A literary peek back in time

In and Around Pocklington Barmby moor
In and Around Pocklington Barmby moor

A NEW book which delves into the history of the local area is sure to delight residents keen for a peek at Pocklington’s past.

In and Around Pocklington by Paul Chrystal is rich in stunning photographs of the town and surrounding villages from times gone by.

Not only does the book feature many snapshots of Pocklington, Market Weighton, Barmby Moor and Stamford Bridge from the early 1900s, but it also compares the same scenes with how the towns and villages look today.

Alongside the pictures are fascinating historical insights, such as the possibility that Pocklington’s Market Place was the last place in the country to hold a public execution by burning when suspected witch ‘Old Wife Green’ was burnt at the stake there in 1630.

A notable aspect of the book is that many of the scenes from decades ago have barely changed when compared with the contemporary look of the towns and villages, and this is something that also struck the book’s author.

He said: “I think it’s probably typical of East Yorkshire that stuff has not been ripped out and demolished in a way that it has in other towns and villages.

“East Yorkshire has that reputation of being well-preserved and looked after; I think part of the reason is that it has historically been a place that you had to want to go to. Communications and infrastructure were never very good and, in a perverse way, places like Pocklington have benefited from that.”

Paul, who lives in Haxby and has written several historical books about York, said he was drawn to take on Pocklington because it has not been particularly well represented in national publications before.

“I knew the area and the landscape, I had been on walks around Pocklington and Market Weighton - it is beautiful walking country - and now, thanks to the Hockney connection, it is an area that is being put more firmly on the map in people’s minds.

“I hope residents get a lot out of the book, it is an area that is so rich in history that I couldn’t do it justice in the 30 words I was supposed to use for each picture, so often I just ignored the limit set by the publisher and used plenty more!”

Paul also thanked the local history society for providing many of the old photographs.

In and Around Pocklington is available locally from Simply Books, Pocklington, Homecare in Stamford Bridge and R&J Turnbull, Market Weighton.

It is also available via the publisher’s website www.amberley-books.com at a discounted price.