New Years Day saw a dream come true
at Ferrybridge, when the Chairman of Knottingley Urban District Council,
Cr. W. O'Brien, opened the new £40,000 Ferrybridge Progressive Club in
Pottery Lane. For members and committee, it was the end of hours of
planning, discussion and fund-raising. Secretary, Mr. J.R. Smethurst,
told an ‘Express’ reporter that the idea of forming the club started
three years ago, when a group of people thought it would be an asset to
the community. Nine months ago the foundations were laid and from then
on, progress has been rapid and now the ultra-modern club is another
reminder of the rapidly changing face of the village.
The club has a spacious games room,
a lounge, a music room to accommodate 250 people, and a steward’s flat.
At present it has 1,000 members. Introducing Cr. O’Brien, a Trustee of
the club, Mr. R.P. Wilson, said; "We are very proud to be able to offer
newcomers to our area a club of this type."
Cr. O’Brien said many delightful
requests had come his way during his term of office, "but this morning
is the proudest day of the year; I cannot envisage anything that will
improve on this moment of splendour." Cr. O’Brien said he believed in
working men’s clubs and social centres. "I think they are necessary for
the society we live in" he said, "they give people the opportunity to
gather and take part in community life."
14TH JANUARY 1965
THE ARCADE, HILL TOP
It would be interesting to learn why
the Public Health Committee of Knottingley Urban District Council has
chosen the name ‘The Arcade’ for the shops at Hill Top, in view of the
fact that the shops simply form a row. An arcade is a "passage arched
over; any covered walk, especially with shops along one or both sides."
(COD) The word ‘arcade’ is derived from a word meaning ‘arch’. Perhaps
this name has been chosen on the ‘luca a non lucendo’ principles: - ie.
It has been called an arcade because there is no arch!
I would suggest that a better name
would be "High Cross", the name given to that district on all ordnance
maps, which probably means "The cross roads at the top of the hill."
This would not only be a suitable name but it would perpetuate an
old-established name; and its easy syllables would be easy to say.
Mr. W. Allen, licensee of the
Sailors Home Inn, Knottingley, wondered whether the building is one of
the oldest in the town (Express, 31st December 1964.) He may be
interested to know that on the ordnance map of over 100 years ago,
surveyed in 1845, the buildings on the site of the present inn are shown
as the Wheat Sheaf Inn. The buildings shown may of course be the
existing buildings in spite of the fact that the name of the inn has
11TH FEBRUARY 1965
BANDSMAN QUITS AFTER 50 YEARS
The Pollard Family of Knottingley
has provided the towns Silver Prize Band with officials and players for
more than 80 years, and it came as a severe blow to the band last week
when Mr. Tom Pollard, a member for half-a-century, had to retire owing
to ill health. Mr. Pollard who is 60 followed in his father’s footsteps
as a bandsman by joining the Knottingley band at the age of 10. At that
time he played tenor horn, when he retired his instrument was double
bass. His uncle Mr. Jim Pollard played in the band and his brother Joe
is a former bands-master but the family connection with the band has not
been severed completely with Mr. Pollard's retirement for his son,
Brian, is the present band-master.
Mr. Pollard, who lives at Vale Head
Grove, Knottingley, was caretaker of the old bandroom in Aire Street,
before the band moved to headquarters at the old Conservative Club. He
says his most vivid memories of his career with the band are of the
bands visits to old Crystal Palace, which was the ‘Mecca’ of bandsmen
everywhere before the building was destroyed by fire. "We had a fair
amount of success down there," he said, "but apart from that it was the
thrill of competing in National contests against the cream of the
In recognition of his services to
the band, Mr. Pollard received a gold plated combined cigarette case and
lighter from President, Mr. W.V. Gregg. Of Mr. Pollard, the bands
secretary, Mr. George W. Hodgson says, "Tom was the solid no-nonsense
type of bandsman. He was ever dependable both as a player and a worker.
It is hoped that he will be able to attend some rehearsals if only as a
25TH FEBRUARY 1965
ROSY FUTURE FOR INDUSTRIAL KNOTTINGLEY
Describing Knottingley as "Perhaps
the wealthiest urban district in the West Riding," Alderman, Mrs J
Smith, Chairman of the West Riding County Council, forecast an excellent
future for the town when she spoke at the local authority’s annual
dinner and dance at the N.A.D.S.& S. Club on Tuesday. She was proposing
a toast to the Urban District. "Obviously, the township has great scope
as far as industrial development is concerned, but I do hope with the
cutting down of the working day, the people will give a good deal of
their time to cultural activities", she said.
Responding, the Chairman of the
Urban Council, Cr. W. O’Brien, painted a rosy picture of the future of
the town and said it was "progressing in industrial and residential
He commented that he had been
criticised for holding the dinner at the club instead of in Pontefract.
"I would never go to Pontefract with a function. If we in Knottingley
cannot accommodate a function, I would not hold one at all." He
mentioned the varied number of industries in Knottingley and commented:-
"We are fortunate in having a cross section of industry. If anyone
wishes to mention any industry, I think we can safely say we have got
that type here."
15TH APRIL 1965
FROM APPRENTICE TO DIRECTOR
RETIRES AFTER 52 YEARS WITH FIRM
"I left school at 13 and began work
the following day. Since then it has been all hard work."
This is how Mr. Albert Reynolds, of
The Grange, Ferrybridge Road, Knottingley, summed up his working life as
he prepared to retire from his post as a director of Bagley & Co. Ltd.,
Knottingley, at the weekend, at the age of 65. He started with the firm
as an apprentice engineer; was for many years works manager; and had
been a director for nine years. Mr. Reynolds, a former Knottingley
councillor, intends to continue his still active public life during his
retirement, but next month he and his wife Annie are going to Canada for
five months to visit their daughter, Mrs Margaret Beaumont, her husband
Henry, and their five children.
"When I started work I had to study
at evening school for four years," he said. "I used to work from 6
o’clock in the morning until five at night, rush home for tea, walk to
Pontefract to evening class until 9 o’clock, then walk home again."
He followed in his father’s
footsteps as a member of K.U.D.C. serving for 23 years before retiring
in 1961, and was chairman four times. In 1954 he formed the Knottingley
Independant Association, the forerunner of the present Rent and Rate
Association. He became a West Riding magistrate in 1950, and has been
chairman of the Osgoldcross Licensing Justices for the past seven years.
Mr. Reynolds has been a member of the Divisional Education Executive,
and has been on the Pontefract and Castleford Hospital Management
Committee since its formation in 1948 and recently resigned the post of
President of the Knottingley Conservative Club.
Now in his 29th year as a warden at
St. Botolph’s with Christ Church, Knottingley, he was people’s warden
for 21 years and has been Vicar’s Warden for the past eight years. He is
former treasurer of The Parochial Church Council. He was a
sergeant-pilot during the First World War and served in the Observer
Corps during the last war. Well known in local cricketing circles, he is
a former captain and treasurer of Knottingley Cricket Club.
Mrs Reynolds served for many years
as a Governor of Pontefract Girl’s High School, and has just resigned
the post of Enrolling Member of the Knottingley branch of the Mother’s
Union. Mrs Reynolds is also to receive a cocktail cabinet from John
Artis, (London) who are the sales representatives of the Crystal Glass
29TH APRIL 1965
KNOTTINGLEY CARNIVAL QUEEN
Seventeen-year-old June Smith, of Westfield Road,
Knottingley, was elected Knottingley Carnival Queen at a dance in
Knottingley on Friday. June, who works in the warehouse department of
Jackson Bros. Ltd., will be crowned by a show business celebrity on
Carnival Day on July 3.
At Friday's event, organised by the Knottingley and
Ferrybridge Gala Charities Committee, June was selected from 17 entrants
and received the Carnival Queen sash from the retiring queen, Miss Joan
Tunningley. Miss Smith’s chief attendant was also selected, she is 16
year-old Janet Ramskill, of Ashcombe Drive, Knottingley.
The Judges were the manager of Jackson Bros., Mr. L.
Minter and Mrs Minter; sales manager of Pollard Bearings Mr. F. Price,
and Mrs Price; and the Superintendent of the Ferrybridge Power Station,
Mr. Stone, and Mrs Stone. Guests included Cr. O’Brien and other
councillors and officials. They were welcomed by the president of the
Gala Committee Cr. C. Tate.
23RD SEPTEMBER 1965
A RARE LINK WITH KNOTTINGLEY'S DAYS OF SAIL
Living links with Knottingley's days
of sail, when local sea-captains owned their own vessels and families
shared in the work of operating them, must be rare now. One of them -
and possibly the last - was Mr. William Hargrave, of Coronation
Bungalows, who died on Saturday at the age of 70. ‘Billy’ Hargrave, as
he was known to scores of older Knottingley residents, was the eldest
son of the late Captain Hargrave, master of the schooner ‘Elizabeth’ of
Knottingley, which went down in a storm off Farne Islands when Billy was
a little more than a boy. The family still posses the nameplate from the
ship’s boat in which Captain Hargrave and his men got away from the
wreck, but which capsized with the loss of all hands. On this occasion
Billy happened to stay at home.
Nevertheless, over the years then
and since, he had probably acquired as much knowledge as any Knottingley
man living, of the mariners of Knottingley and Goole and the coastwise
travel of sail when families went down to the sea in ships. The family
sea-faring connection was far-reaching, with at least one branch at
South Shields; and at the time when the ‘Elizabeth’ was lost, for
example, Captain Hargrave’s brother was harbourmaster at nearby Seaham
The family tradition was carried on
in Mr. Billy Hargrave’s generation by his brother John who sailed the
world with the Royal Navy and was rescued from the sea when his ship
went down at the Battle of Jutland; and in the next generation by a
nephew who was at the Italian landings.
Mr. Billy Hargrave, after the loss
of the family vessel, was apprenticed butcher to the late Mr. Sam Steele
of Knottingley, served in the KOYLI in the First World War and was
gassed and wounded at Cambrai; but spent the greater part of his working
life in the glass industry at Jackson Bros. Ltd. Including his brother
Albert, who was killed on the Western Front in 1918, he had three
brothers and four sisters of whom two brothers and two sisters remain.
He nursed his late wife, Mrs Clara
Hargrave, during some years as an invalid proceeding her death three
years ago, She and their son and three daughters had all been connected
with the Ropewalk Methodist Church, from which the funeral was to take
place yesterday (Wednesday) before burial at Knottingley Cemetery.
14TH OCTOBER 1965
VIVID MEMORIES OF A CHILDHOOD SEA-FARING
A report in the ‘Express’ on
September 23rd of the death of Mr. William Hargrave, of Knottingley, has
prompted a letter from Mrs Edna Mowbray, of Racca Avenue, Knottingley.
She says that although she read the report with great interest, Mr.
Hargrave was not, as stated, "probably the last living link" with
Knottingley’s seafaring past. "I can assure the ‘Express’ that there are
still a number of people with actual experiences of sailing ships, still
living in the town, several of them members of my own family," she
"My father, the late Mr. Richard
Cawthorne, and his brother Chris, were, like many of their forebears,
master mariners who took their families to sea with them. Every spring,
we would lock up house, board my father’s ship at Goole, and spend the
rest of the summer months voyaging from one port to another. Mostly,
however, we took coal from the Humber to the Channel ports and returned
with china clay for the local potteries. Each time we arrived back at
Hull or Goole, we would entrain for Knottingley and for a week or two,
home and school life would be resumed, but as soon as my father’s ship
was re-loaded we would be off again, until summer was finally over."
"I have a host of memories of those
sea-faring days, and the sad thing to me is that today there are so few
people with whom I can share those memories. The name ‘Yarmouth’ may
conjure up for most people the picture of a popular holiday resort; but
I never hear it without recalling three terrifying nights and days spent
riding out on a howling gale in ‘Yarmouth Roads’ on board our small
ketch ‘Panther’. I also remember how we children were often put to bed
fully dressed except for our boots-just in case! Those sailors of long
ago loved their ships, and I remember the great grief of my father when
his ship, the schooner ‘Demaris’ was sunk by a German submarine in the
English Channel in 1916."
"One of my most treasured
possessions is an oil painting of my late grandfather’s ship the
schooner ‘Nancy’ which he captained in 1906. So long as it hangs on my
kitchen wall, I shall be reminded of Knottingley’s seafaring days and of
a childhood that was just a little different."
14TH OCTOBER 1965
THIRD GENERATION KNOTTINGLEY DOCTOR DIES AGED 45
Dr. Arthur Patrick Percival, whose
father and grandfather were doctors at Knottingley before him, died at
his home at Ash Grove, Knottingley, on Sunday, aged 45. He was born at
Knottingley, educated at Leeds University, and began his career at
Pontefract General Infirmary. During the last war he was a Captain in
the Royal Army Medical Corps and served in France, Belgium and Germany.
After D-Day he helped bring the wounded from Dunkirk, After the war he
took up a general practice at Royston, and ten years later, took another
practice at Wombwell. After three years there, he returned to
Knottingley where he had been in practice for five years. He is a former
Rotarian, and a former member of the West Riding Sailing Club,
Winterset. His father Dr. A.P. Percival, was in practice at Knottingley
for twenty years and his grandfather, Dr. T. Percival, for thirty years.
A funeral service is to take place
at Christ Church, Knottingley, tomorrow (Thursday) prior to interment at
Knottingley Cemetery. Dr. Percival leaves a widow and two sons.
4TH NOVEMBER 1965
THREE TOWER CRASH INQUEST BEGINS
EYEWITNESS ACCOUNTS SOUGHT
Workers may take their part in
assembling information about the crash-down, during a tense mid-morning
hour of Monday’s gale, of three out of eight 375ft concrete cooling
towers at Ferrybridge ‘C’ Power Station. For eyewitness accounts are
being sought, meteorological and photographic records, and other data on
the fall of the 8,000 ton giants which cost £290,000 each.
The disaster has tended to dwarf
other damage and dislocation in local areas, where roof tiles were
stripped and vehicles overturned by the wind. What people encountered
however may be of value in the final analysis such as a sound "like a
jet flying low" and a sight "like a shower of pepper" - as or before the
towers collapsed into their shells. They might be the means of throwing
light on the most spectacular disaster of its kind that local districts
have ever seen, yet most remarkable for its absence of serious injury
among the 2,500 workforce at the site.
Did some peculiar force develop with
the position of the towers (they were to the leeward side of the five
left standing) and the wind (96 miles per hour was recorded at the
station)? Answers that may be sought to such questions as this and
others could have considerable effect when big constructions are planned
in the future. The towers were the highest in Western Europe.
Though the area of the towers was
sealed to all except specialist staff, it was back to work on Tuesday
morning for those employed on the site. During the night C.E.G.B. and
police security patrols had been maintained. At 10.30 am on Monday, the
first cooling tower crashed, and the others followed at about
half-hourly intervals. The first fell minutes after 200 men working on
adjacent towers (not the fallen ones) had been recalled because of the
weather conditions "not because it was thought that there was any danger
of a collapse" said Mr. Leydon.
The three hurt but not seriously-
and treated at Pontefract Infirmary, were Malcolm Wayne of Moorthorpe,
Trevor Dillon, Lane End, Skellow, and 17-year-old Herbert Wilkinson, of
Lander Street, Bentley, who was working at the bottom of the first tower
to fall. As he went through a door it swung and knocked him out of the
tower just seconds before the building fell, he said.
Described as the largest of its kind
in Western Europe when work began on it four years ago, the still
incomplete £88,000,000 station has twin 680ft concrete chimneys.
Yesterday it was stated that a fact
finding operation onsite would investigate the condition of the existing
towers and would also try to discover why the other two towers fell. A
thorough steeplejack survey of the remaining towers seemed possible and
would take about a fortnight. At headquarters a parallel investigation
was being made into cooling tower design, and would make use of any
findings of the investigating party operating on the site. Earlier it
had been said that means of utilising one of the remaining towers so as
not to delay bringing into operation the first generating set, might be
considered. The station was due to be fully operative by 1967.
Years in Focus is researched by
Maurice Haigh and reproduced
with the permission of the Pontefract & Castleford Express.