Photo:George Marshall Redman

George Marshall Redman

Janet Harrington collection

Photo:George Marshall & Lucy Redman in later years

George Marshall & Lucy Redman in later years

Janet Harrington collection

Photo:Coojee, 79 Brighton Road & Bondi, 81 Brighton Road

Coojee, 79 Brighton Road & Bondi, 81 Brighton Road

Janet Harrington collection

Photo:SS Orient of the Orient Line aboard which George & Lucy Redman returned to England

SS Orient of the Orient Line aboard which George & Lucy Redman returned to England

Derek Longly collection

Photo:Redman Court, Newhaven

Redman Court, Newhaven

Janet Harrington

George Marshall Redman - My Great Grandfather

By Derek Longly

My paternal Great Grandfather George Marshall Redman was born on 3rd August 1859 in Brighton.  By 1861, however, he was living in Newhaven at Luke's Cottages to where his parents had moved, but sometime after this the family moved to Meeching Road where they were living in 1871.  By 1874 George's Father had become the publican of the New Bridge Inn where the family then lived until 1878.

George became a carpenter by trade and once he was established he married Lucy Harriet Rushman in 1878 at St Peter's Church, Brighton.  His address at that time indicated he was living in Brighton but this may possibly have been for the marriage banns.  The couple's first daughter Lucy Elizabeth was born on 6th April 1880 whilst the family were living at an address in Hove.  After this they settled back in Newhaven living in Elphick Road during 1881 and it was possibly whilst they were there that their daughter Maud Ada was born on 29th June 1881.  There was also a son William George born on 11th March 1883 but sadly he died when just four months old.  The family moved again to an address in Brighton where a further son Horace Marshall was born on 31st August 1884 and shortly after this they moved again to another address in Brighton.

It is likely that the family moved back to Newhaven after this as George's daughter Maud used to talk of the time he worked with his brother and that when there was insufficient work for them locally George would walk to Brighton every day with just some bread and cheese to eat, presumably looking for work there.

Conditions were obviously bad at this time so George and Lucy decided to emigrate to Australia with their children.   It is possible George may have sailed aboard a ship named the Duke of Buckingham and he is known to have arrived in Australia on 10th September 1884.  An entry in the family bible shows Lucy Redman then aged 24 years sailing from the UK on 28th July 1885 and arriving in Australia on 22nd September 1885.  The ages of her children, who travelled with her, were Lucy 4, Maud 3 and Horace who was described as an infant, with them all recorded as having sailed on the vessel Merkara.

Some ten years later George and Lucy heard that things had begun to improve in England and as they were feeling homesick they decided to return.  This possibly took place some time after May 1895 as records for the family business only show two of George's brothers being involved at this time.

George and Lucy's daughter Maud (my Grandmother), who would have been around 13 years of age at the time of their return, would tell me what she could remember of their voyage home aboard the SS Orient of the Orient Line, where she particularly recalled dolphins swimming near the bows of the ship and the heat when the ship passed through the Red Sea and Suez Canal.

By 1901 the family were back home living at Como House, 56 Fort Road, Newhaven and George was once more involved with the family business which was related to the building trades.  One of George's brothers died in December 1901 leaving George and his other brother to run the company.  Unfortunately the business must have hit hard times once more as by December 1905 Redman Bros. were unable to meet their liabilities, the dissolution of the partnership of Redman Bros. appearing in the London Gazette on 2nd February 1906.

As a result George must then have decided to work by himself and he went on to become very successful.  With his business doing well George decided to build two houses based on the ones he had seen in Australia these being Coojee, 79 Brighton Road (where he and Lucy lived with their daughter also named Lucy) and Bondi, 81 Brighton Road, Newhaven, which he gave to his daughter Maud.  He also gave a house in Lewes Road to his son Horace.

Other properties which the family understand were constructed by the firm were several large houses in Fort Road, whilst the most important and substantial property believed to have been built by them was the Newhaven Convent, which still stands today, albeit much changed, as a memorial to their success at that time.  There is also a Redman Court in Newhaven, which I understand is sited where once the builder's yard was situated.

George was much loved especially by his grandchildren and was said to be someone who enjoyed life and was very musical. Toward the end of his days his faculties faded and he eventually died at Downs Hospital, Newhaven on 18th January 1943.  He was buried on the 21st January 1943 in the Lewes Road, Newhaven, cemetery alongside his wife Lucy.

It would not be fitting to conclude this article without some reference to George's wife, my Great Grandmother Lucy Redman (nee Rushman).  She was born on the 27th August 1860 in Brighton the daughter of George and Emma Rushman.  She was christened on 11th November 1860 at St Nicholas Church, Brighton.  The family were still living in Brighton in 1861 but in 1871 Lucy was staying with an aunt in Lambeth.  Sometime after this she was to meet her future husband George Redman whom she married in Brighton.  The remainder of her her story follows that of my Great Grandfather as above.  Lucy died on 22nd December 1933 and was buried in the 'family plot' at the local cemetery in Lewes Road, Newhaven.

This page was added by Derek Longly on 06/07/2012.
Comments about this page

There was a derelict building at the back of the bottom of Church Hill and a triangular piece of unused land where we used to play as kids in the 1950's. It was known as  'Redmans'. Was this the builders yard? Borovski's ? Brighton Scaffolding took over the site until they moved to New Road. Mr Borovski was very scary to us as children and we never trespassed when he was there!

By Nigel Willis
On 22/10/2014

Yes Derek. The triangle of land bordered by Church Hill, Newfield Road and Brighton Road where the building stood was indeed the last workshop of George Redman. My father had the job of clearing it out when George died and was helped by Hubert Longly our grandfather and George's son-in-law.

Trevor B.

On 31/01/2018

Thanks Trevor for this further information and also your confirmation regarding the position of the workshop, which is much appreciated. Derek

By Derek Longly
On 01/02/2018

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