at The Oak
Sunday 4th May
An account by Joy
Peters, West midlands, England
Put together, the day Sunday May 4th 2008 and the Oak Apple Inn, Spetchley
Road, Worcester and the scene was set for the second hugely successful Darling
65 members of the family gathered at the Oak Apple, about 30% up from 50 last
From the oldest, June Bick and Jack Grove to the babies Zak, Sophie and Evie,
all had a good time. The babies had their share of coos and cuddles while some
of the older cousins had 60 years of back history to catch up on.
It was a great pleasure also to renew
the ties that were made last year. Many people brought old photographs which we
looked over enthusiastically, pointing out family likenesses and thinking "Oh my
goodness, that's Great Grandma"
The family feeling was amazing, no-one felt like a stranger, even where we had
never met before it felt so easy to chat and compare family histories.
Martin's family tree was also a source of great interest, particularly with the
added photos and being able to stand with another family member comparing our
Dave Foreman once again put on a lovely spread for us, but for me food was
definitely second to the pleasures of meeting the extended family. I would like
to take this opportunity of thanking Martin for organising it all and to
everyone who came along and joined in the fun. I will certainly put my efforts
into making sure that this great occasion goes on - and on.......
It’s a family affair as 60
By Richard Vernalls
GENERATIONS of family members descended from two Worcester
brothers have been gathering to raise a glass to their shared heritage.
More than 60 members of the Darling family met at the Oak
Apple pub in Spetchley Road, Worcester, for their third UK reunion. The cousins,
nieces, granddaughters and other relations are all descended from Benjamin and
Henry Darling who lived in the 19th century.
Among the four generations of guests were the family's
oldest members, June Bick, aged 84, and the newest, Zak Darling, who is just two
Jayne Saunders, aged 49, of Kingston Avenue, off Bilford
Road, Worcester, is descended from Benjamin Darling on her grandmother's side
and attended the reunion with her mother Jean Mansell, aged 80.
She said: "It was wonderful and we even met someone who
lives in the same road as us. My mother met a cousin she hadn't seen in 60
Combing online archives and parish records, the family have
discovered Henry was born in Church Street in 1825 - the second oldest of four
sisters and eight brothers.
He became a tailor in the city but following his marriage
in Middlesex emigrated to Adelaide in South Australia on the SS Sibella with his
wife and two daughters in 1848.
Henry set up as a gold prospector earning enough to buy
land and build houses, some of which stand today, and two of his descendants
flew over to the UK for the get together.
Benjamin stayed on in Worcester living in St Paul's Street.
Martin Darling, his great-great-grandson, said the idea for a reunion had grown
out of some digging into the family's past.
He said: "A cousin put me in touch with my second cousin in
Northamptonshire who gave me lots of information. We then got a call from a
Darling in Adelaide and she had got our phone number through the Genes Reunited
Since then, the family have organised reunions both in the
UK and Australia bringing together relatives here in Worcester, the West
Midlands and from further afield.
Mr Darling, from Oxfordshire, said: "The thing is you get
the feeling you have known these people for years.
"They might be fourth cousins but we all talk like we know
Anyone who thinks they are part of the Darling family is
asked to e-mail
Source; Richard Vernalls, Worcester News Thursday 8th May 2008
Worcester Family Reunion
Sunday 6th May 2007 at The Oak Apple
account by Kay and Michael Lockley, Australia
A memorable day for all
“Darling” descendants who were able to attend the family re-union held at “The
Oak Apple”, Worcester.
Martin and Val Darling did a
marvellous job arranging everything and contacting so many family members.
We arrived in England from
Adelaide, South Australia, two days prior to the re-union and I was thrilled to
meet for the first time all these previously unknown and new relations, many of
whom were still living in the area where my early ancestor Henry Darling
originated before he and his wife Rosina together with two small daughters
sailed to South Australia in 1848.
It was a really great day
and from start to finish there was a happy buzz of laughter and conversation, so
a really big thank you to, Martin and Val, Joy Peters, Helen Cliff and Keith
Saunders for making it happen.
Darlings reunited by the internet
FAMILY tree enthusiasts from across the UK and
Australia have met in Worcester after discovering they were all descended from a
More than 50 members of the Darling family
joined a reunion at the Oak Apple pub in Spetchley Road to swap stories about
their lives and compare genealogy research.
All those who attended were related to
brothers Benjamin and Henry Darling, who were born in Worcester during the 19th
Family members have discovered Henry was born
in 1825 and baptised in the parish church of St Peter the Great. At the age of
15 he was an apprentice tailor who lived with his parents in Diglis Street.
However, by 1848 he, his wife and two young
daughters had set sail on the SS Sibella for a new life in Port Adelaide, South
Australian records show Henry later became a
gold prospector and the family believes evidence of land he bought later proves
he must have been successful in his search.
Martin Darling, who is descended from
Benjamin, who lived in King Street, Worcester, said: "About five years ago,
through the website Genes Reunited, I was contacted by a lady from Melbourne who
asked if I was related to the Darlings of Worcester.
"We established we were fourth cousins.
"Then last year I had a call from Adelaide,
from another cousin who was coming to England and wanted to meet."
Mr Darling agreed to show his cousin around
the city and, in return, he was invited back to Adelaide to meet 60 of Henry's
This year, the family decided to meet again,
with 55 people travelling from Worcestershire, Oxfordshire, West Midlands,
Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Australia for the get-together earlier this
Mr Darling, of West Hendred, Oxfordshire,
said: "We had a fantastic time. Everyone turned up and we all had something in
common - we are all from one family.
"Some hadn't heard of each other before and
others hadn't seen each other for more than 60 years."
Source; Alicia Kelly, Worcester News
Wednesday 30th May 2007
Australian Family Reunion Monday 19th February 2007
Fort Glanville, Adelaide, South Australia
An account by Martin and Val Darling.
On Sunday 18th of February 2007 after what can best
be described as the longest journey anyone could ever endure on purpose, we
arrived in Australia ready for The Family get together the following afternoon
With the sun shinning and temperatures up in
the 30’s people started arriving at Fort Glanville in the Semaphore district of
Adelaide. Distance we soon discovered would not deter an Australian from
travelling. Sheryl arrived after a mammoth twelve hour over night coach trip.
Bronwyn who missed her flight from Brisbane was
not put off and soon arrived on another flight. Many had driven 2, 3 and even 4
hours to meet family members who they may not have even heard off before.
Kay and Michael together with the help of
Jean and Trevor and Val and Malcolm had
decided on getting everyone together and this they did in style.
During 1848 Henry Darling,
his wife Rosina daughters Grace and Ida Amelia started on a mammoth journey of
their own leaving friends and family behind in Worcester England to start their
new life in Adelaide.
Only their journey took three
months to complete onboard the ship Sibella in what must have been near
intolerable conditions. Why I think did Val and I moan about the leg room
onboard our twenty-four hour Qantas flight QF10 from London Heathrow.
I wonder, what ever went
through Henry and Rosina’s mind on the day they set foot in Australia nearly 160
years ago, unlike us they didn’t have just three weeks, what they had chosen was
a life time commitment, one which I am sure their many descendents are glad they
Henry left behind a very hard
life in England at that time and got stuck into a new life building his home and
through his hard work and determination he succeeded in raising the Australian
branch of the family that we know today.
Some years after their
arrival in Australia they suffered what must have been one of the hardest things
they had encountered in their new life, the loss of Ida Amelia a talented young
Artist. After this time Henry turned his home into a gallery to house Ida
Amelia’s work’s of art. One of which is still lovingly treasured and kept within
the family, a copy of which can be seen on the home page of this site.
Anyway back to the reunion,
that brought together many of Henry’s descendants from all across the vast
country of Australia.
My wife Val and I were
invited to represent the descendants of Henry’s brother Benjamin who had stayed
behind in Worcester England along with the other members of the family.
We spent the most wonderful
day chatting with people who we felt we had known for years. Those of you
interested in family history will understand the connection you feel with total
strangers who are actually blood related. The common link, you are all one big
family, and as such share other things in common such as blood groups and a
birthmark on the back of the neck. Is this just coincidence? I think not.
We were privileged to have
met some of our Australian family, who, while in their nineties were sprightly
and very fit, it must be the weather I remember thinking, they were all smiles
and full of what I have come to think of as the Australian laid back, calm,
happy attitude to life.
The evening approached, go
home to bed! No chance it was then off to West Lakes for dinner and yes even
more relations arrived. Those who were unable to come during the day were not
going to miss this great reunion. We spent the evening chatting and swapping
stories before time beat us all.
After staying in Adelaide for
a few more days, visiting the sites with Kay and Michael, Val and
Malcolm, Jean and Trevor, Sheryl and Rose we
said our goodbyes and set off with our Camper Van for the next stage in our
journey to Sydney travelling along the Great Ocean Road calling on route at many
places to meet other relations, who hadn’t been able to attend the gathering in
We parked on the sea front at
Torquay, which is about two hours from Melbourne, here we spent the day with
Gail, Fay and Sheryl met up with us again along with her partner John.
We sat out in the Sunshine
exchanging stories over lunch and before we knew it, time was getting on, Gail
and Fay needed to get home so off we went following John and Sheryl who had
kindly collected them on route from Melbourne in the morning.
At Fay’s house we met up with
Gail’s son Bart and his girlfriend and the most enormous dog you have ever seen,
an Alaskan Malamute, he was the size of a bear but as soft as ice cream.
The evening was spent in
Melbourne at Iris (Bonnie's) house, again we sat chatting and eating
cake and biscuits that Bonnie’s daughter Liz had prepared. Finally it
was time to say goodbye and off we went to our campsite.
The morning soon arrived, up
and off we went to Melbourne to meet up with Sheryl for our guided tour of the
Melbourne sites. We were sorry to have to leave but after a couple of days it
was time to move on.
We then stopped off and spent
the day with Jack and Myra on Phillip Island, where we went for a very
tasty steak lunch and each told our stories.
In the evening Myra, Val and
I spent a few hours sat down on the beach watching the Fairy Penguins coming
home from their epic feeding trips out in the Ocean back to their young who were
waiting patently in their nests for their parents return. A fantastic sight that
must be seen if you ever get the chance.
we set of heading towards Manly and Sydney for our final few days prior to that
journey home to England. We now dream of our Australian adventure and look
forward to our return hopefully during 2008.