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Knottingley and Ferrybridge Memories

AIRE STREET, KNOTTINGLEY


JOYCE BELL

Dear old Aire Street, gone now, a scene from the past,
Still it holds for us fond memories that will forever last.
From Petty’s Corner to the ‘Flatts’, then on towards Marsh End,
Each building and each character we loved just like a friend.

The cries of the tradesmen, late on Saturday night,
Gas lamps hissing and flickering, giving out an eerie light.
‘Willie Wray’ offering a rabbit and veg, for only one shilling the lot,
"Here, take them", he would shout, "Make a stew, all warming and hot."

Dear old Jimmy Hollingsworth, the ‘Norman Hartnell’ of the street,
His mufflers and flat caps, such style, to buy a new one was a treat.
Backhouse’s, McDonald’s, Jabe Hargraves, The Meadow, Master Grocers all,
Nostalgic smells, like pure coffee, bacon and cheese, how many can you recall?

The little shop known as the ‘Habro’ with its selection of books and toys,
A great delight at Christmas time, bringing joy to the street’s girls and boys.
Carnival Days, when Aire Street would be decked out in her best,
The gaily decorated ‘Floats’ stopping at the ‘Buck Inn’ for refreshment and rest.

In August for a week or more, the ‘Feast’ would come to town,
Screams of fear and happiness would ring out, as the swings flew up and down.
The Circus, the travelling shows, the ‘Palace’ on Saturday nights,
The boxing booths, where a lad could win ten bob, for only two fights.

In the name of progress Aire Street was demolished,
Now in its place new houses stand, their windows all netted and polished.
My sincere best wishes to the residents of this new community,
And I hope they will find the same happiness in Aire Street
That Aire Street gave to me.

Joyce Bell
Ferrybridge

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