January 1, 1970

Transport in Crowle. – Submitted by Bill Goldthorp

By Bill Goldthorp

I have no photographs of transport when I lived in Crowle. Very few people had cars, most used bicycles. The cinema in Epworth and the Olde Tyme Dances, in the village halls at Xmas if we could not scrounge a lift in a car was also by bicycle. Our dinner suit trousers well tucked into long socks, the girls had their dresses in a haversack and changed at the venue. Even Grammar School celebration would be by bicycle to Scunthorpe if none of the fathers could be persuaded to pick us up by car.

The daytime bus service was reasonable, several buses to Scunthorpe direct and round by the villages, Eastoft, Garthorpe and Keadby, Ben’s Bus to and from Goole and the Advance bus passing through from Goole to and from Gainsborough.

The passenger train to Goole on the Isle of Axholme Light Railway to Goole had long since ceased to run, but there were trains from Grimsby to Doncaster and back that stopped at Crowle Wharf.

Prior to the development of the combustion engine it was all horse drawn.

Johnson 115.

A coach and pair waiting outside the White Hart, probably late 19th Century. The
coachman appears to be in livery, most likely a visiting dignitary, or the Maws of
Tetley Hall popping in for some refreshment. Maws married into the Stovins and took over the Hall. Captain Maw RN built the new hall in about 1820 probably using prize money gained during the Napoleonic Wars.

Ralph Maw a farmer still lived at Tetley when I was a boy. He lived in a wing of the Hall, which had become a separate house. He wife was the sister of Geoff Ramsden who still lives at the hall. Mike Maw the son, the same age, as myself was a regular playmate. Mike eventually had Curlews farm, he had become a fine up standing citizen, married with three small daughters, when he was tragically killed driving home on the Epworth road. The result of another driver’s stupidity if the truth had been told.

Another Captain Maw, Mike’s great x 4 or 5 uncle, was also in the Napoleonic Wars, this time in the army. He was killed at the Siege of Badajoz in 1812. The British lost 5,000 troops to the French 1,000 in that assault. It should be a battle honour, but for the fact that the high death toll had put the British troops into a bad mood when they finally got into Badajoz. Rape, looting, arson and murder, it took Wellington three days to get his troops under control.

Fact is stranger than fiction, there is a marvellous love story associated with that
siege. Anna Maria, a very pretty fifteen year old Spanish girl, fleeing from Badajoz with her sister asked some British officers for their protection. one of them Capt. Harry Smith fell for her hook, line and sinker. They were married. Wellington gave the bride away. All his friends thought he was stupid, but Harry had got himself a bargain, where ever |Harry was posted, Anna Maria went with him. Eventually Lt.- Gen. Sir Harry Smith was posted to South Africa, where the British settlers were so impressed by his wife they named a town after her, Ladysmith. Where 87 years after the Siege of Badajoz the more famous Siege of Ladysmith took place.

Why am I so interested in Badajoz? An illiterate private soldier, aged 22, was also at that siege, his job was so important that he was not allowed to volunteer for forlorn hopes or assault parties. Pte. William Goldthorp was his infantry company’s cobbler. Is it possible that my great x 2 grandfather mended Mike’s great x 4 or 5 uncle’s boots?

Johnson 127

Coaches outside the Red Lion, local wealthy farmers having a booze up, more likely cooking up some money making scheme. It would not be a Rotary Club meeting

Johnson 183

Horse drawn bus that took passengers from the Town Hall to Crowle Wharf Station.

Johnson 191

A farm’s riding ponies. The farm is Snowdrop Villa.


Family transport, a pony and trap, slightly different from those big off-roaders that today’s matrons like to take their children to school in.

Johnson 308 v6

A more junior style of transport. These may be from the Johnson family archives.

Grandfather Moses Oates senior rented Park Grounds Farm on the Hempson Hall
Estate. My mother described heading of to School in Reedness in a small donkey
drawn trap, several children with the older sister Auntie Nelly in charge. A very
reluctant donkey took them to school. He had to be jollied up with a yard brush thrust against his nether regions. No problem returning home he galloped all the way.

Johnson 172,

An Isle of Axholme Cycle Club outside the Bay Horse in Garthorpe.
Cycle clubs were all the rage, all over the country in the late 19th century.

Johnson 329

Whereas on the narrow boat canals of Lancashire, Cheshire, Yorkshire and
Derbyshire motive power was the horse on the broad canals such as the Stainforth and Keadby canals it appears to be wind power. There are no horses to be seen. Who pulled the boat when there was no wind, must have been his wife.

Johnson 177

Passing through Godnow Bridge.

Johnson 181

Is this passing Triangles farm.


Approaching Crowle Wharf, the brickworks chimney in the background.
The competitor that almost eliminated our canals alongside the railway train.

Johnson 337

Water transport is no good if you cannot move your boat. The Trent frozen over at West Butterwick in the winter of 1890 to 1891. Look over the stern of the first boat, a man is walking over the river.

Johnson 178

The brickworks chimney, what is the other building, post war I would have said the potato factory, but this is 50 years earlier.

Johnson 179

It looks identical to when I was a boy.

The Isle of Axholme Light Railway.

Johnson. 299

Goods train on the viaduct over no 1 drain, the main road to Scunthorpe, the river Torne and No. 2 drain. This could be any time from 1930 to 1960.

Johnson 306

I believe that this was the first passenger train when the railway was opened in 1904.

1904 The first car in Crowle, Dr Alexander and his chauffer.

Johnson 309

1920’s model. ? What.

Johnson 29

Richard Spivey’s KK Katie, I do not know where this was. There was an argument that Richard in maintaining his car had made so many of the replacement parts himself that KK Katie was in fact a modern car.