Letters from America
20th April: (After overlooking a lot
of pages on the Seaham Harbour
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
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
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
Hope everyone is well.
Wish you were here (bet you do
Have a nice day. NORA and the
Nora & Arthur Gregory.
(Harbour Lad & Lass)
Ed. All E-cards will be gratefully
20th August 1996.
Family Tree Information
I'm interested in the coal mines in Durham in the last century. I had a
named Thomas Lawson who died at the Murton Colliery on August 15,1848.
Ed:Can anyone in the Seaham area help Kerry?
11th September 1996.
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
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.
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 !!!
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
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 .
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?