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Location: Barnoldswick. Nearer to Heaven than Gloria.


Post by Stanley » 09 Mar 2018, 08:20


Mrs Hanson was landlady of the Moorcock until she retired. She raised her three sons there and one of the things she told me was that it was they who dug out the car park at the Gisburn end of the pub by hand. I once did a similar but smaller job at Hey Farm to widen the entrance and I can assure you that digging that car park was on a par with pyramid building! She said they barrowed all the spoil across the road and tipped it there. Hard men.
It was a busy pub, they brewed their own beer in the early days and had a lot of trade at weekends and holidays from horse drawn landau and charabanc trips originating in Colne and Nelson. They did all their own baking and sold teas as well. This was corroborated later by Sally Carter who lived over the hill at Peel House on the old Gisburn Track. She said they often ran out of beer on a holiday weekend. She also told me that Mrs Hanson was a hard woman but fair and I can believe it. We have to leave the Moorcock now, all this was sixty years ago and I am so glad I had the chance to know the people and experience what was still their life. As with haymaking, you can trust my account of medieval medicine.
I've mentioned Sally Carter. She was the daughter of Jim 'Boss' Smith, a well known Barlick character in his day. He was still alive then in the 1950s and lived with Sally at Peel House together with Tommy Carter, her husband and their three children. I delivered their groceries as well and always marvelled at the way they eked out a living from such a small holding which I believe was originally a squatter's house. Tommy used to supplement the family income with itinerant work and shepherding and was 'an interesting character'. I remember him getting into trouble once. He used to take a small hay crop each year and as they had no barn it was stacked outside. The weather can be cruel on that hillside and he protected the stack with a large tarpaulin securely fastened against the wind. Nowt wrong with that you might think but it triggered a visit from the police one day. The stack was clearly visible for miles and the tarpaulin had LMS emblazoned on it in large letters! I have an idea someone wanted it back.
Tommy was steeped in country knowledge, he showed me Curlew's nests in the rough grass and hares running along the tops of walls. His dog was his constant companion. I know I am being nostalgic and I recognise how hard life was then but I am so glad I saw hand milking in a byre lit by an oil lamp and helped to spread manure by hand on the meadows. That and the people gave me an insight into medieval agriculture, so many things hadn't changed.


Tommy Carter and his dog in 1957.
Stanley Challenger Graham
Stanley's View
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"Beware of certitude" (Jimmy Reid)
The floggings will continue until morale improves!

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