Members’ Evening 2018

A report on our meeting held on 19th March 2018

Four members gave what proved to be very different presentations.

In a talk full of humour Bro Andy Jefferson took us back to the 1950’s when the sun always shone and the food was awful. His mother had a black belt in cookery.  One chop and you were dead. They lived on the half complete West Hill estate. One day a couple of vans and cars were seen on the streets, a rare sight back then. Door to door salesmen emerged to sell electric kettles and toasters.

Bro Andy’s mum only had to pay a one third deposit. The salesman never returned for the rest of his money, but the police did call. Apparently the goods were stolen property from the Swan factory, but they were allowed to keep them.  Today even with good food available, Bro Andy still enjoys his tea and buttered toast thanks to his electric kettle and a toaster.

Maureen Bell reminded us that Elmswell Old Hall near Driffield, post code YO25 3EL, is open for one day only on 1st April. She showed photographs from a previous visit. This rescued but half ruinous building, now in the care of Historic England, was the home of Henry Best who in the 1600 wrote a famous instructive book about farming and village life in this period. Visit if you can.

Bro David Moore spoke about the tank regiments who flooded into Bridlington and the surrounding villages in preparation for D-Day. From May 1944 two Polish Armoured Divisions had nearly 15,000 troops in the area. Later in the year there were nearly 5,000 Czech troops with their distinctive Cromwell tanks.

Aided by a contemporary telephone directory Bro David showed us many Bridlington properties which were requisitioned. He used some atmospherically blended photographs of bomb damage merged into modern photographs which gave a feel for the period.

Bro David showed some photographs of the Czech and Polish armour in the area but would dearly love more.  Please contact the Augustinians via the website if you can help.

Chris Gatenby was given a family photograph when she was researching her family tree. She could pick out her grandparents and others and told some of their stories.

Looking for more money to get married, great aunt Flo’s boyfriend enrolled as a steward on the Titanic and drowned. Later Flo married Harold Banks. He was killed when steam escaped in the engine room of a ship in the Panama Canal. Flo’s niece’s husband was Italian and was interned in WW2 and sent to Canada aboard the SS Arandora Star. The ship was torpedoed and he died.

Another relative Edna McGratten and her husband Pat, master of the dredger “Bowqueen”, both died when the ship founded in the Thames estuary. The sea brought a lot of sorrow to this side of the family.

The Prior Bro Garry Sunley thanked everyone for the variety of enthralling contributions enriched with wonderful photographs which made for a very successful Members Evening.