Sunday 27 December 2020

Last post of 2020

It's the day after Boxing Day - ie Sunday - and it is bright and sunny. A contrast to last night when the wind howled and the rain beat against the window and I sat inside and fed logs onto the woodburner. I needed to get warm as I had spent the afternoon eating sausage rolls and mince pies in Airmyn churchyard.  It was a friend's birthday and in these strange new times we live in we thought that it would be within the rules for four of us to sit socially distanced on a bench and folding chairs. I really hope that by her next birthday we might be inside!!!

It has not been a good year - too many I know have died and Covid has restricted visiting when it was most wanted and needed. So I am looking forward to  vaccination and a return to some sort of normality. Zoom and Facetime meetings are not the same.

I am still keeping busy with local history and buying the odd postcard of local scenes from e bay but I cannot see that there will be any postcard fairs anytime soon where people huddle together around stalls to rifle through bundles of cards in the hope of finding something local.

It has been a hard year too for the musicians in my family. Concerts have been cancelled and plans abandoned. But on the positive side the Howdenshire Music Project has continued to  provide music for those not able to attend concerts in person, initially requests recorded here in the front room and later concerts from inside Howden Minster. In fact they did so well that they were able to purchase a new grand piano for the community and for future concerts.

Looking forward to seeing an audience in the Minster next year

 I too have been brushing up on my technology and here is a slideshow/ video of some winter scenes from around the area. Thanks to Arthur Henrickson for the pictures of the snowy Ashes

Best wishes to all friends and readers of my blog.

Thursday 10 December 2020

Ow do?

 It's a cold raw day and I have just come inside from picking up fallen twigs which, when dry, will be good firesticks to light the woodburner. And just in case we have a cold Christmas I have ordered some heating oil to top up the tank.  Belt and braces you might say.

Looking forward to more normal times now the vaccine is being delivered. I drank mulled wine with a  friend out of a thermos this week while standing outside near a layby. We hope to be able to meet inside next year and laugh about it!!! 

We are all probably buying more presents online this year and I  have been busy posting my history books about Goole, Howden and Eastrington to different parts of the country as well as to Canada and US. I have also been selling them in a socially distanced way from the front porch here - buy a book and a jar of honey at the same time!! Contact me through my website

But Howden shops can provide many of our needs and although these pictures show that the town is changing I think it has kept its Yorkshire pride and character. 

I recently met a local farmer who greeted me with the familiar Ow do? to which I replied  Not so bad.  Few words needed.

Built in the 1890s as the Half Moon the 'Co-op' shop  shown here has recently changed hands

 No yellow lines and the Midland Bank where I was taken to open a bank account when I was 16. No identity checks necessary - the manager then was part of the local community and knew everyone.

I have been researching family history for several people over the last week or two and it's surprising how many contacts come from descendants of families who emigrated in the nineteenth century. These include  Robert Marshall, whose family were from South Cave, and his wife the former Annie Grasby, who married at Eastrington and moved to Melbourne, Australia in 1853. 

Other emigrant families are members of the Hall family of Hive  and my own ancestors the Nurse family of Eastrington. My Nurse family correspondent had found a report of an Isaac Nurse who had been prosecuted for a drunken assault in the 1870s.  

He asked me about it  as, in the report, it mentioned that the magistrates had been unwilling to grant a licence for Eastrington Show that year due to the several cases of drunkenness they had dealt with from the village.  He asked me about the village today as he wrote 'From what I understand Eastrington was/is a blue collar town filled with hard working people'.

I reassured him that times had changed since the 1870s and that the show was very decorous these days. I look forward to attending the next show, whenever it may be!

Some familiar faces on this picture of an Eastrington Show dinner

Tuesday 24 November 2020

Goole Times and Howdenshire Gazette

I have been spending some of my time recently sorting out the archive of old Goole Times pictures which I possess, separating them into Goole, Howden, villages etc. It's  quite time consuming  but is  both a useful and interesting thing to do as social life is still very much limited. But given that I have a dog, cat and a small flock of greedy chickens and some lovely local walks it could be a lot worse.

I thought, having looked through so many pictures I would write something of the history of the newspaper in which they appeared.

Christmas window at the Goole Times in 1938

The first edition of the Goole Times was published on August 1, 1853 by John Kay at offices in Bridge Street. Little is known of the early years of the paper and only Issue One has survived. 

A facsimile of the first issue of the Goole Times

Soon after John Kay began his venture another newspaper began in Goole, the Goole and Marshland Gazette, founded in February, 1854 by Alfred Small in Aire Street. 

The paper was issued monthly from Mr Small’s premises at 8 Aire Street and bound copies of these have survived, chronicling events in Goole from 1854 until 1870. Alfred Small sold out to James Mead Jillott from Manchester in September 1864 and retired to Laxton. 

Meanwhile George Sutton, originally from Lincoln but who had served his time as an apprentice on the Doncaster Gazette, had arrived in Howden, where he ran a printing business and fancy goods shop at no 6 Market Place. This was a newsagent for many years - Stockills,  Holroyd and Asquith, Winns, Andrews and finally Chappelows.

Howden Market Place with Mr Stockill's shop on the right.

On Saturday, September 5, 1863 the first edition of the Goole and Marshland Weekly Times was printed there by George Sutton, a bookseller. This was Goole’s first weekly paper although initially it was printed at Howden and taken across the ferry! A month later, on Saturday, October 3, a sister paper, the Howdenshire Gazette, was on sale. Both papers contained largely the same news but had different mastheads. 

The Goole end of the business was initially run by Mr Sutton’s brother Charles in premises, between Ouse Street and Adam Street but then the brothers swapped towns and George moved to a shop first in Aire Street  and then at 3 Ouse Street.

The newspaper was printed first on a hand-operated Ingle press, although steam power was used later. By 1871 2,000 copies a week were being produced. Some of the printing was done in Ouse Street and some at George Street in Mr Hartmann’s warehouse, which had at one time been used as baths. 

Mr Sutton’s health began to fail and he moved out of Goole to Cowick. In 1871 he sold the newspaper to Mr Henry Trevor Gardiner and moved first to Bilston and then to Canada, where he died. I have been in touch with the Sutton family who are still in the newspaper business in Canada.

This early image of Aire Street was sent to me from the Sutton family in Canada. It shows the 'apartment' where the Sutton family lived  and the Goole Times office  as it was in the 1870s

Henry Gardiner from Wisbech where his father ran a newspaper, had just returned from three years in Ceylon working on the Ceylon Observer. 

He was a man of great drive and was determined that his paper would thrive. He brought in three staff  who had been working at Wisbech -  John Hart Stevens (who joined the Goole Times in 1872 and was still there after 56 years in 1928), Mr W.H.Spencer and Mr S. Peck. In 1873 Mr Gardiner bought the title of the Goole and Marshland Gazette. 

He acquired an existing printing plant which was over the Lowther hotel yard in Adam Street and changed his newspaper title from the Goole and Marshland Weekly Times to the Goole Weekly Times and then simply to the Goole Times. But he did not initially own the Ouse Street printing works which Mr Sutton had sold separately to Thomas Pearce. 

He bought this from Mr Pearce and once again all the three businesses (retail shop, jobbing printing and newspaper production) were centred on Ouse Street. The house at no 3 was used as the printing office and a large room on the premises which had been used as the lodge for the Aire and Calder lodge of Freemasons (no 459) was also absorbed into the business. 

This is an extract from an 1890s view of Ouse Street showing the Goole Times premises extreme right of the tallest buildings.

Robert S Alcock joined the Goole Times as an apprentice on August 1st 1885. Writing in 1953 [after completing 68 years service with the firm] he described how the printing machines were in the cellars at Ouse Street, powered by a vertical boiler underneath Mr Pearson’s adjoining tobacconist's shop. The composing room was on the first storey with a dark circular stairway linking the two departments. There was a lift, consisting of a wooden case which enabled the completed pages [formes] to be lowered one at a time into the cellar for printing. He remembered the rope breaking on one occasion and a ‘printer’s pie’ of type falling to the cellar. 

 By 1891 the ‘Wisbech wizard’, as Mr Gardiner was known, decided to move on and  sold the Goole Times and the printing plant, to Robert Hudson (who was already in partnership with him in the jobbing printing business), Ferdinand Hartmann and G.W. Townend.
Mr Gardiner returned briefly to Ceylon after leaving Goole but then bought a newspaper at Bexhill on Sea.

The new owners formed the Goole Times Co. Ltd and soon after decided to move to a new site on Boothferry Road, which was initially leased from Ralph Creyke. The proprietors visited several newspaper offices to get ideas before building Times Buildings, [now Cancer Research] in 1894. 

Not only were there commodious offices and a shop but bookbinding and jobbing printing departments. Behind was the main printing plant. In 1897 Robert Hudson retired to Dudley leaving Messrs Hartmann and Townend as sole proprietors. 

The Goole Times celebrated its golden jubilee' in 1903 and its diamond jubilee in 1913, on both occasions producing souvenir editions which included full descriptions of the history of the area over the period. 

The Goole Times staff of 1903

In 1913 the company bought a Cossar press, a revolutionary machine which was fed with a large reel of paper on one end. The press printed it, cut the paper into pages, trimmed it, folded it, collated the pages together and delivered the newspapers out at the other end, counted into dozens. It was now possible to produce papers of 8, 10, 12, 14 or 16 pages.  Thirty-three staff were employed, producing the newspaper, printing booklets, handbills, account books, notepaper, ledgers etc which were all bound on the premises. 

In 1913 Mr Reg Townend joined the firm but then came the war and several staff enlisted including Mr Townend who was wounded in September 1918 and was in hospital nearly two years, taking up his duties again in 1920. 

In March 1928 the Goole Times Co bought the printing, stationery and fancy goods business of Mr W. Beal at 32  Market Place Howden shown below and it became known as the ‘Gazette office’ where jobbing printing continued for some years. 

The last printers to use the printing equipment there including a  Columbian press at the back of the shop were Percy Jeeves and Ted Philpott. The press was later removed to the Beamish Museum. Mr and Mrs Ken Powls lived there for a time and local reporters used the office; Mr Norman Hains from Eastrington worked there. The Howden ‘Shugazet’ as most local readers pronounced it, was always an edition of the Goole Times although to its East Riding readers it had no connection with the West Riding Goole Times! 

In June, 1969 the Goole Times Company was sold to Yorkshire Post Weekly Newspapers and this saw the end of newspaper printing in Goole. 

However after various changes of ownership it is now again an independent title.

Wednesday 14 October 2020

Richard Cooper of Goole.

Buying an icecream in Richard Cooper Street from Anthony White

It's a cold day and there's gloomy news on the Covid virus front so it seemed a good time to look at a bit of local history.  

There have been questions on the Goole facebook page about the origins of some street names - in particular the now demolished  Richard Cooper and Phoenix streets. It does seem a great pity that these names have not been preserved in some way.

At the time of the demolition [October 2010] I wrote a piece in the Goole Times which, with some editing and additions I reproduce below.

The history of both streets begins with the birth of Richard Cooper  in 1825, the son of Thomas Cooper and  his wife Mary  who were the licensees of the Half Moon inn, which stood on the site of the New Bridge inn.   The year after Richard’s birth the Goole to Knottingley canal and docks were  completed and the Goole we know began to grow as a town and port.

A Richard Cooper cooking range
By 1851 Richard was working at an iron and brass foundry in Bridge Street alongside his younger brother Henry. He married Ann Tait/Tate of Asselby [but born at Cliffe] at Howden on Christmas Day 1858 and by 1861 he was living at East Albert Street, off Bridge Street with his wife and one year old daughter, Minnie. This was the site of his original Phoenix foundry where he employed five men and two boys. The company made, amongst other things, cooking ranges, stamped with the name Richard Cooper and many of these were installed in the new houses erected in the later years of the nineteenth century in Goole and the surrounding villages.

An advert for Richard Cooper's Aire Street shop in 1875
His business prospered and he moved his family into new premises in Aire Street where he also ran an ironmonger’s business. 

These premises were part of the impressive new Bank Buildings, opened in Aire Street in 1870 for the Leeds and County Bank and then described as 'near the Railway Station'. They eventually became  a branch of the Midland Bank and closed as bank premises in 1928 with the business moving to  the Market Place branch [now of course itself closed and a branch of Wetherspoons].

Bank Buildings built in 1870 and pictured in 1952

By the 1880s Richard Cooper was described as an engine maker and brass founder and employed 46 men and boys. The family now also included daughters Lillie and Susan and 12 year old Richard.

Soon afterwards, with Goole growing rapidly and his business interests prospering Mr Cooper bought a piece of land  on a new building site behind the recently erected houses on the south side of Marshfield Road. Here he began building two more rows of new houses and, in September 1886 a warehouse which became the centre of a small foundry and ironworks named, like the one in Bridge Street, the Phoenix works.

The houses on Richard Cooper street and Phoenix street were probably built by Walter Dixie who also built some of the properties in  the Marshfield area although the mid eighties provided work for many as housebuilding went on all over the town.

Between 1880 and 1890 Ouse Cottage on Hook road, Carlisle Cottages on Carlisle St., the old water tower, the bank and other buildings  on the west side of  Aire Street,  more Hook Road houses north of Marshfield, the first house in Clifton Gardens, the new court house and police station, Anglesey house, now the Nat West bank,  Tower View on Boothferry Road, part of Weatherill St as well as  Montagu, Gordon and Jefferson streets were all built.

By 1891 numbers one to 40 Phoenix Street were occupied and there were 34 occupied in Richard Cooper Street, which was so new it had not been given numbers.

Number four Phoenix Street was already in business as a grocer’s shop while the first house in Richard Cooper Street was where Mr Dixie had built himself a new house.

Many of the occupants then were mariners, tug boat captains, clerks and carpenters. For example at 39, Phoenix St. was John Sherburn, captain of a steamship while at 34 was Mrs Elizabeth Claybourn, like many in the street described as wife but also as head of the household on census night as her husband was away at sea. At number 28 was Erastus Haigh, a shipwright with his wife Rhoda and their nine children while in Richard Cooper street were, for example, three families named Depledge, all mariners, Alfred Steele a coach painter and Richard Huntington who had a grocer’s shop.

Ten years later in 1901 the street was numbered and several of the houses still had the same occupants: at 29 was still Mr Huntington, at number 33 was Mr Steele and the Depledge families lived at 16, 20 and 26. It was still largely a street occupied by mariners: Robert Alcock, George Gill, William Blakey, Albert Watson, George Arnold and Thomas Eyre all made their livings by going to sea.

Walter Dixie, who had originally come to Goole in 1864 as a ten year old boy and lived in a wooden hut with his father, a navvy working on the Staddlethorpe to Thorne railway line, was in 1901 living in his own house now identified as number two Richard Cooper Street.

And living nearby at number one Phoenix Street, with his widowed daughter was Richard Cooper himself. In 1891 he had sold his Hook road works to Messrs Earle of Hull, shipbuilders. They expanded the premises, installing new machinery and even electric lighting but times were competitive and the firm went into voluntary liquidation in 1900, putting 70 Goole men out of work.

Mrs Ann Cooper did not live to see this sad day, dying in 1892 and Richard Cooper then moved to live with his eldest daughter Mrs Minnie Cluff. Mr Cooper died in 1908 aged 82.

This was his obituary in the Goole Times

 Goole Times  March 27th  1908 

Death of a Goole Tradesman.- Our readers will learn with regret the news of the death of Mr. Richard Cooper, a retired tradesman of the town, which occurred on Monday at the residence of his daughter, Mrs. Cluff, Phoenix-street. 

For many years the deceased carried on business as an ironmonger in Aire-street, from which he retired some years ago. Although he took no active interest in the municipal affairs of the town, Mr. Cooper was ever ready to promote its welfare, and was connected with the engineering works which he built in Hook-road. He had built considerable property in the East Ward, one street being named after him. Mr. Cooper had been in failing health for a considerable time, and latterly was confined to bed, and died as stated at the advanced age of 82.

At the time that the new houses were built on the site of these two streets several of us as local historians signed a letter which was printed in the Goole Times asking that new street names should reflect the town's heritage. So maybe one day Goole will remember Phoenix Street and Richard Cooper.

Monday 12 October 2020

Howden, Barmby and the Forest School Walthamstow

In the early hours of Wednesday 9th October 1929 the townsfolk of Howden were woken by shouts and noise as the tower of the Church went up in flames. An itinerant farm worker later claimed he had been paid to start the fire by a sacked worker of Bostock and Wombwell's menagerie which was set up in the Market Place.

The cages with lions and tigers inside were dragged onto the Marsh and inhabitants of Churchside were evacuated as a huge crack opened up at the top of the tower.

A view of the tower on fire- it never  fails to horrify me

The fire was out by morning but the damage was severe. Much restoration work was needed before the church could re-open in 1932.

I was reminded of this, and of some research I did some years ago, and so as often happens in local history, I have followed a trail of connected events.

Rev Thomas Guy

We need to go back to 1791 when a son was born in Ravenstonedale in Cumbria to parents John and Isabel Guy. They were not rich but their son Thomas received an excellent education at the local grammar school in the village. He was ordained priest and came to Howden to be master of the grammar school there which was held in the church.

Aged 23 he married Mary Whitaker in Thorne. They had at least eight children including their son, Frederick Barlow Guy who was born in 1825.

This was also the year that Rev Guy, who also held the post of lecturer at Barmby, was appointed vicar of Howden to replace Rev Spofforth who had died. But Howden then had no vicarage house and Rev Guy and his growing family lived in Bridgegate in the area opposite the PA building. For a time in the 1840s and 1850s he and his second wife lived at Barmby.

Rev Guy agreed with the trustees of the Garlthorpe charity in Barmby that two poor houses, which they owned,  should be demolished and a new school built on the site. This was opened  in October 1834. The datestone is still on the end of what is now known as the Garlthorpe Institute. 

Built as a National school in 1834 it is now a community building known as the Garlthorpe Institute

But Rev Guy at this time was suffering tragedies in his personal life. His eldest son John William died aged 19  in Nov 1833 and his wife Mary the following year. He remarried in 1835 to Helen Wikeley.

John Gilderdale, a Barmby boy

One of Rev Guy's pupils at Howden Grammar school was a boy from Barmby called John Gilderdale born in 1802. John's father George was a shipowner, probably born at Thorne and young John initially too considered a career at sea.

But instead aged 18 he went to study with great success at St Catharine's College, Cambridge. After gaining his degree in 1826 he married Rebecca Smith of Airmyn in November at Hook church.

He was ordained priest in 1827 and his first post was as a curate, then vicar, at Huddersfield. The young couple set up home there and it was where their two daughters Rebecca and Lucy and son John Smith were born. 

Rev Gilderdale also ran a school in his house Edgerton Lodge where a tragedy occurred in 1840  on November 5th.

The Leeds Mercury reported it as follows

At the Rev. Mr. Gilderdale's establishment at Edgerton, near Huddersfield, the pupils, under strict caution  to observe prudence, were amusing themselves in letting off fireworks, when a quantity of these combustibles in the pocket of a fine youth, the son of Mr. Jones, surveyor of Birkhouse, became ignited,  and burnt him so much that his life has been all but sacrificed [he later died] .  The other case was similar in its origin, and resulted in the death of a promising youth the son of Mr George Wilson, of Lindley. who died in great agony Sunday last. Being a pupil in the Huddersfield College, his remains were followed to the grave on Wednesday last near 200 of his fellow collegians, whose spontaneous desire testify their respect for the deceased, and their expressed wish that the melancholy event may have a lasting salutary impression, operated much to diminish the aggravating circumstances of the case. Their appearance, dress, and demeanour elicited much admiration ; and the melancholy event has excited general feeling of commiseration for the afflicted parents and relatives of the unfortunate youth.

One of the pupils at the time was fifteen year old Frederick Guy. 

Two years later John was appointed to Walthamstow where he became headmaster of what is now called the Forest School. It had had an auspicious beginning in 1834 with shareholders including Spode industrialist William Copeland, William Morris senior, father of the artist and poet William Morris and Governor of the Bank of England William Cotton,

But it went through a bad patch and was on the verge of closure when Rev Gilderdale was appointed. He is credited with turning its fortunes round.

And in 1852  the two strands of the story come together when  Rev Frederick Barlow Guy married Rebecca Gilderdale at Walthamstow. They were entwined even further the following year when Rev John  Smith Gilderdale married Rev Guy's youngest daughter Agnes at Howden. 

Frederick and Rebecca eventually had a family of twenty children. He became headmaster in 1857, taking over from his father in law.

William Morris

William Morris lived near the school and was initially a boarder at Marlborough College but there was a  pupil 'rebellion' there in November 1851  and so he left and studied with a private tutor,  the Reverend  F B Guy, who was then assistant master at Forest school. They remained friends all their lives.

After F. B. Guy’s wife Rebecca died in 1875, the school commissioned the firm of Morris & Co. to install a memorial window in the south transept of the school chapel, which was designed by Edward Burne-Jones, William Morris’ lifelong friend and partner.  It was destroyed in 1944.

Howden church stained glass

In the mid nineteenth century much restoration work was undertaken at Howden.  It was completed in 1858. The Forest school had a new chapel built in 1857.

After the fire at Howden in 1929, when some windows were destroyed, an article appeared in the Goole Times describing how some of the Howden glass had formerly been lost but fragments had been rescued and were now in Walthamstow.

Extracts from the 1929 article

In the vestibule of the school chapel is a small window into which is leaded a panel of glass of early 14th century. It is the top section of the painted glass filling of one of the main lights of a 14th century window. The panel shows parts of  white glass and of a border. Also in  the top of the light is a little picture of two eagles looking skyward, one bird much larger than the other. This,  shows the mother eagle teaching her young to gaze at the sun, an idea which has been taken from very ancient times to symbolise the sacrament of baptism. The eagles are yellow on a patterned green ground. This symbolical idea of eagles is rare.

In  the window of one of the classrooms is another piece of ancient glass of the same period as the eagle panel although very fragmentary. It represents a deacon holding a thurible or censer beneath a canopy yellow on a ruby groundall  within a border of oak leaves as in the eagle panel. Unfortunately the figure has lost its head, its place having been supplied by another head of much later date than the lost original and  there are many repairs - lost pieces of glass replaced by fragments of 14th century date such as such as geometric white glass, yellow tabernacle and scroll draperies and so forth, telling a sad tale of the breaking up of the ancient painted glass of Howden Church and its chapter house. 

With regard to the identity of the mutilated figure it probably represented Laurence the Deacon for there are pieces of glass beneath the feet which may be parts of a gridiron  Below the figure is a large square panel entirely made up of fragments of old painted glass of the kind already described.

These pieces of ancient painted glass were originally parts of the glazing of a window or windows of Howden church whence they came about 80 years ago a bad time for remains of ancient art. having been thrown aside as rubbish in the course of repairs or restoration work at the church they were rescued from destruction by a kindly hand and ultimately  found their way to Essex.

We can detect the hands of the Guy family in this story and wonder whether the glass is till there. Incidentally the glass was not the only casualty of the restoration. A newspaper report of 1858 describes how the ancient Howden church pulpit  was pressed into service as a judges' box in the Howden steeplechases that year.

Rev Thomas Guy died in 1862.  His grave is in the church yard.

The Forest school retained its Howden and Barmby connections; several Howden pupils were educated there in the 1880s and even today it has a Gilderdale Hall.

Repairing Howden church - before health and safety!

Saturday 19 September 2020

Milners of Goole and the history of Batty Lane Howden

 As we wait for news about whether we are going to spend more time in lockdown I am turning to history and harvesting as a relaxing distraction.

Today I have been gathering tomatoes out of the greenhouse and picking up eating apples from the garden. Our dessert apple varieties are James Grieve and Yorkshire Cockpit - but I have been collecting the windfalls carefully as the wasps are keen on them too.

Normally at this time of year I would be meeting my local history groups in Howden and Goole but of course we cannot meet  this term. I shall miss our weekly sessions.

But I am asked through my website a variety of local history queries, most of which I try to answer. And the range of queries certainly keeps my brain active!!!

They range from finding out about Mr Gordon,  a well-known Goole piano tuner who lived in Henry Street and thanks to facebook I was able to tell his relatives that he drove a Ford Anglia and played backgammon. 

To a more lengthy project finding out about the origins and history of the Milner family, florists and nurserymen of Goole and Hook.  I am enjoying this as it includes the history of Booth Ferry house at Airmyn where the first Mr Milner came as a professional gardener and the establishment of the family's large plant nurseries at both Hook and Skelton. 

Boothferry House where Thomas Milner came to work as the gardener

Now I know why the row of cottages at Skelton is called Milners Row. The family's retail shops began in Goole in Ouse Street, then moved to Aire Street and now of course their premises are in Boothferry Road. So the story reflects a large part of the history of Goole.

Aire Street in 1952 showing Milners' shop

But I have been briefly side tracked by a query which came in yesterday. Why is Batty Lane in Howden so called? So far I have not found the answer!!

Today Batty or Batty's Lane runs through from Bridgegate and out onto Selby Road. However the Bridgegate end has variously been known as Hewson Lane and Angel Lane. This was because the large Angel Inn stood where the Aquarius Bathroom shop is  - and was owned by Mr Hewson. It was built up with a row of cottages and at the end was a clay pipe manufactory.

The  OS map surveyed in 1849 shows Batty's Lane as just the bit of the lane which runs straight from the corner out onto Selby Road.

There are some interesting newspaper references to it. An 1865 sale notice describes a  house and shop for sale [now Boots]
 'situate in Bridge Gate, fronting the Market Place. The Premises are very eligibly situated for business, being in the best part of the Town; and the Garden has a frontage into Batty Lane, and is well adapted for Building purposes. 
Times don't change!

But a few years later we read of an accident at the annual horse fair where two horses collided on the lane. The report reads

A lamentable accident occurred when two valuable cobs, one belonging to Mr. Archibald Ledley, of Belfast, and the other to Mr. J. Stephenson, of Leeds, which were bei)g shown off in Batty-lane, cannoned against each other. They were going at full speed  and each dislocated his shoulder and sustained other injuries which will, in all probability necessitate their being destroyed. The riders were thrown to the ground with great violence, and one of them was carried away insensible on a shutter to the Angel Inn.

It is interesting that the owners of the horses are named, the injuries to the horses described and then only finally do we hear of the unnamed riders.

And a third extract leaves some doubt as to other events which took place in Batty Lane. In 1903 at the local magistrates court Mrs Lavinia Murgatroyd of Market Weighton, was charged by Martha Newham of Howden with assaulting her. Newham stated that about midnight she saw her son in the company of the defendant in Batty Lane and requested him to come home. Defendant struck her, giving her a black eye She was fined £1.

Bridgegate showing the Angel Inn on the left. The entrance to Batty Lane is just beyond where the lady is standing.

So we know of Batty Lane but not who it was named after. It is a well-known name now in Howden but having researched the family I cannot find any connection with a Batty family who may have lived there or owned the nearby land in the early 1800s. My only result has been a family who left Howden for Leeds in the 1840s and a John Batty who emigrated from Howden to Illinois and served with the Unionists in the civil war.

If anyone knows any more about any of these topics I would be delighted to hear from them - contact me via my website.

Wednesday 26 August 2020

Howden marsh

 It has been very stormy the last few days and we have had lots of small branches and leaves strewn around the garden. This got me thinking about the similar situation on Howden Marsh where trees there I gather have been damaged too in this unseasonal weather.

Howden Marsh is now a very popular nature reserve but how many people, particularly those new to the town know of its history. It has been an area of common land for centuries - marshy of course but not covered by trees.

We get an idea of the open space from a report of an event in May 1863.

The first battalion of the East Yorkshire Rifle Volunteers was reviewed at Howden on Monday, by Major Saltmarshe, the commanding officer of the battalion. The Howden company assembled in the Market Place about eleven o'clock, and, accompanied by their officers, marched to the Railway Station to await the arrival of the volunteers from a distance, who came up by the 11.25 a.m. train, and the whole of them were then formed five abreast, and, headed by the Driffield band, marched to the Market Place, where they piled arms, and then proceeded to Clayton's Half Moon Hotel to partake of the luncheon provided for them. 

In half hour the march was resumed, the halt finally being made on Howden Marsh, a large unenclosed open space, just at the outskirts of the town. The various military manoeuvres, light infantry drill, &c, were gone through in the most satisfactory style, the firing, both of the companies soparately and of the whole battalion, being executed with great precision. 

Shortly after four o'clock the volunteers again marched to the Market Place, and after few words from Major Saltmarshe, expressive his great satisfaction with the way which they had gone through the manoeuvres of the day, they were dismissed. 

The number of privates and non-commissioned officers present, as far as we could ascertain, was—Howden, 38; Bridlington 28; Driffield (with band), 51; Beverley, 13; Market Weighton, 12; total, 135

The Marsh was later, in the 1880s made smaller when seven acres of it was needed for the building of the Hull and Barnsley railway.

But in the 1900s It was  still the area where local people grazed their cows - stray animals ending up in the town pinfold on its edge. The cows were often dairy animals and provided the townpeople with much of their milk,

In winter months The Marsh froze and Howden people were able to go ice skating with the chance later to buy hot peas and vinegar from local lady Mary Good.

And in summer it was also in use. The Howden cricket club, at their annual meeting in 1904 decided to adopt The Marsh as their home ground.

A  report of a court case from 1910 gives us an insight into the large watercourses of the Marsh, into police work - and also into the juvenile crime of the time.

William Connor (21), and William Kenny (16), Howden, were charged with having stolen large plank, valued at 7s, the property of Mr George Wm Green of The Parks Farm, Howden, 

Mr Green stated that on Tuesday morning 10th May, on looking around his farm, he missed a plank of wood, nearly 20 feet in length, which had been used as bridge over a drain, and worth from 7s to 10s.  He had seen it safe on the Sunday 

P. C. Robson  instituted inquiries. Just before dark  he visited the Howden Marsh, where he found the stolen plank in a drain. It had been cut in two and the ends secured in a sheltered position on the bank. He watched in the vicinity until about 4 o'clock the next morning. 

At 2 p.m.  he again visited the Marsh, and found that the wood had been removed.  As a  result of further inquiries  he visited Connor's house, and after cautioning him him with stealing the wood, Connor replied, Yes,  I got it. I am very sorry. We towed from Mr Green's premises into the Marsh down a drain, and I have just taken into Ringrose's field to dry." 

The same day Pc Robson met Kenny in  Pinfold-street, who, on being charged with being concerned with Connor in stealing the wood, replied, "Yes, it's true, we got it." The wood was found concealed beneath grass in Mr Ringrose's field.—Both pleaded guilty.—'The Chairman said that as they were so young, the Bench would deal leniently with them. There would be a fine of 5s and 7s costs each.

Now the Marsh is planted with trees and is a haven for wildlife. The picture below [taken by Arthur Henrickson] shows it in the process of construction. Does anyone have the date?

Wednesday 19 August 2020

Old pictures of Goole and Howden Minster concerts

 Cannot make sense of the weather this summer. One minute it's unbearably hot and then next minute it’s damp and cold. Since our visitors  are still restricted to sitting outside it has made for some interesting tea parties!!
The garden too is unpredictable - good crops of beans and onions but the tomatoes, inside and out are only just beginning to ripen.
Like most people my summer  plans have been disrupted. As part of the Goole history group I should now be spending my days in Junction where we had planned to hold our two week exhibition on the history of Goole - this year concentrating on shops. Our previous exhibitions have proved very popular so we have fingers crossed for next year.
Another blow to local plans, in which I was involved as a volunteer, was the cancellation of the series of  free lunchtime concerts in Howden Minster. But the Howdenshire Music Project which ran them has continued to  record and put its concerts online and has recently been loaned a brand new grand piano which they hope to buy for the use of the community. The link will take you to the concerts which are also available on their youtube channel

I have a new computer and am just getting to grips with it but am managing to sort out quite a lot of family history queries and am enjoying looking at the old pictures coming up on the Goole facebook page. One of the features on my new photo program is the ability to colourise pictures.  It's a bit hit and miss and I am still learning but it seems to do best on groups of people rather than buildings when the only option is a manual approach.
Here are a couple of examples. David G posted a picture of a group of children in Fourth Avenue in Goole which showed his mum in 1930.  She is in the centre. This is a quick edited version.

Another picture which came up was of the Vermuyden Hotel in Bridge Street,  Goole. It was later re-fronted but here we can see it when Charlie Yates was landlord before the First World War. It was harder to colour this one and of course we can never know the correct colours but  I think the process  can make  these old pictures come alive. I do always keep the original black and white images.

Goole river pilots 1958

The picture information was as follows

Goole River Pilots. Photograph taken on 29th December 1958 at the North Eastern Hotel in Goole. Jack Fielder was receiving a retirement gift for his service. 

Pictured at the retirement party are, back row from the left: Ted Greenwood, Ernest Smith, Barney Schofield, Ron Tetley, Harry Richmond, Lance Smith, Alan Hutchinson, Bill Perry, Clive Wilkinson, James Grant. 
Middle row from the left : Albert Ayre, John Smith, Albert Blackburn, George Howard, Syd Woods, Bob Greenfield, Bob King,  Syd Depledge, Bill Ripon, John Price, Arthur Wild. 
Front row from left: Commodore Capt. Richardson, retiring pilot John (Jack) Fielder, Dennis Yule and George Grubb. 
At the time the photo was taken there were around 24 Goole pilots but in the years that followed the number increased as high as 32 to cope with the increase in trade at the port.

Thursday 16 July 2020

A Spaldington sprite

Yet again it is raining and I have just put a bucket underneath an overflowing gutter. The garden is growing crops of chickweed as well as rather too many courgettes for us to eat. But the chickweed is useful as the chickens are spending a lot of time in their pen. This is to protect them from the fox.

I heard them cackling one day a couple of weeks ago and there was a lovely {!!!} young fox looking at me from just outside the kitchen window.  Although I let Molly straight out it was too late and we lost a chicken, as did our neighbours.

I have been enjoying a new page - All about Goole - on facebook. Lots of lovely memories are coming up. I am not from Goole but went to school there and have lots of lovely Goole friends.

I am sorry to say that my local history classes will not be resuming in the autumn as my only option was to run them as Zoom courses but having consulted several students they felt that we would not be able to capture the social interaction - ie the interjections [interruptions!] from everyone and the cups of tea!!! I - and they - are hopeful that we can meet face to face in 2021!!

But I am not bored and have been working hard on a new version of my website - WordPress is a challenge but I think I am getting there. And I am trying to write a page about the history of the different villages.

When researching Spaldington I came across this article from the Goole Times of 1875. I knew of Robin Roundcap but this version has some extra detail.

Not far from the Howden station, is the rural village Spaldington, in which place, not very many years ago, was standing an old mansion in the Elizabethan style, known as Spaldington Hall.

The hall was said to be haunted by a genuine ghost of the old school, half ghost and half fairy. This ghost was always known by the name of Robin Roundcap, and was believed to have been the ghost of a family jester in the time of James I. Tradition said that for some mischievous pranks played on his master he was kicked downstairs, and broke his neck. This kind treatment he resented haunting his master during his life, and the house after his death. It is related was very fond of frightening the maids, of hiding their shoes, kirtles, household utensils, and farming implements -  in short, if anything was lost or broken,  it was put down to Robin’s account.

He was credited with wonderful powers of imitation, aud whatever noisy operations were going on the house, or outbuildings, the same noise would heard in the next room, or somewhere not far off. When the boys were chopping sticks, at the other side of the heap they would see sticks flying, but without seeing the axe or directing it.

Robin would frequently reply to questions, sometimes volunteer statements, but was seldom seen with the naked eye, and never twice had he the same personal appearance. The story was, once upon a time a poor unfortunate packman was going up the house to make an honest penny, when he encountered Robin in  a form that so frightened him that threw down his pack and ran away,

It would appear Robin was no Good Templar, for he was charged with drinking the ale barrels dry and a particular fancy he had for eating pasties, cakes, tarts, or, in fact, anything good or sweet. Ill-natured people would have it the servants had the lion’s share of the plunder. One of his freaks was that of getting into the brick oven and putting footprints on all the large rye loaves when baking, or of pushing in large rusty nails to spoil the servants’ knives. The worst freak was get into the churn and spoil the butter and although they tried to burn him out by inserting a red-hot poker, but this only served to prove his laughter, without any beneficial result to either cream or butter.

At last the farmer—who was then occupying the house—became so provoked by the doings of Robin, he resolved to leave the house aud remove to another a short distance from the farmstead, that he might be able to attend the farm without the annoyance he had been subject to so long. When the furniture was being removed to the new abode, the farmer met an old neighbour, who said, 'l see you are flitting when,  to the astonishment of both, Robin bawled out from within—“ Yes, we are flitting". "Well,” said the farmer, “we may as well flit back, for it is no good paying two rents, aud be pested at both houses,”  and he returned to his old residence.

The good vicar was next consulted, and he kindly offered himself, “by book and by bell", to appear in person at the old mansion, to show cause why his unjust spirit should not be conjured down, and set at rest lor ever.

We are not able to give particulars of the charm used by the clerk in holy orders. Robin begged that it should only be for a year and a day. ln the end, the matter was so far compromised, that he was only to be conjured down into an old draw-well, for three generations, which was accordingly enacted, and willow stake driven through him, which was said afterwards to became great tree.

About fifty years ago, the rising generation were anxiously looking forward to his return. But, alas, for poor Robin before his day came, the old mansion was taken down, and a modern house built in its place, so modern that there was not a decent corner for the ghost to lodge in.

The old hall, home of the Vavasours, was taken down in 1838 and Old Hall Farm now stands on the site. Is there still a large willow tree there??!!!

I do not have many pictures of Spaldington  - would love to see more - but I found this on the internet of Hobgoblin Hall in the Lake District and imagined that the Old Hall where Robin Roundcap lived may have been like this!!!

Saturday 6 June 2020

Street names

At last it has rained and everything in the garden has soaked it up and looks much happier - including the weeds of course. Walking Molly I enjoyed seeing her forging her way through the wet grass and also catching the characteristc smell of the elder flowers. Now is the time to be making cordial.

But if the plants have been parched the bees have been making honey as the sun shone. The beekeepers here have been extracting it as fast as they can and now it is for sale outside the house. I have been tasting it and it it fascinating to try and taste the various blossoms the bees have been on.

One of the questions I often get asked is how certain streets got their names. Sometimes the names are ancient such as Bridgegate or Hailgate in Howden. The gate in these names means street and comes from the Viking word gata. The bridge was a stone bridge probably very near where Marsh End joins Pinfold Street  - Bridgegate seems to have extended further than it does today.
Hailgate is from the Viking word halh meaning a nook of land and describes the land enclosed by the giant curve of the Old Derwent alongside which Hailgate runs -it was first mentioned in 1199.

Hailgate, showing how it curves

But it is sometimes not so obvious as Bishopgate was only built in 1834 to  link Hailgate and Flatgate and for much of the nineteenth century was just New Street before being named Bishopgate.

And more recently  there have been new housing developments and the council has often suggested names to the builders which have a link with the past.

So Shelford Avenue takes its name from William Shelford, the engineer of the Hull and Barnsley railway while the other streets off it are the names of stations and other features on the line. As of course this area was the site of the Hull and Barnsley railway station.
Hull and Barnsley track bed and station house [picture courtesy of Arthur Henrickson]

Congregational chapel
Milton Close takes its name from the Milton Rooms which were behind the Congregational chapel  which stood nearby and which in turn took their name from the poet John Milton who wrote Paradise Lost. Milton was an early Congregationalist.

now site of St Helen's Mews

The Vinery is a nod to Howden's former grape growing past whilst Langrick, Loftsome and Welham are named for  local bridges.

Charles Briggs was a former Hailgate brewer  who gave Howden the Ashes and the Shire hall and Carter street takes its name from another prominent brewing family who owned land nearby. Interestingly this is the same family after whom Carter Street in Goole is named.

It is good to see that Howden's history is being preserved in its newer street names - material for lots of school projects -- eventually!!!

Saturday 30 May 2020

Norwood family of East Yorkshire

The sky is blue, the cuckoo has been calling and we are still confined largely to our homes. But I have a big garden and there is plenty to do - often at the moment watering everything as it is so dry.

I am not a great TV viewer and so have been spending lots of time on the internet. As many of my regular blog readers know I have a website [], write this blog and also write books and booklets about local history. I enjoy reading and sometimes contributing to the local history facebook sites and saw on the Snaith page that someone was interested in the house called Norwood House aka no 1 George Street.

I was interested in this as the Norwood name had come up when I was researching my book about Eastrington - but I was doubtful that there was a connection.  I was right  about Norwood House - but I did nevertheless find a connection to my Norwoods in Snaith!!

First  the  George Street house. Several contributors to the Snaith fb page believed the house was named after a former occupant called [John] Norwood Howard who was a coal merchant. And they were right I think

John Norwood Howard was born at Snaith in 1913. His father too was a coal merchant  and he and  his wife Edith came originally from Lincolnshire. His mother's maiden name was Norwood and this explains why he gave the name to his son.

Norwood was the youngest member of the family. His eldest brother Stanley Hardy aged 19 was killed in 1918. His name is on the war memorial in the church.

George Street

But also in Snaith is Norwood Villa - no 8 Pontefract Road. It looks Victorian and I wondered who it took its name from.

I found a record from 1955 referring to the death of Mr. Robert Hall Fisher,  of  Norwood Villa, a retired grocer,  who died September 1954  and who  left £22,088. Robert was born in 1867 at Beast Fair where his father was a saddler. In 1901 he was a  grocer living next to Plough Inn,  Beast Fair but by 1911 he was retired grocer living  at Norwood Villa with his wife Annie and daughter Lucy  who died in 1964.

I then searched further back and found references to the death in 1907 of John Turner Norwood.

There were several newspaper reports of his funeral include the following

May 6th 1907. Deep regret is felt in Snaith, Goole, and district, at the death, which took place on Saturday, of Mr. John Turner Norwood, of Norwood Villa, Snaith. The old gentleman, who entered on his 78th year on May 1st, was born at Camblesforth, near Selby. The greater part of his life, however, was spent in Leeds, where he rose from a comparatively humble position to one of considerable importance in the city. He retired from active business life some twenty years ago, and came to reside at Snaith. He took a great interest in farming, and owned two large farms at Drax, close to his native village. He belonged to the old school of farmers, and being  a prominent local speaker, he often roundly denounced with much originality what he described as “the new-fangled notions of the agricultural schools.” For many years he presided over the monthly petty sessions held Snaith, and though a merciful magistrate, he had little sympathy with offending motorists.

  A quiet, though impressive, funeral was that the late J T. Norwood, J.P., Norwood Villa, Snaith, which took place on Tuesday at Drax. The coffin was of plain oak, with brass mountings, and the hearse in which was conveyed from Snaith had drawn blinds. Moreover, there was not a single female in attendance, the chief mourners being the deceased's brother and nephews from Brighton. 

Amongst others present were Messrs G. F. Ogle, Hartley, and Weddall, fellow magistrates; Blair, J.P., medical attendant; Mr E. T. Clark, magistrates' clerk; Messrs R. B. Shearburn, Snaith Hall; Lealey, H. Rawson, Tillage Works, Goole; A. Hartley, Cowick; Superintendent Burkitt, Goole; Inspector Minty, Snaith; and Sergeant Dove, Selby. The Vicar of Snaith officiated in the church, and the committal service was taken by the Vicar of  Rawcliffe (Rev R. Proude). By request there were no flowers.

There is a plaque in his memory in Snaith church

Plaque in Snaith church, courtesy of Chris Watson

John T Norwood first appears living in Snaith in the 1901 census.  He is living alone apart from a housekeeper.

In 1891 he appears living at 16 East Parade in Goole with his aged mother  Ann and sister. His mother died aged 95 in 1894 and his sister remained in East Parade.

The Norwood family

I then looked at John's parents, grandparents and great grandparents. His father was Thomas Norwood born in 1799 and baptised at Howden. His father's address was then given as Yokefleet Grange. 
He had married Ann Wilkinson in 1827 at Adlingfleet, her home village.

Thomas' father was another Thomas born at Saltmarshe in 1767, a farmer who married Alice Turner at South Cave in 1791. It was this Thomas who eventually settled at Camblesforth and who was buried at Drax in 1816. 

His widow Alice, then aged 41, re-married in 1819. Her groom, Samuel Nicholson was a gentleman farmer of Rawcliffe aged 82. This age discrepancy meant that the marriage  featured in several Yorkshire newspapers. Samuel died the following year and one of his heirs, a nephew also called Samuel Nicholson appears in a chancery case. It would be fascinating to know the human story behind these bare facts.

There is a school book of this Thomas Norwood dating from 1785 in the Goole Museum collection

Thomas Norwood's book now in Goole museum, image courtesy of Chris Watson
page 2 of Thomas Norwood's book, image courtesy of Chris Watson

Camblesforth where Thomas Norwood lived

But another generation back and I was in Eastrington.  Thomas [ 1767-1816] was the son of John and Ruth Norwood [nee England] . He was one of a family of at least seven children. John and Ruth had moved from Saltmarshe to Eastrington in the 1770s to take up the tenancy of Townend Farm, then one of the largest farms in the village. 

I had researched their Eastrington life for my book on the history of Eastrington and had found that John was one of the signatories of my 4x  gt grandfather's [George Wise Nurse] will. They farmed and lived next door to each other.
Station Road Eastrington. The original Townend farm is on the extreme left

There were several Norwood sons so it is understandable that their son Thomas should move to farm at Camblesforth. And equally understandable that Thomas and Ann should farm there too.
This was where their five children,  Thomas Wilkinson, John Turner, Alice, Ann Frances and Ruthella were born. 

Thomas and Ann at some point moved to North Cave where Thomas gave his job as auctioneer in 1851. By then their two sons had left home. John was working as the manager of a Leeds flax and wool business with his sister Alice as housekeeper.

Thomas Wilkinson Norwood
But eldest son Thomas took a completely different and very interesting path.  He received a private school education, possibly at Leeds and in 1847 aged 19 went up to St John's College Cambridge. He received his degree in 1851 and entered the church being ordained priest in 1852.
 His first post was as curate of Bollington in Prestbury in Cheshire. Here he met the lady he was to marry. The vicar of Bollington then was Rev George Palmer who died at the untimely early age of 38 in 1852. His widow was the former Jane Gaskell of Ingersley Hall  and she  was left with a young family. 

Meanwhile Thomas was appointed curate of St Paul's in Cheltenham and was chaplain  to the Cheltenham Union. 
Three years after Rev Palmer's death  in March 1855  at St. Mary's Church, Cheltenham Rev. T. W. Norwood married Jane, daughter of the late Thomas Gaskell Eaq., of Ingersley Hall, Cheshire, widow of late George Palmer Esq.
The family were living in Cheltenham in 1861 but in 1867 Thomas was appointed  curate of St Luke's church in Chelsea.  Jane stayed in Cheltenham.
He obviously made a deep impression on the parish in Chelsea as there is a tablet in his memory in the church erected after his death.

The tablet in St Luke's church Chelsea commemorating Thomas Wilkinson Norwood

 In 1878 he was appointed vicar of Wrenbury in Cheshire,  and remained there for the next 29 years.
Jane died in 1880 in Florence.

He was obviously a very interesting and learned man and there are many references to him in newspapers and on the internet. He was a founder member of the SPAB [Society for the Protection of Old Buildings], alongside William Morris,  a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and wrote several papers on gypsies and their vocabulary which are deposited in Liverpool University archive. He worked hard for the church at Wrenbury apparently personally underpinning parts of it 'a very hazardous undertaking'. He was also a keen archaeologist and left his collection of shells and fossils to Cheltenham College.

He resigned the living in  September 1907 - his brother had died in May - and came to his brother's house in Snaith but died on January 31st 1908.
The brothers left substantial  funds which passed to the children of their sister Ruthella.

I was not sure when I began to look at Norwood House in Snaith where  I would  be led. Family history is like that. I still have not found who lived in the George Street house before the Howard family - the deeds might sort that out - or whether John Norwood built Norwood Villa. I would be delighted if anyone has any more information or pictures.