FORGOTTEN CORNERS

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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 31 Jan 2018, 06:24

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The Pack horse bridge at Woodend on County Brook. The substantial nature of the bridge shows how important it was, note the low parapets that wouldn't interfere with the packs on the horses backs. The packhorse transport system was far larger then is immediately apparent and there are many such bridges in the area. The new bridge at Pickles hipping is on a packhorse route and that could be why there were two bridges there by-passing the stepping stones (Origin of Hippings). Salterforth is a corruption of Salter's Ford and signals one of the main products carried by the trade. Windy Harbour could have served the packhorse trains as well as drovers. They both needed overnight stops.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 01 Feb 2018, 04:53

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Half hidden by the tree on the extreme right, Eastwood bridge over the canal from Avon Drive. It was put in by the L&L when the canal cut off Eastwood Farm from its land in the bottoms.

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By 2004 it had been taken out by the canal company as there was no longer any connection between the old farm and the land and it was disused.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 02 Feb 2018, 05:22

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You have to be a local history nerd to know what this is! It's in Bob Preston's, the meadow across the canal from Lower Park Marina. When the canal was built it cut off the drainage route for water coming down the hill and the canal company put in two oak lined culverts under the canal that connected into the Bowker Drain on the other side. (I have a plan of the Bowker Drain that shows the two culverts.) This drain took all the water from that side of the canal, eventually dropping it into Butts Beck in Victory Park. This scar in the meadow is where the water from the meadow dives under the canal thus stopping the bottom of the meadow being a swamp or perhaps a small lake! Definitely a forgotten corner.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 03 Feb 2018, 04:53

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This map given to me by Joe Moran shows the culvert under the canal at LPM.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 04 Feb 2018, 06:39

I haven't got a picture of it but when I walked the course of the Bowker Drain I found an access manhole between the two sets of mill buildings at Long Ing. The next time it surfaced was in Eastwood bottoms.

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This was how it looked in 1982. For many years this was the main source of water for the condenser cooling at Wellhouse Mill. I haven't gone looking for it recently but suspect it has been buried during earthworks in Eastwood Bottoms. The last time it is visible is where it exits into the Stock Beck just below the Footbridge at the end of Crow Nest Road.

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I know I bang on about the Bowker Drain but it has been so important as a source of water and has been manipulated over the years for personal gain.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 05 Feb 2018, 05:15

Harold Duxbury told me that the origin of the Bowker drain was a gravel bed in the field next to what is now Salterforth New Road bridge next to the canal. He said that the flow lessened when the New Road was built as it disturbed the flow of ground water down the hill and into the bottom land. He also said that he was convinced in his own mind that the Drain had benefited from leakage from the canal. Over the years as the canal was improved this leakage diminished. Walt Fisher's father who ran Moss Shed for years assured him that the flow in the Bowker Drain wasn't what it had been, this was in the 1940s. Despite this there was sufficient water to run Wellhouse and as late as the 1960s Rolls Royce were extracting water from the Drain to supply non potable water services in Bankfield.
Today it is a forgotten resource but it has a noble and very useful history. A Forgotten Corner!
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 06 Feb 2018, 06:27

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This is an obvious forgotten corner, the railway junction in Barlick in 1892. What is certainly forgotten is that there was a serious proposal to extend the line to Gisburn to connect the two systems. This failed and when Beeching struck we lost the line and the possibility of improvement. Even if Selrap proceeds and is successful eventually with the opening of the Colne-Skipton line we shall never get our connection again. Beeching was driven entirely by simple profit and loss, no account was taken of future developments. Now of course it is obvious that there is a growing need for good rail connections to relieve pressure on the roads and reduce environmental damage but unfortunately it's all too late. We lost out big time and it's as well to remember this.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Nolic » 06 Feb 2018, 07:26

I liked how the idiot Stephenson told Chris Grayling last week that the Colne/ Skipton rail bed was in good order and all the bridges had been maintained.........that might just come back to haunt him. Nolic
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by plaques » 06 Feb 2018, 08:29

To clarify. The Colne - Skipton line was not closed by Beeching but was closed by Barbara Castle when it failed to get an improvement subsidy in 1968 and was closed in 1970.

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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by PanBiker » 06 Feb 2018, 09:36

Surely only a matter of tenure Plaques. Beeching laid the ground works and axed the Colne to Skipton effectively chopping the head off the Barlick Branch it was doomed to close once that was part of the cull. No improvement grant for a line with nowhere to go
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 07 Feb 2018, 06:33

Comrade, he is prone to putting up hostages to fortune. His main political strategy is to identify what he thinks are the winners and latch onto the band wagon. Useless!

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I think I'm right in saying that the bridge at Foulridge over the canal is long gone......
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Nolic » 07 Feb 2018, 07:25

Went about 20 years ago. Nolic
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 07 Feb 2018, 08:02

I thought so. Thanks for that Comrade.....
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by PanBiker » 07 Feb 2018, 09:58

Also the one over Heslaker Lane and the river Aire on the way to Carleton and Elslack of course.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 08 Feb 2018, 03:58

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When they removed the Barlick line they left the right hand abutment of the canal bridge in place but on the Barlick side took the whole line out including the embankment. I've never been able to get conclusive proof but I think cast iron girders from the line were used to construct the footbridges over Butts Beck in Valley Gardens. They are more than adequate!

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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 09 Feb 2018, 05:30

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The Barlick loco replenishing its water at Barlick station in the final days of the line. Two comments on this pic.
The first is that when the Calf Hall Shed Company bought Bracewell's Wellhouse Mill they were surprised to find that even though the mill was idle, one Cornish Boiler was in steam to drive a pump that supplied the station with water for the engines. This was a hangover from the Bracewell hegemony when he was a director of the local railway company and as there was no mains water supply he kept the line going. Even though the Midland Railway had bought the branch line by then, this arrangement had been left in place. Months of argument followed between the shed company and the railway because if Wellhouse stopped pumping, the branch line was crippled. It was eventually solved by putting the supply on the new water mains in the town.
The other matter is the signal protecting the level crossing into the goods yard beyond the road, what is now The Green. Long before this pic was taken it had become obsolete but for some reason had never been upgraded. It was a very simple design, a horizontal arm that could be rotated 90 degrees. The problem with them was that when they were in the open position they were almost invisible as the arm was end on to the line. The more modern 'drop down' signals didn't suffer from this fault.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Marilyn » 09 Feb 2018, 10:10

You really should do a walk around video of these sites and history.

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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 10 Feb 2018, 03:43

It's demanding enough doing it on the site Maz. Up to the young ones to do the leg work!

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Mechanisation of luggage handling in the old days......
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 11 Feb 2018, 06:33

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The entrance to the Coal Yard from Station Road in 1892. A lot of mill coal came in via the canal wharf at Coates but some, and all the house coal, came in via the railway. Notice the sign for Pete Bilbrough one of the coal merchants who operated from the yard. He used to be Billycock Bracewell's engineer but when the empire collapsed he went into the coal business and did well. He also supplied mills, see the Calf Hall Shed Company papers. The coal came in loose in open wagons direct from the pithead, some of the wagons were owned by the merchants and the mills as this gave lower freight rates. The coal was shovelled out of the wagons by hand either into two wheeled tipping carts holding two tons for the mills or directly into the hopper of a weighing machine holding one hundredweight (112lbs or about 50kg) from which it was tipped into large Hessian sacks for delivery to households...
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 12 Feb 2018, 04:38

One of the most common sights then and in my youth as well was four wheeled horse drawn lorries loaded with bags of coal. The heavy Hessian bags had a metal tag on them certifying they were 1cwt. The coalman carried them on his back to where they were needed, usually a coal cellar, perhaps a cast in door in the wall in the back street into the coal house in the yard or, in towns, a circular cast iron manhole in the pavement outside the front door leading straight into the coalhole in the cellar.
As he tipped the bags he would lay the empties on the floor as evidence of how many bags were delivered.
The bags destroyed the back of any clothing and so almost all the carters had a 'back leather' which was a very heavy leather covering like the back of a waistcoat, reinforced with leather horizontal strips and copper rivets. This also kept water off the back when the bags were wet.
Coalmen hated any house where there was a 'long carry' to where the coal was needed. The horses knew where to stop for each delivery and when I was doing the LTP I was told of one horse that always stopped at the Railway pub as it passed because the carter was in the habit of popping in for a 'slape pint'.

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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 13 Feb 2018, 05:22

We vary seldom think about the 'soundscape', the background noise that we live with every day. A century ago it was very different, it was the sound of horses hooves, often muffled because they were on comparatively soft water bound macadam surfaces. When my dad first came to this country and was lodging in Droylsden he started later than the weavers in the mills and for a few days he thought they all went to work on horseback, what he was hearing was the clatter of clog irons on the stone pavements. During the day it was the muted roar of the weaving sheds and at starting time the sound of the mill steam whistles that reminded workers of the time before everyone had a quartz watch on their wrist accurate to nano-seconds. Because of the primitive state of boiler feed water treatment, almost all boilers were emptied at weekends and washed out. This involved blowing off the steam on Saturdays at dinnertime when the mills stopped weaving. All these sounds have vanished to be replaced by traffic noise and aircraft overhead.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by PanBiker » 13 Feb 2018, 11:11

In my corner of Barlick when a little lad in the fifties, same neck of the woods as Stanley is now. My daily sounds were the clatter of Wellhouse mill, noticeable when stopped. Barlick spud steam train. Fire station siren testing and practice every Saturday morning, we used to run up to the station when they had a shout to watch one of the local fire lads who came on a motorbike, he used to drop it jump off while it was still running for his dash into the station, no pagers then! The roar from the test beds at Rolls Royce when they were running the jet engines up. From our house you could see the heat haze from behind Bankfield.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 14 Feb 2018, 04:15

They had test beds at Gill as well and I can remember seeing all the snow melted of the field at the back up to the canal. I can remember being told the story about them throwing chicken carcasses into the intakes to test for bird strike and someone slipped up one day and threw a frozen chicken in which destroyed the engine. However, when I was reading 'Wide Body' Irving said that this was normal practice on the bigger fan jets like the RB211 to test for ice ingestion.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Nolic » 14 Feb 2018, 06:41

As a nipper living on Garden Street I always remember the testing of the air raid sirens on a Saturday morning at 10.30. This went on until the late '50's. Nolic
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 14 Feb 2018, 07:03

I'd forgotten that, it was in the days of Civil Defence wasn't it.
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