Members’ Evening 2017

Report on our meeting held on 20th February 2017

This year the society was oversubscribed by members wanting a chance to entertain with short presentations which would not occupy a full evening. The Scribe Bro George Parrott ordered and introduced them in turn.

First up was Sue Reeves who with pictures, words, and period music told the story of Prince Frederick’s gold leaf embellished royal barge of 1732. Stylised dolphins adorn the prow, rudder and oars. Oak swags and wave motifs decorate the flanks. This sixty three foot long barge was designed by Bridlington’s own William Kent. He even designed the silver adorned uniforms for the twenty one oarsmen. Sue told of Kent’s ten years in Italy studying art, architecture and gardens, and the influential friends he made. On his return to the England work flowed in including the royal barge project. Sue showed us several of the original design sketches and contemporary paintings of the barge on the Thames. The royal barge was in use for over 100 years. It was restored in 1968 and is now housed in the maritime museum at Greenwich where we can all continue to enjoy its eye catching splendour.

Sub Prior Bro Garry Sunley then recited “A Yorkshire Shepherd to his Dog” a poem in East Yorkshire dialect by F Austin Hyde who lived in Driffield.  The loss of his faithful canine friend deeply affected the shepherd, but the vicar said a dog has no soul.  The shepherd disagrees and says,

Thoo’s fought a good fight,lad; thoo’s run a straight reeace.

Good Shipperd wad nivver shut t’ deear i’ thi feeace. 

In complete contrast Bro David Moore told the story of Sir Monty Woodhouse, the 5th Baronet Terrington, who in 1940 was recruited to the Special Operations Executive and initiated and took part in clandestine operations including being parachuted into German occupied Greece. All this was a riveting story in its own right but we learnt that the 1st Baronet Terrington’s brother, Herbert Woodhouse, once owned Danes Dyke House. A generation back from these university educated brothers we find a Manchester fishmonger who started life as a humble Flamborough fisherman. Bro David explained all this using a family history application, and it turns out that Bro David is descended from that same Flamborough fisherman.

The Prior Bro Rick Hudson showed an animation he has developed based on a painting of the Bridlington Priory in the snow c.1500 by Bro Stephen Carvill. The monks moved to their positions in the original to the sound of tolling bells.

Scribe Bro George Parrott concluded the evening by delving into the history of Shrove Tuesday. Lent, which starts the day after, made a virtue out of the reality of food shortages at this time of year centuries ago by advocating fasting and abstinence. So Shrove Tuesday became a day to let off steam. Chaotic mass football matches took place, including on Scarborough beach. Cock fighting and skipping are also connected. Skipping is thought to have originated among fishing communities.

The Prior Bro Rick Hudson thanked the individual speakers for their colourful and enjoyable contributions; history in its many varieties.