Monthly Archives: June 2022

Two further examples of vessels dependent on tides.

I think that, for some reason , this set-up can only present pictures taken landscape rather than portrait, anyway, again apologies. The photo above shows a statue near to the entrance lock to Humber Dock, now Hull’s Marina, and standing behind the flood defence wall of the Humber Estuary bank itself. The statue shows two parents and two young children with travelling bags. It was commissioned to symbolise the two and a half million east and north European migrants who passed through the port of Hull between the 1830s and the early 20th century as migrants en-route to America. Once the early railway network reached Hull the economic migrants, or in the case of the Jewish travellers asylum seekers, would disembark ship at Hull (having crossed the German Ocean, now North Sea), make their way to the rail station and take the train to possibly London, Southampton or, more usually, to Liverpool. Here they would again board ship for the trans-Atlantic crossing. Although this sounds like a very expensive venture for economic migrants such journeys were mostly arranged by ’emigration agents’ in the countries of origin and they had probably been taking weekly subscriptions for some time from prospective migrants. There were emigration agents in England also, including those in Hull, Lincolnshire and the East Riding. The statue shown above is in an area of the Humber bank known as the ‘Bullnose’, at which point migrant ships often had to anchor to await the tide which would take them into Humber Dock lock (this similar to the ‘groundings’ in Beverley Beck – s.p.b.).
Secondly, passenger ferries sailing from the River Ouse ports, Goole (after the 1820s), Selby and York, into the Humber often ran to timetables that took no account of the tides and therefore many were regularly ‘grounded’ on mudflats in the upper Estuary. As the tide rose passengers were requested to move together from one side of the boat to the other to assist re-floating (see ‘Historic Blacktoft’).

A walk beside Beverley Beck.

(Again this problem of pictures going sideways which I cannot solve). The photo above shows a section of Beverley Beck with a shoal (‘school’) of the type of fish that dominate this watercourse which look like small sharks, clearly they are not, but what are they? This was taken on one of those very hot afternoons last week, the platform is one installed for fishing from.
The Beverley Beck watercourse is now fresh water, this since a lock was created in the 19th century at its junction with the River Hull, east of Beverley. Previous to that the Beck would have been tidal, like this mid stretch of the River Hull, so that any pre-19th century sailing craft would have to await the flow tide in the Humber Estuary to sail the length of the Beck. This was a common issue for vessels in tidal waters and often vessels would rest on the bed of the watercourse until the turned tide brought in sufficient water for them to set-sail again.
Although Beverley Beck does not reach the site of Beverley Minster it was created, probably as far back as the 12th century, so that building stone could be brought as near as possible to the Minster site. If this dating is correct the stone so transported would have been for a building on the site of the present Minster, but which preceded the building seen today. Subsequent building programmes leading to the creation of the present building between the 13th and 15th centuries would have also relied on river transport for their building materials.
Beverley Beck was created by the canalisation of spring-head stream flowing from the base of the dip slope of the Yorkshire Wolds to the River Hull. The logistics of such civil engineering in the 12th century are mind-boggling.
Near the head waters of the Beck are terraces of mostly three-storey housing built about 20 years ago. On the north side all the small front gardens beside the waterside path have been thoughtfully planted and designed, this not always the case elsewhere.

The Humber Estuary.

I have resolved to re-walk the Humber Estuary bank in stages, re-walk because I did this about 20 years ago but the photographic record is on slides. Have so far completed two sections; one from Hessle Country Park west to the old British Aerospace site near Brough Haven and the other from Blacktoft on the north bank of the lower R. Ouse east to Brough Haven.
The problem with such walks is that they are linear so one has to either complete a stretch and then walk back to where it started, or, have a way of getting to the start, by private or public transport, from where one intends to finish. In the case of the Blacktoft to Brough walk above took the train from Brough to Gilberdyke, having checked the timetable first, and then walked the two miles from Gilberdyke to Blacktoft.
Comments on the Hessle Country Park to Brough walk – Over the past couple of years improvements have been made in the ‘Little Switzerland’ area of Hessle Country Park, in particular new information boards in the area around the once chalk crushing mill (the importance of this area has been discussed in past posts). The walk along the north bank from Hessle Country Park to North Ferriby foreshore is alongside the main rail-line leading to Paragon station, Hull. This section to walk takes about half an hour, maybe bit more, and I’m always surprised at the number trains coming and going. Along the strip of land between the path and the rail-line is quite a rich collection of wild plants, in particular red valerian, best seen in May and June. Currently the coastal mudflats at low tide, or ebb tide, are quite extensive. Googleing Humber Tide Times brings up the relevant information.
The photo above shows the view west from Hessle’s ‘Black Mill’ towards North Ferriby foreshore in the distance.

A recent walk to Pulfin Bog.

Sorry, but again the photo has presented sideways and I cannot find out how to change it. The photo shows part of Eske Carrs wetland nature reserve administered by the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust. It covers the whole of a meander in the middle section of the River Hull, a couple of miles north of Beverley. There is a public right of way around the lake section of the reserve but one afternoon last week the south section of the footpath, alongside the River Hull, was too overgrown to gain free access. The photo shows a small section of the lake-side which gave access to the water’s-edge and provides views across the lake, including an island. To what extent this whole area is a man-made feature I’m not sure, but I suspect that the lake was excavated and the island created from from a natural boggy area. Overflow pipes with water flowing from the lake to the River Hull bank-side were seen, this, perhaps, surprising given the dry weather of late. I’m also not sure to what extent the River Hull is partly saline this far inland on flow tides, or whether partly saline water could back-flow up the overflow pipes to the lake.
The simplest way of accessing this wetland area is to walk the River Hull east bank from Hull Bridge (parking available and a public house). The west bank of the River Hull is a public right of way also, around the meander with a section of the Beverley and Barmston Drain alongside. If walking this bank it allows a good look at Arram Beck (Catchwater Drain) where it flows into the River Hull having crossed an aquaduct carrying its waters over Barmston Drain. This is one of a number such aquaducts along the course of the River Hull.
The walk from Hull Bridge to the nature reserve passes the undulations in permanent pasture revealing the site of the much studied deserted medieval village site of Eske.

New website proposed 3 and Nelson Street.

Looking south across the Humber Estuary from the new seating on Nelson St. (see previous blog) in the distance, and just rising above the reclaimed lowlands of the south Humber foreshore, is an indistinct outline of the dip slope of the Lincolnshire Wolds. Such a view sets in motion thoughts as to the width of the Estuary five-to-six thousand years ago when the sea level was approaching its current level after the last Ice-Age (Devensian) and before there was any human intervention in the landscape. Basically the base of the dip-slope formed the coastline although the wide foreshore lowlands would have not all been inundated each day, even at the time of Spring tides. Such a vast saline marsh would have been complex and dangerous to cross with complex networks of gullies between small islands of saltmarsh vegetation, these gullies emptying and filling as the tides ebbed and flowed. It must have been a pristine coastal wetland ecosystem, unparalleled today.
The same contemplation may be made of the south coast of Holderness where the later villages of Keyingham, Ottringham and Patrington evolved besically along the coast with foreshore mudflats beyond except for the open-water channel that led from Kilnsea Bight to Patrington Haven. This being so the distance across the lower Estuary at that time must have been double the width of the Estuary proper today, not normally visible from the opposite bank except in very clear weather.
Of course, where the Wolds met the Estuary waters on both banks the landscape here and width of the Estuary would have been much as seen today.

New website proposed 2.

Plans continue for improvements to this website. Am also planning to interrupt ‘runs’ with topical comments.
Have taken to spending an hour or so in the afternoon sitting on one of the new benches on Nelson Street (‘Minerva Pier’) on these hot days. Yes the view of the water is somewhat blocked by the new flood defence wall but the south bank and part of the Estuary is still visible. The flood defence work done in this area has been done to a very high standard and blends well with the pre-existing surroundings. The young trees have been planted in the proper modern fashion and each has an expensive metal tree surround, this particularly welcome as recently two young trees in Pearson Park were snapped mid-trunk by a group of idiots, these didn’t have metal tree surrounds.
The flood defence work in the Nelson Street area also blends well into the pre-existing footpath on the west bank of the mouth of the River Hull and thereon to the open-air amphitheatre and the recent developments of buildings and access alleyways in the area. Also just past the Tidal Barrier an underpass under the the A63 (Myton Bridge) gives walkers direct access to the Old Town.