OCTAGENARIAN TWINS AT PELAW MAIN
Today is the eightieth birthday of the twin brothers, John and David Morris, of Pelaw Main, who for 56 years have carried on business at the same place as boat builders and ship repairers, and they are the oldest existing firm of the kind on the banks of the Tyne. They were born in a farm house which stood upon a portion of the site of the works, and they have never been more than a mile removed from the spot where they first saw the light. The brothers have lived a long and industrious life in what was once a pleasantly sequestered bend of the river and which is now little frequented except by those engaged in the shipment of coal at the adjacent spouts. The two veterans are the sons of John Christopher Morris, who was a shipwright, and also served in the Royal Navy, being present at the taking of Java, Batavia, and Borneo. His service medal was long cherished by his son, Mr. John Morris. The twins were apprenticed to be shipwrights and boat builders, and they succeeded in establishing an industry, which is carried on to this day with considerable activity. They are hardy specimens of a generation of Tynesiders seldom to be met with now. They are Freemen of the City of Newcastle, and until recently Mr. John Morris took an active part in public affairs. He was a member of the local School Board, and for twenty years occupied a seat on the Hebburn Local Board. He also served as a steward of the Shipwrights' Society. Mr. David Morris has not been a representative on any of the local bodies, but he has always taken a keen interest in the well-being of the neighbourhood. Mr. John Morris is a trifle deaf, but in other respects exhibits wonderful vitality. Neither of the brothers are abstainers or non-smokers, but they have been exceedingly moderate in their potations all their lives, and do not indulge freely in the use of the weed. Mr. john Morris, until quite recently, had never required the attention of a doctor, and equal good health has been enjoyed by Mr. David, although it may be mentioned the latter had an illness some three years ago. Mrs. John Morris is still alive, but Mr. David Morris is a widower. They live neighbours in cottages of cosy appearance, erected of wood, on an eminence which commands a view of the Tyne for a long way eastward and westward. To-day the twin octagenarians will receive the congratulations of their relatives and, many friends residing at Pelaw Main and the immediate locality.
My grandmother's half sister Jane McNeill, who was also Monica Sutherland's Grandmother. Monica is a board regular)lived with her family at Tyne View in the 1930s to the 50s and were the nearest neighbours to old Mr Morris. The McNeill's often took meals along for Mr Morris.My mother remembered being in his house and seeing model boats.
One day during ww2 someone reported to the Security Authorities that someone was observing the Shipyards with binoculars from a window at old Morris's house. When the Police arrived it was just Mr Morris with his binoculars.