with them.

They did not live in the end house on Front Street for all of their lives, their first house was in Farm Terrace. The electoral registers show that they moved from the Front Street house and lived in Coronation Terrace in 1920, Brown’s Houses in 1925, Chisholm’s Buildings in 1929 and finally to a different house in Front Street, which was now registered under the name of son James.

Just about the time that Hannah’s own children had grown and mostly left home, in 1896 when she was 55 years old, her son James’ wife, Elizabeth, died in Coxhoe. James moved from Coxhoe to Trimdon with three of his young children, George, Hannah and William, to live with his mother. These grandchildren were brought up by Hannah who was quite a strict disciplinarian.  James continued his work as a quarryman and lived with his mother for the rest of her life.  His daughter Hannah did not marry and stayed home to look after Granny, James and his cousin Albert who lodged with them.  James died in 1951 and his daughter Hannah continued in the same house until her death in 1970.


The September 1927 edition of the Trimdom Parochial School Bulletin front page is dedicated to Hannah by the Chicago Times political cartoonist J M Donnelly.

Joseph Donnelly was born in Sedgefield on March 19th 1852. His parents moved the short distance to Trimdon in 1861 where they ran the local draper’s shop. The young Joseph was educated at the Old School in the village. He emigrated to America in 1871 and died in 1933at the age of 81, one year before Hannah.

It is interesting to note that in 1910 women did not have the right to vote unless they were landowners. Voting qualification was house owned or rented of £10 rateable value or more, or, land ownership. Land owners did not have to live in village to vote.  This was division 1 & 2 for parliamentary elections.  In division 3 for local elections Hannah Robinson was listed as a voter. Eveline Johnson’s Book “The Last of the Trimdon Snippets” lists only 135 voters in Trimdon Village of these four were women and one of these was Hannah Robinson.

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