Thursday, 6 January 2022

Release of the 1921 census

 As I write this it is frosty outside and the car windscreen is frozen.This is in contrast to the very warm weather we had over Christmas - which made it easy to keep the windows open when visitors came as we are still in the grip of Covid. I am hoping that when I read back over these blog posts in future months we shall remember this time but be socialising normally without taking tests before we go out. 

I received some lovely Christmas presents and have plenty to read but the tree is now out and the decorations back in their boxes. 

So now it is 2022 and as a family historian I am looking forward to exploring the 1921 census which has been released today on Find my Past. Only problem is that you cannot get a transcript or original image without paying, even  if you have a subscription. But you can search for free and when I searched for my mother, Joan Nurse b 1918 in Eastrington I could see she was there and it told me that also on the page were Robert and Elsie, her parents. It correctly identified the Howden area where she was but said she was in Eastington in Gloucestershire. So a few teething problems!

 80 years ago, January 1st 1942 Joan Nurse married Douglas Watson at Eastrington church. Soon after he was sent to serve in North Africa where he remained for three years. After his return  my parents  remained in Eastrington for the rest of their lives and taught many generations of children at Howden and Eastrington schools.

After the popularity of the newspaper snippets in my last blog post here are a few more - this time from 1922

April 1922

For sale— Argyll (15 9) 2 seater  car, sporting type JJ body, 1914 model, sleeve vale engine, CAV. lighting, Autovac petrol feed. Very smooth and silent; £250— J. Mortimer, The Gables, Eastrington.

For sale —Ford Car, 5-seater, 1920, fully licensed and insured;  in splendid condition; £135. Any trial examination.—J Mortimer, The Gables, Eastrington.

 Station Road Eastrington from a colour postcard.
The Gables can just be seen in the background on the left.

James Edward Mortimer was an entrepreneur born in Cleckheaton who built The Gables, then bought and moved to Knedlington manor and then finally to Howden hall where he died in 1946.

July 1922 Hull Daily Mail

Hull market .There was a great glut of mushrooms  today  in the Shambles and shops, Mrs Lilley, of Eastrington, bringing in 1,000 lbs, which sold from 6d to ls per lb.

Aug 1922

HOWDEN. OBITUARY.—The remains of the late Arthur Britton, who for the past seven years had been proprietor of the Bowman's Hotel, were interred in the churchyard Saturday afternoon, the Rev A. Waring officiating. The chief mourners were:—Mrs Britton (widow), Mrs Angus, Mrs Oakes, Miss Gladys Britton, and Miss Kathleen Britton (daughters), Mr and Mrs Hargreaves (uncle and aunt), Mrs Wraight, Mr W. Ayland, Major, Mrs Cockroft and Mrs H. Cockroft. Floral tributes were sent by the widow and family, and Mrs Hargreaves, Mrs Wraight, and Mrs G. Moore, Mr and Mrs Blakey, Miss A. Newman, Miss N. Dealtry, Mr and Mrs J. Good, and Mrs B. Shaw, and the Howden Licensed Victuallers'Assoc. The deceased gentleman's dog followed the coffin to the Parish Church, and remained in tho building during the service, afterwards accompanying the funeral party  to the graveside, where it stood and gazed down at the coffin. 

Aug 1922

HOWDEN. OCTOGENARIAN'S DEATH:- The death of Mrs Jane Laughton has removed one of Howden's oldest residents. Deceased, who was the widow of the late Mr George Laughton, blacksmith, was 80 years of age, and was born in the same house in Flatgate in which she died. The funeral, which took place on Monday afternoon, was conducted by.the Rev Kellett (curate)

Nov 1922

 A remarkable story of life-saving by telephone. While travelling from Selby to Howden on the L. and N.W. express on Saturday, two business men, Messrs Croft and Usher, looking out ot the window near Wressle, saw field alongside the line a bull, apparently its knees, attacking with its horns a young hoy, who was lying on the ground. I did not know whether to pull the communication cord or not," said Usher to a newspaper representative afterwards, but both Mr Croft and he instantly got out notebooks and scribbled notes follows "Bull killing boy in behind Wressle Station.' and threw these notes out as we passed level crossings. Arriving at Howden, Croft raced to the signal-box. The signalman quickly notified Wressle Station by 'phone, and the staff raced to the rescue. The child's life was saved, though he was badly mauled  by the bull. He is the nine-year-old son of a  farmer named Wood. 

Saturday, 18 December 2021

Christmas news through the years.

Laxton in the snow

The news is depressing, the weather is murky and the days are short so it is definitely time to turn to local history. 

I love looking at the old newspaper site  to which I subscribe and usually distract myself with reading all sorts of snippets. Sometimes it is something which has been mentioned on a facebook page like the fascinating story of the de Cobain family who came to Goole from Northern Ireland. One branch of the family lived in a house called Armaghbreague on Hook Road and a search on that name and Goole soon brought up lots of articles.

But  today I thought I would  look at what was happening in the local area at this time of year. What was affecting people then? So below is a random collection of  events from Christmases past. I was particularly interested in the reference to a Christmas tree in Howden, obviously then something unusual. 

I hope that next year we will all be too busy celebrating with our friends to have time to sit in front of the computer!!!


HOWDEN. Christmas Treat. —On Christmas Day the inmates of the Howden Union Workhouse were regaled with the good old English cheer of roast beef and plum pudding to their hearts’ content, being allowed to eat much they liked. The provisions were of the first order, and were served up in style highly creditable by Mr. and Mrs. Meadley, the esteemed master and mistress of the house.



HOWDEN  Christmas Tree,—On Wednesday  a Christmas tree was exhibited, and a sale of useful and fancy articles held the Town-hall, Howden. The proceeds will be devoted to  defraying the expenses of general cleaning of Howden church. The committee of ladies who originated the bazaar have worked in the most indefatigable manner to ensure the success of their undertaking and the results have exceeded the expectations of the most sanguine promoters. In spite of the inclement weather the Town-hall was crowded during the whole of the afternoon and evening, and the day's receipts amounted about £1OO, great many articles still remaining unsold, the room was opened again on Thursday, when most of them would doubtless be disposed of



HOWDEN. Christmas Day. —The church bells commenced to ring about 6.30 a.m., and rang merry peals during the day. Postmen's Breakfast.—The postmen of the Howden District had their annual breakfast on Tuesday at Mr F. Powls’ house. There were about twelve present


 [Nb Tuesday was Christmas Day]



CHRISTMAS AT GOOLE WORKHOUSE. Forty large Christmas plum puddings were disposed of on Christmas Day, in addition to roast beef and other special fare by the inmates of  the Workhouse and Infirmary, who numbered 184. Dinner was served 12.30 in the dining hall, which had been specially decorated by the master and matron (Mr and Mrs J. Carpenter), the assistant matron (Miss Moore) and the cook (Mrs Walton), and which presented most attractive appearance

After dinner, tobacco and other luxuries were distributed, and at  2p.m. a 'free and easy" was held, recitations, etc. being given, and dancing indulged in. John Barnes was the M.C. On  Christmas Eve, Mrs Creyke, of Rawcliffe Hall, distributed sixpence each to the adult male inmates, tea and sugar to the women, and toys to the children in the house. She also gave buns to the Infirmary patients.


Dec 20th 1921

The high tide on Saturday evening overflowed the banks at Blacktoft flooded the houses, and some cases put out the fires.


December  1921

Through the efforts of the Goole Shipyard Employees Benevolent Fund Committee 1,050  children  the bulk of whom belonged to families of unemployed shipyard workers were entertained on Thursday to a substantial Christmas meal which took place in the canteen  of the Goole Shipyard and Repairing company who the generously contributed £300 to the committee funds. The committee also distributed £50 of groceries and 2,300lbs of beef to unemployed workers. 


 December 1941

The golden wedding anniversary was celebrated yesterday of and Mrs Benjamin Dale of Woodland-Avenue. Goole. Mr Dale is a native of Kilpin, near Howden, but has spent most of his life in Goole, where as a youth he was apprenticed to the late Mr Joseph Glew, furnisher and undertaker. The business was later taken over by Messrs Eastham, Ltd., and he remained with the firm until he retired five years ago.  Mr Dale is an old Volunteer, his eldest son served the last war, and youngest is present in the Army. Both Mr Dale and his wife, who was born at Sandtoft, are 71 years of age. They have a family of six, and eight grandchildren.


 December 1941

Repulse Survivor News has been received by his wife that Leading Seaman Douglas H. Shaw, of Broadway, Goole was one of the survivors from H.M.S. Repulse. Seaman Shaw, who is 25 years of age, is a native of Asselby. Howden, and has been in the Navy since he was a boy. He joined the Repulse shortly before the war. He was on leave during the summer.



December 1945

Told he would be reported for riding a pedal cycle without a light, Albert Tipping, a Howden farm labourer, said: If  I had had  a better bike you would not have caught me." Tipping was fined 7s 6d


December 1946

CHRISTMAS FESTIVITIES AT GOOLE  with many of the town's former servicemen back home for their first Christmas for some years, Goole families did not allow austerity to stand in the way of merrymaking. The weather was fine, though cold, and the main outdoor attraction was the Yorkshire League match on Boxing Day between Goole Town and Huddersfield Town, which drew a crowd of 3,000, including 200 German prisoners of war. 

Friday, 3 December 2021

Cotness and the Orson Welles connection.

 I was recently asked about the history of Cotness, a hamlet about one mile from Laxton in Yorkshire. I know it quite well - there are less than 10 houses there today.  But it has a long and interesting history and was mentioned in the Domesday Book.

The settlement was owned by various landowners over the years but the family I am most interested in is the Wells family. A John Wells was living there in 1525 when he  was the Cotness representative at the  annual meeting of the 48 [ Eight and Forty] township men who governed Wallingfen Common. Another John Wells was the bailiff for the Metham estate when he died in 1572. A Christopher Wells owned a messuage and lands at Cotness in 1583 and died in 1592. Another Christopher or the same was named as the former owner of a house, dovecote, orchard and garden which was let to tenants in 1625.

The line of descent is difficult to follow but an Anthony Wells [the younger] was a merchant and prominent Quaker in Hull. He died in 1716.  His father [?] Anthony Wells senior passed the Cotness estate on to his younger son Nathaniel.

Nathaniel, like the rest of his family was a Quaker. There were many Quakers in the area including the Empsons of Goole and the Ellythorps of Sandholme. His marriage in 1693 actually took place at Cotness

Nathaniel Wells' marriage in 1693

Nathaniel had sons Anthony, Nathaniel, Burdon and Gideon. He  died in 1730. After  his son Anthony's death the whole of his Cotness lands  eventually passed to Gideon.

Gideon, born 1701 at Cotness was a doctor. He married Mary Partridge in London in 1730 in a Quaker ceremony. Her father was Richard Partridge who was the agent at the "Court of Great Britain for Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware"

Gideon lived and practised some of the time in Sheffield, selling some of his Cotness lands to the local Mawson and Empson families. But he kept the family house and surrounding gardens and appears as Gideon Wells MD,  Cotness in  the 1741 poll book.

He was the personal physician to Evelyn Pierrepont, second Duke of Kingston  [upon Hull] who had a very colourful life. The duke had a French mistress Marie Therese de Fontaine de la Touche, aka Marquise de la Touche. She was married and had three children but then eloped with the young Duke. But when the Duke abandoned her in 1750 she retired to Gideon Wells' house at Cotness.  It is hard to imagine this  aristocratic French lady at Cotness! She eventually returned to France and reconciled with her family. 

Gideon died in 1759 at Cotness and was buried in his own burial ground. 

His widow and son Richard born 1734 [who lived in Philadelphia] sold in 1761 "their manner and toftstead and all the site and circuit of the same manner and a stable and hophouse." Soon afterwards Richard sold a 9 acre close between  the house and  the Saltmarshe boundary. He initially reserved right of access to the Quaker burial ground where his family were buried.

This picture is taken from the Saltmarshe side - Cotness is on the other side!

This house was it is believed on the site of the Manor Farm house.

Richard was 16 when he emigrated to America  and returned briefly on the death of his father. He returned to Philadelphia and later that year  - 1759 - married Rachel Hill. 

They had several children including  Gideon born 1765 and William Hill born 1769.  Richard was a prominent merchant and cashier of  the Bank of North America. He wrote anti slavery pamphlets. He died in 1801 and was buried in  the Friends Burial Ground  in Philadelphia. 

His son Gideon was a merchant  and married Hannah Waln. His son William Hill Wells married Elizabeth Aydelott Dagworthy, the adopted daughter of General John Dagworthy.

William served as a  senator for Delaware. His son Henry Hill Wells born 1797 married Mary Putnam. Another son  son John Dagworthy Wells married Ann Lehman in 1832.

Henry and Mary  had children  including William Dagworthy Wells born 1837 and Richard Jones Wells born 1843. At some point the family began to add an extra 'e' into their name - ie Welles.

Richard Jones Wells married Mary Blanche Head whose father, Orson Sherman Head was a lawyer in Kenosha Wisconsin. Richard and Mary had a son Richard Hogdgon Head Wells. He had a son Orson Welles born 1915 in Kenosha. And the rest is history.

Who would have thought that Cotness was once the haven of a Duke's mistress and the ancestral home of Orson Welles?

I would like to wish all readers of my blog a safe and peaceful Christmas. It has been yet another strange year - let's hope 2022 is more normal!

Wednesday, 24 November 2021

Goole matron Lucy Liptrot

 The leaves are coming off the trees in the garden and lying in a carpet on the ground. But I like walking on them and Molly likes snuffling looking for interesting hidden treasures! I have now had my booster jab and after a couple of days lying around drinking tea and doing little I now feel a little more secure going out and about.

Both the history groups I attend in Howden and Goole are having a break until January but that does not mean that we are stopping researching. Topics we have been looking at in Goole are doctors, the shops and businesses in Bridge Street and the Doyle Street mission chapel. Goole has always been ever changing and the Bridge Street area has within living memory changed from a mix of docks, shops and housing  to a largely commercial street.

I became interested in a lady who was the matron of Goole Bartholomew Hospital from 1927 to 1952. This began when I was looking through some pictures and came across this clipping from the Goole Times

 Sitting in the middle of a group of gentlemen in 1948 was matron Lucy Liptrot. And the caption told us that she was an amazing woman who used to do all the X rays herself as well as organising the kitchens and nurses and helping out in the operating theatre.

So I thought I would see what else I could find out about her. She was born in Pemberton in Lancashire in 1889 where her father was a grocer.

She trained as a nurse at Hope Hospital, Salford and  during the First World war she joined the Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service [QAIMNS] and served in England, firstly at Pembroke Dock and later at Southampton. She served from 1918 to 1919  caring latterly for flu victims and then in the reserves.

I was able to download her military records [all 51 pages of them] from the National Archives which presently offers free downloads.

 Lucy Liptrot's reference from her military records

Lucy Liptrot in her QAIMNS uniform.

She was a staff nurse at Northampton when she came to Goole in March 1927 to become matron at Bartholomew hospital. She never married and died in June 1952, having resigned as matron four months earlier due to ill health. Her funeral was at Liverpool with a memorial service being held at the same time at Goole Bartholomew hospital attended by doctors and staff. At a meeting of the Goole Howden and Selby hospital management committee that week Sir Harold Wilberforce Bell [of Portington], the chairman, paid tribute to her as a splendid woman beloved by all those with whom she came into contact. 

I was surprised to find her in 1933 travelling on board a passenger ship to Malta and then back a few weeks later from Brisbane. When I looked more carefully there were soldiers and sailors and another  nurse aboard and can only guess she was perhaps asked as a reservist to do this. She gave her address then as Bartholomew Hospital, Goole, as incidentally she did on her death. It was her home.

Friday, 5 November 2021

John Stather Sherburn, Howden

 Next week is Remembrance Day and  I thought I would write a post about John [Jack] Stather Sherburn who died on October 11th 1918, exactly the same day as his baptism in the Minster in 1896.

I have been looking at the history of Howden church bells and during my research I found a website listing local ringers who lost their lives in the First World War. There were three listed from Howden, 

They were

Private Robert Simms  who was killed on June 11th 1917. He was aged 26 and was from a large Howden family. John and Annie, his parents  had 13 children. Robert worked a waggoner in 1911 at Yokefleet and enlisted at Howden in February 1916. He was badly wounded by shrapnel on the Somme in August but recovered after a period in a military hospital in Kent. He returned to duty and served in Salonica where he was killed, being shot in the head and chest.

Private John Camp   who died on November 20th 1917. His parents ran a lodging house on Treeton. John was a stretcher bearer, who died in a military hospital in France aged 21. He was  carrying a wounded comrade when a shell burst  nearby, killing the wounded man and so severely wounding John that he died a few week later.

The third ringer to be killed was  Private Jack Sherburn. His parents were Joseph Alcock Sherburn a gardener and Mary Stather. Jack was one of seven children. His mother had died in 1906 and his father remarried Annie Arnell and a further six children were born.

Jack enlisted in December 1914 when he was 18.  He  was in the 5th East Yorkshire Battalion [cyclists] and was on coast duty until December 1916 when he was sent to France. He worked as a stretcher bearer until he was taken prisoner on March 23rd 1918. His father was pleased to receive a letter from him as until then the family had not known where he was.

As a prisoner he was employed behind enemy lines erecting light railways and in salvage work but he was then admitted to hospital in Valenciennes suffering from dysentery. He was then moved to ?Bellecourt where he died. The information, presumably from his family in the memorial book in the Minster says

 "he suffered through the neglect of the prisoner of war camp authorities and died from dysentery and starvation"

These young men  have many local descendants and perhaps some can add further information.

 This picture is on display in the church and shows Howden bellringers in 1907.
Back from left J Sherburn [? Joseph], C R Smith,  F? Hodgson, J W Walker.
Front  RB Smith,  JT Moore.

Sunday, 24 October 2021

Ramsbottom grocers of Goole

 It's definitely autumn now and although the leaves are still on there have been one of two slight frosts. We have planted some garlic in one of the raised beds and hope it gets going before winter.

It has been a busy few weeks but now it is colder and darker it's time to return to local history. I have been busy looking at an interesting family the Robinsons, who lived at Ousethorpe near Eastrington in the early nineteenth century.  Most of the family stayed in the local area but George, born in 1788, moved to Leeds and became a very prosperous linen cloth manufacturer. When he died he left land in the fields around Eastrington to his nephews. I found his marriage in 1814 to a lady called Mary Spicer from Hessle. One of the witnesses to their wedding was Richard Oastler. He was a prominent and famous industrialist and reformer.

Completely unconnected has been some interesting research, carried out by Pauline Stainton, a Goole local historian on a Goole family, the Ramsbottoms.

They had built the fine three storey warehouse at the Boothferry Road end of Carter Street, probably in the 1890s. 

Boothferry Road. United Free Methodist chapel built 1897 on right.

Incorporated into the front elevation are the words ‘Ramsbottom Brothers Wholesale Grocers’. The history group had always wondered exactly who these brothers were and what happened to them.

Pauline writes,

    'On the 20th of May, 1850, Thomas Ramsbottom married Martha Midgeley in Snaith Church.  Their address is given as Goole and Thomas’ occupation as a sugar refiner. The 1851 census gives their address as South Street and Thomas is still at the sugar refinery.  

      The Ramsbottoms had four children. William was born in 1850, Thomas in 1856, Arthur in 1858 and Annie in 1867. The three youngest children were baptised in the Free Methodist Church in St. John St. Annie sadly died before her first birthday.

       The eldest son William left Goole  between 1871 and 1881 and spent the rest of his life as a hotel porter, largely at The Grand in Scarborough. 

      By 1861, the Ramsbottoms had moved to Lower Bridge Street and Thomas was described as a tea-dealer. In 1871, the family was living at 59 Doyle Street and Thomas is described as a Master Grocer.  He was still at that address in 1881 with his son Thomas, now married, living next door.  

   Thomas died on the 22nd of February 1882 and left everything to his wife Martha. Martha died in 1900 and is buried with her husband in Goole cemetery.  

      By 1891, Thomas jnr and family were living at 62 Boothferry Road and his brother Arthur, who never married, was living with his mother Martha in Jefferson Street.  According to newspaper advertisements,  Thomas and Arthur were now trading as Ramsbottom Brothers and had businesses on Boothferry Road and in Bridge Street  in the 1880s and 1890s.

This was when what was known as the Potter Grange estate  - ie the streets off Boothferry Road including Carter Street, were being built. It seems that this would be when the warehouse was also built.

 But business did not go well and in 1895 Thomas was declared bankrupt. 

 On the 1901 census, Thomas, wife Laura and family were living at 56 Weatherill Street and his occupation is recorded as shipping clerk.  Brother Arthur, still a grocer, was at 101 Jackson Street and was still there in 1911. Thomas had moved a few doors down Weatherill Street to number 53 and his occupation is again  given as grocer.

       Arthur Ramsbottom died in 1918 at the Kirkburton Mental Hospital and is buried there.  Thomas was mentioned in his will as a commercial clerk. 

   Thomas Ramsbottom died at 44 Pasture Road Goole on the 29th of November 1921.'

Whether they continued to use the warehouse is unknown as Arthur was never declared bankrupt and was throughout described as a grocer. It has had many different uses over the years.



Life for the Ramsbottom brothers did not go smoothly. In 1908 there was a scandal concerning Thomas and Laura's daughter Martha.


In September 1908 the  Lloyds weekly newspaper reported the case of the Leeds Bigamist as follows.

 A man of forty-two, John Binns, tailor, who was said to have been a local preacher, was committed for trial from Leeds Police Court on Tuesday on a charge of bigamy. Albert Henry Coleman, of Trafalgar-street, Sheffield, a caretaker for Church schools, said he was present on December 17th, 1907, at St. Jude's Church, Eldon, Sheffield, when the prisoner was married to Annie Ramsbottom. He now produced a copy of the marriage certificate. Annie Ramsbottom, of Weatherill street, Goole. said she made the acquaintance of the prisoner three years ago at Goole. He came to lodge with her parents. She knew he was a married man. He several times stayed the week-ends with them when he visited Goole. Last December she went through a form of marriage with the prisoner at Sheffield in consequence of her condition. At the time she knew he was a married man, and that his wife was living. Thomas Perkins, of 54, Burley street, said he knew the prisoner and his wife. and was present at the wedding at the parish church on October 18th, 1885. Bail was refused.


 The next chapter in the story was reported in the Hull Daily Mail of October 15th 1908


On Wednesday, John Binns described as labourer, of Leeds, was summoned by Martha Annie Ramsbottom,  of Weatherill St , Goole in respect of a female child born on January17th. Complainant's father, grocer, said the  girl was away for about two years, and he was not aware of her whereabouts until received a telegram from Sheffield asking him to fetch her home. He went over and found she was living with the defendant. The Bench made an order for payment 1s 6d per week, with the costs.  In connection with the case, is recalled that  while out bail awaiting his trial for having gone through a marriage ceremony with Ramsbottom, having at the time a wife living some time ago fulfilled a prcaching engagement at Goole, afterwards eloping with the girl. Binns did not appear at the Court  on Wednesdav, and it is interesting  to note that a hat and coat were found on the river bank, with the latter being a note: signed requesting that the articles should taken an address. We understand address is the residence of the girl Ramsbottom's parents. The police not for one moment imagine that Binns has made away with himself.


And finally on 17th November 1908 the Sheffield Telegraph reported


The West Riding Assizes were resumed at Leeds, yesterday, Mr. Justice Pickford sitting in the Crown Court. John Binns (43), tailor, was indicted for feloniously marrying Annie Ramsbottom, on December 7, 1907, at Sheffield, Harriet Binns, his former wife, to whom he was married on October 18, 1885, being then alive. When the case was called, however, the accused failed to appear. Mr. G. G. Alexander,, who had been instructed for the prosecution, said Binns was committed for trial at Leeds. He was afterwards allowed bail, and subsequently a summons in respect an affiliation order was issued against him, and was to have been heard Goole on October 14 last. On that day a man's coat and hat were found on the bank of the river at Goole, and in a notebook, in the pocket were found three letters of farewell addressed from to his mother, his wife, and the second woman he had married. Since that date the man had been neither seen nor heard of, and counsel submitted that it was for the sureties give some proof of Binns’ death. John Low and Richard T. Calvert, the sureties, were then called, and, in reply his Lordahip, stated that they did not know Binns, but went bail for him because they were acquainted with his mother. They did not know whether he was dead or alive. His Lordship said would do nothing in the way of estreating the recognisances, but would let the matter stand over for the present. the meantime, he would issue warrant for the arrest of Binns.

I have found no further reports but in the 1911 census Martha is living with her parents and three year old Annie.



Friday, 17 September 2021

Meetings at last

To my surprise it is well over a month since I last wrote anything so a catch up is overdue. It has not been a great harvest of fruit this year due I think to the strange weather we had in spring. Brambles came and went very quickly and although we have some apples there are not many. The same is true of the damsons - the only one enjoying the few fallen ones is Molly the dog. 

I have given two local history talks recently - one in Howden and one in Goole. Although Covid is still with us I think that as long as we are careful it is good to begin to have some social meetings. The first talk was for the Howden Civic Society and I showed pictures of the changing face of Howden. Some of those present were new to the town and I hope enjoyed seeing how much has changed well within living memory. 

Here is one picture I showed which is of South Howden station in the 1950s. The track bed is now more or less the route of Shelford Avenue, named for William Shelford,  the Hull and Barnsley railway engineer
The second talk was to the Boothferry Family and Local History group which meets in the Courtyard in Goole. Here I  showed pictures of the shops of Goole. Many of the audience were born and bred in the town and they kept me right - most of the time! It is amazing how many shops there were - not only on the main streets but on the corners of the cross streets too.  And it was also interesting to see how businesses moved around the town  as shopping habits changed. For example I showed a picture of Keith Anderson's shop in Aire Street and another of his jeweller's shop at the top end of Pasture Road.

But a friend later reminded me that between those two he had a shop in Carlisle Street. Here it is where the Philips sign is on the right, opposite the Conservative club.

 And here is an advert from 1958 to prove it.

I have recently too been buying and copying pictures - mainly of Gilberdyke, Newport and Goole. I shall be showing some of the Gilberdyke views at the next meeting of the Gilberdyke WI but as ever I am happy to provide digital copies of my old pictures for a small charge.

Those of you on facebook do have a look at my new Howdenshire History facebook page. I intend to post pictures on it from around the area.

Monday, 9 August 2021

Featherbed Lane and Eastrington church

 I know it is only August but somehow it feels autumnal - maybe because the last few days have been wet and chilly. I was encouraged on Friday when I watched Monty Don on Gardeners' World. He was talking about how some plants we see as weeds can play a part in a garden. I am all for that  as I have some teazles  and like to leave some of the ivy to flower for the bees. But I am afraid we have just chopped down the crop of burdocks as Molly the dog gets the seed heads stuck to her coat.

I have recently been asked about the history of Featherbed Lane near North Howden station which runs through to Eastrington.  Many many years ago I used to ride my pony along it from the Eastrington end  and I remember that cross country runs from Howden School often used to include running along part of it.

It follows an ancient watercourse which was first mentioned in 959 AD and which marked the boundary of  lands  granted to  'Cwen' by King Edgar. Later this watercourse, known as Common End Dyke  formed the boundary of the Bishop of Durham's Howdenshire estate. The  area was poorly drained and eventually became part of a common of around 2000 acres called, from the 17th century, Bishopsoil. This adjoined the larger common of Wallingfen.

Featherbed Lane with Common End drain on the left. It looks boggy in this photo!

Bishopsoil  'encircled'  several villages [see map] and villagers had grazing rights on it. They drove their animals along green lanes and onto the Common which was gated. Some of these gates survive in place names - eg Gate Farm at Balkholme, Newland Gate near Eastrington and Thorpe Lidget [Lidgate] near Howden where there was even a gate keeper. There was a gate too on the end of Featherbed Lane near the road to Brind.

This map showing Bishopsoil is taken from the Howdenshire volume of the Victoria County History

In 1767  the act for enclosing Bishopsoil Common was passed  and each village which had had grazing rights was allocated a piece of land by the commissioners Edward and John Cleaver.  The final award was made in 1777.

But no doubt some people suffered from not being able to graze their animals freely on the common anymore as often the piece of village land was soon sold on to an individual who then built a farmhouse on it.   So even today we have farms such as Asselby, Barmby and Saltmarshe Granges. For many years thereafter the occupants of these farms were listed on censuses with the appropriate village which confuses some whose ancestors they are.

The commissioners in their award also designated roads or highways. Some were 40 feet wide and were public highways but others were 30 feet wide and were private highways giving access to land. So the picturesquely named Hare Rudding Lane was  a private highway and ran alongside the Common End Dyke on the very edge of the newly enclosed common.

At some point the lane became commonly known locally as Featherbed Lane, probably because it was so boggy!!

There was in fact a farm along the lane, accessed from the Wood Lane end,  called Owlet Hall. I am not sure if there any remains today.

But during the First World War it was the home of the Walker family.  William was by then a retired builder and although originally from Yorkshire had lived in many places including London, Liverpool and Hull. Their son Stewart Edgar was a trainee architect in Sheffield. He joined up and served as a sapper in the Royal Engineers and was killed  in 1916.

The family attended Eastrington church and the present pulpit was given by William in memory of their son. It was dedicated by the Archbishop of York in July 1919. This was the report in the Hull Daily Mail

 CHURCH WINDOW DEDICATION.—The Archbishop of York,  on the occasion of his visitation to the parish of Eastrington, dedicated a new stained glass east window in the parish church, which has been erected by public subscription to the memory of 17 men from the parish who lost their lives m the war. His Grace also dedicated a new stone pulpit, which has been given by Mr Wm. Walker, of Owlet Hall in memory of his son, who was killed in France.

Eastrington church interior showing the 'new' pulpit on the right

I do not know how long the family lived at Owlet Hall but the farm was put up for sale in 1925 and described as follows

Yorkshire Post 1925


Messrs Clegg and Moore. are instructed offer for Sale by Auction at the Bowmans Hotel Howden on Saturday May 9th 1925. that Freehold farm, known as Owlett Hall Farm, situate with house, buildings, and land containing 129 Acres in the occupation of the trustees of the late Mr. F. S. Gregory. 

The house contains: Good living Kitchen, Dairy, 4 Bedrooms. Wash House, etc 

Buildings Include : Barn. 4 stall Cow House, 2  stall Stable, 2 Loose Boxes, also Brick Foundation and Wall Shed with 2 Loose Boxes in Field. 

The Land consists of several well-tended rich grass Closes all adjoining each other, with frontages to the Howden and Market Weighton Road, and to Featherbed Lane. The Property also includes Rights into and over Featherbed Lane. 

Featherbed Lane is now a popular walk and is part of the Howden 20 route.

Monday, 19 July 2021

Pond cleaning and old pictures

 I am writing this on what is, I think, the hottest day of the year so far. I have been watering my tomatoes in the greenhouse and am hopeful that they will begin to ripen soon. Both dog and cat are lying flat out on the drive having found patches of shade. 

It has been a busy week beginning with my new cooker arriving on Monday morning at 6.45 am, a birthday meal for a friend on Wednesday, a lovely clarinet and piano concert in Howden Minster and on Friday watching a young man cleaning out the excess reeds and other plants out of my pond. He had to be very careful as the pond was originally used as the rubbish tip for the estate joiner and included lots of glass. This was long before we had dustbin men!! He began the job a fortnight ago and then we left the debris out on the side to allow any creatures to return to the water.  It was a very smelly job on a hot day and I was pleased to stand and watch. He worked hard.

On the local history front I have been asked to give talks to both Howden Civic Society [September 1st in the Masonic Hall]  and to the Boothferry Family and Local history group [ in the Courtyard on September 18th]. I am a member of both groups and plan to show some old photos - but who knows  what will be happening by then with Covid and will people want to come and sit near others and will we still be wearing masks? I can only prepare and hope.

I continue to  collect old pictures, some of which I hope to be showing in September. Here are a few. I collect pictures from a wide area of what is now all called the East Riding of Yorkshire but was once very definitely East Riding and West Riding. Some of my collection includes family photographs and I always try to get the names - so many beautiful photos  are lost to descendants as no-one knows who they are. 

Aerial view of Bridge Street, Goole

Howden South station shed aka the bat house

Crossley Burney car on display at Howden on loan from Beaulieu motor museum 

 Eastrington chapel and Queen Street

 Herons' lorry in 1926 centenary parade

Aeroplane at Carlton

Tuesday, 6 July 2021

Tutty family around Howden

 Recently on facebook I read a message about the Tutty family of Howden. I was interested as there seemed to be several  family connections with local villages - Tutty Row in Howdendyke, Spaldington and Eastrington.

Howdendyke - Tutty Row is on the left of the picture.

So I have had a look at them and found a vast family who worked on the land in this area for over 200 years - and the name Joseph passed down through the generations.

The first Joseph [1] I have found was born in 1768 although I cannot find where. The name is often mis -spelled in the records. He married Elizabeth Sargeson at Holme on Spalding Moor in 1794.  Their son John was baptised in 1795 and they were then living at Skelton where Joseph was working as a labourer.

There was another son Joseph born around 1795-8 who declares on census entries that he was born at Eastrington but I cannot find a record.

Sadly Elizabeth died of consumption in 1799.

In February 1801 Joseph married Frances Nutbrown. Their son George was baptised at Eastrington in December.  Son Henry was baptised at Eastrington in 1803. Mary, Jane, Robert and William followed, all baptised at Howden. Joseph and Frances were living in Flatgate in 1841 and Joseph was a labourer.

Joseph was buried at Howden in 1844, aged 76.

Joseph [2] [ described as 'of Howden'] married Hannah Cowlam/ Cowlin/ Cowling  at Bubwith in 1818. Their daughter Jane was born the same year but sadly died aged one. The family were then living at Hive near Eastrington.

George was born in 1822,  Joseph in  1828,  John in 1830,   Elizabeth in 1832 and  Charles in 1835.   Although they were baptised at Howden the family lived in the area known as Spaldington Outsides.

This is the area between the Royal Oak and Welham Bridge - where  Snowden Dunhill once lived. 

George remained as a farm labourer at Spaldington Outsides.  His father Joseph lived with them until his death in 1883. His age at death was 88 giving a birth date on 1795. He and his wife Mary had at least  6 children including Joseph [4] born 1858.

Joseph [3] married Mary Nothard in 1848 at Bubwith. He moved around from Hull, where his son Joseph was born in 1855 to Laxton and settled like his brother at Kilpin Pike where he too worked in the chemical works. He and Mary had at least 9 children. One son, Charles, became a shipwright. He married Mary Hunt and in 1911 she is shown as a grocery shop keeper. Charles is elsewhere. The Tutty family owned Tutty Row.

John also moved to Kilpin Pike where he was a labourer in the fertiliser works. He and his wife Hannah had three daughters and lived in a row named in the 1881 census as Prospect Villas. His wife  died in 1910 and he in 1913.

Charles briefly moved to Hull but returned to Spaldington farming 65 acres between Sykes and  Ivy house farms. He died in 1908.

His death was reported as follows

Dec 1908


DEATH OF A SPALDINGTON FARMER.) Quite a gloom was cast over the village and district on Sunday afternoon when it became known that Charles Tutty, farmer, had died in his chair. Mr Tutty was his usual good health on the Saturday, when he attended Howden Market but  on his return home complained of pain in the chest. On Sunday the was seized with violent pain and his daughter, Miss Kate Tutty, tried to administer brandy,  but he expired in his chair. 

Henry Green, Coroner for Howdenshire, held an inquest. Mr William Tutty, son. deposed that his father had  enjoyed good health, and, to his knowledge, had never had a doctor. After hearing evidence from  the son and daughter,  he returned the verdict of "Syncope." 

He was laid to rest on Wednesday in the presence of large and sympathetic gathering of relatives, farmers, and others from a wide district, where he was well-known and highly respected. Family mourners wore Mr William Tutty (son), Sarah Tutty (daughter), Miss Kate Tutty daughter. Mr and Mrs J. Harrison (Willitoft, son in law and daughter). Mr and Mrs W. Atkinson Jarret Hill. Cave, son-in-law and daughter), Mr Joseph Tutty (brother, Howdendyke), Mr Joseph and Mrs Tutty (nephew and niece Spaldington- Mr, G Coggrave (niece, Howden), Miss ?Walsh (niece, Howdendvke), Miss Morritt Howden), and Mr Archie Tutty Spaldington.

He leaves two sons (one in America), and four daughters

 William Tutty of Spaldington died in 1943

Joseph 4, George's son, born in 1858 married Hannah Ferguson in 1881 at Bubwith. In 1901 they were living next to The Plough Inn in Spaldington. Their son Archie married Effie Wiles and their daughter Vida [later Walker] was born in 1927. It was said that Joseph and Archie were known throughout the area as very good sheep shearers.

I found the Tutty family interesting to research even if there were a great number called Joseph!. There are several family gravestones in local churchyards  of Howden and Eastrington. If anyone has anything further about the family to add I can include it.