My family's history


80-82 Front Street, Chester le Street, Co. Durham

My Grandfather’s shop, above which my father was born.

Joseph Witherspoon 1865 - 1923

My Great Grandfather, Joseph Witherspoon was born in 1865 in Chester le Street, Co Durham. He was a fruit grower and owned the Red Rose Vineries, he was one of the first people in the country to grow red grapes under glass.

Unusually for the times he was a firm believer in encouraging bird life into the orchards and even into the glass vine houses to kill pests naturally. 

With his wife Mary they had 11 children. My Grandfather Joseph Victor was born in 1899.

Mary Witherspoon 1866 - 1930

The Vineries

My Grandfather ( on the right ) with his parents and siblings, taken outside The Vineries.