Letters from America

Published:August 1996

Hi from Delaware!

20th April: (After overlooking a lot of pages on the Seaham Harbour Online site)

There was a mother-lode of Seaham stuff
that I completely missed the first time! I'm really looking forward to the areas descibing the history and the mystery of the towns birth ...the legends and the romance of its genesis. Can't wait to see more about St. Mary's, Byron, the personalised stories from the people about mining in the old days...

I'll keep in touch! Take care.

Gail Smith, Delaware, USA.

Short but sweet

6th July 1996: Hello there,
I have just finished looking at your web site. You have done an excellent job on it. Thank you so much. Keep up the good work.
Jacquie Erholm, USA.

An E-card from Mickey Mouse Land?

19th July 96: We couldn't resist re-printing an e-mail message sent to Sadie and Eddie Mason from public internet facilities in Florida. Is this the first E-card ever received in Seaham? Here it is:

July '96: Hi Sadie & Eddie and everyone else over in the Seaham. How ya'll are you having
a nice day?

We are here in EPCOT. The weather is great, the food wonderful. It's 9.30am. I've just bought you a postcard guess I'll have to send it to someone else now.

Hope everyone is well.

Wish you were here (bet you do too)

Have a nice day. NORA and the gang.

Nora & Arthur Gregory.

(Harbour Lad & Lass)


Ed. All E-cards will be gratefully received.

20th August 1996. Family Tree Information I'm interested in the coal mines in Durham in the last century. I had a grandfather named Thomas Lawson who died at the Murton Colliery on August 15,1848.
Kerry Lawson.
Clearwater, Florida,
Ed:Can anyone in the Seaham area help Kerry?

11th September 1996. Hi,
My husband, Lewis Hornsby, is researching his family history. His Great Grandfather, Robert Lynn Hornsby was born 28 Apr. 1855, the son of William and Mary Ann Bell Hornsby. They were coal miners and we were wondering if you have any information on the coal mining region of Seaham Harbour.
Is there any maps of the area there or any Hornsby's in your phone book that still live in the area? We have tried to get a phone book through our local carrier to get a copy of the phone book in your area. That was about 3-4 months ago. Nothing yet.
Is there any e-mail addresses or Web pages concerning Seaham Harbour other than yours? Do you have any tour books over there that would tell us about the area?
Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
Chris Hornsby

Ed.We're not quite sure where Chris and Lewis are from but we've written with offers of help and expect to hear from them again shortly.

21st September 1996
What a shock to find Seaham Harbour on the internet and even more shocking to see a picture of my old physics teacher Bob Walton on there too ! I live in Los Angeles now and I must say I actually found your web site to be very entertaining and very well put together. I was on one of the past Rheinhausen exchange trips and I was pleased to see that it is still happening to this day. I will check in now and again to see what's new !!! From

Later on 21st September 1996. (After a prompt reply from Ed.)
Thanks for the prompt reply! I have lived in America for the past 5 years. I work in Hollywood doing computer special effects for music videos and T.V. It's a lot different from the old life I had when I lived in Seaham. I never played football for the school ( I went to SIS ) When the Germans came over on the exchange trip, one of the boys stayed at my parents house and the next year I was invited over with the team. I remember it as a very enjoyable experience and to get to live for a while with a German familywas very educational. I know all the pits are closed now. Some of my closest friends worked at the pits and have all had to find other careers. They all seem to be doing better than if the pits had remained open. I visit my parents whenever I get the chance, they still live there. On one of my trips back I went to see Dawdon Colliery blown up. I was back there in this past June and I took a drive down to see where that huge mine had once stood, just a big empty space now. Did the council get the new fence around the Mill park fixed ? Someone appeared to have pulled part of it down while I was there. I don't think I heard anyone say a good word about that fence. Everyone seemed very upset at the cost. Well I'll sign off for now .
Hollywood, USA.
Ed: The fence has now been reinforced and looks excellent. I don't blame anyone except the thugs who pushed it down. The fence didn't in fact cost Seaham rate payers a cent. It is part of a Gateways Project to really smarten up the entry roads into Seaham. Most people are just pleased to see that all the planning is now beening translated into real changes. The Regeneration is now beginning in earnest. We'll do our best to keep you all posted.

24th September 1996.
We live in Central Point, Oregon. We live about 40 miles from the California border. It is very hot in the summer time and cold in the winter. We have very little snow though; usually only in the mountains. We are surrounded by mountains. If we do get a lot of snow in the mountains, you can't go very far - almost like being snowed in! We have never lived in Seaham. Lewis' ancestors came from there. His Great-great grandfather was William Hornsby. He died prior to 1862. His wife was Mary Ann Bell. She also died prior to 1862. Their 5 children emigrated to the US in 1865. His Great-Grandfather was Robert Lynn Hornsby, who was 10 when they left England. We don't know who brought them over unless there was an Uncle or other relative that sponsored them.
Thanks again for writing to us.
Chris and Lew Hornsby
Central Point, Oregon,
Ed: Thanks for letting us know where you are Chris and Lew.
Can anyone help with any other info on the family tree?