My name is mum was born in Ferryhill, and she grew up there until she moved to Bedale.Robert Todd was my grandfathers' name...he married a Margaret Benson..that's where the Nunan comes nan Nunan married a back to my mum..Sadie Catherine Todd married Archie Duncan MacRae.....after she and the Benson family moved to Windsor, Ontario...that's where I come in....Sadie and David.

Archie had two children a daughter me Dale and a son WILLIAM SLATER TODD,b. ABT Mar 1854 in Lamesley, Durham,(son of Robert Todd and Margaret Slater)

d. ABT May 883 in Auckland, Durham, occupation Coal Miner (1871, 1881).

Elizabeth Kennedy, b. ABT Aug 1856 in Leadgate, Durham,(daughter of Charles Kennedy and Ann Maine)

d. ABT Aug 1887 in Auckland, Durham, occupation Dressmaker (1881)

She married WILLIAM SLATER TODD, ABT Nov 1875 in Auckland, Durham,


i. Robert Edward Todd, b. ABT Feb 1876 in Tudhoe, Durham,

d. ABT Aug 1893 in Auckland, Durham, occupation Scholar (1881), Coal Miner (1891).

He is living with his Todd grandparents in 1891

ii. Charles Todd, b. ABT Nov 1877 in Stockton, Durham,

d. ABT Feb 1928 in Sedgefield, Durham,

occupation Coal Miner (1891), Coal Miner Hewer (1901, 1911).

He is living with his maternal uncle Joseph in 1891.

He died of dust in the lungs. He is buried in Ducombe Cemetery, Ferryhill.

He married Isabel Scott Lowery, ABT Nov 1899 in Sedgefield, Durham,

b. ABT May 1880 in Metal Bridge, Ferry Hill, Durham,

d. ABT May 1927 in Sedgefield, Durham. Isabel: She is buried in Ducombe Cemetery, Ferryhill


1. Joseph Lowery Todd, b. ABT Nov 1900 in Sedgefield, Durham,

d. ABT Nov 1900 in Sedgefield, Durham.

2. William Todd, b. ABT Dec 1901 in Sedgefield, Durham,

d. ABT Feb 1932 in Sedgefield, Durham.

3. Robert Edward Todd, b. 16 Jun 1904 in Ferryhill, Durham,

d. 28 Dec 1981 in Nottinghamshire.

He married Margaret Theresa Benson, ABT Aug 1930 in Bedale, Yorkshire

b. 9 May 1912 in Newcastle Upon Tyne, Northumberland,

d. 27 Jan 1987 in Windsor, Ontario.


i.Sadie Catherine Todd, b. 30 May 1932 in Sedgefield, Durham. .

She married Archie Duncan MacRae,

b. 16 Aug 1932 in Windsor, Ontario,26

d. 27 Sep 1996 in Windsor, Ontario.26,70


i. Dale Ann MacRae b. 5 May 1953.

ii. David Duncan MacRae b. 12 May 1956.

iii. William Slater Todd, b. ABT Nov 1881 in Ferry Hill, Durham,

d. ABT Aug 1932 in Burnley, Lancashire, occupation Coal Miner Hewer (1911).

He is living with a cousin in 1891 and with his paternal grandmother in 1901.

He married Mary Cullen, ABT Feb 1902 in Durham, England,

b. ABT 1881 in Canny Hill, Durham. Mary:

d in 1884.

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Joseph Mulroy 1982

“Ferryhill, Mainsforth Colliery, The Last Shift.”

    8 WolseleyStreet,   Ferryhill.                                                                                                          Sunday Dec 8th 1968.

Dear Ivan, Joan & Family,

                                               Thanks for your last letter. Hope you have all got over your colds by now. I haven’t been really clear of mine for 5 or 6 weeks, but soon I’ll be able to rest up, & look after it. I’m writing this letter on the eve of my retirement, & with mixed feelings also. It is 48 years on January 8th that I started my life as a miner, & tonight at 9 P.M. I finish it. I won’t be there long, as I am being relieved at 11 P.M. It will be a funny feeling as I’m coming up in the cage by myself for the last time. I remember as if it were yesterday, the very first time I went down, I was aged 16 & I made the descent on my own. I have no regrets, & as one chapter in life closes, another opens but this makes me realize that this is the finish for me. For the next 3 years we won’t take any harm, as under national agreements we receive 9/10 of our take home pay. I hope by then, they bring the Old age pension down to 60. After the end of this year we’ll have rent to pay & we have 2 tons of coal to get. Men who have been in the industry 40 years or more are to get a certificate, & I’ve heard we’re going to get our safety lamps. We had a good night at our bowls presentation, & last night I attended a presentation to our Deputies Lodge chairman, with the result, I had an awful headache this morning. Tomorrow I hope to have the new tank put on the car, & on Wednesday there’s a car load of us, going to Team Valley, at Gateshead to see about our superannuation. Thursday I’m taking Nell & Lily away to see the shops. Middlesbro’, Sunderland, or Newcastle, it’s entirely up to them. We had a run into Darlington yesterday, but the place was packed. It’s much better going to these places midweek. A fortnight ago we had Ferryhill station set on fire. It looks dilapidated now. It was started at the north end of the station, & engulfed the stationmaster’s offices & waiting rooms. It took 4 brigades to put it out, & for a time all traffic was stopped going over the bridge, but as it was 11 P.M. when it was discovered, there wasn’t a great deal of traffic. We are expecting Audrey & the bairns through next Sunday, & on Monday, Dec 23rd we are going to the Essoldo at Stockton, where they are having a Xmas gala night, & only ticket holders are admitted. We’ve got ours& they are sold out now. Hope we have a bit of luck, for a change. Well it’s about 7 P.M. so I’ll have to make preparations, & just think I’ll not have to remember.

Locker No 483; Safety Lamp 75; Cap Lamp 503; Ambulance Box 1518;

Morphine Key 17; Detonator Case 10

Anymore, cheers & God Bless. XXXX

Dad & Nell. XXX

Lots of Love & Kisses to XXXXX KATHRYN & HILARY XXX



The Local Newspaper Report on the Closure.


      When Mainsforth Colliery closes exactly a month today it will be the biggest industrial blow to South West Durham since the last cage came up at Dean and Chapter two years ago.

     The closure marks not only the end of a pit and the end of a way of life, for many of the men employed there, but the end of an era of coal mining in South West Durham.

     One by one the area’s pits have closed as coal which could be mined at an economic price ran out, until all that remains is a scattered collection of small mines.

     With times as hard as these for the coal industry in County Durham particularly, it almost seems like a cruel act of fate that Mainsforth, a productive pit running at a profit, should be forced to close through extensive flooding.

     Mr. Sam Potts, the Coal Board’s South Durham area director, said the Coal Board had come to the conclusion that no remaining reserves in the pit could be worked economically. This was particularly unfortunate he said as it had become profitable after recent minor reorganisation. If the pit were reopened, and the main seam worked again, safety could not be guaranteed within the limits of the seam, he said.

     However, Mr. Potts said the Coal Board hoped to find as many alternative jobs as possible for the men. A small number would be found work at Whitworth Park and East Hetton, he said, and others would be offered transfers to coastal pits, including Easington, Horden, Blackhall and Dawdon.

      The exact number of men who will be transferred to other collieries is not known, but it has been suggested that 650 will have to travel to other North-East mines outside the Sedgefield area, which for many would mean a round trip of 40 or 50 miles each day.


     Sedgefield Rural Council, which over the past five years has fought to attract new industry to the area to replace the collieries with little success, raised the subject at a Housing Committee meeting on Friday afternoon, when the news was first heard, and immediately decided to ask the Prime Minister to act over the shut down. The committee will also write to Mr. Fred Lee, Minister with special responsibility for the North, and Mr. Joseph Slater, the local M.P., about the closure.

     Coun. Reuben Ellis, one of the leading figures in the campaign for jobs, said the Sedgefield area did not seem to count.





     “All the areas around here have been given work.” He said, “but if a man comes from this area or the town will be drained all parts of the country for work. I think the treatment we have received is deplorable,” he said.

     In November, 1961, when the first major redundancy was announced at Dean and Chapter, a miner described Ferryhill as a town with a question mark hanging over it. The question mark has now gone and the [town has lost its biggest employer].

 The above is a transcript of a letter  and newspaper cutting given to the Ferryhill History Society by Ivan Marks of Reading.

Ferryhill, Mainsforth Colliery,

The Last Shift.”

The Pattison Family