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Message Board - archive 7

From: "Danny Claffey"
Email: danny.claffey@ntlworld.com
Subject: St Gregory's School, 'Mama it's Carlo'
Date: Fri, 3 Oct 2003 23:02:06 +0100

I just surfed in on this site and found it fascinating. I'm of Irish stock born and living in Manchester. I attended St Gregory's School in Ardwick and remember Carlo Visco (Mama it's Carlo) very well. He parked in the schoolyard everyday and supplied great ice cream (as well as single cigarettes for those in the know!), a real character.

Editor's note: From the area, I think you're referring to my late Uncle Albert Tiani rather than Carlo Visco, as he also worked under the same name 'Mama it's Carlo' - his father being Carlo Tiani.


From: "Gaetano Rea"
Email: Adress withheld
Subject: Gaetano Rea & Middlesbrough
Date: Thu, 2 Oct 2003 12:40:47 +0100

Dear Mr Rea,

I have just discovered your fascinating website about Ancoats. As you see I'm also a 'Rea' but hail from Middlesbrough in the North East.

My father was Gaetano Rea and was known as Kydan or Kia - he died aged 49 in 1965. He worked with his brother Camillo who is still living in Middlesbrough. Chris Rea the singer is my cousin and son of my uncle Camillo. Both had large families.

It seems that the Ancoats Italian community was very similar to the community in Middlesbrough. I was particularly interested in reading the history of Father Gaetano Fracassi and his demise on the Arandora Star. A number of my relatives including my paternal grandfather were also killed on the ship.

I have sent information about your site to my uncle Joseph Biesi. Joe lives in Texas and I understand that he has spent some time researching the details surrounding the sinking of the Arandora Star.

Many congratulations on your site. It has spurred me on to try and record some of the Middlesbrough / North East Italian history.

Best wishes,


From: "Marie Bernadine Belli"
Email: omertambb@btopenworld.com
Subject: Belli, Raponi, Battista, Saragossa, Amarella
Date: Thu, 2 Oct 2003 00:37:09 +0100

Dear Tony,

I have written to you before, asking if you or your family remember my Grandfather or my Father, Nazarine and Rocco Belli.

I have since found out that one of my relations married a Raponi.

I vaguely remember Jesse Raponi attending my sister Anita's wedding, the names I am interested in are :


There are reasons that I need to trace my fathers history the main ones being that I adored him, he had a hard and awful life along with the thousands of other Italians. He started work at nine years old, always suffered from very bad eyesight, and went totally blind in his early thirties, with the ages of his seven children being: eldest brother was 9, my other brother was 7, I was 5, a brother at 4, a sister at 3, another sister at 2 and the baby Dominic at 6 months old.

I am sure you will understand when I say that by tracing his roots I am putting him on the map, he deserves to be remembered, I just do not know where to start.

My grandfather originally came over from FROSINONE, and settled in Ancoats, many of the names mentioned on your site are familiar from childhood.

My father ROCCO had sisters named:
ANTONIA (known as Vera)

And brothers named:
NOVRIANO (known as Norman) who lived with the Raponi's in Birmingham for a while.Why I don't know.

There were more but I am unsure of their names, and as you are aware a lot of families lost children at an early age through TB, Pneumonia and general lack of medicines and wealth.

As I am VERY new to a PC it is difficult knowing where to start, if anyone can help me in any way I would be very grateful.

Kind Regards.
Marie Bernadine Belli


From: Rita Watts
Email: wildlife@westnet.com.au
Subject: Arcari, Thorne
Date: Thu, 25 Sep 2003 21:23:17 +0800

Dear Anthony,

If my request for placement of a message does not fall within your lines I apologise for taking your time.

I am trying to trace details of Victor THORNE whom I believe to have been a nephew of an ARCARI who sold ice cream in Southport, Lancs back in the 1930's.

Victor was the son of Vincent THORNE.

According to my (deceased) mother Victor was my natural father. I have believed that he died c. October 1930, after a motorcycle accident, prior to my birth in May 1931. In attempts to verify (or discount) this I have tried to find the date of his death, which I supposed to have occured in Southport and therefore for him to have been buried there. However, searches by people there have not turned up either a record of burial in the two main cemeteries or a death certificate for him.

To complicate matters, we have a blurry photo of flowers on what seems to be a grave, near a tree, in what could be either a less formal cemetery - no other graves visible - or possibly private land. The background appears rural, with what looks like a shed with horse and cart in front, beyond an expanse of field. On the back of this photo my mother had written " My Sweetheart's Grave, October 1930".

I think Victor was a lot older than mother then was, she being in her late teens and he in his 30's. He worked for his uncle, selling ice cream from a "stop-me-and-buy-one" tricycle.

As you see, I am rather old now and I'm trying to clear up the mystery, as far as possible, not just for myself but for my four sons and their children. I think I definitely have Italian blood, my nose alone makes it very likely as there isn't another like it in my mother's family!

Thankyou so much for reading this.

Best wishes, Rita Watts, Busselton, Western Australia


From: "M. CERRA"
Email: Adress withheld
Subject: Cerra
Date: Mon, 22 Sep 2003 10:31:03 +0100

Would it be possible to add my family name to the ITALIAN FAMILY SURNAMES OF ANCOATS page.

'Mario Angelo Cerra'

Lived in Italy for a short period of time, on our return to England, resided in Manchester in 1970.



From: "Kathleen Fenwick"
Email: kath_fenwick@yahoo.com
Subject: Lazzari, Lazzarini, Ladzrie
Date: Mon, 22 Sep 2003 00:48:00 +0100

Can anyone tell me if there is any link between the names Lazzari & Lazzarini? Are they the same names, just different ways of spelling it? The name Ladzrie is a form of Lazzari - as it is pronounced 'Ladzrie' in the North-east that's the way it was spelt, so I wondered if the same happened with Lazzarini? I would be grateful for any comments on this.

Best regards to all,
Kath Fenwick


From: "nichola colaluca"
Email: colalucakid555@aol.com
Subject: Colaluca
Date: Sun, 21 Sep 2003 14:50:16 +0100

My name is Nichola Colaluca. Our family is very very large and we are all very interested in family heritage. I see that on one of the balance sheets it says 'Mrs Colaluca'. There is a story in our family that on our paternal side my great great grandmother (Rosa Colaluca) gave birth to my great grandfather (Lorenzo George Colaluca).. we carry her name instead of my great great grandfather, he was born out of wedlock so Rosa was sent to the United States where she resided in Providence RI. Then my great great grandfather came later..... if you know of anything please let me know.. I am very interested to see who my relatives were in England.. even how to contact that manufacturer of cones in Italy!


From: "Denise M Lynch"
Email: dml@lilmore.fsnet.co.uk
Date: Fri, 19 Sep 2003 12:32:26 +0100

Dear Antony,

Your website is fantastic, just the thing for an amateur. I cannot spell Italian names so please forgive me.

LOUIS BANCALLARI - my husband's uncle on the Italian side, (the Irish on the other). LOUIS was head chef at the Midland Hotel, M/C. He was married to a lady called (can't spell it) 'AREELIA'.

FERDINAND GUISEPPI TOBONI married an English girl called Evelyn Bleakley. Children - Irene Angela Caroline Elsie Kathleen Domonic.

All these families lived on or around Kemp St; Elizabeth St; Murry Arms and Jersey St;

Hazel Lynch remembers the Rea Family.

Please tell me what you think.
Denise M Lynch


From: "Tony Scala"
Email: tony_scala@hotmail.com
Subject: Palace Ballroom - internment Isle of Man
Date: Thu, 18 Sep 2003 22:34:58 +0000

Hi Tony

I have just heard from someone on the Isle of Man with positive i.d. on the internment photo on the site. It is "the old Palace Ballroom". That is to say, "The Palace Internment Camp".

This ballroom is no longer there, having been replaced by the "Hilton". The rest of the Palace Hotel is still there.

Hope this is of interest.



From: "Wayne Cook"
Email: wayne1@manx.net
Subject: Rocca's Ices
Date: Sat, 13 Sep 2003 21:48:57 +0100

I having just found your truly brilliant web site. I was born in manchester in 1959 and lived in the Longsight area of Reynell Rd. I remember Rocca's Ices being the more popular of the time. How many vans did they have, as I seem to remember he had a brother? I have many fond memories of 'the good ole days'.



From: "Marie Bernadine Belli"
Email: omertambb@btopenworld.com
Subject: Rocco Belli
Date: Fri, 12 Sep 2003 20:57:15 +0100

Dear Anthony,

Thankyou for printing my request for information about my father and his family, unfortunately I had no response.

I wondered if your family knew anything personally about them, my dad was called ROCCO BELLI, his dad was called NAZARINE BELLI. They lived in Ancoats, then had the house next door to GREAT CLEWES STREET WAREHOUSE. The address was 158, BROUGHTON LANE.

At some point there was a shop presumably run by my grandfather attached to the house, in the cellar I think.

Certain names on your site are familiar to me from my childhood, my father had a very hard life as did most of the Italians. He lost his sight at an early age when the youngest of his seven children was just 6 months old. I was 5 years old.

He started work on the ice cream cart at the age of 9, and we have been told he sold ice cream at the Cliff, where Man United train, from that age onwards. He requested that after his death his ashes be scattered there; as he used to say "I started my days there and I will finish them there."

I idolised my dad, and am tracing his families' history for two reasons, the first as a mark of respect to him, and the second to let him know that his hard life was not in vain.

Kind Regards
Marie Bernadine Belli.


From: "Anita Pugh"
Email: anita.pugh@ntlworld.com
Subject: Ancoats Little Italy booklet
Date: Tue, 9 Sep 2003 19:06:37 +0100

Tony, I've now had chance to read the book - it's great! Thank you for providing such an interesting insight into the Italian immigration into the Manchester area - it is something that should be recorded for all future generations to enjoy & you've done that admirably!

Very best wishes


From: "Nicole King"
Email: melanie.p1@ntlworld.com
Subject: Italian supermarket Manchester?
Date: Mon, 8 Sep 2003 17:45:48 +0100

I lived in Italy from 1990 - 1993 and then in Woking, where there was a large Italian community, I have now moved to Manchester and am looking for a good Italian supermercato, preferably on the eastern side of the city but anywhere will do.


Editor's note: Not in east Manchester, but rather north, in Whitefield, Bury, try Roma Deli. Click for details


From: "Maria Serena Balestracci"
Email: Adress withheld
Subject: Book - Arandora Star
Date: Mon, 8 Sep 2003 13:54:25 +0200

Dear Mr. Rea,

I am deeply grateful to you for including my publication "Arandora Star, una tragedia dimenticata" among the books that you recommend on your site.

I know you have been in touch with Peter Mead, who was the supervisor for my dissertation on the tragedy in English, and also know that you have been very helpful by sending material on the internment of Italians. I received the material from Peter and I can see that it's really really interesting.

Congratulations for your website too, which is very well organised and much detailed.

At the moment I am discussing - with my local editor - the possibility of publishing an English version of my book, which has been long awaited. Many people - both here in Italy and in UK - do not possess the necessary knowledge of Italian language to fully understand the text, so the necessity to translate the book is very much felt.

At the same time, I am going on with my research, involving people from the Lucca area and other relatives all over Italy. It will be my personal care to keep you informed on any news and information I might collect.

Thank you very much,

Maria Serena Balestracci,

Florence, Italy


From : "Marino Danilowicz"
Email: mdanilowicz@hotmail.com
Subject : Reas in Scarborough
Date : Sat, 6 Sep 2003 00:47:25

Very nice, very well researched, makes me think of home. I too would like to have Italian citizenship how do I go about that. Am also looking for Rea’s in the Scarborough area; a great Aunt died some years ago in that region, do you have any info?

Marino Rea Danilowicz

Link to old site with family tree maybe of interest to you. http://www.geocities.com/danilowicz2000/html/genealogy.html


From : Lorrie Frezza Perkins
Email: Lorrie1955@hotmail.com
Subject : Frezza
Date : Thu, 4 Sep 2003 16:04:36 +0100

My great grandfather and his brother settled in Manchester, the Ancoats area. His brother, my great uncle Carlo Frezza, stayed but died on the cruise ship Arandora Star bound for Canada. I am living in the States and started doing genealogy research and found my great grandfather's brother's family there. I knew that they settled there according to stories. His brother Agostino also lived in England but left there because he had two daughters die, went back to Italy and came to America. Carlo had 15 children.

One of the youngest from England came over here to Rhode Island to see me along with her daughter and husband, my mother, father and myself went to Manchester to visit them also.

I just happened upon your site while surfing, it is fantastic,




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