ADDED 17 FEBRUARY 2007
My Aunt Lily was born in Knottingley in 1902. When old enough she moved
away to become a Cotton Piecer, and then in 1920 she married an Irishman
called Joseph Walsh. They were married in Halifax and then later moved to
Ireland where they lived the rest of their lives.
My parents and my older brother and sisters, used to go over for a short
holiday, but then the war came and a block was put on preventing people
going to Ireland until the war was over.
In the mid 1940ís, I used to spend quite a number of my school holidays
over there on my Aunt and Uncleís small farm. They were probably some of
my most treasured memories of my teenage years.
The happy times we shared, tying and sheathing the barley, turning and
stacking the hay; bringing in the turf from the bogs, over the river with
the ass and cart. The cottage didnít have gas or electric; and running
water was what you caught off the thatched roof, this was the water you
used to get washed in. The water to drink and for cooking, was fetched
from a spring in white enamel buckets. Oh, and buy the way, the spring was
through 2 fields, over a lane, and through another field. I could go on
and on talking about those enjoyable times.
The real main reason for me writing this letter is, because coming from
Knottingley, my Aunt, now and again would break out and sing this little
short song about Knottingley.
I was wondering if anyone has ever sung or heard this song when they were
young in the early 1900ís. Maybe it was just something that the
Knottingley kids made up all those years ago, I would love to know.
N-G-L-E-Y spells Knottingley,
Everywhere, dark or fair,
Donít those Knottingley girls look pretty?
In clogs and shawls, overalls,
You may travel far and wide,
Give me dear old Gertie from Knottingley,
And Iíll be satisfied.
17 February 2007