FORGOTTEN CORNERS

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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 25 Nov 2017, 07:08

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The organ in Parr Hall.

Occasionally you trip over surprising things in the undergrowth of history. One thing that surprised me was when I started to get hints of a world famous organ in the old Bracewell Hall. Eventually I found that the owner, William Turner, had commissioned Cavaille-Coll of Paris to build him an organ in 1870 which he later enlarged. When he left Bracewell he took the organ with him to I think it was Ketley Hall and later it was moved to Parr Hall in Warrington. See THIS for a slightly erroneous account of the organ in Cheshire Life. Despite its precarious status at the moment it still survives and is played regularly.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 26 Nov 2017, 05:24

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The ball room in the old Hall where the organ was installed in 1870. Incidentally, the man sent from Paris to do the final voicing (tuning) of the organ was lucky. He was at the hall during the Siege of Paris in the Franco-Prussian War and escaped all the hardships!
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 27 Nov 2017, 06:49

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We tend to forget things like the view north from Letcliffe, on a good day you can see 40 miles into the Dales. I thought it might be good in November to remind us of what it can be like in summer! I wonder how many people in the town have never gone up there and taken in the magnificent views.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 28 Nov 2017, 05:33

Many of you will know why there is that concrete plinth at the top of the park which now carries the viewpoint.

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Gus posted this pic of the tank that used to sit there. After the Great War towns that had performed well in the War Savings Movement were presented with a redundant tank. This was ours. It always amused me that the government made sure the guns and drive train were disabled. Perhaps they were worried in case the lads ever re-commissioned them during times of industrial unrest! Not as far fetched as it sounds, memories of the Revolution in Russia were still fresh then. It was scrapped in 1932.

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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 29 Nov 2017, 06:14

Notice the battered looking drum on top of the oxygen bottles. This is a container for carbide which was used in a portable generator where water was added to it to produce Acetylene gas which was only just starting to be delivered in bottles like the oxygen in 1932. Oxygen and Acetylene were of course the gases which when mixed and ignited in the cutter gave a flame hot enough to melt and cut steel.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 30 Nov 2017, 04:54

The forgotten corner that came to mind this morning isn't in Barlick but in Australia. I came across it in Dubbo when I was staying there on one of my visits. (that was where I encountered the big Brown Snake!) One of the first things I noted was the flies! I was out walking in the bush one day with John and I saw that the sweat soaked patch on the back of his shirt was a mass of flies so I did what any good Barlick Lad would do, I brushed them off. John told me never to do that because if they were riding on your back they weren't buzzing round your face because it was the carbon dioxide in your breath that initially attracted them.
Another thing I discovered was that each evening there was a magic hour when the flies had gone to bed and the mossies hadn't started work. This was when we piled out on to the verandah for a beer in the relative cool of the evening. The same thing applied in reverse first thing in the morning and I always found that the most attractive time of the day. I loved sitting there having a smoke and listening to the birds particularly the Butcherbirds which have a very distinctive and beautiful song. They talk to each other.

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By Tatiana Gerus - originally posted to Flickr as Mirrored Butcherbird
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 01 Dec 2017, 07:59

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I saw a report yesterday that our caring, sharing government is proposing funding to open some lines that were closed under Beeching. No hope for the Barlick branch of course but who knows, it might make a difference to the long and well-run campaign that SELRAP has fought to reopen Colne to Skipton. I hope so, it makes a lot of sense.
Here's the old days, the 'Barlick Spudroaster' crossing the canal.
Incidentally, though I have no definite evidence I am convinced that the two footbridges in Valley Gardens used cast iron girders from that bridge over the canal.

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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 02 Dec 2017, 05:46

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This used to be a regular sight at the end of the platform next to Wellhouse Road.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 03 Dec 2017, 04:33

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It's always instructive to go back to the old OS maps and remind ourselves of how the town was laid out. This version was true until the 1930s with the building of Kelbrook New Road and changed again later of course when the station and sidings were redeveloped in the 1950s. Think of which way you would have to go to get from Barlick to Salterforth or Kelbrook!
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 04 Dec 2017, 05:05

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If you keep your eyes open as you walk round Barlick you'll see that many of the old roads are built so that the fronts of the houses face into 'garden fronts' with no vehicular access. I can attest to the fact that there is much to be said for this in that no road at the front of the house means less noise and disturbance like slamming car doors. If the back of the house has a dead end back street as well like mine the absence of though traffic is yet another advantage. I love quiet houses.
But that isn't what I am after. Notice that many of the garden fronts have kissing gates at the ends of the paths, some like this one between the rows on Railway Street no longer have the gate because it's redundant now. East Hill and Wellhouse Square fronts still have the gate. Question is why the need for kissing gates which were to stop domestic animals from passing through?
You have to go back to when the houses were built. They were surrounded by fields in many cases as all the present housing stock hadn't been built. Therefore it was necessary to stop sheep and cattle getting into the gardens.

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My friends Rollie and Shar are stood in front of the kissing gate at the Townhead end of Shitten Ginnel. This was in place to stop animals straying from the Calf Hall side into the town.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 05 Dec 2017, 05:12

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Another kissing gate, this time at the end of the path down Wellhouse Square garden fronts. This one still has a gate but not the original. What intrigues me about this one is the mixed bag of upright stones that form it. They are all re-used stone and there's even another stone bolted on to the nearest upright on the right to level out a big depression in it. The stones are worn round with age and full of evidence they once had a different use. I always have a fancy that they are trying to speak to us but we don't know the language..... What we can deduce is that when Wellhouse Square was built in the 1850s there was a need for the protection from straying animals but in the 1870s when East Hill Street was built the need had gone way.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 06 Dec 2017, 05:13

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Here's another kissing gate at the bottom of Letcliffe Park where the right of way on the old lane enters what was originally farm land but in 1900 was made into a public park. Worth remembering that what is now only a fragment of lane is actually a pre-medieval road which was open from Park Avenue up to the park in the 1950s.

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You can see the original route on this 1892 map. Even at that time part of the continuation to the back of Hill Top had been lost in the field due to lack of use. The right of way was stopped in the early 1960s because it went through the garden of a bungalow that had been built at the junction with Park Avenue. John Clayton's research based on the LIDAR information confirms the importance of this lane 2,000 years ago.

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Here's a very ancient kissing gate on Shitten Ginnel that has always intrigued me as there is no obvious reason for it. I have long entertained a suspicion that it's based on old foot-ways that could be connected to the siting of our old Saxon church.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by PanBiker » 06 Dec 2017, 10:51

Bit of a typo there Stanley, 1892 for the map and Pickles Hipping or Shitten Ginnel which ever takes your fancy for the kissing gate. Blame it on the duff finger. :extrawink:
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 07 Dec 2017, 03:46

No Ian, tell the truth, old age! Thanks.....

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An insignificant drain back into the small beck that comes from Lane Bottoms and enters Gillians Beck below the building that used to be a water mill at Gillians. It could be the exit for a tail race but is on the wrong side. The mill at Gillians was precluded from using the far better resource of Gillians Beck because Mitchell at Clough owned the water rights. It ran off the much smaller stream and you can still see the remains of the dam at Bancrofts Farm.

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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 08 Dec 2017, 08:28

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Loom breaking at Bancroft Shed in 1979. This was the final evidence that the guts had been ripped out of the once mighty textile industry. Barlick had around 25,000 looms in 1920, these were almost the last to go. We forget now what a traumatic time it was, the wonder of it is that it happened without a violent backlash. The workers went quietly and got on with their new lives.....
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 09 Dec 2017, 05:23

Have a look at THIS account of the Coventry Blitz of 1940. I doubt if many in Barlick would connect this to the history of the town but it was perhaps the most significant factor in our present relative prosperity. It triggered the move of the Rover Company into our Shadow Factories and eventually led to the Rolls Royce move into the town and the genesis of our aero industry which is still a major economic factor. I've always said we should have a statue of Adolph Hitler, he did more for us than all the government policies put together. Like the later decline of the mining industry, the demise of textiles was not a major concern, it was happening in the North!
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 10 Dec 2017, 04:42

Perhaps the most forgotten corner of Barlick (because they are so obvious perhaps) are the flows of water coming down through the town from the high ground to the West. Apart from supplying us with drinking water and a natural waste disposal system in prehistoric days they eventually gave us power for the early water mills that were often used for textiles but at least one (Ouzledale) as a sawmill and then a water powered iron foundry. When steam came they provided feedwater for the boilers and the cooling water for the condensers on the engines that were essential for economic running.
Even today they are an essential part of the drainage of the town but how many people today see them in this light? To most people they are simply a picturesque accessory.
Stand on a bridge and watch the flow.... if you look hard enough and think the water will tell you a story......
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 11 Dec 2017, 06:58

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If you are nosey enough you can always find puzzles associated with water power. Here's a masonry puzzle in the Calf Hall Beck where it emerges from under the road at what used to be Parrock Mill.

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What used to be Parrock Mill is now generally called Paddock Laithe and is the Barlick HQ of the Boy Scouts. It was a small water twist mill in the early days at the end of the 18th century before Calf Hall Shed and Butts were built. The puzzle with the masonry is how did it fit in with the original mill?
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 12 Dec 2017, 04:21

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The original Town Well embedded in the wall of Gisburn Road CP School and walled up. I have been told that the original trough is still in there and would love to see it opened up to check. If it was it would be a lovely feature!
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 13 Dec 2017, 06:23

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This is Poorbones on Manchester Road. It's the small overgrown enclosure you can see across the road. It was at the top corner of my big field at Hey Farm and it intrigued me because it was obvious it was a 'thing of purpose' but I didn't know what. I asked questions and eventually found out how important it used to be. The older locals called it Poorbones because this little yard is where people on Outdoor Relief from the Skipton Workhouse broke large stones down into road metal to repair the water bound Macadam roads. They used small hammers on long shanks and the process was called 'knapping'. When tar Macadam came in it became redundant and was simply abandoned and left to get overgrown. I suspect it still belongs to either the successors of the Skipton Workhouse (now the general hospital) or the council. I'd like to see it cleared and recognised for what it is, a reminder of hard days long ago.....
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 14 Dec 2017, 05:14

Roadstone was knapped close to where it was needed. Just on the Blacko side of the Fanny Grey pub there is a rough lay-by on the top side of the road. My older informants told me that this was used for breaking road stone also. There must have been many such sites in the days when the roads were water-bound limestone rock Macadam.
The nearest parallel I can think of are the small 'delphs' along the line of the enclosure walls on the moor where stone could easily be won just below the surface. Again, the guiding principle was to win the stone as near to where it was needed as possible. And it was always transported downhill where possible!
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 15 Dec 2017, 05:13

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This forgotten corner of Barlick used to be a busy spot at this time of year in the 1930s. It's the offices in the old Co-op Central Building on Albert Road. This was where you went to withdraw your divi for high days and holidays. Many would take some out for Xmas. The crucial point of course is that these withdrawals were credits, savings that had been made during the year, and not debts!
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by PanBiker » 15 Dec 2017, 09:57

We still get our divi on our Coop membership. :smile:
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 16 Dec 2017, 05:15

So do I, I think I have about £20 in the kitty at the moment. During my interviews for the LTP I was told of dividends of as much as 3/6 in the pound at some Co-ops. It was a religion with many people. I still hear people say that they can remember their Co-op number!
One of the matters that has concerned me of late in the upheavals that have disturbed the Co-operative movement is possible erosion of the core principles which have always seemed to me to be ethical and (as their name suggests) equitable. These are attributes that I wish were spread more widely in business and industry. I have always been interested in the concept of the co-operative weaving sheds that sprang up in the 1930s.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by plaques » 16 Dec 2017, 08:46

My mother's co-op number is engraved on my brain. 13031, so much so I tried to us it in the early days of 'password' access to the internet. Total failure, sorry no palindromic numbers allowed, but that's why I can remember it! Life's so cruel.

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