I was born into a family of farm workers and was brought-up in the village of Boughton in south-west Norfolk.1 Having attended the village school I then spent seven years as a student at Downham Market Grammar School (now a Sixth Form College).2 Following a course of study for a joint History/Geography degree at Hull University I was a secondary school teacher for 37 years, 35 of which were spent at Cottingham High School. For the next three years I taught adult literacy and numeracy at Everthorpe Prison.
Furthermore, I hold qualifications in Regional and Local History and Countryside Management as well as a Master of Philosophy research degree having undertaken an independent course of study leading to the publication of Housing for the Rural Working Classes of East Yorkshire in the late Nineteenth Century and the Development of early Rural Council Housing up to 1939.
I have been the tutor for many adult education classes organized by the local authority, by the Workers Educational Association and by Hull University, some of which have resulted in publications.3 I am a reasonably well known speaker and tour guide to groups and organizations across the Humber region. These days my ‘field’ of study’ landscape history – that being a study of natural features in relation to geology, hydrology and land-use as well as an analysis of the changing landscape across time with reference to salient feature such as housing, churches, settlements, farms, industries and transport networks
Since 1990 I have lived on the south-bank but consider my principal field of interest to be the whole of the Humberside region. For reasons related to my biography I also am particularly interested in the landscape history of west Norfolk, London and north Wales.
1 See the following articles in the next section of this website; (a) Doris Clarke, a life (b) Sidney Walter Clarke (with a focus on the latter part of the Great War and Occupation of the Rhineland) (c) The History of the Old Post Office, Boughton, Norfolk (d) The family tree of Richard Sidney Clarke, 1948-
2 Miscellaneous memorabilia from Doris’ time at the GrammarSchool (late 1930s) and of mine (1959-1966) have been deposited at Downham Market Museum.
3 See list of publications.
List of Publications
St. Nicholas, Beverley (late 1980s, part funded by Beverley Arts Committee).
Housing for the Rural Working Classes of East Yorkshire in the late Nineteenth Century and the Development of Early Rural Council Housing to 1939 (M.Phil. thesis, 1992).
‘Walking the Clay Bank’ – contribution in Walton J. (ed.) Aspects of Northern Lincolnshire (Wharnecliffe Books, 2002).
Keelby Parish and People 1880-1918 (W.E.A. Keelby branch, 1997).
Winteringham 1761-1871 (W.E.A. Winteringham branch (Belton Ltd.), 1999.
Barton upon Humber Town Guide (Barton Civic Society, 2009 (revised).
Discover Barton, Parish Pathways Inland and Parish Pathways Humber Bank Area (Barton Civic Society, 2002, reprinted 2007.
Housing in a Nineteenth Century North Lincolnshire Market Town: a study of Barton-on-Humber (Fathom Writers Press, 2012).
Hull in the Beginning (Vol. 14 Journal of the East Yorkshire Local History Soc., 2013).
Hessle Local History Society Newsletter, History of Hessle Common – series of four extended articles (ongoing).
The Low Villages magazine, series of 12 articles on the landscape history of the five Low Village parishes (ongoing).
M. Phil. thesis Housing for the rural working classes of East Yorkshire in the late 19th century and the Development of Early Rural Council Housing to 1939 (Humberside University, 1992).
A number of the extended articles reproduced here as pdfs are products of extensive research, that being so I hope to have some published in the not too distant future.