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  • Interviews and Storytelling: Frank Ideson

    [TRACK 1]

     

    TONY WRIGHT:

    It’s the 13th of July 2011.  This is Tony Wright and I’m talking with Frank Ideson.  Well the first question I’d like to ask

     

    FRANK IDESON:

    Shall I face that or shall I face you?

    TW:

    You can do whatever you like.

     

    FI:

    Yeah.

     

    TW:

    What’s your full name and where and when were you born?

     

    FI:

    My full name is Frank Cedric Ideson.  I were born at Keighley Victoria Hospital in 1930.

     

    TW:

    Right, okay.  How did you come to be in Walshaw and around the Hebden Bridge area?

     

    FI:

    Well when I went into gamekeeping I……..I did…..I’ve always been interested in shooting and nature, and things like that and my brother went into gamekeeping to start it off, so I basically thought ‘well I’ll go into it’.  I put an advert in the…..what the hell was it……might be The Shooting Times I think it was, or else a shooting magazine, that I was looking for a job, well I got one or two replies.  Bolton Abbey asked me but I hadn’t enough of what they classed as an agricultural background I think, so it didn’t go no farther didn’t that one, but I got two letters - one from an estate at York and one from Lampton Park at Chester-le-Street, and I got offered…..I could have gone to either one and I chose Chester-le-Street, so that’s where I started my game….that was on pheasants.  The reason probably I got in so easy was, that the beginning of the year, anybody that works there, their gamekeeper usually says ‘are you going through for another year?’ because it’s…..the end of January, the first day of February, that’s supposed to be the old traditional change over, but t’way things are going in this world now, it’s gone has that one, and he had a man that was the under gamekeeper and he decided late in the season, he got another job, so that left a vacancy and they was in the middle of the pheasant rearing so it was a case of…..grab I think, and I stuck there I think it was three years, but in the meantime my brother, he went to Clapham – that’s Ingleton, Clapham – and then he moved up to Northumberland to Allenheads that’s a big grouse moor, and there were a vacancy came up there and I were asked did I want to take it, and I said ‘yes’ and unfortunately it got to the time of the year when we were very busy and they wouldn’t let me go, basically until they got a replacement……and I wasn’t happy about that but I thought ‘if I hang on here the job might not be there’ but everything was right……now then…..I don’t know how I’m gonna get the name here…..the man that was into…….Chester-le-Street one was friendly with Lord Allendale who owned the Allendale Moors, they met at Newcastle Races and between ‘em they stitched it up that I wouldn’t…..when they got a replacement I could go, so basically my life was…..I wasn’t running my life, and I went up there and I think it was three and bit years it was as an under keeper and then you get the urge then….. ‘well I’ll move on’ and the next step is single-handed, that’s not working under an head keeper, just one keeper, cos the argument we all use, I think we all use the same one, ‘well if we get it right we ain’t gonna get no praise, if we make a mistake we’ll accept it, and so that’s what I did, and I came from there to Wath at Pateley Bridge and I did six year there as a single-handed gamekeeper, and then there was a vacancy – the head gamekeeper was leaving Walshaw and they wanted a head gamekeeper, so with my limited experience I put in for it and I got the job; that’s how I come to there

     

    TW:

    I see.  So did you…..just to go back a little bit…..so that was six years and three and a bit and three before that, so how old were you when you first began, when did you leave school to do gamekeeping?

     

    FI:

    ………….I’d done my National Service hadn’t I so I’d be about……twenty-two I think when I first……when I first went into gamekeeping, so I was late in life really.

     

    TW:

    So the one at Bolton Abbey, they said you didn’t have that much of an agricultural background, I mean, what was your early life like – what was it like?

     

    FI:

    Well when I left school, I wanted to go gamekeeping before I left school.  That was there, and my parents wouldn’t let me, but I left school when the war was still on and they wouldn’t let me go, so I took gardening as something that was outside and I did that, and then I did my National Service………and……

     

    TW:

    So you moved to Walshaw…..what, in the early sixties, that sort of time?

     

    FI:

    ……no, when I got to Walshaw it was about ’72 weren’t it?

     

    TW:

    Oh right……right, okay.

     

    FI:

    I was about twenty-two when I started so you do your

     

    TW:

    Yes I was just…..twenty-two, thirty-two, thirty……four……yeah well anyway, we’ll work it out later!

     

    FI:

    I think it was about 1972 when I went to Walshaw, and I was there sixteen years.

     

    TW:

    Whereabouts did you live there?

     

    FI:

    Where at Walshaw?

     

    TW:

    Yes.

     

    FI:

    I’ll show you.  I have a photograph in the other room.  You can turn that off if you want do you want to keep it running?

     

    TW:

    Oh Ill keep it running and then we’ll look at it later

               

    FI:

    Oh you’ll look at it later

     

    TW:

    Sure.

     

    FI:

    I lived at….up at Walshaw.  You’ll have walked up Hardcastle Crags have you?

     

    TW:

    Yes, yeah.

     

    FI:

    And when you come out the top of the wood, if you look slightly to your right, it used to be white did the house; we to snouse on it every year

     

    TW:

    Right.

    FI:

    It’s on the end, you’ll recognise it.

     

    TW:

    Right I know…..right, okay

     

    FI:

    And……I was there as I said, I did sixteen years there, but then in that sixteen years we’d gone commercial.  When I went there it was…..Lord Saville’s family and friends that shot, and it’s happened all over, there’s very few people now that’s independent; they’re…..it’s a very expensive business.  They all go commercial, that is….you buy into a syndicate and that’s what happened up there, but even then it wasn’t……they were still inviting guests but they decided to go fully commercial, so they more or less leased the moor out.

     

    TW:

    Did they change the job at all?

     

    FI:

    No the job was the same, only the…..the man who took the shooting

     

    TW:

    Right

     

    FI:

    There were a man from the Isle of Man that took it, but I wasn’t there when he took it, but probably I think only the arrangements may have been that…….they wanted to change the estate agent which is an Estate Manager and me that wanted to start off with a clean sweep, so that was my days at Walshaw, so it’s……still a sore point really that it did me a lot of favours in some, but I think it could have been handled different, but that’s between……that’s what I think

     

    TW:

    Okay.  What…..in the job as a gamekeeper, what are the different sort of things that you have to do through the year?  Do you have a kind of official – I know the shooting starts in August, but there must be an awful lot of like preparation before

     

    FI:

    Oh there’s a tremendous lot, because…..we’ll start at t’beginning of the year and through it there.  We’re into winter, it’s snowy time, and when there’s snow down, if there’s a fresh fall of snow, I was happy when I got up the next morning – not if it was still snowing, because it was like looking at a blank sheet of paper.  Anything that moved on it…..they all….what had moved on that moor or wherever you were at that time, you could read it like a book, so the first thing we went looking for were fox tracks, and we’d to follow it and follow it and probably it’d go in a hole or a pile of rocks and you just put your terriers in and bolted the fox out, which is detrimental greatly…..foxes and grouse moor do not…..do not agree, so that…..you know, that carried on well into the spring, and then you’re beginning then to start and get ready for the…..the shooting season.  You know your grouse huts that you stand in – some may have collapsed during the winter, some need a repair, some have even been vandalised, so you’ve to start and get them ready……and that’s the time your grouse are breeding, so with the young ones you……you’re looking after…..you can’t do nothing for ‘em, but you’ve got to……you make sure nothing’s gonna eat ‘em, that’s why the predators have to go, and then we come into the shooting season which is an hectic time, and then it comes to the back end – well in the spring we started as well, I’ve missed that bit out; as soon as the weather gets drier you burn the old heather off, because old heather isn’t no use for sheep – won’t eat off old heather.  They eat nice young shoots and the grouse need the same, so you burn it in strips – controlled burning which is a hard job to do, very hard, because you’ve probably two of you or three of you; you light the fire and then you just keep it about what – ten, twenty yards wide going down the sides like and you’re not gonna get any farther, but before you can light it you’ve got to decide where you can stop it, you know, there might be a water course or you may run into summat you’ve burnt the year before where it’s too short to…..to burn…..and that carries on into the back end and winter starts again, and that’s roughly the year as it goes.

     

    TW:

    Right, okay.  So that was all for grouse.  You mentioned earlier that you did…..

     

    FI:

    Pheasants.

     

    TW:

    Pheasants as well.   So what was the involvement with that?

     

    FI:

    It was entirely different.  When I went…..to Chester-le-Street they was on the point of going from the old way……you got a hen, a broody hen, one that’s started wanting……have you kept hens or not?  No?

     

    TW:

    My father was raised on a farm so I know a little bit about it

     

    FI:

    Yeah well I mean they start, they’re wanting to…..they’re like a newly married couple really, they’re gonna start a family so they’re in the same thing [laughing]….well you collect all the hens that’s gone broody; we used to get ‘em from farms and different places, and then you sit ‘em on the eggs; that’s the old system, but there’s a lot to that.  You……you have ‘em in a little box; there’d be four boxes in a block, each one with an individual lid which you put sand inside it and hollow it out and then you put some hay in and you put your eggs in their and let her sit on them, and when they hatch out you take ‘em and put ‘em in an incubator to get ‘em going better, and then when they get a little bit older you take a hen, probably not the same hen that reared ‘em, onto what they called a rearing field; I think we had fifty coops on it and each coop would have fifteen chicks, because you start out – you put……there’s nineteen eggs go under a hen and they’re there for six weeks, and then you take these coops to the wood where you intend to keep them and you just put…..moving the coops is rather a tricky business.  You’ve got to move the coops with the chickens in, the chicks in, so you go round, you shut ‘em in every night – you can’t leave ‘em until they’ve decided to go to bed; it’s a matter of a job – you’re creeping around at twilight and you’ll just come round and there’ll be one look out and see you, a chick, and it just gives a funny whistle and the whole lot’s out, so you can……you can sit down for another twenty minutes; I’ve sat there one day – the church clock’s been ringing until eleven o’clock at night, but when you’ve put ‘em to what we call the woods where you intend to rear ‘em at then, that’s where they’re gonna live for t’rest of their life, or what they’ve got left of their life, and……you don’t take all the hens, you just leave half a dozen and you point the little coops a different way so each hen’s looking at a different thing cos it’ll warn ‘em if there’s any predators, cos they’ve remarkable eyesight has a hen.  I’ve seen a hen turns its head on one side a little bit and it looks one eye, and you look up, and a little dot will be circling in the sky – that’s a sparrow hawk, and you would never notice it unless you’ve…..but that one sees it, it just gives a croaking noise which…..so that’s the pheasants, and then you start feeding ‘em; you feed ‘em corn and rearing pellets, and that’s how it goes roughly until shooting time.

     

     

    TW:

    I see, right. So you used to have…..oh hundreds and hundreds of pheasants every year?

     

    FI:

    Oh yeah.  We…….because the pheasants as I say, you started out with fifteen chicks and to move ‘em, they were in the coop, you lay a sack on the floor at the floor at t’side of the coop and you edge the coop across until it’s sat on the sack; you move very slowly cos the hen’s inside the coop, and a little…..well they aren’t, they’re getting a reasonable size when they’re six weeks old.  You’ve got to make sure you haven’t got…..and you get…..two of you can lift it; you get a corner and hold it tight and the farmer’s come with the trailer, and you put them on and make sure you haven’t got a leg stuck out when you…..you go down with ‘em, and you lift ‘em off the same, but……the coop’s shut out; you pull the sack out from underneath and the head gamekeeper’s there then with his notes and he counts ‘em as they come out, you just let ‘em so they can come out through one thing, and he’ll,…..you’re aiming for- you’ll lose probably one and a half chicks per coop, that’s the thing.  If you can come out with thirteen and a half, only you don’t get half – we call it a total thing, and then you’ve had a successful rearing season, but you lose ‘em – it’s unbelievable how you can lose them, because the hen – it may at some point have sat on an egg that’s burst and it’s clogged its feathers, and there’s two stuck together – it’s not the first time, when you’ve let ‘em out and you realise there’s one short and you look inside, and there’s one snuggled into the hen - they all snuggle underneath, and it’s got its head through the loop and when the hen stands up it’s suspended; I mean that’s one way they can die; they get a disease called gapes; it’s a small worm that sticks in their throat, it’ll eventually kill them.  You can lose ‘em when…..little black insects…..they’ll swallow them and you might find, when you find a dead one, if you get the top mandible and the bottom and pull the bottom, it’ll tear a piece down and you look at the windpipe – that’ll tell you whether you’ve got this little red worm or you’ll even find one of the insects they’ve had…..forms cuckoo spit, you know what cuckoo spit is?

     

    TW:

    Yeah.

     

    FI:

    Well it’s swallowed it whole and it’s created the cuckoo spit when it’s in the windpipe, so what’s the cause of that?  It dies.  It’s unbelievable – or you have a little hung bowl with water in, it’s well fastened, I don’t know how they do it, but one’ll drowned itself in it, or the hen may stand on ‘em, its….I mean that’s all your loss, so that’s where your one and a half has gone there, that’s your pheasants.

     

    TW:

    How often would they go shooting for the pheasants then?  I mean, if they went out on a shoot, would they shoot as many as they possibly could or did they have a quota that they could only shoot so many in a day?

     

    FI:

    No, no, we shot……we’d have probably what…..six…..push six woods out roughly in a day

     

    TW:

    Right…..did you have anything to do with like the dogs that went to go fetching or anything?

     

    FI:

    Well we all had……all gamekeepers had a dog, you have a gun dog.

     

    TW:

    Right.  So what kind did you have?

     

    FI

    I had Spaniels; I had a Labrador at the end of it, but Springer Spaniels were mine.

     

    TW:

    And you trained them yourself?

     

    FI:

    Yes.

     

    TW:

    Right.  You reckon they’re the best kind then?

     

    FI:

    I think so.  They’re very lively.  Labradors are plodders really; they’ll plod along, but when you have a Spaniel you’ve got to keep on top of it because it’s…..I once…..my head gamekeeper had run dogs in trials and he said ‘a good trial dog is on the brink between being out of control and you’ve got him – he’s got fire in him’ so that’s what you’re battling with all the time.

     

    TW:

    Right.  You said earlier when you had to….you know, burn off the old heather so the young shoots could come through and that was for the grouse, but you said there were sheep there as well.  Did the sheep not interfere with the grouse, with the nesting?

     

    FI:

    Well not really, because I think the sheep are… need turf…I mean if the hen grouse got agitated she’d fly in their face and

     

    TW:

    And put them off

     

    FI:

    And put ‘em off

     

    TW:

    Right, yeah.

     

    FI:

    It favours the sheep, the sheep that’s on the moor, it does that a lot of good because they’re having the young heather.

     

    TW:

    Yeah, yeah, that’s good.  Did you used to burn like – cos the moors are a massive big place, so did you like do it in sections, like one year you’d do this bit and then another year you’d do another bit

     

    FI

    Well you did, yeah, you should move over because where you’ve burnt last year you’d probably…..you’d get a cross wind as some time; you could only burn the fire in the direction of the wind, so that’s why you’d to walk out in front and decide where you’re going to stop it, and you ran one into t’other.  If t’wind were in one direction you’d have burnt ‘em in strips.  There’s some years when you hardly get any burnt at all, it’s never favourable.

     

    TW

    Well when you went up Walshaw then……how did that moor compare to the other moors that you’d worked on then?

     

    FI:

    Well it wasn’t as good as the one in Northumberland, nowhere near, no.  That was exceptional, but then again we’d an exceptional head gamekeeper.  He retired just not long after I came out, well moved, when I were down at Pateley Bridge and we discussed it because we knew we were getting towards retirement, and they were good gamekeepers there that said they would not take the job on because they could not guarantee to do as good as the man.  I still think he was the best grouse moor gamekeeper I’ve ever known.

     

    TW

    Right.  What was his name?

     

    FI:

    Fairless. 

     

    TW:

    Right, very good.  So…..Walshaw then, you were the head keeper, so you had people working under you then.  How many people worked under you?

     

    FI

    We had three when I started……well two and a half; we’d a man that only worked part-time; he had a small farm of his own.

     

    TW:

    So did they do the same sort of work that you were talking about – did they have a lot of things that they had to look after?

     

    FI

    No, they just did…..they were all grouse keepers.  They all had a certain section of the moor.

     

    TW:

    Right.  So did they…..there’s a lot of rabbits up there as well; were they a bit of a nuisance?

     

    FI:

    Yes, well it causes a lot of trouble with the farmers.

     

    TW:

    So did you have to shoot the rabbits?

     

    FI:

    We could try and keep ‘em down but…..I mean when they’re in Hardcastle Crags there’s nothing you can do because it’s just rocks, you can’t…..you can’t…..if they were in sand holes you’d use a ferret and chase ‘em out, but in there it’s just loose rocks, there’s nothing you can do, you just try to keep ‘em down.

     

    TW:

    Right….right.  So it was all Hardcastle Crags all the way up to the reservoirs there at Walshaw was it?  All that moor, Crimsworth and towards all that moor?

     

    FI:

    We’d Heptonstall moor as well, we didn’t own it, but……Heptonstall moor…..they lost it, a lot of that, in…..was it 1930 when they built Gorple reservoirs – there’s two

     

    TW:

    There’s two there, yes

     

    FI:

    They took…….compulsory purchased the land but it was written in the agreement that they couldn’t do anything detrimental to the shooting.  We didn’t own it, but we had a big say in what happened on it, but mostly the other, it was owned by the estate.

     

    TW:

    So Midgley Moor wasn’t part of yours then either?

     

    FI:

    Well Cockhill Road, we didn’t cross Cockhill Road.

     

    TW:

    Well I wanted to talk to you then about Martin Parr.  How did you first come to meet him?

     

    FI:

    Well I think it was through…….my daughter’s brother-in-law.  I don’t know how he met Martin, but he….Martin must have said he wanted to….he was recording everything in Hebden Bridge before it went out, he just got there in time – he was…..and he did approach me did Martin – could he come and take photographs, and he came and it just grew from there.  I remember the first day he came.  It got to lunch time and I said ‘well we’ll stop now for lunch’ – there were snow down and we were following foxes – and I suddenly realised he…..he hadn’t got anything with him, so that day I had to share my flask and my sandwiches with him; he learned from there onwards [laughing] and he must have gone – he’s a tremendous good walker – and he’s still photographs of everything; you’ll have seen quite a lot of his photographs have you?

     

    TW:

    I’ve seen some of them; I’m looking forward to this exhibition to see others, like they had one or two television programmes on over the last few years about all the different type of work he’s done.

     

    FI:

    Oh yeah, I mean this is only – what was it, two year or three year he took it and I think he did brilliantly because he has recordings of someone milking a cow by hand which you’d never even see now, and a way of life that’s…..it’s gone now, I mean our keepering’s changed, I mean we walked everywhere and now they don’t; they have a quad bike don’t they?

     

    TW:

    Yeah [laughing]

     

    FI:

    What they can see off a quad bike I do not know because when you’re walking about…..you’ll see it, you can even smell where a fox has been and you’ll see the droppings off a fox – on a quad bike you won’t see anything, and you’ll not see anything coming

     

    TW:

    Because of the noise

     

    FI:

    So I am probably….would be classed as a dinosaur now [laughing] – it’s moved on and I…..that’s why I’m not…..I wouldn’t like to have it now because when I was there……since then open access has come in.  I couldn’t have…..I always said the moor was mine, I wasn’t sharing it.  That’s something as gamekeepers you get arrogant I think; you think of it as yours; you always refer to it as mine.  You don’t own it at all, you’re only working there, but…..you throw everything into it, you treat it as though it was yours.  I mean the head gamekeeper in Northumberland, I remember him once saying……it was Lord Allendale….. ‘well Lord Allendale will take it on the 12th of August’ he says ‘but from the 10th of December it’s mine’ [laughing] – in other words he could advise when they were gonna shoot, how many days they could shoot and lots of things, but after that it was his.

     

    TW:

    Were there certain rules then about when you should shoot, what were the best sort of days – did you just pick a day and decided to shoot that day, or did it depend on the weather or

     

    FI:

    Well the weather indicates where you go really.  In Northumberland they’ve a vast acreage; you’ve two sides of a valley and the head of the valley, so the wind comes from four directions; well you can use – there’s certain moors you need the wind in one direction really, but on that one we could…..guarantee… Northumberland we shot six days a week.

     

    TW:

    Oh really?  That much?  What for the whole period?  From August

     

    FI:

    No, for about the first…..I don’t know…..two months really

     

    TW:

    Oh right

     

    FI:

    Because we’d a tremendous lot of Americans shot with us; the same party came year after year.  They wasn’t very good with their sighting but they’ve learnt afterwards

     

    TW:

    I was reading somewhere recently that grouse shooting is supposed to be the hardest type, the most skilled.  Would you agree with that?

     

    FI:

    I think so, but I can….over the years I can shoot grouse better than….I can’t pheasants.  I think they’re going slow and they’re probably going faster than what I calculate [laughing] because that’s one thing you do, you get quite a bit of shooting in, you always have.  We had one at Walshaw, what they call the Loaders Day – that’s the ones that pass the second gun.  They shoot with two guns, so the loader is the one that….he gets the gun off him, that he’s shot with, it’s a work of art is that.  You have a gun, hold it in your right hand with the stock of the gun, that’s the small piece by the trigger.  The gun shoots it and he passes it back to you with his left hand and it’s part way up the barrel, and in the process you let go and you’ve got to have it synchronised because when those two guns are crossing they’re a matched pair, they’re made identical down to the last ounce, but you might have forty – you could have….forty thousand pound in the gun.  I know a man that said when he got ‘em engraved it cost him thirty-seven pound, so when you’ve got a pair of guns you’ve……got money

     

    TW:

    Yeah

     

    FI:

    It’s something - I’ve done a lot of it.

     

    TW:

    Right.

     

    FI:

    I used to go to Bolton Abbey a lot.  They came and helped me on a shooting day and I’ve spent a lot of days at Bolton Abbey, loading.

     

    TW:

    I see, right……I’m just thinking about……how does it compare then with…..Scotland’s supposed to be like one of the best grouse shooting…..is that correct, or is that

     

    FI:

    No

     

    TW:

    No?

     

    FI

    No, it won’t beat Northumberland.

     

    TW:

    Right, right.

     

    FI:

    I have a lot of affection for Northumberland…….Bolton Abbey’s good……good…..because, to continue my story, we’ve to go back, when I came out…..that was when I went to work was at Bolton Abbey, but not as a keeper.  They have a wood yard; I went as a yardman in the wood yard.  I did a year of it, that’s……the timber is treated, it goes in a big tank, twenty foot long and a yard wide, and it’s pressure soaked with……what they call tannelit, but it’s copper arsenic and zinc is what it’s composed of, so…..very lethal…..I did that for a year, and Bolton Abbey had an estate warrener…..that’s the old – he basically is the rabbit man, and he was in an accident…….when he was going home from work, he had an accident on the road; it wasn’t his fault neither, and after a fortnight, ten days I think, because as soon as he’d had the accident the head forester came to me and said ‘you know where those’……he had some…….wooden boxes that catch rabbits live, you bury them in the ground, we’ll go into that in a minute if you want, and he said ‘I want you to go down and take whatever rabbits is in the box and put a stone on the trap door so it can’t work’ so I’d to…..that was my job for that day; I knew where some of his traps were, but I didn’t know where they all were, and I think ten days later the head forester called us in and said ‘George has died – a blood clot’ so he just looked at me and he says ‘get out in the yard’……because I think the land agent had said to him ‘we’re gonna have to get a yard man’ he says ‘yes, it’s easier to get a yard man than get a warrener’…..there’d be a wooden box,  probably a yard square…….you find a place where the rabbits are going through the wall or in a….there might be a bit of barbed wire over the, not barbed wire, wire netting…..and it gets knocked off a little bit, so that you have the rabbits narrowed to a place; you put the box, you bury it just at one side of the wall and you have a little tunnel that leads into it and when they walk up….you have…..a lid with a pivoted - but it’s not absolutely dead in the centre, it’s about an inch one way so that it always goes back to one way but it doesn’t – it isn’t – it can go until it hits something and then it stops, so as soon as they stand on that, the weight of the rabbit, it drops in the bottom and then it goes back and set for the next one.  It’s one way of controlling rabbits without a lot of…… messin’…..we didn’t have them at Walshaw.

     

    TW:

    So you might get more than one rabbit, you might get a few rabbits in presumably, and then did you kill them and eat them afterwards, sort of thing?

     

    FI:

    We didn’t at Bolton Abbey for some reason.

     

    TW:
    No?  What did they do with them?

     

    FI:

    Bury ‘em.

     

    TW:

    Oh right. 

     

    FI:

    I think it was……the dealers didn’t want to pay anything for them, and they’d sort of come when…….you can’t keep rabbits for very long, so we just…..

     

    TW:

    Got rid basically, yeah.  Did they ever get myxomatosis or any of those sorts of diseases then?

     

    FI:

    Yeah it’s gone through.  Oh yes you can get a lot in a rabbit, go into double figures in one box.

     

    TW

    Oh right, right. 

     

    FI:

    There’s only a small door…..trap door you can get ‘em out of, you can’t – you can’t look in and get ‘em out, you put your hand in…..

     

    TW:

    Do they bite? [laughing]

     

    FI:

    No, if you grab ‘em, they kick with their back legs

     

    TW:

    Oh right

     

    FI:

    My hands, if there were summit, I have about two white marks across there where the rabbit’s…..the claws have scratched them.  Some of this, I don’t know whether it were me taking it out but we’ll see about it……..so what haven’t we touched now?  Well that was my job as estate warrener…

     

    TW:

    Right, so that’s when you went to Bolton.  So you were all those years at Walshaw.  I wanna talk a bit more about Martin then and how you…..how you found him.  I know you said the first day you were out hunting foxes and he went with you that day, I mean how many times did he go out with you?

     

    FI

    Oh……I don’t know, tremendous lot.

     

    TW:

    Oh right

     

    FI:

    You see, he’s covered every aspect.  He came out on shooting day, that’s why I said I wasn’t aware he’d……he got…..you see it opened a new world for him; he met Lord Saville and they used to talk, so he……I think he…..I don’t know, I always got on well with Martin; he never caused me no hassle at all and he was very discreet.

     

    TW:

    Right.  Did you kind of…..he was trying to document all the old ways, I mean did you agree with that?

     

    FI:

    Oh I think it’s wonderful; I’ve seen some of the pictures.  Well……he did his exhibition didn’t he at…..the Information Centre, end of Bridge Gate there

     

    TW:

    Yeah that’s right

     

    FI:

    I went to look at that.  I think I figured in either two or three, cos I went to the…..what they call it, that’s how I knew about you and the one at the cinema at Hebden Bridge

     

    TW:

    That’s right yeah

     

    FI:

    I was across here then but I went across and stayed with my daughter; they live up Haworth Old Road – you know which is Haworth Old Road?

     

    TW:

    Yeah

     

    FI:

    That last one on the right before you hit the moor…….a lonely place.

     

    TW:

    It can be bleak up there, yes.

     

    FI:

    Yeah.  Well my daughter had lived at Horrodiddle, that’s the house there – that was bleak, that was at a thousand feet was Horrodiddle.  The contour went through the field in front of us, but I think she’s living at about thirteen hundred now

     

    TW:

    [laughing] She likes to get away!

     

    FI:

    Yes, well…..it came natural to her

     

    TW:

    Yeah, yeah that’s right.  Does she work in the countryside then as well?

     

    FI:

    She works on the fashes at home.

     

    TW:

    Oh right, very good.

     

    FI:

    So that’s what she does.

     

    TW:

    Yeah.  Did you have anything to do with….I mean we were talking about Hardcastle Crags but that was given over to the National Trust wasn’t it, and of course the moor and the crags are kind of part of the same landscape really, I mean how…..and it was open to the public and all that.  Was there any tension between that sort of people or anything, but if you don’t wanna talk about that, that’s fine but

     

    FI:

    Oh no, no, I’ll talk about it……no the people accepted Lord Saville when he came out – it was ’47 he came here wasn’t it, after he’d finished his military service?

     

    TW:

    Something like that, yeah.

     

    FI:

    And bought……he gave ‘em it but he retained the sporting rights.

     

    TW:

    Yeah, which is fair enough.

     

    FI:

    And he retained the right to use the road……..so we had the sporting rights in there and every now and then I put a fox drive on in there because, just before you get to Gibson Mill on your right hand side, they’ll have grown up now, but they was about twenty foot high were all the sitka’s (a type of alder) and the Scotch pine that was in there.  We used to get a fox out of there, but I think the National Trust, or the warden that was there at that time, he stopped us, they didn’t agree with it, so there was a…..conflict came in there.

     

    TW:

    Right, okay.

     

    FI:

    I’ll talk about that because I…..we was only….we wasn’t doing anything wrong at all.

     

    TW:

    Cos of course a fox will, wherever its den is, it’ll roam over the whole countryside.

     

    FI:

    Yeah well I mean, foxes don’t…..you wouldn’t believe, but a lot of ‘em don’t go to ground – they will in the middle of winter, but in that one it was very thick in there; they just slept, which you find when you start in snow following ‘em.

     

    TW:

    Right.  I didn’t know that, yeah.

     

    FI:

    Well I mean even in winter I’ve seen…..twice anyway…..wasn’t there snow down…..I had a gamekeeper that was moving and…….I…..on that day I went to Gorple on my own and I looked…….cos if you walk up Gorple after the bottom reservoir, just before you come to the top, there’s a big wooden hut on your right

     

    TW:

    Yeah.

     

    FI:

    That’s the lunch hut for Saville Estate, and just below there, there was piece that they fenced in as an experiment to keep the sheep out; that grew heather – there’s hardly any heather anywhere else, so it proved that; they burnt it actually, and I was looking over the fence and I thought ‘there’s something ginger there’ and I think I had the binoculars in my pocket; I put ‘em on and it was a fox curled up asleep, so I went back to the motor and got the gun and I walked very quietly towards it, but I never saw it jump, but I saw it move in front of me – that one I did shoot, so you know that proves that…..oh even in the middle of winter I’ve followed them and……found where they’ve been laid, so you’d expect in winter they’re all……but basically a lot of ‘em do go to ground.

     

    TW:

    Right.  How many grouse would you get in a year then up on the moor?  How many, you know, new ones would be produced?

     

    FI:

    What do you mean – what was bred or what was shot?

     

    TW:

    Oh right, oh I didn’t realise – I thought grouse you just left it to nature, or did you breed grouse?

     

    FI:

    Oh no, no, we had to leave it to nature.  Oh there’d be a tremendous lot…..that’s why basically if you didn’t shoot them you wouldn’t have as many grouse because they probably retain…..what you might call an artificial number and every now and then there’s a……a worm that breaks out in ‘em, that’s known as the Grouse Disease, and it’s a worm basically, and it’ll just about decimate ‘em

     

    TW:

    So it could just kill them all off really.

     

    FI:

    Not all, or else there would be no grouse left in the country, but that’s something that…..you can put…..you put grit down for grouse

     

    TW:

    That’s what I’ve heard, yes

     

    FI:

    And you can get one now, a medicated grit, that has……the same thing in it is what you, if you keep sheep, you dose ‘em for worms for that, and the same ingredient is in the…..they put it in the grit and somehow or other they must dip it in like a lacquer afterwards so it can’t wash off; now the grit goes in, it revolves in his gizzard and that grinds the…..cos it’s very coarse is heather shoots, that’s what grinds ‘em up, so in the process of grinding ‘em up the……the medication gets in the grouse.  If you could catch every grouse and medicate it, you could eradicate it, but I don’t know how you’re gonna do it.  They’ve tried it….I know people that’s tried it at night and various things – its only limited  - the grit is probably the best thing because that’s something you put down, that’s another thing you do for grouse.  It comes in a hundredweight bag so you split it – I mean a fifty-six pound bag begins to weight after a while when you’re putting two handfuls here and two handfuls there

     

    TW:

    Yeah.  The reason I asked that is you were talking about the pheasants and you’d have so many, and if you lost – if you got, you know, thirteen and a half out of fifteen that was a good number.  How could you tell what was a good number or a good year with the grouse then if it was all….wild?

     

    FI:

    Well that comes with experience really, I mean you assess it……when did I do mine……well you knew what, basically, what sort of year you was gonna have as it progressed

     

    TW:

    Right.

     

    FI:

    I mean

     

    TW:

    Just by seeing them while walking about

     

    FI:

    Seeing ‘em about, but….we did it up north and I did it by…..I’d pick a day……and I’d take me spaniel with me, and I’d walk…..probably Widdop, and I walked the Walshaw stretch as well, and I walked the same line roughly every year and every covey of grouse that the dogs put up, you counted what was in it, so you knew

     

    TW:

    So you…..like almost taking a sample in a way

     

    FI:

    Yes, well you kept the records from last year so you know, by keeping your records you knew how it was, and that probably, you make your decision then as to what….I mean I couldn’t dictate how many days they shot, I could just advise, I mean you was under their……what shall I say…..well you could put your point across and they probably would listen…….but there’s a tremendous lot of shooting people that class theirselves as experts at it [laughing]

     

    TW:

    So as a general sort of rule then, between August and December, you’re talking all of September, all of October, all of November, and another month really, October (speaker meant August) and December combined, nearly four months say

     

    FI:

    Oh yeah 10th of December’s the final date for shooting, but you won’t shoot many when you get into November because they’re wild and the weather’s wild.  If you haven’t get them…..if you haven’t got a grouse, if you haven’t got ‘em down in the first…..I don’t know…..two months, you probably are looking at trouble because…..the more, you know, if the disease sets in, which the more grouse you have, the more the likelihood of it setting in.

     

    TW:

    So, I mean you said earlier you might shoot almost every day for a few weeks

     

    FI:

    Oh we shoot…..probably when I were at Walshaw they shot once a week; Northumberland were different because we had

     

    TW:

    Of course it was much bigger there wasn’t it, sounds like

     

    FI:

    What were there….five keepers, six keepers altogether, so you could – we could shoot without, for six days, without repeating, and on the Saturday, we had a piece that we didn’t own up in Northumberland, we rented it, and that was rented out to a syndicate and they always insisted on shooting on Saturday, so there was two shoots on the Saturday, and so…..

     

    TW:

    Well how many would go on a shoot then?  Would it be like five or six, or would it be twenty or

     

    FI:

    What?  Guns?

     

    TW:

    Well not guns, but actual people who actually shot, because

     

    FI:

    Well I were saying, I refer to them as guns

     

    TW:

    Oh right, okay

     

    FI:

    They’re the guns are them……..well at Walshaw…..we had about six, but the word ‘but’ comes in.  Because they have a gun doesn’t mean to say they can…..kill grouse with it

     

    TW:

    Oh right [laughing] I get your meaning, yes.

     

    FI:

    This is where we could be getting in dangerous ground really, but…..they’re….you get some exceptional shots

     

    TW:

    Right.  I suppose it’s a bit like fishing; if you go fishing, some catch a lot and some

     

    FI:

    Yeah, well it’s like that.  Well……..we nearly increased it at Walshaw when we went commercially, you know, they contacted, well they probably contacted us – agencies that provided – they’d see the adverts in the shooting magazines that, you know, you got so many days for X amount of money, so ours went out like that.  There were various parties on at Walshaw; the French shot a few times……we had……they were good; we had some farmers out of Lincolnshire but they was good; they could shoot, because Lincolnshire and down that side of the country, there was a tremendous lot of partridge, and partridge and grouse roughly fly at about the same speed and the same height off the ground.  I mean I’ve had people that come… when they come, farmer’s lot… they’d probably bring one with ‘em that had never shot, and he’d say to me ‘I’ve never shot grouse before’ that’s right, and I’d see him at the end of the day and I says ‘no, but you’ve shot a partridge haven’t you?’  ‘yes, yes I’ve shot a lot of partridges coming over hedges’….he was there

     

    TW:

    I see, yeah…..so how many sort of beaters would you have then, for a group of pheasants?

     

    FI:

    Well it varied.  Early in the season you needed more because it was warmer weather moor and they was more reluctant to get up, but the back end after you’ve stirred ‘em up a little bit, they didn’t take as much moving.  I think we started out with about twenty in a day because some of ‘em…..they were only school boys out of Hebden Bridge.  By dinner time some had had enough.  I mean I’d no…..while we was lining out for the first drive, it took an hour and twenty minutes to push the last man into place, so we were always covering somebody, but it wasn’t going very fast because I had to stop every time I dropped someone off, maybe a hundred yards or two hundred yards probably, I had to indicate which direction they were going in and give ‘em instructions that when I held my flag above my head, the whole thing had to stop.

     

    TW:

    Right.  I was gonna ask about the…..like on a shooting day, what time did it start and what were all the different things that happened during the day?

     

    FI:

    Well probably we…..at Walshaw we started at nine-thirty.  We’d assemble at nine o’clock, but we probably…..it could be ten o’clock when the first drive started.  It was….when I went there it was all……estimated…..well you got a time, but then they went on to what they call its, that’s when……the walkie-talkies came in, and by then you could communicate with…..whoever was in charge of the shooting party, and he said that all his guests were in place so you could start it, and it were a big help because you could communicate with one another, you know, it was easier to handle and you…..I mean the line….I don’t know – I’ve seen them at Allenhead – we’d probably stretch just short of a mile, you know, they was tremendous distances apart and then by the time you got in, before you got to the guns, but then you have what they call flankers; you’d have probably, I don’t know, half a dozen flankers – those men that come out from beyond…..the butts are a straight line, they’re about at roughly forty-five degrees from there, and they just crouch down and if the grouse are going through the butts they don’t do anything, but if the grouse are trying to pass above or below the butts, you’ve just got to flick your flag, not too much, you don’t want them to go back, it’s something you get good at in time, because there might be ten, twenty grouse coming at you; they’re nearly all move in unison, but if you watch ‘em… this is what you get for sitting there for hours watching, they’ll swerve and to do it right, when they’re swerving in towards the butts you kind of flag ‘em.  If you do it when they’re swinging away they might go between you and the next man, but these – your flankers go out and then the beaters and the line comes in, because there’ll be what…….well when I were there, there was me and there probably was three of ‘em, you know, in a line, and then there was people that had been beating before that was….you could tell them to…..

     

    TW:

    They were more experienced

     

    FI:

    To help, yeah.  I mean you got a lot that had never been before, probably decided when they got there that they weren’t coming again, so they were hard work really.

     

    TW:

    Yeah.  Would that last like up until lunch and then you did it again after lunch?

     

    FI:

    Yes.

     

    TW:

    Oh right.  And would you go on till nearly twilight or was there a certain time that you finished?

     

    FI:

    No well I don’t know; they’d probably want to be finishing by I don’t know, half past four, five o’clock. 

     

    TW:

    Oh that sort of time.

    FI:

    Basically they….it all depends then what time they’re having dinner doesn’t it?  I mean they’d to get back and they’d probably just have a cup of tea and a sandwich and then, it’d be a good…..probably having a bath I would think, a long soak and then it was down for dinner, which probably is as much of the……I mean whoever owns the shoot, meeting his personal friends then, yeah, I mean you only go……once it goes commercial then it’s a different matter really.

     

    TW:

    Where did they used to meet up then?  Where did they start

     

    FI:

    In the yard at Walshaw.  You’ve been through Walshaw haven’t you?

     

    TW:

    Where the reservoirs are?

     

    FI:

    No, no, top of the Crags.  When you come up the Crags

     

    TW:

    Yeah, oh I know where you mean, yeah

     

    FI:

    Where the farm is and there’s a caretaker’s cottage on the top; there’s a lawn in front

     

    TW:

    That’s right.

     

    FI:

    Well about there.  But, the beaters, when they came up……they’d be sent off to line theirselves out – very rarely went with the beaters in the morning because I……I was there cos……if something had gone wrong I’d have to sort it out, but I used to go with the beaters in the afternoon.  Maybe I have gone in the morning but I’d have to leave somebody that were responsible to sort it, in case anything went wrong.

     

    TW:

    What was the best shoot that you were ever on?  How many grouse got shot then?

     

    FI:

    We didn’t shoot grouse at…….the best we got…..it was a day I wasn’t out with ‘em. As I said, we’d shot….we had the moor……when we shot two days…….so they must have had a mid-week shoot at some point when the syndicate only used to shoot Saturdays, because I know we shot mid-week and where each person has a beat, an allocated area is.  Now when you’ve been on that one, that man had to stop back and go looking for grouse that wasn’t picked up on the day, clear all the…..the cartridges out of the butts, a hell of a lot of cartridges laid about in the butt, you know, the empty cases, and tidy up, so on that one, the Americans were shooting.  We shot in the piece at the other one – I had to go down there – the builders, the maintenance gang ran me down at eight o’clock and they picked me up at four o’clock……and that was a hard day because I’d to walk from one row of butts to t’next, they wasn’t next to one another – there was quite a lot of walking involved, but that was the day they shot three hundred and five brace

     

    TW:

    Really?  A lot, that’s quite a lot.

     

    FI:

    That’s a lot.

     

    TW:

    Did they used to take ‘em all away with ‘em then?

     

    FI:

    No, they……I don’t know, some places they get one brace, some places they get two, but when the Americans came, they didn’t want ‘em, there was nothing they could do with ‘em

     

    TW:

    They couldn’t take ‘em back

     

    FI:

    They couldn’t take ‘em back.  I do know when I….they picked me up  at four o’clock and I went back with some grouse I’d got, I’d picked up, and I were emptying the cartridge, I’d just sent my spaniel out; if she found anything, a dead one, she brought it back to me.  I’d look up and she were stood there looking at me and thinking ‘how long am I gonna have to hold this one?’ and…..but I went and hung mine up to cool down, and what they’d done on the big days, they send grouse back at lunch time to hang in the game larder because they’ll sweat on a hot day, but I went in and the morning’s thing were hung there; it was four o’clock, they’d cooled off, and I started packing.  You could get twenty-one brace in a hamper; three rows of seven…..oh you could get four down the middle because the heads are to the outside, the legs are on the inside; you could pack down the middle, but I do remember on that day there was fifteen hampers went away, and they put ‘em in the long wheel base Landrover and we looked at it, and instead of the springs being like that, they were like that [showing how springs were - laughing]; they went straight to Hexham Railway Station, and by midnight they’d be in London.

     

    TW:

    Was that to restaurants and the like?

     

    FI:

    Yeah well they’d go through the market and that

     

    TW:

    Right, I see.  Oh yes, very good.  Years ago, I don’t know, fifteen, maybe more years ago, I was walking at the top end of Hardcastle where you go in past the Lodge and you go up to the right, and there is a top path that eventually comes back down

     

    FI:

    Yeah well my house – when you went up that lane, you went about a hundred yards, and there was a…..the track divided – one to the farm on the left and one to my house on the right, that were my house, and the path went on further over Dean Gate, over the moor and you come out by the lunch hut for the beaters, for the shooting party didn’t you?

     

    TW:

    Yeah that’s right, yeah.

     

    FI:

    There’s a little stone cradle there – it’s a big slab of stone roughly hexagon in shape and a low wall round it, and that’s….they sat out there when they was preparing lunch for ‘em

     

    TW:

    Oh right.  So did somebody on the estate actually make that for them then?

     

    FI:

    No, Barkers did it.  You know who I mean – down Bridge Gate.  Depends how long you’ve been in Hebden Bridge.

     

    TW: 

    Twenty-odd years I’ve been there.

     

    FI:

    Oh Barkers would be doing it probably then, I don’t know.

     

    TW:

    I know – I did know the name Barkers but I think they left just

     

    FI:

    Yeah well the restaurant were down…….before you got to the….exit out of the car park it was…..there were a restaurant on the second floor I think it was

     

    TW:

    Oh I know.  Near…..just off the square

     

    FI:

    Yes.

     

    TW:

    I know where you mean, yeah.

     

    FI:

    Yeah well that’s where it was.  Well they did the catering, because I’ll show you a picture – I’ll bring it down anyway; I’ll go upstairs in a minute because I want to go to the toilet.  Do you want to turn that off?

     

    TW:

    Sure I’ll turn it off now, yeah.

     

    FI:

    Do you want a drink or not?

     

    TW:

    If you like, sure.

     

    FI:

    I’ll put the kettle on.

     

    [break]

     

    FI:

    I think we should do.

     

    TW:

    Well to be quite honest there’s a few things really but I suppose really what I wanna really talk to you about really is….about Martin because he must have gone out with you, like you say, many, many times

     

    FI:

    Oh I just don’t know….it was a two year project wasn’t it?  He must have started early on.

     

    TW:

    Well you said you might have met him through Miles, but when he actually met you the first time, what did he say to you?  What did he actually say? 

     

    FI:

    He just explained what he was doing and that you know

     

    TW:

    Right.  Just sort of saying that he wanted a document of the old ways

     

    FI:

    Yes he did….yes.  It took a bit of getting……he got…..not laissez-faire he got, but he was there…….but I never ever thought of him having his camera, that’s why I said to you when I was talking on the phone, I’d hear the click and I’d probably look up and I’d see the words ‘Nikon’ looking at straight at me [laughing]…..he was good.  He once told me he didn’t……doesn’t like posed photographs he wants the…….I don’t know how he comes to get the one when I was holding the fox because that’s the one we got out of the hole at t’back of Spinsall…

     

    TW:

    So he must have……like got up at the crack of dawn and been with you and walked all the moors in the snow and all the weathers and

     

    FI:

    Oh yeah he’s seen everything.  He hasn’t got one of me skinning……because when I shot a fox I always skinned it.

    TW:

    Did you keep the skin?

     

    FI:

    Well I sent ‘em off.  They went to…… Cobbleditch didn’t they?  Launceston is it, in Cornwall or Somerset – Cornwall isn’t it I think, Launceston?

     

    TW:

    It’s………is it Dorset, Somerset, Dorset, that way I think isn’t it?

     

    FI:

    It’s Land’s End side of Taunton anyway

     

    TW:

    Oh that’s Cornwall then, yeah.

     

    FI:           

    Yeah it’s Cornwall I think.  That’s where he…..he bought the skins……he had a big tremendous mink farm, and they stopped ‘em having mink in this country didn’t they?  He emigrated to Scandinavia but…..he’d have a tremendous market for his skins with being a mink farm, and he bought skins…..I sent him the skins off

     

    TW:

    Was it just fox or was it rabbit, or was it all sorts?

     

    FI:

    No, I just sent the fox……I just skinned ‘em with an ordinary pen knife, but you just get good; ten minutes, quarter of an hour and I had the…..and I’m talking….when I say skin……everything…..the tail was there without the bone in it….a work of art getting the bone out……you get a stick and split it, and put it over it, the whole thing, and then pull and it’ll……come out, and it got every inch of skin; you pulled it down…..and it came off by the thing, and skinned the whole head out, the ears still on and cut round the eyes, and then I used to take ‘em home, put ‘em in a black…..and I’d lay ‘em on a black dustbin liner, the legs in the middle, make it a package about that long and roll it up and put it in another bin liner and…..put it in my deep freeze and it were frozen solid.  There’s no smell come out of it whatsoever, and when I got… I don’t know, ten… I’d get a box that they’d go in, whip round to the post office and post it – didn’t tell ‘em what were in the box – and it would probably be there within the next day, and he’d pay for the skins

     

    TW:

    So you didn’t have to…..like tan them or stretch them or do owt like that?

     

    FI:

    No……no, not on that system.  You could send ‘em to other firms that wanted ‘em stretching; that’s what Dick’s doing on the picture you saw there - he’s hammering tacks in; he’s using a pair of pliers or a hammer as far as I can see on that picture, but…no, we made….not a fortune, but skins were very, very valuable at one time.  Foot and mouth swept through Europe; it went to France, and France evidently is one of the biggest suppliers for the international market for fox skins, but once foot and mouth were there…..it was not foot and mouth……..rabies wasn’t it?   Yes it were the rabies scare, that was it.  We didn’t get ‘em in this country but all Europe could not….. the skin trade was stopped because they didn’t know whether the animals were rabid did they, so that….I mean we got ‘em then, I mean it might have been they might have been badly shot, but sometimes they’d pay you five pounds for one that had got pellet holes in it, but you could get about twenty pound for one even if it were badly shot because it was the only place where they were getting ‘em.

     

    TW: 

    Right.  Who taught you how to skin then?

     

    FI:

    Just learnt it.

     

    TW:

    You just learnt it yourself through practise?

     

    FI:

    Yeah.

     

    TW:

    Oh right.

     

    FI:

    I can skin…….you learn a lot

     

    TW:

    That other photograph you showed me of the trap you built for the weasel.  Was that your invention as well?

     

    FI:

    No, no.  It goes back into the mists of time.  Before metal traps were working, that’s what……now……we did a…..the wife and I did a lot of trips, I think eight times we crossed the Atlantic, and we was in the Smoky Mountains, a place called Cherokee actually……and just on the outskirts of Cherokee – they call it Cherokee, that’s where the Cherokee tribe belongs to – there was an exhibition of the native crafts and I went round it and there was a dead foal, but it was…..the stone, I think it was……logs it was……we used a roof slate as a rule, but they had one, it was a bigger size, I think it would even…..they’d get wolves in it, and I saw it and there were nobody in t’thing and there were a museum, and my wife was going in the museum and I said ‘I’m going back to look at that thing’ and I met the…..there was a native bloke there and we were discussing it, and I couldn’t believe it that……whether we got the idea from America or trappers imported it out there I don’t know, but they’d used the same system.

     

    TW:

    It looks like a big weight with a thin little……stick or something to hold it up with food on it

     

    FI:

    Yeah well it has three sticks.   You’ve a stand-up stick which is about three inch and an inch from the top you cut a……with a hacksaw cos it’s a fine blade.  You go a quarter of an inch deep, you cut across and then you chamfer it off from nothing to the bottom of the cut.  That is your stand-up peg, that’s the one at the bottom.  You cut another the same height and you chamfer off just at one side on that; you take it to a very fine point, not to a point, but to a little flap and the stand-up peg is cut across there; you put that into there like that and that piece of wood that the bait’s on is about that long, and you have a piece cut out about that far, and that…..when you start lowering the stone onto there, it’s pushing this one out but the stick goes in there and when something pulls at that…..the whole lot comes down

     

    TW:

    It falls on ‘em.  So these ones that you saw in Cherokee, they were the same only they were made out of big logs?

     

    FI:

    Yes I think they were.  I think they were logs that they’d…..they may have split ‘em…….something heavy, I mean if you wanted to increase the weight you’d to put a boulder on, but it was there

     

    TW:

    Were weasels bad…..were there a lot of weasels then eating eggs and that around?

     

    FI:

    Well they’ll eat the chicks……there’s stoats as well.  I’ve had mink in it.  They were a pest were mink at one time because

     

    TW:

    Well you know Lumb Bank; in the early fifties, there was a chap who lives in Hebden now; he runs a bicycle shop in Mytholmroyd and his father had been a Mounty in Canada, so in the early fifties he started a mink farm at Lumb Bank

     

    FI:

    Oh did he?

     

    TW:

    Yeah, and I don’t know how long it lasted

     

    FI:

    It weren’t there when I were there I don’t think.  ’72 when I went, but it certainly wasn’t there then.

     

    TW:

    Well he started it in……about 1950, ’51 that sort of time, but I think he died in the sixties and then it stopped

     

    FI:

    Aye, but we had the one below Mount Skip didn’t we, the big one?

     

    TW:

    There was one there as well

     

    FI:

    A colossal one.  The anti’s went in and let ‘em out and the Calder Valley were full of mink then

     

    TW:

    I remember a chap……he’s a plasterer and he lives at Hebble End, and he used to get ‘em in the river, he used to see it, and he used to be shooting ‘em in the canal and in the river, down in the centre of Hebden cos they’re very destructive aren’t they?

     

    FI:

    Oh yeah.  I go fishing……I went yesterday actually……..I’ve just got back into fishing and I’ll tell you why in a minute……I was fishing at Skipton, opposite where the old tip used to be and there was a willow bush just below me on the far bank…..I thought ‘summat moved there’ and I kept my eye on it, and it was a mink sliding along the bank, a black one, so I squeaked it……making the same noise as a rabbit makes when a stoat’s chasing it, and its head went up and then, I didn’t realise it had young uns with it, well they were nearly full grown, and I’d three of ‘em swimming across the river

     

    TW:

    To your squeak

     

    FI:

    I was sat there, there was some willow herb round me, and it was……well the hair at t’back of me neck stood up because I could hear ‘em about a yard off me, rustling under this willow herb, because I’d been fishing and I think I’d got one out and probably laid it down, and there’d be a strong smell of fish, but I’ve done it on the canal; I’ve seen a…..when I’ve been fishing on the canal, seen a mink at the other side and I always see if I can get it to cross over

     

    TW:

    Did you get it?

     

    FI:

    Well I……on neither occasion I didn’t have a gun, I mean….me and guns parted company when I finished really, well I didn’t because I had given up with guns but then when I became the estate warrener I’d to go back to a gun

     

    TW:

    Yeah that’s true

     

    FI:

    In fact I’d actually increase it because I had to have a two-two rifle as well, so

     

    TW:

    So why have you gone back to fishing?

     

    FI:

    Yeah well me study…..sixteenth of May….I’d an operation at LGI at Leeds.  I’d to have a heart valve replaced, so it was open heart surgery, so…..on Friday gone, last Friday on the eighth, I went to see the surgeon at Leeds and got clearance to drive my motor, so I go fishing at Skipton and I couldn’t have got there really, so that’s why I’ve gone back to fishing now.

     

    TW:

    I see, good…….now you’ve just shown me a whole collection of photographs that Martin Parr gave you really.  When did he do that?

     

    FI:

    …….it would be about ’75 I think.

     

    TW:

    Right.  So he just let you

     

    FI:

    I’m looking at them two lads of mine and I’m judging it, you know, what they looked like then.

     

    TW:

    So he just let you pick out any ones you wanted?

     

    FI:

    Yes.

     

    TW:

    Oh right.  And you picked quite a few there.  What made you go for those ones?

     

    FI:

    I don’t know……well a lot of ‘em involve foxing don’t they?

     

    TW:

    Were they like a good reflection of the life that you led as a gamekeeper?

     

    FI:

    Probably so yeah.  The reason…..I presume Miles rang him up and told him about…..or he might……I don’t know……don’t think they’d have had mobile phones then; they didn’t use ‘em much.  I don’t know how he came to be…..he turned up at Spinstall, but he did, did Martin……as I say, he was in a world he didn’t know existed, I mean you can call it archaic really, I suppose that’s one thing to it, you know in this modern world, I mean he’s a south country man isn’t he?  He went to Manchester University so he was in a world – he’d seen something – everything fascinated him.  I think he still has a strong leaning towards Hebden Bridge.

     

    TW:

    Right.  Did you used to talk to him about….you know, the work that you did and that sort of thing?

     

     

    FI:

    Oh yes…..as I say, he never pushed it, but he slowly……I mean it gave him access to……to talking to Lord Saville, I mean I don’t know who invited him….I’m surprised he didn’t invite him in the gun…..no it were only Martin, but…..I mean if there was a…..lady he wanted to talk to, Lord Savillle, he’d have invited her to stand with him, you know, I’ve seen different people stand with him.  I’ve stood with him a lot of time throwing him his second gun, but still……

     

    TW:

    Right.  You were talking earlier about…..was it  your great- grandfather?

     

    FI:

    Great-great-grandfather was a gamekeeper, Francis.

     

    TW:

    And where was that?

     

    FI:

    Bolton Abbey.

     

    TW:

    Right.  So it was in the family then?

     

    FI:

    Yes.   Aye well, when I got the….I was the warrener at Bolton Abbey and I thought ‘well I’m walking where my great-great-grandfather walked’ because I’m still trying to chase up history about it but I don’t know where to start.  I know the stories they tell about him.  You know where Barden Bridge is don’t you?

     

    TW:

    Yeah.

     

    FI:

    Yeah well he once met a gang of poachers and they threw him over Barden Bridge.  Now it’s a hell of a way to t’river cos I’ve stood many a time and looked down at it, but Francis went over.

     

    TW:

    But survived.

     

    FI:

    Well my grandfather; he lived with my grandfather in his latter years; he died at……my grandfather was farming at Oxenhope then; that was Francis’s grandson……yes it were……he told me once when we were discussing Francis, he remembered because he lived with him you see.  He said ‘you couldn’t put a sixpence on the old man’s head without touching a scar.  He were at Bolton Abbey when they built the reservoirs; Barden Top and Barden Bottom, so they were navvies and I mean they were a wild lawless lot, and….I think they’d had some tremendous trouble with ‘em…..but he wasn’t a big man, but he wouldn’t…..he wouldn’t give back, so I know where my fire comes from [laughing]……no, it….when I was a warrener it did open things up because I even found the water cots at t’bottom – I knew they existed

     

    TW:

    What’s that?

     

    FI:

    The…..things for catching rabbits alive like I told you

     

    TW:

    That’s right, yeah.

     

    FI:

    Well they made ‘em years ago; they dug a pit, they didn’t have a box; roughly on the same principle……lined with stone……and when I worked at Bolton Abbey – they’ll be still there – when you walk down from…….what they call it…..Barden car park…….and you walk towards the river and the first wall that runs across the top, if you walk on there about twenty yards you’ll find the pit where the…..I think I found six over the years when I worked there as a warrener

     

    TW:

    Oh right.  What did they use as a cover then…..do you think?

     

    FI:

    They’d have a board on the top somehow.

     

    TW:

    Oh right.  And how deep are these?  They must have been quite deep.

     

    FI:

    Yeah well…….about that deep

     

    TW: 

    A good yard, yeah.

     

    FI:

    Somewhere, I don’t know…… the water cots were interesting….. the head forester at Bolton Abbey were very interested and he’d gone looking at some records and he found a photograph of someone stood in the pit, dressed…..we’re talking the turn of the century – maybe not this century but

     

    TW:

    Previous

     

    FI:

    Aye I tend to forget we’ve gone into two thousand – I were born in 1900, 1930 you see, [laughing], so that’s the century, it were way back then.

     

    TW:

    Because isn’t your great-great-grandfather buried at Bolton Abbey?

     

    FI:

    Yes.

     

    TW:

    So….was that because he worked there all his life and then

     

    FI:

    Yeah well my grandfather said they’d changed land agents at Bolton Abbey, or was it the vicar that changed…..he died at Oxenhope and I think the vicar said he couldn’t be buried there; well his wife were already buried there, but they went to see the land agent and he said…..because basically the Duke of Devonshire pays……the vicar at Bolton Abbey, his wages are paid by Bolton Abbey.  Remarkable place really is Bolton Abbey.  If you go in the……what’s…..you’re walking down to the abbey; there’s a building on your left, the old Bolton Hall……that was where the gatehouse was there, just below where the aqueduct goes over the top, but I’ve been inside there; we once went, something to do with Bolton Abbey, there’s a sandwich and drinks thing there, I don’t know what it was, but we was in the room, that room there, and it was……you was studying what was the…….I presume there was a locked gate to get into there at that time, because that’s where they…..it’s a dining hall now, so when the American party shoot at Bolton Abbey I’ll bet they’re……I mean they’re there with history aren’t they?  I mean the aqueduct itself is history.

     

    TW:

    Yeah.  So was that……was that your favourite job then, working at Bolton Abbey?

     

    FI:

    No, well

     

    TW:

    Or you seem very…..Northumberland you thought was

     

    FI:

    Oh yes, I don’t know.  Gamekeeping……I probably was……I intended to go on, but it hadn’t the charisma it once did have, I mean we were starting then into change and it……I don’t know, as I say I must be a dinosaur and……

     

    TW:

    Well I don’t think that’s correct myself, but

     

    FI:

    I know we’ve been at Bolton Abbey…..my daughter’s done research on it.  1590 they did a poll tax – I thought it were Maggie’s invention were the poll tax but they’d done one then [laughing] and I don’t know what relation it is, but there’s an Ideson there

     

    TW:

    Oh right.

     

    FI:

    And she’s found one somewhere about the early fifteens since that one, so that’s my proud boast is that, that my roots go back further than the Devonshires – theirs only started after Lady Anne Clifford didn’t they?

     

    TW:

    I couldn’t say.

     

    FI:

    Yeah well it was about seventeen something isn’t it, sixteen or seventeen when Lady Anne Clifford were there.  Well when she died……it passed……to her cousin or something, married into the Burlington family.  Now the Burlington family is part of the Duke of Devonshire’s pedigree, because they entered the title…….it’s William now isn’t it…..the Duke’s son, he’s known as Lord Hartington, they’re all Hartingtons, but when he was twenty-one, well he’s waiting to move up now, William, they appointed a wood across from where the car park is for going down to The Strid and that’s know as Burlington Wood, so they are sticking to the Burlington side.  No I……whenever I went to Barden Tower, as I say they’ve always lived at Barden, and I stood there looking at the ruin – you can see where the floors were and where the fireplaces were, cos once a year they’d to all answer for whatever they’d done wrong.  If the cattle had been in the woods or….and I thought ‘well there’s some of my ancestors’, you know, we’ve a very strong bond to it, so that’s

     

    TW:

    Yeah, very interesting that, yes.

     

    FI:

    No I don’t even think of myself as a Yorkshire man – I’m a Dales man.

     

    TW:

    Is that right?

     

    FI:

    I’ve a grandfather - that’s on my mother’s side – my mother’s father; he came from Swaledale, and his two…..his father and his grandfather, they were still in Swaledale so that’s the pedigree for that one, and my mother’s mother, she belongs to Wensleydale, Bishopdale, at Thorby and the Heseltines have been in Thorby from way, way back…..and my grandmother on my father’s side, my father’s mother, they belong to Glusburn did that one, so I can claim my Airedale side, so I can claim four Dales in a row there where my pedigree goes back to, so I’m very…….very proud of that.

     

    TW:

    So you should be!

     

    FI:

    Are we getting on about me?  You haven’t come to find too much about me have you?

     

    TW:

    Well you see, I believe that it’s all joined up…….the past somehow makes you what you are, even though you have your own will and you do what you wanna do, but then you passed it on to your children and whatever, and so it goes into the future, and I think it’s all joined up myself, so whatever anybody does is all part of the story, I think, and sometimes you don’t find out until later in life where all the connections come from but eventually you get there.

     

    FI:

    Yeah well I tell you what you in later life.  You regret not asking questions.  I know quite a bit but it’s all up here, but if I’d have asked my grandfather, took more of an active interest, I could have had a lot more recollections about…..you know, things, and I keep telling mine….you must remember, get it wrote down, what I’m telling you, you’ll not find it…..when I’ve gone, I don’t want it to go with me.  I think it should……stick a little bit.

     

    TW:

    I think it should be remembered and passed on.

     

    FI:

    Yeah.  Well I keep hoping…..I think she has a lot of it wrote down so

     

    TW:

    That’s good.  Right so…..I suppose that’s about it really.

     

    FI:

    Yeah. 

     

    TW:

    Unless there’s something else you wanna talk about.

     

    FI:

    No….are you familiar with the film world or not?

     

    TW:

    A little bit.

     

    FI:

    Is there a director or a producer called Peter Shaw?

     

    TW:

    ………I think there might be……I don’t know much about him; I know the name.

     

    FI:

    Well I was once loading at Bolton Abbey – I always keep going back to me loading don’t I, and this tall gentleman, very chatty he was.  When you’re loading the first thing you’ve got to remember is, don’t start the conversation because they don’t all want it.  If they want to talk, they’ll talk but you don’t intrude; and he got chatting on about….oh various things, you know, did I belong to Yorkshire and I said ‘yes’ and he said ‘oh, nice place is Yorkshire’ – I think he came from down south – he said ‘oh, Billie Whitelaw’s Yorkshire’ – that’s that film actress – I said ‘yes I’m aware of that’ he said ‘yes’ because…..was she in…..Peter Shaw produced, he either produced or directed Water Babies, it was at Malham Cove.  I never saw the film, but that was the man and I’ve always remembered his name because the butcher in the square at Hebden Bridge, Shaw had the butcher’s shop.  Do you remember him?  The old man was a taxi driver; he ran the children to school because he used to pick this lad of mine up

     

    TW:

    Oh really?

     

    FI:

    He came up through Hardcastle Crags, so I’ve always took an interest in that, but that’s…..many a time I wonder about him because a week later after I’d loaded for him, I was loading for Lord Hartington.  He’s always talkative but he’s always……. ‘was you here last week when they shot?’ ‘yes’ ‘and how did they shoot?’….always asking, and he said ‘who are you loading for?’  I says ‘oh, for a man named Shaw’….. ‘oh yes, I know him’ I said ‘I’ve never seen a man that had his left hand as far down the gun barrel’.  You tuck it in and your left hand, a lot of ‘em stop at what they call the four piece, that last piece of wood, but his hand was getting awfully near to the…..end of the barrels.  I said ‘I’ve never seen a man in all my life’ – he were a brilliant shot – I said ‘he could shoot’ he said ‘well I would expect him to be a good shot because he’s a brilliant squash player’ Lord Hartington said, so he knew him.

     

    TW:

    Oh right, yes.  I suppose…..there used to be a school up by Gibson Mill called Lady Royd.  It would have been closed

     

    FI:

    Yeah it was.

     

    TW:

    Was the building still there though?

     

    FI:

    Yes.

     

    TW:

    What did they use it for – anything, or was it just sort of

     

    FI:

    It were…..a family lived in it didn’t they?

     

    TW:

    Oh did they?  Oh right, I didn’t know that.

     

    FI:

    Yeah……t’Cheathams lived there didn’t they?  Miles’s wife.

     

    TW:

    Is that right?

     

    FI:

    Margaret.

     

    TW:

    Oh I didn’t know that.

     

    FI:

    As far as I know t’Cheathams lived there, because I have a……which one is it now………that one I think, that one….. (pointing to his middle finger) the nails funny.  I were setting one of them things that we were discussing, the dead fall, and it slipped on me, and it fell on me finger, and I always describe it as Hand Shacks Wall  because……one married Trevor Shackleton, one of the Cheathams, that’s Miles’s…….Margaret…..Miles’s wife….her sister married Trevor Shackleton, he farms at Mansfield, that’s the farm on the left as you come from….after you go up Sledgate up the hill, he farms there, but his wife I think if I remember rightly, they were brought up at Lady Royd.

     

    TW:

    Oh right, cos that’s…..I’ve got some interviews, the text of some interviews of people who went to that school, that lived there and went to school during the thirties and forties really, and I know it finished back end of the forties really, but it’s just an empty field now, so it must have rotted and fallen down or something at some point I suppose really.

     

    FI:

    Well there’ be a lot of history in Hebden Bridge, across the top….we was once…..I was putting a new road in to go up the burn so they could get near the butts, and there was an old building, again, belongs to the Water Board now because it were compulsory purchased – Savilles, it’d be their building – and I wanted some stone, I got some stones to make a bridge over a drain, very boggy, and it’s an edge stone, come from above a door somewhere, it has I S carved on it; it’s……1688, the year that t’Prince of Orange invaded England, so that stone, that’s history really, but at the same time I found a what-they-call-its there…..somebody had used it as a trough.  It was the bottom half of a grinding thing, it was circular, it was about that deep, and the bottom was all like pitty holes

     

    TW:

    Oh grooves, yeah

     

    FI:

    Well they just chipped lumps out of it

     

    TW:

    Oh right, yeah.

     

    FI:

    The wheel must have revolved on that and at some time they’d used it as a trough.  Where the spring came out the hillside this were in, and they’d knocked a piece out of the lip so the water came out of one place; they were probably gonna feed it back into the drain they’d broken into, and I left that at Horrodiddle, it weighed a lot; I brought it home, I had it leant up outside.

     

    TW:

    Right….right.  Because there’s a lot of old…..very, very old sort of Bronze Age and older even, sort of little stones and little settlement places up there.  There’s some…..just above Blake Dean they’ve found – the archaeologists, local people have found what they call a hut, a circle hut, and there’s a field there and the farm is up at the top, but this bit,  it looks like it’s not been drained properly for a long time so you know that grass that grows up, it’s all like that around it, but if you actually go and have a look you can see the bottom bits of a wall and stones laying all about

     

    FI:

    Yeah, now

     

    TW:

    People have lived there for a long time.

     

    FI:

    If you go through Walshaw heading for Widdop Road……you come to a gate.  Through that gate, that’s Davy Moor, and if you go down there towards where the old trestle used to be for the railway, if you looking on a map – I’ve got a map – what does it say?  Is it tumuli?  I think it says on it, I think that’s the word, and there’s a little circle, so there must be…..there’s history there isn’t there?

     

    TW:

    Yeah there is yeah, there’s a lot of stuff

     

    FI:

    I think it’s tumuli is the one that they describe it as.  That’s Green Lady Pool at t’side, I don’t know why they call it Green Lady but that’s where the trestle went over the top, cos that’s what they say about the reservoirs.  Widdop Reservoir was built with horse and carts……..t’Walshaw one was built with steam and when they built Gorple they’d got electricity, they generate…..a lot of the things ran off electricity cos that was late…..you know when they did it.

     

    TW:

    Yes.  Did you ever go in the Packhorse, The Ridge then?

     

    FI:

    Yes.

     

    TW:

    What was it like back then, what kind of a pub was it then?

     

    FI:

    It was like it has always been, you know, the……they haven’t took the beams out have they?

     

    TW:

    No.

     

    FI:

    No.

     

    TW:

    I was just wondering

     

    FI:

    It could even still have…..has it still got the flagged floor?

     

    TW:

    Aye it does, yes.

     

    FI:

    Aye well….I have been in when the man before Clive had it.  You remember Clive?

     

    TW:

    I don’t go up there that often so I don’t know them

     

    FI:

    I didn’t go often but I’ve been in and…..forgot what they call him……but when he called time……. ‘in the body of this church’ or summat he shouted [laughing] it was when he called time and I forget, he would have been a…….queerish sort of a fella but I forget what his spiel was at that one.

     

    TW:

    Right, yeah.  Did you ever go in The Blue Pig at all?

     

    FI:

    Yes, a lot, a lot.  Yes we’ve…..come out of there at two o’clock in a morning because I always under the misapprehension that once I got through those Lodge gates they couldn’t prosecute me, but evidently the public has access to the road, they could have breathalysed me going up and I didn’t realise that.  I’ve come out of there…….I bet that isn’t on record……

     

    TW:

    What’s that?

     

    FI:

    The toilet.  Where the water gushes out the hillside.  If there’s been a thunderstorm you’re in danger of getting……it spurts out.  That’s how the urinal were flushed.  A drain would come down and it went into the trough and then it went down the trough and they must have connected it down to the river somehow, but if there’s been a thunderstorm it wasn’t just coming out of a trickle, it come out in a torrent [laughing].  Oh yes……..Albert was the steward then.  I’ve known Albert and Viv, his wife, they were going somewhere and it’s not the first time, if the committee men were in, he’s left the keys and they’ve run the bar and I remember Sam being in there, and that’s when they pulled the shutters down and it were closed.  I’ve seen Sam with about six pints lined up on the bar just before they disappeared.  That kept him going till two o’clock [laughing] – oh yes I’ve happy memories of the Pig, very much so.  I’ve never seen anything like it.  I don’t know whether it’s still got character but it had in them days, it really was

     

    TW:

    Oh it still does, yes, it’s……because it’s all run by volunteers…….the opening hours are slightly unusual shall we say, but…..they have a committee of people who……every night it’s a different person who serves behind the bar

     

    FI:

    Oh yeah, they had a regular steward when

     

    TW:

    Oh they still have a steward now but he’s not there every night, but it’s…..they have great beer and fantastic prices.  Do you know anything about the history of that building because it must be very old?

     

    FI:

    No, not really. Eric Varley were the president in them days.  He worked for Cape Asbestos did Eric so you can guess what he died with, because his favourite song were The Northern Lights of Aberdeen. He always insisted that sometime during the night……there’d be somebody coming to play the piano……..Benny Mitchell used to come in and play the piano there, and that was a request – always The Northern Lights of Old Aberdeen.  I have an LP, it’ll be somewhere behind you on that one; it’s some Scottish singing thing….oh McKellar sings it, that’s where I’ve got that one from.  Oh I’ve happy memories of there.

     

    TW:

    Well I’ve interviewed two people.  The steward now……and someone else who lives nearby who goes there as well, and I was just asking them about various characters and tales about The Blue Pig because I’m doing a little walk around Hardcastle Crags, and I just wanted to get some stories that I could tell to people as we walk along.  Can you remember any other people that used to go in there?

     

    FI:

    ……….somebody that lived at…..just going into Pecket……Eric was the president…..Fred used to go in didn’t he?  The man that worked part-time for me…….the Lumbs from Walshaw came down, they were down there……Gordon Fletcher were a big man in it wasn’t he?  Do you remember Gordon Fletcher?  He’s gone to live…..I think he’s gone down to his daughter’s at Aylesbury hasn’t he?  I……I don’t know, he’s been gone what….four years?......I used to……he lived at Silsden because I used to go to…….well I shall be going now, I’ve got back on the road to The Fleece at Harden.  I only drink apple juice when I go there, and……Tony Hayley sings there.  His daughter has a band, Country and Western, and Gordon…..I used to pick him up

     

    TW:

    And take him there

     

    FI:

    He were happy with that cos he liked his drink and he could drink hisself……he’d have a fair session would Gordon.

     

    TW:

    Right. 

     

    FI:

    Aye there were a Jean off the……what the hell did…..Kennedy used to go in.  She came……I think it was Aberdeen she…..oh aye Dundee she came from, that were it where Jean came from. I once heard her on about the road, the miles…..the miles on the road to Dundee or something it was, and she was……..after women power really were Jean, she was…..it was basically a man place and the women were tolerated really, but Jean was pushing at it there.

     

    TW:

    I see, I see.  Did it used to get busy?

     

    FI:

    Yes it was very busy

     

    TW:

    Oh right.

     

    FI:

    Oh it was.  Aye you’re stirring some memories when you’re getting on about the Pig [laughing]

     

    TW:

    Right well I won’t….we won’t go there then [laughing]

     

    FI:

    Is there anything we haven’t covered that you want to cover?

     

    TW:

    No I think that’s it really.  Is there anything else you’d like to say that I haven’t asked about or anything?

     

    FI:

    No.

     

    TW:

    Okay.  Well we’ll call it a day then if that’s alright.

     

    FI:

    Right, thank you.

     

    [END OF TRACK ONE]

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About Us

Wild Rose Heritage and Arts is a community group which takes it's name from the area in which we are located - the valley ("den") of the wild rose ("Heb") -  Hebden Bridge which is in Calderdale, West Yorkshire.

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Pennine Heritage Ltd.
The Birchcliffe Centre
Hebden Bridge
HX7 8DG

Phone: 01422 844450
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