Georgian Society for East Yorkshire

Letter from the Chariman - April 2021

Roger Lewis

Roger Lewis

Friday, 9th April 2021

Dear Members,

I last wrote to you in April 2020, confirming the cancellation (or, we had hoped, the postponement) of the 2020 Events programme. We had managed to hold our 2020 AGM – with an interesting talk and an excellent tea enjoyed by all who attended. And that was our one and only 2020 event. When I wrote that letter I was expecting things to be back to ‘normal’ by the autumn. How wrong that was. As I write 10 months later, we are still ‘locked’ in our houses, unable to shop for anything other than basics, unable to have haircuts, visit the theatre, go to an art gallery, or cinema. As soon as things change for the better (and remain stable) we will contact you with notice of GSEY events.

Last April I drew your attention to our website and said we would try to keep you in touch with the world of the Georgians via specially-commissioned written contributions. I hope you have enjoyed the results. Between March and December we managed more than one item a month. These included articles on ‘18th century novels and other literature’, ‘Gentleman Jack and the East Riding’, ‘A Georgian courtship’, ‘Unrest in the Georgian countryside’, ‘Hymns and their tunes during the Georgian period’(two articles), ‘My encounters with ‘Georgian literature’, ‘Two 18th century elopements in the Beverley area’, ‘A not very Georgian Jane Austen’, ‘The great Yorkshire election of 1807’, ‘Winters in Georgian East Riding’ and ‘Christmas in Georgian East Riding’. I hope you enjoyed them and felt this was a way of keeping contact with the society and with the Georgian period. I’d like to thank the authors: Stephen Deas, David and Susan Neave, Jane Payne and Julian Savory; also thanks to Austen Redman who makes sure the website is up-to-date and well-stocked with fresh information. Please keep checking our website as further such material will appear.

Which brings me to my next point: to remind you to let us have your email address. This makes it so much easier for us to contact you frequently and quickly. Could you send the address to . We use this only for essential membership information, such as details of visits and to keep you up-to-date with other relevant activities. When we have enough members using email we will run some events via Zoom, enabling you to sit in the comfort of your home and take part in lectures, recitals, performances via an electronic link.

Please also use email to keep us in touch with your own news; we are always interested to have news of our members’ activities. And let us know your ideas on how we can best run the Society in these difficult times.

One of our objectives as a society is to monitor planning applications when these are relevant to our period. Please keep your eyes and ears open for developments that may affect Georgian buildings or their settings and send any information to

The subscription year began on the 1st of January. If you pay by standing order, many thanks – as (like giving us your email address) this makes it much easier for us. If you still pay by cash or cheque can I ask you to consider converting your payment to the standing order method? You can do this by contacting your bank and instructing them to pay your subscription at the beginning of January each year to the following account:

HSBC bank, ac name Georgian Society for East Yorkshire, sort code 40 10 12, ac number 61166670.

You can also use this information to make payments to the Society by direct bank transfer. Please ensure that a clear reference is included in payments by standing order or bank transfer, showing your name and the nature of the payment, eg Subscription, Donation or Visit. The current subscription rate is £15 per person or £25 for two or more members living at the same address.

Finally, I must report the death of two members – both lived long and active lives and were enthusiastic supporters of GSEY; in mourning their deaths we recall their contributions with thanks.

Joan Marshall died just short of her 102nd birthday. She was probably our oldest member – and the longest serving (she had been a member for over 60 years). She served on the committee in the 1960s and 1970s and at one time was Membership Secretary (when the Society had over 500 members). She helped organize and run the visits programme and she convened coffee mornings for the society. Her husband’s family were whiting manufacturers based at the chalk quarry at Hessle. Herbert Houlden Marshall was managing director of the firm when he and Joan became engaged in 1941 (at that time Joan was a bank clerk).

Margaret Dibb, born in October 1920, died during 2019. Her family had a toy shop/tobacconists at 22 Cottingham Road. Margaret appears on the household record in 1939 as sales assistant in an electrical showroom; she went on to qualify as a solicitor at the age of 30 (the first women solicitors qualified in 1922; now 51% of solicitors are women). In 1965 she became the first woman partner in the firm of Rollit, Farrell and Bladon (now Rollits). She lived for many years at Leicester Lodge, Cherry Burton, before going into a home in that village for the final year or so of her life. She loved the arts and would fly to see art exhibitions abroad; she was a regular at Hull New Theatre. Margaret has named the Society in her will as one of the beneficiaries.

Roger Lewis Chairman

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