Yarn, Yorkshire and All Manner of Wonderful Things!

Posts tagged ‘Family history’

Photo Challenge- Zest

Dictionary definition-Zest- Keen interest

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Starts today. Very excited. Course provided by Futurelearn.

Next weeks prompt is Strength.

Happy Snapping! And do please leave a link to your Zest picture in the comments section.


An Afternoon in the Workhouse!

Ripon Workhouse closed in 1950, and was converted to an old people’s home. However the Vagrants cells remained in use till the 1960s. In 1974 the residents in the home were moved to a purpose built home, leaving the workhouse exterior pretty much recognizable from when it was built in 1854. The main buildings are now used by the CAB, Girl Guides and various local charities. The Vagrants rooms have become a Workhouse museum, and that’s where we headed for our afternoon in the Workhouse.

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Had we been a vagrant back in the day the first place to stop would have been the bathroom, for a lovely shower.

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or bath

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And the water in the baths wasn’t changed between bathers. Clothes were taken off for fumigation.

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In there, and replaced with the uniform.

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The smock on the chair is the uniform for tramps, you can see the dress for female residents above.

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The bed here is what a Mum and a child would share. Men and women had separate accommodation. There was a strict regime of prayers and  work. Work could include tasks to help with the running of the establishment, maybe in the kitchen ,the laundry, workshop or garden. Or picking oakum just like Oliver Twist. Oakum being rope, which when worn was pulled apart to be reworked into new rope. Hence money for Old Rope. Vagrants could stay two nights only and then had to move on , they too had to work for their keep. Meals were eaten in silence and meat was served three times a week, about 6 ounces per male inmate. There was a Doctor in attendance so often poorer Mums to be would go to the Workhouse to have their babies to ensure medical attendance.

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Vagrants had individual cells to sleep in

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Basic education was provided for children

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The Kitchen Garden would have been quite a good place to work I think

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Better than building these coffins

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Chopping wood would have been hard labour too.

As you go round the museum you realize that by far the biggest groups of residents were the elderly who were too frail to work, and those with learning difficulties or mental ill health. Treatment of “difficult” people was barbaric, but that it is to judge it through the eyes of 21st Century England and not in context of knowledge at the time.

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A restraining chair, not nice.

Apparently my Great Grandfather was a Clerk to the Governors, obtaining this position some time between 1870 and 1880 in Pickering. I didn’t really know what this entailed till I did some research at home later. The Governors in Ripon met fortnightly, about 35 of them representing the the rate payers of all the parishes served. To quote from the Museums booklet 9 by Anthony Chadwick, ” Their business was assisted by a Clerk, always a solicitor….A lawyer was needed since the Poor Law was complex, and difficult decisions had to be made over poor relief ( the Dole, or Benefits as we would call it in 2015) , or even admission to the workhouse, since the poor had statutory rights, as also had the ratepayers.”

Now further investigation tells me that the very minutes to the meetings at which my Great Grandfather was clerk to are actually in the local county records office. I feel another journey coming on, but maybe in the Spring next year.

Thanks for stopping by, I can most definitely recommend this museum.



Ellerburn to Dalby Forest.

Hurrah, with a bit of detective work and help from the East Yorkshire History Society who recorded all the inscriptions in St Hilda’s Ellerburn church and made a map so even this muppet could find what she was looking for, I  found the grave of my Great Great Great Grandmother who lived to the ripe old age of 92.

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Jane Stephenson, I think you must have been some lady.

And hurrah for Mr E who got into the church, only a big shove was needed to open the door.

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plain and simple inside

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whoops I left my red gloves in shot. Now it wasn’t so damp this visit because there had just been a funeral. And I will tell a little story about this, names changed.

We drove to Ellerburn this time because we wanted to walk to Dalby Forest and didn’t know how far it would be. It’s nearly a narrow single file road, so we had to wait 15 minutes whilst the cortege and all the mourners passed us . We explored the churchyard first and then the inside of the church. We must have been there a further half hour before we left to start our walk. Imagine our surprise when a car pulls up outside the church ( remember this is a hamlet of one farm and three cottages) and a chap jumps out. “Where have they taken Fred too?” he demanded.

How do you loose a hearse? We made some useful suggestions but had no idea really. Hope he found Fred.

Anyway onto the walk, back passed the fish farm, there was a car there this time so the dog wasn’t on guard duty.

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The beck is just as pretty as you continue along the valley. And I saw the first wild primroses  of this year, you may have to click on the picture to get it big enough to see.

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Go past this farm

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and you reach Dalby Forest. We think this strange thing is part of some water drainage thingy whatsit. Love to know if anyone has a clue.

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And does anyone know what this is?

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We had to turn back before we reached Dalby village, but we were now into familiar territory. The walk through Dalby Forest from Dalby being one of Dad’s favourite dog walks. Now all we have to do is rev up enough energy to do Thornton Dale to Dalby right through. We have done it once more or less, but that was 34 years ago when Mr T was in a push chair and I was in my 20’s!

Please feel free to leave a link to any walk related post you have written.



15 for February

Time for an update on my 15 for 2015. I have to say that I am so happy I started this. There have been times this month, as we are still not out of the family crisis malarkey, when we are just waiting -for solicitors, probate, HMG and inheritance tax, and house sales and doctors and medical appointments and scans and results and more treatment etc etc etc etc. ( not mine I should add, but a close family member), -that it has been really really helpful to turn to my 15 for 2015 list and think, so what can I do that would be useful or fun whilst I am doing all this waiting.

February Review Time

15 minutes walk x 4 times a week, achieved, but possibly only if I divide some half hour slots into two.

14 bags of stuff to a charity shop, yes, one gone and one in the car waiting to go

13 animal photos. Now here I have to commend Mr E. “Please will you drive me to Cawthorn, as I want to wear my wellies and I can’t drive in them and I need to take a photo of some sheep. I think it will be good”.  I said. He did. And he didn’t say I am weird this time. That makes two animal photos.

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12 meetings with friends. Yes my friend Jane came round and we shared the coffee fudge cake. That makes two meetings now.

11 New Savoury recipes. I made courgette balls, we had them in Crete last year and loved them. Haven’t quite got them right yet. And I made a new chicken curry last night. So that makes three. I have also borrowed a Nigella Lawson book from the library, and there a couple recipes in the book to try in March.

10 Handwritten letters. One letter written and sent.

9 Handmade cards. Two made this month, one for Valentine’s day and one for T’s 4th birthday. That makes 4 in total. Nearly at the half way point.

8 Sewing or embroidery projects. I have found it very hard to be original this year, so much on my mind, but I really needed to have fabric and thread in my hand. So I made this, which I have had waiting to do for many years. I did like making it.

A Bee and Lavender Pincushion

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7 New Yarns. Still just the Bamboozle in January.

6 Trips to museums, art galleries, theatre etc. I had to go to York this month for an ABS light problem on my car, Hours to fill in.Waiting. So I went to the Quilt Museum, which I have been meaning to do for a few years. I am so glad I went. It is only small, three rooms in total. The large room was full of quilts from their collection- if you are into hexies, then do go.

One of the smaller rooms had an exhibition called Chinese Whispers. All are modern quilts. The first participant was given a photo and had to make a quilt in response to the picture. She had a month. Then she took a photo of her quilt and sent it to the next person, who made a quilt in response to that picture. I think there were a dozen in total. All were so cleverly done, and the end one so different from the first photo!

The final room contained quilts called Voices From the Inside. These were all made by prisoners as a way of occupying people in prison and teaching skills. Some of them were amazing. Just shows what can be done when you can literally stitch all day. Now don’t put off going to the Quilt Museum as it is going to close in the Autumn, due to the cost of the building. Instead there will be traveling exhibitions only.

5 Projects for charity. None this month, I read a bit in our local paper asking for knitters of teddies for people with Alzheimers, I sent an email about it, but so far no response. Maybe inundated with offers?

4 New Walks. One new walk tried. It is years since I walked from Thornton to Ellerburn, and that was done by road. A new riverside footpath was created quite a long time ago and we had never been. It is a lovely walk , along the beck, the snowdrops are out and we have been twice, as it is so nice.

At Ellerburn there is a church that I had wanted to see last year but had been closed when I was there. Turns out it probably wasn’t but there is a problem with opening the  door -it needs a chap and jolly big shove. Good ole Mr E. The church inside was a little disappointing very plain and simple and smelt a little damp.

We had another good wander round the churchyard looking for the grave of my Great Great Great Grandmother, but we couldn’t find it. On my return I finally looked at the discs I have for the parish records, and I did find the entry for Jane Stephenson. So she is there somewhere, the question is where. The other question is why Ellerburn and not Thornton where she had her family and lived in the forge. Was she from Ellerburn originally?

There are very few houses there now, three maybe four, but a huge number of gravestones in the church. Was the village once much bigger? Being in the hamlet, because that is what it is now, is just so peaceful. A river running through, a farm with cows and sheep, a cottage with a tearoom and a touring caravan park.From Ellerburn you can walk into the forest at Dalby passing a house which seems to have been a papermill at sometime.

I find I am very drawn to Ellerburn now, and want to know and see more. The fields near the church are full of lumps and bumps, are these the remains of houses long gone? Above all I need to go back with my camera and try to capture something of what I feel.

3 Craft workshops , still looking for one

2 New Cities, we had big plans for this year and I thought this would be an easy one. But everything is on hold right now, we have no plans anymore, there is no point as life is in such a state of upheaval. However, we were in Wiltshire this month for T’s birthday and we had some time in which we went exploring, mostly because we aspire to move closer to family at some more settled time, and then we had the chance to visit Salisbury. So yes, one new city visited. I really liked Salisbury, a small medieval city, nice and compact, and the cathedral is just gorgeous. Constable knew how to pick his locations! I’ll be posting about the visit to the cathedral later.

1 Railway Journey , not yet.

0 Impulse Purchases, none yet, I have got very good at shopping lists!! I am not counting Mr E’s contributions to off list purchases sneaked into shopping trolleys! The man eats far too many biscuits.

Leaving the update with Salisbury Cathedral. Love to hear your thoughts and comments, did you do a 15 for 15, how are you doing.

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Inspired Sunday!

Mr E’s family originally hales from Dorset. To be more precise from Puddletown and Tolpuddle. We believe that he shares a common ancestor with James Hammett one of the Tolpuddle Martyrs.

The church of St Mary at Puddletown where we have the strongest family connection was a complete delight

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with high backed pews

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which you can see from above by mounting some rickety rackety steps to the organ gallery

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a restored chapel has this lovely stone tomb

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From here we went to the church of St John the Evangelist in Tolpuddle

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where James Hammett is buried

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Thanks for stopping by. Linking in with Inspired Sunday

Lots more  churches to share next  time from our little expedition in Dorset.



Who I am?

Knowing who we are and our families story enriches us and gives a sense of belonging. Finding out Who we are has never been easier with so many sites to help with tracking genealogy. It is the most fascinating and exciting mystery story to track back one’s ancestors.

I have previously written about my Yorkshire roots, but my Mum’s family were Liverpudlians. Mum always maintained that one side of her family was Scottish- to quote her “the women were all big boned Scottish women”. She was oh so WRONG! That branch of the family came from Gloucestershire, via London to Liverpool.

From Fairford ,Gloucestershire to be precise. Thanks to Genes Reunited I was put in touch with a man who had done the research. We share three times great Grandparents. Our ancestors weren’t very grand- the oldest occupation we have listed is a slatter (roofer), then seedsman ( sewer of seeds) . ( If you are intersted in old occupations then look here)

Our seedsmen then became gardeners and then started to sell the seeds in London, before moving to London to set up a respectable seed company. ( Since bought out in the 1940s by a very well known seed company which still trades). My relative became the Liverpool branch of this company, which closed much earlier. My Grandad however worked in the Cotton Exchange buying and selling cotton. Not a drop of Scottish blood anywhere, sorry Mum.

On our trip last month down south we went to Fairford. To St Mary’s church.

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My son had already visited so was able to take us straight here

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The gravestone of my relative dated 1864- he was a Gardener and parish clerk, and it was his son who made the move to London.

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The church is magnificent, the stained glass windows unbelievable. The church was built on wool money and enjoyed royal patronage.You can read more about it here.

The town of Fairford is completely unspoilt having missed the tourist trade of more well known Cotswold towns. It has a lovely serene and calm air and we all said we would love to live there.

Joining with 1aa3f-inspired_sunday_newcopy  Inspired Sunday

Washington DC, Medieval Wall Paintings and Me!

So what can possibly link these three? Answer below..

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The church in Pickering of St Peter and St Paul. Let’s start with Washington DC link.

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Here you can see a memorial tablet to Mary, Nicholas and Robert King. Robert and Nicholas helped and succeeded L’Enfant in surveying Washington DC.

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This brass plague underneath the tablet commemorates the connection between America and England during the Great War in 1917.

So what about the Medieval Wall Paintings? Wall paintings are not for decoration but served as an aid to understanding the Bible in times when people were illiterate and could not read the Bible- then written in Latin. During the reformation of the Church (Henry 8th, Anne Boleyn etc etc) The wall paintings were plastered over as being idolatrous. They were rediscovered in this church in 1852 by accident during renovation works. People came to see the Frescoes as they were then called. However the Vicar at the time saw them as a distraction for his congregation for his words of wisdom and caused them to be whitewashed over. The church was in a poor state of repair still and in 1876 during extensive works the whitewash was removed. On a personal note the poor state of repair of the church may explain why my Great Grand Parents were married in Scarborough rather than their local parish church.

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You can see in these paintings St George slaying his dragon and St Christopher. St Christopher is the patron saint of travelers and is usually to be found opposite the entrance to the church. Reputedly so that Travelers can poke their heads round the door, say a quick prayer for safety and be on their way without having to come right in. Who Knows?

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Interestingly there is no painting on this wall where you would expect one of  The Doom, or Last Judgement. Either it was never there or it was taken away , but there is where it should be. If you would like to see more of these paintings look here. The pictures are much better than I could ever hope to take. And if you do look at them, think about a little Cathy attending church with her parents and looking at the one of St Edmund week after week! It may explain a lot!

A novel you might also like to look out for  is A Month in the Country, by J.L.Carr. This book tells the story of the uncovering of  medieval  wall paintings and is a lovely gentle tale.

Which of course now takes you to  the Me, in the title of the post. Well I was married in this church!

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I was christened in this church at a font which is of possible Saxon origin.

And I have family buried here.

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In the oldest part of the church yard lays my Great Great Grandparents. I think alongside my Great, Great Great Grandparents , but that claim needs more research from me.  At the other end of the chruch yard one of the last burials is that of my Great Grandparents , but the stone has toppled over and it doesn’t feel right to share that sad image. My own Grandparents are in the local cemetery now as the Church Yard is Full!

I hope you have enjoyed this tour of my Church! Love to know if you have a special Church.I have two more Churches  to share with you which are of historic but not personal interest but I’ll save that for another day.

PS This is Post 197. Do enter a comment for the Giveaway. I am hoping that this will close on Monday 27 May at 6pm BST and be announced later that evening in Post 200!

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