Stringer and Clark families

Chris Clark writes from County Durham:

My name is Chris Clark. I am looking for information on my dad, Tom Clark, and on the Stringer family of Stanhoe.

My grandfather was John Stringer (1885–1955), born at Bagthorpe and known as Jack Stringer. His parents were Henry Newell of Stanhoe and Charlotte Stringer of Bagthorpe; Jack took his mother’s surname because he was illegitimate. Charlotte later married Henry and they lived in Stanhoe, where they had three other children named Newell.

My grandmother was Florence Ellen Bee (1887–1974), born at Burnham Westgate. Jack Stringer married Florrie Bee in 1910 and they had five children: Gertrude (Gertie), Dora, Marjorie, John Henry (Jack), and Stella (my mother). All were born in Stanhoe and went to Stanhoe School.

In your photo archive, the “J. Stringer” named in a 1924 newspaper photo is my Uncle Jack (John Henry Stringer). He served in the army during the war.

Aunt Gertrude married Ernest Lack, who worked for the council and was later a JP and councillor. He sat in various magistrates’ courts as well as King’s Lynn Quarter Sessions.

Jack and Florrie also brought up two illegitimate children: Marjorie’s eldest daughter Margaret Stringer, and Stella’s eldest son Trevor Stringer (1938–1994); they both went to Stanhoe school. Trevor, my half-brother, was mates with the Scales family at the pond.

I’ve been told that during the war Jack and Florrie helped run the Norfolk Hero pub on Bircham Road.

My dad, Tom Clark, was in the RAF. From December 1941 to January 1943 he served at Bircham Newton with 279 Squadron, whose job was to drop air-sea rescue dinghies from Hudson aircraft. During this time he was courting my mum, Stella Stringer, before departing for the desert, Sicily and Italy in 1943 and 1944.

My mother worked at Holkham as a nanny for the Earl of Leicester. Aunt Marjorie also worked at Holkham and married Lovell Loose from Brancaster, the chauffeur.

I was born in Stanhoe on Christmas Day 1945 in a cottage belonging to Church Farm – I think it was near the Crown on Burnham Road. Some time after Jack and Florrie, who worked for Major Ralli, moved to No. 4 Ramp Row Cottages. Here my youngest sister Vera was born on 31 January 1953, the night of the great east coast flood.

Dad stayed in the RAF, and when he was posted away Mum and the family lived at various times with Jack and Florrie. In February 1954 we moved to Singapore, but came back suddenly after Jack died in April 1955, on Good Friday. Florrie then came to live with us at Dersingham.

I was at Stanhoe School from around October 1952 to January 1954, when I would have been seven or eight years old. I have a New Testament Bible presented to me by the School on the coronation of HM Queen Elizabeth II on 2 June 1953. I think I am in the 1953 school photo, and maybe also the fancy dress photo taken during the coronation celebration.

I’d be very pleased to hear from anyone in Stanhoe who remembers the Stringer family, my dad Tom Clark and possibly me. I am especially interested in the idea that Jack and Florrie Stringer worked at the Norfolk Hero.