South Shields Local History Group

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Hodgson, George B (Journalist/Historian)

George Bryan Hodgson was born at Toft Hill, Bishop Auckland, County Durham in 1863.  He worked on a number of newspapers in the Bishop Auckland area including the Northern Echo and North Eastern Gazette before moving onto the Newcastle Leader.  In 1888 he married Mary Ann Forster of Benwell, Newcastle.

He became the editor of the Shields Gazette in 1892.  By 1897 he is living at 41 Trajan Avenue on the Lawe Top.  By 1904 he is living at “Southcroft” on Sunderland Road, near the Nook.  By a strange coincidence in 1911 his domestic servant is Rose Ann Durkin my Grandmother’s sister!

In 1903 he published his masterpiece “The Borough of South Shields from the Earliest Period to the Close of the Nineteenth Century”. 

This became available as a much smaller “Scholars Edition” (printed about 1924) and later the original was reprinted by South Tyneside Libraries in 1996.  These books are available on the internet but an original 1903 edition fetches a high price, about £100, Scholars Edition about £30 and South Tyneside Libraries copies about £55 (2023 prices).  There are also many poor quality copies of the work available for sale on the internet.

Original 1903
Scholars Edition 1924
South Tyneside Libraries Edition 1996

Hodgson’s book is by far the best history of South Shields (up to 1903) and references to this work are considered obligatory on any article about South Shields history.  Though at 510 pages (1903 edition) and few photos it is not light reading.

In 1908 he published:  “From smithy to senate: The life story of James Annand, journalist and politician”.  James Annand had been one of his predecessor’s at the Shields Gazette.

He left the Shields Gazette in 1917 to become Assistant Manager of the Press Association.  He died on the 31st March 1926 of a heart attack aged 62 he left a widow but no children, his funeral took place in Marylebone London.

British Newspaper Archives
Shields Gazette: The Centenary 1849 to 1949
Terry Ford
Trade Directories

Terry Ford
Shields Gazette: The Centenary 1849 to 1949

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