Monday, 19 September 2016

Puffballs, classes and a concert

I suppose the weather today, Monday, is what we might expect for mid September- cool and drizzly. But with temperatures last week up in the early 30s  and high humidity I think everyone forgot that it was autumn.

It was lovely to be outside in the garden and while walking Molly one morning I found a puffball in the grass. We had often seen and eaten them some years ago but had not had any for quite a time. We ate it in slices, fried in butter, for tea. Not everyone around the table was enthusiastic but I am hoping to find another one and try a recipe I found where you fry slices dipped in egg and cheese.

September too sees the beginning of the new term for my WEA local history classes in Howden and Goole. Lovely to meet old friends and get to know new students.

Last week was very busy as we hosted a small concert here. The building which became a temporary concert  hall was built as a barn in the eighteenth century, became the estate joiner's shop in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and is now home to the original files of the Goole Times and Howdenshire Gazette. But on Friday before 25 invited guests we were treated to  Songs of Travel by Vaughan Williams and An die Ferne Geliebte by Beethoven sung by professional tenor Steven Goulden  http://www.stevengoulden.co.uk as well as bee related poems and piano solos. Everyone enjoyed it and we hope to do more concerts here.

But back to history now - I am teaching about Eastrington and Snaith so need to do some research.

Eastrington village green

Monday, 5 September 2016

Sunflowers, family history and Rufus Sewell

Although the weather is pleasantly warm it still feels autumnal. Our apple trees have varied as to how much fruit has set. The Bramley, Russet and James Grieve are looking good but the Cox and Lord Lambourne are not as good. I think some of the trees around them need cutting back.

Which brings me to our tree expert. He is returning in a few days to cut down some ash saplings which are mis-shapen and also to remove a dead branch from the oak tree. This we hope will open up the canopy a bit and will provide a new home for our bees. They are away at the moment enjoying the balsam crop but will be returning soon.

One of our successes this year has been our sunflowers. Grown to provide  food for the bees they have reached great heights.

Above, with Molly for scale is one of our groups of sunflowers.



This is a close up of one of the flowers above, showing that bees [not ours this time] like  it

I have been looking at a varied range of topics historically. One query which I answered may be of interest to others researching their ancestors in the 1841 census. The query was about someone who was a sailor who lived at Stone Bridge in Snaith. What did it look like? A quick search of the census showed that the sailor was living on the dock side in Goole - part of the  vast parish of Snaith.

Another query was about the family of a William Whitaker who seems to have had Eastrington, Yokefleet and Whitgift connections. Although not yet fully sorted out this family should not be too difficult to untangle as  William's father was called Watson Whitaker and this unusual Christian name, originating apparently in Whitgift carries through succeeding generations.

 I have also been looking at a little of my own Nurse family history. Nurse is quite an unusual surname in this area and I have often been asked if our Eastrington Nurses were connected to those locally at Rawcliffe Bridge. And the answer is yes - Henry Nurse, the ancestor of the West Riding branch, was born at Eastrington in 1857 and was the brother of my great grandfather Robert Thomas Nurse. My  gt grandfather never left the village but Henry had lived in Hull and Ulverston before settling in  Rawcliffe Bridge, probably working in the paper mill there.

And finally did you know that Rufus Sewell, presently starring in Victoria as Lord Melbourne is a direct descendant of George Sewell of Beverley who was transported to Australia in 1813 after taking part with the step children of local criminal Snowden Dunhill of Spaldington in a robbery at Booth near Howden?


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