22nd July, 2020 Saltmarshe 3, Point of view 20b.
Todays picture is also scanned from Susan Butler’s booklet (s.p.b.s) and shows the front of Saltmarshe Hall (north facing). There is no publication date in the booklet so not sure when ‘The present’ was. Clearly the Hall once had quite extensive parkland (emparked) north of the Hall itself but now the remaining mature trees of the once parkland are but ‘islands’ in the arable field(s). Brocklesby Hall is a larger still example. However, field headland windbreaks and small plantations still give the area a wooded character.
O.S. map evidence for this parkland seems somewhat confusing. The one inch First Series map for 1820s/30s (s.p.b.) shows no evidence of parkland north of Saltmarsh Hall but does show small emparked areas for three nearby halls Cotness, Metham and Yokefleet. However, the equivalent map for 1903 (Sheet 16, s.p.b.) shows parkland north and north-east of Saltmarshe Hall as being rectangular in outline and extensive. Today’s plantations are clearly remnants of this early 20th century parkland (there is , by the way, a roadside public right of way through the once parkland from the road outside the Joiner’s Cottage, s.p.b.). So, taking the evidence from the 1830s map at face value, was Saltmarshe Hall parkland a very late example of emparking?
Yokefleet, also by the R. Ouse bank and east of Saltmarshe, is a more defined estate village. The Hall, not visible from the road or from the Humber bank footpath, was built in the late 1860s and, as might be expected of that date, is comprised of mock-Gothic detailing. Most of the estate cottages are of the same era and style. Two Gothic gate-lodges are clearly visible beside the road through the village, built of red brick with diaper work and some stone detailing. An early 18th century Home Farm suggests that the Victorian Hall had a predecessor(s).
When walking the Humber bank footpath in the area an avenue of evergreen trees is passed leading from the Hall to the bank, suggesting that the Hall may once have had a river jetty.
Point of view 20b – The middle class and working class have merged in the sense that from surgeons to farm workers and all between are in work to sustain a lifestyle and pay their bills. Few unskilled labouring jobs remain, almost all work requires training whether at degree level (and many degrees nowadays are vocational) or through varying levels of in-service training.
So is there a ‘lower class’? Certainly, and it gets larger by the day, where the aim is to stave off destitution whether through state benefits or crime. A ‘free’, commercial political state rests on an underclass with the ‘potential’ to raise themselves up.
So is there an upper class still? In terms of obscene disproportionate personal wealth and income there certainly is. But this is based on money and investments, the landed gentry may be rattling around penniless in their crumbling halls. This class is very much spawned by the global economy where one person might accumulate more wealth in a day than some working people, and certainly underclass persons, might get in a lifetime.
But then all is well, because we all want to be like the oligarchs.