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Blaketofte c.1160. "Dark-coloured homestead". Old English blæc + Old Scandinavian toft.

A Dictionary of English Place-Names, Oxford University Press

A remote little place on a bank of the Ouse, within site of its meeting with the Trent to form the Humber, it has a trim stone church made new last century, standing by the wheelwright's shop and sheltering behind tall trees. Its few old remains are seen in some of the masonry in the walls outside, the west doorway, the chancel arch, the cracked font, a medieval coffin lid making a step in the chancel, and a fragment of another gravestone in an outside wall.

The King's England, edited by Arthur Mee

Although a remote village, a pier was erected here in the last century which has since proved invaluable to ships that fail to meet the tides of the river. Rebuilt in 1956, Blacktoft Jetty is hardly touched by road or rail and yet the solitary inn, the Hope and Anchor, is often filled with the strange tongue of foreign sailors who have been forced to moor for a few hours and caravan owners.

Visitor Comments

Posted by Pedro on 15/04/2006

I wish I had a £1 for every time we berthed at Blacktoft Jetty in the 1950s, usually because of fog. Remember the pub at the time was like sitting in a back kitchen - they had beer barrels on trestles. The skipper kept deck watches on but if we were off watch we went for a beer. I remember one night aboard the SS Alt, in a real peasouper of fog, hearing wild geese flying overhead, they must have collided with electric cables as suddenly it rained geese falling on deck. We collected them and Xmas came early - roast goose next day was on the menu. Happy days.

Posted by Geoff on 22/05/2006

Can anyone please tell me where Thornton Landing is? It is a recorded birth place in the census for one of my ancestors, I believe it may be near to Blacktoft. Thanks.

Posted by Shuffleton Streets on 23/05/2006

Dug out "Broomfleet and Faxfleet" by Eleanor M. Reader, pub. William Sessions York 1972. Thornton was a Templar holding - Thornton Lands ar Faxfleet - Templar Landing could well have been the riverside staithe.

Reader describes it as the old approach to the Humber bank at the end of Faxfleet Lane… where the "little ships" tied up and transferred their freight to the "great ships", the sturdy cogs and busses which would withstand the buffetings of the North Sea." Then trade went to bigger ports, like Hull.

Reader also mentions the brickworks community at Thornton Landing, being an outlying part of Broomfleet (bricks transported by Market Weighton canal) and lock there.

Posted by David on 04/02/2007

My dad David was born in the old jetty house in 1909; his father Captain David Jackson Snr was jetty master at the time. My maternal grandfather was involved in some way with a ferry that existed at Blacktoft at the turn of the last century.

Posted by Dennis on 18/03/2008

I also lived at the jetty but I moved there in 1947. The jetty master was called Frank Raywood.

Posted by Peter on 26/04/2009

In my day the old jetty house was derelict, and where David was born, we young kids in the village used to go in there thinking it was haunted!

Posted by Vivienne on 17/03/2007

My great-great-grandmother Emma Jane Whitaker was christened in the church at Blacktoft in 1853. She was born in Yokefleet.

Posted by Hamish on 28/04/2007

I remember a "Lanky" boat high and dry behind the light where the two rivers join. I think it was the Irwell, but I could be wrong. The skipper's name was Richardson and he was mate of the Don when I was on her, his demotion for being a bad lad!

It was put "On the Hard" down around Faxfleet where the River Trent joins the Ouse. He put her "behind" the light on the south side. She sat there for a very long, time high and dry (looked like she should have wheels). In fact, if memory serves me right, they put a watchman on her to stop vandals. It was funny to sail past her and see smoke from the galley funnel.

Posted by Peter on 16/05/2007

I moved to Blacktoft in 1950, aged five, where my father Frank Raywood took up the post of jetty master, until his retirement in the 1980s.

Posted by Derek on 24/09/2007

My family from Cheltenham had the greatest holidays with Harry and Nelly Blee from 1948 until 1960. They lived at Bank House right on the river in the early days, with no electricity or running water. Harry later got a generator and the water was pumped from the river and purified with a charcoal filter. I also stayed with Annie Reid at one time when Bank House was full. The Blee's and Reid's were great family people. The village was busy at the time with the Hope and Anchor, a great place for a beer and shove halfpenny after playing cricket on the field next to the pub. I still visit Blacktoft whenever I am in England and the old magic still exists.

Posted by Peter on 26/04/2009

I recall visiting Harry Blee in his house, in the time when there was no electricity. We had gas lamps to go up to bed! The field between the Hope and Anchor pub and jetty house was always the place for village cricket. A gentleman who lived at the bottom of the field in a house on the main street was called Harry Rutter, who was brilliant at organising us kids, and got us all playing cricket.

Posted by DC on 05/08/2009

Harry Rutter was married to my sister Pauline Collier and was the customs officer, water guard division, located in Blacktoft for many years. Sadly he passed away in the 1980s.

Posted by Ian on 11/03/2012

Very interesting to read about the Blee family in Blacktoft. My great-great-grandfather was landlord at the Hope and Anchor pub and my grandfather was born there. I have a very old photo of the pub with Thomas Blee's name across the front.

Posted by Richy on 07/07/2008

I remember visiting some friends of my parents about 40 years ago, they lived in a farm at Blacktoft and kept guinea pigs as a side business to the usual farm animals. The farmer was called Tom but I don't remember his surname.

Posted by JS on 08/08/2008

My gran Emma Whitworth was a seamstress and I believe she visited Blacktoft to work in the 1950s. The people who she went to do work for in Blacktoft were I believe scrap merchants who had their business on Hessle Road in Hull.

Posted by DC on 05/08/2009

On a wonderful and very sunny Saturday in July 1941, Captain Dick Collier and his wife, three daughters and two sons (Mary, Pauline, Dorothy, Dick and Derek) arrived to move into the pier house. The gardens at each side of the concrete path from the pier entrance down to the house were ablaze with large double red poppies with a rose arch half the length of the path. The house had mains water and a water toilet (only one in the village), also a bath room with hot water from the coal burning cooking range. No gas; no electric; at night we had paraffin lamps. The family of five children five years to thirteen years old started school on the Monday. Two classrooms, teachers, Mrs Taylor for under nines and Mrs Robinson for nine to fourteens.

As the war was on, Capt. Collier took up the post of pier (now jetty) master as the river was extremely busy with lots and lots of ships which required info as they passed each day and night. Many moored alongside, as the tide had insufficient depth to get to Goole or Hull.

There were many experiences, one being when a bomber crewed by Polish airmen crashed into the Trent one midnight. Sandy Win a farmer of Faxfleet telephoned Capt. Collier and asked him to listen carefully as he put the phone out of his bedroom window, there were distant shouts of "help, please, please help". Capt. Collier agreed to meet Sandy at the drain on the Blacktoft to Faxfleet road where Sandy kept a very small boat with a very dubious inboard engine. They arrived along with Norman, son of farmer/milk man Parker and set off for the Trent training wall. They found about four airmen laying on the stones with the tide rising and lapping their legs. All into the boat but, the engine failed. As they started to drift, a ships mast headlights came into sight (from Hull). Capt. Collier signalled with his torch "persons stranded in Ouse", fortunately the pilot was a wonderful personal friend (Tommy Mapplebeck from Goole). He manoeuvred the ship with tremendous difficulty until the boat was alongside and heaved up on one of the ships life boat riggings. All ended well.

I could give many more accounts about the wonderful communities of Blacktoft, Yokefleet and Faxfleet. What a great childhood I had there. Some days were hard work while very young, potato harvesting (scratting), sugar beet singling and many other jobs. We had chickens, ducks, rabbits and pigs (food rationing was on then). On my eleventh birthday I started Goole Secondary School, up at seven, on my bike to Laxton (hail, rain, snow and blow) every day, onto the 0813hr train to Goole then return home at about 1700hrs, with my brother.

We often met up with Mavis and Ramond (Mick) Anson who also travelled to school in Goole. Blacktoft village started on Staddlethorpe Road with families Sherburn; Laverack; Harding; don't remember; Hary Blee on the river side (kept bees and supplied the village with wonderful white honey every year); Philip Blee; Freemans; Jack and Mrs Drury at the post office; Hope and Anchor Inn with the Fred Lord family; next the pier engine house attendant, Mr and Mrs Hibberd; cottages with the Smalleys and Reeds; Pier House; Robinsons Farm; double bend with Burt's shop; vicarage; Jim Drury the joiner and good jack of all trades; Hall Farm with the Thomson brothers (late with Betty Win); two classroom school; and over the drain clough, Jake and brother Crisp (two brothers married to two sisters).

At the left of the church entrance (facing the church) is a double grave of Roger and Billy Reed who survived all the war years only to die together in a motorbike accident, perhaps the village's saddest day. Later Mrs Reed married Philip Blee. Capt. Collier was promoted to a higher position on Goole docks, so sadly we left Blacktoft in 1950 when Frank Raywood and family (two sons) moved in.

On a summer's day in 1999, an ex-director of a company from Hull was driving along Staddlethorpe Road and nearing Blacktoft and remarked to his wife "How could a boy from this community rise to be a director of operations in Spain, employed by a U.S.A. multi-national power station and refinery, designing, fabricating and construction company, later to travel the world and live in about two dozen countries, including China, as one of the company's international consultants?"

They were on a visit from Spain and were friends of mine, being members of the same mountain walkers club, here on the Costa Banca. I have lived and worked here in Spain since 1970. My headquarters in Barcelona until 1992 and now retired in Calpe. Who doesn't believe in humble beginnings!

My very best regards to Blacktoft, Derek Collier.

Posted by David on 12/10/2009

I read the messages about the jetty house and I have to say I was quite moved to see various names mentioned that took me back to my childhood. I'm talking 1930s/1940s.

Captain Collier, Tommy Mapplebeck, Laverack and Raywood. These names were frequently mentioned in conversation, the problem I have is that with the passing of time and the descending fog I cannot recall whether it would have been in the presence of my grandparents Captain and Mrs Joseph Lea or my parents David and Ethel Jackson.

There is one other name that comes to mind, that of Eddy Needham, I think he was lost at sea very early in the war, like my dad. I used to be friends with Eddy's son, I can't recall his name but remember that he had a shock of red hair.

Posted by DC on 06/05/2010

My father Capt. Collier disliked being away from his family for months at a time sailing the large tankers during the 1930s. He became aware of a berthing masters vacancy on Goole Docks which required a certified seaman. His father (my grandfather Captain Joe Collier) was a good friend of Captain Lea who was then the "Harbour Master" of Goole (perhaps they were fellow Free Masons). He spoke with him and procured the job for my father. Capt. Lea later retired and was replace with Capt. Tree.

Posted by David on 09/05/2010

I would suggest that the Captain Lea you mentioned would have been my grandfather Joseph's brother, George, I know he was Harbour Master at Goole and that he was a Mason. My great-grandparents had three daughters and five sons, each son becoming ships masters in their own right, all very confusing at times.

Posted by Robert on 27/03/2012

I remember Philip Blee who was a J.P. on the former Howden bench of magistrates. He was farm manager for Mr and Mrs Hoyle who were tenant farmers on the Empson Estate at Staddlethorpe House. On Mr and Mrs Hoyle's passing, he carried on as tenant farmer on the same farm in his own right. On his retirement he went to live in a bungalow on Main Street, Blacktoft which he had built. He died quite a number of years ago. His widow Irmgard still lives in the bungalow. She's Polish. Her father came from Poland to work on the Empson estate and Irmgard and her mother followed some years later.

You may be interested in reading the book "Historical Blacktoft" written by Robert Thompson, who farmed at Manor Farm in Blacktoft until recently and still lives in the village. You could buy a copy from the Hope and Anchor in Blacktoft or from eBay under Blacktoft.

Posted by Sue on 21/09/2009

I am the current Clerk to Blacktoft Parish Council and live with my joiner husband Paul at the Joiners Shop in Blacktoft - opposite the parish church of Holy Trinity Old St. Clements.

We have lived in this house bringing up our now adult children for 30 years having lived in the area all our lives. The Blee family is still represented by Irmgard, the buildings shown in the photo are still more or less the same - some tweaking here and there. The Old School (shown in front of the church) is still very much in use.

Blacktoft is a wonderful little spot to live - the river is a fantastic source of beauty even in thick fog when the river fog horns sound (sometimes for days on end!) River traffic is busy and the wildlife is spectacular. The Church is still very much part of the community with a service every Sunday.

Posted by Judith on 24/03/2011

My great-grandfather was vicar of Blacktoft in the 1890s and died there. His name was the Rev. William Turner and his wife was Harriet. They had ten children, the eldest of whom was my grandfather. The two youngest girls died in infancy and are buried in the churchyard with their parents. The reverend died in 1908.

Two years ago I visited the church and the vicarage on a beautiful summer's day to see where the family had lived. What a beautiful spot! And what a good pub is the Hope and Anchor! My only sadness is that I have never seen any photos of the Turner family in their time in Blacktoft, and never seen photos of the reverend or his wife.

Posted by Janet on 17/02/2012

On 9 June 1922 William Howard, pier master of Blacktoft, was killed in an accident involving a pony and trap driven by Mr Philip Blee, the licensee of the Hope and Anchor. One Henry Vincent Bird (19) of Barnsley was charged with manslaughter and also of driving a motor lorry in a manner dangerous to the public. The pony and trap were returning home from North Cave when they were in collision with the lorry loaded with oranges and lemons. The trap overturned and Mr Howard was killed. He was thrown some eleven yards but the lorry continued. According to the doctor's report to the court, the lorry had run over his head. This pier master was the father of Marie Howard who married Albert Bradley, my parents, we all lived at Blacktoft until 1957.

Another daughter was Evelyn Howard who married Herbert Robinson a captain for Associated Humber Lines shipping who was awarded the MBE for meritous service at sea. Evelyn (Robinson) was a long time headteacher of Blacktoft School.

William Howard's sister Myra, along with her husband Horace Bannister Collins, ran the village shop adjacent to the Hope and Anchor Inn. My father Albert Bradley was a long serving churchwarden, both my mother and I played the organ for services in the church. My mother, as a relief teacher, taught many pupils in Laxton and Gilberdyke. On my father's side of the family I am a descendant of the Bell family (millers) and the Hessey and Longbone families of Blacktoft.

I have just found another newspaper cutting which states that "the tiny village of Blacktoft boasts in its little school no less than four pairs of twins among its scholars." Dorothy and Kathleen Laverack, Geoffrey and Raymond Anson, Reginald and Douglas Sherman and Ray and Jean Lord. They were at school when I was there so I put the date of the article at about 1948-1950.

Posted by Robert on 05/03/2012

I remember Evelyn Robinson. I travelled on the school bus from Staddlethorpe Grange to Gilberdyke along with other pupils and Evelyn Robinson and Mrs Taylor who also taught at Gilberdyke. Evelyn Robinson was very strict. I remember her having one of those travelling alarm clocks which she put on her desk every morning when she arrived at school and took home at the end of school. I also remember her travelling around in a mini car she had at the time.

My late father Stanley Williamson told me once that Captain Herbert Robinson was at a function at Goole one evening with a number of his seafaring friends and rang Les Robinson who farmed at Blacktoft and asked him to fetch him back to Blacktoft, as Les did some taxi work at the time, as well as running his farm. On arriving at Goole, Les told someone that he had come to pick up Capt. Robinson. On hearing this Capt. Robinson asked Les to meet all his friends. Les reluctantly agreed as he had just come from work and still had his wellington boots on!

Posted by Keith on 27/03/2012

The Gilson family have been incumbents in the Old Vicarage, Blacktoft since 1987. Some years ago I visited the Borthwick Institute in York, where I discovered the original plans, drawings, specifications and estimates for the building works.

Known as Blacktoft Parsonage, our home was built by a Mr Joseph Shaw of Spaldington for the sum of £625. It was completed in 1843. The estimate was for £825, but the final design was of a less grand appearance, in part due to the incumbent Rev. Ernest Wards suggestion that the original designs were overly ornate. All of the documentation is of course hand written to a meticulous standard.

As part of an ongoing project I would be most pleased to hear of any early photos of Blacktoft Parsonage/Blacktoft that could be made available so that the archive of Blacktofts' history can be chronicled and expanded. To my knowledge there are only about a dozen that are known about.

Posted by Andrew on 08/07/2012

I believe that my gran Minnie Abey (Horsey?) was born in Blacktoft in 1908. I think she moved to Hull when married and returned to Faxfleet during the war with my late father Ron Abey. As a child I remember my gran living in the new bungalows next to the old blacksmiths in the 1980s. I think she lived next door to her sister Ivy and down the road from another, Ann. I remember my mum telling me that when they got married they lived in a house near the jetty (where the phone box is).

Posted by Derek on 09/09/2013

Your note above brings back memories. Roney was my friend for many years, he lived with his mum (Minnie) and dad (George, a very knowledgeable and witty person). They lived in a house attached to Robinsons farmhouse at the double bend about four minute's walk along the bank from where I lived in Pier House. We spent most of our time together, especially playing cricket in the field next to where they lived (rear of the joiners shop).

After the war we went on village bus trips together to the coast. George had tuberculosis which he presumably passed on to Roney, as Roney spent many, many months in hospitals near Driffield and Malton. We would exchange letters regularly and on occasions I accompanied his father when he made his Saturday visiting. Roney's mum worked almost every day housekeeping for two brothers who had the farm situated at the drain on the Faxfleet Road. George, because of his T.B., kept house and doing some casual farmwork - he often wore a top hat and white scarf! They moved from Blacktoft after the war to live in one of the new houses built in Faxfleet. My family moved to Goole and I lost touch with Ron, however, I still have great memories.

Posted by Andrew on 21/04/2014

Derek, I can remember my father (Ron) mentioning your name and an Andrew Rutter, who I am named after! I remember my gran (Minnie) working at the farm as house keeper, for farmers Bill and Peter Cooper, I think. I didn't know much about my granddad as he died before my father had met my mum and gran didn't speak much about him.

The house in which my father and mum lived when they got married is the house you call Robinsons farm, although my mum tells me it was owned by British Waterways. My father passed away in 2012 and was ill on and off most of his life spending the last fifteen years of his life in a wheelchair but still lived and shared a fulfilling life having had four children - two girls and two boys, eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. He was an avid Hull City Supporter and we went down to Wembley to see them gain promotion to the Premier League. I have heard so many stories about Blacktoft and visited there often.

Posted by Alan on 05/03/2015

Andrew, I remember Ron Abey and Mrs Abey (presumably your gran) living in Blacktoft. Ron worked for my father, Les Robinson, for some years on our farm. Sorry to hear he's no longer with us.

Posted by Derek on 10/08/2015

While living at the Jetty House, I got my first paying job, 1945 as a nine-year-old, it was potato gathering for your grandad (a grumpy old so and so!) However Les ran things and he was a great person. The potatoes were ploughed out by horse as during the war many farms had no mechanisation. The earth was only loosened, so on hands and knees we scratted the buried potatoes out. My pay was nine pence per day and I wore short trousers. The money bought me my first long trousers. Happy days.

Posted by Michael on 15/01/2016

I remember your dad, Les ("Ike") very well. As a young lad I used to enjoy helping on the farm - potato picking mainly and occasionally at harvest time. I was very impressed once when he jumped into the river and swam across to the far bank and back again (the current is very strong, of course). I also remember his working horses, "Prince" was one of them, very fit and strong and superbly trained. I think that your dad's Grey Ferguson tractor was the first one that I ever saw and he did let me drive it. (It was one of the early petrol/paraffin ones).

You also refer to Ron Abey and I spent time with him too. I once went with him on the back of his motorbike to Hull and back - I think, even now, it is the fastest I have ever travelled on a motorbike! It is great to recall memories of great times and great characters in Blacktoft.

Posted by Carol on 02/02/2016

My grandma was Ivy Simpson and lived in the bungalow next to Aunty Minnie. I lived with my parents Bill and Peggy Simpson next door to Aunty Anne and Uncle Albert. I spent my childhood with them all. I know your parents and they visited mine when I was growing up.

Posted by Alan on 21/11/2016

Very interesting to read your memories of Blacktoft. I never knew my grandad, he died before I was born. I remember my dad having the horse Prince. I was very young then, and I think my dad had retired him from work at that time. I do remember my dad telling me he once swam the river!

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