« "Is There Any Jam Or Isn't There'' | Main | Wise Goose »

The Reyrolle Story: Seven - Mixed Fortunes For The Reyrolle Family

Robert Owen tells of the wedding of Alphonse Reyrolle, the French-born founder of one of England's greatest engineering firms.

To read earlier chapters pleaase click on http://www.openwriting.com/archives/the_reyrolle_story/

While the first decade of the twentieth century was a successful time for the Company, they were mixed years for the Reyrolle family. Alphonse's sister Eleanor took ill whilst visiting him, and later died in a private hospital in Newcastle.

Two years later, 1906 was a happier time, when Alphonse returned to France to marry Marguerite Mongandon in Paris. Marguerite - a dressmaker - was four years younger than Alphonse and was born in the Raveu (Nieure) area of France. Gustav Reyrolle, a furniture salesman and younger brother of Alphonse was the French equivalent of the 'Best Man'.

Alphonse and his wife returned to Newcastle to live in Grindon House, a residence further along Beechgrove Road, Elswick. Marguerite later returned to Paris where their son Armand Fernand was born the following year.

On returning to Newcastle, Marguerite Reyrolle looked for a nursemaid for her young child. Charlotte Nicod, daughter of Alf Nicod, got the job. She lived with the Reyrolle family whilst looking after their son. In 1918 Charlotte married and left Hebburn to live in America.

Marguerite Reyrolle did not play a major part in the local community but Alfred Pawsey (2000) points out that the newly installed electric lighting and X-ray apparatus at Hebburn's Ellison Hall Infirmary was switched on by Mrs Reyrolle in November 1913.

In 1911, Alphonse was admitted as a member of the Institution of Electrical Engineers (now the Institute of Engineering and Technology). Research indicates that he did not present any engineering certificates or technical paper, so he must have been admitted on the strength of his experience and perhaps the recommendation of the Institute's Vice President - Charles Merz.


Creative Commons License
This website is licensed under a Creative Commons License.