Friday 21 September 2012

Howden tomatoes and grapes

While researching material for my book on Howden I often become distracted and spend much longer than necessary following up ideas.

One such distraction this week has been market gardening around the town. There was a lot of soft fruit grown which was transported by rail to the fruit markets of Hull, Leeds and sometimes London. Apparently Howden was a good plum growing area.

But most interestingly I have been reading and talking about the grape growing industry. There were grapes grown in hot houses in all the large houses such as Howden Hall, Sandhall and Knedlington Manor but in the later nineteenth century commercial vineries were established.

Mr Henry Holmes Moore is credited with beginning this - his vineries were down Hailgate. But soon afterwards Mr George Henry Shaw built grape greenhouses at the end of St John St. I have seen a lovely picture of a wedding reception held in the greenhouses where the tables are laid out under the vines which are bearing huge bunches of grapes.

An area of new housing in Howden has been named The Vinery but as yet I have not found that grape growing took place on the site [do get in touch if you know differently]. It lies off Kensington Gardens where I know that tomatoes were grown.

Howden Tomatoes were famed throughout Yorkshire and travellers from the West Riding to Bridlington and the coast would often stop and buy them on their way home. I recently sampled a Clibran's Victory tomato - grown from an original Howden tomato seed. Its taste was delicious and I could understand why they were so popular.

Thursday 13 September 2012

WEA local history classes

It seems some time since I wrote a post and quite a lot seems to have been going on.

On Sunday we spent some time in The Lowther hotel in Goole as it was the heritage weekend and members of the public were welcome to visit the murals in the upstairs rooms. There were quite a few visitors and several were local Goole people who had heard of the murals but had not previously seen them.

We are still not sure who painted them but they represent the docks at Goole sometime in the 1830s and are beautifully detailed.

My WEA local history classes begin next week.

Monday afternoon [ September 17th ] 1.30pm in Howden upstairs at the East Riding customer service building  where we will study the history of Howden, the  local villages and Goole.

Tuesday afternoon [ September 18th] 1.30 pm at Eastrington village hall where we shall study the village of Eastrington, the local villages and Snowden Dunhill

Thursday morning [ September 20th] 10am at Ilkeston Avenue Community centre in Goole where we shall study the history of Goole and the Marshland.

All these classes are very friendly and you are welcome to contact me for more details or come along to the first class to see what it is like. No previous enrolment is necessary.

My book on the history of Howden is coming on well and I still hope to have it out for Xmas - but I find it hard not to write too much!!