The history of the Besfords

19 Church Street, Amble

19 Church Street, Amble as seen in 2023

David and Mary Besford lived at 19 Church Street, Amble until sometime between January 1893 and July 1894, when they moved to Middleton Street, Amble.

They had a total of twelve children, eight of whom survived beyond childhood. Their third child (and first son) was John William Besford, who was born at 19 Church Street, Amble, on 20th November 1891.

Location of 19 Church Street within Amble, 2023

The house is now divided into two properties, known as 19A and 19B Church Street, Amble, Morpeth, NE65 0DZ.

Postcard of Church Street, Amble
Postcard of Church Street, Amble, showing St Cuthbert’s Parish Church


Amble is a town on the North Sea coast of Northumberland, England, at the mouth of the River Coquet. Prior to the development of the harbour, the town was “little more than a hamlet”.

Amble grew in the nineteenth century as collieries were opened. Rail links were built to link Amble with the Northumberland coalfields.

Queen Street, Amble, circa 1905
Queen Street, Amble, circa 1905

The town became a centre for the sea transport of coal. By 1914 this amounted to around half a million tons per year. This came chiefly from collieries at Broomhill, Radcliffe, Hauxley and Togston.

Quay and Staiths, Amble
Quay and Staiths, Amble

Main picture: 19 Church Street in February 2023

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