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 very ill, 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. Upon buying the Hall, Lord Nunburnholme arranged for the careful dismantling of a sailing-ship’s quarter-deck from a vessel which was being broken-up. The  ’quarter-deck’ was transported in sections to Hunmanby Hall where it was re-erected by my late father H.C.Mowthorpe, 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

Ces Mowthorpe – reproduced by kind permission of his widow Yolanda Mowthorpe.

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