LAUNDON - A LITTLE FAMILY BACKGROUND
This is the Thomas W. Laundon Home at 307 West Avenue, in Elyria, Ohio, in the United States. Photograph © Brian Beckstein.
The name LAUNDON can be traced back long before the first one emigrated to America. A village in Lincolnshire, England called Threekingham was originally named Laundon back in the year 869 or 870 and only changed its name after a bloody battle there.
There is a Laundon Road and Laundon Lane in Threekingham - also a Laundon Hall. Two towns In Leicestershire, in England, have streets named Laundon. There is Laundon Close and Laundon Way in Groby and Laundon Way in Whetstone. There's also a Laundon Street in Elyria, Ohio. Thanks to the kind people of Threekingham and the current owner of Laundon Hall, I have presented a few images of the village on this page.
This was the Laundon Home in 1904. In those days it was the residence of E.E.Williams. This is the Thomas W. Laundon Home at 307 West Avenue, in Elyria, Ohio, which is in the National Register of Historic Buildings in the United States.
My sincere thanks to the present owners of Laundon Hall in Threekingham, Lincolnshire, for allowing me on to their property to take a series of photographs.
Another view of the front of Laundon Hall in Threekingham.
Laundon Hall from Laundon Road in Threekingham. You can just see, on the wall next to the gate, the Laundon Hall plaque which can also be viewed, in a slightly larger size, in the right hand column.
According to the Threekingham website, the original owners of Laundon Hall were the Cragg Family. The Whalebone Archway, at the entrance to the hall, was made from the jaw bone of a whale and was erected to commemorate a 19th Century whaling expedition by a member of the Cragg family.
The Parish Church of St. Peter in Laundon Road, Threekingham. The Cragg Family, the original owners of Laundon Hall, are buried in the church yard cemetery.
Another view of St. Peter's Church and, on the right, is the Laundon House Clinic in Sleaford, Lincolnshire, which is run by the NHS. Years ago it used to be a nursing home and maternity unit. Photograph © Mick Lobb and used with thanks. By clicking on the images above you can view them in a slightly larger size.
Another view of the Laundon House Clinic which is just a few miles away from Threekingham in Sleaford.
I was born in Hartlepool and hated working in a factory serving an apprenticeship as a turner and could not wait to get out! Thank God for pop singer Joe Brown because it was all down to him that I managed to get that lucky break in the first place.
In 1959 I started running his official fan club from my mother's house in Dyke Street, West Hartlepool and when Joe had his number one hit with "A Picture Of You" in May 1962 that's when I finally made the break and left the factory behind. It was also the time that I started a new and exciting career working with Joe in London on a full time basis - a period which lasted four wonderful years!
Joe Brown, his wife Vicki, his mother Rene and me at the Jack of Clubs, London in the 1960's. Photograph © John Heddon.
I spent four very happy and informative years with Joe in London and certainly owe a lot to him for the knowledge and outlook on life he gave me. However, as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end and, towards the end of 1966, it was time to quit and search for a new career. It took a little while for that other lucky break to come along but in 1970 I was fortunate to join the BBC in local radio working for BBC Radio Teesside, later to be called BBC Radio Cleveland, in Middlesbrough, where I spent 23 very happy years!
With Joe Brown at the Forum Theatre in Billingham on April 19th, 2009. Photograph © Rainbow Photography, Hartlepool.
For most of my time at the BBC I produced and presented a country music show called "Country Time" which was first broadcast on New Year's Eve in 1970. The programme, which ran for 21 years, was just 25 minutes long when it started and, due to popular demand, was increased to 45 minutes after just six weeks. "Country Time" was 120 minutes long when the show came to an end in 1992. During those 21 years as a country deejay I travelled to Nashville on several occasions to meet many of the major names in country music. My "Country Time" page explains it all.
In 1975 It was an honour for me to be one of seven deejays nominated as Disc Jockey of the Year at the Billboard (UK) Country Music Awards held at the Empire Pool, Wembley, in London. In 1984 I was compere at the Peterborough Country Music Festival in England, introducing American stars on stage and I presented "Country Club" on BBC Radio 2 on August 8th, 1985 when its regular presenter, the late and great Wally Whyton, took a holiday break.
Broadcasting country music wasn't my main role at the BBC. For five years I was the presenter of the flagship breakfast show "AM 194" which was an all-speech news and current affairs programme and for almost two years, before the end of my career, I was a sports producer and presenter.
After spending 23 years at the BBC, then enjoying early retirement on the Costa Blanca and living in Spain for almost fourteen years, I finally returned home to Hartlepool in November, 2007. These days I concentrate very much on photography and working on websites as a hobby.
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