John Joseph Richardson was the fifth child of Joseph Richardson & Mary Linsley born November 23rd, 1871 at Seaham Harbour, Co Durham.
John was still living at home in 1881, now in Seaton Village. He was with his parents, 2 brothers & 1 sister & John was at school.
In 1891 John was still living at Seaton with his widowed mother, brother Thomas & sister Annie. John was a brick factory labourer.
John married Margaret Richardson Bambrough in April-June 1894, the marriage being registered at Easington. Margaret was born Oct-December 1871 at Seaton, Co Durham, the daughter of Rachel Tate & William Bambrough, a wagon rider at the colliery.
In 1901 John & Margaret were living at 9 South Terrace, Dawdon, Seaham Harbour & John was a pump driver. They had 3 children – William L (5), Rachel (3) & Margaret (1).
By 1911 John had become a lighthouse keeper working for Seaham Dock Company. The family was living at the Seamans Mission, Seaham Harbour. In addition to the 3 children above they had another son, Henry Ernest (8). Oldest son William Linsley was a clerk working for Seaham foundry company. It was noted on the census that John & Margaret had had 6 children but only 4 were living at the time of the census.
The 1920 electoral register shows John & Margaret living at Dawdon House, Tempest Place, Dawdon. Daughter Margaret Annie of 1 Tempest Place married Wilfred Durdan Bunts in 1920. Wilfred of 13 Swallow St, New Seaham died on January 26th, 1936 at Wolsingham, Co Durham. Probate of his estate was granted to William Bambrough. The 1939 register shows widowed Margaret living at 1 Union St, Seaham Harbour & described as a general dealer. Margaret married again in 1944, her second husband being John Greaves.
Margaret, aged 55, died in Oct-December 1927 at Seaham.
The heavy seas of early November 1930 resulted in extensive damage to the North Pier at Seaham Harbour John discovered, as reported in the Hartlepool Northern Daily Mail of November 6th. Masses of concrete had been split but the subway running the length of the pier to the lighthouse had not been damaged.
The 1939 register shows widowed John living with his daughter Rachel & husband James Tully, an able seaman, & their son James R at 28 Park St, Seaham. John was still a light house keeper.
In 1939 son William & his wife Elsie M were living at Jasper Avenue, Seaham & William was an ARP clerk. Son Henry was living with his wife Emily (nee Turnbull) & daughter Joyce at 13 Hexham Avenue, Seaham in 1939 & he was a bank-head chargeman at the coal mine.
John finally retired from being a light house keeper in November 1943 after 39 years. The Sunderland Daily Echo & Shipping Gazette of November 16th 1943 stated that he had worked for F. Pearson & Sons from 1899 to 1904 during the reconstruction of Seaham docks & helped to build the lighthouse on the North pier of which he was appointed keeper. He was asked to help build lighthouses in other parts of the country but refused to leave Seaham In 1916 he was an eye witness to the bombardment of Seaham by a German submarine. John was quoted as saying ‘I was standing near the gates of the new South Dock when a German submarine popped up just outside the harbor & fired about 30 rounds onto the land. The shells went whistling past high over the town & fell on the outskirts to the west. One killed a woman at Seaham Colliery & another damaged the rifle range in Dawdon Dene’. Apparently John loved the sea but his hobbies included motoring & horse-racing. Before the war he drove to many parts of the country & visited all local race meetings when he could.
The children of John Joseph Richardson & Margaret Richardson Bambrough were:
r.188.8.131.52.1 William Linsley Richardson born May 15th, 1895 at Seaham Harbour, Co Durham
r.184.108.40.206.2 Eleanor Richardson born July-September 1896 at Ryhope; died July-September 1896 at Ryhope, Co Durham
r.220.127.116.11.3 Rachel Tate Richardson born July 26th, 1897 at Ryhope Village, Co Durham; died Jan-March 1966 in East Durham
r.18.104.22.168.4 Margaret Annie Richardson born April 9th, 1899 at Ryhope Village, Co Durham; died Jan-March 1970 in Sunderland
r.22.214.171.124.5 John Joseph Richardson born July-September 1901 at Seaham Harbour; died July-September 1901 at Seaham Harbour
r.126.96.36.199.6 Henry Ernest Richardson born February 4th,1903 at Seaham Harbour, Co Durham