Sunday 25 November 2012

Charles Crump and his memories of Reedness

Some years ago whilst reading the old files of the Goole Times for 1937 I came across some articles entitled 'Marshland of 70 years ago'.  They were written by an anonymous author who recalled his childhood in Reedness when he was aged 6 in 1867.

His recollections were very detailed and the Marshland Local History Group have recently incorporated them into a beautifully produced book entitled Memories of Reedness . The book also includes the memories of present day Reedness residents - and former residents - including my friend Bill Wroot whose memories are included on my website.

Bill Wroot and his wife Gudrun at the launch of Memories of Reedness

The group has used censuses and maps to trace the history of Reedness people and houses in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

There are enough clues in the memories from 1937 to trace the author. He was, I believe,  Charles Crump who was born in Upper Peover in Cheshire. His parents were Samuel Crump born in Warwick and his wife Ann [ Hannah, Anna], formerly Reynolds of Packington in Warwickshire.

They married in 1843 and spent several years in Over Peover in Cheshire where their children were all born. Samuel was the  village schoolmaster and his wife Anna was schoolmistress. In February 1866 they moved with their two youngest sons, James and Charles to Reedness.

Charles and James grew up in Reedness. Charles followed in his parents' footsteps and was a pupil teacher on the opening day of Goole Alexandra St schools on 17th January 1876. From 1880 when his father became ill he took over the school at Reedness until his father died in 1883.

He later was headmaster at Little Harrowden, Northamptonshire where he lived with his family.

He died, I believe in 1942.

If anyone has family connections with the Crump family I would be pleased to hear from them and confirm that the memories were indeed written by Charles Crump.

Saturday 24 November 2012

Howden history book launch

We spent yesterday in the Shire Hall at Howden , meeting people and selling copies of my new book about the history of Howden ('Howden, a Pictorial History').

Friday is when Howden has a small market and so we set up our display of old photos and artefacts amongst stalls selling clothing and handmade crafts. There is also a regular coffee morning in the hall and so while signing books we were able to have coffee and toasted teacakes.

I am very pleased with the book. Broadleys of Goole who have printed it have done an excellent job of reproducing the old photos which are all clear and sharp. There is also quite a lot of text which I hope is informative and interesting.

I have been researching the local history of Howden for some 40 years and people have loaned me many beautiful pictures to copy as well as sharing their memories. It was lovely to meet so many of them yesterday.

My book is now available to buy in Chappelows' newsagents in Howden and Goole  or through my website Howdenshire History at a cost of £10.50.

I am hoping for a peaceful weekend, nursing my cold and sitting over a log fire.

Launch of Howden, a Pictorial History in Howden Shire Hall

Sunday 11 November 2012

SS Mersey of Goole

I am writing this on the morning of 11th November, Remembrance Day and thought it would be right to include here a memorial to some of the many servicemen and women, including those who served in the Merchant Navy.

Captain William Rockett, lost on the sinking of the SS Mersey

Shown above is Captain William Rockett who was lost when the SS Mersey sank on 20th April 1940. It was believed that she had hit a mine.

The report in the Hull Mail of 22nd April 1940 follows:

'Goole Steamer Mined with Loss of 14


GOOLE'S biggest shipping disaster since the outbreak of war occurred on Saturday, when the 1,037-ton collier Mersey sank off the south-east coast following an explosion, and 14 of her crew of 20 were lost. It is believed that she struck a mine.

The ship was only a few miles from the shore at the time of the explosion, and it sank within a few minutes. A man walking on the cliffs at the time said: "I was looking out to sea, and there was suddenly terrific explosion. A column of water shot into the air. The ship I had been looking at a few minutes before had disappeared."

With the exception of two, who came from Hull and Bridlington, all the crew belonged to Goole. The missing men included the master, Captain W. Rockett, of 81, Adeline-street, Goole. The other members of the crew were:

Second Officer, J. A. Vickers, 717, Anlaby-road, Hull
Steward, T. W. Garner, Lime Tree-avenue, Goole
T. Nicholls, A.B., Edinburgh-street, Goole
C. E. Riggall, A.B., Gordon-street, Goole
F. Vaux, A.B., Cottingham-street Goole
T. Wilson, A.B., Estcourt-street, Goole
J. P. Leddy, A.B., Promenade, Bridlington
F. Overington, A.B., Burlington-crescent, Goole
T. Nicholls, A.B., Edinburgh-street, Goole
E. Barker, Deck boy, Chiltern-road, Goole
F. Huntington, fireman, Percy-street, Goole
H. Walton, fireman, Western-road, Goole
H. Ducheman, fireman, Gordon-street, Goole
E. W. Cox, fireman, Prospect terrace, Goole
S. E. Clark, fireman, Bell-lane, Rawcliffe
R. W. Taun, fireman, Cross Gordon-street, Goole

The survivors are:

Chief Officer, J. A. Carr, Rutland-road, Goole
Chief Engineer, W. L. Pollock, Eton-road, Goole
Second Engineer, J. A. Drury, Brough-street, Goole
F. Vaux, A.B., Cottingham-street, Goole
T. Wilson, A.B., Estcourt-street, Goole

Vickers died of his wounds after being landed. Three survivors, Drury, Vaux and Ash, were injured and are in hospital at the port where they were landed. The other three, Carr, Pollock, and Wilson, were unhurt, and returned to Goole in the early hours of Sunday.


Seen by a "Mail" representative, the men would make no statement beyond saying that they had had shocking experience. 

The SS Mersey, owned by the Goole Steam Shipping (L.M.S.R.) Co., served throughout the last war as a cable ship. The last ship to be lost by the company was the SS Calder, which foundered on a voyage from Hamburg to Goole on April 19 1931, nine years ago almost to the day. 

Captain Rockett, who was 47 years of age, entered the service of the company as a chief officer in 1924, and had occasional temporary commands until 1929, when he became a permanent master. He was one of the company's youngest captains, and had been in command of the Mersey for about 12 months. 

During the last war he was both mined and torpedoed. 

Two years ago his 19 year old son, Jack Rockett, was killed by falling from the mast of a ship in port at Cartagena, Spain, while adjusting the wireless aerial. 


Captain Rockett was a Younger Brother of Trinity House, and a member of the Goole (Aire and Calder) Lodge of Freemasons. He leaves a wife, two sons, and two daughters. 

Garner, the steward, was a married man with four children, and most of the other missing men were married with families. Riggall was injured when the Goole trader Lowland was mined in the early days of the war, and this trip on the Mersey was his first since coming out of hospital. 

Able Seaman Joseph P. Leddy, of tbe Promenade, Bridlington, was making his first trip for 12 years. A married man with one child, he had lived at Bridlington for about eight years. He was 37 years of age and the son of the late Mr P. M. Leddy, who was senior clerk to the Customs at Goole during the early part of the last war. For some time before joining the merchant service Leddy had been unemployed. His mother, Mrs Leddy, lives at Priory-crescent, Bridlington. '

William Pollock was sadly lost in another incident in 1941

SS Mersey of Goole

Saturday 10 November 2012

Howden book launch - Friday November 23rd

It is a lovely sunny November weekend and I have been out with Molly having a bonfire of hedge clippings and old cardboard boxes. Molly has enjoyed snuffling in the undergrowth in the wood and I have been collecting fallen twigs to bring in to dry. They make good firelighters for both the Rayburn and the front room fire.

I have now fixed a date to launch my book about Howden. I have booked a table in the Shire Hall for Friday 23rd November from 9 am  (there is a market in Howden on Fridays) and am going sit behind it,  sign my books and hopefully meet lots of old friends and make new ones!! There will be an exhibition of old local photos and objects as well as refreshments available.

I am selling my books that day at £10 a copy - the normal price will be £10.50. I hope readers will enjoy it - I have enjoyed writing it. Many people have shared information and photographs with me and although like any author I am always a bit nervous about possible mistakes I am looking forward to sharing what I have written with a wider audience.

It seems appropriate to launch it actually inside the building which is shown on the front cover - see my previous blog post for the front cover picture.

Back cover of my Howden history book 

Thursday 1 November 2012

Goole family history day and new Howden book

Just a reminder that there is a family history day in Goole library on Saturday 3rd November from 10am to 4pm. I shall be there, as will the Boothferry History group, the Goole First World War research group, the Marshland history Group and, I think, the Isle of Axholme family history society.

We all have lots of indexes and information and will try to help anyone who needs help with their family history.

I am relieved this week to have taken my new book on Howden to the printers. I hope to have it on sale by mid November.

In 1994 I wrote a book on the history of Howden [ Howden an East Riding Market Town] with my fellow local historian Ken Powls. This book told the story of Howden from its earliest beginnings to 1900. It has long been out of print and so I decided to continue the story into the twentieth century.

This new book is a pictorial history of the town and contains 88 pages of old photographs as well as a detailed text describing how Howden developed from late Victorian times.

I have been lucky to talk to many local people who have both loaned me pictures and shared their memories.

Now I can perhaps spend a bit of time in the garden before it gets too cold. The leaves are coming down fast and our lawn is a beautiful orange carpet. There are far too many to collect and so I shall just enjoy looking at them.

Front cover of new history book about Howden