Family unites

IT'S ALL IN THE FAMILY: Around 100 descendents of Ann and Martin Donlan, who had 18 children, met for a family reunion. The family lived in Batley Carr in the 1930s, as they struggled to find a house that was big enough for them all, and eventually lived in Ravensthorpe. Marie Fennell, Margaret Gill, Micky Donlan and Christine Fennell, picture front centre, are the last surviving members of the original 18. (d03061170)
IT'S ALL IN THE FAMILY: Around 100 descendents of Ann and Martin Donlan, who had 18 children, met for a family reunion. The family lived in Batley Carr in the 1930s, as they struggled to find a house that was big enough for them all, and eventually lived in Ravensthorpe. Marie Fennell, Margaret Gill, Micky Donlan and Christine Fennell, picture front centre, are the last surviving members of the original 18. (d03061170)
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THE CHILDREN and grandchildren of 18 brothers and sisters met up for a once-in-a-lifetime party.

The Donlan family reunion brought together around 100 relatives, some of whom had never met each other before.

Martin Donlan and his wife Ann lived in Holgate’s Yard, Batley Carr, with 10 of their children. But in 1934 the house was condemned.

The children were split up because no house big enough to hold them could be found. But Mr and Mrs Donlan still went on to have another eight children, and the family eventually lived in Ravensthorpe.

The four remaining Donlan children – Marie, Margaret, Micky and Christine – all went to the reunion event at Dance Club 21 in Batley.

Ashley Porter, whose grandmother was Sheila Donlan, said: “Quite a lot turned up and travelled from far afield.

“Most families wouldn’t bother, but it goes to show that family values are still around. People are still willing to go that extra mile.”

His mother, Karen Porter, said the idea of a reunion was first suggested at a family funeral earlier in the year.

She said: “We were sick of going to funerals, so we decided to do a Donlan reunion. But this will never happen again.”

Ms Porter said she enjoyed growing up in such a big family. She said: “We never had anything, but we had everything, because the small things counted. It was unique.”