Introduction

Located some nine miles to the North West of the City of York, this village has certain outstanding features that set it apart from other villages in this region.

Firstly, it is located on the East bank of the River Ouse. Secondly it is next door to the stately home of Beningbrough Hall with its huge park. Thirdly it has a magnificent church with a spire, that can be seen for miles around. Last but not least, it has a beautiful avenue of cherry trees. Incidentally, the spire which is an engineering masterpiece, is a relatively recent addition that was sponsored by the wealthy Dawney Family in 1849.

I was born in the village in March 1928, and because I have never delved into the history of Newton I am in no position to relate its past. My only intention is to portray the village as I remember it in my childhood, and thus attempt to paint a picture of what life was like in those golden days of the 1930s.

I call them golden days because there was no such thing as television to corrupt our minds and breed aggression. Entertainment had to be 'home grown' which took the form of football, cricket, tennis or whist drives, dances and socials for the grown ups, and harmless innocent games for us younger ones.

The main industry, if one can call it that, was farming, although a close second was employment offered by Beningbrough Hall. Only a few people earned their living by travelling to York, others in supporting roles by providing services such as agricultural engineering, joinery, haulage, and road maintenance etc.,

I have decided to break down the story of Newton into chapters as this seems the best way to treat such a wide variety of subjects. It is inevitable that personalities will enter the story, and I make no apologies for doing so, as to me they add colour and life, after all it is the people that make a village.

There were a total of 86 houses in the village, plus 5 that were derelict. I regret I do not know the number of inhabitants but I estimate it was around 360. It seems strange to me now when I think back, that I have been inside 75% of these homes. For the life of me I do not why that should have been, but that's the way it was in the 1930's, when one got invited in for a chat or to play with other children. Even stranger was the fact that doors were never locked until people retired to bed.

I will attempt to produce below the poor aerial picture I took of Newton, which indicates the main locations mentioned in this story. However, it can not show the two sets of cottages and the Pin Fold that were located along the Back Lane, that have long gone, nor the vegetable gardens that were on the Eastern side of that lane, on the wide verge that now serves as a car park.