Put in the picture on famous relative

Trevor Longstaff who lives in Poole in Morpeth to see a portrait of his great great great grandfather Tommy Longstaff which is hung in Morpeth Town Hall. GM014808
Trevor Longstaff who lives in Poole in Morpeth to see a portrait of his great great great grandfather Tommy Longstaff which is hung in Morpeth Town Hall. GM014808

A MAN is finding out more about his Morpeth roots after coming face to face with his famous great, great, great grandfather.

When Trevor Longstaff and his wife Megan began looking into their family trees they never expected that it would lead to Morpeth.

But when they came across the name Tommy Longstaff they decided to visit the town where he lived, only to find that he had been something of a local celebrity.

Now, 20 years after starting their research, the couple have been able to see a painting of their relative, which hangs in Morpeth Town Hall.

Mr Longstaff, who lives in Poole, said: “This is the first time we have seen a picture of Tommy. It’s incredible to find a painting and see what he looked like.”

Tommy was born around 1787 and was a local tanner before establishing The Prince Albert Inn on the banks of the Wansbeck. He added a menagerie and opened Morpeth’s first museum, which is believed to have contained Napoleon’s toe and ‘portems of exhausted thunderbolts’. Excursions were even organised from Newcastle.

The entrepreneur died in 1862 and his business closed shortly afterwards following extensive flooding. The area eventually became allotments, and it still bears the name Tommy’s Field.

Mr Longstaff said: “Tommy was just a name on a piece of paper, but when we came here we found out he was quite somebody. Now we need to find the things that were in his museum.”

The Longstaffs have been helped by Morpeth Antiquarian Society, but are still keen to find out more about Tommy. Anyone who can help should email Longers1@Ntlworld.com or call 01202 267338.