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Knottingley and Ferrybridge Local History

THE OFFICIAL GUIDE TO KNOTTINGLEY

Official guide to Knottingley

We have been fortunate to obtain a copy of The Official Guide to Knottingley, published around 1950 for the Knottingley Urban District Council, which contains many interesting historical facts and figures as well as many old advertisements from local businesses of the day. Especially interesting is the illustration on the front cover which depicts the Knottingley Coat of Arms, a description of which can be found within this site.

For your interest, we reproduce here some extracts from the guide along with some of those advertisements that appeared within it.

AN INTRODUCTION

Around Knottingley the inhabitants throughout the centuries have left traces of their employment and ways of life.  Of these traces surely none could seem more curious to the stranger than the appearance of the countryside to the south of the town where hundreds of acres seem to have been scooped bodily from the earth.  These large areas of excavated ground have been burnt away to a depth of about ten yards by the lime workers. The deposits have been worked for hundreds of years and undoubtedly offered employment to the townsfolk in the days when Leyland, the historian, described the River Aire, so much a part of Knottingley's life, as a "royal river".  This trade was the beginning of Knottingley's industry, the tale of it's growth is taken up in later pages.

The river and it's companion canal system is immensely important to the town and has a great influence on the direction of it's growth and extensive industry.  Unfortunately, by the time it has reached Knottingley the deep waters have been contaminated by the industry of Skipton, Leeds and Castleford.  The town, which consists of three parishes, Knottingley proper, East Knottingley and Ferrybridge, is situated on the south side of the river and possesses, in addition to the waterways, excellent rail and road communications, both at Knottingley Station, which is served by two regions of British Railways, and Ferrybridge Station.  The latter village, once an important halt for stage coaches, lies on the Great North Road.

Judged by it's name the town had a very early origin for it derives it from natural features, thus Knott is a British word denoting a projecting knoll or craggy protuberance, Ing signifying a low meadow by a river and Lea or Ley, a ploughed field.

INFORMATION IN BRIEF

Ambulance: Tel. Knottingley 119
Area: 2,837 acres
Banks:
Barclays Bank Ltd, Chapel Street, Knottingley
York County Trustee Savings Bank, Aire Street, Knottingley
Yorkshire Penny Bank, Aire Street, Knottingley
Midland Bank Ltd, Aire Street, Knottingley
Cemeteries:
Womersley Road, Knottingley and Pontefract Road, Ferrybridge.
The Council is responsible for both
Cinema:
The Palace Cinema, Aire Street, Knottingley. Plans have been approved for a new cinema to be erected in Weeland Road, Knottingley.
Climate:
Rainfall - 23.3 inches per year.
Temperature - 48.6 mean daily temperature.
Sunshine - about 3 hours 20 minutes daily mean.
County Coroner:
Will Bentley Esq., Ropergate, Pontefract.
Early Closing Day:
Thursday
Fire Brigade: 
Fire Station, Hill Top, Knottingley. Tel. Knottingley 143
Fuel Officer:
Town Hall, Knottingley.
Licensing Hours:
Weekdays; 1130am - 3pm, 6pm -1030pm
Sundays; noon - 2pm, 7pm - 10pm
Mileages:
Aberdeen 353, Bradford 25, Doncaster 14, Edinburgh 226, Harrogate 28
Goole 17, Leeds 15, London 171, Newcastle 104, Perth 296
Pontefract 2,Wakefield 10.
Ministry of Food:
Bridge House, Hill Top, Knottingley. Tel. Knottingley 302
National Insurance Offices:
The Ministry of National Insurance, Aire Street, Knottingley. Tel. Knottingley 225
Newspapers:
Pontefract and Castleford Express
Population:
9,600 (estimated 1949)
Rateable Value:
40,017 (1949)
Rates in the :
18/6 (1949-50)
Registration of Births and Deaths:
Registrar; Mr. Willis E. Hough of Newland Road, North Featherstone.
Attends at the Town Hall, Knottingley, Tuesdays 10-11am, Thursdays 10-11am, Fridays 2-3pm


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