RUTH Studholme’s grandfather, Dr Sidney Tinsley, was a GP in the inter-war years.

Ruth’s collection of pictures show him in his Ferryhill freemason’s apron, and departing Spennymoor with his wife, also Ruth, on a charabanc outing.

The surgery was on the ground floor of the family home at 1, North Road (can anyone tell us if it still stands, perhaps with a different number?). He was also a surgeon at the County Hospital in Durham and he carried out post mortem examinations.

Attached to the North Road home was a garage where their daughter, Barbara, stabled her Second World War ambulance.

When the war broke out, Barbara was at Edinburgh University – where she was a triple blue in tennis, hockey and badminton – studying dietetics and chemistry, and so she returned to Spennymoor to help out on the home front. This involved her driving a civil defence ambulance, which was stationed where she was able to quickly jump into it.

“They did exercises, practising rescuing people – I think they rescued my grandmother almost every week,” says Ruth, who lives in Long Newton.

Barbara married in 1940 and moved with her husband, Peter McLaren, to farm in Thorpe Thewles. This means she may have been on duty on August 30 that year when the co-op store in Upper Church Street, Tudhoe, was hit by a stray incendiary bomb. Although the shop was badly burned, no one was hurt – but two large hams were rescued from the wreckage by local people and were carried away still smoking.

And she missed the most famous day of the war: Christmas Eve 1944 when Tudhoe Cricket Club became the most northerly part of the UK to have a doodlebug land on it. The V1 flying bomb was one of 40 launched that night from Heinkel bombers in the North Sea and aimed vaguely at Manchester.

Its steering mechanism was a little awry and it flew over Teesside before its petrol ran out over Spennymoor, causing it to fall to earth at the cricket club. The blast created a small crater in the car park, blew out windows for hundreds of yards around, but again no one was hurt.