Killing Fields

Friday 25 January 1895

Filey: Events of the Week

During the past week there has been very little of importance occurring at Filey. Matters have been jogging on in the usual quiet easy way. On Monday an occurrence of considerable interest to naturalists took place. There were to be seen flying over the noted Brigg hundreds of birds known as the roche or Iceland awk. It is said they are the harbingers of bad Weather, and Wednesday’s gale has proved that to be the case in this instance. Many of the birds flew inland. Mr J. Fountain, Foord’s Hotel, was proceeding along the Scarborough road later in the day, and picked up one of them in an exhausted con­dition. Several knights of the trigger were on the lookout and succeeded in killing several, it is a very rare thing to witness such a sight. The oldest inhabitant does not remember having seen so many of the Iceland awk at one time, and some winters, it happens that not one of these birds are seen. Mr. J Fountain intends having three of them stuffed, to be made use of as an ornament.

The Scarborough Mercury


1799 · John JOHNSON · L268-7DF

John has an extensive pedigree on the FamilySearch Shared Tree and a brief Life Sketch. Quite a few of his and Rebecca’s descendants have photographic portraits attached to their Details pages as Memories. And at the end of his life…


One of ten children born to George and Elizabeth née BRIDEKIRK, John has made little impression on the Shared Tree. Sisters Jane and Isabella married into VAREY and JENKINSON families, thereby producing many Filey descendants for George and Elizabeth. (They have few known forebears.) I don’t know if John made it through childhood.

1865 · William COLLING · MGC1-14W & Betsy JENKINSON

William is a grandson of George COLLING, who was part of the fisher migration south from Eyemouth, and a great-granduncle to Bill “Bullocky” Colling who died in 2015. Betsy is a second great-granddaughter of William the  “first Filey Jenkinson”.

1967 · William Watkinson WILLIS · LYBJ-HGX

William married Edith, daughter of Mortimer “Shaggy” CHAPMAN. In an Open Book memorial in the churchyard, Edith is remembered with her son William who died at the end of 1967, aged 33. Father William is remembered on a flower container, which I could not find this afternoon. His inscription –

Loving memory of my dear husband BILL, from his loving wife EDITH, died Jan 21st.

Here is the Book –

The partly obscured verse reads –

The kiss of the sun for pardon,

The song of the bird for mirth,

One is nearer God’s heart in a garden

Than anywhere else on earth.

1887 · Eleanor AUTON · MGBY-ZZ6

Eleanor married John HARRISON at St Oswald’s in 1881 and died six years later. Filey Genealogy is uncertain about which John and, for now, she remains single on the Shared Tree. But John, though he lived on for another forty years, is remembered on a headstone with his in-laws.

In loving memory of ELEANOR HARRISON, who died Jan 17 1887, aged 35 years.

And of JOHN HARRISON, husband of the above, who died June 16 1921, aged 75 years

Also, WILLIAM WILLIAMSON AUTON who died May 9 1892, aged 63 years.

And JANE AUTON, his wife, who died April 7 1900, aged 72 years.

Abstract 88 · Glen Gardens Lake


From Looking at Filey, 23 January 2011

Shay Turner has written a brief biography of Joshua FOUNTAIN, who died this day 1923, and you can read it in Growth of a Seaside Haven, the book of the Exploring Filey’s Past Project, at the Crimlisk Fisher Archive. The piece contains a small photo of Joshua in the Foords Hotel yard with a score of hens and tame seabirds around his feet – and a magnificent cockerel. Also clearly magnificent, even in this tiny image, is Joshua’s moustache. Shay writes, ‘He was not a big man but sported an eye-catching and prodigious white moustache.’

…The couple met at Lincoln Union Workhouse. Joshua was working there in 1861 as a porter and gardener and by 1871 he was Master. It was normally expected that the Master should have a military background and be married but childless, the wife taking the post of Matron. Shay writes, ‘As Joshua fulfilled none of the normal criteria, he must have had exceptional qualities.’ Matron in the early 1870s was Sarah Ann JACKSON, a spinster.

They must have been a good team because they left the Workhouse in early 1876, married in Sarah Ann’s Parish Church and almost straight away moved up to Filey. Joshua became licensee of The Ship Inn also known as T’awd Ship or T’oard Ship. Twenty-two years later, perhaps fancying a change of scene, they moved next door to the ‘more prestigious’ Foords Hotel!

Sarah Ann died in 1910 and Joshua retired two years later from innkeeping, livery stabling, carriage proprietorship and cattle breeding, ‘moving to 4 Cromwell Avenue where he was cared for by a Mrs Sweetman.’ Shay writes that Joshua ‘remained in good health until three months before his death in 1923.’

Joshua FOUNTAIN was clearly a character and perhaps somewhat eccentric, having ‘unusual pets’ that included a fox, a monkey and a badger. There may also have been a ‘scaled-down carriage for a pet goat to pull.’ But he also gave much in the way of unpaid public service on various committees. Shay reports that he was on the Board of Guardians of Scarborough Workhouse, a member of the Local Board of Health and pressed for the building of the present sea wall. (He was amongst the official party when the first stone was laid.) He clearly cared for his fellow human beings as well as his birds and animals, and was ‘known and respected by townsfolk and visitors alike’. I wonder, though what became of his pauper mother and siblings.

Old News

Friday 20 January 1939

The magistrates on Friday granted a licence for the new cinema. Under the title of the Brig Cinema, it will be opened on Monday next. With seating for 821 people, it is built on the latest pattern. There are large entrance halls and seats have more than the usual amount of leg room. The cinema is lofty, has the latest type of ventilation, and is well heated throughout Mr. S. Mortimer, supported by members of the Council, their wives and officials of the Council and their wives, officially opened the cinema on Monday. He remarked that the cinema would be a great asset to Filey and that people who went to Scarborough, Bridlington and even Hull for their entertainment, would now stop in Fley. It was a step in Filey’s progress.


MONDAY, January 23rd, for THREE DAYS.



At last, the story of Hollywood the world has been waiting for. The greatest picture with a Movieland background ever made.

THURSDAY, January 26th, for THREE DAYS.


Return of the Scarlet Pimpernel (u)

A London production as good as and better than any Pimpernel film made.



Prices: 1’6, 1’-, 6d.

(Children Half-price except Saturdays).

The Scarborough Evening News & Daily Post


1883 · Sarah Mary CAMMISH · G4ZK-9M7

Filey Genealogy & Connections lost track of Sarah after her birth. On the Shared Tree, I found her married to Frederick Charles Stanley FRANKLAND. Frederick’s first wife, Sarah Ann WOODS had died in 1908, aged 23.

Sarah and Frederick married in 1911. Sons were born in 1915 and 1920 and the family was living in Somerset Street, Hull at the outbreak of the Second World War. (Younger son, Frank, was an apprentice Aircraft Fitter.) Other members of Sarah’s birth family had also moved down to Hull to live. Her father, John Pinkney Cammish died there in 1947, aged 91.

Husband Frederick died in 1951 and Sarah five years later, aged 73.

1850 · William Simpson MARTIN · MGC1-TSH

William’s mother, Jane SIMPSON, was born in Filey in 1827. He would marry Jane HOLMES in 1869 and her mother was Mary SIMPSON, born Filey in 1828. The two mothers are not related by blood. Filey Genealogy & Connections has little to say about William and the Shared Tree hasn’t yet given him in wedlock to Jane [LD54-C4F).

1830 · Benjamin ELVIDGE · MJ6S-BCT & Ann HOBSON

Benjamin and Ann were children of the Holderness Plain. Their connection to Filey would be established when their son, Frederick, married Jane, daughter of Thomas SUGGIT and Zillah AGAR.

1973 · Ada COBB · 2Z4C-9DN

Ada was born about eighteen months before her putative father, Joseph William WILLIS, married Sarah COBB. Sarah was only sixteen when she gave birth, not 22 as currently indicated on the Shared Tree. Ada has her father’s name at the 1901 census but marries David East DOUGLAS as a Cobb in 1909. Her father gives her away and a couple of weeks later dies, aged 39.

About 1898, Joseph William and Ada, courtesy Martin Douglas

1898 · Zillah AGAR · 30 Suggit A5

Zillah, the wife of Thomas SUGGIT, is the grandmother of Mary Veronica (Monday Birth Anniversary). She died at Wenlock House in Church Street, survived by six (maybe seven) of her nine children. Her youngest son, Henry Vies, was with her when she died.

Courtesy Smith/Suggit families via Kath Wilkie

Beach 155 · Filey Sands