Thomas Moody (1901-1970)

Thomas Moody

Thomas (Pop) Moody was born in Amble, Northumberland, on June 11th, 1901. He was the youngest of four children (his elder sisters were Mary Jane, Annie and Lizzie), the eldest of whom (Mary Jane) died at two years of age.

His father (also Thomas) was a coal-hewer in Broomhill Colliery and his grandfather (George Moody) was also a miner at Choppington Old Colliery.

Wedding, May 22nd, 1926

Thomas was a bright child, with a high degree of natural intelligence and did well enough in his schooling to earn a scholarship to the Duke's School at Alnwick.

After the First World War he gained a BA degree, then a DipEd (‘Diploma in the Theory and Practice of Teaching’) at Durham University before becoming a teacher.

He taught in the Gosforth area of Newcastle for some years, marrying a local girl (Margaret Coney), before moving his family to Essex during the Second World War in search of better job prospects. He spent the remainder of his career teaching at the North-East Essex Technical College and remained in Essex until his death in 1970.

He was a man of boundless energy and wide interests, including teaching, painting water-colours, draughtsmanship, research, linguistics, singing, playing the euphonium, bookbinding, calligraphy, coaching sports, mathematics and arachnology.

In his public life, as well as teaching and coaching young people, he sang in and conducted prize-winning choirs and played in a brass band. He took pupils rambling and cycling and managed football and cricket teams.

He was recognised as a world expert on spiders and devoted 16 years of his life to recording all that he could on the dialect and language of his native Mid-Northumbrian area (recently published by the Northumbrian Language Society).

He kept a diary for many years that he transcribed into a twenty-three volume hand-written record that he called 'Reminiscor'.