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3. Reviews of Recent Meetings

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 60’s. 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, 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 rally 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 too k 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 recognise. 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 land holding. 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 1920’s 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 1700’s to the 1970’s 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 artefacts, 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 Twon 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
PhD 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 Humberston 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 localyy. 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 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 1860s (Agrarian revolution). Better drainage came in by then after much local complaint. Mass produced drains helped creat 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 theYarborough estate. In the 1820s Carrington finished Humberston’s plan to improve the village. 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 the light of this the Swing riots of 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 eccavation 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 byall 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 theit 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?

Monastries 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. An 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 16th century.
The Yarborough family owned much land. Anderson street is an example.
Brewery St is an obvious name. It was the site of Hewitts’ 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 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 (formally the Post Office) is the site of 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 wahat 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 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 pin fold hill originally. This was used for straying 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 realise 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 up date on the inter tidal 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 travelling in 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 were 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 round 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 were found in 1980s. Was carbon dated. Possibly ritually deposited in the bronze age. 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 ship building. 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 ship building on our coastline washed up on a storm surge. There is a pieces 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
Lincoln Rutland and Stamford Mercury 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 grdens 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 travelled 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 folk lore 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 bore .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 realise 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 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 mythss 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 cow slips 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 pee wits cry. Some birds are regarded as bringing bad luck. Hearing the cuckoo is regarded as good luck. 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 rings 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. 3 Horse shoes over the door 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.

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 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 bavvies 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 a 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 round 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 of 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 wetstone and flint hand axe have been found. Because of coastal erosion the foreshore is constantly under attack and regular beachcombing often reveals details or artefacts 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 change 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 recognised 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 qoining 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 Trinityis 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 storeys. 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 desigated 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 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. Large Roman site with cremations in pots up to 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 metal working 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 book stall 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 round 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 end of the century so understanding coastal change over the millenia is very important.

Three things he is concerned with are:

Erosion of the coast
Reuse of the coast/land
Accretion  or restoration 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 way laid 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 track way 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 himhave
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 menbers. 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 Lincolnshires 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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