Thirsk in old picture postcards

Thirsk in old picture postcards

:   Peter Wyon
:   Yorkshire, North
:   United Kingdom
:   978-90-288-2315-0
:   80
:   EUR 16.95 Incl BTW *

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


Fragmenten uit het boek 'Thirsk in old picture postcards'

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19. This charming group at the Historica! Play of 1907 presumably includes the 'behind the scene' helpers, who were not to be left out by the photographer. There are a number of mature and experienced ladies as weU as some younger folk, and even three men. This picture gives a clear idea of the fashions of the day among the townsfolk. Some young ladies are wearing what we would now consider awkwardly wide hats for working in, but this was evidently the latest thing in these Edwardian days. In a similar group today one wouJd be surprised to see a hat of any sort being worn. The refreshment tent just behind the group suggests that this is the place where their talents are being used. Perhaps the men were serving the beer!

20. Thirsk has always welcomed a chance to celebrate and here we see the Thirsk Parish Church Festival procession coming along Kirkgate in 1904. Many of the older children marched on foot, with the Volunteer Band leading the way. The large, decorated waggons followed, carrying the smaller children. The high wheeled baby carriage on the left is about to pass the house which is now James Herriot's surgery, known as Skeldale House in his ever popular books about the life of a Veterinary Surgeon in North Yorkshire. The second building on the right is the Quaker Meeting House, built in 1790. There is a quiet, sunny graveyard and garden behind it. The site was first acquired in 1650, about the time of George Fox's first visit to Yorkshire. The people, and even clergy, flocked to his meetings and Quakerism flourisbed. Fourteen centres, called Monthly Meetings, were set up in Yorkshire in 1669, of which Thirsk is one.

21. In 1912 the Parish Church School Festival took place on a rather dun day, but the girls in their wide hats and beautiful summer dresses, and the boys in their dark suits and hard, starched collars, are lined up in front of the Fleece Hotel in the centre of the Market Place, They all have their hymn sheets and most of them are singing enthusiastically. Although the Fleece Hotel was stilllicensed to let Post Horses, it a1ready had Garage accommodation, so some of the stables had been converted before 1912. To the left of these notices can be seen the sign of Tibbits the Dentist, who clairned to be especially good at making dentures. In the Thirsk Guide Book of 1907 he advertised 'a full set of dentures for !2-2-o, or three shillings and sixpence for each tooth in a partial set'!

22. The Parish Church School Festival in 1912 had finished its performance of hymn singing in front of the Fleece Hotel, and was moving away, informally, towards the Green. The Thirsk Parish Magazine of 1896 describes the Festival, starting with a short service in the Church for the five hundred children, followed by the procession round the town, on foot, and in three large waggons, gaily decorated with flags and flowers. After the singing of hyrnns in the Market Place with the children arranged in a square, 'a bounteous tea was provided in the schools on the Green'. The day was completed with sports in the Park of Thirsk Hall. Looking at the postcard, it appears that many young ladies were keen to be photographed. This card was posted by a girl to her friend in Bradford. She wrote: 'Sorry I have not wrote befare but have been waiting for these cards I have put a X on my photo. Write soon, love Lizzie.'

23. Cemetary Lane looks rather different today from this view taken in 1895. There are fewer trees, less ivy on the walls and cottages and the iron railings of Thirsk Church yard have disappeared. The two charming cottages are still there and are little altered. As the photographer was standing in front of the vicarage gate, this may be the vicar's smart conveyance being driven home by his coachman. Cemetary Lane is still a very pleasant, quiet and secluded walk, and is only a few minutes from the busy Market Place. Towards the north end of the Cemetary is a simple stone cross in memory of 'Little Lottie Hamilton' aged five years, and her Aunt, Miss McCullock. They were travelling south on the ill-fated 'Flying Scotsman', on the foggy night of November 2nd, 1892, when it crashed into a goods train at Manor House Junction, near Thirsk. Ten people were killed and thirty-nine injured. The townspeople erected the stone cross in 1893.

24. The Church is barely seen in the view of Kirkgate in the early years of this century. The large trees on the left were in the garden of Thirsk Hall and have now gone, leaving a much clearer view. The house on the near left of the photograph, behind the iron railings, was the residence and surgery of Dr. Buchanan at this time. The author lived here for several weeks when he first came to join Dr. MacArthur in 1939, and has remained in the area ever since. Today the house is known over much of the world as the surgery of James Heriott, the vet. Although the railings were taken for munitions in the Hitler War the house is otherwise little altered. The bearded figure at the door of the Friends Meeting House looks like a typical Quaker of his day, The late Dr. MacArthur was a popular figure in Thirsk, of ten seen in riding breeches as he chose to visit some country patients on horse back as late as 1950.

25. This fine view of Old Norby, approaching Thirsk from the north, was taken about 1905. The photographer was standing on the bridge above the sluices of the Mill Race, which we see flowing away towards Thirsk Mill. The remains of the old sluices are still there, also the iron bridge above the weir, where the water falls with a great roaring and foaming in stormy weather. The length of water beside the road is no longer there. The railings were removed and the Mill Race filled with rubble in 1957, when, sadly, all the houses on the right were demolished. The Mill itself had closed some years earlier and was becoming derelict. The archways to reach the yards, where many people lived, can be seen on either side of the shop front and on the extreme right of the picture. A large, new Council Estate has been built in this area.

26. The Holms is the long area of grassland situated between the Cod Beek on the left, as we look south in this picture, and the Mill Race on the right. This water flowed along beside the road from Northallerton, in front of the houses of old Norby which are seen in the distance. Although the Holms belonged to the Manor of Thirsk, the public and their horses had free access, and in 1957 the Squire of Thirsk, Major Peter Bell, presented the area to the town. The willewtrees growing here, and for half a mi1e north beside the road, were of economie importance as willew Garths for many centuries. The thin shoots of up to ten feet long, known as 'wi11ow wands' or osiers, were cut each year to make baskets and hampers of every type and size. In 1890 there were two basketmakers listed in the Thirsk Directory and this trade was flourishing in Kirby Wiske vi11age, a few mi1es away, as late as 1946.

27. On a sunny morning in 1910 this was the lovely view which greeted the residents of St. James' Green and Old Thirsk on their way to St. Mary's Church. It may well have looked like this for over four hundred years. It is clearly high summer as the water in the Cod Beek is unusually low. The picture was taken from the slopes of 'Biggin Hili', a footpath named after a family of stonemasons, who worked here until1930. The metal bridge was erected ui 1898. The tall willew trees in the Holms form a fine setting for the Church Tower. The level field on the right used to be the scene of the Green Sports for several years after the Second World War, but between the Great Wars these annual sports were held on the Green itself. This gives some idea of the community spirit which existed at that time, and also an echo of the independent life of Old Thirsk, apart from New Thirsk which developed west of the Cod Beek.

28. The importance of the opening of the Thirsk Swimming Club in 1910 can be judged by the large attendance of spectators at the event. It seems that the far bank was reserved for the ladies, though a few young boys are among them. Several men can be seen at the back, peeping over the high fence. The site for the Swimming club was the 'nine foot hole' which was about four hundred yards north of the Norby weir, In hot weather swimming had always been popular in Thirsk, but sadly on many beautiful summers there was a child drowned. In 1937 aproposal to build swimming baths in the town was rejected by an acrimonious Parish Meeting. It was not until 1970 that enough money was collected by voluntary organisations to build the modern swimming baths on the Flatts at Sowerby. It is hoped that every child will now learn to swim while attending school.

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