FORGOTTEN CORNERS

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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by PanBiker »

One bonus for us in our "steam up" was that I had taken the bedroom doors off upstairs for refurbishment. The steam upstairs had effectively started to loosen all the wallpaper from the two bedrooms as well as the bathroom. We hadn't started decorating them at that point it was one of our next jobs. An expensive way to do it but a bonus nevertheless. Always look on the bright side. :extrawink:
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley »

And 'every cloud has a silver lining'! (But sometimes it's hard to identify it!)

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The Bristol Tractor. Made at Sough after the war when ex-MAP mills came back into industry. THIS website carries an interesting and as far as I know, accurate, history of the firm. I was open all hours at the shop next to the mill and they were a good source of income for us, I never counted the number of bacon butties and dinners we made each day. A common sight was the tractors being taken over the road to fields opposite where they were tested before despatch. In the end tractor production finished but the two associated firms, Forecast Foundry at the back and Kelbrook Metal Products in the part of the mill nearest the shop survived longer.
Sough Mill was a busy and successful employer for a long time and was badly missed.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

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The immediate post war period saw a lot of new small firms starting up using the cheap space in old mills modernised by the government for war production. Some survived like Armorides at Earby and Carlsons in Butts but many sprouted like mushrooms and failed. Examples in Barlick included a form making hypodermic syringes, a caravan manufacturer, ice cream makers and a second hand furniture warehouse. Many were founded by ex servicemen using their Demob grants. The chief one of these was Silentnight, started in a back yard in Skipton but soon moving into space in Barlick in various mills, Butts, Salterforth, Wellhouse, Clough and in the end taking over Moss Shed where of course they are still in business.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Cathy »

I wonder how many Barlickers sleep on a SilentNight mattress?
You can buy them in Australia too.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

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I'm afraid I don't. As I have said before, my mattress is an antique but has given me wonderful service and is still comfortable. If I changed it would be to a good Silentnight one.... but luckily no sign of that yet!
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

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I've had Silentnight mattresses since 2004 (when we moved to Barlick). The 'Friends and Family' discount makes them very reasonable.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley »

My example of a forgotten corner today comes directly from Dorothy Hartley.

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Here's something she says about the importance of natural growing methods as a way of getting micro-nutrients and minerals safely into our diet by looking after the soil, exactly my argument as many of you know.
However, that isn't the forgotten corner. It's the fact that she learned this from an old gardener by questioning his methods and listening to what he said. This is how Dorothy manages to present us with such original and basic thinking, she interrogates old sources both printed and contemporary as in this case and draws her conclusions from past experience before comparing them with modern scientific thought.
Anyone who has followed the current debate about how to improve the land and farming methods will recognise that this is basically what the old gardener was saying. Even the current Agriculture Bill recognises the concept.
This was why I did the LTP, there is so much useful knowledge out there if we would only stop and listen to it!
That's my forgotten corner today.....
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

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Spookiness again! We watched gardener Monty Don on TV last night visiting US gardens (very worth watching) and one of his visits was to the big gardens established by Pierre Dupont, the man who made millions of dollars out of chemicals, including agrochemicals. The difference between DuPont and the old gardener above is that the former wanted to make big money, the latter wanted to grow healthy plants.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Whyperion »

Stanley wrote: 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'.

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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!
Mum's flat was built around 1959 and had similar system, with a couple of variations (which later Dad sort of managed not to make the best use of by re-locating the wardrobe), when London went clean-air the council swapped out the Coal /Solid Fire and fitted gas fires ( as to if they had to change the burners a few years later to natural gas or it was a one -step process I cannot remember ). For some reason the Gas piping has become damaged and now we live with just an electric heater, incidentally there was already a gas connection to the coal fire, one could turn a key to switch it on and this would feed the coal fire with a gas burner to get the coal going- made a change from kindling ! Anyway beyond the back bolier - which fed into the electric immersion heater system ) was (and still is) a metal plate and grill into one of the bedrooms, the idea hopefully that the warm gases from the lounge fire as well as warming the lounge warmed the bedroom too. Quite a simple ( but as to being 'efficient' I dont know, with just room heights of 2400mm less than the older Victorian houses in many places the coal fire could fairly quickly make a room warm - well it made the vicinity warm as the decision to fit single-glazing steel framed Crittall Windows was stylish, but often freezing in winter without the coal going. The fires too never had the adaptations for doubling up for cooker ranges and cooking (beyond a toasting fork and a sort of balancing for winter chesnuts), with separate kitchens with Gas and Water feeds for 'Ascot' water heaters and gas point for 1950s Gas Cookers (and Fridge) being the decided design. Strangely the One Bed flats (that Granny and Nanny were moved into) did not have the Coal Fire/Bedroom radiant design incorporated into them instead the were flued against either the next door flat or the external wall - which seems odd, I think the design must have been adapted and no-one saw what the actual thinking was. In most houses a common system of flues would additionally warm the upstairs - I dont know how the similar 1950s maisonettes were designed. Thinking of Barnoldswick were the post-WW2 Coates/Park Road council houses done in similar in-built heating ways ?
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

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No coal fires. We always had a gas poker to light the fire.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by PanBiker »

Newspaper and kindling. plenty of offcuts from the joinery shop. Dad would bring bags home, stored in the coal house. Needed splitting down so we had a round of wood from a tree trunk and I got part of my pocket money for chopping the kindling for the week. We had a damper in the flue but would often use a shovel and newspaper to get enough draw if their was little pull on the flue. Odd empty sugar bags twisted up were good firelighter too.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

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One thing I remember that mother did even in the war, if the fire needed waking up she would sprinkle sugar on it! Then a stir with the poker and away you go.
I once met a coal merchant who operated out of Causeway Foot on the Denholme road. He told me that a long poker was the coal chap's best friend, it meant people burned more coal.
Writing that I've remembered a couple of other tricks, if the fire was low and you wanted it brighter you stuck the poker in the bed of coal, lifted it a bit and then left the poker in the fire. It burned pokers away but got the fire going.
Another trick when you had bad coal that didn't want to burn easily was to have a lump of cast iron handy and put that in the heart of the fire. Once it got red hot is made the fire burn better. You could buy cast iron cheek pieces from the ironmonger which did the same job by choking the width of the fire down and improving the draught.
Then of course there was 'sweeling' the chimney to burn off loose soot. You simply waited till the fire was burning up in the morning and then shoved a bunch of crumpled newspaper in the flue, as it roared up the flue it set the loose soot on fire producing a belch of smoke and sparks out of the pot. Best done early in the morning before anyone had their washing hung out! My mother did this regularly and I can never remember us needing a sweep.
Something people also forget about open fires was that they could be used to burn a lot of rubbish like vegetable peelings that otherwise would have gone rotten in the dustbin or ash pit and caused a smell. Tins were burnt on the fire as well for the same reason, it made sure they were clean.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Tripps »

Thanks - that's stirred a lot of half forgotten memories. My stepfather was a foundry foreman and knew a thing or two about getting things very hot. We had some memorable fires. :smile: I often think about stuff I put in the bin, and the fact that a long time ago I'd have put it on the fire.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

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My old aunt used to throw her tea leaves straight from the cup onto the fire. The problem was that she still did it when they had gone electric. She's not with us now but not for that reason.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

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Vera used to clean for Margaret Sharples on Manchester Road and they bought one of those gas fires with imitation cols and ash in the hearth. Vera cleaned it and relaid it with kindling and newspaper fire-lighters.
Do you remember making those for your mother? Rolled up newspaper knotted into a a shape that was ideal for starting a fire.
In the army a favourite trick to light the Tortoise coke stoves in the store room at Colchester was to put a small knob of 808 plastic explosive in, fill it with coke and apply a match. Never failed
People always asked how we lit the boiler fires after a shut-down at the mill. Dead easy. We kept the oil soaked cotton waste used to clean the engine in a 40 gallon oil drum in the boiler house. Pile a small heap of coal on the bars, put a double handful of cotton waste in front of it, light the waste which burned well and when it had got going nicely, open the dampers a crack. This pulled the flame into the coal and in five minutes you had a fire you could spread out and feed with more coal! You did both flues at once.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Wendyf »

I still roll and knot sheets of newspaper to light the fire..... couldn't do it any other way. :smile:
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

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Yes, paper coil man myself.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley »

Image

When we bought Hey Farm the front room had a boring tiled modern fireplace in it. Eventually when we got to the point where we could afford to use the big room I knocked the chimney breast out and uncovered the original 17th century fireplace. Big does and little does we arrived at this. I got Jimmy Thompson at West Marton to make me a fire basket and a smoke hood, as you can see he did a good job. The flue was very big and at first we had big problems with smoke coming back into the room. We took a lot of advice and one crucial dimension was the distance from the actual fire bed and the edge and design of the hood. As it turned out we got that right, I proved by experimenting with different heights of the basket that this wasn't the source of the problem. The pot at the top of the flue was a standard one and I found one with a larger throat and put it on.

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That cured it and after that we had no trouble as long as we kept the pot clean.
This is an example of a common problem in early house designs, badly drawing flues on open fires. That's why on some houses you can still see taller than usual chimney stacks above the roof line, particularly on bungalows or one that is baffled by a nearby higher building. A bigger house built next to yours could produce similar problems.
On a bigger scale, this was also a problem with industrial boilers and stacks.

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Butts chimney used to have a 40ft brick extension on it. The reason for that was that when Bracewell bought the Ingleton coal field and started to use that in Barlick it was poorer quality coal and more draught was needed to burn it efficiently.

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Here's another example of the same thing, Woodhouse Mill at Todmorden had a brick extension in 1977 when my mate Robert bought it, he removed it and capped the stack as it was redundant.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

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Stanley wrote: 22 Jan 2020, 06:42 Image

When we bought Hey Farm the front room had a boring tiled modern fireplace in it. Eventually when we got to the point where we could afford to use the big room I knocked the chimney breast out and uncovered the original 17th century fireplace. Big does and little does we arrived at this. I got Jimmy Thompson at West Marton to make me a fire basket and a smoke hood, as you can see he did a good job. The flue was very big and at first we had big problems with smoke coming back into the room. We took a lot of advice and one crucial dimension was the distance from the actual fire bed and the edge and design of the hood. As it turned out we got that right, I proved by experimenting with different heights of the basket that this wasn't the source of the problem. The pot at the top of the flue was a standard one and I found one with a larger throat and put it on.
I remember it looking like that when Bert Lewis had Hey Farm.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley »

Image

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I had a big chain saw I had done up after it was scrapped and the Land Rover so I got free wood by clearing up windfalls for local farmers. I found that having a good log pile for the winter was an excellent way to keep Vera happy! Guess who had the job of splitting them! The wood warmed you three times, collecting, splitting and burning! Happy Days.....
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Cathy »

Good pics Stanley.
Where you caught asleep on the job? 😴 Haha.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley »

Hamming it up Cathy, some big lumps of wood there!
We used to burn coal as well in the Rayburn cooker in the kitchen.

Image

{would you believe I haven't got a pic of the cooker at Hey Farm!? This is a stock image but is near enough the same. We had a Rayburn because it was re-designed by my dad and Dr Greig at GGA in the 1950s.)

One day my mate Ted told me a story about when he and Joyce worked at the dairy and lived in the old Kennels at Gledstone. He used to walk home across the fields at night from the dairy and one night, in the dark, tripped over something. Next day in daylight he looked for it and found it was a pile of coke that had been discarded after being used as a filter medium in the hall's private sewage plant. Ever after that he took a bucket full home to the kennels each night and they had free fuel. I mentioned this one day to the driver of the Settle Coal Company who delivered our coal in bulk and he said that they had filter bed coke but there wasn't a good sale for it as people were put off by the origin so it was cheap. Guess what we burned after that!
Using coke for a filter is still done today so if you have a coal merchant it's worth asking the question, you might get lucky even now!
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley »

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The kissing gate at the bottom of Letcliffe Park leading into the back road parallel with Manchester Road.
I've always liked 'kissing' or 'clashing' gates, there are many examples of them in the town, some with gates and some with staggered stones. They all had one purpose, to prevent the passage of stray animals into whatever the gate was protecting. Today none of them serves this purpose, there are no stray animals! That in itself tells us something about the changes in the area.

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We all know the council yard in Butts, this used to be the mortuary originally but before that the land it occupies was the village 'pound'. This was where stray animals were penned until claimed by their owners. We are told it was the site of the village stocks as well but I have never seen definitive evidence.
I like things like this because they invite us to use our imagination and think what Barlick looked like when it was a collection of individual settlements with green fields in between, this applied until surprisingly recent times. (100 years ago is recent in my head!) . For instance, Billy Brooks tells us that in 1890 the space between Newtown and the railway station was all open fields. Wellhouse square was built in about 1860 and it was thought necessary then to protect the gardens with a clashing gate.

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This example on Shitten Ginnel is slightly different because there is no apparent reason for it to be there. This is where I believe the original Saxon church was and I would like to believe that it protected the footpath to the church. I have no evidence for this apart from the location but can you think of a better explanation?
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

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Many a time, in the absence of evidence, you have to apply reverse thinking to some of the puzzles you come across when you are looking carefully at what's on the ground. In my long search for watermills I soon learned that if you stopped looking for evidence of the mills and instead looked for water power sites and then asked the question whether there was ever a mill there the hit rate went up.
A long time ago I looked at 'Shitten Ginnel', the footpath between the bottom of Esp Lane and Calf Hall Lane and asked myself what the reason for this old track, which was well paved and included stepping stones and after a bridge (Pickles Hippings) was. The original reason for all tracks and pathways is that people wanted to get from A to B. But I couldn't see a reason. Big does and little does, over the years, the evidence mounted up that one possibility was that it was the route to the old Saxon Church from one of the oldest centres of settlement in Barlick.

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My reason for assuming the age is the way the house sites are laid out in such a confused way, almost certainly pre-medieval. All the evidence that has appeared since, including LIDAR supports this conjecture but we still can't be 100% sure.

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Longfield Lane was a similar example. People told me it was there as a route to get the Bancroft Shed but it was obviously far older than that. The field name 'Causeway Carr' behind the Bancroft site gave the first clue and then the evidence poured in to prove that it was a Bronze Age track. LIDAR even explained why the route along Blue Pot Lane (Park Avenue) had a right angled bend in it at the east end, it was following the site boundary of what we now believe was a Roman fort or way-station. (Incidentally that gave a clue to another puzzle, the naming of Castle View)

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The bottom line is that the route to discovery is not always obvious. Sometimes we have to start with a premise and attempt to prove it instead of starting with the evidence on the ground. That way you can sometimes find forgotten corners.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley »

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Springs dam on Calf Hall Beck in 1892.

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Springs Dam in 2003.

I've never been able to find a date for the building of the dam at Springs. The need would arise in the early days of the water-powered textile industry in Barlick, around 1790. It was a way of smoothing out flows on the beck, in dry weather water could be let down from the reserve in the dam to keep up the flow to the mills downstream using the clow gate on the dam. This implies some sort of cooperative venture and control as there would otherwise be no imperative from the farm itself.
With the rise of the steam-driven industry the dam retained its importance particularly for the new Butts Mill and the Corn mill. In 1850 these were both controlled by Billycock Bracewell and not surprisingly he paid particular attention to Springs, its maintenance and water sources. It was Bracewell who diverted the overflow from the Dark Hill well higher up the slope above the dam and we have evidence that he did this against objections to users of that resource as it fed the beck that ran down more towards the North of the town. There was also a dispute about damage to a horse that fell into the excavations while this drain was being put in.

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Dark Hill Well in 2003.

Butts Mill and later Calf Hall Mill relied heavily on the Calf Hall Beck for cooling water for the condensers that improved the efficiency of their engines by about 10% and later, when the Calf Hall Shed Company ran both mills they also maintained the dam, cleaning it regularly and in the process generating complaints from farmers who used the water lower down when it was rendered useless by mud washing down.
The dam was always the property of the farm and rent was paid for it. A large fishing club in Bradford also paid for use of the dam, they rented the fishing rights and maintained stocks of fish. During cleaning operations they also fell out with the CHSC!
Water rights are not as important today, the demise of the steam engines took away the reason for the dam and today it is only a picturesque asset to Springs House. It's easy to forget its long history and how important it was. For all I know it might still be private fishing. If so that's the longest surviving use of it.
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