Libraries, Research 4 Comments »

Seems like ages ago that I last wrote on this blog.  Things have been very hectic, and as such I have not had the time to get in.  Hopefully, with a few new changes, things will start to plateau and I will be able to drop in now and then. 

On Saturday August 9th 2015 I headed out to Scalby, the final resting place of Edwin Brough, whose bloodhounds were secured in London to be tested with a view to employing them in the hunt for “Jack the Ripper.” 

This is my adventure!

I woke up early Saturday morning and headed out to get the newspapers, having a quick spot of breakfast on my return, then heading out to the train station.  Very few buses were on the road at that time so I popped into the taxi office near my house and secured a taxi to the train station. 

On arriving at the train station I purchased train tickets for Scarborough, and headed to the platform.  Unfortunately, an incoming train had hit a deer, and because of this the crowds had started building up.  I struck up a conversation with a security guard and we eventually caught the train, sitting together and having a laugh about the work we had done in the past. 

Eventually we got to Scarborough, and I made my way to the Scarborough Library in search of their local studies room, aptly named “The Scarborough Room.”  I had pre-arranged what I wanted to look at and was handed a stack of material on Scalby Manor and Edwin Brough, which I quickly viewed and secured copies for my files. 

Most people will have left at that point, but I decided to look through the Scarborough newspapers of 1888.  It made sense to me that they should mention Edwin Brough and his hunt for “Jack the Ripper,” with him being a former Justice of the Peace in the town.  I was not disappointed.  I found a stack of articles that discussed him, the bloodhounds, and “Jack the Ripper.” 

I then broadened my search and found a series of articles about the paranormal side of Scalby Manor, including ghost sightings from the 1950’s through to the last decade. 

I also found an interesting document signed by Edwin Brough, and a document showing the pedigree of the family. 

Everyone at Scarborough Library were very helpful, and their knowledge of the material I was looking for was fantastic. 

I left Scarborough Library in search of the right bus to Scalby.  Earlier in the week I had contacted East Yorkshire Motor Services ( @EYBuses) and they were really helpful in getting me the right bus, sending me time tables and maps.  This really helped and within no time I had not only found the correct bus stop but was on the bus heading out to Scalby.  The village of Scalby is much larger than I expected and the bus driver stopped at the edge of the village and asked where I needed to be, when I told him that I was going to St. Laurences Church, he dropped me opposite. 

The village of Scalby is lovely, a really beautiful place and so peaceful.  I immediately found the church and was thankful that I had previously arranged with the church wardens a map and directions to the grave of Edwin Brough.  As I walked through the churchyard, amongst the old headstones, I struggled to find the grave.  Eventually two churchwardens crossed the churchyard and came to help.  Together we still failed to find the grave, so I called Rev. Ferneley, whose number I had taken with me just in case.  The Rev. quickly arrived as he lived in the Vicarage next door.  Together we looked but still struggled to find it.  Eventually we came across an overgrown ivy bush and jokingly I remarked “I have a feeling what we are looking for is under that bush.”  He walked over, pulled away the ivy, and sure enough, we found the grave of Edwin Brough. 

Interestingly, Brough was married with his wife and sister in law, who also acted as a servant at Scalby Manor before her death. 

We cleared some of the bushes and ivy away then sat and chatted about the grave.  I could have pulled all the ivy off and taken photos, I could have cleared the grave, but out of respect, and to keep the grave protected from the elements, I decided to keep it covered.  The Rev. was pleased with the decision, and we shook hands and he departed whilst I took photos. 

Eventually I left the churchyard.  A wedding was due to take place and as the guests arrived I am sure they would not want to see a sweaty Ripperologist knee deep in ivy digging around the graves. 

I headed off from the village of Scalby to Scalby Manor, a 25 minute walk covering 1.4 miles along Station Road onto Field Lane, then onto Burniston Road.  The sun was high in the sky and it was hot, but luckily I had packed bottles of water for the walk, and as such it was a pleasant walk. 

Eventually I arrived at Scalby Manor a little after 1 o’clock.  I was warmly met by a gentleman who took my order, of fish and chips and a pint of coke, and I made my way to a table, picking up my hot food and ice cold drink.  As I ate my lunch I pulled out all the research I had amassed and began reading it.  At that point one of the bar staff walked by and said “Hello,” she saw the papers on my table, and we began chatting about the manor.  She called over a more senior member of staff and the three of us began chatting about Edwin Brough, Scalby Manor, the Bloodhounds, “Jack the Ripper” and the paranormal past of the building.  The two girls then invited me to take a look around, so we headed through the bar into the rear courtyard.  It was here where Edwin Brough kept his beloved bloodhounds and as always it is a pleasure to see. 

I had visited the location a year previous to this, just after they had cleared it all, and was accompanied by my wife, Susan, and my good friends Kathy and Dave.  They stayed in the car, and I went in alone that time, having only a second to see the kennels.  This time I had much longer and the three of us stood out in the sunshine talking about the kennels.  I was pleased to see that one of them was in use by a friendly dog that belonged to the residents staying upstairs. I took lots of photos, said my thanks, and left to head back to Scalby. 

This time I cut across the Camping and Caravanning Club grounds, cutting off a wedge of Burniston Road and Field Lane corner, then headed back along Station Road to Scalby.  I had time to pop into the rest rooms and grab a drink before the bus arrived to take me back to Scarborough.

Arriving in Scarborough I had a few hours spare, so I decided to hit the seafront with my camera.  After walking up and down the seafront I decided to head back to the station and make my journey home. 

All in all it was a lovely day, I met and chatted with lots of lovely people and got a ton of research as well as two books, one on the Yorkshire Ripper and one on Jack the Ripper. 

Thank you to the staff at East Yorkshire Motor Services, Scarborough Library and Local Studies, Scalby Manor, and the church wardens and Rev. Ferneley at St Laurences Church, Scalby, for all their help and advice over the weekend. 

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