January 1, 1970

Gervii (Fen Dwellers) – submitted by Bill Goldthorp

By Angus Townley

I am proud to admit being a 50% Gervi by inheritance and a born and bred Gervi until the age of 18 when I went to University. At this time immigrants into the Isle were rare. It probably accounts for my bizarre sense of humour which is constantly getting me into trouble. So here goes lets get into trouble again.
For the benefit of newcomers to Crowle who might occasionally find the old establiched families rather techy and at times difficult to get along with. I quote the following footnote from Read's History of the Isle of Axholme, written about 1850.
” The dwellers in the Lincolnshire fens were, in the Saxon times, called Gervii or Fen dwellers; a race of men, according to the nature of the place where they dwell, rude, uncivil and envious to all others.” Persons acquainted with the Islonians thirty ot forty years ago will readily admit that they were true descendants of the ancient Gervii. The great facility of intercourse with other parts of the kingdom, which has taken place over the last twenty-five years, owing to improvements of the roads, and the establishment of steam packets, which run daily between Gainsborough and Hull,has tended very much to ameliorate, if not totally to destroy their unfavourable characteristics.
Duck and run for cover.
Bill Goldthorp