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 *

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Fragmenten uit het boek 'Thirsk in old picture postcards'

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49. St. James' Green, at the centre of Old Thirsk, was a cattle market for hundreds of years and is shown here in 1880. This market continued until1914. The houses on the left are part of the 'Little Green' where a great e1m tree stood for centuries until it was burnt down on November 5th, 1818. Two 'smoking chairs' were made from the branches and presented to Squire Bell. Beneath this e1m proclamations were read, elections were held and sermons were preached. Tradition says it was on 'this spot that Henry Percy, 4th Earl of Northumberland and Lord of the Manor of Topcliffe, was killed in 1489 by an angry mob, after hearing the Earl's announcement that King Henry VII was going to levy additional taxes. The thatched inn on the corner has long been replaced. Bu1mers Directory of 1890 says there were five inns on the Greens, namely 'The Pheasant', 'Rising Sun', 'Wheat Sheaf", 'Dolphin and Anchor' and 'Lord Nelson'. Only the last narned remains,

50. Long Street used to be called Micklegate in mediaeval tirnes. It is believed that a Roman Road, leading north from York, once passed along here. There have been many changes since this picture postcard was taken in about 1900 by Clarke and Co. On the left is seen the Gas Company's works, where gas had been made from .coal since 1834. All has now gone except the gas holders, which are now filled with North Sea Gas. Further down on the left some apricot trees can be seen, trained on the south west walls of the houses. Thirsk was famous for its apricot jam at that time, The White Horse Inn on the right, and the cottages on the near side of it, have been demolished and in their p1ace is a modern garage, Thirsk Motors. Halfway down on the right is the tall building which used to be Tweedies Brewery, one of the three breweries which supplied the thirty-one public houses of Thirsk in 1900. The building is still there but has been modified as another garage.


51. The old township of Thirsk consisted of Thirsk and Sowerby,Cariton Minniot, Sandhutton and Kilvington. The first two are virtually one unit, although Sowerby has its own Parish Council, Many Thirsk business people live in Sowerby. The Parish boundary runs along Westgate and Chapel Street, so in fact the Thirsk Police Station, the Town Hall, the Hospital, the Cinema and the Swimming Pool are all in Sowerby. All these, ex cept the Police Station, have been built in the last hundred years, The picture shows Sowerby in 1910, when the lime trees were only twenty-three years oid (see 53). The nearest house on the left is five hundred years old and had a thatched roof when built. The first three houses show the cast iron railings which were the usual type of fence to be placed in front of elegant houses in the nineteenth century. They were probably made in the old foundry at Norby.

52. St. Oswald's Church in Sowerby is illustrated as it was in 1900. It is cruciform in shape, and as well as the old sta ne tower at the west end, it has a wooden lantern tower above the intersection of the nave and the transepts, One of the most interesting features is the Norman arch ab ave the south door, which still has the original dog-toa th carving. The door itself, and its hinges and fastenings, are mediaeval. The church was restored in 1842 and again in 1904. The ancient churchyard, with its spreading beech trees, has been extended in the last eighty years to take in the area where the manor house of the Lascelles family used to stand. In 1946 it was found that the tower was unsafe when all four bells were being rung, sa it was taken down to the level of the main roof and rebuilt to a lower height. In 1981 two more bells were added, making six in all. Many thousands of pounds were raised by an enthusiastic group of young bellringers, 1arge1yon their own initiative.


53. This was the appearance of Sowerby village in 1900. It will be noted that the main road has a gravel surface, evidently used by many horses. The avenue of limetrees was only thirteen years old. It had been planted in 1887 to mark the golden jubilee of Queen Victoria. This fact is recorded on a stone which is built into the southern end of the churchyard wall, facing the 1914-1918 War Memorial. The 'Crown and Anchor' inn is on the left and the low roofed house beyend is a mediaeval, half-timbered building, covered with stucco. This was removed in the 1930's at the suggestion of.the Reverend John, Vicar of Sowerby, and the old oak timbers are now exposed to view. The Methodist Church, on the right of the picture, was built in 1865. Just beyend this is the old Blacksmith's shop, which is now a private residenee. The great variation of roof heights and slopes illustrates the fact that Sowerby is, and always has been, a village of individuals with their own ideas of how things should he done!

54. This eharming view of Sowerby village is taken further to the north, on this long avenue of beautifullime trees. The date is roughly 1928, when the trees were about forty-three years oid. The original east iron cages to proteet them from damage by horses and cattle on the green were in place, but have long since disappeared. The trees are now weil over forty feet high and able to withstand any injury. The oid Austin car is of the 1920's style, with upright wind sereen and square outline. Nearly ail the old iron railings in this village were removed during the Seeond World War to be melted down for munitions. Behind the avenue of trees on the right is Sowerby Chureh and the extensive Chureh Yard.

55. The Old House in Sowerby is shown as it was in 1910. It is thought to be the oldest house still standing in Thirsk and Sowerby and was the residence of the Bell family before Ralph Bell became Lord of the Maner of Thirsk in 1722. The kitehen has a low eeiling and is probably over four hundred years old. In Victorian days an elegant drawing room was added, with a high ceiling, an Adam style fireplace and a fine bow window overlooking the pleasure gardens, A billiard room and library was built in 1903 at the north end, with the large bow window seen to the left of the front door. In 1940 the iron railings were removed and in 1960 the elipped yew trees against the front wall were taken away, Likewise the eream eoloured stucco, exposing the soft red of the lovely old bricks, This house is now an Abbeyfield home for nine elderly residents, who enjoy the gracious rooms and quiet garden.

56. This tranquil scene at 'World's End', at the south of Sowerby village, shows a horse and cart crossing the ford. The Cod Beek used to be liable to 'flash floods' as it originates on the high moors north of Osmotherly and has a catchment area all along the Hambleton Hills. Hence the necessity for the high pack horse bridge seen here, which was built in 1672 with a grant of ;E20 from the North Riding of Yorkshire 'to make a sufficient Horse Bridge'. The Parish of Sowerby had the duty to maintain it. In 1928 the ford was replaced by a concrete bridge carrying the road to Dalton. By 1970 the dual carriageway of the Thirsk Bypass was earried over the Cod Beek, less than a hundred yards from this rural scene, and the little bridge, though still sound and functional, is only used by walkers and the occasional horse rider,

57. The start of the walking contest in 1903 is at Town End, and the walkers are facing into the Ripon Road. The course was via Busby Stoop, Topcliffe and back to Thirsk. In this year it was won by William Fletcher of CarIton Miniott, the grandfather of Graham Fletcher, the show jumper. The family still have the medal which was gained that day. The building on the right of the picture was the birthplace, in 1897, of George Gibson Macaulay, the wellknown Yorkshire cricketer, who started his career in 1920. He took 1733 wickets for his county at an average of 17.08 runs, and hirnself scored over 5,000 runs. He played for England in eight Test Matches and died in 1940, on active service in the R.A.F. His house was demolished in order to widen the junction of roads at Town End. The building on the left was a Blacksmith's shop, which closed before the Second World War.

58. This picture, taken in the 1920's, shows Sutton Bank, which is five miles from Thirsk on the Helmsley road. The surface was gravel and stone and much of the climb was 1 in 4, which made it a very severe and dangerous hili. The sharp bend in the road is the notorious Elbow, where many a traveIler has come to grief. This view of the Elbow is not possible today, as the foreground slopes have been planted with conifer trees by the Forestry Commission. The old 'Steppings' footpath, which avoided the Elbow, ean just be seen. In the distance Lake Gormire ean be diseerned. It is about one mile in eireumferenee, and very beautiful, with the Whitestone Cliff high above it. The Garbutt wood rises up on the right hand side of the lake and reaehes to the eliffs. This area is now a Nature Reserve of the Yorkshire Naturalists Trust with a three mile Nature Trail, starting from the Information Centre at the top of Sutton Bank.

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