“THE SHIP’S QUARTER-DECK”
WHICH WAS ERECTED AT HUNMANBY HALL
BY LORD NUNBURNHOLME in 1922
Copyright Ces.Mowthorpe. 2005
Whilst dealing with the background to Hunmanby Hall for the previous related accounts, it occurred to me that I could resolve an interesting ‘snippet’ which is often miss-quoted. A ’ship’s deck’ was erected at Hunmanby Hall in 1922. This is often attributed to Admiral Mitford - which is incorrect. The true facts are as follows.
When Hunmanby Hall came onto the market in 1921 it was bought by Lord Nunburnholme of Warter, near Hull, in the East Riding. Lord Nunburnholme had a young son who was a ’blue baby’. This son had attained the age of (approx) eleven years and whilst in ’fair’ health, it was known his days were limited. Brought up in ’shipping’ - because his father was the head of the Wilson Shipping Line - this son’s only ambition was to go to sea. Naturally this was never going to come about. Lord Nunburnholme was acquainted with Hunmanby Hall and it’s fine vistas of Filey Bay and the white cliffs of Flamborough Head due to visiting Lord Cecil during his days there (c.1885-1899). Upon buying the Hall, Lord Nunburnholme employed one of his naval architects to organise the careful dismantling of a sailing-ship’s quarter-deck from one such vessel which was being broken-up. This ’quarter-deck’ was transported in sections to Hunmanby Hall where it was re-erected by my late father H.C.Mowthorpe. Joiner, Wheelwright and Contractor, upon the first floor of the buildings which extended from the South Wing of Hunmanby Hall. It comprised of the teak decking, ship’s railings, complete with jack-staff and Jack and two deck-lights. A ship’s davit was positioned on the northern railings from where a ship’s boarding ladder was positioned which could be raised or lowered for entry from the courtyard below. A full set of metal sections were provided which could be erected to support awnings for protection against the sun in fine weather. Admission from the Hall proper was via the son’s room, which contained his complete quarters, bed, living room etc French windows allowed access to the quarter-deck and the boy could wheel his wheel-chair out and see Filey Bay and Speeton cliffs - there-bye imagining himself at sea, on his own ship. Sadly, after about two years the boy died. Lord Nunburnholme immediately returned to Warter where he subsequently passed away.
The first headmistress of Hunmanby Hall Girls Boarding School always occupied the ’boy’s room’ and quarter-deck as her private quarters. Through neglect, the quarter-deck gradually deteriorated and was finally dismantled in the late 1960’s.