Northallerton in old picture postcards volume 3

Northallerton in old picture postcards volume 3

Auteur
:   Michael Riordan
Gemeente
:  
Provincie
:   Yorkshire, North
Land
:   United Kingdom
ISBN13
:   978-90-288-5940-1
Pagina's
:   96
Prijs
:   EUR 16.95 Incl BTW *

Levertijd: 2-3 weken (onder voorbehoud). Het getoonde omslag kan afwijken.

   


Fragmenten uit het boek 'Northallerton in old picture postcards volume 3'

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PROLOGUE

In Volume 2 of 'N orthallerton in old picture postcards' the history of Northallerton was sumrnarised and ir wouJd seem apprapriate now to look more deeply into the subject in hand (mainly 1880 to 1940) - a truly momentous period of history. The years leading up to 1914 were the comparative calm before the storm although they we re punctuated by wars in South Africa cutminaring with the Boer War (1899-1902).

One of the South African Wars againstthe Boers at Majuba Hili in 1880 gained the Northallerton district its only Victoria Cross. This was awarded to Lieutenant Alan Hili of Romanby and the Northamptonshire Regiment who in the confusion of battle swept up a fellow officer on to his horse only to have him ki lied in his arms and then riding through a tirade of bullets seized a wounded soldier and carried hirn to safety, being wounded in the process hirnself. When the gallant officer arrived horne in 1881 he was received by a great adulating crowd at the railway station which led by the Volunteers Band accompanied Lieutenant Hili to his home at Romanby House, where he then lived with his parents - his father being Captain Thomas Hili, the fi.rst Chief Constabie of the North Riding Constabulary (18561898), who was hirnself a legend in his own time.

Captain Thomas Hill died in 1899 with many other 'standards' passing away near the end of the century: Nathaniel Russen Senr., Thompson Cade, Albert Rutson, Miss Rutson, Robert Middleton and Captain George Gardner.The latter was Gavernor of Northallerton Gaal for over thirty years, building up a trernendous reputation which added to his prcvious public esteem as one of the few survivors of the heroic Light Brigade who charged the Russian guns at the Battle of Balaclava. His grave at Northallerton Cemetery has the simple epitaph 'One of the Six Hundred' inscribed on the headstone and next to hirn lies his grand-daughter Grace Gardner, who Ieft the Gardner

fortune in trust for the welfare of the town 's senior citizens. Northallerton's history for the thirty years befare the First World War featured: the general solid prosperity of the upper and middle classes with their confident air of Victorian ebullience ('Britannia Rules the Waves'); the strivings of the working classes including political aspirations and emigration: the amelioration of health and social conditions by the installation of piped water and sewage schernes: and great scientific and technological advances which braught the electric light and motor car to Northallerton in 1899.

Remarkably the automobile and electric light were introduced to Northallerton by the same person.John Ernest Hutton, in his early twenties and the son of John Hutton, of Solberge Hall, at the time MP for Richrnondshire and Chairman of the North Riding County Council, a post held for 21 years. John Ernest installed the electric light system in the town powered by a generator in the 'Fleece' yard in 1899 going about his business in the navel fashion of a motor car. In 1900 he established a motor car product ion works near the Methodist Chapel, for a time aided by his friend C.S, Rolls. By the mid-twentieth century electricity and the intern al combustion cngine had revolutionised industry and the town and district.

Agriculture for example, the main industry, changed from a mainly manual to a gracually mechanised process. The fairs which had been the highlights of Northallerton's year for centuries were na more (except for the May 'Pleasure Fair'), three marts - the Station, Malpas and the Applegarth - held weekly replacing the fairs after 1873 with the railway movement of animals. The marts were reduced to one eventually (the Applegarth held on Tuesdays and Wednesdays), as raad transport completely taak over animal conveyance. And pictorial represenration ernphasises the great changes, probably expressed

best by the preponderance of horses depicted in the photographic sequences initially, which steadily disappeared as time elapsed.

Technological advances were critical in Northallerton's history but equally important were the social changes which were initiated in the last decade of the nineteenth century. For probably two centuries one third of Northallerton's population had Iived in the 'yards' (903 out of a 3,692 population in 1881) which werc mainly narrow, dark, ill-srnelling. unlit, cramped and discaseridden with the drinking wells adjacent to privies, dung heaps, 'night soil' and slaughter houses. The opening of the Cottage Hospital in the historie 'Vine House' building in 1877, mainly by the undivided efforts of John Hutton of Sol berge Hall, was a tremendous boon to the town, It was renamed Rutson in 1905 after its purchaser Henry Rutson, who also bought the building immediately to the north for the hospital soon afterwards. However, the fundamental break-through came in the adoption of a piped water system from the Oakdale reservoir near Osmotherley in 1892, followed by a town sewage scheme in 1898.

Admittedly there were several excellent yards - Market Row was one - but generally the fundamental problem was not resolved until the yards were demolished and the occupants rehoused in modern Council Houses in the mid-twerrtieth century. In the meantime the health of the town did improve and the water supply and sewage system were mainly responsible for this amelioration.

Another major theme ofthe pre-1914 era was the extension of housing away from the High Street (the Great North Road) which from time immemorial had accomrnodated all the dwellings in Northallerton. The expansion programme commenced with South Parade where in 1860 Miles Soppett built the first

house and within the next two decades houses were constructed from end to end of what had previously been an undeveloped minor road. Gladstone Street, the Malpas area and Victoria Terrace were built mainly with the workers at the linoleum Iactory and ether Northallerton industries in mind.

Private houses - many of them quite palatial - now appeared radially on the main roads leading into the town: Thirsk Road, Boroughbridge Road and Brompton Raad. Other alcoves appeared like Hatfield Road which was constructed between Thirsk Raad and South Parade and housed around 1910. Thus by 1914 Northallerton could na langer be accurately termed a 'one street' town although it should be emphasised th at the commercial activity still remained almost entirely in the High Street.

Thus on the eve of the 1914-1918 war Northallerton was of a prosperous developing disposition and the North Riding county town with a resplendent new County Hall opened officially in 1906. But whatever happened in the future things would never be the same after the war and describing Northallerton and the gigantic conflict which befell, is really portraying a microcosm of all the other towns and villages in the country which have their own sad tales to teil and war mernorials as cold rnonolithic reminders.

1860 saw the formation of the North Yorks Militia with the Northallerton Rifle Volunteers forming 'H' company of this part-time army force. In 1908 with the establishment ofthe Territerial Army, the Northallerton Volunteers became 'H' company 4th Battalion (TerritoriaIs) Princess Alexandra's own Yorkshire Regiment (the Green Howards). When war was deetared with Germany in August 1914, the 4th Battalion we re at annual camp at Conway, North Wales. They sped home, said their fond farewells and then reported to their headquarters -

Northallerton Drill Hall. For a week the town was in a state of euphoria with military bands striking up, soldiers marching everywhere and the troops temporarily based at all the schools, the Town Hall, Prison and Dril! Hall. The bustle ended after a week when band-led, the 4th Battalion cheered by a tremendous civilian crowd marched down South Parade to entrain for war.

The lat ter was not long in coming because in April 1915 at the 2nd Battle of Ypres they were flung with the Durham Light Infan try into a breach in the British lines caused by a German gas attack. They were the First Territorials in the entire British Army to enter into battle and their dogged, brave and successful stand with the Durhams brought high praise from the London 'Times'.

Losses, however, were great and many of the soldiers who had been at Northallerton only eight months previously were killed. including several Northallerton men one of whom was the Adjutant Captain P.D. Eykyn. Some of the many wounded returned to Northallerton to the Red Cross Voluntary Aid Detachment Hospital which had been set up at the converted County Hall which operared unti11919. Also at Northallerton the 2nd Line and 3nd Line 4th Battalions were formed successively with 700 men in each, and their headquarters at Northallerton Grammar School.

Northallerton soldiers in the 2nd Battalion Green Howards had been at the 1st Battle ofYpres in 1914 and this involvernent went on in all sorts of battalions throughout the war - the Somme, Gallipoli, Paschendaele and so on. As a static war, with the riyal trenches only yards apart, fought with modern weapons the attrition rate was enormous. In Northallerton 98 dead were commemorated on the War Memorial unveiled by Sir Hugh Bell in August 1921. And this did not include the nu-

merous wounded, those gassed and the sufferers from nervous conditions.

Obviously Northallerton was a sad place in the 1920s with every street or yard and almost every family affected by loss. But life went on and for the men who had returned from the war with the Prime Minister Lloyd George 's promise of a 'land fit for heroes' ringing in their ears, the almast impossible housing situation and employment at a minimum, made for a bitter experience.

The Northallerton Urban District Council made new housing a priority but in the twenty years between the wars the only council houses built were twenty-four in Vicars Croft although about twenty other houses were also built down Lascelles Lane and East Road for private sale. This was a great short-fall in the numbers needed and the housing shortage remained constant until the great expansion programme starred in the 1950s after the Secend World War.

Unemployment was too a perennial problem but it must be said th at in the 1920s it was not as acute as elsewhere in the country. However, it very rnuch worsened in the 1930s wh en one of the major employers in the town, the Linoleum Factory, closed throwing all the employees out of work with little chance of being re-ernployed.

Retrospectively one of the most nota bIe features of the Inter War Years (1918-1939) was their brevity because the world was pJunged into war in September 1939 - only a mere few years after the last terrible conflict. Hitler's Nazi Germany was the aggressor and bath Northallerton men and women answered the call to arms becoming spread throughout the world in what be ca me a global confrontation when Japan entered the war on Germany's side in December 1941, America following suit but on the British and Russian si de.

As England went on to the defensive in 1939 and 1940 unfamiliar objects and actioris appeared in Northallerton: defcnsive block barriers were installed at the main road entries into the town; bleekhouses of sandbags we re erected in the fields around the town for defence positions in time of attack: all gardens and lawns were dug up and cultivated by their owners to grow vegetables in the effort called 'Dig for Victory'; the 'black-out' descended which meant that every light must be extinguished or windows covered up so that the town was in complete darkness at night to avoid aerial attack - Northallerton was to say the least eerie on pitch black windy nights; and Ration Books arrived whereby all food was ratioried being obtained only by coupons from the Ration Book.

A different sinister aspect of this war was the onset of heavy aerial bombing which made Britain the 'Homefront'. Northallerton was fortunate that it only had one bombing raid on the night of 12113th May 1941 with four high explosive and a cluster of incendiary bombs dropped and a sol dier on duty up South Parade was killed. 1t was a grim reminder of the times. Another tragic incident which caused the biggest sensation of the war was the crash of a Halifax bomber on a training exercise from Royal Air Force Croft on 2nd December 1943. The aircraft spiralled down and crashed killing all the eight crew, missing the AppJegarth School by only forty yards as it exploded on impact with the ground. With the time mid-afternoon and all the children aged 5 to 9 in Northallerton in the school it nearly had dreadful consequences and no-one in the school or involved in the disaster has ever forgotten th at day over fifty years agonow.

The area around Northallerton has been alluded to as 'one great landing strip' with so many operational aerodromes present and plane crashes were very frequent. Out of this

maelstrom of tragedy ca me one great boon for Northallerton and area, the great buiki-up and activation of Royal Air Force Hospital Northallerton, which had been initiated in 1939 to take civilian bombing casualties from Teessidc but in the absence of these became a military hospital and finally on 1 st January 1943 a Royal Air Force Hospital, A tradition of efficiency, adaptibility, care and professionalism was established so th at when the Royal Air Force left in 1947 it was unthinkable that the hospital would close and it did in fact become the Friarage Hospital. Northallerton, in 1948 in the new National Health Service.

Great courage and bravery was needed in the face of the modern technologically-advanccd weaponry whatever the theatre of war and these were displayed in no small measure by the Northallerton participants. Of these forty-one paid the supreme sacrifice (twenty of whom had recenty left Northallerton Grammar School) and cornmernorated with thern on the Northallerton War Memorial are No. 6 Group Royal Canadian Air Force who flew from the area and suffered staggering losses - 903 flyers in two years (1943-1945) from Royal Canadian Air Force leeming for example,

Memories of the Canadians and strong ties through marriages to local girls remainfirrn in Northallerton. Particularly mernorable by common consent were the committed patriotisrn, rnutual co-operation and communal spirit which werc at their very strongest during the war in the town and surrounding area. Fifty ycars later those involved still reeall those days with very strong feelings.

1. This is an amateur artist's impression, originally in oils of the Bishop of Durharn's Palace. now the older part of the cemetery at Northallerton, The picture was painted on a panel over the mantlepiece in an upper room belortging to a Mrs. Hide in the nineteenth century and as a fixt ure of the house has long disappeared. However, we are at least left with this photograph of the painting which was said in the nineteenth century to belang to the 1600 era. Of particular interest are the swans in the maat which was alive with fish until befere the 1880s. An iIlustrious history surrounded the Bishop 's Palace which was built around 1200 and remained until1663 when it was sa decayed, that the Bishop ofDurham gave Thomas Lascelles permission to use thc stones to repair the Castie Mills and Market Place at Northalierton. In its hey-day many kings stayed here including John, Henry IIL Edward I. Edward II and Edward lIL the latter three in their prosecution of the Anglo-Scottish Wars.

2. Here the doorway of the Carrnelite Friary at Northallerton is seen built into the wall of a former lemonade factory (Bell and Goldsborough's and then Swain's) sited on the east side of Brompton Road near its southern extremity. Unfortunately the doorway was dernolished with the faetory in the early 1960s for new developments. Now the only tangible reminder of the Friary are stones which make up the wall below Friarage Mount on Brompton Road. But in its pomp, the Friary which lasted from 1356-1539 was a thriving religious house with bath the first Provincial (national leader) in England of the Carrnelites, Walter Kellaw and an earl of Westmoreland buried here. Of course its name Iives on with the Friarage Hospital (so titled in 1948) and it is interesting to note that the site th at onee endeavoured to save souls is now bent upon improving and saving Jives.

3. An absolutely unique drawing is eaptured here, produeed by a loeal amateur artist probably around 1800 of Castie Hilis - thus beeoming one of the very earliest surviving prints of Northallerton. A long stocked gun is earried by the hunter and the profundity of game is depieted by the somnolent rabbits and the birds (probably wild dueks) fiying above. Castlc Hills was also notabie by its sizetowering on high - and it is worth repeating that to build the Northallerton railway embankment in 1838, nearly a quarter of a million eubie yards of soil was removed from Castle Hills and all that remains is a comparative fragment. Again there is the enigma of Castie Hills - was it naturalor man made? Perhaps future expert examination or excavation will supply the answer.

4. One of the most important, but little recognised historical sites in the district is Spital Farm in Romanby Parish and the first farmhouse on the left going out ofNorthallerton on the Thirsk Road. From around 1155 St. Jarnes' Hospitalof increasingly great endownments was situated here which had at its height a Master - always a priest - and twenty-one mainly church-trained staff. It had thirteen patients and at the tolling of a night-bell it fed up to thirty paar outsiders. As seen in this picture the farmhouse (which is called Spital after 'hospita!') bears the old fabric of the medieval hospital as does the farm wall surrounding. When Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries in 1539 the lucrative potentialof the hospital was realized and its lands and possessions were deftly transferred to beoome an endownment of his Oxford University College, Christ Church. Briefly the property was: Thirsk Road from aak Mount to Watergate bridge - the farms on bath sides of the road; similarly the land from Boroughbridge Road up to South Otterington; North Otterington and Thomton Ie Street churches and parishes; burgages and land in Northallerton; much land around Winton and Ellerbeck estate and mil!.

5. This invaluable 'find' is an Annual Tradesmen's Ball invitation ticket adorned with fine lace and dated January 9th 1854. It was one of the major occasions in the Northallerton social calendar, was always run by a Committee of many of the town's 'worthies' (as it was here) and was renowned for the dancing of the 'light fantastic' into the early hours. The 'Golden Lion' toa was the most highly regarded venue in town and a jolly good time was had by all.

THE NOR1'IIALLER1'ON MEE1TN6 WAS ESTABLlSHEJ) lA' 1765.

f orthall®rtoal - anrl ~l[EETING, 1879,

Will take place on THURSD.A Y wnd FRID.A:Y, October 16th and 17th;

UNDER TB:E P.ULES OF RACING A..'lD GRAND' NATIONAL RULES.

STEWARDS.

VIscount Castlereagh, M.P., VIScount Helmsley, M.P., His Grace the Duke of Montrore

._ "wrd La~es, . G. w, Elliot: Esq., M.P~ F . .A.. ~bank, Esq., M~.,.. ~

~~_H.:F. C. Vynor, :Esq., ft .. C. V,yner, Efoq., , Charles Perkins, Es.q.?_ .M3:lJ.'rD~

W. H. Wilson·l'odd, Esq., J. J. Maclaren, Esq .. .; '--,.."

m:SS-'lS. D.l.WSON do JOHNSON, !>!ALTON "'''' YORK, CLERKS OF TB:E COURSE A.l>'D STAKEHOLD='~"

~m. P.ICRARJ) .TOS;SSON. OF Y01Ut, J't'DO:t. C1.1::Ax 0:1 nx Sc4LE8, A.'l!)JL..,1):~n:n. MR. J. lUl>LBY, OP YOlUl:, s~.

Thursday, Oct, 16th.

6. Northallerton Races lasted from 1765 until1880 and at their height around the late 1700s and early 1800s were amongst the main meetings of the north, with both a Gold Cup (100 guineas) and a Silver Cup (50 guineas) being run for annually over aperiod of thirty years. This bill heading is of the penultima te meeting in 1879 before the closure of the course to horse racing and the large amounts offered on each race as wel! as the most imposing list of Stewards, indicate the strong efforts to revive the meeting which had been in the doldrums. These endeavours were in vain because the next year proved to be the last meeting. of what had been such an ebullient and lively three days in October in the past with al! the stables in Northallerton (numbering2,OOO then) full, the pubs open until all hours and three Special Constables appointed solely for this time to keep law and order. A major reason for its decline was the coming of the railway in 1838-1841 which greatly reduced the circuit which formerly had run bebind Broomfield Farm but now had to run in front of it.

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