16 September 2012


Beeches Farm, Faxfleet
There is a forgotten land between Goole and Hull, south of the M62 motorway and north of the point where the rivers Trent and Ouse conjoin to become the muddy River Humber. In past centuries, the area was always prone to flooding - until ingenious men created dikes and embankments to ensure that the fields, farmsteads and remote hamlets remain largely dry. 

You approach the area via single track roads that weave across the rich arable landscape. In former times,  there would have been more hedgerows, more woodland and more people making a living from the land. But now it seems that only large scale farming makes profit and the fields have become like open prairies. Only the vestiges of the old days remain. Before cars, perhaps the best way to travel to and from this watery world would have been by boat - east to Hull and west to Goole though of course most inhabitants would have been so wrapped up in day to day living that they probably rarely left Yokefleet, Faxfleet, Laxton, Blacktoft or Broomfleet.

Broomfleet - when I was a young lad my parents would occasionally take us there to see Auntie Mary, Bruce and Uncle Bill Coombe who was the headmaster of the little village primary school. Like the village's  "Old Red Lion" pub it is forever closed now. I recall Sunday teatimes there. On several occasions, Uncle Bill   gave us "indoor fireworks" displays which filled my brothers and I with awe. He also tricked us with stuff he'd bought from Dinsdale's Joke Shop in Hull - plastic dog poo, whoopee cushions, fart powder and so on. He was just a big kid at heart and for that we liked him enormously. You never knew what you'd get with Uncle Bill. Until yesterday, I hadn't been by that old schoolhouse in forty five years.
The old school and schoolhouse, Broomfleet
Across the September stubble to Low Metham Grange
A channel of the River Humber at Weighton Lock
Ploughing near Broomfleet with the twin towers of the Humber Bridge in the distance.
Holy Trinity and Old St Clement's Church at Blacktoft
After this pleasant diversion, in which I walked for two hours, I travelled on to Hull to watch Hull City absolutely thrash Millwall 4-1 at the KC Stadium. A great performance and a great day, later capped in my local pub with fifty third birthday celebrations for Ian the taxman. Cheers.


  1. Bloody hell! All those nice memories, the scenery AND get to see Milwall thrashed? God's country indeed...

  2. For some reason I really enjoyed these pics, even tho (or maybe perhaps) they were not stunningly picturesque.
    My relies owned 'The Cock' at Barford, Norfolk. I had one a bit like your Uncle. He sounds wonderful - a kid's dream. Indoor fireworks?? Can you elaborate?

  3. That should have been my RELLIES (sorry - a kiwiism to stick 'y' on the end of everything: Telly, cardy, etc) but the automatic spell check changer changed it.

  4. HIPPO It was as the song said "Just a perfect day..."
    KATHERINE For example there was a sort of large khaki coloured tablet. Uncle Bill would place it on the tiled hearth and when you touched said tablet with a burning taper a "worm" emerged from it. Then there was a Player's seaman with a hole for his mouth. You put in a mini-cigarette and as it burnt the sailor puffed out intermittent clouds of smoke... Rellies? That's a new one on me. So are teachers teachies? Paedophiles - paedies? Terrorists - terries?

  5. The least said about 'ingenius men creating dikes' the better - far too un-PC.

    It does look a lovely place though - literally picture perfect. Where do you keep getting these clear blue skies from?

  6. SHOOTING PARROTS Over here in our earthly paradise the skies are nearly always blue - except at night when they twinkle with billions of tiny stars.

  7. Nice scenic pictures of your lovely countryside and old buildings YP. A pleasure to see - Dave

  8. Beautiful photos, YP. It looks as though the weather was lovely that day.

  9. DAVE Thanks for that. Scenically, New Zealand is one of the loveliest countries on the planet but of course visible evidence of human inhabitation is from fairly recent times. I had the sense that some New Zealanders - often with British ancestry - regretted that void.
    JENNY Thanks again. It was lovely. I had my shorts on and my Tetley's bitter T-shirt. I think the villagers of Broomfleet thought a crazed mass killer had arrived in their midst.

  10. Er, no YP, not those ones...

    But hottie = hot water bottle
    Chrissy = Christmas
    tinny = lucky ('tin bum')
    chippie = potato crisp
    greasies = fish and chips
    sammy = sandwiches
    etc etc.
    For more Kiwi slang go here: http://kiwiana.sarah.geek.nz/content/slang.html


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