KNOTTINGLEY AND FERRYBRIDGE IN MORE RECENT TIMES
Knottingley - an important industrial town in the county of West Yorkshire, England, is situated in the lower Aire Valley
on the south bank of the river Aire and has a population of approximately 16,000. It is a member of what is locally referred to as the 'Five Towns' which
also comprise the towns of Pontefract, Castleford, Featherstone and Normanton and covers an area of approximately 38 square miles. The nearest cities to
Knottingley are Wakefield, Leeds and York. Knottingley is ideally situated with easy, convenient access to both the A1(M) and the
It has its own small railway station with regular
services into both Leeds and Wakefield where our local trains connect with
the main line services to London and the North. There are also
regular bus services from Knottingley into adjoining towns such as
Pontefract and Castleford with a less frequent service through to
Doncaster. Once the inland port of the West Riding, what little
remains of the canal transportation business now simply passes through the
town on its journey from the port of Goole to major towns and cities
Mist rising over the river Aire at Ferrybridge
by William Dobson
still home to some major industrial concerns, a tradition which it has carried
for many years. The glass works in the town have been established for
over one hundred years though they have seen several changes of ownership along the way.
The town is
bisected by the Knottingley to Goole railway line which carries thousands
of tons of coal through the centre of the town to the local power stations
at Drax, Eggborough and Ferrybridge. Coal is still big business for
the town, although today, instead of it being transported a few miles from
our local collieries, it will probably have travelled thousands of miles from the other side of
the world to our East coast ports. Cheap imported coal has reduced
our local collieries from around a dozen or so in 1980 to just a single
one at Kellingley by 2004, and along with them,
whole mining communities have disappeared.
The centre of
the coal transportation business in the area is the English, Welsh and
Scottish Railway depot situated in the heart of the town from where almost
all the coal trains seen passing through the area are worked.
railway station in town which was once the major changing point for trains
to and from London and Scotland is now serviced by an infrequent 'shuttle'
to Leeds and Wakefield.
The skyline towards
Ferrybridge is dominated by the massive cooling towers and chimneys of
Ferrybridge 'C' Power Station. Commissioned in 1968, it is a coal fired
station utilising both local mined and imported coal which it receives by rail,
road and barge. It has a capacity of 2000MW and burns up to 800 tonnes of
coal per hour and requires 218 million litres of water per hour for cooling
both its own fire and police stations with cover being provided by forces in the neighbouring towns of Pontefract and Castleford.
industry plays a leading role in the life of the town, Knottingley is
situated on the very edge of some lovely countryside and is a short drive
away from some areas of outstanding natural beauty. Within the space
of approx just over one hours drive it is possible to be in the heart of
the Yorkshire Dales, Yorkshire Moors or along the East coast resorts at
Scarborough, Bridlington, Whitby and Filey. Yorkshire has much to
offer to its visitors and Knottingley, while being a town of industrial
stature, lies in the heart of some of the most
beautiful countryside in England.
The town has
always been blessed with its fair share of pubs and some of these go back
many years to the days of the mail coach services in Ferrybridge.
The local pub is but a short stroll away. For those of you who like to
stay out past the midnight hour, the neighbouring towns of Pontefract and Castleford
offer a varied selection of night life.
carnival, the origins of which date back to 1927, continues to be staged each summer
and attracts support from all corners of the community.