Great Horton

A Memory of Bradford

Our family lived in Lidget Green, near the Great Horton railway station. I was born in 1949 near Bradford (Wakefield), and lived in Lidget Green from toddlerhood until we emigrated in 1960. The neighborhood provided many memories which were everyday and mundane at the time but now are more quaint and nostalgic. Milk deliveries by horse-drawn cart. The lighting of the coal gas street lamps each evening by a worker with a ladder. Fogs so thick you could not see further than a few feet in front of you, and even less at night. The deliveries of coal in large, heavy, burlap sacks. The "rag and bone" man who passed through on the service alley every so often, calling for contributions and who was said to catch naughty and disobedient children and carry them off in the sack on his shoulders. The local railway had a coal train which labored, huffing and chuffing, up the incline from further south as the line branched off from the main lines leading into Bradford's Exchange Station. The small engine's driving wheels often slipped on the wet rails while pulling its heavy load of coal wagons, lost motion to a dead stop, and had to restart again, slowly building up the tempo and speed. Hearing the train in the distance from our house on Cumberland Road, I would run up to the Great Horton station to watch the coal train arrive, slowly and always straining up the incline. At Great Horton station, the train passed through the platforms and under the Beckside Road bridge, where I stood on a pedestrian overpass to be enveloped in steam, smoke and the smell of burning coal. It then backed down and shunted its load of coal wagons over the coal spills just east of the station. The rails, which acquired a light coat of rust overnight, became bright and shiny again after the train had passed over them.

A memory shared by Richard L , on Aug 9th, 2010.

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