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Old 10th November 2019, 15:35
Barrie Youde Barrie Youde is offline  
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Join Date: May 2006
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In terms of nostalgia, of which all of us here are guilty, the significance of Coppack's Indorita and Normanby Hall is that they were (as far as I know) the last two sea-going commercial traders registered in Chester, in a line of trade from there since Roman times. Trade to and from the Dee continues (if sporadically) to the present day, not least via the export of Airbus wings from Broughton to Toulouse for the construction of aircraft. Broughton and its loading-berth are, however, at some distance downstream below Chester, where Indorita and Normanby Hall were both registered.

I've never met any of the Coppack family but I'm pleased to confirm (and dammit, I'm proud, too) to confirm that my own ancestors also were Chester shipowners in the early nineteenth century, via my twice-great grandfather Captain John Gorham, who was owner of the topsail-schooner Cheshire Lass and also the schooner May (originally of Pugwash, Nova Scotia), both of which were engaged then in the trade in Cheshire cheese from the then enormous dairy-farm otherwise known as the county of Cheshire, exporting into all of northern Europe. All of the cheese was loaded at the Crane Wharf in Chester, which wharf is adjacent to the Lock into the Shropshire Union Canal. ( The ancient Cheshire Cheese tavern in Fleet Street, London is well-known. I wonder how it got its name? I have been there many times in salutation of the name of John Gorham.)

Such are the quirks, foibles and variations of family life that I knew virtually nothing of this until a little more than fifteen years ago (about 2004). It was brought to my attention through the research of some distant cousins. My father (in 2004) was aged 94, with eyes locked on the future and with scant regard for history - and even for family history. When I challenged my Dad then (razor-sharp, but in the last months of his life) about the Gorhams, Dad simply piped up, "Oh yes, we owned the cheese-boats."

Cunard we were not, nor Holt nor Vestey nor Weir nor Ellerman. But we could look the Coppacks in the eye!
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