Saturday 30 January 2016

High winds and Knedlington article in Howdenshire Living

On Thursday night the wind sounded so strong- I think it was Storm Gertrude!- that rather than be lulled to sleep by it we were worried about falling trees. Mind you we had good reason. On Tuesday I took Molly for a walk onto the riverbank to look at a trench which had recently been dug to allow a new water pipe to be put in.  As I watched two quite large yew trees opposite our garden and hanging over the road were rocking alarmingly as their roots had been cut through. After a phone call to their owner and with the help of a local farmer both trees were cut down. I was sorry to see them go as they were old trees and acted as a windbreak to our garden. One remains and I wonder how long it will last on its own. Hence our worry last night.

It must be the time of year to stay inside and look at family history. I have had several enquiries and am busy researching three Yorkshire based families for their descendants. One family in particular has been causing problems - I could find no record of them before they arrived in Goole although from census entries I knew they were all from a village in the Isle of Axholme. But the problem was solved when I mentally imagined how the name - which began with an 'h' might have been said locally. Drop the 'h'  for a start and then experiment. And there they were. Computer searches are wonderful but cannot beat local knowledge!!

I have also been writing an article for the new magazine Howdenshire Living. This is a lovely glossy lifestyle magazine and I have agreed to write a monthly illustrated piece each month about the history of local villages. Last month was Knedlington and this month will be Laxton.

Below is the article on Knedlington that  appeared last month

Wednesday 13 January 2016

A big egg - and Goole canal contractors

Now we are in 2016 and still the weather is mild - I have daffodils from my garden on the kitchen table. Also on the kitchen table were two eggs - one a normal sized egg and one an eye wateringly large egg laid by one of our hens yesterday.  The others are laying well but I expect the hen who laid this whopper will be resting!

The garden is very wet and Molly has to have her paws dried when she comes in if we are not to have muddy marks all over the floor.

In my last post I  wrote about Mark Faviell who lived at Amcotts Lodge. He was a contractor on the local Goole Aire and Calder Navigation and since writing about him I have been learning more about other contractors - until quite recently a somewhat neglected aspect of the town's past.

We already knew about Messrs Jolliffe and Banks - see my website [

and are now turning our attention to Hugh McIntosh who was responsible for constructing the Steamship Lock and Dock and the graving dock.

I have also been looking at the story of Thomas Bramley from Snaith. He left Yorkshire for Australia in the 1850s and was unfortunately murdered in 1867. His murder was reported in the  newspapers of the time as The Rokewood Murder.