Number 37 Howick Street

Number 37 Howick Street was built at the same time as 35 by the same builder, John Short, before 1870. The first owner was Mr Joseph Appleby who bought the property on 24th May 1870. By the 1871 census he and his wife, Elizabeth, were living there. They were then living next to John Short on the north side, and an empty plot, uphill, on the south side.

Joseph Appleby was a fellmonger, dealing in leather and fur products. He was born in Alnwick in 1833 and was 37 on the 1871 census. His wife was two years younger, born in Richmond, Yorkshire. He had been born to Joseph and Ann Appleby, and baptised on 24 th July 1833. They were then living in Clayport Street, and his mother sadly died in the cholera outbreak in 1849 , when her son was about 16, and already helping his father in the family business (see Ann Appleby under Cholera victims). Joseph’s father, Joseph senior, died in 1872, and son Joseph sold the business in Clayport Street and the house in Howick Street and “retired “ to Hurworth in County Durham where his children were born in 1874 and 1875. So he wasn’t a resident in Howick Street for very long.

By 1881, a widow, called Annie Campbell was living at number 37. She was a young widow and was taking in lodgers to make a living. There were three unmarried ladies living there in 1881. These were Kate Morgan, a twenty three year old school mistress from Scotland, Edith Tillbrook, a twenty one year old dressmaker, from Huntingdon, and Maggie Crawford only nineteen an assistant schoolmistress from Northumberland. Annie’s ten year old son, Malcolm was living there too. Malcolm was born in Darjeeling, Bengal, India on 14/7/1870 and was christened the following November. He was born to Duncan Campbell and Annie Gloholme both from Scotland. Duncan must have died young, and mother and son returned to England. Why they chose England in preference to Scotland is unknown. This is the only mention of Annie Campbell, but her son became a merchant seaman and sailed back and forth across the Atlantic, many times. He arrived back from New York, on the Ausonia in January 1917. This ship was sunk by a German U-boat on May 30th 1918, with 44 men on board. But Malcolm wasn’t amongst them. In 1918 he left from Liverpool on board the Missanabie,( when he was 47), arriving in St. John’s, Canada on 17/3/1918. This ship was also sunk later that year, on 9/9/18, so he was a lucky man! He married Elizabeth Douglas from Scotland on 23/12/1927, in Vancouver, Canada – certificate below.


On their wedding certificate above he was recorded as a widower, age 53, and a master mariner. Below is his Second mate certificate.

Malcolm died on 16/2/1950 in New Westminster, British Columbia, and was buried in Ocean View Burial Park, Vancouver, a long way from Alnwick and even further from his birth place in India.

On the 1891 census for Howick Street, number 37 was still a boarding house. William Davison was the head of the household. He was a 60 year old widower, working as a dealer’s assistant. His 31 year old daughter Catherine was his housekeeper. They were both born in Alnwick, but their boarders both young men from elsewhere in Northumberland. William was born in Alnwick in 1831, and lived there all his life. He trained as a draper, married Elizabeth ,the second daughter of Alexander Wightman, farmer from Warenford and had at least four children. Elizabeth died in 1877, when they were living in Wesley House, Chapel Lane, Alnwick On each census he was living in a different house but always in the same area of Alnwick until he ended his days at 5, Percy st. as a boarder, “living on his own means”. He died in 1903 aged 72.

On the 1901 census for 37 Howick Street, another widower, James Wallace Dixon was living there, with his children George (13) and Anna (10)and a live in house servant, Sarah. James was a ‘brewer’s traveller’, probably selling Alnwick beer to local pubs and inns. Ten years earlier he was living with his step mother, Jane Boyd in 10, Percy Terrace with his wife Elizabeth Margaret, and George and Anna who was then just a baby. Their mother died in July 1893. James remarried so another generation was brought up by a step mother. He married Mary Elizabeth Bell just after the 1901 census, on 28/9/1901. They moved from Alnwick to Heworth near Gateshead before the next census when James was a public house manager.

In 1911, there was a family from Durham living in 37, Howick Street. William Robert Pearce (1865-1922) was a 47 year old picture framer, born in Auckland. He had been married to Jane A Howe for 22 years and they had four children, although just the two youngest children were still at home. Nora (1896-1983) was only 14 but was working in a fishing tackle factory in Alnwick, as a “tackle tier” employed for their small nimble fingers. Son John Edmund was a year younger and still at school. In 1939 John , then a grocer’s assistant, was married and living in 1a Chapel Lane with his wife, Julia and three children.

Meanwhile also in 1939 Joseph Young was living in 37, Howick Street with his wife Rebecca and three children, Rebecca b 1923, Edward b1925 and Margaret b 1933. Joseph was a passengers guard with LNER. He had worked for the railway all his working life, starting as an errand boy, when leaving school and by 1911 he was 25 and a railway porter. His father worked as a plate layer for the railway before his early death. His daughters later married and became Rebecca Geggie and Margaret Wyatt. Their mother Rebecca was remembered as Becca Gibson ( her maiden name ) by Evelyn Knox from next door. Becca was the neighbour who shook her mop over the baby ( see No 35- a Dynasty). Joseph died in that house on 29/5/1944. His widow lived on till 1970 still in Howick Street, where she died on 28/12/1970 age 92.