Thorne in old picture postcards

Thorne in old picture postcards

:   M. Hobson
:   Yorkshire, South
:   United Kingdom
:   978-90-288-2828-5
:   80
:   EUR 16.95 Incl BTW *

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Fragmenten uit het boek 'Thorne in old picture postcards'

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In September 1983 I was approached by the European Library to produce this book. I thought it was an excellent project so I accepted the task. On the evening of the day that I posted the letter to Holland, a copy of a new book called 'Thorne in Times Past' was put into my hands. I was at first dismayed, for this fascinating work seemed to forestall what I was about to do. However, I have tried not to repeat the illustrations but to search for pictures of the town seen by few before.

The object of this book is to show how the town of Thorne appeared between 1880 and 1930 by the use of old picture postcards and other photographs, thus the most recent of these is almost a lifetime away from today.

I think it is true to say that the changes affecting the lives of ordinary people over the last hundred years have been far greater than any century before. The benefits are obvious to the older generation, but younger people may tend to take them for granted. We are healthier, so we live longer; modern communi-

cations have widened our lives so as to make us all, citizens of the world. But everything has to be paid for, so what have we lost that our forebears had? This book tries to suggestpart of the answer to that question.

There are peopIe who refuse to look back in time; they say th at the study of history is a waste of time. But if we don't know where we have come from, how on earth can we know where we are heading?

In the course of my research for photographs and information for this book, it has been a privilege for me to talk to the elderly people of this place. They have charm and also a quiet courtesy which is so refreshing. I would like to thank them and others (not so elderly) who have been good enough to help me by the loan of their precious photographs.

Finally let me say that, if I have made any mistakes in this book, they are unintentional and due to my own shortcomings; also that I hope it will make peopIe ask questions about how it all used to be, and that it will bring back fond memories to the 'oId 'uns'.

Tha Parish Church. Tboma.

1. This is a view of the Parish Church, dedicated to St. Nicholas. We see the church from the north-east with Church Street in the background. The building was built of limestone from the Sprotborough area. It was begun in Norman times and a1smost rebuilt in the fourteenth century. The north boundary wall of the churchyard, seen here, contains stone from Peel Castle; the parapet stones of the tower can easily be detected. Also to be seen in the photograph are the gate posts and iron gates at the western end of the boundary wall. The gates have been gone a long time but the huge stone stoups are laid to rest in the churchyard.

2. This old photograph shows the interior of the church looking east to the altar, The main structure is, of course, little changed today from what you see here, but there are several interesting differences. The most obvious is the uninterrupted view of the choir because there is no Rood screen to check the eye. The screen was constructed and installed just after the end of the Second World War, after much deliberation as to whether it was an improvement or an obstruction. Most people, I believe, appreciate its beauty. The keen observer will notice the old lamp brackets on the pillars and the plaster ceiling. The hymn number boards could tell some of us at least, where in the church calendar we were when the picture was taken.

3. Some people call it the Hall and others call it the Council Offices but it has been described by architects as a modest late Georgian mansion. Whatever we know the place by, it is an imposing sight when floodlit on a winter's night, or caught through the trees in a shaft of sunlight. The house was built before 1820 by a farmer called Wormley, and from the records he appears to have lived in it only briefly or in fact never at all. It has been a school as well as a home but for most of us, we think of it as the headquarters of Thorne Council. Thorne Park, the Green Top School and quite a bit of Ellison Street and Southend constituted its grounds.

4. This view across the market place is from the south-east. On the right is the White Hart inn with its restoration date of 1737 still as prominent today. It was a coach stop inn for changing horses and refreshment up to the middle of the last century. Next on the left was a bank (Beckitts), then there was a Iitt1e shop before the printing works and stationers which most of us knew as Wrigley's but which has had many narnes in its history as a printers, going back nearly two hundred years. The white building showing seven windows and a door was the old Red Lion inn, from which the town business was conducted for most of the last century. The building on the left was a draper's shop called Walkers at the time of this photograph. Mr. Walker seems to have started his business there about the end of the Crîmean War.

c'J'ltarkel3>/ace, llorne

5. FIOm the junction of Horse Fair Green and Finkle Street we can see across the market place and up Church Street to the church itself. On the immediate right is a men's wear shop called Barnes, who only in the last ten years have sold out, having several different premises in Thorne over the last eighty or ninety years. Walker's shop mentioned above is on the corner. The famous water pump commemorating the Thorne men who gave their Jives in the Crïrnean War, stands across the road at the corner of the market place. Behind the gas lamp can be seen Lester's men's barbers and hairdressers, To the left of the entrance to Church Street is Hallgarth's shop which is now the Halifax Building Society Office.

!'IIarxet Place, Thorne.

6. Here is a similar view, but taken from shorter range, of the previous picture. The barber and his assistant stand outside the shop dressed in their long aprons. From the curtained windows on almost all the businesses shown in these photographs, it is obvious that the owners lived on the premises, unlike today when most shops are 'loek-up' shops with the owners living in newer residential distriets. There were two public houses in Church Street, on the right the 'Greyhound' and a little further up the 'Black Boy's Head'. It looks as though the man on the right has been cleaning the pump. In winter the pump was thatched with a straw cover, to help guard against frost.

cJ',farkel.J>laèe, ~f!orne

7. Sîlver Street runs into the market place and a left turn round the White Hart corner opens into King Street, the main street of Thorne. The shop of Joseph Beaumont stands where today we may shop at Woolworths. The market place railings are not complete today with perhaps only five posts remaining; traffic accidents accounting for quite a bit. However, we do have raised footpath kerbstones where none existed in days gone by. Thorne has had a market charter since 1658 in the time of the Protector's son Riohard Cromwell. The charter also gave the right to hold two fairs annually. Bull and bear baiting are said to have been held in the square in Georgian times.

8. This is King Street at the turn of the century. Of the buildings seen here, only the one on the immediate left has a Victorian façade, the others are from Georgian times. The building on the immediate right has a barber's pole with the proprietor's name 'Grace' above the doorway. The building was demolished some thirty years ago and a new furniture shop built to stand further back off the road. The large house on the right was the house of the Darleys, owners of Thorne Brewery, before the construction of the Mansion over eighty-five years ago. In the distance canjust be seen the spire of the old Board School, now dismantled.

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