January 1, 1970

Wharf Road, Crowle, as it was. Bill Goldthorp

By 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.