Biddulph & District Genealogy & Historical Society Biddulph Grange

Margaret Fleming Brodie and Joseph Varley Roberts

Margaret Fleming Brodie and Joseph Varley Roberts

In the spring of 2017 I had the following e-Mail from the Reverend Steve Dyson, the Vicar of St Lawrence Church, Biddulph:

“Dear David, As occasionally you do as a Vicar I have received an interesting phone call and subsequent visit. I have been given a number of travelogues in very good condition from the 1920’s with lots of postcards (in excellent condition) and correspondence relating the exotic travels of the daughter of Rev David Brodie who made a generous bequest to the Church. Would your society or any members be interested in assessing these documents as to how we might best be advised to care for them. Other documents have been officially archived in Birmingham University and the lady who has brought them us has left a contact number and is very willing to help set the scene of these documents and the family tree that she is connected to through guardianship. If you are interested just in viewing them at a society meeting to assess their interest I would be happy to liaise with you on passing them onto yourself or a society member. God Bless, Steve” :

The documents related to the travels of Margaret Fleming Brodie in the 1920’s and 1930’s with her second husband Joseph Varley Roberts MC. Margaret was twenty years older than Joseph and she was a missionary and a lady of means so they travelled extensively in Europe and North Africa.

Photographs of Joseph Varley Roberts MC and Margaret Fleming Brodie

The Photograph Albums include:

1. Early 1920’s album compiled by Margaret Fleming (nee Brodie) Roberts journeying in Austrian, Italian and German Alps with her husband Joseph Varley Roberts MC

2. Leather travel album and travelogue October 1920 written by Mrs Margaret Fleming Roberts (nee Brodie), daughter of David Brodie on her trip with her husband Joseph Varley Roberts

3. 100 year old postcards in a collection book - Belgium

4. Travelogue November 1936 and photographs of a sea voyage and Egypt

They were given to the Vicar by Wendy Scott, whose guardian was Joseph Varley Roberts, and Wendy believed these items and others that are now placed in the archives of Bradford and Birmingham would provide the basis of a life story or novel. Joseph Varley Roberts was born at Stanningley, Leeds, Yorkshire in December 1885 and died at Longton, Essex in September 1988.

Having spent some time looking at the albums this summer and reading the postcards and notes written by both Margaret and Joseph and typing them into new documents I decided to create these pages of information about them.

Anyone who wishes to tackle the “life story” will find the three albums and postcards are now back in the possession of Steve at the Vicarage who may well transfer them to the Staffordshire Archives for safe keeping.

Local and Family History for the Biddulph area

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