Wold Newton, East Yorkshire bursting with activity
PUBLISHED: 16:07 13 January 2010 | UPDATED: 16:01 20 February 2013
On the surface Wold Newton is a quiet place where nothing much happens, but appearances can be deceptive as Amanda Griffiths reports
PHOTOGRAPHS BY JOHN COCKS
Imagine the scene. A meteorite rushes through the atmosphere and crashes to the ground on the outskirts of Wold Newton, East Yorkshire. Sounds unlikely but it happened here in 1795. The roar of the rock as it fell from the sky shattered the peace and quiet of this tranquil village.
It was the most witnessed event of its kind and brought villagers running in shock and excitement to see just what had happened. American science fiction author, Philip Jose Farmer, picked up on this real life event and created his own tale, suggesting that a number of superheroes (and villains) are direct descendents of people travelling through the village the day it hit on December 13th.
The meteorite weighed 56lbs and cut through a foot of soil before penetrating another seven inches into the chalky rock beneath. The remains are now on display in the Natural History Museum in London but it's recorded in the village by a brick monument erected by Sir Edward Topham, a magistrate who lived in The Wold Cottage and owned the land on which it fell.
Today the village is unused to such excitement. The Wold Cottage is now owned by Katrina and Derek Gray who have turned it into a B&B and life is very peaceful. But the village has changed over the years.
'The majority of the people who lived in the village would have worked at the neighbouring farms,' said Katrina.' My husband remembers a time when he would have known everybody in the village and could have walked into any of their houses at anytime because they'd all have left their back doors open.'
Despite the fact that people now lock their doors, the village is still a safe, untroubled place to live.
Brenda and Robert Pearson are members of the village Neighbourhood Watch scheme. They say that of all the clubs and organisations in the village this one has very little to deal with.
The couple originally bought their home as a holiday cottage but decided to move in permanently. 'There are plenty of things to do here, it's not just a place to retire to and put your feet up,' added Robert.
'I suppose we've got more involved,' said Brenda. 'One of the main things we've been involved in is the redevelopment of the Methodist church into a lively community centre now used by all sorts of village groups. The trouble is finding the money to keep it going because it's such a small village, so there's lots of fundraising efforts in the year.Wold Newton is a great place to live.
'The only bugbear is that we lost our village shop a number of years ago, so now it's a 10 mile round trip to the shop.'
Wold Newton is centred on the village green and duck pond. The 12th century All Saints Church stands between Front Street and Back Street and the village pub, The Anvil Arms, stands on the site of what used to be the village blacksmiths. Like many other small villages Wold Newton has lost its butcher's shop, baker, grocer and post office but still manages to retain a thriving primary school which also serves the neighbouring villages.
Supply teacher and parent, Justine Sutcliffe runs the popular gardening club at the school. It is partnered with the Royal Horticultural Society which helps pupils develop their gardening skills. 'We do all sorts of things from hanging baskets to growing vegetables and have been well supported with donations from Wold Newton in Bloom as well as helpful parents and farms,' said Justine.
'When the Wold Newton in Bloom judges come to the village they visit the school as well, in fact last year two of our year six pupils showed them around with a log book they'd created of the work they'd done. The gardening club encourages them to take pride in their village and think about the effect they have on the area around them.'