Fire from the Sky

Old LaF 2013

In her interviews for Exploring Filey’s Past Ann Wilkie née JOHNSON recalled two incendiary raids on Filey during the Second World War. In the first, the bombs rained down on the West Avenue area and brought a dance at the Southdene Pavilion to a premature close: –

…the dancin’ finished straight away and you were scurryin’ on and duckin’ down, y’ know. One thing, we only had to go from Southdene to Rutland Street so there’s just Brooklands in between, y’ know…and me friend lived in Bell Vue Street. So we hadn’t far to go but it was frightening, scurryin’ along, y’ know. And, of course at home, y’ see, we, when the sirens went, we just went down into the basement, y’ know it was, erm, well, safe I suppose down there. But, erm, yes and then at the Laundry End I think it was worse still, y’ know…

Doreen Mason née HOLMES remembered: –

…we were at the Southdene Pavilion dancin’ and …somebody said, I’ll go and get you a glass of cider at that pub at bottom … and these incendiary bombs were comin’ all off the roofs, so I dashed out and, by God, din’t I run home?

For Doreen, this was the night of the Laundry Hill raid and when she heard that her job had gone up in flames: –

…ooh good laundry’s burnt down. Good, hurray, hurray (laughter). Oh lovely…

Filey Laundry today, 54.212080, -0.290342

Lily Cronk née COLLING was working at the Brigg Cinema when the incendiaries began to rain down. She reckoned that 11,000 were dropped on the town and she had close encounters with a “helluva lot” of them.

I went up on t’ roof at Brigg…with a sweepin’ brush and swept ‘em off (laughter). I don’t know how the hell…I wunt do it now but I did. Hung through thing and took a brush, long brush, y’ know… I ‘ad ‘em off before they went off, must ‘ave ‘ad because [they] din’t do any damage… I just swept ‘em off top… I din’t care where the ‘ell they went as long as they weren’t on top o’ cinema…whether I did right or wrong. But I can’t a done wrong can I? (laughter). It was still there next mornin’.

Keith Lang’s sister worked at the Laundry and he recalled that she lost some of her clothes to the flames.

Nancy Mann nee BROWNING was employed at the Laundry for quite a long time but her health suffered and Dr Dibb wrote a letter enabling her to leave for more amenable work as a shop assistant. During the war, she was a First Aider and was expected to work alternate nights – but to turn up for duty if bombs were falling. On the 26th February –

…it was my night on and I went round as large as life an’ they ses, where were you last night? I ses, I was in bed, why? Well, din’t you ‘ear bombs droppin’?

About 80 metres south of the Laundry an incendiary fell onto Cammish’s Shop, 2c Mitford Street. Robert ‘Bobbin’ CAMMISH raked the tail fin from the gutter – and here it is, with a 20 pence piece to give an idea of scale… Thanks to Joanne for allowing me to photograph it.

The missing “business end” would have been about 12 inches/30 cms long.

Joanne emailed to say that the cast iron guttering still has a crack in it and “every time it rains a poor unsuspecting passer-by gets a reminder of Hitler’s actions to this country”.

Anniversaries

1880 Filey · Birth  George was the fourth of ten children born to Mark SCOTTER and Alice COLLING. He married Mary Ann SAYERS when he was 21 and had two children. He died at the age of 36, a few months before his father was shot and killed by a U Boat crewman while fishing from his yawl Susie.

Shared Tree

1789 Frodingham (or Beeford) · Baptism  George was the non-bio father of Martha ROOM (Anniversary Marriage 27 January). I speculated a month ago that Martha was a nurse child of George’s wife, Rachel MAULSON. This Rachel has since been replaced by another – Rachel ROOM. So Martha was maybe raised by her mother’s sister and George. The church register indicates that George was a widower when he married Rachel Room.

Shared Tree

1867 Filey · Marriage  In the thirteenth year of his marriage, William was washed overboard from the yawl Elizabeth and Emma off Robin Hood’s Bay during the Great Storm of 1880. He is remembered on the Fishermen’s Window in St Oswald’s church. Johanna (or Joanna Hannah) married again. She is the brother of John (Anniversary Birth 3 February).

Shared Tree

1976 Filey · Death

Photographer unknown, no date, courtesy Martin Douglas.

I think Arthur’s shop was in Queen Street – and he’d relied on those crutches for many years.

He was cremated on 27 February and his ashes were buried with his wife Ruth on 3 March.

Shared Tree

Beach 158 · Butcher Haven

Alice and Her Sisters

Alice COCKCROFT was one of the three widows left to “lament their bereavement” following the deaths of their husbands in November 1852. She was well practised in lamentation.

On the 29th August that year, her younger sister Esther had been laid to rest, aged 17. Ten days later, her elder sister Hannah was buried.

1852_COCKCROFTsisters_Bur

Alice’s daughter Mary was about 9 months old at this time and her niece, Sarah Ann BIELBY, had recently celebrated her first birthday. There may not have been much discussion before the bereft man and woman, each with an infant to raise, chose to live together. (They would be inseparable for about fifty years.)

The 1861 census found Alice keeping house for George Bielby and Sarah  Ann in Foxroyd Yard, Flamborough. (Mary was with grandmother Sarah Cockroft in South Street.) Ten years later the two girls, now 19, were in Front Street, Flamborough, with their “single parents”.

Mary Stephenson flew the unusual but practical nest first, in 1874, to marry William Joseph GARDINER. The couple moved to Hull and lived in Terry Street for about forty years – without the “blessing” of children.

Sarah Ann married Richard Acklam BAYES in September 1876 and had four children, three girls and a boy who would play cricket for Yorkshire.

George William Bayes, as an amateur in a summer sport, would almost certainly not have given up his job as a fish buyer, or his home in Flamborough. In 1933 he made a short film of fishermen at North Landing and “the climmers” on the headland. You can watch it here. George William was not related by blood to George Stephenson but it would be surprising if he hadn’t been told stories about his “granduncle”.

1933_GeoWmBAYES_screengrab
Screengrab from George William’s film.

I have made some connections on the FamilySearchTree that help to form a picture of the future denied to George Stephenson. I am unable to present his forebears because there are problems to be resolved.

I have found Flamborough Fishing Families to be a reliable online resource but in this instance, it doesn’t agree with FST.

FFF indicates that George’s parents are George and Mary née CHADWICK. I think this is correct.

FST marries George, son of George and Mary, to a “Mrs Stephenson”, with daughters born in 1857 and 1862. I think Mrs S is Jane DANBY, of North Frodingham. She married George there and they raised their family in Roos. Just to confuse matters further, FFF has the George who went to Roos marrying “Elizabeth”.

Of the three men who drowned in 1852, two families (Bailey and Major) have representatives buried or remembered in Filey St Oswald’s churchyard. If I find Flamborough Stephenson connections to Filey I may return to the difficulties with George senior and junior.