This photograph shows a wedding party outside 16 Russell Street, Thornaby. Taken around 1906. My great-grandparents Edwin and Isabella CLARKE lived at No. 20 for many years. Edwin worked as a bricklayer in the steel works. He had travelled up north to find work in the 1870s from his home near Great Yarmouth, leaving behind an ancestry steeped in the corn milling business. He met Isabella HULL from St Helen Auckland and they married in 1876. Their first 3 children were born in Craddock Street, Bishop Auckland and their last 3 in Thornaby. In the photo, Edwin is standing in the middle at the back and Isabella is on the right in her fine hat! Their daughter-in-law Lucy is sitting front right with her young son.
When I was given the photo many years ago I was assured it was not a family wedding so I don’t know who the bride and groom are. I was told the lady in the middle on the left ran a local pub and the girls on either side of her were “gaiety girls” but who knows if that’s true! Seems unlikely to me. I wonder whether anyone with links to the area might know who they all are? Edwin died in 1937 and Isabella in 1932. They are buried at Thornaby Cemetery in an unmarked plot, which I visited many years ago while in the area.
Photograph and details courtesy of Diane Johansen.