Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Goole Volunteer firemen

At long last the weather is improving and I have been able to cut the grass. I have a very old ride on mower and it is a challenge to steer it around the still green snowdrop leaves and the daffodils. But it is amazing how quickly everything is growing and I know that if  I do not cut the cow parsley now it will soon be waist high. Flowers that I am very pleased to see are my few fritillaries and cowslips. They are spreading very slowly.

On the history front we went to the York postcard fair and bought some lovely cards of Laxton, Saltmarshe, Newport and Gilberdyke which will eventually appear on the old photo section of my website. I am so far behind with updating the photo section that it is always best to ask what I have.

The fair did not seem as busy as previous years - and this year we remembered to take our own sandwiches instead of buying the very expensive ones at the venue.

I have recently been searching the Goole Times archives [ I am now their custodian] for various people who want copies of articles.  I bought a small portable scanner so that I can scan from the files without damaging them.

There are some excellent old photos reproduced in the early 1960s which I am fascinated by. The picture below shows the Goole volunteer fire  brigade. Although of course the pictures are a bit grainy they are quite clear enough to identify faces.

Goole volunteer firemen

Monday, 24 March 2014

Holme on Spalding Moor history group

Tonight I have given a talk on Yorkshire emigrants to the Holme on Spalding Moor history group. This  is a friendly and comparatively new group who are interested in anything relevant to the history of HosM. To date members have researched the names on the village war memorial and are in the process of setting up a website.

It is surprisingly cold outside and last night was the coldest of the winter so far. I have sown lettuce, radish and cress seeds in the greenhouse but my Arran Pilot seed potatoes are still in the house. The snowdrops have largely finished and now the garden is full of daffodils. My peach tree has pink blossom - but will it survive in this weather?

I am researching a family at the moment who ended up in Goole but who originated in the Colne area. Family members were hand loom weavers and later worked in the mills. I am finding it very interesting learning the local geography and  background of this area of Lancashire.

Soon tho' I am hoping to return to researching the history of Saltmarshe - there is much material available about both the family and the village.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Howden First World War database

This is just a brief post which links to the database of Howden soldiers and sailors whose names appear on Howden war memorial

This is an ongoing project in association with my WEA Howden history class.

There will be more information appearing later. Please check back

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

A bit more Yorkshire dialect

I have just been out for a walk with Molly. There has been a light fall of snow overnight and the road was what could be described as 'slape'  or slippery. I think it is the first snow I have seen this winter. All we have had is incessant rain and wind but at least here in the North we have not had the terrible floods which have inundated large areas of south west England.

But back to dialect. I recently wrote a brief  article about Yorkshire dialect which was published in the Goole Times, the local paper. I reproduce it below.

 Yorkshire talk

I often talk to older local people who have lived in this area all their lives.  And many of those who have been brought up  in this area of Yorkshire still use, quite naturally, the local words and expressions which would have been used by their ancestors.

Our Yorkshire dialect is sadly dying out as we all listen to the same TV and radio programmes and families are much more mobile so that they often live far away from where they were brought up.

But some words and phrases survive and their use can sometimes be traced back to  the early Norse settlers who came here from Scandinavia,  before the Norman Conquest.

For example locally children are often referred to as 'bairns', a word which dates back to when the Vikings lived in Yorkshire - their word for a child was 'barn'.

Other common local words which have a Scandinavian origin  include 'laiking' or 'larkin' [playing],  'lug' [as in carry something], 'midden' [rubbish tip or dungheap],  'rive at' [as in pull at], 'slape' [slippery], 'spretch' [as in eggs cracking just before hatching].

And  Yorkshire farmers will describe a young female sheep as a gimmer [ from the Old Norse 'gymbr'].

I had an East Riding village childhood and have tried to pick out words which I either use or have heard used. Sometimes  dialect dictionaries list words which have long fallen out of use or which were only maybe used in a mining or mill area.

The problem too is realising what is dialect and you only find that out when you use a word outside Yorkshire and people look at you a bit oddly and ask what it means.

So I have had 'trouble' when describing a ball of string as being 'taffled up',  asking someone to 'rozzle up the fire' [ I think this is from my father who came from Driffield], 'side the  table/ pots' or 'mash the tea'.

Many dialect expressions refer to the occupations of those who use them. So in this area we have a lot of farming and rural words and phrases although they are not the same as those used further west and north.

Here are some I have heard recently:

"It were wick with fleas" [a dead hedgehog picked up by a dog - 'wick' means alive although I have also heard someone ask if a cable was 'wick' [live].

Also I have heard people talk of 'an owd tup' [a tup is a ram],  'a black clock',  [beetle],  'a spuggy' [sparrow], 'a stee'[ladder], 'a chimley' [chimney] and a  'peggy stick' [for stirring clothes in a wash tub].

A farmer might talk about 'leading hay' [moving it from field to barn] and being held up because  'it's siling down" [raining very heavily - a 'sile' was a coarse sieve used in the dairy] and someone who has been outside in the weather might come in 'fair nithered'  or 'starved'[ both mean very cold'] and 'wet as thack' [ thatch]. When the work began someone might take out the 'drinkings' [the refreshments taken out to field workers] which in some areas were known as 'lowance'.
If a field was wet  someone might say 'It's carr land"  [land which is low lying and prone to be wet] and this same word is often used in names - there are many Carr Lanes about.

Other Yorkshire phrases often still used  include:

'I'll bray you', 'I'm feeling badly', 'Stop faffing about', 'Can you fettle it?' ' Me kegs are all clarty', 'A'm fair mafted','There's a 'mawk' in that apple', 'Ah'l tret you', 'Bags I foggy', 'E's right fond clever'.

I have not included a translation of the phrases above -  maybe someone would like to send one in and also any other Yorkshire phrases I have not mentioned.

In fact you might be surprised at how many words and phrases you use which in other parts of England might need translating.

So far I have not even touched on typical Yorkshire behaviour - the deadpan comment for example of a Hull bus driver this weekend who told me ' I'm not giving change today luv'  before he handed me mine with a grin.

And of course the stock answer to the polite query 'How are you?'. A Yorkshire person rarely replies 'Very well, thank you' - he or she will usually say 'Oh, not so bad'.

Despite being taken to task by a dialect expert who wrote an erudite reply to my article explaining the complex origins of some of the words and suggesting that our dialect is not dying out, only evolving, I shall continue collecting interesting words and phrases I hear in conversation.

After all how many young people will tweet about it being 'Black ower Bill's mother's'  [there is a black cloud and it  looks like rain] or send a text sharing the joke "What's worse than finding a 'mawk' in an apple?" "Finding half a mawk"? [ a mawk is a maggot]

I actually think that as I have been writing this I have probably proved my point. My word processing program has littered my words with red underlining and has corrected several of the words for me. Writing dialect is a challenge in modern times.

Friday, 24 January 2014

More local emigrants

The internet is a wonderful thing for family historians as it enables us to find out what happened to people who left  Yorkshire for a new life. I know it has to be used with caution and I sometimes despair of family trees where children of maybe 10 years old are listed as parents just because their name is right!

But on the whole it works well. I have recently been looking at two families who emigrated to Ontario. The first family was from near Holme on Spalding Moor. George Fowler emigrated with his brother in the 1870s.  His father, also George, appeared with the family in 1851 but then disappeared. Young George in 1861 was living with his grandparents, Thomas and Hannah near Welham Bridge. His two brothers were with their mother in Howden workhouse,

Searching in the East Riding archives  told us that George senior had deserted his family and 'gone to America'.  After many hours and with the help of the Familysearch site all was revealed. All three of George senior's sons  had emigrated and although there are still some gaps to fill in [did he marry again in Canada? what happened to his wife and daughter?] we found that George and his three sons were obviously in touch and in fact George was living with his youngest son in 1911.

As ever it makes you wish that some of the many letters which passed between emigrants and their families  at home in Yorkshire had survived - but they did not know that many years later we would all be fascinated by family history.

The other family I was looking at was Thomas Bristow who married Elizabeth Bullass and lived in Reedness near Whitgift. The problem here too is what happened to Thomas. Two of his sons, William and George, emigrated. Elizabeth spent some time in Goole workhouse and later says she is a widow. When and where did Thomas die?

I  receive many queries through my website about family history and always have a look in my own resources to see if I can help. If it is a simple query and I can I normally send the information straight back. If it is a query that would involve my spending some hours researching I make a charge.

In every case I reply. My appeal to all family historians is that if you contact someone with a query and they reply to you, then please thank them. Most people do - I often spend an hour or more looking at a family and then send back information or suggestions as to what sources might be useful. I am sure other family historians do the same.

The internet is a wonderful thing but remember the people who reply to your queries are often not in a remote office but, like me, sitting at a computer in my kitchen watched by a dog that wants a walk and surrounded by a heap of ironing and other jobs that need doing.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Howden in the First World War

It seems a long time now since Christmas. The tree is down, the needles vacuumed up [ although there always seem to be a few that you miss] and my WEA classes are starting again this week.

In both classes [ Howden and Goole] we are looking at the local area and the First World War. I have taken the names from the Howden War memorial.

Names on the Howden war memorial  World War One

Pte. Cyril Cuthbert AGAR
Lieu. Harold Edward AGAR
Spr. Tom George ANDREW        
Pte. Albert AVEY
Pte. Arthur James BAKER
Pte. Harold BELL
Pte. Ephraim BENTLEY
Rfh. Charles Singleton BLAND
Pte. John Bertram BRADFORTH
Tpr. Lionel Calam BURGESS
Pte. John CAMP
Cpl. Richard COLLINS
Pte. James Martin CONNER
Pte. William Henry DOVE
Pte. Alfred FITCH
Dvr. Harry FRANKS
Pte. Robert GILL
F.Lieut. William GLEW
Pte. Sidney GOODYEAR
Pte. Harold HABLETT
Pte. George HAIGH
Sgt. Harry HALL
Pte. Charles HALL
Spr. William HUSTLER
Pte. John George JACKSON
Sgt. Reginald Percival JONES
Pte. Arthur Edwin KAYE
Pte. William Henry Forester KNOX
Pte. Reginald Glendinning LAKE
Pte. James William LANGHORN
Pte. John Augustus Blanchard LATHAM
Ab.Sn. John Thomas LINTON
Pte. Harold LUCAS
 Lt.Cm. Charles Ceasar de Merindol MALAN
Cpl. John William MARKHAM
Pte. Thomas MARSTON
Pte. Mathew William MARQUIS
Tpr. Harry MATHEWS
Pte. Thomas Stephen MOONEY
A.S. Richard Henry Kirby MYERS
Pte. John William NEWHAM
Sgt. Leonard Riby NICHOLSON
Pte. William NUTBROWN
Pte. Herbert OLIVER
Pte. Thomas Francis PEAM
Pte. John Edward POOLEY
Pte. William Norman ROWNTREE
2 Lt. Charles Frederick SAUNDERS
Q.M.Sgt. John Everitt SAUNDERS
Pte. Jack Stather SHERBURN
Pte. William SHIRBON
Pte. Robert SIMMS
Spr. Ernest SMITH
Pte. Thomas Frederick SPIVEY
Pte. William SWEETING
Pte. Thomas THORNTON
Tpr. Robert Butler THROSSELL
Tpr. James William WARNER
Pte. James Henry WILKINSON
Pte. Harold WOODALL
Pte. Richard WOODALL
Bugler. George WRAY

Pte. Albert Henderson BRABBS
Pte. Thomas William HORNSHAW
L/Cpl. Sidney Clifford PLASTER

Lieut. George Eric Asquith ANDERTON
Pte. Walter CHATHAM
L/Cpl. James JACKSON
Pte. Herbert MIDDLETON
Pte. Walter Edward SWEETING
Gnr. Fred WATSON
Pte. Arthur WILSON
Able Seaman Thomas WOOD

L/Cpl. Thomas DOBSON
Pte. Francis Albert ROBINSON
Pte. Richard Laurence WILSON

L/Cpl. Herbert William RAMSEY
Sgt. George Henry TIPPING
Pte. Arthur WAINMAN

We hope to find out more about these men and also about other men who served during the war from the Howden area but who returned safely.

We hope maybe to get the information online and also into a booklet. If you have any information that might help please get in touch. We would particularly like any photos.

Most of the names which are on the memorial are of men who were born in and lived in the area all their lives. But some are a bit of a mystery.

Why, we wondered, was  Charles Ceasar De Merindol Malan, a Lieut Commander  in the Royal Navy who was killed, aged 31, after his ship, HMS Opal was wrecked in a snowstorm off  the Orkneys in January 1918 commemorated on the Howden memorial.

So I looked up his details and found that he was born in Howden in 1887 as was his younger brother John. Their father was an engineer, born in Switzerland and by 1891 the family was living in Hull. So that explains why he is commemorated in Howden - but  now I wonder what project Mr Malan was working on in Howden.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Sad loss of a gentleman - Bill Wroot

For those who also read my website you may have read the fascinating Memories of Reedness written by Horace William Wroot - Horace to his friends in the Marshland and Bill to the rest of us.

Sadly Bill died shortly before Christmas at the age of 87,  a good friend and a gentleman in all senses. Many people attended his funeral in Whitgift Church.

It was a poignant moment sitting there and listening to the organ, remembering Bill's stories of the Marshland villages where he grew up and particularly of the church itself with its dial showing thirteen which was mentioned in a broadcast by Lord 'Haw Haw'.

Although Bill served all over the world in his army career he loved returning to his Yorkshire roots, regularly attending local shows, church events, garden parties and the Marshland history group where he met up with his boyhood friends and reminisced about their schooldays at Reedness.

Bill was a kind and gentle man and a fount of  local knowledge. I am proud to have known him. He will be sadly missed.

Bill and his wife Gudrun enjoying a toasted teacake in the Shire Hall at Howden

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

A stormy Christmas Eve

I would like to wish everyone who reads my blog a Happy Christmas and best wishes for 2014. It has been an eventful year and I am looking forward to a peaceful few days, eating roast beef and plum pudding and sitting in front of a log fire eating chocolates.

It was very windy yesterday and one advantage of this is that small branches and twigs fall in my garden, enabling Molly and me to go outside later 'gathering winter fuel'.

On the historical front I have been buying a few old postcards from e bay - it is a good time to do this as many people seem to be too busy with Christmas preparations to keep an eye on the computer! My latest purchases were of pictures of Carlton near Snaith showing flooding around the Bank End area.

I have so many old pictures now that I despair of ever getting them online on my website - but if you ever need an old picture of  this area of East Yorkshire, do ask me if I have one.

 Most people buy copies to illustrate their family history but I have provided images this year for the new Montague Mills factory shop at Goole and most recently for an artist who was designing a book cover and needed a period background image for his heroine [this was a picture of Snaith].

Below is a picture of Coronation Row at Carlton in the snow. It is not  perhaps the sharpest of pictures but as I collect these pictures from a bygone age I have realised that sometimes the picture quality is not the main criterion.

For anyone looking for an old picture of their granny at school, their house, their ship or where their ancestor worked any picture at all is often a bonus.

Coronation Row, Carlton near Snaith

Monday, 16 December 2013

Flooding in Faxfleet, Blacktoft, Yokefleet and Saltmarshe

We live quite near the River Ouse and friends have often asked whether we get flooded. Well I can still say no but last Thursday evening I think  we came very close.

A combination of  low pressure, high winds that day and a very high tide produced a storm surge. The water tore up the Humber, flooding Hull and then up the Ouse. Here the water over topped  the banks with a horrible roaring noise and  poured into people's houses with a suddenness that caught everyone by surprise.

Standing on the river bank with neighbours I watched the dark swirling water come almost up to the top of the defences before it seemed to pause. I now know that we were saved because it came over further along and flooded houses and a large area of farmland.  Over a week later, despite  a lot of pumping, much of the land is still under water and in neighbouring communities families have had to leave their homes - the skips full of damaged carpets and furniture line the roadsides.

Last night the church at Laxton was full for the annual  candlelit carol service.  It was a time to think of those  local families who will not be having the Christmas they planned.

The morning after in Saltmarshe Park. A white van, ironically from a firm who help with the aftermath of floods,  had lost the road and had to be pulled out by a  tractor. In the background a trailer with rescued sheep.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Old photos of Howden

It is  the first day of Advent and the sun is shining brightly. Molly and I have been for a long walk and tramped our way through drifts of fallen leaves. Molly enjoys chasing after the squirrels but she is far too slow to get anywhere near them.  I then tidied up the yard, trimming off some of the dead foliage and emptying hanging baskets.

Earlier in the week I planted some daffodil and crocus bulbs where an old wooden shed stood. I thought the crocus bulbs might have more chance nearer the house as all those I have ever planted elsewhere in the garden have not survived the squirrels. Perhaps I should encourage Molly to run faster!

This has been a good week for Howden. In a previous blog post I mentioned that my friend Ken Deacon and the Howden Civic Society had put in a bid for funding for an R100 airship trail in the town. Well this Tuesday was voting day and Howden won. So the next step is to have the plaques cast so they can be embedded in the pavement.

Yesterday I took into Chappelows' paper shop in the town some mounted photos of local views to sell. Howden  has a fascinating history and is very picturesque. I hope that both local people and tourists might like a souvenir of the town and, as not everyone wants to buy everything from the internet, this is an opportunity for me to showcase and share some of my old pictures.

I am looking forward to the Howden Late Night Opening on Thursday 5th December. There is always a real Christmas atmosphere and this year I do not think that snow ploughs will be needed to clear the Market Place as happened a couple of years ago.

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