Friday, 17 September 2021
Monday, 9 August 2021
I know it is only August but somehow it feels autumnal - maybe because the last few days have been wet and chilly. I was encouraged on Friday when I watched Monty Don on Gardeners' World. He was talking about how some plants we see as weeds can play a part in a garden. I am all for that as I have some teazles and like to leave some of the ivy to flower for the bees. But I am afraid we have just chopped down the crop of burdocks as Molly the dog gets the seed heads stuck to her coat.
I have recently been asked about the history of Featherbed Lane near North Howden station which runs through to Eastrington. Many many years ago I used to ride my pony along it from the Eastrington end and I remember that cross country runs from Howden School often used to include running along part of it.
It follows an ancient watercourse which was first mentioned in 959 AD and which marked the boundary of lands granted to 'Cwen' by King Edgar. Later this watercourse, known as Common End Dyke formed the boundary of the Bishop of Durham's Howdenshire estate. The area was poorly drained and eventually became part of a common of around 2000 acres called, from the 17th century, Bishopsoil. This adjoined the larger common of Wallingfen.
|Featherbed Lane with Common End drain on the left. It looks boggy in this photo!|
Bishopsoil 'encircled' several villages [see map] and villagers had grazing rights on it. They drove their animals along green lanes and onto the Common which was gated. Some of these gates survive in place names - eg Gate Farm at Balkholme, Newland Gate near Eastrington and Thorpe Lidget [Lidgate] near Howden where there was even a gate keeper. There was a gate too on the end of Featherbed Lane near the road to Brind.
This map showing Bishopsoil is taken from the Howdenshire volume of the Victoria County History
In 1767 the act for enclosing Bishopsoil Common was passed and each village which had had grazing rights was allocated a piece of land by the commissioners Edward and John Cleaver. The final award was made in 1777.
But no doubt some people suffered from not being able to graze their animals freely on the common anymore as often the piece of village land was soon sold on to an individual who then built a farmhouse on it. So even today we have farms such as Asselby, Barmby and Saltmarshe Granges. For many years thereafter the occupants of these farms were listed on censuses with the appropriate village which confuses some whose ancestors they are.
The commissioners in their award also designated roads or highways. Some were 40 feet wide and were public highways but others were 30 feet wide and were private highways giving access to land. So the picturesquely named Hare Rudding Lane was a private highway and ran alongside the Common End Dyke on the very edge of the newly enclosed common.
At some point the lane became commonly known locally as Featherbed Lane, probably because it was so boggy!!
There was in fact a farm along the lane, accessed from the Wood Lane end, called Owlet Hall. I am not sure if there any remains today.
But during the First World War it was the home of the Walker family. William was by then a retired builder and although originally from Yorkshire had lived in many places including London, Liverpool and Hull. Their son Stewart Edgar was a trainee architect in Sheffield. He joined up and served as a sapper in the Royal Engineers and was killed in 1916.
The family attended Eastrington church and the present pulpit was given by William in memory of their son. It was dedicated by the Archbishop of York in July 1919. This was the report in the Hull Daily Mail
CHURCH WINDOW DEDICATION.—The Archbishop of York, on the occasion of his visitation to the parish of Eastrington, dedicated a new stained glass east window in the parish church, which has been erected by public subscription to the memory of 17 men from the parish who lost their lives m the war. His Grace also dedicated a new stone pulpit, which has been given by Mr Wm. Walker, of Owlet Hall in memory of his son, who was killed in France.
Eastrington church interior showing the 'new' pulpit on the right
I do not know how long the family lived at Owlet Hall but the farm was put up for sale in 1925 and described as follows
Yorkshire Post 1925
Messrs Clegg and Moore. are instructed offer for Sale by Auction at the Bowmans Hotel Howden on Saturday May 9th 1925. that Freehold farm, known as Owlett Hall Farm, situate with house, buildings, and land containing 129 Acres in the occupation of the trustees of the late Mr. F. S. Gregory.
The house contains: Good living Kitchen, Dairy, 4 Bedrooms. Wash House, etc
Buildings Include : Barn. 4 stall Cow House, 2 stall Stable, 2 Loose Boxes, also Brick Foundation and Wall Shed with 2 Loose Boxes in Field.
The Land consists of several well-tended rich grass Closes all adjoining each other, with frontages to the Howden and Market Weighton Road, and to Featherbed Lane. The Property also includes Rights into and over Featherbed Lane.
Featherbed Lane is now a popular walk and is part of the Howden 20 route.
Monday, 19 July 2021
I am writing this on what is, I think, the hottest day of the year so far. I have been watering my tomatoes in the greenhouse and am hopeful that they will begin to ripen soon. Both dog and cat are lying flat out on the drive having found patches of shade.
It has been a busy week beginning with my new cooker arriving on Monday morning at 6.45 am, a birthday meal for a friend on Wednesday, a lovely clarinet and piano concert in Howden Minster and on Friday watching a young man cleaning out the excess reeds and other plants out of my pond. He had to be very careful as the pond was originally used as the rubbish tip for the estate joiner and included lots of glass. This was long before we had dustbin men!! He began the job a fortnight ago and then we left the debris out on the side to allow any creatures to return to the water. It was a very smelly job on a hot day and I was pleased to stand and watch. He worked hard.
On the local history front I have been asked to give talks to both Howden Civic Society [September 1st in the Masonic Hall] and to the Boothferry Family and Local history group [ in the Courtyard on September 18th]. I am a member of both groups and plan to show some old photos - but who knows what will be happening by then with Covid and will people want to come and sit near others and will we still be wearing masks? I can only prepare and hope.
I continue to collect old pictures, some of which I hope to be showing in September. Here are a few. I collect pictures from a wide area of what is now all called the East Riding of Yorkshire but was once very definitely East Riding and West Riding. Some of my collection includes family photographs and I always try to get the names - so many beautiful photos are lost to descendants as no-one knows who they are.
|Aerial view of Bridge Street, Goole|
|Howden South station shed aka the bat house|
| Eastrington chapel and Queen Street|
|Herons' lorry in 1926 centenary parade|
|Aeroplane at Carlton|
Tuesday, 6 July 2021
Recently on facebook I read a message about the Tutty family of Howden. I was interested as there seemed to be several family connections with local villages - Tutty Row in Howdendyke, Spaldington and Eastrington.
Howdendyke - Tutty Row is on the left of the picture.
So I have had a look at them and found a vast family who worked on the land in this area for over 200 years - and the name Joseph passed down through the generations.
The first Joseph  I have found was born in 1768 although I cannot find where. The name is often mis -spelled in the records. He married Elizabeth Sargeson at Holme on Spalding Moor in 1794. Their son John was baptised in 1795 and they were then living at Skelton where Joseph was working as a labourer.
There was another son Joseph born around 1795-8 who declares on census entries that he was born at Eastrington but I cannot find a record.
Sadly Elizabeth died of consumption in 1799.
In February 1801 Joseph married Frances Nutbrown. Their son George was baptised at Eastrington in December. Son Henry was baptised at Eastrington in 1803. Mary, Jane, Robert and William followed, all baptised at Howden. Joseph and Frances were living in Flatgate in 1841 and Joseph was a labourer.
Joseph was buried at Howden in 1844, aged 76.
Joseph  [ described as 'of Howden'] married Hannah Cowlam/ Cowlin/ Cowling at Bubwith in 1818. Their daughter Jane was born the same year but sadly died aged one. The family were then living at Hive near Eastrington.
George was born in 1822, Joseph in 1828, John in 1830, Elizabeth in 1832 and Charles in 1835. Although they were baptised at Howden the family lived in the area known as Spaldington Outsides.
This is the area between the Royal Oak and Welham Bridge - where Snowden Dunhill once lived.
George remained as a farm labourer at Spaldington Outsides. His father Joseph lived with them until his death in 1883. His age at death was 88 giving a birth date on 1795. He and his wife Mary had at least 6 children including Joseph  born 1858.
Joseph  married Mary Nothard in 1848 at Bubwith. He moved around from Hull, where his son Joseph was born in 1855 to Laxton and settled like his brother at Kilpin Pike where he too worked in the chemical works. He and Mary had at least 9 children. One son, Charles, became a shipwright. He married Mary Hunt and in 1911 she is shown as a grocery shop keeper. Charles is elsewhere. The Tutty family owned Tutty Row.
John also moved to Kilpin Pike where he was a labourer in the fertiliser works. He and his wife Hannah had three daughters and lived in a row named in the 1881 census as Prospect Villas. His wife died in 1910 and he in 1913.
Charles briefly moved to Hull but returned to Spaldington farming 65 acres between Sykes and Ivy house farms. He died in 1908.
His death was reported as follows
DEATH OF A SPALDINGTON FARMER.) Quite a gloom was cast over the village and district on Sunday afternoon when it became known that Charles Tutty, farmer, had died in his chair. Mr Tutty was his usual good health on the Saturday, when he attended Howden Market but on his return home complained of pain in the chest. On Sunday the was seized with violent pain and his daughter, Miss Kate Tutty, tried to administer brandy, but he expired in his chair.
Henry Green, Coroner for Howdenshire, held an inquest. Mr William Tutty, son. deposed that his father had enjoyed good health, and, to his knowledge, had never had a doctor. After hearing evidence from the son and daughter, he returned the verdict of "Syncope."
He was laid to rest on Wednesday in the presence of large and sympathetic gathering of relatives, farmers, and others from a wide district, where he was well-known and highly respected. Family mourners wore Mr William Tutty (son), Sarah Tutty (daughter), Miss Kate Tutty daughter. Mr and Mrs J. Harrison (Willitoft, son in law and daughter). Mr and Mrs W. Atkinson Jarret Hill. Cave, son-in-law and daughter), Mr Joseph Tutty (brother, Howdendyke), Mr Joseph and Mrs Tutty (nephew and niece Spaldington- Mr, G Coggrave (niece, Howden), Miss ?Walsh (niece, Howdendvke), Miss Morritt Howden), and Mr Archie Tutty Spaldington.
He leaves two sons (one in America), and four daughters
William Tutty of Spaldington died in 1943
Joseph 4, George's son, born in 1858 married Hannah Ferguson in 1881 at Bubwith. In 1901 they were living next to The Plough Inn in Spaldington. Their son Archie married Effie Wiles and their daughter Vida [later Walker] was born in 1927. It was said that Joseph and Archie were known throughout the area as very good sheep shearers.
I found the Tutty family interesting to research even if there were a great number called Joseph!. There are several family gravestones in local churchyards of Howden and Eastrington. If anyone has anything further about the family to add I can include it.
Friday, 25 June 2021
Another month has passed and we are still in partial lockdown - but life still seems to be returning to a normal - we can shop, albeit with a mask on, we can go for a meal with a limited number of friends and invite a select few into the house and I managed a haircut. Most of my friends have now had 2 jabs so we feel safer. And I was not planning a foreign holiday - so steady progress.
The season seems late and this week I have been hearing a cuckoo. According to the old rhyme it should have changed its tune by now and be preparing to fly away home. We are harvesting spring onions and looking forward to rasps and new potatoes although pigeons ate my first sowing of pot turnips. I am going to concentrate on growing things in pots. That way I can control the weeds.
One of the topics I have been looking at recently has been Clarks Buildings in Old Goole. I was contacted by a lady whose grandfather James Smith was born there in 1888. His parents were Joseph Smith and his wife Sarah Jane, nee Goulden.
This was interesting as a good friend is a member of this family and when we looked carefully we found that Sarah Jane was one of the eleven children of James Goulden and his wife Sarah Drury. She was the younger sister of John Henry Goulden, my friend's great grandfather. The Goulden family is a large one and still well represented in the Goole area.
| Clarks' Buildings are on the right. |
The Dutch River and the old shipyard is straight ahead.
Clarks' Cottages were on the opposite side of the road.
1891 map showing Clarks Buildings.
Also Grove House, Grove Cottages and Clemenst Cottages and The Gables.
When the shipyard moved to the Old Goole side of the Dutch River these houses remained in front of them but were probably demolished in the 1930s. The furthest three, on the bend, lasted longest and I remember visiting a school friend there whose father Edward Sammon worked at the shipyard.
Here is another view of Clarks Buildings looking from the other direction
Friday, 28 May 2021
I am writing this post on Thursday morning and it is not raining. This is so unusual that I feel the need to mention it!!! It has apparently been the wettest May on record and the grass in the garden is almost too long for the mower. I hope the weather forecast is right and we are now in for some sunshine. The gooseberries are filling out well and the garlic is flourishing - which cannot be said for one of my blackcurrant bushes which was eaten off at the stocking tops by a deer [ we saw it!]
The bees are busy and we hope for a good crop of honey in the not too distant future. I am not the expert in the household but know for certain that one of my garden plants that they seem very keen on is the large cotoneaster on the front of the house. I gave up working near it as there were so many bees on there the other day.
Last week I went to a concert in Howden Minster organised by the Howdenshire Music Project. We sat socially distanced and wore masks but it was live music and I was able to hear too the new Feurich piano. I shall certainly be attending the next one as my daughter Amy is playing!
I am asked all sorts of queries about the local history of the area. A recent correspondent wondered whether he could write about Goole as part of Howdenshire. Definitely not I replied - as a pupil of the old GGS I spent many hours looking at the letters WRCC - West Riding County Council - which were branded into the back of every chair.
Another query was about road rollers!!! This was because I have some pictures of five steam rollers on top of the newly built Newport bridge over the canal in 1930. This bridge replaced the original 18th century one as the Howden to Hull road was then becoming increasingly busy. It was tested before it was handed over to ERCC by 115 tons of road rollers being parked on top.
In the background of this picture is a building which was used a butcher's slaughterhouse. It was said to be conveniently situated as the blood could run straight into the canal!! It is now the site of Turks Head Gardens housing development.
Newport is as its name suggests a new village, built where the Market Weighton canal cut through the 5000 acre marshy waste called Wallingfen.
When the canal was dug it was found that there were beds of clay suitable for making bricks and tiles on its western side and soon there were several brickworks in operation. Now there are none. But in its heyday a vast amount were transported on the canal. In 1823 it was said that there were between 1,700,000 tiles and 2,000,000 of bricks made there annually.
I have many Newport pictures - here are a couple. These date from about 1960.
Friday, 23 April 2021
This is a fairly brief piece in response to a facebook post. I prefer to write as blog posts as facebook posts tend to get submerged quite quickly on the busy All about Goole page and also I know several Goole local historians at least do not 'do' facebook and so cannot read the interesting threads which come up.
A couple of weeks ago a post appeared asking where Abysinnia Terrace was in Goole. It came with a picture, to which I have added a little colour.
Abyssinia Terrace was behind Boothferry Road and stood where the Wesley Square development is today. In the background of the picture is the rear of quite a large building which fronted Boothferry Road adjacent to the old Goole Times building.. The query several people have asked is what was it? Members Chris and Dave have, with the aid of maps, identified it as a property called Westholme.
It stood back a little from the building which was once the Wesleyan manse [hence Wesley Square] and in later years had shops on the front of it such as Clarksons and then the Lyceum cafe. At some point, as yet unknown, it was demolished and the YEB showrooms stood on the site.
The picture below shows it standing back next to the Goole Times building.
I have found a little bit about the house in earlier years. It was the home of Mrs Mary Ann Patten and was for a time run as a school by her daughters.
Goole Times Jan 1889
Thursday, 8 April 2021
Since my last post we have had Easter, some lovely sunshine and also snow. I put my tomato plants out into the greenhouse and think they are surviving but shocked!! The snowdrop flowers have now all died back but I try not to cut them until they have put the goodness back into the bulbs. I have a variety of daffodils and while some have finished flowering others are still in bud so the garden is still looking ok. I am looking forward to getting out a bit more and sitting in friends' gardens but it is still a bit cold.
I am keeping busy on the local history front and have been working on two family trees which I have enjoyed. But I am also adding pages to my website which I hope will go live soon as the existing one is very out of date.
One page is about the history of Barmby and I have just added a paragraph into it about the Delanoy family. The Delanoy family of Barmby were descendants of a Dutch family who came to England in the seventeenth century with Sir Cornelius Vermuyden who drained the Isle of Axholme
An Isaac Delanoy - sometimes written as De la Noy- married in 1649 at Sandtoft where there was a church for Protestants working on the drainage.
A branch of the Delanoy family had 'migrated' towards the Carlton/Drax area and then across the river to Barmby by the mid eighteenth century. They were farmers and there are several family graves in the Barmby churchyard.
One John Delanoy died in 1827. His son William was born in 1816 at Barmby. In 1850 he married Mary Marshall and their son William was born the following year. The family had settled in Doncaster where William became landlord of the Wood Street Hotel. He gave this up and became a currier and harness maker in Baxtergate. His son, also William, followed him in business initially and also became a prominent freemason. in Doncaster. In 1880 he wrote the story of St George's Lodge of which he was a member.
But by 1891 he had moved to Egypt where he worked for the government and took a leading role in Egyptian freemasonry. In 1901 we read that
The King has granted unto Mr. William Delanoy authority to wear the Insignia the Fourth Class of the Imperial Order of the Medjidieh, conferred upon him by the Khedive of Egypt in recognition of valuable services rendered to his Highness by Mr Delanoy in his capacity of Director of Stores and Industries in the Prisons Department of the Egyptian Ministry of the Interior.
He died in Egypt in 1931. A long way from Barmby.
I am also working on a page about Saltmarshe. Although I have produced a small booklet about the village which visitors to the honey stall outside our house can buy there is nothing about the village on the website.
It always amazes me how such a small village had so many families who emigrated in the first half of the nineteenth century to Canada and the USA. I suppose that there were so many more opportunities there for young people than there were as farm workers in East Yorkshire. And of course with the internet their descendants can connect with the 'home country'.
And I can write too about the fight of the ferrymen. One Saltmarshe ferryman man was charged with attempted murder after he hit his rival's boat with an oar as they both tried to entice passengers into their boats. He was acquitted after the judge said if he had meant to murder the occupants of the other boat he could have done so quite easily!!
Finally I have included here a colourised old picture of Howden. Some views of Howden are appearing on e bay at the moment and I have a program too that will do this to my black and white old postcards. But I am not quite sure what I think. It certainly brings the pictures to life but of course we can never be sure what colour clothes, shop fronts etc were a hundred years ago. The computer sometimes has some odd ideas
I think it's a matter of taste.
Saturday, 6 March 2021
It's a new month and we are still in lockdown - but there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel [ just hoping it's not a train coming!!!]. I have had my first jab, the daffodils are about to flower, the bees have been flying and there are plans for a Howden Show this year - so fingers crossed.
Local history queries still come into the website - some people want transcriptions of old documents carrying out, others are after old photos or just background information. One lady wanted a picture of local man Billie Glew who was shot down in 1918 only days before the end of the war. He was only 18.
But I was recently asked if I knew anything about a Howden gunsmith called William Wood. The gentleman asking had a gun made by him but wondered about where he lived and when he was working. So, as it is still not really gardening weather I had a look at who he was and it was an interesting story.
William Wood, gunmaker of Howden
The earliest I can find the Wood family in Howden is the 1830s. John Wood was a whitesmith, originally from Pontefract and he and his family lived in the Market Place where the Shire hall is now.
The Woods lived in the right had end of the very old building, next to Mr Woodall, auctioneer on this early picture which dates from around 1870. Next door to them was a shoemaker, Mr Pease who also kept a temperance hotel.
In 1851 John and his wife Hannah were living there with their adult children Ann and William while another son John was an apprentice with a wine merchant.
William Wood was born in Howden in 1832 and was apprenticed to his father as a whitesmith.
William married local girl Mary Ann Hawke in 1860 and the young couple moved into the Market Place premises. William for the first time was described as a gunsmith – and bell hanger. His parents had moved out to a house in Hailgate.
There is a newspaper report of a near disaster which took place in March 1861. It reads as follows
23rd March 1861
On Wednesday last, a fire broke the dwelling-house of Mr. Wm. Wood, gunsmith and bell-hanger, in the Market-place, which used great consternation, in consequence of its being that large quantity of gunpowder was stored in the premises. It was discovered between ten and eleven o'clock in the forenoon by neighbour, who observed smoke issuing from a back chamber window, and entering the house, the sleeping-room of the house was found be in flames. An outcry of fire and the ringing of the fire-bell, speedily brought a considerable number of neighbours, who supplied buckets, which were filled from the Market-place pump, and from another pump in the yard. The buckets were then passed from hand to hand, and the water very judiciously applied. The fire was completely extinguished the arrival of the engine. The house forms a portion of a very ancient timber building, occupying a considerable part of one side of the Market Place. If the fire had spread beyond the bed-room, it is probable that it would have been beyond the power of one engine to subdue it, and the destruction to property would no doubt have been serious, independent of the awful effects of the gunpowder, which could scarcely have been removed if the fire had spread rapidly. Fortunately, the floor above the bedroom was of plaster, which, under Providence, was the means of preserving us from great calamity. The cause of the fire is not known. It is supposed have been smouldering for some time in the straw mattress, which may have been ignited by a match accidentally placed beneath it, or from a lighted match carelessly thrown away by the servant-girl.
William and Mary Ann had three children, Annie, Charles and Edith. But sadly Mary Ann died aged 33 in 1867.
The family then moved out of the Market Place property which they had rented from Mrs Mary Dunn. In 1870 Mrs Dunn sold it to the Howden Market Hall company. The then occupiers James Pheasant, a tailor and Thomas Hill, a butcher had to move out.
In June 1871 the ancient building was demolished to make way for the new market hall, which we now know as the Shire hall.
Meanwhile the Wood families, had moved to Bridgegate, to the Angel Inn, where presumably Mrs Wood could help widower William look after the children. The Angel stood on the present site of the bathroom shop.
But William’s mother died in June 1870 and in April 1871 John Wood was described as a licensed victualler running the Angel Inn. And living there too was William Wood, aged 39, a gunsmith and the children Annie, Charles and Edith.
| The gun is inscribed Wm Wood Howden|
But this is the last time William describes himself as a gunsmith. In 1881 he and his family are living next to the Wellington, possibly where there is now a flower shop. William is then described as an ironmonger. His father, who was living with him, died in 1885.
His widow, Ada, married again and had two children, Cyril and Ethel with her second husband, William White.
William in 1901 was living in Campbell Terrace on Northolmby St, retired ironmonger with Gertrude, his grand daughter age 15.
He died in 1906.
I have searched for other Howden gunmakers and have not found any other references to one. Or to any other guns by William Wood so it is great that this one has survived.
Thursday, 11 February 2021
After writing this blog I had a request to include another home guard picture of Skelton men I have. This is said to have been taken at Kilpin Hall farm where the platoon met. I do not know the names but recognise faces from the other picture included below. Can anyone help?
My blog title is jottings about history and the countryside so I will include a few nature notes! Many years ago my mother, Joan Watson used to write a weekly column in the Goole Times entitled nature notes and each year - it became a running joke - she used to mention that every day it was getting 'cock stride lighter' . And it is - despite the many reasons there are to be gloomy it is pleasant to walk Molly around teatime and be able to see the signs of life in the countryside. Yesterday at dusk I watched a barn owl hunting.
The snowdrops are carpeting the garden, the blue tits are exploring the nest boxes and I have a bunch of our own daffodils on the windowsill. But it's still very cold and snowy, the water level in the pond is high so winter is still with us. We are feeding the birds and I managed to catch this visitor to the peanuts yesterday. Soon be hearing him hammering on the trees I hope.
Wednesday, 13 January 2021
Here we are in 2021 and I hope we can all look forward to a happy new year. What with more gloomy news on the pandemic and the shocking events in America it is time to be optimistic.
In the garden the snowdrops are coming up - everywhere I walk I can feel them underfoot and the daffodils too are a few inches high.
A recent post in a Howden facebook page mentioned Lumby Lane and the former Hull and Barnsley railway house there. The gentleman wrote of how his Uncle Arthur, who worked on the railway, lived there and how
We used to get off the bus at Longs Corner, and go into a field, just before the bridge, and walk by the side of the railway lines, (and find a big lump of coal and take it to uncle's house). They had no water, gas or electricity, water was delivered by a railway tender, and run into a big concrete tub, with a cover, and the water had to be filtered before drinking any; lighting was methylated spirits lamps, and the toilet, you dug a hole, in some land at the back of the house, and buried it.
This reminded me that some years ago I was asked to research the Lumby family after whom the lane is named. The lane is an ancient one and was part of the border with the Bishopsoil Common. It runs from Thorpe Road through to the Howden to Gilberdyke road. William Lumby was living in a cottage there when he made his will in 1842 and died in 1844. He was aged 81 and was described as being of New Fields.
But in the 1880s the lane was bisected by the new Hull and Barnsley railway which opened in 1885 and William Lumby's cottage ended up on the Belby side. The Lumby family were living there in 1861 but I am not sure who lived there later. I believe the house which stands back from the road and backs onto the lane may be the site of this cottage.
The Lumby name was fairly common in the area and so I think there is only a distant connection with a fascinating character I came across in my searches. This was one Francis Lumby who made his way into the newspapers in the summer of 1914 when he rode with his wife in a donkey cart from Howden to London.
Here is his story.
July 1914 Hull Daily Mail
A journey from Howden to London, 190 miles, chiefly by donkey cart is not by any means an easy achievement, but it has recently been accomplished by Mr. Francis Lumby, a Howden worthy, who aspires to be a public orator and leader among his fellow working men.
Mr Lumbv conceived the idea of visiting London not only to see the Metropolis, but also to gain inspiration by attending Labour meetings and conferring with trusted leaders. At the last East Riding County Council election, he had ambitions to stand as candidate for Howden, and declared at a public meeting that if elected he would ride to the meeting of the Council at Beverley in his donkey cart. The proposed candidature did not materialise, but the idea of the journey to Beverley pales into insignificance beside his recent feat, which he accomplished about six days, the return journey, after a week end spent London, occupying a similar period.
Mr Lumby was accompanied by his wife, who rode with him in the cart, and during their progress southward they attracted considerable attention all along the route. He was surprised and embarrassed on reaching London find that even the constables on duty, not to mention other officials, knew of his coming, and were looking out for him.
The first Metropolitan policeman he saw knew his name, and congratulated him on his arrival. When he looked at the illustrated papers, there was his photograph.
A representative of The Yorkshire Evening Post" sought out Mr Lumby on his return home to Howden, after his adventurous journey, and found him busy working his potato plot, for the good man, it may be mentioned, is skilful in the art of husbandry.
Mr Lumby, now 61 years age, has all the vigour of one who followed out door occupations, said that Mrs. Lumby and himself set out their journey at four o'clock in the morning, and travelled 31 miles. The next day they travelled 28, and so on, making good journeys each day. The weather, however, turned very hot, and fifty miles from London Mrs Lumbv returned to Nottinghamshire, where she stayed until her husband's return. Mr. Lumby pushed on and reaching the outskirts of the Metropolis, stabled his trusty ass, and took a train to Marylebone. At the station it came as rather shock to him to find that the courteous constable near the entrance knew him, and when he went little further another recognised him.
He stayed at the Carlyle Club. Mr Lumby said that had often pictured in London his imagination, but admitted that the actuality was beyond anything had ever dreamed of. During his week end stay he had opportunities to listen to famous preachers, including the Bishop of London. He brought away with him glowing impressions of the great city and intends to pay another visit, but next time will travel by rail
The House of Commons adjourns for the week-end on Friday evening and it was a disappointment to him that he could not see the mother qt Parliaments in session, but had conversations with Labour M.P.s. and also attended a Labour meeting. One thing that impressed itself upon him, after hearing the condition of things in other parts of the country, was that in Howdenshire the farm workers had comparatively little to grumble about
Giving quaint expression on his impressions of London, he said that it was not a good place for women as it was likely to spoil them for home life and turn their minds too much to dress and personal adornment.
Mr Lumby was obviously in some sort of financial embarrassment as soon afterwards the following report appeared:
July 29th 1914
Mr Lumby, of Howden has indeed fallen on evil times, and that within a week of the completion of his and Mrs Lumby's famous donkey-cart trip to London and back when they and their pretty little turn out appeared in the local and London daily journals.
The latest development is the temporary loss of his intelligent donkey, and the "business" cart to which it was attached, which were seized as he was passing down the street last week by J Camp, County Court Bailiff, to satisfy an order of the Court. After the animal and cart had been safely lodged on the premises of the Angel Hotel, the next step was the appearance of posters announcing the sale of donkey and cart (without reserve) by Messrs Clegg and Moore at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Hotel Yard
Long before this time a crowd began to assemble (Mr Lumby being one the first arrivals), and the town was "agog" with excitement. At seven clock the Angel Hotel yard was packed to its utmost capacity. During a conversation with the auctioneer, Mr Lumby stated that the donkey in 14 days travelled 367 miles, and had rested during the three days and his wife were in the city (cheers). Being brought from the stable, the animal at once recognised its old master, who patted its neck while yoking it to the cart. Mr Camp explained that the donkey, cart, and harness were offered for sale on behalf of the County Court, who had issued execution to distrain on Mr Lumby.
The lot would sell without reserve, as the Court did not give any credit (laughter). They all knew the pedigree of the donkey, what it could do, and what a good time and Mrs Lumby had had in their drive within 17 miles of London (laughter). The first bid was £1, second 25s, third 30s, fourth 35s, fifth 36s, and last 40s (the amount of execution), at which price it was knocked down to Mr T. Drury, of Hailgate.
Mr Drury (who was offered 10s profit within a minute), it afterwards transpired, had bought the lot on Mr Lumby's behalf. Much fun was caused by Mr Lumby approaching the bailiff and observing, "I never ought to have let a man like you take from me" (loud laughter). Mounting the cart, Mr Drury drove away, midst cheers, through the Market-place, followed by the crowd, and later both donkey and cart found their way to their old home in Northolmby-street, and the last seen of "Neddy" was carrying a happy baby for a ride in Mr Lumby's yard.
Do we still have such characters in Howden? I have looked for the pictures of him but with no luck so far. So I am including this donkey picture taken at Marsh Farm Howden [ now where the health centre is] and showing I believe children of the Shaw family. I doubt whether this cart would have made it to London!
As an aside I have been asked why I write my web address in red on these old photos. It is because I have collected them over many years and sell them as prints or digital images as well as using them in slide shows etc. I like to share them. Sadly, however, over time I have seen many of my pictures appearing on other websites and facebook pages without credit so I regrettably have to try to prevent this happening by writing on them.