Sunday, 4 March 2018

Winter weather

I expected to be writing today about the Goole Hobbies exhibition but last week we saw out the end of February with a blast of Siberian weather. So plans were thrown into disarray with a concert at Doncaster I was planning to attend cancelled, as was my Thursday morning history class and Saturday's annual hobbies exhibition in the Leisure Centre.

But compared with other parts of the country we got off lightly with about 6 inches [ in old money!!!] of snow at the most. Worse in fact were the biting winds from the east - we had to block up the extractor fan with cling film to stop the icy blast entering the kitchen. Today the snow here has almost gone but it is a cold rainy day. But on the positive side the snowdrops are visible again and the daffodils are springing back upright.

It seems some time since I wrote of rural, rather than historical events so here is a brief update. Our downstairs cloakroom light stopped working and we had to remove part of the ceiling to get at the wiring. Also removed was an old wasps' nest from some three years ago.

Here is a picture of it - and of the garden and Molly before and during the snow.

The wasp next removed from the roof space. Wasps only use their nests once

Molly in the snowdrops before the 'big freeze'

The bees are safely eating fondant until the warmer weather comes

Molly - and a chicken - exploring the snow

Friday, 2 February 2018

Old Goole history

It's the second of February - a month traditionally known as February fill-dyke. It is wet outside, our pond is full and the sky is glowering but it is winter and it could be worse. On the plus side our snowdrops are beautiful this year and some of the daffodils are in bud. Our eight chickens are laying well and the three beehives have survived the cold - although we are keeping an eye on them.

My two WEA history classes are going well although this term we are studying different topics. In Howden we are in medieval times and had a fascinating talk on Monday by a visiting speaker and ex- student about Howden around 1400.

I am also looking forward to a proposed archaeological dig at the rear of the new heritage centre, formerly the HSBC bank. The area was part of the Bishop of Durham's Lodgings and so should prove interesting.

In Goole we decided to look at Old Goole, a part of the town which has a separate identity and some very proud inhabitants. It even has its own Facebook page!

Many people seem to think that Goole popped up out of nowhere in the 1820s when the Aire and Calder Navigation Co. opened their canal and that there was little history before that. We are finding that the original Goole was thriving before the upstart New Goole and had a long history - although maybe not quite as illustrious as Howden's!

We are researching the histories and inhabitants of Goole Hall, Manor Cottage, Field House farm, Grove and Bleak Houses, the churches, chapels and schools. We are also trying to build a timeline of when the streets were built.

 This week we looked at Field House Farm and its orchards and fruit growing past [anyone know anything about that?] and also at the original Old Goole School. It was held  in the old St Mary's Church and had some very well-read and enthusiastic masters. We think it was associated with the Hook and Goole Charity.

But by the 1870s it was being run as a National School  and was not in a good state. The blame  was laid at the door of the Vicar of Goole, Dr Bell.
In 1875  it was visited by Goole doctor Parsons in his capacity as Medical Officer of Health and other townsmen. A report in the Goole Times on 29th January 1875  describes the visit.

In the course of the report the state of the school and school-house were commented upon, the former being ill-ventilated ; the school yard needing draining and asphalting, while the house was low and needed ventilation. There was a case of scarlet fever there. 
Dr. Parsons said the house was in a nice situation, but had no back windows, so that it was as badly ventilated as a back to back house. The Chairman said the master and his wife looked as if they were just recovered from some malignant disease. They were in an emaciated state, and looked exceedingly feeble. 
The very poultry were huddled a corner of the yard which was a square piece of puddle, and looked too as if they were recovering from scarlet fever, although it happened to be a beautiful morning. There were 30 to 40 children in the room and the atmosphere was stifling. 
Mr Bowers : Not a single window would open. 
Dr. Parsons : I have spoken Dr. Bell about it, but he declines to do anything. 
Mr. England: I cannot understand how he gets the Government grant. The Government inspector cannot know what he is about. 
The Chairman : It no use setting this sort thing down to prejudice or saying we have any object to gain in making such a report. We have every wish to take a fair view, and cannot come to any other conclusion. 
Mr. Bowers : It is a disgrace to any civilised town. 
Dr. Parsons : Dr. Bell said it would cost too much; he should not do it. I will report to you again on the matter. 
The Chairman : Thank you. Do not you think there should be proper playground ? 
Dr. Parsons : There is a yard. 
The Chairman : But it is one piece of puddle. You could not put children there. 
Mr. Clegg : The school was very badly lighted.

The master, John Brayshaw wrote an indignant reply [which I have edited]

In  your last issue you gave a  report of the Church School, Old Goole in which they state that the school-house is low and badly ventilated.
This house consists of four rooms and scullery. The room on the floor is the living room  There are three rooms on the second floor, one used as a sitting room, the other two as bedrooms, the height of all three 8 feet 9 inches.  Each of these rooms has a window  fitted with sliding sashes opening both top and bottom. 

With regard to the health of the first and second master I can  state that I am the only master of this school, and I don’t recollect being ill of any fever, contagious disease whatever, either malignant otherwise, and it appears to that if there was any malignity in the matter all, it must have been in the person who looked at  me and came to such a glaringly false conclusion ; but I thank God that I am in perfect health, notwithstanding the efforts of the medical officer of health to persuade me to the contrary. 

On the day these people paid their unauthorised visit to our school  81 chiIdren were present and not merely 30 or 40 as was stated, and with regard to the ‘'stench”— not a very polite expression, by the way—l have no doubt that the person who said ho felt it, came strongly disposed find everything wrong, but we are not obliged  to consider his judgment the best in such matters.

As regards the School —It is certified to, by the Education department, as being equal the reception of 112 scholars. The ventilation by windows being considered dangerous from direct draught upon the children, there is a ventilator above, and grates all around the base of the school building, there is grate in the centre of the room, near the stove, from which comes current from the side grates, and with proper attention there can be no risk to health.

The yard has two drains one on each side, and the cause of the wet state which was then viewed by these people, was on account  of the late severe frost and afterwards wet weather, but was  remedied as soon as the weather became settled. 

Every care has  been used in not allowing children connected with houses in which there were fever cases to attend at school. 

To take any notice of the sensational remarks made about  my wife and the fowls would only give an importance to matters that they do not deserve. I would venture to say in respect to the medical officer, that I think little more experience of reality would be of great service him in his office. 

I am, Sir, your obedient servant, JOHN BRAYSHAW, 3rd February, 1875. Master of the School.

John Brayshaw however did not stay much longer at Goole. He was originally a wool comber from Keighley and I think he probably returned there. I cannot find records of him in 1881 and wonder whether his health might really have not been very good.

 The Old Goole Board schools were opened in 1878 and most Old Goole children would attend there. The National School remained open for a time and there was a new master, John Prentis by 1881. John was a widower with three adult daughters. He married at Goole later that year and by 1885 he too had left, to become the master of the Kell Bank school at Malham.

I must admit that reading about the schoolhouse it was probably a wise move!!!

 Above the old St Mary's is on the left. The farm house in the background is still there as you leave Old Goole.
Another view. The church/ school was demolished in 1957.

Monday, 1 January 2018

Slideshow of old views of Bridgegate and Flatgate, Howden

My last blog post was a slideshow of Bridgegate going towards Cornmarket Hill. This one goes in the opposite direction, along Bridgegate towards the turn for North Howden and then views of Flatgate. I hope you enjoy it.

Perhaps I should say that using Blogger I cannot upload the slideshow at a quality which is not slightly blurred - but I hope it does not cause too much of a problem

Sunday, 31 December 2017

Slideshow of old Bridgegate, Howden

I have recently upgraded my computer and have been playing with an application which allows me to create and save slideshows.

Here is my first attempt using some old pictures of Bridgegate in Howden. Try opening it in full screen view.

Happy New Year to everyone.

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Memories of Balkholme

Christmas Day has been and gone and today the turkey was made into a pie. It has been snowing in the south of the country but here we have nothing but a bit of frost.

In this slightly quieter time between Christmas and New Year I have been looking at  some of my own family history. I found an interesting reference to my Nurse ancestors in a golden wedding report from 1906. Such reports are always fascinating as they allow one a glimpse of ordinary lives of local people. This one tells of a couple from Balkhome who celebrated their golden wedding in 1906 but who could remember events from the 1830s.

March 1906

On Thursday of last week Mr and Mrs William Gibson, Balkholme, near Eastrington, celebrated their golden wedding, and were the recipients of hearty congratulations and good wishes from a large number of residents throughout the Eastrington and Howden district, where both resided the whole of their lives.

Mr Gibson, who is in his 76th year, was born at Balkholme on the 10th of March 1831, and is the eldest son of the late Samuel Gibson, and one of a family of 12 children. He has not been a great traveller, and excepting odd day's outing, has spent the whole of his life at, or within a mile two of, the hamlet of Balkholme. He only attended school  for a few days sometimes," and had to commence work at a very early age to help maintain the family, he and his mother working day in and day out in all weathers for 1s a day—the mother 8d, and the boy 4d a day; whilst his father's wages as labourer, qualified do any kind of farm work, were but 10s a week. At the age of 13 he was hired at Saltmarshe Grange, under Mr Dunnell, where he rose to be foreman.

After twelve years' service, at the of 25, he wooed and wed Miss Maria Johnson, eldest daughter of a family ten of the late Mr W. Johnson, of Goole, two years his junior, Miss Johnson having been born at Goole, on April 28th, 1835. The wedding took place St. Peter's Church, Howden, on the 29th March, 1856: and during their long and happy married life they have occupied a small holding at Balkholme, under T. Martin, of 'Yorkfleet', where they are able to keep a cow  or two, and are spending their declining years in comparatively comfortable circumstances.

He and Mrs Gibson have had only a small family  of three sons, all of whom are still living, married, and doing well —George, aged 48, living at Barmston; Henry (46), living at Mews; and Jack (40), residing in Hull. Their grandchildren number 11. Mr and Mrs Gibson, despite their advanced age, enjoy wonderful health, and have had little expense with doctoring. The former has scarcely ever had had a day's illness in his life, and thinks nothing now of an eight or nine miles walk. In his own words, he has been used "to roughing it," and is a true type of the robust Yorkshireman of the olden days.

When interviewed by our representative, he related several interesting incidents of 60 years ago. He recollects the old coach running between Selby and Hull, and the opening the Hull and Selby Railway; the days when the threshing was done by the flail and horse machine; the introduction of the steam threshing machine, the first coming into Balkholme belonging to Messrs Thompson and Nurse. Wheat was over £4 a quarter, and flour 4s stone. He has mown as much as 18 acres of wheat, and with the help of his wife, tied up, stooked and raked the same ready for leading in 7 or 8 days, at from 7s to an acre.

Balkholme is not exactly a large place but Mr Gibson seems to have been happy there not travelling far for the whole of his life.

The article  was illustrated but few photographs were published then in newspapers so this is what the reader of the Hull Mail saw.

It would not be easy to recognise the Gibsons from this

Maria died in 1916 and William died in 1918

And I learned that my ancestor, probably Isaac Nurse and his brother in law Stephen Thompson who was a machine maker, had a very early steam threshing machine.

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Sandholme brickworks

It is Christmas Eve and I have just tidied up the kitchen, fed the chickens with some old crusts and am looking forward to a busy day of cooking and wrapping. But I thought I would just complete this blog post which I began a few days ago.

I was recently asked about the history of the brickworks at Sandholme. It is now  a landfill site at the side of the M62 motorway..

 I thought I knew all about it as a friend's grandfather was the manager there but when I came to do a bit of research I ran into trouble. My information was that it opened around 1855 and stood on land allotted to the Saltmarshe family in the late 18th century when Bishopsoil Common was enclosed.

I have looked on old maps but cannot find anything until the 1890s and I also noticed that the land where it stood was allotted to Cotness. It seems that Philip Saltmarshe of Saltmarshe and Rev Philip Simpson of Metham, who owned Cotness, swapped some land in the 1860s.

Philip Saltmarshe, at some point, then decided that it would be useful and perhaps profitable to have his own brickworks to provide bricks  for the farms and houses on his estate at Saltmarshe, Laxton and Balkholme. There were already long established brickworks at nearby Newport and there was obviously suitable clay. However the site was a good distance from the Market Weighton canal which offered convenient water transport for heavy bricks and tiles for commercial sales.

But then the Hull and Barnsley railway line was built in the 1880s and conveniently passed adjacent to the site. Transport problems were solved at a stroke and sidings ran from Sandholme station into the brickworks. I wonder in fact whether there was a brickworks before the railway - further research needed.

Sandholme brickyard adjacent to the Hull and Barnsley railway

In 1901 the brickyard foreman was Jarvis Slater, originally from Eastrington and there were three other houses for workers on the site. In all there were five more brickyard labourers and one man who was the stationary engine driver living at the brickworks.

Meanwhile at Saltmarshe in the mid 1880s a new estate manager, John Biggs had been appointed.  He lived at Laxton and was responsible for the operation of the brickyard, in later years arriving there to pay the wages in a large car, an unusual sight at that time.

He employed a new brickyard foreman from Yaddlethorpe brickworks,  John William Clark.  John and his wife Ada and family lived on site but before the First World War  he moved to the brickworks at Crowle. However his cousin, Luther Clark, remained at the Sandholme brickworks.

He had married local girl Bertha Turner and they had two daughters, Bertha and Eva. He became the brickyard manager and remained part of Newport life for many years, being a stalwart of the chapel.

While researching the brickyard I was surprised to find that during the First World war there was an official work camp there for conscientious objectors. There was a barracks which was later converted into a house. As yet I know nothing further about it but more records are coming online all the time.

The brickworks was sold by the Saltmarshe estate and for a time was run by the White family from Eastrington. It finally closed, I think, in 1969.

And now it's time to leave local history and celebrate Christmas. Merry Christmas to all who read my blog.

Saturday, 2 December 2017

Amid the winter snow

As I sit here there is still a bit of snow on the garden. Last winter we barely saw a flake so it was a great surprise on Thursday evening when I was supposed to be going out to see a mini blizzard. I did not go as the roads around here are twisty and narrow without having to negotiate falling snow.

I like to write a blog post every month but seem to have got a bit behind as now it is December and I wrote nothing in November. But this does not mean I have been idle!

I am a member of a Facebook group entitled Howden the good old days and  I recently posted some Howden junior school pictures on it which created a lot of interest. Two dated from 1981/2 and I am reposting one here which I numbered. With the help of  members of the group I have several names too so here they are. If I'm wrong please tell me.


1 Adam Verney
2 Pamela Williams
3 Shane Hudson
4 Steve Brown?
5 Helen Bateman
6 Sally Atkinson?
7 Debbie Kennedy
8 Caroline Close
9 Paula England
10 Samantha Addy
12 Thelma Coates
13 Jacki Guilliard?
14 Alison Braithwaite
15 Kirstine Simpson
16 Michell Guilliard?
17 Sarah Falkingham
18 Chris Welford
19 ? Gabriella Grendel
20 Tony Leetham
21 Jamie Maltman
22 Mike Ginty
23 Katie Green
24 Tony Wheldrake
25 Melanie Watton
26 Rachel Larard
28 Mark Varney
29 Dawn Arthur
30 Simon Leighton
31 Mike Rhodes
32 Danny Nalton
33 James Stephenson
35 Elizabeth Turner
36 Susan Turner - twins
37 Andrew Bancroft
38 Richard Malkin
39 Amanda Lewis
40 Paul Lightowler
41 Chris Herbert
42 Diane McNorton
43 Vikki Blyth
44 Graham Guest
45 Jonathan Milnes
46 Sophie
47  Jeremy Milnes
49 Nicky Bliss
50 Ayshea Hammond
51 Joanne Hoad
52 Richard Harrison
55 Simon Coult
53  ??Quinn
56 Amanda Kaye
57 Michaela Warrener

In black number 54 -  Kevin Newman, dressed as a photographer!

I will write another post soon about the work we are doing on Old Goole but in the meantime am going to prepare a small  display for tomorrow to put up in the Bishop's Palace aka the Manor House in Howden.

This weekend there is an 'artisan market' being held there and I am having one end of a table  on Sunday. The other end will be occupied by Saltmarshe Honey who are selling their jars of River Balsam honey. The hives are in our garden and although the bees are asleep they will, fingers crossed, be busy again in spring.

In between selling honey the beekeepers, Steven Goulden and Amy Butler, aka The Saltmarshe Duo will be performing live Christmas music.

The Fitch family on the Manor House lawn around 1900

It will be a busy day.

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Eastrington memories

Last week I was in Eastrington church singing the words 'Ere the winter storms begin' [from the harvest hymn  "Come, Ye Thankful People, Come" written in 1844 by Henry Alford].

This took me back to my childhood when St Michael's was decorated for harvest with fruit and flowers, giant onions and marrows and in particular a miniature beautifully made straw stack which stood on the steps of the font. Sometimes my mother played the organ but last week it was my daughter.

But back to the storms and they do seem to be coming one a week. Now they have names - Ophelia, Brian etc - although I cannot help wondering whether they are just normal winter storms and if we did not have TV weather forecasts we would just accept them as they probably did in 1844.

Of course the winds are blowing off the leaves and apples.

Molly loves eating apples and is eying up these Bramleys

Lovely autumn colours in Saltmarshe Park

Molly loves running through the leaves

I have too, in-between taking pictures, been looking at some history. In both my Howden and Goole classes we have been finding out about different trades and occupations. 

Our most recent topic has been joiners, wheelwrights and undertakers. We have looked at the Hill family of Swinefleet, Fletchers undertakers in Goole, Fred White and David Bullement in Howden and my own family, the Nurses of Eastrington.

My grandfather Robert Nurse was, with his brother Clifford, the village joiner, following in the footsteps of their father Robert Thomas Nurse and their grandfather Robert. 

Their joiner's shop was on Station Road, in the yard of what is today called Bramble Cottage, where my great uncle Cliff lived.

Of course I have lots of family stories, including the one where they could not get some new-fangled flock wallpaper to stay on with glue, so they nailed it up! Also the tradition that when a village girl got married my grandfather made  a rolling pin for her. Has anyone still got one in the family?

Freddie Philips of Howden, left and Robert Nurse, my grandfather, right with a good selection of wheels made at Eastrington

Station Road, Eastrington. The large house, end on to the road was built by my 5x gt grandfather George Wise Nurse.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Bennett steamship company of Goole

After reading my post about the Bennett family of Goole Harvey Tripp, editor of The Norseman, the journal of the Boothferry Family and Local History group,  sent me the following interesting piece.

Goole Times, 19th December 1975


On Friday one of Goole's landmarks disappeared - the sign on the offices in Stanhope Street which for almost 50 years proclaimed proudly that here were the offices of the Bennett Steamship Company.
The removal of the sign - one of the 'patent' signs made by Gunnill of Goole - coincided with the disappearance of the company as a separate entity after a century of trading from Goole. From the beginning of the month the Bennett Steamship Co. Ltd became part of P & O Ferries (General European).

John Bennett's Red Cross Line of steamers was founded in September 1875 and for 100 years the company has operated a Goole to Boulogne service. Bennett was a Goole farmer who imported fruit, vegetables and potatoes from Boulogne, using chartered ships. Outward cargoes were of coal, and Bennett soon raised sufficient capital to buy his own ships.

His original idea was to establish a regular cargo and parcels' service between Goole, Calais and Ostend but after initial setbacks a regular Goole to Boulogne service was established, largely to replace the service by the General Steam Navigation which was being discontinued. Even today the Goole to Boulogne service still sails weekly. The 528 ton Petrel regularly carries 15 000 to 18 000 cases of whisky for the French market.

The red cross of the Bennett steamship line was soon established and well- known both in this country and in France, but in 1922 its use caused trouble with the War Office, which claimed that the funnel marking of a red cross on a broad white band infringed the Geneva Convention.

The managing director of the shipping line, John Bentley Bennett, son of the founder, replied that the red cross was a well-known and valuable trade mark, and had sentimental value from its associations.
The War Office was not impressed and stated that "the continued use of the red cross emblem on the flags and funnels of your ships .......... could not be reconciled with the international obligations entered into by His Majesty's government."

Help was sought from Goole Chamber of Commerce and Shipping and from Goole's M.P., Captain T. E. Sotheron-Estcourt, who asked the finance secretary to the War Office to intervene.
It was all to no avail and in April 1933 Bennett was given two years in which to remove the red cross from the ships and house flags. A compromise was, in fact, reached and the house flag was redesigned to show a red flag on a blue background with a white border.

During the Second World War the three Bennett Steamship Co.'s vessels, Corea, Sparta and Hydra, carried munitions to France and food supplies to the population of Boulogne. The first loss was the Corea,  which was blown apart by a mine off Harwich on 7th December1939. Six of the crew were lost in addition to the master, Captain Harry Needham.

Sparta also struck a mine in the English Channel in March 1941 and sank. She was originally the Petone and came to Bennett's from New Zealand. The third vessel, Hydra, was a lighter and was sold for scrap after the war.

John Bentley Bennett died in 1946 and the original family name of  the company disappeared when the concern was taken over by General Steam Navigation, restoring the Goole to Boulogne service they discontinued 45 years earlier. General Steam Navigation in its turn was acquired by P & O lines.

At the height of the Goole to Boulogne trade - between the wars - Bennett's had a staff of almost 400 in Boulogne and nearly as many in this country. Today the service is run by a handful of staff at each end, headed by the general manager, Mr Douglas Longhorn, who has been with the company in Goole for 25 years.

Cargoes handled by the company in its century of trading have varied enormously. The first consignment for Goole 100 years ago included seven cases of silks from Lyons, and other cargoes included fruit, flowers and vegetables, and thousands of wicker baskets shipped direct to London and northern markets between the wars.

A quick turn-round was the secret of Bennett's success and in 1908, on the day before the Bank Holiday, 67 000 packages of vegetables were loaded on to the three ships which left between 3 p.m. and midnight to catch the Covent Garden market the next morning.

At one time the line carried cars, and in 1926 Bennett steamers crossed the Channel 534 times to carry 8 000 Citro├źn and Renault cars, mostly for use as London taxis. Recently cargoes have included raw wool, ores for smelting, steel strip and whisky, of which Bennett's carry 60% of France's importation.
Now the company has disappeared, bringing to an end one of the port's oldest shipping lines and a link with the 19th century entrepreneurs who built up Goole's prosperity.

Bank Chambers, Goole showing the Bennett sign mentioned above

Visitors from Seattle

It is definitely now autumn. The leaves are turning and coming off in the wind. And it is conker time. Although we no longer string them on a bootlace to play with I still could not resist picking up a pocketful this morning as I walked Molly and putting them in a small bowl on the kitchen table. I know they will soon lose their brown shininess but for the moment they are attractive to look at.

I had a lovely time last week showing Tammy and her husband who are from near Seattle USA around Howden. Her great grandfather Arthur  Weatherill was born in Howden in 1862 and later emigrated to the USA. Arthur was the son of a Methodist minister so I could take Tammy to exactly where Arthur was born in Hailgate and also show her the site of the old Methodist chapel where her great great grandfather would have preached. I really enjoy meeting the people with whom I have been communicating over e mail. E mails are great but nothing beats a face to face contact. And they loved Howden!

Inside the Howden Wesleyan chapel

I spend a lot of time looking up things on the British Newspaper archive site. It can tho' be very distracting as you look up one topic and then find the search has thrown up several other articles to read.

This is how I came across this charming description of Howden from July 1891 which appeared in the Hull Daily Mail. I have edited it slightly but, like my American visitors, the author was impressed by his visit to Howden over a hundred years ago. I must admit to being impressed myself by the eloquence of his prose.


 I travelled 20 odd miles by the Hull and Barnsley Railway yesterday, and discovered a new county - by no means a fruitless afternoon's work.

After the manner of Gulliver, I found a county (as he did a country) which is "not on the map," and of which not one Englishman in 50,000 is aware. And, oddly enough, I only set out to make acquaintance with a somnolent country town and a flower show. But I unearthed, I have said a "county" and one of the handsomest perpendicular parish churchcs in England.

 Oh! no! I do not claim to be the pioneer of unknown land ! It has all been "discovered" long since, no doubt. Still I mean to make it more widely known, and if possible more generally exploited. Let me present to you, then, Howdenshire and the Church of St. Peter! The district is veritably known as "Howdenshire." l am not making any play upon words. And it is  the capital—Howden —where this beautiful ecclesiastical edifice is to seen.


'' Come and see Howden ! Come—and—see— Howden! " Thus sing the bells in the tall church tower! " Here —Is —a Flower—Land! Here—ls —a—Flower —Land !
Thus do they vary their refrain! I hie thither as quickly as I can over the tortuous cobbles of the corkscrew streets. Would that the day were finer ! It has been raining, though is not doing so now, being early afternoon, and it means to rain again (though happily I do not know it or I should flee away home) with an overwhelming arrogance which forbids even tearful entreaty. However, just now it is fine, with faint gleams streaming from storm-laden clouds. So I go at once to the Church, being devout, with my eagle eye soaring in aspiration to the summit of the said Church tower.


 The streets are picturesque and pretty, like all village highways in the broad county, and the houses are demure with age, as they present their faces straight to the footpaths and their backs to the greenest of old time gardens, like folk of frosty exterior with genial hearts. The soft stately splendour of the old church rises benignly before us. Its grey buttresses and sad hued walls, its weather-chipped pinnacles and crumbling niche-figures, speak of the never ceasing war between the elements and the stone.

Founded in 1267, the church has stood its ground well, but it is going, vanishing though imperceptibly, and' some of it has already been ravaged to the state of ruin by time. Witness the once splendid Choir and dainty-lined Chapter House. And above all soars the splendid tower, with its deep, perpendicular transoms —the windows of its soul !
Breathless with mounting the 140 odd steps of the stair turret  I gain  the leads, and gaze down from and beyond the embattled parapet. There is a magnificent view. Far across the smiling land of the great Plain of York one's eyes flit until Selby is sighted, and Ebor City itself is almost discerned. Many miles to the east the Wolds undulate in one long ridge, hiding Scarborough, Bridlington, and the whole of the eastern littoral. In the west earth and sky seem to meet in a diffusion of pale sungleam. Southward the Lincolnshire hills gleam out against a bank of cloud ! Lo, I will not tear the veil from that view by further words.


 In the tents of the show ground I see some of the finest blooms out of London —that city which reveres the best flowers. The cut roses are ideals of the English floral emblem. The season is late, and this suits the roses of Howdenshire. What could be more chastely beautiful than this wax-like Mereille de Lyon, more rich and glowing than that Marie Van Houtt ? What more delicious than the old time Gloire de Dijon, more tender than the cream-yellowed and blissful folds of the Marechal Neil.

Dahlias, too, are remarkably good, considering the season, but I do not care for dahlias. They look best, though, in serried ranks on their stands where they are now. I pass the floral epergnes, which demonstrate emphatically what can be done with varied grasses, a few poppies and stocks, common roses, and a frond or two of exotic ferns. Bridal bouquets bore out the same view as to modest means combined with taste and artistic fingers. What strikes me most is the excellence of the amateurs' exhibits. Their cut roses are not quite so good those of the professional growers, but their dahlias and some other blooms are every bit equal.


Vegetables make a brave, bright show; the brilliance of the tomatoes, the florid tones of beet and shalot, the greens of peas, cabbages, and spring onions, and the browns of the humble potato, setting out in respective trays quite pleasantly, with a suggestion to the substantial accompaniments which they obtain at the prandial board. Mr Lynch, head gardener of Carlton Towers —Lord Beaumont's place—assures that he has not seen a better display of vegetable produce out of London. 

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