Wharf Road, Crowle, as it was. Bill Goldthorp

Modern Wharf Road, stretches from Godnow Road to Crowle Station. It was not always so, parts once had different names.

Crowle Map

Old Street Names.

When I was a boy, 1933 to 1951, when I went to university. Mill Road was often referred to by the older residents as Mill Trod, to my mind much more picturesque than Mill Road.
Fieldside was never referred to as Fieldside but Back Street and occasionally the High Street was called Front Street, very logical if you know the history. Old Crowle was built about the church close to where the old River Don flowed. Crowle’s wealth at the time depended on it being on a major transport route. In the 13th century the owner of the manor, the Abbott of Selby, developed new Crowle as a market town. This was when the Market Square, High Street and Fieldside were laid out, connected to Old Crowle by Cross Street and Church Street.
As in all medieval towns, the messuages (housing plots) were long and narrow. The shop and house at the front, workshops, stables, pigsties and kitchen gardens at the back. Therefore Front Street and Back Street. Fieldside is just as logical as at one time there were no buildings at all on the east side of the road. on that side is the late nineteenth century development of the Methodist Chapel, the Roman Catholic Church and school and the County School, now an old people's home.

For some reason the top of Godnow Road was known as Fleet Street.
(Note from Angus – on the Manorial Plan of 1738, there is a large pond called Broad Fleet across the location on what is now Godnow Road. It was probably for this reason it was known as Fleet Street)

The corner is a brown field site, which was occupied by Sun Engineering, but will soon be developed on. The house on the immediate right, next to what is now a new fish and chip shop, was occupied in my boyhood, by a retired policeman, Sergeant Blythe, a gentleman of somewhat rotund build. When the war started he was called back to duty, not much of a threat to 8 to 12 year old boy, who could cover 100 yards in less than 20 seconds, one would have thought. Unfortunately Sergeant Blythe had the most wonderful long distance vision imaginable. I would arrive home thinking all was well to find my father removing his two-inch wide leather belt as I went through the back door. Sergeant Blythe had been on the phone.

In actual fact I always hoped that my father would not become modernised, enough to discard the belt and replace it with what some of my friends suffered from. “ You will go up to your room, for the rest of the day” As most lived in old farmhouses with thick ivy branches on the wall, a convenient nearby drainpipe or an out house three feet below the window, escape was easy.

Our house was brand new, there was nothing handy to get hold of, and I would not have risked dropping onto the concrete yard. A modern father was to be avoided. Your backside stung for about five minutes, but by the time I had run through the garden and orchard and climbed the fence, I was as bad as ever. It did improve my behaviour, I made sure no one saw me.

<img src="http://www.owletthall.com/yabbfiles/Attachments/wharfroadbg16.jpg"

This photograph is labelled Wharf Road, but there is a similar one, on a greeting card labelled South End.

Which would have been correct. Old pre-drainage maps show tracks following the A161 passing Ealand and Hurst Priory to Belton. The track would have been lightly travelled until the canal was built and Crowle Wharf developed.

Stand here looking south until 1932 there were no houses on the left hand side until you reached Ealand. on the right a large farm house, The Red House, its kitchen garden and then the stack-yard, farm buildings and finally Snowdrop Villa itself. An acre orchard beyond that which in February turned white with snowdrops.

The view of Wharf Road that is most familiar.

Outside Snowdrop Villa looking south.
Snowdrop Villa’s orchard is on the right.

Farther south, just before the avenue to Tetley hall. Notice the trees on the right that is the avenue. The gate leads to the field where the Comprehensive School now stands. That was the circus field, six when the war started I can still just remember it. The animals including the elephant arrived first, shortly afterwards the caravans and lorries. The big top promptly put up, two shows that night and visit the zoo for another three pence. Almost before the last show was over the roustabouts were packing up. The big top would be down in half an hour and all packed away.

once on returning from his night shift, Dad dragged me out of bed and at 7 am we stood outside as all the animals set of to walk to Epworth. The circus spent several days at Goole, and then one night stands through the Isle finally spending a week at Gainsborough.

Outside Snowdrop Villa looking south.

Snowdrop Villa’s railings and the orchard beyond. Look at the row of trees on the right. The second tree with the thick trunk is a horse chestnut tree. That is where our house Avondale was built in 1932, now number 46, a large semi with number 44 to the north. Those were the first two houses built on the left side of Wharf Road. My parents moved after they married on 1st August 1932. Our neighbour, a joiner and house builder, Cyril Proctor, known behind his back as Bucket, built them. Why Bucket, I have no idea.

Now I must be careful, his daughter was about seven years younger than my friends and I, and having a young lady of that age popping round to see what we were up to could have been annoying. But she had many endearing qualities, such as shortly after the war ended doing her father a favour and painting her fathers tatty old car with red lead paint. I well remember my friends and I listening in awe to the colourful verbiage as her father told his wife what he would do with HER daughter when he found her. His daughter and a little male friend being safely ensconced, in our kitchen, eating fresh buttered scones at the time. I wonder if she remembers

Snowdrop Villa looking north.

The lower picture is far better and shows Crowle houses ending, the South End. It seems for a time the name varied between Station Road and Wharf Road.

When I was a boy Snowdrop Villa was occupied by a member of the Axe family. (I think) Previously Alf Chapman, Clerk to the Drainage Board, Registrar of Marriages, Births and Deaths (The fifth consecutive member of his family to hold the job) and insurance agent lived there. The range of buildings seen just beyond the front gate he had converted into offices, one of which contained a full size billiard table. That is how my father got to know him. I got to know his son Brian alias Chippy, when our mothers attended the antenatal clinic together. Later Alf built the large detached house at number 60 Wharf Road and moved in. If I was not at home, or at Tetley that is where I could usually be found.

Snowdrop Villa has now completely disappeared beneath a housing estate. Mulberry drive is where the front gate and the office buildings started.

Note our horse chestnut tree. In 1945, most of the tree blew down, fortunately in the drive between us and our neighbour Bill Slingsby. How did we get rid of it. Rationing was still on the go and that included coal and coke. My dad let it be know there was free wood for the taking for anyone with a saw. By nightfall it had gone and Bill Slingsby and we had a massive store of logs. Who ended up with a sledgehammer and supply of steel wedges, splitting them, unpaid, just the threat of that leather belt.

That is the reason for the dogleg in the drive at No.46.

The following is taken from the Estate Agent’s brochure when with great sadness I had to sell No 46. Mum and dad were getting very frail and we needed the money to buy a little bungalow close to where I live. I can still remember my heartache. My parents had lived there for 48 years and it was the place that I had regarded as home for 47 years, in spite of having a house, wife and family of my own. I have lived in Hyde since 1969 but
still do not feel part of it. Wharf Road, Crowle is still there deep down in my heart.

Tetley was an isolated hamlet a good half mile, on Wharf Road before you came to Tetley Avenue.

Ealand Outgate.

The wood opposite no longer exists. Cockin’s wood was still there when I was a boy. It must have used for coppice wood, because the tall trees seen here were gone. It was low lying boggy with narrow paths, all the thick braches cut down with new growth of about six feet. A lovely scary place even in the daytime, frogs, newts and grass snakes abounded, with all types of bird nests in the spring.

Station Road New Trent.

This was often called Station Road, the view is almost the same. The large Victorian semis on the left. The building beyond is the New Trent public house.

This is a much later view, the car suggests about 1950.

A more distant view of the NewTrent, the large house on the left would I think be Ashdale, again a view not much altered. This during the war it was the home of our deadly rivals The Ashdale Gang, male evacuees, from Hull I think

Note the name Station Road.

This building is still there next door to a large mansion, Spen Lea whose photograph I have lost. The last house on the left before the railway and directly opposite the old goods yard. An ideal position for a businessman. At the turn of the nineteenth century it was occupied by Thompson Oates my grandfather Moses’s older brother, born 1857 at Gaythorne Farm, Washing Hole Lane, Eastoft.

Washing Hole Lane is now Washing Hall Lane. Left wing politicians said, “ We cannot have a Lane named after where the poor people of Eastoft did their laundry”

This intrigued my father, as he was aware the washing hole was where the ploughmen took their horses to wash their fetlocks at the end of a day’s work.

  • 7 Responses

    1. ccbee@freenet.de
      ccbee@freenet.de at · · Reply

      Bill, maybe you knew my dad Jim Chatterton Brown from the first house on Wharf Rd after The New Trent Hotel?

    2. Dawn Weyers
      Dawn Weyers at · · Reply

      Hi there

      I hope you don’t mind me writing to you, but I’ve just been reading
      your post – Wharf Road, Crowle, as it was – and I got a real surprise
      at you mentioning Cyril Proctor as being a neighbour of yours.

      Well I think this Cyril might be my cousin. Could you give me more
      info on him and any of the Proctor family or families in Crowle?

      For background – my mother June was born in Crowle in 1929 to Leonard
      Proctor and his wife Elizabeth nee Fletcher. Leonard’s brother,
      Charles, had a son named Charles Cyril. He never used the name Charles
      and was only known as Cyril. I’m hoping I have the right person.

      Any info you could give would be truly appreciated as I live in South
      Africa and it’s difficult to get information, and to find someone who
      may actually have known someone in my family is amazing.

      Another thing. My grandmother, the above mentioned Elizabeth worked at
      Tetley Hall, I presume in service. Must have been in the 1920s as she
      married Len in 1928 at St Oswald church. Do you know if there any
      records of household staff available for Tetley Hall anywhere?

      Thank you so much for any help and for reading this far 🙂

      Warmest regards

    3. Bill Goldthorp
      Bill Goldthorp at · · Reply


      The web for the Isle of Axholme is red1st.com
      On it you will find 180 Proctors of which 63 were born in Crowle, though non in the 20th century. There were some late 19th century.
      I also look on the maternal side, of these families, going back 5 or 6 six generations make me related to most Isle of Axholme families’
      Through my great grandmother Hannah Stanniforth I am related to the Proctor family, but distantly. I recorded it somewhere but cannot find it.
      Your relative was born 1929, which makes her the same generation as me.
      Cyril ( Bucket) Proctor and his wife would be of my parents generation.
      Leonard Proctor married Elizabeth Fletcher in 1928. Your mother June would be their first born.
      His brother, your uncle was the father of Charles Cyril Proctor, always known as Cyril.
      Your mother and Cyril would therefore be cousins.
      If your father Leonard was in his thirties when he married and his brother Charles his older brother by several years marrying in his early twenties and Cyril was born soon after marriage it is possible that he is the Cyril Proctor I knew.

      My parents, Fred Goldthorp 29 born Glossop, married Doris May Oates 30 of Boltgate Farm, Eastoft on 1st August 1932. They moved into Avondale, later No. 46 Wharf Road, which they had purchased for £550. The house a large semi-detached had been completed that year the other semi was occupied by Cyril (Bucket) Proctor and his wife. Cyril Proctor was a joiner, builder and undertaker who had built both houses.
      Previously Crowle at ended at the start of Wharf Road, which was then known as Crowle South End. These two semis were the first to be built on the east side of Wharf Road and rapidly other houses were built up almost to the Avenue to Tetley Hall. The last house was built just after the war by Herbert Smith of Causeway Farm, Swinefleet, who had married my mother’s double cousin (2 Everatt daughters married 2 Oates sons) for his eldest daughter Connie when she married Abbie Tonge. Two decades later when the psychiatrists sent Abbie home for the weekend against Connie’s wishes, he strangled her.
      There were two farms on the west side of Wharf Road, now demolished, The Red House and Snowdrop Villa.
      I was born there in 1933, an only child, not by design but because my father employed the local GP to do the delivery and not a properly certified midwife.
      A long and complicated story, which only a person such as myself, an obstetrician with an interest in medical history would know about.
      Dr. Newton one of my seniors states that the greatest advances of the Health Service was forcing the GP’s out of labour management. Legal Action has had a similar effect in other countries.
      My lack of siblings was not planned and I had numerous cousins and friends with brothers and sisters, so had plenty of friends.
      Bucket had a variable reputation and was known to cut corners, too much sand in the plaster for example, which accounts for the scar on the bridge of my nose when the living room ceiling fell on my head when I was about a year old. Gradually over the next few years the rest of the ceilings fell known. At first Bucket replaced them free of charge but then refused and my father employed others to do it, which probably antagonised their animosity.
      Cyril and his wife may have been a few years younger than my parents. Mrs. Proctor had been in service, where I know not but many young women were. For example my grandfather Moses Till Oates, when he lived at Park Grounds Farm had two living in maids and six living in farmhands.
      It was said that they had decided not to have a family.
      But when the war started, in 1940 as well as all young men being conscripted all able bodied young women without family responsibilities were called up for factory work. In order to avoid this Judith was born about 1941. This is hearsay, I am merely recorded what I overheard my mother and her friends say.
      If you have ever read the Just William novels by Richmal Crompton Judith became our Violet Elizabeth Bott. Kindly bringing her dolls round for self and 12 – 13 pals to play with.
      We were too well brought up to upset her. Although we listened in delight to Bucket’s foul language when shouting at his wife he explained exactly what he would do with her daughter when he found her. Judith was cowering in our kitchen with a five year old male friend at the time, not understanding why daddy was not pleased when she had done him the favour of painting his old car with red lead paint from a tin he had left open.
      I believe Judith married a farmer who lived in the area and when Bucket retired he and his wife moved to a bungalow that that he had built a village close to the farm. I do not know where it was. Judith will now be in her early 70s if she is still alive.
      The advantage of posting this instead of sending it direct, is that because it is slightly derogatory of Bucket someone may know where Judith is and tell her. In such circumstances relatives usually appear from nowhere, spitting fury.

    4. Bill Goldthorp
      Bill Goldthorp at · · Reply

      I presume you mean the semidetached houses of Edwardian vintage on the Crowle side of the New Trent. One is occupied by Ms Rita Fretwell who took it over from her parents. She must have lived there all her life. Mrs Fretwell was the organist for the Crowle Fieldside Wesleyan Church.

      Next door were the Taylor family also members of the same church. I think Mr. Taylor moved when he retired. They had two daughters both red heads. They both went to the Grammar School at Scunthorpe. The younger one was the prettiest, but I knew the older one better, the same age as myself. Tiffy Taylor, (Fiona Isabel Taylor), curly red hair, reasonably shaped, freckles and glasses, I could not say I was her friend, more like annoying nuisance and rival, in chemistry.

      Then a teenage male would have dinner suit for formal occasions. I would escort Fiona on the bus to official school balls at I think it was the Beverley Hotel, just at the bottom of Scunthorpe Hill where roundabout is. I always, as young gentleman????? , asked her for one dance in each of the two parts with the interval between, ( Hiding my reluctance) which Fiona agreed to, no doubt in the same manner. The reason for this apparently friendly arrangement was because our two fathers took turns driving to fetch us home.

      Chemistry. Mr. Hogarth our teacher was always the gentleman and gave exam results first to the girls. Tiffy and I were amongst the first year to do the new A- levels which had replaced the Higher School Certificate, both Tiffy and I were taking chemistry at the Scholarship grade, higher than an A-level. A mock examination was taken at the school in February. Tiffy achieved 99% in Practical Chemistry and carrying her paper back to her seat stuck her tongue out at me as she walked past. Shortly afterwards she went wild when my result was 100%. Everyone except Tiffy was highly entertained as she let rip as only red heads can. I last saw Tiffy at her 21st birthday party which was held at the Green Tree on the road to Doncaster, then the most up-market place for such occasions. Tiffy went to London University and got a First Degree Honours in Chemistry at a time when honours were not dished out like smarties as they are now. She married a gentleman some years older than herself and rumour has it that she was widowed and remarried. She has not attended any of the bi- annual Grammar School reunions, so I cannot give a progress report. Tiffy was also a member of the Assassins, otherwise known as the 1st . 11 Hockey team. Only once did we sixth form males volunteer to play them at hockey. Photograph attached. Tiify, front row third from left.

      Newspaper Clipping

    5. rosemary hepton
      rosemary hepton at · · Reply

      I am the granddaughter of Flo fox nee Sayles her father was Fred and mother Annie everatt i have been looking for information on the farm in wash hole lane eastoft after fred’s death and his 2nd wife Lilly. We have traced the everatts

    6. Sarah Crawley
      Sarah Crawley at · · Reply

      Me and my partner have recently purchased Ashdale House. I’m finding it fascinating reading all your stories about the area.

    7. Bill Goldthorp
      Bill Goldthorp at · · Reply

      Ashdale. before the fly over bypass was built, Wharf Road, joined New Trent Road and went south to cross the railway then a bridge over the canal and on to cross the Doncaster – Scunthorpe Road and then the double rivers and onwards to Belton and Epworth. This road is centuries old, you can find it on an old map that Angus has copied on the website.
      Ashdale was the first large house on the right coming from Crowle. A large house it was used during the war to house boy evacuees who stayed for most of the hostilities.
      The Ashdale gang as we Tetley gang members called them.
      There was a lane on its southern side which went to the Potato factory and brickworks. Then the brickworks had its cricket pitch in front of the Potato factory. Where it was often possible to get a game as they had difficulty in fielding a full side.
      After the war I believe it was divided into two. One part was occupied by Tom (I Think) Fretwell and his wife. Tom’s mother was the organist at Fieldside Methodist Church for many years. 1945 to 46 the Methodist church ladies were in a quandary. Soldier Tom in Austria had married a local girl. I think they imagined someone stocky in jackboots with a whip. The young lady was absolutely delightful and had them all won over to her side in an instant. They were very elderly when I last heard of them. I assume the inevitable has happened.

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