KNOTTINGLEY AND FERRYBRIDGE ONLINE
LETTERS PAGE ARCHIVE
JANUARY 2002 TO DECEMBER 2002
BAGLEY TABLE LAMP
Hope you may be able to point us in the right direction. We have the
base of a Bagley light blue Crystaltynt table lamp - a wedding present to
my parents in the thirties when they lived near Pontefract. The top
was broken accidentally a few years ago and I have only just found out
what it is after a visit to Pontefract Museum where they have a display
case of it. Does anyone know of any source of this glass or anywhere we may find a top shade to
restore it to its former glory? Any help you can give will be much
Very informative site, enjoyed looking around it. Thanks in anticipation
25 December 2002
I GIVE UP!
Okay Mike, I give up...! I have had forty-five letters about 'My Knottingley'
article since it was published on your web site, many of which ask me to
write some more. Most letters are from very kind strangers and one
of them even brought a tear to my eye. Believe me that's quite a
feat nowadays. Some letters are from people who know me. They told me I was holding back, not
giving the full whack. In truth I was as some parts of my childhood
did indeed get a bit nasty. Thank you for
putting my photo's on the web page. I love your own gallery, you
have a good eye. I can see by the steam engine with the signal
removed that you have embraced the digital medium as well.
9 December 2002
I have just discovered your website, first of all being a new P.C. owner and secondly
being interested in local history. I wonder if anyone can answer a
question asked by a local landlady. Where was the last windmill
situated in Knottingley? I have old maps but cannot find any trace. I would be obliged if someone could
1 December 2002
HARKER STREET, KNOTTINGLEY
I lived in
Knottingley from the mid-1960's until 1978. Does anyone have any
photographs of the houses along Harker Street which were demolished in the
mid-1970's? I lived in number three. They were
opposite Gregg's glassworks and we had an outside toilet and there was no
electricity supply above the second floor. Our neighbour was Mona
Dunn and her husband was the projectionist at the Palace Cinema. If anyone has
any photographs of the houses or can help with any information please
5 November 2002
NOSTALGIA - AFTER SIXTY YEARS!
On 18 April 2002 we published a letter from Mr. Thomas Hanson in which he
recalled his memories of Yorkshire while in England serving as a young Canadian
soldier in the early 1940's. Mr. Hanson has recently revisited the
area with his son and we were delighted to receive a further letter
from him to hear his views of the area after an absence of sixty
years. Both of Mr. Hanson's letters can be viewed by clicking
WORFOLK FAMILY ORIGINS
interested to see that you say on the Knottingley and Ferrybridge Online
web site that the Worfolk's came to England from Germany in the 17th
century. There is strong evidence that the Worfolk's were in the
North Riding for quite some time prior to their appearance in Knottingley,
and I think it may help if I expand upon this.
(1757-1855) who married Mary Denton can be positively traced back three
generation to Thomas who married in Rothwell and died in Methley in
1742. Prior to this there are several references to Worfolk's in the
Leeds and Rothwell areas. But well
before this we have evidence of Worfolk's in Whitby in the 12th century
and by the early to mid 1500's they were well established along the coast
from Easington in the north to Barmston in the south., and up to several
miles inland. However, by the early 1700's the name ceased to exist
in the North Riding but there is good circumstantial evidence to suggest
that the West Riding Worfolk's came from those in the North Riding. On the other
hand, we have not found any evidence whatsoever to suggest that they came
from Germany. In the light of this you may wish to review the reference to Germany on your web site,
which I should add I found most interesting.
26 October 2002
CHURCH SCHOOL, ROPEWALK
I attended a
school at Ropewalk which was a church school from when I first started
school until I moved to Simpsons Lane Junior school at age 8. Can
anyone tell me if they remember this school and if it is still in
existence. I had a teacher there called Mr. Pickard, a rather tall
gentleman if I remember.
19 October 2002
FERRYBRIDGE SCHOOL PHOTOGRAPH
I am very interested in the Ferrybridge
School Photograph submitted by Keith Johnson and wondered if he or
anyone else could supply any of the names?
12 October 2002
SPAWD BONE LANE
Can anyone tell me how Spawd Bone Lane in Knottingley got its name?
8 October 2002
Greetings from Australia! Allow me to
introduce myself. My name is Merv Rossiter and I am a Rossiter
family historian in need of assistance. I came across
this site on the Internet by chance and was intrigued to see that there is
a Rossiter Drive in your town of Knottingley. For some time now I
have been researching a Thomas Rossiter, a mariner, who sailed his ship
the 'Wave of Goole' to Austrailia in 1859. So it would appear that
Thomas came from Goole. I would like
to know what the Rossiter connection with Knottingley is and if you have a
local researcher who could assist me. Many thanks and kind regards
21 September 2002
CONCRETE BLOCK ON THE OLD BRIDGE
Does anyone know the purpose of the concrete block on top of the old Ferrybridge bridge.?
30 August 2002
DUKE OF YORK PUBLIC HOUSE
I enclose a
photograph of the Duke of York public house in response to the request by
'Dave'. My father was the landlord there. He is now 85 years
old and I am sure he could tell you some very interesting stories about
the old place.
Duke of York Photograph...
17 August 2002
I am trying to find a picture of The Plough public house in Kellington. It was
demolished about twenty years ago and a small estate 'The Plough Garth'
built upon it. I remember visiting the pub in about
1958. Can anyone help?
17 July 2002
POPULATION OF KNOTTINGLEY
What is the current population of Knottingley and Ferrybridge? I was a Police
Officer in the town in the 1970's and married a Knottingley girl. I
was transferred by the old West Yorkshire Police Force to Otley where we
still live. I am interested to ascertain the current population
figure for the two townships.
6 July 2002
LOOKING FOR IAN OR PETER MARRIS
I am looking
for two former neighbours of mine from the time I used to live on Ennerdale Drive. If you are out there and remember the bonfires, the
train spotting, the fouling area, homemade go-carts etc... then get in
touch for a chat.
26 June 2002
KNOTTINGLEY TOWN MAP
I am looking for a street map of Knottingley from around 1950 which details the St.
Botolph's end of Aire Street and shows 'Shay's Yard'. If anyone can
be of assistance, please contact me.
03 May 2002
I write in response to the article about your web site on Knottingley as featured in
the Pontefract and Castleford Express. I note that you were
interested in the lives of Knottingley people and felt the life of my
father Charles Blackburne was worthy of inclusion.
Kathryn's account of her father,
29 April 2002
WALTER SMITH AND THE CHOCOLATE BOX
I am trying to
locate information about my grandfather Walter Smith who was a well known
figure in Castleford, running a sweet shop, 'The Chocolate Box' on Carlton
Street. It was demolished to make way for a supermarket I
believe. He was also very much involved as a leading light in
Castleford Rugby League team. He didn't play but helped with
inventing or beginning to use the black marbles for the draw? He
also went with them to France when they played there. At some time
there was the murder of a baby in his home in Glasshoughton, which
involved a young girl called Norma who was their 'live in' maid.
There was a court case and I would be very interested to find out all
about it and to make contact with anyone who remembers the family in any
way. My great
grandmother Charlotte and great grandfather Noah ran the White Hart pub in
Castleford. Is it still there? Are there any records which I
could see in the archives? My mother, aged 82, is writing her
memories of times in Castleford and her knowledge in this area described
above is very sketchy. It is also interesting to note that you have
a GT Smith supermarkets in the area. My uncle is called G. T.
Smith. My mother's name is Emily Margaret Turton Smith. Are we
related somehow? My aunt Ellen Turton and my grandmother, ran a
millers shop in Castleford called Bon Marche around 1916-19 I think. Many questions,
but I hope some answers may be forthcoming, or at least a web address or
e-mail I might contact to get further information.
20 April 2002
GOLDEN LION, FERRYBRIDGE
As a young
Canadian Soldier, I visited relatives Jack and Mary Booth of Ferrybridge
in 1940/42 and was a frequent guest of Capt. and Mrs. Hogg who at that
time operated the Golden Lion at Ferrybridge. If my memory is
correct it was an old coach house and I remember it with great
affection. I am thinking of visiting the area in late May and would
like to know if I have the right Inn and if it still exists.
13 April 2002
above message was posted on the Knottingley and Ferrybridge Online Message
Board. After contacting Mr. Hanson, we were sent this wonderful
account of his time serving as a Canadian Soldier in Yorkshire.
I arrived in England with the second flight of the first contingent of
Canadian soldiers. I had just passed my nineteenth birthday, at the end of
December 1939, when we embarked for Gourock and eventually Aldershot.
My father had met a second cousin, Jack Booth of Pontefract in WW1. and
had visited Pontefract. He was badly wounded at Paschendael and after
return to Canada lost touch with his English cousins. However, his
brother, who after being wounded in France became a senior staff officer
had retained names and addresses and sent them to me. I wrote both Jack,
who lived in Ferrybridge and Emmie, his maiden sister, who lived in
Pontefract, and both invited me to visit them as soon as possible.
was after Dunkirk that I was granted leave and made my first trip to
Pontefract and Ferrybridge,. Thereafter I visited at least twice a year
until my regiment left for Sicily in 1943. My one leave back to the U.K.
came in early 1945, when I left Nijmegen for London . I spoke with Jack on
the telephone but spent that leave with his cousins in Surrey. I
volunteered for the Pacific Force and was whisked straight through Britain
on the way home in July of 1945 and never saw Pontefract again. None of my
English relatives had children, all were of the same age as my father, and
so within a few years, while I was going to university, getting started on
a business career, marrying and beginning my own family, they left this
earth before I managed to get back to Yorkshire. When I visited them, Jack
being a very gregarious man, and very active in the Pontefract
Conservative Club, I was taken around Pontefract and Ferrybridge and
introduced to scores of people, most of whose names I have forgotten
.There was Jack Tooth, who owned the "Robin Hood' in Pomfret,
memorable because of his most attractive daughter, who had little time for
someone as awkward as I at that age. There were Captain and Mrs. Hogg who
operated the "Golden Lion", if I remember its name correctly,
and who were most kind , almost in the nature of foster parents to the
untamed colonial who wandered into their welcoming lounge. I walked the
streets of Pontefract, was taken to a tea room at a place known as the
Dukeries on the moors where I enjoyed tea from the finest of china, and
was driven to York to explore that beautiful city and its Minster. I was
introduced to the game of golf, which I have since adopted to he extent
that I live on a golf course. I visited a fine china factory (if that is
the proper name for it), where Mary's brother had a management position,
and after pub hours partook of the occasional nightcap at the Conservative
experience in the local pubs, to which Jack Booth guided me, led me to
become a fairly accomplished darts player, a skill which, along with most
of my hair and eyesight I seem to have lost. Most of all I remember
the incredible warmth of welcome I received from everyone I met in the
area around Pontefract. It has led me to decide, that, along with one of
my sons, I must get back to a place I enjoyed so much when I was very
young. From your e-mail I gather that welcoming warmth still exists.
18 April 2002
HODGENS BAKERY - COIN
other day I found a coin in my basement. The coin is octagon in
shape and appears to be made out of aluminium. On one side of the
coin is stamped 'J.S. HODGENS BAKERY' while on the reverse is 'GOOD FOR
1/2 LOAF OF BREAD'. Can anyone offer any information about this coin or does anyone know if it is connected
with Hodgens Bakery, Aire Street, Knottingley.
26 March 2002
ROYAL OAK PUBLIC HOUSE
I would be interested in any photographs of the Royal Oak Public House or any of the
old ships that sailed from Knottingley. If you can be of any
assistance please contact me.
19 March 2002
As a keen enthusiast of ships, I have seen Rebus Stone at Portsmouth and Southampton
and photographed her many times. My problem is I cannot find much
information about her tonnage, length, beam, speed etc. Can anyone
offer this information to me?
18 March 2002
HILLCROFT HOUSE, KNOTTINGLEY
Does anyone have any information or old photographs of Hillcroft House, Primrose Hill,
Knottingley? The house is situated behind the Town Hall next to what
I believe to be known as Ropewalk.
12 March 2002
MISS ESKRIETT, VALE SCHOOL, FERRYBRIDGE
I was very pleased to receive a letter in the post this morning from Mrs. France (nee Eskriett), one of the teachers depicted on the Vale School Photograph
circa. 1953 that I submitted to your web site. She informs me that
she is well and has forwarded a complete list of the pupils names. She would love
to hear from anyone in the photograph.
06 March 2002
BORN IN KNOTTINGLEY
I was born in
Knottingley in 1938. I lived at Broomhill Crescent and Broomhill
Avenue and would welcome contact from anyone who remembers me. Does
anyone have information about the 'Sunderland' whose name appears on the
cenotaph. No initial but DCM after the name.
2 March 2002
FERRYBRIDGE COMMUNITY CENTRE - NEW BUILDING PROJECT
If anyone is interested in finding out more about the above project or has
any ideas to help the Management Committee to raise the necessary funds
to build a new community centre, please contact the Treasurer, Mary
Higgins for a chat. Thank you.
25 February 2002
When the A1 went over the old bridge we used to meet on the
bridge when it was very foggy, and in those days it was real
fog for two-three days at a time. The lorries on the A1 would only just be crawling along, and when a suitable flat bed came along
we used to jump on the back of it and have a free
ride up to Oxley's Garage which was situated where
the A1 Knottingley/Pontefract flyover was built, and in reverse we would
do the same back to the bridge. Not the safest of practices but boys will be boys and of course our parents were never aware, or
the local bobby, 'Bobby Dickinson' who was never
afraid to bring us back in line with a good telling
off and a clip around the ear for good measure. Just
another sample of what we got up to.
19 February 2002
MUCK BOAT JOHNSON
Has anyone ever heard of a character from Knottingley called Muck Boat? In
the 1920's/30's he apparently was discharging a vessel at Leeds Bridge, Leeds,
when he said to the crew, "I bet you, I can get a large crowd around
me in 5 minutes". So off he went with a boat hook, horse line, and
loaf of bread and proceeded to go fishing from the bridge. A large
crowd soon gathered around to watch and he was heard to be shouting
"The f....... fish don't like my bread". Eventually the police
arrived, thought he was a bit deranged and took him into custody (again). But he did win his bet! He lived near
Shepherd's Bridge. One day he
filled his sack of coal, and walked under the bridge hole, into his house,
only to flop on to the floor exhausted. Then he told his wife, he had
walked all the way from Goole, with the coal, just for her. I don't know
whether she believed that one!!!
19 February 2002
In response to
Margaret Webster's letter about Mrs. Miller and The Manor Farm,
Knottingley (16 February 2002), yes, I knew Mrs.
Miller. I used to deliver milk before going to school and help out
on the farm and I got 15 shillings (75pence) for doing it. That was
a long time ago.
In response to the letter from Mark Feather regarding Gregg's
Glassworks, Gregg's Glass is now called Leeds Glass. If you need
information I did a video on Gregg's Glass about three years ago and it is
in the television and photographic museum in Bradford. You can of course
go and see the video there.
Mr. R. Stone
18 February 2002
I'M ON A ROLL NOW
Eeeeeh, nostalgia aint what it used to be! Anyone
remember "Freeman's"?..the 'shop' (I use the term loosely) at
the 'Holes"?..Mr. Freeman only opened the door 3" on a chain to
serve you! oooh, while we're at it.. who went swimming and diving off the
bridge at Kings Mills? Remember the youth club at Kellingley Club,
.the rendevous under the baths or the grandstand?, Saturday morning
waiting at Knottla for the Leeds train to see Leeds?, That shop on the way
to the baths?, always open....'Everets' I think it was called, best
Yorkshire mixture anywhere!...I'm on a roll now See what the site's
done!!! My congratulations...most excellent
18 February 2002
What a great site, I am going to pass it on to relatives living out of the
area. I wonder if anyone remembers my grandmother Mrs. Miller of Manor Farm
Knottingley, (behind St Botolph's Church), she used to have a milk round
& also delivered eggs and potatoes in Knottingley.
16 February 2002
Well, done, Excellent and very informative web site, I have already sent the
site details around the globe to friends in New Zealand / Australia /
Canada and USA. I have lived in Knottingley / Ferrybridge for the past 56years,
and until they were demolished, lived in the "cottage one of three"
directly next to the Post Office in Ferrybridge Square. When passing
I can't help but look at the cast-iron drainpipe at the side of
the Post office arch and remember when I used to shim up it to the roof of
the cottages. I have fond memories of my early days living in the Square,
especially the sandbags outside the door whenever the river burst it's
banks and the surface water came up through the drains, not forgetting the
sewage. I remember
that when it was particularly bad we "the gang" acquired an old
rowing boat and spent many happy hours after school, punting across the
square. In the summer months there was the Haystack Den in "Jess Lumbs"
farm which was swallowed up when the A1 was built. The Gang would be pea picking in
the summer and in October it would be the "taty skrating" for Jess.
Atters Cafe, Burlands shop on the corner which is now a Chinese takeaway, Hubbards
fish shop, Dick Prestons "who I had a Saturday job
with", and also paper rounds in the morning
& evening for Alfie Spiers. I fondly
remember Harry Beech Landlord of the Three horseshoes, on every Xmas morning he would be out with his bag of sixpence's giving
one to each and every one of us. Happy Days, gone
but not forgotten.
14 February 2002
My dad is very interested in the old Knottingley pubs that no longer exist in particular
the 'Lime Keel', the 'Duke of York' and the 'Wagon and Horses'. Has
anyone got any old pictures of any of the pubs mentioned or any others?.
13 January 2002
RE: ROPEWALK METHODIST CHURCH
In response to the letter from Lynda Law, 8th December 2001, my wife and I
were married at Ropewalk Church in February 1973 and we think we were the
last but one couple to be be married in the original building. I remember being asked to take the harvest festival service in the Autumn
of 1973 in the Church but not long after that the building was closed as
it became unsafe. Worship was transferred into the hall next door which
still operates as a church and a hall. My understanding was that it became uneconomic to keep the original
building open when its principal benefactor, John Poulson, was jailed
following the corruption case.
02 January 2002
Interesting to see the map of Aire Street submitted by
Paul Dean on the Web Site. I lived at the bottom of West Ings Lane from 1957 and would make the following
observations dragged up from the mists of time:
"Toddies Bikes" was a fairly recent addition in the mid-sixties,
and I seem to remember it was a butcher's shop before that. There was a bakers shop just beyond Jack Dudley's shop
called Backhouse's who moved to Low Green when Aire Street was
demolished. Carvers shoes etc was on the left hand side of Aire Street next to the main Post Office, which was just beyond Carver's shop.
Beyond Carvers were a wool shop and an opticians. On the right hand side the last property before the Flatts was a green grocers.
The traditional spelling of "The Flats" is "The Flatts". The houses beyond the Palace Cinema had an undertakers (Haldenby's) and also a painter and decorators.
names of the shops brings back memories so I hope my comments help
02 January 2002
THOMPSON FAMILIES, KNOTTINGLEY
[In response to
the request for information about the Thompson families in Knottingley by
Gene Baugh on 20 November, 2001]
My source of
information concerning the parents of Ben &
Billy Thompson came from Mr. C. P. Dearden, a lifelong Knottingley
resident who has spent most of his adult life studying the
history of the town. At the very onset of corresponding with me.
Mr. Dearden informed me that there were over one hundred
men living in the Knottingley area circa 1850 with the name of Thompson. Most of whom were not directly related to Ben
& Billy. Here is what I know and it has
been verified by Mr. Dearden's extensive research into birth certificates, marriage licenses, last wills & testaments and census
On Oct. 21,
1840 the parents of Ben & Billy were married at St. Giles
Church. They were 24 year old William Thompson and a a
"sadler's" daughter named Mary Anne Baker. William listed his occupation as a "waterman." He was the oldest son
of a local grocer also named William (his store was
at Shepard's Bridge and he originally came from
Hull) and his mother's name was the same as his new
wife - Mary. His younger brother's names were Benjamin,
John and Samuel. In 1851 they would have been age 22, 20
and 14. The 1861 census listed John as a chemist/druggist and he
was living back on Shepard's Bridge where he was born. Mr. Dearden
has not been able to learn whatever happened to Benjamin and
Samuel. By the 1871 census even John had disappeared.
01 January 2002