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Years in Focus 1963

YEARS IN FOCUS

KNOTTINGLEY IN 1963

REPRODUCED COURTESY OF THE

Knottingley in the 1960's as seen in the Pontefract and Castleford Express

1ST MARCH 1963
DAUGHTER OF BOAT FIRM FOUNDER DIES AT 85

Mrs Isabella Kipping aged 85, of West Mount, Ferrybridge Road, Knottingley, who died in Pontefract General Infirmary on Sunday, was the widow of Mr. James William Kipping, a former managing director of John Harker and Co. Ltd.

Mrs Kipping was also the youngest daughter of the firms founder, John Harker, and saw her husband gain promotion from being a clerk for Stainsby and Lyon at their Weeland Road chemical works, (now taken over by Yorkshire Tar Distillers) to become works manager and later director for twenty years until his death in 1936. Her husband was also a director of Oxley's, the Leeds engineering firm; an actuary for the Yorkshire Penny Bank; a manager of Knottingley National School; and a member of Knottingley Urban Council.

Mrs Kipping gave voluntary service during both World War I and II, in the latter she served at first-aid posts, soup kitchens and knitted for the troops. She also worked with the Women's Voluntary Services and was a member of the governing committee when Knottingley's clinic for children was opened. Her husband was a warden at St. Botolph's Parish church, Knottingley, and it was there- where she was a worshipper, that a funeral service was held on Wednesday, interment followed at Knottingley Cemetery.

15TH MARCH 1963
ACCEPTED FOR CHURCH OF ENGLAND MINISTRY

A Knottingley lay reader, Mr. Sam Doubtfire, has been accepted for the Church of England Ministry. He will begin three years study at Edinburgh Theological College.

22ND MARCH 1963
FATHER WILLIAM ARRIVES AT THE GREEN BOTTLE -
KNOTTINGLEY'S FIRST YOUNGER HOUSE

It was once a club and fish shop - ‘Father William’ arrived in Knottingley yesterday, receiving a great welcome from the powers that be, to take up residence at The Green Bottle.

For those people who have not been told, ‘Father William’ is the sprightly cheerful old gentleman who serves as a trademark for William Younger's and William McEwan’s famous scotch ales. And if you are still asking questions ‘The Green Bottle’ is the new Scottish and Newcastle Breweries Ltd., public house in Spawd Bone Lane, and the first Younger's house to be opened in the town.

At 12 noon yesterday the new house was officially opened by the Chairman of the company, Mr. William McEwan Younger, who took a drink with the Chairman of Knottingley Urban Council, Councillor W.B. Piper along with Council members, the Chairman of the Licensing Magistrates, other members of the Bench and many more representatives of life in the town.

For exiles and lovers of all things Scottish, this public house is a home from home. The Tartan Lounge is fitted out with a special McPherson tartan carpet, sent from Scotland, and there are prints depicting scenes of life north of the border, along with shields and crossed swords.

Sassenachs in the public bar however can enjoy their drinking, darts and dominoes in more familiar surroundings. Besides a wide range of draught and bottled beers, McPhersons and Mackinley's whiskies, which are part of the same firm, will also be on sale.

The Green Bottle was originally a private house and appears on a 1900 ordinance map as The Green House. Before becoming a public house it was a fish and chip shop and club. The brewery however has undertaken extensive alterations and transformed the building into a pleasant rendezvous for friends and relatives. The name has been retained though and hanging in the entrance hall is a two foot six inches high green glass bottle made in Knottingley in 1899. The landlord and landlady are Mr and Mrs Norman Acton who before moving to Knottingley, were at the Great Bull Hotel, Wakefield, for three years.

The house represents yet another step in the right direction of that brand new cosmopolitan look the town will soon be wearing and, judging from the welcome the old man has received, he and the Edinburgh brewed ales they represent, look like being a great success. They should prove very popular not only with the Scots living in the town, but also with people who have been born and bred in Knottingley - and indeed large numbers of other Yorkshire people.

26TH MARCH 1963
AIRE STREET PLAN ACCEPTED

Knottingley Urban Council's plan for the re-development of Aire Street was accepted, with certain conditions, when members of the Council and the Aire Street Traders Association met last Thursday. The Association's reasons for acceptance were explained to the ‘Express’ this week by the Chairman (Mr. W.G. Watt) He said the Association believed some plan had to be accepted for a working basis. Planning authorities would not accept an amended plan put forward by the Association, so the Council's plan was approved.

An assurance had been given that the plan would be put into operation with minimum delay and priority would be given to business people already in Aire Street to either build their own shops or occupy Council property. The Association now believed it could make Aire Street the central shopping area for Knottingley.

5TH JULY 1963
JACKSONVILLE DEMOLITION

Closing orders for 12 houses at Jacksonville, Hill Top, Knottingley, were converted into demolition orders by K.U.D.C., on Wednesday. Owners will be asked to demolish them immediately, but negotiations are still in progress for a shop at the end of the terrace.

12TH JULY 1963
JOBLESS HARRY FINDS WORK AT KNOTTINGLEY

(Abridged Version)

Harry Hewitt may be out of work on televisions Coronation Street but in real life actor Ivan Beavis had a big enough job at Knottingley on Saturday. For he and actress Doreen Keogh, his wife Concepta in the programme, came to open the towns fifth annual carnival and sports day at the Playing Fields.

Arriving twenty minutes late the stars were welcomed by the President of Knottingley and Ferrybridge Carnival and Charities Committee and his wife, Councillor and Mrs C Tate. Surrounded by a large crowd they walked to the dais where the Carnival Queen and her attendants and the guests were waiting.

After introductions and handshakes, Harry held the crowd spellbound while he told them of his difficulty in getting a job and talked of the Hewitt family's problems. His ‘better half’ Concepta also added a few words. Harry was then kept busy for a good ten minutes kissing the Queen, 17 year-old Linda Blakestone, of Eastfield Avenue, and her attendants.

Last years queen, 18-year old Pamela Brown, took off her crown and handed it to Concepta who crowned the new queen.

Chairman of Knottingley Urban Council, Councillor H. Ross, presented, on behalf of the Committee, a gold watch to Linda - her prize for winning the title.

12TH JULY 1963
NO BONES BROKEN WHEN SUSAN FELL FROM FLAT

Two-year-old Susan Barker took a 12-ft tumble out of a window at her home at Devonshire Court, Englands Lane, Knottingley, on Monday, and escaped with nothing worse than grazed knuckles and bruises.

Susan, the youngest of Mr. and Mrs G.T. Barker's family of six, was taken to Pontefract Infirmary by ambulance but allowed home on Wednesday.

Janet, Susan's 17-year-old sister told an ‘Express’ reporter that her parents were busy wallpapering a passage in their first floor flat when the accident occurred. Susan had pulled a chair up to the window, climbed onto the sill and opened the window. She was sitting with her back to the window when she leaned back and fell.

Mrs Joan Barker rushed into the room just too late to save her daughter, who fortunately landed on grass on her knees, She grazed the knuckles of her left hand and was bruised, but did not break any bones.

13TH SEPTEMBER 1963
HAIR STYLIST WILL BE SEEN ON SPIN-A-DISC PANEL

Miss Mavis Scholes, aged 15, of Tenters Close, Ferrybridge, will be seen on television tomorrow evening when she appears in the A.T.V. record programme, ‘Thank Your Lucky Stars’ as a member of the spin-a-disc panel.

Mavis, who has worked as a hair-stylist for Mr. George Box, of Sagar Street, Castleford, for the past five weeks, was successfully auditioned for the programme, which was recorded in Birmingham on Sunday. She attended Ropewalk Girls Secondary School.

13TH SEPTEMBER 1963
ISABELLA KIPPING WILL

Mrs Isabella Kipping aged 85, of Westmount, Ferrybridge Road, Knottingley, who died on February 24th, left 87,983 in her will. Mrs Kipping was the youngest daughter of Mr. J.H. Harker, founder of J.H. Harker & Co. Ltd, of Knottingley, and the widow of the late Mr W. Kipping, a former managing director of the firm.

7TH NOVEMBER 1963
CARNIVAL QUEEN

Linda Blakestone lit a huge bonfire on Tuesday at Fieldhead, Hilltop, Knottingley to mark Guy Fawkes Night. The fire was prepared by the members & helpers of Knottingley & Ferrybridge Gala Charities Committee. Gross receipts from admissions and sale of Minerals, Parkin, and Toffee Apples were more than 50. A firework display was a feature of the event.

21ST NOVEMBER 1963
MASSIVE BLAZE

In a spectacular blaze at Kings Mills, Knottingley, on Friday night, a four-storey warehouse was gutted. Damage is estimated at thousands of pounds, including the loss of 200-300 tons of flour and many tons of wheat. Firemen remained on duty at the scene for three days.

The fire, believed to have been caused by an electrical fault, broke out just after 9pm, and appliances from Pontefract, Castleford, Featherstone and Knottingley were soon on the scene and were subsequently joined by a 100ft turntable ladder team from Wakefield. Firemen found the warehouse full of dense smoke and then the fire erupted into leaping flames, which could be seen for miles around.

As the various appliances arrived together with Police and YEB officials, large crowds of onlookers gathered on the canal bridge at the bottom of Forge Hill Lane. From this ‘Grandstand’ view the crowd felt the heat of the flames, about 50 yards away as the wheat became affected, and sent up huge columns of sparks into the clear evening sky and with everything startlingly reflected in the waters of the canal, the scene became awe-inspiring.

As the flames finally broke through the roof of the warehouse, efforts were concentrated on saving the mill proper, which adjoins the warehouse on the riverside. After the roof had gone, two firemen took up precarious perches on top of the 70ft high main building and directed their hoses into the inferno below. Slates and beams crashed down, but there were no personal injuries.

The turntable worked on the East Side of the mill, where another new building was saved, though several bulk flour containers were destroyed. In the mill proper was a large quantity of new machinery installed since the internationally known firm of Garfield-Weston acquired the mill 18 months ago.

Years in Focus is researched by Maurice Haigh and reproduced 
with the permission of the Pontefract & Castleford Express.


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