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KNOTTINGLEY
A SPECIAL PLACE IN MY HEART

ADDED 20 JULY 2006

My cousin in Knottingley arranged a subscription to the Digest as part of my Christmas present and I have thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

I was born in Knottingley in 1924 and lived there for a number of years. I was married in St. Botolph’s and my two sons were born in Knottingley but my husbands work took us to Sheffield a few years later. Widowhood brought me to Hunmanby, Filey, to live near my youngest son and his family.

I wonder if any of your readers recall purchasing tickets at school many years ago, to buy one square yard of the playing fields when it was converted for children’s use? I kept my ticket for years and only destroyed it a couple of years ago so I can no longer claim my land in Knottingley!

I remember waving my flag with classmates on the Anvil Bridge when King George VI and Queen Elizabeth came to visit Bagley’s glassworks and also the celebrations in the Town Hall on V.J. night in 1945.

Your magazine brings back many happy memories and I thank you for reviving them. I look forward to receiving future issues as Knottingley will always hold a special place in my heart.

I have enclosed a copy of a newspaper article of an incident in my life which hit the headlines in Knottingley at the time.

KNOTTINGLEY SCHOOLGIRL ELOCUTIONIST

FINALIST FOR FILM TEST

(May 1936)

Audrey Bains, (13), until recently a scholar at the Knottingley National School, and now attending the Ropewalk Council Senior School, is a very proud young lady, and her teachers and schoolmates are equally proud of her. With four other schoolgirls in Yorkshire, she has been selected for a London film test.

"A girl with gumption" was sought by Mrs. J.R. Gregson, the wife of the well-known Yorkshire playwright, to play a part in the screen adaptation of Winifred Holtby’s novel, "South Riding."

Through the kindly offices of her teacher, Miss Godley, Audrey was taken to Huddersfield for an audition, and was placed in the final test.

Audrey gained prominence at the Pontefract and District Music Festival in March, when she played the part of Maggie Tulliver in an extract from "The Mill on the Floss," and was very highly commended by the adjudicator. She also won the first prize in the class for elocution. She is the only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. Bains, of "Bonville", Womersley Road. Mr. Bains is the foreman in the moulding department of Messrs Armitage Bros., iron-founders, of Knottingley.


I did not get the part of Lydia Holly in South Riding, but was an extra in school scenes and spoke two sentences. The stars were Sir Ralph Richardson, Anne Todd, Edna Best and Glynis Johns.

At the studios in London I met Sir Laurence Olivier, Vivien Leigh, Anna Neagle and many other stars.

‘South Riding’ came to the Crescent Cinema in Pontefract.

Audrey Smith (nee Bains)


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