FORGOTTEN CORNERS

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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 17 Dec 2017, 04:00

I could never remember ours P. In contrast, my army number is engraved on my heart! very useful.....
Thinking about numbers reminded me of the old telephone numbers which included a three letter code for the exchange. Heaton Moor numbers all started with HEA and so on. Tht's why the old dial phones had the alphabet on as well as the numbers. They tell me that you could get free calls from public telephone boxes by tapping out the necessary clicks on the receiver rest but I couldn't possibly comment!
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by plaques » 17 Dec 2017, 08:41

Stanley wrote:
17 Dec 2017, 04:00
my army number is engraved on my heart!
Dad's army number was 11741689, marked on everything he brought home on demob.

On telephones, you could leap frog exchange boundaries by tapping in the appropriate code. Nationwide calls at local rates. But like you I know nothing about it.

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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Tizer » 17 Dec 2017, 10:23

I've always been able to remember my NI number but I don't know why, it's not often that I need it!

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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by PanBiker » 17 Dec 2017, 11:26

So can I and my mobile number, strangely I can remember quite a few other mobile numbers as well (you don't really need to). Bike and car registrations seem to come easily as well.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 18 Dec 2017, 04:48

My friend John Pudney impressed on me the necessity of cultivating the ability to erase unneeded information from our brains. Consequently I have a bad recollection of things I can look up like phone numbers and road classifications. Daughter Margaret has a Velcro memory for vehicle numbers....
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 19 Dec 2017, 07:19

Image

Here's a boring image of a forgotten corner for you but there's quite a lot of information in it actually. It's part of the dam wall at Bancroft close to the clow. We often look at dams but never think about how they were made and what had to be done to maintain them.
Note the masonry at the water's edge. The bed of the dam, like the canals, was sealed with clay puddle but at the top where wind disturbance of the water could lead to erosion the edge was reinforced with masonry set in puddle and well pointed.
Notice as well the hole in the boundary wall protected by a grill. This was one of two such openings in the wall which were put in when the wall was rebuilt after being washed out in the flood of 1932. They were intended to let out any excess water that reached that level during flood conditions. There were matching holes in the wall on the other side of the road so that water could by-pass the culvert under the road if necessary.
The new concrete on the left is a repair I did in 1976 when I first took over the engine. The wall was leaking at this point and on enquiring I found that the canal company no longer made puddle and sold it. I consulted with Harold Duxbury, no point re-inventing the wheel! He advised dropping the water level, cutting the defect out and sealing it with concrete. That was what we did and had no further problems.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by chinatyke » 19 Dec 2017, 10:39

Did you ever use waterproof concrete? That was strange stuff, you could lay it underwater!

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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 20 Dec 2017, 04:54

No P, but I knew about it. I once read a book called 'Span of Bridges' and found that the Romans invented it and used it regularly for bridge pier foundations using what I think they called a 'Tremie' to lay it under the water. I have an idea the technique was lost for many years and then rediscovered.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Tizer » 20 Dec 2017, 09:41

The Romans had discovered that local volcanic ash was the secret to making cement that set under water. A couple of thousand years later we've discovered that it's the action of seawater on a rare mineral in the ash that's responsible. LINK A photo of Tizer's specimen of phillipsite...

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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 21 Dec 2017, 04:16

Fascinating article Tiz and it prompted me to get my copy of Hopkins' 'Span of Bridges' ( David and Charles. 1970) out and have a skim. The method of depositing the concrete underwater confined by sheet piles described by Vitruvius is the 'Tremie'. If, like me, these things fascinate you, get Hopkins' book!
I love the image, that's how I feel much of the time!
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 22 Dec 2017, 08:22

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Here's a part of the Manor of Barnoldswick as delineated (wrongly as it happened) by De Lacey when he gifted the manor to Fountains Abbey leading to the establishment of the short lived Cistercian monastery in the 13th century. I have some good stories about this little corner and I'll get my act together and tell you about them.....
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Tizer » 22 Dec 2017, 10:16

Stanley wrote:
21 Dec 2017, 04:16
If, like me, these things fascinate you, get Hopkins' book!
I have it - from last time you recommended it! :smile:

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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 23 Dec 2017, 04:47

Lovely! And knowing you Tiz I'' bet it interested you just as much as it did me.
Back to the Greystone on Coldweather. It was a lonely pub and Bob Feather who held the licence wasn't the most affable of landlords so in the days when motors were a rarity, it didn't get much trade. In consequence, Bob and his wife would often shut early and go to bed.
One night, a notable local character from Colne, George Rushworth, engineer, scrap merchant and shareholder in many mills (Including the Long Ing Shed Company in Barlick) was on his way home from business in Gisburn and stopped at the pub at about 9PM but found it closed. He hammered on the door until a window opened upstairs and Bob poked his head out complaining about the noise and informing George that they were closed and had gone to bed. George was as irascible as Bob and informed him that if he didn't open up he'd buy the pub and evict him! Bob told him to do his worst and slammed the window shut. At the time it was owned by Massey's Burnley Brewery and the following morning George did what he said he would, he went round to Massey's and bought the Greystone!
George owned a lot of land in that part of the district and had enough money to not be worried about the pub's profitability and the funny thing is that he never did evict Bob and his wife. I get the feeling that they were birds of a feather and understood each other.
When, many years later, George was found dead on the moor (He was face down in a shallow beck and had drowned. It was thought at the time that he was having a pee and had a heart attack and fell forwards into the water) the terms of his will stipulated that Bob Feather should retain the tenancy and the licence until he voluntarily gave it up. That was why, so many years later in the 1960s when I knew the pub, Bob was still the landlord and as far as I know the pub was still owned by the Rushworth estate as no buyer could be found for a pub with a sitting tenant.
I don't know what the end game was apart from the fact that it was eventually sold and someone tried to make a go of it but failed. I see it has now been converted to private dwellings....
In case you are wondering what the provenance of this story is.... It was told to me by Harry Horsfield of Sunnybank Farm who was also a tenant of George's for many years but eventually bought his farm off him. He knew George well and I think had the story straight from him. I have no doubts about its authenticity.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 24 Dec 2017, 06:41

Opposite the pub was Greystone Farm and the Tattersalls farmed it when I knew it. George and Roy his son. They had an ancient Morris Car converted to a small wagon and used it as a mobile milk stand. They put the kits on at the dairy, drove it down to the road and parked it on the verge. A BMC agency holder in Nelson saw it one day and made them an offer they couldn't refuse if they would trade it in for a new Morris. They bit his hand off and Roy, the son, went down to Nelson to take delivery of the new car. He got in it to drive it away and drove it straight into the flower beds in the forecourt! Nobody had warned him that the placing of the pedals was different in modern cars. On the old one the clutch was in the centre and the brake pedal on the left hand side. Luckily no damage had been done and Roy soon got used to the new arrangement!
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Bodger » 24 Dec 2017, 09:42

An old local farmer nr Hepworth had an old Austin "the door handle were brass loops" he fitted tyres over the rear ones with cut out sections and used it as a tractor in the fields

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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 25 Dec 2017, 05:10

Image

Abel Taylor's Austin Heavy Seven converted to a cart in 1956 at Greenbank Farm on Gisburn Old Track. We once used it to help his relations haytime at Blacko and I drove it round there on the public road. No exhaust, licence, insurance or brakes. Very exciting! We did things differently in those days......
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 26 Dec 2017, 07:25

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Still on Coldweather. The Moorcock Inn as it is today. When I first knew it the restaurant on the right hadn't been added. Going back even further the pub was run for many years by Mother Hanson. I knew her, she was still alive and lived in a small house in the yard of her son John Hanson's farm just down the road towards Blacko, Admergill Pasture. She had at least three sons, John, George who I also knew, and another whose name slips me. They were reared at the pub and if you look to the left of the picture you'll see that the car park at the end is cut into the hillside. The three sons dug this out by hand..... I once did a very small muck-shifting job like that at Hey Farm to widen the entrance and I can tell you that cutting that car park into the hill side was a mammoth task! Hard men, in fact the thing I remember most clearly about George was that he always blew his nose on his flat cap.
I had another source of information about the pub in Sally Carter who lived a precarious existence with her husband Tommy at the squatter's house on Gisburn Old Track, Peel House. In her younger days she worked for Mrs Hanson at the Moorcock and she told me that they used to brew their own beer in the Inter-war years and that the Moorcock was a popular venue at weekends and holidays for horse drawn vehicle trips from Nelson. She said that they often ran out of beer at a penny a pint.
In my day the pub was run by a very well spoken elderly lady and her son and they didn't do very well out of it. He had some sort of job in Civil Defence and there was always a CD signal van parked in the car park. I have an idea that in the end they sold out to Thwaite's Brewery and it was them that developed the pub to what it is today.

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Tommy Carter in 1957.

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The Carter children in 1957.

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Jim 'Boss' Smith at Peel House in 1957. He was Sally's father. I think he was 96 at the time.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 27 Dec 2017, 05:14

A bit further up the road towards Gisburn a farm track goes off to the west to Craven Laithe. I once heard a story about that road that's worth re-telling. There was a soft shop on the course of the road and no matter how much stone was tipped in it it always reverted to bog. There was some sort of connection between the owner of the land and a soft drinks manufacturer in Nelson and at the time when the old pop bottles with the glass alley in the neck were being phased out in favour of screw tops someone had the brilliant idea of using the redundant bottles as road metal.
They dug the soft place out and put successive layers of empty pop bottles in, every second layer upside down so they locked in with the layer below. When they had the road up to level they capped it with road stone and it never moved again.
You have to trust your informants and I believe this tale, no reason for anyone to make it up. So, if I am right, there is a bottle collector's gold mine up there!
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 28 Dec 2017, 06:21

Image

While we are on Middop, even though technically we are outside the Manor of Barnoldswick we should take note of the earthworks at Middop. It's an enormous feature that has never been investigated because of lack of funds.

Image

Here's John Clayton's pic of some of the defensive earthworks at Middop Camp. We say 'defensive' because that's what they look like but there is no firm evidence that it was ever anything more than a vast meeting place and trading post. It's significant that it is on the line of the Bronze Age M62 that runs right through the middle of Barlick. The County archaeologist once told me that it was a major route for the export of gold from Ireland to the Baltic States. And it all came through our 'sleepy little town'.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 29 Dec 2017, 05:12

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Hard to imagine it but over 2,000 years ago Longfield Lane was part of one of the most important trade routes in Britain, the Bronze Age equivalent of the modern M62.

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It was this field on Folly Lane that first alerted me. It's called Causeway Carr and you can still see evidence of the track across it. The clues are all still there, all we have to do is keep our eyes open and question everything!
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 30 Dec 2017, 04:39

When I was a lad I was always asking questions and was lucky to have a mother who never discouraged me and was intelligent enough to give me answers. This served me well all thorough my life and particularly when I started digging into how to run steam engines and local history. Add to these facts my habit of talking to old people and you have the genesis of my latest forgotten corner.

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Park Avenue intrigued me for two reasons, first is the way it has a right-angled bend in it on the 1853 OS 6" map and second is that it was called Blue Pot Lane. I soon realised that it was a direct extension of the line of the Bronze Age track and a major through route in the early days of Barlick and for a long time I was stuck there. But then John Clayton got interested in the LIDAR surveys and started digging.

Image

Here's one of the images John came up with. He had been on a course to learn about interpreting these complicated images and came up with very persuasive evidence that the area bounded by Park Avenue, Park Road, Chapel Street and Manchester Road was the site of a Roman Fort. If this is correct (And there is a very strong possibility) this explains why the Avenue was straight and took the right angle turn towards the old town. It also gives a possible reason why the row of houses facing the site across Manchester Road is called Castle View. Never underestimate the longevity of the Folk Memory!

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Castle View in 2005.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 31 Dec 2017, 04:56

Another thing that showed up on the LIDAR was enough detail to suggest that the area now occupied by Letcliffe Park was an adjunct to the fort. This would explain why there is what is obviously a very ancient route up to what is now the kissing gate at the bottom of the park from the junction of Blue Pot Lane and Barnoldswick Lane behind Hill Top Farm. Next time you walk up there take note of the ancient bank and hedge on the East side of the lane. It takes over a thousand years to produce a bank like that! Corners are only forgotten if we stop observing and questioning.......
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 01 Jan 2018, 05:11

We are very lucky in Barlick because our town has escaped a lot of 'improvement' over the years. That's why we have an unspoiled stone-built townscape that largely survives. What is often forgotten is that we have a lot of the original road system still in place. Think of Esp Lane, Cross Lane at Salterforth and Salterforth Drag, all original medieval routes. Even some stretches of 'main' road are completely untouched. Think of Manchester Road (Barnoldswick Lane as was) from the Dog up up Bancrofts Farm, by an accident of history it is, apart from the actual road surface, an intact example of a road that has been unchanged for over a thousand years. We should remember this and also recognise that its age has given us a very modern advantage, it is a wonderful traffic-calming design that slows down traffic on a very steep hill into a built-up area. Does anyone believe that the accident rate on this piece of road would fall if it was opened up and 'modernised'?
The name of Hey Farm indicates a holding where the boundaries were formed by hedges and not walls. The existing hedge and bank is the original boundary going back over 2,000 years. It's salutary to reflect that it could be older than the Pyramids! Now there's a Forgotten Corner for you.

Image

Manchester Road in 1965. Garra Pickles and his dog in the foreground..... Only 53 years ago.....
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 02 Jan 2018, 06:30

Another thing struck me when I was looking at the medieval lanes was the number of Holly Trees in the old hedges. This intrigued me and I dug deeper into it. What I found was that Holly was far more important then I had realised. I soon confirmed the status of Holly in Pagan beliefs and even got evidence of the tradition that a Holly tree near a house was protection from lightning because of the 'Action of Points' in electrostatic terms but far more important was Holly's role as an important winter food source for browsing animals. Stands of Holly were cultivated for this purpose and Holly in hedgerows was encouraged. This explains the occurrence of Holly in place names.
I didn’t have to dig far before I found two brilliant articles on the subject; ‘Holly as a Winter Feed’ by Jeffrey Radley and ‘Holly as a Fodder in England’ by Martin Spray. I’m grateful to both of them for the work they have done, without them I would never have cracked this enquiry. Just to give you a flavour, Martin starts his paper with a lovely quotation: ‘Lyarde es ane olde horse, and may noght wele drawe, He salle be put into the parke holyne for to gnawe. [1440. Mummer’s song in the Sheffield area] This broken down old horse wasn’t worth giving valuable winter feed but was given a chance to survive by being retired to ‘the parke holyne’, the holly wood.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 03 Jan 2018, 04:50

I remembered something else about mature Holly trees. If you examine them carefully you'll find that it's only the lower branches that carry leaves with spines on them. Above this, where the leaves are out of reach of the animals, the tree doesn't expend any effort growing spines, the leaves are smooth and polished! Clever stuff!
Another thing.... Have you ever noticed that the trees in a deer park all have beautifully trimmed flat bases to the canopy? This is where the deer have browsed on everything they can reach automatically making a base that follows the ground level.
Have you ever heard of 'Hooper's Law'? If you haven't, read THIS which describes how you can make a good estimate of the age of a hedge by counting the species of woody plants in it. The more you dig, the more forgotten corners you find!
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