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Terrington 2020 Project - Interview with Mrs Ellerby

Date of interview: 17 March 2000
Interviewer: John Goodwill
Transcribed by: Carol Woodhead

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The full transcript of the interview with Mrs Ellerby follows, running to 20 or so printed pages. You can select below one of a number of topics if you would like to pick out discussion of that particular topic. Also below are lists of names and places which occur in the transcript so you can search for any you are interested in.


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The following names occur. To find occurrences of one of them, press Ctrl+F, type the name you want into the Search box which appears, and click the Down arrow or Next button.

Agar, Blenkarn, Cockin, Craven, Fitzwilliam, Fletcher, Goodrick, Goodwill, Green, Hall, Harrison, Hope, Kirkbride, Kirby, Leef, Rhodes, Smeaton, Wilson, Vester, Wimbush


The following places occur. To find occurrences of one of them, press Ctrl+F, type the place name you want into the Search box which appears, and click Down arrow or Next button.

Barnsley, Baxtonhowe, Cleveland, Hovingham, Malton, Mowthorpe, Scackleton, Wiganthorpe

Transcript of interview

I’m speaking to Mrs Ellerby. She used to live in Terrington but now I’m interviewing her in her house at Pickering. Can you tell us where you were born?


Scackleton. And what was your name before you were married?


And when were you born? How old are you?

1906 I was born.

So you’re 93?


And when did you move to Terrington?

When I was about two, I understand.

And whereabouts did you live in Terrington then?

Not to Terrington, to Mowthorpe. Well that’s Terrington really, isn’t it?.

Whereabouts at Mowthorpe?

Rough Hills Farm.

And how many were in the family?

Ted and me, and dad and mum.

Right. And did you go to school in Terrington?


And who was the headmaster when you went to school in Terrington?

Mr Kirkbride.

What was he like?

Very strict! Very strict.

And how many would there be at the school when you went?

Oooh, goodness me, I don’t know. No idea. A nice lot!

Who was Mr Kirkbride and was he the only master there or was there a mistress as well?

Mr Kirkbride was the headmaster but I don’t know who was in the classroom.

And who would be the vicar then?

Mr Wimbush, I should think. I don’t remember anybody before Mr Wimbush.

Did you go to any other school or did you just go to school in Terrington?


How old were you when you left?

As soon as I could! Fourteen. (Laughs).

And what was it like at school? Did you enjoy school, or ….

Oh yes, it was all right. Mmmm. It was quite all right. I was really frightened of Mr Kirkbride. I wouldn’t do anything wrong in front of him. By gum! He was strict.

And what sort of things did you do? What did you do to play, to entertain yourselves? I mean, there wasn’t television in those days so what did you do?

No. Just ordinary. Bible things in the morning, then sums and such like.

And did you come home at lunchtime or did you take a packed lunch?

I did and I had it in the classroom.

And how did you get to school? Did you walk?

No, we walked and then if it was wet well me dad took us in 'pony and trap.

So you didn’t have a car?

No, but me dad was the first to get one in Terrington.

Was he? When was that?

Nay, that I don’t know.

Right, but he was the first one to have a car?

Yes, he was, yes.

After you left school - how old were you when you left school?


And what did you do when you left school?

Just helped me mum at home.

So you stayed at home and worked on the farm?

No, I worked indoors. I never worked, Gwen worked outside.

What did you actually do in the house? What sort of work did you do?

All the housework – cleaning up, baking, churning. All that sort of ….

When you said you did the baking. What did you actually bake? Everything?

Everything. Bread, scones, pies, sweetcake.

What about groceries? Where did you buy those?

Well, the Co-op was there then, you know. And they sent a man round to get your order and then they delivered it about five days after, maybe.

And you’ve no idea how much it used to cost in those days?

No, no.

And when you were a teenager, what did you do when you were young, when you’d left school? What did you do to entertain yourselves when you were young?

Played tennis, didn’t we?

Whereabouts did you play tennis?

Up back lane. North Back Lane.

On the old tennis courts?


And were there any other things that you did?

Well I had to go to choir practice.

So there was a choir in those days? And was it a good choir?

Mmm mmm. Yes.

Did you enter competitions?

No, no.

Did you go away to sing at all?

No, no.

And was the choir tied to the church or was it independent?

No, it was the church choir.

And who led the choir?

Oh, I’ve forgotten now. And maybe dad was in it ….

Right. So you played tennis. Did you do anything else? Were there parties or dances?

Oh yes, when I got a bit older.

What about the Terrington Feast? Do you remember the Terrington Feast?

Just faintly – in front of ’public house. Do you remember it? No.

So what went on at the Feast, then?

Well, there was stalls and hooplas and all that. Right in front of ’pub and where Walter Craven lived. Who lives there now?

A lady called Dona. It was Ebor house, wasn’t it? Just below the pub.

Yes, yes.

And what else went on? Can you remember anything else that went on the village that stuck out in your mind when you were young?

Well, there was Sports Day on ’cricket field.

What happened at Sports Day?

That was at the top of South Back Lane.

Well, what went on on Sports days?

Well I know there was an ankle show! (laughs).

Did you win that?

No, I did not!! I were offended. You had to stand behind a sheet, you know, and just show your ankle. And one of 'judges came up to me and said "Oh, pass on, that one’s has a bog spadden!" (laughs)

What’s a bog spadden?

That’s what horses get! (laughs) Yes, that’s true. I heard him. You had to show your ankle. That’s what he said. Me ankles have been sprawled all me life! (laughs). Oh, he said "Pass on that one".

You said they had a cricket team. Was it a good cricket team in those days?

Oh yes, it was a good team. It was something to go to, you know, on a Saturday afternoon when there was a match maybe and such like.

What about when you started courting? How old were you when you started courting?

(Laughs) About fifteen!

Times haven't changed much. So who was your first boyfriend? Was it Bob?


So was Bob Ellerby your next door neighbour? He was at the next farm?

It's Low Mowthorpe now, isn't it Ann? [Ann: It’s Birksdale.] Oh is it? [Ann: It is now. It's Birksdale now.] 'Cos it was Low Mowthorpe in our time. They put it to Low Mowthorpe, you know, before we left.

It’s Birksdale now. And how old were you when you got married?

Twenty nine.

Who married you?

I don’t know. Mr. Wimbush wanted to marry us but he was too ill. I don’t know who it would be – that man who got drunk, I think! I think it was Mr Cockin. [Ann: No, that was Mr Morgan.]

I think it will have been Mr Cockin. When were you married? What year?

Er, I don’t know! 1936?

1936? Yes, well it would have been Mr Cockin I would think.

Would it? Yes.

And where did you go for your honeymoon?

In the East Riding. East Coast and up into Cleveland to a cousin, yes. Bob was never warm for a week. Right by ’seaside you know.

And then you came back to Birksdale, did you?

No, to dad and mam.

You came back to your mum and dad?

Yes, just for a short time. I forget how long we were there. Till the cottage was ready. Then we went into Yew Cottage for seven years.

Oh, where MacFarlanes live now?

Down South Back Lane, yes.

So you were there for seven years. And what was it like in the village then? I know you’ve been left the village for quite a while now, but was it very different from what went on when you were younger to when you left?

No, I don’t think so. Not really. They just didn’t agree always same as they do now! Just ’same. Back biting and jealousy!

And do you remember the War? Have you any particular memories?

Oh aye, I remember 'War. Cos Bob used to belong to ’Home Guard.

Yes I’ve got a photograph of the Home Guards and he’s there.

Yes. And I used to go and sleep at Ursula and Horace Hope’s. When they lived in ’white house there.

Ah, Mount Pleasant?


So Bob used to go to the Home Guard?

Yes, they were out at night, you see – all night.

And you used to go up to Ursula and Horace’s to sleep?

Mmmm, yes. Well Horace was out as well, you see, Home Guarding.

Well me father was in the Home Guard as well. Anything else you can particularly remember about the War at all?

No, not really. Well different things like rationing, you know, and mam trying to get plenty to eat for us. We used to have Weetabix, buttered, to give us something to eat. It’s a cereal, you see. Mam used to buy ‘em and butter ‘em, you know, jam and such like …..

What about other things? Did you feed and kill your own pig?

Oh yes, yes. And cured ‘em in ’dairy.

How did you do that?

Salted ‘em down on ’dairy floor.

And then did you eat all the bacon and everything?

Yes, mmm.

What about things like eggs?

Well we just sold them to d’huxter. But you had to do as you were told, you know. You hadn’t to wash ‘em at one time, did you – well you maybe don’t know. That’s where I got my arthritis I think, so they say, washing eggs in cold water.

So this huxter man used to come round and collect the eggs.

Yes, mmm.

Every week?


Where did he come from?

Er, well a lot over’ years, I can’t remember. The first I can remember it was Harrison from Kirby Misperton or somewhere or Kirkby Moorside. And then’ latter years it was from Crayke. [Freddy Wilson] ay, Wilson.

And can you remember in the village any clubs or organisations that were running in those days? You mentioned the Tennis Club and the Cricket Club. Were there any other things going – the choir?

W.I., Mothers Union. Oh, there was always plenty to do, you know. Anything to get out! (laughs).

How old were you when you left Terrington then? You’d have been getting on quite a bit in years when you left and moved here to Pickering?


You lived at the top of the village, didn’t you? Where was that? I’m asking this question for the tape, you see!

Lodge do you mean? Yes. I was nearly eighty when I left Terrington. [Ann: You left Mowthorpe in 1957, didn't you?] I've forgotten the date, Ann. I think we were there about fifteen or seventeen years, weren’t we.

Did you ever go on holidays when you lived there?

No not really, no. Bob wouldn’t go. We once went to a wedding at Barnsley. Went all the ’way from Terrington on ’motorbike!

So Bob had a motorbike?

Yes. There was a young farmer who lived where Bobby Goodwill lives. No, he doesn’t live there now, does he Ann? Southwood. They called them Blenkarn and Bob was friendly with this lad, very friendly. So we went on t’motorbike, Bob and me! (laughs)

So you were on the motorbike! A bit bumpy, was it?

No, it were all right.

So your sister Gwen lived with you then she left the village?

Oh, they went to live at Staveley, near Harrogate, when they were married.

And your brother – he still remained on the farm, didn’t he?

Yes, mmm.

We ask this so it’s recorded on here, you see! Going back to the village, can you remember how many shops there were?

Ooh, more than there is now! Well next door to where Ann's Dad and Mum was, The Yews, there was a little cottage. Was that your grandad’s? [Ann: No.] They called them Kirby when they had the shop. It was a sweet shop. Just in a room! And then there was your Aunt Dorothy.

Dorothy Goodrick? Where was that?

Yes. Where the shop is now.

Where the post office is now?


What else was there?

Well you know where the Public House and then Walter Craven and then …

Leefs, Tailors? Were there then? Which is now part of the Public house.

Yes, yes. And then next there was Alf Goodwill and Alice Goodwill and Lucy Goodwill. There was a shop there.

Which is now Southwood Farm?

Yes. Well no, they wouldn’t live in Southwood then, they would live in there.

Which was this one then, Mrs Ellerby?

Well, you know the Public House? And then Leef’s window? And then a long house. Ebor House. That was Goodwills’. And they sold everything – corn and meal and groceries – anything. And then there was the Co-op.

Yes. On the top of the hill.

Yes. And then there was Rhodes’s shop up at the top, opposite us.

Yes, in the corner. And was there any cobblers in those days?

Oh yes! Mr Agar.

Where were Agars’, then?

Well you know where 'slaughterhouse is? Next door was his shop.

Greystones. That was in the square. That used to be next to the old bacon house, wasn’t it. There was the slaughterhouse in the corner, then there was the bacon house on the front where they stored the bacon, then there was Agars cobblers at the end of there was it?. Was there another cobblers in the village?

Mr Green, who lived at the post office as was. Next to Estils’

Yes, which is now the Old Wells actually now.

Is that what they call it? Well he would mend your shoes.

Wasn’t he a saddler, though?

A topper. Yes, he was a real topper. He was a topper at mended shoes as well. Anything with leather.

Really? What about the blacksmith then? Who was the blacksmith?

I think me grandad was for a time.

Who was your grandad?

Vester from Baxtonhowe.

And he was the blacksmith in the village, was he?

I think he was, yes.

When did Fred Fletcher come then?

Oh, I don’t know. I should think when me grandad left. I never knew anybody but Fletchers there.

Was there another cobbler at the bottom of the village, then, or not?

No, not that I know of. I don’t think so.

No. Then there was the joiners, wasn’t there?

Yes. Goodricks.

Yes, and our family.

Yes, and Goodwills.

Then there was the builders, wasn’t there?

Yes, mmm.

Can you think of any other shops and trades in the village? Do you remember more than one Public House in the village?


Do you remember Hopes’s house with the Temperance opposite the …

Yes! (laughs).

What do you remember about that?

Oh, lads all sat out on ’green. Passing remarks when you went past!

Did they? Well they would have been nice remarks!

(laughs). I don’t know! It was always covered wi’ lads! And then you could see ’staircase where they all went clattering up into ’reading room.

And what did they get up to up there? Do you know?

Not really. Play games, I should think! Dominoes and such as that.

So what did the young men really do, apart from that and chasing the young ladies. What else did they do?

They’d do football – I’ve forgotten! Cricket was in South Back Lane, you know. There was a dressmaker.

Who was the dressmaker?

Mrs Fletcher. Mrs Polly Fletcher.

Whereabouts did she live?

Where Will Thorpe lived.

That’s The Summit now, isn’t it. Right at the top.

Oh is it? She used to make all ’frocks at one time.

Did she?

Yes, she was very good.

And when you got married, did she make your wedding dress?


Who made that? Did you buy it or did you make it?

No, I think it was bought.

Before the Health Service came on, and you were looked after, how did you go on for medical treatment? Going back many many years?

Oh, Dr Smeaton used to come from Hovingham.

And did you get a bill for that? How did you pay for that?

Well, I don’t know. Me dad and mam would pay for it. I don’t know whether they did or not.

Because there wasn’t a Health Service then, was there?

No. I never thought about that. He used to come on a horse, at one time! Him and Lady Fitzwilliam from Wiganthorpe, both on ‘em. Mmm.

And they came on horseback? Two horses or a horse and trap?

No, two horses. They used to tie ‘em on ’railings at ’side of trough.

So come in and do your treatment, then ….

Yes. And whatever baking was on ’table, doctor would sample it. Never ask! Just pick a tart up and eat it. He was a real family doctor.

Pretty good, was he?

Yes, mmm.

And how did you contact the doctor then?

Well I don’t know, I don’t know. I only know when I was little there was an aeroplane went over and it was a novelty, you know, and we were in ’back yard at home and mother said "I can see it" and dad said "I can see it" and I said "I can’t. I can’t see it" and me mother said to me "Don’t you talk like that, that’s naughty. You might be blind one day if you talk like that". And I can hear me dad now, he said "If that bairn can’t see, she can’t. I’ll take her down to ’doctor in the morning". That would have been in the pony and trap. And he did – and it was a lazy eye, what they call a lazy eye. And this optician told me that they can do something for a lazy eye now but they couldn’t then.

So did you start wearing glasses, then?

No. I was fifty before I had to wear glasses – much to me disgust!

Well I started wearing them when I was six.

Did you? Aye, our Ted did. And then he never wore ‘em in later years – he never needed ‘em! He could do without ‘em!

Well I think we’ve covered a lot of …

Rubbish (laughs).

You’ve given us a lot of information! It's really good.

Well I worried about it. I thought – all them miles and I don’t know nothing! I don’t even remember my grandmother’s name!

You do, though, because you remember all the shopkeepers, don’t you? I can’t remember those – I can’t remember which was Agar’s and ….

You knew everybody’s business, didn’t you, in the village. Well they do here anyway!

Mr Ellerby, Bob, was involved with the church a lot, wasn’t he? [Ann: He was in everything, wasn't he?]

Yes, yes. Oh, he was a good living soul you know. And then there was a brass band for men.

Yes, well I was in the band and my father was.

Ted was.

Yes, Ted was in. He played the trombone.

Yes, yes (laughs). When rationing was on, there was a do in the village and he came down. I was having a donkey ride, just where the shop is there, and our Ted gave a great blast, like that, just as I went off, and I tumbled off ’donkey and split me stockings and I’d no coupons left to buy any more!

So what did you do then?

Told him off! (laughs). Now, that’s true, honestly. I was having a donkey ride. You had to pay for a donkey ride and just as I was passing he did it just for fun and ’donkey reared and I tumbled off!

Do you remember a pond in the middle of the village, before the troughs were there?

No, I don’t think so. There was troughs.

Do you remember any stocks over Cemetery Lane? Over Stock Lane?

No. I think there was something up at ’pinfold.

Yes, a pin, a stone circle for putting stray animals in …

That’s it, yes. When they came from ’market. Left them overnight there. Walked them from Malton and gave ‘em a rest in ’pinfold.

One thing I didn’t ask. What did you do about water when you were at home? You wouldn’t have had piped water. How did you go on?

Pump. Back yard.

You never had any problems with it being off, or anything?

No, no.

And what about lighting, then? You wouldn’t have had electricity?

No, no. Not for a long time. Only about two years before we left Mowthorpe.

So what did you use?

Well we had Aladdin lamps and paraffin lamps and candles to go to bed.

Could you see all right?

Yes, yes. In them days. Well I can see now!

So on the farm, there wouldn’t be tractors when you were there to start with, would there?

Oh no, not at the beginning.

So how many horses did your dad have?

About two. And foals. They were mares and they bred foals.

So actually, in your lifetime you’ve seen a tremendous lot of changes, haven’t you?

Well it has been tremendous really.

Yes, two World Wars and …

Yes, mmm. Nothing’s for the better, is it?

Well some things are …

Yes, some things are.

And some things aren’t. We’ve nice modern things and ….

Mmm, mmm. We had paraffin, you see. Co-op used to bring ’paraffin. Then they stopped them bringing it, after a lot of years. Stopped them bringing it on ’grocery van.

We used to sell paraffin didn’t we, at the petrol pumps.

Mmm, mmm. Well me dad used to carry it from Terrington and once from the stopper it had been leaking and it went down his back and he came out in plukes, nasty plukes all down his back. Fancy, a walking stick through the handle.

So he carried a drum of paraffin right the way from Terrington to ….

Well, one of them petrol tins, yes. By, that’s a long time since!

Mind,I can remember Bernard Hall. You can remember Bernard Hall, don’t you?

Oh yes!

Well Bernard Hall used to come to our house on a Saturday night and he’d get a 5 gallon drum of paraffin and he had a hessian bag full of bread and groceries that he’d picked up in Malton and then he used to stop at the cemetery and get another 5 gallon drum of water from the cemetery tap and take it all down to Primrose. That was terrible, wasn’t it?

Mmm. He was a decent sort though!

Yes, he was. Well you’ve given us a lot of information there. Thank you!

©Terrington Arts
This page last updated: 21st December 2021

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