~ Families & People ~
Old Gornal was a tightly knit community, referred to as 'The Gornalites' in the early days, local folk being quite tribal, marriage rarely strayed outside the area and outsiders were not much welcomed until recent times.
Here, on these pages you will find more about some of the more notable people who were born or lived in Gornal.
Poor maybe, proud - YES.
Many local family names have been around the area for centuries, it was quite common to marry cousins and sometimes with the same surname.
Some abundant dynasties....
This splendid and crisp Edwardian photograph was kindly supplied by David Bate, Pembrokeshire.
The wedding photo shows his grandparents James Bernard Bate and Ruth Lillian Waldron, who were married at St. Bartholomew, Wednesbury in 1910,
The photograph was probably taken in the Brides back yard as was the norm.
Seated to the right of the groom is James's father - Thomas Bate, publican of The Cross Keys in Ruiton Street from 1888 till 1931, according to census records his trade was previously a Blacksmith.
Thomas's wife Phyllis (nee Harthill) sits to next to him, it probably was her father James Harthill that ran the pub before Thomas took over.
Standing on the left is Thomas Bate's youngest son Thomas 'Howard' Bate, who ran the Cross Keys from 1931 to 1935.
James and Clarence Bate (standing behind Thomas Snr.) started the Bate Brothers Haulage business of Jews Lane in 1919.
James Bate was head of the Sunbeam Racing Car mechanics prior to WW1, Sunbeam of Wolverhampton had considerable success in the early days of motor racing both before and after the Great War.
If anyone has any information regarding any of these branches of the Bate family in the Gornal/Sedgley area please get in touch.