Recently, while looking through a popular auction site, I came across a very unusual item of interest; a pair of old spectacles linked to Consett. But it was even more intriguing when I saw the name on the case. They read “Optician George Yager F.B.O.A., F.I.O. – Church Corner, Consett – Optician (by Appointment) to Durham County Council Education Committee”.
I was born and bred in Consett and as I am sure most other people would agree the name Yager is synonymous with Pork Butchers. The family are an established and well respected firm in the town. The name is also quite unusual so this had to be the same family. So I decided to do a little research to see how George fit.
Charles (Karl Christian Frederick) Yager was born C1846 in Westenbury, Germany. He emigrated to England sometime in the 1860’s and married Mary. The couple’s first children were born in Goole, Yorkshire. Sometime in the 1870’s they arrived in Consett and set up business as a Pork Butcher, a skill Charles had obviously brought with him from his home in Germany. His business did not initially take off and they moved to South Shields. By 1881 Charles and Mary where living in Osmand Street, Jarrow, with 4 children and still working as a Butcher. The family continued to move around the area moving next to Sunderland before finally arriving back in Consett at the end of the 1880’s.
By 1891 the family had finally found their place in Consett and set up a Pork Butcher Shop in 6 Shakespeare Street. Charles and Mary now had 6 children the youngest being George born 1887 in Jarrow. Sadly tragedy struck the family and Charles died at the age of 47 and was buried 25 August 1892. Mary struggled on with the business and along with her children made the business a success a true testament to her resilience. As for young George, he most have been educated well as in 1911 he could be found working as a Pharmacist in Leeds. He returned to Consett very shortly after and opened up his own pharmacy in 4 Shakespeare Street only 2 doors from his families Butchers.