BARTON UPON HUMBER
A Town With A Past --- And A Future
 
Butchery
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THE BUTCHERY

 

Number eleven Market Place, Barton-upon-Humber in Lincolnshire, U.K. was the Corner Café where I survived as a young lad and I spent many happy hours with other kids in the Summer evenings playing in the Butchery which was a stones throw away.
Fred who was a member of our gang lived with his Mum who was the landlord of the Mucky Duck Pub Our gang were invited to tea in the Mucky Duck kitchen, but only when it was Fred's birthday.
Should Fred's Mum encounter any of us lads on the street, her nose would tilt up she would refer to us with distain as, "The Butchery Cretins".
We would step smartly to one side on encountering Fred's Mum, thus avoiding being trampled to death by the apparition of a Sumo wrestler wearing drag perambulating on billiard table legs that had been known to shatter pavement slabs when she stamped her feet in rage.

Our gang was composed of myself Tom, plus John, Alan, Mick, and Fred.
Our favourite haunt was a culvert just off Barton Market Place known as, "The Butchery".
The Butchery was about the size of a tennis court but was surfaced with bitumen was surrounded by houses with a ten yards entrance off the Market Place but at the other end there were two smaller exits
Down one side of it were all the back yards to the shops on George Street and down the other were a couple of small houses between two old barns.
This part of Barton was the oldest part and dated back into history when local folk kept a huge bonfire at the ready on top of Beacon Hill to light and warn the surrounding villagers to arms or hide should Danes or Vikings come raiding up the River Humber.
In the middle of the Butchery an old house sagged that had been fitted with an electric light on one corner of it to light up the butchery at night.
The light was fitted by the local council long ago to reduce incidents of skullduggery and foil the efforts of footpads and vagabonds.

In the bad old days and with no light anyone travelling through the Butchery at night could get waylaid and robbed.
Some were more fortunate than others and only got robbed.
In the 1930's the house was used only in the daytime by some Bookie as a betting shop, in the evenings it was locked.
Baysgarth Park being locked up at night led to courting couples seeking other meeting places to share their views on life or play scrabble in the dark using Brail
Since the afore mentioned light was mounted on the front of the house in the Butchery, the back wall of the old house had no light so the dark side of the house soon became the favourite meeting place for the modern Romeo and Juliet types.

 

Extract from a story by Tom Barker


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