The Memorial Wood
Ernie Teal wrote a very interesting account of The Memorial Wood (below).
Donkeys years ago! In the Parish of Walkington, there were several old pit holes –
well that is how they were named by the old timers of the village, salt of the earth
characters, now of course they have passed on to higher spheres, but I treasure
the memory of those forthright sons of the soil.
Those old pit holes of course were old chalk quarries, where farmers and their
toilers, dug out chalk to repair their roads, I do not intend to go any further into detail
than that. But I will name a mere few of these old pit holes, Pot and Ladle quarry
adjoining Manor House, Blue Stone Bottom, Fryers Copse and North Middle Howe
and there are several more.
Well, to curtail a very long story, North Middle Howe for several years was controlled
every Sunday morning for villagers to tip their rubbish down. A Parish Councillor was
always in attendance and all manner of unwanted items was dumped down North
Middle Howe pit, including a piano!!!! This was a talking point for quite some time!
One villager – no names – took out of the pit more junk than he brought, which was
a laugh really.
Well, in 1995, the Parish Council decided to fill that pit in, and grass it down and plant
trees and shrubs and it would be named hereafter as the Memorial Wood, in memory
of the fallen in World War 2, in particular the Far East veteran who died so far
from home sweet home, or those who came home after suffering beyond our
imagination. All those long years behind barbed wire, they dreamed of their
loved ones and England’s green and ever pleasant land – our woods and our beautiful countryside. England – the land of the free.
A small pond was dug by Mick Morrill and Ken Hearne, many other willing hands
came forward of course. They did it in the Walkington spirit which glowed brightly.
Mick Morrill bless him, made the Remembrance Stone, trees were planted by many
folk which will benefit countless people in the years to come.
It was such a touching opening ceremony which lives on in this old codger’s heart –
it was such a truly beautiful sunny day. The Mayor of Beverley was in attendance with
such wonderful folk. Many old veterans came from near and far it was so touching
a golden memory.
One I am honour bound to name is Norman Sharpe. Norman was killed in Korea,
aged nineteen. He lived up Little Weighton Road. His parents never got over it,
Sharpes Lane up Little Weighton Road is named after him and rightly so. Well I
could go on of course, but I’ll leave you with these words. All the old veterans
except three have passed on. Some left it in their wills for their ashes to be
scattered in our Memorial Wood. It overlooks our beautiful countryside – my
England and yours. Treasure it folks.