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Howdendyke takes its name from the ditch that runs from the river to Howden. Its prosperity was originally based around agriculture with the harvest been taken to markets by way of an old oar-propelled ferry. The ferry crossing became more dangerous when it was heavily loaded and with the ships which were later coming to the newly developing industrial port.

A fertilizer factory was founded in the early-1850s and ships such as Sulpho, Nitro and Phospho were used to transport the fertilizers to landing stages further along the Ouse where it could be used in the fields. The original industrial process used mummified cats, but more sensible practices are followed today. The wharf now has large docking berths and storage units, but its traffic is hindered due to its location on a bend in the river. The created two river channels and it can be hard for ships to navigate along the fast flowing tides.

Courtesy of John Jessop


Visitor Comments

Posted by Sarah on 19/05/2006

Out of interest, when I was browsing through the Goole website and came across the "village" section, I was intrigued to discover about Howdendyke - near to where I live. As a neighbour to the windmill that is on display, I would like to inform you that it is not actually situated in Howdendyke, but still Howden. I would appreciate if this was acknowledged. Thanks.

Posted by HMD on 05/09/2006

The mill was (is?) at the elm tree crossing of Buttfield Lane and Howdendkye, being closer to the latter. The last person I know of who may have been associated with the mill was a person I believe named Tommy Pollard. He also worked as boilerman in the Anderton fertiliser works at Howdendyke. Buttfield Lane was at the time addressed to Howden. I understand that the lane is now blocked to Howdendyke due to the motorway.

Posted by JDP on 07/09/2006

HMD is confusing the Sunny Bank mill at Pollards Pond, Sunny Bank, Kilpin, with Sarah Baker's Hail Mill, Howdendyke Road, Howden. There were two mills.

Posted by James on 01/10/2006

The oldest building that has been traced in Howdendyke is Elm Tree House. So far we have got it back to 1732, which had its water supply pumped from the windmill at Sunny Bank.

Posted by Kath on 31/12/2006

Does anybody know about the FEATHERSTONE family (Elizabeth and brother William (Bill)). They lived at Howdendyke between 1910 and 1940(ish). Thanks.

Posted by Darren on 01/01/2008

I lived in the village from an early age and grew up knowing many of the residents as we were a close family group. There was a family called Featherstone who lived in one of the council houses (Airey houses). Their son Steve lives in Howden.

Regarding the name of the village, the area in discussion is actually called Kilpin Pike and you did not enter the village of Howdendyke until you had crossed the bridge at the end of Tutty Row where the pumping station is nowadays. There is also a mass of information in a book "Planned to Death" by a former resident (no connection) which describes in great detail the daily events of the residents.

Posted by Dawn on 10/02/2009

My dad (who was born and bred in Howdendyke and still resides there) seems to think that Bill Featherstone used to live with Mary and Herbert Tipping in the village. They both passed away some time ago but two of their children still live in Howdendyke.

Posted by John on 11/12/2009

Old Bill Featherstone lived with the Tippings and was I believe Mary Tipping's father. Mary was married to Herbert Tipping and they had a few children. I recall Avril, Jaqueline, Denise, Brian and Bert. Sorry if I have missed anyone out.

Posted by Wendy on 17/01/2010

With reference to the Featherstone family living locally as mentioned, can anyone tell me to which Featherstone family they belonged to? I am a Featherstone via my granddad Fred of Gilberdyke, but I know my granddad and his father Alf and family used to live at Laxton, Barmby, Scalby and Newport. Alf had steam engines and threshing machines, etc. We have a very large Featherstone tree that goes back to Knedlington mid-1700s, but it has been difficult finding Featherstones in the Howden area. If anyone can shed any more info on these and any others I would be most grateful? Thanks.

Posted by Caroline on 19/01/2010

The Feathersone family in Howdendyke was Jeff Featherstone and his wife Pauline. They had one son Stephen who is was born in about 1963 hope this can be of some help.

Posted by Sue on 22/09/2008

My mother's father's family were called PROCTOR and lived around the area of Kilpin Pike. Does anyone remember them or have any info? Thanks.

Posted by Corby on 20/05/2009

I have following two entries taken from Howden Minster burials

Thomas Proctor of Kilpin Pike died 1853 aged 58
Mary his wife died in Goole 1890 aged 90
Mary Ann Proctor of Elm Tree Farm near Howden died 1870 aged 36
Husband William Proctor died 1882 aged 51
Daughter Mary Ann died aged 28

Posted by Bill on 18/01/2009

When I was a choirboy at Goole Parish Church in the late-1950s/early-1960s, our choir mistress was a Mrs Jessop, a lovely lady who did her best to train a group of not very well behaved or appreciative young lads how to sing. I believe that she used to drive to Goole for choir practices and services from her home in Howdendyke.

It's only when one gets old(er) that one really appreciates the time and effort that other people gave us when we were young. I think the reason I re-remembered this lady was because I was impressed by the fact that she would drive to Goole in all weathers, two or three times a week, to spend time in a cold church, even though for the most part it was a pretty thankless task. I wonder what happened to her?

Posted by John on 20/09/2009

I am the nephew of the four Miss Jessop sisters who you speak about. They shared Elm Tree House at the junction of Howdendyke and Kilpin roads.

It was Madeline, the eldest of the four, who played the organ and "trained" the choir at Goole Parish Church. In her daytime job she taught at Spaldington School until her retirement. She also found time to play the organ at many weddings and funerals at Goole Parish Church.

Judith was the youngest of the four and was last to pass away. She also was a teacher and during her working life taught at Barlby, Barlby Hill Top and Hemingbrough schools. She then became a peripatetic music teacher giving lessons at various schools in the East Riding. She played the organ at Hemingbrough church.

Jessie was the second eldest and taught at Pocklington School initially before transferring to Howden "council" school where she stayed for the remainder of her working life.

Dorrie was third eldest and opted to keep house for the other three. She was a keen choral singer, member of Kilpin Parish Council and was also regarded as an excellent cook - her chocolate cakes and eclairs were a dream! Sadly musical talents seem to have skipped my generation.

Posted by John on 20/09/2009

I lived in the village at 4 Ferry Row until the early-1960s. The village was a close community where everyone knew everyone else and us kids respected this and behaved. I recall Mrs Branton's shop and Mrs Mell at the post office where lemonade and sweets could also be bought, (when closed go to the back door and you would usually be served). In "The Square" there was the Jubilee Hall and "The Works Club" which was run for many years by Jack and Mrs Waterhouse. Mrs Jenny Kirby used to look after the hall and light the boiler when it was to be used. Us kids could wander all over the area and know we would not come to harm as long as we stayed out of the river.

Posted by Caroline on 22/10/2009

Does anyone remember the faith mission coming to Howdendyke where we all sat singing on the riverbank? Can anybody remember when the river flooded the post office and Mr Smith's house? Oh what memories we have! Also, can you remember the shipyard and how it was great fun to play there until PC Jeff Leathem sent us home to our mothers? Us kids hoping he would not tell mum or dad.

Posted by John on 22/10/2009

I can't recall anything about the faith mission. What year was it when it came? As to Scarrs shipyard, it was a working yard when I was young and the Thornwick pleasure boat sailing out of Bridlington was built there. It used to come back every now and then for a winter overhaul. Many of the shipyard workmen used to cycle to work from Howden and crossed the footbridge opposite Elm Tree House then cycled along the footpath from there into Howdendyke and onwards to the shipyard. My father was an apprentice blacksmith at the yard in his youth along with Laurie Fox who took the backsmiths shop over in Laxton and ran it for many years.

The early Howdendyke post office was much higher up than the road which ran past it into the Square so the houses in the Square flooded often. The majority of these houses kept boards cut to size and when a spring tide was due they fitted them across the bottom of the front door frame and sealed them with clay. This was just part of life to the folks who lived there. You may have meant the later post office which was on Ferry Road opposite the last Airey House? The newer houses were raised up and had steps up to the doorways. Us kids would don wellingtons and paddle about in the Square until the water got deep enough to overtop our boots. No-one ever thought about pollution in floodwaters and we were disgustingly healthy.

Posted by Caroline on 03/12/2009

All I can remember of the faith mission was singing on the riverbank at the Jubilee Hall, also when we helped the youth club and Christmas parties with Jeff Featherstone as Father Christmas. I can also remember going by Elm Tree House where your aunts lived. I remember living at Prospect Houses and how Mrs Duffil used to tell us off for making a noise. If we were lucky she would give us some homemade bread. We had no fear of flooding we just got on with it.

Posted by John on 10/12/2009

I remember Mrs Duffil too. She lived next to the passage which connected the back of Prospect Villas to the road in front. I think I remember her having a big dog possibly a Labrador? From memory there was a double fronted house at the top end of the row which was inhabited by Walt and Eileen Collins, then the first house of the terrace where I think "old" (to us kids) Jim Blee and his wife lived. I can't remember the name of the people in the next cottage, then the passage, Mrs Duffil, another two houses then "big Mary who always wore wellington boots" after that the row continued but the rear of the houses was separated from the remainder of the row and you had to come back to the front then go round the other end to gain access to the back yards of the other houses. My memory is getting hazy but I do recall the Sims family, who had a boy called Mick, lived at that end. Most of the occupants worked at the "Chemics" - Andertons Chemical Fertiliser Works which were behind the row.

Posted by John on 11/12/2009

Going from the first council house at the end of the road, I remember Mr and Mrs Wheldrake then later in that house Ted Walker and his family, then Mrs Allison, Mrs Barlow, The Tippings, Tommy Palmer, Mr and Mrs Thompson, Mr and Mrs Watson.

Then the Airey houses started with Mr and Mrs Turnbull, Mr and Mrs Greg Mell, Mr and Mrs Harold (?), my family, Mr and Mrs Daly, Mr and Mrs Holt. There was an older house Ouse Cottage where Mr and Mrs Joe Thompson lived then another Airey house which had in later years Bert Tipping and his wife Josie, then Mr and Mrs Newman. After that a cottage (now demolished) which was separated by a passage from Tutty Row which had three houses then the village shop.

Further down, the road had a junction and the branch leg went over a bridge to the farm (Alan Plowes), Scarrs shipyard and a house on a staithe where Bunny Smith and his wife lived. The street carried on down towards the river. Creek House still stands adjacent to the bridge but everything between that and the river is now demolished.

Going back to the top end of the road facing the first council house were the allotments then the red telephone box, Mr and Mrs Jack Wright's house, which was made of wood and set behind a hedge facing tommy Palmers house. They had a long garden which joined on to Walt Collin's garden, who I mentioned previously.

Posted by HMF on 13/12/2009

Thank you John, that was like a trip back forty (plus) years! Tommy Palmer was one of my relatives too. I have photographs of the men outside the chemical works probably taken at about the turn of the last century, but I can only identify those who are my relatives on it.

I went to and from school in Howden on my bike, and took great pleasure in watching the rooks lift off out of the old mill as we went past it. I have returned to Howdendyke since the places I knew were demolished and I found it difficult to work out where things had been. I could tell you exactly what the post office was like inside, but I couldn't even decide exactly where it had been!

Posted by HMF on 11/12/2009

Lovely to see all the familiar names appearing on this page. Miss Jessop taught my mother to play the piano to a good standard. I still have the certificates she earned! My great-grandmother was Mrs Mell at the post office in Howdendyke and she was later followed in that role by my great-aunt Phyllis Porteous. Her younger son Doug wrote the book "Planned to Death". I lived for a while in Skelton and I recall some names of Howdendyke residents such as Featherstone, Tipping and Schofield.

I recall going to the post office to see my great-aunt on errands. I would walk along the narrow riverbank path and along the road which led through the chemical works. The area around there was always dusty white looking but it mesmerised me. One thing has been bugging me for a few years now - does anyone remember a place that we used to call the Greek House? I hope I'm not imagining it. I believe it had tall wooden gates.

Posted by John on 13/12/2009

Regarding the old post office which was situated at the riverside, I can recall going up two or three steps from the road to the footpath which ran at the side of the building to the back door. The actual shop door into the post office was at the side and, as you walked in, the wooden-topped counter was on the right with a doorway through to the house behind it. Besides the post office things, Phyllis Porteous (nee Mell) sold sweets, crisps, cigarettes and bread. I think she also sold a few tinned items as well but Mrs Branton's shop was the main source of foodstuffs. Audrey Branton (her daughter) worked in Branton's shop sometimes and married "Dinky" Myers. They still live in the village in Tutty Row, I believe. "New Row" faced the shop and at the top end was the "pig yard" but I can never recall any pigs being in it.

There were a couple of garages, one in the corner adjacent to the roadside wall and one adjacent the back fence with gardens behind it. George Collins had the latter garage for his car. I can't recall what make or model it was but I do recall one day Mick and Pat Daly, Mick Sims and myself all hanging onto the back bumper as George tried to set off and stalling it when we held it back from starting. We found it hilarious.

Pat Daly had a paper round for the night paper which required him to collect the papers from Howden and deliver them throughout the village and also through Skelton almost to the railway bridge. I used to ride along with him sometimes and once did the round while he was on holiday. Pat might be able to recall more details of who lived where as he probably took papers to most of the houses.

Posted by John on 16/12/2009

I drove into Howdendyke a couple of days ago and looked but the wooden house is entirely gone and the once immaculately trimmed hedge hides an earth bank, shielding the expanded Chemics site. There is a gap where their garage used to exit onto the road but this is almost overgrown also.

A new works club building has been erected opposite Ouse Cottage, and New Row appears to be undergoing renovations but as far as I could see none of the houses are yet complete.

Regarding the Chemics Management. The firm was started by George Herbert Anderton. He left it to his daughter Maude who married Dickie Pilling and they carried on the business, living in the house at the corner known as Kilpin Lodge. The staff names that stand out are Mr Hobson who lived in Elm Tree House, Mr Marshall who lived opposite the park gates on Treeton Road in Howden, Mr John Brodie lived in Elm Tree House after the Hobsons, Mr Baker lived in Creek House in Howdendyke.

Sid Bean was the electrician and people would take lead-acid accumulators to him at the works to have them charged up to run their wireless sets as there was no mains electricity for the village in those days.

The major part of the plant was a lead chamber Sulphuric Acid producing unit. Also attached were the two towers which, if memory serves, were the Gay-Lussac tower and the Glover. One used to have a small chimney which poured out a yellow acrid stream of gas. When the wind conditions were right (or wrong) life was very unpleasant in the village.

The acid plant caught fire one night and most of the village were out watching with fire engines from far and wide. My family slept right through the whole show so I missed the excitement.

Posted by Caroline on 04/01/2010

Ah, I just love this page. The book "Planned to Death" is a great book and I have mine signed by Douglas Porteous. I can remember when we lived at Prospect Villlas on the other side of the passage to Mrs Duffil before we moved to the council house which Mick Daly and his family live in now. Then we moved to Howdendyke Club. Then my mum and dad bought a house on New Row off Madge and Archie Kerby. Sadly my dad passed away some fifteen years ago. My mum Carman lives in Howden, my uncle Peter Newman now lives in Howden but Mavis and Stuart Pike still live in Howdendyke.

Posted by Sandra on 08/01/2010

My great(x3)-grandfather was a miller at Kilpin and a coal merchant too in 1851. He was also then at Saltmarshe Mill, Howden in 1871. Does this mill still exist? Thanks.

Posted by John on 01/02/2010

The Saltmarshe mill no longer exists but it was in front of the present Mill House on a patch of land close to the riverbank. There used to be a track from there which led to Eastrington, crossing the Laxton to Yokefleet road at the Cotness S bend and then along the present green lane northwards and appeared at Newland where the present Eastrington road joins the Howden to Gilberdyke road. If you look along the dyke side, opposite Newland, the old route is still visible but the Gilberdyke to Goole railway line has severed the route.

I have no knowledge of a corn mill at Kilpin but remember Hail Mill, which was to the side of the Howden to Howdendyke road (at a "hails" distance from Howden). When I was a small child it was run by Leslie Spink but closed down and became unsafe until it was renovated and turned into a house. I think that would be the mill where your miller worked?

Posted by John on 08/01/2010

Howden Glucose Company was built on the site of Scarrs shipyard in the mid-1970s and opened amongst high hopes of providing the start of something big for the area's employment opportunities. The building still stands but the glucose manufacture ceased in 1980. The plant was designed to convert Dutch sourced potato starch (known as Farina) into glucose syrup and had its own jetty and two silos capable of holding 1,000 tonnes of starch each. At the base of the silo building was a slurry making plant where starch was mixed with water and pumped across to two slurry holding tanks located at the side of the process building.

Also in the base of the silos was a pneumatic conveying system to blow starch through a pipe into a bagging unit and warehouse where starch powder could be sent out to various customers throughout the UK. This dry starch trade was handled by Tunnel Avebe, a separate company to the HGCo. Once the starch was mixed with water it was essential that this starch slurry be kept stirred or the powder would settle into a solid cake at the bottom and the water on the top. If this happened the only solution was to decant the water and dig out the cake!

The actual production of glucose was achieved by adding hydrochloric acid to the slurry, then heating this mixture to cause a chemical reaction which changed the starch into glucose. This is similar to the change which takes place in your stomach but on a much greater scale (ten tonnes an hour). The remainder of the process was based around neutralising the acid, refining and concentrating the thin watery syrup so created.

The plant had its own boilerhouse, burning Yorkshire coal from Hickleton and Brodsworth collieries and also its own effluent treatment plant. Sadly the plant became rapidly uneconomic when the value of the pound fell against the guilder and despite attempts to use maize starch from another part of the Tate & Lyle group, (which foundered because of the wax and fat content of maize starch being ten times more than potato starch), the fate of the plant was sealed and the workforce including myself made redundant.

Posted by Caroline on 11/01/2010

Can anybody tell me how many house are on Prospect Villas? From the top end there was two we lived in, the second one, then the passage with the ladders on the ceiling (did they ever get used?), then Mrs Duffil, then was it Mrs Sims, Mr Robinson, Mr and Mrs Featherstone, Mr and Mrs Myers then at the end Mr and Mrs Turner. Thanks.

Posted by Val on 01/03/2010

Is Ferry Farm, Skelton is still there? I'm researching family and have come across them living in Ferry Farm in 1911. Thanks.

Posted by Caroline on 04/03/2010

There was a Ferry Farm at Howdendyke. This was alongside the river where Bill and Betty Brown lived with their children Carol and Denice along with Norman Todd (I think that was his name).

Posted by John on 09/03/2010

Ferry Farm Skelton might refer to either Ferry Farm Howdendyke which linked to Hook, or Ferry Farm Sandhall which linked to Swinefleet and is shown on the 1947 OS map. I have never found reference to a ferry at Skelton (but that doesn't mean there never was one).

Posted by Mary on 08/04/2010

My mother was born at Ferry Farm 90 years ago today. Her grandfather James Sharp Wilson was the farmer, whom I think was already living there in 1911. When James died intestate in 1924, the farm and its contents were sold. I have a copy of some of the auction catalogue and a lovely photograph of Ferry Farm (not the one on the postcard) and also one of James and Eliza Wilson at the front door.

Posted by Jackie on 23/03/2010

John, so interesting reading about your history of Howdendyke. Wonder if you remember me taking over from Jane Baverstock at The Howden Glucose Company? Good days those working for Tate & Lyle along with Ray Morris and you close at work with Jim Postles, Tom Trewartha and Jim Sutherland. Just for your records when I finally left the site in the mid-1990s I still had the original huge portfolio showing HGC construction from start to finish and I passed it on to Dawn Daly (she lived in Howdendyke and we worked together). As Dawn was involved with a local historical/community group, I thought this would be the best place for it. I think the group was something to do with Skelton. When TR Chemicals took over from HGC didn't you do some freelance work with them? I'm still in contact with Ted Newell.

Then, continuing in the chemical field, Brenntag UK took over followed by Daltrade Plc who moved away from the site and still operate in Howden and Goole. I am still in touch with Chris MacLorg ex Tunnel Avebe who regularly plays golf with Joab Mayatt! I laughed recently with a friend about the old Kalamazoo engineering stock cards!

Posted by John on 24/03/2010

Jackie, of course I remember you, Alzheimer's hasn't gripped yet. I am still in contact with a few of the Glucose staff. Jim Postles has retired and lives in Crawley, sadly he lost Norma over a year ago. Tom Trewartha has passed on I have been told, Rod Baxter is retired and lives near Whitby, Jim Sutherland went out to African Products but I have heard he is now back in the UK. Charlie Bennet is retired and lives in Gilberdyke. I think Carole works in Gilberdyke at the Industrial Estate offices.

I went down to Howdendyke recently and was saddened to see the office and process buildings are boarded up. Quite emotive when I spent five years with the others keeping it in good order. I consoled myself with the thought that I would not be getting any more 2am phone calls to say the condenser system had drifted out of balance and would I come in to sort them out. The usual cause was process operators over-riding the automatic systems.

Do you remember the MV Resurgence catching fire while tied up at the jetty there? Sid the shift engineer phoned me and I thought it was a wind up at first. The fire brigade pumped so much water on board the ship was within a couple of inches of sinking. Sadly one lad lost his life trapped on board and Tom went down to the Southwest for his funeral.

Posted by Caroline on 03/04/2010

I was just talking about the above ship the other day. Yes that was a sad time for everybody in the village and the crew. The lad's nickname was Ginger but I cannot remember his proper name. How many years ago was that?

Posted by John on 04/04/2010

I think the Resurgence fire would have been around 1978 or 79. Maybe Goole Times archives could throw some light on it? The MV Resilience which was another Crescent Shipping Line boat took over the job of carrying starch to Howdendyke until the refinery closed and I think it continued the delivery run for a while longer as there was a bulk starch contract to complete for Tunnel Avebe.

Ginger sounds right for the lad who died but my memory doesn't run to his proper name, sorry. The jetty which was dedicated to pneumatic discharge with cranes for pipes, a stores and gangway crane and cable handling jib for shore supplied power, is now utterly different.

Posted by Caroline on 07/04/2010

Hajóregiszter 1973: DE PAARSE TULP, 1974: RESURGENCE (London-Rochester Shipping and Trading), 1976: converted to starch tanker, 14/08/1980: fire onboard at Howdendyke, laid up.

Posted by Bill on 23/08/2010

The lad who died on the Resurgence fire, Ginger, was Peter North. All of the crew got out of the ship through portholes on to the jetty, but ginger stayed fighting the fire. He was engaged to a Howdendyke girl, Susan. I was chief engineer on the ship 1977/78 and can remember Jim Postle, nice guy. Sad to see the factory is now an internet shopping warehouse, had many good nights in Howdendyke club.

Posted by John on 24/08/2010

Thanks for giving us Ginger's proper name. It was a sad business, especially as everyone else got out as you said. The captain was asleep before the fire and emerged in just a vest so I gave him my coat.

The Glucose Refinery is boarded up and the manicured grounds are now mostly under lorry parking areas and timber storage. I was down in the Ebuyer buildings a few weeks ago and looked out of a first floor window. The refinery buildings are dwarfed by the new warehouses and some scrap men were ripping bits off the final storage tanks above the old loading bay. The club you knew was in the Square and is flattened. A new club has been built on Ferry Road. I was intrigued to see someone has put a gate across North Street next to Creek House and it has a private property sign on it. I'm not sure how a public road became private property?

Posted by Bill on 25/08/2010

Had a look on Google Earth, the club looks a bit better than the old one. I remember the steward and his family, Alan Newman, sadly passed on I believe. Nice friendly people made us all very welcome. The private road at Creek House, isn't that access to the path along the river, used to run down to the flyover and back? That was 30 years ago!

Posted by John on 11/09/2010

I believe you are thinking of the other side of Creek House where Ferry Road crosses over the bridge which spanned the creek (the Howden Dyke) and runs to the old ferry landing point. This becomes a track which used to serve Scarrs Shipyard and then onwards to the riverbank which you can follow round to Boothferry Bridge, passing under the M62 flyover.

The road with the gate across it which I mentioned runs from New Row, down to the riverbank adjacent the original post office. You would have used this bit of road to go to see Alan Newman at the old club building by the Square. I wonder if during the clearance of the Square and gating off of the riverside road past the "works", the road through there was formally extinguished as a right of way?

Posted by Dawn on 06/10/2010

In answer to your question about the right of way - this is still accessible as it forms part of the Trans-Pennine Way and is used regularly by ramblers.

Posted by Dave on 19/04/2010

Just stumbled on this site whilst searching for pictures of windmills for my students tomorrow. My parents bought Hail Mill House from Mr and Mrs Spinks around 1958 I think. The mill was already in a serious condition, the windows gone, floors collapsed and only inhabited by pigeons. Over the years my parents worked to renovate many of the old buildings and create a functioning small-holding, rearing chickens and growing mostly blackcurrants which went to Rowntrees in York.

As the work increased, Mrs Newman from Howdendyke came to help out - she was mother of Mavis and I remember her marriage to Stuart. Mr Thompson from Howdendyke, and neighbour of Mrs Newman, was also a frequent visitor with his strange two-wheeled, walk-along tractor. I also have vivid memories of the Jessops, especially Miss Jessop, (Jessie I think) who was my teacher at Howden Junior for several years.

Posted by John on 20/04/2010

Dave, I was taught basic woodwork by your father Ken Ibbotson and I recall he was one of the Goole Grammar School teachers who took a group of us camping at Cosh house a couple of miles up the valley from Foxup. The other teachers who shared charge of the group were Jerry Appleyard and Mr Smith - can't recall his first name but he taught English, (not the "other" GGS Mr Smith who was Ivor aka Bongo and taught history). Cosh was an old farmhouse which had stood empty for a while but was intact and had a wash-house and a couple of latrines added for use as a camping site. The teachers slept in the house whilst we slept in eight-man canvas bell tents. No electricity, plenty of running water in the beck, icy cold for a morning wash.

Posted by Caroline on 27/04/2010

Mrs Newman (Kitty) was my nana, my dad was Alan Newman. It was so interesting to read what you put. She was married to Charlie Newman. Can you remember anything about him? I can remember a farm at the other side of the road - it had a big cow shed.

Posted by Trevor on 08/05/2010

I am an ex-Goolie, have lived in Somerset since 1963. My dad was John Kenneth Hardwick, born in Howden in 1908. His dad was a tailor in Howden. Dad worked at Scarrs Shipyard after leaving school as a blacksmith. His grandparents lived in Howdendyke. Dad used to tell us so many stories about life from his younger days. It must have been a great place to have grown up in.

Posted by Caroline on 10/05/2010

I can remember Scarrs Shipyard as a child - great place to play if PC Jeff Leathem did not catch you. The village was a wonderful place to grow up - sadly now it's all changed. We cannot go back to how things were but we can have our memories forever, hence this wonderful site. I am sure I speak for everybody, please add to the site anything you can remember or have been told.

Posted by John on 22/05/2010

Do you know if your dad worked at Scarrs at the same time as my dad Vern Jessop, who was also in the blacksmiths shop before he went out to Canada for a few years? He then came back to the UK to work with my grandad as a market gardener.

Posted by Trevor on 22/05/2010

I have just been looking at dad's indentures for Scarrs and he started there in 1924 on a five year apprenticeship but I don't know how many years he stayed there. I remember him telling us that someone had left a trust fund for any local who went into an apprenticeship to receive ten pounds from this fund which was a very good amount in those days. The trust was called Barkers Charity. Have you heard of this before?

Posted by Phil on 17/05/2010

My grandma was the last post mistress at Howdendyke. She bought it from Bill Porteous. I restored the postbox and built it into the side of my house at Skelton when they knocked the post office down.

Posted by HMD on 30/10/2010

Great to see all the info on Howdendyke. It's a long time since I first posted anything. I moved from Coventry to Howdendyke in 1956 and married into the Joy family of Howden. We lived in Prospect Villas row of houses - now gone, a club is there. Next door to us was Walt and Eileen Collins. Walt was Dicky Pilling's driver. Mr Stonehard (Pilling's gardener) lived the other side. After came Duffil's, the Walker twins Geoff and John, Bill Collins, Geoff and Pauline Featherstone. Majory and Tony Peam lived in the cottage before the next row of houses (Airey?). Porteous ran the post office and son Doug Porteous moved to Canada. He wrote a book about Howdendyke. We moved to Australia in 1965. Now retired with great-grand-children.

Posted by HMD on 28/11/2010

Remember Woodbine Cottage at the end of the row where the shop was? Known occupants (before the cottage was destroyed) I believe may have been Shirley and Brian Hedley. Timothy Thompson, a name I haven't seen. I did casual work for his dad Alan who has been mentioned. He was a market gardener. Alan became boilerman at the tillage works (Andertons) after Tommy Pollard retired.

Harold Foster was one of three truck (lorry) drivers at Andertons. The others were George Brown and Jack (Dinky) Myers.

Posted by Caroline on 07/12/2010

How things have moved on. I saw Harold today marching on in the snow. Woodbine Cottage - wonder how it got its name? Was it named after Woodbine tobacco?

Posted by HMD on 15/12/2010

Could the name "Woodbine" have come from the fact that it may have had the trailing plant woodbine growing on or around it. I'm just guessing

Posted by HMD on 08/12/2010

Are the two fatal accidents at the old Andertons tillage works included in Howdendyke's history? Who were "Kippers and Custard" who worked in the acid plant in the 1950s before it was pulled down? What happened to the grass drying plant? Does Bill Baker remember knocking Ian over with his car?

Posted by KWT on 17/12/2010

Bill Baker died some years ago. I remember a fire in the grass drier but I believe it was shut down when Andertons sold off the farm land. It was run by Bill Brown and Jack "Puddler" Paver. Edie Beeton later remarried and became Edie Beevers. Hilary married Denman Martin and I think lives in Eastrington.

Posted by HMD on 18/12/2010

Eadie (Edith) was the wife of George Beaton. When George passed away I believe Eadie married Tommy Burns. I don't know if Eadie remarried a third time after Tommy passed on. Eadie was one of the Lister truck drivers for the Andertons bagging gang. Tommy and George worked in that same gang as did Donny Hebden, Gordon Newman, Bert Tipping and myself. The other Lister drivers were, Madge Peam, and Shirley Hedley.

Posted by Caroline on 19/12/2010

Was that the Bill Brown from the farm? Jack Paver lived in the Square near the Jubilee Hall next door to Grandda Art as we called him. I think he was Lucy Lindley's father. Mrs Paver was a very nice lady and her granddaughter used to come and visit. She was called Sharron.

Posted by John on 21/12/2010

Jack Paver had been gardener for the Archbishop of York before moving to Howdendyke. For a church employee he had an extensive command of the most colourful phrases at times. He used to spend a lot of his free time in my dad's greenhouse talking shop about gardening.

Posted by Caroline on 24/12/2010

Yes I can remember Mr Jack Paver having a greenhouse. As kids we were always wary of him.

Posted by Braveheart on 20/01/2011

Trawling for a photo of the glucose factory I came to this website! Howden Dyke Glucose factory was built 1974-1976 by Cementation Projects Ltd for Tate & Lyle Plc. Cementation was a subsidiary of Trafalgar House which eventually became owned by Skanska of Sweden. The economics for constructing an expensive wharf and very expensive silos at Howdendyke was precarious, and Tate's relied on EC money. The dredging was done by Lincoln & Hull Marine, well known further downstream. The factory provided much needed employment for a period (I hope!). We builders came and went, but staying in and around Howden for those two years was great!

Posted by Braveheart on 20/01/2011

To John et al - well, I'm too old to read every post! Had I done so I'd have found yours and Mrs Neale's halfway down! All those good names (Ray, Jim, etc.) from Tates.

Posted by HMD on 13/03/2011

Am I correct in believing that Bill Hodges (Hodgeson) owned or ran the Howdendyke shop? He allowed me to garage my motor bike and sidecar in the shed alongside the dyke and at the side of the shop. Also to grow a few spuds on the bit o' land behind the shed.

Posted by John on 13/03/2011

I think it would be Bill and Connie(?) Hodgeson who had the shop in the time you refer to. I can't recall whether they took over after Mrs Branton or if there was someone in between.

Posted by HMD on 14/03/2011

Bill and Connie did take over after Mrs Branton. A couple of names for your records you may not have are Dick and Maurice Abbey. They brought barge cargo for Andertons, from Goole to Howdendyke Jetty I believe. They were not village residents though.

Posted by David on 23/03/2011

Hmm - just found this forum. Most interesting. I spent a lot of my childhood here in the 1950s and early-1960s. My grandparents were Tommy and Elsie Robinson who lived on the corner next to Jenny Kirby and opposite the post office. Elsie was related to Connie Hodgson who did, indeed, take over Mrs Branton's sweet shop. As I recall everyone pronounced the name "Ochen". Tommy's dad ran the ferry at both Howdendyke and Booth Ferry until the bridge opened in 1928 which, obviously, put paid to the family business. Two of grandad's brothers (Harold and Jack) were given jobs as bridge keepers.

Posted by Caroline on 30/03/2011

David, I can remember your grandmother Elsie Robinson. When I was young she used to stand outside her door at the front of her house with an apron on. I can also recall Connie's shop. She used to put a Christmas display on in the window and we used to go there for penny sweets. It's strange how someone can put something on this site and it all comes back to you.

Posted by David on 04/04/2011

It takes a while for some things to come back. Gran was a distant cousin of Connie's. Connie's father was Jack Carrington who lived in a row of houses a bit further up the road (past the jetties) towards Skelton. This row of houses was very close to the big house where the Pillings (owners of the Andertons fertiliser factory) lived. Jack was a small guy who looked a bit like George Formby. I remember playing with his grandson Philip who lived in York and occasionally came to stay with Connie. We both got told off by Mr Pilling for trespassing onto some land behind the factory.

The village had a special celebration for the coronation in 1952 - I was just three - and grandad played the bass drum, a huge thing with a trapdoor in the casing. Made a great noise. I also remember Doug Porteous who wrote the book "Planned to Death". He was older than me and everyone was very proud when he passed the 11+ and went to Goole Grammar School. I don't recall anyone else in his age group achieving that. He was always held up as an example to me. He had a red racing bike with five-speed gears that I lusted after with a passion.

Posted by John on 04/04/2011

Doug Porteous was a fifth former when I was a lowly first former at GGS. We used to cycle to Howden, leave our bikes at Tommy Whittaker's garage behind the old surgery in Hailgate and catch the school bus from Howden market place in the mornings. The cycle ride between Howdendyke and Howden was ok in good weather but seriously miserable when it rained or snowed. There wasn't a lot of shelter along the way!

Posted by Fiona on 06/04/2011

Does anyone remember the blind man that used to make baskets out of osiers off the main street of Howdendyke? I remember going once to buy one with my grandparents. Once after school my grandpa took me to Saltmarshe Park and on the way we saw a man driving an enormous large white boar down the road. How times have changed!

Posted by HMD on 19/04/2011

Can anyone tell me please, the original name of the tillage works in Howdendyke? I do know of the name "Anderton Richardson" with the elephant logo. Also what does the Howdendyke factory produce now?

Posted by John on 20/04/2011

According to Doug Porteous in his book "Planned to Death" George Anderton II moved from Cleckheaton to Howdendyke and bought the bankrupt estate of Richard Ward Jnr in 1857 for £2,500. In 1860 he mortgaged all this property for £5,000 and used the money to convert the old tanyard into a chemical fertiliser factory. This Ouse Chemical works began by producing a variety of chemical products but with a heavy concentration on fertilisers for agricultural use. The firm was incorporated in 1903 as George H. Anderton Ltd. The firm amalgamated with Richardsons of York in 1958 to become the Anderton Richardsons which you recall. "Planned to Death" is, I understand, now out of print but copies can be obtained via the usual internet searches (ISBN 0-8020-2661-3).

Posted by HMD on 21/07/2011

Andertons made sulphuric acid in the manufacture of fertilizers. The acid was stored in very large lead lined square tanks behind the bag house and sulphate shed. Acid was produced by burning a type of rock. Could anyone please tell me what type of rock it would be? In later years, acid was delivered from Sheffield by Laporte road tanker.

Posted by John on 22/07/2011

Whee! I'll try to rake up my school chemistry from the 1960s. My copy of "A School Chemistry" is long lost now. From memory the "rock" being burnt was copper pyrites which had a high sulphur content. The resulting sulphur dioxide was passed over a platinum catalyst about half way up one of the towers along with an air stream so the SO2 combined with some oxygen to form sulphur trioxide SO3. This added to water H2O resulted in sulphuric acid H2SO4. Along with this a separate stream of SO2 was passed into the lead chambers and water sprayed into the gas creating sulphurous acid. The sulphurous acid H2SO3 slowly absorbed oxygen from the atmosphere to become sulphuric acid. I recall looking into a sight glass and seeing the catalyst glowing red hot. The operators used to heat it up to start the process with an oxy-acetylene torch but once running the process kept it hot.

Posted by HMD on 27/07/2011

Thanks. A little more of Howdendyke's history recalled. By the way, I remember if two pieces of the copper pyrite were struck together sparks were created.

Posted by Tim on 07/06/2011

I am sat in Schiphol airport, Amsterdam bored and waiting for a flight home, and am amazed that I have accidentally come across this website. It has captivated me for nearly an hour and brought back many memories! I promise to add more comments and fill in some gaps. Nice to hear from the Davis family!

Posted by HMD on 12/06/2011

Tim, I used to do some part time work for your dad in his greenhouses that were opposite the tillage works (Andertons). We made lawns down in Howden and dug out the sewerage ponds near the farm in the village. That was when I was not hoeing and singling sugar beet or bagging, delivering fertilizer to the farms with Harold F.

Posted by Tim on 07/08/2011

Residents by family name I think I remember from being a kid (circa mid to late-1960s).

Starting from near my dad's garage on the north side of the road: Walkers, Barlow, Kirby (Wilf), Tipping (Herbert), Tommy Palmer, Gamwell, Thompson (my family), Watson, Turnbull, Mell, Foster, Newman, Daly, Spivey, Thompson (Joe), (?), Newman, Joy, Branton, Carrington, Kirby (Archie), Hodgson, Baker, Paver, Brown and Todd, Beaumont, (?), Porteus. Jubilee Hall.

Starting from my dad's garage on the south side of the road: Wright, Collins, Davis, (?), Duffil, Abbey, Walker, (?), Bill (?) who had a garden oppostie my house, (?) Featherstone, Myers, Simms, Turner, Middleton, Beaumont, Mell.

Struggle with New Row: Robinson, Kirby (Ginnie), Lawton, Waterhouse (Club), mother and daughter(?) on corner next to the Club, Coulthard, Tipping (Bert), Collins, resident pre Jack Paver. I also vaguely remember a terrace near the works offices and lab but not the residents (possibly Newman (Tommo)). Anybody fill the gaps? Thanks.

Posted by KWT on 10/08/2011

Not a bad memory Tim but like the rest of us getting old! Your gaps on north side are Hebden & Aklam. South side I remember Jeff and Brenda(?) Walker, next gap with garden opposite you was Bill Robinson, can't remember if there was another house between Bill and Featherstones.

Next to me there were two houses that had been knocked down in my very early years but Gordon and Kath Newman lived in one of them for a bit. I can't remember all New Row but there was certainly Hebdens (moved from across the road), Ernie Savage (he had a garden next to your dad's garage behind the sycamore tree), Walt and May? Collins, Mac and Vera Arnold, George Collins and his dad George(?) Phil and Lucy Lindley were at the far end.

I remember the terrace near the works office. You're right, Tommo did live there for some time and I think the Carringtons were there for a bit too. I think you missed the Smiths who lived in the house behind the riverbank that always flooded.

Posted by Caroline on 11/08/2011

Well that took some reading! The terrace house mentioned near the offices, is that the same Tommo as my dad Alan Newman? Went to Howdendyke recently, how it has changed.

Posted by Tim on 13/08/2011

Thanks for filling in the gaps. You're right we are all getting older and I can't believe I forgot those that I did. Does anybody remember the McQuillans (probably spelt it wrong)? I think the father was Irish and worked on Ouse Bridge construction. They lived for a short time in Prospect Villas and had a son Michael who was about my age.

Posted by HMD on 11/08/2011

G'day all you old Howdendykers. I wonder if any of the guys who used to work in the tillage works (Andertons) with me remember how we were each paid in notes and coin in a returnable very small tin box. Bit different now hey?

Posted by KWT on 15/08/2011

I don't suppose there are many of the blokes left who you might have worked with at Andertons, I can only think of Harold Foster, Bill Spivey, Trevor "Torchy" Walker, Archie Kirby and Phil Lindley, anybody else? I also have memories of Pete and his woolly hat. It doesn't seem that long ago that you'd see him marching to Howden with his shopping bag or to catch the "city" bus.

Posted by HMD on 28/03/2012

During my employment at Andertons, I can recollect six women working there. The first one worked sowing hessian bags, I don't remember her name but there was also Anne Coates in the sulphate bagging shed. The others all drove the Lister truck at various times, being Edith Beaton, Shirley Joy, Madge Peam and Patsy Watts.

Posted by HMD on 14/04/2012

My brother Cliff, lived in the village for a very short while before moving to Goole. I'd like to include him in this small Howdendyke synopsis.

He now lives with his wife in a small old gold mining village in Australia about the size of Howdendyke. His claim to fame in the Anderton Richardson factory history, is that as a youth he backed a lorry (that Harold Foster was the regular driver of) into a bottom shed pillar. This caused a great deal of damage to the lorry. Jack Wright (foreman) sacked him instantly. We do smile a lot about it now.

Posted by Helena on 25/08/2011

I lived in Howdendyke in the very early-1950s with my parents June and Ernie Kilbourne. Ernie worked for the Pillings, I thought as a farm labourer, perhaps I am wrong on that point. We had a tiny tied cottage, close to a shop. When my parents split, also in the early-1950s, my mother moved back to Hull. Mary Tipping (Howden Mary) was very good to my mum, who was very young at the time she lived there. We, as in my mother June, nanna, Lena Moran and uncle Sam Moran, made regular trips back to Howdendyke to visit Mary and her family. I best remember Mary and Denise and Avril. I made a trip back to Howdendyke yesterday with my friend Denise and it brought a mixture of emotions back.

Posted by Steve on 20/10/2011

Just found this page. Lived in Howdendyke for years, oh what good times were had! Lived in Prospect Villas and council houses.

Posted by HMD on 14/12/2011

Can one still walk along the riverbank from the old Boothferry Bridge to Howdendyke or Blacktoft? Also do wooden styles still exist periodically along the bank?

Posted by John on 16/12/2011

I haven't walked that route for years! The bit of riverbank past the jetties at Howdendyke might be blocked off but whether this is "proper" with diversion orders, etc. is not something I am up to date with. Maybe we have a few ramblers among the readers who can clarify the current situation? There used to be plenty of people around who walked, cycled and drove along the riverside road without let or hindrance for many years so whether the route was a public road or private to the "Chemics" would be academic since 20 years public usage would be enough to have established a public right of way. If anyone feels like a bit of work they could make a section 56 claim to East Riding Rights of Way department before the CROW act loses these old unclaimed rights of way.

Posted by KWT on 20/12/2011

I still regularly walk along these sections of riverbank from Saltmarshe to Goole and yes, there's still stiles on some sections. Except for the aforementioned section at Howdendyke and a short section under Skelton Railway Bridge everything is still accessible. I remember being told that the road between Kilpin Lodge corner and the Square was private but had to be barriered off for one day a year for this to apply. I'm sure it didn't apply as much as has been fenced off now.

Posted by John on 22/12/2011

I recall the story about the section of road from Kilpin Lodge to the old post office near the Jubilee Hall being private but I cannot recall that road ever being barred off.

Posted by David on 13/01/2012

I remember the road from the lodge corner through to the post office from the very early-1950s through to mid-1970s when I'd stay with gran during the holidays. There were never any barriers of any kind along that section although it was always reckoned to be a private section and the public road began again at the post office corner.

The road from where the jetties were just after the Square was in constant use unloading raw chemicals from barges - the stuff was toted round past Kilpin Lodge and into the factory via a gate on the public road with a pair of red Muir Hill dumper trucks. From memory Mac Arnold used to drive one of them. But the dumper traffic was one reason there were no gates or barriers.

Posted by HMD on 19/01/2012

It would be interesting to know how many Howdendyke residents (past and present) were actually born in the village. Our oldest daughter was born in the front room of 5 Prospect Villas. Incidentally, nurse Silverside from Howden was then the district midwife.

Posted by Caroline on 24/01/2012

Last week we took mother down to Howdendyke for a ride. One way in and one way out.

It was nice to see new row completed and lived in by what looks like families. Nice to see swings and a Wendy house in my Uncle Peter's garden, so good to know a new generation will grow up in the village. Creek House is for sale and a barrier blocking off the road to the river. Have they claimed this as their land or bought it? It does not appear to be of any use and, as there was houses beyond Creek House, is there still a public right of way?

We then had a tour round Skelton and Laxton, finishing of at Gilberdyke. Mother enjoyed her trip down memory lane and how much it had changed.

Posted by Ginger on 27/01/2012

Can anyone remember all the pigeon lofts that used to be in the village?

Posted by Paul on 14/02/2012

I spent many happy days staying with my granny Gertie Watson at 8 Ferry Road (council houses) from around about 1965 to early-1970s. I was virtually a permanent resident in school holidays and for a school term or two whilst my parents were in the process of moving house from Howden to Brough and in order for me to finish off that particular school year (1969 I think).

Gertie (Gertrude Florence) had eight children, my dad Eric being one of them. At the time I was there, her two youngest had not flown the nest, they being my uncles Barry and Trevor. Granny Watson was also responsible for the care of my Grandad Harold who had suffered a stroke/seizure some years previously and had been impaired with short term memory problems.

I was very good friends with Tim Thompson who lived next door with his mum and dad and two brothers. We were schoolmates having attended Howden Infant and Junior Schools. I also remember Keith Turner, Paul Myers and Andrew Kirby as being fellow playmates. Also Pete Baker who lived at Creek House, his dad Bill being "Andertons" works manager.

I remember regular visits to Connie's shop spending 3d on blackjacks or fruit salads. I remember going to the old post office on the riverbank to buy paraffin, sweets, etc. Phyllis Porteous (nee Mell) was there then, and always had a kind word.

We played cricket in the summer in the field behind Prospect. Anywhere near the river was always a good spot to play. We were all a bit wild and left to do our own thing and I will always remember those happy days.

Posted by KWT on 21/02/2012

I think the cricket pitch in the back field must have been the most hazardous pitch ever played on, I'm surprised nobody got seriously hurt. I also remember playing footy at the garages until neighbours got annoyed by the noise, but as you say, the river was always a good place.

Posted by Dave on 21/02/2012

With you talking about the old days. I'm wondering if you still have the old Lambretta with the very long aerial and tiger's tail? You used to belt up and down the road on it, past Hail Mill.

Posted by KWT on 24/02/2012

Might be wrong here but your description sounds more like Dave, Tim's brother. I'm sure Tim will confirm although I'm also sure Tim will remember belting down the lane to Kilpin on Jacko's old moped with a "squeezy" bottle as a petrol tank. Those were the days!

Posted by Paul on 28/02/2012

It's great to hear from you both, after 40 odd years. I think you are right Keith, it was Dave who had the Lambretta an SX200 if I remember correctly. Tim can no doubt confirm this.

I still make occasional visits to Howdendyke as I do not live too far away. It is depressing what has happened to the fabric of the village, eg. Jubilee Hall, the post office, the Square, Prospect Villas. Prof J. Douglas Porteous's book is indeed very eloquent on the subject. It is a good read for anyone associated with Howdendyke though I might venture the opinion that it might be somewhat esoteric for anyone else.

Posted by Tim on 02/03/2012

The Lambretta was my brother Dave's, as Keith says, but we did all have some great fun on old mopeds, motorbikes and scooters down Ginny Lane with Stuart and Ricky Jackson. I did at one time have Jeff Feathersone's old Vespa which at one time was connected to the duck-head sidecar - the one mentioned in an earlier input by someone. I think Shane Tipping had it after me.

Posted by HMD on 06/03/2012

You were about six years of age when we left the village but I wonder if you remember our Ian (same age) from Prospect Villas? You used to come to the place and play with dinky cars and sometimes take 'em home. Ha! Ha! Happy days, eh?

I worked casual sometimes with your dad and remember well the small Ransom caterpillar tractor that he owned. He paid me five bob an hour. He also taught me how to use a scythe to cut down long grass.

Posted by Dave on 08/03/2012

You were right about the Lambretta, it was your brother I was thinking of, now I come to remember. I think you and my sister Sue were the same vintage and knew each other at school? Another memory jogged was the Vespa scooter and sidecar, mentioned earlier, was blue and white. I thought it was a fascinating machine but have never seen another one since.

I've only ever been back to Howden and Hail Mill once since 1970 and of course there were many changes, but reading this column has rekindled my interest.

Posted by HMD on 14/02/2012

Am I correct in stating Kath Turner became Mrs Cliff Hill? Not that it matters much but I used to go rabbit shooting over the local fields with Cliff and Arthur. Kath lived two or three doors away from us.

I did a bit of hoeing and singling sugar beet as well as pea pulling, potato riddling, corn cutting and stooking in the same mentioned fields. All this with a bit of work with Alan Thompson and full time at Andertons tillage works as well.

Posted by KWT on 21/02/2012

On the button about Kath, that's my mother. She was married to Bill as I'm sure you know, who died in 1959, then married Cliff in 1963. He died in 1987 and Kath passed away in 2004. I assume you're on about Arthur the crane driver, he lived in Asselby and was K & C's best man.

Posted by Vicki on 06/04/2012

Creek House - many happy years there! Bill and Joan Baker (grandad and grandma), Peter Baker (uncle), Sue Baker (mum). Many happy memories of Creek House and Howdendyke.

Posted by Caroline on 20/04/2012

Vicki, one thing I remember was climbing that wall to listen to your uncle Peter play his music. The wall is still there, bit worse for wear now so don't think it would be a good idea to risk climbing it now. Bit strange all that area now with the road cut off to the bank where the post office was.

Posted by Jason on 26/06/2012

I live in Creek House, we've been in the village for about nine years now and love it here. As there's been a few comments asking, I put the gate up across the road that goes down to the riverbank where the willows used to be, mainly to stop people dumping stuff down there, especially cars! I bought part of the land, the road off the factory, a few years ago but haven't got round to doing anything with it. Most of the villagers with dogs still walk back through there on a round trip. Not a problem unless you're on a top of a wall when they sneak up on you like Mick Daly did to me!

Posted by HMD on 07/07/2012

It's sad to read of the changes to the old village, including your installation of the gate, but I agree that people must have their choices.

In the distant past I walked with my family (through where you say your gates is) on a few nice summer Sunday mornings to get ice cream from Boothferry Mayphil cafe. So reading your last post brought back memories of watching the odd little sail boats go up to Blacktoft Jetty on our walk too.

Posted by Sally on 04/07/2012

I was so interested to read all the entries. My grandparents, Joe and May Thompson, lived in Howdendyke, in Ouse Cottage for many years, and I have many lovely childhood memories of spending time in the village in the 1970s, meeting the people who lived there, and going on "adventures" in the countryside with my Grandpa Joe. My grandpa grew up in the village, with his parents, brother Tom and sister Aimee.

My mum Janet (Joe's daughter) was born in Ouse Cottage in 1938. Sadly she passed away in 1987. Her cousin Mary (Tom's daughter) also grew up in the village until they moved to Bradford, I believe. Also, a very good family friend, who became my godmother, also lived there - her married name was Mollie Urwin, but I believe that her maiden name may have been Watson. She lived in Hull after marriage, and passed away in 2010 at wonderful age of 97. I also remember a few other names, Connie and Bill Watson, Joan and Jim Holt, and Annie Wright.

I live in South Wales, and I haven't been to Howdendyke for many years, so it's great to relive some old memories!

Posted by John on 20/06/2013

Molly Urwin (nee Watson) was my dad's (Eric) cousin. I remember as a child visiting Molly and Harry's house in Tavistock Street on Newland Avenue in Hull.

I am starting to trace my family tree, any info on Molly and her family in Howdendyke/Kilpin Pike would be gratefully received. My paternal grandfather George Watson is being listed as born in Kilpin Pike in 1881. Thanks.

Posted by Pam on 24/10/2012

Does anyone remember Joan and Jim Holt who lived in Studley House on Howdendyke Road? Joan was a teacher at the primary school in Howden in the late-1950s/early-1960s, and Jim worked at the chemical works. They had three children, Ann who sadly died in the early-1950s, and two sons Neil and Nigel. Joan's parents lived at the mill down the road. My mum always used to tell me there was a huge pike in the millpond. My mum was Alice Saltmarshe of Howden and her parents were Nellie and Bill Saltmarshe who lived in Hull Road Avenue.

Posted by John on 02/11/2012

I remember the Holts well. They started off at 6 Ferry Road in the village then moved to Studley House. Joan and Jim have long passed. You are right that Joan's parents were the Pollards who lived at Kilpin in the old wind driven water pump house behind Sunny Bank. The pump used to pump water to the chemical works from the flooded clay pit alongside. They must have lived there for years as it was known to all and sundry as Pollards Pond.

Posted by Pam on 03/11/2012

Joan's mother was my granny Nell's cousin. My mum, dad and sister spent many happy holidays at Studley House. After Jim's death in the mid-1980s, Joan moved to a new bungalow in Hailgate Close and died a few years later. Studley House has been up for sale a few times since they left, and if my lottery ticket comes up trumps, it's mine!

Posted by Dave on 16/01/2013

I used to ride into Howden everyday with Neil and Nigel, and we left our bikes in a shed behind a pub (the name escapes me), before catching the bus to school in Goole. Strange that in all those years I don't think I ever met Mr and Mrs Holt.

I too heard the story about "the giant pike" in the pond!

Posted by Corby on 09/12/2012

I have always believed that there has never been enough history available of this village considering the very large amount of ships built there. The Porteous book only touched lightly on John Banks and William Caisley's success story.

My interest was with two of my ancestors Joseph Auckland and John Chester, both shipwrights who moved from Thorne to take part in this project. The only visible evidence now on the river is the two promontories (now called Mother Shipton's Stones(?)). I am told these were to create a haven in which vessels moored up. I remember seeing prints and sketches on the walls of the Jolly Sailor of some of the ships, so there was someone anxious to make their mark for future interest.

Posted by Caroline on 12/12/2012

I wonder what happened to those pictures in the Jolly Sailor?

Posted by Corby on 13/12/2012

I have asked that question many times. Probably Ebay or the likes. The curator at Goole Museum has told me of most unlikely items for sale there for a trivial amount appear online.

Posted by Doug on 10/02/2013

Now then. I'm Doug Porteous the author of "Planned to Death", and I have just been directed to this fascinating site. I have no plans to produce a second book about Howdendyke, but someone else should. Then the Dyke will be the most written-about village in the district.

I know most of the village names for the 1950s because I lived at the post office 1943-62 and took the mail round the village from about age eight. I did put some stories in my book but I can see from this website that there are a lot more for someone to put together: homing pigeons; getting stuck in the river mud; climbing the pylon on the Ferry House staithe and being chased down by Harry Smith; Harry opening and closing the clough; threshing at Anson's farm; the two white farmhorses out to grass; playing Howden kids at cricket (they were abusive when they lost so we stampeded the horses to give them a fright); mushrooming in Black Shed field, at the back of Vernie Jessop's greenhouses; frogspawning in that same field; skating on the grips in the back field; swinging from the Bent Tree in that field; going to Sunny Bank (Pollard's Pond) via the Fallen Tree behind the allotments; roaming the fields with Cliff Coulthard of Sunny Bank; characters like Ernest Savage, Tommy Palmer (who told me, when I worked at the shipyard, "I'm akin to thou," and he was), Mary Brammer, and the guy in Prospect Villas who grew tobacco; HBT 90; Bonzo the dog; Holt's last bus from Goole, stopping at Elm Tree; being totally free to run about with other kids of both sexes all day without let or hindrance; trespassing in the Chemics and on the barges at the jetties; Mischievous Night November 4th; Bonfire Night in the Square, November 5th; going birds nesting; watching Bert Tipping climb to the top of enormous trees and dropping crows' eggs down into a loose jacket so they wouldn't break; going for waterhens' eggs with a spoon on the end of a brush handle; etc. The kind of freedom which rarely exists today, with all the fear and Health and Safety.

Some individual messages…

John: I remember you well, and once worked in your dad's greenhouse; thanks for being the basic fount of knowledge for the village. Keep writing.

Caroline: I remember your mother Carmen and her dog Susie, as well as her sister opposite the PO from where I got my first kitten.

David: Amazed you remember my bike! It was a ten-speed Carleton (made in Barton-on-Humber?) and I saved up 30 quid to buy it (no tick, then, except at the PO.)

Paul Watson: I sang alongside your dad in Howden Minster choir for many a year.

HMF: If Phyllis Mell at the PO was your great-aunt, I should know you, but can't work out the initials.

A Happy New Year 2013 to all Howdendykers.

Posted by HMD on 14/02/2013

Doug Porteous. Thanks for your detailed memories.

Posted by John on 20/02/2013

It's good to hear you are reading this group. I didn't recall you working for my dad until you prompted my memory. I do recall catching the school bus to Goole having left our bikes in Tommy Whittaker's garage in Hailgate each weekday.

Also I recall the three "dykemen" in waders who used to appear each year to clean out the dykes with shovels, scythes and hard work. Jim Winter, Ira Hutton and Derek Wales were known to everyone. Tiny Sherburn kept the roads clean and scythed the verges over an area covering Howden to Yokefleet which was many miles of roads. Walt Flint ran his mobile shop which called in the villages of the area, selling groceries. That was an Aladdin's cave on wheels! There was also a fishman in a van who called selling wet fish once a week. I recall a fried fish shop on wheels but I don't think it survived long due to trade being low. Also Doubtfires and Massarellas ice cream vans used to visit the village regularly. Milk deliveries daily to the door by a man called Ledger from Cotness was another service which started up when TB testing was introduced and farm supplied straight from the cow deliveries stopped.

Randy Lightowler was a regular visitor to the lighthouses on the riverbank and used to row across to a light on the opposite bank. No automatic electric lights involved just paraffin lamps which needed topping up and wicks trimming winter and summer.

There must be a few books of memories that could be written but somehow (and sadly) it just doesn't happen.

Posted by Sue on 21/02/2013

Pleased I have found this site, so interesting. My dad was George Habblett. His family has lived around Howden for many years. I went to Spaldington School when Miss Jessop was there. I have four sisters, Val, Christine, (me), Janet and Sandra. My mum was Margaret (nee Giles). We lived at Sandwood Villas. I can remember playing with Yvonne Potter on her farm. My sister Chris had a friend called Elizabeth Cook who just lived up the road. My dad worked for Bill Webster on the farm. I remember living at Bow Window(?) farm. It was on the side of the main road. We left in 1965, we are planning a trip up soon.

Posted by CRW on 26/02/2013

Came across this site by accident, fascinating. We lived in Howdendyke in the early-1950s. My sister was born in Prospect Villas. Went to Jubilee Hall to watch the coronation.

My uncle Herbert and my auntie Eleanor (Wressell) lived for many years at 2 New Row. He worked at the Chemics works, had a car which he garaged in the pig yard, as did Walt Collins, the entrance to which was opposite the shop, which was run by Mrs Branton. My uncle had an allotment at the beginning of the village on the left, next to the road to Skelton, and, if I remember rightly, opposite the allotments, the first house in the village where Wendy Walker lived.

Sometime prior to the Chemical works buying the houses on New Row, Dinky Myers moved in next door to Herbert.

Just as an aside, the ten speed bike at the post office was bought for me by my auntie.

Posted by HMD on 17/06/2013

I now know that Prospect Villas has been destroyed. I wonder if a note that I left in a crack in the stairs of No. 5 was ever found by the demolition crew? I left the note in February 1965 before leaving the country.

Posted by HMD on 19/07/2013

Does anyone know where to find the source, course, and the end of the actual Howdendyke dyke? Thanks.

Posted by John on 07/09/2013

I believe it was originally the old Derwent. I understand it left the present river Derwent just north of Loftsome Bridge where the pumping station stands now and made its way from there to Howden and then to Howdendyke. There is a book in Goole library with some information in it. I think from memory it was by Ken Powls.

Other drainage ditches joined it in Howden before it reached Howdendyke plus "Husbandmens Drain" joined it near the bridge next to Creek House. This latter drain ran under a bridge from farmland around Wardles garage on the main road.

The bridge by Creek House had a sluice gate with a crank to operate it plus a pair of tidal doors to prevent tidal flow back into the dyke when the river level rose. This was to stop silting up of the dykes.

Sometime around the 1950s a large bore concrete pipe was installed from where the pumping station now is to an outfall adjacent to the ferry slipway. I seem to recall it had a grating at the inland end and the pumping station was an afterthought.

Once the flow through the creek had been bypassed it steadily silted up and only the steel flood fence gives a hint it was ever there.

Posted by John on 02/12/2015

I revisited the reference library in Goole to refresh my memory and my reading revealed the Derwent has had quite a number of different routes throughout the passing of time. The present route between Loftsome Bridge and the Ouse at Barmby was cut during the Roman occupation. Apparently as a waterway for barge traffic which shared some of the water in the Derwent from its upper reaches in North Yorkshire. Until then the Derwent had run from Loftsome across to Howden Parks, snaked its way almost to Hive and turned to discharge into the Ouse south of Kilpin. This might refer to Kilpin Pike? The Howden Dyke was dug from Howdendyke creek to Howden, along the line of Hailgate, across the front of the Cross Keys and met with the waters of the Derwent to the North of Derwent Estate.

I couldn't find a definitive timescale for the widening and deepening of the Loftsome to Barmby section and the reversing of flow in the drainage at Loftsome.

There seems to have been some use of the Howden to Howdendyke section for transportation of goods especially for ecclesiastical work. Perhaps the Staithes at Howdendyke (Bishops Staith, Wards Staithe, etc.) were instrumental in this traffic?

Posted by Kirk on 29/09/2013

Great to find this page. I used to stay in Howdendyke at my gran's, Elsie Robinson, who lived opposite from the post office/shop. I remember the post office having a distinct smell all of its own. I can still smell it now, one of those childhood things that never goes. I recall my gran used to work as a cleaner at the chemical works, and she would take me to the lab a few times just to see the human skull that was there. My father, Kenneth Robinson, also grew up there.

Posted by John on 12/01/2014

I have seen some old maps of Howdendyke. One in particular shows the village around 1880 with the old post office, the Anchor Inn which became Cliff and Jenny Kirby's house and the houses in and around the Chemics and the Square, many of which were demolished prior to the 1950s.

Posted by Corby on 22/07/2013

I don't know if this is any help to your research. On the 1871 census of Kilpin at 45 Ratten Row "The Anchor Inn" there lived:

John Watson 76 Coal Merchant
Eliza his Wife 53
Thomas son 33 Out of work Millwright
Ann France 73 Servant

I found this for next door at 46 was George Moore cordwainer and wife Olive nee Wright (my grand-aunt). George and Olive emigrated to Toronto followed later by the rest of their family.

Other notable names that lived in the street


Posted by HMD on 18/02/2014

I assume Howdendyke was flooded at some time before the protection was installed on the riverbanks. Is it known if or when? Thanks.

Posted by John on 21/02/2014

Howdendyke often suffered minor flooding in the vicinity of the Square but every house with potential of suffering from rising water had a flood board ready cut to install across the doorway. A stock of clay was available near the Chemics air raid shelter and this was used as a seal between the board and the doorway.

The riverbanks were raised significantly in the 1950s/60s and the sheet steel pile walls driven into them. Only Bunny Smith's house on the staithe and the office of Scarrs Shipyard were "wetside" of the raised defences. There was a gap left in the sheet piles with concrete piers and drop in boards to close the gaps in the event of exceptional tides. One was just over the hill of Creek Bridge and it was this one which was reported upon recently. I suspect the problem would lie in decay of the old boards. The second gap was adjacent to Scarrs Shipyard but the building of the glucose refinery saw this removed along with the shipyard buildings and a new section of sheet pile wall created.

There was also serious flooding in the spring of 1947 with large tracts of low-lying land between Howdendyke and Howden when massive pumps were brought up from Portsmouth to get snow melt water out of the Howden dyke into the Ouse faster than the Creek discharge could handle it.

Posted by Hayley on 23/03/2014

Does anyone know when the nine terraced houses which are now called New Row were built? I live in one of them and can't find the information anywhere. Thanks.

Posted by John on 07/04/2014

I'm guessing a bit but the old style deeds for properties often went back hundreds of years. New Row was owned by the "Chemics" as workers houses for many years but I don't know if they are mentioned in Doug Porteus' book "Planned to Death". He did a lot of research in the company files and may have turned up the information.

Posted by HMD on 30/08/2014

Any idea whereabouts the air raid shelter in the tillage (Chemics) works was?

Posted by John on 09/09/2014

The air raid shelter was behind the gardens of the houses in the Square that faced the riverbank. It used to run parallel to the line of the houses and had entrances at either end facing away from the houses. There were vents on the top as well which I believe was normal but might have caused difficulty if a bomb had dropped through one.

Posted by HMD on 31/01/2015

Were any of the fields around Howdendyke flooded via the use of weirs in the riverbank? The fields then being left fallow for a period of time. I am aware "night soil" was used as fertilizer also.

Posted by Robert on 01/02/2015

Wikipedia on "Warping in Agriculture" is a good starting point, in particular its link to a very informative 1845 article by Ralph Creyke, although this is more about the lands south of the river rather than Howendyke specifically.

Posted by John on 07/02/2015

Warping was carried out in many agricultural areas. Gaps were created in the riverbanks and the high tides allowed to inundate the fields over several tides. The nutrient laden silt carried in the water would settle out, the water drain away and the soil in the field left enriched. Often flood limiting banks would be built some distance from the river to control how far the flooding could reach.

Good examples can be seen in the Blacktoft area where the old warping channel remains and raised field boundaries can also be seen.

Posted by Alan on 21/11/2016

I farm land at Blacktoft which was banked off to stop it being warped. My late father told me of a disagreement between its then owners and the Empsons estate of Yokefleet who warped much of their own land in Blacktoft and Yokefleet. As a result the unwarped fields are lower lying and less fertile than they would have been even to this day!

Posted by Lynne on 31/12/2015

At this time of terrible flooding I found this site as I remembered my grandmother, Edith Thompson (nee Coggrave) saying that the river did flood occasionally and all the villagers had to lend a neighbourly hand to move furniture upstairs. My mother, Mary Letourneux (nee Thompson) lived in Ouse Cottage before moving to Bradford with her husband, Lucien, her parents Edith and Tom Thompson and son Roger.

I had lovely holidays there with my great-aunt and uncle, May and Joe Thompson. I too enjoyed playing with my brother there in the fields and near Elm Tree house. We really enjoyed going to the sweet shop in the village and also sliding down haystacks at the farm. Everyone always told me that I looked just the same as mum when she was a girl there. My godmother was her best friend, Ida Hopley (nee Jackson) who lived opposite her in the village. I am now godmother to Matthew Morgan, great-grandson of May and Joe Thompson, as coincidentally, like Sally, I married a Welshman with the surname Morgan and now live in South Wales.

I really enjoyed reading Doug Porteus' book on Howdendyke as many of the names were familiar as both my mother and grandmother often talked about their memories of village life there.

Posted by John on 12/01/2017

In connection with Sunny Bank pond and windpump attached, I recall this from the 1950s when the Pollards lived there. The pump was driven by wind and pumped water from the pond to the Anderton chemical works in Howdendyke. The pipe ran along the roadside, passing Elm Bungalow, Elm Tree Gardens, Elm Tree House and Studley House along the way. The bungalow, Elm Tree House and Studley House were owned by the works and had branches off the pipe to be supplied with water. Elm Tree Gardens had a branch with permission to use the water in return for making sure cattle troughs in the adjacent field were kept full.

The windpump failed eventually and an electric pump took its place but as mains water became available it was no longer used.

I believe Brian Jackson became the owner sometime in the 1970s and he had the old house renovated plus filled in a large section of the pond which used to extend close to the door of the windpump and the front of the house. This must have vastly improved safety of walking out of the door.

For a while I lived in Elm Tree Bungalow so I'm fairly familiar with the pond and windpump. Sunny Bank Cottages have been extensively altered but originally there were six dwellings if my memory serves correctly.

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