Compiled by the Parish of Hemingbrough Historical/Heritage Society
All information and pictures are the reserved rights of the Society



(By kind permission of Henry Armitage and Dorothy’s daughters Mary and Carol)

The following are extracts taken from Family recollections written by Dorothy who moved to Hemingbrough in March 1947 after marrying  James Swann, Dorothy passed away at the age of 82 in November 2001.

Please click below to read Dorothy’s recollections







Below are memories by Malc on his life, working days and when he worked for BOCM at Barlby
The memories were put together in February 2016 for a short Chronicle which complemented our recently published book ‘The History and Memories of BOCM Selby’
Malc has kindly given permission for his memories to be published on the website.




Click below to read Malc’s memories





Technical Director of Olympia Oil & Cake Co Ltd Selby

Mr Flohil in his office at BOCM Selby 1950s

P Flohil in office










Mr Flohil was born in the Netherlands on January 14th 1897. He began his career as a trainee at Zwyndrecht in Holland and was in service with the Dutch East Indies before coming to England in 1922 where he was the assistant refinery manager at Purfleet.  He transferred to Selby as refinery manager and became works manager in 1925 and was appointed director of the company in 1940. He lived at Barlby Hall an early 19th century red brick house with a slated roof and pediment over the centre of the entrance front.

Barlby Hall 2015

Barlby Hall

He entered fully into the social life of the company and took an active part in local affairs.  He was keenly interested in the working conditions and welfare of the people and staff and also ensured the pensioners of the company were not forgotten.

Mr Flohil died on 23rd August 1964. He was remembered for his powerful and vigorous stature visiting the factories and people he became so fond and proud of. He had devoted forty three years of service to the Company, sadly he had enjoyed only two years of retirement before his untimely death.

Extracts and pictures from the “History and Memories of BOCM Selby”




St Mary’s Church Hemingbrough had a number of dedicated bell-ringers who would regularly ring the bells for half-an-hour before morning and evening services. They would ring 720 changes in various change-ringing methods and were able to do this successfully on most occasions. During wartime the church bells were not allowed to be rung only to warn the public of a German invasion, an exception was in November 1942 the bells were rung to celebrate the success of the 8th Army in their victory at El Alamein

The Tune family were were part of the team of bell-ringers for many years, Matthew Tune was part of the team conducting many of the peals and 720s (Peals and 720s – Change ringing is the art of ringing a set of tunes bells in a series of mathematical patterns called changes.

St Mary’s Church Bell-ringers 1928

Bell Ringers 1928





The Church choir and members present the nativity play.  (Three wise men Mr Joy, Mr Dransfield – headmaster of Hemingbrough and Cliffe schools and Mr B Johnson the commercial manager of Ranks Flour Mill).

Nativity Play – Cliffe 1937

Nativity Play 1937



Celebrating the Coronation of George VI the village celebrated with a performance by schoolchildren, the Coronation Queen was Berly Jefferson.

(The coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth as King and Queen of the United Kingdom, the Dominions of the British Commonwealth and  Emperor and Empress of India took place at Westminster Abbey, London, on 12 May 1937. King George ascended the throne upon the abdication of his brother, King Edward VIII, on 11 December 1936, three days before his 41st birthday. Edward’s coronation had been planned for 12 May 1937 and it was decided to continue with his brother and sister-in-law’s coronation on the same date).

School Coronation 1937

1937 School Coronation





The vicarage was built in 1863 by the Rev John Ion MA. This remained the vicarage for almost one hundred years when eventually the church commissioners sold the house and the name was change to The Hermitage.



Hemingbrough Village has a unique ice-cream factory. The name Doubtfires ice-cream has been known throughout the area for many years. The ice-cream is made from a special secret recipe.

Mr John George Doubtfire and his wife were both born in Lambeth, London where they married before moving to Goole and stayed for over fifty years, finally moving to Chapel Fields, Hemingbrough. Mr Doubtfire was a mechanic by trade his works were in Pasture Road Goole where he specialised in Showman’s Swings and Roundabouts. He was also a showman himself visiting fairs all over the country. When he retired to Hemingbrough he started to make ice-cream from a small works at Skelton House.

Many locals remember when they first started making ice-cream to their own recipe. It could be bought from the works or from a handcart they pushed around the area.

In the early 1960s the business was sold and is still going today, Doubtfire ice-cream vans can be seen around the village, Selby Town and local area.




Sheila originally came from High Betham and after training as a Staff Nurse worked in Keighley. After marrying Derek Bygrave she moved to Haworth.

In 1973 Sheila and Derek moved to Hemingbrough taking over the ‘Crown Inn’ which they ran for 10 years. In 1979 Sheila also took over the running of Hemingbrough Post Office from a port-a-cabin in the Crown Yard. In 1980, they converted an old barn into the village Post Office. Sheila was well known throughout the village and was an excellent Post Mistress – not forgetting the sweet counter and milk bottle crate that allowed children of any size to use as a step and choose their pick and mix while Sheila waited patiently with a paper bag for all their goodies.

Sheila became a Parish Councillor in 1983 a position she held for over 30years, she was involved in many village projects and was the force behind the ‘No Cold Calling’ campaign. In December 2008 she was actively involved in saving the Saturday 5.15 bus from Selby to Hemingbrough (now 5.30pm which is still running) and fully supported the village entrance tidy up. Sheila was also involved in the Transport 4 Youth – a group of councillors and residents trying to secure transport for our young residents to enable them to travel to Selby in conjunction with North Yorkshire Youth services.

  • Sheila & Derek on a Good Companions outing

Sheila was a member of St Mary’s Parish Church Parochial Council for many years and was involved in Open Day fund raising events running the bookstall. Another position she held that was very dear to her heart was a Trustee of Hemingbrough United Charities. Sheila was the person that ensured Christmas Cards and donations were given to the over 70s in the Parish and no one was missed!

Sheila was also a member of Hemingbrough Good Companions and enjoyed many happy times with the Good Companions and, with Derek the many seaside trips they organised.

A very active member of Hemingbrough Community getting involved in all village activities, visiting and helping the elderly, Sheila is sadly missed having passed away after a short illness in December 2013.



Below is a shooting party outside Hoton House, Main Street, Hemingbrough mid 1960’s at a time when the property was a working farm within the village. Today there are no farms in the village the nearest being well outside.

Shooting Party circa late 1950s early 1960s THE SHOOTING PARTY, AT HEM



MEMORIES OF AN EVACUEE – (Letter dated September 2010)

First may I introduce myself my name is John Beisty and I and my family were evacuated to Hemingbrough from summer 1940 to summer 1945 out of our family of six only myself and brother Paul remain.  I am 80 and Paul 75 years.
We have re-visited the village on several occasions .  I hope the sketch map is of interest, my mother who was the only adult out of about 30 evacuees worked for Mr Dunn farmer for a year and then left to cycle to Cliffe then along an ash track  to Selby Bridge (1 penny to cross) and worked at Rostrons Paper Mill. We kids hardly knew of the war and had a lovely life in Hemingbrough with the kindest people, in fact we were sorry to leave the countryside.  It was all so exiting for a nine year old, we left Hull with no idea of a sports field or gardening and soon realised ways of the seasons and working on the land albeit spud and pea picking, for cinema money in Selby to the Ritz and Hippadrome.
Brother Paul is also blessed with a vivid memory of our escapades with the Welbourn brothers and the Smith’s who were 14 in family. I almost remember all who lived in Hemingbrough in those years including the Army near the school, officers were billeted in the large house on Main Street and this has a deep well with its walls. My third brother Ronald in the Photo sadly passed away a few years ago, we were like the three musketeers.

 Map  – How John remembers Hemingbrough

Mr Biesty map (Custom) (4)


Raid apple orchards
Pick peas by the bushel for 3 old pence
Cut chaffe in Smiths barn
Eat spuds from the boiling pot
Chase rats around the thresher
Come home covered in mud from Barmby Ferry
Help mother dig out mangled worsels on Dunns field in winter
Collect kindling from hedge bottoms for morning fire
Visit Ritz (Selby) with pea money also visit Hippodrome Cinema
Cycle to Selby via ash track from Cliffe
Watch films at army camp on an evening
Swim at cuttings off A63 Howden Road
Meet Italian POWs (prisoners of war)
Going to school in deep snow drifts
Collect hazel nuts from lane of Bubwith Road

“The Beisty Boys”
Ronald John & Paul

Mr Biesty Photo (Custom) (3)



Mr Devenish – always known as Walt, was a carrier of anything to Selby and York markets in summer and Selby only in winter.  Mr and Mrs Devenish lived at Northfield House, Hull Road, Hemingbrough and had a small field at Babthorpe which Mrs Devenish tended whilst ‘Walt’ was away at market. These two enterprises were their sole income.

  • Local Carrier 'Walt' Devenish 1930s




Jack Hinchcliffe, a soldier in the Coldstream Guards fought for his country and was wounded at Dunkirk, died in England and is buried in St Mary’s Cemetery at Hemingbrough- one of the four war graves in the Cemetery.

  • Jack Hinchcliffe in his uniform




The picture below shows Mr George Tindall on the left of the picture sitting next to his best friend Mr Ernest Armitage of Hawthorne Farm, Town Street now known as Main Street Hemingbrough.
Mr Ernest Armitage of one of two brothers who went to France to fight for their country, they were both killed in action, their father had a brass plaque put in the Methodist Chapel at Hemingbrough in their memory.

Below is a picture of George Tindall, he is seen here in hospital blues during the War, this was because he had trench feet from standing in water filled trenches.  He was badly shell shocked.  He married after the Great War and lived at Corner House, on Main Street, Hemingbrough.

  • Mr George Tindall (left) sitting next to his best friend Mr Ernest Armitage



The son of Mr John Banks a timber merchant of Howden Hall, Mr William Banks moved into the Hall at Hemingbrough in 1874,  He moved out in 1937 going into a bungalow now known as Yew Trees on North Field Hemingbrough.

This was built on the instructions of a Miss Caley one of two sisters who had been Mr William Banks housekeeper at the Hall (their father had been a cowman for Mr Banks).

Miss Caley had the bungalow built (her name was on the deeds) and named it Balby Cottage due to her connections with Balby near Doncaster (the name was later changed to Yew Trees).  The bungalow was designed as a small nursing home and legal papers show Mr Banks had no connection with it.  Mr Banks lived in the bungalow until his death in 1938 at the age of 96, he was buried in his wife’s grave in the old church yard at Hemingbrough near the main door.


  • Mr William Banks



In 1868 at Yorkshire Spring Assizes held at York Castle on Thursday 18th March, Frederick Parker was condemned to death for the murder of Daniel Driscoll of Tottenham on the 1st March.  The murder having taken place near the Blackwood House cross-roads, Cliffe Common, Selby.

He was publicly hanged at York Castle on 4th April 1868 by Thomas Askern of Maltby and the execution was witnessed by 1,000’s of members of the public.  This was the last puplic hanging in England with the exception of the Fenian Murders. Fredrick Parker who was 21 years old at the time of his hanging had on the 21st March made a full confession of the Murder.

Daniel Driscoll and Fredrick Parker had been discharged from Beverley Goal on 29th February 1868 after serving a sentance for petty theft.  The two of them were making their way to the home of Fredrick Parker’s mother who lived at Frog Hall, Hagg Lane, Hemingbrough – Parker having in his possession but a few coins while Driscoll had £4.10shillings (£4.50 today) and a silver watch and an Albert which he coverted, so he  (Parker) dropped a coin and when Driscoll stooped to pick it up for him he (Parker) hit him on the back of the head with a hedge stake killing him instantly.  Parker then rolled Driscoll’s body into a roadside ditch and covered it with loose hay he gathered from a nearby hay-stack.  Perhaps unfortunately for Parker the farmer came along the same day to fetch some hay noticed the hay in the ditch and discovered Daniel Driscoll’s body.  By this time Parker had made his way to Drax where he was arrested in the early hours of the next day whilst attempting to enter his grandmother’s house.

The picture below shows Daniel Driscolls’ gravestone in the closed cemetery at St Mary’s Church Heminbgrough 1989.  Today acid rain has taken its toll on the headstone.

Daniel Driscoll grave




Hannah was born in Hemingbrough in 1874 and married Joseph Darley a local Blacksmith at St Mary’s Church  on 21st November 1900 aged 26.   Hannah lived a long and happy life.  In later years she was fondly known as Granny Darley and was frequently seen on land alongside Hagg Lane  “Granny Darley’s field” to the locals where she would be feeding her livestock of hens and ducks.

Hanna died in 1970 aged 96 and is buried in the graveyard at St Mary’s Church.

The pictures below show one of the earliest know photographs of Hanna Rebecca as a teenager stood on the steps of the ‘Post Mill’ which stood in the middle of the mill yard down Mill Lane by 1930 the mill was unused and unsafe and pulled down in May 1932.  The wedding of Joseph Darley & Hannah Rebecca Smith shows a family gathering.

A Teenage Hannah Rebecca

A teenage Hannah Rebecca on the steps of the ‘Post Mill’

The Wedding of Hannah in Hemingbrough

The Wedding

All the information and photographs on this page are by kind permission of our archivist.