The Costello Family of Leadgate Part 3

Thanks to John Willis and family for sharing this story + allowing the series to be published

Charles Costello, was born in 1903 at Leadgate, and married Nancy Cant in 1932.

Nancy was born in 1907 at Iveston. Her parents John James Cant and Hannah Lizzie Parker
had married in 1905.

Nancy, like her siblings Rachael and Elsie was brought up in a family with strong protestant
beliefs, attending the Methodist church in Front Street, Leadgate.

A great deal of tension and prejudice existed between protestant and Catholics in the area and her father did not approve of the marriage and forbade any contact.

By 1939 Charles and Nancy, together with children Mary, William and Margaret had moved into Park Villas, where Rachael and her husband would also move to shortly afterwards.

The two households living streets apart

View from Park Villa’s field

Nancy and Rachel keeping in touch without father’s knowledge or agreement, until shortly before their father died in 1946 when family ties became open and lasting.

Nancy and Charles raised their family of Maureen, Margaret, Billy and Anne at Park Villas,

Charles working throughout at Eden Colliery as a hewer, before being made redundant around 1965.

Aerial picture of Eden Colliery

Hewer – Wikipedia

He was later diagnosed as having pneumomycosis a common condition which miners suffered.

He was a keen tennis player regularly playing with his children at the Miners Welfare ground as well as
arranging tennis tournaments on Saturday afternoons at the Miners Welfare Ground.

(any pictures of Tennis being played or trophies-would be welcome)

Eden Field -Miners Welfare Ground looking down towards the Tennis Court and Bowls Club beyond

He was also a regular at the Bowls club with his brother John, using a handkerchief to assist John who had poor eyesight but was quite a good player otherwise

Nancy died in 1977 and was buried at Our Blessed Lady and Saint Joseph Church

Charles died in 1983 and was buried in the same church grounds.

Brooms Church

Nancy and Charlie’s children attended Brooms school and Our Blessed Lady and Saint Joseph Church.
Of their children, Margaret born 1936, married Patrick Connolly in 1958,

Brooms School yard

She trained as a nurse at Shotley Bridge General hospital where she became a respected theatre sister, she died in 1994

Aerial picture of Shotley Bridge Hospital

Son, William was born 1934 and married Winnie Little in 1958

He was initially employed as a miner before a short time in the army, followed by employment as a conductor with the Northern Bus Company

Then in a private company with business connections with Consett Iron Company.

He died around his 70th birthday.

Their youngest child Anne was born in 1943, and after suffering with leukemia died, at the age of thirty.
Their oldest child Mary was born in 1933. She was always known as Maureen, which was her mother’s preferred name.

As a child she contracted tuberculosis and was quite ill, missing quite a lot of education through being
hospitalised and did not finish secondary school.

In 1950 Maureen left home, entering a convent in the Midlands, but after a short period was sent home due to further illness. Whilst back at home she undertook a shorthand typing course and obtained employment initially with a local print business, followed by working at Shotley Bridge Hospital as a typist in the Pathology Department.

She returned to the convent in 1957 and took her first vows becoming Sister Paula Marie and her final vows in 1962. She completed her education and studied for a degree in Social Sciences at Leicester university.

Working in a hospital in South Africa, which specialized in the care of patients suffering with with TB, between 1968 and 1972, she had responsibility for the administration of the hospital, occasionally assisting with some nursing care. S

She recalled being asked to clean the blood from a man’s face, only to find he was in the mortuary.

She returned to the U.K. at the time of Anne’s illness and has remained here since, living in a convent and working in the administration of the church until very recently.

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