Grandfathered Out

Shields Evening News, 5 November 1938
J M Sampson Obituary Article Just had a spare half an afternoon in the town of my birth and I thought I’d visit the library and have a poke around in the index cards for the Shields Evening News. I knew my grandfather had died in November 1938, so I thought I’d have a look for the name and – after a bit of discovering that the cards actually were in alphabetical order, but only after year order (unmarked on the cards) – found a card with his name on it. Referencing the edition on 4th November 1938. And somebody had written on it, in red ink, as a later addition, some remarks about his wife and son (my father), including the magic word ‘photo’.
Library Index Card
I hadn’t suspected that there’d’ve been a photo. Obviously that was going to be worth a look. I’ve never used those film readers before, only the microfiche readers, so I find a passing staff member and she loads the machine and finds the right page and column where there is only the standard one paragraph obit notice. No photo nearby, or anywhere as it happens. She decides to look at the next day’s publication, with the same page and column reference, and there it is. Good job she was there then, I’d’ve probably just assumed it was a mistake and have given up. She corrects the entry on the index card.
Turned out the photo was one I already had though. Oh well. The article was interesting enough anyway.
Then, as a followup, I found him (on the UK ancestry website) in the wills and probate dataset. Since I don’t have a subscription to this I used my own library (in Newcastle), which does have a subscription, to access the record, finding that he left nearly two thousand pounds to his wife, my grandmother. Now, in 1935 that was equivalent to (with a bit of help from the currency converter at the national archives) about 60 thousand pounds at today’s prices. But by 1940 its value had dropped to just over 50 thousand. So something funny was clearly going on at the time. I can’t imagine what it could have been.
1939 Probate Entry