THE WINDLES OF EARBY AND BARNOLDSWICK
Topic: http://www.oneguyfrombarlick.co.uk/link ... IC_ID=4729
Date: 06 April 2006
Topic author: Mixman
Subject: The Windles of Earby and Barnoldswick
Posted on: 06 April 2006 12:55:11
The Windles of Earby and Barnoldswick
(by John Hartley) 30/12/1932
I am indebted to Miss Edna Windle, of Chapel Street, Barnoldswick, for further interesting information relating to the Windle families of Earby and its neighbouring town, Barnoldswick.
Her father was William Windle, and he was born at Earby on January 3rd, 1825, his father being Thomas Windle. He was only distantly related to Hartley Windle's family, referred to in the former article.
In his earlier years William Windle was a hand-loom weaver, and he was one of the first weavers employed at "The Old Shed," the original power loom shed, which was built by the Bracewell family, near Green End. This shed was a long, narrow building, with windows at the sides, containing 140 looms, and later enlarged to hold 260. The shed was visited by the "Plug Drawers" during the riots which took place when hand-looms were superseded by the power loom, and Wm. Windle must have been weaving at the shed at that time.
When the Butts Mill was built by William Bracewell, the eldest son of Christopher Bracewell, Green End, Earby, William Windle went to work at Barnoldswick, and he was one of the first tacklers in the town. In 1856 he married Margaret Broughton, a member of a well-known and respected family, and of five children born to them three are still living—Edna (1857), Sarah (1861) and James (1866).
When the new mill was built by Mr. Bracewell, William Windle went there as a taper, and he was held in the highest regard by his employer. Before his working days came to an end he made an attempt at manufacturing in a small way and he "ran" sixteen looms at the Clough Mill, on "'commission weaving.'' A friend of his, Francis Watson, also had sixteen looms on the same terms, and Wm. Windle did the tackling for the lot.
William Windle was an enthusiastic and capable musician, both as a vocalist and an instrumentalist. He was associated with the Bethesda Baptist Chapel, and was a valued member of the choir, first as a tenor singer, and afterwards as a bass singer. He was exceptionally good at starting tunes and could sing from music at first sight. He was also a noted violin player, and was always in evidence at musical events at Earby and Barnoldswick. and other villages and towns in the district.
The Barnoldswick Choral Society held their practices at William Windle's house at the bottom of Park Road, in Rainhall Road, which is now occupied as a newspaper shop by Arnold Crabtree. The whole family were interested in music, and on a memorable occasion in 1892 a visit was made to Manchester to hear Sir Charles Halle's band and chorus give "The Messiah." The story is best told in Edna's words:
"Aar Jim an' me went wi' mi father, an' we stayed at mi aunt's for the weekend. At the Free Trade Hall we had good seats, an' we all enjoyed it very much. Mi father followed every note with his book, an' beat time with his hand. At the end of the performance I said to him, 'Naa then, father, are you satisfied?' He replied, ' No, A' a ought to ha' bin up theer wi' that choir.' "
In her musical reminiscences Edna recalled the visit to "Barlick" of The Bacup Band played in the Baptist Chapel on a Club Day, and as they passed through the streets they played "Southport," which was always referred afterwards as "Bacup New Tune."
Black Dyke Band came for a Club Day in 1861 and for several years afterwards. There was no railway to Barnoldswick in those days, and the Black Dyke Band left the train at Thornton and came on to Barnoldswick in wagonettes. The Bacup Band came to Foulridge by train and were conveyed to their destination by a canal boat.
When there was some trouble at the Baptist Chapel in 1869, William Windle told his children one Sunday morning they had better not go to the Sunday School. "Let's goa to t' Methodists," said Edna, and they went and became greatly attached to their new spiritual home. "I think I have been of more use with the Wesleyans than I should have been with the Baptists," remarked Edna. For more than fifty years she has been a most faithful and devoted teacher, only recently relinquishing the care of the Young Ladies' Class.
At the opening of the Rainhall Road Methodist Chapel in 1877, Edna and Sarah were in the choir. The preacher was the Rev. Peter Mackenzie, and he lectured in the evening on "Queen Esther." It was a memorable occasion for Barnoldswick.
Edna had distinct recollections of visiting her grandparents at Earby. They lived in one of the Green End Cottages, the second from the top.
At the end of the cottages, a few yards away, there was a long, narrow building called "T' Bakus" (which is still in existence). "My grandmother, Sally Windle, used to bake a score of oatmeal at a time into oatcakes. Then they removed to a block of houses off Stoney-bank Road, which is now the Clarence Club, and she had a ' bak-stone ' (baking stone) in the living-room. They used the water from the village beck for domestic purposes, but the drinking water had to be fetched from a spring a long distance up the Stoneybank Road, half a mile away." (The spring and the small well are still in existence in the wall opposite the cottages, and the spring has never been known to fail.)
"There were no drains, and when they had finished washing they used to empty the water into the road."
the science teacher, who removed to Theale, near Reading, was the son of John Windle, brother of William Windle.
An extract from a letter which ho wrote to his relatives at home on the death of his aunt, Sarah Ann Windle, is rather illuminating:
' The family tree has not held any very prominent or honourable position, as men count honour, nor has it flourished under very propitious surroundings, but its older branches, that are dropping off one by one, were of a good, plain, homely, honest sort, with many curious and perhaps ungainly twists in their character, strong, inclining to wilfulness in growth, peculiar, yet steady and reliable."
A letter William Windle received from Mr. James Wilkinson, of Waterfoot. and a distinguished native of Earby, contains a valuable reference to the Earby Grammar School. The letter is dated September 11th, 1886, and was the outcome of a visit to Thornton Churchyard, when the two men conversed upon men and events of bygone days, to the great delight of Mr. Wilkinson. The letter states: "It feels to be years since I had such a rehearsal of past events with one who was so thoroughly conversant with those events as myself. Perhaps there is no other person in your neighbourhood whose presence would have roused to the same extent those lively recollections I promised to write to you and copy from a book that I have in my possession what is there said about Earby Grammar School. I give the exact transcription :
"Thornton-in-Craven, York., W.R. Earby School (non-classical). Founded by Robert Windle, before 1633, for a master to teach Latin and instruct the youth of the parish of Thornton. Now merely an elementary school. Income, £40, with house."
"The book from which I have quoted was published in 1869, and is called 'The great schools of England.' At the time when I and others of my age in the village should have been going to school it was shut up for some reason or other not known to me.”
Mr. Wilkinson went on, however, to refer to Mr. John Bentley, who became [the schoolmaster when the school was re-opened, and held the position for many years until by reason of advanced age ho had to retire.
"I think of Mr. Bentley (the schoolmaster who is best remembered) as one of my best friends that I have in the world, and but for him my life would have been differently spent."
Hartley Windle, another brother of William Windle's, followed them to Barnoldswick, and for a time lodged with his brother. He married Sarah Wilkinson, of Earby (Sarah o' John o* Dicks). He became the book-keeper at the New Mill, and also a teacher at an evening school. He was especially noted for being a good reader.
DARIUS WINDLE, the eldest son of Hartley Windle, followed in his father's footsteps as a student, and was one of the most enthusiastic attendants at the classes taught by Mr. John Lancaster at the Old Mechanics' Institute. For more than thirty years he has been one of the local actuaries at the Barnoldswick branch of the Yorkshire Penny Bank.
He is one of the oldest and most valued workers employed by Messrs. S. Pickles & Sons, at Calf Hall Shed. He is a tackier by occupation, and of an inventive turn of mind.
COLENSO GEORGE WINDLE was another distinguished son of Hartley Windle, whose life was cut short in his prime a few years ago. In his youth he became noted as a mathematician, and taught the commercial arithmetic classes under the Technical Instruction Committee of the W.R.C.C. He rose to the position of manager at Messrs. John Slater & Sons, Clough Mill, and he was a charming personality. He was an ardent lover of music, and for some years officiated as organist at the Baptist Church. Another memorable Barnoldswick townsman was Joseph Windle. He was especially notable as a bandsman, and he and his brother Ben were principal players in the Old Ribblesdale Band. He and his sons were manufacturers at the Wellhouse Mills for a long term of years.
ROBERT SLATER WINDLE, the accountant, is one of Barnoldswick's most illustrious sons. Leaving industrial life behind, he became a successful teacher of shorthand and other commercial subjects, and later qualified as an incorporated accountant. He has been principally responsible for the erection of some of the large weaving sheds in the town, and he is the secretary of many of the Room and Power Companies.
Mr. Thomas Windle, of Theale, Reading, was succeeded as Sanitary Inspector by his son. Two of his sons, and one of his daughters also hold very responsible positions in one of the banks at Reading.
The Craven Herald 30th December 1932
Transcribed by John Turner April 2006