Thursday, 29 March 2012

George Tutill, flag maker

It has been a few days since I wrote anything here on my blog. Blame the lovely weather as I have been out in the garden tidying up and cleaning out my pond.

Maybe three years ago we saw some bulrush roots [variously bullrush or reed mace] which had been cleaned out from a local dyke. Thinking a few bulrushes would look nice in our pond we planted them. At first nothing happened but last year they grew and produced magnificent 6 foot spikes - although not where we had put them. The rhizomes had obviously floated across the pond and rooted near the outlet from the drain from the house roof.

This year small green shoots are coming up everywhere and I have been digging them out whilst standing in the water. Molly, the Labrador puppy thinks this is great and runs around playing with the snake-like roots. At least though we do have water in the pond unlike many areas. I hope we get some frogspawn.

The local history class which I teach in Howden on Monday afternoons has now 'broken up' for summer. We shall resume in September and would welcome new members. We spent a recent Monday afternoon in the church where Rev Little kindly gave of his time and knowledge to point out some of the interesting features of the building. He drew our attention in particular to the lovely west windows by the Brussels glass artist J B Capronnier.

Afterwards I went home and researched a little more about them.  Two, including the magnificent centre window were in memory of the Scholfield family of Sandhall.

But the third window, I found, was  erected in memory of George Tutill, a native of Howden who died in 1887 in Acton. Who was this man who could afford such a magnificent window?

Further research led me to George Tutill, flag makers who are still very much in business and gearing up to a very busy time for the Queen's jubilee. And yes - it was the same man who founded his business in 1837. He has an entry in the Dictionary of National Biography and although he left Howden as a boy he was buried  in 1887 in the churchyard here.

He made magnificent silk trade union and friendly society banners  in the nineteenth century and was himself prominent in the Foresters. I shall look at the window with even more interest in future.

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