About me


Newcastle upon Tyne, 1945; son of Thomas William Pears (1919-1991) and Cecilia Pears formerly Walker (1919-1999); and grandson of Nicholas Pears (1895-1955) and Susannah Pears formerly Axford (1896-1982), Joseph Walker (1890-1975) and Elizabeth Walker formerly Shields (1893-1954).


A beautiful Gateshead lass:




  • High Spen, Co Durham (now Gateshead Borough)
  • Rowlands Gill, Co Durham (now Gateshead Borough)
  • Low Fell, Gateshead


  • Highfield Infants & Junior Schools, Rowlands Gill, 1950-1957
  • Hookergate Grammar School, Rowlands Gill, 1957-1964
  • Newcastle University, Dept. of Physics, 1964-1967


Benwell SchoolTeaching Posts:

  • St Joseph’s R.C. Secondary Modern School, Sunderland
  • Benwell School, Newcastle
  • John Marlay School/Redewood School, Newcastle


  • Family History
  • Local History
  • Photography
  • Computer Programming and Web Page Authoring
  • formerly Electronics
  • formerly Hiking, Camping and Youth Hostelling)

Finally, a few more pictures – but you must promise not to laugh!

8 thoughts on “About me

  1. Dinah Hall of Langthwaite, widow 25/2/1792

    Left money in her will to daughter Jane ux Matthew Chalder.

    I think this is maybe the mother of your Jane Hall.

    I was looking into Langthwaite Halls.

    Problem is not sure who Dinah’s husband was!


  2. Many thanks. I’ve never managed to find any obvious baptism record for Jane or any other indication of her parentage, so this reference in Dinah’s will is a most welcome find. Thanks again. By the way, do you know if 25/2/1792 is Dinah’s date of death or the date her will was proved. Brian


  3. Nice to hear from you Ray. I know Strothers Terrace well as my great aunt Eva Surtees (née Axford) and her husband Tommy lived at No 19 until she died in the 1980s. They were there from the early 30s so presumably knew your father’s family.


  4. Brian – I vaguely remember you as a teacher at both Benwell and John Marlay. I worked in the library at John Marlay from 1976 – 1981.
    Quite by accident I found the story of my grandfather and his sister while searching on British Newspaper Archive.
    I followed your thread on ancestry regarding Industrial Schools as one of their sibblings ended up in Witton Gilbert, Earl’s House. I’m currently looking into the life of my great aunt Alice who was sent from Hebburn to St. Joseph’s RC Industrial School, Howard Hill, Sheffield in 1890 at the age of 10 until she was 16. Sadly she died aged 15. Her older brother – he would be 11 and her younger brothers (my grandfather Peter was 6) were all sent industrial schools in the local area when their parents were imprisoned for child cruelty in 1890. Four of the brothers ended up living in the Chopwell area – one joined DLI, Peter joined 3rd Tyneside Irish none of them or any of their descendants knew that Alice even existed.
    I am attending a blessing of a memorial stone in St Michaels RC Cemetery in Rivelin, Sheffield on 6th October. There are over 200 children buried in the cemetery from industrial schools in the area at the time.
    best wishes – Sue Bright (nee Barrett)
    author of Bridging the Ouseburn


    1. Hi Sue, lovely to hear from you. Good luck with your research into your Aunt Alice’s short life. It’s interesting to hear of the four brothers who ended up in the Chopwell area, that’s where my grandfather and my mother were raised.


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