A 16th century poleaxe which has been hanging on the wall of a solicitor’s office since 1920 has been donated to the Driffield town council.
Blakestons Solicitors closed its doors last week and have donated various historical artefacts to the town council, including receipt books dating back to the 1920’s of the Driffield Building Society, whose original home was at the Blakeston’s offices in Market Place.
The poleaxe was carried by the Bailiff as a mark of his office as he accompanied the Lord of Manor to the four Little Driffield fairs which were traditionally held on Easter Monday, Whit Monday, 26 August and 19 September. Mr W H Blakeston was the last person to open the fair in Little Driffield in 1919, before the rights were purchased by a group of farmers to hold the fair at where is now Manorfield Road, and it was held there for the final time in 1920. When the fair was at Little Driffield situated on a field at Horsefair, the people of the Wolds villages and farmsteads came to sell their produce and buy various commodities such as clothing, farm implements from chapmen from York and Beverley.
Town Clerk, Mrs Claire Binnington, said: “We were delighted when Nick Hutchings from Blakestons kindly offered us the poleaxe, we will arrange to get it displayed appropriately. Among the papers also donated was a history of Driffield written in 1938, which gives considerable detail to the fairs at Little Driffield, which will be invaluable when producing a history of the poleaxe itself”.
The History of Great and Little Driffield was put together by residents studying with the Adult Education Department at the University of Hull from original sources, contributers included many well known Driffield names, such a MKM Wadsworth, J W Randall and W G Stockton.