Saturday 29 August 2015

Dennis Hanson, philatelist of Eastrington

The death occurred recently of Dennis Hanson of Eastrington. He had lived in the village of Eastrington for much of his life but his name was known worldwide. As a schoolboy, living with his parents at the village stores, he was confined to bed for two years and it was then that he began buying and selling stamps.

He eventually built up a flourishing business as a philatelist and advertised in children's comics such as The Beano and Schoolfriend. Children could send for stamps on approval and would receive small albums and a free plastic magnifying glass. Later in 1958 Dennis built a wooden hut in the garden of his house, Kirkdene where around 20 workers, mainly women were employed. Other village ladies worked at home producing sheets of stamps to send out. The village post office too flourished as bags of mail from around the world passed through it.

Dennis also dealt in more valuable stamps and was very knowledgeable and well-respected. He scaled down his business as he grew older, but never really retired. He was a gentle man and a popular member of the community. His son, David, predeceased him.

Dennis Hanson in the garden at Kirkdene

Tuesday 18 August 2015

Concert in the garden

It's now Tuesday morning and it is raining. But luckily last week we managed to avoid the rain and all our events went well. Almost 50 members of the Boothferry History society enjoyed an evening of history here last Monday and then descended like very pleasant locusts on Gloria's buffet which, judging by the comments and empty trays they thoroughly appreciated. The following afternoon we replayed the event for a smaller group from the Reedness and Swinefleet area.

On Wednesday I was at Saltmarshe Hall to talk to the Historic Houses Association whose members had come from as far afield as South Lincolnshire and the Lake District to look round this hidden gem of East Yorkshire.

And then it was time to prepare for a private concert and party here in our garden given by the Saltmarshe Duo.

Preparations involved power washing our yard, fetching very heavy tables in the pouring rain, sellotaping paper cloths which persisted in blowing away onto them, stringing up bunting and setting up the sound system.

But it all worked out well. In true Yorkshire fashion everyone brought plates of food to share and laid them out on two long tables. There was everything from quiches to samosas, Bakewell tarts and gateaux to trifles. And lots too to drink. We began the evening with Pimms and worked through to wine and soft drinks as well as tea and coffee.

Family and friends gathered and the concert began. Steven has been singing professionally for many years and we were treated to a wide range of repertoire ranging from Andrew Lloyd Webber hits, including Love Changes Everything and Music of the Night, to folk song arrangements such as The Lincolnshire Poacher and The Plough Boy.

Perhaps most impressive, however, were the operatic arias which included La donna e mobile, Nessun Dorma and O Sole Mio. I think the sheep in the nearby field and the ships on the river must have heard and wondered.

Amy accompanied Steven as well as playing solos ranging from Gershwin to Glenn Miller and then we ended the evening with a Last Night of the Proms where we all sang along to Land of Hope and Glory and Rule Britannia.

It was a lovely evening and I wish The Saltmarshe Duo well. They are busy getting ready for a concert for the Eric Coates Society, a flower-themed concert in Ellerker church, Songs of the Redcoats for a Waterloo dinner, a Dickens evening and two First World War concerts to a 70th birthday party and music for a fashion show.

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The buffet where everyone went round several times!!
[picture by Gilbert Tawn, without whose hard work there would have been no museum,  archive
 or concert space]

Monday 3 August 2015

Local family history

I am busy at the moment tidying up the yard and garden in preparation for three events. The first two are visits to our museum by the Boothferry Family and Local History group and the following day by the Marshland History group.

It is always enjoyable to show people around and talk to them about the bygones and old pictures we have on display.

The third event is slightly different as it is a  small concert for friends performed by singer Steven Goulden and pianist Amy Butler.  We have planned it an an open air event with music ranging from opera to show tunes and concluding with a Last Night of the Proms finale. All we need is good weather and after the summer we have had so far this is not guaranteed. It may yet be in the local village hall!!

When not working outside I have been looking at some local families - the Cook family who were millers at Barmby on the Marsh and Seaton Ross and the Empsons of Goole and Yokefleet. The Goole Empson line has been something of a challenge as on at least two occasions the male line died out and the name only survived by descendants of the female line changing their name.