ADDED 17 AUGUST 2007
Contrary to some recent comments about the Digest Magazine, I think it
is excellent value for £2 per month. People pay more than that for weekly
periodicals without batting an eyelid, and I might add, not half as
entertaining as the Digest Magazine. I enjoyed Jean Norfolk's letter about
old Knottingley and thought I might add a note about living in Pickhill
Garth, just off Aire Street. We shared one outside toilet with the house
that was back to back with us. We had a swing fixed onto the toilet door
frame, which was great for us kids but inconvenient for those needing an
urgent visit - we were forever having to get off the swing as I recall.
The toilet was a WC type which we took for granted, so after getting
married and going to live in Whitley Bridge with my husbandís mum, as many
newly married couples similarly did in those days, it came as a great
surprise to discover that earth type closets were still in use; quite a
culture shock for the early 1960's.
Back to Pickhill Garth which had a large enclosed yard for the whole row,
this provided a handy wall for support when I learned to ride a bike. The
bike was my dad's old full sized bike and the only way I could reach the
pedals was by putting one leg under the crossbar which was quite a
balancing act. I persevered and mastered this method which came in handy
when my mother's relatively well-off sister gave her a three-quarter size
ladies bike which I shared with my sister Tessa. Riding this bike was a
doddle of a job compared to dad's old bike.
When I was sixteen years old I got a job in a malting laboratory in
Pontefract and found the bus fares to and from Knottingley took a large
slice of my wage, so I bought a bright red racing bike at half a crown a
week - at last I owned my own bike. Not only did I have transport for work
but I could now also explore the surrounding countryside.
The maltster's I worked for was W.J. Robson whose offices were in a large
old house (now demolished and redeveloped) at the bottom of Finkle Street,
Pontefract. The lab was upstairs and I remember we had ground coffee made
in an earthenware jug - quite an innovation in 1956. The office staff used
the old kitchen in the basement for tea making and even had a weekly
biscuit allowance. A very happy band of workers. Good days!!
A Mr. Ken Depledge was a member of the office staff. I mention this
because the name Depledge was mentioned in the Digest Magazine article on
the liquorice growers and I wonder if there was a connection, as it is an
On a final note, I was saddened to see the demolition of the old Lime Keel
pub in Racca Green - another piece of old Knottingley bites the dust. As
youngsters, me and my sister spent hours waiting outside the Lime Keel for
my mam and dad, mother regularly supplying us with crisps and pop to keep
us quiet. What would the social workers make of that today?
Maud Hall (nee Stones)
17 August 2007