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

Monday, 2 June 2014

Old pictures of Yorkshire

I have been away on holiday but am now back home, appreciating English food but missing the warmth and sunshine.

I planted out courgettes and runner beans before we went but they are a bit yellowy and are not really growing. Perhaps they need fertiliser and summer weather.

The grass is wet - so wet that as I was cutting it I narrowly avoided two toads who hopped away out of the long clumps.

I keep meaning to put more pictures on my website as I am always collecting them but it is a fiddly job. So I am experimenting with putting some small versions of my various Yorkshire pictures on here. If you want copies of the full version, printed or digital, contact me through my website. Otherwise just enjoy looking at them.

old picture of Cloughton near Scarborough


old picture of Barton on Humber


old picture of Beswick between Driffield and Beverley

old picture of White Cross near Beverley

old picture of Brough East Yorkshire post office and 'bubble' car

old picture of Brough East Yorkshire, war memorial


old picture of  Elvington near York

old picture of Everingham near Pocklington

East Riding fire engine with BT reg

old picture of  a horse omnibus at Flamborough

old picture of Goodmanham

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