FORGOTTEN CORNERS

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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 14 Oct 2018, 03:41

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The Corn Mill and gas-holders in 1982. The gas-holders themselves are a forgotten corner in themselves as they are long gone but it's the Corn Mill that interests me this morning. As far as I can make out it was built by the Drake family who owned Coates Hall in the late 16th and early 17th centuries, the dates are unclear. Before that the nearest mill would be at Bracewell, near Yarl Side and I suspect that was earlier going back to when the Tempests had the Manor of Bracewell.
Originally the mill had a large water wheel and was powered by Butts Beck but in later years a water turbine was installed. The arrival of the railway in the mid 19th century meant that cheaper flour could be imported and the mill was relegated to animal feed. In 1850 Billycock Bracewell leased it and eventually bought it. he enlarged the dam and built the gasworks. Eventually the Council bought it and the gasworks. In the 1950s it was run by 'Cramp' (Anthony) Hoyle and was still an animal feed merchants but grinding had finished. Later I think it was owned by Roy Laycock who ran the buses.
I remember Ted Waite once telling me that he and a lad whose name escapes me (Robinson?) who was a bit of an oddball and travelled an entire pony round the farms were set on by Roy to clear out some cottages next to the mill. Roy's wife was running a lingerie mail order business at the time and one of the jobs was to move the stock. The lad held up a brassiere and said she'll never sell these! They have holes in them. They were of course peep-hole bras and crotchless knickers. There's an unusual forgotten corner for you.....
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Bodger » 14 Oct 2018, 07:43

coincidence or related, my mother used to buy flour from Samuel Drakes corn millers
Honley nr Huddersfield

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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 15 Oct 2018, 02:48

Can't say Bodge, a common name.....

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Today's forgotten corner is a question. Church Street in August 2012. Why are all the union flags in evidence? I have forgotten so it qualifies!

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I haven't looked lately but this old painted sign on the gable end of 3 Church Street was a reminder of William Atkinson, gent's outfitters. The same Atkinson that wrote 'Old Barlick' the unpublished history that we have on the site.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Wendyf » 15 Oct 2018, 06:08

Queenie's Diamond Jubilee 2012. ( I had to look it up.)

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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 16 Oct 2018, 03:05

That'll be right Wendy! Thanks.

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I tripped over this image this morning. I can't remember the exact date (about 2000?) but it struck me how things change so quickly.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Nolic » 16 Oct 2018, 06:53

I remember the Cutting Room as Firth's Newsagents. Jack and Alan were two grand lads who let me hang around with them. Nolic
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 17 Oct 2018, 02:45

Even earlier Comrade (Pre-1950) the top of Butts had Martin's Plumbers and a printing shop. Tom Fitton had a bookie's shop just on the left down Commercial Street, handy for the pubs and Green Street Club!
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 18 Oct 2018, 03:34

Mention of Tommy Fitton the bookmaker brought this little incident from me memoirs to mind.....

"Gilbraith’s at Accrington were the Leyland Motors agent and did our heavy repairs, at one point I took HYG in for new king pins. I mention this because there was a curious coincidence which is worth a mention.
The first time I went in Gilbraith’s garage I saw a bloke in a brown smock sweeping the floor. When I got a good look at him I realised it was Tom Fitton the bookie in Barlick I’d won all the money off years before. I went across to talk to him and find out how he had landed up in Accrington and found it wasn’t Tom but his double! He was the splitting image of Tom and it was uncanny. The reason why this comes to mind is that he was the main man for striking king pins out of the housing in the axle. I should explain; the king pin is the swivel on which the front wheel moves when steered. They are mounted from below in the end of the axle in a taper housing so that the more the weight goes on them the tighter they become. Over the life of the pin they become very firmly fixed in the axle end and getting them out can be a problem. The certain method is to take the axle out from under the wagon and press the pins out hydraulically but this means dismantling the whole of the front end. If it can be managed, an easier way is to warm the end of the axle and drive the pins out with a seven pound hammer. The problem here is that you haven’t got a straight blow at the pin because it is under the front wing. The bloke who swept up, despite his slight build, was the best striker in the shop and he always attended to king pins. Striking well is not a matter of strength but of aim and co-ordination. This bloke came along and drove both pins out with a couple of blows, very impressive."

I should mention that the incident of me winning all the money of Tommy wasn't because I made regular bets, it was a consequence of having too much to drink in the Craven Heifer one night. To cut a long story short I won the equivalent of about 15 week's wages and made a resolution on the spot never to have a bet again! I will be one of the very few people to go to my grave a winner on the horses! That's a long forgotten corner for you.

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Here's an oldie for you. This is George Pickles stood in front of his house in Kelbrook Main Street sometime around 1890. He was the village cobbler and I think great uncle to my mate Newton.

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Another old image of Kelbrook, Dotcliffe, what date? Around 1910?
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Wendyf » 18 Oct 2018, 06:02

The houses on the right hand side were once the Halfway House Inn when Dotcliffe was on the packhorse route to Colne up Cob Lane.

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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 18 Oct 2018, 06:35

:good:
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by plaques » 18 Oct 2018, 07:56

Is that the chimney of Dotcliffe Mill, (top left). If so its an unusual design. Any comments?

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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 19 Oct 2018, 03:08

Yes P. Early chimneys were often square because of the fact they were built by local masons. The string course is quite common, it's where 'throughs' bound the structure together. In some cases it can indicate that an extension has been added to gain more draught on the flue if they were short of pull.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 20 Oct 2018, 03:56

Image

Butts chimney in 1978. It was stone built and hexagonal. It has been shortened in this pic for safety as it was redundant then I think. Around 1860 it had a 40ft brick extension added to it when Bracewell bought the Ingleton coalfield and used the fuel. It was poor quality and so they needed more draught.

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In 1980 Peter Tatham and Tom Philips took it down.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 21 Oct 2018, 05:30

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Wellhouse chimney was the biggest in Barlick. Built of large stones by local masons in 1853 it was round and a bit of a triumph actually because the bearing ground is alluvial silt and there have been many problems building in the bottoms. It never moved from the vertical and was reduced in height after WW2 when it became redundant after the engine stopped and was replaced by a tin chimney to serve the heating boiler. It was shortened by dropping the stone inside it until it was full to the top. In 1976 it was demolished almost to the base and here it is then as they started.
By the way, the open ground in front of the mill was leased for many years to the Showman's Guild and hosted Barlick Fair once a year.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 22 Oct 2018, 03:13

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There's a lot of history in this pic! Wellhouse Mill in 1963 in the last days of weaving, 100 years after it was built on some of the worst bearing ground in the town. The chimney was still its original height and in use. The engine stopped in 1965. The last weaving firm in the mill was Bemdems who ran 90 odd looms on electricity until the early 1980s. Several of the Bancroft weavers went to work there.

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Bendem's in 1982, on their last legs.

The two multi storey buildings to the right of the chimney were occupied by Brown and Pickles. The detached building on this side of the stack with the octagonal front was used by Barrett's Steam Laundry and Rolls Royce had much of the old two storey building to the left and some space in the weaving sheds as well. There was a back entrance into the site off Vicarage Road and the old farm buildings at the bottom of that road housed West Marton Dairy's cold store where we dropped many a load of bottled milk for the retailers.
On Wellhouse Road the light coloured building was a garage, I have an idea it was once a branch of Ferrand's of Skipton. They were the local Bedford and Vauxhall dealers. The smaller building to the right of it was Gissing and Lonsdale's.
The dam was still in use and the pump in Eastwood Bottoms was still working 24X7 pumping water from the Bowker Drain into the lodge.

All gone now of course and so did a big slice of Barlick history.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 23 Oct 2018, 06:11

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Thinking about Wellhouse Mill brought my thoughts to the 1892 25" map of the Corn Mill and Wellhouse area. Time spent looking at these old maps is never wasted! There is a connection....
The first is that during the building of Wellhouse (Then called New Mill) in 1853 sand was extracted from sand beds that I think lay on the ground near the Corn mill and what became Crow Nest. This disturbed the ground water and the well at the Vicarage ran dry which upset the incumbent, his protests are how we know it happened.
Another connection is the fact that in 1853 many knowledgeable people in Barlick were puzzling about where Bracewell was going to get the water for the mill. I think that at first Bracewell saw Butts Beck as the source, in about 1850 he leased the Con Mill from the owners and later bought it. He put in the large dam that you can see augmenting the small original one. To supply this he put a weir in in Butts behind what is now Briggs and Duxbury and must have either bought or obtained rights to put in a leat through what is now Valley Gardens which went under Gisburn Road and fed the dam giving it a good water supply.
Then he put in a 6" cast iron pipe from the Corn Mill to the dams at Wellhouse. The puzzle is that he never used it but instead tapped into the Bowker Drain in a small well in Eastwood bottoms, installed a pump and that was the water source that ran the mill all through its life. Eastwood bottoms was owned by the Gledstone Estate and at one point they made moves which suggested they were going to terminate the right. At that time Wellhouse was owned by the Calf Hall Shed Company and they got into a mild panic and sank a serious well on the West corner of the main dam, it's marked on this map. The well gave difficulties, go and look in the CHSC minute books to find all the details but fortunately the Gladstone Estate changed policy and entered into a long term lease with the CHSC which meant the defective well wasn't needed.
Lots more to tell about the water but I think I've done enough to show that this map has several stories to tell.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 24 Oct 2018, 03:05

We are so lucky to have the 1892 25" maps. They are so clear and accurate. The main thing that strikes me is that even in 1892 there are so few houses outside the town centre. It wasn't until 1900 that the big expansion began after Bracewell died in 1885 and the other manufacturers got their lebensraum and started to build.
If you go to THIS LINK you're into a zoomable map of the town in 1892. Go and have a wander, it can be fascinating to see where we were at then. Better than TV!
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 25 Oct 2018, 03:08

Kev was talking about complaints about smalls down at the Aldi site. For many years Crow Nest was itself a generator of a strong solvent smell that was the subject of constant complaints to the Council. It was connected with the drying of cloth after it had been printed. This was done at very high temperatures and great speed. Newton used to look after the boilers there and instead of steam they generated very high temperature oil that was used to transfer heat to the drying cylinders. He told me that where it left the boiler, if the pipes were in the dark, you could see a faint red glow, they were red hot.
Another source of complaint in that area was a low hum that I don't think was ever positively identified but it was generally assumed it was emanating from Rolls Royce. The local noise from the engine test beds at Gill Brow was never in doubt. In winter the snow on the fields between the factory and the canal was always melted off when the beds were operating. This ceased when the RB211 engine came into service as new test beds were needed and they were built in Derby.
That reminds me of a story that Harold Duxbury told me about one of his many building contracts at Rolls, B&D did very well out of them for many years. They had built a dividing wall down the centre of a large shed at one of the many Rolls locations in the area. When they had finished it was inspected by the man from HQ who informed Harold that it was exactly to specification in every way but one, due to a mistake in the title of the drawing it was in the wrong factory! I don't remember what the denouement was, it was an off tape conversation. At one point in the war, including sub-contractors, B&D had over 1,000 men on the books, the war effort was big business and Harold was trusted by the Rolls management. Definitely a forgotten corner! Today it would take a management team and a posse of lawyers to write the contract!
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Bodger » 25 Oct 2018, 08:04

Kev was talking about complaints about smalls down at the Aldi site.

Washing line broken ?

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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Big Kev » 25 Oct 2018, 15:29

Bodger wrote:
25 Oct 2018, 08:04
Kev was talking about complaints about smalls down at the Aldi site.

Washing line broken ?
I remember my grandmother referring to underwear as smalls. I may adopt the word again :-)
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 26 Oct 2018, 02:05

We professional housewives still use the term. Funny when you think that in those days they were anything but small!

Image

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If you keep your eyes open you can still find these distinctive double sided hooks occasionally particularly on walls facing the street. This one is on Wellhouse Street and was used every Monday to put a clothes line across the road for drying on washing day. This used to be a considerable problem for coal and milk deliveries! Just think if it still went on today with all the cars we have about.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 27 Oct 2018, 03:26

I don't have a pic of today's forgotten corner but if you walk up Gillian's Beck from Colne Road about 200 yards up the hill you'll come to an artificial basin in the beck, if memory serves it was concreted. This will puzzle people in the future! It's where a 3" pipe gets a water supply. The pipe went down across the field and ended up in the boiler house at Bancroft shed above the top lid on the boiler. It was installed to give an easy method of filling the boiler with clean water after is had been emptied for boiler cleaning. In the days before efficient water treatment chemicals boilers were emptied and washed out very frequently, a wasteful but necessary practice. Over the years the pipe gradually became 'carred up' with iron oxide deposits to the point where it was useless. By then it didn't matter as much because thanks to better water treatment the boiler was only emptied 4 times a year to cool it and the flues down for maintenance.

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The top of the boiler in 1979 after closure, the boiler is open to allow it to ventilate to keep dry. Directly over the top lid you'll see the 3" pipe coming down from the roof with a cock in it and a piece of rag wrapped round the end of it. The rag was there to warn of its presence as it was at exactly the right height for you to bang your head on it when getting in and out of the boiler. It was never cut off because there was still water in the pipe and it was easier to simply leave it be. The Castrol grease bucket was there to keep warm, it was used for greasing the gears and mechanism on the top of the economiser.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 28 Oct 2018, 03:39

Talking about that abandoned water pipe reminded me of a conversation I had with Newton Pickles once. I haven't heard anyone mention it for a long time but there used to be local legends about secret tunnels from both the old monastery and Gill Church. Over the years excavations for other things like drains broke into old tunnels under the town and fed the speculation. Newton told me he heard these tales and asked Johnny, his dad, about them. Johnny said that talk of 'secret tunnels' was rubbish, what people were breaking into were old disused culverts that had been installed for water management in the early days of the water-powered textile industry where maintaining supplies was essential to profitability. (Something in the back of my mind says that the original rumours were started by a romantic story told about a doomed love affair which was of course a fiction.)
I think Johnny was right, people like William (Billycock) Bracewell went to quite extraordinary lengths to appropriate and use water, I am convinced that that was why when he built Butts Mill he bought Ouzledale Mill because it was a reliable source of water high enough to be capable of augmenting the flow of Calf Hall Beck at Butts but was thwarted by the fact that what was then Mitchell's Mill (Later Clough Mill) owned the water rights up on to the moor. He later came to an agreement with Mitchell's for a water supply to Butts from the lodge at his mill but all trace of it has vanished. Someone in the future might come across whatever the method was and be puzzled by it.

Image

I think that the most likely method Billycock used was a large CI pipe in the bed of the beck like this one at the Corn Mill.
Every time there is an excavation in the road I have a nosey into it. A recent one at the top of Butts had to go down over 15ft to get at the pipe or culvert that was defective and I was surprised at the depth below ground level. Think of the excavation needed for that when it was put in!
So, there are indeed mysteries under our feet but I think we can discount secret tunnels or old mine workings!
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 29 Oct 2018, 04:46

On a closely related subject.....

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Bancroft Dam. The first thing to get clear is that contrary to popular conception, this water supply was not for boiler feed but as a source of cold water used for cooling the condenser on the engine and thus giving us greater efficiency, the cooler the water the better. At the far end there is a 3ft diameter pipe that brought the full flow of Gillians Beck into the dam via a brick culvert under the field, at this end the excess drained out over the cill of the clow and continued downstream. Just beyond the railings at the far end was a manhole giving access to a shaft down into the culvert, all this is still in place, the dam has been replaced by an extension of the culvert into the existing course of the beck at the site of the old clow. Someone is going to access this shaft at some point and will perhaps be puzzled by the fact that at the bottom there is an arrangement of brick partitions with a stop board in the slot of the one nearest the road.
We have to go back in history..... Do you remember me saying that Mitchell's (Clough) Mill owned the riparian rights on Gillians Beck up onto the moor? As water sites in the town were used up by mill building the newer mills were built on the side of the canal and used that as a source of cooling water. (Incidentally, one of the greatest benefits the canal gave to industry but missed by most historians) The site of Bancroft mill was the last and most attractive in Barlick but the water resource was not used until 1920. This was because Slaters, the than owners of Clough, would not grant water rights so the site remained unused until around 1900 when James Nutter's daughter married a Slater and because it was 'in the family' Slaters granted the right to use the water and this enabled Nutter to use the site. The question is why was Slater so protective of his rights?
We need to note another fact. In the case of water mills there was no bar to siting multiple mills on the same water course because all they were doing was borrowing the water and dropping it back in the stream bed. Use of the water for condenser cooling was different. The water discharged over the cill was warmer than the incoming flow and this reduced the efficiency of the cooling at the next mill downstream, in this case Clough. In high flow or cold weather this wasn't important but in hot summer weather and less flow it became a problem.
Slater's answer to this was to stipulate that a by-pass culvert be installed down the left hand side of the dam discharging straight into the beck below the clow. If there was any problem at Clough with high water temperature they could require Bancroft to divert the flow of the beck into the by-pass, hence the stop board in the bottom of the shaft. I have no record of it ever being used but this is the answer to the puzzle at the bottom of the shaft!
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 30 Oct 2018, 02:28

Image

The jumble of masonry in the bed of Calf Hall Beck on the downstream side of the culvert under Calf Hall Lane at Parrock Laithe. Parrock was a small watermill before Calf Hall Shed was even thought of and this puzzle is something to do with the original management of water onto the wheel. Pity someone didn't write it down! I have never resolved it.
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