Humberside Geologist No. 13


Walton Street and the Hull Geological Society

by Felix Whitham

To most people in Hull, Walton Street is synonymous with the famous Hull Fair, which is held on the adjacent fairground and the street itself. What is less well known is the family name it bears, given by the builder James Beeton, who was related to a Walton and the connection with the past of the Hull Geological Society.

More recently, John Markham, a well known local historian, who writes a column "The Living Past" in the Hull Daily Mail, presented his weekly contribution under the title "Street bears name of forgotten family". His research into the past history of Walton family shows the important part they played in Hull's history.

The Waltons were ship builders and were also much involved in the civic life of Hull. Thomas Walton was Sheriff in 1783; his son, another Thomas, became Sheriff in 1797. One of his sons, Edward Nicholas, became a reforming councillor in 1836, when he proposed the sale of Hull's civic regalia, including the sword of state, the mace, a cup and all the plate. Fortunately the idea was rejected.

Edward Nicholas (1830 -1892) was the father of yet another Thomas, who became a surgeon and local historian, with many other interests. His son, Francis Fielder Walton (1860-1925), is recorded by John Markham as following in his father's medical footsteps and was also a well-known local geologist. The Walton connection with the Hull Geological Society is that Dr. F. F. Walton was a founder member and the first President of the Society from 1888 until 1898. He led a number of excursions, and contributed many articles on local geology and reports of meetings, which are still available in the Society's archives. He was also a Fellow of the Geological Society (of London). The next time you visit Walton Street spare a thought for our past famous founder member and President who's name still lives on.

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