Familiar faces of the timber trade
Mr Robert Clark was a member of a family who had been farmers on the Morpeth Castle estate of the Earle of Carlisle for 300 years.
His father, grandfather and great grandfather were tenants of Park House Farm, which formed part of what was known as the Great East Park of the Barons of Morpeth.
They were not only farmers, but also did a large business as timber merchants when wood was in great demand for ship building at Blyth, and on the banks of the Tyne.
They purchased extensively in oak and other timbers whose bark was in demand for tanning, a trade that was of great extent and importance in Morpeth for centuries.
They also did a big business in brushwood or undergrowth of plantations and copses, as the dressed rods of hazel and others were in great demand at the collieries and wharves for the making of "corves", in which coal was raised from the pits and lowered into the ships.
Mr Clark left the Park House in 1872, and settled in Bullers Green, Morpeth, where for some time he continued to buy and sell timber.
Clark's wood wagons were a well-known feature in the trade of Morpeth, and a wide district lying north, south and east of the town.
He prided himself on the quality of his horses and on the steadiness of the wagoner's he employed. Though their work in woods and along rough ways was often highly dangerous, no serious accident ever happened to them.
For more than 30 years he farmed a considerable acreage in what was formerly the West Park of Morpeth Castle, in connection with which he had a dairy of fine shorthorns. That he gave up, but only relinquished his holding on February 12, 1907, and at the end of February, 1907, his horses, wagons and farm implements were sold by Messrs Robert Donkin and Son.
Mr Clark was in poor health then, and sadly passed away at his home in Bullers Green at the age of 77. His wife eventually died too, in 1915.
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