Tuesday, 14 June 2016

The streets of Goole

I had a lovely  evening last night giving a talk to the Boothferry history group about the streets of Goole. There was a good audience and I think they enjoyed guessing the names of  some of the less well-known streets before I revealed them.

 Many of the pictures I showed were taken in 1966 by the then council to show the streets which they were considering demolishing. Not all were subsequently knocked down but most were and it was possible to see that some of the darker little terraces must have been very cramped. But as someone said some of the others, in different times, would have been renovated.

We are now busy preparing for a visit to our museum from the South Cave U3A on Thursday. I gave the group a talk earlier in the year and they are now combining a visit to Saltmarshe Hall with a visit to us.

I have been trying to finish a short history of Saltmarshe Hall, family and village that I am writing but keep being distracted. The garden is just under control but with the damp humid weather we have been having it is growing - weeds and vegetables, at a great rate. And there is my distraction.

On Saturday evening I am looking forward to attending  a Summer Serenade concert at Market Weighton  St John's Methodist church, performed by the Saltmarshe Duo  saltmarsheduo.co.uk

The chapel was built in 1868 to replace a much earlier one where John Wesley  preached in 1788. This chapel building, built in 1786 is still there.

An old picture of the traffic free main street of Market Weighton

Saturday, 28 May 2016

On hearing the first cuckoo

This morning I was awakened by the song [ is that the word?] of a cuckoo just outside my bedroom window. We used to hear them commonly in the surrounding woods but I did not hear one at all last year.

So I was delighted to hear his cry as he continued to fly around and I hope he finds a mate. As a child I chanted the rhyme

The cuckoo comes in April
And sings her song in May
In the middle of June
She changes her tune
And in July she flies away.

I suppose that then I did not know that it is the male who sings cuckoo while the female sings a bubbling song. But nevertheless we are in May, the sun was shining and the cuckoo was singing.

There are many songs and poems about cuckoos. Perhaps the oldest is the medieval "Summer is icumen in, Loudly sing cuckoo" while in 1912 Frederick Delius wrote On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring, which is a tone poem based on  an old Norwegian folk song called ‘In Ola Valley’.

There are many traditions too about what to do when you hear your first cuckoo of the year. A friend told me today that  when you hear the first cuckoo you should turn any money in your pocket. This was new to me but on looking it up I found that he was right.

 In fact I read that it is very important that you have money in your pocket. On hearing the cuckoo you should then take the money, turn it over and spit on it and this ritual will bring you good fortune and riches in the forthcoming year. So now I know.

On the historical front I am working on a presentation entitled The Streets of Goole which I am giving to the Boothferry History group on June 13th. I am looking through my old pictures to find some of the less familiar streets and am aiming not to feature Aire Street, Boothferry Road and Pasture Road as I have so many pictures of these streets which I have shown previously.

A very early view of Boothferry Road, Goole

An early view of North St, Goole

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Richard Champney of Ellerker

At last it feels like summer and time for gardening and  barbecues.

Last week I went on an evening visit to Wressle Castle. And what a wonderful transformation. Instead of the head high Himalayen balsam and the dark interior of a previous visit we were greeted by new grass and a magnificent castle with sparkling stonework, information boards and a real feeling of how the castle must have looked in the time of the Percy family. I can thoroughly recommend a visit when the castle is open

Read more about it in this weekend's Yorkshire Post


or in the June edition of the Howdenshire Living magazine. This also includes my latest profile piece on local villages. I have written about Asselby and have already submitted an article on Ellerker for next month.

During the research for the history of Ellerker I was fascinated to come across references to the journals of Richard Champney. He lived with his wife and ten children in Ellerker Hall from around 1820 until the 1850s. Richard was born in London but as a child went with his family to America where his surgeon father had inherited 42000 acres. Richard returned with his mother and went to school in England. He later joined the army and served as an officer in the Peninsular Wars. After leaving the army he settled in Ellerker where he compiled his diaries into journals. These are in the university of Delaware library and I have written to the library about the possibility of obtaining copies.

Also last week we had a visit from the North Duffield history society to our small museum. This went very well and we were particularly pleased that the fire we lit in the main fireplace did not smoke. It has undergone repairs since we last had a group round and they found it almost impossible to linger upstairs  where we have a small toy collection.

The garden is doing well and I have planted spinach and carrot seeds in the raised bed. The chickens too are thriving although have taken to wandering onto the road. Not a good idea.

Friday, 29 April 2016

South Cave, Selby and Swinefleet

I have been busy over the last week giving talks and attending them. Last week I gave a talk at South Cave to the local history group of the U3A. It was held in the Town Hall where some two hundred years ago Robert Sharp was the schoolmaster. His fascinating diary of life in the  town and area was republished and I remember going to the launch of the new publication where we were all served Yorkshire curd cheesecakes.

On Monday evening I attended a talk at the Boothferry history group in Goole about suffragettes and on Tuesday morning gave a talk in Selby to the family history group there about local ferries and bridges. Tuesday evening I went to Swinefleet and listened to David Galloway, the knowledgeable local historian of Airmyn talk about his home village.

That just left me with an article to write for Howdenshire Living magazine about the history of Asselby and then the rest of the week was my own.

I intended to devote some time to gardening and planting up my new raised bed but the weather has been awful - cold, wet, frosty and quite unsuitable to gardening. But I have the plants ready and a new tyre on my grass cutter. And we did find time to clean out the chickens and spray their house and nest boxes with Poultry Shield which is a protection against red mite.

So I am hoping for a sunny bank holiday weekend.

The chickens helping smooth the raised bed. Molly  is not impressed with it.

South Cave main street with the Town Hall on the right

Friday, 22 April 2016

Skelton beacon lit to celebrate the Queen's birthday

Tonight, 21st April 2016 we went to Skelton near Howden and stood on the riverbank where the  beacon was lit to celebrate the Queen's 90th birthday.  Most of the village were there, about 60 adults and children and it was a lovely fine evening. We sang the National Anthem, led by villager and professional singer Steven Goulden, listened to a message from Prince Charles read by Christine Wilburn, watched George Simister, the oldest resident, light the beacon and then, again led by Steven, sang Happy Birthday to Her Majesty.

As it was by then dark and chilly we all  adjourned to the Scholfield Memorial Hall and drank welcome cups of tea and ate scones and jam.  The small hall was beautifully decorated with bunting and ribbons. A 'reet good do' as we say in Yorkshire and congratulations to the parish council.

George lighting the beacon
Steven and members of the Skelton and Kilpin parish council leading the singing of  Happy Birthday.

After tea and scones we went back to the beacon and pictured the lovely sunset

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Thomas Eland and Mary Hall of Metham and Hive, Yorkshire

I have recently been contacted by descendants of the Hall family of Hive, near Eastrington and the Eland family of Metham near Blacktoft in East Yorkshire.

Since both families appear peripherally in my family tree I thought I would have a further look at them as my original work probably pre-dated the internet.

Thomas Eland [ born 1805 at Metham, possibly at the Hall] married Mary Hall [ born at Hive] in Eastrington church on 13th April 1831.

Mary was one of the seven children of Thomas Hall and the former Hannah Bisset who had married at Fishlake in 1809. Mary's parents and her six siblings [Thomas, Abraham, Robert, Henry, Susannah and Hannah who were all baptised at Eastrington and lived at Hive]  emigrated to Quebec, Canada in1830.

Thomas' uncle, Samuel Hall, had already emigrated to Canada ten years earlier. Samuel was then 57  and also emigrating with their parents were children Ann, Elizabeth and John. Jane was already there.  Eldest son William stayed in Yorkshire and several local families including Scruton, Carlton, Westoby and Sweeting families are descended from him.

But back to Mary, who never saw her parents and brothers and sisters again, although they wrote many letters to each other.

Her husband Thomas Eland was seemingly from a well off farming family. His father, also Thomas,
was born at Thornton House and baptised at nearby Blacktoft on 28 Jul 1768. He was the son of Abraham.

Thomas Eland senior died in 1817 and left his estate to his eldest son Thomas. But he left an annuity to his widow and bequests to his children, including one of £2000 to his second son Abraham. He also left legacies of £600 and £500 to his daughters. They were to inherit when they were 21.

Thomas mortgaged the estate and then when his siblings attained the age of 21 he could not pay them.  Nor could he pay the mortgagees. The whole case ended up in the chancery courts.

Eventually Thomas was forced  to sell the Metham estate and  moved to Withernwick with his wife Mary and eldest two children Abraham and Ann who were twins.  The rest of their family was born at Withernwick.

After Thomas died Mary moved back to her home village of Hive where she had a house built.

I am related to both families, the Halls through the Precious family of Sandholme [ my grandfather's mother was a Precious] and the Elands [ my grandmother was a Coultous and her mother was Nancy Williamson, descended from Thomas Eland.

I often look professionally at other people's families so it is nice to look at my own sometimes.

Monday, 4 April 2016

Bees and postcards

I keep thinking that spring is coming but after a lovely day yesterday when I cut the grass today is wet again. But the in-house beekeepers managed to look at our bees while the sun shone and are very pleased with what they found. The colony is strong and the bees are laying brood [which is good] and are bringing in pollen and nectar [also good]. We are not sure what flowers they are on as apparently they do not like daffodils but the snowdrops which are just finishing are attractive, as are hellebores and mahonia and the tree blossoms are just appearing.

Here is a picture I took - my new camera allows me to stand well back and zoom in on the action! I was not near enough therefore to see the queen but she was there, marked with a blue dot to show she was last year's  model [ new queens this year will have a white dot applied].

Is Her Majesty there?

On Friday we went to the postcard fair at York racecourse and I bought several cards of the area - including two showing the church at Howden after the fire in 1929, one of Harswell church and one very unusual one of the scene inside the  Howden hangar where airship ZR2  [also known as R38] was being visited by ladies and gentlemen in smart clothes. It was taken by local photographer Dora Davis.

As I write the weather is 'fairing up' so maybe a bit of gardening later.

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Plough Inn, Ellerker

Now it is almost Easter but it feels cold and grey. This week I pruned my raspberries and moved a loganberry but  I am a fair weather gardener and am not as enthusiastic when the sun is not shining.

This week the latest issue of the Howdenshire Living magazine appeared. I have contributed an article and some photographs of Wallingfen and Newport which have come out very well. I wrote about the witches of Wallingfen and my own family connection [ maybe!] with Rebecca Nurse who was one of the Salem witches.

But time does not stop and I have just written a piece for the next issue. I have written about Airmyn and the Smithson family. Hugh Smithson was given Airmyn by a relative when in 1740 he and his new bride visited  the elderly owner,  his great uncle who had no heir,  and who decided to leave it to the young couple.

Hugh and his wife Elizabeth soon afterwards became Duke and Duchess of Northumberland. Meanwhile Airmyn developed as a small port where passengers could take a ship to London.

In between I have answered queries about who built the Marshlands Hotel in Old Goole and about the Plough Inn in Ellerker.   Here is a picture of the Plough which is now a private house on the corner of the road to South Cave.

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Goole hobbies exhibition

Yet another wet day - I needed my Wellingtons this morning just to let the chickens out and it was raining so heavily that I gave them their pellets inside as I think otherwise they would have turned to mush before they could be eaten. But the chickens are still laying well and enjoying pecking around the garden. Still deciding what to do when we get the vegetables planted - I am considering raised beds which I can net.

View from the window last week showing both happy hens and our snowdrops which have done well this year

On Saturday I had a stall as usual at the hobbies exhibition in Goole. I have been going for several years and always enjoy meeting people who are interested in local history. Queries this year ranged from how to find out a house history, where would an ancestor be buried who had died at Newport and lots of requests for old photos of Goole ships, Howden and Goole streets and various villages. I tried to answer them all.

My WEA local history classes are coming to the end of their terms - our main topics of study have been the Empson family of Yokefleet, Goole and Ousefleet and the Knights Templar at Faxfleet.

Now I am hoping to return to the history of Saltmarshe and gardening.

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Hugh McIntosh and Goole

 A couple of weeks ago I wrote of how in my WEA local history class we were studying the canal contractors who had connections with Goole.

One of my students, Pauline Stainton was particularly interested in what part  Hugh Mcintosh played in the building of Goole docks and whether the Mcintosh Arms in Aire Street was named after him.

She has written the following interesting article.

HUGH McINTOSH  (1768 – 1840).

     Towards the end of the 18C a new profession arose in the construction industry. Leading architects and planners, with large public contracts on the drawing board, no longer had to advertise for the various skilled craftsmen, navvies and general labourers that were needed. They only needed one man – the contractor. Hugh McIntosh was one of those men.

      Hugh was born on the 4th December 1768 in Kildrummie, Nairn, Scotland. His background was in the local farming community. After a short period of education in Inverness, he began his working life as a navvy on the Forth and Clyde canal.  From there he moved down into Lancashire where he worked on the Leeds and Liverpool canal. His first contracts in that county were with the well-known engineer John Rennie (1761-1821) and it is recorded that they remained friends until Rennie’s death. Such was Rennie’s reputation that the Aire & Calder Navigation Company frequently called on him when their chief engineer and planner, George Leather, felt in need of a second opinion.

    At the beginning of a new century, Hugh McIntosh was in London. It became the base of his expanding business and his permanent home. In the first decade, he made his fortune excavating and expanding the East India Docks. He supervised this work personally – his workforce being estimated at 400 men and 100 horses. He continued to work on numerous contracts in London’s dockland for another twenty years.

    McIntosh’s contracts for canals, docks, roads, railways, gas & waterworks are far too numerous to mention. So too are the people & engineers who employed him, but one or two examples are included here to show the respect those contemporaries had for him.  The great Thomas Telford (1757-1834), who was invited to become the President of the newly formed Institute of Civil Engineers, frequently worked with him and probably their most famous collaboration was the Gloucester & Sharpness canal. This ship canal was, when it was opened, the deepest & widest in the world. When Telford was approached to take control of this project, it had been in the planning stages for far too long and he offered the contract directly to Hugh McIntosh.

   He also worked for many famous engineers and appears to have had good business relationships with all of them – except one – Isambard Kingdom Brunel (1806-1859).  Hugh McIntosh worked on the Great Western Railway for Brunel but when he sent in a bill for some extra work, Brunel refused to pay. McIntosh employed a lawyer on his staff (his son David was a lawyer too) and the dispute went to court. In true Dickensian style, the case rumbled on for many years, long after both men had died, but eventually David McIntosh was awarded the money.

     In London, he worked continually on government buildings, Royal houses & some famous bridges. At the beginning of the 19C, the English monarchy had numerous homes but no palace fit for a king.  George the Third lived in Buckingham House which was just a rather large town house suitable for his growing family. When he became ill & his son became Prince Regent, “Prinny” decided that something more palatial was required. He called in the London architect John Nash (1752-1835) to draw up plans for the refurbishment of the existing building, the proposed new wings and an impressive archway as an entrance from the road. The work wasn’t put out to tender but offered directly to Hugh McIntosh. In Nash’s opinion, he was the only man with the men and equipment to get the job done.

     Throughout his life McIntosh continued to work on the canals and he was already in his sixties when he began his association with the Aire and Calder Navigation Company at the end of 1834. The new Port of Goole, barely eight years old, was already in need of a new dock and lock big enough to accommodate the new paddle-steamers. The steamboat lock was to enter directly into the River Ouse. Also on the plans was a graving dock. The steamboat dock was opened on the 25th April 1838 accompanied by the “roar of cannon” and day-long festivities. The graving dock was opened in March 1841 and immediately put to good use.

       Hugh McIntosh didn’t live to see this contract completed. He died on 31 August 1840 at the Strafford Arms Hotel in Wakefield while checking on his contracts with the A. & C. and the Manchester and Leeds and North Midland railways.

    McIntosh was one of the key individuals in developing the British engineering industry. He relied on his family, chiefly his brother James and his own son David, to manage his works and many famous contractors worked under him. They enabled McIntosh to establish himself as the first contractor with a national organisation.
                      M.M. Chrimes. Former Head Librarian to the Institute of Civil Engineers.

The McIntosh/MacIntosh Arms

As to whether the 'Mac'  was named after him - it seems most likely. It was not listed as an inn in 1834 but in 1837 there was listed in Aire Street an inn called 'McIntosh's Arms' kept by John Watkinson.

I found a piece in my notes written by Mr H T  Gardiner, a nineteenth century editor of the Goole Times and keen local historian [his notebooks are in Goole Library]. He wrote in August 1891

‘the old Mail Coach Inn in Old Goole, where Mr Plowes now keeps the Post office.... is part of the property bought by John Green. The licence to this house was removed by Sir J [sic] Macintosh to the present Macintosh Arms. Afterwards a beer licence was taken out to the old Royal Mail and the house was called the Blacksmith’s Arms and kept by Mr Burton. Part of the sign remains above the door [ a horse shoe painted above the door] and in the yard is an old stone, part of a skittle ground.’

In 1834 the Mail Coach inn in Old Goole was kept by Elizabeth Watkinson. It also appears that the Aire Street pub was owned by the Watkinson family as when in January1880 the McIntosh was sold the newspaper reported that

January 1880 sale at the Lowther by Mr Woad of ‘the public house under the name of the McIntosh Arms, with the shop adjoining, now in the occupation of ?Messrs Boult and Son, together with 4 cottages in Chapel St. The property was sold to Mr Pemberton for £2,200. Solicitors for the heirs of the late Mr Watkinson were present.

If anyone can add any more to this information about the pub we would be grateful.

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