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Lancashire Textile Project

TAPE 82 / HD / 06

Harold Duxbury

This page represents the final page of depth interviews in which Harold Duxbury was asked about his recollections of the Lancashire Textile Project. The interviews were conducted by Stanley Graham and as such remain his property. At the bottom of the page Mr. Graham invites anyone with a query to contact him. The pages are all interspaced with the time taken during the interview to give some idea of how in depth the interviews were, whilst the "R- " refers to the reply from Harold to a specific question.

Final Session

This Tape Has Been Recorded On The 4th Of August 1982 At Banks Hill, Barnoldswick. The Informant Is Harold Duxbury And The Interviewer Is Stanley Graham.

I just wanted to tell you that I walked up that old light railway up to the quarry, yesterday.

R - Oh did you?

Yes, I followed the bed of it right the way up and found a couple of sleepers and one with spikes still in it and a piece of rail – there’s still a piece of rail up there! I’ll tell you what I did find at the top, where it goes into the quarry, where it goes into the North side of Park Close quarry, the one on the Barnoldswick side of what do they call it, Moor Park Lane? There’s been another tramway in there goes off directly towards as if it goes off to Dye House and you can see the embankment there and you did say that you didn’t think they’d ever brought stone out of the top quarry, you know down that railway. It looks as if at some time, you know, Lord knows when, there’s been a connection going across that way certainly.

R - I don’t remember anything coming from the Tubber Hill side down to Park Close.

Can you remember the other one working?

R - Which one?

The one that runs from Park Close down to the canal.

R - Oh! Certainly.

Good, well it looked to me as though it was a single track.

R - It was.

And how did they work it, Harold? When I say ‘How did they work it’ what was the motive power?

R - Manpower.

Aye, so they came down by gravity...

R - They came down by gravity and went back by breeches behind steam.

Is that right? They pushed them back by hand?

R - I don’t think so and I’m not saying that this was so but I think probably, at one time they did have a kind of an engine at top of the quarry and pulled them back. A Heath Robinson sort of affair. I would say that generally speaking it was a single track and they came down as you say, by gravity and they were pushed back by manpower - I won’t say the word.

You’ve seen stone coming down there?

R - Yes.

How many trucks have you seen come down at once?

I don’t remember anything only single trucks. They had a kind of an effort the man rode with them and a sort of Heath Robinson brake. There were only a small wheel I think, I should think about a 10” wheel maybe 12” with the flange.

How much do you think the trucks would hold?

R - I should think about 25cwt. It were mainly setts for’t road, road setts.

(5 min)

that’s what that was used for. A lot of it went both ways. Lancashire and Yorkshire.

Yes, very interesting. I found that very interesting following that round. It was such a simple system. I had a look at that ram, that ram’s still there.

{This is the ram at Hall Spout spring. Hall Spout lies to the west of Bashfield Farm, Salterforth at OS ref. SD 88374521. There is a pile of stones with a brick shaft on top of it covered by a stone flag. The overflow runs out into the dyke running ENE down the hill. 25 yards below Hall Spout is a small stone building which houses an hydraulic ram supplied by a 3” CI pipe from a tank situated about 60 yards NE of the ram. The ram is made by Blake or Blakey, place of manufacture obscure. It has two foot valves and a large CI dome about 12” diameter and evidently pumps a proportion of the water that provides the motive force. The outlet from the delivery valve was originally ¾” galvanised but has been replaced by an alkathene pipe. This exits through the East wall of the pump house. The tank which supplies the water to the ram is fenced, has a concrete cap and a small access door about 12” X 14” in CI. Harold Duxbury told me that this ram pumps water to West Marton but this is hard to believe as it is such a small bore pipe and so far away. It is possible that this was Roundell land at one time as the quarries at Salterforth were part of the Gledstone Estate.]


R - Is it still working?

It wasn’t working when I was there but there’s certainly water to it. It’s obviously been well maintained and they say it’s still in working order. The foot valves they were sort of mucked up they looked as if they had water running through them...

R - Recently?

 Fairly recently. Somebody had er - there was a fresh piece of wood driven into the drain hole in the delivery side - you know the drain hole?

R - Aye.

There was a piece of wood driven into that. It’s piped up with alkathene pipe. The outlet is piped up. There’s a ¾” galvanized pipe sticking out of the side but it’s piped up with alkathene pipe now. Somebody must be using it to pump water up somewhere.

R - Yes, well you see if I’m not mistaken Coates Hall and Greenberfield both used to draw off that pipe that went over to Marton. Yes, well it did. As to whether it pumped direct into the storage at West Marton or whether it was controlled into the pipe from Winterburn, I don’t know just how it were connected up. I’ll get to know something more about that.

I’ll tell you something that I noticed that intrigued me and I’m not suggesting it has anything to do with that at all but you know Cockshot Bridge over the canal? [Near Lower Park Marina]

R - Yes.

The bed of the road has got worn away and there’s an iron pipe going over there, going over the bed of the bridge itself, an old one. It looks like a fairly big pipe, you know it could be a cast iron pipe, I don’t know it could be a 2” bore. There’s a fairly big pipe going across there and part of it’s exposed.

I couldn’t tell you anything about that.

(10 min)

I just wondered whether it rang a bell because it just seemed to me to be interesting. -When I followed the Bowker Drain, down at the back of Long Ing Shed in between Long Ing Shed and the foundry - oh it’s in a terrible mess. It’s full of rubble and rubbish and all sorts!

R – What, between?


R - Well, there were a stone wall in the middle of that space. The foundry’s at one side and the shed’s at the other. I should think from memory, the wall of the mill could be well I could say four or five foot each side of the wall.

That looked about right to me, Harold. You can see traces of the start of that wall and you can see the start of that boundary line because there’s been a urinal at the back of Long Ing Shed and it’s very very narrow. There was only just room to put it in between the mill wall and the boundary line. Very, very narrow. Of course that’s all walled off now. Those bottoms right the way down to Crow Nest they really were in a dreadful state!

R - There’s been hundreds and hundreds of pounds spent on this Bowker drain this last twenty year. It could be thousands! A big length of it has been replaced with 12” pipes it was either a stone drain or in some places a sod drain

Aye, yes. Who replaced that? Was it the Calf Hall Shed Company?

R - Partially. [Harold was being a bit cagey here. Briggs and Duxbury did the job for Rolls Royce and one of the pipes is still in B&D’s yard at Butts in 2002. I later came into possession of copies of the Rolls Royce plans for the drain. They were using the water for foul water services at Bankfield and still do I think.]

And then when it gets down to the well and the tank and the by-pass and Eastwood Bottoms, I found one of the by-pass places, I didn’t find the other but I found one of them and it was exactly the same as that one at Bancroft, a slotted stone each side, in fact you can slide boards in them. You can divert the water. Bancroft was exactly the same as that. The one I found was the one on the ‘up-stream’ side of the well. The well itself has got concrete slab covers. They’re absolutely full of silt. I know there’s no use for it now but it seems a shame when you see something like that. It’s just been let go to rack and ruin and I had another look at where Crow Nest Syke’s going under that culvert under the road there and really something wants doing about that. It’s full of everything from old motor car wheels and it only wants one of those to get into the culvert and I mean you know what it’s like now.


R- It could be a thousand pound job! Bunged up under Crow Nest somewhere and you get water bubbling through your floor....

What I’d like to do now Harold, if we can, and I realise it’s a tall order but if we go through some of the. mills, you know, and see what we can just know about them. Right, we’ll start off with the oldest one ~ Clough. Yes, Clough Mill. Who owned Clough Mill?

R - J. Slater and Sons.

So that’d be Joe Slater and sons?

R - No, I think it was John Slater and Sons and I don’t know whether I’m right or wrong but Joe Slater at Newfield Edge would be a son and Fred Harry Slater at Carr Beck would be another son - you know where Carr Beck is? Where Dr. Bower lives now. Up here, top of the hill.

That’s it, yes, Dr. Bower does live there.

(15 min)

Yes, and they wove, they had their own manufacturing business.

R - Yes.

Can you remember the names of any of the people that you knew that were tenants?

R - At Clough it was owner occupied.

There were tenants there in the earlier days. I’ve got records of there being tenants there back in the 19th Century, they did have tenants in fact I think James Nutter had some tenants in at one time. I’m not going to confuse the issue but I have a record, it came out of the rate books because evidently at that time the tenants used to be marked down in the rate books and they were paying rates like in the 1890s and I got their names out of the rates books.

R - Well, I can’t remember that.

Well, obviously. Did that mill stay in the ownership of J Slater and Sons, well how long did it stay in their ownership?

R - Well, as far back as I can remember, until it was it bought by Silent Night. [John Metcalfe said they wove until 1956 at Clough]


And if I remember rightly it was a subsisidiary of Silent Night, Craven Pad that was in there, wasn’t it?

R Well it could be, yes.

That’s it, yes. I think he still owns the site now.

R - Yes.

And of course Clough was demolished. Oh when was Clough demolished, can you remember?

R - Ooh! It’d be about ten years ago wouldn’t it ?

Yes, it seems to me about that, about 1970-72. Of course I can get that off Tom.

R - Course, there was a severe fire there you know. Have I mentioned this before? I should think it’d be about the 1930s, it was literally speaking - gutted!

AM now then, yes, Newton’s told me about that. Newton’s mentioned that fire that they had there. It hardly bothered the engine at all.

R - No, the engine wasn’t affected.

Aye, that’s it aye, Newton’s mentioned that. And so when they had the fire did they rebuild and start weaving again?

R - Yes, but only a part of it. It was repaired up and the high section was allowed to disappear. One section of it was allowed to disappear.

Which part of it was the old water mill?

(20 min)

R - Well, as far as I can say to you, I would say that it was on the Cavendish Road side. I wouldn’t like to say just where it was. I can’t picture it, the structure of that section but I do remember there was some very big basement buildings. Very big basement rooms, I should say. It was really great. Should I throw you onto somebody else who could tell you better than me?

Yes, yes, course you can, course you can.

R - John Metcalfe.

Aye, who’s John Metcalfe?

R - Well, he’s older than me but he was the last manager up there and he worked for Slaters a long time. He was the manager and he knew quite a lot about it and still does and he’s got all his faculties but he doesn’t get about quite as well as I do but he’ll be two year older than me and he lives in Rook Street; he’s on the telephone and he can give you more correct information than what I can give you.

(25 min)

I promise I’ll get onto him and very quickly.

R - And he’ll be as pleased as a dog with two tails .... I shouldn’t say that should I?

Why not?

R - To do what he can and to think that it’s been suggested that he will be the best informant for Clough Mill.

I’ll go round and knock on his door tomorrow,,

R - You ring him up first.

I will, Harold.

R - If you go on Fountain Street, past Ouzeldale Club, you’ll come into Rook Street. Well, it’s the second house down. Yes, it’s the second house down on the short row. Not the one facing you. I think if I remember rightly it’s 81 but I’m not sure.

Have you ever heard Clough called anything else other than Clough Mill?

R - No.

Do you know what it was called before?


R - I’ve heard you say: I’ve heard somebody say Mitchell’s. I think so, yes.

I’ve always wondered who Mitchells were and whether they were any relation to Mitchells at County Brook.

R - I don’t think so.

I’ve been told that before, that people didn’t think they were any relation.

R - John Metcalfe’ll tell you.

If he can he’ll solve a mystery because what happened there was that Mitchell [of Mitchell’s Mill.] the original Mitchell must have been - well I found a record of him as a tenant of Gillian’s Mill as a spinner at the same time as another fellow up there, I’ve forgotten his name. There were three tenants in Gillian’s Mill and he must have taken over Mitchell’s Mill or else built it, I don’t know which but in 1845 he must have had some capital as well because he rebuilt Mitchells Mill and he renamed it Clough Mill. In 1861, during the cotton famine and of course at the same time, Bracewell who was building Butts; Clough Mill re-opened as a steam mill 1845 [Much later I found that there was an engine in Mitchell’s Mill in 1827 ] and Butts in 1846 and at the time of the cotton famine in 1861, Bracewell obviously with his engineering connections, you know he must have been a good man, he was a good man for Clough as well. He re-boilered both mills with Lancashire boilers and in 1867 Mitchell sold the mill and I’ve often wondered if he was over strained by the cotton Famine. I don’t know, he sold the mill for £3,000 and that’s absolutely definite. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard the name before but a fellow called Robinson who used to be the Manager at the Craven Bank at Skipton for a tremendous number of years, in fact I don’t think he retired until about 1909. He was a long-serving man and a tremendous fellow. All those Bank records are in the - the “Craven Bank” became oh now was it the Liverpool Bank? Then the Liverpool Bank was incorporated with the District Bank but anyway it eventually became part of Barclays. I went to the head office - not the head office but what used to be the head office of the Liverpool Bank and is now a branch of Barclays in Liverpool and they let me see all the stuff there. They’ve got all the old books of the bank there going back into the 1860s - 1850s and one of the things that was there was the diary of Robinsons and it was fascinating and I really enjoyed looking at it. It was a diary that he must have kept on his desk and he wrote down his impressions of people in it when they came in to borrow money and this man, Slater and I can’t remember, I’ve got it at home I’ll have to look it up, I can’t remember what his Christian name was. He was running a silk mill at Galgate near Lancaster and he came over here and he went to the Craven Bank to borrow some money to help him towards buying Clough Mill. He paid £3,000 for it in 1867 and Robinson wrote in his diary that he seemed to be ‘a very able man’. He had every confidence in lending him the money and he lent him the money to buy it. That was presumably how the Slaters first came to the town, you know, those Slaters first came to the town. Unless they’d been in the town before and that Slater had gone across to Galgate but he was certainly on a good thing, I think being in Silk spinning when the cotton famine was on. Of course he wouldn’t have any trouble with raw material.

R - Talking about the bank, at one time it was Martins Bank wasn’t it?

That’s it, yes!

(30 min)

Not the District, it became "Martins". Then it was Barclays that took over Martins Bank.

R - That’s right, yes.

So that office at Liverpool was the head office of the Liverpool and District Bank. They took the Craven Bank, over and then they were taken over by "Martins" and then they were taken over by "Barclays". I wrote to Barclays in London and some of the books were in London and they sent them up to Liverpool for me so that I could see them at Liverpool. They were very very helpful! They said if ever I wanted to go back and look at them again, they said they’d be delighted. They were only too pleased that somebody was taking an interest and oh! they’ve got some marvellous stuff there, you know. It really was interesting but anyway there’s one here that you’ll know a bit more about - a bit more nearer your territory, Butts. Butts Mill. Now Butts Mill as I say, tell me, I’m open to correction, that Butts Mill was built and opened in 1846 by William Bracewell.

R - I think that’s right.

There are various references to it in things like the Craven Herald right up to the 80s and of course 1887, (and there again it’s something I’ve got to find a lot more about) the court case that went on between the executors and Christopher Bracewell. Whatever was the cause of that led to that sale which in 1887 was the subject of that catalogue you gave me and of course Butts Mill was sold then.


I think it was sold to a man called Eastwood, does that ring a bell?

R - I think so - yes, there was an Eastwood, yes. There was certainly some connection but I couldn’t say what but Eastwood has a connection with manufacturing at Butts Mill. I wouldn’t say he was an owner but I would think he was a tenant.

I don’t know but from the reading, from the way I looked at it, Eastwood, it seems to me that the Craven Bank took over Wellhouse and Butts as either major creditors or trustees one of the two on the estate. It seems to me that they ran those mills, well they certainly were running and certainly Wellhouse - they ran those mills with tenants in them, on behalf of the estate.

R - Quite possible, quite possible. You see I think that you’re coming to the point, to the beginning of Calf Hall Shed Company.

It’s getting near it.

R - The beginning again, I’m vague, but I think Calf Hall Shed Company would probably take over these two buildings from the bank.

(35 min)

They certainly did with Wellhouse and I can’t remember who they took Butts over from but that’s only a question of looking it up.

[At this point there is a gap in the tape caused by a technical fault. When it resumes, Harold is talking about the Aldersley family.]

R - He [Aldersley] had a son called Edward, a son called Gerry and he’d a son called Charlie. Held have two daughters and Ethel was one of them and I can’t remember what the other one was, she never married. I doubt whether Edward ever married.

You mean old Edward or young Edward?

R - Young Edward. Charlie married late on in life; Gerry married and kept on farming and went to farm at Micklethorne - you know where that it? Well you know where going from Elslack into the Skipton Road? There’s a farm there, just across the road and that’s Micklethorne.

That’s where the AA Box used to be going round that corner.

R believe it did.

They had a fire in the barn there, when they’d just done the road.

R - That’s right, yes and Gerry, his daughter went on farming and Gerry went on farming further on. Just on the right there used to be and I think it would be a sawmill with a little farm attached to it and I think the chimney will be there yet but I haven’t seen it for a long time.

Just on the right-hand side of the road before you get to Broughton Hall there.

R - Is that chimney there yet?


I don’t know, I’ve never been down - well I’ve been down there once when I was wagon driving and I thought at the time what marvellous buildings they were!

R - Out of the top of that chimney there was a tree growing for a long number of years and whether it’s there now or not I don’t know. I’ve never thought about it for years but anyway he finished up there and there were all sorts of characters amongst the Aldersley family. Edward were known as Coates Bull, you see. He had a few family knocking about yet.

I can remember once about 20 years ago drinking some very strong whisky out of a Lanry bottle!

R - Yes, yes, well that were John Edward.

John Edward would that be the third son or would that be another Aldersley?

R - No, John Edward would be the eldest son and then there was Gerry and then there was Charlie.

Ah, I see.

R - Charlie would be the man that ran that business - Monkswell.

(40 min)

Monkswell manufacturing Company. They were at the far end of Butts.

Yes, that’s it, right at the back where by what’s it called? Paddock Laithe?

R - You could go into it from that side.

Yes, that’s it because at one time I thought that was a separate mill but it wasn’t, it was an extension. I think it was an extension that Calf Hall Shed company put up.

R - Yes, it would be.

And if I remember rightly, there was some trouble with the land when they bought it because I think they half bought it and found out that the people who were selling it to them had no right to sell it to them.

R - Yes, I think probably you’re right there.

I’m not sure if they didn’t buy it off the trustees of the Baptist Church.

R - I don’t know.

It might have been but anyway that’s just a little bit of a digression. Yes, so Aldersley’s were Monkswell Manufacturing Company. Did Aldersley’s have any other manufacturing Companies besides?

R - I don’t think so.

How , how about engines down there? Can you remember any of the engines down there?


R - In what way like?

Well, there’s a bit of a mystery that I’ve never been able to clear up, I’ll resolve it one of these days. I must bring a photograph down and show it you and it’s Albert Hoggarth, George Hoggarth’s Uncle, sat in the engine house at Butts in front of the engine. It’s a big engine, Newton did tell me what sort it was but it was a big wastrel, it was a 7ft stroke. It was a tremendous size, horizontal engine and I think Newton told me that that engine was changed. That engine was taken out and another was put in. Do you know anything about that? Can you remember seeing an engine down at Butts at any time, when you were young?

R - Oh yes! I can’t remember any engine being changed.

The one that you saw, was it a very big low pressure cylinder?

R - I would think so.

Almost one that, if the cover was off it, you would walk into it?

R - I should think so. If I remember rightly weren’t there three Lancashire boilers there?

There can have been. On that sale document there were more but you never know about boilers; they used to reboiler ‘em just like pulling teeth out and I’m not sure on the sale document if there isn’t five or six boilers down there.

(45 min)

The boilers then were very inefficient and they had to have a lot more of them.

R - I can’t see where the six boilers could have been housed but as I remember - three.

I think, myself if they were re-boilered between 1887 when it was sold and the early part of the Century when you were old enough to take any notice of it because, as I say, they talk about boilers, you know and they might have been six Cornish boilers. They might have been six small boilers. I was very interested in what you had to say about the water courses they had underneath the mills there and when you went into those water courses to inspect them, I think you said it was about twenty years ago, how did you get into them? just walk into them?

R - Yes.

I’ll have to have a word with Carlson’s and get them to let me go into them. I was talking to that friend of mine, Robert, the other night and I was saying to him. One of the things that struck me about Barlick is the fact that we’ve got two mills where the large part of the condensing water was stored under the mill, Calf hall and Butts. I was asking him if he knew any other mills that had the lodge underneath them and I can’t remember the name of it but he knows of one other and he’s an expert on mill construction and he knows of one other and he was saying how unusual it was in his experience, you know for to have the water run underneath the mill like that. You say it was stone arched inside?

R - Yes.

Was it one passage or was there more than one passage?

H - There was one passage, you see they joined, no there’s two passages. One picks up the water that come down from Bancroft and the other picks up the water that comes from the Springs.

Yes, that’s it because Gillian’s comes down the side of that mill at Butts doesn’t it.

R - Yes, it comes under the ground there and comes out at Lamb Hill, follows down in the open beck to Butts Bridge and then goes underneath and then comes out as we call Butts Beck at side o’ that bridge there and the other one goes up and comes out on Butts Ginnel but Butts Ginnel now has it disappeared?

Yes, do you mean where you can get up the side of Butts Shed? It’s gone hasn’t it because Carlson’s have moved out that way. You’ve got to walk right round now, I think.

R - I think you have. The tunnel is bound to be there yet.

The open beck’ll be there yet.


That bit of open beck up the side there.

H - That’s right, yes.

I’ve seen that because..

R - Well, where Carlson’s main entrance is but Calf Hall side, that arch finishes or begins and I went right through and out there.  I didn’t like the idea but I did it. I don’t know if I had anybody with me or not, I think I did, I think there would have been two of us. It could have been Harry Briggs that I had with me. You see we’d nothing only flashlights and it wasn’t a smooth bottom, you know, they were all over the place. Step on a stone and slip on one and slip off the side. But of course on a job like that you want to be going in at low water, of course. I don’t think I can say much more about that but as I’ve told you before even then, there was a lot of stones that had dropped out and I wouldn’t be surprised if that tunnel could be stopped up at any time.

Wellhouse, that was one of the original Calf Hall Shed Company, wasn’t it?

R - Yes.

Now, what I know about Wellhouse, built 1854 by William Bracewell; sold in 1891 to Calf Hall Shed company. From then on the Calf Hall Shed Company had it right the way through to - you tell me?

(50 min)

R - Four or five years ago until about 1978, I should think.

R - When Silent Night bought it. This is going to be a tall order for you, can you remember the names of any of the tenants that were in at Wellhouse?

R - Oh yes. J Widdup and Sons; Nutter Brothers; Horsfields; Ellis, yes Ellis; Bill Ellis. It would be William Ellis wouldn’t it.  J. Slater and Sons, now at Salterforth Mill.

Are those Slaters any relation at all to the other Slaters?

R - No

Yes, well they’re certainly different firms; The J. Slater and sons that were at Clough was a different concern than the J. Slaters....

R - That was James Slater and sons that were at Wellhouse and then at Salterforth Mill and I don’t think they were any relation.

And the firms were certainly separate?

R - Yes.

The manufacturing concerns were separate.

R - The Slaters, the original Slaters used to live at Coates, where that aquarium is now.


Moorfield aquatics, that’s Moorcroft House now.

R - That’s right, yes.

When we say ‘Slaters’ we mean the original James Slater.

R - The original?

James Slaters. The ones at Wellhouse.

R - And Salterforth.

Did they built the mill at Salterforth? Did they move out of Wellhouse and build Salterforth?

R - No. No, they wouldn’t be the original owners of Salterforth Mill.

Yes, because Salterforth Mill was built in 1865.[Not sure where I got this date. I have an idea the Robert’s engine was put in in 1885 and this could be the building date for the mill.]

R ~ Yes, now there was a firm there - oh I can’t think!

(55 min)

You’re all right, Harold, you’re clearing some mysteries up for me.

R - Do you know, I know the firm very well too. They come from over Manchester area and they were a good firm and James Slater took over - No, I’m sorry, this firm swallowed James Slater Yes, and I always found them right good people and I did a lot of business with them when I was quite young, like I dealt with them. I’ll think of it, it’ll come back.

So what you’re saying is, this firm at Salterforth Shed took over James Slater?

R - Yes.

Wasn’t it a bit strange, would there be a reason for that?

R - Yes, there was a reason for it, the older end of Slaters died out leaving, literally speaking a nephew I would say and I think they’d take the opportunity in the peak of the cotton industry to sell, so they kept this nephew on as manager. These people used to come over just occasionally and they spent quite a lot of money on it in the days when they were taking wood staircases out and putting steel ones in, with asphalt fillings and all that kind of thing, you know. I don’t think we did any from Bancroft, they were all the old....

There’s only the fire escape and the two wooden stairs. That’s all there was.

R - Aye.


Just roughly, can yoa think when that take over would be? The James Slater take-over.

R - Mid thirties.

Mid thirties.

R - I could be wrong with that, you know.

That’s a date that’ll turn up in exchange directories or something like that but it’ll turn up. Well obviously Salterforth will turn up in the Shed Company minute books. When James Slaters left Wellhouse it’ll turn up in the shed Company minute books.

R - Ah but wait a minute, James Slater were at Salterforth before they left Wellhouse. You see they’d only a section of Wellhouse and they were ready for……. When Silent Night started in Barnoldswick at Butts Mill, they hadn’t been there long before they had a severe fire and burned them out. Calf Hall Shed Company’s property! Tom Clarke had nowhere to go, closed his business.

This’d be the fifties something like that?

R - Aye, that would be, yes. You see Slaters were at Salterforth long before that. Anyway Slaters were under notice at Wellhouse and I went to see them when Tom Clarke were burned out. Would they let Tom Clarke go into, would they get a move on? I arranged with them that they’d clear one end and Tom could go in at one end and they’d gradually get out at t’other. Tom Clarke went to Wellhouse. He was there until he bought Moss and John Widdup were in’t Widdup’s office, the boss, they were all directors of the Moss Shed Company, Aldersley’s are directors and they said to me, very outspoken people, were Widdups, "Get this place sold for us!” I said, "You’re not serious?’’  They said, “We are!”  I said, "Well, how much do you want? How much have I to get?’’  They said, "Get what tha can.”  Within a day or two, Tom Clarke said to me, he says, "Can you find me a bigger place?”  I said, "I might be able to do.” and I told him what I had in mind. I said “I think I can buy it.” and he says, "what can you get it for?”  I says, "I’ll have to go back but I know what I would say, £25,000.  I went back to Widdup’s and it were as easy as that.  [Twenty years later I was talking to one of the Widdups and he volunteered the information that Moss was sold for £25,000 to Tom Clarke so this checks out.  SG]

(1 hour) (600)

This’d be late 50s something like that?

R - I don’t know. Could be, yes. I didn’t get a penny. I’ve bought and sold hundreds of houses and one thing and another but I never charged a penny commission.

Yes, that fits in with what I know about you. That fits in exactly with what I know about you! I remember Ernie telling me about when they wove out at Moss. He told me a lovely story about the fellow who was the manager there. He used to be a cloth looker in the warehouse ....

R - Cabbage!

Yes, now what was his proper name?

R - I’ll tell you in a bit.

Ernie told me a story about him anyway, he says, it’s right is this. He said that Cabbage had put in for a rise and he said the brothers had him in the office and I’ve forgotten what the rise was. (It was something and nothing) They said, "We’ve decided to give you the rise [One shilling a week]but don’t ever come in here and ask for more money again, ever.”   He was telling Ernie about this later...

R - Rhodes!

That’s the name, I’m sure you’re right. [I checked Ernie’s tape 78/AC/6 and Harold was right.]

R - Cecil Rhodes - go on....

And Ernie did tell me why they called him Cabbage an’ all, it had something to do with his head. He did tell me the story about that because he was brought up with him. He said he come out and Ernie said it was terrible, no way had you to speak to anybody like that because as you say, they were outspoken and he told me that when we come to weave out I never said anything to him but Ernie was the last tackler there and when the last loom were weaving out and it were on its last pick, he stopped it and he went for Cecil and he said come on in you’d better put the last shuttle into this piece, it’s last bit of cloth Widdups will ever weave. Ernie was upset because Widdups had a good name for their cloth, it was all straight cloth and he said it was all straight cloth and they were proud of their reputation. Cabbage wove this shuttle off and he said there were tears running out of his eyes onto the cloth as he was weaving it and Ernie said, “I thought to meself, he feels like that about it after what they said to him when he went into the office about his rise I thought that was a very good story because it illustrates a lot of - you know - it was a way of life wasn’t it?

R - Yes, that’s right, yes.

(1 hr 5 min)

R - Now there’s another story that’s quite true. One of the Widdups lived at eh what to call ‘em? They had two big houses up at Coates, long drive up to them? Anyway it doesn’t matter. There were one drive for both houses and one of them wanted a new drive and they wanted a price for this new drive and a plan and that kind of thing. We got this price out and well he bellyached and bellyached about this price. We got this price out and showed him what it cost. I said, look here, when this job’s done you want a good drive and I want to do a good drive and all. And I want to be able to put me name at the bottom He said, “Dosta think I’m going to pay thee a £100 for thee name cause I’m not!”

I like a lot of the stuff I’ve heard about Widdups.

R - Well, you’d better be careful, you know because Jack, the eldest son of the eldest one married our Cissie!

I didn’t know that.

R - That’s all right, it’s all right.

Is that the same Widdup that went in with...

R - With West Marton Dairies?

That went in with Jack Harrison. What was the name of the other fellow, he was living down at Stainton House? They bought Whitewell Dairies at Accrington. [His name was Gordon Stuart and he had a brother called Malcolm]

R - Yes, I know.

He was a traveller for Udec {the United Dairy Equipment Company] . I used to work for Jack, you know.

R - Did you?

Yes, I worked for Jack and Billy.

R - What, at the Dairy?

At the dairy and on general haulage because I used to look after Billy. You know when Billy fell down the steps at Thornton Manor? And fractured his skull? Well that man should never have lived but you know what Billy was like, he was such a tough little fellow. I know that it was bad because, I can’t remember the name of the surgeon now. Billy got done for drunk driving and he wasn’t drunk actually because he’d been with me that night. After he’d had that head injury he used to have funny does, he used to go into fits you know and Arthur Morrison told me what to do about this because Jack had gone to Whitewell then and Jack offered me money to stay with Billy. He knew that Billy wasn’t fit to be left on his own and I told Jack, I said, “You’ve no need to offer money, I’m going to stay with Billy,” and I said, "If ever I leave I’ll let you know first so don’t worry about that, there’s no need for anything like that.”  Billy was funny you know. I used to come back at nights, his wife had left him. I came back one night and he came at me with a knife! You know, he used to have funny does and I found him one night, held gone into a fit and his heels had drummed on the floor that much they’d cut through the carpet, through the underfelt and they’d made holes in the floorboards. His heels were just going like that on the floor.  What you had to do with him when he was like that was give him an injection to knock him out and he came to about five hours later and he didn’t know anything about where he’d been. It was his brain repairing itself. It was a function of his damaged brain moving over to the other side and every time that happened, he had a fit. In the end Arthur had me yoked up with the plastic syringes and the phials and if I found him like that just get, you know fill it up blow the air out and stick it in his behind and out Billy went like a light.  When that happened, I used to bring young John back home to Barlick and he used to stay at Hey Farm with me and Vera and I used to go back and stay with Billy. I did that three or four times. I found him like that three or four times. Then it was years later, three or four years later I happened to be going into West Marton yard when I was working for Dick Drinkall and there was a little knot of people in the yard and it was Billy of course he was having a fit.  People were calling for ambulances and I said, No you’re all right, I’ll show you what to do with a fit, you know and I said first thing you do is make sure you’ve got a piece of wood, get his mouth open and look for his tongue and see where his tongue is and if he hasn’t swallowed his tongue don’t put your fingers between his teeth because he’ll bite you! He weren’t as bad then. I’m trying to remember the name of that chap that lived at Stainton House; he was a traveller for United Dairies Equipment Company and he was the technical knowledge behind John. Jack Harrison and Jack Widdup were the money as far as I could make out and they bought it off a fellow called Moore.

(1hr l0 min)  (650)

Then they transferred it to Associated and I know Jack said that when they got to so much, he’d sell ‘em and I don’t know whether, I think he did sell most of them but my God he should have kept them because they just went up and up and up! Anyway, that’s another digression. I don’t know we’re terrible tonight for digressions, they’re good ones though. So, Widdups, yes, well we’ll get onto Widdups when we er... Let’s have a look at Bankfield? What do you know about Bankfield?


R - Not a lot, go on, ask me questions.

Am I right in thinking that the official title of the company was the Barnoldswick Room and Power Co?

R - Yes.

Now then, the first shed that they built in 1905, the no. 1 shed was the big shed - Now was it 1800 looms, 1900 looms? in one shed?

R - It could be. Bradleys had about 900 looms, I think. Nutters would have the same….

Yes, 1800 loom shed. Now then, the thing that’s always struck me about that was it was strange that, now let me get it right - was it James Nutter or Nutter Bros who were in there?

R - James Nutter and Sons.

Now, I often wondered if it was a genuine shed company in that it had built sheds to rent or was that was just a name between Bradley Brothers and James Nutter.

R - No, it was a genuine Company. There was shareholders but Nutter and Bradleys were the main shareholders.

(1 hr 15 min)

And then in 1910 they built the no 2 shed. One of the first tenants in that was - oh the name’s slipped me, I’ve got his letter books at home. You see, I can do it an’ all, Harold. Can you think of a tenant?

R - Well there were Horsfield and Sagar and that was the same - the quarrymen, John Sagar and Sons.

The same firm that owned the quarry?

R - Same firm.


Would Sagars, did they have the quarry then in 1910?

R - Yes.

So they ran the quarry and the manufacturing Company?

R - Yes.

Had they taken over Whitham’s interests?

R- No.

They’d taken over the other quarry?

R – They had the top quarry and the park. [Loose Games and Park Close]

Of course, yes! Whitham had the Salterforth side.

R - Whitham had the quarry on the Foulridge side.

I’m sorry, yes. The one that originally was Bracewell’s. Where the brickyard was. So Sagars, would they own the quarry?

R - No, it belonged to the Gledstone Estate.

I see, it belonged to West Marton. I didn’t know it was the same Sagar.

R - One of the sons ran the manufacturing, Sidney.  John Sagar was the father of Sidney.

John was in at it when they were starting it up because I have the letter books and then Sydney took over from John. John was on his holidays when they started the engine. He went away on holiday and I’ll have to bring that letter book and let you see it. He gives the exact time and day when the engine started. I think it was May, 1910 because of course at Bankfield there were two separate engines weren’t there?

R - Yes, one for the old place and one for the new.

He was a bit of a beggar was John, some of the business letters he wrote!

R - And a father and the son ran the engines - Rhodes and his son, Archie Rhodes was the son and I forget what they called his father and the son had the small engine. And Archie Rhodes in 1914 went round the shafting and I had two looms. 1913, 1914 I said but it would be 1913 - could have been 1912 - it was either 1912 or 1913 that Archie Rhodes were putting on a fan belt that they used to have in them days, off the ladder, you know they had a big pulley and they drove a fan in the roof. You know, for ventilation.  The belt had come off and he were putting it on and his jacket got in and took him round and there were marks for years on’t ceiling where his feet touched ceiling. He were badly smashed up; they carried him out but he lived and he lived to be a fair good old age. He’d everything broken.


He was lucky there was room for him to go round.

R - That’s right. I know another went round at Moss and he were killed.

Who were that?

R - They called him Holroyd. There’s a lad in Barlick now he’s his brother and I’ll never forget that. He weren’t so old then but he were in bits!

When was that about?

R - Oh that would probably be about 1915-16 that happened.

(1 hr 20min)

He were only a young fellow and he went revolving round, same circumstances and he were chewed in bits! One of the Police, I remember it now, our workshop then were on’t Croft, that place that were burned down and he brought a parcel and threw it to me on’t bench and said, “Put that in with him!”  They’d found some more parts.

I don’t know whether you’ve ever noticed but I always favour t-shirts. I like t-shirts.

You know that’s why I always wore t-shirts never wore t-shirts when I was on the wagon. When I went into the mill and I started running the engine and being round the shafting and looking at that stuff there and I thought to myself, Stanley, use your head. I got home one day and I said to my dad, “I’ve come to the conclusion if you’re going to work round shafting, you shouldn’t wear a collar and tie!” My dad looked at me and he said, “You’re learning, lad You know them there vests you see people wearing these days. Just the thing, no loose bits hanging out, wear them!”

R - They used to have overalls and a jacket and they were both taken round with their jackets.

I started wearing t-shirts and that was the reason why, but just one more story about that and I saw this happen, remember Joe Nutter up at Bancroft?

R - Yes.

He was there one day was Joe with his collar and tie on and he’s leaning in front of the tape machine and his tie went in’t roller! All right, that roller’s not going round very fast and thank God he had heavy sort in which meant it was running slower still. They were doing condensers and they were doing about eight twist. He just reached out and you know where the scissors were at the side for when they were doffing a warp? He just reached out for the scissors and cut it. Then straightened up and he looked at me and he said, “I’ll never wear a tie again. And he didn’t either. Think what might have happened, I mean a tie’s a strong thing.

For more information or advice.

Stanley Challenger Graham

10 East Hill Street




United Kingdom.

Tel: (044) (0) 1282 813527

E-mail Stanley Challenger Graham

I would like to one again mention the OneGuyFromBarlick website and encourage a visit to anyone with an interest in all things Barnoldswick and its surrounding districts.

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Copyright © Stanley Challenger Graham 1982