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Aycliffe Village Library

Does anyone know anything about Aycliffe Village Library? It seems to have existed early last century. There may have been a committee of three who supervised it.

James Robson Wilson

My Gt. Gt. Grandfather, James Robson Wilson, lived in the village for a number of years, definitely in the 1870's as the 1871 census places him and his wife Hannah, at a house in Heighington Street. He would have been quite a well known figure in the village, working as a land surveyor and accountant.I don't know the exact year he took up residence in Aycliffe but he could have lived there from the late 1860s until the late 1870s. By 1881 he had retired and returned to live in Darlington. He died there later that year but is buried in Aycliffe Churchyard, very likely in a Robson Family grave along with his mother.I have previously found references to him in Darlington Library and also at the University library in Durham, where I located some business documents bearing his name.It's a long shot,  I know, but I wondered if anyone who either still lives in the village, or who visits this website might have some further information? But I'm an optimist because the last time I put out a similar request on another website, I had someone contact me from Turkey who had lived in Darlington as a youngster and had some relevant pictures and information.

Regards, Charles Wilson

James Robson Wilson headstone in Aycliffe churchyard 

The Forester's Arms

Do you have any old photographs or know where there are any of The Forester's Arms public house at Coatham Mundeville? If so, please contact the landlady of the Forester's Arms or via the email link.


D. Miles would like to know more about Thomas Noble

THE QUEST TO IDENTIFY THOMAS NOBLE of Aycliffe  Village  who fostered  NORMAN CAMERON 1922-1934
I am sharing this research in the hope that somebody will add to it, and to show how a history can be built up from very little evidence. I hope that blood relations will add to it before the memories die. I began with only information from my father, that, though he had contact with his parents in Barnard Castle and Greta Bridge, he had been raised by  ‘A’ “Mr, Noble at Aycliffe, a good friend of his grandfather,   that he had a long way to walk to school, and  that Mr, Noble knew about engineering and encouraged him in his ambition to fly.  There appeared to be only one possible family in Aycliffe but they were numerous and the relationships  complicated.   I needed to know about them all in the hope of finding which Noble it was, and if there were any living relations.

A generation of Nobles scattered from Fersfield  on the Norfolk/Suffolk boarder. It can only be speculated that there was no work in Agriculture.   Two Noble brothers, Henry and Mark and a nephew,  (Samuel, born Bressingham) moved  in  the 1850s to Stanhope, Yorks. To work as  limestone quarrymen. 

HENRY NOBLE  born 1836 ( buried 1917 Aycliffe)  was  married and widowed four times and seems to have had  11 children. He must have been a very tough man as he worked the Limestone  Quarries until he was quite elderly, and he produced a son at the ate of  53 when his wife Elizabeth was 43.
STANHOPE   1st Wife Anne Wilkinson  1836 –1860 died giving birth to her only child
Robert 1860-1950 was brought up by his Uncle Mark  Noble (b 1823 -1886) and his wife Hannah  Watson (1827-1883 born and died Stanhope)  who appear to have had no children of their own. They  raised their nephew Mark, “as their own”.  In the 1861 census Robert is shown aged 9 months living with them and their nephew. By 1871 they are listed as his parents.
                       Robert  married  Eleanour Angus.  They had a  son  Alfred Angus Noble 1890 
                       who died of ‘flu in 1926   (SEE PHOTO) 
                        Alfred Angus had a son Ralph whose son and wife supplied the photos)
                       and a daughter, Charlotte Isabella  who married  William Thomas Elstob .  
                              (A photo of Charlotte Photo  can be seen on Ancestry.co.uk)  
Henry’s children after Robert were as follows: 
                   TWINS   Elisa Ann (Elizabeth)   and  Alfred born   1865  Stanhope
                   Charlotte Isabella   Stanhope  1863 (Charlotte married  William  Elstob)
Somebody suggested that  Elizabeth married somebody Holmes and lived in Brafferton.  This may be correct, owever, Holmes was her step mother’s name and there might be confusion._ 


                  Mary Ellen    born   Stanhope 1873
                   Emma J   born  Stanhope  1875 – 1933,
                                      (later Book-keepr   - buried with parents at  Aycliffe)
                  Mark –   born  Stanhope  1876  a  Horse Labourer at the quarry
                 John Henry   born Stanhope   1881


James Parker and Joseph Robinson

Alan Pattison is looking for more information about his grandfather James Parker. He moved from Kendal to Aycliffe just before the Great War and married Elizabeth Robinson, sister of Joseph Robinson. Both joined the Durham Light Infantry, 6th Battalion. Joseph Robinson was killed in action May 30, 1918. The Robinson family lived on High Street. James and Elizabeth Parker are both buried in St. Andrew's churchyard.


Joseph Ellerton

Peter Ellerton is seeking more information about his family, who came to Brafferton about 1841. He has photographs of his great-grandfather's siblings, but not one of Joseph Ellerton himself. Apparently, there used to be a photograph of a group of farmers hanging in the Foresters, and Joseph Ellerton is said to have been one of them. Does anyhone know what has happened to this photograph? Joseph was a cow keeper at Glebe Farm, Whiley Hill, but later lived at Chapel House. Does anyone know exactly where this was?



LATE 1960s – EARLY 1970s

 I was a front seat passenger in a Police Humber Estate car travelling east along Central Avenue, Newton Aycliffe towards the A167 road. We had just left the police station. I was accompanied by D.C. John Brierley and we were stationed on Durham Constabulary’s “Serious Incident Squad”. It was morning time and the weather was hot with a cloudless sky.

 At that time I was looking upwards at a fighter jet aircraft which was east of us and travelling north, moving from our right to our left. I noticed the large tail-fin and identified it as being an American Sabre jet F-86.

 Almost immediately, the aircraft deposited a large black cloud behind it and I saw an object leaving the aircraft which turned out to be a parachute. I knew that a Sabre jet was a single seat plane so it was obvious that the aircraft was going to crash.

 I contacted the Control Room at Durham Police Headquarters, by radio and informed them of the aircraft as well as the parachute. I said that I believed the parachute would come down in the Aycliffe Village area and that the aircraft was moving slowly and veering slightly to it’s right and I expected it to come down in the Sedgefield area.

 John drove north on the A167 road as I watched the aircraft, we travelled quickly along the A689 road until we came to Sedgefield. We could see by the thick cloud of smoke that the aircraft was down in some fields.

 We made our way to the site and had to drive along narrow roads until we came to the smoke site in a farmer’s field. We parked our vehicle in the field and took our camera equipment from the vehicle. I saw the wreckage was spread over about 200 yards and there was a large hole in the ground which held the majority of the aircraft wreckage which I believe was American.

 John and I were first there and straight away we took photographs of the site including as much of the damaged items as we could before people arrived and filled the field. The first police officers to arrive were given the job of keeping the public out of the field and in particular making sure that no-one removed any item from the site.

 Later in the day, people arrived from RAF Catterick and spoke to our senior Police Officers. We were told to hand over all photographs that we had taken. To do this we took the leaves out of the photographic slides which we had used, thereby exposing the 5” x 4” film. John and I left the scene in late afternoon as RAF Catterick were responsible for the site and the collection of all the items.

 I do not know the date of this incident. Does anyone have any further information? Please contact me on 01325 313631.

Gary Waine


In 1939, Matthew Gibbon farmed at School Aycliffe Farm.  He had five daughters - Audrey and Jean and three others whose forenames are not known. 
Who were the three daughters whose forenames are not known.
Did the daughters marry?  If they did, to whom were they married and where are they now? 
If you can help, please reply to QUERIES on this website, or phone 01325-312090.

Brian Gargate