FORGOTTEN CORNERS

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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 27 Dec 2019, 06:31

The forgotten corner that is in my mind this morning is Monks House at the bottom of Manchester Road.

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Monks House, lady's dress shop and barn in 1984 before it was altered. It is now all domestic accommodation.

It was brought to my mind by a conversation as we had Xmas dinner yesterday. Someone brought up a news item they had heard that morning on R4 about a food historian saying that the main reason turkey became popular was that Peacock and Swan tasted so bad! That sounds plausible.... That got us round to other table birds and I told them about the Muscovy Ducks we once had at Hey Farm. Muscovy ducks are unique in the duck family because they fly easily and can perch. Ours used to fly out every morning with the geese and stay away all day. I never knew where they went to but they always came back home.
One day I was walking down Manchester Road past Monks house and heard two ladies talking, "....they make such a mess! I wonder where they come from...." I looked up and saw the subject of their conversation, my Muscovy ducks perched on the roof and sure enough, it was covered in duck shit! I kept quiet and walked on, at least that mystery was solved!
I was told once that Monks House got its name because there was rumoured to be a secret passage from there to the Cistercian Monastery. I'm pretty sure there's no tunnel and am not sure that's the origin of the name. Could there have been a family called Monk in the town? Whatever, it has always been called that and who knows, there might be some tenuous connection with the monastery. We know they drew the labour they needed from the collection of hamlets that became Barlick but that was surely long before Monks House was built. Or could the present building be a rebuild of an older one? That would make sense....
So many little mysteries out there to be solved!
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 28 Dec 2019, 05:10

See THIS Wikipedia entry on the St John's Ambulance Brigade. It still exists today but has a lower profile.
I have come cross it many times in my research.

Image

If you look at the pub wall on the right of this pic of Jepp Hill you'll see a black box with the St John's cross on the front. This hosed a board for laying out a dead body on to make sure that when rigor mortis set in it was straight and could be handled respectfully.
In the LTP I was told that in Earby as late as the early 20th century the St John's Ambulance ran a service whereby if someone had to go to hospital in Skipton they provided a wheeled litter and staff to take the person by train to Skipton and then to the hospital. They were made redundant eventually by a motor ambulance and in the early days St John's provided and staffed many of these.
When Billy Brooks surprised me with his information about 'The African War' it transpired that he joined St John's as a young man and went out to what we now call the Boer Wars as a stretcher bearer trained by St John's. I think they staffed the hospital ship he was based on as well.
Today they are most visible at public events where they act as first responders in case of need. All volunteers they are low profile but still active.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by plaques » 28 Dec 2019, 07:56

Stanley wrote:
28 Dec 2019, 05:10
Today they are most visible at public events where they act as first responders in case of need. All volunteers they are low profile but still active.
Oh dear, Andrew Stephenson is a first responder, Whatever you do don't collapse in front of him or he may give you the kiss of death.

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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 28 Dec 2019, 08:59

Oh dear.....!
You've reminded me of a story I was once told, can't vouch for its truth but I was told it actually happened. A police woman and a police man heard a disturbance below as they walked over Coates Bridge. They investigated and found a man struggling in the cut, he sank below the surface. The police woman dived in and recovered him and once on the bank she gave him mouth to mouth resuscitation. Then he bit her. She threw him back in.
I wonder whether that happened...
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 29 Dec 2019, 04:47

That story reminds me of a forgotten corner.... When I was engineer at Bancroft the house on Colne Road next to the mill gate was occupied by a police Constable Lacey. He did his best to be 'one of the lads' but we soon realised that once he was in constable mode he was not to be trusted. Funny thing how he came back to mind after an absence in my thoughts of many years....
There was a very unpopular police sergeant in the town at one time, I seem to remember his first name was Albert ? It was with much glee that we heard he had been caught in flagrante having a relationship with the daughter of a local milk chap. Shortly afterwards came news that he had been found with his throat cut in the lake at Bracewell Hall but survived. I don't know what happened to him but it was generally agreed that he had failed yet again even in this.
All my relations with the police weren't bad. I once followed a black Land Rover from Skipton to Broughton road end early one morning and alarm bells rang in my head about it. This bothered me so much that I reported it to the sergeant at the police station and a few days after he called to see me and said I was quite right. It had been what he described as Spooks operating in our area without informing the local police and my report had caused a bit of an upset.
Shortly afterwards I caught two lads breaking the headlights on my new car. Cutting a long story short after an altercation I dropped both of them and delivered them to the police. They were found guilty and had to pay restitution, the police had been after them for some time. (They tried to bring a case against me for assault.)
Shortly afterwards the sergeant came to see me and told me to watch out as they had sworn revenge! For a few weeks he used to come round and sit with me on Saturday nights but nothing ever same of it. Funny thing was that as we chatted one night he asked me if the brothel on king Street ever caused me any problems. I was gob-smacked! I knew nothing about it. When he told me which house it was I realised that I had seen a lot of men calling there but simply assumed they were popular young women! To the pure, all things are pure.....
Years later when new tenants moved into the house in question they told me that they had been told of the former activities when they bought it but it didn't put them off.
Memory..... full of forgotten corners!
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 30 Dec 2019, 05:05

Something that intrigues me to this day. There are four large trees outside the front entrance to Cravenside care home. I don't know for certain but I suspect they are Alders. If anyone knows could they please let me know....
The reason they intrigue me is the fact that the classic material for clog soles was Alder. There must have been a source in the local trees and I can't help wondering if this is why this group is there.....
I shame to say I haven't got a pic!
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 31 Dec 2019, 04:27

Image

I went digging yesterday and investigated Alders. I'm pretty certain I am right and the group of trees are Alders. The fact that there is a group of them suggests they were planted deliberately and their size indicates to me an age of 150+ years. That puts them firmly in a period when there would be a big demand for Alder wood for clog-making and I can't think of any reason other than clog-making fro planting them..
This is intriguing me, was it some far-sighted clogger who planted them? If so, whom?
As I always say, keep your eyes open and your surroundings will start talking to you.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by PanBiker » 31 Dec 2019, 09:20

Tommy Kendal on Wellhouse Road was still making clogs in the 50's. It was an old shop then and he was an old bloke when I was a lad so probably been in business quite a while.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 01 Jan 2020, 04:27

I'm going to do some digging to see if I can identify a clogger around 1850 in the area.
I've never seen a mention anywhere of this and it's quite exciting. There are seven trees in all, two younger ones behind what used to be Stanley's Crumpets. This can't be an accident.

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The five trees at Cravenside.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 02 Jan 2020, 04:44

I did some more digging yesterday and came up with a lot of interesting facts but very little that helps me in the case of the Alder trees. (Starting to build my index all those years ago was one of the best things I ever did and it's still growing!)

Image

The fire station in 2019.

I have noted in the past that the right hand red brick building was the site of the first main transformer when electricity reached Barlick in the 1920s. Yesterday whist looking for cloggers in the area I turned up some evidence from Jack Griffin's memoir 'This is my Life'.
"Jack says that Ted Smith's builder's yard was on the site around 1900. Shackleton the clogger had a red brick building there where Jack and Smith Shackleton used to do boot and shoe repairs. Old Mr Shackleton made clog soles in the cellar of his house opposite the yard. A man called Gledhill had a garage on the same site".
Assuming that old Mr Shackleton had been in business for possibly over 30 years, could he have had anything to do with the planting of the younger alder trees and possibly the larger ones as well? We're pushing the date back to the mid 19th century and this is possibly the case. It would make sense.
Could Gledhill be the man who founded the Station Garage which was on what is now the site of Cravenside?
So, no definite conclusion but a bit fuller picture. Research is like that, it's the Dance of the Seven Veils!
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 03 Jan 2020, 05:06

My head is still full of the Alders! I wrote an article for BET yesterday and one of the people I send the copy to because they don't have access to the paper is Uncle Bob. He doesn't often comment but did yesterday, I got a one word message "Nice". That means a lot to me.
Another thing that the old cloggers needed was irons. These are famous for being made in distinctive styles, Colne irons were thick.

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Colne irons, pegs and nails.

Accrington irons were more pointed and so were the clogs of course. This variation in styles signals to me that the makers were local blacksmiths and I suspect that building up stocks of irons was a useful time-filler in the forge when other work was scarce. I wouldn't mind betting it was delegated to an apprentice. The same would go for the nails. I have no idea who would make the pegs which were used to fill the holes made by the old nails.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Wendyf » 03 Jan 2020, 07:12

I had quick search on the British Newspaper Archive for "Alder trees" in the local papers. There were quite a few timber sales advertised in the late 1850's and early 1860's with alder being one of the most numerous species listed.

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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 03 Jan 2020, 07:17

That's interesting and not unexpected Wendy. There must have been a big demand for Alder and I suspect almost all of it went to the cloggers. Just think of the number which must have been made!
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 04 Jan 2020, 04:35

Image

The old Council Offices on Jepp hill in 1984.

Funny how things crop up in general research. For a couple of days Sue and I have had an interest in this building as a Mechanic's Institute. To date Sue has found mentions of it in 1860 and a closure in 1899. We are both digging further into this and I can see it being the basis for at least one BET article.
The concept of an Institute as a way of self-started further education seems to have died out these days but it used to be a valuable way of advancing one's education beyond formal basic schooling. Totally voluntary and funded by local manufacturers because they could see its value in raising the skill levels of their workers at very little expense, it was an informal approach to further education until this was taken on by the mainstream system and we saw the growth of what we used to call 'night school'. The modern version round here was at one time Open College at Nelson and Colne College and was my route into university in the late 1970s.
More digging is indicated!
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 05 Jan 2020, 05:21

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This came to mind this morning as I replied to another topic. The Onward Building at Nelson and Colne College in 1980. The fire eventually destroyed the whole of the detached wooden building. Here's what I wrote about it.

"There was a significant event at the Nelson and Colne College in summer 1980. I had called in to see David one evening and we were sat there chewing the fat when the college maintenance man came into the room. In a very calm voice he said something like “Excuse me Mr Moore but I thought you’d like to know the Onward Building is on fire.” David said “Thank you.” And then he did a double take, “What did you say!” We then realised that this was no joke and he was serious, the college really was on fire so we rushed out and went to where the activity was. Sure enough, the Onward Building, a separate, wooden, two storey annexe behind the main buildings, was well ablaze. Evidently there had been some painters working on it that afternoon and they must have started a small fire in the roof space while burning paint off and not noticed. It had spread through the upper floors which were empty at the time and by the time it was noticed, the building was well alight. Noel Kershaw, David’s vice-principal was there and I saw him in deep conversation with two firemen in full breathing apparatus. They went into the building and emerged ten minutes later supporting each other. One had a brief case clasped in his arms which he delivered to Noel. “What was that all about?” asked David. It transpired that Noel had sent them into the burning building for the College insurance policies as this might save time making the claim!
It was an impressive fire and we all stood there watching the firemen do their best but it was hopeless. At one point the fire chief asked David if anything had to be saved from the building, David said they had to rescue the filing cabinets from the ground floor which held the lecturer’s notes or else half of them would never teach again! I overheard one lecturer I knew talking and he said that there was one good thing about the fire, it meant that at long last they had got rid of the squeaky blackboard in room 110. I asked him about it and he said that this blackboard had been a source of annoyance for years as it squeaked terribly when you wrote on it. He had got so exercised about it that one summer holiday he had bought some special paint, spent two days sanding the board off and the rest of the week giving it three coats of paint. When he came back after the holidays he found that the cleaners had polished it with wax polish and it was squeaking worse than ever!
Eventually the brigade got the fire under control and several of us repaired to David’s office. I went out and got fish and chips all round. David found a bottle of wine that Stan Barker had given him, a particularly sweet Barsac as I remember and we were all sat there eating chips and drinking wine when a reporter from the Leader Series came in to interview David. When he had gone I commiserated with David on his bad luck. “Oh, that’s all right, these things happen, the main thing is that nobody was injured and the fire is under control.” I told him I wasn’t talking about the fire but the headlines that would appear in the paper; “College Principal eats fish and chips and drinks wine while college burns!” Just for a moment I had him going, I could see the light in his eyes but he soon recovered, “No, it’ll be all right, he’s a mate of mine.” It must have been all right because the report was simply about the fire. One thing that did strike me at the time was that erecting a wooden building to use as a school wasn’t necessarily the best economy. The Onward Building was replaced by another, exactly the same."
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 06 Jan 2020, 04:33

One of the blessings of computers is that it has been so easy to build up a resource archive on local history online and in my own records. Add to this the card index I have been building for so long and it's quite amazing what I can drag out of the past without moving from my kitchen table! Yesterday I was doing more research on Jepp Hill and one thing I proved for certain is that the building we knew as the BUDC offices was a Wesleyan Chapel and school before the Barnoldswick Mechanic's Institute took it over.
I've said before that at one time Barlick was more a collection of individual hamlets than a town. Looking at the Jepp Hill area I become more aware that at one time the end of King Street and the top of Jepp hill was one of these.

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These properties are very old and could well be on the site of earlier houses. The stonework shows considerable alteration and rebuilding and they could be as early as the 17th century if not before. They would have had a good view out over fields as far as the eye could see at that time.

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This very old cottage opposite the ones above was a tinsmith's and was called The Nook, demolished in 1979. Where the Legion is now there were some more old cottage properties and one of them was a clogger's.

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This 1853 map gives a good idea of how it changed.

Image

By 1892 it had all changed and we see the modern layout.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 07 Jan 2020, 04:40

Recently I was wondering where cloggers got their irons from. Yesterday's digging produced a partial answer
There used to be a couple of cottages on the site of what is now the Legion Club. Part or all of these was occupied by Greenwood Hartley, a clogger and in an obituary of his son Bob in the Craven Herald in 1932 we learn that he started work in his father's forge attached to the shop where he learned how to make clog irons. Bob started his own business in what later became the Ivory Hall Club in Brook Street. When his dad died he took over the premises in King Street but after about nine years went back to the Brook Street shop. Presumably that was when the Legion was built. He sold clogs by mail order all over Britain and some even overseas. I suspect this was because he made light clogs for athletes and there was a ready market for them. So in a way he was making the first trainers!
In his obituary it was stated that he was a member of the Ivory Hall Club for 40 years, that puts it back to about 1890 but I suspect that almost of that membership would have been in the Barnoldswick Lodge of the Order of the Golden Fleece, a friendly society which started in the same building. The Friendly Societies were legal from the passing of the Act allowing them in 1875. I have a memory that the lodge was described as 'the Rose in the Valley Lodge'. The Ivory hall came later.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by plaques » 07 Jan 2020, 09:43

The Ivory Hall date stone plaque can be found on the Brooke St car park.

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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 09 Jan 2020, 05:25

Image

Felling a big stack is a rare event these days, so many of them have gone. Worth remembering that there was more than one way of doing it. My steeplejack Peter Tatham always favoured felling them like a tree. This pic is of the cut made in the 80 yard stack at Sunnybank mill in Helmshore in 1977. The cut was extended until the chimney started to rock, at times this was more than half way round. In normal circumstances a stick was inserted in the crack that developed on the back side and one of the gang would watch it and blow a whistle when the tell tale showed the chimney was on the move.
In this case at Sunnybank there was a strong wind blowing holding the stack up. Because they were working on scaffolding on top of the plinth, a quick retreat was difficult so Peter decided it was time to leave it and let nature take its course. They all retreated to the caravan for a brew while I stood in the rain waiting for it to make up its mind.

Image

It took about twenty minutes before there was a lull in the wind and down it came.
A forgotten corner these days. I doubt if anyone uses this method now.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 10 Jan 2020, 04:51

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Fernbank Mill in 1978.

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Doc and me at the felling of the chimney in 2011.

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Another bit of Barlick history bites the dust.

My mate Robert Aram loved the stacks, particularly the detached chimneys up on the hillside above the mills. He calls them "The lonely sentinels of the Industrial Revolution". Unlike a lot of people he put his money where his mouth was and started buying them (and the responsibility!). He still owns quite a collection! Here's one example:

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Dura Mill at Facit chimney in 1972. The mill was in the valley and it was cheaper to build a long flue up to a stubby chimney on the hillside than an excessively high stack in the valley bottom.
These are all forgotten corners now.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 12 Jan 2020, 04:44

Image

Wild's worker's bus at closing time at Bancroft in 1976. It took the workers down to the town centre in the days when mills were using perks to attract and hold weavers.
At one time many of the mills ran a 'moonlight' or 'housewife's' shift in the evening until 10PM. I remember Ernie Roberts telling me that he thought that the extra income went to running a car. I think he may have been right.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 13 Jan 2020, 04:56

Image

By 1977 the management at Bancroft had sacked Wild's and bought their own second-hand Bedford van. It was a wreck and the first thing I had to do was fit a new pinion bearing and seal in the back axle. Just wooden benches in the back, no comfort but some weavers still used it to save the walk down to the town centre. They would never be allowed to get away with this today and actually I doubt if it was legal then! I did ask about insurance once but got no response. Different days and a forgotten corner.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 14 Jan 2020, 05:04

I was talking about domestic water heating in the Flatley Dryer topic and it reminded me of how we used to manage the combination of the open coal fire and the 'back or saddle boiler'.

Image

Here's a drawing of the general idea, this isn't a saddle boiler like most were but the same principle. In normal use the damper flap in the chimney was open and the only surface of the boiler that was heated was the fire back. To heat water faster the flap in the main flue was closed and this forced the hot gases to go under the boiler and up the back flue and you got more heating surface. The damper was controlled by a heavy wire loop hanging down which you moved using the poker.
Usually made of heavy gauge copper they were remarkably efficient feeding hot water up to the cylinder via heavy lead pipes in the flue that further increased the heating surface. There was a cold return from the cylinder as well.
The trick was to not let them boil which could happen if hot water wasn't being used. Sometimes in very frosty weather when the draught was good the boiler could boil even with the damper open. The cure was to run some hot water.
Normally safe and trouble free, problems could arise in a hard water area where the boiler and pipes could get furred up to the point where the boiler pressurised and exploded.
Managing the back boiler was second nature if you had one. Modern boilers today do all the hard work for you. One less task for the modern housewife!
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by PanBiker » 14 Jan 2020, 11:01

Stanley wrote:
14 Jan 2020, 05:04
The trick was to not let them boil which could happen if hot water wasn't being used.
When we were doing up our first house on York Street before we were married. I had installed a heavy plastic cold water tank as replacement for the old galvanised one that had sprung a leak. I used to pop into the house at lunch time and put the immersion heater on so we had plenty of hot water for the evening jobs. Not long after I had fitted the new tank, we went in one evening to the house full of steam and a load of banging and thrashing from upstairs. The thermostat on the hot water cylinder had failed to permanently on. The cistern had boiled, expansion pipe fed back up into the cold tank above and you can guess the rest. The black plastic tank was the same temperature as the cistern below and was bulging out of the cistern cupboard with boiling water bubbling and splashing out of the top. Nowt like doing a job twice, a replacement thermostat as well as another tank the second time round. :sad: :extrawink:
Ian

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Stanley
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 15 Jan 2020, 04:56

Funny you should mention that Ian. I remember a mate replacing the existing galvanised iron header tank with one of the new-fangled plastic ones many years ago. They had an old back boiler in the kitchen and one day it boiled while they were out of the house. You can imagine the rest, remember it had a ball cock on it for topping the system up! You've never seen such a mess in your life!
Funnily enough I had a related experience but with a different cause a few years ago. My next door neighbour, being a cheap skate, bought a cheap boiler and got his son to install it. The lad made two serious mistakes. He left the top up connection to the mains on the closed system open as the mains pressure was less than the relief valve on the boiler and he reckoned it would be automatic top up. His next error was more serious, he forgot to make the drain pipe from the relief valve long enough to pass through the wall, it terminated in the rubble infill.
I knew nothing about this of course but a couple of months after the installation the water board had a major leak in Barlick and raised the pressure on the system at the pumps on Wisyk hill to ensure that the higher houses in the town retained a supply. I think the water board engineers were a bit too enthusiastic and went a bit too high on the pressure. (You may remember there was an outbreak of burst pipes in older systems and leaking ball cocks on toilets at the time.)
The first I knew about it was when warm water started pouring out of the lintel above the door out of the kitchen into the shed and I soon had 2" of water to deal with. I had to unscrew the threshold bar on my all singing new back door to allow the water to escape into the back yard. The fact that the water was warm gave me a clue, the passage of cold water through the boiler was triggering the boiler to go on demand. I realised what had happened but then found out that the man was away. Only one cure, turn his water supply off at the stop cock. Bit of a problem there, he didn't have one! I rang the water board up, explained the situation and give them their due, they came out immediately and installed a new stop cock in the street.
The next day Dennis came back and found he had no water. I had put a Letter through his door explaining what had happened and warning him not to turn the water on without shutting off the mains connection to the boiler. He didn't know how to do this so I went round, did it for him and told him to get a competent boiler engineer in immediately to rectify the faults. When an engineer came I had a word with him and he told me it was the worst installation he had ever seen in his life. I never asked Dennis for any compensation, I had managed to avoid serious consequence, only wet carpets and some steel stock on the floor. I told him to put it down to experience.
That boiler was a wonderful source of income for the plumber for some years after! He was never away.
Not strictly a forgotten corner but certainly something I am glad to forget! (Only good thing is it was warm water!)
Stanley Challenger Graham
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