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3. Reviews of Recent Meetings

Previous meetings for 2020

Meeting 18 February

 Tales of the Tiger- a history of the Ross Tiger

Ed Pexman

Chairman David’s comments

David noted that next month’s topic Lincolnshire Customs and Traditions – Tom Lane. He also reported significant finds at Caistor which include possible Roman water pipes. There may be some field walking in April.



Ed’s background. His family and himself have spent many years in the fishing industry. He is involved with Grimsby Fishing Heritage Museum which Ed is keen to promote. He knows the Ross Tiger very well and takes groups round it as it is tied up alongside the museum. The “Tiger” is still working as 300-400 people a week visit it.

Ed mentioned the sailing ketch/smack Estha. (Online sources describe it as a rare example of its type. The smack is a member of the National Historic Fleet of 155 vessels of pre-eminent importance in the UK’s maritime history, including ships such as the Cutty Sark and the HMS Belfast. It was built at John Collinson’s yard in Grimsby. She was originally called G.I.C. – derived from the initials of the Grimsby Ice Company and officially launched at around 8.15 am, on June 15, 1888, by Miss Harrington, the daughter of a local dignitary. The Esther’s vital statistics were; Length 68 and six-tenths feet, breadth 20 and six-tenths feet, depth 11 and three-tenths feet, tonnage 85. Unfortunately, she sank in July 2012 and lies alongside the Ross Tiger. A sad ending to what was once a fine vessel and a reflection, which Ed might echo, on how she was supposed to have been maintained whilst in the care of the local authority.)

Ed is now concerned about the condition of Grimsby’s Ross Tiger and made a comparison to the way Hull was maintaining its own trawler. (Hull had been awarded £15 million by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to upgrade the city’s Maritime Museum and move the Arctic Corsair, their own version of the Ross Tiger, to a dry dock in a more prominent position. The council will also put in £10m as part of the works.)

Ross Tiger was built at Cochrane’s shipyard in Selby in 1956. A Cat vessel, she was one of twelve such trawlers with cat names built over 5 years. Puma was the only one lost at sea. The Ross Zebra was the most unusual one. Engine 750 hp. 11 knots in speed. 355 tonnes. She took two and a half days to reach Faeroes. She fished mainly for colely. In summer she fished at Iceland for 12 days. Seven to eight hundred kits was a good catch especially if it could make £10,000. She was, unfortunately, with oil and other overheads, expensive to run and stopped fishing in1985. Her famous skippers included Lenny Smith. who has just died, and Dennis Avery who has been a Tour Guide.

Reprieved from breakers yard as oil industry standby boat. Cam Shipping took her as the Cam Tiger to 1992. Breakers?? She was then bought by North East Lincolnshire Council for £1 but cost £188000 to convert her back to a trawler. She also needed some preparation to make ready for school tours etc. Undoubtedly, a good experience for kids.

 Ed mentioned fishing nets in passing and their necessary repair which involved Braiding, a very important local occupation involving many women.

The Tiger needs £1m spending on its upkeep. It would be hoped that, as Hull has found good funding for its own trawler, Grimsby should do the same rather than allow it to go the same way as the Lincoln Castle Humber ferry. Ed made a number of comments about this.

Ed mentioned that the Tiger and Grimsby’s Fishing Museum have featured in the Most Haunted TV program. There have been some interesting events such as the ship’s engines starting up by themselves and a smell of drink. Perhaps Alf Hodson, a previous skipper now deceased, was telling Ed something. When a brass plaque to him was placed in the ship’s engine room and regularly polished, the hauntings seem to have ceased.

A very good talk as usual from Ed. Ed answered many questions from an enthusiastic audience to round off what was, as usual, an interesting night.

TSW 03/03/2020

Lost Villages and Old Pots

   A talk by David Start

21 January, 2020

Peter introduced the talk in the absence of Chairman David.

David talked about the locale and Lincolnshire specifically with illustrations using certain Deserted Medieval Villages (DMVs) as examples.

Sutterby DMV was discussed in particular (See poster) by David who lives at Swaby.

There was a fair distribution of DMVs on the Wolds with over 235 lost villages in county. Several are near Spilsby and David noted Gainsthorpe near Kirton in Lindsey.

Tyneham Village near Lulworth Cove, Dorset was used as a recent illustration of how villages can become deserted in this case by the necessities of war. All had a plot of land.

What do you expect to see in a lost villages?

Some characteristics would be houses with mud and stud walls. Perhaps two up two down dwellings. There would be a central doorway with lobby entry. Probably grouped along a main village street and surrounded by two or three large fields divided into strips tended by the villagers. There is usually a church and manor house. Examples: Bratoft, Derek lane, Coningsby, Little Steeping near Wainfleet, a good one in Skegness museum one at Habrough.

What makes a village?

Early settlements were made up of family groups for communal gain which had good benefits. Mutual protection against outside threats; co-operative efforts with farming so all were affected by good or bad times.

Medieval villages are what we are more used to. The church is usually there though some villages were without one like Brackenborough. A manor or hall usually there. Fields are all around formed with strips which villagers worked co-operatively. Usually a lane/road/hollow way is associated with a settlement. Some settlements had moats like South Reston or Brackenborough.

Where are they?

DMVs are an Easternish and Midlandish feature meaning there tends to be more in these areas than other parts of England due to the distribution of population in the Middle Ages. There are more on the Wolds because of the economic system and the nature of the terrain.

Reasons for the desertion of settlements.

1.       Monastic takeover

2.       Climatic variations? (13 14C)

3.       Black Death

4.       Enclosure and sheep farming

5.       Emparking (17 – 19c)

Finding deserted villages

Goltho. Had a mound and extensive settlement. Erased by ploughing in the 1960s.


Sutterby church.

Itterby, Oole and Thrunscoe in Cleethorpes.

Calceby and Calcethorpe.

Sutterby project.

It is positioned near Spilsby. There are no earthworks.

Friends of Friendless Churches renovated it recently.

Sutterby was always small. No prehistoric settlement has been found so far though flint tools have been found. It was affected by the disasters of the 14th century like many villages. There was a medieval emphasis up to 1450s. 87% of pottery local from Toyton all Saints. The village sits on a spring line which is perhaps the reason for the siting of the church. The Parish was abolished in 1935. In 2013/14 a field walking project began by a group of enthusiastic villagers and which is now largely over. An Iron age gold stater found worth £1000 along with the flint tools.

David gave a very interesting and much appreciated talk, as he always does, and members of  his audience were keen to ask questions especially during the coffee break.

              TSW January 2020

Previous meetings for 2019

17 September 2019

“Brown’s Panorama of Louth” – Stuart Sizer

General comments from Chairman.

The Swinhope Dig finished on Sunday and is being recorded today

Good Heritage Day. Possibly the most successful.

The Talk

A Video was shown by Stuart of the Panorama, now in Louth Museum.

Brown painted the town when St James’ Church tower was being repaired. It shows many windmills long since gone. It really shows Louth at the time The railway was a later addition

Ships in distance were those of the Royal Squadron on a visit.

Even a carpet making factory was shown which illustrates part of the range of industries available at the time.

Wm Brown was born in Yorkshire, He came from Malton To Louth in 1818.He was a house painter whose contemperory pictures of Louth clearly show a great deal of skill and artistry.

Louth spire was made of wood so it must have needed a lot of courage to paint from the top of the church especially on a windy day..

There were some omissions as he made sketche of the town which is understandable as it took some time to finish and he added new buildings such as the Town Hall and Corn Exchange later.

The work was very extensive as it showed the coast up to Sutton on Sea and demonstrates

fantastic draftsmanship as It shows Thames barges at Tetney Lock and other bits of industry such as lime for building

It did not only deal with Louth.

Louth at this time had more than its fair share of houses of ill repute as the pictures are full of little stories. It reflects the changing town from 1844 to the 1850s so the later pictures of railways are not there in 1844 He put the Town Hall in the Panorama in 1856 when it was built.

Stuart took us through the town street by street The re isso much detail in the picturesthat it helps to bring that period of Louth’s past alive.

It vanished for many years before being found and placed in Louth Town Hall. It was later cleaned and put in the town museum

Stuart’s talks are always Very interesting and informative and this talk was not the least of them.

TSW 6/11/19

AGM June 2019

Chairman’s Report


Nursery rhymes, Origin, history, and Meaning

Naughty or Nice?.

Ron Borsberry

Most nursery rhymes have historical backgrounds as Ron showed us, which was quite a revelation to most of us that evening. Most have their roots in history through word of mouth

The Tudor and Stuart period was a golden time for them.

Grimm’s Fairy Tales often have horrid beginnings, but to-day are seen to be very different to their originals. They, like most nursery rhymes have value as they teach listening and talking.

 Ring a Ring a Roses is well known and significant to most people though its connection with the Black Death may still not be realised to many.

 Ron covered a number of tales such as :

Little Bo Peep (Origin in smuggling?) The earliest record of this rhyme is in a manuscript of around 1805, which contains only the first verse. There are references to a children’s game called “bo-peep”, from the 16th century, including one in Shakespeare’s King Lear (Act I Scene iv), for which “Bo Peep” is thought to refer to the children’s game of peek a-boo, but there’s no evidence that the rhyme existed earlier than the 18th century

 Mary had a little lamb. The nursery rhyme was first published by the Boston publishing firm Marsh, Capen & Lyon, as a poem by Sara Josepha Hale on May 24, 1830, and was possibly inspired by an actual incident involving a lamb being taken to school.

 There are many others too numerous to go into such as :

Wee Willie Winky. Rudyard Kipling wrote a collection of nursery rhymes in the 1880s which included Wee Willie Winky.

 Jack and Jill It has been suggested that the rhyme records the attempt by King Charles 1 to reform the taxes on liquid measures. He was blocked by Parliament, so subsequently ordered that the volume of a Jack (1/8 pint) be reduced, but the tax remained the same. This meant that he still received more tax, despite Parliament’s veto. Hence “Jack fell down and broke his crown” (many pint glasses in the UK still have a line marking the 1/2 pint level with a crown above it) “and Jill came tumbling after”. The reference to “Jill” (actually a “gill”, or 1/4 pint) is said to reflect that the gill dropped in volume as a consequence. There are a number of other possible origins though the latter is popular.

 Rub a Dub Dub. In the original version as it appeared both in England and in the USA (Boston) the song was talking about three maids instead of three men. Later research, according to The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes (1951), suggests that the lyrics are illustrating a scene of three respectable townsfolk “watching a dubious sideshow at a local fair”

 Baa Baa Black Sheep may go back to Edward 1 concerning wool tax. He is also known as Dr Foster.

Hey Diddle Diddle. Sir William Catesby.

I had a little tree. Tudor origin.

Old Mother Hubbard. Henry V111 and Wolsey.

Little Boy Blue leads to the divorce of Henry V111 from Catherine of Aragon.

Little Jack Horner. It is thought to refer to a Jack Horner who lived at the time of the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII in 1536. Jack Horner served the abbot of Glastonbury and was instructed to take a huge Christmas pie to the King. Inside the pie were the deeds to the Manor of Mells in Somerset.

 Three Blind Mice Concerning Mary Tudor and the execution of 3 bishops.

Mary Mary Quite Contrary. One theory sees the rhyme as connected to Mary, Queen of Scots (1542–1587), with “how does your garden grow” referring to her reign over her realm, “silver bells” referring to (Catholic) cathedral bells, “cockle shells” insinuating that her husband was not faithful to her, and “pretty maids all in a row” referring to her ladies-in-waiting.

Some see silver bells as thumb screws.

Goosey Goosey Gander. The song was first recorded in 1784 by Gammer Gurton in his nursery rhymes collection The Nursery Parnassus (or Garland).

Although there is no exact evidence of this, it is believed that the origins of Goosey, Goosey Gander dates back to the 16th century, during King Henry VII’s reign, and it was used as propaganda of the Protestants against the Catholic Church.


Little Miss Muffet. The origin of “Little Miss Muffet” is most commonly attributed to Dr. Thomas Muffet, a notorious physician and entomologist from the 16th century, the author of a scientific illustrated guide about insects. “Little Miss Muffet” is about a girl named Patience, who was Dr Muffet’s stepdaughter. The lyrics probably tell the story of an incident when Patience ran away from her breakfast, being frightened by a spider from Dr. Muffet’s collection.

Mary Queen of Scots may be another origin.

Humpty Dumpty Sat on a Wall. Humpty Dumpty dates back to the early 19th century. At its origins it was a riddle, and the egg was probably the riddle’s answer.

In 17th century “humpty dumpty” was the name of a kind of brandy (source: Oxford English Dictionary) and the term was also used as a slang to describe a dull person. 

As I was going to Charing cross. This may be related to the execution Of Charles 1

Georgie Porgie Pudding and Pie. Although there are no evidences about this, the lyrics of “Georgie Porgie” are a reference to the 1st Duke of Buckingham, the courtier George Villiers (1592–1628).


Hickory Dickory Dock. It was fisrt recorded as “’Hickere, Dickere Dock” by Tommy Thumb in his Pretty Song Book collection, 1744, London.


Lucy Locket Lost her pocket. The first printed version of “Lucy Locket” was collected, along with other English Nursery Rhymes and Fairy Tales by James Orchard Halliwell around 1842. He was supposing that the characters, Lucy Locket and Kitty Fisher, were two of the Charles II courtesans or prostitute.

 The audience well received this talk. THE EVENING CLOSED AT 9 PM.

TSW 19 June, 2019


An introduction to the International Bomber Command Centre, Lincoln.

David Wallis

Peter introduced the evening as David, our chairman was indisposed.

 The Centre is not open Mondays. Lincoln was chosen because it was

 central to the 27 bomber bases in the county.

 The three aims of the centre:

Recognition, Remembrance, Reconciliation.

These aims are shown through how the IBCC recognises the sixty-two nations whose citizens served, supported and suffered in Bomber Command during WW2. and gave Manpower, Money and Supplies.

The IBCC has a number of sites of interest:

The Chadwick Centre;

The Peace Gardens;

The Memorial Spire and Walls;

The Hub Cafe.

 The Chadwick Centre is both educational and informative for both children and adults. It has a Digital archive which includes a Losses Database of over 55000 RAF personnel who lost their lives and which has taken 4 years to compile so far. Interviews, log book, photos, Diaries and personal letters have been gathered and are accessible. Over 2000 children have visited so far.

The Peace Garden is what its name signifies, an area of peace, quiet and contemplation.

 The Walls hold a list of nearly 58000 names of those members of Bomber Command who lost their lives in the Conflict of which the youngest was a 14 year old boy. It is the only place in world where such people are Commemorated. The Memorial Spire commands stunning views across Lincoln towards the ancient Cathedral which was so important for pilots returning from Raids into Germany. The red light on the top of the Cathedral was also used as a sighting point by German pilots so was not bombed due to its importance.


A very interesting meeting by David, much appreciated by his audience. It is obvious the Centre should be visited as soon as possible especially by young people “Lest we forget”.              TSW 2019

19 March

Quarry Discoveries

Lydia Hendry

Peter Allen chaired the meeting as our chairman David was indisposed and introduced Lydia who represents:

APS (Archaeological Project Services) and Heritage Lincolnshire who are preserving the Coaching Inn at Kirton near Boston. Over £2m is needed. Opening Easter 2020 as a multi-use building.


Lydia opened her talk describing some of the things she and Heritage Lincs and APS are involved with such as at Boston. In 2015 Boston joined the new Hanseatic League. This group of 200 towns and cities, in 16 northern European countries are renewing the links of the Hanse League. In May 2019 the Hanse Big Dig will give people from Boston the chance to dig on our site next to the River Witham. It is hoped to find the site of Boston’s Hanseatic warehouse or ‘Stiliard’, built around c.1300. Publicity for this and Kirton will, hopefully, help tourism and raise the profile of the area

Lydia then went on to give a brief history of aspects of archaeology. She noted a possible origin in the study of history and in people who were interested in the past. King Nabonidus (556–539 BCE), the last king of the Neo-Babylonian Empire, was interested in the past so he could align himself with past glories. He led a revitalization movement and rebuilt ancient temples. Early systemic investigation and historiography can be traced back to the Greek historian Herodotus (c. 484–c. 425 BCE). He was the first western scholar to systematically collect artifacts and test their accuracy. He was also the first to make a compelling narrative of the past. Art collecting or antiquarianism became very popular in China. Scholars generally view antiquarianism (involving materials, technologies, and objects of antiquity should be studied for their functionality and for the discovery of ancient manufacturing techniques.) as emerging only in the Middle Ages.  Flavio Biondo, an Italian Renaissance humanist historian, created a systematic guide to the ruins and topography of ancient Rome in the early 15th century, for which he has been called an early founder of archaeology. In England Antiquarians including John Leland and William Camden conducted surveys of the English countryside, drawing, describing and interpreting the monuments that they encountered. These individuals were frequently clergymen: many vicars recorded local landmarks within their parishes, details of the landscape and ancient monuments such as standing stones—even if they did not always understand the significance of what they were seeing.

Lydia brought us up to date with mention of more recent archaeologists such as Sir Mortimer Wheeler and recently, after WW2, there was a need for more housing in Britain due to bombing. Sites had to be cleared which threw up the spectre of unknown archaeological sites which had to be investigated and preserved if possible. Thus Rescue Archaeology appeared and, with it, government intervention and the systematic regulation of excavation and its results in Great Britain. Many small archaeological companies appeared of which APS is one offering a comprehensive range of consultancy and fieldwork services. Based in Heckington, Lincolnshire, it serves clients across the construction and development industries, public bodies and private individuals throughout the country.

Lydia described the importance of quarries especially in Lincolnshire and the archaeological techniques used to study them. There are around 2000 active quarries in the UK. She has found quarry owners are pleasant people to have a working relationship with. Government regulation requires a watching brief and, perhaps, an active archaeological department on site in all quarries for possible archaeological finds. Archaeology does not, therefore, come into conflict with quarry owners. It can also involve the local communities because of the interest in local history and heritage.

Lydia described Dorchester quarry (Hills Quarry Products) where a Roman stone sarcophagus with the well-preserved bones of a man in his late 20s or 30s was foundThe man would have been about 5ft 10in tall and an examination showed no signs of disease. The grave was among 11 other burials but, as none of the others had sarcophagi, no bones survived. In the Roman period, burial in a sarcophagus was moderately common in Italy but very unusual in Britannia, where even wooden coffins seem to have been rare. Only around 100 are known and it is believed that this might be only the 12th to come from Dorset, with 11 others all from Poundbury

 Another site she discussed was Middleton quarry near Kings Lynn, Norfolk. It is a significant Iron Age site which has helped to fill information on that area. Bronze age and  Iron Age deposits have been found. Much flint has been found also. Over 150 pits have been excavated showing habitation over a long period.

It is a special site. One of the most important Iron Age sites for decades. The quantity of material found amazing. Some complete pots have been found and there is speculation over whether it was a centre for pot production and whether the production of pots was by one potter?

Much amber has been found and it may have been a possible distribution center. There was not as much late Iron Age material but there were some Roman deposits.


In Lincolnshire, Lydia discussed Woodhall Spa Quarry site (Aggregate Industries, Woodhall Spa Quarry). 

which is located between Kirkby on Bain and Coningsby. Aerial photography has been used to good effect on this site in helping to discover its prehistoric landscape noted. Google Earth is also useful as it has the ability to show how a piece of land has changed over recent times. A Roman settlement has been found and Lydia has been involved in its excavation in a two-year dig. A Roman hoard was found with over 5000 coins. Pots, Samian ware, wood, etc. have been found recently. {Year 2} Many wooden objects including Roman wickerwork were found which have proved difficult to preserve due to the fairly acidic soil. Wooden stakes were put in by the site’s early occupants to stabilize the ground.


Wells were found and some pottery. Some complete Greyware pots were also found. These are ordinary domestic pots. Leatherware including possible shoes/sandals also appeared in the dig.

The site has been used for the training of young archaeologists.


But where is the main structure? It is a possible Roman villa site. Roundhouses were there at the same time. The archaeologists are now working with the local community to see what was there before a lake appeared recently. The work on that site is now finished so a Report on the site is now being done and another part of the quarry is being studied. A shortage of finds specialists in Lincolnshire is holding up progress to a certain degree..

 Lydia gave a description of Roman buildings in Lincolnshire and the type of people living there. There is still a lot to be understood about the Britons and how Romanisation affected them.

 Lydia mentioned Winterton and Dragonby as Roman sites in passing.

In Conclusion, a well described and illustrated account of finds in quarries both in and out of our area. It is pleasing to see, as Lydia says, that there is much co-operation between quarry owners, the local communities and archaeologists.

TSW March 2019



19 February

Finding Archaeology in the Lincolnshire Landscape.

The Lie of the Land.

Tom Lane

Tom has talked to this society before on saltmaking in Lincolnshire and has been involved in much archaeology in Lincolnshire especially as a senior archaeologist with Archaeological Project Services.

His talk, in two halves with an interval for coffee, was well illustrated with typical photos of various areas of the Lincolnshire landscape showing the geological patterns and the use of Lidar or drones in uncovering important features and how the landscape has changed over time.

In making sense of the landscape Tom thinks the book, “The Making of the English Landscape”, by W G Hoskins (1955), is most important.

There are many landscapes in Lincolnshire although Tom did not limit his talk to Lincolnshire alone. Tom has worked a lot on the Heath and Wolds, Uplands and lowlands.

Many factors, according to Tom, have affected our land causing the landscape to change such as climate change and coastal erosion and human activity such as roads, power transmission lines, seismic lines and pipelines. Marine archaeology is important such as, for example, relating to areas like Digger Bank in the North Sea once part of land which 10,000 years ago connected Britain to the Continent.

Tom mentioned Seahenge (Figure 1) on the North Norfolk coast which was uncovered by coastal erosion. When constructed the site, now a sandy beach, would have been much further from the coast. The upturned tree in the centre, which is composed of a circle of timbers, is interesting as it could represent woodland or could have been used for ritually placing dead bodies on. When it was moved by English Heritage to Lynn Museum a number of groups objected including the Druids and local residents.

 Tom gave a number of other examples of a changing landscape such as Addlethorpe bypass and Lincoln bypass excavations. At Addlethorpe near Skegness Roman 2nd to 4th century remains were found and also signs of saltmaking which occurred very close to the peat on our coasts. Two boats were found in the Lincoln eastern bye pass. (Figure 2) Archaeologists place them in the Bronze Age, 1000 to 2000 BC. Were they sunk deliberately? Certainly, Tom thinks that there may have been a ritual element to their situation.

Other examples Tom gave include:                                                                   

Must Farm Bronze Age site (Figure 3) situated at a quarry at Whittlesey near Peterborough. The settlement found there appeared to be the dwelling place of a number of families and the material left behind gives us an amazing insight into the everyday lives of people in the Fens, 3000 years ago.                                                                                                                 

Fiskerton causeway (Figure 4) near Lincoln is part of an Iron Age trackway roughly dated to 600BC at its earliest, was excavated south of Fiskerton on the north bank of the river Witham in 1981. Timber posts were set vertically into the soft ground in clusters forming two roughly parallel lines, 4m apart, and perpendicular to the river. The number of posts could be related to a lunar eclipse due to their positioning. The Witham Shield was found close by in 1826 in the vicinity of Washingborough and Fiskerton in the River Witham. It is an Iron Age decorative bronze shield facing of La Tene style, dating from about the 4th century BC. Was it simply lost or ritually placed there as a sort of gift to the gods?

Other sites Tom discussed include Welland Bank Quarry. Stickford. Marston nth of Grantham, Seeping Fen Barrow. Bully Hills barrow. Yarborough Camp near Croxton, Honington Camp near Ancaster and Anchor church field in Crowland. They are also very interesting but can only be noted here due to the need for brevity in this report. Further individual research is worthwhile.


A very interesting, well attended night. Tom’s talk was very authoritative, well illustrated and appreciated by the society and clearly reflected his depth of knowledge and wide-ranging archaeological experience,

TSW February 2019

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        Figure 1                   Figure 2              Figure 3          Figure 4

15 January

Masons Marks and the men who created Beverley Minster

John Phillips

John is an official guide for Beverley Minster and has written an authoritative book (Price £25) on the subject of masons’ marks in this minster and East Yorkshire He guided us around the Minster, founded in 1361 and dedicated to St Martin and St John, using photos and description of his own research undertaken between 2004 and 2014.

There were three periods of church architecture in Beverley, Saxon, Romanesque and Gothic. The church of 1361 was a great Gothic enterprise built over many years in very harsh times of famine (1315 to 17) and plague (1349) by very skilled masons who went from job to job. Their basic tools changed little over time. Masons were free men with piece work employment which meant that they chiseled their identifying marks on all the work they did or they might not be paid. Newly qualified masons were called journeymen and they were day workers.

We do know the names of some of the many masons who worked on Beverley Minster as they left a very large number of masons’ marks. John has up to 30, 000 photos of the fabric of the minster which show most of these marks. He has found some of these masons’ marks in various other buildings and churches in East Yorkshire through identifying similar marks, But he has also identified the marks and names of some of the later masons such as William Waite’s mark seen about 1740. Such Masons did not limit their work to religious buildings as the work on Guedelin Castle would illustrate.

Masons’ work was seasonal and, at the end of a building time, they thatched over their work, if necessary, to protect/preserve it from the winter. Their work was not done in a chaotic way. A drawing was done first. Measurements were taken from it by the mason. Drawings were transferred to a full-scale plan. Templates were taken from it often in a large local building. Complicated work at Beverley was done on site. Big stuff such as stone cutting was done in the quarry. Magnesium limestone came from Newbald and Tadcaster quarries.

John noted the fact that In Guedelin in France a medieval castle is being built using traditional methods. The ­Chateau de Guedelon was started in 1998, after local landowner Michel Guyot wondered whether it would be possible to build a castle from scratch, using only contemporary tools and materials. So, building methods of the 1200s are the ones being used for accuracy and to also rediscover some of these old ways/skills lost in time.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 451px-Aspect_du_chantier_le_02_juin_2017.jpg

Today, the walls are rising gradually from the red Burgundy clay. The great hall is almost finished, with only part of the roof remaining, while the main tower edges past the 15m (50ft) mark. Builders use sandstone quarried from the very ground from which the castle is emerging.

Modern cement did not exist in the 13th Century, so mortar is made from slaked lime and sand. For tools, they have basic ironware and have skilled workers on site like carpenters, masons or blacksmiths helping with the work using traditional methods.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is A-mason-at-work-3.jpg

TSW Jan’ 2019.

Previous meetings for 2018

20 November, 2018

Alan Dennis’ talk on the Caistor Dig, November 2018

 Strategically, Caistor Church is on a headland overlooking the Ancholme Valley so a good military position. Springs are close by now piped underground. They are important for Caistor’situation. The dig was near the Kelsey Road which is a possible Roman road. A Roman road was found in North St. Caistor is well sited for good communications. A Roman bridge was found near the River Ancholme.

 Alan showed the plan of of a possible Roman town wall overlaying the plan of the modern town. An earlier archaeologist, Prof. P Rahtz produced a possible plan of the Roman town walls and Allan’s findings seem to bear these out.

 The November dig showed some interesting finds such as a piece of jet popular with the Romans but, as before, many questions were raised through the dig which still have to be answered.

 Some good photos and relevant description are to be found in the Archaeology section of this website.

(TSW Nov’ 2018)

18 September, 2018

    A Film Show – Grimsby and Cleethorpes 1960 – 1980

 Speaker: Peter Burton

 As recorded by Anne Storey, Society Secretary.

Peter introduced the presentation by telling us that most of it had been filmed in the 1960’s and that a sound track of 60’s music had been added.

 Opening the film was music from the Shadows accompanying a cricket match but it was not clear where it was being played. That moved on to sports day at Havelock School held on Clee Fields with The Young Ones playing in the background. The many images which flashed across the screen showed a variety of aspects of life in the ’60s. How many of us, I wonder, remember playing table tennis on that rickety table in the local youth club? They all had one wherever they were in the country! Meanwhile, the background music was It might As Well Rain Until September and Seven Little Girls.

 Fashion in the 19960’s was in the foreground and it made me wonder ‘Did I really wear that and think it looked good?’ Answer – yes! The wide skirts and stiletto heels worn by the girls were offset by the slick Italian look boys in the film were trying to achieve. Bouffant hair for girls and the ‘Cliff Quiff’ were there to be seen!

 Next came a children’s Party in Harrington Street with Helen Shapiro singing Walking Back to Happiness in the background. It was a happy party showing how children were dressed in the 60’s – no jeans but pretty party frocks for the girls and shorts and jumpers for the boys. How times change! Speedy Gonzales accompanied images of boys at play – go-carting and tree climbing. A spill on an overloaded, home-made cart worried the riders not a whit. They just got back on and set off again at quite a pace. There were kids playing in the street with wickets chalked on walls, boys climbing lamp posts but no girls with the skipping ropes I remember from that era!

 A quick switch from the back streets took us to Thornton Abbey with How Do You o What You Do To Me as musical background. This was a school visit as there were children filmed in a school uniform which I did not recognize. Fast forward now to a roundabout at Cleethorpes and Only Sixteen. Here we were in swing boats with Adam Faith asking What do you Want? I wonder if he ever found out the answer to that question? Next images of visits to People’s Park and Thorold Park and musically Please Don’t Tease. Not sure how they fit but pleasant listening.

 This was a show packed with familiar images and sounds to recall memories for locals of their home town before the many changes w have seen from the building of Freshney Pace onwards. We saw children at play not needing any sophisticated toys but having fun with a bat and a ball or just running and chasing. Images of the Old Market Place, Freeman Street, St. James Church proudly alone, the outdoor markets in Top Town and Freeman Street, evoked memories, and it was good to see the old Bull Ring without that fountain! There was much more for the film lasted for almost two hours and Peter cut it short at nine. I think we need Instalment 2 at a later date.

 All in all this brought back many memories for me and for those members who were born and brought up here there were even more familiar images to bring back memories. David thanked Peter and closed the meeting at just after nine.

25 July, 2018 

The mystery surrounding Sir Anthony de Lucy –

medieval knight  –  died in  1368″ .

       Speaker: Chris. Robson

(St Bees Man)

Chris Robson’s talk created much interest and there was a good turnout for the meeting. “St Bees Man” or more probably according to Chris, Anthony de Lucy seems to have had strong connections with Cumbria and possibly Lincolnshire in terms of landholding. Because of a possible local connection, much interest was created. It is possible to find details of this character on the web now as the finding of his body at St Bees Priory in 1981 in Cumbria caused much interest especially amongst forensic scientists due to the well-preserved state of the body. Much detective work, still ongoing, has been done to find details of this person’s life and times and Chris came with his own publication (St Bees Man-An account of the astonishing discovery made in 1981 during an archaeological dig at St Bees Priory. £4) which recounts the investigation into this important find. Videos are available on the net which shows this so this report is just a summary of the main details of the night which is extraordinary as it is the first time in this writer’s memory that a meeting was held after the AGM and before September. An exceptional night!

19 June, 2018   

AGM. Followed by a talk on “Jillot re-visited”. Graham Parratt.

15 May, 2018

Subject:   The Museum Collection Revealed (NE Lincs Museum Service)

Speaker:   Liz Bowen

 The museum services we learned began in 1941 when a local businessman left his collection to the town, which led to the founding of the Doughty Museum in 1948. In 1979 the museum closed and the collection was moved to Welholme, where it remained until 2004. It can now be found just outside the town centre. As Collections Officer Liz is responsible for the collection, with the help of volunteers and North Lincolnshire museum services. It is w tremendous responsibility as the collection houses 60,000 objects which are divided into key areas.

 Maritime            Thus comprises 8.000 objects from fishing and support industries, including ship models from the Doughty Collection along with more recent additions. One feature is the Napoleonic Bone Models created by French prisoners-of-war in the early years of the 19th century.

 Art:            In this part of the collection there are 1,000 paintings drawings and sculptures, including a George Riley painting which was selected for use on a postage stamp, along with 18 paintings by Ernest Worrell, who was commissioned by the council to show wartime in Grimsby. Paintings from the 1920s by local artist Albert Snaithe show scenes of Grimsby Docks; whilst portraits of prominent locals are to be found along with pencil drawings by George Skelton of New Clee and the village of Clee.

 Local and Social History:            20,000 items are divided into four further categories: community, domestic, working and personal. Community includes hospitals, churches, weddings and wartime; the domestic category takes in furnishings and fittings; personal holds trinkets, clothing medals and a large collection of clay pipes while working life encompasses anything which shows the town at work.

 There is also a collection of high-quality ceramics along with many documents and a large collection of clothing and textiles dating from the 1700s to the 1970s and 80;. An interesting thought is that they are now beginning to add 1990’s clothing to the collection!

 The Museum Collection also includes archaeological artifacts, the most significant being an Anglo-Saxon pot found at Beacon Hill, as well as purchased items of local significance.

 Selected items can be seen on display in the Doughty Gallery, the Heritage Centre and in Time Trap at the Town Hall.

 The collection is cared for carefully and items are restored and repaired whilst the temperature lighting and humidity within storage areas are closely monitored and everything is carefully documented.

 A fascinating and informative talk which held members’ interest and could well be a talking point in the future. Our thanks to Liz.

My thanks to Anne (Society Secretary) for recording this talk as I was detained by family affairs. I am sorry to have missed what would have been a very interesting talk.

17 April, 2018

19th Century Humberston
Martin Watkinson
Ph.D. research at Leicester.

Martin was born in Scartho. He chose this subject due to there being much data available In many sources. The Carrington family records in much land here in Humberston and holdings elsewhere in the UK. They were extensive landowners.
Martin’s study was illustrated through maps and photos. showing how Humberston in 1824 was a small village. Waltham was the largest in this area.
The ancient heart of the place was behind the church. This was the Benedictine Abbey of Saint Mary and Saint Peter was founded in 1160 by William son of Ralf, son of Drogo, son of Hermer, as an abbey of the Tironensian Order. In 1305 the monastic buildings were destroyed by fire, and the brethren were obliged to beg alms and sell the advowson of one of their churches to the prior of Holy Trinity, Norwich before they could rebuild them. It adopted Benedictine orders sometime after 1413, as the Bishop of Lincoln in 1422 said that the monks of Humberston took their origin from St. Mary’s, Hamby in the Diocese of Coutances. The abbey was never taken into the king’s hands as an Alien house.
The abbey was dissolved in 1536. The abbey buildings were located to the south of St Peters church in Humberston. The Land was granted by the Crown to local gentry, then in 1704 to Matthew Humberston who died In 1709
Matthew Humberstone bought much property in and around the area and wanted to enclose the land and to improve it. He proved to be quite philanthropic in his attitude to local people. He rebuilt the church amongst other improvements and after his death, the property passed through the family until the estate was bought in the 1790s by Robert Smith, Lord Carrington. He was made a peer in 1796 by Prime Minister Pitt as Baron Carrington, of Bulcote Lodge(Ireland) and Baron Carrington, of Upton in the County of Nottingham in 1797.
He was a banker and property owner and held estate throughout the 19th century but never visited. Thomas Thompson of Hull ( D 1828) became his agent locally. Because of the close proximity and threat of the sea. in 1792 he began to build new sea banks. Anthony’s Bank was built of clay by two Hull labourers In front of medieval sea bank. .
There were originally two arable open fields using strips by the village. John Friend made an enclosure map in 1707. But the fields were enclosed over the next 50 years. Lord Carrington completed the enclosure in the 1790s. He divided it into farms in 1824. The larger farms were for people with substantial means.
The poor were treated relatively well in Humberston. In many places, enclosure meant that poor people(commoners) lost their traditional rights. The Carringtons seem to have been more benevolent to their locals and gave cottagers who lost land some land (cow pastures)as compensation. This benevolence was not uncommon in parts of Lincolnshire.
The pattern of crop rotation was uncommon, unlike some places. Turnips introduced locally. Carrington brought in new methods turnips and grasses but there was little change until the 1860s (Agrarian revolution). Better drainage came in by then after much local complaint. Mass produced drains helped create a better-built environment locally.
In 1704 the Manor House was stills standing. The first New farmhouse appeared in 1795. Others followed with plain brick fronts quite plain unlike the those on the theYarborough estate. In the 1820s Carrington finished Humberston’s plan to improve the village. A new school was built. Including almshouses. Quite a few mud and stud cottages like Cheesemans lasted until the 20th century. Haverstow cottage from the 16/17th century still survives near Wendover Hall.
The second Lord Carrington misspent his father’s fortune. The 3rd Lord did more and built houses with the Carrington arms on.


In the 1840s all farmers and families sat in box pews at St Peter’s Church whilst poor labourers sat on benches in the gallery. A sort of local social hierarchy was thus shown. There were three sorts of farm workers. Those who lived in, those who were contracted or “confined labourers” who had tied cottages for a year and day labourers. If you wanted work you had to see a tenant farmer. The poor were somewhat better off in Humberston as the farmers, not wishing to pay poor relief, tried to provide work for the able poor as a sort of parish relief and to keep them out of the workhouse. (NB: 1836 Poor Law Act or Workhouse Act) Unmarried mothers were helped but it was the child who received the help, not the mother. The Parish would help when people could no longer work. No pensions were provided. In light of this, the Swing riots of the 1830s passed Humberston by.
A very interesting and productive talk, well illustrated by Martin. The club showed its appreciation at the end.
TSW 2 May, 2018

20 March 2018   

From Pre-historic Settlement to Medieval Salterns

An overview of occupation found during the excavation of Hornsea Wind Farm Project 1.   Speaker: Milica Rajic


Orstead, not Dong is the main company overseeing the excavations and laying of a gas pipeline under the River Humber and stretching forty kilometres from Goxhill/East Halton in North Lincolnshire to Tetney south of Grimsby. Murphy is the main contracting company.

Wessex Archaeology started the dig in 2015 following a forty-metre wide strip along the line of the pipeline. All the archaeology has now been done.

The archaeology exposed the remains of a long period of history for this area much of which was unknown.

It was hard for the archaeologists to excavate at times due to flooding and weather conditions shown in some of the attached photos. But 25000+ objects were found over three years.

Ring ditches, pits, pottery were found. When excavated, ring ditches are usually found to be the ploughed‐out remains of a round barrow where the barrow mound has completely disappeared, leaving only the infilled former quarry ditch. Bronze Age pottery was found which just shows there was early activity in the area.

Many Roman remains were also found. Iron age ditches were excavated. Oyster shells and human remains were found probably of Roman date. A 2nd/3rd-century Roman tubular brooch was also found. A Roman kiln was found near a ditch. Tiles were perhaps being made.

Seven coins were found from various periods.

Medieval ridge and furrow was seen along with rubbish pits so many settlement features have been found going back to the Romano/Anglo-Saxon and beyond shown, perhaps, by a dog skeleton

being found including knitting needles, pins and pottery.

Considering the excavators could not stray beyond the confines of the forty metre strip, much was found and the final report on the site, when published, will no doubt be eagerly awaited and read by all those interested in the history and archaeology of this area.

A very interesting and illuminating talk well received by a large audience.

TSW March 2018

20 February 2018  “The Lost Villages of Lincolnshire” David Start

(and The Spirit of Sutterby Project)

The following is a summary of his talk.

What are they?

They are the remains of settlements whose inhabitants died out because of disease or by clearances similar to those in Scotland. There are as many as 250 of these decayed settlements in Lincolnshire. Gainsthorpe near Kirton Lindsay was described. This is a well-known settlement preserved as an example of such disappearance.

What makes a typical medieval village?

Anglo Saxons lived in ”kin” or family groups which later grew into what we term villages. They were collections of houses which were close or connected. The local chieftain or later the Feudal lord of the manor lived close by usually close to the church. A village was surrounded by fields cultivated by the villagers.

Brauncewell in the Lincoln heath near the A15 is a good example of a decayed village which still has a church and Manor Farm there.

The fields in these settlements (which do vary in size) are described as open fields due to the way they were managed by the villagers and were divided into strips. The more of these strips a “villein” had the better off they were with the manorial lord having the most. These fields were characterised by the terms “ridge and furrow” which describes how the villagers worked the land. There are still surviving examples of ridge and furrow to be seen to-day clearly to be seen on Google Earth.

Tofts and Crofts.

This is where the house (housestead) is on the land or croft. The croft

Is part of the horticulture of the medieval village. When walking through such a village a visitor could have seen such housesteads on either side of the track. People would usually live at one end and their animals at the other with a small growing area behind to grow vegetables on.

Brauncewell is unusual in the houses have stone footings. Post holes were found.

Examples of other villages.

Calceby, near South Ormsby. St Andrews church still there. In chalk.

Sandstone facing is used.

Driby, a tiny village, is positioned near the A16 between Louth and Boston (Driby Top) Driby was an important manor centuries ago with the earthworks and moat of an ancient manor house behind the old farmhouse called Driby Manor. The little stone church was rebuilt in the 19th century..

South Reston is not far from Alford. It shows good ridge and furrow (furlongs) and had a moat for a small manor house. Its small church was rebuilt in 1864 in 14th century style and still, about 1950 had its old font.

South Cadeby (Near Ludborough)From the air crofts can clearly be seen.

Calcethorpe west of Louth on the Wolds is a well-known village devastated by the Black Death.

 Where are they?

They are settlements concentrated largely in Lincolnshire’s cereal growing belt. There are around 250 in our area. There are not many in fens or marshes.

 Why were they deserted?

Monasteries were not averse to increasing encroaching on the land of local settlements.

Climatic variations 1315 to 1320 caused bad weather and famine for many years. This caused much hardship and suffering for villagers.

Black Death 1349. This could not have come at a worse time for villages already suffering from famine and a harsh Feudal System.

Enclosure & sheep farming (1200 _ 1550)

Goltho, near Wragby (8th to 14th c.)

It had been a prosperous settlement with a rich Lord.

North Ormsby

It had a priory for Gilbertine monks and nuns.


The Church unusually is always open. Excavation has been done by a local community group.

Emparking (17th to 19th centuries.

This is where landed families like the Heneages etc., decided to enlarge their parkland by moving local villagers away. Sometimes they set up a new settlement for them.


16 January    Alan Dowling: “Street names of Grimsby”

Alan began by looking at Grimsby in the 16th century by referring to a coloured map of central Grimsby or Top Town. The map showed the “gates” or streets in yellow. Bargate was mentioned in
1404. It was probably always the main way into Grimsby’ There was also a barred gate there at one time hence the street’s name.  St Leonard’s Nunnery was founded at Nuns Corner. south end
of Bargate, and dissolved by Henry V!! in 1538. 
Further North on Bargate was a hermitage and further on a leper hospital. It took in all sorts of people with infectious diseases.
Sir Edward Heneage later developed the area. Heneage Road further east was named after Sir Edward.
The present Victoria St near the present Freshney Place was, in 1600, called Baxtergate. This was the road of the bakers.
Brighowgate near the present railway station seems to derive its name from a bridge over a stream going to the Abbey of Wellow.
Cartergate was the street of the Carter’s who were very important for the carriage of all manner of goods. The House of the Grey Friars was close by.
Chantry Lane led from Deansgate to New Cartergate. The names Deansgate and Chantry more than hint at the importance of the church in Grimsby. Chantry Lane is known as chantry priests lived round there.
Deansgate was known as the Danes’ St at one time. The origin of this name may more than hint at Grimsby’s distant past when and origins. As a fishing port, many peoples would have come to
Grimsby and settled and, perhaps, lived together in their own part of Grimsby as a community.
Flottergate in the 14 th century was the road of the stream.
Wellowgate was known in 1344 as the road leading to Wellow Abbey and hamlet. It was the Abbey of St Olaf and St Augustine
St Mary St or gate. In 1130 two churches are mentioned. No one knows if the first church to be
built was St Mary’s or St James. The Mariners Guild was in St Mary’s Church. There were attempts by local people to keep it but it was demolished in the 16th century.
The Yarborough family owned much land. Anderson Street is an example.
Brewery St is an obvious name. It was the site of Hewitt’s’ Brewery no longer with us. Now the site of the law courts.
The Bull ring near Deansgate was used for the baiting of bulls by dogs. Did bull meat become more tender as a result of bulls being mauled by dogs? This was one questionable belief at the time. It was stopped in 1779. The Stocks were there as well and used up to the 19th century.
In 1799 there was the first dissenting meeting house in Gy. Methodism was coming.
 Clayton St. was later covered over by Freshney place. It was named after a place called Clayton Hall. lived in by a well-known family in the 18th century.
The Tennysons married into this family. The Claytons were a vicious family. Tennyson family inherited the vast Clayton estate. The Argos store (formerly the Post Office) is the site of a hall. The
Tennyson estate was eventually sold to the Hewitt family of brewers in 1935.
The estate yielded about £3000 a year, a vast sum in those days. It was sold for £115000.
George St. Methodist church was quite prominent at one time in the centre of town and opposite what became the present Central Library. It was later closed and moved to Laceby Road.
The present Central library is on the site of cottages and a blacksmith and next to New St.
Old market place. In 1393 a jail and common hall were built. They were demolished in 1783.
In 1868 the present Town Hall was built. Its size and prominence clearly denote the growing importance of Grimsby. Certainly, the old town hall was too small in the Old Market Place area and
needed to be replaced as did the town jail nearby. That was incorporated into the new Town Hall.
Red Hill was a pinfold hill originally. This was used for stray animals. It became a strong Tory area at that time in the 1700s.
 A very interesting talk by Alan as usual. Very authoritative as he has written a book on the subject.
TSW  09.02.2018

Fig 1

Fig 2

Previous meetings for 2017

21.11.2017    Dr Glynn Coppack   “A Game of Stones”

Reflections on the night

Yet again a topic of great local interest with an insight into church architecture and the masonry arts. I certainly learned more about how medieval buildings were built and of the profession of medieval masonry. One can certainly understand why the skills and knowledge of the master masons of those days were so secret as such people were in great demand and the business could be very lucrative.

Very enjoyable and illuminating. Our Chairman David is to be congratulated in providing the Society with speakers who really know their subjects and can communicate it.   TSW 15.12.2017

17.10.2017    Loretta Rivett “ Lincolnshire Dialect

Reflections on the night

One cannot but enjoy a talk from Loretta as she is so knowledgeable about her subject having been in its presence from childhood. The number of local dialect words she knows is fascinating and their use now would be enough to arouse the curiosity and general interest of many local people as the subject makes you realize how much of our heritage could be lost but for the work of students like her. We all learned a lot of new words or were reminded of many we were brought up with. There was much laughter in the audience who were much appreciative of the efforts that Loretta has put into her subject which makes her one of the foremost authorities on Lincolnshire Dialect. Well worth further study!  TSW 15.12.2017


19.09.2017    Secrets of St James’ Church, Louth. Stuart Sizer.

Reflections on the night

With the use of photographic content and great authority, Stuart guided us through a very interesting description of church architecture locally with, of course, a concentration on the religious history of Louth especially noting the effects of the Reformation on the landscape. Louth Park abbey was dissolved and largely disappeared in time. It is largely through the efforts of people like Stuart that we know so much more about our local landscape, its history and how it has affected our lives. A very interesting meeting as usual. TSW 15.12.2017


 “An update on the intertidal archaeology project and its work on the south bank of the Humber.”   Andy Sherman (CITiZAN)

Reflections on the night

Peter Allen Acting Chair as David absent.

1 Old Clee dig tomorrow
2 Healing dig 28/9 June
3 September dig
4 AGM next month.
The Talk on CLEETHORPES Petrified forest
Andy has visited this society before so the following is an update on the Cleethorpes beach CITiZAN project in Lincs 201ß6/2017 etc. (See social media.)
Andy Sherman(Council for British Archaeology, Beatrice di Cardiff House, 66 Bootham, York YO30 7BZ. (See map)
Andy noted the Brigg raft with associated track way in Hull/East Riding Museum which was the easiest way of traveling in the prehistoric period. The Humber was the motorway of its day. He noted of Buck Beck timbers possible revetments (Fish traps?) to shore up the river bank which was possibly medieval.
Andy noted a trackway found on the beach near Wonderland. Permission to dig has not been given. CITiZAN is working in the Mablethorpe/Sutton-on-Sea area, Intertidal zone.2.
For those who are interested, there is a CITiZAN app which can show Intertidal archaeology being done around our coasts. The 1950s period is important here as 100-year-old photos of Cleethorpes 5000-year-old Neolithic and bronze age forest were found. One idea was that the forest was man-made. Halted bronze age axe was found in the 1980s. It was carbon dated and was possibly ritually deposited in the bronze age, an indication of how someone thought that they were important.
A timber trackway on Cleethorpes beach was measured in Oct 2015. It seems to have been a rough and ready affair. Possibly a track from the land over the peat to a boat. Perhaps a fisherman’s boat.
Andy is also interested in Ship Breaking in the 18th and 19th centuries in the Sutton-on-Sea area and also shipbuilding. He mentioned the “Acorn” ship beached at Sutton-on-
Sea and broken up and showed a photo of the hulk of this ship which was an ice barque, square-rigged and three-masted.
The Moggs Eye timber. Andy described timber being found on the beach at Huttoft perhaps from a Humber keel. He thinks this may be evidence of shipbuilding on our coastline washed up on a storm surge. There is a piece of timber with tool marks on it. It’s worked timber so possibly a piece of ship timber which may have been abandoned for various reasons perhaps
The Lincoln Rutland and Stamford Mercury newspaper notes wreckers of ships in the Cleethorpes area.
An interesting talk which provoked many questions at the end. TSW



Beverley Minster’s 19thc alterations and a North Lincolnshire connection.

John Phillips.

Reflections on the night

Unfortunately, the speaker for the night was taken ill so it fell on the Chairman, David Robinson, to air his knowledge of the subject which, with the aid of slides, was done very commendably as usual.

It seems to be a little-known fact to many people especially local Grimbarians that there are pieces of Beverley Minster in their midst albeit within Healing. This, as David described with photos, is due to the fact that Beverley Minster underwent various alterations and rebuilding in part in the mid 19th century. Some of the masonry was transported by sea to Grimsby then to Healing where various pieces were set up in gardens there and can be seen to-day.

David made to talk interesting and was very knowledgable on the subject. Though the expected speaker did not attend David did a good job and I am sure his audience felt that they had not wasted their money.

TSW 1 May, 2017

21.03.2017       “Lincolnshire Folklore”.   Maureen James

 Exploring the Folklore of Lincolnshire

 Reflections on the night

Dr. Maureen James PhD
Some brief notes on her talk.
She is a historian, storyteller and writer and written Lincolnshire Folklore Tales, etc.
There is a Folk-Lore Society founded by William James Thoms.
Other notable members include:
Edward Peacock (1831 to  1916)
Madeley Peacock  (1856 to  1920) &Elizabeth Guthrie  (18r0 to  1931)
Ethel Rudkin (1893 to 1985)
Sherry traveled round Lincolnshire gathering tales.
Local clergymen like Robert Headley  (1848 to  1915) and James Pennymoor (1855 to  1944) did the same.
Now Maureen Sutton is well known in the Folklore field. Has written books like “We didn’t know owt”
Dr. James noted the Heckington Show. She often visits and records people’s tales from there.
She described the collection of tales from the Redbourne area near Brigg and Scunthorpe.
Good luck charms help people as has been proved. Mentioned Gary Lineker and John Terry
Needing lucky charms or practices. A just in case situation.
Natural and inorganic objects, stones, rivers, the Dark and the Moon are important parts of the folklore scene.
Stones are seen as things that people believe can change into things like dragons.
Locally there are two magic stones to help in times of famine and drought from the time of Grim though finding them now would be difficult as they have been moved or forgotten.
Saltwell is known for a holy well near Allington. There are others locally.
Sympathetic or placebo magic has been known to work as Dr. James noted.
The River Trent has an Aegir or bor. People made offerings to it as peace offerings. Some people go off the road into the river. Caused by the power of risers? The Severn Bore is the more famous though people to-day do not realize the mystical power such phenomenon had in the past.
The New Moon may cause people to turn their money in their pocket causing it to grow. Farmers often plant during a full moon. Superstition is valued here. People did not kill a pig during the full moon only on its wane.
Lightning caused people to open their doors in a time before Lightning conductors. You did not attract Lightning.
Red sky at night sailor’s delight. Red sky in the morning, sailors’ warning. Old saying or myths which may have had more than a grain of truth in them.
There are many myths about cats being a familiar of the Devil. Black cats certainly are regarded as being lucky if they cross your path.
Flower myths about cowslips or ‘fairy cups”. Cowslip balls to throw. There were Cowslip festivals in churches  Such myths possibly helped to mark May Day. Dandelions were thought to be unlucky to pick.
Birds  Beware the peewits cry. Some birds are regarded as bringing bad luck. Hearing the cuckoo is regarded as good luck. A whistling woman and crowing hens also.
Boggarts near Owston Ferry were ghostly apparitions or Fairy creatures. Wainfleet or Bottesford noted for fairy creatures.
Will o’ the Wykes are said to be seen near marshy areas. Spirits of unborn babies? “Will o’ the Wisps.”
The Devil and the Lincoln Imp is an Important and famous local tale.
Hobgoblins are said to live in your house looking after your belongings.
Fairies and fairy ring as at Owmby by Spital and around Scunthorpe. Not many stories in Cambridgeshire.
Witches. There were wise women but some odd ones likened to Witches. Bayards Leap is famous here.
People thought Witches lived in egg shells.
Cures and remedies. Wart charmers were well known in the past.
Good luck charms and protection. Putting salt by the door kept out evil. Three horse shoes over the door was also regarded as lucky.
Divining and fortune telling still occurs. Divining especially may have some scientific basis. Reading the Tea Leaves to foretell the future for a person was quite common.
Other common practices included:
New Year’s Eve bible page turning. Fortune for rest of year.
You must tell the bees if someone dies.

 Dr. James is quite an authority on her subject. She made it very interesting and covered a lot of ground.


 Tuesday 21 February,2017 

“Middle Saxon Settlements in Lincolnshire”.

Dr. Duncan Wright.


 Reflections on the night

The Speaker was unavailable
Some announcements by the Chairman David:

Old Clee project will be May and Healing in June
Other local interest at Anthony’s Bank Cleethorpes
Old footprints, horse tracks, flint cores and other things found and some on display at the meeting.

The belief that there is an old causeway there in an area where oyster farming in the 19th century. Interesting project.

Brookeborough dig ongoing. Plans for next September or October.

Peter Allen and the Brodsworth Community Archaeology Project near Doncaster.

Peter gave a summary of it. Has been on the go for 12 years under the control of Hull University.

Little Saxon material found. Much pottery and coins from Mesolithic period to Iron Age including Roman.

Good site for training archaeologists. Ring ditches and round barrows in the area. Water presence important to the site. Up to 120 student archaeologists on site at times.

Mike Pounder showed some interesting slidesOld Town Hall interior Pictures by James  Jillott of Grimsby. Good architectural drawings done between 1820 and 1875.

There were some slides of the Swinhope Dig showing field walking last year.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017   

 “Grimsby’s founding legend: the Lay of Havelok the Dane”, Alan Dowling.


 Reflections on the night

Grimsby’s Founding Legend “The Lay of Havelock the Dane”

Speaker: Alan Dowling

To describe the poem or lay:

It is a story of triumph over evil. He described the Lay of Havelock and Grim the fisherman with an illustration of the original lay. Alan gave a summary/reading of the lay lasting twenty minutes with illustrations of original documents containing parts of the lay accompanied with a short modern translation.

How credible is it? This is a good question but, like the legend of Romulus and Remus in the founding of Rome, it is a good legend to describe the founding of a town once a leading fishing port. So Grimsby has an important heritage. Alan described the seal of Grimsby. The seal is from the 1200s and shows how wealthy the town was. Indeed, the town in 1201 had to pay 40 marks and a palfrey (horse) to King John to receive its first charter so was obviously rich enough to persuade one of our worst kings to do something which gave the town certain freedoms or right which many other places would look enviously upon.

The poem is thus set in in this area of North Lincolnshire and includes Lincoln itself. It is a story of violence and romance but good wins over evil in the end.

Many place-names start with Grim. “By” as in Grims_by means a settlement. Grimsby Street names help to confirm its origins.

Gervase Holles, the first Grimsby historian mentions the Havelock Stone which may have had a connection with Havelock the Dane but its origins, like the lay, and such truth as there may be are lost in the mist of time.

No other town has such a story about the town ‘s origins. There may be some truth somewhere.

Overall, a very interesting thought-provoking and well-researched talk which was well up to Alan’s usual standards.

TSW 14/02/2017

 Previous meetings for 2015/16

Tuesday  15 November 2016

“Immingham Docks”. Brian Peeps


Reflections on the night

Brian’s talk illustrated with some rare photos the early days of the port nicknamed “tin town” or Humber Ville. Tin Town was on Pelham Road and served as the area where the navvies or labourers lived who created the dock in the 1900s. In 1906 the first sod was cut by Lady Nelson. Brian showed pictures of the construction of the dock and lock pit built by the navvies or navigators of whom traditionally many were Irish. There was quite a community of these people who even built a school for their children.

The King and Queen opened the dock on 22 July 1912and sailed in on the SS Killingholme. The naval fleet outside the dock was inspected and Sir Sam Fay was knighted for the Great Central Railway company. No 1 transit shed hosted an enormous celebration party.

To-day, as Brian showed, Immingham continues to expand and has grown to play a prominent part in our trade with the Continent and many other parts of the world.

An illuminating talk.

Tuesday 18 October 2016
“Coastal salt making in Lincolnshire”
Tom Lane


Reflections on the night

The Mighty Power of Salt and Lincolnshire’s Place in its History
Tom Lane
David’s preamble
David introduced Tom and commented on the September dig and noted he had a copy of the Caistor High Street dig for members’ perusal.

Salt making was an important industry in Lincolnshire with over 14000 uses.
From 1500 BC to 1600 AD was the main period of salt making. Salt is the only rock substance man consumes hence is very significant through the ages. It has strong medical properties and is regarded rather like white gold or magic mineral. Inhibits growth of bacteria and mould. Seasoning is not its major use. Preservation is the most important.
Areas of salt making became centres of trade empires.
Brine, clay fuel and special knowledge are very important in salt making and was regarded as magic to early people’s. Saltmarsh were special areas for early peoples. Animal behaviour may have alerted people to the presence of salt e.g. animal salt licks.
Lincolnshire fenland areas around the Wash were very important. Wrangle, Friskney, Skegness and the Ingoldmells areas are important. Lidar mapping has become very important in exposing these sites.
The Process of making salt is of some interest. A number of sites found in Lincolnshire by Lidar which have been dug are near Bourne, Cubitt near Spalding and Morton near Gainsborough.
Ptolemy in his map of Britain shows a place called Salini near the coast of Roman Lincolnshire. Perhaps this is near Skegness. Leyland talks about an old town and perhaps a castle now consumed by the sea. (Roman/Iron Age sites). Certainly, there was a Roman presence there as the straight road from Burgh le Marsh into Skegness show and a road called Roman Bank in Skegness itself may indicate.
Few records appear in the early medieval period but a new salt making method appeared especially around Bicker in south Lincolnshire up to 15th century. There are many salters’ mounds eg in Gedney Dyke area of Lincs. People built their homes on some of these and are clearly shown on Lidar mapping. Coastal erosion would have affected their existence. Marsh Chapel salterns near Grimsby were badly affected by the sea or Black Death. Prices rose and salt areas badly affected by 1570s.
Overall a most authoritative talk. Tom described his subject in a very straightforward, easy to follow manner with illustrations which stimulated many questions he was pleased to answer. TSW 10/2016

Tuesday 20.09.2016

“Become a Church Detective” (a look at church architecture in north Lincolnshire from the Saxons to the present day)

Stuart Sizer.


Reflections on the night

Chairman David, in his Introduction, commented on finds on the Fitties in Humberston. A possible whetstone and flint hand axe have been found. Because of coastal erosion, the foreshore is constantly under attack and regular beachcombing often reveals details or artifacts from the distant past.
The talk

Lincolnshire is fortunate in being one of the largest counties and was well populated in the past so consequently, many churches were built though few were built in the same style. From Late Saxon times, through the middle ages to more recent times, churches changed and developed as they reflected changing population numbers and architectural trends. Windows have changed as have towers. Not all churches face east. Churches were built on raised ground but their situation has changed as, for example, more graves were dug which eventually helped to cause the land to rise.

Thomas Rickman in the early 19th century recognized the early Saxon style. Window design is important and Saxon windows are clearly shown in St Peter’s church in Barton Upon Humber. Long and short quoining at the corners of such churches like Barton, Stow Minster, Caistor, Branston are good architectural examples. St Mary Magdalena at Rothwell is a good example of a late Saxon/Norman church. Swallow Holy Trinity is a good example of mixed architecture.

Overall, Stuart brought great authority to this subject and successfully fielded a number of questions from a very interested audience. A talk well worth attending. Hopefully, Stuart will return again in the near future. TSW

Tuesday  17.05.16  : 

“Revealing the Romano-British landscape in north Lincolnshire –  an update”  Chris Casswell (Allen Archaeology)

Revealing the Romano-British landscape

Reflections on the night

NELAS Talk Archaeological Investigation of Iron Age and Roman sites in North Lincolnshire. 
Chris Casswell, Senior Project Officer, Allen Archaeology Ltd.

Chris gave the second interesting and very authoritative talk about two areas in North Lincs near Immingham designated AMEP 1-4 (Able Marine Energy Park) and ALP (1-4Able Logistics Park) which are being investigated by Allen Archaeology. In both areas Geophysical surveys were useful.

The Immingham area has both Iron Age sites and Roman sites of high status. The plan below gives some indication of the complexity of the site. Some substantial walls have been found.

Able 2 imp

AMEP 1 is a late Iron Age site with Round House remains and “ring ditches”. A La Tene 3 sword was found along with imported bangles. and a first century 42BC silver Denarii of Mark Antony. Possible Roman skeletons were also found..AMEP 2/3

Possible high status Roman aisled building was found which took 6 months to dig. It looked a little like a church with two stories. Possibly similar to a farm/villa. Some faced stone found. Two types of stone found chalk and limestone. No saltings were found.
AMEP 4. This area dates more from the late Iron Age 300 to 100BC. Remains of a dog found.
The area designated ALP 1 is further up to the east of E Halton. Late Iron Age “ring ditches” have been found. The Romans used what was there before. There is no real evidence of houses but that may have been due to the large pottery concentration. Brooches found from a fairly busy site.
ALP 2 Middle to late Iron Age. Ring ditches found. Big sumps dug so site could not flood. Site 2-3 metres above sea level.
ALP 3 Similar to other sites. May have been used for livestock. 
ALP 4 CHASEHILL site. Very interesting. A large Roman site with cremations in pots up to the 4th century. Large pot found in a well and an oak ladder. Not many such have been found. Some were in London. No sign has been found of any violence so they were purely farming communities. Cereals found in ditches and probably there were corn driers.  Buildings were dated to about 360AD. Two kilns were found probably for cooking. Much of the stone from the site has been robbed out. Child burial found. Possible grain store found as well.
At the northern end of the site possible smithy found of around 300AD. Hammer scale was found so signs of metalworking are indicated. A substantial Roman wall was found dated to 360-370AD and a square stone-lined well.



Occupation was occurring from the 3rd/4th century BC going into the 5th century AD. No evidence of a Saxon attack. Probably the site was mainly for farming to feed Rome up to the 4th century.

 Tuesday  19.04.16  :  

  At the new club venue, St Aidan’s Church Hall, Grimsby Rd, Cleethorpes, club member Alan Dowling will give a short talk, (“The Boy with a leaking boot and other Cleethorpes attractions”).  There will also be a short presentation about a proposed History of Humberston project and the opportunity to view photographs of recent finds on Cleethorpes beach.

Club night

Reflections on the night

David, our Chairman, opened proceedings with an illustrated talk about archaeological remains found on Cleethorpes beach as shown here.

5259 5276 5241

The photos showed marks made in the foreshore an indeterminate time ago. Many marks were made by animals walking on the shore or perhaps on the area when land stretched much further out. Signs of human activity were not distinct but, hopefully, further research may show up some. A very interesting description.

The chairman will be conducting a visit by members of the society later this year.

Alan Dowling has long been a member of this society and his talks have always been much appreciated as they reflect a deep knowledge of the local area. This time Alan delved into the history of three local landmarks in Cleethorpes- The Boy with the Leaking Boot, Thrunscoe Park and Café Dansant. With illustrated handouts, Alan talked authoritatively about his subject. 

A very interesting and informative evening with society members and visitors continuing to take advantage of the society’s bookstall where a number of books with an archaeological bias were for sale.

Cafe DansantBoy with Leaking Boot

Tuesday  15.03.16  :

Revealing the Submerged Prehistoric Landscape of Cleethorpes.”

Andy Sherman (From CITIZAN, the Coastal and Intertidal Zone Archaeological Network.)

“Revealing the submerged landscape GIF

Reflections on the night

Andy Sherman is part of a three year Heritage Lottery funded group with three offices around the country. 

The Aim is to help local people preserve the coast and local archaeology is a useful tool in helping to understand the changes which have altered our landscape. It is predicted the sea level will rise by the end of the century so understanding coastal change over the millennia is very important.

Three things he is concerned with are:

Erosion of the coast
Reuse of the coast/land
Accretion  or restoration of the original volume of the visible beach or foreshore

and Themes such as:
May, May Day and June Defending our island.
Check website. 

He explained the
interest in the submerged forest near the beach in Cleethorpes. It is of interest that there are similar submerged forests like Thornton Cleveleys, the Wirral and Hightown in Hartlepool close to the beaches in various parts of the British coastline.
Andy q
uoted Gerald of Wales in the 12th century and Sam Pepys in the 17th finding and describing submerged forests. Gerald said that they are examples of “Gods wrath” due to the flood. Cleethorpes’ submerged forest has been known for 200 years. Famous people like the Queen have visited. A stone axe from the Bronze Age was found still with its haft on later broken off. Middle bronze age flint implements are being found. Andy described the finding of a prehistoric track waylaid in a railway type form. Such tracks were used in the Netherlands and may possibly have been used for taking cattle to Saltmarshes. There is much conjecture about the local trackway so there is a need to extend the site of the track. Could it have been a raft or a walkway to a boat?
Andy and Mg who works with him have
 not yet surveyed the full extent of the forest, only a 200 metre square at present 

Website sources:
MOLA Museum of London Archaeology. 
Nautical Archaeological Society.
Other sources

Andy informed us of a guided walk on Cleethorpes beach on September 8.

Tuesday 16.02.16 : 

The Distribution and Form of Flints
in the Chalk of North Lincolnshire.
Paul Hildreth (Yorkshire Geological Society.)

Flints of north Lincolnshire

Reflections on the night

Paul gave a very interesting and informative talk on the geology of the North Lincolnshire/East Yorkshire area especially in relation to the distribution and quality of flint in our area. Flint and flint working was important to prehistoric man in Britain as the large amount of Flint mining at Grimes Graves in East Anglia shows. This is especially so because our local flint does not knap well whilst East Anglian (Grimes Graves) does.

Paul described how he became interested in geology because where he was born in East Yorkshire was near those “mysterious hills”, the Yorkshire Wolds. He noted that there are “flints and flints” and quoted sources for reference such as the Rev’ E. Maule Cole, 1882. In looking for flint Paul stressed the importance of looking for rounded shapes in rocks not angular. “Confessions of a Chalkaholic.”

He described the geological chalk stratigraphy of this area, all local names (Flamborough-no flint-, Burnham. Welton. and Ferriby-no flint.) and flint form variation (Burrow, Nodular, Wafer, Tabular, Semi tabular, Paramudra, Bell, Carious and Slumped). He went on to explain flint’s mineralogy, that of chalcedonic silica which has a hardness of 7 so can scratch glass and its setting in the chalk bands of this area which are different to those in the South of England thus demonstrating past geological change over a vast period of time. Chalk is very pure limestone. formed in the Cretaceous greenhouse period.

All in all Paul clearly demonstrated his enthusiasm and professional interest in a subject which archaeologists clearly need to have some knowledge of.

Tuesday, 19.01.16 :

“ 1/5th Lincolnshire Regiment – The Somme and urban warfare at Lens, breaking the Hindenberg Line.”

Steve Bramley.

1_5th Lincolnshire Regiment

Reflections on the night

This was the second of Steve’s talks to the Society and very authoritative, interesting and informative it was too. In this talk Steve Bramley concentrated on the second half of World War 1 in a manner which showed how well he had researched this topic.

He recounts how the battalion, based on Doughty Road, went to Lewes in France in 1915 where, out of 600 men, 188 were killed. The Hohenzollern Redoubt was attacked but never taken. The regiment was then sent to Egypt in 1916 where they enjoyed a quiet time for a while before returning to France, Vimy Ridge and later The Somme.

On 1 July, 1916 the local  battalion with the Lincolnshire Regiment endured the first day of the Somme at Gommecourt where Arthur Coppin MM and Capt. Ignatius Welby MC distinguished themselves. Albert Hill and Percy Grantham suffered as a result of the use of gas like many others.

Between 1917 and 1918, as Steve recounted and discussed so authoritatively, the regiment fought hard and distinguished itself in battles like Lens, Messines, and Cite de Moulin and through the actions of soldiers like Sargeant George Porter and Sargeants Gouldthorpe MM and Leadbetter MM. Their bravery was well described by Steve as was his stress on the role of Major Gen Gerald (Gerry) Farrell Boyd who developed the creeping barrage used against the supposedly impenetrable Hindenburg Line in August 1918. The regiment’s attacks at this time such as the Battle of Regnicourt saw it taking more casualties than in the first six months of the Somme.

In summary, Steve’s account, as shown above, allowed us to see the depth of his research and to appreciate and respect the effort and valour of some of the many local men who fought in that terrible conflict now so long ago but not forgotten.

Tuesday 15.12.15 :  

Christmas Quiz – Buffet.

Christmas poster

Reflections on the night

Our chairman David introduced a very enjoyable social evening well supported by our usual members. Members brought food and drink and there was a draw for a range of prizes. As a Christmas get together to round off the year it was successful.

Tuesday 17.11.15 :

“Street names of Cleethorpes.”

Dr. Alan Dowling.

Street names of Cleethorpes 2 png

Reflections on the night

Alan gave a very interesting talk with the help of a visual aid. The sheet showed a map of Cleethorpes on one side with relevant areas coloured in and a list of titles with street names on the other reflecting the history of the area. Original settlements included Oole, Itterby, Thrunscoe and Haverstoe whose early history can be shown by names like Cuttlby, Beacon Ave’, The Gatherums, Middlethorpe and Highthorpe Roads. Topography is shown in names like Humber St, Nth Sea Lane, Anthony’s Bank or Carr Lane. Landowners have been Cambridge University colleges like Sidney Sussex. Names also include a Lady Francis or Tennyson and other benefactors who have been connected to Sidney Sussex College like Montague or Blundell. The Civil War of 1642 to 1649 affected the area through Cavaliers like Lestrange or Goring, or Roundheads like May or Manchester or Cromwell. Families and People play a part such as Isaac or Daubney or De Lacey. Finally Trades are important such as Chapman, Wilton, Oyster or Mill. These names and many others gave Cleethorpes its street names and are paralleled in neighbouring Grimsby.

All in all a very stimulating talk prompting questions from a very informed audience. TW

Tuesday 20.10.15 : 

Eloise Markwick

“Layers of History” A study of landscape archaeology, history and natural history in Lincolnshire.”

Reflections on the night

Eloise works for Heritage Lincs:


and helps lead a project (Layers of History) designed to encourage volunteers to discover and learn more about Lincolnshire’s past landscapes. I wonder how many people really know how people lived centuries ago in our local area which has changed much over the years? There are many deserted medieval villages (DMVs) in Lincolnshire, which was a highly populated county, which are just some of the features which Eloise was keen to note in her very interesting description. Heritage Lincs has had a number of successful projects to its credit which have cast more light on our county which was so important in the Middle Ages. I am sure Eloise will gather much support as the description she gave was well given and provoked an interesting question and answer session at the end. (TW)

Layers of History


15 September 2015 : 

Steve Bramley:- 

The 1/5th Battalion, the Lincolnshire Regiment in The Great War.

History of the 1_5th Battalion the Lincolnshire Regiment in the Great War.

Reflections on the night

Steve provided a very interesting and thought-provoking description, with the help of slides, of the lives of some of the soldiers from this area in Northern Lincolnshire who went to war in 1914 and endured some of the most horrible conditions imaginable. It was one hundred years ago when so many of these local lads fought and died or were wounded in the trenches in battles like Mons, Ypres, Somme or Vimy Ridge and Steve did a very good job at giving us an insight into who these brave men were and their backgrounds. Most were from very ordinary backgrounds who found themselves in the local Territorials and did not expect to find themselves in the killing field of Northern France until the regular army received such a mauling in 1914/15 that Britain began to depend on these men to fill the gap.

Steve, with the collaboration of a friend Chris Bailey, has written a book on The 1/5th Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment. Copies were available on the night for £15 and looked a very informative read. Hopefully, Steve will return and provide us with the second part of a well-researched study of a topic which has touched most everyone in the room on the night in one way or another.(TW)


The Society was present at Old Clee Church Hall from 10.00 AM until 4 PM. Society committee members were available to answer questions about Society affairs past, present and later this year.



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