Knottingley and Ferrybridge Online West Yorkshire
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Lives of Knottingley Folk




On the evening of 31st October this year the streets around my home were full of young children, many accompanied by their parents in family groups, in what seems only during recent times has become traditional to celebrate Halloween in such a way. Dressed in fancy costumes and carrying lighted pumpkins they toured the estate excitedly from door to door offering a ‘trick or treat’.
On a cold, dark, and very windy evening on the last Thursday before Christmas, I was attending to some chores around the house when there was a gentle knock at my front door. Opening the door, the force of the wind outside pushed it inward towards me and I was greeted by the smiling face of a lone little girl who promptly began singing a Christmas Carol. Her melodious song rose above the howling gale as debris was blown all around outside and into my kitchen. It was totally unexpected but such a lovely surprise to discover that this little girl, despite the horrendous conditions outside, had chosen to celebrate the coming of Christmas in a traditional way. I have a jar in my kitchen into which I deposit loose change but I reached into my pocket and took out a 50p piece and gratefully handed it over to her. She smiled and wished me a Merry Xmas to which I returned the greeting. She turned and left and I closed the door leaving her to continue along on such a horrible evening.
>I was left feeling ever so guilty for giving her just 50 pence as her coming made me realise just what Christmas should be. There were no family groups out on that awful night and in fact that little girl was the only Carol singer that called throughout the entire run up to Xmas. Where she came from I do not know, maybe she lives near me but I didn’t recognise her. I owe a wonderful Christmas to that little girl as it marked the beginning of my realisation as to what is important in life and who matters most of all.
While everyone would have woken up on this Christmas morning to exchange gifts to and from their loved ones, spare a thought for those people, such as that wonderful little girl, to whom Christmas time still retains traditional values. I hope she has a wonderful Christmas.

Michael Norfolk
25 December 2004

Every local resident will be familiar with the field/scrub land opposite North View. Until recently it had retired ponies on it. My partner, myself and my young family live just adjacent on Aire View and so obviously have a vested interest. Last Thursday night during darkness, planning applications were posted on various lamp posts etc. The notices detail a development off Pottery Lane but are unspecified as to where exactly. Initially I was not particularly worried, what with the recent demolition of the old pottery I assumed it could be there.
However, on further investigation I found out that Barrat Homes and British Waterways have made joint planning application for 134 dwellings on the field between North View and the canal. Just one part of this development includes three blocks of flats (11 flats in each block) As far as I can make out, the rest of it is going to be similar to the new estate in Pontefract, (the one the bus drivers get lost in!)
There are currently no plans to upgrade the road as such, however, there will be traffic calming for all the 16 wheel lorries to clatter across at all hours of the day and night on their way to and from Total Oils, Maheers and the Mill.  Pottery Lane and North View are already not up to the job of dealing with their current volume of traffic and this must surely have already been recognised, hence the 'No Through Route' sign at the junction with Ferrybridge Road.  Now mathematics has never been my strong point, but 134 dwellings (for numbers sake I must assume the 2.4 children fraternity!) will probably result in 268 additional cars per day using an already congested route. This surely cannot be good, let alone workable.
We are holding a meeting in the Progressive Club at 1800 - 1830 on Wednesday 22nd December. Please come along and have your say, all welcome. Incidentally, the closing date for appeals against this proposal is December 31st, so time is very much of the essence!
The loss of this land would indeed be a great loss to all for several reason, not least of which is the ever decreasing 'green space' in our towns, the dog walkers or maybe just walkers who use the public footpath to access the canal towpath and the many children who play on the land, particularly during the summer months. On top of all this it will spoil my view! (Aha!, is this a question of not in my back yard I hear you say) - too bloody right it is!
Please forward any feedback to or via post to 2 Aire View, Knottingley, WF11 8LE. Also, if you are unable to attend our meeting but wish to make comment, then please pass on your messages and I will try to get them heard. Alternatively, give me a call on 01977 670374
Many thanks for your anticipated response.

Nick Rhodes
16 December 2004

RONALD BYRAM 1921-2004
It is with great sadness that we learn of the death of Ronald Byram in Royal Perth Hospital, Australia, on Monday 6th December 2004. Ron was born in Knottingley in 1921 and had recently submitted accounts of his memories for publication - a short account was featured in the December 2004 issue of The Digest which he unfortunately never got to see. His full story will be featured in a forthcoming issue of The Digest. Our condolences go to his family who are in our thoughts at this time.

Michael Norfolk
10 December 2004

I was born and bred in Knottingley and when I was young me and my mates knew all the alleys, snickets, ginnels and footpaths that criss-crossed our town. We knew our way round Knottla better than anyone! Forty some years later and I’m still using some of those rights of way I discovered as a child and a few days ago I had the sudden impulse to retrace one of my childhood shortcuts. I took the path through St. Botolph’s churchyard that winds its way from the old library at the top of Aire Street through to Quarry House on Hill Top. The old church looked resplendent in the early winter sun giving off an aura of silent dignity. The gravestones looked as gloomy as ever though it was obvious someone spends a great deal of time looking after the old place. The paths were clean and devoid of litter and the hedges and grass borders were all neatly trimmed giving the area a sense of respectable tranquility. I began to wonder how many times I had taken this path before and never appreciated its beauty and history. I walked on past the church enjoying the serenity of it all, stopping occasionally to take in the surroundings from a different viewpoint. However, the path beneath my feet became more uneven the further I walked. Initially I put this down to a lack of maintenance or natural subsidence, after all, these old places do take a lot of looking after. The further I walked the worse it became, the reason being that many of the flagstones were missing and the path was predominantly much and grass. What was once a wide and pleasant thoroughfare through one of the oldest areas of Knottingley was now an area of wanton vandalism and theft. The pathway had been stripped of its covering in the same callous way that the York stone flags have been stolen from the old river bridge in Ferrybridge.
But the saddest thing for me was that the gate allowing access to this area was locked shut. I stood there dumfounded looking in turn at the locked gate and then to the remains of the path. As I retraced my steps back through the churchyard I thought to myself, what a poor state of affairs we are in when thieves steal a church path and as a result of their thievery the people of Knottingley are denied this route to the parish church.
Of course I could be wrong; perhaps there is a legitimate reason for the removal of the flagstones. Maybe they have been used elsewhere within the church grounds and perhaps the gate is secured to stop people using the path who could then trip or fall on the uneven surface and of course would then make a claim for compensation against the church.
It riles me to think that one of the oldest footpaths in Knottingley is no longer available for use whatever the reasons might be.

George W. Gardner
5 December 2004


Neil Tyson in disguise Xmas 1989

I went to a barbeque some weeks ago to find Neil Tyson walking from person to person showing everyone the article by Mike Edwards in The Digest issue number 12 entitled 'Knottingley Compatriots'. He was displaying a mixture of feigned anger and concealed pride that someone had such affection for him and remembered him in such explicit detail. For the record, Neil hasn't moved very far and resides in Beal as he has done for some years. He is married with two children and I am sure that Mike's disclosures didn't upset her, rather it made her pleased to have secured such a catch. How does someone remember such detail?, it's amazing!
I enclose a photograph of Neil taken in my pub at Xmas 1989 - he is in fancy dress of course!

Peter Jackson, Beal
4 December 2004

Hello from across the pond - Charlottesville, VA, USA
I read with interest your letter about the 'K' Sisters. My name is Joan Hargreaves (Cabell) and I was in the Kilties from 1953-54. I left to join a new all-girls band (Diana Dee). Joe Kerford, who is living in Spain and used to play the trumpet in the Kilties, is trying to get up as reunion and is having difficulty in finding Kilties. Does anyone know if Yvonne Fearnley and Patsy Glover are still living in your area? Should anyone wish to contact me I would be delighted to hear from you.

Joan Hargreaves Cabell
29 November 2004

Strangely I am working in Dubai and was searching for'Dubai Photographs' and up comes a web site of Knottingley! Amazing. (This is only because someone else from Dubai has contributed to the site).
I was brought up in Knottingley having moved there when I was about 5-years old in 1954/5. We lived in the only detached house in Grove Lane (I have forgotten the number). I went to Ferrybridge Infants & Junior School then to Ropewalk secondary school for one year around 1961 but then transferred to Castleford Secondary Modern School.
My father was Leslie Barber who was the Chief Public Health Inspector from about 1954 to about 1972' ish. He started up an Air Training Corp branch base in the Parish Rooms approx 1966 . My mother Mrs Audrey Barber was for many years secretary at Ropewalk school and head of the local WVS. She introduced Meals-on-Wheels for old people about 1965'ish. My sister is Gillian Barber who still lives near Pontefract.
My most vivid memory was going on the bus to school in Castleford one morning and saw that the "C" Power Station cooling towers had fallen down in a storm during the night.. I shall have a close look at the web site as there appears to be a lot of history and pictures.
I am an Architect, now married to a Polish lady, have a house in Essex and Poland, and currently working in Dubai. It must be 30 years since I visited Knottingley. It is just amazing that someone has set up a Knottingley web site.

Richard Barber
2 November 2004


Pontefract and Knottingley Postcards

Thank you for placing our postcard images on your website.  We are pleased you have enjoyed viewing these images and we hope other people may share in the pleasure of looking at them. Once again, thank you for all your time and preparation spent with their categorising, display and layout. We must admit you have made a marvellous job. With all our thanks and regards.

Mr and Mrs Dale
16 October 2004

I enjoyed reading Dr. Terry Spencer's article about Knottingley War Memorial. I have been trying to identify the Private Sunderland recorded there. There is DCM after his name. Does anyone have any information regarding Private Sunderland or know where I will be able to find out about him?

Denis Sunderland
3 October 2004

I visited Knottingley two weeks ago with my two daughters and purchased a copy of The Digest, as I knew my family originated from Knottingley. It was the best thing I could have done!
I e-mailed Michael Norfolk, who passed my details on to Ron Gosney. Within two days, Ron had traced my ancestry back to 1806. I would like to say a big thank you to Ron for helping me so much. When I first sent that e-mail I never expected things to happen so quickly. Keep up the good work.

Christine Wilde
20 September 2004

I live at Brooklyn house, Cow Lane, Knottingley, and would love to see any old photographs and information of the history of this house.  I know that it was once owned by Gregg's Glassworks and that a Captain Johnson owned it, but I would love to know who built it and what the garden used to look like. I believe a yearly garden party was held here?

Carole Parslow
10 September 2004

A very big thank you to Ron Gosney for all his help with my Ratcliffe Family History, it's a bit like early Xmas to be given so much on one plate. Also to Michael Norfolk for a truly great site which has given me a better understanding of where my folks came from and where they worked. When you are so far from away from the source, to find a site like this is beyond thanks. Congratulations.

Brenda Capper (Australia)
01 September 2004

Congratulations on your first year of The Digest, you have done a fine job. The new look magazine looks so smart and in book form so easy to read. I am sorry that it was the last article about Cattle Laithe, what memories your mother has of Cattle Laithe. I think she should write a book about it. Reading it brought a tear to my eye; wonderful stuff! Here's looking forward to another wonderful year of The Digest.

Alan Hardingham
11 August 2004

I will never be able to thank you and Ron Gosney enough for your wonderful help in locating my great grandmother's birth registration. I will be checking St. Cath's Index again next week and sending for her birth certificate. I am truly indebted to you for your help, thank you so much.

Christine Page (Perth, Australia)
11 August 2004

A friend of mine in Ireland who restores old buildings and antiques, is researching a building called Grove (Grieve) Hall in Ferrybridge. I have to admit that I didn't ask why, but he has asked me to see if the building still stands, and what is its history? I was wondering if anyone could help me locate any images/stories/history of the property?

Rebecca Morton
5 August 2004

I'm searching for an old school friend whose name was Suzanne Rudd. We went to Ropewalk School, Knottingley and left in the summer of 1959. I lost all contact with Suzanne after that. I believe her grandparents ran the Post Office in Ferrybridge and that's where Suzanne lived. If anyone has any information regarding Suzanne please contact Knottingley and Ferrybridge Online or telephone me on 01977 675593

Mrs Wendy Burden (nee Branford)
6 July 2004

I would like to say to the people of Knottingley, what an absolute joy it has been to be involved in this very interesting project. I have enjoyed every minute of it, including researching the many copies available of wartime editions of the Pontefract and Castleford Express held at the Pontefract library reference section. The many stories and old Knottingley names often mentioned, have brought back floods of my own personal memories of those times.
Although times were admittedly difficult, with food shortages, clothes and household goods in short supply, most folk were able to find some form of happiness, and I would suggest some of this good feeling came from the very real camaraderie of pulling together, and helping your neighbours when you were able to do so.  The black market did flourish, and there were crimes committed but not on the same scale as today's levels, but by and large I remember a more caring and sharing society, and I believe some of today's generations would benefit from this philosophy.
The material obtained from the Express wartime editions is now coming to it's end and to continue to source more items in essence would be to repeat what we now have, So I would earnestly appeal to the Knottingley folk with their own thoughts and reflections about these times, to share them now before it is to late to do so.
The Miller, Murgatroyd, and Wright families have pointed the way forward, so please follow their example. Nothing is better to have on record but these memories personally recalled. I ask you to put pen to paper and write them down, or ask a relative, son or daughter, to support you. If you have any wartime photographs still intact that are not of a personal nature, we would love to see them.
I have completed what I am able to offer the project and I have had a great time doing it, so search in those drawers, biscuit tins, and share your history with other old nostalgics.
Please look for those old letters. Please, Please, look for those old photographs. Please, Please, Please, record your wartime memories, at home, or abroad. Thank You

Maurice Haigh
24 June 2004

Last week I had a visitor in my office in Dubai from Knottingley.  The visitor was Ian Robertson and he is the sales manager for Parkinson Spencer Refractories, a well-known supplier to the glass industry. Ian and I were both pupils at the King's School, Pontefract in the 1960s and later found ourselves working together at Rockware Glass in Knottingley. Ian suggested I take a look at the Letters Page on your website. I was surprised to see my name identified as one of the 'mystery men' by Ken Rhodes in connection with the original letter on this subject by Malcolm Carrington. The name of the last mystery man is Jimmy Cambell. Jimmy is now working with me as a glass forming specialist after spending 7 years in Indonesia. He relocated to Dubai with his Indonesian wife about 8 months ago.
After finding my name on our company website and then contacting me, I invited Jimmy to join our organisation (glass forming skills gained at Knottingley are a valuable commodity)  I hadn't seen Jimmy for more than 30 years but remember him distinctly from my early years when I was learning the business at Rockware.
Whilst I left Knottingley 33 years ago, I still maintain contact with family and friends there and visit whenever I am in the UK.

Ron Hobman
23 June 2004

We are deeply shocked and saddened to learn of the death of Patricia Elizabeth Reece (nee Brown) who died suddenly at her home in Arizona on 21 May 2004. A few weeks prior to her death, Pat submitted her memories and photographs from her childhood days in Knottingley which are featured in our Memories of Knottingley and Ferrybridge.
Our condolences go to her family.

'Memories are like photographs in our minds, to be looked at and remembered whenever we choose'.
Pat Reece, April 2004

Councillors Burton, Doyle & Stokes would like thank to everybody who supported us during the recent elections. Although the postal voting process was not easy to understand for some people, turnout was increased from previous years with many more of you exercising your right. As always we will work for the whole community as individuals and with our friends on the many groups to support you.
Over the coming months the Five Towns Partnership will be asking residents for their views about what would improve Knottingley and Ferrybridge so it essential that as many people as possible make contributions - a stall will be present on Carnival Day.
Surgery will follow its traditional pattern of Saturday 10.00 - 12.00 whilst we will arrange home visits for the elderly and disabled.
Once again many thanks.

Glenn Burton
Pat Doyle
Graham Stokes
19 June 2004

After reading Louisa Hayes 'Childhood Memories of Knottingley' in the previous months 'Digest' I thought I should record the fact that three cottages mentioned in her reference to Ropewalk, were in fact four prior to 1941.
Prospect Terrace comprised of four cottages, with number 4 being occupied by my late mother and father, Edith and George Hart. I was born in the house in 1941 but unfortunately number four became unstable and so we moved to number one. The previous occupant of number one was Mr. Berry who I understand lived there for some 30 years prior to us moving in. Moving proved to be a wise thing to do as soon after our departure number four fell into the quarry and was demolished.
We lived at number one for approximately 10 years, during which time my sister Dorothy and brother John were born.  We eventually left the premises in 1951 and moved to a house in Broomhill. Number one Prospect Terrace was left empty for some time until Mr. and Mrs. Bradley became the next occupants.
We enjoyed our stay at Prospect Terrace despite having no electricity or hot water and also a long walk to the outside lavatory which was situated at the edge of the quarry.

George Hart
19 June 2004

The anniversary event for the old A1 bridge was held on a lovely sunny day on Sunday 6th June, lots of people attended, and it was a complete success. We would like to thank everyone who gave their services to help, including, Toll Bridge House, Claire's Dancing School, Knottingley Silver Prize Band, Finesse Horse and Carriage, The Golden Lion Public House, Normanton Nightingales, and the Riverboat Safe Anchor Trust.
Most of all we would like to thank the public for being there and enjoying themselves at this community event.

Ferrybridge Heritage Trust.
18 June 2004

On behalf on the Ferrybridge Heritage Group, we want to say how surprised we were at the numbers of people turning out at the Bridge bi-centenary event. Although the weather helped it was amazing that so many came out for a local event like this. I'm sure you will agree that the day had something for everybody and the dance, music, horse carriage and boat rides created a great atmosphere. And of course well done to Heather and staff at the Golden Lion Hotel who provided first class hospitality for the 'official party' including Wakefield MDC Deputy Mayor Cr Janet Holmes - she sends her compliments to you Heather.
This was our biggest event so far and proves what a small group can do with some hard work. The next major event is to be the erection of our Heritage Lights along the bridge path planned for around August. Our meetings are held in the old Doctors Surgery Argyle Road the next is on Monday 5th July at 6.00.
Thanks due to our friends at :
Knottingley Silver Band
Claires School of Dance
Normanton Nightingales Majorettes
The Golden Lion Hotel
Toll Bridge House
AEP Power
The Safe Anchor Trust
Ferrybridge Tenants & Residents Association
Ferrybridge Community Centre
Finesse Carriages Ltd
Everybody who had a stall and helped on the day.

Cr Glenn Burton Chairman Ferrybridge Heritage Group
19 June 2004

In a recent television programme they were bemoaning the decline of the Brownie packs in the Yorkshire area. Not that there was a lack of eager little girls wanting to join, but the due to the lack of leaders as is the same with 'The Rainbows', 'The Beavers' the Cubs and the Scouts.

Select thumbnail for larger image

I must say I loved my years with Christ Church, Knottingley Brownies. The photograph was taken outside Jone's Fishshop on Racca Green. We were on our way to the bus terminus to catch a bus to Pontefract where we were to take some badge tests along with other Brownie packs. We had to take a packed lunch and orange drinks were provided.
Our Brown Owl was Miss Ellis who lived in the Knottingley Old Vicarage with the Reverend and Mrs. Musgrave.  Some of the girls are sadly no longer with us but I can name and remember them all.
The Brownies are 90 years old this year and 2004 is also special for Knottingley St. Botolph's Brownies as it is their 60th year. A celebration party for Brownies past and present will take place in the St. Botolph's Parish Rooms on the 22nd June.

Joyce Bell, Ferrybridge
13 June 2004

I am afraid that I have been quite ill over the past year and have only just got back onto my pc and trying to catch up with everything. I'm thrilled to see how the 'new' site has evolved. I must have a good look around the site tomorrow....seems like I'll have to set aside a couple of hours. Once again, thank you Michael for all your hard's much appreciated.

Margaret Smithey
11 June 2004

I believe that I can name four of the people in the article which appeared in the latest edition of 'The Digest' and which also featured on this letter page 11 May 2004. It seems that the article was written by Malcolm Carrington and three of the other persons mentioned are Maurice Townend, Ron Hobman and Alan Malpass. I cannot think who the other person is and will probably kick myself when all is revealed.

Ken Rhodes (still employed by Rockware Glass and much travelled in the industry although not to the extent of the globetrotters mentioned.)
9 June 2004

You may have discovered from experience that writing about church's is a bit of a 'yawn' for most people these days but I am very excited about the meaningful and relevant ways our church family at Knottingley United Reformed Church is reaching out to our community.  Yes, their vision for and support of these community run Holiday and After School Clubs are excellent examples but there is so much more 'in the pipeline' for the future that is beginning to touch a lot of peoples lives and is NOT conditional on them being a 'bum on a pew!'
This year as you know, is the bicentenary year of our church family being 'in the community' and an important event (amongst many other specialist activities) is happening on Saturday 19 June from 10am to 4pm, when we are holding an Open Day to display all our activities and 'break the ice' we hope with even more folk who live in Knottingley.
We hope the local press will be there as we have our two eldest ladies (in their 90s) officially opening our upgraded kitchen (which in itself is opening up all sorts of possibilities for further community use)
I'm very excited about the way the church family wants to show its concern for their community. Whilst they are currently only a small group of people, they have a huge heart!

Gill Brown
18 May 2004

I am on a short time assignment and have been in the Glass Industry for 50 years and still live in Knottingley. My pal has been in the industry for 40 years but he now lives in the Philippines. We have worked together on and off most of the time. We both started working at Jackson's Bros. both old and new works, and later at Bagley's and even Gregg's. Either one or both of us has worked from Canada, USA, Central and Southern America, Caribbean, almost all of Europe and most countries in North, Middle, East, Central and Southern Africa, India and Pakistan. In the Far East almost every country from Japan, Korea, China, Taiwan, all South East Asia to Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Australia.
We pass on the knowledge that we gained at our roots in Knottingley throughout the world, surely a goon advert for our tiny local community and the glass making skills of Knottingley.
To give a clue to our identities, I was born in Ferrybridge, Christened in St. Andrew's Church before it was moved to its present location, almost opposite where I was born, before emigrating to Knottingley at the age of one.
My mother and father both worked at Jackson's and Bagley's respectively.
My pal was born in Knottingley but has lived in Ferrybridge and is of good Ferrybridge stock - his grandfather was famous for his donkeys.
We have two other pals, both local lads, one whose homes are in Indonesia and New Zealand but both are currently working in the Middle East. One, although born in Pontefract, emigrated to Knottingley where his father kept the Bay Horse pub for a while and still resides in Knottingley. He also worked in glass in Knottingley.
The other was brought up in the new part of England Lane, his mother worked at Jackson's as did he until moving to pastures new.
Sadly, another of our friends died in Indonesia. He worked at Armytages originally, closely connected to the glass industry all his adult life.
Can anyone guess who these five people are?
Well? Does anyone have any ideas? Write in and let us know. We will reveal the identities of our 'mystery men' later.

11 May 2004

I am a member of Huddersfield Society of Model Engineers and wondered if anyone might be able to help me.
One of our club members is interested in building a working model of one of the early steam tugs used on the Aire and Calder Navigation but we have no information as yet on any vessel or builders names. There is a picture of one of these tugs on the page under William Bartholomew titled 'a typical compartment boat train headed by a steam tug'
If you can help in any way with information which might assist us in the quest to obtain drawings, plans or any other information on this or any similar vessel it would be greatly appreciated.
Incidentally, I have in the past years built working models of two of the boats currently carrying fuel along the navigation, namely Humber Pride and Humber Princess.

Dave Wilson
10 May 2004



The Gillian Knight constructed by Dave Allen

A friend and myself are building models of ships of the rivers Hull and Humber, but as you can appreciate, we have exhausted the Hull Dock's Museum's contents on the tug side of things although the trawler side is still quite good.
There are two vessels I am interested in building; Lion H and Lady Joan. I have constructed models of the Gilyott and Scott Tug 'The Gillian Knight' (photo above), which was comparatively easy as I went to school with the skippers sons and had the plans. In keeping with the Gilyott and Scott theme they also ran Hippo D which was built as the Lion H, yard number 33, in 1931. I wondered if there were any of the original plans available and would gladly purchase them to enable me to build this vessel.
The Lady Joan interest stems from (a) a small river tug and (b) my mother's name.
This is not a commercial venture, simply two people interested in tugs and trawlers of the Humber and Hull.

Dave Allen
19 March 2004

I have a museum of some 15,000 milk bottles and obviously Knottingley, with Bagley's and Jackson's feature strongly over the years.
I am trying to trace any milk bottles with early advertising from the 1930s to 1960s. I have some but very few considering the numbers that were produced. I would be very grateful for any bottles or any information.

Steve Wheeler
19 March 2004

As mentioned by Councillor Graham Stokes in the March issue of 'The Digest;

Residents of Pinders Garth and Pinders Crescent may like to hear about the meaning of 'Pinder' which I came across when someone suggested it as a name for the Wakefield Council Resources Department newsletter. A 'pinder' was a local government official who rounded up the community’s resources (livestock, in the days of common grazing lands) and pinned them in a pound. The pinder was a notable semi-historical character.
Readers may be interested to learn that in common with neighbouring rural communities, Knottingley also had a 'pinder' until late in the nineteenth century. Prior to the 1880s when the road was constructed through the middle of Racca Green, the pinders house and the township pound were located on the Green next to a watering hole known as Pinders Pond. As Knottingley developed into an industrial town the office of pinder which was of medieval origin, became obsolete, particularly so following the decision of the Select Vestry to sell off the public lands allotted to the town in the Enclosure Award of 1793. For a time following the opening of the public cemetery in 1859, the duties of the town pinder were combined with those of the sexton.
Names associated with the occupation of pinder/sexton in the mid/late nineteenth century are John Raynor (1857-59), Henry Shay (1859-61) and John Law (1861)
Incidentally, Knottingley also had its own policeman in the 1850s and a bell ringer, including a woman bellringer to whom the previous incumbent refused to surrender the bell.  But that's another story.....

Dr. Terry Spencer
3 March 2004

As an expatriate 'Notla' lad (born in Hillgarth, brought up in Grove Lane) now living in North Wales, may I say how much I enjoy the monthly Digest.   Some things bring back memories, while from others I'm learning things I never knew - and that's not a bad balance!
I enclose for your perusal a street map of Ellesmere Port, a largish town at the bottom of the Wirral, home (now that Luton has gone) to Vauxhall Motors. Thereby hangs a tale..
A couple of weeks ago I overheard our receptionist giving out her address to someone over the phone and my ears pricked up. I collared her later and asked, "Where did you say you lived?" She told me again. "That's an unusual name", I said. "Yes" says she, "all the streets in the estate are named after Yorkshire towns, but I've not heard of this one." She has now!!

Map of Ellesmere Port - Click for larger image

Map of Ellesmere Port depicting
Knottingley Drive

A trip to the library to copy the street map and sure enough, there it is at the bottom of square E3 - Knottingley Drive! I spent a fascinating ten minutes or so looking at all the other towns and villages in the estate - how is it that Ledsham, about the smallest place represented, has the biggest and most important road?
As and when I get time, I'm planning to do a bit of digging to find out why these names were chosen - watch this space!

Ian Dyson
Mold, Flintshire
28 February 2004

I am desperately trying to trace a photograph or two of 2 vessels sailed by members of my family as long ago as the seventies, can anyone help?
My grandfather, Wright CARMICHAEL was the skipper of a petrol barge called 'Humber Enterprise' which was operated out of Hull by Whittakers.
My father, Harry CARMICHAEL, was mate aboard a vessel called 'Modale' which was operated once again out of Hull by Harker's.  I cannot recall what type of barge 'Modale' was, ie. what cargo she carried, but I do remember her being predominately grey in colour whereas 'Humber Enterprise' was the customary red.
Any help or information would be much appreciated

Steven Carmichael
24 February 2004

On the 5th November 2003 we received a scan of a postcard from Mr. & Mrs. Dale of Castleford hoping that someone would recognise the location of this image.

As the front is not captioned except for a pen message written across the bottom, all the details are on the reverse side. The card was postally used from Doncaster in 1908 and written in ink at the top left reads 'Grove Hall, Knottingley'. Is the picture on the front 'The Rosary' connected to Lime Grove or is this somewhere else? Anyone with any information, please contact us

I'm looking for a few old school pals - Charley Proctor, Steven Swales and the Jacksons from Broomhill. I went to Knottingley High School from Weeland Road. I'm 50 years old this next month and it would be good to get back in touch with my old friends.
I remember the days we were sent to Helwith Bridge to help set up the School Hostel. Teachers never wanted to teach us in forms 3D and 4D.  We were regarded as the lowest of the low - unteachable. They sent us to build theatre sets or to woodwork class as we could not understand Maths and English.
I only get back to 'knottla' occasionally to see my sister Maureen at the fish shop but I would like to hear from anyone who I knew or who may remember me.

Kev Slater
16 January 2004

I am so pleased to know that ‘The Digest’ is now eagerly awaited and appreciated by so many readers. It’s wonderful to realise that Michael’s idea of bringing a little of his Knottingley and Ferrybridge website to those who do not have access to a computer, has taken off so brilliantly. He has provided a platform for folks to reminisce and read and write about bygone days and faces and places we had almost forgotten. It’s nice to know there are still some sentimental old sods around, not only in Knottingley and Ferrybridge, but all over the country, and indeed across the world.
Time after time, Michael has asked me to write something for ‘The Digest’ about my childhood years at Cattle Laithe, but before I do that, I feel I have to tell you a little about my parents lives before I was born. My mother would never talk much about her early years saying they were best forgotten. My father however, told me so many things I couldn’t possibly write about them all, but I hope that what I do write will explain in some small way, the kind of man he was and how his childhood years shaped him into being ‘My Dad’.
I hope I am not being presumptuous in thinking that anyone will be interested in what I write. Not only my own, but everyone’s parents have left us a rich legacy of stories of the past that are too precious to confine simply to memory. When we die these memories die too, unless we put them down on paper for future generations to read. Michael has always urged me to ‘get it down on paper’ so I have decided that 2004 is probably a good time to begin.

Jean Norfolk (nee Hobman)
12 January 2004

Charles Burton Hobman by Jean Norfolk

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