Monday, 23 May 2011

William and Hannah Beal of Howden

Although most of the Goole Times weddings I am including refer to Goole people, here is a very interesting report about a Howden couple, Mr and Mrs William Beal. The report dates from 1930.

Mr Beal's premises were number 32 Market Place, Howden.

There is more information about this on my website, Howdenshire History.


One of Howden’s most esteemed couples Mr and Mrs William Beal celebrated their golden wedding on Tuesday and were recipients of over 50 letters and telegrams of congratulation, and many handsome presents including a purse of gold. Their association with Howden extends over half a century, whilst Mr Beal is a native of the town, where he has lived for 71 years.

Mr Beal is the eldest son of the late Mr and Mrs John Beal of Howden, and his father was a brewery owner in the town. Mrs Beal is the youngest daughter of the late Mr and Mrs William Hayton of Melbourne, and they were married on March 11th 1880 at the Howden Primitive Methodist Church by the late Rev George Shaw.

Mr Beal was educated at an old infant school which existed over the present Church Mission Room and was under the supervision of a Miss Empson, and later at Mrs Meyrick's school in Hailgate opposite the Wheatsheaf Inn, then at  the Wesleyan day school, and finally at the old National school in Pinfold Street.

At the age of 13 years he began his business career as apprentice to the late Mr Charles  Sutton, printer and stationer at the premises in the Market Place of which he subsequently became the proprietor, and which two years ago were taken over as the “Howdenshire Gazette” office. Mr Beal’s career was a striking example of how by dint of hard work and perseverance one may rise from the lowest position in a business to that of proprietor.

For two years he worked without a wage, and during his third year for half a crown a week. His day began at 5-30 am when his first duty was to despatch newspapers by post then to deliver throughout the town, and open the shop at 7 o’clock, at which time he was allowed a short break for breakfast. A fourteen and a half hour day ended at 8 pm. The journeyman printer in those days worked from 7 am to 7 pm for 24s a week. There were no holidays, not even a weekly half day. At the end of six years apprenticeship, during which he never received more than a few shillings a week, Mr Beal continued for 15 years in the service of the late Mr W L Rowntree, who had purchased the business from Mr Sutton.

The business then passed into the hands of Mr William Stockill for whom Mr Beal worked for many years and in 1903 he reaped the reward of his long labours by acquiring the business himself. For 25 years Mr Beal was one of the town’s most popular tradesmen, and it was in a large measure due to the devoted efforts of his wife that he built up a prosperous business from which he and Mrs Beal entered into well earned retirement two years ago.

With the exception of four years spent in Mr Stockill's employ when the latter's business was at a shop in Bridgegate,  Mr Beal spent 56 years at the business premises in the Market Place where he first started as apprentice.

His long connection with Howden naturally carries with it many interesting reminiscences of bygone days in the old town. He well remembers the annual steeplechases at Howden which were last run in 1872; the wonderful horse fair, when the extensive stabling accommodation of the town was inadequate to house the hundreds of horses which every year were sold to notabilities from this and other countries.

From boyhood Mr Beal was a chorister at the Parish Church, for which he and Mrs Beal have been loyal and energetic workers, and where they have regularly worshipped Mr Beal having been a sidesman for many years. He has been a member of the Kingston unity of Oddfellows for forty years and of the St Cuthbert’s lodge of Freemasons for about ten years.

Mr and Mrs Beal had three sons and one daughter, but only the latter survives, and there is one grandchild. On Tuesday they celebrate the 50th anniversary of their wedding day by a social evening in the Co-operative Hall to which relatives and a few intimate friends were invited and hospitality entertained.

We join in congratulating Mr and Mrs Beal on the celebration of such an auspicious day, and in the wish that they will live to spend many more years in their pretty little bungalow on the fringe of the town.

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