The Value of a Good Education

On Thursday 17th March 1881, Henry DARLEY, 42, attended his first Spelling Bee, acting as Chairman for the social evening, held in the Spa Saloon, Filey.

Juveniles under fourteen were tested first. All the local elementary schools were represented and Florence PICKERING took the first prize and Tom SCRIVENER the second. I have no record of Florence but Tom was twelve-years old, son of one of the town’s doctor. Both children attended Mrs Holmes’ school.

A Miss “BRAWSHAW” of Beach House was victorious in the adult competition, with Mr RICARDO second. Neither is to be found in Filey Genealogy & Connections. Thinking the lady may have been wrongly transcribed, I looked among the Brayshaws and Bradshaws without finding a likely candidate.

The chairman said that they had two  more prizes for anyone in the audience  to compete for, and he would very glad for them to go on to the platform while the band was playing. Twenty-one competitors stepped forward, but many of them were soon disposed of, six of them coming down with “Oolite”. After that good stand was made, but eventually all the gentlermen succumbed, and only five ladies were left, when some most excellent spelling was gone through, and then another breach in the  ranks was made, when the field was left to Miss MacCullen and Miss Latham.   Between them the contest was  most  severe. The  two  were spelling upwards of ten minutes, when Miss Latham gave way, and Miss MacCullen remained the victor.

“Miss MacCullen” was almost certainly one of the McCALLUM sisters. Lucy Eliza, 39, was headmistress of the school she ran at Clarence House, West Avenue, with younger sister Margaret. 34. Both ladies can be found on the FamilySearch Tree under the name McCULLUM. (In both the 1881 and 1891 censuses, Lucy’s middle name is Martha.)

A good bet for Miss LATHAM is Rose, 28, a Governess working for the NICHOLSON family where one of her charges was Maud. Aged eleven in 1881 this child would later marry the much older Arthur Nevile COOPER, vicar of Filey for fifty years.

During the evening several duets were sung by Miss MacCullen’s pupils, Dr. Haworth, and the Vicar [Rev. Cooper], accompanied on the pianoforte by Miss Latham.

The McCallum sisters put education before marriage but in her mid-thirties Rose married widower Thomas Newton HARRISON in her home village of Tattershall, Lincolnshire.

The Scarborough Mercury reporter ended his piece –

We understand that another spelling bee and  a geographical  bee will be  held in about a fortnight. We hope that all who possibly can will go, as we feel assured that a more enjoyable evening has not been spent at Filey than on the occasion of the spelling bee.

The Spa Saloon would subsequently become Ackworth House and it has retained the name following extensive renovation. This morning it was unblemished in the morning sunlight – all the builders’ stuff gone and with furniture on the balcony shared by owners of favoured sea-facing apartments.

Wave 39 · Filey Bay

Filey Promenade (near Ackworth House)

The Tide Has Turned

Alan Jones reports on the abuse of Zoe.

Wesleyans

Today’s Image reminded me of the group of visiting Wesleyans who gathered on the veranda of Ackworth House, in its earlier incarnation of the Spa Baths (possibly).

Wesleyans
Photographer unknown, no date, courtesy Joanne Cammish

I speculated about the date of this gathering in a post on Looking at Filey some years ago. I have nothing to add now, except to express some uncertainty about the photograph’s location. I want to believe the worthy Victorians are occupying the very space enclosed by glass and photographed this morning, but the corner of the building doesn’t quite fit the present–day reality. It will be interesting to see how the space is used when the renovation of the property is complete.

Update 12 February

On this morning’s walk, I peered through the veranda windows and saw that the Ackworth veranda had an area around the corner where Victorian Wesleyans could hide from the photographer. No more uncertainty.

 

Friending Private Jarvis

We are all alone, born alone, die alone, and—in spite of True Romance magazines—we shall all someday look back on our lives and see that, in spite of our company, we were alone the whole way. I do not say lonely—at least, not all the time—but essentially, and finally, alone. This is what makes your self-respect so important, and I don’t see how you can respect yourself if you must look in the hearts and minds of others for your happiness.

Hunter S. Thompson, The Proud Highway: Saga of a Desperate Southern Gentleman, 1955-1967

William Isaac David JARVIS is not alone in St Oswald’s churchyard. He is one of eight servicemen in two short rows. They are all ”strangers” to the town and it seems appropriate that they are neighbours to nine of the crew of the Italian barque Unico, wrecked on Filey Brigg in January 1871. You can see their small obelisk beyond William’s stone in the photo below.

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In the summer of 1940, the 1st Battalion Royal Berkshires formed part of the British Expeditionary Force’s 6th Brigade in the Battle for France. Dan Eaton on Angel Fire confirmed a hunch that William must have experienced the horrors of Dunkirk.

The only casualty to die whilst recuperating in Filey, William died on Thursday 24th October 1940 at the Ackworth Hotel on Filey Promenade.  The coroner recorded that the cause of his death was due to a rifle bullet wound to the head, but not a recently self-inflicted one.  It is most likely that these wounds were received shortly before or around the time of the Dunkirk evacuations, as these were only three months earlier.

William’s CWGC page is the first I’ve seen that makes no reference to his birth family and/or spouse. No date of birth is indicated but, if he was in his twenties, surely there must have been kin somewhere not too far away. (It seems a little strange that he was brought all the way from the south coast to Filey if he wasn’t known to anyone here.)

Research this afternoon did find maternal grandparents, parents, two sisters and a brother in law but the records didn’t quite hang together. More work needs to be done. If I am on the right track, though, William’s birth was registered in September 1911 in Pancras, London. His parents, Walter Charles JARVIS and Lucy LOVELL married in the last quarter of 1898. Their first child, Maria Florence died in 1902 in her second year, There was a gap of nine years before William’s arrival. In 1913 his sister Lily Blanche was born and she married Arthur R MOONEY just before war was declared. The Census taken three weeks or so after hostilities began showed that Walter and Lucy were living in Bristol with a son (probably), born in 1918. Walter worked as a stoker in a hospital and Maurice was a furniture salesman.

If these folk were not his family, if he didn’t have any nearest and dearest, I hope William had at least one unexpected visit from an old friend. Respect, Mama – and Jan.