Historically, Butcher Corner has been known as 'Post-Office Corner' and then 'Draper's Corner' [1]. It has continued to be 'the most congested place for traffic in the town' [2] with frequent accidents and prosecutions for loitering and obstruction.

'amongst an assemblage of loiterers congregated near that favourite haunt the Butcher-corner' [3]

'The corner is the resort of idle and unemployed men and lads, and serious complaints are frequently made of the annoyance to ladies and others. The bench intimated their determination to put down the nuisance' [4]

A letter to the editor is printed, by a disconcerted individual complaining about the extent of loitering on street corners. This street-lounging apparently is most prominent on the Sabbath and especially noticeable on Butcher's Corner which is often impassable by the congregation of youths who make personal and lewd comments to passers-by. The letter is concluded with, 'I trust that in future none but those who are anxious to be thought ignorant and vicious, will be found obstructing our pavements , or idling at street corners , particularly on Sundays'. The writer finishes with, 'I am, obediently, yours, W.D.J.'. [5]

STREET CORNER LOAFING 'At the close of the police business at the Town-hall on Saturday Col. Legard said he wished to make some remarks as to the practice of loafers standing about at the Butcher-Corner. Complaint had been made to him about this practice, and he himself noticed the same faces there day after day - some of them men who, he should think, would not do an honest day's work if they had the chance. He thought if the police were to give some attention to the evil it might be lessened. Supt. Silversides readily promised acquiescence' [6]

[1] York Herald, 28 December 1888

[2] York Herald, 10 August 1891

[3] York Herald, 26 July 1845

[4] York Herald 5 March 1864

[5] Malton Messenger, 1 July 1854

[6] York Herald, 11 June 1894

The Traffic Problem

'The Bank Holiday motor traffic through Malton constituted a record, the census of motor vehicles kept by the police at Butcher Corner showing 3,191 vehicles, or over 1,000 more than the last record. Such a number is indicative of the popularity of the motor as a means of transit and it also is a striking example of the efficiency of the police on point duty inasmuch as not a single accident occurred.' Malton Messenger, 11 August 1923

1927 Suggested Improvements

Early in 1927, prompted by the worsening traffic situation, improvements to the Butcher Corner were suggested. 'The plan shows the suggested widening of Butcher Corner, Malton, which is a notoriously dangerous spot. The proposal is to cut through the properties at Butcher Corner from the corner of Railway-street and erect a new line of business premises joining on the building line of Castlegate. The width of the road here is only 16 feet 4 inches on a right angle turn, over which the whole of the coastwise traffic must proceed. Putting back the building line as indicated would give business premises with a double frontage - Yorkersgate, Castlegate, and Railway-street, with a wide open circle at Butcher Corner and a large open space in Railway-street. The opposite side of Railway-street would soon be built up by enterprising business firms, and a handsome and imposing approach to the town would be erected instead of the dismal and forbidding aspect at present. The suggested improvement would greatly ease and facilitate all traffic.' [1]

A private conference had been held in the Malton Town Hall on 1st March 1927 and the following resolution was passed 'That the surveyor to the Malton Urban Council prepare a scheme and plan for the deviation of the motor and other vehicular traffic for the York and Scarborough main road by Derwent Bank, Malton, and that such be submitted to the North and East Riding County Councils, the London and North Eastern Railway Company, and the Malton and Norton Urban Councils for their consideration.' In August 1927 the estimate was published at £40,470. The route would cross the River Derwent, the railway line and part of the old brickfield, past the works of the United Foundry Co., and the Malton Manure Co., and join Church street, Norton, close to, and south of the railway crossing. [2]

In April 1928, the North Riding County Council communicated a decision that they would not be taking any action with regard to the by-pass road [3].

[1] Yorkshire Gazette, 19 March 1927

[2] Yorkshire Gazette, 13 August 1927

[3] Yorkshire Gazette, 28 April 1928

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There were frequent collisions at Butcher Corner.

'A Man named Walker, with his son, was driving down Wheelgate, Malton, in a spring cart, when the horse was startled and dashed down to Butcher-corner. The horse attempted to turn up Yorkersgate, but too late, and smashed into the large plate-glass window of Messrs. Snow and Son, drapers. The man and boy were both thrown through the window, and were seriously hurt by the glass. The man had his left shoulder dislocated, his arm broken, one hand cut, and also had a nasty cut several inches long across the lower part of the back. The boy was badly cut on the head, and was for a time insensible' (Leeds Times 15 Feb 1896)


A cable was suspended from the bank to Messrs. Laverack's shop and a powerful lamp affixed to illuminate Butcher Corner. Malton Messenger, 2 September 1922

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