I have a good
memory about things a long time ago and I love reading all the stories in
The Digest. We moved from Racca Green when I was about 12 years old to the
Holes. After my marriage I divorced and moved to number 23 where I made
friends with a lady called Mrs Radcliffe who lived in Pottery Lane. She
told me that where I lived there was once a pub called the ‘Potters Arms’
where the husband murdered his wife. It must have been across from the
Duke of York but I have asked all over and got books from the library and
I can’t find anything about it.
My mum had
five children to look after on her own but she lost a boy and a girl
leaving her with three.
know if anyone else can remember but when we lived on Racca Green we had
something called a ‘means test’ where we had to go to the top of Racca
at the side of the Club (I think it was called the Low Club). There was a
place there where sometimes my mum would be given something but if not we
had to try to get something elsewhere because my mums husband had lost his
arms and she only got ten shillings with which she had to feed us on. That
was his pension.
We used to
make our own rugs with Dolly Pegs and old woollen cardigans – I bet a
lot of people can remember doing that.
We used to
love going to the pea fields and we would sell the bucket of peas we
brought home with us. We would get a sweet coupon and run down to the
picture house and when we got back we would have peas and one of my mums
‘meat and tatie’ pies done in the old fire oven. The Palace cinema is
a treat to see today and I am glad that someone is looking after it and it
has not been demolished.
remember the old tom puddings weaving along the canal and stopping near
Bagley’s. One year, Racca Green flooded and the water came right up to
our dustbin handles, I was only about eight years old at the time.
and myself used to play marbles behind Barker’s paper shop where there
was a small piece of wasteland. One day I ran to see where mine had landed
and among some grass I noticed something sticking out – it was a small
bomb. A group of soldiers came and kept us all away from the area until
they had removed it. My mum said that when we lived there it was just an
empty house but when she was young there were soldiers using it.
remember an old orchard near the Vicar’s house? The reason I am asking
is if anyone can remember the tall, broad Vicar who was waiting for me at
the bottom of one of his trees and who reported me to the school. I was
about eight or nine years old at the time and I am only four feet ten
inches tall now. He was well over six feet tall - big, broad and bold! I
can laugh about it now but I never went up his trees again. I remember him
so vividly because his surname was Musgrave.
I can recall
Dr. Murphy on his own at Knottingley because Dr Kehelly had died. Dr. Fox
came and then Dr. Scholie and when I was older I worked on Dr. Scholie’s
farm. One day we were having our tea and heard a lot of noise. We ran
outside and saw Dr Murphy and Dr. Kehelly fighting with each other before
jumping in their cars and taking off. They both had black eyes and we were
used to come and collect all the pregnant ladies and take them to his
clinic. Nobody could say he did not look after us. I miss him and I bet I
am not the only one. If he came to see us at home he used to walk out with
my mums gas mantle in his hat. We could not see each other if it was
winter and he used to walk back and put some money in my mums hand and
tell her to go and buy some more. It used to be much colder in those days
and often the canal would freeze over.
Down on Hill
Top where they built the new Roman Catholic church, my mothers cousin used
to have a small shop that made lovely marble angels and monumental stones
among other things for graves. They were called the Fairbairn Brothers and
the shop was situated next to the Swan Inn pub. I have pictures of the pub
and I can remember having to go down some steps to find a way in for a
drink of orange. I think the Carter family owned the pub and I wish they
had left it as it was, that’s why it’s good to see the old Palace
cinema still standing.
reading about the big block of flats at the top of Ferrybridge Hill that
belonged to the Carter family. When me and my brother Billy worked in the
crystal he had a lovely cottage in the grounds. I think it belonged to
someone called Backhouse who used to bake and they had a shop down Aire
Street. Someone besides me I bet, can remember the smell of the baking as
we made our way to the flicks.
It has been
lovely writing these few memories but I can’t write well these days so I
will leave it to Michael and hope that everyone had a lovely Xmas.