Sunday 24 July 2022

The Green family of Old Goole

 Thank goodness it has cooled down and I  can water my tomatoes in the greenhouse only once a day. Every time I looked at them they were drooping. As were Molly the dog and Poppy the cat not to mention their humans.

But while it was so hot I  needed no excuse to sit at the computer and undertake some family history work for a family who had origins in Leeds and a connection to Goole. It was very interesting  as the first generation I looked at lived in Hunslet and worked as glass blowers. Further back there were four generations of stone masons. One poor man was working on the canal basin in Leeds when a large block of stone fell on him and he was killed.

Another interesting family I have been looking at was the Green family of Goole. John Green who died in 1907 had a great influence on our present Goole street scene.

He was a sailor, born in 1841 in Leeds and married Caroline Brown in Goole in 1861 when she was 18. By 1871 he was a bootmaker living in Ouse Street and in 1881 a master bootmaker in Bridge Street. From here he built a small local empire but no-one [and I am in touch with his descendants] seems to know how he financed it.

In 1882 he was advertising a new shop to let 'on the Bridge' consisting of 4 bedrooms, sitting room, kitchen, scullery and pantry.

In  March 1889 the Goole Times reported that

 The Old Vicarage.—This valuable piece of property has been purchased by Mr John Green, Bridge-street. The site occupies 1077 yards, and it is understood to be Mr Green’s intention to pull down the present structure and build shops.

By August an advert appeared as follows

To Builders. TENDERS are invited for the Erection  of SIX SHOPS, &c., in Boothferry-road, Goole. Plans and Specifications can be seen at Mr John Green's Boot Depot, Bridge-street, Goole, from Monday, August 19, to Saturday, August 31, 1880, both inclusive, and tenders must be sent in to the above named, not later than Monday, the 2nd September. The lowest- or any tender not necessarily accepted.

The new block of buildings was opened on May 3rd 1890. It was built partly around the old vicarage, as can still  be seen from Stanhope Street. This was a new street opened in September 1890.

The picture below shows John Green's new buildings in the centre. Part were named St John's Buildings as the vicarage was for the vicar of nearby St John's church. They were sold in 1914 by the executors of his estate.

Looking down Stanhope Street, new in 1890

The following year, in August 1891 John Green bought a large amount of property including Bleak House on the corner of the Ouse and the Dutch River. The property included a farm and most of the houses and cottages around what is known as Hunt's Corner. He paid almost £9000 in all and moved into Bleak House.

He and his wife had a family of 14 children between 1862 and 1888: 10 girls and 4 boys. Their names were [with married names of the girls in brackets]: Polly (Mary) (Marshall) 1862 - 1900; Ada Florence (Eland) 1865 - 1943; Minnie 1867 - 1927; Annie  1869 - 1914; Ernest 1871 - 1944; Nora (Dyson) 1873 - 1962; Olive (Williams) 1875 - 1950; Edith (Berryman) 1876 - 1913;  Carrie (Caroline) (Shute)  1978 - 1943; Louis 1880 - 1910; Arthur Richard 1882 - 1901; Ethel Pauline (Ogle) 1883 - 1964; Maud Eveline (Walker) 1886 - 1978 and John Andrew 1888 - 1956. 

Some of these children had amazing lives abroad and some stayed in the Yorkshire area but their lives are well documented - including stage performers, American socialites and a companion to the South African president's wife during the Boer war.

For example in America Ethel married Charles Ogle whose perhaps most iconic and memorable role was as the screen's very first Frankenstein monster in Thomas Alva Edison's silent version of Frankenstein  in 1910. 

As they say - Old Goole for talent!

Ada Green outside the Green family's boot emporium. It does not look all that impressive!


 Bleak House, Old Goole