Nature Morte 28 · Little Gull

Bridge Hole

Edith Emily ELLERKER was the only daughter of Robert Dixon ELLERKER and Frances Mary GILMAN.  She was born in Filey, baptised at the Ebenezer and had three brothers. In 1911, older brother Robert was  23 and on census night he was boarding in London where he worked as an assistant surveyor of taxes with the Inland Revenue. Edith had also left home and was boarding in Beverley that year, working as a milliner. Her youngest brother Herbert was a draper’s assistant in Hull and Walter was in the parental home, a grocer’s assistant aged nineteen. Three years later the Great War began. Walter and Herbert answered the call and it would be the death of them. (See Brothers in Arms.)

The war had to be paid for, so I guess Robert’s job was considered a reserved occupation. In June 1919 he married Nora CHANDLER in her home village of Rowsley, Derbyshire. About eight months later, Edith married Frederick William COLLETT in Knaresborough. Frederick, a “musical student” in 1911, was working ten years later on his own account as a caterer and confectioner at 3 Cheltenham Parade, Harrogate – employing Edith as an assistant. When the Register was taken in September 1939, he was a “missionary”, at 8 Cheltenham Parade with Edith and two of their three children. Six years earlier he had found himself in an embarrassing position.



Harrogate magistrates were occupied for several hours today, hearing charges against Frederick William Collett, refreshment house keeper, Cheltenham Parade, allowing women of a certain type to assemble in the refreshment-house and using the premises for an immoral purpose.

Evidence was given by police officers as to incidents which they allege took place when they visited the premises in plain clothes as customers. They said there were mirrors in the shop and the café behind enabling anything that happened in either place to be seen in the other, Collett, it was alleged, knew what was happening. It was not suggested that he made any money directly out of the improper use.

Collett, who was represented by Mr. Masser, said he knew some of the women customers were of a certain class. They only came there for food, and as a licensed refreshment-housekeeper he understood he must supply them. If there was anything wrong in their conduct, he turned them out at once.

Several witnesses testified to the orderly conditions in the shop and café.

The Mayor (Alderman J. A. Whiteread) said the Bench believed the evidence of the police officers whom he congratulated on the way they had given it. Collett was fine 40s. on the first summons and £20 on the second.

Leeds Mercury 15 February 1933

I think Frederick may have been unfairly treated – mirrored walls in refreshment houses were, and possible still are, ubiquitous. But I can’t begin to imagine Edith’s life with this man over the next three decades. Her probate record hints at separation.

Alfred Bush was the husband of Edith’s daughter, Joan Christine. Frederick’s death was registered in Claro in 1978.

Filey Genealogy & Connections is quite sure that Mary GILLICK was baptized in County Cavan on this day in 1863 but holds back on a source. A contributor to Find my Past agrees though and that’s good enough for me. Mary married William Richardson at St Oswald’s in January 1886 and they filled their small house in Queen Street with children. Have a nose around the cottage in its current ownership here (or search online for Billy Napps Cottage).

Billy Napp is (possibly) pictured below at the end of Queen Street, far right.

Photographer unknown, no date, courtesy of Joanne Cammish

Born in Burton Agnes, tailor Charles William PERCY married Alice Ann JOHNSON at Filey St Oswald’s in 1896. The Shared Tree represents them well. Alice is the granddaughter of Alice BAKER (AP 167 · death · 28 January).

Row 11 | 1925 Percy F12

In memory of ALICE ANN, beloved wife of CHARLES W. PERCY, died July 10th 1937, aged 69 years.

‘At rest’

Also, the above CHARLES W. PERCY, died Feb 8th 1953, aged 83 years.

Crimlisk Survey 1977

FG&C has it that Marjorie Morris HOSKINS was born just across the street from Billy Napp and died less than a hundred yards up Queen Street 61 years later. Her father Geoffrey was a painter and decorator and so was the man she married, though Kenneth Richard ABBS may have been serving with the RAF when the couple exchanged vows at St Oswald’s in May 1941. After Marjorie’s death, Kenneth lived for over thirty years after Mary died. I don’t think either has a place on the Shared Tree – “Geoffrey Moris Hoskin” [GNJ6-W84] is in want of a wife on the Shared Tree so Marjorie doesn’t have a presence there yet.

I don’t know why Claud ELLIS died so young. His parents, Eli and Clara née WROE were from Dewsbury but the last four of their children were born in Filey where the Laundry was clearly a big attraction for them. Five of the family were probably employed on Laundry Hill in 1911. The eldest of the “child laundresses”, Florrie, named her first son Claude in 1920 – registered as Claude Lancelot SIMPSON in Knaresborough. Eli [L13D-XK5] and Clara [9ZPL-W3K] are not yet married on the Shared Tree.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s