Elizabeth of Picturesque Terrace

My main concessions to lockdown have been to take my cameras for a walk once a day rather than twice, and go hunting for food once a week. I have more time to sit at the computer but spend much of it trying to understand the extraordinary event we are all experiencing. Living history is rather more exciting than raking over the past, and Filey genealogy is a casualty of the Virus War.

I still have an appetite for family history though, and given that my number may be called soon it seems more appropriate to pick up the threads of my own people.

When I fled Cold Comfort Cottage twelve years ago I brought a few sticks of furniture to Filey, including two bookcases. One was my father’s, the other mine. Both began their working lives in my childhood home – and both had been well made by Lorry. I know, he was probably Laurie. He wasn’t a blood relative but was married to Phyllis. They visited us maybe once a year, were quiet and pleasant. My rudimentary Roots Magic database tells me that Phyllis is a first cousin once removed. Our common ancestors are my great grandparents  Henry LOCKETT and Mary Ann MORGAN.

Mary Ann is almost alone amongst my forebears in having an air of romance and mystery. In one source she claims to have been born in France, in another the Channel Islands. Sort of romantic. The mystery is enshrined in a hand-me-down story that her father saved a number of people from a wrecked ship, rowing out in his small boat like a male Grace Darling and being rewarded with a memorial somewhere on Guernsey. Or maybe Jersey. I don’t know his first name. It may not be a true story.

Phyllis was the only daughter of Elizabeth Ann LOCKETT and William Henry Phillip SMAWFIELD. I remember my dad telling tales about his Aunt Lizzie Smawfield. She was a character though I don’t recall ever meeting her. (I was eight-years-old when she died.) She was William Smawfield’s second wife. The first was the Elizabeth of Picturesque Terrace who married at eighteen, bore a daughter that died almost immediately, and then slipped away herself the following year. There is a photograph of Picturesque Terrace online but it isn’t the “seriously ironic” place she called home. Astonishingly, Hull had two Picturesque Terraces. Elizabeth’s was in Manchester Street and no longer exists – having been obliterated by hideous modern warehouses and engineering sheds.

Find Elizabeth on the Shared Tree.

Bird 77 · Tufted Duck


Observing social distance. This morning there was just one male Tufty on the lake, looking rather apprehensive in the middle of a gang of mallard drakes.

I shared Filey Sands today with one man, his dog and a seal. Until I can walk long distances again, and freely, I’ll incorporate Today’s Images in “standard” posts.



Photographer: A. T. Spencer, Hull, 1931


My mother fell 31 years short of receiving a birthday card from the Queen. She would have been 100 today. She is thirteen years old in the photograph above, masquerading as a French peasant girl. This seems rather faux as the theme of the gathering appears to be the promotion of British Empire produce.

My mother went to Lime Street School in Hull. A Board School built in 1879, it was blitzed in 1941 and subsequently demolished. The numbers and age range of the children suggest they may have all come from that one school for an end of academic year treat.

They are in the Oddfellows Hall, Charlotte Street. The names on the Honours Board at the back made place identification easy – if I’m correct in my deduction, that is.The framed portrait collection to the right celebrates Workers of the Centenary Year. (The Friendly Society was formed in 1810.)

My Pavlovian response to the names was, obviously, to see who I could find on FamilySearch Tree. James William WINDAS was hiding in plain sight. He was a yeast manufacturer.

1931_OddfellowsMum2_4mDoris Lockett left school at fifteen and worked in a grocer’s shop. My dad was a shop assistant too, but I can’t remember if their eyes met across a crowded stock room. In their late teens, they went on holiday to Blackpool, chaperoned by my grandmother, Ruth Anna. I think the photo below may have been taken there in 1937. I miss her but we meet occasionally in dreams and talk nonsense.