David Foster was born in 1848 at 185 High Street, Hull, near to the River Hull in the Old Town area, close to Blaydes shipyard where HMS Bounty was built. By 1871, David had moved to Great Driffield, where he was living and working as an apprentice Wholesale Grocer together with brother Robert. He obviously learned the trade well as by 1881, he had become a Provision Merchant, and had arrived in Selby, living at Park House with his uncle John, a Flax & Seed Merchant and aunt Rebecca. John Foster's business took place in the medieval Abbot's Staithe off Micklegate.
In 1884, David Foster married his cousin Jane Elizabeth Rimmington daughter of another family of grocers, in Hull.
On15th July 1890 he was granted a patent for equipment for a variety of games, one of which was for a game which later became known as Table Tennis.
By 1891, David was successfully running his own business as a Cheese Merchant. We can assume he was prosperous, as the property at 34 Micklegate, where the couple had lived since 1885 was an imposing one in the centre of a thriving market town.
This house still exists, and is the one on which the plaque is to be placed. However, it is no longer No.34 as the streets of central Selby have been re-numbered and between 1912 and 1917, No. 34 became No. 48. It is from this address that he despatched his 'Indoor Games' patent application.
As well as his patent for indoor games, he filed 5 others, for items as diverse as railway fog indicators and sandwich boards.
David was a local preacher, a layman travelling the Selby Circuit to conduct services as well as being a Chapel Steward at the Selby Wesleyan Chapelon James Street. From1893-95 David served as a member of the Selby Board of Guardians, responsible amongst other things for local relief for the poor (e.g. workhouses). He was a prominent member of the Selby Liberal Association. He was Divisional Treasurer in 1887, President of the Selby branch in 1889, and active until at least 1892.
Along with his provision business, he was closely involved with Rimmington’s Grocery Stores, owned by his wife’s family at 146 Gowthorpe (now No. 10 : Vision Value), where he thwarted a break-in on New Year’s Day, 1894.
Between September and December 1895, David and Jane moved to "Burnside", Thorpe Road, Selby (now Leeds Road), a private property that still exists.
On 24thMarch 1899, he became a director of Remington’s Stores (Limited), and in March 1900, David was a Director of the Yorkshire Bacon Curing Co.
By 1911, Jane and David lived alone at Burnside. David still ran his own business, now describing himself as a Commission Agent (Provisions). He remained an active Wesleyan, being involved in the restoration of Burn Chapel in 1912.
He lived at Burnside until at least 1918 but then went south to London. In 1928 David and Jane moved to Streatham, but in December, he died of cancer. Jane died in late 1937. Both are buried together in an unmarked grave in Streatham. Sadly, there are no known images of David Foster.