Exclusive: Jill Brown reflects on the Ethel Major TV programme:

Jill Brown – Photo courtesy BBC

Following the recent TV programme about Ethel Major, hanged for murdering her husband in 1934, Ethel’s cousin Jill Brown, who brought this story to the attention of the BBC and appeared in the programme, has kindly shared her thoughts with us:

I thought it might be of interest to your readers to give a little more background to our family’s connection to Ethel Major (Nee Brown) and how I became involved in the program.

Although I now live in Kent on the South Coast my parents and wider family are from Lincolnshire and I still have many relations living there (many Brown’s!) My mother’s family were from Grimsby and my father born in South Willingham one of 6 children to Tom and Alice Brown. Grandad being a tenant farmer lived in various places around the county. My father gradually moved south due to work spending his last 50 years in St. Albans in Hertfordshire, despite that Lincolnshire was always where his heart was. Sadly my father passed away in 2017 and his wish was for his ashes to be scattered at Croxby Crossroads with other family members, back to his roots.           Continue reading

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Ethel Major TV programme: update

Referring back to my recent article about convicted Kirkby on Bain murderer Ethel Major, I see that the episode of The BBC series “Murder, Mystery and My Family” partly filmed in the village, is scheduled for transmission on Friday April 5th, on BBC1 at 9.15 am. It will also be available online shortly after broadcast.

Programme synopsis:           Continue reading

Ethel Major: the Kirkby on Bain murderer

The subject of the first talk to be given in this year’s Cameo Club series, will be by Chrissie Chapman, who will talk about the notorious Ethel Major murder case. Until now I have preferred not to run the Ethel Major story here mainly because I have reservations about presenting the village in such a bad light. However, it seems the story simply will not go away, so here’s my two pennyworth.

Not long after we moved into Kirkby on Bain in 2001, somebody said to me something along the lines of “Of course you must know about our famous murderer, Ethel Major”. Of course I had never heard of her, so I did some very superficial research and found that this Kirkby on Bain lady was convicted of killing her husband (a nasty piece of work, allegedly,) in 1934 and hanged in Hull gaol.

A little later, when I started this blog, Betty Dixon, who was born that year and until recently was one of Kirkby’s oldest residents, kindly lent me a bundle of newspaper cuttings and a book about this case. Like a lot of accounts of past murders, quite a bit of this material was written in sensationalist styles, with little by way of references or source attributions. I also noticed that some accounts were word-for-word copies, apparently lifted from one original newspaper write-up.

During subsequent searches, I stumbled across a real surprise – macabre testimony to the everlasting obsession with murder, a knitted representation of Ethel’s house, made by Jean Arkell, originally installed at the Minories Art Gallery, Colchester. Believe it or not there really is a website featuring knitted representations of houses lived in by female murderers. Midsomer Murders scriptwriters, please take note.
Continue reading

Ebrington Arms up for Countryfile award – you can help!

From Sophie Moncrieff:

We have been nominated and then shortlisted for the BBC Countryfile Magazine ‘Best British Pub’ award 2019. Voting is now open until 17th February and the link to vote is here.

It would be a huge compliment to all the staff at the pub, to all of the local businesses that supply us and to all of our customers if we won this award!                      Continue reading

WW2 museum now open at Frieston Shore

The well known We’ll Meet Again mobile museum now has a static home at Freiston Shore, following a VIP Opening Event on 11th August. The museum is open to the public 10:00am to 16:00pm, Friday to Sunday, and will be offering private teaching events to schools and other organisations on three separate days, mid-week.

The team will still be able to offer their unique and critically acclaimed teaching experience to children, in a safe and secure environment, as well as display their impressive collection of WW1 and WW2 artefacts to all. Read Dame Vera Lynn’s endorsement Continue reading

Three thousand stars in Boston

If you don’t believe this, you can see them for yourself in St Botolph’s Church (aka the Stump) until January. 3,000 Christmas tree stars and a nativity scene knitted by people across Lincolnshire, all dedicated to family, friends, memories and even pets.

Called Christmas Knitivity, this imaginative project was organised by BBC Radio Lincolnshire in partnership with St Botolph’s Church. Local radio staffers and Boston parishioners got together with Oldrids store to decorate more than 30 trees with these unusual stars. Continue reading