Memories of Grewelthorpe

This section is for people like you to post their memories of Grewelthorpe

Do you remember when we had three pubs and two, or was it three butchers. A chip shop behind the Hackfall Inn, a tannery or maybe more recent memories that you want to share.

Hopefully this section will grow and become a valuable resource in the future.

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    1. Andrea Richardson nee Bain

      My husband and I live in Avoza which had previously been two cottages. We would very much like to find out what the cottages were called and when they were first changed into one house. I have found a picture on this website of Fred Cade stood outside. I do hope someone can please help us to find out?

    1. Justin Smith

      I was reading the article about the two boys killed by the explosion in 1943. My father, Peter Smith, lived in Grewelthorpe during the war and he once told me that on his way to school one day he stopped to chat to two boys from the village who were playing with an old shell only to learn that later that day they were killed. Dad, who died in 2010, would have been 9 at the time and had some very fond memories of Yorkshire and Grewelthorpe and the freedom he had to play on the moors. All his life he had a great love for the countryside which was instilled in him from that early age.

    1. Peter Bevan

      Around 1980 I was on my way to Blyth to sail in the North East GP 14 Area championship towing my dinghy behind my Mini. I had planned to break the journey by staying at the Hackfall Inn.
      As I turned into the passageway at the side of the pub to go to the car park, I noticed about five of the pub regulars staring out of the window in disbelief as the mast of my boat just cleared the wall.
      It was a pleasant evening at the Inn, I had a great dinner and drunk more than enough of the local beer. Needless to say I was suffering in the morning !!
      But good memories of the pub, pity now It’s closed.

    1. Mike Hawkin

      Hi Gordon
      Lovely to hear from you, nice to know that you are still around.Give your Sylvia my best wishes, I remember you both well.I too remember that 1947 Winter, and all our regular skating on the pond. Happy days indeed.

    1. gordon ryder

      Hi Mike As you may well recall I was a year older than you and were great mates also Donny Calvert the Thomson lads my brother Cecil sadly passed on sister Sylvia lives Nr Ripon sis Margaret lives in the village I live in Suffolk since returning from Malaya in the 1950s so nice to read my old mates are still about . All the best to you and your family just pass on all the good times we had All the best Gordon

    1. Mike Hawkin

      Fascinating website of Grewelthorpe, so evocative, the memories literally came flooding back even after a 54 year absence from Thorpe.
      I was born and bred in this wonderful village (Born 1938, Left 1959), along with my 2 sisters Gillian and Moya, both of whom, along with myself, attended the village school, taught by the much loved and highly respected Minnie Jowett. I actually passed my 11 plus for Ripon Grammar from here.
      My father, now deceased, was Cyril Hawkin (everyone knew him as Pat), whose father farmed Mowbray Farm about a mile from the village, later owned by the Trenholme family. My mother, Eileen, was a Ripon girl, but loved Thorpe and its inhabitants with a passion, her particularly close friend being Florrie (Hall), who ran the village shop next to the school for many years. Ah, my memories of dandelion and burdock in earthenware jugs come flooding back! My best friend in my formative years was Brian Bain (who later moved to Kirkby and then Masham) with whom I spent so many idyllic, sun-filled hours, in Hackfall, birds nesting, swimming in the Black Robin, shooting and fishing on local farms. And, to my eternal shame, “appriopriating” a couple of eggs from Bob Ashby’s hen house to boil up in Hackfall Castle!!
      John Goundry, who still lives in the village, was another childhood friend, although older than me by some 4 or 5 years. We later played cricket together for the village team along with John’s brother Bill, the local butcher.
      Memories too, of skating on the village pond and sledging in the field opposite what was then the Hackfall Inn, now long gone. Winters in those days seemed to last so long, as of course, did the summers. Who remembers Bob Ashby and his huge flock of ducks? And Major Warmsley who was sadly pestered on mishief night, largely because of his cantankerous nature, only the “knock on the door and run away” type of mischief!!
      On a sadder note, I remember so vividly the two lads who were killed by the bomb they had picked up on Masham Moor, I was 5 years old but can remember the sound of the explosion to this day, I was living in Lake Terrace at the time, only a couple of hundred yards away. Some villagers may remember my less than stately progress through the village on the BSA350 motorbike my father bought for me from Hector I’Anson, I did, I freely admit, ride it far too recklessly and was made to pay for it by the courts.
      Happy, happy days, we are all so far away now – me in Cheshire, Moya and Gill in Middlesex. I have a 32 year old daughter about to be married, Moya and Gill have 2 and 3 children respectively. But I still love Grewelthorpe, as do my sisters, my parents last wish was to have their ashes scattered in the area and, in 2006, Moya and I respected their wishes by making Hackfall and Masham Moor the final resting place for my father, and Hackfall and Dallow Gill that of my mother. Suffice it to say that my daughter will make the same journey with me at some stage. It would be nice to hear from anyone out there that remembers me on this website.
      I always make a point of calling in to see John Goundry when I am up, Brian Bain is, so I hear, living abroad now.
      Good luck to all current Grewelthorpe residents, you certainly are very fortunate to live there!

    1. Lee Chandler

      Message: Hi there, I have just been reading your website and thought how great it is that someone has taken the time to remember a little place like Grewelthorpe. I was actually born in Grewelthorpe in 1971 to Mr & Mrs L Chandler (nee peacock) and we lived at Camp Farm until around the late 70’s until we moved into Masham. Its lovely to see the photos people have put on there and remembering families I had long forgotten about.
      > Many thanks, Lee Chandler

    1. Barrie Sharples

      My memories, are certainly well ‘etched’ ,my wife and I got married at St James, prior to that we had to pay a couple of visits to the vicarage, the first visit was nearly the last! As we arrived at the gate just out of Grewelthorpe on the Kirkby Road, entering, we were suddenly aware of the most enormous dog, bounding towards us.I say dog, but this was something of a cross between a lion and a Great Dane, we beat a hasty retreat back behind the gate, it arrived a second later but then seemed quite friendly. Perhaps there are some who remember this animal back in 1960, I decided to cautiously venture in (My intended wife pushed me in really) and it was really was quite friendly, perhaps it was a cunning ploy to test the proper commitment of the ‘intended’.Other memories of the event include the surprise after the wedding service to find the church gate securely tied up with string and “billy-band”. I hadn’t come across this custom before, another thing that nobody had warned me about.

    1. Carolyn Waters

      I believe that my Grt, Grt, Grt, Grandfather Walter Calverley lived and died at Hackfall House in the mid 1800’s. Also that my Grt, Grt, Grandfather was born there in 1844, he was Frederick Clackson Calverley. Frederick when married moved to Darlington and called his house there Hackfall House, I suppose because of the wonderful memories of Hackfall. I have a diary of his life from 1879, he mentions visiting Hackfall with his children, walking through the woods, the Grotto etc, and going through to Mickley, he also mentions things in Mickley such as the Mill stop working in Feb 1882, and by 1884 it going to ruins. The other thing he mentions that I can’t find out about is Mickley Feast every year on 10th & 11th July. Fredericks mother is buried in St Johns Mickley along with other Calverleys, Frederick is remembered on the stone but buried at Darlington. Would love to hear if anyone knows anything about the Calverleys.

    1. Elizabeth Spearman (nee Moulds)

      I lived in Holmfield between 1969 and 1971 with my parents, Sid and Sylvia, and my brothers, Colin and Andrew. We used to play cricket on the green with the kids of Holmfield and our friends from the Primary School. We had lots of fun taking the dogs for a walk in the woods with our parents, walking to Kirkby Malzard with friends, attending Sunday School etc. I have fond memories of Grewelthorpe, it was one of the best places I’ve lived in. I visited about 3 yrs ago and met Peter Lofthouse in the village and had a quick chat with him.

      Seeing the Gala Day photos was great as I never remember the village holding one when I lived there.

      I remember the Headmistress living by the pond with her sister and being told off by her for not going straight home after school.

      Anyway, I’ll be re-visiting shortly and maybe my old home will now be occupied as it was empty on my last visit.

    1. ann simpson nee goundry.

      re: Mervyn Bains memory of Grewelthorpe regards the butchers shop next to the crown was my fathers which was William [Billy] Goundry not John Goundry as stated.

    1. Mervyn Bain

      Mervyn Bain who attended Grewelthorpe school from 1947 to 1954 and lived in the village, the son of Evelyn Bain, nephew of Meg Bain and grandson of Emma Bain, sends the following memories.
      “I had the dubious pleasure of being rescued from the middle of the pond after fallin thro’ the ice early one Sunday morning by Mr Togo Ashby who luckily heard my cries for help. His house was near the pond. He took me home wet, cold and miserable and my Gran Emma Bain gave me the scolding of my life.”
      “Most Summers we would all go swimming in the river Ure via the long path through Hackfall wood. There was the Black Robin part of the river, deep, cold and still, followed by the rapids, shallow and swift. We were never supervised and I remember once pulling Ivan Chamberlain out of the water after he had been swept down the rapids.”
      “We used to congregate under the archway next to the Crown pub to plot and scheme. Birthday parties etc. were normally held in the long room above the archway. John Goundry’s butchers shop was also under the arch.”
      “I was the Church bell ringer, Altar boy and head choir boy. There were only 4 of us if the whole choir turned up. Myself, Joan Hewitt and the 2 Thirkill boys. It was also my job to get the church ready for evening service at 7 o’clock on Sunday nights. Imagine, on the dark winter nights with no street lghts around, an 8 year old boy walking thro’ the graveyard, into the church, then walking the full length of the aisle to the vestry in the pitch dark to reach the light switches. Why I’ve never had nightmares I’ll never know.

    1. Albert Stockdale

      These are snippets of a letter written by Albert in 2003.
      My wife [Irene Thackray] used to live with her parents at a farm called Cliff House, Grewelthorpe on the road side leading to what we called The Back Lane. Her Mother [Selina] died at that house and Old Sam her husband ended up with relatives at Mount Pleasant, Kirkby Malzeard. The name of the people in the house in front of Cliff House was Neesum.
      I was only 16 years of age when I met my wife in Harrogate. There was no employment for young girls in those days. so they had to go into service at Harrogate for 10/- [50p] or 12/6 [63p] a week. I was living in 1 room at the time, 5/-a week [25p] unemployed. We got married in Knaresborough. The marriage lines cost 12/6.
      We had a poverty stricken sort of life then and my Mother in Law bought me my first suit of clothing.
      I was very well known in Grewelthorpe.I remember the Frankland family and another character called Emma Glew.
      I got the habit of going into The Crown for one pint. The landlady Mary was very nice and if there were only 2 or 3 in she would say Take your drink into the kitchen and we can sit and talk after time. I was only a young lad. Many years later I met Mary in Follifoot where she was the landlady at the Radcliffe Arms.
      I was selected to represent my company at the Coronation of the Queen's Father in London. What an experience.

    1. Keith Tong

      Keith is the nephew of Alec & Anna Chamberlain who had the Crown Hotel from 1953-1957. He was boyfriend of Elizabeth Hall the daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Hall who had the shop near the old school. Keith now lives in Brampton, Ontario, Canada.

    1. George Cade

      It is sad for me to see the Methodist Chapel shut down. There used to be a bellows pump handle on the left hand side of the organ console. When my Father was a boy, about 1908, he pumped the bellows and would go to sleep only to be rapped on the head by the organist to wake up and pump for the closing hymn.

    1. Gordon J.Ryder

      I was born in Crown Cottage in 1937. Son of Jack & Annie. Annie had the grim task of laying people out after death. She was also the caretaker of the Reading Room in the late 40’s and 50’s. [See item on reading room in History section.]
      She would tidy the books, light the stove and with my help would iron the billiard table all for £1.10s a month.[£1.50p]
      I also blew the bellows for the organ in the church which was next door to our cottage. I got 3d[1.5p] a time for that.
      I remember the bad winter of 1947 when the arch next to the Crown Inn was snowed up and the snow reached up to our bedroom windows. The windows and door of our cottage let the snow inside. We dug a tunnel under the snow across to the Inn which was run by Suzy Scott and we survived the storm.