Recollections by son Tommy Kell. 

“I may have an argument with Jim and Harry (Robinson) on the subject of who chopped the most sticks (for Anne Shorthouse). I used to go up every two weeks and got paid my pocket money, which enabled me to go to the Wingate picture house. We all had our share of taking the pasties round to the different houses, some on the Deaf Hill Estate

My mother (Ellen) was employed by the butchers to clean their house and do their washing. I remember how upset she was when she was turned out of her home after 30 years, because the owner’s son was getting married and they wanted her house to live in. Fortunately Jennie (Kell) got married to Alan (Anderson), which meant the house No 11 South Road was going to be unoccupied and mother took over the tenancy. I used to walk up and pay the rent at Baden Street every week. The reason, which was given to me on our move to Hartlepool, was it was easier for Ozzie to travel by train to Seaham Harbour where he worked until going to Abadan. You might like to mention that my mother walked from Trimdon to Hart (10 miles) carrying carrier bags full of goods for the shop, at the times when the buses for some reason or other, were not running.”

Recollections by Peggy Robinson (Grandson Billy’s wife)

Thank you for the document on the Kell family. I found  it very interesting and  informative. Billy loved grandma Kell, as I did, she had so many talents and I never heard her complain. When Anne was just over two years old she came to visit us at Bishop Auckland. I had a violin which belonged to my mother and she picked it up and  played “The Irish Washer Women” really fast, tapping her foot. Anne was dancing to it in her own fashion, twirling and stamping her feet. We used to visit her in Hartlepool, her door was never locked, always open even though she was in bed most of the day, beside the fire downstairs. Her chapel friends would pop in and out, make her tea etc.  They would lock the door about 9pm in summer and of course your mother (Eveline) and Jennie did all the house work between them, her laundry and she was happy to be in her own home and bed, always had her radio on , interested in everything. She asked me to reach up in the cupboard beside the fireplace and pass  the violin down to her. That was my last memory of her when she played some of her favourite tunes and a hymn to Billy and me. She was with Auntie Jennie after that.

Jane Shorthouse.

Jane (Jennie, Jeannie, Janney) Shorthouse was born in the winter of 1884 at Easington Lane Hetton Le Hole. She was baptised 24 Feb 1887 at Lyons Parish Church Hetton le Hole, Co. Durham. This was a joint baptism with her siblings Tom, Ellen and Arthur.

The Deaf Hill Parish records show that on the 30th December 1903, Charles Marriner Richardson, a miner, age 23 married Jennie Shorthouse age 19, both of Deaf Hill, fathers Robert Richardson (miner) and Frederick Shorthouse (miner), witnesses Jane Eliz. Preston and Benjamin Davison.

Charlie Richardson and Henry Kell (husband of sister Ellen Shorthouse) were cousins, their grandparents were Robert and Ann Richardson living in Trimdon Colliery.

Charlie and Jane immigrated to Australia in the autumn of 1912 on the S.S. Irishman. On reaching Capetown 9 October 1912, Jane sent a postcard to her parents.

Dear Mother and Father

Just a card to let you know you need not worry because we are having a splendid voyage the people on the ship say we could not have a better it is a great it is that smooth. Plenty to eat. Frying fish in the morning. Hope you are well. This is a letter card. Jensie Charlie XXXX

Their son Charles Roy Richardson was born in 1917 in Bulli, NSW. Unfortunately he only lived three days. They did not have any other children.

A photograph sent in 1926 had the following text on the back: “This photo was taken 26 Jan 1922. Charlie 12 stones weight, Jeanni 11½ stones”

Another photo of the same vintage shows a house being built with over 50 people standing outside. Caption  reads: “This cottage was built in three days and all voluntary and Charlie and I one of them.”


The following are recollections of Marion Walmsley March 2006 of her aunt and uncle, Jane and Charlie Richardson.

“Joan and Charles – We knew them as aunty Jenny and uncle Charlie – lived at Bulli on New South Wales south coast – Charlie worked his way up in mine to under manager, sometimes he was acting manager – they had one baby who lived three days, named Roy. Our whole family were always welcome at aunty Jenny’s and uncle Charlie’s home – not far from sea, which we all loved – all good swimmers from an early age

Ruth and I spent many school holidays with them – they were always generous with pocket money and beautiful gifts at Christmas – I always remember them singing together in lounge room  – aunty Jenny had a gift for harmonising – uncle Charlie had a huge but melodious voice, One of their favourites was ‘Forever more, my heart will be true’ and we would all join in chorus with them during school holidays, I was 12/13 and aunty J would always arrange for a young neighbour to accompany me to shops and  beach.

Uncle C had a model T Ford and would delight in taking us for rides down coast on Bulli Pass (a very steep and dangerous road in those days). They owned their home and always seemed to have money to spare – we all attended their 50th wedding anniversary.”

Charlie died in 1965 and Jane in 1970, both buried in Bulli, NSW.


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