You may have already read about my great, great grandfather George Gooding (1829 - 1913). For much of his life he lived in Bacup, Lancashire. On 22nd December 1853, George married Ann Lord at the Parish Church, Rochdale, Lancashire. He was a widower aged twenty four years and she was one year younger.
However, George was actually born in Debenham, Suffolk where he was a carpenter and his father was a bricklayer. How he came to be living over 200 miles north is a mystery although I have recently evolved a theory which might be the explanation. One of the Trades Directories for the period records an Ann Lord who lived in Bacup and worked as a carrier. Maybe, just maybe, she had reason to deliver something to George's area and that's how they met.
Anyway, after their wedding George and Ann lived at Spotland, part of Ann's home town of Bacup, and George continued his trade as a joiner.
George's parents were both born in Debenham, Suffolk. His father, also George, was born there in 1811 and his mother, Emma Ringe, was born a year later. George and Emma had two daughters in addition to George. They continued to live in Debenham all their lives.
George senior followed in his father's footsteps and became a bricklayer. The Pigot's Directory of 1855 lists him as one of Debenham's six bricklayers.
George's father was William Gooding born in 1774 in nearby Brockford. His mother was Elizabeth, born in Debenham. The Pigot's Directory of 1839 includes William as a Debenham bricklayer.
We think we found William's gravestone in the churchyard of St. Mary Magdalene Parish Church, Debenham.
Debenham is a lovely, picturesque place with some beautiful old houses. I wonder how many of the buildings were built, improved and repaired by William and George Gooding?
After we'd hunted for the ancestors in the churchyard we walked down to the cemetery at the other end of the village. We didn't find anyone else from our family but we did see the gravestone of renowned photographer Angus McBean.
Apparently he'd had an antiques shop in Debenham later in life.
In the 40s, 50s and 60s Angus McBean was of the same stature as Cecil Beaton and David Bailey but less well known. He was primarily a theatrical photographer although he did photograph The Beatles. Some of his images of Audrey Hepburn and Vivienne Leigh are stunning.
I've pinned some of the images at http://www.pinterest.com/magbrit/angus-mcbean/