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The independent guide to what’s on in your community


May 2013

Bobbins & Bonaparte


Please take one

The reminiscences of Betty Murgatroyd, aged 92, in the Wilsden Almanac of 1892

Lights Out Land Girls

Sweet peas for Ena

Delightful wartime comedy from Bingley Little Theatre

We interview Bingley centenarian Ena Mitchell about her eventful life

Photo: Barge on canal,Bingley © Lisa Firth our regular features! Community news Recipe: Banana loaf with pistachio topping

Past times Gardening History from Astrid Hansen Nostalgia from Eric Firth

Family tree research Local days out What’s On guide ...and much more!

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

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Bingley Rural: May 2013




Bingley Rural: May 2013

A word from the editor


ell as you can see we’ve changed our clothes once again! I hope everyone approves of the new look, which has been designed based on readers’ feedback. And we’ve got some great stuff to read packed into the revamped mag this month too! It’s really been quite a struggle squeezing it all in.

This month I have had my roving reporter’s hat on (you know, the sort that has a little ticket saying “Press” in the band) and have been out to chat with Ena Mitchell, one of Wilsden’s oldest residents. Mrs Mitchell will be 100 years old in August and has lived in Bingley and Wilsden through two world wars. You can read more about her fascinating

memories on pages 30-33. This issue I’d like to say thank you to our readers for picking us up every month and also to our advertisers, whose support allows us to keep going. The Bingley Rural is entirely funded by advertising, so it would be wonderful if our readers would consider showing their appreciation by making use of the businesses featured in these pages. Lisa Firth, Editor May 2013


Ads start from just £12 a month! See p38 for a full list of prices.

Armed forces send thanks to Bingley people Anita Dickerson, president of the Armed Forces Support Group, writes: “On behalf of British soldiers presently on tour in Afghanistan, the Armed Forces Support Group would like to say a huge and heartfelt ‘Thank you’ to the people of Bingley for their incredible generosity and support on the occasion of the recent ‘Pack and Wrap’ event held in Bingley on March 14th-16th . With your help we were able to send over 200 parcels full of Easter treats to our courageous troops out there in the danger zone. “We have received moving and appreciative letters from soldiers who tell us time and again how much it means to them that they are not forgotten by the general public. So many times we read how humble they feel that people who don’t know them care enough to dip into their pockets to buy items for the parcels. We have received a long and grateful letter from a Brigadier on behalf of his soldiers. He tells us of the wonderful job our troops are doing to improve the lives and conditions of

the Afghan people. A Wing Commander not only wrote to express his thanks for the support given to all the troops, but even rang up from Camp Qargha to reinforce his gratitude. Such letters are always on display at any of our coffee mornings. “Our thanks also go to Home Bargains who stocked a shelf with suitable items for the parcels, and to Richard Holmes of 4Urban who made a shop unit in Myrtle Precinct available to us so that we could pack and wrap in full view of the people who had donated the treats. Thanks are also due to Buttershaw Working Men’s Club, whose generosity knows no bounds; to the staff of Hermes, the customers and staff of The Harvesters, and the members of Slimming World. “THANK YOU EVERYONE: your wonderful support has allowed us to send a total of 700 parcels to our lads and lassies since Christmas 2012. We are at the same time both proud and humble that we are the agency through which people show how much they appreciate our very own brave soldiers.”

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Bingley Rural: May 2013



Lights Out Land Girls Bingley Little Theatre stages this delightful wartime romp.


he touring theatre company who recently delighted Bingley theatre-goers with “Ernie and the Gold Tops”, the story of a 1960s village milkman with a Top of the Pops dream, returned to the Arts Centre on 1st May with another lively musical tale from an even earlier decade. “Lights Out Land Girls” is the comedy sequel to the successful “Back to the Land Girls”. It finds Land Army heroines Buff and Biddy coming to the end of their long working days on the farm during the last wartime summer of 1945 and wondering what to do next. Buff has the chance of romance, but if she follows her heart will she be able to stay in the village? Biddy has her big chance to be “just like Vera Lynn” if she can make it to the talent show at


Bingley Rural: May 2013

the Tower Ballroom in Blackpool, but life seems to be getting in the way. “Lights Out Land Girls”, based on interviews with woman who spent the war years working on farms, was written by Kate Bramley, former assistant director of Hull Truck Theatre. In 1998 she was one of the founders of Badapple Theatre, which is now based in Harrogate. Operating a philosophy of “theatre on your doorstep”, Badapple takes lively, often Northern-based drama, music and comedy to small, local theatres, village halls and civic centres. The music for the production was by awardwinning singer-songwriter Jez Lowe. Stay up to date with Bingley Little Theatre productions at

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Bingley Rural: May 2013



Memories of St Ives By Lisa Firth


ack in the 80s and 90s, in the long summer of childhood, I loved to visit the St Ives estate in Harden. For me, the main attraction of this leafy, sprawling public park was a large ornamental pond in the grounds of the 19th-century mansion. In the spring and summer this murky pool was teeming with life, and my sister Erica and I would be in frogspawn heaven as we thrashed around with our pocket money fishing nets bought from Wilsden Tuck Shop. We would usually head home with a jam jar of tiny tadpoles apiece, in later years sent to join their brothers and sisters in the makeshift pond Erica had constructed in the back garden. The lining for this oversized puddle was the groundsheet I usually took on Guide camps (a loss I didn’t discover until packing for the next camp!). Of course this led to a garden overrun with frogs, which had a tendency to find their way into the house. Often I would come home from school to find my mum, a confirmed amphibophobe, hiding upstairs until I’d removed the trespasser. With its omnipresent creeping rhododendrons lining the walks, St Ives was also a great place for finding dens. My favourite had a curved tree trunk for a bench and a “doorway” just the right height to admit only those under five feet tall. I was the keeper of the den password, denying entry to any Ericas who hadn’t treated their big sisters with the respect due to elders recently. I suffered my only fall into the mansion house pond aged seven, leaning in to see if I could catch a stickleback. I got the bus home that day drenched to the bone, clutching my tadpole jar clad in just knickers and a towel which had been leant by a kindly someone – I’d insisted on stripping off, convinced that frogs were crawling around inside my wet clothes. Erica managed to match my soaking and raise me a soaking, with a double dip into the stagnant depths.

What to do at St Ives


These days, the old mansion house and its grounds have been converted into a private care facility. However,

Bingley Rural: May 2013

St Ives still has plenty of attractions for the young. Not least is the incredible adventure playground, complete with tyre swings, rope bridge, sand pit and much more. Once you’ve had enough of the playground (which may take a while!), there is plenty more fun to be had around the estate. The area around Coppice Pond – a lake rather than a pond in spite of its name – is ideal for nature Coppice Pond © Paul Glazzard trails. There’s a bird hide Below: Intrepid tadpoler Erica and duck-feeding platform too, and duck food can be bought at nearby Lady B’s Café if you forget your bag of crusts. If you’re looking for free nature activities for kids and have access to the Internet, the Woodland Trust’s Nature Detectives website,, is just the ticket, with printable nature trails, birdwatching guides, animal track spotter sheets and other outdoor activities to download. Friends of St Ives also provide a guide to St Ives wildlife on their website at www. For anyone interested in learning more about the flora, fauna and history of St Ives, the Friends run regular guided walks around the area. The St Ives visitor centre, open 11am-3pm Wednesdays and Saturdays, can provide more information. The sculpted wooden statues dotted around the estate are another charming feature of the park. A wander around the woods will reveal sinister monks, sylvan fairies, mischievous goblins and fearsome dragons all hiding in the shadows. This free walking leaflet from Bradford Council shows where they can be found: St Ives is a top family day out. Why not grab your camera and head to the woods to make some memories of your own this summer? Please respect the signs around Coppice Pond asking visitors to “take only photos and leave only footprints” – to maintain this ecosystem it is better if wildlife is not removed.

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Bingley Rural: May 2013



Stars of the silver screen

Cancer Support Bradford & Airedale celebrate their silver jubilee.


e are so proud to celebrate supporting people for 25 years and hope you will get involved during this special year. We have been supporting people affected by cancer in our local communities and want to make sure we are around for the next 25 years to support everyone who needs us. Director Linda Howard said: “We are here to listen and walk alongside you on one of life’s difficult journeys. A lot has changed since 1988: it’s a very different world, with advances in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, but why we are here hasn’t changed. As we move into the next 25 years we want to be able to support those affected by cancer, both

emotionally and practically, so no one is facing cancer alone. With your help we can.” Hayley Collis, fundraiser, said: “As a small charity, the support of the community is really important to us and we would be delighted to receive your support in our special celebratory year. If you have been touched by cancer and want to help support a local cause, why not join in with our celebration, make a donation, come along to an event or hold your own event for us?” If you would like to have a chat about ways you can help, please get in touch on 01274 202226, email or visit

Bees rugby help celebrate silver jubilee

The Bradford & Bingley Rugby Club continue support for fourth year running.


he Bees hosted a fabulous Ball to help raise £2,000 for their chosen charity, Cancer Support Bradford & Airedale. 130 attendees danced the night away and enjoyed a very special night. Phil Greaves, first team player for the club, said: “It’s great to be able to help Cancer Support Bradford & Airedale. Bradford & Bingley Rugby Club have supported the charity for a few years now and will continue raising money for this great charity that helps so many people hit by cancer.”

Peter Rae, Rugby Club chairman, said: “We are now in our fourth season of supporting this brilliant charity. We continue to support them as they are part of our local community and help make a daily difference to cancer patients and their families. Their support is often not recognised by the families, as it is often a very vulnerable time for them. We were delighted to be challenged once again and hope this event will be an annual fundraiser.” Hayley Collis, fundraiser, had challenged the club to raise £2,000 in celebration of the charity’s 25th anniversary. “Once again we are thrilled with the amazing support this local club has given us. This year they have not only raised a significant amount


Bingley Rural: May 2013

of money, but have also placed the charity’s logo on all the junior replica first team kit shirts too. This helps raise awareness of the charity in local communities throughout Bradford and Airedale districts, week in and week out.” In celebration of their silver jubilee year, if you would like to do something special and meaningful that will make a lasting difference to people in your community and may, one day, help someone close to you, please contact Cancer Support Bradford & Airedale on 01274 202226, email fundraising@ or visit www. for details.

Cancer Support Bradford & Airedale presents..

To celebrate Cancer Support Bradford & Airedale’s 25th year, we’re throwing a ritzy ‘Silver Screen’ themed bash. With entertainment from the fabulous Frank Meets Dean, a sumptuous three course menu, charity auction, some fun and fundraising games too.

Cedar Court Hotel, Mayo Avenue, Bradford BD5 8HW For bookings, please contact the Fundraising Team on 01274 202226

Daisy House Farm, 44 Smith Lane, Bradford BD9 6DA @CancerSupportBA

01274 202226


Charity Registration No: 519429 Design by Xpand Marketing Bingley Rural: May 2013 9 To advertise email Lisa on


Moving on up Wendy Uttley, coordinator and trainer for the Down Syndrome Training & Support Service Ltd, writes about the launch of their new premises at 2 Whitley Street, Bingley.


he Down Syndrome Training & Support Service Ltd was founded by myself and three other families when our children, who happen to have Down syndrome, were two years old. My son Sam is now 15, and over the years the charity has grown to serve over 270 families and 190 organisations living and working with children and young people who have Down syndrome. At the centre we run seven Early Development Groups, working with children aged ten months to five years on many early skills such as speech, movement, social and number work. About 35 children and their parents are involved. The groups provide vital support for parents and professionals. We have 12 speech and language groups running on a monthly basis at the centre, funded by the Big Lottery Fund and delivered by independent therapists who are specialists in working with young people who have Down syndrome. Approximately 45 children are involved, from age three to early 20s. My biggest role at the centre is delivering training. Originally a maths teacher and with a PhD in Mathematics, I now apply all of my skills to developing and delivering many training courses on the specific learning needs of people with Down syndrome. These courses include introducing Down syndrome; signing; teaching number and literacy skills; managing behaviour, and sex and relationships education. They are delivered at the centre and at various settings in Bradford and beyond. I also go into schools and deliver assemblies, a fantastic way of raising awareness. Families and professionals will travel from all over Yorkshire to access our services. On Thursday 21st March we celebrated World Down Syndrome Day in style. All week we had been busy cleaning the building, preparing donated gifts


Bingley Rural: May 2013

for our tombola and promoting the event. Parents and volunteers had been busy baking and gathering the best china and by 12 we were ready to welcome the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress. We started events by cutting a ribbon outside the Pamela Sunter Centre and declaring it open. We then had tea and cake before showing the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress around the centre, pointing out its great potential for a youth club in the attic and our long-term plans to develop the basement rooms for use helping young adults with Down syndrome gain work skills. We hope that we can keep up this momentum and use it to help generate the funds needed to repair the attic so that it can be used as a youth club and the first of our plans can reach fruition. We need £10,000 for repairs to the roof and windows. Our tombola is still running, along with several other stalls. In addition we now have tickets ready to sell for our spring raffle. • First prize: £200 cash • Second prize: 19” children’s LCD TV (inside a soft crab) • Third prize: multi and slow cooker • Fourth prize: men’s Slazenger watch • ... and many runner-up prizes. Tickets cost £1 each and come in books of ten. If you would like to buy or sell tickets, please contact the office. We would be delighted if you could take some along to work to sell. And finally a big thank you to everyone for their time and effort in making it such a memorable day. If you want to learn more about our centre and the work we are doing, please visit our website, Email us on or telephone 01274 561308 to arrange to call in for a visit.

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Bingley Rural: May 2013



Scout concert is top brass 1

st Bingley Scout Group are getting together with the award-winning City of Bradford Brass Band and their musical director Lee Skipsey to give us a Brass Band Extravaganza, taking place at Bingley Arts Centre on Saturday 15th June. The group are working hard to raise funds for a new mini-bus for their group. 1st Bingley has a

total of 128 youngsters, made up of two Beaver colonies, two Cub packs and one Scout troop. The mini-bus will be used regularly for a variety of activities, from camping to trips in the local area. It is also available for use by the community.

The City of Bradford Brass Band has won many top awards during the time Lee Skipsey has been musical director. Last year they led the service of Remembrance at St George’s Hall in Bradford. As many of their regular followers can confirm, they produce a marvellously varied programme, suitable for all ages, with flair and enthusiasm. Going along to Bingley Arts Centre on 15th June will help 1st Bingley Scouts as well as giving you a great musical experience! Tickets: £7. Booking through the Bingley Arts Centre Box Office, open Mon-Fri 11am to 3.30pm, or phone 01274 567983. Tickets can also be purchased online from www.

9th Bradford North Scout Group at camp


n mid-February, a group of “old Scouts” from the 9th met up for a weekend of walking and activities in the Yorkshire Dales. Our venue for the weekend was the Hag Dyke Scout Hostel. It is situated 1½ miles outside Kettlewell, at 1525 feet above sea level. The main way up is on foot, but there is a track for tractors and Land Rovers to ferry up coal, gas and food. With this year being the 425th anniversary of the Spanish Armada, we took a rather broad interpretation of it for our weekend theme. Friday included meeting at the village of Malham and going around the Spanish escape route of Janet’s Foss, Gordale Scar and the cove. In the evening, we set up Hag Dyke, had tea and met up with the rest of the group. It snowed overnight and for much of Saturday and Sunday. Saturday saw groups following various activities: • Radio connections with Poland, France and Russia. We could hear the USA but did not make contact.


Bingley Rural: May 2013

• Hike to the top of Great Wearnside and again testing radio connections around the country – in a raging snow storm. • Hike down to Kettlewell, including raft racing galleons down the stream (OK, the galleons were corks, but it was still great fun). Some of the group departed to travel down to Wembley to watch City. Saturday night was Tapas night followed by the odd game of “Stinkers” (it is a Scout card game!). Sunday was cooking and cleaning, followed by the tricky task of guiding the Land Rovers through the snow drifts down to Kettlewell! The 9th Bradford North Scout Group is based in Sandy Lane at the Methodist Church. We need support with leaders in all sections. At present we have no Scout section as we need someone, or a small team, to take on running one. Please contact Phil Lowde – 07973 339007 – if you would like to volunteer to support our worthwhile youth movement.

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Bingley Rural: May 2013



Please neuter your cat!

With homeless cats entering the sanctuary system daily, spaying and neutering are more important than ever.


ife is hard for a cat when it’s forced to live on the streets, surviving on waste food found in bins, sheltering anywhere it can find something to keep it from the rain. Whatever the reason these cats have ended up on the streets, if they are not neutered problems will only increase. Cats breed with other cats carrying illnesses that won’t necessarily affect the parent, but they will affect the offspring. Enteritis, FIV, FELV and feline distemper are some of the most dangerous illnesses a cat can have, and all can be transmitted from an unneutered parent to its offspring. The kittens can often be born displaying no symptoms at all, and if they are lucky will be found and given a home. How long they stay symptom-free, however, can vary from weeks to even months. Suddenly, out of nowhere, a family’s new kitten can grow progressively more ill, more often than not ending in death. Even if kittens are born healthy and illness-free, they don’t always stay that way. They often end up in the already overburdened sanctuary system, without their mother. To newborn and very young kittens, Mummy is vital in the nutrition and warmth she provides. No amount of hourly feeds and hot water bottles to make up for the fact that the kitten can’t regulate its own body temperature will ever equate to what Mummy has to offer. Their immune system will not develop as it ought to, leaving them susceptible to any minor infection which they are unable to fight. A common feline cold could be enough to kill them. Kittens that are hand-reared have a very high mortality rate because of the lack of key nutrients which are usually passed on from mother to kitten. This is why it is important to neuter. When hard weather hits and it’s difficult for us to get to our places of work or go about our everyday lives, we seek solace in our homes in front of warm fires with warm drinks. At such times, it’s important to remember one fact: cats are homeless everywhere. They can’t hide away from the cold snow or harsh


Bingley Rural: May 2013

rain in a warm environment, because there isn’t one there to welcome them. There are more than 30,000 calls made to animal charities every year reporting stray cats, and not all of them will be lucky enough to end up in a facility where they can be cared for due to the sheer number of animals and lack of resources. The number of unwanted cats increases day by day: one unneutered female cat can produce up to 18 kittens in a year, ending up with 20,000 descendants in just five years. Although the problem can’t be solved in one fell swoop, it can be aided by one simple action: having your cat spayed or neutered. Even homed, loved cats are vulnerable if they aren’t neutered, as this can lead to unwanted litters that will be left to an underresourced sanctuary to deal with should there be nobody closer to home able to take them on. We have many cats at Allerton Cat Rescue looking for forever homes. Do you have the space in your home to give one the love they deserve? If you would like to adopt a cat or drop off a kind donation, please pop along to the rescue between 12noon and 2pm on Saturdays or Sundays. You can find us at Allerton Cat Rescue, 258 Allerton Road, Allerton, Bradford, BD15 7QX.

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Bingley Rural: May 2013



Spandau fireworks By Eric Firth: part 1 of 2 (continued next month)


n the hot July of 1959, my regiment arrived in Berlin - then, in the height of the Cold War, the most famed, exciting and dangerous city on the planet. We were stationed in formerly German army barracks that were years ahead of most of ours back in Britain. Berlin was no longer the capital of Hitler’s Third Reich, but divided into four sectors where East met West, communism met capitalism. The European war had ended but World War III could have started any moment, with young British, American, French and Russian soldiers almost all of them national servicemen - eyeballing each other like boxers. Western convoys on training schemes headed through the Brandenburg Gate, its four horses looking menacingly down on them as they rolled into the grim, grey Soviet-controlled Eastern sector. What horrors those horses looked down on when the Soviet hordes swept into the city seeking vengeance for Stalingrad, and what horrors the local population suffered. Every soldier was counted, sitting in their three tonners, rifles between their knees, knowing they were now “behind potential enemy lines”, canvas pulled down so they couldn’t see anything whilst driving through the Eastern zone. Trains from West Germany also had to pull the blinds down on entering the Eastern zone. To be fair though, when my wife travelled to Berlin to join me in married quarters, she said the staff on the Eastern side were very nice: helpful, respectful and courteous. This counting took as long as the Russian officer in command wanted it to take, usually depending on East-West relations at the time. If they were good

Spandau prison in the 1950s


Bingley Rural: May 2013

he’d get through it quickly, sometimes even giving half a smile as he waved our lorries on. Well, we had been comrades just a few years earlier: how quickly things can change! If the relationship was not cordial, we paid for it as the officer counted and recounted as many times as he wanted while his cocky young assistant, almost certainly national service himself, smirked – God I remember that smirk, and he was chewing gum too, cheeky beggar – whilst over at the UN, politicians squabbled. At the time, the Western powers had 11,000 troops in their sectors, surrounded by 555,000 Soviet soldiers. I worked the odds against us at, oh, a lot to one. The thing is, the Cold War could have become a hot war literally overnight and we’d have been first to feel the heat. Mind you, we did have the smartly-uniformed Elvis Presley on our side, and three stripes he had too. Elvis had been the hottest thing around up to a year or so earlier. But his sideburns, famed wiggle and blue, blue, blue suede shoes were now exchanged for two years of crew cuts, marching boots and GI blues. Uh uh uh. The army proved the making of Elvis, turning a once surly hip-swivelling anti-establishment rebel into a national hero. For a time. Sadly, the Presley most remember today is the overweight addict of the 70s. Whilst West Berlin was a great place, with plenty of nightlife for they who could afford it (we squaddies could usually manage a few pay night Beck and Baren biers at the local), East Berlin couldn’t have been more different. We had transport laid on in August for a football match between England and East Germany under-23s. WHAT a depressing place the other side was. Huge, armed, bored-looking coppers lounged around on every corner, giving the impression they wanted you to cause trouble just to give them something to do. In the stadium, totally lacking any atmosphere despite our brave attempts, a junior marching band was the pre-match entertainment. Kids in their teens marched up and down like robots. I felt sorry for them, what a sad life. Just think, born under fascism and growing up under communism: Hitler for Stalin, some swap. But we did win the match, the star being tricky England inside-forward George Eastham from one of the Sheffield teams. No, the other one.

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Crystal Space

Workshops on alternative therapy/healing practices Every Thursday evening 7.309.30pm at Crystal Space, Aire View, Silsden, BD20 0AN. £1 including refreshments. See website www.crystalspace. (events section), phone Ally on 07546 109072 or email com for more details. All welcome.

Beautiful crystals, tumblestones, carvings and textiles, essential oils, incense, jewellery and other gifts Available by appointment aromatherapy, reflexology, reiki, crystal healing and other holistic therapies, workshops and tarot readings. Opening Times: 9.30am - 4.30pm - Thursday & Friday For more information Please visit

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Bingley Rural: May 2013


The Rotary Club of Bradford West

A day at the races By Tony Caunt


he members have had a very full programme so far this year, with the sports dinner, an evening at Shimla Spice in Shipley, a visit to Guiseley theatre to see “Guys and Dolls” and a wonderful “Day at Cheltenham Races” held at Sandal Farm Restaurant just some of the events enjoyed. On Friday 12th April some of the members did a blood pressure testing afternoon at Keelham Farm Shop, where in the space of four hours some 60 people had their blood pressure taken and some were found to be out of the safe range. They were then referred to their own doctor. A ladies-only fashion show was put on at the Ring O’ Bells, Thornton, on the 8th April, and over £1,000 was made for the president’s charity, the Cochlear Ear Trust at Bradford Royal Infirmary. There was also a fellowship weekend in Chester on the 19th to 21st April – so you see, there is always something going on at Bradford West Rotary! The programme for the Thursday lunchtime meetings is as follows: • On 2nd May, Rotarian Robert Morphet will talk on the Bradford Schools Drug Prevention Initiative. • On 9th May, Fay Wilson will talk on the Children’s Air Ambulance. • The club assembly will take place on 16th. • On the 23rd we will hear from Robert again as he tells us what the BSDPI is proposing for the future. • On the 30th May, Clive Barwell will speak on

Blood pressure session at Keelham Farm Shop

the subject of “Will the council sell Granny’s house to pay for care?”. The club would be very interested to hear from any young person aged between 18 to 30 who may be interested in learning about Rotaract. This is a club where young people can meet, have fun and help the local community. To learn more about Bradford West or Rotaract, call John Ellis on 07970 253371 or visit

The ladies enjoy race night


Bingley Rural: May 2013


The Internet of Things By Mark Anslow


he majority of people now have a connection to the Internet, ever useful for sharing details of what they had for dinner and photos of cats that look like famous people, or finding out any one of billions of useless facts – like, say, the number of people in space at any given moment (www., or what happened on this day in history (http:// It has become a powerful tool for connecting people and sharing data. So just imagine if most of the objects in our daily lives could join in too. The Internet of Things is a concept that’s actually been around for a while, although it’s starting to gain more momentum. The idea behind the Internet of Things is that almost every object we encounter will have the ability to communicate, either with our phones or with other objects (including appliances, kitchen products, cars and, of course, hoverboards!). Some of these – food items, for example – would have simple radio (RFID) tags that can be read by a smartphone or appliance. Other objects will be even cleverer, eventually using artificial intelligence and sensors to predict our behaviour, automate certain routine tasks for us and provide us with all sorts of tailored information or guidance based on our personal needs. Some of this will come later on but we are already starting to see interesting examples of connected devices. The Nest thermostat, for example, can be controlled by a smartphone, learning a household’s daily routines and varying temperature over the course of the day. Some of the application ideas can seem quite strange. Take the example that always appears in articles on this subject – that of the “smart fridge”, which can track its contents and not only be able to let you know when certain items reach their expiry date, but also automatically reorder essentials like milk and bread. That could reduce food wastage, but

how many people would trust their fridge to leave a virtual note for the milkman? Or there’s the oven that can switch itself on when you’re a certain distance from home, perhaps suggesting a few recipes based on the contents of your cupboard and dietary preferences, and cook them in the most energy-efficient way. Even the washing machine would be able to give you guidance on saving power and when something goes wrong, send you a message giving details of the fault. Or how about an alarm clock for commuters that wakes you up a bit later than planned if their train is delayed? Sounds good to me! In the medical world there are interesting and useful applications for some of these technologies. One device can detect if an older person has an accident at home and then send a text message to a relative to alert them. A recent news story also mentioned a blood monitor that could be implanted under the skin and transmit an alert if there are problems, which could be life-changing for people with diabetes. Wireless health monitors are already helping people to stay at home by checking vital signs and sending this information to their doctor. It doesn’t end there: there are countless innovations on the way. Expect to see smart cities with sensor networks to monitor air and water quality, noise, traffic levels and the structural health of buildings. Smart roads will relay traffic information to cars that can then guide the driver away from areas of potential congestion. And developing countries will benefit from systems that can monitor water supplies for contamination. These are just a few examples of the Internet of Things, which (we hope) will help to make our lives that bit easier while saving energy and money. Some of the technologies will gain acceptance because they are genuinely useful, others just for novelty value. It will be interesting to see which will make the grade in the household of the future. Mark is an electronic engineer and gadget lover who dreams of one day owning his own robot butler.

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Bingley Rural: May 2013


. Nick Walker . . . EVENT NEWS

High quality fruit and veg deliveries Bingley Market / Delivery days Wed Fri and Sat

Typical £20 box for May Boxed fruit and veg deliveries to the value of £15, £20 or £25 Contents subject to seasons and availability

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Bingley Rural: May 2013

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Bingley Rural: May 2013



Where there’s muck – there’s life!

In the first of a series of articles, Wilsden Gardening Association’s John Bartle discusses our reliance on plants.


hen at school in 1973, sitting my GCE O-Level examination in Biology, one of the questions was “All flesh is grass – Discuss”. This was worth 20% of the final grade and it was up to the candidate to come up with an essay covering as much as possible. None of the structured questions or multiple choices that are common today. What the question wanted was a discussion of the reliance of the animal world, including ourselves, on plants for food – we were expected to talk about food chains and give examples. More marks were obtained for realising that this was also a transfer of energy from one organism to another until it reached the top carnivore. End of the science lesson! This got me thinking about what else we owe to the plant world. Flowers and their vast diversity have provided great pleasure to many over the years. Garden design was, and continues to be, important, no matter if you are the Duchess of Devonshire at Chatsworth or the owner of a garden on Wilsden Main Street. In the 1600s you could have swapped your house for just one tulip bulb – plants really were that important! Sport provides many outlets for plant use, especially the humble grasses. Golf, cricket, tennis, bowls, football and many other sports require turf surfaces. Each unbelievably require different turfs, and these have been researched for years at St Ives Sports Turf Research Institute in Harden. Plants also provide us with energy – some of which has been a long time in the making. Coal, oil, timber and peat have all served us well and still do. Lives have been changed forever by plants. Drugs have been extracted from plants over the centuries. Foxgloves give us Digitalis, a heart drug. Willow Salix gives us aspirin, salicylic acid, so if you have a headache, go chew a willow tree! More recently, the


Bingley Rural: May 2013

otherwise deadly yew tree has been used to produce an anti-cancer drug. Plants, the woody parts at least, are used to build boats and houses, make weapons and even for car chassis – not just the walnut dashboard! My old O-Level question could equally well have read “Some grass is flesh”. By this I mean those weird plants which consume small animals. There are many around the world – pitcher plants are a good example but in Britain we have two of our own. Sundews and Butterwort thrive on poor upland soils and trap insects using their leaves So what do most of these plant depend on for their existence? Most are anchored in the top half metre of our land – soil. Soil is a living, developing structure. It was not here when the earth was first formed. Soil has developed over millions of years and that which is in our gardens is a product of those years. To get the best out of it, farmers, gardeners and the like dig it, change its nature to suit the plants and generally preserve it. The other thing plants need is light. Light provides all the energy plants require to grow, flower, set seed, etc. Astonishingly, only 1% of the light striking a plant is used in photosynthesis – the way plants carry out all these miracles. The rest is

Flower beds can be seen around Wilsden

a showcase for the very best in horticulture. The Village Hall is filled with the aroma of fresh flowers and the tables groan under the weight of super vegetables. The children’s classes – miniature gardens, decorated flower pots, animals made of vegetables - are all skilfully made and humorous.

Wilsden Show takes place every September

reflected, passes through the leaves, or provides warmth for the plant. Here in Wilsden we have lots of opportunities to appreciate the plant world. Gardens are kept tidy, hanging baskets are put out and we even have a fir tree at Christmas festooned with fairy lights! The council also plant public flower beds and local groups have planted spring bulbs all over the village. Wilsden Show in September every year provides

My brother and me

Of course, if you wish to get up close and personal with your plants and soil you could do worse than join Wilsden Gardening Association by contacting Catherine Bartle on 01535 273102 (you do not need to be a resident of Wilsden to become a member). For Wilsden residents who fancy having an allotment – same telephone number just ask for her “old man”! One visit to our garden hut for a purchase of fertiliser, etc. should recoup your £5 annual membership when compared with many retail outlets. For more information please visit Happy gardening. Dig for victory was the cry during the war. Dig for life seems more suitable.

Another incident in the life of John Butterfield of Cottingley.


he other morning I called to see my brother and his wife, not having seen them for some weeks. Walking along the drive, I noticed several dead leaves had blown there overnight, and an elastic band, maybe lost by the postman! After ringing the doorbell I was asked in by my brother Colin. On entering the kitchen I quickly cast my eye around, spotting a beaker on the draining board, waiting to be put away. My embarrassed brother explained he was about to tidy the kitchen when the doorbell rang. “Who is it, Colin?” called his wife Betty from the lounge. “It’s ah John!” A pause, then, “Who’s all gone?” calls Betty. “No, I said-” Just then my sister-in-law appears. “Oh, it’s you, John! Colin, ask him in.” I slip off my shoes and follow the happy pair into the front room. “Nice room, Betty. The three-piece is grand.” “Yes, it cost nearly two thousand when we bought it. I always say it’s worth paying that bit more for quality, don’t you?” “I couldn’t agree more, and the carpet just goes perfectly with everything in the room.” Betty seems to be getting really warmed up now. I’ve got her going for sure.

“The carpet is Axminster, all wool you know. I have Colin shampoo it every month to keep it looking new. I can’t do with anything looking shabby.” I’m thinking he must have done it yesterday because my feet are feeling quite damp. I’m looking around the room and feeling in my pockets at the same time, both of them are waiting for me to say something. So I let them have it. “Betty, have you got an ashtray handy?” I looked at the pair of them, and thought they were both about to drop dead. After around a minute that seemed more like an hour, Colin came to life, pointing a finger at me saying, “He’s ’avin’ you on, Betty, ’e doesn’t even smoke!” “Is that the time?” says Betty. “I’ve a bus to catch.” Going out of kitchen door, she calls out, “Your shoes can do with a good polish, John!” Ah Colin gives me a weak smile, I shrug my shoulders. Thirty seconds after leaving, she’s back. “Colin, the drive’s a right mess. Will you see to it before you do the ironing? I’d not like neighbours to see all them leaves. Oh, and wash that elastic band and put it in drawer.” Ah well, that’s life, brother, that’s life.

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Bingley Rural: May 2013



Wilsden Almanac, 1892. Another snapshot of Victorian Wilsden from the Wilsden Almanac, kindly donated by Mr Stan Lumb. Although the cover sheet gives 1892 as the publication year, historian Astrid Hansen suggests some of the pages may actually be from the 1891 almanac. Mrs. Betty Murgatroyd, aged 92, tells some of her life’s history. Mrs. Betty Murgatroyd, of Spring Hill, Wilsden, is 92 years of age, an eighteenth century born woman, her birthday being on the 1st of November, 1798, three months after the great Battle of the Nile, in which Nelson defeated the French fleet. George the Third had then been reigning 38 years, so Mrs. Murgatroyd has thus lived under the rule of the following sovereigns : George III, died 1820 ; George IV, died 1829 ; William IV, died 1837 ; Victoria I still reigning. Having outlived so many English sovereigns she must naturally know much of the past history of our village, and a chat with her elicited the matter here given. Mrs. Murgatroyd began to work in the factory when she was but five years of age! And in those days work in the mill begun at half-past-five in the morning, and did not cease, with the exception of half-an-hour at dinner-time, till seven and eight o’clock at night! Mrs. M. thinks that the workers of to-day are “all gentefowk” with the ten hours a day labour and increased wages. What shall we be when we have an eight hours’ labour day ? As a girl she has worn what was in common usage in those days, a “leather jump,” or as we should call it, a leather apron. Time was when our forefathers clad themselves solely in the skins of wild beasts ; “leather jumps” seem to be the connecting link between the costumes of the ancient and the modern Britons. In Mrs. M’s. girlhood days, the staple article of diet was oatmeal porridge and milk, the latter generally having been well skimmed. With some families porridge was eaten regularly at least twice a day, and to break the monotony of the taste, a change would often be made from porridge and skimmed milk to porridge and treacle! As millhands were not allowed to leave the mill to get their breakfast, it used to be brought by their friends and relatives to the mill, who then pushed it through a square hole provided for the purpose ; then it was taken by the respective owners to their places of work, such as the spinning frame, loom, etc., and eaten while attending to the needs of the machinery! The days of the Battle of Waterloo are well remembered by Mrs. M., for while working at Harden Beck mill she used to regularly go every week to Bingley for a newspaper for her master, the price of the paper being 6d. each copy. At least four Wilsden persons were in the Battle of Waterloo; (1815.) for Mrs. M. knew Will Smith, of Norr ; Tom Firth, of Ling Bob ; Will Dodgson and Tom Dodgson, of Spring Hill, who were all there. She also remembers the time when a mill stood in the Damask Fold, at which damasks were woven, hence its present name. The mill-dam was situated in the garden at the front of Providence Hall. In it was accidentally drowned a child of Mr. Joseph Sutcliffe. Where Mr. David Jowett’s house and shop now stand there once grew a very large plane tree. Most Wilsden people will know the field at the bottom of Cop Lawe Lane, which is surrounded by a very high wall. In

this field one of the Ferrands kept a number of deer, and Mrs. M. has still a vivid recollection of seeing them when a girl. Sugar in her days has been sold at 2 1/2d. per quarter pound, that quantity being the largest amount usually bought at one purchase by hard-working families. She can also, as can many more, remember the time when flour was sold at 5s. per stone! Necessaries being at such prices as these, and wages scandalously low, what else could workers live on but porridge? Of bar-houses Mrs. M. can recollect one which stood on the right-hand side of the road just above Greenwood’s farm at Shaygate as one walks towards Sandy Lane. The last barkeeper here was Mr. James Chadwick. Another bar-house used to stand at the Hewenden Brow end of Birchen Lane, and another one at the end of main street at Ling Bob. Of the Ling Bob Witch, the fortune-tellers Nellie Hobb and Harry Mack she has no recollection excepting from hearsay. Of the latter she says someone came from Bowling to have their ‘fortune told,’ and they found Harry in bed with his clogs on. Mrs. M. once went with several more Wilsden youths of both sexes to Haworth to consult a fortune-teller there, whose name was Jack Kay. Jack had two rooms on a floor, and when several persons came at once one party had to wait in one room while he held his consultation with one of more of his patrons in the other room. In the waiting-room, on this particular day, Jack had a pie cooking in preparation for his dinner, and he, keeping his party waiting a very long time, and they, being very hungry with their long walk, agreed to eat his pie! They took it from the oven, got some spoons out of a drawer, and, all eating from the same dish, (!) had it ‘gobbled up i’ quicksticks!’ The empty dish was then replaced in the oven, the spoons were put back again into the drawer, and the mirth-subdued party awaited Jack’s appearance. Having finished the first consultation soon after the pie had been eaten, in coming into the waiting-room for his next lot of patrons he thought he would see how his pie was going on ; so he went to the oven, looked in, and saw the emptied dish. He at once divined that his would-be patrons had caused the evanishment of his intended dinner, and he madly turned round and poured out such a volley of curses and imprecations on them as they had never heard before. All his abuse, however, was simply met by the laughing jeers of the party, and this showed the amount of faith they had in J. K. as a fortune-teller. Mrs. M. is still hale and hearty, her eyesight and memory are both good, but her hearing is rather defective ; she has, however, every appearance of some day celebrating her century of years, an accomplishment in which we ardently wish her every success. Appeal: The editor and Wilsden historian Astrid Hansen would be interested to know if other copies of the Wilsden Almanac still survive. If you have any information, please contact Lisa on 07818 887242.

24 More from the Wilsden Almanac next month


Family history on a budget Clive Harrison explains how to research your family tree without emptying your pockets.


ome of the more useful information sought by family history researchers is only accessible via a subscription and websites such as Ancestry, Find My Past and Genes Reunited fall into this category. There are, however, plenty of free websites to provide valuable information about our ancestors. The London Gazette is “the official newspaper of record for the United Kingdom” and you could say that it is the Government’s newspaper. However, it contains much more than government information. provides access to information about military appointments, so if there was a military officer amongst your ancestors his or her appointments and promotions will be published there. As will reports and citations relating to awards for valour. Even the award of the Military Medal will be listed, although the details of how it was earned will not be shown. Two such entries relate to soldiers from Cottingley. Francis Nicholson Dean’s award was listed in the 11th November 1916

Community group events

Harden Women’s Institute Our WI currently has a membership of about 40 and we hold our meetings on the second Monday of every month (except August) at 7.30pm in the family room of St Saviour’s Church. We are always pleased to see new faces at our meetings and visitors are very welcome to come along to meet us. Mon 10th June: Bradford’s Millennium Way part 2 We are eagerly anticipating Robert Whitehead’s return to Harden WI after he “left” us on top of Keighley Moor at the end of Part 1 in November!! He is always full of little snippets of fascinating information about our local area. Mon 8th July: A walk around Fountains Abbey Michael Bevington is another speaker who has been highly recommended to us. He is a National Trust guide at Fountains Abbey and his talk literally guides us round it. Dru Yoga Class, Thornton Community Centre Therapeutic class for a healthy back, improved posture and chilled-out mind. Monday evenings. Contact Cheryl for more details: 07949 895170,

edition, and Ernest Nichols’ award was listed in the 16th July 1918 edition. The military notices can be very useful, as service records may not be available, and clues can be obtained about the movement of the officers. Even if an ancestor was just among the ranks, it is amazing what you can find. Illnesses and injuries (and fatalities, of course) are listed in some instances. Reports from the battlefield are also included. Business interests are also covered in the London Gazette, especially the legal side of things. Company liquidations, personal bankruptcies and insolvencies are examples of the type of information which is available, as are partnership dissolutions. Many of our ancestors changed their names for one reason or another. Some of them had come from abroad and, because of discrimination, changed their names to feel more accepted by British society. Others changed their names to hide the past. However, if the change was done legally, there will be a notice in the London Gazette. Obviously, being a Government publication, political appointments appear, as do notices of political awards and peerages. But you may be more interested in Post Office or police appointments – these are also listed in the London Gazette. Do you have ancestors from Lincolnshire? If you do, give a try. This is an excellent website which has been created by the Lincolnshire County Archives and includes original images of many baptism, marriage and burial registers for lots of parishes in the county. The only drawback is that you cannot print any of the images for free. Even so, just viewing the documents will provide valuable information. Our own National Archives contain millions of records. A search of uk/a2a will give you an indication of where in the UK any information can be found. Alternatively you can search, which will tell you if there is anything held at Kew. You may even be lucky enough to find what you are looking for has been digitised and is available online.

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Bingley Rural: May 2013



Adopting a greyhound Kate Barrett of Sheffield Retired Greyhounds speaks to Alison Hutton about her experiences with the breed.


n last month’s article, Kate Barrett introduced us to a number of the dogs living at Sheffield Retired Greyhounds, waiting for their forever homes. Kate is pleased to say that since the publication of the article four of those dogs have found their new families, which is great news. But as one dog moves out, another dog moves in, so lots more greyhounds are now also waiting for their forever homes! This month Kate (who is the treasurer of the Trust and a local businesswoman) introduces us to Alison Hunton, a fellow committee member and fundraiser for Sheffield RGT. Alison tells us how she became involved with greyhounds and how she was hooked in no time! “So why adopt a greyhound?” says Alison. “Why not! My journey began with a yearning for a dog to share a walk with. Talking to yourself is never good... “We moved back to South Yorkshire in 2006 and I decided that there would be no more excuses for not having a canine companion. Besides, my friends were getting worried about the amount of time I spent trying to take their dogs out (potential kidnap situation)! So how to go about it? It’s not the ideal plan when you are moving house across three counties and moving jobs too! Then the research element – what would be the ideal dog for us?

First holiday in Derbyshire – Alison, Ralph and Gracie


Bingley Rural: May 2013

“Himself, always one for detailed research, started trawling the Internet. Me, well I had a theory: you know, the one which says owners look like their dogs. I thought if it’s a thin one it might help with my endless quest to lose weight – that and the walking! “We went to Owlerton Greyhound Stadium one night and met the retired greyhounds at the entrance collecting for their pals, and how does the saying go – ‘You had me at hello’? Those big eyes, that look that drives deep into your soul and says ‘Take me home: I know I look big but I curl up well’. And they looked so thin and sylph-like. I don’t think I slept that night. Time for a bit of t’Interneting from himself... ‘Mmm, ideal,’ he says: don’t need much exercise, good with people, used to being handled, good with other dogs, good with children.

“Job done! End of story! Well, not quite – I couldn’t get the image of the rescue dogs at the track out of my mind so we decided to get in touch with the RGT Sheffield branch and have a look for a walking companion. (At this point, unknown to himself, I had already decided that this would be a double adoption – working in collusion with our good friends Steve and Sue who had two dogs, we planted the seed of the dogs being company for each other when we were out at work.) “So we made our way up to Wortley and met Roy and Lynda, who were just feeding the dogs, but being the good people they are they let us into the kennels to look at the greyhounds waiting for adoption. Although to a newcomer it looked quite daunting with the kennel bars, all the dogs had cosy beds, water bowls, their names and a bit of history about them on the walls. They were mostly in twos, with the odd individual. We went down some steps into the ‘hospital wing’ and there she was, this forlorn-looking white and brindle girl who came up to the bars and peered out at us. I bent down to say hello and out came the paw onto my arm. Hook, line and sinker there and then! “We returned the following day to walk some dogs and get to know more about them. Roy and

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Bingley Rural: May 2013


Lynda are very subtle, finding out more about you and the lifestyle you lead and matching the dogs to you. It’s another cliché but a true one: the dog picks you, you don’t pick the dog. I still had to work on taking two home rather than one. (The size of the kennel should have given him a hint!) “That first girl we saw was a done deal. She was quite timid but wagged her tail every time we saw her. She had stopped racing due to a damaged paw and was quite reserved with people. “Most dogs are in muzzles until they are assessed, and we took out a huge black dog that looked quite wary and afraid of his own shadow. Well, he walked by my side and kept leaning into my leg as if to say ‘it’s chilly, warm me up’. He had quite a large nose, with the biggest nostrils I had ever seen: but what a sweetie! A gentle giant. Roy kennelled them together to see how they behaved and they were fine. “I had always wanted to call a dog Ralph: why? Well, I had this strange notion that I wanted a smart talking dog. You’re probably scratching your head at this point thinking ‘WHAT?’ I wanted to say to him ‘what’s your name?’ and he would bark back ‘Ralph’: you try it! And trust me to get the only dog that doesn’t bark! I think in the four years we had him he only barked four times! “So six weeks of walking and getting to know about the dogs, a home visit and some good advice for us dog novices and we were good to go! “We would have sunk without trace without the good advice from the kennels and all the new friends and dog walkers we met up there. I think Roy thought I was stalking him for the first month, the number of calls I made. All were met with calm guidance and good humour. A good book was Retired Greyhounds for Dummies, which we were!

Hugo – chief sofa tester!


Bingley Rural: May 2013

“Gracie and Ralph managed to chew their way out of the kennel a number of times. I think Gracie still holds the record for the number of muzzles she ate her way through in the first few months. We were a little naive when it came to separation anxiety. Routine is the be all and end all: once we got into that we were coasting. “We fell into all the traps that we used to laugh at – calling each other mum and dad, grandma stew, grandma cheese. “How our life has changed since we had the dogs: we just can’t imagine life without them. Himself even writes a Facebook page for Hugo Hound (hound number 3, we sadly lost Ralph to cancer last year). “Gracie is a real ‘laddette’, helping herself to the odd drop of wine or beer, learning how to open doors with her paws, telling us the time with her whines for tea. “Ralph was the sweetest, gentlest dog you could wish for. He would pad along beside us on his walks, sniffing the air and basking in the sun. His coat was dull grey when we got him, but with plenty of cod liver oil it became a glorious, shiny black. Such a handsome chap! “Hugo is full of energy and will walk and walk given the chance. He is, however, chief sofa tester and spends hours researching the correct comfort rating for us. They both love attention, and all the kids where we live know them and come running up for a fuss whenever we are out.. “We plan our holidays around dog-friendly cottages, hotels and pubs. Wherever we go they’re welcomed with open arms and they’re so sociable that everyone wants to pet them and say hello. “Unfortunately the slimming aid did not work! But I do get to talk to other humans on walks. Though it’s strange I never know anyone’s real name, its Murphy’s mum or Scooby’s dad, and I’m proud to be known as Gracie and Hugo’s mum (but don’t tell my colleagues, it will ruin my image)!” If you are interested in giving a greyhound a home, or would like to visit the farm to learn more about the breed, please give Lynda or Roy a call on 0114 2888 300. We also have dog sponsorship which you can find out about by visiting our website: If there is anything specific you would like us to include in future articles for the Bingley Rural, please drop Kate a line at or send her a tweet, @SheffieldRGT, and we will do our best to answer any questions you may have. Next month we will share more tales of our greyhounds!


Conversions By Astrid Hansen


here is a house called “St Monicas” towards the bottom of Wilsden Main Street. For those who remember that building as St Monica’s Roman Catholic Church, that will not be a surprising choice of house name, but anyone returning to the village after an absence of more than half a century might wonder why the house is not called “Zion”. James Emmott, whose initials can be found over an archway in Main Street, came to Wilsden from Cowling as the village was beginning to grow,

Thank you to Mrs Vicky Furness for sending in these photos of the recent wintry weather. She writes: “Hallas Bridge hamlet was cut off from Friday 22nd March till Wednesday 27th, when Bradford Council broke through Bents Lane! “We ran out of potatoes and eggs and were grateful for the contents of the freezer! Richard Crowther kindly walked with milk for us. When I thanked him, he said ‘All part of the service!’ Even the postman came one day, walking from Harecroft. “Those who got their cars out before the drifts built up left them as far afield as Greenside Lane, Cullingworth, and Stephen H Smith’s Garden Centre. “We’ll certainly remember this winter!”

and built about thirty cottages. In 1841 he built Providence Mill and followed this by building a small chapel, which opened in 1843 or 1844 as Zion Primitive Methodist Chapel. A Wesleyan Methodist Chapel was already thriving in Wilsden and the two branches of Methodism remained separate until the formation of the Methodist Union in 1934. Both chapels remained in use until the two congregations amalgamated in 1961 in the Wesleyan Chapel, then known as the Central Methodist Church. Zion closed as a place of worship and a burling and mending business was carried on there for several years. Roman Catholic worship in Wilsden began in 1950, using a room in the Mechanics Institute. In 1966 Zion Chapel became available and opened for worship again, now as St Monica’s Church. Roman Catholic worship continued there until 1988 when the building was found to be unsafe, needing major work to make it fit for occupation. The Catholic worshippers moved out (the next phase of their story must wait for another month). The building was sold, partly demolished and rebuilt over quite a long period, eventually to become a private house. Its continuing physical presence in Main Street is a reminder of aspects of village history during and since Wilsden’s industrial heyday. The pictures show the interior of Zion in its Primitive Methodist days and the outside as St Monica’s Church. Bents Lane, Wilsden: 26th March (top) and 30th March (bottom). © David Furness

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Winter wonderland? Bingley Rural: May 2013



Sweet peas for Ena Ena Mitchell will be 100 years old in August. Born in Bingley in 1913, she moved to Wilsden in 1936 with her husband Jack and has lived in the village ever since. Lisa Firth speaks to her about her life and memories.


itting down with Ena Mitchell in her cheerful living room, ornamented with family photos spanning several generations, the first thing I notice is how healthy she looks. Although nearing her century, Mrs Mitchell could easily be mistaken for someone 20 years younger. She is mobile still, and while she has carers to visit her in her home, she is still able to do some of the household chores herself. As she tells me about her life, it’s clear that her memory, too, is pin-sharp. She was born Ena Elizabeth Warrell in Bingley on 8th August 1913, almost exactly a year before the outbreak of World War I. Her home was a small back-to-back, since demolished, on the site of what is now the 5Rise shopping centre. This she shared with her parents and four siblings: Elsie, Stanley, Lorna and Eva.

I ask Ena about her childhood in Bingley. “There weren’t many rich people back then,” she says. “Folk are better off now, but I should imagine we were happier. I was quite a happy child, hadn’t a care in the world.” However, Ena’s childhood was touched with tragedy too. Her father died while she was still a little girl, and her only brother, Stanley, was killed in the First World War. A little sister, Elsie, was also sadly lost to the croup aged only three. Ena can remember a song she and her siblings used to sing to this littlest sister and sings it for me now – “Our little Elsie is a nice little girl,” she trills. She has a vivid memory of her brother Stanley coming home from the war on leave, all dressed up in the kilt of his Scottish regiment (the Scottish Canadian Highlanders). He took little Ena to a sweet shop on Chapel Lane, Percy’s, which was well-known among the local children as a treasure trove of dolly mixtures, sherbert lemons, aniseed balls and pear drops. “When we’d got the sweets Stanley would be walking beside me in his kilt, and all the time he’d be dipping his two fingers into my pocket to pinch them!” she tells me.

Another wartime memory is of a large German zeppelin flying over Bingley when Ena was very small. She remembers her father picking her up in his arms and carrying her to the causeway’s edge on Ferncliffe Road where they lived – “top o’ t’town, we called it then” – and then holding her up to see. “I remember wondering in my little mind what it was,” she says, “because there were no aeroplanes, then.”

Little Ena (second left) with her parents and siblings


Bingley Rural: May 2013

Times were tough for working-class families in those days, with none of the modern luxuries we now take for granted. Ena tells me that a Christmas stocking usually contained just an apple, an orange and a handful of sweets, “no big dolls or toys or anything like that”. But children were grateful for

Ena in 1928 aged 15, left, and today, right

this annual treat and never expected more. “We never asked for nothing because we knew there were nothing more to get,” she says. She also remembers her father keeping an allotment on the area which is now the Myrtle Park bowling green. His trees were always pruned to perfection and “the apples he grew were beautiful,” Ena tells me. “Everything he made was beautiful.” “Do you remember the Cottingley fairy photographs being published in 1920 and all the publicity surrounding them?” I ask her. Ena doesn’t remember the photograph furore but she does remember being told that there were fairies in Cottingley woods and setting out with some friends to find them. “It was a story that just suited us children, that there were fairies in the wood,” she says. “I searched from top to bottom but I never did find them.” Ena attended the Holy Trinity School on Church Street until she was 14. She didn’t mind school, but hated the wooden clogs they were made to wear and would often sneakily change into her pumps – without the knowledge of her mother, as these were supposed to be only for best. In the evenings, she would join her family to listen to records such as Strauss’s “Blue Danube” on her father’s wind-up gramophone – “we weren’t allowed to touch it though, not us kids,” she says. I ask about the games she liked best when a little girl. Whip and Top was one favourite, and that perennial classic, Marbles, another. However, childhood was not allowed to last very long in the labouring world of the 1920s. All children left school at 14 – “and we knew, when we left, where we were going,” says Ena, “and that was to the textile mill.” Ena’s first job was spinning at John H. Beaver’s worsted mill on Park Road, known by the workers as “Big Beaver’s”. It was a long day for a young girl,

starting work at 7am and finishing at 5pm, but there was plenty of fun to be had when the working day ended. In the evenings Ena would often go with her friends to Princess Hall (named after Princess Mary, the current queen’s great-aunt, she tells me). This was a dance hall in the building that’s now Bingley Pool, where the young people could enjoy dances like the foxtrot and waltz. “And you know, we were happy,” says Ena. “There was no nastiness like there is today.” Her favourite dances were the excuse-mes, in which dancers could interrupt other pairs in order to change partners. “I used to get a lot of excuse mes from the young men,” she confides. She also remembers visiting the dance hall at the Happy Valley Pleasure Grounds in Goit Stock, a popular resort in the 1920s. Going to the pictures was another favourite pastime for Bingley youths in the 20s and 30s. There were two cinemas in Bingley at that time: the Hippodrome, built in 1913, and the Myrtle Cinema (now the Wetherspoons pub), which opened in 1921. Ena remembers the Myrtle being built, walking past the site on her way to town and watching the builders at their work. A trip to the pictures cost tuppence ha’penny for a double feature – worth it if Ena could spare the money out of her two bob a week pocket money. If not, she would scour the house for jam jars which could be taken to the shop for a few pennies’ money back. I ask if she had any favourite film stars, and she names 20s Western actor Tom Mix. The “king of cowboys” when John Wayne was still a youngster. Mix appeared in a total of 291 films between 1909 and 1935. Other favourites included Charlie Chaplin and Rudolph Valentino. It was at the age of 14 that she was first introduced to the love of her life, her future husband Jack Mitchell. They didn’t meet at the dance hall: Jack asked a mutual friend to be introduced to the pretty young girl he had noticed around. “I found out later he was a good dancer though,” confides Ena. The pair courted for several years before marrying in 1936, on Ena’s 23rd birthday, and moving into their first home on Chapel Row in Wilsden. Ena was living in Wilsden during the Second World War: she was 26 when the conflict started. “We were on holiday, touring Scotland on a motorbike, when we heard war had broken out,”

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“Everything he made was beautiful”: young Ena, left, with her father and sister on his allotment

she says. “We’d taken a break on this long road to admire the scenery, and that’s when we heard the news. And we were quaking in our boots, because, you know, it was Hitler! And he was everywhere then, on every radio, and he didn’t half used to shout.” During the war, Ena worked in a munitions factory in Heaton. The women there helped make the receiver sets for spitfire planes – “we saved this country really, when you think about it,” she says. I ask if there were many hardships during the war years. Ena remembers the blackout as being particularly troublesome to live with – “a policeman once came round because we were showing just the tiniest chink of light through the curtains,” she says. “He was very nice about it though.” Every day for the six years of the war, Ena would have to walk from her home on Chapel Row to her job at the factory in Heaton – a six-mile round trip along the blacked-out streets. The factory workers were in the habit of taking a shortcut through the fields, but after one girl was seriously injured from a fall into a ditch, they were told they would have to go the long way round in future. Jack Mitchell also played his part, joining a group of men to form an unofficial Home Guard who would go up to Birkshead and keep a lookout for planes. Ena could always tell when a plane overhead was an enemy by the noise it made – a series of loud booms. During the war there was a fear that Bradford would be targeted by the German bombers, and Ena can recall sitting on the cellar steps with a lighted candle during an air raid. However, in the end this proved to be a false alarm.


Bingley Rural: May 2013

She can only remember one serious bombing raid in Bradford during the war, when Novello’s Fashion House and a number of other buildings were destroyed. The fear was serious enough, however, for several children to be evacuated from Bradford to Wilsden. Ena remembers Jack asking her, “Are you going to go get us a couple then?” and heading down to Wilsden School, where the evacuees had been gathered, to take some in. Jack and Ena looked after a little boy and girl aged about 10 and 12, and Ena remembers that they hadn’t been very well cared for before coming to them – “they were from a very poor family,” she recalls. However, once it appeared that Bradford would not suffer heavy bombing, the children’s parents decided it was safe for them to go back home and they left the little house on Chapel Row. Sadly, Ena lost her beloved husband Jack not long after the war in 1950. He passed away of a heart attack while working at Wilsden’s Albion Mill, since demolished (this was on the site of the housing estate next to Wilsden Suite Centre). She never “bothered with fellers” after the heartbreak of losing Jack, and has been a widow now for 63 years. Ena also lost a child, a little boy named Howard, in 1945, and she has one daughter, Pam. “The little boy is with Him [God] and he’s left the little girl with you,” a friend told her some years after she lost Howard, and Ena finds great comfort in her Christian faith. She also has two grandsons of whom she is

Jack and Ena on their honeymoon in 1936

very proud. Drew, who lives in Cottingley, visits his grandma often, and although Simon has emigrated to Darwin, Australia, Ena says he calls her every week. Simon is a former Rugby League professional, playing for Wigan Warriors, England and Great Britain. Ena also has three greatgrandchildren, and she is looking forward to having a quiet get-together with the whole family to celebrate her 100th birthday in August. I ask Ena to tell me about her famous ancestor, Marchant Warrell. Marchant was her great- great- great-grandfather, and is said to be the first man to make paper by machine. Ena knows very little about him, but her daughter Pam, who has been researching their family history, is also present and is able to tell me more. Marchant lived from 1771 to 1847, owning the Two Waters Paper Mill in Hertfordshire which operated the Fourdrinier paper machine. “What were your happiest times?” I ask. Ena answers firmly, “All of them. They were all happy, for all but you’d no money.” People were happy,

she believes, because they didn’t know not to be: “you didn’t know anything else, when you only got an apple and an orange at Christmas”. She is also certain of the key to a long life – clean living. Perhaps there is something to be said for genetics too, as Ena’s mother lived into her 70s – a ripe old age in those days – and her grandma, Mary Warrell, became a local celebrity after living into her 90s, dying in 1926. Ena finishes by telling me a story. “When I was married, on my 23rd birthday, I had sweet peas in my bridesmaids’ bouquets, and every year after that my husband Jack would give me a bunch of sweet peas for my birthday. When he died I thought, ‘Well, I won’t get my sweet peas anymore,’ – but I did. For a few years after, people who couldn’t have known about our tradition sent me a bunch of sweet peas out of the blue, completely by coincidence. And when my great-grandson, George, was asked to pick out some seeds at the garden centre, he chose sweet peas too! When I see them, I always think of Jack.”

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Pet of the month: degus T

his month we are featuring two degus that are looking for a home. We are looking for someone who has kept them before, or is willing to learn more about these fascinating small rodents.

Degus look like large gerbils, but some research suggests that they may be quite closely related to rabbits. They are native to Chile, living high up in the Andes. They live in colonies, constructing elaborate communal burrows, and are active during the day and all year round. Degus are now bred in the UK as pets. They require a large cage and a long-term commitment to their care, as they live for an average of six to eight years. They make excellent, interesting pets, but are not suitable for small children. Degus can be fed good-quality chinchilla and guinea pig pellets with hay and alfalfa. Other items can be offered – we can give you specific advice.

Anyone who would like more information, please contact us on 01274 723063. You can find out more at or look for Bradford RSPCA on Facebook and Twitter.

Marian Krupa: the travelling companion

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. By Margaret Krupa


stayed in Letka for a couple of days and then crossed the border into the next shire without incident. It was only another two or three days walk to Muraszy. On the way I met a Polish man about my age who was also on his way to Muraszy to rejoin his family, who lived there. It was nice to have a companion for this last leg of the journey and we discussed the war and any news. He also shared his food with me. Although he was a Polish man I couldn’t risk telling him the truth and he knew me as Wladislaw Kizim. In fact I was almost convinced that this was my name by now. When we reached Muraszy we went to his family house and I stayed there for a few days, sleeping in a hayloft. Here I sent a letter to Karol


Bingley Rural: May 2013

under a false name, but one that I hoped he would recognise. The letter was to let him know that I was all right and advise him to get away if at all possible. The news was that the Russians would be closing the Polish delegations and time was running short. The Polish man’s wife and mother helped me by telling me the latest news and also where to go to find the recruiting officer. The recruiting officer introduced himself as a captain of the Polish Reserves. He asked my name, where I was from, where I had been to school, what I was doing in Russia. I told him I had been in a concentration camp and, to enhance my chances, that I had been a corporal in the Polish air force. Thanks again to Margaret. Marian’s story will continue next month.


Bradford Camera Club By Tony Caunt


hanks to Darren Alstead, our treasurer, for writing the April update: and what a superb picture of daffodils! Pin-sharp with just three blooms, a perfect, well-taken picture. I hope you are getting out with your camera now that the snow and bad weather have passed. As Darren said, April is a great time of year to go out photographing – well, any time is, and perhaps some folk are planning a holiday this month or very soon. You will have more time when on holiday, and hopefully you are going to some exotic location as

we did in March. We visited the Caribbean and I took this picture of swaying palms and golden beach on the island of Grenada (right). Just a tip: when on the beach, try to take a reading on something neutral and not the sand, as this will under-expose and the sky will be very dark blue or even black. When you have some great pictures, why not pop down to Bradford Camera Club and show them to us or enter a competition? We meet on Thursday from 7.30pm at Carlton House, 46 Little Horton Lane. Our programme for May is as follows: • On the 2nd we are to meet in Saltaire for an evening’s shooting and then a meal. • On the 9th we will have the Mueller & Lottey trophy competitions. • On Saturday 11th, some of us will go to Hull to see the Yorkshire Photographic Union’s annual print exhibition and attend the assembly. • The following Thursday, the 16th, we will discuss the images from the exhibition. There will be no more meetings until September but we will have outings. Details from Allan Ogilvie on 01274 884187 or visit

Arrested development? Wilsden resident Tony Caunt writes: “The people of Wilsden did not want a new and very large development in the fields off Crack Lane. The Parish Council put up a very strong argument against this application with support from the three Bingley Rural Conservative councillors. Philip Davis MP also made known his opposition to the proposal and yet the planning panel of seven councillors voted four to three to accept the application.

“The original application was for 73 houses which Bradford Council refused, and when Harron Homes (the applicant) forced it to a public inquiry which was to be heard by an independent inspector, and the possibility of complete refusal was hoped for. The decision was a black day for all those who campaigned so vigorously and goes against the Government’s policy of giving decisions back to the people on local issues, making a mockery of democracy. It should be noted that this site is not green belt and was reserved for housing in the revised UDP.

claim is somewhat full! One would guess Harron Homes may have great difficulty in the construction and then also may have problems selling the 82 homes! “As to Bradford’s position on the housing requirement, it is unclear as to the number of new-build homes required by 2028. A year or so ago the figure was 48,000 but this has been reduced to around 45,900. This figure may well be amended again in Autumn.

“If this development goes ahead there will be the bonus of an education contribution: the sum of £328,090 will be paid to the Local Planning Authority for the purpose of upgrading the existing educational infrastructure within the Bingley Rural or adjacent wards. The Parish Council will vigorously follow this up to ensure most, if not all, this money will come to Wilsden.”

“Many aspects of this greenfield site are unknown, such as reports that there are old coal mining workings below the fields; there are numerous springs which may give the developers quite a headache, and what will be the effect on Wilsden’s services such as the school, drainage and the medical practice? Not to mention the

increase in traffic on an already overloaded infrastructure and the influx of over 160 people to this pretty Pennine village, which many

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Banana loaf with pistachio and icing topping Recipe supplied by Adele at Made 2 Measure Catering: telephone 07801 270703. Ingredients: 2 ripe bananas 8oz (225g) self-raising flour 2oz (55g) unsalted butter 4oz (115g) caster sugar 3 tbsp milk 1 large egg, beaten ½ tsp cinnamon


Bingley Rural: May 2013

Small amount of icing sugar Handful of pistachio nuts, crushed

Method: 1. Grease and line a loaf tin. In a large bowl, break up the bananas using a fork. Add the beaten egg and milk, along with the cinnamon. Next, combine the butter and sugar together in a separate bowl and add to the banana mixture. Gradually add the flour until everything is combined in one large bowl. 2. Place the mixture in the loaf tin, evenly smoothing the top with the back of a spoon. 3. Bake in the oven for 50 mins at gas mark 5, or 160-170°C/375°F. 4. When cool, mix some icing sugar with water to make a thin paste, spread onto the loaf, then sprinkle the pistachio nuts on top for decoration. 5. Delicious served as an afternoon tea delicacy: tastes especially yummy spread with butter. Enjoy!


May Thursday 9th May 7pm-9pm Bingley & District Local History Society cordially invite you to join us for our (short!) AGM, followed by John Billingsley who is to tell us about the Mixenden Treasure - a magical treasure hunt that began in Bingley 500 years ago. Doors open at 7pm for tea/coffee and biscuits. Talk starts at 7.30pm. All welcome! We will be gathering at the Church House, Old Main Street, Bingley BD16 2RH, where we meet on the second Thursday of most months. Admission will be £2. Please see for information.

Saturday 11th-Sunday 12th May Starts 10am

Bronte Vintage Gathering, B6144 Haworth Road, Cullingworth, in aid of Manorlands Hospice. Events include Chariots of Fire and Lawnmower Racing, plus much more. Adults £6, children 5-16 £4, under-fives free. See p17 for more details.

Sunday 12th May 10am-4.30pm

Keighley Model Railway Club open day at the Clubrooms, Knowles Mills, South Street, Keighley, BD21 1SY. Adults £3, children £2. Refreshments available.

Wednesday 15th May 6.30pm

Bradford Bulls host the Secret Garden Fashion Show, a night of fashion, retail, stalls and surprises! Presented from the Provident Stadium, the event celebrates many UK influences and will also highlight Yorkshire talent. There will be a fundraiser for the Eve Appeal, helping raise awareness of Ovarian cancer. Standard tickets £10, VIP £20. Buy tickets online at

Friday 17th May 6.30-9.30pm

Charity Kardy Party in aid of Yorkshire Air Ambulance at John Smith Stadium. Tickets £16. See p18 for more details.

Saturday 18th-Sunday 19th May

Haworth 1940s weekend, with events including period vehicle parade, Churchill address, Bradford Marching Pipe Band parade, RAF flypast, plus dances, a vintage fair and more. All profits from this charity event will go to the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA). Find out more at

Sunday 19th May From 2pm

Wilsden Gardening Association Spring Fayre at the village hall.

Thursday 23rd May

Haworth’s 1940s weekend takes place 18th-19th May

From 7.30pm

Gareth Gates Live & Unplugged at Bingley Arts Centre. Tickets £20. Book in person at Bingley Arts Centre or phone 01274 567983, 11am-3.30pm Mon-Fri.

Sunday 26th May From 7.30pm

Salsa Celtica at Victoria Hall, Saltaire. One of the most exciting and danceable bands around – 11 musicians from Latin America, Scotland and Ireland, each bringing the rhythms of their own musical tradition to the party. Tickets £14, see or tel 01264 588614 to book.


Saturday 1st June 11am-11pm

Wilsden Village Hall Beer Festival: see p36 for details.

Saturday 15th June 7.30pm

The Aire Valley Singers are delighted to be returning to Ben Rhydding Methodist Church for “With A Voice of Singing”, the final concert of their 2012-13 season. The programme includes music ranging from Weelkes’ setting of ‘Gloria’ and ‘Bogoroditsye Dyevo’ from Rachmaninov’s ‘Vespers’, to a swing version of ‘Blue Moon’ and also includes spirituals, music connected with dance, ‘Panis Angelicus’ (with organ) and other popular items. Tickets £8 (£5 concession) available at the door or phone 01274 563078. Ben Rhydding Methodist Church, Wheatley Lane Ben Rhydding, Ilkley, LS29 8ET.

Saturday 15th June 7.30pm

1st Bingley Scouts have organised a concert with the City of Bradford Brass Band to help raise funds for a much needed new mini-bus. The concert is at Bingley Arts Centre, tickets £7. Booking through the Bingley Arts Centre Box Office, open Mon-Fri 11am to 3.30pm, or phone 01274 567983. See p12 for more details.

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Bingley Rural: May 2013


Friday 21st June 7pm-1am

Cancer Support Bradford & Airedale Silver Jubilee Ball. To celebrate their 25th year, the charity will be throwing a ritzy silver screen-themed bash. Entertainment from the fabulous Frank Meets Dean (The Rat Pack), a sumptuous three-course menu, charity auction and some fundraising games too. Tickets £50: special rates on tables of 10 at just £450! Taking place at the Cedar Court Hotel, Mayo Ave, Bradford BD5 8HW. For bookings call 01274 202226.

British cactus and succulent society – bradford branch Come and see some wonderful plants at the Annual Cactus Show in Shipley Library from 10.30am to 3pm on Saturday 8th June. Admission free, with a warm welcome to all. Over 50 different classes will be exhibited, along with cacti-themed artwork produced by local schools, plants for sale and cultivation advice. Branch meetings are held on the second Wednesday of each month in Shipley Library at 7.15pm. Further information is available from Brian Thornton on 01535 274755.

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Bingley Rural: May 2013




Bingley Rural: May 2013

Bingley Rural May 2013  

May 2013 issue of the Bingley Rural magazine. 5700 distributed free every month.