The Forgotten Industries of the South Bank of the Humber


During the 19th and 20th centuries Barton upon Humber had many thriving industries along the banks of the Humber which sadly today are just memories and the odd piece of unusual wood or ruins. Many Keels and Sloops traveled along the Humber stopping at jetty's to collect cargoes of bricks, tiles, chalk, rope etc. There is still evidence of the once great industry, if you look carefully enough.

Two boat wrecks at Fosters WharfTo the east of the Humber Bridge (in Barton) you will see Blyth's Tile yard which is still in use today. A short walk further east will see the start of our walk along the Humber Bank in a westerly direction. Our starting point is locally known as Fosters Wharf (opposite the sailing club). Here you can see the remains of two boats which no doubt were once used to ferry cargos of bricks and tiles from the many brick and tile yards that were situated around here.

 

 

Tile Yard ruins on the Humber BankCarrying on westerly Blyth's Tile yard is next. This was once much larger than it is now and there is evidence of this with ruined chimneys and the marks where train lines once ran just below the Humber Bank. This is one of the few industries that remains in use. There is also evidence of it's decline on the banks of the Humber where a large jetty once stood. This is now just bricks and ruins.

 

 

Chemical Works ruinsWaters' Edge Country Park is next which is now occupying the site of many industries past. This area has been a maltings works and more recently ACC Chemical Works. The land was very polluted and so almost all of the evidence of industry has been removed. There was a train line leading from the main Barton to Cleethorpes line to the chemical works but this has also been removed. There was a large tower which was demolished and many buildings which have all gone. There is still evidence in the Humber shore to tell the tale of what was here before.

 

 

 

The remains of the jetty at the old Coastguard stationOver the new Haven bridge looking at the Haven shows that the boat building industry was once quite large. Sadly it is no more as the Haven has silted up quite badly over the years. Boats were once seen up as far as the Ropery Dispatch building. Back to the Humber Banks and to The Point (or Humber Bridge viewing area as it is now known). Here many years ago Keels and Sloops would have been a common sight on the Humber. The Humber defence was once only a wooden wall, not the concrete wall we see today. There was a jetty for the old Coastguard house but the wooden stumps are barely visible today. Only around 15 years ago the stumps were much more visible and a bit further into the past the whole area was covered in broken bricks and tiles making it fairly easy to walk out towards the water without much problem.

 

Further along the Humber Bank, just past the Humber Bridge is the other part of Blyth's Tile yard. This part is still here today but long gone are Garside's Brickyard, Morris's Brickworks, Burley's and Greenwood's Barton Cement Works jetty ruinsBrickyards (now the site of the new Far Ings Visitor Centre) which were close by. There is still evidence of brick and tile making on the Humber shore and the many clay pits are also evidence of the brick and tile making industry. The next brickyard would have been Tombleson's Brickyard and then Skelsey's (or Earle's) Cement Works. Both these have Barton Cement Works ruinsgone, to be replaced by the Hotel and fishing ponds. There is, however, still good evidence of Barton Cement Works which lies on the banks of the Humber almost opposite the Hotel. This cement works was abandoned in 1926 but there is plenty to see still from the ruins of the buildings and jetty on the Humber shore to the ruins of buildings and spring wells in the actual complex. For more on the cement works click here.

 

Continuing westwards we see the remains of the Chowder Ness jetty which had a beacon to warn passing boats and a depth indicator. On the other side of the path we see part of the Far Ings Nature Reserve. This large area opposite the ruins of Barton Cement Works and along a bit was once the site of the London Architectural Brick and Tile Co. Ltd. Again there was plenty of evidence of industry with tramways and buildings until the creation of Far Ings Nature Reserve which removed almost all of it. There was also the old Ness Brickyard in the area of Far Ings Nature Reserve. As we reach the point where Far Ings Lane reaches the Humber Bank you will notice a pond. This is know as Target Pond and used to be known as The Firing Range which was actually a shooting range and before this an old cement works. There was also a clay pit here which continued to be excavated until the Cement Works closed. All the old equipment was abandoned and is, presumably, still under the water.
The main reason for Barton Haven becoming silted up lies here. Many years ago, before the gale of 1953, the water from the clay pits was pumped into Ings Lane dyke collecting water from Blow Wells and Shadwells along the way and flowed into Barton Haven. After the Humber Bank repairs in 1953 the water flow was reversed causing water from Blow Wells and Shadwells to travel along Ings Lane dyke into the clay pits then the Humber.

Old Chalk Quarry jettyThe next area of industrial evidence is the wooden stumps sticking out of the Humber shore at the next piece of land which sticks out slightly. This is the old Chalk Quarry jetty. It would have been from here that sloops and keels were loaded. This section of the Humber bank has been now been breached and a new sea defence has been built further to the south, near South Cliff Farm. The breaching of the Humber bank around here has created a salt marsh in the field beyond the current sea defence. You will have to walk round this new sea defence to continue the walk.  In time this new sea defence will, more than likely, lead to the loss of more evidence of the old industry along the Humber banks.

Next comes Leggot's Jetty which was part of Leggot's Crushing Plant. At this point on the Humber shore thereLeggot's Jetty is plenty of evidence of the jetty and buildings which once stood here. Leggot's Quarry is up the track and was once owned by Eccles (who built the jetty). There is still evidence of the old industry dotted around this area. Much of the devastation of this jetty was caused by the great gale of 1953 and by 1963 the jetty began to subside in the soft mud and became unusable.

This is the ending point of our forgotten industry trail.  South Ferriby is further to the west and Barton lies to the east.  There are numerous ways to return, just follow the signposts or to this walk in reverse.

 

 

For more information about the Waterside area of Barton you may like to obtain a copy of the book 'My Childhood Playground' by Ron Newton available from many outlets in the town.

Related Links (inbarton is not responsible for the content of external Internet websites)

The Humber Keel & Sloop Preservation Society - with news on the sloop Amy Howsen and the keel Comrade.
M.V. SpiderT - The Story of the Sinking and Renovation of a 1924 Humber Sloop

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