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Crowle Market Place | Horse at Stud



Crowle Market Place - Pictures and words by Bill Goldthorp

Crowle Market Place (1858)

The market square has barely changed in over one and a half centuries. The above sketch, from the mid 1850ís, is taken from Readís History of the Isle of Axholme published in 1858.

Note the gas lamp, the only streetlight in Crowle. Crowle was modern; it had a gas works, which paid good dividends to its investors. The gas works lasted to about 1940 when it went bust. We were now old fashioned; all the street lamps were gas. The blackout finished off the gas works. Unfortunately early 1939 Crowle Council took out a contract with the gas works for street lighting until 1950.

When the war ended the street blackout continued in Crowle. Electric street lights could not be put in until the contract ended in 1950. Film certification did begin until later. U anyone, A under 16 must be accompanied by an adult, X 18 and over.

I was quite happy to return from the Regal after watching Boris Karloff in the Mummy or Frankenstein, Bela Lugosi in Dracula; I cannot remember the Werewolves star. The lads would drop of one by one, but Len Slingby and I lived next door to each other at 42 and 44, it was only poor Chippy Chapman who would plead for our company as far as number 60. Invariably refused, Chippy would leg it the next 100 yards. The Olympic Selection Committee should have been there, we reckoned that Chippy could do that 100 yards in 5 seconds flat.

Two pals Laurence Lowthorpe and Mike Maw who live at Tetley never joined us in these excursions, they had another 200 yards along Wharf Road and then 250 along the drive to Tetley hall, dark and dingy, lined with ancient 200 year old elms and other trees, home to several species of owls, who hooted away in the most scary manner.

In addition at the top of the drive were several graves of the Stovin family, who once had a row with the local vicar. The Stovins were said to have come over as archers with William the Bastard. The latter being a far better term than Conqueror, being both true as regards to legitimacy and behaviour. The Stovins still exist as a very prosperous family in various parts of the United States, where they have substantial properties by the name of Tetley, Tetley House, Tetley Hall, Totlets etc..

Williamís mother was a tannerís daughter, far sturdier and healthier than his fatherís official wife; she produced a string of healthy violent offspring, of which William was one. Recognising an asset when he had on, Roger the Vicious, or something similar, Duke of Normandy made William his heir.  The other was his ďHarrying of the NorthĒ when they objected to him taking the throne. The locals disappeared into the forest when his soldiers appeared, so the soldiers destroyed all the crops and livestock. The following winter starvation did what his soldiers could not. 


The circus comes to town (1908)

Taken in 1908.

Now there are three gas lamps in the square and all the streets were lit. Those three lamps enable me to assess the date of other photographs.

All the unoccupied lads must have turned up to water the elephant, there must be over thirty. I wonder how many were still alive in 1918. Slaughtered in a war many believe could have been avoided. If you stand in that position today, in front of the butcherís shop that was once the Police Station. Very little has altered, the buildings are still there, the water pump and gas lamp have gone, but ignore the centre the view is still the same.

Crowle Market Place (1908)

Again a similar date.

Looking north up the High Street

Looking north up the High Street.

Row of shops on the east edge of the Market Place

Row of shops on the east edge of the Market Place.

 The Market Hall

The Market Hall.

The dress of the boy on the left is similar to the boys in the other photographs. The house and shop that were next to the Cross Keys in the thirties and during the war housed Dr. Dickinsonís branch surgery. The triple gaslight is the clue and the condition of the square itself.

 The London and Yorkshire Bank

Probably about the same time. It looks like London & Yorkshire Bank on the window. The covering of the square looks similar. There was a branch of a bank on this corner for many years after I went to university. One of the many errands I was sent on to do on my own when still at school was taking the cheques and cash to the bank to be paid into my fatherís account. It is surprising what I was trusted with from about the age of 9 onwards.


 Crowle Carnival in 1923    Crowle Carnival in 1923

Two photographs of the Crowle Carnival in 1923.



The Market Hall and Police Station

Probably the early 1920s. It looks like a police notice outside the police station. There are only a few notices on the town hall not the large ones advertising films that the elder Mr. Spivey put up when he arrived in Crowle around 1930 in order to use the hall as cinema. I have vague memories of my father taking me to see a film there, terribly frightened as figures flickered on a white screen with a piano playing in the background. The trip was a failure. Daddy had to take his little boy home.


 The Market Hall and Spivey's petrol pumps

 Early 1950's.

A Morris Minor and the street light is electric. We had no street lighting for five years after the war ended. Note the petrol pumps. In the mid to late fifties television began to ruin the small cinemas. The Regal became a Bingo hall and Bill Spivey left his house on Wharf Road, living in the corner house selling petrol and spare parts for cars.


War weapons week

War Weapons Week photograph, 1941 or 1942, taken by Mr. Spivey senior, part of a moving picture reel.
War Weapons Week, occurred the same week as Crowle Fair and Gymkhana.
Pinky Green the Council School headmaster was announcing the winners of a fancy dress competitions. The Spivey bros were Bill and Dick Spivey, Mr. Spivey Senior's sons.


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Crowle Market Place | Horse at Stud

Axholme History | The Parish of Althorpe | The Parish of Amcotts | The Parish of Belton | The Parish of Crowle | The Parish of Eastoft | The Parish of Epworth | The Parish of Garthorpe | The Parish of Haxey | The Parish of Luddington | The Parish of Owston | The Parish of West Butterwick | The Parish of Wroot

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