Monthly Archives: May 2017

29th May, 2017.

Yesterday went for a ride to Kilnsea beach at the southern end of the Holderness coast and at the head of Spurn Point. Last day of the current spell of hot weather, very busy there, lots of bird-watchers (the Yorkshire Trust for Nature Conservation’s plan to build a new visitor centre clearly meeting with much local opposition).

Virtually all the concrete Second World War gun emplacement and look-out post has now fallen victim to coastal erosion and the local caravan park has been much commercialised.

Kilnsea is today a straggling hamlet, the earlier 18th century village long ago engulfed by the rapid coastal erosion along the Holderness coast. The picture above is an image of Kilnsea’s medieval church in its last days as published in Poulson, G. The History and Antiquities of the Seignory of Holderness, Vol. 2 (Hull, 1841, 519). The site of this church is now seabed 600 yards beyond the present coastline. Further information on this and other churches around the Humber Estuary may be had from Landmarks and Beacons, Churches of the Humber as presented in the third section of this website (for Kilnsea only see pages 78 and 79).

Ironically the suffix ‘sea’ in the name has no origin in the fact that it is now by the sea. It is derived from the Old English (Anglo-Saxon) word for a lake, Holderness in its natural post-glacial state being pock-marked with ‘meres’. The names Skipsea and Hornsea share the same derivation, Hornsea still having its mere (lake).


28th May, 2017.

Pleased that the forecast heavy rain held off yesterday for the open-air annual Radio 1 Roadshow this year broadcast from the grounds of Burton Constable Hall, in Holderness, 12 miles north-east of Hull. All those with tickets were bussed-in to the site from distant parking sites, this necessary as local roads are narrow and winding. There was, apparently, heightened security following the Manchester bombing last Monday.

Although not usually a Radio 1 listener I did take some interest, given the circumstances. Rather irritatingly the commentators (out-dated term probably) kept repeating that the event was ‘coming from Hull’, and although the helicopter pictures showed the Hall in the middle distance no mention was made of it, its history or of the parkland and its history. The image above is a drawing of the ‘elevation of the east front based on a painting of c. 1690′, Neave, D. Yorkshire: York and the East Riding (Buildings of England series), (Yale University Press, 2005, 372). David Neave describes the U-shaped ground plan of this mostly late Elizabethan period house in detail as well as unravelling its building history. The parkland is a product of work done in the 1770s and’80s as overseen by ‘Capability’ Brown (see p. 377). I am driven to the conclusion that the ‘commentators’ consider landscape history to be of little interest to their listeners and that their petty conversation and oft-repeated comments about ‘coming-up’ acts is. Actually I enjoyed some of the ‘songs’.

As every year already some of the colour, only recently flowering in the hedgerows and road-side verges, is fading as plants and grasses set to seed. Thankfully the clovers and buttercup are longer lasting.

Recently saw two tv programmes from the annual Chelsea Garden Festival in London. Much of interest, however, the ‘best-in-show’ award went to a garden with lots of wild plants but these growing around the bottom of rectangular freestone blocks set on end. This apparently to show the alliance between rock and plants – but I just didn’t get it until the designer was interviewed. Why didn’t he just re-create a weathered chalk face with ‘natural’ ledges on which plants develop as in Nature? Answers please.

23rd May, 2017.

News dominated today by aftermath of terrorist explosion last night in Manchester. The individual who ignited the ‘device’ holds personal responsibility, but equal, if not greater responsibility lies with those who proclaim and persuade others than themselves that such action will ‘fast-track’ rewards in the after-life.

Although it is by no means a comparison a sort of historic parallel can be made in pre-Reformation Christianity. Yesterday evening I went on a very interesting guided tour of the interior of Holy Trinity church, Hull, the tour organised by Hull Civic Soc. A great deal of work is still ongoing on the interior upgrading of the church and the tour guide had to ‘compete’ with an orchestra rehearsing in the chancel. However the guide did very well and was very informative. One room we visited was the ‘Broadley Chapel’, one of two surviving medieval chantry chapels accessed through the south wall of the chancel. There were certainly pre-Reformation other chantry alters in Holy Trinity but they may not all have had discrete rooms (chapels). A chantry chapel and/or altar were endowed by wealthy individuals or families so that the daily prayers of the chantry priests might ‘fast-track’ the soul of the beneficiary through purgatory. If we think such notions outdated that, however, is no reason to destroy the remaining physical evidence of that time and that mind-set. Similarly the event in Manchester is no reason to denounce Muslims, the Quran or the physical evidence of Islamic places of worship, past or present.

After some very changeable weather a mild spell at the moment, this morning warm with gentle light westerly breeze, ‘English weather’. This is the best time of year to notice different types of grasses as most are in flower. Not that grass flowers catch one’s eye in the way wild flowers do. Firstly, I would suggest, notice the different ‘flower heads’ then check-out a reference source. Mine is an old Observer’s Book (1960 reprint of 1942 first edition, see above). Close-up photos on a mobile phone make such research so much easier.

21st May, 2017.

Yesterday in the morning saw squirrel on my garden bird peanut feeder and in the evening a great spotted woodpecker. Havn’t previously seen either in the garden although have heard a woodpecker drumming.

This website needs improving, any suggestions would be welcome.

20th May, 2017.

Yesterday pm guided a group of 12 from Scunthorpe U.T.A. round Barton. Seemed to be appreciated despite the weather.

On evening gave my first presentation of ‘River Hull, its history, navigation and importance’ at monthly public meeting of Barton Civic Soc. Presentation of two halves, the second being a ‘slide show’ of pictures taken on my walks from mouth to source. Positive response from an audience of about 45.

Illustration above shows a section of the River Hull just south of Sutton Road bridge and just east of Oak Road playing fields, north Hull.

19th May, 2017.

Recently saw most excellent programme on the origin of modern Islamic terrorism – from historical perspective and interpretations of parts of the Quran.

As it happened also on the same day looked-up the meaning of the phrase ‘post-modernism’ having heard it used glibly on news media a thousand times as if we all knew exactly what was meant it, but never having been sure myself. I’m not sure I’m much the wiser, but it seems to mean that in an age of information overload emotive responses can be more ‘relevant’ than those based on facts. Had also recently heard the phrase ‘post-truth’ which is now in the dictionary, and seems to mean something similar.

With the Quran being the most holy book of the Islamic religion some would argue that whatever is there stated is truth. Christianity has its more fundamental adherants who are of the same opinion re the Bible, although the Bible is a collection of writings the historiography of which spanned many centuries.

So in some respects it would seem wise to be more suspicious of ‘post-modernism’ than fundamental religion because at least the latter claims importance for ‘The Truth’.

I agree that search for the Truth is fundamental to Life but that an unquestioning adherence to ancient religious texts is misguided and the ‘Rule of Law’ should be take precedence. The search for Truth comprises rational thought and experiment unshackled by convention, tradition or fear.