FORGOTTEN CORNERS

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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 04 May 2019, 03:55

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I recently found new facts about the modern fire station. The older red brick building was originally a transformer house for the new electricity supply in the 1920s and a man called Gledhill had a garage on the site. This reminded me that I was once told that the old Barlick fire engine....

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used to be kept in a shed at the end of Ribblesdale Terrace on Gisburn Road and that's the reason why there is still spare ground there. I was also told that the Council used the same horses for the fire engine, the waste collection and the night soil cart. I don't know if it is true but it was said that if they heard a bell while on normal duties they got restive and were liable to set off at a gallop!
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 05 May 2019, 03:59

One of the major forgotten corners of Barlick is the way we transitioned from a single industry textile town to where we are today. In 1920 there were 14 mills and over 25,000 looms in the town by the late 1930s mill closures had started and the outlook was bleak. The situation was saved by Rover and then Rolls moving into the town to escape bombing using the redundant mills as 'shadow factories'. This was our 'Great Escape'. The key factor I have always tried to make more widely known is that this was pure accident and not specific government aid to ailing industry, it was an accident of industrial strategy caused by bombardment of the traditional midland manufacturing centres.
For this reason I have always advocated (tongue in cheek of course) that we should have a statue of Adolph Hitler in the town, indirectly he was our saviour. I suggested the alternative of a loom on a plinth long before Nelson had their shuttle and offered to find a free loom for the purpose. It never came to anything.
How many of today's youngsters know anything about this? I try to fill the gaps with my weekly articles in the BET (and of course in this topic) but wonder how much filters down to the children. We don't teach local history in schools, pity because like politics, all history is local!
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 06 May 2019, 04:09

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Wellhouse Mill in 1978. This part of the mill was Brown and Pickles engineering shop which used to be the main place to go to for heavy engineering, particularly the maintenance of large steam engines. The firm closed and the shop was demolished in 1981.

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Gissing and Lonsdale took over the remnants of the firm, appropriate because they started originally with engineers who had served their time at B&P. Some of the original machinery was transferred to Havre Park but the older elements were either sold or scrapped.
When the Wellhouse shop was demolished in 1981 it was the end of a very long association of the site with engineering maintenance as in the original mill built in 1853, William Bracewell established a maintenance facility there under his chief engineer a man called Shepherd. Prior to this the only source of help when needed was the engine manufacturers.
I've written elsewhere on the history of B&P and engineering in the town. I suppose the loss of the Wellhouse facility was inevitable but we lost a valuable breeding ground for engineers when it happened.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 07 May 2019, 03:27

In the Wellhouse picture above this was the entrance to the mill in the days when it was weaving. The stone sett paved passageway through the main entrance was still known as 'The Thoroughfare' even in Brown and Pickles time. At starting time the iron gates were closed to the thoroughfare and any late weavers had to enter by the small door known then as 'The penny Hoil' the passage passed the timekeeper's office and late comers were fined. This small office was still used as an office in B&P days.

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Gwen Fisher (Walt's wife) and Sylvia Jefferson in the office at B&P in 1981 just before they closed.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 08 May 2019, 04:02

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The shop on the extreme left in Church Street was at one time Woodworth's. He was a clock and watch maker. There was one in Earby as well on Victoria Road. Both made watches and today with the advent of time signals on phones and just about every household item the age of the local clock and watchmaker has gone, they have joined the tinsmiths and proper ironmongers and many other trades that were essential 50 years ago.
It strikes me that to many, this is ancient history but to me it is recent and regretted!
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 09 May 2019, 04:11

Start today's forgotten corner by looking at THIS entry in Bookfinder. I have a First Edition published by Macmillan in new condition that cost me £40. You'll note that these prices go up to £168. Why so rare and expensive? It's the only book that I know that covers the subject and Platt was a specialist.
I got it out yesterday on a whim and started to re-read it. Something popped out at me that hadn't attracted my attention before, a consequence of the way my thinking has advanced since I first read it.
As you know the advent of the Cistercians in Barlick has always been one of my targets enhanced by the fact we have evidence from Kirkstall Abbey history that they demolished the Saxon church in Barlick during their short stay. We also know from the same source that when they left they established a grange in Barlick, we think at Calf Hall. A grange is a holding detached from the main abbey, controlled by the abbey cellarer, staffed usually by Lay Brothers and local labour and could be let out to a tenant farmer. Its function was to supply the abbey with food or an income. In some cases there were resident monks and in others they were used as lodgings for visiting clergy or as a sort of vacation destination for monks from the abbey who deserved a rest or respite.
The thing that jumped out at me was Platt's assertion (and evidence) that in 1152 the Mother Abbey at Citeaux issued a rule that no grange should be more than a day's journey from the abbey it served.
1152 is a significant date. This the year the Barlick monks decamped to Kirkstall. It is also the date that Bracewell Church was given to Kirkstall Abbey by the Tempests. It's reasonable to suppose that the grange in Barlick came into existence in the same year to continue the monk's hold on the Manor.
Barlick is obviously more than a day's journey from Leeds but they must have had a dispensation to ignore the new rule from Citeaux. The reason for this rule was that the mother abbey was not to be allowed to become a rival foundation and was usually not allowed to have a chapel. If it had an oratory it wasn't allowed to dispense the Host at Mass. Therefore the monks (if any) had to travel to Leeds once a week. This obviously couldn't happen but the nearest church was at Bracewell.
Then we have the building of Gill church eight years later in 1160.
That's as far as I have got at the moment but I have a feeling in my water that there is a connection buried in here and I need to ferret it out if possible.
This quite definitely a forgotten corner!

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Kirkstall Abbey at Leeds
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 10 May 2019, 04:11

I read more Platt on Granges yesterday and had to sit for half an hour thinking about it. The result is a long list of questions that will be the basis for articles in the BET. It has raised a lot of new thinking in my mind about ecclesiastical matters in Barlick. Apart from anything else I wonder how many people know what a grange is and that Barlick had one for hundreds of years.
All this has made me go back to Ingthorpe Grange which was owned by Bolton Priory.

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On a more contemporary matter. The redundant Yorkshire Bank appears to be a forgotten corner and it is a disgrace. This is blighting Church Street and is not helped by the brutalist design of the building, completely out of character. I would like to see it demolished and turned into a garden!
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Whyperion » 10 May 2019, 08:37

Worth digging to see who has the freehold ? (might be interesting)

What is the connection with Bolton (Abbey?) Priory? - its closer than other ones ?

When we were in Churches Together in Kirkstall we used (and pulled in some other churches from Leeds) Kirkstall Abbey for some anniversary celebrations of the building, and the location had become a location for Kirkstall Festival which was an interesting annual event. I think the mill at Kirkstall was run by Monks at the Abbey - eventually becoming home to Kirkstall Forge - famous for heavy truck and bus drop and and beam axles.

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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 11 May 2019, 03:20

The sign on the bank offers the lease only for sale.... That suggests that the bank is still paying for the lease even though it is closed.
Monastic ownership of assets was nothing to do with distance, they took gifts from anyone. Bolton Priory owned Ingthorpe Grange at Marton and regularly bought timber and associated services in Barlick right up to Dissolution.
The thing to remember about the monasteries is that as far as management was concerned they operated like modern corporations, they were entrepreneurs as well as land owners.
Yesterday's reading revealed a lot about management practices at granges in general and Barlick in particular. I have enough material now to write a series of articles about the grange in Barlick, something I suspect that has never been covered before. I wonder how many Barlickers even know that it existed? Another thing about the Cistercians was confirmed by Platt. They were generally recognised as the worst neighbours you could have. Apart from de-population of their lands they were very hard negotiators and far better 'managers' than most of the population. Add to that the religious leverage they had and it's no wonder that they prospered!
That raised another matter I have frequently had conversations about. I am asked occasionally if I am being too detailed and complicated about the forgotten corners I write about for the BET and the site. Never underestimate the intelligence and curiosity of your readers, many of them are smarter than you! Pity the government doesn't realise this when they inform us what is happening. They often appear to be acting as though they only cater of the lowest common denominator. A big mistake!
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by plaques » 11 May 2019, 18:29

Drifting slightly away from Barlick just along the canal to Burnley. This is a similar image to be found in a book on the 'The Last Clarion House' The book's image is slightly more cropped removing Trafalgar St on the right. The area is now generally known as The Weavers Triangle.

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The book was kindly given to me by PanBiker (ian) on my last visit. The book doesn't specify where the picture was taken but being from Burnley myself I thought other people may like to know.
PS just a bit before my time. No wonder it stunted my growth.

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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 12 May 2019, 02:27

But you are taller than me! That's probably because I grew up in a time when Stockport looked like that. We had permanent black snot and the industrial fogs were awesome.
I remember showing Newton a picture similar to that of the valley down to Oldham and he said that there was an engine at the bottom of every one of those chimneys. Not a long way from the truth.

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I did this pic from Facit in 1979, not as dramatic as the Burnley one but of course this was 60 years later. Even so you can understand why Blake used the phrase 'Dark Satanic Mills'. Even little Barlick had at least 15 stacks.
Over the years of course I have had intimate relations with a large number of chimneys.... The thing that struck me was how stable they were, counter intuitive when you think of them as just a tall pile of bricks or masonry. What really struck me is that in images of the aftermath of area bombing or nuclear attack, many chimneys survived when you would least expect it.
Watching the demolition of a well built chimney was instructive, especially if, like Peter Tatham, you simply cut into them until they fell, rather like felling a tree. They would not fall until you had cut out more than half the circumference and even then the wind could support them.

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This tall stack at Sunnybank near Helmshore in 1977 had over half cut away and only the wind held it up. Peter and the lads went for a cup of tea in the site hut and I stood watching ready for this pic.

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I stood in the rain for twenty minutes before the wind slackened momentarily and it came down.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 13 May 2019, 05:14

It seems incongruous these days to talk about extensive woods in Barlick but research over the years shows that in the 12th to the 15th centuries Barlick was recognised as the place to go to for big timbers for mills and other large buildings and woodland services like wain building, wheelwrighting and turned wood products. A turner is mentioned in the Bolton Priory Compotus (accounts) in the 14th century as are woodmen felling trees and sawyers. Over the years competition from building and over exploitation have destroyed our woods but the clues are still there in the landscape, think of Wood End on High Lane.

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If you doubt the suitability of our local climate to support large trees, have a look at this A stump at the back of Colin Street. I never got a pic before it was cropped but it was an enormous ash tree, over six feet diameter above the root spread. Even now, if felled it would make a very big log!
Then there is the evidence you can get from comparison of old images with current ones. The most noticeable change is the increase in the number of trees. Barlick is good country for trees!
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Whyperion » 13 May 2019, 11:10

Stanley wrote:
11 May 2019, 03:20
The sign on the bank offers the lease only for sale.... That suggests that the bank is still paying for the lease even though it is closed.
Offer them a quid, they might take it to save rental payments under the lease.

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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 14 May 2019, 03:13

Daft as it sounds, that could be true.....
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 15 May 2019, 04:14

Barlick is a 'walking distance' town. Most of us don't need a car if we are prepared to walk a mile. That gives us access to all the services and the open country on our doorsteps. However, as we all know, more attention is paid today to car parking spaces than ease of walking about.
I remember many years ago reading a book by Ivan Illich in which he looked at the 'conviviality' of our changing environment. One of the points he made was the cost incurred by pedestrians being forced to come second to the car and waiting to cross the road. He argued that the value of the pedestrian's time was equal to that of the motorist and this was never allowed for in any cost/value assessment of the economics of travel. He was right then and this still applies, the pedestrian always has to give way to the car except on Zebra Crossings. Looked at in this way a Zebra controlled crossing is possibly the most democratic place in the town!

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Look at this pic of Rainhall Road in about 1900. It must be during the trading day because the shop on the right has goods set out for sale on the pavement but the big difference is that there is no traffic. People are even waking on the carriage way. Compare this in your minds eye with today. The difference is parked cars and the necessity of taking great care before you step off the pavement to cross the road because of the traffic.
We accept the traffic today as the norm. This is definitely a forgotten corner!
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 16 May 2019, 03:26

It occurred to me that the houses on Rainhall Road across the road junction were built later than 1900 so the pic is about 1910.
The other thing that strikes me often is that the Council must have been responsible for the layout of the new streets that were laid out in the late 19th century and they did a good job. They are all a standard width and by the standards of the time, wide. We reap the benefits today. I wonder if they took advice or were just blessed with foresight? Whatever, they did a good job and adopted a very modern standard.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 17 May 2019, 06:23

One of the forgotten corners in the history of our town is the way that ownership of significant parts of it changed hands over the years. One name that keeps popping up in the research is the Bannisters or as they were known then the Bannesters. At different times they were lords of the Manor (le halle demeyne as it was called) in Barlick and at the time of the Whitemoor dispute, lords at Foulridge. They were also later the owners of Park Hill, the building in Barrowford which is now Pendle Heritage. I daren't start researching them because I suspect it would be a convoluted story that would eat into my time.
However what the history does flag up is the fact that by the 16th century and the dissolution of the monasteries a lot of land came on the market and there were families wealthy enough to take advantage of the opportunities. They are usually referred to as 'Minor Gentry' but locally were very powerful and influential. At the same time we saw the changes brought about by the depopulation caused by the Black Death in the mid 14th century, the change in land management by institutions like Kirkstall Abbey and the willingness of the Crown to sell off assets. This was when we see the rise of the 'Yeoman Farmer', men who had a copyhold lease on their properties and, due to the inception of wage labour and the domestic textile industry, independent peasants who, a generation before would have been serfs tied down by the feudal system.
We think we live in fast changing times today but those changes 700 years ago were just as great.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 18 May 2019, 03:34

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The walls can give us clues sometimes. Here's a part of a wall up on Blacko Hill at the end of the Black Dyke. Unmistakeable re-used demolition stone high up on the moor. I say unmistakeable because it is a cap stone off a wall that had a railing leaded into it, you can still see the hole and the lead. Stone wasn't moved any further than necessary and this wall is near a quarry. Where was the building this stone came from?

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Here's a wall at the end of the lane up to Malkin Tower Farm (Blacko Tower in the background). Again, if you look carefully, re-used demolition stone and the same question. The the most likely answer is that there were stone buildings before the 17th century when the adjacent buildings were built. Bearing in mind that building in stone was only possible by royalty, the monasteries or the high gentry you have to conclude that there is a possibility there was a high status building in the vicinity.

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This wall is easier because that odd shaped stone is a rack stone from a corn mill drying kiln and the wall used to be near the mill at Booth Bridge, Thornton. I say used to be because Wendy tells me it is no longer there.

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This stone at Booth Bridge might survive better as it is part of the building. The stone in the door opening with the diagonal lines on it has been cut out of an old mill stone.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 19 May 2019, 04:05

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Here's a corner we haven't looked at for a while. Craven House at the top of Newtown. The yard on the right was a stable yard and carriage house, I think it is disused now. In the days when Philip Street behind this building was the main west to east route through the town, what is now Newtown was the branch off what was then Back Lane out towards Skipton. When Church Street was developed in 1816 after the sale of the Village Green to pay for the culvert in Walmsgate this extension of Newtown and Back Lane became redundant and was eventually infilled.

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This ginnel down the side of Craven House is all that remains of the original way through.

Go back to the first image and note the grey metal post with the 'No Entry' sign on it on the left of the building. It is a vent for sewer gas. Not many people notice that!
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 20 May 2019, 03:44

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I know of only one other sewer gas vent in the town, here it is where Wellhouse Road bends left at the junction with Valley Road. The right hand metal post on the island is another vent. Largely forgotten they still serve a useful purpose.

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This redundant stack at Carlisle is still used to vent gas from the town sewers.

When I lived at Addingham a new development at High Mill below us on Bark Lane was equipped with a balance tank for sewage with a large electric pump that kicked in on a float switch when necessary and the resulting rush up the main sewer from the site resulted in a burst of noxious gas next to us in the road. It took me months to convince the Council that it was a problem but in the end they agreed and put in a vent that cured the job.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 21 May 2019, 03:25

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This small cast iron cover is only about a foot across so it doesn't qualify as a manhole and is in Hill Street.
Henry Brown became an ironfounder in 1916 when he bought the Ouzledale Foundry business off Watts and engaged a foreman founder called James Cecil Ashby from Leeds (who later founded what is now the foundry it Long Ing) and this was almost certainly cast at Ouzledale. The thing that has always intrigued me is what is it?
Notice it as the letters S. W and D in the centre. I think this refers to the Skipton Water Department who I think installed and ran the first mains water supply in Barlick because at the time when it was put in we were run by the Skipton Rural District Council. If that is the case it is most likely a cover for a valve in the water main. There are a few others about in this part of the town if you keep your eyes open.
What goes on underground is a forgotten corner and it pays to take note of manhole covers, they can offer up clues. The ones that really interest me are the very old ones, many also cast by Henry Brown. Some of them are so worn by traffic passing over them that they are almost smooth. This often means they are part of the original water carriage sewer system installed in the late 19th century. When you think about it every street in the town was dug up at that time and Barlick must have looked like one big excavation! Back streets were no exception, they all have mains sewers laid under them or at the very least connections. I read an account once of complaints about raw sewage forming a pond in the Havre Park area and it was said then that it came from the sewer being laid under our back street. This would have been an obvious route down the hill from Wellhouse Street and I suspect we are host to a main sewer.
Keep your eyes open! You can learn a lot from manhole covers.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Whyperion » 21 May 2019, 08:47

Most valve covers are rectangular, but round is better, if dislodged they wont fall down the hole on the long triangle side. (does the sewer cover shape that is sort of tri-angular with round ears on the corners have a particular name ?)

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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 22 May 2019, 03:44

Couldn't say, if there is I have never heard it.
I was reminded on another thread about the old trade of ironfounder. At one time every small town had a foundry or one close by because iron castings were the favourite starting point for the manufacture of almost everything from domestic implements to the largest steam engines. This was because it was such a durable material and could be cast into intricate shapes lessening the amount of machining needed.

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The foundry in the old Ouzledale Mill sometime before 1937.

From the late 19th century onwards this was the local foundry and they made quite large castings up to about 5cwts. During the More Looms era they made thousands of smaller pulleys to speed looms up and there was a steady flow of small jobs coming in.
The advent of fabrication using riveting or welding and later the introduction of efficient presses coupled with the move to lighter products after the 1930s started to affect foundries. Ouzledale Foundry survived because they moved to Long Ing and modernised and for years had a steady market for the Firemaster open coal fire grate. Then they bought Esse stoves and are still in production today, nothing better than cast iron has been found for heavy heat storage cookers like this and the Aga.

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Foundry floor sand moulding old style.

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Casting Firemaster grates at Long Ing in 1979. Note the protective clothing.....

I haven't seen the modern operation at Long Ing but suspect it has been completely modernised as otherwise they couldn't survive in competition with the Chinese and Indian foundries who have almost completely cornered today's market. I remember Trevor Grice, CEO of Renolds telling me in 1975 that running a foundry was like throwing money into a hole in the ground as he closed the last foundry in Rochdale, Holroyds. Hard but true. The only way to survive is by having a good selling product like the Esse stove but even so the competition to supply castings must be fierce. A forgotten corner.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 23 May 2019, 04:02

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The sole flue under a Lancashire boiler. This was at Ellenroad. Very few people know about the complicated brickwork in a standard Lancashire boiler setting. It was subject to very high temperatures and consequent attrition during normal use and once a year, at the summer shut-down, was a good time for repairs. I was once taken to task because I didn't go to Briggs and Duxbury in Barlick for my brickwork repairs. The answer was this....

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Barlick station during the Wakes in about 1920.

We forget today that the annual summer holidays used to be the Wakes Week (or fortnight later). Everything in the town shut down for a week including B&D and if I had got them in the job would have cost more because of overtime for holiday working. That's why I used to employ a small firm run out of a farm at Gisburn who, due to the fact that they came under the Ribble Valley, were not on holiday. The whole of the valley down to Nelson closed at the same time so I had to look further afield.
Everyone but the most poor saved up for the Wakes. Co-op dividend, holiday clubs and later holiday pay was blown on an annual holiday, usually at the seaside. Towns like Blackpool thrived on the annual exodus. I was told more than once when I was doing the interviews for the LTP that if you were so poor that you couldn't afford to have a holiday you tended to stay indoors so that as few people as possible knew.
I heard a story once about a delegation of civil servants from London who were sent up to Oldham to investigate the effects of textile closures in the 1960s. They were shocked to find when they arrived that the town was deserted, things were worse than they thought. It was only when it was explained to them that they had arrived in Wakes Week and everyone was at the seaside that they realised their mistake. The concept of a whole town shutting down like that was a surprise to them. I wonder if that story is true?
Stanley Challenger Graham
Stanley's View
scg1936 at talktalk.net

"Beware of certitude" (Jimmy Reid)
The floggings will continue until morale improves!

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Stanley
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 24 May 2019, 04:03

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We hear a lot about the lack of social housing there days. In the 19th century this was the solution, the two up two down back to back house. This is No. 2 John Street a typical back to back of the time about 150 years ago. The nice thing about this one is that Ernie Roberts was born there and if you look in the LTP for his interviews you can learn what living in this house with a family of four in extreme poverty was like. Some streets like Hill Street are composed of nothing but back to backs.
In the 1950s when the fashion was to declare such houses as unfit for habitation and demolish them a lot of these houses escaped that fate in Barlick because we were a backwater and change and improvement was relatively thin on the ground so many of these houses survived.

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All the houses on the right in our back street are back to backs as well and are never empty for long. A well maintained two up and two down is now selling for £40,000 to £70,000 as they are now seen as a perfect starter or single occupancy home and nobody is talking about demolishing them now! Times change and it may be that there is a niche in the market now for new two up, two down back to backs. This is not a retrograde step, it is reality and responding to the needs of the market! That in itself is a forgotten corner.
Stanley Challenger Graham
Stanley's View
scg1936 at talktalk.net

"Beware of certitude" (Jimmy Reid)
The floggings will continue until morale improves!

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