THE 1950'S BOYS FROM THE SQUARE
have spent my past 58 years in and around Ferrybridge and was brought up
in the Square in the 1950's in one of three cottages directly next
to the Post Office, which in those days was run by Jack Hirst. It was
situated opposite the Golden Lion before it’s
move to where it is today.
When passing it now I can’t help but glance at the old cast iron drain
pipe at the side of the arch, which I used to shin up to get onto the
roof of the cottages.
I have many fond memories of my childhood in the
'Old Square', such as putting out the sandbags whenever
the river looked like it was going to overflow. When it did the sandbags
did not help a great deal in stopping 6 inch of water coming under the
front door, not to mention the surface water coming up through the
drains and accompanied with raw sewage. I remember one year when it was
particularly bad to the extent that we 'The Boys of the 1950s'
acquired from somewhere an old boat and spent many happy hours, until
the river level subsided, punting across the Square.
the summer months we had the 'Haystack Den' in Jess Lumbs
stack yard, which was swallowed up by the new A1 along with just about
everything else such as Len Whites Hardware shop, Rolfes Sweet shop,
Stan Jones the Chemist, Ellis’s Wallpaper & paint shop, Fred
Atters Café, Hubbards Fish & Chips, and my dad’s favourite, Bill
Penty’s the bookies. Winterbotoms is built on the site of France’s
newsagents, and nearby there was George Shay the Cobbler. Over the road
was Dick Preston the greengrocers, where I had a Saturday job, further
down there was Judy Bell’s. In the morning and evenings I delivered
papers for Alfie Spires, and during the summer we would earn extra
pocket money by going pea picking, in the Autumn it would be 'Taty
Scratting' For Jess. The Chinese Takeaway on the corner used to be
Burlands, and the Chemist in the Square which as long as I can recall,
had always been Billy & Maud Pipers clothes shop.
there is one childhood recollection that stands out from the others, it
has to be the Landlord of the 'Three Horseshoes' Harry Beech,
with his bag of sixpences & tangerines doing the rounds of all the
kids in the Square and Pinders on Xmas morning, making sure we all got
one of each.
Hopping from the old A1 bridge was my speciality, We used to look
forward to foggy days and nights with some excitement, in those days it
was real pea soupers, and the lorries travelling up and down the A1
would only be going at crawling speeds We "the 1950s boys"
would meet up on the old bridge and jump onto the back of a suitable
flatbed lorry, and have a free ride down the A1 as far as Oxleys garage
which was situated where the A1 and Knottingley flyover now is, and in
reverse doing the same thing on a lorry going North where we would jump
off at the Old bridge. Not the safest of practices, but boys will be
boys and of course our parents were never aware of our exploits.
Although "P.C. Dickinson" was, and he was never afraid of
giving us a good telling off and in some cases a clip around the ear for
recall one night in particular when it was very foggy, we jumped on the
back of a lorry going South expecting to jump off as usual at Oxley’s
garage, but things did not go to plan. The fog suddenly cleared, the
lorry we were on picked up speed and by the time we got to Oxley’s the
lorry was going too fast to jump off. We ended up somewhere down the A1
past Darrington, before we were able to jump off after going back into
fog. It was a long and cold walk back to Ferrybridge.
feel I should mention the 'Ferrybridge Boys of the 1950s and early
60s', some unfortunately are no longer with us but all I feel sure
all put their mark in some way on Ferrybridge.
Boys from the Square:
& Mal Lingard, Kenny & Winstone Draper, Gordon
"buster" McGavin, Johnny Bickerdyke, Derek "Snowy" Shackleton, Terry Skelcher, George Long, Frank Rose, Albert Murgatroyd,
Brian Ackroyd, Mick Tennant, Stuart Adams.
Boys from the Tarens:
& John Hughes, Jack Yates, Trevor & Terence Faunch, Farnell
Rowbottom, Johnny & Les Smetherhurst, Billy "cushy" Carr,
Billy Dobson, Derek Dobson, Harry Hemsworth, John Fox, Freddy Wilkinson,
Sid Willis, Fred & Billy Hutchinson, my apologies to those I have
very happy youthful days may have gone long ago, but they are never