Members’ Evening 2019

Four members gave varied short presentations about our fascinating local history.

A friend gave Maureen Bell a Victorian self-published book called “Legendary Yorkshire”.  Written in a flowery and pompous style, it was unintentionally funny in places.

One chapter was about the Watton Priory ghost which even today is said to haunt the Prior’s house which is still occupied. This was a Gilbertine priory where nuns and canons lived in close proximity. The author’s phrase that “the canons were there to service the nuns” seems to be true in all ways as a nun became pregnant and suffered a terrible fate.

A century or two later in the civil war this was a Royalist home and roundheads invaded it and murdered a mother and baby. The author regards the ghost as an amalgam of both cruelly killed women.

Bro Andy Jefferson presented a short history of Christchurch built in 1840 to serve the Quay community.  He included a photograph of the church without its spire which was added in 1861. It was built by local builder John Rennard on land given by John Rickaby. The forecourt extension was built in 1991 and is often used as a welcoming cafe.

The egg-box vaulted ceiling and the early marble font brought from York Minster are unusual features. Bro Andy also showed how neighbouring properties have changed over the years.

This church continues today with its long tradition of an active community programme, reaching out and caring for the residents of the parish.

Michelle Stephens told how the moving display of about 330 cardboard profiles of Bridlington men lost in the Great War placed on the pews of Priory Church, each named, led to her and Bro Frederick taking part in the Peoples Procession.

This was a special centenary parade and poppy wreaths laying ceremony at the Whitehall cenotaph in London. It was added on to the usual official Remembrance Sunday parade in 2018, and was a great event judging by the photographs.

The Priory display led her and husband Bro Frederick to research those who lived in Old Town. Chris Bonnet’s book, “The Great War Heroes of Bridlington”, was a big help. Bro Frederick designed remembrance certificates for each person lost with biographical information, which locals readily displayed at places where they lived or worked.

Bro Rick Hudson showed four short cine films.  The first two showed Robert Horspool receiving his gold watch for organising the 1919 Peace Pageant, and the pirates from the pageant, swords drawn, boarding a yawl in the harbour.

In the third, a family scramble over the rocks at the foot of Flamborough cliffs. The forth showed the elaborate gymkhana by the boys of Bridlington Grammar School in 1920.

The vote of thanks was given by Gillian Bapty.  She congratulated everyone for excellent presentations on our local history.