27 November 2016

Humber

At the chalk quarry in South Ferriby
On the Yorkshire bank of the mighty River Humber there is a village called North Ferriby. I know it quite well. Far across the muddy waters, on the Lincolnshire side, there's a village called South Ferriby. Until yesterday I had never been there though I had seen it from the north bank.

I was on my way to watch Hull City draw with West Bromwich Albion in the English Premier League but I had factored in a midday diversion to have a stroll around South Ferriby. When I got there it was very misty. I couldn't even see The Humber.

I strolled around, up to St Nicholas's church and then along a chalk track that overlooks a massive chalk quarry which was almost invisible to me in the mist. Back in the village, I was hoping to have a drink and a sandwich in "The Nelthorpe Arms" before crossing The Humber Bridge for the match but the pub wouldn't open until 4pm. Instead, I bought a haslet and salad sandwich from the village post office along with a pint of milk. Hull City supporters require plenty of sustenance.

Near the village pond there's an information board which on clear days would look out on the wide expanse of The Humber but yesterday it looked out on a milky-white mistiness. There was a poem included on the information board. I hadn't seen it before so I took a photo of it and have now transcribed it below:-

HUMBER SONNET
(From South Ferriby Hill)

O Humber! I have seen thy might deep
In opalescent beauty tinged with gold,
Thy waters glimmered in a dreamless sleep
By pebbled shore and gently dipping wold
Where little ships to happy haven glide
In some sequestered, half-forgotten creek
While cargoed fleets sail out in buoyant pride
The commerce of a vaster world to seek.
Yet I have seen thy wild tumultuous rage
A million mariners have bravely fought,
Battled the waves and storms of every age
To bring their homebound treasure to port.
Withal proud mother of a myriad of streams,
I hail thee Humber! River of my dreams

By Edith Spilman Dudley
(from "Lyrics of Lovely Lincolnshire")
Two views of  the war memorial at South Ferriby

27 comments:

  1. The first photo is amazing. What a talented photographer you are!

    I like the bottom two photos as well. Both are suitably melancholy (considering the subject). Nice work!

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    1. You are very kind Jennifer. I am always trying hard to spot and then take great pictures. I know I don't always manage it but I try.

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  2. My thoughts immediately went to "Shenandoah" when I began reading the poem. So much so...I had to play the beautiful song.

    My thoughts also went to the 1965 movie "Shenandoah" starring the wonderful James Stewart.

    All of which has nothing to do with your post...but there you go... :)

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    1. Well it does have something to do with it Lee. Two mighty rivers. The Humber may only be about 40 miles long but effectively it drains 9,550 square miles of northern England.

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  3. This sounds like an almost forgotten village. The mist and fog make it seem more forgotten.

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    1. It's like the setting for a mystery novel - "The Disappearance of The Red Devil"

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  4. Quite a surprise not to see sunshine in your photos YP, but the mist adds a very eerie, autumnal look.

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    1. I am always watching the weather forecast for sunny days and on the drive to South Ferriby I did go through bright sunshine before reaching the fog.

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  5. Wonderfully misty photos, I love days like that and enjoyed a very misty Sunday morning run in the woods with O.K. a few weeks ago.
    What is haslet?

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    1. In Lincolnshire, haslet (pronounced 'hacelet' locally) is typically made from stale white bread, ground pork, sage, salt and black pepper. It is typically served cold with pickles and salad, or as a sandwich filling. In England, it is commonly sold on a delicatessen counter.

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  6. Love that first photo. We used to have haslet a lot when I was growing up in Leicester. Walkers ( they of the crisps) used to make it and Mum would buy it in thick slices and fry it..served with potato and tinned tomatoes. A cheap meal I guess, but very tasty! I can't buy it here in the " south" but did once see some little balls of so called haslet at a country fair. Just not the same and I still have one of them in the freezer.

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    1. It is still widely available in Lincolnshire Frances. Perhaps you can arrange to have some sent to you by FedEx.

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  7. South Ferriby is a place I have visited although it was a long time ago. My abiding memory is of crossing the Humber Bridge. It was the way it bends upwards so that you can't quite see where you're headed and might drop off the edge into the river at any moment.

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    1. Crossing the bridge on Saturday was a surreal experience but three miles away at the KCOM Stadium, there was lovely, bright sunshine.

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  8. I've been across the Humber lots of times. Great photographs. I remember Hull quite well too. I didn't know they had a football team though. I still don't..

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    1. You are teasing me Terry. Anyone who knows anything about football knows of The Mighty Tigers, Pride of Yorkshire.

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  9. The English mist is always so photogenic, though sometimes not great to be out walking around in!

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    1. The close-up picture of the war memorial was kindly sent back to me by Google Photos. I rarely take pictures in misty conditions. Perhaps I should do it more often.

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  10. Lovely autumnal photos and I loved the poem too. My sister-in-law lives in deepest Lincolnshire and we travelled together by car to a family wedding in Hull last year. We must have skirted that village. I saw the Humber bridge for the first time and was impressed at how wide the river is at that point.

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    1. South Ferriby is two miles from the bridge which, when it was first built, was the longest suspension bridge in the world. A very elegant and daring structure.

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  11. Pleased to hear that you eat haslet - a good old Lincolnshire standby. We can buy it up but they insist on pronouncing it Hazzlet whereas any Lincolnshire lass knows it is really called hayslet.

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  12. sorry I missed out the 'here' after up.

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    1. The first time I had haslet was at my in-laws' farm by The Trent just south of Owston Ferry.

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  13. What sort of pub doesn't open at midday? Beautiful photographs although I expect nothing less from you Mr Pudding.

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    1. A struggling pub I think Sue. A pub that may not be with us in a year's time.

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  14. I rather think that describing the Humber as "In opalescent beauty tinged with gold" is rather stretching poetic licence.

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    1. Aye! But I bet tha wunt mind t'same words bein' applied to t'Mersey!

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