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The independent guide to what’s on in your community


October/November 2013

The Bingley Byron


Please take one

John Nicholson, known as “The Airedale Poet”, was a major celebrity in his own lifetime. So why has Bingley’s woolsorterwordsmith now been largely forgotten?

Ay, Minister! The Shipley constituency has been represented by politicians from all three major parties in its history. James Slater of The Local Leader magazine looks at our local MPs, from 1885 to the present day.

High spirits? A spooky tale for Halloween from writer Yvonne Lang. Photo: Wilsden’s autumn foliage © Tony Caunt LRPS our regular features! Community news Past times Recipe: carrot cake

Nostalgia from Eric Firth History from Astrid Hansen Family tree research All about animals

Charity news Readers’ letters What’s On guide ...and much more!

Wilsden, Cullingworth, Harden, Cottingley, Sandy Lane, Crossflatts, Saltaire, Shipley and Bingley

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A word from the editor


ello from the editorial office! Out of the window, creeping russet and gold tells me that summer is a thing of the past and the cold season is fast approaching. In fact I’m already working on a Christmas feature for our November/December issue next month, out 15th November – the year certainly goes whizzing by!

This issue I’m celebrating one year since I took over from Martin Wild as editor of the Bingley Rural. Since then we’ve seen many changes: two design revamps, a new website featuring all our published articles (, the extension of our delivery zone into Crossflatts, new regular contributors and a name change (from the old Bingley Rural Area Directory to the new Bingley Rural Magazine). It’s been a learning experience, and a lot of fun too. Here’s to the next year! We would like to thank our loyal advertisers, whose support pays for the magazine to be printed and delivered every month. We hope to see many new advertisers in future to help make the mag even better! Advertising with us is a great way to

promote your business and our rates are excellent value for money, with advertisements starting at just £18. Our mags drop through thousands of letterboxes in the area every month, with no obligation to sign up long term. The advertisement booking deadlines for our next three issues are as follows: • November/December: 25th October (beginning distribution 15th November) • December/January: 22nd November (beginning distribution 13th December) • February/March: 17th January (beginning distribution 7th February) Our new advertisers’ pack can be downloaded from If you use any of the businesses included in this issue, please let them know where you found their ad. Ongoing support from advertisers will enable us to keep on growing and improving the magazine, far into the future. Lisa Firth, Editor October 2013


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Bingley Rural: Oct/Nov 2013

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Interesting discoveries at Cottingley By Clive Harrison


t is now just over three years since the family history research sessions began at Cottingley Cornerstone Centre. What commenced as a sixweek introductory course in how to get started has become a regular fixture on the Cornerstone programme. Indeed, it has been so successful that the sessions were doubled to twice weekly from April last year. Almost 100 researchers have benefited from the free sessions so far, with some being present from the start. We have participants from far and wide – not just Cottingley. Bradford, Shipley, Keighley and Bingley have all been well represented and we often have a researcher from Doncaster, although only when she accompanies one of our regular researchers. Although I initiated the sessions originally, other researchers have gained experience over time and I am now joined by Jane, Di and Rae in assisting researchers with their quests to discover their ancestors and where they came from. The knowledge available does not end with the group leaders, as all participants help each other by exchanging their experiences and passing on any resources which may be useful to others. There is also a good collection of magazines and other publications to help with the research. Over the years there have been many interesting, and sometimes amusing, discoveries. Alas, there have also been some extremely distressing stories uncovered, as well as many

One researcher has discovered a connection to King Edward III in his tree


Bingley Rural: Oct/Nov 2013

surprises which the researchers share with their colleagues over coffee and a cake in Poppies Café. And so, as well as family history research, the sessions have become a chance to socialise. One of the most notable surprises occurred when a lady researching her Coyne ancestors in Leeds discovered an entry for the Cohen family in the 1881 Census, where the birthplace of the head of the household was not clear. At first she thought that the name had been spelled wrongly, perhaps through being misheard, and looking back at the previous census the name appeared correctly as Coyne. But looking at the census before that, the name appeared again as Cohen and the birthplace, Poland! Another inspection of the 1881 Census showed the birthplace to be Warsaw. And so this lady discovered that her Leeds ancestors had, in fact, been Polish, and possibly Jewish, immigrants. There have been some scandalous discoveries too. One lady found a bigamist among her ancestors, and there was also an embezzler who sought refuge in the USA (but was arrested and jailed on his return to England). So far, the only offence I have found in my ancestry was a greatgreat-grandfather who was fined one shilling plus costs at York Petty Sessions in 1882 for failing to send his children to school. I have found many interesting things in my research into Cottingley’s World War I servicemen. I was lucky enough to find the service record for one soldier, the pages of which included a list of all the kit and equipment issued to him on enlistment. There were, of course, boots, a cap, drawers, puttees, trousers, etc. But along with the brushes and a fork was a “housewife”! Not being a military man myself, I had to consult the Internet to discover that a “housewife” was a kit consisting of needles, thread, buttons, etc. used for repairing garments, and not what some of the other researchers suggested! Recently one of our researchers has discovered a connection to King Edward III in his family tree, and who knows how many of us may be descended from royalty? Is there something interesting in your family history? The family history research sessions are held at the Cornerstone Centre, Cottingley, on Wednesday and Friday mornings from 10am to 12noon.

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Rotary’s furriest member! The latest news from the Rotary Club of Bradford West. By Tony Caunt


et me introduce you to our president, Dr Anne Raine, and her dog Maisie May. Maisie is an honorary Rotarian as she and Anne participate in the Read2Dogs scheme, going into primary schools and listening to children reading. They get amazing results, with teachers report excellent progress among participating children.

Some of our other Rotarians also go into schools to help with reading. We also have members who operate the Bradford Schools Drug Prevention Initiative (BSDPI). These are just some of the activities the club operates under its We’re for Communities scheme. Recently the club members helped out with first aid at the Cancer Support Bradford & Airedale “It’s a Knockout” event, and again at Shipley’s Asda supermarket, where they helped with bag packing.


Bingley Rural: Oct/Nov 2013

The members also attended Great Horton Methodist on Saturday 14th September for their World’s Biggest Coffee Morning for Macmillan. £456 was raised. The club has an annual Bowls evening at Bradford West Bowls Club and on 8th August, with warm summer weather, the members and partners enjoyed fellowship and fun over the crown greens. This was followed by an excellent buffet meal. So as you can see, the members and friends of Bradford West Rotary know how to enjoy themselves and help the local community at the same time. If you are looking for fellowship, friendship and a way of helping our local and international communities, you would enjoy being a member of the club. Call John Ellis on 07970 253371 or visit The programme for October is as follows: on the 2nd there will be a Frock Exchange at St Matthews Church, Wilsden, from 6pm, £5 entrance. Bring your unwanted clothes to swap for something new (to you!). The event will be in aid of Manorlands and Cancer Support Bradford & Airedale. At the usual lunchtime meeting of the club on Thursday 3rd at Sandal Farm, there will be our two students who recently attended the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards. Then on the 10th, Rotarian Terry Brown from Bingley Airedale Rotary will speak on their Nepal Project. On the weekend of the 12th and 13th, members will attend the district conference in Scarborough. The following Thursday 17th there will be a business meeting, followed on the 24th by Michael Brooke speaking on “designing out crime” (your guess at what this is all about is no better than mine)! Finally, the club will attend a performance of The Pirates of Penzance at the Halifax theatre. So you see what you are missing! Make that telephone call, you won’t regret it.


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Getting your photos published The latest news from the Bradford Camera Club. B y T o n y C a u n t LR P S


he publicity people at Kodak once said “pictures are everywhere”, and that has been so true this last summer. We have experienced the hottest and sunniest period for many years, with temperatures up to around 40°C, and photographers have inundated Paul Hudson at BBC Look North with hundreds of images. I sent this photo of the sunrise taken on 20th June at 4.36am. It didn’t get shown on TV but I thought it was quite magical, and the fact that I was up at that unearthly hour should have given the picture credit! You can’t win them all but at least I tried, and that’s what photography is all about. Look for pictures everywhere and enter them into competitions or get them published. I do get quite a few of my pictures into the Telegraph & Argus, usually news items such as the picture I took of Philip Davies MP with three little children in our local library. This got into the T&A, Keighley News and the Aire Valley Advertiser. If you have pictures you would like to show off and perhaps enter into the competitions at the Bradford Camera Club, why don’t you come along to our weekly meetings at Carlton House, 46 Little Horton Lane, BD5 OBA? You can call Allan Ogilvie

on 01274 884187 or Debbie Alstead on 01274 824758 for more information, or go online at sites. The programme for October is as follows: on the 3rd, a combined meeting with the Oddfellows. On the 10th, the Robert Bland Trophy competition for creative/manipulated images. On the 17th, a practical and tutorial evening (ideal for beginners), and then on the 24th and 31st it is the annual competitions (ideal to see what the members can produce). We look forward to meeting you!

Wilsden Wall Building Group T

wo members of the group have taken on the task of improving the Wilsden Park plinth. As the before and after photographs show, one can see the original unsightly concrete slabs around the flower bed and then the transformation after new Yorkshire stone blocks and capping stone were built around the plinth. Roland Loppit and Tony Caunt of the WWBG took on the job during August, with the stone very kindly donated by Mr Michael Jowett of Stapper Green and Chris Harney of Bingley Stone, Cullingworth. As the plinth is now looking worse


Bingley Rural: Oct/Nov 2013

for wear, Wilsden Parish Council is to consider replacing it with a large piece of Yorkshire stone and having “Wilsden Park” engraved in the face. The group continue to improve the dry stone walling in and around the village, with work undertaken on the footpath from Birchlands Avenue and the walls opposite Windy Grove belonging to the Shay Riding School. Unfortunately, some morons still find it fun to push the top stones off some of the walls which the WWBG have painstakingly rebuilt, requiring the team to go back and rebuild.

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High spirits? Not wanting to traipse around cold Bingley cemeteries with his wife on a Halloween ghost walk, John takes refuge in a nearby pub. But could there be ghostly happenings afoot in the bar? By Yvonne Lang


ohn slumped onto the nearest barstool, grateful to be in from the piercing cold. His wife Mary had decided she didn’t want a “boring evening in” for Halloween, and when she had suggested a pub’s ghost-themed event he had been up for the idea. He personally thought ghosts were a load of old codswallop, but if it kept Mary happy he was quite content to listen to people exchanging stories while he had a drink or two. On the day of the event he had found out that it was a ghost walk – during this horrendous cold snap – through the graveyards of Bingley. John had absolutely no desire to traipse around a cemetery dodging frostbite and then sit with a bunch of strangers in a dark room waiting for the “dead to talk”. Upon arrival he had decided to stay in the toasty pub and wait for Mary. Mary was wrapped up head to toe, with just her glasses showing between a thick bobble hat and high-reaching purple scarf. “They think it will be just over an hour before we get back. Are you sure you don’t want to come?” “No thanks, love,” John replied as he sipped his drink. “Have fun!” He held his pint up in a toasting gesture as Mary left with about two dozen guests and at least half a dozen organisers. A spirit in his hand and his spirits lifted, John looked round the pub for a comfier spot or some company. He spotted a man sat in the corner nursing a pint of his own and ambled over. “Mind if

Will ghosts walk abroad from Bingley Churchyard this Halloween?


Bingley Rural: Oct/Nov 2013

I join you?” he asked. The man looked up cheerfully, “Of course not, be my guest.” He gestured to the two chairs opposite. The fire’s heat seemed to be trapped in the old stone and left the corner quite warm. John shrugged out of his coat and draped it over the chair. “Hello, I’m John. Waiting here for my wife to return from that ghost walk.” John offered his hand. The other man leant across and shook it, his fingers still slightly cool from holding onto a frosted drink, “I’m Bill. I just love it here!” he smiled. John laughed and settled into his chair. A menu on the edge of the table caught his eye and he slid it closer. “If you’re a regular, can you tell me if the food here is any good?” “Excellent, I promise you,” Bill said as he nodded approvingly at the menu. John glanced at the snacks – hot snacks, considering the weather outside. “I think I’m going to treat myself to some potato wedges,” John said decisively. “So you didn’t fancy the ghost walk then?” Bill asked later. “Not my cup of tea. Personally, I find it a load of nonsense. If it was warmer I’d keep the missus company, but I’m not freezing out there just to listen to someone spout rubbish!” John paused as he leant back, allowing his wedges to be deposited on the wooden table by a beaming waitress. John edged the steaming bowl towards him. He gestured for Bill to help himself but Bill politely waved him away. “I was fascinated by the whole paranormal thing for years,” Bill said. “Did loads of research into it to try find rational explanations. There can’t be so many reports and yet be no basis in truth.” John looked up from his wedges. “So you’re a believer?” he asked Bill. “Let’s say I was interested. There are some theories saying stone can absorb strong emotions. Or that poltergeists are usually teenagers under extreme duress, exhibiting such stress it’s physically affecting their environment, without them realising.” Bill paused to have another sip of his pint. Now this was more John’s scene! Instead of plodding round in the cold darkness, sat in a pub having a good old debate.

“Well, I take your point. But if that were true, would it not have been proved by now? I mean, considering scientists can split the atom and everything?” John asked. He drained his second pint as he and Bill continued their animated conversation. “Actually, hold that thought, pal. I just need to pop to the Gents,” John excused himself. As John exited the toilets he saw the ghost walkers re-entering the pub, all stamping their feet and clapping their hands. Mary spotted him and walked briskly over. “Fascinating outing but I need to go home before I lose any more feeling in my fingers. Are you ready to go?” “OK love, I’ll just say bye to the guy I was talking to.” John weaved his way through the crowd until he got to the corner table. Bill and his pint were missing. He must have got up to talk to someone else, though John. He glanced around but couldn’t spot him. “Hold on Mary, I’ll just ask the barman if he’s seen him.” John struggled through the heaving pub. “Scuse me, did you see where Bill went?” he asked.

“Who?” The barman replied, cupping his hand over his ear to hear above the busy background bustle. “Bill! Apparently he’s a regular here. About my age, stubble, glasses, green jacket on? I was sat with him this past hour? I wanted to say bye and he’s vanished.” A few staff were exchanging looks. The lady who had brought over his wedges said, “Sir, you were alone when I came over!” John returned a confused look. “Pardon?” The man behind the bar smiled at him. “Sir, you’ve just met Bill. He’s been a regular here for a long time. He’ll have disappeared because he’s not keen on the paranormal investigators. About four years ago, he fell down the stairs here, broke his neck and died. But he still keeps coming in, sitting in his favourite spot and chatting away to people just like he always did.” John had no idea how to respond to this. Surely they were pulling his leg? Just to be on the safe side though: “Mary – time to go home!”

Bingley Bonfire 2013 T

he Bingley Bonfire, an iconic part of Bingley life, was started by the members of Bingley Round Table in 1972. Originally held on land at Bailey Old Hills, the bonfire moved to the bottom

meadow of Myrtle Park some five years later and now has one of the largest firework displays in the local area. In the early days, the turf on which the bonfire was burnt had to be lifted prior to the event and relaid the following day. Thankfully this is no longer a condition today. When Baildon and District Round Table closed in 2010, the Rotary Club of Bingley Airedale took over the running of the event, supported and assisted by members of various local charities and organisations. The event will once again be held in Myrtle Park, Bingley, on Saturday 2nd November 2013, starting at 6.30pm and with entertainment provided by Pulse Radio. A full range of refreshments will also be available. As a family event, a “no alcohol, fireworks or pets” policy is in place. Disabled facilities are available. The Bingley Bonfire is a community service event and profits are used to help the many charitable causes and events supported by the Rotary Club. We hope that by attending this organised bonfire and firework display, the spectators will enjoy the evening knowing that they are in turn helping others less fortunate than themselves. For further information visit our website at, or contact event organiser Michael C. Heaton on 07802 331002.

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Big Al and the redback

Eric Firth continues his story of life as a ten-quid pom in 1970s Australia.


aving finished my time working up north – long, sweaty hours, lousy money – I’d returned to Perth and got a nice cushy job on the security staff at the very attractive state university, situated along the banks of the equally attractive Swan River. I rarely got called a pom, a word that few now know the origins of. There are two main ideas put forward, both well enough known, but it’s possible the word originated in New Zealand. I used to read a popular weekly magazine, the Melbourne Truth, and one week it had a letter from a Māori New Zealander. This claimed that the word was part of a Māori saying that was often repeated to early English settlers. He wrote the Māori version then the English, which said “Go back home to your mother Victoria, you moaning Whites.” It’s as likely as the other two, and it’s original. You heard it here first. One night I arrived at work to learn that one of the blokes, Big Al, was off sick after being bitten by a redback spider while visiting relatives in an outback place called Kalgoorlie. It was just the kind of place you’d be likely to get bitten by a variety of creepies, crawlies, flyers and slitherers, along with getting a strong dose of sunstroke. Al was off three nights, and when he came in he rolled up his sleeve to show an arm near twice its normal size. Now Al really was big – well over six foot and built like a rugby league second row forward. He was also a veteran of the Burma campaign in World War II, bit of a hero too, as tough as they came. I looked at his arm and said, “Blimey Al, you mean a spider did that?” Well, Al gave me the kind of look that Aussies reserve for ignorant poms and said, “Eric, I’m better now, that’s why I’m back at work. You should have seen me three days ago: both arms were nearly twice this size and my face was blown up like a balloon.” I could only wonder what he looked like three days ago, and all because of a small spider with a red back. He must have been as sick as a parrot: talk about bushwhacked! But these red backs have


Bingley Rural: Oct/Nov 2013

a sinister habit of creeping and crawling up on you in awkward places you can’t avoid, like old outdoor “dunnies” – and don’t even think about picnicking. One night Al told us a tale about his service in Burma. “We were in trenches. The Japanese were advancing. I got one in my rifle sights, squeezed the trigger and he fell. It was over 30 years ago but I’ve thought about it every day. That man would have had parents, probably brothers and sisters, grandparents, aunts, uncles, maybe a wife and children, and I ended his life on Earth.” He looked sad and worried. Worth thinking about. But it wasn’t only deadly spiders, irritating flies, infuriating mozzies and super-size lizards: there were poisonous snakes too. A common story on The Six O’Clock News was of somebody digging up the garden of a new house they had bought in one of the many newer outer Perth suburbs, uncovering a lethal snake and hurling the spade at it. These new estates were built mostly by British, Italian and Yugoslav labourers, hard-working and cheap. The houses were in areas that had been bush or scrub. The houses were attractive, the areas were not, but they were much cheaper than houses in the Perth inner suburbs. Apart from some of the older colonial-style houses in the inner suburbs, that is, including the one we’d rented from a Welsh couple before buying our own. These were built on stilts: rubbish would accumulate there, attracting rats, so snakes saw it as the local caf. My daughter Sandra also told me that during cycling safety lessons at school, the children were warned never to stop their bikes and dismount near ditches at the edge of the road. The reason for this was that at certain times of the year, snakes slither there to have their young. Under normal circumstances they’ll slither away at great speed when they hear footsteps, but with young they’ll stay and fight (which means bite). I often reminded Aussies about Brits, Italians and Yugoslavs building many of the houses there, as well as a fair number of Dutch teams too, because they would often complain that too many state-subsidised houses went to migrants. “Why not?” I’d ask. “They built most of them.” I remember Roy, from Leeds, and myself hanging wallpaper one day. Teams were employed to clean up any mess left before potential buyers came to look them over. It was our lunch break and the Aussie team, four women, had their break with us. One of them, who seemed to be in charge,

looked at the papered walls and said, “Gee, that’s good. We’ve been working mostly with the Italians and a few Dutch teams, and I thought they were good, but none of them were as good as that! It’s brilliant.” All four of them were very impressed. Funny thing was that neither Roy nor I had done any paper slinging for years. There wasn’t much call for it in Australia, it was just becoming popular at that time. Strange eh? In Britain it’s Polish plumbers, in Australia it’s Yorkshire paper hangers. Upside down world. Not the paper of course: not ours. My daughter Sandra came in one day while I was watching the new, looked at the screen and said, “Oh that’s Dennis Lillee, he’s a nice man.” “He’s a WHAT?” I yelled, spilling tea over my shorts, and telling the poodle to get off that ruddy chair or else. “He’s just said his ambition is to knock a pommy batsman’s head off!” “Tiger Lil” was being interviewed at the time about a spectacular bowling performance for his state, Western Australia against Queensland. Sandra told me that she knew him from school because he often came and talked to the kids about road safety, and that she and her Aussie mate

Pauline had once emptied a basket of waste paper over him by accident. It was the last day of their final term and the headmaster had left them on their own, so they decided, as a bit of horseplay, to empty the basket over him as he left his office, from the verandah above. But it was “Big D” who came out of the office first and he copped the lot. Clean bowled for forgetting to duck on school mischief day. Yorkshire 1, Sandgropers (the West Australians’ nickname) 0.

Marian Krupa: a narrow escape Marian Jan Krupa (1922-2009) came to live in Cottingley with his second wife, who had lived in the village most of her life, and their two-year-old son. He was born in Krakow, Poland, and his experiences after leaving there in 1939 until his arrival in England in 1943 were traumatic. We continue his story.


couple of stations further along we caught up with our train and reboarded. We were accused of stealing the boots but denied it. We asked when they had been taken and stated in our defence that we had left the train before that time. It was pretty obvious to everyone what had happened, and they were pleased that the officers had got their just desserts. We used the roubles at the next stop to buy food for us all. It seemed as though we had reached our destination when the train pulled in at a station and soldiers sporting Polish eagles on their caps greeted us, beckoning us over and saying, “Come on lads, you’ve arrived.” Two things mystified us. The soldiers were wearing Russian uniforms and the Polish eagles had no crown. We were dubious and held back. They tried to insist that we get out of the train and join them. Luckily for us one of their number, a Polish boy, shouted a warning. This was the Russian Polish Army, not General Anders’ Polish

Army. He had been fooled by the Polish eagles and had joined them unwittingly. He told us not to make the same mistake. When they tried once more to insist we told them, “Bugger off!” The train then pulled slowly out of the station and we had thankfully escaped the trap. Our journey took us alongside the Aral Sea and on towards Tashkent. Eventually we reached our destination, which was Shachryziab. There we had our first good shower and we scrubbed away the Russian psychological and physical dirt. We shaved and disinfected ourselves. A brief medical gave me a category and I was assimilated into OMZ 6DP Division. Our apologies to Margaret Krupa for the incorrect subheading in our last issue. Marian came to England in 1943 and married his first wife, living with her in Bradford before moving to Cottingley with second wife Margaret in 1978. His first wife is still living in Bradford.

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Ling Bob Fair Years ago October heralded one of Wilsden’s big events. In 1890, Ethelbert Binns could confidently list in his diary of local events “Ling Bob Fair; always held on the third Tuesday in October”. Astrid Hansen reveals more.


n its early days, the Ling Bob Fair must have been an important opportunity for farmers to meet and buy and sell livestock. Fred Varley, born in 1889, remembered there being sheep, cattle and a pig or two for sale. The main attraction on the day was the Bob Fair Trot. This was a horse race from the end of Pudding Lane (now known as Old Allen Lane) in Harecroft, finishing just past the Ling Bob public house. It was a trotting race and any horse that broke into a gallop was disqualified. A fine prize

of a bridle for the winning horse was displayed on a stand outside the pub. There were donkey races too, keenly contested by the youth of the village. On one occasion a lad from one of the farms made sure of winning. I’m told that if an object is put under a donkey’s tail, it will instinctively nip it in rather than shake it out. Whether or not this is true in general, it worked that time. As the donkey came down the track, the young rider’s friend handed him a hot potato, which the jockey tucked under his mount’s tail, causing a sudden burst of speed. There was a lot of gambling on the races. I’m told it was illegal on the public road but allowed in the fields. The fair was so important that in the early 20th century, children at Wilsden School were let out early on fair day so they could go to it – or perhaps it was the headmaster and teachers who wanted to go! The whole area must have been full of life and bustle, and undoubtedly extremely good for business at the pub. Mr Varley thought he would have been about 20 when the fair ended, so perhaps 1908 or 1909. Can anyone offer a more definite date?

RSPCA pet of the month: Milo M


Bingley Rural: Oct/Nov 2013

ilo is a 2½-year-old staffie cross neutered male. He is very friendly and affectionate. He loves cuddles and will try and sit on your knee if you will let him. He enjoys attention and even likes being brushed. Milo is extremely playful and he loves his toys. He can be strong on the lead, but he does respond to some basic obedience commands. Milo ideally needs to be rehomed with someone who has owned staffies before. He needs a young, active family who will give him the exercise and attention that he needs. Milo should be suitable to live with children over the age of five, but he will need to live as the only pet. If you would like more information about our work and the pets we have available, please contact us on 01274 723063. You can find out more at or look for Bradford RSPCA on Facebook and Twitter.

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Letters Readers’

Send your letters to Lisa Firth, 4 St Ives Grove, Harden BD16 1BA Emails can be sent to

What’s in a name?

Dear Lisa, On reading the August edition of Bingley Rural I was surprised to see another baby named Niamh. My daughter (left) was born on 10th June 2013 and she is also called Niamh. Family and friends thought it was an unusual name and were not sure how to pronounce it. It seems it is not so unusual after all! Deirdre Holmes, Cottingley

Sunset over Sandy Lane

Hi Lisa, I took this picture of a sunset overlooking the Aire Valley and the village of Sandy Lane. I thought it may be of use for your magazine. All my images are being placed on my website www.flowersandphotos. It’s my hobby at the moment and I would love it if you could make use of my photos at all. Andy Hutchinson, Bradford Thanks Andy! We’d love to see more of our readers’ local photographs and feature them in the magazine.

Breaking the mould

Less than three years ago, The George Hotel at Cullingworth was a sad, boarded-up old pub, neglected for years by its previous owners. In fact it was a classic victim of the tyranny of the big PubCos. Unable to be leased out to another victim, The George was put up for sale. Chris, the head brewer at Old Spot Brewery, lived just two minutes up the road and he decided to see if he and his partner Jo could breathe new life back into the old building. Mindful of the size of the task at hand and what was currently happening to pubs in general, they bravely forged ahead. Their dream was simple: to create a warm, comfortable environment and atmosphere offering top quality products at realistic prices, with personal polite service being key. You will not find a jukebox, a TV or a pool table here. What you will find is a friendly village pub serving locally-brewed ales and restaurant-quality food: in fact, a meeting place for everyone. After a lot of hard work, a few years down the line Chris and Jo


Bingley Rural: Oct/Nov 2013

were finding they were becoming a victim of their own success. Action had to be taken, customers comments were listened to and they decided that a “garden room” at the back would be the natural next step. Along with this, the whole of the first floor – which is basically unused at present – could be turned into five high-quality hotel rooms. It took 12 months to draw up the plans, which where constantly being amended. Chris is passionate about the local area and strongly believes any modernisation should be in keeping with the conservation area it is set in. The plans were submitted a couple of months ago and Chris and Jo are pleased to announce they have just been passed. The mammoth task now starts: a new dining room, a new kitchen and then the rooms. The future is now looking rosy for The George Hotel and for Cullingworth. Both Chris and Jo want to stress how grateful they are for the support of their customers and their team of 18 staff. Without them they could not have come this far.

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Caring for kittens By Allerton Cat Rescue


ne thing that has struck me as a rescue volunteer is the sheer lack of knowledge when it comes to feline lovers and kittens; unfortunately this tends to be the case with those who choose to wilfully breed cats in an environment already saturated with unwanted cats and kittens. Within the space of two days, we received two wonderful examples of poor judgement when it comes to handling very young kittens. One occurred when a man brought in a cat he had been keeping in his garage. Because her kittens were walking, he didn’t think anything of separating them. But the five kittens will not survive without hand-rearing, as they are reliant on mummy’s milk at this stage. Even with a willingness to hand-rear, no kitten formula will ever be enough to replace a mother’s milk. It will not build up the immune system kittens sorely need to see them through some very difficult months. The following day, we received three kittens of around three weeks old that we were told had been found. Completely without thought, the fourth kitten was rehomed. Kittens hand-reared without their litter-mates have a higher mortality rate, as they are prone to depression. After some debate, we managed to convince the finder to go and collect the kitten from her new home. Thankfully she returned, and through sheer luck we managed to get the mother previously separated from her kittens to accept these as her own. Not only does this give the kittens a much higher chance of survival, it also helps mummy pull through a period of depression after separation from her babies. If you come across what you presume to be abandoned kittens, it is very important that you take the following steps. First of all, under no circumstances rush to handle the kitten. Remember that mummy cat may be nearby, and any disturbance could scare her away or trigger an attack. Once you are satisfied that the kitten(s) are stray, check them over to assess their overall condition. It is always a good idea, even if a kitten appears to be in good health, to seek veterinary care as the animal may be harbouring a hidden illness. Older kittens that have been born outdoors, growing up without human interaction, may be unused to human contact so it is advisable to take special care when approaching them. Frightened kittens may bite or scratch if feeling threatened. If the kitten is overly friendly, it is possible that it is in fact somebody’s pet, in which case the authorities


Bingley Rural: Oct/Nov 2013

need to be contacted right away to check the kitten’s background. Once you have learned the kitten’s temperament, attempt to gauge her age, as this will be a good measure of how to feed her. During the first few weeks of life a kitten is completely and utterly dependent on her mother. Her primary needs are to be nourished, warm, socialised and to learn how to excrete without mummy’s aid. In most cases, we play no part in this transition from newborn to young and independent kitten. In some instances, however, it is not possible for a kitten to receive the care she needs from her mother and learning how to take care of her is very important. A mother cat’s milk provides everything a kitten needs to grow and become a healthy and strong adolescent. If the mother is unable to provide food for her young, it is important you consult with your vet, local shelter/rescue or someone with experience in hand-rearing kittens, as they may be in possession of a currently nursing mother. Failing that, consult a vet who can give information on the proper way of bottle-feeding a kitten with a milk replacer the vet can provide. Feeding a newborn kitten (up to two weeks old) is complicated and requires serious commitment, as they will not survive without feeding and eliminating every two hours. Your local vet or emergency clinic should have commercial kitten formula on hand that is easy to mix and dose, along with a kitten feeding kit consisting of a small bottle or dropper. Remember to dispense the formula slowly and always ensure that it is free of lumps before feeding. It is very important that cow’s milk is not substituted, as this can lead to severe digestion issues in kittens. Older kittens can be fed the same formula every four to five hours, while kittens on the brink of being weaned may be offered well “mushed

Photo: Sanja Gjenero

up” kitten food as well as their formula until they have made the transition to solids. It is important to avoid under- or over-feeding so always follow the guides that are available on feline food containers. If the kitten in your care has been orphaned, it is essential that you keep the young one warm. A heating pad or a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel works well. The heat source should be positioned so that the kitten can move away from it at will. Please consult your veterinarian about ideal temperatures, and do take care to monitor the heating pad, if you are using one, to ensure it is functioning properly. If the kitten is with her mother, it is important not to over-handle her during her first week of life as this can upset mummy and potentially lead to rejection. Kittens may be handled a little more when on their own, but try to limit this as they are extremely frail and prone to injury at such a young age. From their second week, gradually increase handling and socialisation as this is a crucial time in which to teach kittens how to interact with humans and reassure them that they are safe. Please note, kittens are prone to injury if handled roughly. Anyone who handles the little ones in your care will need to be very gentle. Young children in particular should be supervised or prevented from handling early on.

It is usually the mummy’s job to teach her kitten how to use the litter box. When grooming her children, she will pay particular attention to the anal region as this stimulates excretion. Kittens are unable to excrete on their own until their second or third week. If hand-rearing, dip a soft washcloth in warm water and gently massage the anal and urinary regions. The warmth, texture and movement mimic a mother cat’s tongue. When the kittens are four weeks old, you can teach them to use a litter box by placing them there after their meals. Cutting one side down will make it easier for the kittens to go in and out. Caring for a stray kitten is a huge commitment, especially if the kitten is at its earliest life phase. The best care way to ensure a young kitten’s survival is to leave it with its mother or find a surrogate – local rescue groups may be able to place an orphaned kitten with another litter of the same age, so get in touch. If you have found an older kitten and wish to keep it, be sure to visit a vet and have a full examination done, including a microchip check. They will then tell you the steps you need to follow to find an owner or report the animal found. Please like us on Facebook: AllertonCatRescue Address: 258 Allerton Road, Allerton, BD15 7QX

Rodley Reserve bird walk R

SPB Airedale & Bradford started the new season of walks at Rodley Nature Reserve on 14th September, with guides Peter and Barbara Murphy. A small group of us made the walk, which was on a cool sunny day, perfect for spotting birds. The Rodley Nature Reserve site was previously a sewage works and is now a man-made habitat for attracting wildlife to the Leeds area. We started out at the lagoon, which was dug on a flood plain. A kingfisher was spotted and he was obviously in the mood for showing off. He posed on a perch before doing an aerial display and some diving for us. The duck marsh hide was our next stop. A family of mute swans were in this area: however, trouble was brewing, as a black swan turned up to disturb the peace. Lots of squabbles and fighting ensued, causing a lot more drama than watching the soaps. Next we received exclusive access to the fish pass, which we were told was the best place to spot grey wagtails and dippers. The fish pass has been built for fish migrating upstream so that they can bypass the weir. Some of us spotted one of the dippers and we also saw our second kingfisher of the day. There were fresh otter tracks in the sand banks, but the nocturnal mammals were not about when we were there. We were told that they have

only been seen on the cameras at night. No grey wagtails were seen in the fish pass area, although one of the elusive birds flew over as we made our way around Tim’s field. This was previously a sunken field: however, it is now level, as all the soil removed when digging the lagoon was placed here. The field is now planted with flowers to attract birds. We then moved on to the dragonfly ponds, was a tranquil area. As the name suggests, there were lots of dragonflies to be spotted here, as well as other pond life. Our next stop was the visitor centre, where we were able to have hot drinks and refreshments before we ended our walk in the manager’s garden. There were lots of feeding stations to attract the birds, so we were able to add lots of finches to our “birds spotted” list and finished off our walk by seeing a female pheasant, which brought our total of birds spotted to 28. Birds seen: mute swan, mallard, gadwall, moorhen, black swan, kingfisher, black headed gull, little grebe, magpie, wood pigeon, teal, jay, grey heron, great tit (pictured), blue tit, robin, chiffchaff, dipper, cormorant, grey wagtail, dunnock, crow, goldfinch, greenfinch, swallow, chaffinch, bullfinch and pheasant.

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Greyhound summer A fabulous time for Sheffield Retired Greyhounds.


n her last article Kate Barrett introduced us to Gracie, who told us about her retirement and how life is such fun after racing! This month Kate tells us about what has been happening over the summer at the Sheffield Retired Greyhound Trust and introduces us to Chief, an ex-racing greyhound who now works tirelessly to help raise funds for the trust. We also meet Tia, our longest resident at the kennels, who is waiting for her forever home... Summer is almost coming to an end and oh, what a lovely summer it has been! We’ve had lots of fun and spoken to lots of people about our greyhounds, telling them what wonderful pets they make. We have had incredible interest over the summer and the number of dogs homed has increased substantially as a result. We’ve been lucky enough to spend summer days at the races and would like to thank the racecourses and the race-goers for their support. Doncaster, York and Pontefract races were all fabulous days out for us and our dogs enjoyed being petted by the young race-goers, as well as the adults! Greyhounds are such gentle creatures and love to be fussed by the children – although they quite regularly have to put up with their ears being pulled or a child hanging from their necks! This is why most of them will fit in perfectly in a home with children. As well as the racing this year, we spent three days at the Chatsworth House Show, where again the sun shone on us! Wherever possible we take our Retired Greyhound Trust trailer along with us. This is stocked with lots of gifts and clothing for people and their greyhounds. This year we have been able to invest in more and better stock, and as a result have been able to increase our takings through merchandise sales. We have all sorts, from fleeces and walkout coats for the hounds right through to Christmas cards, mugs and tea towels! The trailer also doubles up as a great space for the greyhounds who come along with us, enabling them to find a cool place to lie in the shade and have a snooze! Pictured right is Chief (one of our regular volunteers!). It’s fair to say that Chief is a bit of a star (and a favourite of mine, I have to be honest!).


Bingley Rural: Oct/Nov 2013

Chief was a very competitive racing greyhound and is now working hard to help raise funds for his pals at the Retired Greyhound Trust. Chiefy is now in his teens but works every Tuesday night at Owlerton Stadium, saying hello to the racegoers and asking them to put a bob or two in our bucket to help other greyhounds waiting for their forever home like he once was. Chief has a lovely forever home living with Alison, who is one of our fundraisers. He is also a TV star, having paraded at Owlerton Stadium on a Sky night recently before the racing started! Here he is looking across the race track he once ran around (and probably still would given the chance!). He is regularly heard barking when the race begins! (Look at that face – it says it all!)

As I write this, it was the Great Greyhound Gathering yesterday at Nottingham racecourse. Another fabulous day where people bring their greyhounds from far and wide to meet and compare notes for the day! This is a great idea and can only help us raise our profile. There was lots of fun for families and their dogs, including competitions – just like Crufts! If you have a greyhound, or would like to own a greyhound, why not join us there next year and help us celebrate all things greyhound? As you will probably recall, last summer was a little bit of a wash-out. As a result our summer events were not very successful and sadly this had a huge impact on our fundraising. This year’s weather has been very good to us and our fundraising has increased as a result. This means we are now able to purchase a dog spa so that all of our lovely dogs will go to their new homes smelling of roses! We are

also able to use the spa to generate more funds and will shortly be offering dog spa services to our visitors to the farm. We already have a list of dogs waiting for the special treatment! Watch this space for photos of pampered pooches in the coming months! This year our rehoming has gone really well and so far we have found homes for around 90 dogs, which means we are almost at our target of 100 dogs! It would be fabulous if we could exceed that target by another 10 or even 20 dogs. Picture right is one of our current residents, Tia. She has been with us since December last year and we are desperate to find her a home – we just can’t understand why no one has picked her yet! She is a beautiful black girl with a loving nature. She just loves a cuddle and look what a stunner she is! At three years old she’s just a baby. She walks well on the lead

and is very easy to manage. All she wants now is someone to share her life with – could it be you? If you are interested in giving a greyhound a home, or would like to visit the farm and a take a greyhound for a walk and learn more about the breed, please feel free to give Lynda or Roy a call on 0114 2888 300. We also have kennel or dog sponsorship, which you can find out about by visiting our website: www. sheffieldretiredgreyhounds. If there is anything specific you would like us to include in future Bingley Rural articles, please drop Kate a line at kate. or send her a tweet @SheffieldRGT and we will do our best to deal with any topics you would like us to cover, or answer any questions you may have. Kate is the treasurer of the Sheffield Retired Greyhound Trust and a local businesswoman.

Marching band saved! News from the Royal British Legion, Bingley.


our Bingley people and organisations have come to our aid! Our search for sponsors to finance the cost of the Spen Valley Scouts and Guides Marching Band has been successful and their generosity also secures the attendance of Hot Aire Concert Band for the music and hymns in Myrtle Park.

We are greatly indebted to these people for their interest in the Legion

The first of the sponsors is Mrs Susan Smith of Bailey Hills Road, in memory of her late father, Harry Waddington, who lived in Bingley for over 50 years. Bands were a major part of his life, and many times did he play “The Last Post” at Remembrance time. It has been said that he “was able to play ‘The Last Post’ on a piece of plain copper pipe”. Two other sponsors are Lord Andrew Spear and his son Michael, who run a Bingley-based company,, an approved company under the Green Deal scheme. Wishing to give something back to the community in which they live and also support the Royal British Legion, their funding secures the future of the marching band for the next five years. Damart, the town’s main employer and supporter of many other ventures, is another sponsor. They are to become more closely involved with the Royal British Legion. Our final sponsor wishes to remain anonymous. Unfortunately we cannot thank them here as they did not disclose any information. We, and all Bingley people, are greatly indebted to these sponsors for their interest in the Royal British Legion and in particular the annual Remembrance Parade and service. This year’s Remembrance Parade, on Sunday 10th November, will assemble outside Bingley Arts Centre at 10.15am, with the march to the cenotaph in Myrtle Park starting at 10.40am. The service will commence there at 10.50am.

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The Bingley Byron This year marks 170 years since the death of John Nicholson, “The Airedale Poet”. Nicholson was a feted celebrity within his own lifetime, a Romantic poet from the ranks of the working classes. Yet now his lilting, melodic rhymes have been all but forgotten. B y L i s a F i r th “Of all the Airedale-born poets, John Nicholson had the highest endowments of genius,” Ethelbert Binns enthused in the 1892 Wilsden Almanac, 50 years after the poet’s death. Nicholson’s verses were a sell-out hit when they were published in 1824, running to two editions within months. His funeral attracted over a thousand mourners to Bingley churchyard. Yet now you could be forgiven for asking, “John who?”. Nicholson was born in Leeds in 1790, moving to Eldwick with his family at just a few weeks old. He received his early education at the top of Ilkley Moor, picking ling and heather for the schoolmaster’s part-time broom-making business while he repeated his lessons.

Lines Written at Goit Stock Hail! thou sequester’d rural seat, Which ever beauteous dost appear, Where the sweet songsters oft repeat Their varied concerts, wild and clear! Upon thy crystal-bosom’d lake Th’ inverted rocks and trees are seen, Adorn’d with many a snowy flake, Or in their leafy robes of green. Here may the contemplative mind Trace Nature and her beauties o’er And meditation rest reclin’d, Lull’d by the neighbouring cataract’s roar. Extract from “Lines Written at Goit Stock”, 1824


Bingley Rural: Oct/Nov 2013

His schooling was finished off with a year at Bingley Grammar School – considered more than ample for a youth intended as a worsted manufacturer. Young John was apprenticed to his father as a woolsorter at the age of 13. Despite his parents’ ambitions for him to make a name for himself in the worsted business, Nicholson was to remain a lowly woolsorter or comber all his life. The young man did not relish his woolsorting work, much preferring to bury his nose in a good book. He read voraciously, with Shakespeare, Milton and Pope his authors of choice. But his love of reading late into the night caused great concern to his mother, particularly when it began to affect his work, and she sought to put a stop to it by hiding his supply of candles. However, with the aid of a mustard pot, some of the olive oil used for preparing wool and an old cotton rag, John was able to construct a makeshift lamp and continue his nocturnal studies unabated. It was this same ingenuity that gained him a reputation as a practical joker in later life. Once, when challenged by a local pub landlady to find a larger punchbowl than the ancient example that took pride of place on her bar, Nicholson had the basin of a large stone baptismal font delivered to the pub with his compliments. Relishing the joke, the landlady filled both punchbowl and font with free drink for her customers. Unfortunately, Nicholson’s love of drink was to be the bane of his life. His dependence on alcohol grew steadily following the death in childbirth of his first wife aged just 21. Nicholson’s alcoholism eventually affected his work – only the sympathetic employer of his later years, Sir Titus Salt of Saltaire fame, ensured that he remained in a job. An attempt to free himself of “the demon drink” when he signed the Pledge in 1836 sadly failed, and within 17 weeks he had returned to his old habits. Nicholson and his family – his second wife Martha and their children (eventually numbering nine in total) – lived in a number of locations around Bingley, including Eldwick, Red Beck and Harden Beck. However, it was while working at Hewenden Mill in Wilsden that he shot to fame. His volume of poetry, Airedale in Ancient »

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Times and other poems, was published in 1824. Nicholson had already made a name for himself as a sharp, almost libellous, verse satirist, and he had written two successful plays, so the work was hotly anticipated. It was so popular that it sold out two editions within just a few months: people queued up at the printers to buy copies as they came off the presses, without even waiting for binding! One of the poems included in the volume, “The Poacher”, was based on a real-life group of Wilsden pilferers Nicholson had befriended. One of these, Dan Ingham (who inspired the character Ignotus in Nicholson’s poem), bragged that he had bagged enough game in his life to fill Hewenden Mill. His mother was also notorious in the village, distilling moonshine whisky from her home in Harecroft. Her house was known among locals as a “whisht hoil” – a place for wanted felons to hide out. The publication of Airedale marked a turning point in John Nicholson’s career. Flushed with success, he left his job and started making his living selling volumes of his work door to door. In this he was moderately successful, receiving generous gifts from wealthy patrons, although much of what he earned during this period may have been spent on drink. In 1827 he made a trip to London, intending to break into literary society there. The Yorkshireman certainly made quite an impression – but perhaps not for the reasons he had hoped. His biographer describes how he arrived in the capital with hair unkempt, in rustic blue coat, corduroy breeches and grey yarn stockings, and was considered rather a clownish bumpkin by the fashionable townies. It wasn’t long before Nicholson got into a scrape. One night a group of friends took him along to the Drury Lane Theatre after a day-long drinking session, abandoning him in the saloon there. Nicholson began drunkenly haranguing a bust of his hero Shakespeare, soon drawing a mocking crowd, and the next day he found himself up before the beak charged with disorderly conduct. He was let off with a reprimand, but the press had got hold of the story – “The Yorkshire Poet in trouble!” screamed the headlines. Worried his wife would come to fetch him, Nicholson headed home. His time as a wandering poet ended soon after a second unsuccessful London trip. Nicholson’s publishers went bust, and many unsold copies of his work were seized and auctioned off at half price to pay their debts. The market for his poetry glutted, Nicholson was forced to once more look for work in the wool industry. He moved to Bradford in 1833, and there he remained for the rest of his life. This was the final foil for Nicholson’s once lofty ambition. He continued to write poetry, but alcoholism had affected his work and he never again scaled the dizzy heights of Airedale. Possibly his most notable writing during this period came


Bingley Rural: Oct/Nov 2013

John Nicholson, painted by his friend William Overend Geller

when he was commissioned to write some “hearts and minds” pieces raising awareness of the poor treatment of child workers in factories. Many young children were left permanently disabled by the cruelty, long hours and hard labour of the mills, and Nicholson composed an epic poem on the subject, “The Factory Child”. Nicholson spent the rest of his life working at Sir Titus Salt’s warehouse in Bradford. Every holiday he would take himself off to the moors, “to clear his lungs of the Bradford smoke”. The Airedale poet met a sad end at the age of 52 when he set out on the eve of Good Friday, 13th April 1843, to visit his aunt in Eldwick. It was a stormy night and the Aire was violent and swollen. The poet “had made several stops on the way”, as his Victorian biographer primly puts it, and had been well lubricated by the local alehouses when he came to cross the stepping stones in Saltaire at around midnight. Losing his footing, he was caught in the current and swept some way down the river. Although he managed to drag himself to the bank, he was too weak to move any further and was found dead the next morning from exposure to the cold. Nicholson was laid to rest in Bingley Parish Church cemetery on 18th April. The poet’s work is long out of print, and this may be one reason why it is no longer well-known. Perhaps, too, his romantic style – with its classical pretensions and elaborate language – just isn’t to a modern taste. There is no trace of dialect, no regional wit, even in his light-hearted pieces (although some of his rhymes give him away as a true son of the Dales – who but a Yorkshireman could make a couplet of “clear” and “there”?). Whatever Nicholson’s shortcomings as a poet, he was a significant figure in Bingley’s literary history. How sad that this once well-known name has now been virtually forgotten.

Residential Sales & Letting Call inthe to seerence diffe

Manager Profile

Lisa Hallett Whether selling or letting a property, Lisa Hallett brings a wealth of expertise to her new role as manager of Linley & Simpson’s new Saltaire branch.

Your new agents for the Aire Valley! Established in 1997 by Will Linley and Nick Simpson, Linley and Simpson are now in their second decade of successful trading. The company originally opened offices in Horsforth and Oakwood before later expanding into Harrogate, Wetherby, Leeds City

Centre, Wakefield, York, Ilkley, Ripon and most recently, Saltaire. Having started with four staff, the company now employs more than eighty-five and lets hundreds of properties every month whilst managing thousands for their clients.

The launch of the office follows the company’s acquisition of Move 2 and marks its expansion into the Aire Valley, linking closely to its nine established branches in Ilkley, Horsforth, Roundhay, Leeds City Centre, Harrogate, Ripon, Wetherby, York and Wakefield. ‘Adopted Yorkshire woman’ Lisa first moved to the county thirty years ago, and for the past 16 years has worked across residential sales and lettings at offices that include Baildon, Otley, Bramhope, Ilkley and, most recently, Bingley – covering Baildon and Saltaire as well. In that time, she has become a familiar face to thousands of buyers and sellers, and landlords and tenants, and has dealt with every different type of property imaginable. It is this experience that she brings to Linley & Simpson’s new branch at 91 Bingley Road.

91 Bingley Road, Saltaire BD18 4SB.

01274 585811


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Ay, Minister! James Slater, editor of Bradford’s The Local Leader magazine, explores the history of Shipley MPs from 1885 to the present. Part 1 of 2.


hipley is a highly politically diverse constituency, with pockets of support for all three main parties. Windhill and Wrose is a strong point for the Labour Party, Wharfedale (including Menston) for the Conservative Party and Baildon for the Liberal Democrat Party. And in the last 100 years, Shipley has been represented by an MP from all three main parties. We look at the rather intriguing history of Shipley’s key politicians.

In 1895, he was elected as MP for Shipley with a majority of 78 votes and re-elected in 1900 with a lowered majority of 61. He chose not to stand in the 1906 election and instead returned to parliament in January 1910 as the Conservative MP for Maldon in Essex. He was created a baronet in 1904.

1885-1892: JOSEPH CRAVEN (LIB)

Joseph Craven was the first MP for the new Shipley constituency, elected in 1885. He was a wool spinner at a Thornton mill before becoming a member of the Bradford Chamber of Commerce. He was also a governor at Thornton School and at the Crossley Orphanage. In 1885 Joseph won 59.3% of the vote, beating the Conservatives’ L. Hardy. He won the 1886 election uncontested and stood down at the 1892 election. He died in 1914.


Sir William Pollard Byles was one of the first Lib-Lab MPs in the country – a founding part of what eventually became the Labour Party. He was born in Bradford and was the son of William Byles, the proprietor of The Bradford Observer newspaper. After his father died, he succeeded to the newspaper, renamed The Yorkshire Observer. He was a pacifist and actively opposed the Boer War. In 1892, he was elected MP but lost the seat after just three years – losing by just 78 votes in 1895. In 1900 he stood for Leeds East as a Labour candidate, but was defeated. He returned to the Commons in 1906 as the Liberal MP for Salford North and was knighted in 1911. Byles kept Salford North until his death in October 1917.

1895-1906: JAMES FORTESCUE-FLANNERY (LIBERAL UNIONIST) Flannery was a renowned engineer and naval architect. He was head of Flannery, Baggally and Johnson Marine Engineering, which had offices in London, Liverpool and Rotterdam, and was also a director of the London and South Western Bank. Between 1900 and 1906, he was president of the Railway Clerks’ Association. He was appointed JP for Surrey in 1892, for Kent in 1895, knighted in 1899 and appointed JP for Essex in 1904.


Bingley Rural: Oct/Nov 2013

Percy Holden Illingworth at Cambridge University in 1889

1906-1915: PERCY HOLDEN ILLINGWORTH (LIB) Percy Illingworth was the Liberal MP for Shipley for nine years, and in his last three years held a very important role in Asquith’s Government. He was educated at Cambridge and went on to serve in the Second Boer War. Percy held many government roles during his time as an MP. From 1906 to 1910 he was the Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Chief Secretary for Ireland; from 1910 to 1912 he was a Junior Lord of the Treasury, and from 1912-1915 he was Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury. Sadly, in 1915 he died suddenly from food poisoning caused by a bad oyster at the age of 45. He had been nominated to the Privy Council but died before he could be sworn in. Percy was one of Shipley’s more colourful MPs and had a reputation for taking matters to the heart of government.


Partington was born in Bury and educated at Rossall School. He was Justice of the Peace for Cheshire and Worcestershire and Deputy Lieutenant for Worcestershire. He was elected as an MP for High Peak in Derbyshire in 1900 and remained until his defeat in 1910. In March 1913,

he was appointed an alderman on London County Council and remained on the council until 1920. He returned to parliament in 1915 at an uncontested by-election in Shipley. Under a cross-party agreement, any seats left vacant during World War I were to be uncontested and a representative from the party previously holding the seat would win. He stood down in 1918 to focus more on London. Partington died at home in 1935, aged 62.


Rae was privately educated at Batley Grammar School. After leaving he went to work in the wool business. He sat as councillor for Pateley Bridge on the West Riding County Council before standing for parliament in 1918 as the Coalition Liberal candidate. (Coalition Liberals wanted a coalition government between the Liberals and Conservatives so David Lloyd George could become prime minister.) In the Shipley 1918 election it was a straight fight with Tom Snowden, the Labour candidate, who later became a longstanding Accrington MP. Rae won with a majority of over 11,000 votes. He stood again in 1922, but with competition from a stronger Labour Party his majority was reduced to just over 1,000. He was knighted in 1922 and stood down as MP the following year, succeeded by the first Labour MP for the constituency. Rae had a history of heart trouble and on New Year’s Eve 1928 in Batley, he was taking tea with his fiancée when he collapsed and died aged 68.


William Mackinder became the first Labour MP for Shipley. He won the seat for the first time in 1923, on his second attempt. He was re-elected in 1924 and 1929. He sadly died in September 1930 and the resulting by-election was won by Conservatives.


Lockwood was elected in a November 1930 byelection and was re-elected in 1931. However, he was not re-selected as Conservative candidate for the 1935 general election. He stood as an “independent conservative” but lost the seat, finishing in last place with around a 13.5% share of the vote.

1935-1950: ARTHUR CREECH JONES (LAB) Arthur Jones is perhaps the Shipley MP with the most interesting story. Jones was originally a civil servant, but he was imprisoned in World War I as a conscientious objector, forcing him to change careers. As a young man, Jones became involved with the Liberal Christian League and joined the Liberal Party. However, he began to question their politics, dropping his membership of the Methodist Church

and joining the Independent Labour Party. In 1916 Jones began organising anticonscription meetings. He was called up in autumn 1916 but as a pacifist he refused to serve. He was not granted an exemption and was imprisoned from September 1916 until April 1919. Whilst in prison he read further on history, politics and economics and made many useful contacts who later became senior members of the Labour Party. He was later appointed secretary of the National Union of Docks, Wharves and Shipping Staffs and edited their newspaper. When they joined the Transport and General Workers’ Union in 1922, he was promoted to national secretary. After the formation of the National Government, he went along with TGWU colleague Ernest Bevin in joining the Socialist League. When the ILP didn’t affiliate with the main Labour Party, he resigned and joined the main party. He didn’t originally want to be an MP, but observation of events in Germany led him to stand in Shipley. When Labour won the election in 1945, he was appointed as the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Colonial Office, later promoted to head of the department. He visited and reported in depth on the West Indies, Africa and Asia and even persuaded Commonwealth countries to erect monuments in honour of the then recently deceased King George VI. At the 1950 general election, his Shipley seat was subject to boundary changes and was vigorously challenged by the Conservatives. He lost by 81 votes, becoming one of the biggest ministerial casualties of the election. He tried on many occasions to return to parliament – in 1950 for Bristol South East (beaten in the selection process by Tony Benn) and in 1951 for Romford. He turned to writing and lecturing about British overseas colonies before returning to parliament in 1954 for Wakefield. Due to ill health he was forced to resign a decade later and died in 1964.

The Local Leader

James Slater is the editor of The Local Leader magazine, a tri-annual publication run by two 15-year-old students from Shipley. The magazine mixes politics, history, regeneration and current affairs to bring together the communities of Bradford, Shipley, Baildon, Wrose, Idle, Thackley, Five Lane Ends, Eccleshill, Undercliffe, Low Moor and Wibsey. The magazine prints 2500 copies and also has thousands of online readers. Previous scoops have included an interview with Keighley-born former political advisor Alistair Campbell. Read their back issues online at

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Carrot cake

Recipe supplied by Adele at Made 2 Measure Catering: telephone 07801 270703. Serves 6-8 Method:


160g plain flour ½tsp bicarb of soda 1tsp ground cinnamon 1 egg yolk 2 egg whites 50g desiccated coconut 270g caster sugar

½tsp baking powder ¼tsp ground cloves 1 large egg 200g sunflower oil 30g walnuts 135g chopped carrot

Topping: 175g soft cream cheese 25g honey 70g unsalted butter 50g chopped walnuts 35g icing sugar

1. Heat oven to 170°C/325°F, Gas Mark 3. 2. Grease a 20cm springform cake tin and line base and sides with greaseproof paper. 3. Whisk together the whole egg and egg yolk. Add in the oil and caster sugar and beat for a minute. 4. Add the walnuts, coconut and carrot to the egg mixture. In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and spices, then add gradually to the mixture. Don’t over-mix! 5. In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites until firm peaks form then add this mixture carefully to the cake mix. 6. Pour into the prepared tin and bake in the over for one to one-and-a-quarter hours. Test with a skewer after an hour. Cover with foil if cake is starting to darken. When done, leave cake in the tin until completely cool. 7. For the topping, beat the cream cheese until light and smooth, then add the butter, icing sugar and honey. Mix until light and airy. Fold mixtures together into one bowl. Now spread the topping onto the cake and sprinkle with chopped/whole nuts. Enjoy!

Spiking your interest

The latest news from the British Cactus & Succulent Society, Bradford branch.


ven if you missed the Annual Cactus Show in June, there are still many chances to learn about cactus growing, whatever your age, and to see some very interesting and different plants. The Bradford branch of the British Cactus and Succulent Society has monthly meetings in Shipley Library at 7.15pm on the second Wednesday in each month and welcomes anyone interested in cacti to its meetings. Branch members are also available to visit groups, introducing people to an interesting hobby. Work has been done with a number of schools, youth organisations and training centres, when specimen plants are brought along and used, after a little introduction, for


Bingley Rural: Oct/Nov 2013

various activities. In addition to repotting seedlings and making miniature gardens, the plants have been used as the basis for artwork (drawing, mounting and displaying); making models from plasticine and other materials; for photographic projects, and in needlecraft, where drawings were converted into decorations on a quilt. Usually spineless succulents are used where the plants need to be handled – cacti with spines are for looking at! If you are an individual, a member of a group or a school and feel that a visit from BCSS would be of interest, please contact Brian Thornton on 01535 274755 for further information. There is also information on the web about the National Society and the Bradford branch.




Saturday 19th October From 7.30pm

Friday 1st November 7.30-11.55pm

A Crown Imperial: the Aire Valley Singers’ next concert in St Paul’s Church, Kirkgate, Shipley, will be a celebration of music connected with royal occasions. The main work is “The Coronation Mass” by Mozart, featuring soloists from the choir. The concert will also include music by Britten, whose centenary we are marking this year, Mathias, Paul Maelor, Handel and an opportunity to join in with Parry’s anthem “I was glad”. Tickets on the door. www.

Monday 21st-Saturday 26th October From 7.30pm

Cat’s Cradle, a thriller by Leslie Sands. Inspector Frost attempts to solve a cold case of kidnap and possible murder. Performed by Bingley Little Theatre at the Arts Centre. General admission £8, concessions (MondayThursday) £7. Monday youth ticket (under-18s) £2. Box office: 01274 567983 or at the Arts Centre, 11am-3.30pm.

Thursday 24th-Sunday 27th October

Keighley & Worth Valley Railway Beer and Music Festival 2013. The main festival bar will be located inside the Exhibition Shed at Oxenhope, where you can sample over 100 real ales, as well as a full selection of bottled beers, perries, ciders, spirits and soft drinks. There will be live music throughout the weekend.

Saturday 26th October 9.30am-2.30pm

The New Inn, Wilsden, will be hosting a Craft Fair for local artisans who wish to sell their wares. From 9.30am until 2.30pm the pub doors are open and everyone is invited to browse the goods. Another fair will be held on 30th November, with the same opening hours. Tea, coffee and bacon sandwiches are available and it is a great opportunity to buy that special gift for Christmas.

Vampire Ball, Cell at the Civic, North Street, Keighley. A lavish, professionally-catered meal of savoury cheeses, meats and baked goods awaits, as well as a delectable dessert selection and mountains of chocolate. £14 per person. Tel 01535 957094, email

Saturday 2nd November Fire lighting 7pm, fireworks 7.30pm

Bingley Bonfire at Myrtle Park, Bingley. Admission £5 per person (under-fives free). See feature on p11 for more.

Friday 8th November From 7.30pm

RSPB Airedale & Bradford talk: Bird Life through 40 Pennine Years by Gordon Yates at Shipley Library. Gordon has visited our group on numerous occasions and is back by popular demand. This time the films recap the birds Gordon has filmed in the 40 years he has been filming in the Pennines. There are lots of surprises and some unique footage. Entry is £3 for members and non-members alike (children free). Telephone: 01274 582078, email: abrspb@

Friday 8th-Monday 14th November 10am-4pm (until 7pm on Thursday)

Art Exhibition at Cottingley Cornerstone Centre. If you would like to exhibit, a hanging fee of £2 is required. The centre will take 20% commission on all items sold. For more details call Kathy Watts on 01274 562531.

Sunday 10th November From 10.15am

Saturday 26th October 12am-4pm

Tuesday 12th-Saturday 16th November From 7.15pm (matinee 2.15pm Saturday)

Bingley Amateur Operatic Society presents Hello Dolly! Tickets from Bingley Arts Centre box office from 21st October. Tel 01274 567983, Mon-Fri 11am-3.30pm. Adults £12 front, £10 stalls; concessions £10 front, £8 stalls. Saturday evening all tickets are full price.

RSPB Airedale & Bradford invite you to a Falling Leaves Event at Cliffe Castle, Keighley. There will be a series of craft activities for children (and adults!), as well as opportunities to go on guided bird walks in the grounds (bring binoculars!). Entry is free.

Saturday 23rd-Sunday 24th November

Saturday 26th October From 2.30pm

Wilsden Trinity Church cordially invite you to Afternoon Tea. Entertainment by Free Spirit Ladies’ Choir. Admission £5 (for tickets contact 01535 273935). Everyone welcome.

Bingley Remembrance Parade. Assembling outside Bingley Arts Centre at 10.15am, with the march to the cenotaph in Myrtle Park starting at 10.40am. The service will commence there at 10.50am.

Steampunk style

Victorian Steampunk Fair, Haworth. Music and entertainment, themed shop windows, traders in Victorian dress, fashion show, evening entertainment. In aid of Manorlands. Steampunk is a sub-genre of science fiction featuring steam-powered machinery in a Victorian setting.

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Congratulations to Lorna Bellamy of Clayton Heights, the lucky winner of our competition last month. Lorna and a guest won tickets to see The South in concert at the Bingley Arts Centre on 10th October, by correctly answering the question: “What was the name of The Beautiful South’s bestselling 1994 compilation album?” The correct answer was Carry On Up The Charts.


Wilsden Trinity Church

Wilsden Trinity Church would like to thank all who supported our charity coffee evenings over the summer months. With your help we were able to raise an astounding amount of over £1200 in total – an average of around £250 for each of the five charities. Thank you all so much. Wilsden Trinity Church, Chapel Row, Wilsden – weekly activities Mondays 11.30am-1pm: ‘Soupermums’ group for parents, young babies and mums-to-be. Tuesdays 9.30-11.30am: ‘Wiltots’ mother and toddler group. Fridays 6-7.30pm: ‘Friends and Heroes’ group for primary school-aged children. Everyone is most welcome.


Cancer Support Bradford & Airedale

Cancer Support Bradford & Airedale needs your votes in “Good All Round Awards”. We have been recognised by the Sovereign Health Care Charitable Trust as an organisation that makes a real difference to the lives of local people. We are one of 14 good causes in the district that has been selected to


Bingley Rural: Oct/Nov 2013

receive a share of £140,000 in the first ever Good All Round Awards, which mark 140 years of Sovereign Health Care. Up to £40,000 of funding is available to us if we can secure the majority vote from the general public. Voting takes place throughout October and we are urging you to visit and vote for us. You can also find out more about what’s going on by joining us on Facebook or Twitter and following #GoodAllRound


Marie Curie Cancer Care

We are in the process of setting up a new fundraising group in Bingley, Eldwick and Gilstead to help raise funds and awareness of the local Marie Curie Hospice, Bradford, and the home nursing service. The Bingley Fundraising Group will be the local face of Marie Curie Cancer Care in Bingley, Eldwick and Gilstead. They will support our work by coordinating the Great Daffodil Appeal in the area, organising a Blooming Great Tea Party, looking after the collection tins as well as any other fundraising activities they enjoy. The fundraising group will meet every 4-6 weeks and will play a key role in making the most of all fundraising opportunities in the local area. Joining a fundraising group is a great opportunity for local people to join together and get involved in fun and rewarding fundraising activities while supporting the Marie Curie Hospice, Bradford, and our local Marie Curie Nurses. We are holding a meeting on Wednesday 12th November at 6.30pm in The Glen, Gilstead Lane, Bingley, BD16 3LN. We would love as many people as possible to join us and find out more about joining the fundraising group.

Reindeer Stampede 5k Family Fun Run Sunday 8 December 2013 at 10.00am Enter online at Email Telephone 0113 210 8800 Dress up and run as Rudolph in this 5km festive family fun run, starting and finishing in Roberts Park, Saltaire. Race features: • Medal to all finishers. • Free mince pie. • Brass band Christmas carols. • 650m mini stampede for under 8’s.

© Copyright Epilepsy Action 2013

Entry fees: £10 Adults £6 Children

£2.50 Mini stampede £2.50 Reindeer antlers

Epilepsy Action New Anstey House, Gate Way Drive, Yeadon, Leeds LS19 7XY tel. 0113 210 8800 Epilepsy Helpline: freephone 0808 800 5050 text 0753 741 0044 email Registered charity in England (No. 234343)

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Bingley Rural: Oct/Nov 2013

Bingley Rural, Oct/Nov 2013  

Featuring The Bingley Byron: the story of John Nicholson; Ay, Minister! Shipley MPs from 1885 to the present; and Eric Firth's continuing st...