Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Howden Minster music history

I think I have been overtaken by events over the last month and so this post is probably overdue. The garden has 'escaped' as every time I think I will cut the grass it rains and the bindweed has twined itself around everything, indiscriminately around flowers and nettles.

The good news is that we have now decided to let out our chickens and they are so pleased to be scratching amongst the grass and aforementioned weeds. We hope that this might cure them of laying soft shelled eggs as although they have access to plenty of grit it is not the same as pecking bits up from the garden. We have also put some cider vinegar into their water as we read this might help.

One of the reasons I have been busy is that I have been researching, writing and printing out a display on the history of music in Howden Minster. This is to coincide with a  Yorkshire Day concert in the Minster on Saturday 5th August given by Steven Goulden, a locally based tenor who is singing a variety of music ranging from the Howden Horse Fair song to Nessun Dorma.

He is accompanied by Amy Butler who will also be playing a piano solo entitled Souvenir de Sand Hall, written in the early twentieth century by F Reinhold Muller of Goole, for Mrs Scholfield of Sandhall.

I put the display up on Monday- it covers the medieval history of music in Howden, the grammar school, the organ, the 1929 fire and includes a lot of Minster choir photos. There is also a section on Steven's fund raising concerts in the Minster in the 1990s and on his grandfather John Goulden of Rawcliife who was a semi- professional tenor himself.

Interestingly most of the choir photos were loaned to me by Malcolm and Margaret Watson, former choir members. Margaret's father, Fred Swales, often sang in concerts in Howden Church with Steven's grandfather John.

While researching I was looking through the 1971 files of the Goole Times. I found a picture of Howden which I could not believe was taken then as it seems so timeless.

 I also found in the same year an article about  the shoe shop on Pasture Road in Goole where I remember going to get my school shoes. This was run by the Misses Flower and I remember sitting on a sort of throne to have my feet measured. Then I was fitted for the sensible shoes which were part of the uniform at Goole Grammar. Black lace up for outdoors and brown flat shoes for indoors. Happy days!

1 comment:

  1. The advert talks of “the Misses Flower”, but of course in Goole they would get called “the Miss Flowers”.

    I am distantly related to the Stephenson and hence the Flower families. The “Mrs W Stephenson” who started the business was Jane Fawcett born in 1840 at Bilsby, Lincolnshire. In 1866 she married William Stephenson, a railway guard born Harewood, Yorkshire, around 1842. They arrived in Goole in the 1870s and had 6 daughters. I assume Jane and William Stephenson are the people in the photograph at the top of the article, which is fascinating. They are probably responsible for my great grandfather’s (Jane's nephew) move from Lincolnshire to find work on Goole docks as a horse shunter in the 1880s.

    The obituary of the two daughters who died in 1946, Maude and Jane, is on the front page of the Goole Times on 8th February, 1946, and gives further information about the business.

    The inscription on plot in Goole cemetery (now in a sad state of disrepair) reads: In loving memory of William Stephenson, died 26th October 1917 age 75. Also Jane, beloved wife of William, died 28th March 1913 age 72. Also daughters Annie died 1941 - age 73. Sarah died 16th November 1945 - age 70. Maude died 30th Jan 1946 - age 75. Jane died 1st Feb 1946 - age 64. And William Harold Flower, grand-son R.A.F. missing on active service 24th March 1942 - age 31. Lizzie died 8th Apl 1949 - age 70. Also Margaret Rooke, grand-daughter, died 17th July 1916 - age 5.

    I sat next to one of the Flower descendants at Boothferry Road School but had absolutely no idea we were not-too-distant cousins.