Sunday, 26 June 2022

Howden pubs

 Looking back the last post I wrote was just before we celebrated the Queen's Platinum Jubilee - we actually ate our afternoon tea indoors but enjoyed it just the same. English weather!

And now we are in a mini heat wave and watering our potatoes whilst picking gooseberries and raspberries.

But there is still time for some local history. On Tuesday the two history groups I belong to - about 20 of us - visited Barmby on the Marsh church. The church was declared redundant and is now owned by the Friends of Friendless Churches who have restored it to good condition but without taking away its essential  character. I gave a brief talk on its history and then after having a good look round we moved on to Barmby Methodist church for tea and cakes. There we were ' regally' entertained with lovely cakes, tea served in china cups and all whilst sitting round tables laid with white cloths and adorned with vases of  Sweet Williams. A lovely afternoon.

I have been having a look this week at Howden's pubs. I often get asked how many were there and the short answer is a lot!! and the longer answer is about 20 at any one time throughout the nineteenth century but it can be confusing. Some changed their names - eg the White Hart where cock fights took place became The Wellington, the Nag's Head became [the] Bowman's [ John Bowman bought it] while the Wheatsheaf became the Sloop, the Howden Packet and then the Wheatsheaf again.

And others lost their licences and disappeared after a new licensing act was passed and owners and tenants found  their pub was declared superfluous and were paid compensation. These included The Neptune in Pinfold St and Sheffield House on the corner of Station Road.

And of course more recently the White Horse has closed as has the Black Swan which was renamed Minster View on Cornmarket Hill while the Board has become the Howden Arms.

I spend a lot of time researching on old newspaper sites and always get sidetracked. The Hull Daily Mail used to have a column entitled Heard in Howden Streets. In a way I think Facebook is our version of it!

So while trying to fix a date for the demolition of the Dog and Duck inn in Market Place  I came across  this article which was written at exactly this time of year over a hundred years ago. As I read it  I thought that although some things have changed dramatically -  eg the water supply - others are recognisable - lack of rain, Eastrington show and a  large concert in the Minster on July 9th 2022. Plus ca change.

27th June 1913

HEARD IN HOWDEN STREETS. (from our own correspondent.) 

That, judging tho attendance at Mr Fenby's meeting on Saturday night, Liberalism seems somewhat flat  in Howden just now. 

That while the tuning of the organ of St Peter's was taking place, a dead starling was found blocking one of the pipes. 

That Col-Sgt. Levitt having very busy time, his duties, in addition to those in connection with Company, including the Church Lads' Brigade, and the Police Station Rifle Range. 

That up to Tuesday night there had been no weight of rain for about six weeks, and many who rely on rainwater principally, have been in sore straits. 

That many are having to purchase drinking water at a halfpenny bucket from neighbours; the need of an efficient water supply was ever demonstrated. 

That people at Howdendyke are reported be drinking water from the River Ouse, while others are drawing their supply from sources of questionable purity. 

That while some farmers need rain badly for the crops (especially turnips), which are at a standstill, others require fine weather on account of the hay harvest. 

That the parish bellman complains bitterly that' his official uniform has not been supplied, as promised, by the authorities. 

That "Billy" [ he was the bellman or town crier] is becoming quite a quack doctor, his recent " cures" including corns, several damaged thumbs, cuts, bruises, and sprains. 

That the last vestige of the old Dog and Duck Inn and adjacent pork shop has now disappeared, opening out a splendid east view of the beautiful ruined choir of tho Parish Church. 

That Mr H. Bastow is  having very busy time in the handicapping line, his engagements far this season numbering nine, including North Cave, Spaldington, Barmby, and Howden. 

That the Show Committee on Monday arranged an attractive sports programme. 

That close upon 500  acres of the outlying portion of the [Knedlington] estate, the property of Mr Erie S. S. Rudd-Clarke, will come into the market next month. That this will one of, if not the, largest estates ever offered for sale at Howden. 

That the Hall rose garden presents a wealth of bloom, which, together with the newly designed rockeries, etc., for which the head gardener, Barker, responsible, is one the beauty spots of the town. 

That Mr Walter Shaw's beautiful mare, which carried everything before her at the Eastrington Show, was hard-reared as foal, her mother dying when she was but month old. 

That Mrs Jackson gave an enjoyable Wesleyan sewing meeting tea in The Ashes last week-end, from the proceeds of which the new Sunday school building fund benefited. 

That both adults and children spent a very happy evening after tea in games. 

That the preparations for the great choral festival at St. Peter's Church on July 9th are well in hands the ladies' committee, who expect to entertain quite 300 visitors to tea. 

 This picture must have been taken about this time as the new market cross was erected in 1909 and the Dog and Duck and pork butcher's shop are still there. The building with its gable end on just to the left of the cross is now the Cheese Shop

Saturday, 28 May 2022

Platinum jubilee

 Everyone is looking forward to the events to celebrate the Queen's platinum jubilee next week and so I thought I would look through my collection of old pictures to see how it was celebrated in  June 1953. Of course not so many people had easy access to cameras then so there are fewer than there will be from 2022! I have divided the pictures into two posts - East and West Riding- as in the old days

I have a good collection of photos from Skelton. Here is a selection


 Skelton outside the Scholfield Memorial Hall

 Skelton - having a good time

 I only have one from Eastrington copied from a family snap, showing my mother, Joan Watson on a lorry playing the  piano in the rain with typical enthusiasm.

Eastrington, celebrating in the rain

And here are some of Howden.  I think they are all of the Coronation

Howden Working men's club jazz band. Albert Hellens with the drum

Who is he? Outside the pavilion

Don't know anything about this one

 Queens  of the past - Believed to be from left Eileen Holliday,   possibly  Mrs Winn, Mrs Barnes,Noreen Milnes, Rita ? Sheppard from White Horse 

Thursday, 28 April 2022

Goole old bottles

 I have just had a walk round the garden and not only is everything very dry but it is cold too. Definitely back to wearing a fleece weather. But the forecast promises sunshine this weekend so I live in hope.

On a historical front I seem to have been leaping from topic to topic. Last week I gave a talk to the Snaith and District Men's Association.  I have been giving talks to this group for many years and was so pleased to see them again after a long Covid gap. I had put together a new presentation based on the book Puppets in Yorkshire by Walter Wilkinson  and which took us on a journey from Thorne to Eastrington in 1930. The descriptions of this rural walk with his puppet theatre Walter wrote evoked a long gone age.

I am also busy updating a presentation  on the history of Saltmarshe hall. It includes a  longer section on the connections between Anne Lister aka Gentleman Jack and the Rawson family of Halifax. Philip Saltmarshe married Elizabeth Rawson and it was their son who built the present hall, with quite a lot of financial help from his Rawson family.

And finally I have been interested in a couple of queries about old bottles on the All about Goole facebook page. I have long been interested in collecting them and  finding out about the stories behind the names

The first query was about a bottle embossed with the name Isaac Fawcett, Goole. I have a Fawcett and Carabine bottle and have managed to find out a little about the firm. I cannot find much about Isaac but in 1891 Thomas Henry Carabine with his family was living in Avenue House, Fourth Avenue and was a rag merchant. He probably built  the house and warehouse and certainly later operated the mineral water business from no.1 Fourth Avenue. This is now the premises of Bridal Oasis.

Fawcett and Carabine went bankrupt in 1897 and everything was sold in January 1898.  The business seems very well equipped and one wonders whether  the Carabines bought the equipment back somehow

The sale  included : One Crossley's gas engine 2.h.p., with all fittings complete, and wood casing; soda machine, by Galloway, Bolton ; syphon filler, turnover machine., boiler and chimney, pump and fittings, Robert's patent filter, 2 wash tubs with syringes, pipes, and taps complete; gasometer, corking machine. 3 syrup pans (double cased), 2 good slate tanks and stand, main and other shafting, pulleys, carriages, and wall boxes, water tank to hold 1,704  gallons, bottle syphon and tray, slow combustion stove, syrup jars, syrup barrels, gantries, carboy and frame, 250 gross corks, about 296 Gross Pint, 4-Pint, Screw, Stone and other Bottles, about 1,500 Bottle Cases, 2 dozen syphon cases, 14 gross syphon, about 4 tons broken bottles, oak barrel,  guards, armlets, gauntlets, brass. taps, scales and weights, various. essences, weighing machine, 2 mahogany doors., winch, etc.

 Also six horses -  chestnut mare (Gipsy) 5 years; bay horse (Tinker), 6 years; bay horse Charlie), 7 years; bay horse (Tom); bay mare (Kitty); bay horse (Tender). 2 strong lorries., spring cart, dog cart. pair dray lamps, pair gig lamps, corn bin, water tub,  chopper, dray brake, ladder, bench and vice, stool, office chair, wood partition, nest of drawers, 1 set double harness, ditto silver mounted, 3 sets single harness, 2 collars, rope traces, forks, shovels, and stable utensils. 

Mrs Ann Carabine took over the licence after the bankruptcy and Carabines continued in business for many years thereafter.

But in 1916 an advert appeared for the business  -

Good Mineral Water Business to Let, excellent aerated water plant, artesian well, sanitary factory; good connection; owner called up; immediate possession. Apply Carabine and Co., Goole.

There were three sons, one of whom, John was killed in the war. Thomas Henry died in 1929.

Several other Goole bottles were then pictured on the facebook post. One was an unusual Richard Ward of Aire Street bottle 

Richard Ward who died in 1888 at the age of 45 was a wine and spirit merchant, licensed victualler and staunch Conservative. He laid the foundation stone for the new Conservative club in Carlisle street. At his death he was a member of the Goole Board of Guardians, the Goole School Board, and the Goole Burial Board. He was also a director of the Goole and Hull Steam Towing Company, Limited, and was interested in most of the local limited companies. He had only recently married and his widow Jane continued to live in their house in Burlington Crescent.

Another bottle was embossed with the name of John Law and the word Mackintoh [sic]. John/ Jack had the misfortune to be the subject of the first inquest to be held in the Macintosh in 1903 after he died there as a result of a fall.

And many people in the area have Short family bottles. Shorts' business was on the corner of First Avenue/ Pasture Road and was eventually taken over by Littlewoods. 

John Short began business in Doyle street as a fish dealer. His son Edwin moved to the newly built premises on Pasture Road around 1887 and combined mineral water manufacturing with selling fruit and game.

 An advert in the Goole Times of 1895 reads as follows:

 The drink of the season  - Edwin Short's non alcoholic dandelion and sarsparilla porter. 

 April 16 1895. I hereby certify that I have submitted to a searching  Chemical Analysis a sample of  the Dandelion and Sarsaparilla Porter’ manufactured by EDWIN SHORT Goole and find that it has been, prepared solely from Materials of the highest quality. It has an agreeable and palatable flavour, is entirely free from mawkishneas,  is bright and sparkling in appearance, and possesses, in pleasant form, important dietetic, tonic, and restorative properties. This is practically non-alcoholic in character, containing but an infinitesimal proportion of spirit and is absolutely free from anything of an undesirable or extraneous nature.

signed Granville H Sharpe,  Analyst, late Principal of Liverpool College of Chemistry.” Manufactured solely by EDWIN SHORT, Red Cross Crated Water Manufacturer.

  Edwin Short died in 1899 and his sons Walter and George then ran the business as Short bros.

And I think that there were several other mineral water manufacturers in Goole, as well of course as the North Street brewery.

Sunday, 3 April 2022

The Clarkes of Knedlington

 Now we are in April, the clocks have changed giving us an extra hour in the evenings and I have been transplanting rasp canes so that they are in rows rather than thickets. But on Thursday morning we woke up to snow - an early April fool joke? - and last night we had a hard frost.

I have been researching two local families about which I did not know as much as I should. The Clarke family who played a large part in Howdenshire's history in the nineteenth century.

They owned the Knedlington estate which included large parts of Asselby and Barmby. Thomas Clarke  was born at Spaldington and baptised at Bubwith in 1796. He was the only son of William Clark of Spaldington and his wife Ann [nee Elmer].

In the eighteenth century the Clarke family home seems to have been at Prickett hill, not far from Wressle. It was a large farm, part of the Wressle estate and John Clarke, probably Thomas' uncle lived there all his life, dying there aged 80 in  1822.

Thomas married in 1825, Sarah, eldest daughter of the Rev Eric Rudd of Thorne.  The couple had four sons but only one survived their parents.  Mr Clarke was prominent in local affairs and was involved with the restoration work of the church, the building of the Howden workhouse and the Shire Hall. He lived initially at Knedlington Old Hall but in 1841-2 he built a new hall which he called Knedlington Manor. It consisted of 33 rooms and was designed by Weightman and Hadfield of Sheffield in the Tudor style. There were formal grounds containing several American trees grown from seeds imported by William Cobbett, the famous 19th century pamphleteer and horticulturist.

After the death of Thomas Sinclair Clarke the estate passed to the Rudd family. The last of the Clarkes to live at Knedlington was Eric de Siobalde Sutherland Rudd-Clarke, who died  in 1925. The Manor was sold in 1930 to James 'Jimmy' Mortimer, an entrepreneur! Mr Rudd Clarke's widow married Rev Waring, the vicar of Howden.

Thomas Clarke's Knedlington manor

Knedlington Manor was demolished in the 1950s.

The other family I have been looking at is the Andertons who lived at Howdendyke and owned the chemical fertiliser works there. The first of the family to live there was George Anderton who bought the site in 1857 and built a fertiliser works there. Soon afterwards there was a tragedy  when the new chimney at the works fell and killed seven workmen.

After George's death his son George Herbert took over.  He had a younger brother, Frederick who died aged 19 a month after George celebrated his 21st birthday. GH was known as a benevolent employer. It was said that he never made any worker retire - as long as they could appear at the works they were paid even if they couldn't really work.

After his death in 1907 his widow Laura commissioned a new pulpit in Howden church in his memory. It was carved by Messrs Elwell of Beverley. It is of course still there and in use.

The plaque to G  H Anderton on the wall of Howden Minster erected by his workmen

He had two children, Maud and Eric. Maud married Richard Pilling of Welton hall and this couple took over the works after Eric was killed aged 22 in 1918.

The Plaque to Eric Asquith Anderton in Howden Minster

The family lived in Kilpin Lodge and 'ran' the village of Howdendyke until the late 1950s. There is still a fertiliser works there but many of the houses have been demolished.

It is an interesting commentary on how times have changed that local communities are rarely as influenced  today by resident families as Knedlington and Howdendyke once were.



Saturday, 12 March 2022

Howden education, Howdendyke and Hook Road

 Since my last post a lot has happened in the world. Covid seems to be something we are all learning to live with and instead we are all now watching the awful events in Ukraine. Not only is it a tragedy for all those being bombed and displaced but it is having a dramatic effect already here at home. I am gathering fallen branches ready for the woodburner as domestic heating oil prices have tripled and we don't have any gas out here in what The Times in an article called 'a remote community'.

More mundanely the garlic is doing well and we have put an upturned black dustbin over the rhubarb although not much is happening in there yet.

I have been preparing a presentation on education in Howden  beginning with the Grammar school in the church and coming up to the present schools. The Howden senior school badge incorporates the original grammar school badge which in turn was the coat of arms of Walter Skirlaw, as well as referencing the horse fair, the market cross and Howden's connections with the bishop of Durham. It was designed by teacher and organist Ted Stockdale.

Earlier this week a friend and I walked around Howdendyke in preparation for a talk about the village at our small Skelton history group. So much of the village was demolished in order to make way for the fertiliser works to expand and it is difficult to work out where many of the old pictures we have were taken.

Meanwhile the other group I attend in Goole has spent several weeks moving slowly along Hook Road looking at the houses in a sort of version of a 'house through time'. Using newspaper and census records as well as pictures [ thanks to Gilbert Tawn who has photographed them all] we have looked at the dates and names of the houses and tried where we can to trace where their names were from and who lived in them.

We have also talked of Christ Church and its ministers, possibly also  the  site of an early Goole Grammar school, of Richard Cooper's original Phoenix iron foundry, a Palace of Varieties and Herons' mill.

This week we looked at Nunraw, so called as in 1923 it became the home of the Milner family. The family of course still has the florists' shop  in Boothferry Road. An early Mrs Milner came from Nunraw in Scotland.

Let us hope that by the time  I write my next blog post  there will be peace in the Ukraine.

 A very rural view of Goole's Hook Road

Saturday, 19 February 2022

Snowdrops and Sandhall

I am sitting at the computer looking at the garden trees swaying gently in the wind. I think that Storm Eunice concentrated her fury in the south and let us off lightly. Although sometimes I wonder whether it is best not to follow these dramatic warnings and just wait for the weather to do its thing - as our forefathers did.

Our snowdrops have put on an excellent show this year and have spread even further than last year.  The hellebores are not quite in flower and neither are the daffodils. But I have been buying seeds and am looking forward to getting some tomatoes started on the windowsill.

It has been busy too on the history front. I have been looking at a family who emigrated from East Yorkshire to South Africa in the latter half of the nineteenth century. The branch I have been looking at were a couple who married in 1890 in Howden church. William Buttle Turner who was from Allerthorpe and Caroline 'Carrie' Hart went to live in an area near Camperdown where extended family already lived.

Caroline was the daughter of Anelay Hart who was the farm bailiff and later a tenant of  the home farm at Sandhall near Howden. The Scholfield family who owned the Sandhall estate  were prominent in the life of Howdenshire and were great benefactors to the area.  For example the aptly named Scholfield memorial hall in Skelton was built for the community as a school and church combined.

Two of the magnificent Capronnier windows in the west front of Howden Minster are dedicated to members of the family. The central window is  dedicated to William and Ann Scholfield

To the glory of God this window is dedicated. It also bears witness to the love and gratitude of the eight surviving children of William and Ann Scholfield of Sandhall whose married life lasted more than fifty seven years. William Scholfield born February 28 1774. Died August 8 1854 and his wife born June 27 1773. Died August 18 1856. They are buried in the Chapter House of this church.

 The right hand window is dedicated to their son Robert.  Underneath the script reads

 To the glory of God and in affectionate remembrance of Robert Scholfield esq of Sandhall in this parish. This window is erected by his sorrowing friends and neighbours. He died January 11th 1868 aged 64 years

 The Capronnier window dedicated to Robert Scholfield.

There is also another magnificent window in Doncaster Minster dedicated to Robert's brother Dr Edward Scholfield. 

In complete contrast to this the history group I attend in Goole has been looking at the development of Hook Road in the town, most of which was built in the late nineteenth century and occupied by seafarers and their families and the professional classes. It is our eventual intention to write the material up  and make it  freely available. We are particularly interested in trying to find out where some of the house names originated.

Saturday, 22 January 2022

Hook chapels

 We are in a run of sunny, frosty weather, perfect for dog walking but not so good for the oil tank which will soon need re-filling. But we are seeing signs of spring. The snowdrops - and we have a lot - are just beginning to show white and the daffodil spikes are getting taller.

 I have been busy loading pictures into my new website [ not yet online] and also looking at a family history which has been very interesting as the people all lived locally and it  is easier to envisage their lives when I know the area. There is a lot can be found online about families, particularly on the old newspaper sites but nothing can beat  being familiar with the towns and villages mentioned.

Last week  the small  local history group I attend in Goole met again after the Christmas break. We meet on a Thursday morning in the Oddfellows hall and talk about the history of Goole and the surrounding area. Some of us have been researching for many years and continue to do so, others just come to listen and join in the discussions and we have new members who have not long lived in the area. It is surprising what a wealth of knowledge there is around the table.

This week we were talking about Hook and its chapel[s]. One of our group had noticed this building which we thought was surely a former chapel. It looks like so many local chapels


 Howden St John St

So we are seeing what we can find out. We have consulted the Hook history book which told us that the 'new' chapel was built in 1874/5.

The Goole and Marshland Weekly Times, Friday, 22nd Jan 1875 reports its opening

The first Wesleyan chapel built at Hook was erected in 1816, the second in 1836, and now 1875 has seen the opening of a third place of worship, rendered necessary in the first place by the increasing congregation and in the next by the want of suitable accommodation for the Sunday school.
Mr James Armitage offered a piece of land at the corner of the roads which meet nearly in the centre of the village, and funds being forthcoming it was decided to build at once. Mr Bairstow, of Selby, was the architect, Mr Elliott and Mr Appleyard, of Goole, the contractors, while the foundation stone was laid at Whitsuntide by Mr W. Dyson, of York.  

I am sure we shall find out more  but would be interested in any further information or pictures. We believe that the old chapel building was used as a Sunday school but for how long? And anyone who wants to join us on Thursday mornings would be most welcome.

Thursday, 6 January 2022

Release of the 1921 census

 As I write this it is frosty outside and the car windscreen is frozen.This is in contrast to the very warm weather we had over Christmas - which made it easy to keep the windows open when visitors came as we are still in the grip of Covid. I am hoping that when I read back over these blog posts in future months we shall remember this time but be socialising normally without taking tests before we go out. 

I received some lovely Christmas presents and have plenty to read but the tree is now out and the decorations back in their boxes. 

So now it is 2022 and as a family historian I am looking forward to exploring the 1921 census which has been released today on Find my Past. Only problem is that you cannot get a transcript or original image without paying, even  if you have a subscription. But you can search for free and when I searched for my mother, Joan Nurse b 1918 in Eastrington I could see she was there and it told me that also on the page were Robert and Elsie, her parents. It correctly identified the Howden area where she was but said she was in Eastington in Gloucestershire. So a few teething problems!

 80 years ago, January 1st 1942 Joan Nurse married Douglas Watson at Eastrington church. Soon after he was sent to serve in North Africa where he remained for three years. After his return  my parents  remained in Eastrington for the rest of their lives and taught many generations of children at Howden and Eastrington schools.

After the popularity of the newspaper snippets in my last blog post here are a few more - this time from 1922

April 1922

For sale— Argyll (15 9) 2 seater  car, sporting type JJ body, 1914 model, sleeve vale engine, CAV. lighting, Autovac petrol feed. Very smooth and silent; £250— J. Mortimer, The Gables, Eastrington.

For sale —Ford Car, 5-seater, 1920, fully licensed and insured;  in splendid condition; £135. Any trial examination.—J Mortimer, The Gables, Eastrington.

 Station Road Eastrington from a colour postcard.
The Gables can just be seen in the background on the left.

James Edward Mortimer was an entrepreneur born in Cleckheaton who built The Gables, then bought and moved to Knedlington manor and then finally to Howden hall where he died in 1946.

July 1922 Hull Daily Mail

Hull market .There was a great glut of mushrooms  today  in the Shambles and shops, Mrs Lilley, of Eastrington, bringing in 1,000 lbs, which sold from 6d to ls per lb.

Aug 1922

HOWDEN. OBITUARY.—The remains of the late Arthur Britton, who for the past seven years had been proprietor of the Bowman's Hotel, were interred in the churchyard Saturday afternoon, the Rev A. Waring officiating. The chief mourners were:—Mrs Britton (widow), Mrs Angus, Mrs Oakes, Miss Gladys Britton, and Miss Kathleen Britton (daughters), Mr and Mrs Hargreaves (uncle and aunt), Mrs Wraight, Mr W. Ayland, Major, Mrs Cockroft and Mrs H. Cockroft. Floral tributes were sent by the widow and family, and Mrs Hargreaves, Mrs Wraight, and Mrs G. Moore, Mr and Mrs Blakey, Miss A. Newman, Miss N. Dealtry, Mr and Mrs J. Good, and Mrs B. Shaw, and the Howden Licensed Victuallers'Assoc. The deceased gentleman's dog followed the coffin to the Parish Church, and remained in tho building during the service, afterwards accompanying the funeral party  to the graveside, where it stood and gazed down at the coffin. 

Aug 1922

HOWDEN. OCTOGENARIAN'S DEATH:- The death of Mrs Jane Laughton has removed one of Howden's oldest residents. Deceased, who was the widow of the late Mr George Laughton, blacksmith, was 80 years of age, and was born in the same house in Flatgate in which she died. The funeral, which took place on Monday afternoon, was conducted by.the Rev Kellett (curate)

Nov 1922

 A remarkable story of life-saving by telephone. While travelling from Selby to Howden on the L. and N.W. express on Saturday, two business men, Messrs Croft and Usher, looking out ot the window near Wressle, saw field alongside the line a bull, apparently its knees, attacking with its horns a young hoy, who was lying on the ground. I did not know whether to pull the communication cord or not," said Usher to a newspaper representative afterwards, but both Mr Croft and he instantly got out notebooks and scribbled notes follows "Bull killing boy in behind Wressle Station.' and threw these notes out as we passed level crossings. Arriving at Howden, Croft raced to the signal-box. The signalman quickly notified Wressle Station by 'phone, and the staff raced to the rescue. The child's life was saved, though he was badly mauled  by the bull. He is the nine-year-old son of a  farmer named Wood. 

Saturday, 18 December 2021

Christmas news through the years.

Laxton in the snow

The news is depressing, the weather is murky and the days are short so it is definitely time to turn to local history. 

I love looking at the old newspaper site  to which I subscribe and usually distract myself with reading all sorts of snippets. Sometimes it is something which has been mentioned on a facebook page like the fascinating story of the de Cobain family who came to Goole from Northern Ireland. One branch of the family lived in a house called Armaghbreague on Hook Road and a search on that name and Goole soon brought up lots of articles.

But  today I thought I would  look at what was happening in the local area at this time of year. What was affecting people then? So below is a random collection of  events from Christmases past. I was particularly interested in the reference to a Christmas tree in Howden, obviously then something unusual. 

I hope that next year we will all be too busy celebrating with our friends to have time to sit in front of the computer!!!


HOWDEN. Christmas Treat. —On Christmas Day the inmates of the Howden Union Workhouse were regaled with the good old English cheer of roast beef and plum pudding to their hearts’ content, being allowed to eat much they liked. The provisions were of the first order, and were served up in style highly creditable by Mr. and Mrs. Meadley, the esteemed master and mistress of the house.



HOWDEN  Christmas Tree,—On Wednesday  a Christmas tree was exhibited, and a sale of useful and fancy articles held the Town-hall, Howden. The proceeds will be devoted to  defraying the expenses of general cleaning of Howden church. The committee of ladies who originated the bazaar have worked in the most indefatigable manner to ensure the success of their undertaking and the results have exceeded the expectations of the most sanguine promoters. In spite of the inclement weather the Town-hall was crowded during the whole of the afternoon and evening, and the day's receipts amounted about £1OO, great many articles still remaining unsold, the room was opened again on Thursday, when most of them would doubtless be disposed of



HOWDEN. Christmas Day. —The church bells commenced to ring about 6.30 a.m., and rang merry peals during the day. Postmen's Breakfast.—The postmen of the Howden District had their annual breakfast on Tuesday at Mr F. Powls’ house. There were about twelve present


 [Nb Tuesday was Christmas Day]



CHRISTMAS AT GOOLE WORKHOUSE. Forty large Christmas plum puddings were disposed of on Christmas Day, in addition to roast beef and other special fare by the inmates of  the Workhouse and Infirmary, who numbered 184. Dinner was served 12.30 in the dining hall, which had been specially decorated by the master and matron (Mr and Mrs J. Carpenter), the assistant matron (Miss Moore) and the cook (Mrs Walton), and which presented most attractive appearance

After dinner, tobacco and other luxuries were distributed, and at  2p.m. a 'free and easy" was held, recitations, etc. being given, and dancing indulged in. John Barnes was the M.C. On  Christmas Eve, Mrs Creyke, of Rawcliffe Hall, distributed sixpence each to the adult male inmates, tea and sugar to the women, and toys to the children in the house. She also gave buns to the Infirmary patients.


Dec 20th 1921

The high tide on Saturday evening overflowed the banks at Blacktoft flooded the houses, and some cases put out the fires.


December  1921

Through the efforts of the Goole Shipyard Employees Benevolent Fund Committee 1,050  children  the bulk of whom belonged to families of unemployed shipyard workers were entertained on Thursday to a substantial Christmas meal which took place in the canteen  of the Goole Shipyard and Repairing company who the generously contributed £300 to the committee funds. The committee also distributed £50 of groceries and 2,300lbs of beef to unemployed workers. 


 December 1941

The golden wedding anniversary was celebrated yesterday of and Mrs Benjamin Dale of Woodland-Avenue. Goole. Mr Dale is a native of Kilpin, near Howden, but has spent most of his life in Goole, where as a youth he was apprenticed to the late Mr Joseph Glew, furnisher and undertaker. The business was later taken over by Messrs Eastham, Ltd., and he remained with the firm until he retired five years ago.  Mr Dale is an old Volunteer, his eldest son served the last war, and youngest is present in the Army. Both Mr Dale and his wife, who was born at Sandtoft, are 71 years of age. They have a family of six, and eight grandchildren.


 December 1941

Repulse Survivor News has been received by his wife that Leading Seaman Douglas H. Shaw, of Broadway, Goole was one of the survivors from H.M.S. Repulse. Seaman Shaw, who is 25 years of age, is a native of Asselby. Howden, and has been in the Navy since he was a boy. He joined the Repulse shortly before the war. He was on leave during the summer.



December 1945

Told he would be reported for riding a pedal cycle without a light, Albert Tipping, a Howden farm labourer, said: If  I had had  a better bike you would not have caught me." Tipping was fined 7s 6d


December 1946

CHRISTMAS FESTIVITIES AT GOOLE  with many of the town's former servicemen back home for their first Christmas for some years, Goole families did not allow austerity to stand in the way of merrymaking. The weather was fine, though cold, and the main outdoor attraction was the Yorkshire League match on Boxing Day between Goole Town and Huddersfield Town, which drew a crowd of 3,000, including 200 German prisoners of war. 

Friday, 3 December 2021

Cotness and the Orson Welles connection.

 I was recently asked about the history of Cotness, a hamlet about one mile from Laxton in Yorkshire. I know it quite well - there are less than 10 houses there today.  But it has a long and interesting history and was mentioned in the Domesday Book.

The settlement was owned by various landowners over the years but the family I am most interested in is the Wells family. A John Wells was living there in 1525 when he  was the Cotness representative at the  annual meeting of the 48 [ Eight and Forty] township men who governed Wallingfen Common. Another John Wells was the bailiff for the Metham estate when he died in 1572. A Christopher Wells owned a messuage and lands at Cotness in 1583 and died in 1592. Another Christopher or the same was named as the former owner of a house, dovecote, orchard and garden which was let to tenants in 1625.

The line of descent is difficult to follow but an Anthony Wells [the younger] was a merchant and prominent Quaker in Hull. He died in 1716.  His father [?] Anthony Wells senior passed the Cotness estate on to his younger son Nathaniel.

Nathaniel, like the rest of his family was a Quaker. There were many Quakers in the area including the Empsons of Goole and the Ellythorps of Sandholme. His marriage in 1693 actually took place at Cotness

Nathaniel Wells' marriage in 1693

Nathaniel had sons Anthony, Nathaniel, Burdon and Gideon. He  died in 1730. After  his son Anthony's death the whole of his Cotness lands  eventually passed to Gideon.

Gideon, born 1701 at Cotness was a doctor. He married Mary Partridge in London in 1730 in a Quaker ceremony. Her father was Richard Partridge who was the agent at the "Court of Great Britain for Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware"

Gideon lived and practised some of the time in Sheffield, selling some of his Cotness lands to the local Mawson and Empson families. But he kept the family house and surrounding gardens and appears as Gideon Wells MD,  Cotness in  the 1741 poll book.

He was the personal physician to Evelyn Pierrepont, second Duke of Kingston  [upon Hull] who had a very colourful life. The duke had a French mistress Marie Therese de Fontaine de la Touche, aka Marquise de la Touche. She was married and had three children but then eloped with the young Duke. But when the Duke abandoned her in 1750 she retired to Gideon Wells' house at Cotness.  It is hard to imagine this  aristocratic French lady at Cotness! She eventually returned to France and reconciled with her family. 

Gideon died in 1759 at Cotness and was buried in his own burial ground. 

His widow and son Richard born 1734 [who lived in Philadelphia] sold in 1761 "their manner and toftstead and all the site and circuit of the same manner and a stable and hophouse." Soon afterwards Richard sold a 9 acre close between  the house and  the Saltmarshe boundary. He initially reserved right of access to the Quaker burial ground where his family were buried.

This picture is taken from the Saltmarshe side - Cotness is on the other side!

This house was it is believed on the site of the Manor Farm house.

Richard was 16 when he emigrated to America  and returned briefly on the death of his father. He returned to Philadelphia and later that year  - 1759 - married Rachel Hill. 

They had several children including  Gideon born 1765 and William Hill born 1769.  Richard was a prominent merchant and cashier of  the Bank of North America. He wrote anti slavery pamphlets. He died in 1801 and was buried in  the Friends Burial Ground  in Philadelphia. 

His son Gideon was a merchant  and married Hannah Waln. His son William Hill Wells married Elizabeth Aydelott Dagworthy, the adopted daughter of General John Dagworthy.

William served as a  senator for Delaware. His son Henry Hill Wells born 1797 married Mary Putnam. Another son  son John Dagworthy Wells married Ann Lehman in 1832.

Henry and Mary  had children  including William Dagworthy Wells born 1837 and Richard Jones Wells born 1843. At some point the family began to add an extra 'e' into their name - ie Welles.

Richard Jones Wells married Mary Blanche Head whose father, Orson Sherman Head was a lawyer in Kenosha Wisconsin. Richard and Mary had a son Richard Hogdgon Head Wells. He had a son Orson Welles born 1915 in Kenosha. And the rest is history.

Who would have thought that Cotness was once the haven of a Duke's mistress and the ancestral home of Orson Welles?

I would like to wish all readers of my blog a safe and peaceful Christmas. It has been yet another strange year - let's hope 2022 is more normal!