From Desmond McDowell, Ontario, Canada
I have been researching the Barnett Family. They lived in a house, Northleigh, Somerton Road. In 1902 the house was (owned?) by Robert and Martha Barnett. Robert was a Grain and Produce Merchant. It is interesting that Somerton Road does not show up in the Belfast Street Directory. In the Fortwilliam Area, there is a House called Northleigh.
In 1901 there is no Somerton Road.
In 1907 Northleigh, Somerton Road the Occupier was Mackenzie, Lieut-Colonel G. M., commanding 1st Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers
From 1908 – 1912 Northleigh, Somerton Road was occupied by HG Pring, director Grattan & Co. Ltd.
In 1918 Northleigh was occupied by Robert Barnett, a grain merchant.
In 1924 Northleigh was occupied by Wm Barnett, grain merchant.
In 1932 the name does not show up in the street directory, only listed as 49 Somerton Road and residents are the Barnett Family.
In 1943 it is listed as 47–49 Somerton Road and occupied by H.M. Govt. I am not sure what this means or what type or residence it was. Maybe villas/flats/war offices.
In 1951 it is 49 Somerton Road and the Occupier is the Belfast Hebrew Congregation.
Well Michael, you now have the history of the address from 1907 to 1951. Looks like at least 5 different people have resided in this property. From your Cup name Northleigh, I would guess it was supplied by (best guess) MacKenzie, Pring, or Barnett. Lots of money with the Barnett’s, Pring maybe and the colonel. All these people would have played Bridge. Back then it was the upper class game.
The Union is used to finding that its various trophies sometimes seem to disappear but here is one that turned up at an auction in Leicestershire recently. The inscription reads as follows:
NORTHLEIGH CHALLENGE CUP
Our thanks to Gerry Henry of Kelvin Malone Club for shedding some light on the likely provenance of the Northleigh Trophy. Research has shown that there was a house in Somerton Road, Belfast called ‘Northleigh’ in the 1950s. The ‘Belfast Jewish Record’ archives suggest the house was used as a meeting place for the Jewish community – perhaps including bridge play before moving to the Jewish Institute?
Any helpful comments should be sent to Hon. Secretary Michael McFaul firstname.lastname@example.org .