Family Reconstructions (1): The Lucas Family of Leeds


A home-made scrap book containing photographs, paper cuttings and business cards related to the history of the Lucas-Simpson family between the 1890s and 1949. The initiator of the scrapbook, and whose life constitutes its central thread, was George Frederick Lucas.



‘Mother, sister Doris, brother Stan’


‘Dad on the left’

George Lucas chose to begin the family history with his own parents: Thomas Anthony Lucas, a commercial traveler, and his wife, Lily Ann Terry, whom he married in 1897. Lacking any economic tradition or topographical roots, they created what was essentially a vocationally diverse and geographically mobile lower middle-class family. Of their six children, all born in the Clifton district of Bristol, the eldest, George, trained as an engineer; Stanley became a dentist (with just a touch of quackery); Edwin Jarrett migrated to Canada, where he became the paymaster of the Thunder Bay Paper Mill in Port Arthur.

The album contains hand written notes from various members of the family as well as photographs.


A birthday note for George Lucas, written in both English and French, by his brothers Stanley and Sidney
Young George


‘Grandma Terry’ is a constant presence in the album.


‘Aunt Katie’
George Lucas

Following the First World War, in which Stanley and George both served on the Western Front, Thomas and Lily moved from Bristol to Leeds, where George Lucas found work with the American oil Company, a subsidiary of ESSO. From there he moved on to become a precision engineer with the Leeds Model Company in Hunslet, one of Britain’s two major manufacturers of model vehicles. For reasons unknown, in 1932 he moved from Leeds with his new wife, Violet Mary (‘Cissie’), and young son, Ralph Terry (‘Terry’), to Middlesbrough, where he acquired a house at 92 Rockcliffe Road. Returning to Leeds in 1938 he set up his own business as an electrical engineer, selling and repairing ‘lightings, radiators, bells etc.’.

Rockliffe Road, 1932


Cissy, Terry and George


From 1938 to 1949 the scrapbook is primarily a record of the lives of George, Cissie and Terry; their house, shop and garden at 8 Hilton Road, Potternewton, Leeds 8, their dogs, Kym and Billy, their friends, the events they attended (including the Silver Jubilee celebrations for George V), their summer holidays in Whitby and Scarborough, the resorts favoured by the people of Leeds, and Terry’s growth, into a scout, a schoolboy and a young man.


Jubilee Celebrations, 6th May, 1935


Scarborough holiday, August 1937.
‘G.F. Lucas, Electrical Engineer.’ There are several pages of business cards.
Terry as an adult, the last photograph in the album.


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