Air Raid Shelters

Written by Karen Day
First Published

Recently Mr Stephen Farrow of 5 Flixborough Rd., kindly donated a WWII Air Raid shelter that was originally placed at the property by the Gray family who had lived there from 1924 until 1999. The final place for this shelter has not been fully decided yet by BSHG but at the moment (Dec 2013) it can be seen at The Ferry House Inn, Burton upon Stather.

The shelter at 5 Flixborugh Rd.
Click for more.

A friend of BSHG, Mr Stuart Nicholson who is a previous owner of 5 Flixborough Rd., has been able to provide us with further pictures from 1999 taken by his daughter Shona. These show the house before work started on modernisation and clearly show the shelter in relation to the house and other original outbuildings. Interestingly he has also provided us with copy of the original deeds written when the property was purchased as a parcel of land on 30th June 1924 from Sir B.G.D Sheffield Bart. and Others by Mr Henry John Gray who had the house built on a double plot of land.

Anderson Shelters were issued free to all householders who earned less than £5 a week, those with a higher income were charged £7. There were 1.5 million shelters of this type distributed from February 1939 to the outbreak of war. During the war a further 2.1 million were erected.

Flixborough Rd seemed to have been a more affluent area of Burton upon Stather during that time and Stuart tells us that a number of the houses along that side of Flixborough Rd. had much fancier WWII Air Raid Shelters than the standard government issue Anderson Shelter, the one at No. 5 being a case in point.

So it seems that the shelter Mr Farrow donated to BSHG of reinforced concrete bolted together in sections, is similar to a Stanton Shelter. Stanton Shelter - manufactured by the Stanton Ironworks of Ilkeston and could be constructed in any length, each segment of pre-cast reinforced concrete being 20 inches wide with two segments forming a 7ft arch. Stanton Shelter's were used mainly by the Air Ministry during WWII.

If anyone has any further information we would be pleased to hear from you.

A Token Effort: Burton's Very Own Coinage!

Written by Craig Alison
First Published

Traders Tokens

In the mid 17th Century Britain had been crippled financially by the civil war. This led to exceptionally hard times for everyone except the very rich. The situation was made worse for the working classes because there was a general shortage of small change making the purchase of everyday and low value items very difficult. At that time coinage was either gold or silver and even the smallest denomination in circulation, the halfpenny, was in short supply. To compensate for this, traders took it upon themselves to issue their own small change which became known as Traders tokens. The idea behind this was that a trader would issue his or her token as change and it would then be re-spent in their shop. Their use however became wide spread and was not limited to the issuing trader or it seems even the locality. Another obvious advantage for a trader issuing his own tokens was that they were small mobile advert for his business (As much of the population at that time could not read, it is unclear how useful this would have been). From the amount of known 17th century traders issuing tokens, some 14,000 country wide, it is clear that it was highly fashionable and would have carried a level of status for the trader.

The denominations were farthings, half pennies and very rarely pennies. Each tradesman usually only issued one type in which ever denomination best suited his trade. They were made of copper or brass, usually round with diameters varying between 14mm & 22mm. Some more elaborate shapes were produced such as square, heart shaped and lozenge shaped.

Thomas Lowther token struck over a Lincoln Token.
Photograph courtesey of Dix, Noonan and Webb, London.
Click to enlarge.

Larger places such as Lincoln or York would have had many traders issuing tokens. Small market towns like Brigg, Barton and Epworth usually had a few and as the fashion took hold, traders in small villages also began to issue tokens. Our very own Burton Stather had one and even more surprising perhaps is that Whitton also had one.

It is not clear who actually manufactured the tokens but evidence such as over-struck tokens (one token that has one traders details stamped on it and then the details of another stamped over the top) point to mass production by one or more professional token manufacturers.

Issuing tokens was actually illegal because it was the Kings prerogative to issue coinage and for anyone else caught doing so the punishment was death. However, as Britain at the time had been declared a commonwealth, there was no King to have a prerogative and this technicality was quickly exploited by traders. The production of tokens seems to have been tolerated simply because it met a much needed demand for small change. The practice began in London in 1648 and spread across the country over the next few years with many townships having at least one trader issuing a token. Once established it prospered, reaching a peak in the 1660s. The issue of official Royal farthings and halfpennies in 1672 saw the demise of trade tokens and along with new threats of harsh penalties for issuers; they were all but wiped out by 1674.

Burton upon Stather Token

Burton Stather token
Burton Stather token.
Photograph courtesy of Michael O'Bee
Click to enlarge.

The Burton Stather token was a round farthing and issued by Thomas Lowther, a bridlemaker, in 1665.

Obverse of the token reads: THOMAS.LOWTHER.IN around the edge with three tuns (barrels) in the centre.

Reverse reads: BVRTON.VPON.STATHER around the edge and 1665 in the centre.

How many he issued is not known but it is probably no more than a hundred or so and there are now only 5 known examples in collections. Interestingly, one of the Burton tokens provides us with a perfect example for evidence of their wide spread use as it was discovered on the Thames foreshore in London. Though we will never know how it got there it is easy to imagine and speculate that a sailor moored at Burton received the token in his change in the local tavern or perhaps even Thomas Lowther himself carried out a repair for him before he set sail for London.

Whitton Token

Whitton token
Whitton token.
Photograph courtesy of Michael O'Bee
Click to enlarge.

The Whitton token was issued by George Beale, proprietor of The George and Dragon Inn in 1667.

Obverse reads: GEORGE.BEALE around the edge and HIS.HALF.PENY in the centre.

Reverse reads IN.WHITTON.1667 around the edge with St George and the Dragon in the Centre.

We also have a little history for George Beale. The Beale family were a well to do and prominent Whitton family and George was a churchwarden as well as innkeeper. He married Elizabeth Thornton at Whitton in 1644 and died in 1684. In his will he left five pounds to the poor of Whitton and five pounds and twenty shillings to the poor of Alkborough and West Halton. The inventory of his goods was valued at £587.14.6 which included a large number of cattle and a 1/16th share in a vessel named Hopewell.

Keep an eye out when digging your gardens. That little brown 1p sized disk could be much more interesting on closer inspection! Collection of 17th century tokens is highly specialised and collectors will pay well for good or rare examples.

Bibliography: Seventeenth Century Tradesmen's Tokens of Lincolnshire (T.W. Townsend)

Postcards From The Past

The Stather

Postcards
Old Postcards

This first collection are images of The Stather. The first picture shows a steam ferry on the old jetty outside the original Ferry House Inn building. The next one is a view along the Trent bank looking North towards the Tank Ramp across the front of Villa Farm. The final picture is a view of The Stather from the Hilltop looking down to the North West, probably 1940s. The Old row is clearly visible in the centre. The chimney at the site of the old shipyard, visible in older pictures, has gone.

The Avenue

The Avenue
Old Photos of The Avenue

In the early views of The Avenue we see the road lined with mature elm trees planted by Sir John Sheffield. The first picture looks North West toward the village. You can clearly see the house (No 40) which still stands today. The second picture, dated 1903 looks South East towards Normanby. Moving forward to the 1970s we see The Avenue looking rather messy after the elms have been cut down. The first of these again looking North West, followed by a South East view. Do you remember exactly when the elms were cut down?

The Burton Stather Fishing Company

This is a £10 share of The Burton Stather Fishing Company belonging to George Morfin, dated 7th of December 1877. George was the last operator of the Burton Stather shipyard, appointed in 1871, he managed the yard until it's final closure in 1892.

Click to enlarge

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© 2017 Burton upon Stather Heritage Group

© Background Photograph by Sam Ablott 2011.