During the latter half of the 20th century there was a spate of novel writing in Barton-on-Humber. Dr T.H.Kirk wrote several children’s books. Henry Treece, published more than 70 books. Ted Lewis wrote 10 novels, one of which was made into a film.
in 1899, Tom Kirk came to Barton as assistant to his Uncle Dr. Naismith,
who had taken over the Morley practice in Burgate in 1921. In 1924
Tom took over the practice himself, and his uncle returned to Northumberland.
In 1927 Dr. Kirk took George Gilmore into the practice as his partner.
Soon after this Dr. Bradnack, partner to Dr. Birtwhistle in the rival
practice, married Nora Kirk, Tom’s sister. The Kirk practice
and the Birtwhistle practices amalgamated. During the war Tom’s
Peggy joined the practice to replace Dr Gilmore who had joined the
“Back to the Wall” “The Ardrey Ambush” " The River Gang”
Recieved from Gerry Jackson "Tom Kirk gives his story in a book called "Last Post" by Max Arthur (2005) as he was one of the last survivors of the First World War. Sadly he died in 2004 aged 105."
A later arrival in Barton was Henry Treece, who was appointed as a master to Barton Grammar School in 1939. Within a few months of him taking up his appointment the war started. In 1940 Henry enlisted and was commissioned as an Education Officer in the Royal Air Force. When he was demobbed at the end of the war Henry returned to his post at the Grammar school, where he was a very successful teacher. In the mid 1950’s he started writing novels, many of which were based on historical themes or on Greek Mythology. These proved so successful that he retired from teaching in 1959 to devote himself to writing full time. He was a prolific writer. More than 70 of his books were published. Copies of 38 of his titles are held by the North Lincs Library Service. These are:-
Exiles Killer in Dark Glasses Fighting Men
Ted Lewis was born in 1942, and came to Barton as a child, when his father became manager of the Quarry and Lime Works at Melton Ross. During much of his childhood he lived at 20 Westfield Road. Educated at Barton Grammar School, where he was doubtless influenced by Henry Treece, he started to write soon after leaving school. He was an accomplished artist, producing many fine drawings and paintings. He left Barton and lived in a number of places in the South, where most of his writing was done. Sadly he started drinking heavily, and this not only led to the break up of his marriage, but also led to his premature death in 1982. Some of his line drawings of Barton are held by the Civic Society, and are used on their Notelets. Copies of 10 of his books are held by North Lincs Library Service. These are:-
the way Home, and all the Night Through Billy Rags Boldt
view of the big contributions which they made, both to literature and
to the repute of the town, the Civic Society proposes to erect plaques
to commemorate these three on the houses in which they lived.
Jim Robertson, (on behalf of Barton Civic Society)