GRANGETOWN IN TIMES PAST
St Marys School
Mick Traynor - Boer War Recruit + Others
Streets and Buildings
World War One 1914 -18
Parish, Priests and Processions
Street Stories + Characters
1925 Ladies Parish Outing + More
A Tale from the Duckie + other stories
World War Two 1939 - 45
Messages from Home & Abroad
Shops and Shopkeepers
The World of Work
Upstairs and Downstairs...
The Board School
Pochin Road Infants School
Leisure & Sports
Grangetown Boys' Club
Sir Wm Worsley School
Maps, Plans & Aerial Photos
St Peter's Senior School
St Matthew's Parish
Eston Grammar School
Trolley Buses TRTB
Grangetown Methodist Church
Contact Information for Grangetown in Times Past
Links for Grangetown in Times Past
Michael Traynor - Boer War Recruit
|Michael Traynor - Boer War Recruit
My grandfather Michael Traynor born of Irish parents in Middlesbrough was living in 1 Holden Street at a time when few men were working. So he joined the Durham Light Infantry where he travelled the world to India and later to South Africa to fight in the Boer War.
This picture is of a tug of war team in the army. Michael is on the right lying down.
The Depression Years
A tale concerning my grandfather Traynor still lives on in the memory of the older members of the town.
One cold winter, a couple of unemployed men, during these hard times, decided to borrow some coal from the steelworks.
They climbed the tall fence, proceeded to rummage through the coal tip for the choicest pieces, from a slag and stone-tainted heap. One of the men was not as fit as the other, who was strong and still sprightly despite his advancing years.
They were spotted by the police.
After a long chase, the not-so-fit man named Bendricht, was eventually apprehended by two young constables, who proceeded to interrogate him about the man who had escaped from their clutches. He was determined to outwit the forces of the law, especially as the idea to take coal, was his idea from the beginning and so anxious was he to protect his friend and neighbour, he blurted out in panic,
" I'll tell you MY name but I won't tell you MICKY TRAYNOR'S !!
Memories of Granda Traynor
He served in the 1st Batallion DLI in South Africa and possibly Ireland according to Michael his son - and India - where he acquired a taste for strong curry.
I believe he made curries and indian meals.He also loved mushrooms and collected them from the fields around Eston.
He was a prolific artist and craftsman who worked in many materials including Whitby Jet and was known to have carved a cameo brooch in jet for a neighbour ( Bakery people ) who wanted a picture outline of their child on the brooch. He drew incredible horses and lions with immeasurable ease and drew and coloured two opposing football teams on the paper jacket of one of his son’s schoolbooks- which drew great praise from the teacher - and no doubt from the son’s peers.
He built a wooden scooter for us as children - which was incredibly strong and fast - with pram wheels which was stolen the very first night it was left in the yard from 6 Holden Street. It proved too much of a temptation for the envious hordes in the nearby streets as they watched us practise on it.
He was a cobbler also,famous for repairing boots and shoes and putting studs in the soles to keep them from wearing out. Watching the sparks flying from the studs was a great sight for others as we slid on them on the pavement.
He was immensely strong - broad and strong - with a fist which we swung upon as children and couldn’t budge.
Some say he climbed lamposts when he’d drunk too much as he relived the nightmare of the Boer War as the Zulus attacked.
He wore moleskin trousers when going to work -as most did in those days.
He did beautiful breakfasts on Saturdays with mushrooms and bacon and during the war when eggs were in short supply had no hesitation in asking for dried eggs from the butcher and he smashed potatoes rather than mashed them.
“Shall I smash ‘em?” he used to say to Michael.
On his chair at home in 111, St Davids, was a very powerful rectangular magnet which he used to pick up tacks and nails for his cobbling. We were fascinated by it. In the passage was a large framed picture of a number of drawn faces in circles with reference to a United Ireland or similar phrase. I seem to recall that one of the faces was Parnell.
Michael Traynor 1875-1952
|According to his son Mick,
" His hands were never still. He used a sharp knife to sculpt wood, jet, leather, brass, tin, ......anything under the sun...to make something beautiful."
The Jones Boy in Army Uniform
|The Jones Boy in Army Uniform - courtesy of Vincent Jones Canada
I wasn't too sure where to put this picture of three soldiers in very old uniforms - but the man in the middle was a second cousin to Michael Traynor above after marrying his cousin Ann.
I'd be grateful for any army expert to suggest a possible regiment for these young men.
My Grandfather is in centre -Jiffy Jones I once took the original to the curator of the Green Howard's Museum in Richmond - close examination of the collar symbol indicates the Grenadier Guards but I really don't know. I was in the Boro in May I went to see my brother James who is very ill. I flew from the Dominican Republic to NY - London. I was only there over the weekend but I did meet up with my Uncle Percy and my cousin Peter Jones (Wilfs Son).
If you can contact Percy I am sure he has some photos that would be suitable for you, all the original photos I have are back in Canada and I doubt I will be back there for some time, I will complete this project (Gas and Steam Turbine Power Station) in September then after a break I will be in either Thailand or the Philippines for another year or more.
My Grandma was Annie Traynor sister of my Great Uncle Larry. He had a cobblers shop in Bessemer St (I think it was that street. I used to go there when I was a child. Also he used the club opposite the Legion in Victoria Rd , name escapes me, Victoria Club maybe ?? Also Peter Jones has some great photos of my Uncle John when he was playing football around the NE , I have his address in Normanby if you contact him I am sure he will be pleased to help.
I vividly recall going to Grangetown every Sunday afternoon on the trackless bus from North Ormesby dragging my two brothers with me to collect our pocket money from my Fathers brothers, John, Dave Percy, and Grandad, best time was when the Kings Head closed at 2 oclock and they all came home for Sunday dinner. Granma Jones always had a roast of beef in the oven besides the black fireplace and the Yorkshires were the best in the world, a slice of beef dripping in gravy was a delight I will always remember - and even now after all these years I insist on a Sunday dinner, which has been difficult at times in countries such as Sumatra Indonesia and China.
Grandad Jones never did tell us much about his family and wasn't until 1998 when I was working on Teeside at the Enron job after being away in Canada and other places for almost 35 years did I find out he had sisters in South Bank.
I lived in South Bank @ Lower Graham st (27) when I married my wife Rita Buckley in 1961, Rita's family Conway from Grangetown. Rita passed away in 1980.
Keep up the good work John, Best Regards, Vince Jones
Have just browsed your web site, and I find it most interesting. Regarding the Cobbler Larry Traynor. He had his cobblers shop in Stapylton St., It was not Bessemer St. I know that this is correct, as at the time 1944-50ish we lived next door at number 41, It was right opposite where the bombed houses were situated. Larry's workshop would be number 39. Will contact you again later.