Allison’s Memories

Personal recollections from Allison Hutton (1896-1982)

Provided through Deb Fenwick – Whitby

  • Allison Hutton was the son of William Hutton (1865-1939) and Mary Elizabeth Allison (1863-1971). More significant in the context of this note is the fact that he was the Grandson of Johnson Hutton (1826-1891) and Great-Grandson of Isaac Hutton (1787-1864). His memories thus paint a picture of farming life in Fylingdales during the Nineteenth Century.

    Allison’s memories were recorded by an unknown "interviewer" who communicated them to Deb Fenwick of Whitby, who reports that he is now dead. The hand-written notes have been transcribed by Mike Clark, and presented in a tabular structure to clarify the chronology. Words in italics have been added to clarify the text. The ID numbers refer to the Clark-Nicholls-Hutton Family Tree. MJC 2006

  • 1841 Census: Johnson [Hutton 1826-1891 ID55] – labourer at Demense Park – farmed by William Gray
    1844 Johnson married Rebecca [Mennell 1827-1908 ID56]
    1851 Census – Johnson [Hutton] at West House 139 acres, Hamlet of Stow Brow
    1871 Census – Johnson [Hutton] at South House 139 acres. Johnson [as a] lad [cut] scrub and brushwood. Sold it by the load to burn Alum and thus cleared and brought under cultivation much of South House Farm. Also did much draining.

    He started farming with 4 draught oxen. Allison well remembers the 4 wooden yokes hanging on baulks in the old stable.

    Allison called him the cleverest man ever. He could sing many songs backwards. Marvellous with horses. One horse would kneel so that Johnson could mount. This horse bought from a circus. He could control horses with his voice only, no reins. Johnson known to have ridden to Guisborough to pay his rent at the estate office, then hunt all day with Cleveland and return in the evening. On one occasion he brushed two foxes. When the horse was shattered he dismounted and pursued the fox on foot.

    Allison had Johnson’s small hunting horn in his possession. He also had a painting of Owlet Hall, a ruined farm near South House, which disappeared when the railway went through. (1885)

    1864 Peak Alum Works continued production until 1864.
    1817 Stowe Brow Alum Quarries closed in 1817
    1860 South House rebuilt – re-thatched. The lads were supposed to take the thatch off the building and use [it] as firewood. Instead they set it on fire. Lads got a thrashing. One time it was thought burglars were in the house – on investigation discovered rats pulling boots across.
    1885 When the railway came through, it seems there was a dispute between Johnson [Hutton] or William [Hutton 1865-1939: son of Johnson] and George Hutton ([1842-1906 ID623] son of Hannah [Hutton ID621 1817-1887: presumed sister of Johnson]) of Mill Beck Farm. The dispute was over who owned a field which the railway company wanted. George apparently renamed his farm South House Farm (see gravestone John (indecipherable name) 1908, S>F?) – [this] dispute seems to have led to a long-surviving feud.
      [Missing line here] … with little return.

    Allison loved his horses – even sleeping with them. During the 1st World War, Allison was given a wooden gun by his father (William) to patrol the Beach. Allison remembers the first cars coming down to Boggle Hole but had insufficient power to get out. A team of horses was called in to do the job. He remembers one of his uncles riding from Hawsker to Newcastle in 15 hours. One of his forebears led all the material for the new school free of charge. They took in visitors in South House. Allison occasionally rode to see a cousin at Sledmere who worked on Sir Tatton Sykes’ estate. He was impressed with the set up. He had a little pony which he rode to Whitby where it would be stabled until his return late at night.

    All farms has servant girls and hired lads – pay was £5 a year plus food and board.

    One of the best Allison had was a lad who walked from Grangetown looking for work, begging for food and shelter on the way. A village shopkeeper sent the lad over. The lad joined the navy in the First World War. 40 years later [a man] came up to Allison and asked him if he remembered him. Allison had wondered whether the lad had survived the War. He had retired to Melbourne, Australia. Although his view on hired lads in general was not too good (similar to my Grandad Johnson was warned not to have anything to do with red animals [?] with white socks. However he bought one at Ruswarp market which had just calven [?]. He said it gave water not milk. Not worth ??. Once he bought a North Cave Plough off Watson (Joiners) of Sneaton who had a good reputation. He maintains that the coulter was inches out and he had to put it right himself. He remembers cows preferred drinking from a mucky pool **** than from the Beck. His stock came down with foot and mouth disease. He brought all of the beasts round by burning their feed and feeding them bran mash. They lost a lot of condition and it took a long time, but the beasts were saved.

    Allison and his father once a year would visit the fat stock market at York by train. Allison was disgusted when the line closed. The only visitor who ever grabbed a bucket and helped milking was George (my Grandad – this is ambiguous: Allison did not have a Grandfather called George. Was it the interviewer’s Grandfather?).

    **** I talked to Allison and Tiny Wellburn [Bettina Collinson Wellburn 1896-1988 ID568: apparently Allison’s second wife] at Horton House Farm. [Note that this seems to be the Interviewer telling us about the interview] This farm bought by Herbert family in 1775. Then Captain ???? bought it. Mary Elizabeth Hutton and Rebecca Hutton lived here [?]. Then sold to William Hutton (Old Will) lived here 12 years. Then sold to Allison.
    **** I got an icy reception when I approached Alder Hutton [1905-1991 ID388] descendant of George [Alder Hutton’s Grandfather was George Hutton 1842-1906 ID623]. The two farms, South House and Mill Beck Farm shared the same approach road. They are back to back yet perhaps a mile away from the next nearest habitation.
    1876 Johnson [Hutton] 50 years old. Apparently liked a drink or two. Known to be flat out in Bay and the boys having to come and fetch him, carrying him in the back of a cart. Lads were sent to Bay for caskets of whiskey. Once they replaced the whiskey with water from Mill Beck. It was said the culprits were in danger of their life when Johnson found out. At the end, Johnson was drinking a bottle of gin a day.

    When South House was rebuilt and re-thatched, the lads slept in the stable.

    Rebecca [Mennell] was a big and strong woman remembered by Allison in her old age, sitting by the fire at Harton House Farm just as Allison is as I talked to him.

    When it was suggested that South House should have a extra door at the front, Johnson said one door is good enough for me and that’s that!

    1880’s [The] family dispersed leaving William [1865-1935 ID67: he did farm South House] and his sister Mary [ID70] to work South House [Ambiguous: William did have a sister called Mary, but he appears to have farmed South House with his wife Mary Elizabeth Allison 1863-1929 ID70]. William’s children Allison [1896-1983 ID71] and Mary Elizabeth [1902-1971 ID72] were born South House and farmed it. William married Mary Elizabeth Allison [ID70] of Hooke House Farm.
    1897 Mill Beck Farm [was] handed down to John [Hutton 1866-1908 ID592] (son of George [Hutton 1842-1906 ID567]) [married] Edith Halder Wellburn [1873-1958 ID609]. His landlord was William Farsyde [1857-1928 ID627] (son of Hannah Hutton [1817-1887 ID621]). Farsyde would not allow John to collect wood on his land so Allison allowed John on his farm wood.

    Mary Parkinson Hutton/Farsyde [William’s sister: 1854-1935 ID625] was apparently rather aloof and did not mix much. The fact that Hannah named her daughter Mary Parkinson implies, indicates that they were related to Mary Parkinson the wife of Isaac Hutton, married 1811. Hannah born 1817 (also note Richard Parkinson, son of Johnson) [The interviewer appears to be alerting us to the complex family history relating to Hannah Hutton]. ** Cedric [Presumably Cedric Hutton ID683] farms Mill Beck Farm now, son of Halder [Alder Hutton 1905-1991 ID388] son of John [Hutton 1866-1908 ID592]. Dennis [ID266], Cedric’s brother died age 42 years / was never very strong and Tiny Wellburn [Bettina Collinson Wellburn 1896-1988 ID568] Allison’s [second] wife. It is thought that Halder [Alder Hutton] and his children inherited large sums of money. I should guess from the [line missing].