Monthly Archives: June 2020

30th June, 2020 Southcoates 2.

Willow herb flowers from the top down.

Holderness Road had been part of the Hedon-Preston-Hull Turnpike between 1745 and 1878 (see MacMahon, K.A. Roads and Turnpike Trusts in Eastern Yorkshire (E.Y.L.H.S., 1964) and as residential development extended along it from the late 19th century (s.p.b.) this long straight road came to divide the Southcoates area of the Humber floodplain, south of the road, from the Summergangs area to the north. South of Holderness Road Southcoates Lane and Southcoates Avenue developed roughly opposite East Park while north of the Road Summergangs Road developed immediately west of the Park.

The etymology of these two names is interesting, as always. The English Place Name Society Vol. XIV records that the Southcoates area was recorded in the Domesday Survey but that the name doesn’t mean south of anything, rather ‘south’ is a corruption of a Scandinavian person’s name (presumably from the 9th, 10th or 11th centuries) while ‘coates’ translates to cottages (cots). So prior to the Norman Invasion this was an area of Scandinavian settlement.

The first extant record of the name Summergangs comes from the 13th century and translates as ‘the road which could only be used in summer’ (p.215). The word seems to be a mix of Old English and Scandinavian origins. The north Humber tidal mud-flats afforded excellent grazing for sheep, once some tidal barrier was constructed, throughout the Middle Ages feeding England’s trade in raw wool and later woollen cloth.

Discovery of these references in early documents was mostly made by antiquarians and learned societies in the 19th century, this requiring often translation from the original latin and/or fathoming old handwriting and terminology. Modern reference volumes are indebted to these individuals and societies. In the next blog will reference some sources which identify the earlier versions of the name Southcoates.

(to be continued)


29th June, 2020. Drypool 10 / Southcoates.

Above photo is of a patch of willow-herb, just coming into flower now (photo some years ago), a month earlier than 50 years ago.

The last map I have available to me at present to show the development of Drypool parish from rural late-Georgian settlement to industrial/residential suburb is Bacon’s Plan of Hull of 1906. At that point Drypool still retained its ‘Green’ around the church, this on the north side of ‘Drypool Basin’ and Victoria Dock lock off the River Hull (now lost and the area crossed by St. Peter Street).

Drypool was now (1906) crossed roughly north-south by another railway, the Hull Barnsley and West Riding Railway leading to the purpose-built Alexandra Dock constructed by the Railway on the Humber foreshore immediately east of Victoria Dock. This surviving railway was a ‘high-level’ line, that is built on an embankment and crossing roads by a bridge (as today). The North Eastern Railway Company’s Victoria Dock Railway still existed then (not now) with its stations (s.p.b.). As the Hull Barnsley line was mostly freight it didn’t have passenger stations. Both lines crossed the rapidly developing residential ribbon development along Holderness Road, one by a bridge (surviving), the other by a gated crossing (Mount Pleasant area).

This grid plan of by-law housing streets extended (in 1906) as far east as Westcott Street although Holderness House (surviving) still had post-Enclosure fields to its north.

So across 150 years the landscape of Drypool had been transformed from rural to military to industrial and residential, as with all suburbs it had become part of the expanding urban environment.

Southcoates. Although recorded in the Domesday Survey of 1086 it seems unlikely that the area east and north-east of Drypool parish was ever served by a nucleated village, but rather was a dispersed settlement (although I don’t have access to the Victoria County History Vol. 1 to confirm that or otherwise).

(to be continued)

26th June, 2020. Drypool 9, Point of view 18.

The photo above shows a view east along Victoria Dock from a point near the Dock entrance off the River Hull, it shows how the creation of the Dock really hemmed-in St Peter’s church (s.p.b.s), Drypool, this before the damage done by enemy bombing during the early 1940s.

To return to the line of thought at the end of the last blog, Earle’s Iron Ship Yard was so-called because many iron-hulled ships were built here at a time when this technology was being pioneered. MacMahon writes ‘with eight slipways, by 1878 they had built 200 ships’ … ‘five for the Navy’…. ‘and a brace of steam yachts for the Czarewitch’ (Gillett and MacMahon A History of Hull (1989, 336).

Immediately east of the mouth of the River Hull was another shipyard (now the site of the Deep) locally known as ‘Sammy’s Point’ long after Samuelson’s shipyard had ceased trading. MacMahon states that across a decade the Humber Ironworks and Shipbuilding Company (Martin Samuelson being the principal investor) built 95 iron ships and that in a single day in 1864 three new ships were launched.

So by 1869 (the date of Goodwill and Lawson’s Plan, s.p.b.s) Drypool was fast loosing any semblance of its once rural identity and the loss of the church after the Second World War might be seen as the last nail in the coffin. So much change has taken place in southern Drypool that it is hard to visualise the Dock and the shipyards when actually looking at The Deep, Victoria Dock Village and the A63 east of Myton Bridge. However, maps like those being referred to in this sequence of blogs allow the landscape history of a given area to be peeled-back – a story through time.

(to be continued – Southcoates and Marfleet).

Point of view 18 – Personally I wouldn’t bother if every statue in the land were done away with for the simple reason that perceptions of a ‘great person’ might/do change from one generation to the next given further evidence coming to light and/or changes in social and political perspectives. That said, a sinister side to the present controversy is when one tries to re-write history or obliterate episodes that did happen. Britain doesn’t have a history of this sort of political manipulation and it should stay that way.

Secondly, how is drawing attention the tactics of of law enforcers in Israel anti-semitic? It is in no way a racist comment, it is a comment on government policy. The word ‘racist’ is too often used incorrectly.

25th June, 2020. Drypool 8.

As well as the Victoria Dock Railway the map extract of the last blog shows the points at which the Withernsea (Hull and Holderness Railway) and Hornsea Railways veered off from the main line. The rail-line to Withernsea was opened in 1854, that to Hornsea a decade later. Therefore people living in west Hull could board a train to either resort from Cemetery station (near the southern end of Newland Tofts Lane (Princes Av. today), from Newland at Stepney station (the building survives), from Sculcoates at Sculcoates station (see map extract) and from Drypool at Wilmington or Southcoates (to Withernsea only) stations (see map extract).

The photo above shows St. Nicholas church, Withernsea from the south, the terminus of the Hull and Holderness railway being built just to its north. This fine late medieval church, with its coursed rubble walling and freestone chancel and diagonal tower buttresses, is mostly a product of a restoration in the 1860s the roof having been derelict since the 17th century. Nearby the station and the church at Withernsea stood/stands the Railway Hotel (originally) designed by Cuthbert Brodrick for the principal patron of the rail-line Anthony Bannister. The church now stands disused.

Hornsea’s terminus rail station also survives (partly). The rail-line to Hornsea was well patronised by commuters to Hull, mostly business and professional people, some having fine period houses built around Holme Garth Park (compare with Pearson Park, Hull).

The surname Earle appears twice on the map (s.p.b.). Just below the top section of the Victoria Dock Railway on the east bank of the River Hull was the extensive site of Earle’s Cement Works (for studies of the company’s connection with Barton’s cement works and the company’s impact on the landscape of the south bank see my articles). Beside Victoria Dock’s Old Timber Pond was C&W Earle’s Iron Ship Yard.

(to be continued).

24th June, 2020. Drypool 7. Point of view 17.

The map extract above is from Goodwill and Lawson’s Plan of Hull published 1869, a generation after their previous Plan (s.p.b.). The most dramatic impact on the Drypool area across those 27 years was the construction of Victoria Dock in the late 1840s and the destruction of the Citadel. As regards the latter development the feint writing on the map, ‘Building Ground’, shows that a grid for by-law house construction was complete ahead of any house building.

Following its excavation and construction Victoria Dock became Hull’s largest dock. Although initially accessed by a basin off the east side of the ‘Old Harbour’ (lower River Hull, this basin surviving just to the south of Drypool Bridge) it was soon given direct access from the Humber Estuary itself by the construction of the ‘Half Tide Basin’. Victoria Dock was Hull’s second dock to be accessed directly from the Humber Estuary and thus able to function independent of the Old Harbour, the first being Humber Dock (now the Marina) opened in 1809, the third was to be West Dock (Albert Dock) opened in 1869.

As regards the Citadel (s.p.b.) the site was sold-off in the early 1860s by the government agency the ‘Commissioners of Woods and Forests’ and there was a campaign by some local people for it to become a public park along the lines of Pearson Park being developed at the time. However, the Corporation failed to bid for the site. Had the Citadel been demolished two decades earlier Victoria Dock could have been much larger, as it was the dockside had to follow the shape of the Citadel’s perimeter wall.

Also seen on the extract above the Victoria Dock Railway gave access to Victoria Station and the shunting rails around the Dock. This line was an extension of the Hull-Selby rail-line and circled the town to avoid passing through built-up areas (as then).

(to be continued)

Point of view 17 – Although having had no connection with the world of business the ‘lock-down’ has obviously been a terrible blow, particularly in the so-called Hospitality Sector. Given the Goon Show like raft of cans and cannots in the latest round of Government’s ‘freeing-ups’ many cafes etc. are going to the trouble and expense of making their premises user-friendly and as such they deserve support. One idea is to improve al-fresco possibilities, although this seems a little ambitious for October to March a canvas roof and out-door electric/gas heaters already allow some eateries in the Lake District, for example, to be available all year round.

17th June, 2020 Drypool 6, Point of view 16.

The map extract above is from Goodwill and Lawson’s Plan of Hull, 1842, and shows the extent of change across the Drypool area over the intervening years from 1817 (Cragg’s ‘plan’, s.p.b.s).

One interesting point is that Drypool retained its ‘village green’ (Drypool Square’) in the face of industrialisation and suburbanisation, this unlike Sculcoates and Newland.

Again, as in the development of Sculcoates (s.p.b.s), parts of Drypool are shown on Goodwill and Lawson’s plan as apparently being plots of parterre/formal gardens, again on the fringes of the built-up areas. Whether these were commercial ventures, open to the public sometimes with an entry fee to generate an income for the owner or whether some other explanation exists I am not sure. If my supposition is correct they must have been like proto-parks, like mini versions of the earlier Strawberry Fields, places of resort on the outer fringes of Hessle Road.

Clearly the number of residential developments and industrial sites had increased since 1817 (s.p.b.) but ribbon development aligned to the meanders of the lower River Hull and along Witham and  the west end of Holderness Road was still much in evidence.

North of Witham and still (1842) in one of Drypool’s remaining fields the site of St. Mark’s church is shown, this presumably ‘work in progress’ as David Neave records that it was consecrated in 1844 (Lost Churches and Chapels of Hull 1991, 58). St. Mark’s was built to serve this south-western part of Sutton parish (s.p.b. parish boundaries) ‘together with the extra-parochial area of Garrison Side’ (p.58 and s.p.b.). This area of Drypool became known as ‘the Groves’, a term considered before in connection with the development of the Sculcoates area. St. Mark’s was badly damaged by enemy bombing in the early 1940s and demolished in the late 1950s. It, and many more, serve as examples of the vast capital investment in building places of worship in Victorian and Edwardian Britain.

(to be continued)

Point of view 16 – Animal rights charities and organisations around the World are campaigning against the export of live farm animals. Recently Animals Australia managed to get the government of Australia to ban live exports to the Middle East over the summer months. Now the government has granted an ‘exemption’ allowing 50,000 sheep to be exported to Kuwait in one ship in the Summer. As with slave ships in the past, a few tens of deaths from trampling, heat exhaustion or just giving-up life are collateral damage in the name of global ‘trade’. And anyway when they get there, if still alive, they will be killed by having their throats cut and dying of blood loss. And anyway its important to respect religious traditions. Some say.