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John Charles Dimmock [d.12.2]

John Charles Dimmock was the second child of John Dimmock & Eliza Ellis born born July 21st, 1882 at Denisons Fold, Methley, Yorkshire.

When John Charles was born in July 1882 his father registered the birth & interestingly gave his name as Charles rather than John Dimmock.

John Charles' birth certificate

By 1886 the family were living at 10 Phillips St, Castleford, Yorks where his father was a coal miner.

By 1890 the family had moved north to Co Durham & were living at 12 Queen St, Ryhope.

In 1901 Charles (known as Charlie) was still living at home, now 29 Tunstall St, Ryhope, Co. Durham. Also at home were his 4 sisters & Charles was working at Ryhope Colliery as an underground engine driver.

In July-September 1906 Charlie married Hannah Cansfield, the marriage being registered at Sunderland. Hannah was born in 1885 at Ryhope, the daughter of Sarah Dixon & Thomas Harwood Cansfield, a horse keeper at the colliery.

At the time of the 1911 census Charlie & Hannah were living at 19 Railway St, Ryhope with ther 2 children - John (3) & Sarah (1). They were living with Hannah's sister Mary who had married Alexander Burns, a coal miner, & their 4 daughters. Charlie was an underground fireman at the coal mine.

The Electoral Register for Ryhope in 1915 lists Charles Dimmock living at 1 Fawcett Terrace, & he had recently moved there from 2 Haddon Rd, Grangetown.

Hannah, of 2 Wallace St, died aged 50 in September 1934 at the Newcastle Royal Infirmary.  After a service at the Independent Methodist Church, Warwick St. she was buried at Mere Knolls Cemetery.

The children of John Charles Dimmock & Hannah Cansfield were:

d.12.2.1 John Dimmock born October 6th, 1907 at Ryhope, Co Durham, died October 23rd, 1986 at Royal Infirmary, Sunderland
d.12.2.2 Sarah Dimmock born April 19th, 1909 at Sunderland; died Jan-March 1989 in Sunderland
d.12.2.3 Frederick Dimmock born November 14th, 1916 in Sundeland; died March 3rd, 1993 at Sunderland
d.12.2.4 Thomas Harwood Cansfield Dimmock born Oct-December 1919 at Sunderland, Co. Durham

Charlie remarried, his new wife being Naomi Victoria Calvert. Charlie & Naomi married at St Margaret’s, Scotswood, Newcastle-upon-Tyne on January 29th, 1936. Witnesses at the wedding were John Dimmock, Charlie’s son & Mabel Ormiston. Naomi was born June 8th, 1887 in Jarrow & her parents were Jane & John Thomas Calvert, a painter. At the time of the wedding Charlie’s address was 11 Bond St, Monkwearmouth, Sunderland.

Marriage certificate of Charlie & Naomi (Courtesy of Colin Dimmock)

According to his great granddaughter Melissa, Charlie had a quick temper which was inherited by his son Thomas! Charlie apparently invented a safety device for use on colliery cages, but, according to Jennifer,one of his granddaughters, unfortunately he made the fatal mistake of not patenting his invention & the credit went to his boss. She also supplied a copy of the following article in a local paper.


Sunderland Man Seeks
Test of 50 year's Work

A 64-year-old retired underground engineman at Monkwearmouth, Sunderland has perfected a safety device which he claims will prevent colliery cages crashing to the bottom of the shaft if the wire ropes break. He is Mr.Charles Dimmock, who in the back kitchen of his cottage in Devonshire Street has a large scale model fitted with the device.

Mr.Dimmock has been working on it for 50 years, but it was not until 18 months ago that he made his present model, which has withstood rigorous tests. He has had the device patented, and will ask the National Coal Board for an official test. His son employed by a Tyneside engineering firm, has also tested it. Mr Dimmock started work in 1895 in Ryhope Colliery, moved to Wearmouth in 1915, and retired through illness seven years ago.

An article in the Sunderland Echo of Saturday August 2nd, 1947 reveals that the NCB were in fact very interested in the invention.


However the Sunderland Daily Echo & Shipping Gazette of February 7th, 1948 reported that the NCB rejected Charlie's invention on technical grounds. Undaunted, Charlie wrote to Mr Hugh Gaitskill, Minister of Fuel at that time, complaining of the coal board's decision before his idea had been given a practical test. He remained convinced it was 100 per cent perfect.

Son Fred married Irene Cummings on August 10th, 1946 at Warwick St Chapel, Sunderland.

Charlie died September 15th, 1963 at Sunderland General Hospital, age 81. His address on the death certificate was given as 6 Aged Miners Homes, North Hylton Rd, Sunderland, & the informant was son John.

Charlie with great grandson Neil
(Courtesy of Colin Dimmock)

Naomi continued to live at the Aged Miners Homes where she died on February 12th, 1979, aged 91. The cause of death was ‘cardio vascular disease & age’. Again the informant of the death was step-son John Dimmock, whose wife Margaret Jane had helped to care for Naomi in her latter years.

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