Scunthorpe Telegraph 1979

Winteringham Local History and Genealogy

Winteringham from an article by Denise Dale, Scunthorpe Telegraph, 1979, kindly supplied by Andrew Snowdon

Winteringham CC 1930s

Val Peill has been able to give us some of the names of the team.  These are ... Fred Hawkins, back row 1st cricketer on  the left, also Tulip Parkinson 4th cricketer next to him might be Pete Wingate, then Ralph Harrison

WINTERINGHAM nestles by the banks of the Humber with the tranquillity of a village that leads to nowhere.

Lying eight miles north of Scunthorpe, with a population of over 800, Winteringham harbours a glorious history, which once made it a borough, with a mayor and its own corporation.

But the twin effects of the car and industrialisation have taken their toll on a village that once boasted a railway, bank, surgery and solicitors office and has lost them all.

Many of the houses that straggle towards the Humber might appear in estate agents' brochures with the description ripe for modernisation yet the untidy facades with peeling paintwork and unsympathetic windows and doors are redeemed by the many magnificent buildings which cast their glory around them.

Today the centre of the village has a picturesque post office with a butcher's, two pubs and a self-service shop flanked by the church and the new Methodist chapel at the far ends.

In the last century the brickyard and shipyard, together with the numerous farms in the area, provided most of the work for the inhabitants. and local industries continued to develop there until the Second World War.

One of the oldest inhabitants. 92-year-old Ralph Harrison, of Maltkiln House was only too happy to recall Winteringham at the outbreak of the First World War.

He acted as the landlord of the Ferryboat Inn - a task he performed with a brave face despite being a confirmed teetotaller and disliking tobacco.

Together. the Bay Horse and the 'Ferryboat catered for the alcoholic needs of the village - as they still do today - but an evening's entertainment for the "boys" of the village aged from eight to 80 could mean a trip to Booth's sweet shop to eat tiger nuts, or play any assortment of games.

There was also a temperance hall attached to the Methodist chapel, where no spirits were served and functions ended at ten o'clock sharp.

But the liveliest pastimes for the men were the football and cricket teams. Mr. Harrison remembered clearly the men Turing out in "their togs" every other Saturday on the green. and the special game which was played on. the foreshore on Good Fri- day.

Now, sadly, although the teams are still alive and kicking, the green is not. So the players go to Scunthorpe and one of the finest sights of the old days has been lost.

Winteringham in the Twenties was a thriving and bustling place. A horse-drawn wagonette owned by Charlie Skelton used to make regular runs to Scunthorpe and South Ferriby, and from 1907, those wishing to make the journey in more comfort were welcomed to Winteringham railway by the village's own station master, Mr. Barratt.

The village also boasted a ferry, and a small port, though Mr. Harrison never knew the ferry to be used in his day, he believed that the last time it was used was to take a retiring vicar and his wife to the North Bank.

But it was the car's entry to the village that brought the real hustle and bustle of the twentieth century.

Billy Altoft bought a Ford convertible, and when this was fitted with an overstructure he could carry 12 people at a time into town.  He often took the men into their eight-hour shift in the iron ore mines - those who didn't cycle or walk the eight miles.

"He would go backwards and forwards, and then the Enterprise and Silver Dawn entered the race, too," explained Mr Harrison.  The bus would hurtle along the rough flint road into Winteringham "like the very devil" to pick up passengers before Mr. Altoft took to the streets.

Today there are 16 buses a day to Scunthorpe which pass through the village and it costs 55p.  But even though the character of Winteringham is changing, there is no longer any question of survival hanging over it.  Once again it is flourishing, though not industrially.  Most of the inhabitants now work in Scunthorpe, though the local farms and abattoir, old people's home and school provide some local work.

Down at the village school, where the children's belongings are marked with first names only, headmaster Mr. J. Sparks said there were now 95 children on the register and the number is expected to remain around that figure.

Built in 1928, the county school replaced the church school of 1845.

The caretaker still tends the school vegetable patch which supplements the school meals, although until 1968 all the produce used in the meals was bought from local farms. 

Another teacher at the School. Mrs. Marjorie Bratton, could recall the time when Winteringham boasted three fish and chip shops - one of them run by golfer Tony Jacklin's parents in the Fifties. She felt there were two reasons for the new community spirit which seems to be evident in Winteringham.

One was the high cost of travelling into Scunthorpe, and the infrequency of the evening buses which makes people look for entertainment in the village.

The other was the village hall, which opened in the mid-seventies and is the pride of Winteringham. Bookings have to be made well in advance and most days and evenings have something to offer for part of the community, and recently celebrated its golden Jubilee.*

*(Editor's note: although this is written exactly as in the article, the reference must be to the WI, NOT to the village hall!)

The WI has grown rapidly in number. There are Cub and Scout groups as well as a local history group which is soon to publish a book on the history at the village

The place is flourishing, even though the "scene" has changed. The characters who made up Winteringham in Mr. Harrison's early days - to name but two, Snob Pickersgill the cobbler, and the cheeky youngster who stole a basket of pears from a farmer's orchard and then sold them back to him the following day - are all dead and gone.

Many feel that in the last 20 years a new type of person has moved into the village - as with most other country villages. These are people with more money and more leisure who have brought a breath of fresh air with them and have settled into the quieter life.

They have more time to join in the activities and although the face of these activities is changing away from a rural nature, there is still plenty going on.

Winteringham still retains its church with pride, but one of the indications of this village's resurrection is marked in the building two years ago, of a brand new Methodist Chapel.

Mr Harrison felt that the friendliness started to ebb out of Winteringham after the Second World War. And there is no doubt that Winteringham is no longer a purely rural settlement, but it is a pleasant place and the community spirit is alive and well. People don't stand and chat as they might have 50 years ago - but that says more about the pace of life in the 80s than it does about Winteringham

Denise Dale

Have you tried the other Winteringham Websites?
Winteringham News, Don Burton World of Nature Photo Archive (modern photographs of the village), What the Papers have said about Winteringham (since July 2004), High Resolution Historical Photographs , Winteringham Film Archive, Winteringham Nature Site, Winteringham Recipes, Winteringham Camera Club, Winteringham Village Hall, Winteringham Chapel


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