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.