Thockrington – St Aidan

Not having planned our afternoon out we drove north, onto the B6342, and I saw the sign to Thockrington. Being a devoted reader of the Diocesan website I knew the Archbishop of York had just visited –, so we went too. Well, Julie stayed in the car when we got there – bit too far for her to walk. NY957789.



Somehow they got 60 people in when the Archbishop came – he was there to celebrate the life and work of Lord Beveridge. William Henry Beveridge, born 5 March 1879. Educated at Balliol, joined the Board of Trade in 1908 and drafted the legislation for the creation of the first Labour Exchange network. Ministry of Munitions in WW1, director of the LSE from 1919 to 1937, then became Master of University College, Oxford. In May 1941 he became chairman of a Government committee to survey existing social insurance and allied services and to make recommendations. This was an opportunity to influence post-war social policy and lay the basis for a better society. In the report, completed in November 1942, proposing that all people of working age should pay a weekly NI contribution and in return benefits would be paid to people who were sick, unemployed, retired or widowed. The Beveridge Report recommended that the government should find ways of fighting the five ‘Giant Evils’ of Want, Disease, Ignorance, Squalor and Idleness. He married Janet in 1942 and they made their home in Northumberland, later moving to Co. Durham. They had family in Thockrington, and Janet was taken ill on a visit here in 1959. She was buried in the churchyard. William died in 1963 and was buried beside her.

DSCN0467Also in the churchyard – though I didn’t find her grave – is Connie Leathart. She was a pioneer aviator, one of the first women to have a pilot’s licence, and the first to fly over the Alps.



The church is Norman, though the East End dates to the C13. Later rebuilding. The whole church was restored and reopened for worship in the 1950s. It is rather lovely and has a fortnightly service.

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4 Responses to Thockrington – St Aidan

  1. Ray Ion says:

    Hello Peter
    ”Also in the churchyard – though I didn’t find her grave – is Connie Leathart”
    Connie’s grave is marked by a stone slab with just her initials on. Read about this amusing little story (plus lots of other stuff about her) @
    I see that some of Tom Sharpe’s ashes were intended for Cambridge… they need your permission for that as well ??!!


  2. Ray Ion says:

    Hello Peter.
    Just thought I would alert you (and your readers) to the following item about Contance Ruth Leatheart that was on the BBC website -
    The article also informs us that… ”Constance Leathart’s story can be seen on Inside Out on BBC One, North East and Cumbria, at 7:30pm on 12 October and nationwide on the iPlayer.”
    A little bit more prior notice of this screening (by me) would have helped…..sorry.


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