MEMORY AND VERY FIRM HAND
The following article, which featured in a local
newspaper, was submitted to us by Mrs. Joyce Bell
year old, Mrs. D. Lightowler, of The Bungalow, Marsh End, Knottingley,
displays a remarkable memory, and a very firm hand, in a letter
appreciating our recent feature on Christ Church, of which she has
been a member since childhood. She writes:
A great gap
has been put in the lives of the older members at the passing of our
beloved Church. My history of it goes further back than the
writer's - to the days when the Rev J. S. Fowler was Vicar.
then was always a treat for churchgoers on Sunday, and always a warm and
friendly atmosphere was among the congregation. Many members have
passed away since those days, but there are still a few left who
remember the annual parish tea, concert, and dance held in the Town
supervised by ladies of the congregation and the concert was mostly
given by local talent. Always there was a delightful sketch by the
Dramatic Society with artistes William F. Howard, D. Jackson and P.
Thompson. A dance until midnight ended the evening.
Now we come
to Aire Street. I remember when it would be crowded with shoppers,
and the cry of street traders would welcome you. The voices of Mr.
J. Wray with his bargains of fish at give-away prices and Mr. J.
Doubtfire, with his rabbit, onions and potatoes for a shilling, could be
were very cheap in those days, but money and work were scarce.
There were few luxuries - a loaf of bread cost only 3d. and a pint of
milk 11/2d. Most people were very hard-put. The only work
was at Bagley's glassworks and the chemical works - both a fraction of
the size they are today.
The town is
now prospering, but the old friendship has gone. The baths are a
great attraction to young children - but the games of old such as
battledore and shuttlecock, whip and top, clicks on the doorstep, have
remember the mussel boat coming to Cow Lane Bridge, and Johnny Swales,
the town crier, acquainting people, and the majority running with their
buckets for a cheap 3d. worth to give the family a meal?
event of Knottingley was the Feast, held on The Flatts in the last week
in July and full of amusements. There was a show with dancing
girls at the front, switch-back railway with a beautiful organ, and a
bazaar where visitors would buy gifts to take home.
numerous dolly stalls, side-shows and the Vickers Theatre, which stood
at the top of The Flatts for about three weeks, until they had run out
of plays such as East Lynne, The Gypsy Bully, and Jane Shaw.
artistes included Mary Vickers, Emma Pool, J. Foulding and last, but not
least, the well loved comedian Harry Ives, who used to come on after
every performance to thank people for their presence and conclude with a
memories of by-gone years still ring in the ears of the older folk, but
time marches on and progress must continue, though when we think of the
vandalism and destruction that takes place, we cannot think this is the
same old 'town of yore'.
We can only
sigh and whisper, 'Those were The Days'.
Reproduced from a local newspaper cutting submitted by Mrs. Lightowler's daughter,
Mrs. Joyce Bell