Club History Revisted

Holderness Road Presbyterian HarriersAfter reading the Graham Brummitt article in the Club History section of the website written in 1993, I found it fascinating how and where the Harriers originated. Then on Facebook Dave Gowans published the adjacent photo which shows that the Holderness Road Presbyterian Harriers, founded in 1893, were based behind what was the Green Man Pub on Holderness Road. The picture shows part of the old Church still remaining. So with the help of my wife and Merrill (Sutton Museum) I decided to do some further research.

The Club originated in 1893 as the Holderness Road Presbyterian Harriers located at the above site. In 1908 the Club moved to the Crown Inn on Holderness Road, this was formerly known as Mile House or sometimes Mile End as the Inn was exactly a mile from the Town Centre. Gary Forrester then found a photo of the old Clubhouse at the Crown which was published on Facebook under the Hull ‘The Good Old Days’ section.

Crown ClubhouseWhile at this location the club name was changed to East Hull Harriers (nickname the All Whites due to club colours being all white). At the Crown Inn the 20 mile road race originated but sadly only ran for 2 years, probably cancelled out of respect for Fred Rumsby who died while competing in the 2nd year.

Article Published in The Times, 5 April, 1909 :- Frederick Rumsby, a prominent Hull runner, died yesterday without regaining consciousness, as the result of engaging in a 20 miles Marathon race on Saturday. During the race Rumsby, several times, complained of dizziness to the cyclist scout accompanying him, but kept on running. Just as he was finishing the 20 miles he collapsed, and was carried into an Inn, where he lay unconscious till death took place. He was only 22, and won the race last year.

After the Crown things become a little confused. The Club moved to Oak Tree Farm Sutton in the 1930’s and leased a building from a Mr Hakeney. On further research it was proven that this Farm did not exist under that name. It would appear that the farm name may have been a nickname of some sort.

John William Hakeney
John William Hakeney

I have found that Kirk’s Farm in Sutton was owned by Abraham Rodmell in the 1890’s. His wife Polly changed it’s name to Holme Oak Farm (due to a large Oak tree in the Garden). They owned the Farm until it was sold to Jack or John William Hakeney in the 1920’s, these were both Butchers and Pig Breeders on High Street Sutton. The Farm therefore is probably Holme Oak Farm. This has now been confirmed by the Local Historian at Sutton Museum.

Jack Hakeney died in 1928 but John lived until 1947 so it was probably John who leased the Clubhouse to Harriers. In the early 1930’s John sold the Farm back to Abraham Rodmell who passed it onto his son-in-law Con Calvert who obviously allowed the Harriers to remain. The Harriers then moved in the 1950’s to the Paddock which was a section of land owned by the Council alongside Sutton Golf Course. This is where in 1957 the traditional Red/White Colours originated.

Shown below from THE LONDON GAZETTE, 20 JULY , 1926. States that John William was owner of Holme Oak farm, his family owned the Cricket Field as well. The Family also had a Smithy and what used to be the Hardware shop in Sutton was part of their living accomodations.

Holme Oak farm

Shown on the Map is the location of Holme Oak Farm (sometimes spelled without an ‘e’ on the end) which is at the rear of Kirk Close (named after the original farm name). The only building  left is a derelict cowshed.

Remnants of Holme Oak Farm building, (Old Kirk Farm Cowshed). Location below.

Map Showing Location of Holme Oak Farm

Club History Revisited Part 2

Further to investigations into the clubhouse whereabouts it is now possible to confirm the location as Holme Oak Farm Sutton during the period of early 1930’s to the 1950’s.

Avril Smith wife of the late George Smith, (who was an East Hull Harrier in the 60’s to the 80’s) is actually the Granddaughter of John William Hakeney who leased the land to the Harriers in the early 1930’s.

The Clubhouse was one that the runners erected themselves on the Farm land of the Hakeney’s. The Clubhouse was supposed to have some sort of bathing area i.e. the old bath tub type. Avril seems to recall that someone named Green always remained behind after the runners had gone for a run, so the bath was filled and warmed for their return.

Ethel HakeneyThe picture shows Ethel Hakeney sat on what may have been part of the old Oak Tree outside the Clubhouse. View behind is what is now Howdale Road Estate. (The Clubhouse itself was erected by the Members and rumoured to be the same one relocated from outside the Crown Inn.

Picture shows John and Martha with childrenEast Hull Harriers benefactor with his family circa 1930.

Picture shows John and Martha with children:- Left to Right  George, Ernest (back), Ethel (Front) and Edith.

Club History Part 3 The Major

Major George Henry Stone Born 1897 – Died 1969.

George’s daughter Margaret now 88 has fond memories of her father. The first being that she was told he falsified his age so that he could sign up for WW1. So in 1914 he joined the Royal Engineers.

Private Stone was sent to France where he and his comrades were tasked on numerous occasions to either rebuild or repair some of their bridges. On one particular bridge building project they were attacked and bombed, all were killed with the exception of George who came out with severe shrapnel wounds to one leg (hence the reason why some members of the club thought that he sometimes limped). George Henry then came back to England and married Emily in 1922. They had 3 children, Reginald Robert, Margaret Joyce and young George Edward. George Henry was a keen cyclist and everywhere he went his bicycle went too. He had various jobs throughout his career one was a Club Agent, another was in the Clerical Department at Paragon Station. At some point throughout his life he joined the Army Cadets based on Holderness Road Hull. This was where George worked his way up to Major. I have been reliably informed that to attain the rank of Major it would generally take at least 10 years, so unless he left WW1 as a commissioned officer he must have joined the Cadets prior to WW2. George was an instructor for 12-18 year old Cadets for a good few years this may have been one of the reasons that kept him from serving in WW2.The other possible reason is that after injury the category you are in changes from A to a B (or something along those lines) and this makes you ineligible for service.

George’s son, young George, as he was commonly known, served in the Royal Navy, where he was a runner and boxer who represented the Navy. He was also an electrician and one of his roles was to arm the Torpedo’s. Reginald and Margaret ( the other siblings) both served in the RAF in WW2.

George’s daughter Margaret married a Peachey and they had a son Christopher. Chris, George’s grandson also liked to run and at one stage was optimistically entered in the School XC Championships. The course was very muddy and Christopher only had a pair of sandshoes which would have been in danger of coming off in the mud.  Grandad George Henry came to the rescue by using bandages to tie on Christopher’s shoes. Then it was stand and wait. The weather was apparently very cold and Christopher only had a thin white vest and shorts to run in. As George Henry and son George were waiting, a lone figure appeared in the distance and much to their surprise it was young Christopher Peachey coming home in 1st place to become school champion.

Major George by a twist of fate entered EHH in the early 50’s and stayed, as Secretary and then Club Chairman. He apparently lived and breathed the Harriers and on Club nights he was often seen filling the tin bath and making the tea for the runners return. We were very fortunate to have him.

George died in 1969 aged 72.

April 1965 at the Portobello Scout Hut

April 1965 at the Portobello Scout Hut. In the photo are, R Chris Peachey (Maj. Stone’s grandson) and Junior boys CC Champ., Peter Moon ( Youths CC Champion). Maj. Stone (President), Graham Brummitt sportsman of the year, Ted Beaumont (Hon. Sec) Guy Buckley (senior CC Champion) and Steve Kairis (Boys CC Champion).

Also in the picture are two gate like trophies which according to Margaret these used to be hand made by Dick Dobson were given out as trophies.

East Hull Harrier dinnerTop Left  to right:- Unknown ,Mrs Stone, Major George H Stone, Avril Beaumont, Ted Beaumont, Ted’s Brother.

Middle Left :-Mrs Ken Hurry,   Bottom three :- Unknown, George Smith and Avril Smith.

Photo was taken at what appears to be an East Hull Harrier dinner sometime during the 1960’s.

Articles from the HULL DAILY MAIL Nov 20th 1969