Family Visit to Village by Margaret Jenkins (nee Watson) and Descendants

On 5th August a large family group of 16, descended from earlier well-known Gringley residents, visited the village en masse, to recall and revisit the places they knew or had heard about. Margaret Watson is the daughter of Tom and Mary Watson who used to run the general store in Little Lane. She grew up and lived in Gringley until 1948 when she went to Teacher Training College in Wimbledon. She taught in Nottingham and returned each weekend to Gringley until 1955. She married Alun Jenkins in the Wesleyan Methodist Chapel in the High Street in 1955. She continued to return to Gringley to visit Tom until his death in 1982, and now lives in Bramhall, in Cheshire.

Her daughter, Mrs Marian Kelly, arranged the family visit for Marian and others, and contacted the History Club. We were able to provide a contact in Kathy McIlroy who helped a little with the arrangements.

Tom Barker Watson was born in Gainsborough in 1895, a son of William Watson (1841-1896) and Hannah Newsam (1861-1934). Following William’s death, Hannah remarried Fred Ward (1852-1925), another with connections to the village, and they lived here briefly around 1903. Tom married (Eliza) Mary Milner (1897-1963), a daughter of George James Milner (1853-1919) and Caroline Needham (1862-1943). Both the Needham and Milner families have a long association with the village. George Milner was a pig dealer, and Gunner George Milner was their son and Mary’s brother. He died in the Great War in October 1918 and is buried at St.Aubert, and he features on the Gringley War Memorial and in our commemorative book of the 24 names on that memorial.

Margaret herself also had two brothers and a sister all of whom came from Gringley. The black and white photo below features Judy, Jim, Margaret and Mike. The family are also related to the Carnalls and Swinburns, two other important families in the village’s history.  

Margaret and Marian have now revisited Gringley again to share more of their anecdotes, photographs and documents with the Club. These items will in due course appear in the History Club’s on-line Databank. Also part of this second visit was Carol, a cousin of Margaret and granddaughter of Gunner Milner. Michael Needham from West Villa, and the author of “Michael’s Life of Rhyme” was invited to join the gathering, and the vistors and Michael happily worked out their family connections together. 


Margaret and some family visit Gringley 5th August 2017