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Sykes House (1900)

A photograph of Sykes House on lazy, hazy day of summer. Derick Pearson tells us of the image: ”This was taken from where the bowling green gate entrance is now; in 1978 I spoke to Bob Goldby and he showed me this photograph. Bob was living at Skelton then in pensioner’s bungalows, he confirmed it was him as a child sitting there. The buildings behind the lady with the child (Bob’s mother) are the actual site where the championship grade tennis courts were in later years; from the 1920s to the 1980s. The Yorkshire finals being played there at one time and were said to be some of the finest courts around; there were two red gravel courts where the farm buildings are on this photograph and then four grass courts between there and what is now Muriel Terrace; with three pavilions around the courts. Note that none of the houses are visible above the roofs of the farm buildings, as Gladstone Street and the others had not been built; the Club allotments had not yet been established as there are only fields. Where the group of cows are stood is the area which was called Speddings Pond, from the 1950s and even called that by some of the older residents today. Speddings lived in the house for many years and John Spedding still lives in the house at the bottom of Loftus bank. I played in that pond and many of us used to get frog spawn from there as children. Just around the corner was a beautiful fresh water spring and as a child I used to bottle the water and sell it to relatives who came up from London occasionally. The pond was man-made and used to water the tennis courts and bowling green with a high power pump and they simply took the water that came from the spring to feed it. The surplus went over the road in an overflow pipe and was used even further as a number one toilet. A pair of concrete plinths were made into a channel and tin sheets were built around it and men from the tennis and football matches would go there for a call of nature. Nothing was wasted in those days. The pond would be about 20 foot across if I remember correctly. The outlet to the toilet went on it’s way down the road by the tennis courts and went under the road at the bottom of Dixon Street on its way to the works and then out to sea.”

Image and information courtesy of Derick Pearson.

2 comments to Sykes House (1900)

  • Kathryn Cawood

    On the 1911 Census, my great great grandfather, Joseph Yorke Goldby, was living in Sykes House, with his son Arthur and family. I presume that Bob Goldby must be a relation, but the only Robert that I have in my family tree is the son of Arthur’s brother Albert who was born in 1920. This photograph looks to be older than that.

    • Brian Goldby

      You are right that Robert is Albert’s son, born Sept 1920 (youngest of 4 son’s Albert had) but he lived all his life in Carlin How, so who Derek was talking to must have been another Goldby,there is another Robert, though, Albert one of Bob’s brothers had a son also called Robert Frederick who lives at Liverton Mines.

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