Francis Hanson (Known as Frank)


          Frank was born into a fishing family in Queen Street, Filey in on 20th January, 1901. His father died when he was only six. At an early age, Frank had a desire to play the organ and his mother struggled to buy a small one for him to learn on. This instrument is now in the Filey Museum.


            Frank won a scholarship to the local Grammar School but was unable to take it up and with money in short supply, at the age of thirteen, he went to sea as a cabin boy on the steam drifter ‘Emulator’. That same year at the outbreak of World War I Frank, according to the Government’s age regulations, was under age to continue on the ‘Emulator’ and consequently was put ashore. The boat later hit a mine and sank with all hands lost. Frank continued in fishing and the family subsequently owned the first Filey coble to have an engine. It was named ‘Ebenezer’


            As an active member of the Filey Ebenezer Methodist Church and while still young, Frank played for the Sunday Services and the Filey Fishermen’s Choir of the day. The fishermen would travel throughout Yorkshire and the North of England to sing and preach. By the age of 23yrs. Frank had also become a Methodist Local Preacher, a calling he fulfilled for over fifty years. He was also a singer with a beautiful Bass voice. He married another noted local Methodist singer, Vi Willis. They had two daughters, Pearl and Margaret.


            Towards the end of the twenties, being unable to make a living fishing, Frank joined an insurance company and later became District Manager. Vi died in 1949. In the years that followed his wife’s death Frank remained very active in the church, preaching, playing and singing. In 1960 he gathered together local fishermen to sing as a choir for a special Harvest of the Sea Service at Filey Ebenezer Chapel. This choir that he formed remained together and was the start of the Filey Fishermen’s Choir as we know it today.


            Frank later re-married. He went on to enjoy many happy years retirement during which he continued to maintain his love of the sea and fishing by helping the Filey Fishermen, baiting lines etc.


He died in 1976. 



This information is supplied and published by kind permission of Pearl Burdass and Margaret Hoggarth  Frank Hanson’s daughters.