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Gallery
Market Place Market Place
Note the new building in the photo on the corner.
Regent Street Regent Street
Note the 'Old Red Lion Hotel'
Chapmangate Chapmangate
Note the independent chapel built in 1807 to the left.
Francis Scaife
This article was written by Phil Gilbank.
Francis ScaifeThe Scaife family was a long established Pocklington family going back to the 17th century that carried out a variety of trades and professions in the town.

The photo (right) is a bell presented by Mr. & Mrs. F. Scaife to the Belfry of All Saints Church, Pocklington on the occasion of the 25th Anniversary of their wedded life May 2nd, 1914.

There are a several examples of their handiwork around Pocklington, one Scaife was a painter and woodcarver and  some of his commissions survive in the church. Other Scaifes at various times in the 18th and 19th centuries were plumbers & glaziers, tailors. farmers, solicitors, publicans, horse and cab proprietors and auctioneers.

Frank (Francis) Scaife's branch of the family were brewers. Frank's grandfather, Thomas Scaife, took over the 'New Pavement Brewery' next to the church in the 1840s from his father in law, Elisha Collinson, in the 1840s, and Thomas and his son George ran the brewery for the next 50 years. Frank, who was born in 1855, subsequently joined his father, George, in the business. When Frank/Francis got married in 1889 to Mary Jane Howbrigg, the daughter of a Pocklington shoemaker, his occupation is listed as 'Malster'.

Though the Scaifes operated the brewery it continued to belong to the Collinson family trustees, and the brewery, plus several pubs that it owned in and around Pocklington, plus a significant amount of other land and property, was sold and the brewery closed in 1895. As family beneficiaries of Collinson's will, the Scaife share of this sale probably left the family quite well off. And when his father died in 1901, Frank/Francis moved into the substantial family house, Neswick Villa (it is opposite the Pocklington Community Junior School on School Lane, and has now been split into two) with its own paddock at the back. From thence onwards Francis is usually listed as a 'Gentleman and company director', and was an insurance agent/broker.

Frank/Francis Scaife was involved in a number of Pocklington sporting, musical and church organisations, he was secretary of Pocklington rugby club in the 1890s, was a church warden at Pocklington's All Saints Church for 25 years, and was a member of the Pocklington Choral and Orchestral Society.

Francis and Mary Jane had no children and became public benefactors. In 1914 they gave a new bell to Pocklington church (see picture above) to celebrate their silver wedding anniversary.

Francis Scaife, died October 22, 1937, aged 82 years, and is commemorated with his parents and wife by a memorial in Pocklington cemetery. His will reflected his love of sport and the church' bequeathing a sum for two more bells and other improvements at All Saints, and leaving the field behind his house to the town for public recreational use; and he also willed a sum on money for the erection of a 'public bath and gymnasium' on the land. The field became The Croft Playground, accessed from the other side on Victoria Road, but Francis' wish for a swimming pool to be erected did not happen for another 30 years, while the gymnasium arrived even later, and both then on a different site on the other side of Pocklington, on Burnby Lane, which had been part of Major Stewart's Burnby Hall estate.

Nevertheless, Francis Scaife's bequest formed the foundation of the public fundraising effort that enabled the swimming pool bearing his name to be finally built and opened in 1965.