ADDED 14 APRIL 2007
I was brought up in Knottingley from the age of six months. I recall,
at the age of four, that I lived in Braims Yard, near Shepherds Bridge.
Mr. Braim had a shop at the top of the yard from where he sold meat.
I started school at the age of four-and-a-half-years at Ropewalk School
and I remember we had to go to sleep for a half-hour during the afternoon.
I also remember waiting for Father Christmas coming down the chimney in
Miss Flemming’s classroom. We later moved to Foundry Lane and I remember
Union Row at the side of Gregg’s Glassworks before it was demolished and a
house on the canal bank. Charlie France's shop was at the side of Nellie
Askin's fish and chip shop, where chips were 1d and bits of fish were 1½d.
There were houses going right down the length of the road. There was Mr.
Coward’s hardware store, where I can remember paying 1d per week for a
basket for my mother – she was very pleased, the Red Lion and then Miss
Allen’s shop, used by workers from Gregg’s. There was an island in the
middle on which were kept some horses and across the road was a small
vegetable shop, Jones’ fish and chip shop, Mrs Jones sweet shop, Tubby
West’s establishment then house. On the waterside were some houses, which
were later pulled down when the Broomhill and England Lane estates were
built. I remember watching them shoe horses at the blacksmiths and running
round the old buildings with my friends Cliff Vipers, Percy Clayton and
Jackie Norton. They were good old days.
My Dad was 'Twisler' Vause but unfortunately I do not know how he came to
get that nickname – perhaps he whistled a lot? He had a pigeon loft in the
alley passage, as it was known then, and I recall fetching the pigeon
basket from Ferrybridge Station during my dinner hour. There was an air
raid shelter in the paddock at the side of the house. We used it twice but
later it filled with water. We used to stand on the canal bank watching
enemy planes going down in the search lights towards Hull. I also remember
my dad giving Buller Wild a meal and some clothes. We also had Bessy
Tomlinson in Foundry Lane, parading back and forth. She was a nice woman
but had the misfortune of losing her shop. These were some of the best
days of my life.
Mrs F. Athorn (nee Vause)
14 April 2007