Following the flame: Alnwick - 'here we are well served'
14 Jun 2012
Posted by: Anna Stone
Subjects: Interesting stories
I have been able to trace Aviva's history in Alnwick back to 1810 by which time Norwich Union Fire had an agency there.
Within a decade Norwich Union Life had also appointed an agent, John Brown...
...and by 1828 Yorkshire were represented there by Messrs Young and Allen.
By 1855 the Yorkshire agent was William Burn of Bondgate Street while Norwich Union was still under John Brown who was operating from Howick Street. Other Aviva companies in Alnwick by this date included Newcastle Fire and North British, whose respective agents Edward Stamp and Thomas Duncan were in Fenkle Street, and Scottish Union whose agent, George O Stamp, was on Narrowgate Street. Meanwhile Edinburgh Life had appointed George Selby of Bondgate Street...
...and by 1887 Railway Passengers were operating in the town. That year their list of claims paid included a significant sum paid after a local farmer fell in the frost and snow.
There is a gap of nearly 40 years between that slippery claim and my final reference to Alnwick which appeared in a letter written by General Accident's Newcastle manager in 1926. Detailing the area under his control he wrote "In the northern part of the county is the county town of Alnwick, here we are well served." I would love to know more about our agencies here to find out what he meant.
I can't end without mentioning a claim paid by Scottish Accident on a policy held by a grocer from Innerleithen (also on the Olympic Flame route today). That company paid £500 for an accident caused when their insured fell asleep on the river bank while on a fishing expedition and swallowed his false teeth. For more false teeth related stories see my blog "Chattering teeth".