We, the members of the Women’s Institute of Fulford, Near Blythe Bridge, are endeavouring to give, as accurately as we can the history of our little village.
We have spent many, many pleasant hours on this task, visiting places of beauty right in our midst, and meeting and chatting with most of our finest oldest inhabitants, who could remember so much that had happened in Fulford in the last sixty or seventy years. It seemed to afford them much pleasure and we often have had to say good-bye to them very reluctantly.
From all the information we have gathered, it seems to us that our village has altered very little indeed in the last hundred years: in fact it has been called “One of England’s unspoilt villages”.
The only outstanding changes appear to be the rebuilding of the church and new school, the old school being still used as a Parish Room.
There is no water supply, but in the centre of the village is a well, called by the local residents “The Town Well”, from which drinking water is drawn daily. In dry weather the farmers can be seen drawing water supplies for their cattle from this well. They bring a cart containing several churns to be filled. There is another well on the path which leads to the Church. The water from this also being used by the villagers. Both these wells are fed by nearby springs, which have never been known to run dry.
The name of our village appears to have originated from the abundant water supply from one of these springs, or so the story goes, that many years ago certain villagers got together and decided to put to good use, some of the stone which was available in the quarry near by: so they got busy and placed huge blocks of this stone in such a manner, that the water collected in a “ford”. This ford was then always full of fresh spring water, which was a great convenience. The womenfolk nearby found this ford very helpful too, and it is said that they used to bring their washing to this spot to be done. Hence the name is given to this place of “The Washing Pits” or sometimes “The Washing Stones”.
The name of Fuleford or Fulford is reputed to have arisen from this idea of the ford which was always full.
Another story as to the origin of the name of Fulford is that at one time, a family named Fulford lived at the Manor Farm. They owned a lot of the land round about the Manor and consequently the land may have been named Fulford Land.
The idea of the “Full Ford” appeals to our imagination mostly, as we can picture our ancestors enjoying a chat with their neighbours over the washing and we can almost find ourselves wondering about the tit-bits of village gossip which would be discussed. We might even be wishing those old stones could talk as we look at them now and what a story they would be able to tell us. The peace and restfulness of this spot even today is still there. Except for the usual farmyard noises and now the tractors busy in the hayfields sound a disturbing note.
The approach of the “Hunt” in full cry will occasionally be heard and villagers will appear to watch the progress of the chase and enjoy the excitement of it. The quietness of this village of ours is almost unbelievable. One can walk through it during the day; and not meet a single person: on the other hand, on certain days of the year, especially on the church and chapel festivals, many villagers are about and most of them are off to these festivals. We have endeavoured to introduce you to our village of Fulford, now we will try to describe our village in detail.