By Brenda Ord
This article was published in the April 2018 edition of Soul Search, the journal of The Sole Society
I wish that I found ‘Finding Sewells’ as easy as painting and of course I wish I’d asked more about them when I had my Sewells around.
All I knew was that they came from Norfolk and some of us had the ‘Sewell Nose’- famed for it’s largeness…and dare I say it, it’s Jewish look. I didn’t inherit the tendency but my oldest brother certainly did.
What sort of nose did William Sewell have I wonder? He arrived in Newcastle in the late 1880’s from Norfolk as a young man with a nose for making a good life in a busy industrial city. How different it must have been from his rural youth.
William my Great Grandfather was born in Wicklewood, Norfolk in 1868.
The family came from Ashwellthorpe , a village a few miles from Wymondham, the local town.
They moved to Wymondham , John & Honor Sewell and their numerous children, including William’s mother Sarah Ann. I think there was more scope for employment for the family there as the parent’s occupation of silk weaving was on the decline.
Perhaps William would have been born a man of Wymondham if Sarah Ann had married & had money enough to have him & successive babies outside the Workhouse, the nearest being Wicklewood. It is worth trying to find the records of these places if possible, as, having found Wicklewood’s I was relieved to find that her stay was only temporary though not the first nor by any means the last. So my William wasn’t a permanent inmate, just a too frequent visitor.
William’s Uncle John moved his family to Durham then settled in Newcastle where William joined him.
William married Isabella Jane Moffat (born Elliott) and they produce a large family. No glamorous holidays for them but I do know that they went to the seaside on day trips
My Nana had wonderful memories of them and I know William would have recognised Tynemouth Priory.
What is better after all than a day out at the seaside with your hard working parents and seeing them let their hair down…well if that’s possible while not taking your hats off.