The Heenan’s were just an ordinary family who lived in the west end of Newcastle upon Tyne during the early 1900s.
At this time, John was employed as a commercial traveller by Wylie Barr & Ross Ltd, of the Sunshine Biscuit Bakery, Glasgow and he originally did his rounds on a local basis by means of a pony and trap, the pony being stabled beside the Old City Jail in the Carliol Square area of Newcastle.
John Heenan served in the armed forces during the First World War and, upon his de-mob, he decided to return to his former occupation as a commercial traveller for the biscuit manufacturer.
John was soon appointed to the position of area manager for the company, following which he moved to Monkseaton in the early 1920s to take up residence at 37 Queens Drive along with his wife and daughter, where they lived until his death in 1940. Apart from a short break, Annie continued to live in the house until December 1946.
During an air raid attack over Monkseaton on 10th April 1941, a cluster of 360 incendiary bombs were dropped over the area (see Roundabout Monkseaton – July 2013), and in common with many other local properties, 37 Queens Drive fell victim when it was hit by one of these devices.
The bomb passed through the roof of the property, landing on the floor just inside the front bedroom door. The resulting fire was quickly extinguished by Air Raid Wardens with buckets of sand, thus averting any further serious damage. The property, which is situated in a generally quiet tree-lined residential street was subsequently repaired and stands to this day.
With grateful thanks to Mr Tom Tait for his assistance in the preparation of this article.
by Charlie Steel © 2013
His published books include ‘Monkseaton Village’ Vols 1 & 2, and ‘North Shields Public Houses, Inns & Taverns Part 1’, all of which are available from most local booksellers.