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Gallery
Market Place Market Place
Note the new building in the photo on the corner.
Regent Street Regent Street
Note the 'Old Red Lion Hotel'
Chapmangate Chapmangate
Note the independent chapel built in 1807 to the left.
Arthur Barker Jnr
I have kindly been provided by Jules Hargreaves the recollections of Arthur Barker who was brought up in the Barker's Dairy Family which moved to Pocklington from Bielby. Jules Hargreaves grandma was Lily Craven Barker and sister to Arthur Barker. She married Sid Jordison (who worked at Pocklington Airfield) in Pocklington Church on 11th May, 1945 aged 21. Eventually they moved up to Darlington and had 5 children.

ARTHUR BARKER B.E.M.

Arthur Barker Jnr
Arthur Barker with his wife Silvia receiving his British Empire Medal

What a title, to think this lad was born on Tuesday 2nd January, 1923, at the College Arms, Bielby, to Arthur and Alice, it is believed he had to spend his first months on the top of the oven to survive, what a start to such a great life, again it is believed (I have nothing to prove it ) he arrived sometime ahead of schedule in other words premature such was the maternity services in those days that was the obvious place to put the new arrival.

Being the first as it turned out to be quite a large family of. five Brothers and one Sister, numbers one, Arthur, as I have already indicated, two, William Francis, three, Lilian Craven, four, Peter, five, John Frederick, six, and the last Harold.

CHILDHOOD MEMORIES

My Father as well as being the Landlord of the College Arms, had what today would be classed as a small holding, a coal business, and looking after that large family, which he did with a good deal of what I would term Victorian
discipline, a belt across the backside, maybe we asked for it at times, such as stealing 'Woodbine' cigs and going round the back of the cart shed to have a smoke, (how did he get to know about that?) watching Dad milk our only cow, and him squirting milk into my face my reaction amongst other verbal exclamations was to call him a rotten bugger, not very nice to call ones Father, I didn't have long to wait before I got a good belt for that.

I want you to remember all this took place before the family left Bielby in November, 1931.

The older members of the family attended the local village school, under Miss. Jackson, who lived next door to the School, we in the Infants class had a slate board to write on, and a wet rag to rub out, all clever stuff at the bottom of the playground was a vegetable garden on which had been grown some sprouts, and the stalks had been left in the ground, being chased through them I stumbled and fell down and hurt my right arm I must have complained about this when I got home, however nothing was done about it until the weekend when my Mother took me to the Doctor it was then found I had broken my collar bone and the bones had knitted together so nothing could be done, this resulted in me having one shoulder lower than the other.

Summer holidays from what I remember were long and very warm days, so much so that on one particular occasion I decided that my thirst was such that only a pint shandy would quench it, you have got to appreciate that the College Arms had a cellar with 'the barrels of beer on a gantry and the beer being drawn through a tap at the front, I do believe I would make sure the coast was clear before going down in to the cellar, however this thirst just had to be quenched, and so having put lemonade in to a pint glass I began drawing the beer when I heard my Dad coming so hid the glass under one of the barrels, 'What are you doing down there was the question? nothing Dad was my reply, it wasn't long before he found out that I had been doing something, such as tasting his lovely beer, I still have a thirst when I think about it.

Barker Family
The Barker Family
Back Row: Fred Barker, Bill Barker, Peter Barker, Arthur Barker
Second Row: Lily Jordison (nee Barker), Arthur Barker sen., his wife Alice Barker (nee Craven), Harold Barker

When I was about six years of age there must have been an outbreak of tonsillitis in the Village and it was decided that a number of children should go to the Victoria Children's Hospital, Hull, to have the tonsil operation, Mother, together with William, and I and another family and their children travelled by taxi to the main York to Hull road at the end of the Balk to catch the bus to Hull, upon arrival in Hull we walked from the Coach Station to the Hospital, a good twenty minutes walk, upon entering the Hospital we were directed to take a seat on the long forms and await the call, I must say I was very impressed with the highly polished floor, during this wait the children were asked to remove their shoes, we found out the reason when the call came stocking feet slipped across the polished surface of the floor when we were dragged through the door leading to the operating room, I hadn't long to wait before being put on the table, and before the chloroform had time to take effect the surgeon was introducing the scissors? into my mouth, not very nice, the next thing I remember was being laid on my tum looking into a big bath of blood, then coming round in bed with a very sore throat. It seemed no time at all before my Mother came back and walked us to the Coach Station to undertake our return journey to Bielby. The operation soon cleared up but I do believe one of the other family had to have further medical attention.

On the 18th December, 1930, I was standing at the yard gate of our home together with other members of the family when we saw the R100 flying her maiden flight from Howden, the airship had been built there and was flying over York before flying to Cardington, Bedfordshire, what a sight, I remember being such a busybody telling others that I was late for school and I may say got a good telling off from the Headmistress, Miss, Jackson.

There was an occasion when my Dad had me assist in weeding a field of carrots, which at the end of the growing season had to be ploughed back in to the earth, there was just no sale for the carrots, what, a disaster.

Those years must have been very hard times to make ends meet, because in addition to having to cultivate two fields, he ran a small coal business, which meant as well as going to Pocklington Rail Station to collect Beer for the Public House, he called at the Coal Depot for the coal.

The family also had a Horse 'Daisy', and one Cow, and it was one of the jobs during School Holidays to 'tent' the Cow on the grass verge along the road leading to Everingham, being given sandwiches, and a bottle of lemonade this was a treat, there was no such thing as traffic, if a vehicle came along it was something to stand and look at.

During this time of course we saw the beginning of the bus service, this was started by Everingham Brothers, of Pocklington, 'E.B. Buses, it was said that when the first bus appeared in Bielby one of the Villagers was heard to shout at Mr. Sydney Everingham, who was the driver, 'Thou had better give that up Sydney before it breaks thou', it was the start of the 'bus Service to York*

I distinctly remember one Saturday morning being in the back garden with others of the family when the Foxhounds chased a Fox, into the garden fence nearby and we saw it killed by the dogs, shortly afterwards the Huntsmen arrived on their horses, my Dad was there and asked for the 'Brush' for the Landlady, but this was not forthcoming.

We had from time to time a visit from Aunty Dorrie, and Uncle Ted, I believe they lived at Thornton at this time, they had a horse and trap as transport, and of course they used to bring their children with them, we used to arrange a game of cricket in the yard, very happy times.

With having the public coming into the House in the evenings I suppose it important that the children should go to bed before should go to bed before opening time, we used to sleep in the back bedroom, above the Kitchen, there was a hole in the floor boards and it shone a light, on to the ceiling of the bedroom, we used to hide under the bed covers- and' peep out. from time to time and say •Mrs Slipper' is looking for us, it was one way of keeping us quiet, I never remember the floor being repaired.

These were very happy times really, however it was necessary for us to be brought into line from time to time, one such occasion happened on bath night, all the younger children had been in the bath and had gone to bed when it came to my turn, I was concentrating on soaping myself, when the room door opened and in came my Dad with the tallest Policeman I have ever seen, and stood over me in the bath and questioned me about stealing cigs from the Bar, I just don't know what he was talking about?, I do believe there was the threat of being locked up, and being taken away to prison.

I suppose the Village of Bielby will always have a soft spot, in the hearts of any of the older Barkers, in that the Corner Farm, was the birth place of our Grandfather William Craven, upon the death of his mother the Farm passed to his Brother, Fred Craven, who after some time as the Farm sold that place and moved to the Mill near to the Pocklington Canal, and eventually sold that place, and moved to a Cottage? near to the Farm, I am sorry to say that he committed suicide in a field at the rear of the Cottage, my Father together with others from the Village were in the search party that found his body the night after he went missing, he cut his throat, what a thing to do, poor chap must have been in a terrible mental state.

This indeed is a sad chapter in the family history, in that Grandfather was the eldest in the Craven family, but moved from Bielby to West Hartlepool to be with his pal a chap called Layton, William took up employment with the North Eastern Railway Company, I suppose the reason being that he was not interested in farming, however upon the death of his Father an urgent message was sent to him calling him home to discuss the inheritance of the Farm, Grandfather being the eldest of the Family should have inherited the Farm, but it is believed that as a result of pressure from his result of pressure from his mother, he signed everything over to her, and so as a result the Farm and all that went with it passed over to Uncle Fred Craven who had been looking after affairs at home. It is a pity that my Grandfather hadn't thought of the long term, and his family in particular, in view of the fact that one of his Daughters my mother returned to the village after her marriage to Father, it may have changed the whole shape of our lives?

The time came for the Family to leave the village of Bielby, I suppose from Mam and Dads point of view a very very worrying time, having to sell many things they had worked hard for, we complain today about hard times? but in comparison I suppose we can say we are well off. I am sure the sale of the property and stock including our faithful friend Daisy the family horse, whatever happened to her after she left our family? would not bring in an awful lot of money, not sufficient to pay off their debts. There just wasn't any money in producing crops, I remember one occasion when my Dad had me assist him in weeding a field of carrots, which at the end of the growing season had to be ploughed back in to the earth, there was just no market for them, what a disaster very hard times to have to live through.

So the Family Barker arrive in Pocklington and take up residence at Globe House, Market Place, what a tribe of young children to disturb the peace of the Market Place, no doubt the neighbours were a little concerned, especially the Coulsons, who had the Fruit shop next door, and the Blackbournes, who had the Hardware store on the corner of Market Place and Regent Street. Our neighbours at the other side were the Procters, Grocers, it was very interesting seeing their rulleys with the big shire horses in harness going out to remote country places to make their deliveries.

It was my Mothers job to introduce the three older members of the family to Mr.H.H. Craven, Headmaster of the Council School, this was to be my place of education for the next six years, the class teachers included, Mr. Davidson, Miss. Pollie Autherson, Mr. Beaumont, and Miss. Upton, I must say we had a very good basic education on the whole, under a very strict discipline, I was caned more than once by Mr. Davidson for minor misdemeanors without any complaints to my parents. There was a system of Houses at the school, Summerson, (.Blue) Smith, (Green), and Bickerstaffe, (.Red), I was in the Summerson House, and was the House Captain in my last year at the school.

Mr. Arthur Barker, Dairyman, Pocklington, started out in business it- was a case of who was available to assist in running the business even though it may have been in a small way, Father required to milk Granddads cows at the Royal Oak Public House George Street, opposite the Police Station, the cows were turned out to pasture in Burnby Lane during the spring and summer, and of course had to be brought up for milking and returned afterwards, walking them through the streets, can you imagine that in today's traffic, in the early days the milk was delivered to the customers in bulk in the can with the measures half pint, and pint, it wasn't long before the bottle came in, this of course led to a lot more work, filling them with a jug, and press the cardboard top in to place wipe the bottle and put it in the crate wrapped in paper to start with to stop them breaking, it wasn't long before the divided crates came in, in those days there were three sizes of bottles, 2 pint, one pint, and half pint, and to add to the daily toil there were two deliveries a day, Dad managed with his bicycle to deliver with the can hanging on the handlebars but when it came to the crates he had a sidecar fitted with a third wheel, this contraption was left outside on the front at the end of the passage, what are its chances today?, no wonder my dad had heart trouble struggling to pedal the creation in addition to the milk round he had worked up in Pocklington he gradually increased the business taking in Barmby Moor, all on the bicycle, not forgetting one or two customers at Yapham Mill which it was my lot to deliver before going to school, a very good way of keeping fit.

It would be about 1956 when I was thirteen years of age I was diagnosed as having T.B. which was prevalent in those days, my father apparently would not agree to me going in to the isolation hospital he agreed to medication? at home, and from what I remember consisted of plenty of milk with iodine drops in it, I can tell you it tasted awful, and resulted in me being away from school for a few weeks, it was also decreed that I should spend as much time as possible outdoors, very convenient to take Harold the baby of the family for walks in his pram, I had two runs Barmby Road through to the High Road, and return via the Green, the second was along the Balk to the High Road, and return via Riverhead, as the time passed I eventually returned to school, and the T.B. myth proved to be wrong, as many X-rays in later life have proved.

One of the highlights of the school year was the annual county sports, because of the Council School numbers they were to compete against, schools with similar number of pupils, I was quite a good sprinter, the selection of competitors was carried out by marking out the road on Garth Ends, I was also a bit good at the high jump which was .carried out in the play ground, landing on the thick coco matting to stop any injuries?, I must have done very well at one of the meetings, because I was selected to represent the Council School at a sports meeting which was held at the Beverley Grammar School grounds. Whilst still at school I had two part time jobs, the first was with Shillakers grocers at the corner of Railway Street, and the second at Stead & Simpsons, in the Market Place, and so in no time at all it was time to leave school and start work.

I was working in Pontefract in 1941, and realised that I would have to register for National Service on my Birthday in 1942, so I took off for the Naval Recruiting Office in Leeds, and, volunteered my services to His Majesty for War Service, duly receiving my call up papers shortly after my Birthday in 1942. I had to report to the Recruiting Office in Leeds, on thee 22nd March, from there we went by Train to Shotley, near Harwich, to face up to what turned out to be four years in the Royal Navy, there would be up to about 100 people on this intake complete strangers to each other, it was at this time I met a lad from Hull by the name of Johnnie Borrill, still see him from time to time he lives on Bilton Grange, Johnnie was a School Boy Boxing Champion, and a good friend. We spent our first night in the Annexe outside the main Barracks, being issued with our Hammocks which consisted of a very thin mattress, and one Blanket, the reason I mention this because the first night I never slept a wink, I was so bloody cold, never been so cold since, there was no heating in the big shed, no pillows, or sheets, and had to sleep on the floor, during that first, night I put my civy trousers on and the issue overcoat on top of the bed?, I still did not sleep. So this is the Royal Navy, however the next day we all received further uniform, and paper work before moving across to the Barrack. One of our first jobs was to parcel up our civilian clothes and send them home, from now on its uniform and like it, settling was not very difficult because the other chaps were a grand lot, and we got on very well each Mess had there own Petty Officer, ours was a chap called Andrews, we had in front of us three months of Square bashing, gun drill, swimming?
all P.T., Mess cleaning, and above learning to look after yourself, this was really put to the test on the first Saturday morning when we had our TAB, inoculation, by two in the afternoon if anyone came within a yard it was necessary to protect the arm which by this time had swollen to about twice the normal size, and very very painful, little did we realise there were two further jabs to come, the reason we had them on Saturday lunch time was because we had the afternoon off duty, Sundays was always Church Parade in the Drill Shed, which was the holy of holies, whenever going into it you had to double, if not you were in trouble, trouble meant running round the Barrack Square with 56lb pack and Rifle, and I mean running the chaps who were on punishment really suffered, anyone going for a second must have been real scabs.

The three months seemed to pass very quickly, before we moved on to join Barracks at Chatham, which was to be our home Depot for the duration of the War.