Sunday, 14 September 2014

Eastoft war memorial

Yesterday was Heritage Day and we spent it at Eastoft which is on the edge of the Marshland or the Isle of Axholme, which ever way you want to look at it.

It is presently in Lincolnshire but several centuries ago the old River Don ran down the centre of the village and some of the village was in Yorkshire and some in Lincolnshire. Even after the river was diverted and disappeared the village remained divided and even today has a road named 'Yorkshire side'.

In fact the Eastoft village hall where I gave a talk stands between the two roads, in what was originally the river bed. The hall is a small building and was built as a Methodist chapel.

The ladies of Eastoft WI had been awarded a grant to run a 'war day', the main purpose of which was to commemorate the soldiers whose names appeared on the pretty village war memorial just up the street.

We had spent several hours researching the stories of these men and had written a booklet giving a small biography of each man. These were given away to visitors to the event. There was a buffet too and wartime songs from Rose.

I talked about the men, interspersed with local old pictures and some information I had found about the role Ousefleet [or Empson Hall as it is called locally] Hall had played in 1917 and 1918 when it was used to house around 150 young women who came to help with the potato harvest.

Afterwards I was all 'historied out' and after enjoying a meal in a local carvery I made a log fire and watched the Last Night of the Proms on TV.

Below are the names of the Eastoft men from the village war memorial.

Arthur Binns
Joseph Burrows
Walter Cash
Robert Dealtry
Thomas Gibbons
Harry Hudson
Joseph Mellers
George Oades
Edwin Phillipson
Walter Rogers
Frank Sykes

Alfred Waterland

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Goole old picture archive

Today has been sunny and fine and for the first time for a fortnight I have been able to sit outside with a cup of tea and appreciate the lovely weather.

The last two weeks at our Junction exhibition at Goole have been very rewarding - but absolutely exhausting. We have been occupying an ideal room at Junction right in the centre of Goole with easy access from the nearby car park,  very helpful staff, an onsite cafe and good disabled access - we have had several visitors in wheelchairs.

Around the walls were displayed framed pictures of Goole and area while in the centre we had our computers showing old pictures and films, artefacts in glass displays and the First World War research group had all their information  available.

But to be honest what people seemed fascinated by were the pictures of Goole people. We had football teams ranging from schoolboy Short cup winners to Lockwoods mens' and Burtons' ladies teams. We had Goole rugby teams, Goole bus trips from pubs, RAOB groups,  Brownies, dockers, midwives and dinner ladies.

And of course we had school pictures. People argued over names, met schoolmates they had not seen for years and brought in their own school pictures for us to copy and display.  And that was without the pictures of docks, railways, the streets and shops.

In fact on Monday I gave a talk on Goole shops. It was very well attended and several kind people brought in pictures of their own family shops for me to copy. Goole, like most towns, had many family run shops which gave personal service to generations of local people. I shall be giving the talk again at the Boothferry history group at the Courtyard in January incorporating these 'new' pictures.

It was sad to take everything down yesterday - we had to take the pictures out of their covers twice as people came in to look at them as we were packing up.

Pippa sold several of her framed prints and we must have printed out around 70 copies of the pictures on display. My printer used all the ink I had bought just before the event - thinking it might last several weeks!

I think we might do it again - but not until next year.

And in the meantime if you want a Goole - or area - picture as a print or framed or as a digital copy you can contact me through my website.

Goole Brownies outside the Market Hall


Above is one of the most popular pictures we had on display. It shows group of Brownies outside the Market Hall and includes Helen and Paula Tawn and Linda Palmer.

Below is the report on the exhibition which appeared in the Goole Times.





Saturday, 30 August 2014

Goole exhibition of old pictures and First World War information

We are having a really interesting time at our exhibition at Junction in Goole. Tuesday was set up day when we hung all Pippa's pictures and fastened other prints onto display boards with Velcro. We filled our display boxes with objects and Chris and Mike set up tables of information about Goole men who served in the First World war. It took a long time and not a little cursing but in the end it looked good.

Next day we opened - although we had visitors as we were setting up including a lady of 93 who was visiting from Newcastle. Having grown up in George Street she wanted to see pictures of Goole as it was in her childhood.

And the visitors have never stopped. People of all ages have come to see pictures of their town - and themselves. Perhaps most popular have been the old school and group pictures. Some people have gone away and come back a few hours later with other family members to see themselves on display. One of the most popular pictures has been of a Goole Amateurs production of Quaker Girl.

Others have brought pictures for us to copy - and then put up on display. Chris has received information about soldiers and pictures of Ruhleben camp where Goole sea men were interned. We have helped with a 1905 school picture for a lady who had never seen it before and looked up information about lodging houses in Howden.

But mainly we have talked - and listened. Sandwiches have been lying tantalisingly on the table - but there has been no time to eat them.

And next week is still to come. Here is one of the pictures we have had loaned this week. It is from a set of Goole Grammar school team pictures.

Goole Grammar school hockey team 1967 with teacher Cynthia Potter

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Goole local history exhibition at Junction

After a brief pause for breath we are looking forward now to our local history exhibition at Junction in Goole. I hope that lots of people will visit as Pippa  Stainton will have some stunning images of Goole and the local area on display. And the talks - I am talking on Goole shops - will be good too - and they are free.

I have sent some information to publicise the event to the Goole Times and reproduce it below.


 There will be a show of the work of Pippa Stainton, local historian and photo restorer in Goole’s Junction from Wednesday August 26th until Saturday September 5th. On display will be 70  of her framed prints, all of which will be for sale and which show scenes from Goole and the surrounding towns and villages.

Alongside the exhibition Pippa’s colleagues from the Goole local history group, Susan Butler and Gilbert Tawn will be putting on their own displays of old photographs and objects relating to Goole’s history.  Susan is concentrating on school group pictures while Gilbert will be displaying many old pictures from the Goole Times archive.

Also in attendance will be the Goole First World War Research Group, who will be displaying service records, photographs, letters and other memorabilia that relate to the men of the town who fought during the ‘Great War’.

The  local history group has also arranged a series of free illustrated talks which will take place at 2pm in the same room as the exhibition.

On Friday August 29th Chris Laidler of the Goole First World War Research group will give a talk on  Goole men and the First World War. On Monday September 1st Susan Butler will give a talk on the shops of Goole; on Wednesday 3rd September Gilbert Tawn will talk on Goole docks and on Friday 5th September Chris will talk again, this time on Goole railways.

On Saturday August 30th other local history societies have been invited to put on displays and bring along any local history books they have for sale. Howden Civic Society are bringing information and books about airships; Holme on Spalding Moor Local History society will be there with information about the village and the First World War, Snaith History Society will also be bringing First World War information and the Marshland History group will be bringing their display and copies of their latest book on Reedness. Susan Butler will be bringing her books for sale and copies of her old pictures which have appeared in the Goole Times will be available to print out.


The last day of the exhibition, Saturday 6th September, will be a family history advice day when the Boothferry Family and Local History group will be available to help anyone who needs help with their family tree;  the First World War Research group will be there to help people search for service records, and other Goole group members will be there with access to Ancestry and Find my Past websites.

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Goole history book on Kindle

Now the excitement of opening our museum is over I have had time to complete a project which I began 3 months ago. After talking to my friend Ken Deacon who has made his books about airships  available on Kindle I wondered whether I could do the same.

I thought I would begin with my most recent book which was Goole a Pictorial History volume 4, published in 2011. It covers the period just before and including the Second World War and is readily available through my website and in local shops in its printed form.

I must admit it was not so easy as I thought, mainly because my book contains around 80 pictures with captions as well as text and it was hard to get the layout right as Kindle books are often mainly just text. However I persevered and although in my final version some pictures still persist in separating from their caption I do not think this detracts from the book. In fact the pictures seem to appear quite well.

I was amazed at how fast the final process actually was. I uploaded a Word document last night, created a cover using the built in Kindle cover creator [ my own cover was the wrong shape] and pressed the button. It was there in the Amazon search within half an hour and fully 'live' three hours later.

I might try another book - but not just yet.  After all no-one has bought it so far!!

Instead I shall concentrate on domestic matters and hang the washing out before the promised rain materialises tomorrow.

Click on the link below to see my Goole book on Kindle and read a preview


http://www.amazon.co.uk/Goole-pictorial-history-Susan-Butler-ebook/dp/B00MJ8TR82/

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Saltmarshe history and museum


Today has been a lovely day as friends, many from my history classes joined with neighbours  to help us celebrate the opening of our small museum.

What began as a project to renovate a neglected cottage in my garden has turned into the creation of a small local history museum. Members of the Goole local history group -  but mainly Gilbert Tawn - have plastered, painted and hammered until we have a home for the many interesting objects which we either collected ourselves or have had loaned and given.

Gilbert  opening the museum

The rain held off and we watched a slide show of the transformation before around 50 people watched Gilbert cut the ribbon and then were able to look around. It is an ongoing project with a mix of domestic bygones, displays of woodworking tools, old radios, bits of the  airship R100 [very very small] and old toys. There are also old photographs and a considerable amount of  information about the history of Saltmarshe and the surrounding area.

Although not intrinsically valuable the artefacts, we hope, will evoke memories of schooldays, baking, washing and farming as well as everyday life. We also have a collection of local bricks and drainpipes.

We drank many cups of tea and ate lovely cakes baked by Gilbert's wife Gloria. The sun shone and everyone wandered round and talked. A very good way to spend a summer afternoon.

The museum will now be open for groups and individuals to look round - but by prior arrangement only.  It is near both Saltmarshe Hall and the  Saltmarshe holiday cottages and I am happy, with my local historian and professional genealogist's hat on, to help any one who needs to know more of their family history or obtain an old photograph of the area.

Contact me if you are interested in visiting.

Vistors looking at the display


Inside the 18th century kitchen
The 'parlour' with its original curved top display cupboard



Brenda, Eileen and Goff

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Visit to Sheriff Hutton church and castle

It is still hot weather and I think some of our group felt the heat on Tuesday on our visit to Sheriff Hutton. We met for a meal at The Highwayman in the village and then made out way to the church. Here the churchwarden gave us an interesting talk about the families associated with the church and I was particularly pleased to see the representation of the 'sun in splendour', used as a badge by Edward IV following the appearance of a parhelion before his victory at the Battle of Mortimer's Cross in 1461. This was there because of the Neville family connection with Sheriff Hutton.

And of course we were all fascinated to look at the alabaster tomb of a boy of about 11 who is said to be the son of Richard III. He was wearing a long, belted robe and a coronet. The features of his face were mainly gone but many believe him to be a representation of Edward of Middleham, Prince of Wales and only legitimate son of King Richard III. Edward, who had been invested as Prince of Wales in a lavish ceremony at York Minster in 1483, died the following year, at Middleham, of tuberculosis.

His parents, King Richard and Queen Anne [Neville], were then in Nottingham. It is suggested that they came north to Sheriff Hutton, and the body of their son was brought to meet them. Then, according to legend, he was buried in the church, not beneath where the effigy now rests but  on the opposite, southern side of the church, in the ancestral chapel of the Nevilles, his mother’s family.

The evidence is strong and many supporters of Richard III visit the church and lay white roses on the tomb. After a quick cup of tea most of us walked to the castle, passing the motte and bailey site on the way. The present remains, now in private ownership are very impressive and we enjoyed looking around although some of our group were so keen to get out of the heat that they explored a dungeon where cows gathered for the same purpose. Their shoes bore considerable evidence when they emerged.

We braved the A64 York ring road on our way home and made it  just before the heavy teatime traffic began. A thoroughly enjoyable day  - and thanks to Carole K for organising it.

An old postcard view of Sheriff Hutton church



Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Visits to Broomfleet and Ellerker churches

This always a busy time of year as the garden fruits ripen, we go on visits and this year, to make it more interesting, I have had a horrid cold.

The garden is both a joy and a challenge at the moment. If I wished I could probably spend every waking moment outside cutting the grass, weeding the onions and clearing duckweed from the pond, just to mention a few jobs. But to be honest I am happy to let it escape a bit and to appreciate the potatoes which, despite the weeds, are producing a good crop and the rasps which we are eating raw, jamming and making into pies.

There are lots of interesting creatures around at the moment too - I have seen several toads, we have house martins (although sadly one of their nests fell, killing the occupants) and there has been a marauding fox.

But probably the most unusual sight was one morning last week when, having coughed my way through the night, I wanted nothing more than a cup of tea. I carried the kettle to the sink and blearily registered that there was a black something moving in the bottom. On closer inspection I identified it as a bat. I managed to cover it with a tea towel and, despite its hissing, I carried it out and put it on a seat out of the sun. It seemed uninjured and soon disappeared. I did take a picture of it before it went but I am not sure what type/ variety? it was. Bats are not uncommon here but I prefer to see them swooping around outside in the dusk, not making me jump in the kitchen. To borrow from the Victorian poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson - Come into the garden, Maud - bats belong outside in the dark.

"For the black bat, night, has flown'


Today I have visited both Broomfleet and Ellerker churches with my WEA history groups. I always enjoy these outings where students from different groups and classes come together for the afternoon. Both churches were designed by John Loughborough Pearson; Ellerker in 1843-4 and Broomfleet in 1857-61.

We were lucky to have two excellent guides.

John Waudby at Broomfleet  is a local historian who has written two books, one about Broomfleet and one about the Market Weighton drainage board. He told us about the church and about how the former vicarage was built using local Broomfleet bricks.

Diana Bushby at Ellerker is the newly-appointed churchwarden as well as the organist. She has done a lot of research recently into  the history  of St Anne's which she shared with us in an entertaining talk. Particularly fascinating was the story of the Levitt window which commemorates

Richard Marshall and Thomas and Anne Levitt, and was erected by Norrison Marshall Levitt  'grandson of the first named  son of Thomas and Anne aforesaid. 1897.'


She untangled for us the complicated family connections of the Levitt and Marshall families which led to the existence of two Norrison Marshall Levitts living at the same time in the Ellerker area.

The NML who commissioned the window was born in 1819. His father was Thomas Levitt and his mother was the former Ann Marshall, daughter of Richard.

The second NML was born in 1831, the son of Hannah Levitt, Thomas's sister.  Hannah became pregnant by Norrison Marshall, Anne's brother. Unfortunately before they could marry Norrison, who was around 25, was struck by lightning while on his way home from Hull. Both he and his horse were killed instantly.

Hannah gave birth to twin boys. She called them Marshall Norrison Levitt and Norrison Marshall Levitt. Sadly Marshall died but Norrison survived.

Confused? We were a little and so we adjourned to Ellerker village hall where we enjoyed welcome tea and biscuits.



The east window at St Anne's church, Ellerker, commemorating the Levitt family

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Eastrington show 2014

Yesterday was not only the summer solstice - the longest day- but it was also the annual Eastrington show. I have been attending the show since I was a child and was delighted this year that the weather, after several poor years, was very kind. The large number of people through the gate in yesterday's sunshine will, I hope. secure the show's future.

As last year we had a display of old photos in the trade stands tent which seemed to generate a lot of interest. But I have now realised that I need some more recent - and by that I mean 1980s onwards- school pictures as the pictures I have with my contemporaries on are over fifty[!!!] years old. Do send me any scans of some later photos if you can.

In the garden the rasps are ready and we have enjoyed a gooseberry pie. Last week I heard a cuckoo twice - I had given up hope of hearing one and this was certainly almost too late for the rhyme - 'In the middle of June it changes its tune And in July it flies away' but just scraped in.

My tomatoes in the greenhouse are doing well but the leaves are a bit curled - I think they need more regular food and water.

On the history front I have now received some new postcards that I bought on e bay and need to scan them into my photo library.  I was very pleased to get a picture of Skelton chapel [ near Howden]  and another of Saltmarshe Park but my quest for  old pictures of Kilpin, Spaldington and Balkhome continues.

A report of Eastrington Show in 1964. 



Friday, 6 June 2014

Reflections on D Day

I have been watching and listening to the various events in Normandy  to commemorate the 70th anniversary of D Day. My father, Cpl Doug Watson, was serving abroad in 1944, but in Africa. My mother's cousin, Gunner Jack Nurse from Eastrington, took part in the landings but came home safely. My father at least rarely talked of his war experiences - he took part in the retreat from Dunkirk but my only knowledge of how frightening it was came from what my mother told me.

I am continuing to research the history of Saltmarshe and by strange coincidence today I was looking at the Saltmarshe family in the twentieth century. The male line of the family died out when the last Philip Saltmarshe died unmarried in 1970.

But there had been a male heir.  I am not sure whether he could have inherited the estate as it was entailed through the male line. But the question was moot. He was killed in Normandy in June 1944.

The last Philip Saltmarshe had three sisters. One, Myrtle, a VAD, had died in the influenza epidemic after the First World War.  Another, Lady Deramore, had no children but the third, Ivy Oswald Saltmarshe, had married a soldier, Col Reginald Woods. They had only one child, a son Humphrey born in 1915.

In 1944 Humphrey was in command of  the 9th battalion of the Durham Light Infantry.  I found an account of how he was killed, written later by a Sgt Charles Eagles:

'So I went back to rejoin the Battle of Lingèvres, fought by the 9th Battalion of the Durham Light Infantry against what turned out to be the Panzer Lehr Division, probably the best equipped division in the entire Wehrmacht. And back to Colonel Humphrey Woods, the commanding officer, who we'd been detailed to bodyguard until our carrier had been blown apart by a mortar. It was June 14, 1944; eight days after D-Day, and the Durhams were being mown down all around me.

'What remained of my section had re-grouped in the apex of the cornfield, Col Woods, a popular CO decorated with a Distinguished Service Order and a Military Cross, was in charge. Following his orders, we scrambled through a hedgerow and spotted the turret of a Tiger tank trying to hide in a copse.

'We scattered, throwing ourselves behind anything. Except the colonel. He stood still, taking in the situation and then issuing an order: "Get that tank!"I couldn't believe it. I may even have laughed. It was an impossible task. It would have been sheer suicide. It is one thing to be brave; quite another to be foolish. But then it happened. Some mortar shells landed between us and I threw myself into undergrowth. When I looked again, I saw the colonel was down. He spoke his last words: "Surely they haven't hit me!” They had indeed. And how. He was virtually cut in half. He was 28.'

Lt Col Woods is buried in the Bayeux war cemetery.

Lt Col Humphrey Woods.

A postscript: I was reading the online coverage of the D Day commemoration events and came  across this  in The Independent newspaper

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