Fleetgate Remembered 1905


I would doubt that many Civic Society members can remember Fleetgate in 1905 (but you never know). I certainly cannot. I was, however, very interested to find out just how much it has changed over the last 100 years, and so set about the task of researching Fleetgate thanks to a copy of the Kelly’s Directory of Lincolnshire for 1905. The results, I hope you will agree, are quite surprising.

For those of you who are not aware, Kelly’s directories (and also White’s and others) listed most of the businesses around at the time, and they also listed any private residents that were deemed wealthy and important enough to be included or had subscribed to the directory. They were, in effect, the telephone book of their time and were very useful for salesmen, and are now useful to people interested in local history. Unfortunately they rarely gave house numbers (until the later editions) which makes locating the actual shop or building very difficult.

The People

The following table lists the residents and their business along Fleetgate in 1905.

Name

Details

Mrs Jessie Killick

Baby linen & underclothing

Walter Jacklin

Boot repairer

George Handson

Butcher

John Woodall

Butcher

Charles Daddy

Confectioner

Thomas Herran

Confectioner

Frank Sanderson

Confectioner and toy dealer

Mrs Bessie French

Cowkeeper

J Harding

Dentist

Hart & Co

Dentists

Davis Edwin & Co. Limited

Drapers

Mrs Sarah Doughty

Fancy draper

William Sharpe

Fish Fryer

John William Waumsby

Fishmonger

Ann Barraclough

Fruiterer

W. H. Gillard & Sons

Fruiterers & Boot and slipper manufacturers

William Justice

Greengrocer & general dealer

George H Burton

Grocer

Thomas Ellis

Grocer and draper

Charles Thompson

Grocer & Prudential agent

Fred Newsome

Hair dresser

George Harsley

Hosier

Thomas Newham

Ironmonger

Henry Robinson

Joiner

Henry Skinner

Joiner

George Edward Wade

Millwright & agricultural engineer

Charles Collingwood

Mineral water manufacturer

Mrs Emma Emmitt

News agent & tobacconist

Walter George Stark

News agent & tobacconist

Thomas Grainger

Picture framer & Agent for the British Workmans’ Assurance Co

Mrs Emily Harrap

Pork butcher

Joseph Small

Pork butcher

Jane Elizabeth Atkinson

Shopkeeper

A. & E. Newham

Stationers & China dealers

George Henry Rowe

Landlord of the Steam Packet

Fredk. Birtwhistle

Surgeon

Thos. Bennett

Temperance Hotel

William Gillard

Tinplate worker

Mrs Alice Parkinson

Landlady of the Waggon and Horses

Isaac Carn

Watch repairer

James E. Ross

Landlord of the White Swan

Arthur Brummitt

Wine and spirit merchant, patent medical vendor & insurance agent

There were six residents of note recorded in Fleetgate. These were Harold and Thomas Pigott, both recorded at Eagle House, and George Danson, Edwin Davis, John Ellis and Robert James Wells elsewhere.

Looking at the table it is amazing to think there were four butchers along Fleetgate at this time and also four grocers. It is also unusual by today’s standards to see two dentists, let alone in the same street. J Harding’s dentist business was at Cocoa House, which is now hidden behind the northerly part of Thompsons on the west side of Fleetgate.

W. H. Gillard and Sons were recorded as having premises on Newport Street in addition to Fleetgate. This was quite possibly the property on the corner of Newport Street and Fleetgate.  Thomas Newham and A. E. Newham were recorded as having premises on High Street in addition to Fleetgate. A & E Newham was trading from the building now occupied by W. A. Clarke which would explain why they were recorded as having premises on both streets. Thomas Newham was most likely trading from the same place. Charles Collingwood was situated on the land opposite Eagle House, which is now a private bungalow. George Edward Wade worked at the Mabel Foundry which was situated where Fleetgate Glass Co. is now and Arthur Brummitt was recorded as being at no. 21 Fleetgate. Many streets in Barton have been renumbered in later years due to demolition and new buildings so there is a possibility that this number 21 is not the same property as the current number 21.

The Barton on Humber Lawn Tennis Club was recorded as being at Eagle House. The Steam Packet, of which George Henry Rowe was landlord, is now Charlie’s and the Waggon and Horses, of which Mrs Alice Parkinson was landlady, has been demolished to be replaced by what is now the St. John’s Ambulance building.

Both James Edwin Ross and Robert James Wells were serving on the Urban District Council up to April 1905.

The Buildings

When you think of Fleetgate today with all its empty shops it is incredible to think that in 1905 there were over 40 businesses and residents of note recorded. This is comparable to George Street and King Street now. How different it must have been with all the people and trade along Fleetgate.

The actual look of the street is probably not that much different to what it was in 1905. The road is narrower now and there are more empty premises, but the actual character of fine Georgian buildings, rows of terraced houses and the pubs and inns remain. As was mentioned earlier Cocoa House, which used to be the Temperance Hotel, would not have had the more modern shop frontage attached. If it were removed you would hopefully see a grand mid 18th century townhouse. Numbers 47 to 51 Fleetgate would have originally been one property but by 1905 they would have been similar to today. 51 Fleetgate is well known for its late medieval timber framed wing and crown post roof. Eagle House was designed in 1829 by R. Nevis of Hull for John Hall the rope maker and would have added an impressive feel to this part of Fleetgate. Many of the terraced properties along Fleetgate are late 18th or early 19th century so they would also have been built in 1905 and Fleetgate House, opposite the White Swan, was built around 1858 so it too would have been there.

What Could Have Caused Such a Decline?

One possible explanation could be, because the railway was much more important to Barton in 1905 and there were carriers (who carried goods and passengers between Barton and the surrounding villages) to Worlaby every Tuesday and Friday (T. Hoodlass) and to Elsham every Friday (Charles Stainton) from The White Swan the passing trade would have been much greater. Fleetgate was effectively the linking street between the Waterside community, which was much larger due to the brick and tile industries being at their peak, and the rest of Barton. To a certain extent this would lead to the prosperity it enjoyed at that time.

When most of the brick and tile works along the Humber bank closed the Waterside community went into decline and eventually the town grew around the more central shopping area. Once public transport became established and then later the motor car, more people were able to go further to shop. This, along with many other factors, would have had a devastating effect on Fleetgate, the results of which are very apparent today.

 

I hope you have all found this article interesting. If you would like to read more on the history of Barton please log on to my website: www.inbarton.co.uk and visit the History of Barton section where you will find much more.

Darren Stockdale

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