FORGOTTEN CORNERS

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Stanley
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley »

I hope it's as good as it's made out to be. I've seen so many of these initiatives fail, I hope this one doesn't go the same way. Sorry, I can't get enthusiastic just yet.

Today's forgotten corner is triggered by Mystery Objects. As far as I know the hard waste condenser spinning industry in the UK is dead, The yarns they produced are technically different than those in normal spinning, one characteristic being that they were very soft and excellent for raising to make cloths like Winceyette and soft dusters. If you have a look at the LTP and look at spinning at Spring Vale, that's condenser spinning and you can see the whole process which as more allied to wool spinning than cotton.

Image

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Machines like the 'Jumbo' hard waste breaker above and the 'Devils' above that were fearsome. The Jumbo could break up heavy cotton rope and the devils regularly caught fire they were working at such speed. Well worth looking at and as far as I know, all gone now.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

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Our forgotten corner today is wool. Barlick is always thought of as a cotton town but wool played its part. In the early hand loom domestic industry the staple was almost entirely wool but that changed at the end of the 18th century when cotton imports through Liverpool began to increase and cotton was in demand. Until then woollen cloth was woven at home and marketed via the Cloth Hall at Colne.
The modern steam industry was almost completely cotton apart from one exception in the post WW2 years when Calf Hall Shed was taken over by Blyn and Blyn and spun and wove wool. We forget that they had mules spinning there, the only time that ever happened in Barlick.

Image

Calf Hall shed in 1978. I believe Blyn and Blyn were in there at that time.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

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I was reminded yesterday of another firm that worked with wool in Barlick. Here's a bit from Vol. 1 of me memoirs.
"Harold Green from Fence who always got called ‘The Colonel’ because he looked like Nasser gave us odd jobs when he was busy and short of a wagon. I once carted ten tons of raw angora fleece into Westfield Mill in Barnoldswick from Bradford for him. It was worth 3/6 a pound in the raw state which came to just under £4,000 for the load, probably the most valuable load I ever carried. What amazed his men was that Harold lent me his best wagon sheet for that job, something they couldn’t remember happening before."
I never knew the name of the firm who did the wool scouring at Westfield.

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Westfield Mill shortly before demolition.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by PanBiker »

Was that not Lontex in later years, Blin & Blins? Might be totally wrong.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

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You're right Ian. Lontex. I should have remembered that because my mate Ted Waite used to work there.
There was one other example of a mill that used fibres other than cotton and that was at Clough Mill during the Cotton Famine of 1861 - 1865. That was caused by a combination of factors but the most important was the American Civil War which cut exports and prices of raw cotton soared. Clough Mill had been bought by Slater and he experimented with other staples. At the time he had an interest in a silk mill at Galgate and that might have been why silk was one of his alternatives. Contemporary reports also mentioned the use of flax to spin linen thread as well. This was a common reaction to the Famine. Greggs at Styal worked with flax to weave linen cloth at Quarry Bank Mill.

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Galgate Mill today.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

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Mention of linen has reminded me of something that Jim Pollard once told me about our revered owner Mr Boardman of Stockport. He said that the main reason Boardman needed a Lancashire weaving shed was so that he could get away with putting 'Woven in Lancashire' labels in textile goods he had imported. I have no direct evidence that this was true but Jim certainly believed it. He also told me that I'd be surprised how much cloth from Bancroft made a trip to Ireland and came back home labelled 'Irish Linen'.
I remember having a conversation with our MP at the time, Doug Hoyle who was MP for Nelson and Colne from 1974 to 1979, and asking him about Boardman and he said that he had been told the same stories from different sources.
Being a suspicious old bugger I can't help wondering whether these practices have any place in the modern industry. We may see them as forgotten corners but there are still bent individuals out there who will be aware of anything that can give sales an edge.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

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Image

I found this Craven Herald image of Barlick dustmen in 1970. Waste disposal has completely changed since those days. The galvanised dustbin was universal as was the low bed truck with curved sliding shutters that was used for collections. Those were the days when we used any convenient hole or low lying piece of land for disposal in landfill. Gill Quarry and Rainhall Rock were used and what many forget is that Victory Park is largely built on top of old rubbish tips. If you walk down the side of the beck towards Greenberfield you can see the layers of rubbish where the water has cut into the banks. I don't know where the waste goes today. Wherever it is it isn't widely advertised!

Image

Rainhall Rock before it was completely filled with waste to the level of the bridge. The bridge is still there beneath the surface.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by PanBiker »

Your photo of the bin men in Barlick was a feature in the Craven Herald at the time as it shows Councillor Roddy MacSween in the middle who was having a go at the job with the regular lads to appreciate what the job entailed.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

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That's it Ian, that's where I found it.

Image

This is a forgotten corner now, Bancroft as a fully functioning steam driven weaving shed. Held to be old-fashioned by many it was still running at a profit and giving employment to scores of local people. I can personally attest that it was a very happy place to work in and I have many happy memories of my time there. I often asked the workers about this and they all said that compared with other places they had worked at Bancroft was 'a holiday camp'. Nobody queried them leaving their looms during working hours say for a doctor's appointment or a bit of urgent shopping! A far cry from the inter-war years when tramp weavers stood in the warehouse each morning ready to take over the looms of anyone who was late. Every era has its own forgotten corners and at the end of the 1970s that was a current one. I know we can't go back but it was a very happy time.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

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Another aspect of the pic above is the sheep in Young Sid Demain's croft and the Friesian cattle in the field behind the mill. Young Sid is dead, I don't think there are sheep there and the number of milk cattle has definitely fallen. Change and decay and almost everything you look at is a forgotten corner.
In terms of farming, the decline in the dairy industry round Barlick is the biggest change we have seen.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

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Have a look at THIS Telegraph article about old style road works.

Image

This was in 1936, the same year I was born. Think how different this scene would look today and then ponder on the number of jobs that have been lost in the process of modernisation. All right, we don't want to go back to the days when no protective clothing was issued, these blokes are wearing what they would wear to go to the pub in the evening. Cloth caps instead of hard hats and I can tell from the pic but no doubt clogs and hob nailed boots. No machinery, all britches arse steam and in the background that staple of all road works, the night watchman's cabin no doubt with a coke brazier and a water boiler.
What happened if it rained? In those days if it got bad enough the men were 'rained off' and retreated to shelter, If so, where? Things were so different then. Definitely a forgotten corner.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

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The image shows work at the junction of Gunsmith Lane and Yorkshire street. On the extreme left is the Yorkshire Hotel which I'm told was closed in 1948. yet for some reason I can remember the bar area being a really upmarket design of mahogany and coloured glass. I'm sure this date is wrong in my courting days we made the odd visit but at that time it was going downhill clientele wise, Only the best for us, standards must be maintained. :biggrin2:
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

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As soon as I saw Stanley's photo I thought it was Burnley.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

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The thing that caught my eye was the fact that I can remember road works like that, particularly at the end of WW2 when Italian POWs were used by Stockport Corporation. They always seemed to be laughing and were very kind to us kids, I think they were missing their own.
Later in the 1950s there used to be a firm called UK Construction who specialised in things like trenching for services. They seemed to be all Irish men and were tigers with picks and shovels. The only machine they used was a pneumatic drill to break the tarmac, everything else was handball.
This was before the days of battery powered flashing lights, paraffin lamps were the rule.

Image

or if it was foggy....

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The Wells Number 18 oil flare. They had cotton rope in the spout for a wick and burned with a large orange flickering light that could be seen more easily in fog.

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Remember Fred Dibnah's living van? A cabin on wheels like this used to be an essential part of the equipment for a road gang. There was no such thing as cheap waterproofs or protective clothing in those days and if it rained hard enough the gang were deemed to be 'rained off' and took shelter in the van. The coke brazier that served the watchman at night always had a large cast iron boiler on it with a tap so you could make a hot brew.
All forgotten corners!
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

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Stanley wrote: 24 Jan 2021, 04:45 Remember Fred Dibnah's living van?
The series where he travels around Britain with it is currently being shown on BBC4.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

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Image

The Packhorse bridge at Woodend on County Brook.

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We forget today how important transport by pack horse was wherever there were no good roads. Salterforth (Salter's Ford) is on the route of a packhorse trail used for salt.

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Ian posted this pic of Windy Harbour, the group of cottages that used to stand on the side of Barlick Lane at Bancrofts. I came across that name 'Windy Harbour' in other places as well and it wasn't until I was reading up on packhorse transport and droving that I found that the name was used for an overnight rest for drovers or packhorse trains.

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Windy Harbour and Bancrofts in about 1963.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

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In case you were wondering, the 'crop marks' in front of Bancrofts Farm are nothing of the sort, they are a thumb print on the negative......

Image

Here's the 1892 OS 25" of Windy Harbour and Gillians. I love these old maps. Such a lot of detail if you take a bit of time to interrogate them. Notice the small paddocks behind Windy Harbour marked 231 on the map, just what you'd need for packhorses or animals being moved by droving. Bancroft hadn't been built then and so you have the original course of Gillian's Beck under the road and past what used to be a tannery.
Notice also the small watercourse flowing North out of Bancrofts land and down the side of the building before joining Gillian's Beck. If you go to Bancrofts you can see where there was a small lodge behind the farm and this was the source of the water power at Gillians, not the beck as the rights to that water belonged to Mitchell's Mill, later Clough. The mill at Gillians was the building on the right of the water before it crossed the road and joined the beck. The three storey building that looks as though it should have been the mill was a spinning shop populated by workers using spinning wheels.

Image

The site of the dam behind Bancrofts farm, a bad pic but you can see the shape of the earthworks.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

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Image

In 1980 Wild's garage was demolished and the land used for housing. This was the end of Wild Brothers haulage. They ran coaches as well, anyone remember 'Travel with Wild's for miles of smiles'?

Image

When Jack Platt drove for Wild Brothers this Maudslay wagon was his for a long time. Luckily it was preserved and is still on the road.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

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I did a few trips for Harry Wild when I worked as an agency driver. He was great to work for. They had a driver called Poison Dwarf at that time, I never knew his real name!
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

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Can't think who that might have been China.

Image

Milestone on Cross Lane at Salterforth. (I have an idea Nick Livesey rescued it and replaced it)
Milestones were essential in the days of foot traffic. Once you were in a horse drawn vehicle they were harder to see and when cars came in they were totally redundant.

Image

The later cast iron milestones erected by the Turnpike Trusts were more formal but became redundant also. Sign posts or 'finger' posts lasted slightly longer but many were removed in WW2 and never replaced. Today we have a black box on the dashboard of the car that tells us where we are and which way to go. On the whole I preferred the old ways, signs that pointed and maps that informed. A forgotten corner.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

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Boundary stone to Big Kev country.
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A Way stone which was in the Earby Mine Museum, I don't know where it is now?
Note the name Colne is in reverse direction.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Big Kev »

There's one on Skipton New Road near where the upper res waterway goes under the road to the lower res.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by PanBiker »

There are still a few of the original 1930's finger posts around. One at the junction of Beverley Road with Gisburn Road at Blacko.

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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley »

That's a nice image Ian, and a meadow felled for harvesting!

Image

It reminded me of Abel Taylor mowing with Dick at Greenbank Farm in 1956. God, that's 64 years ago..... No wonder it's a forgotten corner.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by chinatyke »

Stanley wrote: 28 Jan 2021, 04:10 Can't think who that might have been China.
Thinking about Harry Wild's driver: he may have been called Norman but I'm not sure!

I've just remembered something, it wasn't Wild's transport, it was Hown Transport and I've a feeling it was Harry Smith. Too long ago!
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