George Edward Lines

George Edward Lines was my Grandfather. He was the son of Joseph Lines and Jane (née Fitzhenry).
A poetic summary of his life can be found in ‘Ode to a Nonagenarian
He was  a prolific letter writer, and I have inherited some of the ones he wrote, which I have used to piece together some of his life story.
In the following OSM links are to OpenStreetmap maps.
He was born in Islington (OSM) on 28th January 1888.

Before the war he went to Germany looking for work there.

His Official War record shows the documented history of his recruitment, wounding in action and being awarded the Military Cross.
His letters written during the war show the more personal side.

He married Doris Joan Stevens, my Grandmother, on the 19th August 1922.
After the war he farmed at Grove Farm, Box (OSM) for a while, and their first son, Michael, was born there on 16th March 1924. A combination of the Depression and his father’s need for his help with the family business sent him back to London some time between 1924 and. The death of his mother, Jane Fitzhenry on 7th June 1925 probably also contributed to this decision.
After the death of his father he worked for Lines Brothers, the toy company founded by his brothers, until he retired.

He, and my grandmother, were  living at 225, Fox Lane (OSM), in the parish of Southgate, in 1925, where they (or at least my grandfather – see below) show on the Register of Electors. Michael, Roger and Jennifer would have been living there too, and his  widower father was living at 141, Lordship Road. My Grandfather is on the 1925 Electoral roll at that address, and similarly for 1926 to 1929, as the sole elector, probably because until the 1928 Registration of the People (Equal Franchise) Act, my Grandmother, as a woman under 30 would not have been eligible to vote.

They were living on Anne Boleyns Walk, Cheam, Surrey (OSM) in 1932,  when Tim was born.

The Cottage,
55, Anne Boleyn's Walk,
Cheam, Surrey
 Tel. Sutton 3081

They moved into  Pickwick, Warren Drive, Kingswood, Surrey (OSM) in 1935 – they had it built – and were still living there in1957.

There are some early pictures of him in a George Edward Lines – Pictures post.


  1. Hi John,
    I’m trying to trace back my family tree. I am Jennifer Lines and I was born in Bristol in 1986, my father is Michael Lines also born in Bristol in 1953 and his dad was also a Michael John Lines born in Bristol around 1920. Struggling to find much about the lines family aside from the Lines Brothers but not sure how we relate!
    Anyway, Hello from a fellow Lines!

    1. It is always interesting to hear from another Lines. My Grandparents may have met in Bristol, though I am not sure exactly how. I believe it may have been through Arnold Freeman, as I recently came across a letter mentioning this. The Freeman’s certainly had both London and Bristol connections, and Ralph Freeman married Mary Lines, my Grandfather’s sister, so this seems quite possible.

  2. Hi John
    I am Bob Lines, the son of Peter who was George’s nephew (Arthur’s son). My Father always spoke very fondly of your Grandfather and Grandmother and did leave me with some amusing stories of them. I have completed a lot of family history and have many documents from Joseph, William, Bill and George – I also have some additional photos of your Grandfather from the earlier times and more information on George. I would love to share this information.

  3. I knew the Clayton & Shuttleworth name as being a traction engine manufacturer – fascinating to think that steam was still the main ‘heavy machinery’ source of power at that time. Interesting to see (although after George Lines had moved on) that they then went on to make the Sopwith Camel – quite a leap in technology!

  4. Hi there.
    I’ve come across a J Lines who lived in Pickwick in 1952, and who designed a yacht called ‘Windrush’.
    The design came second in a New Zealand competition.
    I’m researching the man who came fourth, but have in my possession Lines’ drawings and the articles.
    It occurs to me you may want a copy.
    I’m interested to know what the J initial stands for.

  5. Dear Mr Lines,

    By coincidence, I came across the name of Timothy Lines in a school magazine article from 1951 and looked on our archive database only to find three other brothers at the school and their father was one George Edward Lines, listed as Toy Manufacturer living at “Pickwick”, Warren Drive, Kingswood – naturally, guessing that he was linked to the famous Lines Brothers! What a discovery – especially as I remember having letters from the company way back when I used to collect model railway and car catalogues (I started when I was about 6!). The company very generously sent me some catalogues relating to Tri-ang Hornby and I think Spot-On cars. Sadly lost all trace during a house move years ago.

    I have the only two photographs of Timothy which were attached to his record card – none of Michael, Jeremy or Roger, which is a pity.

    I am so pleased to find the information about their father, your grandfather, on this website.

    If you would like a copy of the two photos I am more than happy to forward them and the brief details I have along with a copy of the relevent school magazine article (as a PDF).

    Warmest regards,

    Archivist, Whitgift School and Foundation,

  6. My Great Aunt (Grand mothers sister) Winnie Lines married William Lines
    One of the brothers in 1907
    I have original photos from the weeding in an album I feel the photos should be offered to the direct descendant of William and Winnie
    does anyone know of them

    1. William Joseph Lines married Winifred Kate Bouts, and they had a son (Robert Joseph Lines 1911-1997) who married and had children and grandchildren and four daughters, listed below, who also had children and grandchildren, so I am sure there is somebody who would love the photos.

      Winifred Joan Lines 1908-1994 who married Reginald Vesssey 1908-1990

      Margaret Edith Lines 1913-? married Alfred Cope 1908-1976

      Dorothy Eileen Lines 1915-2006 married Eric Leach 1910-1947

      Nancy Janet Lines 1920-2001 married John Lougee 1912-2004

  7. Hello John, I’m currently writing about Lines on two fronts- One as curator of Pollocks Toy Museum, which is just about to set up a mini museum and shop on a short let in Croydon’s Whitgift centre, as part of Croydon’s Year Of Culture- where we will be featuring G and J Lines and Triang toys from our collection. We also also hope to discover and interview people who worked at the Merton factory.
    In the early 1970s we visited and talked to a quite stern Miss Lines at Hamleys- (would she have been Peggy ?) when starting research for the first of our Pollocks reference books about British Toys.

    I also have personal interest, which has been hard to unravel.
    My great Grandmother was Isabella Lines, and the family story is that she had one of the first prams made by the Lines company in the 1850s. My grandmother always referred to them as ‘uncles’,- probably great uncles if anything, but I havn’t yet been able to discover any direct connection-if indeed there is one- other than the name. Our Lines family were firstly coachbuilders, later becoming cab men and then cab masters running a fleet at Euston station.
    Isabella’s brothers were Edwin/Edward; William and Arthur who continued the business until the First world War, but were in the end never able to make the changeover from horse cabs to motors.
    They lived in various mews and later better houses around Kings Cross, St Pancras and the Euston Road- so a tantalising proximity and
    an odd story from my grandmother (born 1891) if completely unfounded.
    If you want to know a bit more about us ,our website has a short history, and current events.

    1. The Miss Lines at Hamleys was Peggy – when we were young my Aunt used to take my brother and I to London as our Christmas present, and I remember being introduced to her there, although, being young, the toys were much more interesting!.

      I know that George and Joseph had a brother, Thomas, who was an Ostler, born in 1836, who might be a connection.

      I had a Pollocks toy theatre, and remember putting on Jack the Giantkiller and making chocolate fudge to sell to the audience (my parents and siblings).

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