Monthly Archives: October 2016

23rd Oct. 2016

While on Humber bank first thing with dog saw first of the autumn/winter’s great flock of starlings rising from local reed-bed. One lot after another rose up, seemingly from the same area of the reed-bed, as if they had been roosting in tiers or had been massed together for warmth and comradeship.

Strange weather – north-easterly gentle wind but not really cold, occasional sharp showers apparently coming across from the west! Pm dog Humber bank and behind the cement works. Evening progressing the p.p.p. for Thursday evening.

22nd Oct. 2016. ‘Top Field’ campaign and plan for next talk.

Agreed at Thursday’s meeting that petition against the proposed ‘Top Field’ development by North Lincs. Council would be set-up in King St. between 10am and 12 and that I would take round A4 posters to local shops to see if they would display them. This we did, generally positive response from shops and people on street. Rain held off.

Last minute request that I take-on next Thursday’s Barton and District History meeting – have decided on two part presentation (a) three aspects of medieval Barton (i) site of the Anglo-Saxon port, (ii) Chantry House, (iii) top section of St. Mary’s church west tower. (b) Humber Wetlands Survey – an introduction. Need to take some photos to incorporate in power-point presentation.

20th Oct. ’16.

High tide of almost eight metres Tues. a.m. following full moon over weekend.

This morning broken stratus cloud, occasional brief sunny spells, northerly breeze but surprisingly relatively mild, dry.

Local flocks of geese reduced numbers, most must have flown on.

Meeting of ‘Top Field’ sub committee this afternoon (campaign to object to proposed development of recreation land at top of Ferriby Road). Discovered that it was now an ‘action group’ with some residents present (not Civic Soc. members), unhappy at first about this but decided to stay.

19/10/’16 – Skipsea, forthcoming talks, various.

As seems likely Drogo de Beuvriere, first Norman Lord of Holderness, had his castle ‘motte’ built on a previous high status site (that may, or may not, have become redundant in the intervening centuries since the Iron Age), this site then being on an island in the early Holocene Bail Mere (one of many meres across Holderness, most of which survived ’till late medieval times but now all gone except for Hornsea Mere). Bail Mere may have had a channel linking to the North Sea as early Norman castles, built in hostile country, could usually be accessed by sea rather than reliant on dangerous land access only. The summary of the Humber Wetlands Project (Van de Noort, R The Humber Wetlands (2004) speculates that Bail Mere may have linked to the coast via another mere at ‘Withow Gap’. There has, of course, been over two miles depth of coastal erosion since early Norman times.

Have been asked by the Chairman of Barton and District History Group to step in next Thursday as the person due to deliver a presentation about recent excavations at Thornton Abbey has had to cancel. Have decided on a two-part presentation (a) three speculations about medieval Barton, (b) The Humber Wetlands Project. Presentation to Barton Civic Soc., 18th November, tracing the history of the site of the Assembly Rooms on Queen St., an exercise in pinpoint landscape history.

Currently pre-occupied with Civic Soc. campaign ‘Save Top Field’, details see Barton Civic Soc. website.

Spent £230 on an inspection of my two-berth touring caravan only to find that it had a severe structural damp problem. Had to scrap it, and had to drive it to Lincoln to do that. Very upsetting and blow to budget.

Relatively mild Autumn weather continues, roses and some perennials still in flower. So cannot get on yet with planned digging-up of perennials behind garage and re-planting in a more orderly lay-out. After root division some to go to new flower-bed sites in S. Ferriby and some to Bill Stelling.

Even though for over a year now the Humber Nature Partnership has been unable to confirm its ownership, have begun to clear overgrown pathways in garden area between cement works and West Drain.

Have started painting walls of my small galley kitchen, has to be done in bits as little room to move cupboards (units) and cooker and fridge.

So – lots of things at last started, but none finished.


10th Oct. 2016 – Geese and sea birds. Skipsea.

Since late September, as previous years, privileged to witness the great flocks of geese coming and going. Most seem to be interrupting their migration by spending some time roosting on (Reed’s Island) or around the Humber Estuary (mostly on north bank), flying south (inland) at dawn and returning at dusk. In their V formations (often these seem to be breaking down and re-forming while in flight) the geese herald their coming with loud cries as opposed to the great flocks of gulls which ‘commute’ each day all year and are silent in flight, giving no indication of their presence unless the viewer looks skyward. Teal, heron (very timid), swans, coots, moorhen and other wildfowl make local clay-digging pits and especially the mouth of the River Ancholme areas of bustling, multi-breed communities.

Heard recently a brief news item that Iron Age artefacts have been found at the site of the Norman ‘motte’ at Skipsea in north Holderness. Presumably found in the lower part of the motte rather than on or near the surface these may indicate that the motte was superimposed on a much earlier high status site, a not uncommon event. No further details at present but will tie-in with evidence from Humber Wetlands Survey in a day or two.