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Ripponden Barkisland And Krumlin In The 50s
A Memory of Triangle.
My first memories were of Krumlin where my mum worked at Krumlin mill as a piece burler & mender. (I remember the boiler house at the mill with the big steam engine that turned all the machines in the mill, and the millpond full of goldfish).
We lived in a back cottage and I had to travel from Ringstone edge to Barkisland each day to school on a single decker bus with the door at the back.
I remember the Christmas parties that the mill where the owners (Edmund Sykes) used to invite all the employees children.
We were very poor by today's standards and I remember having old coats as blankets on the beds.
Mum was a single parent (dad never came back from the war) and in those days such women were not allowed to rent a council house. So mum married a local man so that we could move into a house at Corperation Terrace in Ripponden. He died a couple of years later.
I remember great times as we used to go to the train line that ran to Sowerby Bridge from Ripponden, and put halfpennies on the line for the steam train to squash flat.
I also remember my first girlfriend there called Moreen Dick, I wonder what happened to her?
Once I got in bother for going on my tricycle up Rippenden Bank to Barkisland to play with my school chumes (I was only 7 at the time) then I went down Barkisland village near the stocks to visit my aunt Lilly before heading home to face the music.
When I was 10 my mum worked at Whitley's Automotive Componants at Rishworth and met my 2nd stepdad called Fred and we all moved into a haunted house at Leymoor Rd., Golcar near Huddersfield. Fred travelled by motorbike (Royal Enfield 125cc) each day to work.
There we were very poor & had to go out cutting trees down at night to burn on the fire to keep warm.
When I was 10 Fred rented a house called Clough House in Krumlin (near Ripponden) and we moved back over there so it was nearer for him to go to work. It was a cottage on a farm and we only had gas lights, no electric & no running water, we had to get that from a well across the road.
I remember the loo was a stone outbuilding with a wooden toilet seat with two holes in it and the farmer came a couple of times a month to shovel it out into his muck cart, maybe he spread it on the fields? ( really do not know how we stood the smell).
The cottage was joined to a barn and was over-run by mice.
At night I remember laying listening to radio Luxenburgh on a crystal set and looking up at the stars between the stone roof slates and if it rained we had several buckets to catch the raindrops.
Fred used to buy day old chicks (came in the post alive in boxes), I remember there were some broody cages in the front room with parafin heaters to keep them warm. When the chicks were big enough they went out in a pen in the garden where they were grown on and fattened up for Christmas.
I had to travel by special bus to high school 8 miles away, first Bolton Brow boys school until it closed & then Ryburn High school. Used to catch it in a morning at the top of Ackroyd Hill along with several other kids. There is a stone on the wall down the hill with a mans name on it as he got killed by a bull that he was taking to market.
Summers were great working in the field haymaking with the farmer and his horse & cart. (not the muck cart)
Got my 2nd girlfriend there, Linda Hetherington (she married the coalmans son)
I remember that she lived near to the coop shop at Clough house, she had a TV at her house with a big magnifying glass fixed to the front of it.
I joined the Blackburn Valley Brass Band who practiced in a band room at Ringstone edge, I played the tenor horn. I learned to play at school where I was the solo tenor horn player in the school band.
I auditioned for the Yorkshire schools brass band where I won the position of solo tenor horn (I was proud that I was the only member of our 20 strong school band to win a place. I later went on to play with the Friendly Brass Band at Sowerby Bridge.
Fred & Mum then bought a house called 'Pike End' at The Commons, above Rishworth at the edge of the moors. It was a great improvement with electricity and had a little shop next door ran by an old lady.
When I left School I went to work as an apprentice Joiner at Albert Whitely's joiners & undertakers at Bolton Brow, Sowerby Bridge. I remember nights out at Pearl Pailings dance hall in Halifax where they had all the new live bands, (Swinging Blue Jeans, Brian Pool & the Tremelos, Billy Fury etc.) Had to sleep many times in the waiting room on Sowerby Bridge railway station because it was too far to walk home after midnight.
Which contributed to falling out with my stepdad Fred, especially after he grounded me after hearing that I had started going out with Mary Barber, will never forget her!!
I then at 17, joined the army to be a musician with the Rhine Staff Band of the Royal Tank Regiment.
Happy memories growing up in the Ryburn Valley, the young ones just do not know what hardship is nowadays.