Saturday 31 December 2011

New Year's Eve 2011

It is the end of another year and as far as the weather is concerned the contrast with last year could not be greater. It is very mild and I noticed that a lone geranium which I had not lifted in still looks quite healthy.

Molly is peacefully asleep in her bed, having consumed breakfast and also a small shrew-like creature which the cat had left outside the back door. Daffodils are well up and it is tempting to go outside and do some gardening. My three chickens are enjoying pecking for grubs. I am hoping to get some more soon to replace those lost to the fox.

My local history classes resume the week beginning 9th January in Howden, Eastrington and Goole. It will be nice to see everyone again and perhaps welcome new students.

I have enjoyed researching some interesting families this year. It is always rewarding to find that missing link for someone or to trace changing fortunes of a family through the generations.

Many of those for whom I have carried out research have become friends via the medium of email and it is particularly interesting to find out about the lives of those who left the local area and became pioneer settlers in USA, Canada and Australia.

I also have enjoyed finding old pictures for those who are searching for a photo of their ancestor or where they lived. It is frustrating that many of our forebears did not write on the back of their old family photos - but do we?

I have a large collection of  football team pictures from Goole from the 1890s-1920s and these are wonderful as they are mainly all named. If only school pictures had been named too.

Monday 26 December 2011

Mystery picture - Williamson family of Marske and Watson family of Eastrington

Christmas is over, the duck has been eaten, presents exchanged and we have had a traditional long Boxing Day walk.

I have a new computer and am spending some time sorting out my old photos. It is wonderful to be able to see them all in an organised way but there are some which I need help with.

This lovely old photo was loaned to me by the family of Tom Watson of Eastrington who was killed in the Second World War. He was the son of Maud Watson of Eastrington who was, for many years, the Eastrington post lady.

The information I have about this photo is that it is the Williamson family of Marske and that the lady was Tom's great aunt. Does anyone know any more about the Williamson  family? I have more about the Eastrington  end of the family but hope the picture may help someone with family in Marske.

Saturday 24 December 2011

Christmas Eve

Today is Christmas Eve, grey, cold and damp but nothing like the Arctic conditions of last year. We have now passed the shortest day (21st December) and when my mother and I used to write Country Notes in the Goole Times we always took pleasure in explaining that from now on the days are 'a cockstride' lighter.

East Yorkshire dialect has many of its roots in country lore and in the language of our Norse ancestors. Words such as 'bairn' (a child) and flitting (moving house) would easily be recognisable to them.

I enjoy listening to such dialect speakers and probably use dialect words myself without knowing. I do remember a visitor asking if a cable was 'wick' and being puzzled until I realised he meant  'was it live?' in the sense that a dog could be 'wick with fleas'!

We are feeding the birds with fat balls, beloved of blue tits and with kitchen scraps. But now we have Molly there is little left. Yesterday she enjoyed much of the rind of a butternut squash.

Tomorrow we shall be going to church at Laxton in the morning - my daughter plays the organ for the service - and then to family for Christmas dinner. I hope all blog readers enjoy their Christmas.

Sunday 11 December 2011

Eastrington memories

I often write about the history of Goole or Howden but I was brought up in Eastrington where my mother's family (the Nurses) have lived  since the seventeenth century. I wrote a book about the village a couple of years ago (Eastrington, an East Riding Village) which had taken me perhaps 30 years to research and write. The problem was that there was always something new to find out but I finally decided enough was enough and published.

Since then I have sold almost 700 copies (there are still plenty left!) and have met, either in person or over the internet, many people with Eastrington connections. Some are descended from those who emigrated to Canada in the 1830s, a few from the criminals who were transported to Australia, but many are people who were born in Eastrington, often went to school there and then settled elsewhere in the UK.

Eastrington is still a rural community where most people know their neighbours. It has a school, a beautiful old church, a shop and post office, a pub, a garage and a village hall.

I attended the village school (the old one) where I was taught by Mrs White, Mrs Leadill and Mr Thomas. I went regularly to St Michael's church and remember when Rev. Maurice Clarke was the vicar. My ancestors are commemorated on the walls and in the churchyard and I always feel at home there.

I went to buy kali and sherbert from the village shop run by Joan Dove, a childhood friend of my mother's and sometimes went to the other shop run by the Holland family. In my childhood too there were Lilleys' and Holmes' butchers where you could buy pork pies and sausages.

I went to buy stamps from the village post office run by Arnold Hoggard but never went in the Black Swan. My father did sometimes and would bring us home a packet of crisps but the pub was not then for families.

I remember the old garage being built by George Benson and going there a lot when my friend Susan  lived there and Joe Kendrick ran it. Now there is a new garage run by Kevin Stevens where my car goes for its all too frequent repairs.

The village hall too is new - there is now a house built where the old one stood and where we had Sunday school parties, blind sales  and agricultural show dances.

Do add your memories in the comments box below.

Saturday 3 December 2011

Herons mill

I was pleased to receive this week a letter from Josephine who has, with the help of some people who used to work there, identified nearly all the people on the Herons mill picture I put on my blog a couple of weeks ago. With her permission I have now added the names to the picture. I shall, in the near future put on more pictures in the hope that the people on them can be similarly identified.

It is now December and although nothing like as cold as it was last year it is still cold enough to need the heating on. I have a Rayburn and whilst cleaning it out last week found that one of the fire bars had broken. When I looked more carefully another was very worn and the bar they all rest on was bent. I did try to buy new ones locally but no one had them in stock. The internet can be useful as I ordered them from Wrexham and they arrived in two days. The only downside is that each firebar cost £25!!

Molly, the puppy, is now nearly 5 months old. She is slightly calmer but still chews anything within reach. She enjoys rugs and carpet corners at the moment. On the plus side she is learning basic commands like sit, stay and down. She comes back  fairly well  when I whistle for her but has a tendency to look back and wonder whether she can get away with not coming just yet!

I should go now and take her for a walk.

Tuesday 29 November 2011

Howden junior school

The  junior school in Hailgate was built as Howden Council school and opened in 1912. Next year will therefore be the school centenary and my local history class which meets in Howden hopes to gather some memories and pictures.

We  hope then to pass any information on to the school. I write a regular piece in the local Howden magazine Howden Matters and this month have included a picture of pupils from the school singing. I am not sure of either the teacher or the date so any help in identifying the people would be appreciated.

When the school opened the Wesleyan school on the corner of Flatgate and Hailgate, opposite the Cross Keys, closed. Howden's other schools - the National School on Pinfold Street, the Catholic School and the Grammar School in the church - remained open.

Do you recognise anyone on this picture?

Friday 25 November 2011

Names on Goole war memorial

Yesterday was the last session of my Goole history classes before Xmas. We shall resume on Thursday 12th January 2012. It is a very friendly group and we study and talk about many aspects of Goole's history. It is amazing how much knowledge everyone has.

One of the students, Chris, has been studying the men whose names are on the Goole War Memorial and I thought it would be a good idea to publicise the work he is doing in the hope that even more information may be forthcoming. He writes:

'In October 2005 I started to research the 452 men named on Goole Cenotaph from the First World War. In addition to these men I also have references to approximately 300 other men who also lost their lives, but who at some time had connections to Goole.
At the time of writing, I have located over 70 Service Records relating to all of these men. I have also been fortunate that during the work on this project that people have allowed me copies of photographs and letters of men who lost their lives during the ‘Great War’.
One aspect of researching the names has been the reading and transcribing of numerous entries within the Goole Times that bear the names of men who were killed, not just during the War but also in the years after; the Commonwealth War Graves Commission cites the dates of 1914 – 1921 in relation to servicemen killed/died.
Items published by the Goole Times have also helped to assure that the man named on the Cenotaph and the CWGC record ‘match’, these being the ‘Roll of Honour’ booklet (July 1917) and the Almanacs for the years 1916, 1918 and 1919. The RoH and 1919 Almanac, as well as the written entry, also contain a number of pictures of some of the men.
With regard to those who are not named on the Cenotaph, this being a ‘family’ preference, not all of them were residents of Goole at the time they enlisted. Some were born here, later moving away, while others were born elsewhere and enlisted in Goole.
For example, two brothers, Fred and Arthur Moody, were both born and raised in Goole. Both spent time at sea, and while Fred remained in ‘home’ waters Fred was ‘paid-off’ from his last trip in Australia, whereupon he enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force. After their deaths their mother remained in Goole, yet neither is named on the Cenotaph. Having said that, two men named on the Cenotaph bear comparison – Walter Horsman, born and enlisted in Leeds, was for a time based in Goole, where he met and married a local woman; Herbert Farrow, born, employed and enlisted in Hull. Sometime after his death and before the completion of the Cenotaph, his wife and young daughter came to Goole and his name was included, though while he was alive he had no connection to the town.
While those men named on the brass plaques affixed to Goole Cenotaph can be viewed, those who are not named on it are no less important, therefore I would be grateful to anybody who can provide any information.
You can contact Chris at  

Wednesday 16 November 2011

Richard Cooper Street, Goole

My new book about the history of Goole seems to be going well - I think that quite a few are being bought as Xmas presents.

I have had quite a lot of interest in the pictures of the Richard Cooper Street coronation street party which appears on the front cover and, with another one, inside. It was then a very close community and it is very sad that both Richard Cooper Street and Phoenix Street are now demolished.

I had several Richard Cooper Street pictures to choose from. Here is one I did not use and wonder if anyone would like to identify the children shown here. I think it also dates from 1953.

Although it was identified to me as Richard Cooper Street, there is a chance that it is not and so I would be very grateful to know.

Richard Cooper Street party picture

Sunday 13 November 2011

Howden in wartime

One of the projects which the Howden WEA local history group which I teach has worked on is how Howden was affected by the Second World War. Although we have not yet published the work, it seems appropriate on this Remembrance Sunday to make some of it available for people to read.

This is also in memory of Jane Pulleyn who was an enthusiastic member of the group and who typed much of the material including the article below. Jane died recently and we shall miss her.

The people of Howden 

In the first hours after the declaration of war the country was shocked by the sinking of the passenger liner S.S Athenia en route to America.  On board was Mrs. Esther Sellers, a Howden resident formerly employed at Goole Isolation Hospital, who described the sinking followed by twelve hours spent in a lifeboat.  A Howden man, Mr. C. Kirby, was on one of the ships that rescued survivors:  the captain of this vessel had a premonition that someone was trapped on the sinking ship, sent a boat alongside and brought off an unconscious woman who was successfully revived.

On the ‘home front’ Mr. W. Kirby left the Hull Cooperative Society shop where he had worked for 21 years to take up a commercial position elsewhere.  In October Howden had its first service casualty of the war when Gunner Arthur Watson was killed in a fall when on guard duty at an East Coast site: before the war he was a Post Office messenger, later a postman.

Shipping losses made an early impact.  Mr. R. Thornton of Hailgate was lost when the Goole steamer S.S. Corea was sunk, and Mr. W. Thornton, many years resident in Howden was lost in the destroyer H.M.S. Duchess.  In January 1940 the Union Castle ship ‘Dunbar Castle’ was mined and sunk: George Edward Snarr the assistant ship's butcher was rescued, his parents learning by telegram that he was safe.

In February the town’s medical services were depleted when Dr. Wigglesworth’s assistant Dr. Perry joined the forces.  He was replaced in May by Dr. Morley.  The war effort at home sometimes caused casualties as when George Anthony McKimm was trapped by the neck between tractor and plough, and died.

Two Howden sailors were reported missing believed killed when the destroyer H.M.S. Glowworm was sunk on 8th April.  They were Frank Lightowler aged 20 and James Arthur Pittock aged 41.  As part of the Norwegian campaign Glowworm was escorting HMS Renown when she stopped to find a man washed overboard: detached from the group she was engaged by German destroyers who led her within range of the heavy cruiser Hipper.  Badly damaged and on fire, Glowworm’s last act was to ram the German ship, which had to return to port for repairs.  Only one officer and 30 ratings were rescued, becoming prisoners of war, the full story emerging only after their repatriation to this country.  Both Howden men died during the action.

The evacuation of troops from Dunkirk and other French Channel ports dominated the country’s thinking at the end of May.  One survivor was driver Kenneth Powls who came home on two days leave.  Reluctant to speak of the experiences he described them as ‘only those of many thousands of others who were thankful to escape with their lives’.  Later in  June Second Lieutenant J.E. Cooke, aged 19, returned to Howden having escaped from Dunkirk.  Using a rowing boat he relayed his men to an abandoned barge which he then sailed to England, a journey taking 15 hours.

In July leading seaman George Claydon was confirmed to be a prisoner of war, but there was no news of the sister of Howden resident Mr. S. Rutter of Flatgate who had married a Belgian.  Their letters addressed to her as Mrs. Lowyck in Bruges had all been returned, but in a time of complete cross-channel turmoil this is perhaps not surprising.  The services continued to take Howden’s men, Mr. W.W. Kellington joining the Royal Army Service Corps.  Having survived the earlier sinking of Goole’s S.S. Lowland merchant seaman Alec Coulson survived the sinking of another vessel in September.

Trooper R. Danby, of South Howden station was reported as a P.O.W. in October, whilst in November Mr. Gus Phillips of the Howden Fire Brigade joined the Royal Air Force.  The Civil Defence lost another member when the ARP Sub-Controller Mr. J.S. Heald was called up in July 1941.

Many of the survivors of the Dunkirk evacuation would not return to full fitness and some had protracted illness.  In September 1941 the death was reported of one such survivor, Private E. Lawrence aged 23 of Skelton.  He died in Raywell Sanatorium and is buried in Howden cemetery.

The German hold on the Balkans was extending into Greece and the Aegean  Islands: Eric Birks of Hull Road was captured in September during that campaign.  North Africa was the major theatre of war for the British Army at this time: former Howden man, Driver Arthur Thompson, RASC died in March 1942 in that region.  He was 28 years old, a former pupil of the Grammar School and chorister in the parish church.

Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour and Britain’s entry to that theatre of war our possessions in South-East Asia were quickly over-run.  Bombardier John  Snarr who was stationed at Singapore was officially reported missing in May 1942.  Another Howden man in North Africa, Lance-corporal Raymond Roginson, was able to send greetings to his family in a radio programme ‘Greeting from Cairo’.  He had survived the fighting in Crete and declared himself fit and well despite the heat and sand, and longing to see his parents, Emily, Dorothy and Cyril.

There were occasional opportunities to celebrate as in August 1942 when Dr. & Mrs. Wigglesworth attended Buckingham Palace for the investiture of their son-in-law Pilot Officer W.E. Newnham, RNZAF, with the Distinguished Flying Cross.  The following month news came to Mrs. Vera Proctor of the death of her husband Trooper William Proctor, aged 23 when serving with the Royal Tank Corps in North Africa.  His tank was hit during a bitter battle that blocked the German advance on Cairo, all the crew being killed or wounded.  In a letter to Mrs. Procter the commanding officer described William as one of his best and most experienced drivers, calm and courageous in the hottest of actions.

The second, and decisive, Battle of Alamein was fought in November, and that month two Howden men were reported wounded in action in the Middle East.  They were Gunner Arthur Hopkinson and Lance Corporal Harry Willingham.  The latter wrote to his parents to say he had been lifted from the battlefield by another Howden man, ambulance driver A. Bovill.

Early in 1943 Sergeant Gunner George Axup RAF was reported missing (later confirmed killed), and Ship's Officer Harry Boyes, Merchant Navy was a prisoner of war in Japan.

In March Robert Aske was promoted to the rank of Captain in the East Yorkshire Regiment.  

Engaged as a Royal Navy gunlayer serving on merchant shipping  Herbert Harrand was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for his part in sinking a U-Boat.  Unfortunately the troopship in which he was sailing home was sunk by torpedo, and he spent many hours in the sea fighting off sharks.  Hospitalised in South Africa he was cleared to return home to Howden.  His investiture was in July 1945.

May saw Sergeant H. Tipping repatriated from a prisoner of war camp in Italy.  He had received a very severe thigh wound and was placed in Goole Hospital.  A former resident of Bridgegate, Major Leslie Douthwaite died of wounds on Easter Sunday.

Some casualties were not a direct result of enemy action, one such being Lance-Bombardier Harry Sweeting who died in Southwold Hospital after an accident.

Returning to this country in November was Sergeant Ken Powls, son of Mr. & Mrs. F. Powls of St. John St.  In civilian life a Relieving Officer employed by the County Council, he joined the Territorial Army two weeks before war was declared.  Evacuated from Dunkirk he had subsequently served in major operations in the Middle East.
 The same month a letter reached Mrs. Watson in Howden from her husband, Sgt. W.F.Watson in which he described an Allied landing in Italy. ‘We arrived off shore in the light …. I don’t mind the strafing so much when ashore, but I don’t like going in once the enemy starts slinging stuff about.  I was glad when our ramp went down and we got off.’  Sgt. Watson had volunteered soon after the outbreak of war and was one of the last British soldiers to escape from Boulogne in 1940.

Some British servicemen were welcomed and cared for when thousands of miles from home.  The mother of Stoker Clifford Smith received a letter in December from an American lady who had effectively ‘adopted’ him while he was in the States.

Good news of another kind reported that Private James Watts, aged 33, of Northolmby St, captured at Tobruk in June 1942, had escaped from a German P.O.W camp in Italy; a note to his wife said ‘safe and sound, back with the lads’.  On Hailgate one family had a very special Christmas when Corporal Harry Willingham, his ATS wife, and his brother Fred with the RAMC were all on home leave together.  Two more Hailgate men with home leave were Gunner Arthur Hopkinson and Craftsman Eric Shirbon; Hopkinson had been in the front line in the battle of El Alamein.

The early months of 1944 brought unwelcome news. Mr. & Mrs J Wain of Hailgate were notified that their son, Lieut. Peter Wain (23) had been killed in action in Italy, and Mr. & Mrs. A. Gamwell of Thorpe Rd. Avenue heard that their second son, Private Harry Gamwell aged 19, had died from wounds received in Italy after the landing on the Anzio beachhead. Before joining the Army in 1943 he had been a porter at North Howden station. A letter from a P.O.W to his mother said that his Christmas parcel had been robbed of its warm clothing and contained only bars of chocolate:  other prisoners were having similar experiences.

In March Signaller P. Roantree of Batty Lane was wounded in Italy, now the principal sphere of operations for the British Army in the West.

Seaman Joseph Naylor, son of Mr. & Mrs. H.C. Naylor of Bridgegate, had joined the Royal Navy at 18 and after training served as a gunner on the frigate HMS Gould.  His ship took part in a successful attack which sank a U-Boat, and less than a week later he survived the sinking of his own ship.  The U-Boat responsible was sunk by accompanying frigates, but the lifeboat with 30 men lowered from Gould overturned in rough seas.  They then climbed on to a float and were eventually rescued.

April emerged as a bad month for Howden families with sons in Italy, the latest casualty being Lance Corporal Eric Featherstone (28) son of Mr. & Mrs. J. Featherstone of Marsh End who died of wounds while serving with the Scots Guards.  After Easter came news that George Henry Newman (46) of St. John St. had been killed in Australia whilst engaged on unspecified government work.

Although as great a success as could be wished the D-Day invasion of Europe on 6th June brought inevitable casualties.  Corporal Harry Willingham was killed near Caen six days after the landing and Gunner J. Heald (late of Howden ARP) was wounded and back in an English hospital.  In August Corporal Harry Eastwood (24) of Hull Rd. Avenue died of wounds in France: he was serving with the Reconnaissance Corps in the 49th West Riding Regiment.  Wounded in Normandy was Sergeant Ronald Pridmore, the fourth time he had been wounded during the war.  Other local men in D-Day action were Sergeant Arthur Brown and Petty Officer Roy Thompson.

Two Howden men are known to have taken part in the airborne assault on the Rhine Bridge at Arnhem in September.  In his role as glider pilot Sergeant Arthur Brown landed his craft and became part of the attacking force.  He survived nine days of bitter house-to-house fighting before the order to withdraw was given and he escaped across the Rhine.  Jack Hewitt was one of the paratroopers, saw many of his colleagues killed, and reached safety by swimming across the Rhine.  Sergeant Brown was later wounded in Germany a few weeks before the war ended, and in February 1945 Private Charles Cameron was wounded in Europe serving with the Pioneer Corps.

A casualty of the Italian campaign, Corporal Jack Carrington was placed in a Leeds hospital in March, when the story of Bosun Norman Montell of 78 Hailgate also emerged.  After his ship had been torpedoed, bombed and sunk he spent 42 days in an open boat before being rescued.

The advancing allied armies began releasing prisoners of war.  One of the first was glider pilot Lieut. Peter Scott, captured at Arnhem in Sept 1944: his telegram with the good news reached Howden on 10th April. Captured in Southern Greece in April 1941 Corporal Eric Birks returned to Howden after captivity in Yugoslavia, Austria and Germany.

The invasion and advance into Germany was not a ‘men-only’ operation as shown by Sergeant Eleanor Tasker of Howden who in February, with four years service, was in North West Europe with a heavy Anti-Aircraft battery.  She said ‘the Belgians are very kind, but there is a shortage of soap’!

The month of May saw further repatriations. Leading seaman George Claydon was serving on HMS Vandyck when lost at Narvik, and paid tribute to the Red Cross for their parcels, and Private Claud Tipping (Flatgate) of the KOYLIs was captured in Norway.  Both had been PoW’s for 5 years.

The final months of the war saw promotions for Howden servicemen.  Jack  Holiday and Eric Connor gained commissioned rank, Eric Rutter became a captain and Sergeant Frank Leeman gained his wings as a glider pilot.

The continuing war in the Far East continued to make Howden-related news. A copy of the ‘Goole Times’ found under a tree in the Burmese jungle – (!!) was given to a Howden man, Major O’Hara, better known as Dr. O’Hara. The source of the copy was eventually discovered, it had been sent to a soldier by his family.  The abrupt end of that war found allied warships moored in Tokyo Bay: serving on the British flagship HMS Duke of York was Petty Officer Horace Newman of Howden.  The consequent release of PoW’s was good news for Mr. & Mrs. Amos Snarr in a letter from their son Bombardier John Snarr (aged 33).  After more than three years as a prisoner he told them he was safe and well and had reached India.  A few days later a Howden couple, Mr. & Mrs. E. Steel learned that their son-in-law, Second Officer Harry Boyes was free .  His ship the S.S. Gemstone was sunk in June 1942 and his fate remained unknown for many months.  He had been rescued and imprisoned in Japan. He returned to the UK via the USA

After a long silence Mr. S. Rutter of Flatgate had received news in 1944 of his sister Mrs. Lowyck in Belgium.  In July 1945 she wrote to say that her son Harry had returned home from four years of Gestapo custody, a grim reminder of the sufferings of civilians during that war.

The roll of honour for those service personnel who lost their lives in the Second World War is inscribed on Howden’s War Memorial in St. Helen’s Square.


If you can add anything to this article we would be pleased to hear from you.

Updated January 2012: I have been contacted by a former Howden resident who wished me to add that another Howden man killed in the war was Sgt Clifford Moore Brewster. He was an air gunner in the RAF and died on 30th January 1944. Clifford was the son of Thomas and Annie Brewster (formerly Moore) of Howden. By the time of the war Mrs Brewster had died and Clifford and his sister Pauline (who worked on the Hull and Barnsley station) were living with their aunts on Hailgate.

Wednesday 9 November 2011

More about the SS Aire at Saltmarshe

I was pleased to see Fiona's comment about my previous blog entry describing how she remembered the SS Aire at Saltmarshe. I thought it might be interesting to upload a couple of the pictures - I would be happy to upload others or any information which anyone would like to share.

Tuesday 8 November 2011

Saltmarshe - the SS Aire

Today has been a typical dull, drizzly November day. I had hoped to take some pictures in Saltmarshe Park but the light was too poor.

I have recently been looking at photos of when the SS Aire was run aground at Saltmarshe after colliding with the German collier Helene B. Schupp on October 6th 1958. The pictures show the workmen in the park with winches as they tried to recover the ship and stop her breaking her back. It was to no avail and she was eventually destroyed. 

It is still possible to see the marks of the hawsers on one of the oak trees and there are markers on the river bank to show where the ship was aground.

In the garden there are still lots of apples - but everyone around has lots too so it is hard even to give them away. I am hoping to pick up some russets soon as they improve with keeping.

Molly the labrador is now more a small dog than a puppy although she still does not like the dark and chews almost anything she can find. She enjoys pieces of coal from the scuttle and can reduce a piece of stick to chippings in a matter of minutes.

Friday 4 November 2011

New Goole history book

This afternoon I have collected copies of my new book about the history of Goole from Broadleys, the local printers. I am very pleased with how the book looks and hope now that people will buy it. Shaun Chappelow has taken several boxes to  the family newsagents shops in Goole and Howden where they will be on sale from tomorrow.

Although I have finished this book, lots more fascinating old pictures of Goole keep coming to light.  Perhaps I shall have to begin another soon.

We have been looking at some of them in my local history class and never fail to find something interesting on them to talk about.  Many of the pictures are unnamed and we spend a lot of time trying to work out who everybody is. Goole is still quite a tight knit community and usually we find someone who can help.

Here is a picture of the staff at Herons' mill on Hook Road in Goole.

The staff of Herons Mill, Goole.

I am adding some information to this post on December 3rd. I have received a letter from Josephine who has managed to name nearly all the people on the above photo. They are  as follows:

Back, from left: Alan Marshall, unknown, Phylis Sharp, June Mathias, Jean Naylor, Hannah Ogleby, Ellen Coggon, Minnie Cook, Agnes Thompson, Charlie Turton, Sheila Harvey, Margaret Charlesworth, Maurice Clarkson, George Gott, Mrs Gott, Elsie Mell, Madeleine Guest.
Front: Florrie Smith, Mary Roes, Margaret Guest, Rene Baxter, Biddie Taylor, Muriel Clare, Eileen Smith, Tom Howdell, Elsie,Blackwell, Dinah Dixon, Dorothy Abram, Ester Nichols, Roy Heron, Mary Brigham, Madge Whiteley, Margaret Moss, Olga Coolledge, unknown, Theresa Whitehead.

She believes the photo may have been taken in the late 60s. If you know more or can provide the two missing names please let me know.

Monday 31 October 2011

Hallowe'en notes

I am writing this entry on Hallowe'en although where I live we do not have trick or treaters as it is quite remote. When I was a child we did not celebrate Hallowe'en at all. The big night was Bonfire Night but the night before was Mischief Night when children did just that. They swapped people's gates round and rang doorbells. Nothing too serious and most people took it in good part as they had done the same in their childhood.

I was very upset on Saturday morning when I went to feed my pair of little bantams and found that the fox had torn his way in through the wooden back of their ark and they were gone, leaving just a few feathers. I had had them about three years and had thought they were safe as they were in an enclosed pen and wooden hut.

I have been working on my website and have added a page about my new book, Goole, a Pictorial History Vol. 4.

I have also added some new pictures onto my old photo pages.

Molly is still growing and learning! She comes back most of the time when I whistle but is sometimes distracted by all the lovely smells. Also she does not seem to have grasped the idea that the clocks have gone back an hour. No lie in on Sunday for me.

Friday 21 October 2011

Goole, a Pictorial History, volume 4

Today I have sent my last correction to the printer and now all I have to do is wait for my book to become a reality. I have been working on it for several months and so am suffering withdrawal symptoms as I have now nothing more to do.

It is the fourth book that I have written about the history of Goole, telling the story of the town through pictures. This volume roughly covers the 1940s and includes some 80 old photographs  as well as a lot of contemporary reminiscences about life in Goole.

The book should be ready for sale by the first week in November. It will be available from Chappelows newsagents in Goole and I also hope to sell signed copies at Goole library on 12th November when there is a family history day.

It will cost £7.95 and will also be available to order by post through my website - although until I have a copy to weigh I am not sure how much P&P will be.

This is the front cover - on the front is a Richard Cooper Street party celebrating the coronation in 1953. Sadly the street has recently been demolished.

Saturday 15 October 2011

Whitgift ferry, Molly and RIP Norman

This has been a busy week. My book about Goole is now in proof and should be, when I have made the corrections,  printed by the end of October.  I hope I have noticed all the mistakes but there are always some that slip through the net.

On Wednesday night the fox got the chickens. I was a bit late going out to drop the hatch on their hut and when I looked inside the hut was strangely empty. Then by the light of the torch I saw what was left of poor Norman the cockerel lying nearby. The hens I have never seen again. But on Thursday I met a friend in the supermarket and her daughter had a cockerel and two light Sussex hens which she kindly gave me. I am looking after them very carefully.

Today has been sunny and we have been out with the camera taking pictures for a presentation I am giving at the Beverley Treasure house on Thursday 20th October at 6pm. It is about the changing face of Howdenshire and so I needed some pictures of the area as it is today to compare with my old pictures.

This is the Ouse riverbank at Metham where the Whitgift Ferry landed such passengers as John Wesley and Charles I. Molly is being taught to walk on a lead

Molly is queen of the castle

Wednesday 5 October 2011

Lep in Goole

I am writing a book at the moment about Goole, using lots of old pictures, dating from the 1930s and 40s. One of the pictures is of the Lep depot down Fifth Avenue and this has led to all sorts of interesting information emerging about what Lep in Goole did during the war.

With the help of local people I have been finding out about the hundreds of Canadian vehicles assembled in the town down South Street and possibly Dutch Riverside. Also about Lep using the old Adelphi warehouse - not quite sure what for yet and about Lep vehicles towing giant recovery trailers called Queen Marys  and going out to pick up crashed planes. These were then put into wooden crates made in a Lep shed off Rawcliffe Road

It is an aspect of Goole's wartime role which has not been much talked about but I hope to find out more

Thursday 29 September 2011

Stanley Oughtibridge of Swinefleet

In the WEA local history class I run in Goole - new members always welcome - we discuss all manner of subjects Goole related. This morning topics included the history of Fisons, once Goole Tillage, the role Lep played in the war assembling military vehicles and Stanley Oughtibridge.

I am not sure how we came to talk of him but he was one of Goole's characters. He was in fact from Swinefleet and began his career looking after lions in a circus. He then spent many years working in the music halls mainly in the north of England.

He was for many years a familiar figure in Goole, usually immaculately dressed and sometimes wearing spats.

This picture of Mr Oughtibridge, taken in 1989, was provided by Gilbert Tawn.

On a different topic Molly the puppy is growing by the day. She is, like most Labradors, keen to eat almost anything including so far a plug off a lamp, a library book cover and any unwary feet. She is not sure whether to chase chickens or run from them but seems to take most new events in her stride. I only wish her day did not start quite so early!!

Monday 19 September 2011

Book fair and a new puppy

This has been a busy weekend. On Saturday I went to the local history bookfair at Beverley which was held at the Treasure House. I had a stall and met lots of old friends and some new ones. I managed to sell some of my books about Eastrington and Gilberdyke and had a display of some of my old pictures.
Then yesterday we went to fetch Molly, our new puppy. She is almost 9 weeks old and is a black labrador. She is settling in well although does not like being left on her own and  howled last night. Poppy, our cat remains aloof and suspicious. So far she seems to like eating raw apple and playing but has little idea of using the newspapers we have provided!

Here is Molly.

Wednesday 7 September 2011

Local history classes - Howden, Eastrington and Goole

Now that autumn is here with winds and rain it is time for the new term of WEA local history classes to begin.

I teach three classes - one in Howden, one in Eastrington and one in Goole. All three classes have been running for some years and are very friendly. You don't need any experience and you won't be asked to do written work but you do need to be interested in the area where you live.

The class at Howden starts on Monday afternoon, 19th September at 1.30 pm and is held in the meeting room above the East Riding Customer Services building in Howden. This term we shall be looking at the history of the town and studying some original documents. There are frequent Powerpoint shows of local pictures.

The class at Eastrington starts on Tuesday afternoon Sept 20th in Eastrington Village Hall, again at 1.30pm and will look at Eastrington and other villages. Again there will be Powerpoint presentations about the villages.

The Goole class meets in the Ilkeston Ave Community centre at 10am on Thursday  22nd Sept and this term we are looking at the industries of Goole.

The fees are £55 per term [ 10 classes] and £3 for claimants. You can come to the first class and see whether you like it before joining.

Do contact me if you would like more information.

Thursday 25 August 2011

Regency Halifax

My friend Prudence Bebb, with whom I taught many years ago now, at Howden School, has recently published the latest in her acclaimed series of books on towns in Regency Yorkshire.

This volume, Regency Halifax,  deals with the woollen town of Halifax in Regency times. It looks at the lives of the people from  John Greenwood and Michael Pickles who were hanged for theft to  the Rawson family who were eminent bankers. The Rawson  family home and bank still exists in Halifax, now restored as Somerset House and available for weddings.

Prue  has already written about Regency York, Poppleton, Harrogate, Scarborough, Whitby, Beverley and Bridlington. This latest addition to the series is beautifully produced and contains several colour pictures.

Saturday 20 August 2011

An old photo of Whitgift cricket team

I have countless old pictures, many of them old press pictures but others lovely old pictures which people have given me over the years. The biggest problem however is that many of them have no names. At the time everyone knew who was in the photograph and what the occasion was. But no - one thought to write this information on the back.

So here is a picture of a cricket team. On the back is written T Halkon, Whitgift.  Does anyone recognise any of these players, or where the picture could be taken. I know it is a long shot but someone may have this very same picture with all the names on!!

Wednesday 17 August 2011

Eastrington church

Now back from holiday and the temptation of the Hay on Wye bookshops I have plenty to do. The garden is becoming overgrown with all the rain although not as much fell here as at Goole where there was severe flooding.

We are eating green beans and courgettes at every meal and the poor damson tree has been pulled down by the weight of fruit. Unfortunately the damsons are not really ready and so I am leaving the tree alone and then will prune it after picking the crop.

I am busy now writing my fourth book on the Pictorial History of Goole and hope to have it ready  by autumn - lots of work to do but it is very interesting to write.

The exhibition at the Beverley Treasure House by the Victoria County History will feature three boards of my old photographs about Howden, Eastrington and Newport. It opens on 17th September, the same day as the local history book fair. I am having a stand there so will be able to sneak along and listen to comments on the exhibition!!

I am looking forward to the afternoon of Wednesday 31st August when I am giving a talk to a group made up of the Howden U3A and my WEA students at Eastrington church. This is my 'home' church where my family have worshipped since at least 1680 so I always enjoy sharing it with others.

Wednesday 27 July 2011

Goole Alexandra St school 1967/8

This team picture was taken 1968 and I have some names  - do let me know if they are not quite right.

It has been suggested that they were winners or runners up in the Short cup

Standing, left to right :  Philip Bristow, Paul Adams, ? Howard,  Stephen Cross, Russell Noon, ? Terry Spavin , Ken Punter.

Front: Mal? Gibson, Tony Proctor, Christopher Jackson, Rob Clark, Brian Marshall

Monday 25 July 2011

Goole Grammar School 1940

I hope that someone may be able to help me identify the people on these two photos of Goole Grammar School.

They were taken in 1940 and although I can recognise a few of the staff, it was quite some years later before I became a GGS pupil.

Don't forget that if you click on the picture it will enlarge so you can see the faces clearly.

Goole Grammar School senior pupils 1940

Goole Grammar School staff 1940

Thursday 21 July 2011

Captain John Moody

I am always amazed at the connections which the internet enables us to make in matters of local history. 

I recently received an email from Keith Johnson in New Zealand. He had come across the obituary on  my website for Captain Samuel Wright of Goole who died in 1897:

The obituary includes a mention of Captain John Moody. John Moody had married, as his first wife, Rebecca Lubbock, the only daughter of John Lubbock, a shipbuilder of Great Yarmouth.

Keith is a descendant of one of the sons of John Lubbock and  he has in turn been in touch with Harriet,  a descendant of another son, who lives  in California. She passed on to him a biography of Captain Moody which has come down through her family. She has given permission for this to be published.

Keith has written much more about the Lubbock family connection and Captain Moody on his blog:

However, he has kindly allowed me to include a copy of Captain Moody's life story here as well. He would be pleased to know anything else about Captain Moody's Goole connections.

John Moody's first wife, Rebecca [Lubbock] died and he married again, in 1848, to Matilda Duckels / Duckles, daughter of Thomas Duckels of Old Goole.


 [by his grandson Arthur Russell Emerson (1866- 1947), with permission from the family]

Captain John Moody was born on December 13, 1801 in the City of York, York, England, where he attended school.  When he was about 15, he apprenticed as a sailor for 6 years.  At the age of 21 he became Captain.  On occasion, his ship needing repairs, he put in at the Port of Wells, Norfolk, at the shipyard of John Lubbock. 

While there, he became acquainted with Rebecca Lubbock, only daughter of John Lubbock, to whom he became greatly attached, and in January, 1826 they were united in marriage.  In 1828 he took charge of numerous canal passenger boats sailing from York to Selby, John Lubbock, his father-in-law, having constructed these boats. 

Afterward moving to Yarmouth, he became Captain of a schooner running to London called the Lawther ??[ Lowther].  In 1831 they moved to Wells, Norfolk and  he took charge of the “Good Intent”, a ship also constructed by John Lubbock and presented to his children, six sons and one daughter (the wife of Captain Moody). 

In 1837, Queen Victoria’s Coronation Year, the family moved to London.  From 1837 to 1845, he captained deliveries of new ships to various overseas governments and colonies (e.g. Russia, Spain, Jamaica, Italy, China etc). 

He then took charge of the “Prinsula” for the precursor of the Oriental Steam Navigation Company (in part as a shareholder). 

From 1844 to 1846 Capt. Moody supervised the construction of 3 steamers for the Spanish Government in the Philippine Islands (based in Manila) of which he became Commodore, again delivering them to the buyer. Leaving the ships, he returned home, visiting China, crossing the desert through the Suez Canal. 

The camphor-wood trunk that is still owned by the family was brought from China through the desert on this voyage.  After reaching home, he again took ships to Russia and other countries.   When he was in Russia, Prince Gemticoff(?) gave a banquet in his honor. 

He was the father of 10 children – 2 boys and 8 girls. In 1846 his wife died, leaving him with nine living children, one Robert having died in childhood.  His daughter Mary, the eldest at 17, took charge of the house, the youngest being 6 months old.  The other children were Rebecca, John, Ann, Grace, Hannah, Elizabeth, Julia and Matilda.

All lived under Mary’s care while her father was engaged in shipping and in foreign countries.  During his absence, his family took a house adjoining their Grandfather Lubbock at Wells, Norfolk, and upon Captain Moody’s return, they moved back to their London home. 

His two little daughters, Hannah and Grace, died while he was abroad.  Later his daughter Elizabeth died, also his son John, after growing to manhood and becoming married in 1851.  His daughters Mary and Rebecca married.  Mary (Mrs. R. H. Emerson) went with her husband to America while Rebecca married Thomas Fryer

He then retired for a time to private life at London and Goole. 

Not content with retirement, he constructed and commanded the “Empress” and “Majesty” steamers running from Hull to Goole.  He then developed new designs for several ships, including the lifeboat “Sea Refuge” and other ships that were commissioned by the US Government. 

He then received a substantial order from the French Government to build 14 ships of his own design and construction.  When the government of France changed from a Kingdom to a Republic the order was canceled. 

In 1852 he settled in America and invested in farming land in Wisconsin – Oshkosh, Elk Grove and surrounding countryside, also at Oberlin and Chicago, Illinois. 

He then returned again to Goole, supervising the construction of more ships.

Captain Moody died at his house in Bridlington where his ironworks were situated, on March 5, 1872.

Captain  John Moody

Rebecca Lubbock was  born in Yarmouth, Norfolk March 12 1807.

Rebecca Lubbock, only daughter of John Lubbock, shipbuilder and owner of shipyards at Wells.  She was the only daughter with six brothers.  She was married at Norwich Cathedral to Capt. John Moody Jan. 18, 1826.  Most of her married life was lived in London.  On Aug. 7, 1846 she was taken suddenly with erysipelas on on her face and died  on August 9, after 2 days illness, being 39 years of age. 

Great Grandfather Lubbock was engaged in shipbuilding as was also Great Grandfather Moody, as well as being Captain.  Great Grandfather Lubbock lived to be 97 years old. (?)  One of his sons, Robert ), kept a boarding school for boys at Snettisham.   Also Ann Potter  kept a finishing school for young ladies at Harrogate, England.'

Monday 18 July 2011

Hannah Calvert of Goole

Here is a fascinating piece of Goole's history which was written when Mrs Hannah Calvert died in 1934.  Mrs Calvert lived in Goole at a time when the town centre was in Aire Street and when Boothferry Road was a lane leading to the ferry over the Ouse at Airmyn.

Hannah Calvert

Death of Mrs Hannah Calvert

Goole’s oldest inhabitant Mrs Hannah Calvert of 32 Carter Street Goole died on Monday evening at the age of 96.  Until a short time before her death Mrs Calvert enjoyed fairly good health and was in possession of every faculty. Her husband the late Mr Henry Calvert died nine years ago ---five years after he and his wife had celebrated their diamond wedding. They had a family of seven sons and two daughters of whom three sons and one daughter are living.

Before her marriage Mrs Calvert was Miss Hannah Drury daughter of Mr and Mrs George Drury of Swinefleet, and she was born in a house near the old mill at Swinefleet field. Her husband was born at Hailgate, Howden being the son of Mr and Mrs Thomas Calvert.

They were married at Whitgift parish church and first came to Goole seventy two years ago. At that time there was only one house west of the site where the market hall now stands and what is now the Stanhope dock was then a brickyard owned by Messrs Abel and Sutcliffe, the latter being the father of Mr John Sutcliffe, a former licensee of the Crown Inn, Ouse Street.

The docks were confined to the Barge dock, the Germany dock, the Ship dock and the Basin. so that vessels had to in and out through the old locks. Lock hill in those days was occupied by cottages while the railway station was in Aire Street.

Mrs Calvert’s husband who retired 33 years before his death occupied the position of stevedore, a position now filled by his eldest son Major T. Calvert M.B.E.. On his retirement the late Mr Calvert took his wife to Garthorpe where they farmed for three years and then to Reedness where they lived for the next fifteen years. In 1909 however they came back to Goole.

Mrs Calvert christened the S.S Faedreland at Hook shipyard in the year of her diamond wedding, and as a souvenir she was presented with a silver tray and tea service which bore the following inscription;-'Presented to Mrs H Calvert by the Ouse Shipbuilding Company Ltd Hook nr Goole, a memento of the launch of the S.S. Faedreland September 30th 1920'   Mrs Calvert’s second son, Mr Alfred Calvert, was managing director of the Ouse Shipbuilding company.

The funeral

The interment took place at Goole cemetery yesterday afternoon, the Rev H. Ogden officiating. The mourners were Major and Mrs T Calvert, Mrs Whitty, Mr and Mrs Arthur Calvert (sons and daughter in law) Mrs Alfred Calvert and Mrs J W Calvert daughters in law, Mr J S Calvert, Mr Henry Calvert, Mr Nigel Calvert, Mr Raoul Calvert, Mr Arthur Calvert, Mr Hereward Calvert, Mr W Shipley, Mrs Lazenby, Mrs Shaw (grandchildren), Mrs Drury, Mrs Smith Mrs Rus---  Mr and Mrs R Longhorn and Mr and Mrs Goulden (nephews and nieces).
Floral tributes were sent by the following – Daughter Polly, Tom, Mary, Ellen and family.  Arthur, Clara, and family, Sarah, Ethel, and family, Willie, Edie and family.  Tom, Mary, Vera,  Hereward Frances and family  Harry and family Bradford, Gladys and Bill, Mr and Mrs T Shaw and Ruby, All at Southport George and Matilda Philadelphia, Mr and Mrs Longhorn, all at Rawcliffe, all at Clifton Gardens, Mr and Mrs Larson, Hull, Mr and Mrs R Cooper and family, Mr and Mrs Maddick, The neighbours at Carter Street .

Sunday 17 July 2011

Old photos of Goole people - 3

Here is a further selection of well-known people from Goole's past.

T Temple
Mr Jolley
Mr  James Branford

The death occurred on Saturday [25th April 1936] at the age of 74 of Mr James W. Branford of 44 Dunhill Road Goole, who for 51 years was in the employ of the Aire and Calder Navigation.

Mr Branford was born at Wells, Norfolk, first began work in a colliery office but when 18 years old he came to Goole.

He began work for the Aire and Calder Navigation when there was only one hoist at Goole and five tugs. When he retired after 51 years with the company there were five hoists and eighteen tugs. Mr Branford began his service as a fireman but soon afterwards became an engineer on one of the compartment tugs in which position he remained for 46 years. He retired in 1931.

Mr and Mrs Branford celebrated their golden wedding on June 22nd 1934, Mr Brandford having in his possession at that time a copy of the announcement of the wedding which appeared in the Goole Times.  He leaves a widow and two sons. The interment took place at Goole cemetery on Tuesday afternoon the (Rev H.E. W--  M.A) officiating.

The chief mourners were Mrs J.W. Branford, (widow), Mr and Mrs C.W. Bradford, (son and daughter in law), Mr and Mrs H. Branford, (son and daughter in law), Mr C.H. Branford (grandson), Mr J.R. Branford, brother, Mr and Mrs J. Branford, (brother and sister in law), Mrs R. Branford, (sister in law), Miss A. Lazenby, (sister in law), Mr E. Branford, Mr B. Maw, Mr A. Maw, (nephews), Miss M. Maw, Miss J. Clayson, Miss L.Tune, (nieces).

A number of Mr Branford`s former work mates represented the Aire and Calder Navigation; they included Messrs A. Caukill, A. Wood, E. Shaw, and T. Graham, who acted as bearers. Others present were Mr A.E. Bainbridge, Mr H. Harris, Mrs Sykes, Mr and Mrs E. Hill, Mr R. Sherburn, and Mr T. Hewson.

Wreaths were received from “his sorrowing wife and family”, “Bill and Garry”, “his grandchildren”, “Alice and Bob” “Ada and nieces”, “Herbert and Jennet”, “Milli Albert Doris and Ben”, “Billy and Nell”, “Dick Tish and Mary”, “Joe Emily and family”, Kate Branford, (sister in law), “A.E. Bainbridge, and Peggy”, “Mollie”, “Phylis Amy and Cyril”, Mrs Sykes, Mr and Mrs W.S. Peek, Capt and Mrs Sykes and family, Hilda Robins.

T E Kettlewell