Thursday, 11 February 2021

Nature notes and Skelton

After writing this blog I had a request to include another home guard picture of Skelton men I have. This is said to have been taken at Kilpin Hall farm where the platoon met. I do not know the names but  recognise faces from the other picture included below. Can anyone help?

My blog title is jottings about history and the countryside so I will include a few nature notes! Many years ago my mother, Joan Watson used to write a weekly column in the Goole Times entitled nature notes and each year - it became a running joke - she used to mention  that every day it was getting 'cock stride lighter' . And it is - despite the many reasons there are to be gloomy it is pleasant to walk Molly around teatime and  be able to see the signs of life in the countryside.  Yesterday at dusk I watched a barn owl hunting.

The snowdrops are carpeting the garden, the blue tits are exploring the nest boxes and I have a bunch of our own daffodils on the windowsill. But it's still very cold and snowy,  the water level in the pond is high so winter is still with us. We are feeding the birds and I managed to catch this visitor to the peanuts yesterday. Soon be hearing him hammering on the trees I hope.

We are still in lockdown however and I am keeping busy with local history. All sorts of queries arrive via e mail to my Howdenshirehistory site and I try to reply and help where I can.  A lady in Florida is tracing her Hutchcroft ancestors, originally from Kilpin; I have sent a friend information on salmon fishing in the Ouse at Saltmarshe and I have been given a folder  of old photos and documents relating to the pole yard at Staddlethorpe.

But this week after a house history query I have set myself the task of finding out more about Skelton.  I have limited myself to houses and their occupants along the road between Kilpin Pike and the Skelton railway bridge [ ie not Howdendyke or Sandhall as yet] but there is still a surprising amount of history to go at!!!

At one end there is the Skelton shipyard where until the early 1900s sailing ships upto 240 tons were built and launched across the road near the former Jolly Sailor pub. Some were described as being of English oak and copper-bottomed. 

Many occupants of the village were mariners and there was a sad event in  November 1860 when the coasting vessel Charity was lost off the Norfolk coast. The Hull newspaper describes how

She was bound for Rouen with a cargo of'coal. The captain and owner; Mr Jewitt of' Skelton near Howden was on board with his wife and niece about 16 years of age. The crew consisted of five men,  four of whom were saved. 

Two of them; WilIiam Till and George Cottarus, of Howden Dyke, reached home on Thursday. They described the situation of the vessel, after she struck on the sand as terrifying  with the sea breaking over them so furiously.
Mrs Jewitt was the first washed  overboard; her loss appeared to unnerve the captain, who was clinging to the mast, and he speedily followed. The niece, who was being held by two of the young men in the rigging died in their arm. Boats from the shore three times aproached but were unable to get near enough to render assistance. For eight hours the four survivors clung to the  rigging and were nearly exhausted, when Captain Thomas Tye, of the smack Tyrrell, who had already had one attempt to reach the wreck, encouraged his men to try again, saying "God Almighty would be with them." His words proved true, and their faith enabled them to save from their impending fate four human beings.

There is a  family gravestone in Howden churchyard which reads as follows:

To the memory of Mary Ann the wife of Thomas Jewitt of Skelton who departed this life on the 14th day of October 1840 aged 22 years.

In memory of Thomas Leighton Jewitt aged 53 years Ann Jewitt aged 40 years and their niece Alice Hunt aged 13 years who were all drowned at sea on the Longsands November 17 1860.

I have also found details  of an 'elopement' in 1867 which must have rocked the village.  The report appeared in newspapers all over Britain. A  24 year 'navvy' working on the new railway bridge was lodging with a Skelton couple, the Jacksons. 

One day Mr Jackson went home from the harvest field to find both had disappeared taking with them  £140 in money (which had been kept in a bag under the bed), a ham, a tapestry carpet, a featherbed , sheets and blankets and other articles.  Eventually they were tracked down and the young man spent 6 weeks in prison.

I am now looking at the history of the farms, the chapel and the school. If anyone has memories or pictures I intend producing a small booklet similar to the one I have written about neighbouring Saltmarshe as well as putting a page on my website.

Below are two pictures of Skelton people.

These are members of the Kilpin home guard. The group included men from Skelton and possibly Howdendyke. The names I have, which may need correcting,  are 

Back (left to right): George Parkin, Herbert Smith, unknown, Ernest Leighton

Middle: Edward Leighton, Jack Bayston, George Beighton, Les Backhouse, unknown, Walter Collins, unknown, Fred Swales, George Henger, Gerald Mell, Harry Johnson, Anson Habblett (the short man), unknown
Front: T. Thompson?, McGough?, Captain E. Scholfield, Charlie Simms, Wilf Blyth

This second picture was taken on Coronation Day in the village hall, now known as the Scholfield Memorial Hall.  I do not know their names - but they look happy!!

Wednesday, 13 January 2021

Lumby Lane Howden

Here we are in 2021 and I hope we can all look forward to a happy new year. What with more gloomy news on the pandemic and the shocking events in America it is time to be optimistic.

In the garden the snowdrops are coming up - everywhere I walk I can feel them underfoot and the daffodils too are a few inches high.

A recent post in a Howden facebook page mentioned Lumby Lane and the former Hull and Barnsley railway house there. The gentleman wrote of how his Uncle Arthur, who worked on the railway, lived there and how

We used to get off the bus at Longs Corner, and go into a field, just before the bridge, and walk by the side of the railway lines, (and find a big lump of coal and take it to uncle's house). They had no water, gas or electricity, water was delivered by a railway tender, and run into a big concrete tub, with a cover, and the water had to be filtered before drinking any; lighting was methylated spirits lamps, and the toilet, you dug a hole, in some land at the back of the house, and buried it.

This reminded me that some years ago I was asked to research the Lumby family after whom the lane is named. The lane is an ancient one and was part of the border with the Bishopsoil Common.  It  runs from Thorpe Road through to the Howden to Gilberdyke road. William Lumby was living in a cottage there when he made his will in 1842 and died in 1844. He was aged 81 and was described as being of New Fields.

But in the 1880s the lane was bisected by the new Hull and Barnsley railway which opened in 1885 and William Lumby's cottage ended up on the Belby side. The Lumby family were living there in 1861 but I am not sure who lived there later. I believe the house which stands back from the road and backs onto the lane may be the site of this cottage.

The Lumby name was fairly common in the area and so I think there is only a distant connection with a fascinating character I came across in my searches. This was one Francis Lumby who made his way into the newspapers in the summer of 1914  when he rode with his wife in a donkey cart from Howden to London.

Here is his story.

 July 1914 Hull Daily Mail

A journey from Howden to London, 190 miles, chiefly by donkey cart is not by any means an easy achievement, but it has recently been accomplished by Mr. Francis Lumby, a Howden worthy, who aspires to be a public orator and leader among his fellow working men. 

Mr Lumbv conceived the idea of visiting London not only to see the  Metropolis, but also to gain inspiration by attending Labour meetings and conferring with trusted leaders. At the last East Riding County Council election, he had ambitions  to stand as candidate for Howden, and declared at a public meeting that if elected he would ride to the meeting of the Council at Beverley in his donkey cart. The proposed candidature did not materialise, but the idea of the journey to Beverley pales into insignificance beside his recent feat, which he accomplished about six days, the return journey, after a week end spent London, occupying a similar period. 

Mr Lumby was accompanied by his wife, who rode with him in the cart, and during their progress southward they attracted considerable attention all along the route. He was surprised and embarrassed on reaching London find that even the constables on duty, not to mention other officials, knew of his coming, and were looking out for him. 

The first Metropolitan policeman he saw knew his name, and congratulated him on his arrival. When he looked at the illustrated papers, there was his photograph.

A representative of The Yorkshire Evening Post" sought out Mr Lumby on his return home to Howden, after his adventurous journey, and found him busy working his potato plot, for the good man, it may be mentioned, is skilful in the art of husbandry. 

Mr Lumby, now 61 years age, has all the vigour of one who followed out door occupations, said that Mrs. Lumby and himself set out their journey at four o'clock in the morning, and travelled 31 miles. The next day they travelled 28, and so on, making good journeys each day. The weather, however, turned very hot, and fifty miles from London Mrs Lumbv returned to Nottinghamshire, where she stayed until her husband's return. Mr. Lumby pushed on and reaching the outskirts of the Metropolis, stabled his trusty ass, and took a train to Marylebone. At the station it came as rather shock to him to find that the courteous constable near the entrance knew him, and when he went little further another recognised him. 

He stayed at the Carlyle Club. Mr Lumby said that had often pictured in London his imagination, but admitted that the actuality was beyond anything had ever dreamed of. During his week end stay he had opportunities to listen to famous preachers, including the Bishop of London. He brought away with him glowing impressions of the great city and intends to pay another visit, but next time will travel by rail 

The House of Commons adjourns for the week-end on Friday evening and it was a disappointment to him that he could not see the mother qt Parliaments in session, but had conversations with Labour M.P.s. and also attended a Labour meeting. One thing that impressed itself upon him, after hearing the condition of things in other parts of the country, was that in Howdenshire the farm workers had comparatively little to grumble about 

Giving quaint expression on his impressions of London, he said that  it was not a good place for women  as it was likely to spoil them for home life and turn their minds too much to dress and personal adornment.

Mr Lumby was obviously in some sort of financial embarrassment as  soon afterwards the following report appeared:

July 29th 1914

Mr Lumby, of Howden has indeed fallen on evil times, and that within a week of the completion of his and Mrs Lumby's famous donkey-cart trip to London and back when they and their pretty little turn out appeared in the local and London daily journals. 

The latest development is the temporary loss of his intelligent donkey, and the "business" cart to which it was attached, which were seized as he was passing down the street last week by J Camp, County Court Bailiff, to satisfy an order of the Court. After the animal and cart had been safely lodged on the premises of the Angel Hotel, the next step was the appearance of posters announcing the sale of donkey and cart (without reserve) by Messrs Clegg and Moore at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Hotel Yard

Long before this time a crowd began to assemble (Mr Lumby being one the first arrivals), and the town was "agog" with excitement. At seven clock the Angel Hotel yard was packed to its utmost capacity. During a conversation with the auctioneer, Mr Lumby stated that the donkey in 14 days travelled 367 miles, and had rested during the three days and his wife were in the city (cheers). Being brought from the stable, the animal at once recognised its old master, who patted its neck while yoking it to the cart. Mr  Camp explained that the donkey, cart, and harness were offered for sale  on behalf of the County Court, who had issued execution to distrain on Mr Lumby. 

The lot would sell without reserve, as the Court did not give any credit (laughter). They all knew the pedigree of the donkey, what it could do, and what a good time and Mrs Lumby had had in their drive within 17 miles of London (laughter). The first bid was £1, second 25s, third 30s, fourth 35s, fifth 36s, and last 40s (the amount of execution), at which price it was knocked down to Mr T. Drury, of Hailgate. 

Mr Drury (who was offered 10s profit within a minute), it afterwards transpired, had bought the lot on Mr Lumby's behalf. Much fun was caused by Mr Lumby approaching the bailiff and observing, "I never ought to have let a man like you take from me" (loud laughter). Mounting the cart, Mr Drury drove away, midst cheers, through the Market-place, followed by the crowd, and later both donkey and cart found their way to their old home in Northolmby-street, and the last seen of "Neddy" was carrying a happy baby for a  ride in Mr Lumby's yard.

Do we still have such characters in Howden? I have looked for the pictures of him but with no luck so far. So I am including this donkey picture taken at Marsh Farm Howden [ now where the health centre is] and showing I believe children of the Shaw family. I doubt whether this cart would have made it to London!

As an aside I have been asked why I write my web address in red on these old photos. It is because I have collected them over many years and sell them as prints or digital images as well as using them in slide shows etc.  I like to share them. Sadly, however, over time I have seen many of my pictures appearing on other websites and facebook pages without credit so I regrettably have to try to prevent this happening by writing on them.

Sunday, 27 December 2020

Last post of 2020

It's the day after Boxing Day - ie Sunday - and it is bright and sunny. A contrast to last night when the wind howled and the rain beat against the window and I sat inside and fed logs onto the woodburner. I needed to get warm as I had spent the afternoon eating sausage rolls and mince pies in Airmyn churchyard.  It was a friend's birthday and in these strange new times we live in we thought that it would be within the rules for four of us to sit socially distanced on a bench and folding chairs. I really hope that by her next birthday we might be inside!!!

It has not been a good year - too many I know have died and Covid has restricted visiting when it was most wanted and needed. So I am looking forward to  vaccination and a return to some sort of normality. Zoom and Facetime meetings are not the same.

I am still keeping busy with local history and buying the odd postcard of local scenes from e bay but I cannot see that there will be any postcard fairs anytime soon where people huddle together around stalls to rifle through bundles of cards in the hope of finding something local.

It has been a hard year too for the musicians in my family. Concerts have been cancelled and plans abandoned. But on the positive side the Howdenshire Music Project has continued to  provide music for those not able to attend concerts in person, initially requests recorded here in the front room and later concerts from inside Howden Minster. In fact they did so well that they were able to purchase a new grand piano for the community and for future concerts.

Looking forward to seeing an audience in the Minster next year

 I too have been brushing up on my technology and here is a slideshow/ video of some winter scenes from around the area. Thanks to Arthur Henrickson for the pictures of the snowy Ashes

Best wishes to all friends and readers of my blog.

Thursday, 10 December 2020

Ow do?

 It's a cold raw day and I have just come inside from picking up fallen twigs which, when dry, will be good firesticks to light the woodburner. And just in case we have a cold Christmas I have ordered some heating oil to top up the tank.  Belt and braces you might say.

Looking forward to more normal times now the vaccine is being delivered. I drank mulled wine with a  friend out of a thermos this week while standing outside near a layby. We hope to be able to meet inside next year and laugh about it!!! 

We are all probably buying more presents online this year and I  have been busy posting my history books about Goole, Howden and Eastrington to different parts of the country as well as to Canada and US. I have also been selling them in a socially distanced way from the front porch here - buy a book and a jar of honey at the same time!! Contact me through my website

But Howden shops can provide many of our needs and although these pictures show that the town is changing I think it has kept its Yorkshire pride and character. 

I recently met a local farmer who greeted me with the familiar Ow do? to which I replied  Not so bad.  Few words needed.

Built in the 1890s as the Half Moon the 'Co-op' shop  shown here has recently changed hands

 No yellow lines and the Midland Bank where I was taken to open a bank account when I was 16. No identity checks necessary - the manager then was part of the local community and knew everyone.

I have been researching family history for several people over the last week or two and it's surprising how many contacts come from descendants of families who emigrated in the nineteenth century. These include  Robert Marshall, whose family were from South Cave, and his wife the former Annie Grasby, who married at Eastrington and moved to Melbourne, Australia in 1853. 

Other emigrant families are members of the Hall family of Hive  and my own ancestors the Nurse family of Eastrington. My Nurse family correspondent had found a report of an Isaac Nurse who had been prosecuted for a drunken assault in the 1870s.  

He asked me about it  as, in the report, it mentioned that the magistrates had been unwilling to grant a licence for Eastrington Show that year due to the several cases of drunkenness they had dealt with from the village.  He asked me about the village today as he wrote 'From what I understand Eastrington was/is a blue collar town filled with hard working people'.

I reassured him that times had changed since the 1870s and that the show was very decorous these days. I look forward to attending the next show, whenever it may be!

Some familiar faces on this picture of an Eastrington Show dinner

Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Goole Times and Howdenshire Gazette

I have been spending some of my time recently sorting out the archive of old Goole Times pictures which I possess, separating them into Goole, Howden, villages etc. It's  quite time consuming  but is  both a useful and interesting thing to do as social life is still very much limited. But given that I have a dog, cat and a small flock of greedy chickens and some lovely local walks it could be a lot worse.

I thought, having looked through so many pictures I would write something of the history of the newspaper in which they appeared.

Christmas window at the Goole Times in 1938

The first edition of the Goole Times was published on August 1, 1853 by John Kay at offices in Bridge Street. Little is known of the early years of the paper and only Issue One has survived. 

A facsimile of the first issue of the Goole Times

Soon after John Kay began his venture another newspaper began in Goole, the Goole and Marshland Gazette, founded in February, 1854 by Alfred Small in Aire Street. 

The paper was issued monthly from Mr Small’s premises at 8 Aire Street and bound copies of these have survived, chronicling events in Goole from 1854 until 1870. Alfred Small sold out to James Mead Jillott from Manchester in September 1864 and retired to Laxton. 

Meanwhile George Sutton, originally from Lincoln but who had served his time as an apprentice on the Doncaster Gazette, had arrived in Howden, where he ran a printing business and fancy goods shop at no 6 Market Place. This was a newsagent for many years - Stockills,  Holroyd and Asquith, Winns, Andrews and finally Chappelows.

Howden Market Place with Mr Stockill's shop on the right.

On Saturday, September 5, 1863 the first edition of the Goole and Marshland Weekly Times was printed there by George Sutton, a bookseller. This was Goole’s first weekly paper although initially it was printed at Howden and taken across the ferry! A month later, on Saturday, October 3, a sister paper, the Howdenshire Gazette, was on sale. Both papers contained largely the same news but had different mastheads. 

The Goole end of the business was initially run by Mr Sutton’s brother Charles in premises, between Ouse Street and Adam Street but then the brothers swapped towns and George moved to a shop first in Aire Street  and then at 3 Ouse Street.

The newspaper was printed first on a hand-operated Ingle press, although steam power was used later. By 1871 2,000 copies a week were being produced. Some of the printing was done in Ouse Street and some at George Street in Mr Hartmann’s warehouse, which had at one time been used as baths. 

Mr Sutton’s health began to fail and he moved out of Goole to Cowick. In 1871 he sold the newspaper to Mr Henry Trevor Gardiner and moved first to Bilston and then to Canada, where he died. I have been in touch with the Sutton family who are still in the newspaper business in Canada.

This early image of Aire Street was sent to me from the Sutton family in Canada. It shows the 'apartment' where the Sutton family lived  and the Goole Times office  as it was in the 1870s

Henry Gardiner from Wisbech where his father ran a newspaper, had just returned from three years in Ceylon working on the Ceylon Observer. 

He was a man of great drive and was determined that his paper would thrive. He brought in three staff  who had been working at Wisbech -  John Hart Stevens (who joined the Goole Times in 1872 and was still there after 56 years in 1928), Mr W.H.Spencer and Mr S. Peck. In 1873 Mr Gardiner bought the title of the Goole and Marshland Gazette. 

He acquired an existing printing plant which was over the Lowther hotel yard in Adam Street and changed his newspaper title from the Goole and Marshland Weekly Times to the Goole Weekly Times and then simply to the Goole Times. But he did not initially own the Ouse Street printing works which Mr Sutton had sold separately to Thomas Pearce. 

He bought this from Mr Pearce and once again all the three businesses (retail shop, jobbing printing and newspaper production) were centred on Ouse Street. The house at no 3 was used as the printing office and a large room on the premises which had been used as the lodge for the Aire and Calder lodge of Freemasons (no 459) was also absorbed into the business. 

This is an extract from an 1890s view of Ouse Street showing the Goole Times premises extreme right of the tallest buildings.

Robert S Alcock joined the Goole Times as an apprentice on August 1st 1885. Writing in 1953 [after completing 68 years service with the firm] he described how the printing machines were in the cellars at Ouse Street, powered by a vertical boiler underneath Mr Pearson’s adjoining tobacconist's shop. The composing room was on the first storey with a dark circular stairway linking the two departments. There was a lift, consisting of a wooden case which enabled the completed pages [formes] to be lowered one at a time into the cellar for printing. He remembered the rope breaking on one occasion and a ‘printer’s pie’ of type falling to the cellar. 

 By 1891 the ‘Wisbech wizard’, as Mr Gardiner was known, decided to move on and  sold the Goole Times and the printing plant, to Robert Hudson (who was already in partnership with him in the jobbing printing business), Ferdinand Hartmann and G.W. Townend.
Mr Gardiner returned briefly to Ceylon after leaving Goole but then bought a newspaper at Bexhill on Sea.

The new owners formed the Goole Times Co. Ltd and soon after decided to move to a new site on Boothferry Road, which was initially leased from Ralph Creyke. The proprietors visited several newspaper offices to get ideas before building Times Buildings, [now Cancer Research] in 1894. 

Not only were there commodious offices and a shop but bookbinding and jobbing printing departments. Behind was the main printing plant. In 1897 Robert Hudson retired to Dudley leaving Messrs Hartmann and Townend as sole proprietors. 

The Goole Times celebrated its golden jubilee' in 1903 and its diamond jubilee in 1913, on both occasions producing souvenir editions which included full descriptions of the history of the area over the period. 

The Goole Times staff of 1903

In 1913 the company bought a Cossar press, a revolutionary machine which was fed with a large reel of paper on one end. The press printed it, cut the paper into pages, trimmed it, folded it, collated the pages together and delivered the newspapers out at the other end, counted into dozens. It was now possible to produce papers of 8, 10, 12, 14 or 16 pages.  Thirty-three staff were employed, producing the newspaper, printing booklets, handbills, account books, notepaper, ledgers etc which were all bound on the premises. 

In 1913 Mr Reg Townend joined the firm but then came the war and several staff enlisted including Mr Townend who was wounded in September 1918 and was in hospital nearly two years, taking up his duties again in 1920. 

In March 1928 the Goole Times Co bought the printing, stationery and fancy goods business of Mr W. Beal at 32  Market Place Howden shown below and it became known as the ‘Gazette office’ where jobbing printing continued for some years. 

The last printers to use the printing equipment there including a  Columbian press at the back of the shop were Percy Jeeves and Ted Philpott. The press was later removed to the Beamish Museum. Mr and Mrs Ken Powls lived there for a time and local reporters used the office; Mr Norman Hains from Eastrington worked there. The Howden ‘Shugazet’ as most local readers pronounced it, was always an edition of the Goole Times although to its East Riding readers it had no connection with the West Riding Goole Times! 

In June, 1969 the Goole Times Company was sold to Yorkshire Post Weekly Newspapers and this saw the end of newspaper printing in Goole. 

However after various changes of ownership it is now again an independent title.

Wednesday, 14 October 2020

Richard Cooper of Goole.

Buying an icecream in Richard Cooper Street from Anthony White

It's a cold day and there's gloomy news on the Covid virus front so it seemed a good time to look at a bit of local history.  

There have been questions on the Goole facebook page about the origins of some street names - in particular the now demolished  Richard Cooper and Phoenix streets. It does seem a great pity that these names have not been preserved in some way.

At the time of the demolition [October 2010] I wrote a piece in the Goole Times which, with some editing and additions I reproduce below.

The history of both streets begins with the birth of Richard Cooper  in 1825, the son of Thomas Cooper and  his wife Mary  who were the licensees of the Half Moon inn, which stood on the site of the New Bridge inn.   The year after Richard’s birth the Goole to Knottingley canal and docks were  completed and the Goole we know began to grow as a town and port.

A Richard Cooper cooking range
By 1851 Richard was working at an iron and brass foundry in Bridge Street alongside his younger brother Henry. He married Ann Tait/Tate of Asselby [but born at Cliffe] at Howden on Christmas Day 1858 and by 1861 he was living at East Albert Street, off Bridge Street with his wife and one year old daughter, Minnie. This was the site of his original Phoenix foundry where he employed five men and two boys. The company made, amongst other things, cooking ranges, stamped with the name Richard Cooper and many of these were installed in the new houses erected in the later years of the nineteenth century in Goole and the surrounding villages.

An advert for Richard Cooper's Aire Street shop in 1875
His business prospered and he moved his family into new premises in Aire Street where he also ran an ironmonger’s business. 

These premises were part of the impressive new Bank Buildings, opened in Aire Street in 1870 for the Leeds and County Bank and then described as 'near the Railway Station'. They eventually became  a branch of the Midland Bank and closed as bank premises in 1928 with the business moving to  the Market Place branch [now of course itself closed and a branch of Wetherspoons].

Bank Buildings built in 1870 and pictured in 1952

By the 1880s Richard Cooper was described as an engine maker and brass founder and employed 46 men and boys. The family now also included daughters Lillie and Susan and 12 year old Richard.

Soon afterwards, with Goole growing rapidly and his business interests prospering Mr Cooper bought a piece of land  on a new building site behind the recently erected houses on the south side of Marshfield Road. Here he began building two more rows of new houses and, in September 1886 a warehouse which became the centre of a small foundry and ironworks named, like the one in Bridge Street, the Phoenix works.

The houses on Richard Cooper street and Phoenix street were probably built by Walter Dixie who also built some of the properties in  the Marshfield area although the mid eighties provided work for many as housebuilding went on all over the town.

Between 1880 and 1890 Ouse Cottage on Hook road, Carlisle Cottages on Carlisle St., the old water tower, the bank and other buildings  on the west side of  Aire Street,  more Hook Road houses north of Marshfield, the first house in Clifton Gardens, the new court house and police station, Anglesey house, now the Nat West bank,  Tower View on Boothferry Road, part of Weatherill St as well as  Montagu, Gordon and Jefferson streets were all built.

By 1891 numbers one to 40 Phoenix Street were occupied and there were 34 occupied in Richard Cooper Street, which was so new it had not been given numbers.

Number four Phoenix Street was already in business as a grocer’s shop while the first house in Richard Cooper Street was where Mr Dixie had built himself a new house.

Many of the occupants then were mariners, tug boat captains, clerks and carpenters. For example at 39, Phoenix St. was John Sherburn, captain of a steamship while at 34 was Mrs Elizabeth Claybourn, like many in the street described as wife but also as head of the household on census night as her husband was away at sea. At number 28 was Erastus Haigh, a shipwright with his wife Rhoda and their nine children while in Richard Cooper street were, for example, three families named Depledge, all mariners, Alfred Steele a coach painter and Richard Huntington who had a grocer’s shop.

Ten years later in 1901 the street was numbered and several of the houses still had the same occupants: at 29 was still Mr Huntington, at number 33 was Mr Steele and the Depledge families lived at 16, 20 and 26. It was still largely a street occupied by mariners: Robert Alcock, George Gill, William Blakey, Albert Watson, George Arnold and Thomas Eyre all made their livings by going to sea.

Walter Dixie, who had originally come to Goole in 1864 as a ten year old boy and lived in a wooden hut with his father, a navvy working on the Staddlethorpe to Thorne railway line, was in 1901 living in his own house now identified as number two Richard Cooper Street.

And living nearby at number one Phoenix Street, with his widowed daughter was Richard Cooper himself. In 1891 he had sold his Hook road works to Messrs Earle of Hull, shipbuilders. They expanded the premises, installing new machinery and even electric lighting but times were competitive and the firm went into voluntary liquidation in 1900, putting 70 Goole men out of work.

Mrs Ann Cooper did not live to see this sad day, dying in 1892 and Richard Cooper then moved to live with his eldest daughter Mrs Minnie Cluff. Mr Cooper died in 1908 aged 82.

This was his obituary in the Goole Times

 Goole Times  March 27th  1908 

Death of a Goole Tradesman.- Our readers will learn with regret the news of the death of Mr. Richard Cooper, a retired tradesman of the town, which occurred on Monday at the residence of his daughter, Mrs. Cluff, Phoenix-street. 

For many years the deceased carried on business as an ironmonger in Aire-street, from which he retired some years ago. Although he took no active interest in the municipal affairs of the town, Mr. Cooper was ever ready to promote its welfare, and was connected with the engineering works which he built in Hook-road. He had built considerable property in the East Ward, one street being named after him. Mr. Cooper had been in failing health for a considerable time, and latterly was confined to bed, and died as stated at the advanced age of 82.

At the time that the new houses were built on the site of these two streets several of us as local historians signed a letter which was printed in the Goole Times asking that new street names should reflect the town's heritage. So maybe one day Goole will remember Phoenix Street and Richard Cooper.

Monday, 12 October 2020

Howden, Barmby and the Forest School Walthamstow

In the early hours of Wednesday 9th October 1929 the townsfolk of Howden were woken by shouts and noise as the tower of the Church went up in flames. An itinerant farm worker later claimed he had been paid to start the fire by a sacked worker of Bostock and Wombwell's menagerie which was set up in the Market Place.

The cages with lions and tigers inside were dragged onto the Marsh and inhabitants of Churchside were evacuated as a huge crack opened up at the top of the tower.

A view of the tower on fire- it never  fails to horrify me

The fire was out by morning but the damage was severe. Much restoration work was needed before the church could re-open in 1932.

I was reminded of this, and of some research I did some years ago, and so as often happens in local history, I have followed a trail of connected events.

Rev Thomas Guy

We need to go back to 1791 when a son was born in Ravenstonedale in Cumbria to parents John and Isabel Guy. They were not rich but their son Thomas received an excellent education at the local grammar school in the village. He was ordained priest and came to Howden to be master of the grammar school there which was held in the church.

Aged 23 he married Mary Whitaker in Thorne. They had at least eight children including their son, Frederick Barlow Guy who was born in 1825.

This was also the year that Rev Guy, who also held the post of lecturer at Barmby, was appointed vicar of Howden to replace Rev Spofforth who had died. But Howden then had no vicarage house and Rev Guy and his growing family lived in Bridgegate in the area opposite the PA building. For a time in the 1840s and 1850s he and his second wife lived at Barmby.

Rev Guy agreed with the trustees of the Garlthorpe charity in Barmby that two poor houses, which they owned,  should be demolished and a new school built on the site. This was opened  in October 1834. The datestone is still on the end of what is now known as the Garlthorpe Institute. 

Built as a National school in 1834 it is now a community building known as the Garlthorpe Institute

But Rev Guy at this time was suffering tragedies in his personal life. His eldest son John William died aged 19  in Nov 1833 and his wife Mary the following year. He remarried in 1835 to Helen Wikeley.

John Gilderdale, a Barmby boy

One of Rev Guy's pupils at Howden Grammar school was a boy from Barmby called John Gilderdale born in 1802. John's father George was a shipowner, probably born at Thorne and young John initially too considered a career at sea.

But instead aged 18 he went to study with great success at St Catharine's College, Cambridge. After gaining his degree in 1826 he married Rebecca Smith of Airmyn in November at Hook church.

He was ordained priest in 1827 and his first post was as a curate, then vicar, at Huddersfield. The young couple set up home there and it was where their two daughters Rebecca and Lucy and son John Smith were born. 

Rev Gilderdale also ran a school in his house Edgerton Lodge where a tragedy occurred in 1840  on November 5th.

The Leeds Mercury reported it as follows

At the Rev. Mr. Gilderdale's establishment at Edgerton, near Huddersfield, the pupils, under strict caution  to observe prudence, were amusing themselves in letting off fireworks, when a quantity of these combustibles in the pocket of a fine youth, the son of Mr. Jones, surveyor of Birkhouse, became ignited,  and burnt him so much that his life has been all but sacrificed [he later died] .  The other case was similar in its origin, and resulted in the death of a promising youth the son of Mr George Wilson, of Lindley. who died in great agony Sunday last. Being a pupil in the Huddersfield College, his remains were followed to the grave on Wednesday last near 200 of his fellow collegians, whose spontaneous desire testify their respect for the deceased, and their expressed wish that the melancholy event may have a lasting salutary impression, operated much to diminish the aggravating circumstances of the case. Their appearance, dress, and demeanour elicited much admiration ; and the melancholy event has excited general feeling of commiseration for the afflicted parents and relatives of the unfortunate youth.

One of the pupils at the time was fifteen year old Frederick Guy. 

Two years later John was appointed to Walthamstow where he became headmaster of what is now called the Forest School. It had had an auspicious beginning in 1834 with shareholders including Spode industrialist William Copeland, William Morris senior, father of the artist and poet William Morris and Governor of the Bank of England William Cotton,

But it went through a bad patch and was on the verge of closure when Rev Gilderdale was appointed. He is credited with turning its fortunes round.

And in 1852  the two strands of the story come together when  Rev Frederick Barlow Guy married Rebecca Gilderdale at Walthamstow. They were entwined even further the following year when Rev John  Smith Gilderdale married Rev Guy's youngest daughter Agnes at Howden. 

Frederick and Rebecca eventually had a family of twenty children. He became headmaster in 1857, taking over from his father in law.

William Morris

William Morris lived near the school and was initially a boarder at Marlborough College but there was a  pupil 'rebellion' there in November 1851  and so he left and studied with a private tutor,  the Reverend  F B Guy, who was then assistant master at Forest school. They remained friends all their lives.

After F. B. Guy’s wife Rebecca died in 1875, the school commissioned the firm of Morris & Co. to install a memorial window in the south transept of the school chapel, which was designed by Edward Burne-Jones, William Morris’ lifelong friend and partner.  It was destroyed in 1944.

Howden church stained glass

In the mid nineteenth century much restoration work was undertaken at Howden.  It was completed in 1858. The Forest school had a new chapel built in 1857.

After the fire at Howden in 1929, when some windows were destroyed, an article appeared in the Goole Times describing how some of the Howden glass had formerly been lost but fragments had been rescued and were now in Walthamstow.

Extracts from the 1929 article

In the vestibule of the school chapel is a small window into which is leaded a panel of glass of early 14th century. It is the top section of the painted glass filling of one of the main lights of a 14th century window. The panel shows parts of  white glass and of a border. Also in  the top of the light is a little picture of two eagles looking skyward, one bird much larger than the other. This,  shows the mother eagle teaching her young to gaze at the sun, an idea which has been taken from very ancient times to symbolise the sacrament of baptism. The eagles are yellow on a patterned green ground. This symbolical idea of eagles is rare.

In  the window of one of the classrooms is another piece of ancient glass of the same period as the eagle panel although very fragmentary. It represents a deacon holding a thurible or censer beneath a canopy yellow on a ruby groundall  within a border of oak leaves as in the eagle panel. Unfortunately the figure has lost its head, its place having been supplied by another head of much later date than the lost original and  there are many repairs - lost pieces of glass replaced by fragments of 14th century date such as such as geometric white glass, yellow tabernacle and scroll draperies and so forth, telling a sad tale of the breaking up of the ancient painted glass of Howden Church and its chapter house. 

With regard to the identity of the mutilated figure it probably represented Laurence the Deacon for there are pieces of glass beneath the feet which may be parts of a gridiron  Below the figure is a large square panel entirely made up of fragments of old painted glass of the kind already described.

These pieces of ancient painted glass were originally parts of the glazing of a window or windows of Howden church whence they came about 80 years ago a bad time for remains of ancient art. having been thrown aside as rubbish in the course of repairs or restoration work at the church they were rescued from destruction by a kindly hand and ultimately  found their way to Essex.

We can detect the hands of the Guy family in this story and wonder whether the glass is till there. Incidentally the glass was not the only casualty of the restoration. A newspaper report of 1858 describes how the ancient Howden church pulpit  was pressed into service as a judges' box in the Howden steeplechases that year.

Rev Thomas Guy died in 1862.  His grave is in the church yard.

The Forest school retained its Howden and Barmby connections; several Howden pupils were educated there in the 1880s and even today it has a Gilderdale Hall.

Repairing Howden church - before health and safety!

Saturday, 19 September 2020

Milners of Goole and the history of Batty Lane Howden

 As we wait for news about whether we are going to spend more time in lockdown I am turning to history and harvesting as a relaxing distraction.

Today I have been gathering tomatoes out of the greenhouse and picking up eating apples from the garden. Our dessert apple varieties are James Grieve and Yorkshire Cockpit - but I have been collecting the windfalls carefully as the wasps are keen on them too.

Normally at this time of year I would be meeting my local history groups in Howden and Goole but of course we cannot meet  this term. I shall miss our weekly sessions.

But I am asked through my website a variety of local history queries, most of which I try to answer. And the range of queries certainly keeps my brain active!!!

They range from finding out about Mr Gordon,  a well-known Goole piano tuner who lived in Henry Street and thanks to facebook I was able to tell his relatives that he drove a Ford Anglia and played backgammon. 

To a more lengthy project finding out about the origins and history of the Milner family, florists and nurserymen of Goole and Hook.  I am enjoying this as it includes the history of Booth Ferry house at Airmyn where the first Mr Milner came as a professional gardener and the establishment of the family's large plant nurseries at both Hook and Skelton. 

Boothferry House where Thomas Milner came to work as the gardener

Now I know why the row of cottages at Skelton is called Milners Row. The family's retail shops began in Goole in Ouse Street, then moved to Aire Street and now of course their premises are in Boothferry Road. So the story reflects a large part of the history of Goole.

Aire Street in 1952 showing Milners' shop

But I have been briefly side tracked by a query which came in yesterday. Why is Batty Lane in Howden so called? So far I have not found the answer!!

Today Batty or Batty's Lane runs through from Bridgegate and out onto Selby Road. However the Bridgegate end has variously been known as Hewson Lane and Angel Lane. This was because the large Angel Inn stood where the Aquarius Bathroom shop is  - and was owned by Mr Hewson. It was built up with a row of cottages and at the end was a clay pipe manufactory.

The  OS map surveyed in 1849 shows Batty's Lane as just the bit of the lane which runs straight from the corner out onto Selby Road.

There are some interesting newspaper references to it. An 1865 sale notice describes a  house and shop for sale [now Boots]
 'situate in Bridge Gate, fronting the Market Place. The Premises are very eligibly situated for business, being in the best part of the Town; and the Garden has a frontage into Batty Lane, and is well adapted for Building purposes. 
Times don't change!

But a few years later we read of an accident at the annual horse fair where two horses collided on the lane. The report reads

A lamentable accident occurred when two valuable cobs, one belonging to Mr. Archibald Ledley, of Belfast, and the other to Mr. J. Stephenson, of Leeds, which were bei)g shown off in Batty-lane, cannoned against each other. They were going at full speed  and each dislocated his shoulder and sustained other injuries which will, in all probability necessitate their being destroyed. The riders were thrown to the ground with great violence, and one of them was carried away insensible on a shutter to the Angel Inn.

It is interesting that the owners of the horses are named, the injuries to the horses described and then only finally do we hear of the unnamed riders.

And a third extract leaves some doubt as to other events which took place in Batty Lane. In 1903 at the local magistrates court Mrs Lavinia Murgatroyd of Market Weighton, was charged by Martha Newham of Howden with assaulting her. Newham stated that about midnight she saw her son in the company of the defendant in Batty Lane and requested him to come home. Defendant struck her, giving her a black eye She was fined £1.

Bridgegate showing the Angel Inn on the left. The entrance to Batty Lane is just beyond where the lady is standing.

So we know of Batty Lane but not who it was named after. It is a well-known name now in Howden but having researched the family I cannot find any connection with a Batty family who may have lived there or owned the nearby land in the early 1800s. My only result has been a family who left Howden for Leeds in the 1840s and a John Batty who emigrated from Howden to Illinois and served with the Unionists in the civil war.

If anyone knows any more about any of these topics I would be delighted to hear from them - contact me via my website.

Wednesday, 26 August 2020

Howden marsh

 It has been very stormy the last few days and we have had lots of small branches and leaves strewn around the garden. This got me thinking about the similar situation on Howden Marsh where trees there I gather have been damaged too in this unseasonal weather.

Howden Marsh is now a very popular nature reserve but how many people, particularly those new to the town know of its history. It has been an area of common land for centuries - marshy of course but not covered by trees.

We get an idea of the open space from a report of an event in May 1863.

The first battalion of the East Yorkshire Rifle Volunteers was reviewed at Howden on Monday, by Major Saltmarshe, the commanding officer of the battalion. The Howden company assembled in the Market Place about eleven o'clock, and, accompanied by their officers, marched to the Railway Station to await the arrival of the volunteers from a distance, who came up by the 11.25 a.m. train, and the whole of them were then formed five abreast, and, headed by the Driffield band, marched to the Market Place, where they piled arms, and then proceeded to Clayton's Half Moon Hotel to partake of the luncheon provided for them. 

In half hour the march was resumed, the halt finally being made on Howden Marsh, a large unenclosed open space, just at the outskirts of the town. The various military manoeuvres, light infantry drill, &c, were gone through in the most satisfactory style, the firing, both of the companies soparately and of the whole battalion, being executed with great precision. 

Shortly after four o'clock the volunteers again marched to the Market Place, and after few words from Major Saltmarshe, expressive his great satisfaction with the way which they had gone through the manoeuvres of the day, they were dismissed. 

The number of privates and non-commissioned officers present, as far as we could ascertain, was—Howden, 38; Bridlington 28; Driffield (with band), 51; Beverley, 13; Market Weighton, 12; total, 135

The Marsh was later, in the 1880s made smaller when seven acres of it was needed for the building of the Hull and Barnsley railway.

But in the 1900s It was  still the area where local people grazed their cows - stray animals ending up in the town pinfold on its edge. The cows were often dairy animals and provided the townpeople with much of their milk,

In winter months The Marsh froze and Howden people were able to go ice skating with the chance later to buy hot peas and vinegar from local lady Mary Good.

And in summer it was also in use. The Howden cricket club, at their annual meeting in 1904 decided to adopt The Marsh as their home ground.

A  report of a court case from 1910 gives us an insight into the large watercourses of the Marsh, into police work - and also into the juvenile crime of the time.

William Connor (21), and William Kenny (16), Howden, were charged with having stolen large plank, valued at 7s, the property of Mr George Wm Green of The Parks Farm, Howden, 

Mr Green stated that on Tuesday morning 10th May, on looking around his farm, he missed a plank of wood, nearly 20 feet in length, which had been used as bridge over a drain, and worth from 7s to 10s.  He had seen it safe on the Sunday 

P. C. Robson  instituted inquiries. Just before dark  he visited the Howden Marsh, where he found the stolen plank in a drain. It had been cut in two and the ends secured in a sheltered position on the bank. He watched in the vicinity until about 4 o'clock the next morning. 

At 2 p.m.  he again visited the Marsh, and found that the wood had been removed.  As a  result of further inquiries  he visited Connor's house, and after cautioning him him with stealing the wood, Connor replied, Yes,  I got it. I am very sorry. We towed from Mr Green's premises into the Marsh down a drain, and I have just taken into Ringrose's field to dry." 

The same day Pc Robson met Kenny in  Pinfold-street, who, on being charged with being concerned with Connor in stealing the wood, replied, "Yes, it's true, we got it." The wood was found concealed beneath grass in Mr Ringrose's field.—Both pleaded guilty.—'The Chairman said that as they were so young, the Bench would deal leniently with them. There would be a fine of 5s and 7s costs each.

Now the Marsh is planted with trees and is a haven for wildlife. The picture below [taken by Arthur Henrickson] shows it in the process of construction. Does anyone have the date?

Wednesday, 19 August 2020

Old pictures of Goole and Howden Minster concerts

 Cannot make sense of the weather this summer. One minute it's unbearably hot and then next minute it’s damp and cold. Since our visitors  are still restricted to sitting outside it has made for some interesting tea parties!!
The garden too is unpredictable - good crops of beans and onions but the tomatoes, inside and out are only just beginning to ripen.
Like most people my summer  plans have been disrupted. As part of the Goole history group I should now be spending my days in Junction where we had planned to hold our two week exhibition on the history of Goole - this year concentrating on shops. Our previous exhibitions have proved very popular so we have fingers crossed for next year.
Another blow to local plans, in which I was involved as a volunteer, was the cancellation of the series of  free lunchtime concerts in Howden Minster. But the Howdenshire Music Project which ran them has continued to  record and put its concerts online and has recently been loaned a brand new grand piano which they hope to buy for the use of the community. The link will take you to the concerts which are also available on their youtube channel

I have a new computer and am just getting to grips with it but am managing to sort out quite a lot of family history queries and am enjoying looking at the old pictures coming up on the Goole facebook page. One of the features on my new photo program is the ability to colourise pictures.  It's a bit hit and miss and I am still learning but it seems to do best on groups of people rather than buildings when the only option is a manual approach.
Here are a couple of examples. David G posted a picture of a group of children in Fourth Avenue in Goole which showed his mum in 1930.  She is in the centre. This is a quick edited version.

Another picture which came up was of the Vermuyden Hotel in Bridge Street,  Goole. It was later re-fronted but here we can see it when Charlie Yates was landlord before the First World War. It was harder to colour this one and of course we can never know the correct colours but  I think the process  can make  these old pictures come alive. I do always keep the original black and white images.

Goole river pilots 1958

The picture information was as follows

Goole River Pilots. Photograph taken on 29th December 1958 at the North Eastern Hotel in Goole. Jack Fielder was receiving a retirement gift for his service. 

Pictured at the retirement party are, back row from the left: Ted Greenwood, Ernest Smith, Barney Schofield, Ron Tetley, Harry Richmond, Lance Smith, Alan Hutchinson, Bill Perry, Clive Wilkinson, James Grant. 
Middle row from the left : Albert Ayre, John Smith, Albert Blackburn, George Howard, Syd Woods, Bob Greenfield, Bob King,  Syd Depledge, Bill Ripon, John Price, Arthur Wild. 
Front row from left: Commodore Capt. Richardson, retiring pilot John (Jack) Fielder, Dennis Yule and George Grubb. 
At the time the photo was taken there were around 24 Goole pilots but in the years that followed the number increased as high as 32 to cope with the increase in trade at the port.