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  • Interviews and Storytelling: Ruth Hair

    [TRACK 1]

    VARIOUS CHILDREN:

    First of December 2009, Scout Road School

     

    Do you still live where you were born or do you live somewhere else now?

     

    RUTH HAIR:

    No I don’t live where I was born. I was born in Chester, Chester Hospital, in 1966 and I lived on the Wirral for the first eighteen years of my life, and then we moved around various places, so I’m a relative newcomer to this area, I’ve only been here since 2004, so only five years I’ve lived here.

     

    Which street do you live on now and why?

     

    RH:

    Which street do I live on and why? Right, I live on Jim Allen Lane but nobody really calls it Jim Allen Lane, it’s a little road running through the village of Midgley which is up on the hill above Mytholmroyd. I live in a terrace of houses, back-to-back terrace which was built in the 1890’s and it’s Springfield Terrace and we live at number three and the reason I live there is because when I first moved here in 2004, I was trying to buy a house in Cleveley Gardens just down the road in Mytholmroyd because I’d enrolled my son in this school and I wanted to move in to Mytholmroyd, but unfortunately the people in Cleveley Gardens wouldn’t drop their price by enough money and so the negotiations just went on and on and on, and at the time it was quite a competitive housing market and so they should have really dropped their price, so we got within three thousand pounds of the price that I wanted to pay for the house and they were still holding out, so I just thought ‘do you know, I’ll go and have another look around and see what’s out there, and I got a text message from the housing agency, just saying ‘house for sale in Midgley’ and it was exactly the right price I wanted to pay, so I rang them up and said ‘right, I want to come and look at this house and I want to come and look at it now’ and she said ‘oh we’re just going there with somebody else’ so I got in the car, dashed up to Midgley, got out of the car and saw the view from outside the house that I now live in, as I say it’s across the valley, you can practically see it over there across the valley, I looked at the view and I thought ‘I want to buy this house, this house is beautiful, I want to buy the view.’ The view is absolutely stunning – I look across, I don’t see the valley bottom, I just completely look across the South Pennines and there’s a beautiful tree just to the right of the view which just frames it all beautifully, so I just thought ‘I want to buy this house, I don’t care what the house is like inside, I’m going to buy it’ and I walked up the steps and the other people were walking out and I just thought ‘you’re not gonna buy it, I’m gonna buy it’ and I said to the estate agent ‘that’s it, I’m putting in a price’ and it was all signed and sealed, and we moved in about five weeks later which is really quick for buying a house, but I was so determined that I was going to get that house, and we’re very happy there aren’t we Joe, I think! Sorry, I’m not supposed to be personal, I’m sure.

     

    Which school did you go to and why did you choose it?

     

    RH:

    I don’t suppose in those days you’d choose a school would you, you’d go where your parents kind of enrolled you. My parents lived in North Kirby which is right up on the north west side of the peninsula of the Wirral. They’d lived there for a few years. My brother who’s three years older than me was already in the school that they’d enrolled me in to. The school was called St Bridgette’s and was a lot bigger than this school. I’m not quite sure how many pupils they had, around about four hundred I think, four or five hundred, so it was a lot bigger than this school. It had a very very large catchment area and it was a fantastic school, I had a really really happy childhood at that school with lots of happy memories, and lots of serious fun.

     

    What secondary school did you go to?

     

    RH:

    Then after primary school I stayed in the same area because for about eighteen years I lived in the same place, and my parents only ever moved house once during that time, so we moved shortly before I was due to leave primary school, so I went to West Kirby Girls Grammar School which was rather a posh school really. Just girls there, no boys allowed. The boys grammar school was about a mile, a mile and a half up the road and so we were kept very much apart. It was a very traditional grammar school, mostly women that taught us, again very very happy memories, great school, fantastic personalities that taught us and we had a really good time, and the school’s still there, still functioning, and it is still a girls grammar school.

     

    Did you have SATS?

     

    RH:

    No we didn’t have SATS in the way that you do, we had what was called an eleven plus at primary school, which you have a similar entrance exam now.

     

    It’s called the eleven plus still.

     

    RH:

    Is it? Right, okay, no we just had the eleven plus. We didn’t have as much sort of yearly monitoring as you have now at all, we just had to work towards that getting in to grammar school type of exam.

     

    Did you celebrate Christmas when you were younger?

     

    RH:

    Oh yeah, we’ve always very much done Christmas. A very traditional family; two parents, a brother and sister and a dog, and yeah, we looked forward to Christmas enormously. We always had a huge Christmas tree; we had a nice big house; we have a small house now, but we had a nice big house which had a hallway so we always had a very large Christmas tree in the hallway, and yeah, absolutely loved Christmas. My dad was an academic so he used to work on Christmas Day, but we always managed to pull him out of his study and away from his computer to come and open a few presents, but the thing that used to really bug me with my parents on Christmas Day, and my mum would laugh if she heard me say this because I do always criticise her about it – my mum and dad would never let me open my Christmas presents the minute you get up on Christmas morning. They would all be put under the tree and they would all look beautiful, and because my mum and dad were very strict church goers, Church of England church goes, we would have to go to church first thing in the morning. My dad would generally go – because he was the church warden – he would generally go to the eight o’clock service and then he would come home, and then we would all as a family go to the nine-fifteen service and they had hymns and carols, so that would go on for about an hour and a half, then me and my mum and my brother would come home and my dad would stay on and go to the eleven-fifteen service. I don’t know why there were so many services, but I think the eleven-fifteen one was family orientated, so he would stay on and then he would get home about half past twelve in time for us to have lunch at one o’clock and we always had Sunday lunch or Christmas lunch at one o’clock, so in all that time we weren’t allowed to open any presents, so you can imagine, you know, you’d just be like itching, and I’d be there feeling them and wanting to know what was inside, trying to guess what was in them, and then we’d have to sit and have lunch and that would go on for like an hour and a half, and still we hadn’t opened any presents, I mean, you can imagine it, so we’d get to about two o’clock and we’d all formally sit down, and we’d have one present each, one by one and it was a great long drawn out thing which is actually fantastic. It’s probably much better than the way kids do it these days when they just rip them all open and it’s all over by like nine o’clock maybe and you’re all shaking your heads but you know, so it was all eked out and then of course at three o’clock we’d have to watch the Queen and so that was another half an hour when you couldn’t watch presents, and then…..my mum would just kill me with this; then she’d say ‘I think we should save some for Boxing Day.’ That was Christmas - it was wonderful.

     

    Did you go on any holidays? Where?

     

    RH:

    Yes, my mum and dad – my dad as I say was very much an academic – he worked as a Professor of History at Liverpool University, and so all our holidays were basically geared around my dad doing his research, and my dad taking forward some little projects that he’d have, so we only went abroad once; in the whole of my childhood, we only went abroad once and that was to Portugal, and the reason we went to Portugal was because my dad went to pick up some very important papers from an admiral in the Navy called Deshera de Mota and I just remember this guy, probably shouldn’t say this, but he handed me a – I was only about thirteen or fourteen and I thought he was like Captain Pugwash, he was this great big guy, so I have great memories of that actual one holiday abroad, it was like a coming of age thing for me; it was fantastic to go abroad, it was so exciting, but the rest holidays were the lovely, family orientated holidays. We’d largely go down to Herefordshire because my dad was doing a church history project which involved him touring round and visiting all the churches in Herefordshire, Gloucestershire, Worcestershire and the old Radnorshireso we spent a lot of time going to churches, and eventually we ended up buying a static caravan. Initially my mum and dad bought a VW camper van, which if they’d kept now it would have been fantastic because it was like a proper VW with a push-up roof and it was just a fantastic car, and they thought that this was gonna be the way that we would have all our family holidays and it would be a cheap way for all of us to travel around, so we set off one weekend, the four of us with the dog and we were heading off down the road, and it was a horrible car to sit in the back of – it would sway you about all over the place, we didn’t have seat belts in the back in those days, and we had this smelly old dog with us and my smelly brother and we were sat in the back, and of course we started vomiting, being car sick and all the rest of it, so my parents were thinking ‘okay maybe this isn’t really working’ so we stopped at the caravan site and they put up – it was one of those with a tip-up lid – it actually pushed up completely, it wasn’t a tip-up, going-up lid, kind of concertina thing and it had two very basic bunk beds that then came down that had a gap in the middle, and then down below you’d fold out the seats to make a double bed in the bottom, so the people in the bunk bed could look down on the double bed in the bottom; well my mum and dad were very very private people, they were not at all like I am with my child you know, we just do whatever and get on with it; my mum and dad were very very very private you know, I don’t think I ever saw them in their pyjamas, they were those kind of people, and of course they had to sleep down below, with me and my brother, we spent the entire night giggling and looking down at my mum and dad going ‘there’s mum and dad in bed together downstairs’ so we thought that was absolutely hilarious and my mum and dad just thought ‘that’s it, this isn’t going to work’ – they’d spent all this money on the caravanette and it’s just not gonna work, so then they bought a static caravan so we could have separate bedrooms and we could be very sensible, so they bought this caravan in Erdesland, which is a tiny tiny little, very pretty village which lots of black and white houses in Herefordshire, and we had that caravan from, I think I was about seven when they bought it and they sold it just after my dad died, so it was long after I’d left home, and we basically, every holiday, we got in our caravanette – we kept the VW for quite some time, we’d get in the caravanette and we’d all go down and stay in this lovely caravan in Herefordshire, and it had a stream that ran through the caravan site, it was quite a small caravan site, it wasn’t one of these ones where you’ve got rows and rows of caravans, it was just a few static caravans round the outside, and it was run by a great farmer called Mr Griffiths who had a real ‘oo-aar’ Herefordshire accent, and that’s where we got our dog from actually; it was one of the puppies from that farm, so we became like locals in the summer; we’d go down three or four times for long weekends or for the whole summer holiday, and I was just a water baby and there was a river as I say running through the caravan site, and I would just spend my entire time, as much time as I could playing in the river, making little dams, and you know, pebbles, and there was a log bridge going across the river and I’d swim from the log bridge. We had a dinghy and we’d do all sorts of mad things with this dinghy - parents nowhere in sight, not like these days where parents can’t let their kids out of their sight or they worry themselves sick, we just went off with this river, throwing ourselves in all over the place, having an absolute brilliant time, and then my dad would decide that he wanted to go and do a piece of research at some church thirty miles away and we’d get hauled out of the river, and I’d say ‘no I don’t want to go’ [mopey child voice] and me and my brother would start fighting with each other and we’d be grumpy, and we all get piled in the camper van and off we’d go, being sick down the country lanes, off to go and study this church, and I always loved it, and when we actually got to the church, there are some absolutely beautiful Norman churches all round Herefordshire and we started getting into the kind of architecture and spotting – I used to like going in and spotting the sort of lead catches on the Norman fonts and things like that, and churches are very beautiful places when you go and visit them, so there you are – family holidays, and we just went abroad once.

     

    After being on the Wirral and you moved here to Mytholmroyd, did you go on any more holidays?

     

    RH:

    Ooh, wow! How many holidays have we been on since moving to Mytholmroyd? Once I’d left home I became a complete traveller, I guess maybe it’s rebelling against your parents or maybe I’ve just got some kind of gypsy blood in me I don’t know, but I decided as soon as I left home that I wanted to travel; I wanted to see the world, I wanted to go abroad, and so basically I go abroad every year. I do some fairly big, exciting trips. Since I’ve lived in Mytholmroyd I’ve been trekking across the Sahara with my son, which was quite a good holiday I think, don’t you think…on a camel, we’ve been…..where else have we been? We’ve been to Switzerland, walking on the Eiger Trail, yeah, I mean, yes, I’ve been on a lot of holidays, very exciting, dramatic holidays. Diving in Egypt.

     

    How many different jobs have you had?

     

    RH

    Erm, I won’t give you a number, shall I describe a few of them? When I left University, for some reason I did a Planning degree. I didn’t really mean to do a Planning degree, I just sort of fell in to it, and when I came out at the end of that Planning degree I still didn’t know what I wanted to do, so I just got a planning job and I got a job firstly down in Ebbw Vale in South Wales which I lasted eleven weeks because it was a horrible horrible horrible job, so I just thought ‘I didn’t do five years at university just to stay in this job’ so I walked out which is a really naughty thing to do – never do that – so I walked out of that job and immediately got another one at Leeds City Council which I really enjoyed actually and I was going to stay there, but I was only on a temporary contract so I ended up applying for another job in South Wales in Brecon, which is a beautiful, beautiful market town with the Brecon Beacon mountains behind it as a backdrop and it was a really good job and it was on another pay scale, really stepping up, so I applied for that and I got so I left Leeds; quite sad about leaving Leeds and went down to Brecon, and I stayed in Brecon for twelve years, and there were various times when the council re-organised or there were major sort of government re-organisations and I changed job title, but I stayed there for twelve years, and then I went off and worked in Africa for two years, then I came back and worked for a short period again in South Wales, and then I went on a round the world trip with my son when he was two years old, and then I came back and vaguely kind of stuck a pin in the map and ended up here.

     

    Did you like your jobs?

     

    RH:

    Did I like my jobs……I work with communities a lot. Initially I was working with Planning Policy, making decisions about where developments should go, so I got a lot of people ringing me up, not very happy with me, that was the nature of my job. They would ring up and say ‘we don’t want houses built in that lovely field opposite us. Why on earth are you doing this? You’re going to ruin our lives because of this development’ or I’d get people who actually owned the land ringing up me up saying ‘I want this land to be developed because otherwise I’m not going to get an income, I’m not going to be able to keep my family’ so there were always a lot of very hard decisions to make and you can never keep everybody happy all the time, so I think when you work in that kind of environment, after a couple of years you start getting what they call burnt out. It’s quite hard if you care about what you do and you care about people you’re doing it to, it’s quite hard to keep liking your job for a long period of time, so yes, generally, I really liked my job at the beginning but I’d get to the point where I felt a little bit burnt out and I had to try and do something different so that I’d keep myself happy again. The current job I’m in I absolutely love, I’ve really enjoyed doing it for the past year, and it’s a very good job.

     

    Was that your favourite job then?

     

    RH:

    My favourite job actually would have to be when I spent two years working in Mozambique because that was the most amazing experience of my life. I worked for the Provincial Government there in M’Bala which is the second largest city in Mozambique, and Mozambique is one of the poorest countries in the world, and it had just been through a really horrid period of Civil War where they’d been killing each other, fighting with each other, and you know, just a very unsettled, unpleasant atmosphere to walk in to and to try to work within, but I think my favourite job was definitely to work in Mozambique, which was an astonishing experience.

     

    When you went to school did you wear a school uniform?

     

    RH:

    I did – I think school uniform’s fab, I think it’s really great, and it’s one of the reasons I put my son in Scout Road, because you have a really nice school uniform, although you might not think so. But yeah, I had sensible shoes, always flat, sensible shoes, woolly tights, and a really beautiful one hundred per cent wool knitted skirt that you had to keep clean at all times – none of this running about in the mud you know, it wa8.42s a beautiful piece of clothing, and then I had…..I think I had blue aertex shirt a bit like yours, but I had a blue blazer as well and then we had, I think we had a boater type of hat initially but then they phased that out and it became a beret and it had a school badge on the front. I’ve got a hideous photograph of me sitting on a swing, you know how your mum probably took a photograph of you on your first day at school in your school uniform, and I’d just got a really big – well I’ve probably still got a big belly, but I’d got a big stomach sticking out of all this beautiful clothing, and I’m there with my teddy bear, so yeah, we had a school uniform at primary school, and we also had quite a strict uniform at secondary school, which again was navy blue, always been navy blue, the same as your school, and the had summer dresses which were checked things and they had those elasticated belts, you know the ones that’s got those metal things that link together? We had one of those and a checked skirt for summer, and in the winter I think again it was blue – yes, a blue cotton shirt with sleeves and a collar, not like the aertex short sleeve thing and a blue jumper, but as you got older, you know, the lengths of your skirt started getting shorter and shorted because you just wanted to wear a little mini skirt and things like that.

     

    When you were young, did you have any religions?

     

    RH:

    My mother won’t be pleased if I say no I didn’t and I still probably don’t actually but I did go to church regularly. I was a member of the church choir, I went to Sunday School. My parents as I said were very religious and they went to church; my mum still goes to church every Sunday, but I haven’t followed in their footsteps in that respect. I find that when I want to be spiritual I go up in the mountains, that’s my church.

     

    Have you changed from when you were young?

     

    RH:

    Changed? I’ve got bigger, I’ve got older, I’ve got grey hair [laughing]…have I changed? Of course you change, you grow, you get more happy with yourself.

     

    Have you started to like or dislike things as you’ve grown up?

     

    RH:

    I never thought I’d have children and I did have a son, and I love having a son so that’s great fun. I’ve always been quite loud and bossy, a bit like my son [laughing] so that hasn’t changed, so I don’t think you change your fundamental character. I think you get older, you get wiser, you get to like yourself more as you spend more time with yourself, and by that I mean that you accept the fact that you’re not perfect, you never will be perfect [school bell] and you just get more at peace with yourself, and in that way I’ve changed.

     

    Did you play any games at school?

     

    RH:

    Do you mean sports or do you mean games in the playground, because one of the games that I remember playing in the playground that I think’s a shame that you girls, I don’t want to be sexist, but it was largely girls. We used to play elastics. You don’t do that at all now do you? You get a piece of elastic, a certain length of elastic, you tie a know it in so it’s basically just a ring of elastic, and then you’d have a person at either end, and you do various set movements, so it would start off around your ankles and you would jump over it, jump over to the other side, then you’d jump in the middle, then you’d jump on it like that, then you’d jump to the side of it and then you’d jump out, and if you did all that without tripping up, you’d got through that bit, and the elastic was raised to the back of your legs, then you do the whole thing again and then it would be raised to you knees and you’d do the whole thing again, and then it would be raised to the tops of your legs, and eventually it would go up to your waist, so you can imagine trying to jump on to pieces of elastic when it was round people’s waist, but that was a fantastic game, all the girls used to play elastics. I don’t know what’s happened to it, it’s just

     

    We used to play it in like Year Three and in Year Four.

     

    RH:

    Did you? It was just brilliant, I remember being completely hooked with that, and the other one in the school playground was jacks, which they have brought jacks back haven’t they? I used to love jacks.

     

    With the bouncy ball

     

    RH:

    The bouncy ball and you’d pick up the metal things, but the elastics was just brilliant, but in terms of sport, I was completely useless at sport. I used to be….I can’t remember whether it was at primary school that I got engaged in sport at all, but at grammar school they made me the sport secretary for our house, because we had houses just like you have houses, and they did that just because they knew I hated sport so much; all my friends voted for me to wind me up, and I became the sports rep, and I hated sport, absolutely loathed it. We had to play hockey, as all girls grammar schools did, and I always used to take my clothes off so slowly so that I would be the last person to actually go out on to the hockey field, so that I would be made reserve, and if I wasn’t made reserve I would insist that I went in goal, in the hope that my class mates were so rubbish, or so good I suppose, that I would never have to fend off a ball because it would never come near the goal. I hated sport, I really did, and we did netball as well and because I was tall and thin – you love netball – because I was tall and thin they always used to make me goal shooter or goal keeper, and I was rubbish, I was complete rubbish. If a ball comes towards me I just go like this – I just shut my eyes so I can’t really catch it. I was rubbish at swimming, completely hopeless, so I enjoy sport because I wasn’t until I actually got to university that I discovered that you can play sport without worrying about winning. If you play sport non competitively and you just enjoy the taking part, then it’s fantastic, but so many people – at school they really pressurised – well at my school I felt pressurised that I had to achieve, and of course I couldn’t achieve because I was completely hopeless, so I never really enjoyed it…..but now I do. I don’t do much though.

     

    Do you have anything else to say?

     

    TONY WRIGHT:

    Do any of you have any other questions?.......what I’m going to do now, I’m going to ask a few questions and then if you’d like to join in and ask other questions about that thing, then just go right ahead.

    You said earlier that the reason you came to this area was almost like sticking a pin in a map. Did you actually literally do that or how did it happen that you came here?

     

    RH:

    I wanted to be relatively…I had decided to leave Wales for various personal reasons and I went off on a round the world trip so I left my house; I sold my house, I left my job, I sold my car, I sold a lot of things – I cut the ties completely with the Brecon Beacons, and I went off on this round the world trip for a year with my son who at the time was eighteen months old and came back when I was three, and…..I didn’t know what I was going to do when I came back. I was coming back to no employment, coming back to no house, so I was coming back to start again really, and I wanted to do something completely different, but I didn’t end up doing something different, I ended up going back in to the same area of work. I wanted to be relatively close to my mum who’s in her seventies now, so when I came back she was in her sixties and she’d lost her husband who she’d been married to for her entire life so it was a very difficult time for her, so I wanted to be close to my mum, so it wasn’t a case of ‘Im going to go to Aberdeen’ it never was that or ‘I’m gonna live in Plymouth’ it was somewhere in the middle of the country, and I actually landed in Sheffield before I came here and I lived in Sheffield for eight or nine months and then the job came up with Calderdale Council, so it was largely job related that I came to live here. The reason I live in Midgley, again, as I said, I love living here because of the open fells, the open vistas and the amazing landscape you have here.

     

    TW:

    So is that the main reason that you like it around here – the landscape or are there other amenities that you think are good?

     

    RH:

    I mean, sadly we’re very close to some fantastic amenities which means that we’re really congested, and the thing that really gets me around here is the level of traffic congestion, and just, I mean when you look at that whole swathe, when you look at the map at that whole swathe between Liverpool and Hull is very over developed, well not very over developed, it’s a very developed area of the country and I came from, you know, South Wales, Mid Wales where if you’re driving somewhere you get into fifth gear. Here you don’t drive anywhere….but the public transport is fantastic but if you drive anywhere you don’t get above thirty miles an hour generally, you’re moving your car about between obstacles. I find the congestion – both people congestion and traffic congestion just generally, because everybody’s siphoned in to the valley bottoms, I find that very very claustrophobic and I yearn sometimes to go back to South Wales or to move up to Scotland where there’s much more open space, and so one of the reasons I live in Midgley is because at the back of my house I’ve got Midgley Moor and I can walk for miles, I mean I can walk all the way up the spine of the Pennines basically from the back of my house if I wanted to, and I get that feeling of open space and, you know, seclusion and sort of wild space that I need in my life, but I do like being near Leeds and Manchester, you know, we have fantastic public transport that takes you to these places, we have excellent schools in this valley; there’s a lot going for it, I mean quirky places like Hebden Bridge and Todmorden, they’re great places to be near, but I didn’t want to live in a town, I wanted to live in a much more sort of open village atmosphere.

     

    VARIOUS CHILDREN:

    You know you said that you wanted to live near your mum – where does she live?

     

    RH:

    Well my mum still lives in the house, you know I said we only moved once, so I’ve had two family homes and they were both within five hundred yards of each other, so my mum still lives in quite a large four bedroomed family home. She’s very attached to it obviously because all our family memories are there, memories of her husband are there, so she still lives there, but she’s getting older, it’s getting more difficult for her to live there, it’s very expensive to live there because she’s one person in a very large house, so I don’t know what’s going to happen to her in the long term, but she still lives there. She’s very happy to live there, it’s a beautiful house, you’ve got lovely views over the Dee estuary and towards the Welsh hills, and she’s about an hour and twenty minutes drive from me, so that might not seem near to you, but when I was living in South Wales it would take three and a half hours, four hours to get to her, so at least now I know during the day it’s very easy to do, so I’m not really that close to her. You might have your mum and dad or grandma and granddad living in the same – they might live in Mytholmroyd now, but to me that’s quite close. Do you?

     

    My mum and dad live here.

     

    Do you ever go on public transport?

     

    RH:

    I do, yes. I use the buses and I get the train. I wouldn’t dream of going in to Leeds unless it’s on the train because it’s hideous; I hate the M62 with a passion, so yeah, if I can go on the train, I do.

     

    Was there any public transport when you were younger?

     

    RH:

    I didn’t need to use public transport when I was younger because I walked to primary school, it was a fifteen minute walk through the park so that was very nice, and my walk to secondary school was down the hill and in to the main part of town – lovely walk – you could go via the beach as well, it was a beautiful beach where we lived and again that was about twenty minutes, so again, I don’t remember using public transport when I was young. We had a….one of the reasons my parents chose to live where they lived was because my dad worked at Liverpool University and always did do from when I was born onwards. He used to go in by train every day, and West Kirby is actually at the end of the line, it’s a kind of local commuter line, so that’s one of the reasons they lived there and my mum and dad would always use the train. I didn’t go in to Liverpool very often, it was like a really big thing to go in to the city for me.

     

    Did you ever get the chance to go on a tram?

     

    RH:

    ….no, not when I was a child. When have I been on a tram?.....Manchester actually, was probably the first time I went on a tram. I went on a small….in Hong Kong I went on a tram. Hong Kong has got a tram line that runs up from the middle of the city to I think it’s Victoria Mountain. Is Victoria Mountain in Hong Kong?

     

    TW:

    I don’t know.

     

    RH:

    I can’t remember. So I haven’t been on many trams, no.

     

    TW:

    You live in Midgley. Can you tell us what it’s like there because it’s a very old sort of little town isn’t it? Much older than Hebden Bridge or Todmorden or the others.

     

    RH:

    Yes, it’s not really a town. I’d call it a village; I think it’s got a population of about nine hundred if you add them all up. It’s a beautiful little village, mostly houses built in the late 1800’s, some quite a lot earlier, obviously. The reason I chose to live there – one of the reasons I chose to live in Midgley is because it’s got a very very active community. It’s got a community group forum called Midgley Matters. They all got together about four of five years ago – it must have been longer now because it was before I moved there, but they had their the Post Office shut, the pub shut, the village shop shut and as a result they all got together and said ‘our village is dieing’ in the way a lot of villages are, and they decided to open up their own community run village shop and it’s still going, in fact they’ve just bought the old Co-operative building to make it into a community room and to move their shop in to it so they’ve got bigger premises, so it’s an incredibly lively community. It’s sometimes a little middle class I would say; they like to have their pudding evenings and progressive dinners, but they do have a lot of very good events that they put on, so it’s a lovely place to live. It has a wide variety of people living there because of the different sizes of housing, so there’s still back to back terraces up in Midgley and we live in one of those. I have some fairly mad neighbours who live up there, and it’s a great little old village to live in.

     

    VARIOUS CHILDREN:

    Could you name any of the activities that they do?

     

    RH:

    Well every Christmas they do…we have a very good Christmas tree and lights up there, I don’t know what the history is behind that one. It always amazes me that a little village like ours gets such fantastic lights and the big Christmas tree at Christmas, so every year they put on a horse and cart and have Father Christmas through the village, the kids get rides on the cart and we all go along carol singing, and we stop at all the houses of people who are in their seventies and eighties and give them presents and sing carols to them, and then we all go back to somebody’s farmhouse where Father Christmas sits in his little grotto and dishes out presents and we all have mince pies and sherry – fantastic event, and it’s a regular annual thing. We have an annual barn dance that we’ve been to which was great fun, and every year the villagers, I haven’t been on one yet, but they get a whole charabanc, they basically hire a bus and they go off to places like Llandudno and Scarborough and just have a day out as a village as a whole. I’m missing something…..oh, regular quiz nights but unfortunately I don’t get to that because I’m just hopeless at quizzes, but yeah, they have a lot of really good stuff.

     

    The Father Christmas one – is it for anyone?

     

    RH:

    It is – anybody who can come. It’s not Mytholmroyd, it’s not Midgley, anybody can come. I’ve taken friends from completely out of the area.

     

    The shop – do volunteers go there and go behind the cashier?

     

    RH

    They do; very exciting that shop, it’s very exciting what the community have achieved actually, and they’re just on the brink of buying this new property. Basically at the moment they lease a very small shop within an old barn, and the owner of that barn now wants to convert it to houses which is fair enough, so they have to find new premises, and so they put together lots and lots of funding bids to get enough money to pay…to buy the old Co-operative building, so all the volunteers are going to work either this week or next week helping to strip out this building, so that the builder can come in in the New Year and refurbish – what they call refurbish it – do all the new plastering, like you’ve had done on your school; make it all beautiful and then the shop will go in there, it’s gonna have a much bigger space, it’s gonna be bigger, so it’s gonna sell a lot more local products from local producers, and sell a lot more basic brand lines so the villages can really rely on it as being a place to shop, and then we’re gonna have a whole new community room so we’ll be having loads of parties.

     

    I’ve seen that the old Post Office shut down in Midgley. Do you know when that shut down?

     

    RH:

    I think that was just before I went there in 2004, that’s when the whole shop concept came from so I think it was 2001, 2002 that the Post Office shut, and that was just the thin edge of wedge really, you know, the villages had just about had enough at that stage and so they all got together and said ‘right we’re gonna do something about this’ and what an amazing achievement that is, what an amazing achievement, for those people to have successfully run the project over that length of time, but also what I find with community projects is that people run out of energy after a while. Everybody’s really enthusiastic at the start and says ‘yeah I’ll put in two hours a night or whatever and the years roll on and you think ‘I’m fed up of putting in my two hours a night’ maybe. Not in Midgley. In Midgley they go from strength to strength, and they’ve got a group of about forty, fifty volunteers which I’m going to be one, my son’s going to be one when they move to the new premises because it’s near enough to our house for us to do that, and it’s an amazing achievement for a very small community.

     

    TW:

    Are you involved in this project about looking at the use of the land and farming in the Midgley area, because they have records from the Second World War and from the beginning of the nineteenth century, and I think they want to talk to the farmers who are still around now. Are you part of that?

     

    RH:

    I haven’t got involved with the Historical Society. I would very much like to, but my problem is that they meet at eight o’clock, that’s what my problem has been, they meet at eight o’clock Wednesday or Thursday evening, and I’m a single parent, full stop, I mean that’s all I need to say really. I can’t out at eight o’clock of an evening and leave my son in the house on a weekly basis. It just becomes too expensive from the child care point of view and all the rest of it. As my son gets older it will give me more freedom which is why I’m now gonna be part of the volunteer groups that work in the shop, because now that he’s a bit older I can do these things more freely. But yeah, it’s a great project. They’ve produced their own book on the history of Midgley that’s again been an amazing achievement for a small community.

     

    TW:

    These neighbours that you have that you say are a bit crazy. Are they real eccentrics, or what kind of characters are they? You don’t need to name names.

     

    RH:

    No I won’t name names, but…..I think…they’re an interesting mix really. On one end I have a single man who’s quite reclusive, then there’s me who’s completely barking mad, at least I think I am, then on the other side of me I have a young man who…..he’s just a very interesting character, I think he’s quite traditionally West Yorkshire, and I’d like to see hi going out more, I’d like to see him having more of a social life; I worry about him. And then I’ve got a very zany sort of couple in their fifties who are just completely barking mad, go to every single event that’s going and are just very, very, very sociable, and I really enjoy that fact that I’ve got really good neighbours that I have connections with, because I think in this day and age a lot of people don’t interact with their neighbours, they don’t know their neighbours. Certainly I didn’t have such a good experience; I never had such a good experience as I do living here. I never counted my neighbours as being really good friends, and one of the reasons down in Brecon was because I lived in small terraced housing. A lot of the people around me were elderly, sort of retired people, and so I didn’t have anything in common with them, but I’ve got a really good mix of people up there because they’re small houses and we’ve got a really interesting mix of lower income people who are probably a bit more eclectic than your average bunch of neighbours, so I’ve enjoyed it, I’ve enjoyed it in Midgley. I don’t want to move at all.

     

    TW:

    The pub up there that closed down about eighteen, twenty years ago, something like that and another one’s never opened. Do you think if there was one there would be more of a social focus?

     

    RH:

    We do have…we do have a bar in the existing community room which is quite small, and we sell local beers whenever we possible can. It’s very real ale focused, again as I said, we’re all a little bit middle class up there – we like our real ales, we like progressive dinners, but we do….we do have a bar but it’s not regularly opened like a pub is. We’ll continue that facility when we get our new community room, so it’s there for organised events. When we have a quiz night and things like that there is definitely a bar and there’s definitely more of a pub feel about it, but of course we have, five minutes down the road and down a fantastic footpath as well, we have the Lord Nelson at Luddendenfoot, so we kind of use that as our local now.

     

     

    VARIOUS CHILDREN:

    When you say there’s a bar and it sells lots of ales, does it sell an ale called FLOCKING Ale?

     

    RH:

    I think it does actually. Are they in black bottles with a like bright coloured label?

     

    Yeah.

     

    Someone who works with my dad makes that.

     

    RH:

    The community association’s got a policy of trying to source as much as it possible can from local producers.

     

    Is it child friendly? Do they sell soft drinks in the bar?

     

    RH:

    They do.

     

    And crisps?

     

    RH:

    Well they sell crisps in the shop don’t they?

     

    In the bar?

     

    RH:

    I don’t know, I really don’t know, sorry! [laughing] We could always take our own crisps

     

    TW:

    It’s about five years you’ve lived here then, so has it changed in those five years at all?

     

    RH:

    I think the traffic’s getting a lot heavier and there’s a kind of congestion feeling to me; that’s got worse.

     

    TW:

    Anything else that you’ve noticed?

     

    RH:

    Well I could get political and say that some of the developments that have happened in the valley are poorly designed and fairly shocking in terms of siting in the flood plain, in terms of the quality of the…housing that they’re actually providing and the quality of the design and the quality of the environment around those houses. I think there needs to be more concern about the landscape we have here. I’m not a nimby; I’m not at all about not allowing development but I think we have such an amazing top, top quality environment that it should be…it should be regarded as one of our prime assets and without getting too boring for the children, but in the whole kind of idea if city regional planning, the whole area is not seen as an amazing asset, it really isn’t. It’s seen as been the countryside of West Yorkshire, it’s not seen as somewhere that has formed our urban areas. What’s happened here and the story of the Calder Valley has formed Manchester and Leeds and their historical basis, and we should be preserving that and looking after it and cherishing it, and not just seeing the rural area as somewhere to stick a whole load of lego houses [laughing] I’ll now get shot by Calderdale Council!

     

    VARIOUS CHILDREN:

    Would you like suggest any improvements?

     

    RH:

    Improvements to Midgley? I would like to close the road so people stop using it as a rat run. [laughing] In the last five years the amount of traffic on that road has so significantly increased, and because it’s a very narrow road, it gets wider at one point and then it narrows, people park their cars, people drive down it like complete loonies, they have no idea of the width of their car, and so I would like to see traffic management in Midgley if possible, but I know it’s not gonna happen. We are not living in a culture of the current time of persuading people to get out of their cars; it will happen in time, but at the current time it’s not happening, so I think that’s the only improvement in Midgley, I mean it’s a beautiful little place to live.

     

    Would you like…would it be nice to have parks….

    RH:

    No, we have a fantastic recreation ground at Midgley. I don’t know if you’ve ever been up there, but we have a beautiful fete up there in the summer. It’s a huge field, I think it’s one of the most beautiful playground in Britain because it’s right up on the tops, oh it is Joe, but the view from up there is just astonishing. You’ve got this three hundred and sixty degree view, part of which is down the Calder Valley so you’ve got this amazing woodland sort of valley setting, part of it is across to Oats Royd Mill and so you’ve got the history that’s connected with the view of the large chimney and the large mill, and then you’re looking down towards Sowerby Bridge and across towards Norland Moor, so you’ve got a sort of long…and you can see all the way down to the Peak District in effect, the Peak District hills, so I think it’s the most stunning location for a playground only it’s very very windy. We have a limited amount of play equipment there – yeah, in an ideal world you’d have loads and loads like in Hebden Bridge but you know the money’s not there to do that kind of thing. It’s the most beautiful setting, it’s very well used, the football club use it every Saturday and often Sunday and so we don’t need a park, we just need to love and cherish what we’ve got, and do come up to the fete. It was a real traditional English type of fete, and I just walked in there and thought ‘something horrible’s gonna happen, it’s too nice’ it was so lovely, it was like something out of ‘Miss Marple’ – have you ever heard of ‘Miss Marple’? They’re always set in perfect English villages where everybody’s always perfectly English, then a murder happens and then it’s all [groaning sound]…well it was just like that, it was just so perfect you kind of expected Miss Marple to be out there to come out of the beer tent and say… ‘there’s been a murder!’ Obviously that didn’t happen, but yeah, we don’t need any more parks, that’s one thing we don’t need, we’re very lucky.

     

    You mentioned the woodland. Do you ever go down there and…

     

    RH:

    Look for trolls?

     

    Yeah.

     

    RH:

    We have beautiful woodland, yes, it’s very characteristic of this valley. In the lower parts of the valley you have some absolutely outstanding woodlands, mixed woodlands, and we have a very beautiful wood just below us at our house, it runs the length below Midgley, lots of bluebells in spring time, stunning bluebells when you walk through. There’s an old pond down there full of tadpoles and frogs, and there’s some craggy bits with caves where I used to take my son and some of his children, not some of his children, some of his friends, and scare them silly saying that was where the trolls lived, and actually I took some of my son’s friends who burst into tears the minute we went in to the woods because he obviously thought that was where the trolls lived, but we love the woods.

     

    How come you took your son to Scout Road School and not like Midgley School?

     

    RH:

    Well as I said earlier on, I was trying to buy a house in Cleveley Gardens when we actually had to enrol our children in schools, but the reason I was trying to buy the house in Cleveley Gardens was because I wanted my son to come to this school. The reason I wanted my son to come to this school was because he was doing pre-school at a school in Sheffield. It was a large inner city primary school. He was very badly bullied to the point where he came home and he’d been hit quite badly and he was starting to wet himself and show the signs of quite significant signs of distress at being bullied, so I was determined that we were going to go to that type of school. My friend Amanda Topham who has lived in Mytholmroyd for about fifteen years and her children have come to this school – she’s had four children – and three of her children have come to this school, the fourth is just waiting to come this year, so I knew it was a great school, so I was buying a house because I wanted my child to come to this school. But then of course, the deal fell through and I went to live right opposite Midgley School but I wasn’t gonna move him because he was happy here.

     

    TW:

    What’s it like on Midgley Moor then? What’s so fascinating about that area?

     

    RH:

    Midgley Moor has an astonishing history. It has a couple of ring stone archaeology on there, it’s also….you know, the history runs on from there. It’s also an extremely well managed moor for grouse shooting, so the heather is beautiful, absolutely stunning, it’s totally under grazed, unlike where I came from in the Brecon Beacons where those little white fluffy things nibble everything to death and you don’t get any of that kind of biodiversity that you get up there. You get curlews up there and you get grouse up there. When it’s a Bank Holiday and you go to the Dales or the Peak District and you’re walking between the car park and you’re listening to other people talking as you’re walking, you don’t get that on Midgley Moor. You get a complete sense of isolation up there, it’s very rare you meet people up there. It’s a very well used moor by the people who know it, but not everybody knows it so it’s the best kept secret, and part of my job at the moment is to raise the profile of the South Pennines, as a recreational place in its own right, and I always say, tongue in cheek, you can always come her, but not to Midgley Moor nobody’s coming to Midgley Moor, but I’m not a nimby (not in my back yard), but you know, on a Bank Holiday, whenever places are stuffed full of people, you can go on Midgley Moor and you can almost have it to yourself; it’s a wild open space and it’s just got something astonishing about it; it’s got astonishing views, there’s standing stones up there, there’s Churn Milk Joan and all the history about…you stand on the stone, you put money on the top and there’s a sort of bold depression on the top, you put money on there and other travellers come along and take the money off there….you know, it’s just got an amazing connection with the past and it’s got a real sense of place about it. When you’re standing behind Milk Joan….and you’re standing to the east of Churn Milk Joan and you’re looking across the whole of the Calder Valley, so again you can’t see the sort of urban sprawl in the valley bottom, which is…what, you know, the economic power house of the railway and the canal and the road system but you can’t see that in the bottom. All you can see is the valley tops and the large expanses of open moor leading down to the peaks, leading up to the dales, it’s the backbone of England, and the sun goes down, so the sun’s rays are split by Churn Milk Joan, that’s when you get a kind of sense of open space and peace and it’s beautiful up there, but please don’t put this on the web or anything because I don’t want anybody else going up there…it’s mine!

     

    TW:

    It’s one of my favourite places I must admit, yes. How are we…we’re getting towards the end. Do you have any other questions, or anything else that you would like to say?

     

    CHILDREN:

    I’ve been to Hardcastle Crags and it’s nice to walk through the woods

     

    RG:

    One of my favourite places is from my house, up past Churn Milk Joan – do you know what Churn Milk Joan is – it’s the standing stone – you have to go up there if you haven’t seen it, it’s lovely, you can walk it quite easily, it’s about twenty minutes walk from Midgley Village and you can walk all the way along the top, up to I think it’s called Blackhill and then you drop down in to…..oh God….the name of that valley….not Lumbutts is it…

     

    TW:

    Crimsworth

     

    RH:

    Hardcastle Crags, up to that waterfall…the name’s completely gone out of my head, anyway it drop down in to that valley

     

    TW:

    It’s Crimsworth, Crimsworth Dene isn’t it?

     

    RH:

    Where that big waterfall is

     

    TW:

    Yeah, Lumb Falls.

     

    RH:

    Lumb Falls, that’s it. You drop down to Lumb Falls and then you walk down the valley to Hardcastle Crags, back to Hebden and you go to a pub or a tea shop and then you get a bus home and that’s an all day walk, it’s lovely.

     

    TW:

    Is that it then…….okay, is there anything else you would like to add that has come to mind in the conversation or

     

    RH:

    No I don’t think so; very interesting questions and I’ve really enjoyed the project.

     

    TW:

    Okay, I will stop now, and I’d just like to say… how did you feel about answering these questions

     

    RH:

    I think this type of project is incredibly important. I’ve looked on the web site at some of the stuff that’s been done previously and I find it absolutely fascinating and quite moving to listen to people who have maybe already passed on, I don’t know if they have or not, talking about their history, talking about their lives…their very interesting ordinary lives. We hear a lot about extraordinary people, we hear a lot of about sort of rather glib famous people these days, but actually hearing about somebody, particularly from activities that have now gone and lost, activities in the mills, I know that’s traditional, people might think, you know, an obvious target, but that is an obvious one to use as an example. I looked particularly on the web site at somebody who had in a mill, and I did find it very moving for her to talk about her work experience, and then I thought about my own work experience. You tend to think of your own life as being very benign, very ordinary, very typical, but actually things are moving so quickly in this current day and age, so rapidly, things are changing so rapidly, we have so many challenges ahead of us that recording point of time, and also, purely from a personal point of view, I do this for my child – every year I write him a letter; he hasn’t seen any of these things, but I generally write him a letter saying what he’s done in the last year, saying what he was like, saying what cheeky little things he did, things that I will forget, little expressions that he used, little habits that he had, just writing down the things that I will forget so that he’s got a little record every year of what’s happened, so I do these kinds of things as standard practice in my own life, because hopefully he will be as sentimental as I am and be interested in the past. Some people aren’t, but I am interested in the past, I’m interested in the future, I’m interested in the present, but I think these type of projects are totally invaluable.

     

    [END OF TRACK 1]

     

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  • Interviews and Storytelling: Peter and Mona Trafford

    View Peter and Mona's gallery of images

    [TRACK 1]

    VARIOUS CHILDREN:

    What's your name?

    MONA TRAFFORD:

    Mona Trafford.

    PETER TRAFFORD:

    And Peter.

    What are your ages?

    PT:

    Seventy-one.

    MT:

    I were born in 1931. Guess how old I am.

    ..........oh I've gotyou there!

    PT:

    Thirty-six [laughing]

    MT:

    Seventy-eight.

    Where do you live?

    MT:

    5 Calder Grove,Mytholmroyd.

    What's changedabout Mytholmroyd?

    What's changed? Allthe banks have gone, a lot of the shops have gone

    PT:

    Bit of a ghost town intit?

    What was your familylike and what did you have to do then?

    PT:

    My family? Well I'mone of six. I've four brothers and a sister..I lived on a farm andI had to work. When I used to come home from school I'd to getchanged and get stuck in to some farm work – hay time, milking whenI was old enough, milking cows by hand....generally....helping out onthe farm you know.

    MT:

    And I...I'm an onlychild and I lived with my mum and dad up High Street in HebdenBridge, and it isn't there now. It got pulled down. It's on theother end of...Market Street as you going...what bridge were it..upBridge Lanes yes

    PT:

    Grass banking

    Oh yes...

    Do you still havefriends you know now that you knew from your family?

    MT:

    Friends?

    Yes.

    PT:

    Well yes...yes...we'veone that's moved to Australia but...we're still friends.

    Did you like it athome?

    PT:

    At home? Oh yeah,yeah...we knew nothing different...we'd go to like it[chuckling]...we'd no electricity, no hot water

    MT:

    No toilet, only a tublavatory

    PT:

    Bit primitive...

    How many jobs didyou have?

    MT:

    I just worked in thesewing shop...and then been a home help, oh and I've been a cook ina pub.

    PT:

    I've had eleven jobs[ laughing]...I flit from job to job, but my last one was withCalderdale Council gardening.

    What was your schoollike and teachers?

    PT:

    Colden School, do youknow that? It were a nice little school, good dinners. MrsO'Sullivan was the cook, a big Irish woman. She made some lovelydinners. Miss Stubbs....Mrs Featherstone were the headmistress....thefirst one that I knew

    Did you ever like...goanywhere at Christmas or for holidays?

    PT:

    No.

    What did you do forChristmas?

    PT:

    What did we do...we wasat home, much the same as we do now, but....we didn't get a lot ofexpensive presents, we used to hang stockings up when we were yourage you know, you'd have a big bottle of pop and an apple,something to fill the stocking up and some chocolate maybe...not alot of

    Not like toys

    No, no.

    Did you do anyhobbies?

    PT:

    Hobbies....things wereseasonal. There was a marble season and then a conker season, whipand top, I remember having a whip and top and games, but hobbies...noI didn't collect stamps or anything like that, no.

    How many familymembers did you say you had?

    PT:

    Relatives?

    Yes.

    MT:

    Quite a few I think

    PT:

    Yeah...uncles andaunts.....and we had some relatives live nearby you know..........

    Did you have anyvalues?

    Any?

    Values.......arevalues precious to you?

    TONY WRIGHT:

    What type of values,like when you were younger, were your values – what were they andwere they a bit different then from today?

    MT:

    I suppose you'd topass your eleven plus.

    PT:

    Well I didn't...no,there wasn't eleven plus was there

    MT:

    Yeah

    PT:

    Was there?

    MT:

    Oh no, it werebeginning of when they...split the...what do they call it...CalderHigh, the comprehensive.

    PT:

    No they never hadeleven plus when I were a kid

    Did you have to goto church on a Sunday:

    PT and MT:

    Yes

    Did you like, didyou dress up?

    PT:

    Yes, Sunday morning Iused to walk down to Mytholm church, you know Mytholm church?

    Yeah

    And if we ticked andwent playing in the wood and got home with dirty hands, we'd to goback in the afternoon.

    MT:

    Well it was Sundayschool in the afternoon weren't it?

    PT:

    Yeah, church int'morning.

    MT:

    We went to Sundayschool and then you went into church, and half way through theservice you were let out.

    What was the mostexciting thing that happened when you were little?

    When the war ended.

    PT:

    Well I don't rememberit. I never knew the war so I never heard a thing. The mostexciting thing for me was when we got electricity and you couldswitch a light on, because we'd been on paraffin lamps and candles.

    Did you do sport?

    Sport?

    MT:

    Yes. I played netball.

    PT:

    Aye we'd football andcricket at school you know.

    What was your schooluniform like?

    MT:

    There wasn't one.

    PT:

    Well I went to CalderHigh School and it were a blazer and grey flannels...cos we'dalways worn clogs up to coming down to Mytholmroyd. You know whatclogs are don't you?

    What is the mostimportant day of the year?

    MT:

    Oh...that's a reallygood question in't it?

    PT:

    The first of spring.

    MT:

    Well yes........

    PT:

    After the winter

    Did you do anythingfor your birthdays or did you just like....sort of have a party?

    MT:

    No I don't..no youdidn't do a right lot because there weren't much money about andyou didn't get any presents

    [school bell ringing]

    PT:

    Not a fire?

    No it's the end ofplay

    PT:

    What was the question?

    Did you do anythingfor birthdays?

    PT:

    Birthdays....a bit of aspecial tea maybe you know, hard-boiled egg sandwiches or somespecial treat you know.

    Did your relativessee you or did you ever go somewhere for your birthday?

    PT:

    No I don't remembergoing anywhere.....I had a special aunt who used to send me half acrown and a postal order, that's twelve and a half pence.

    Did you ever goabroad on holidays?

    MT:

    No

    PT:

    No

    PT:

    We never went onholiday...when we were your age. We got a day at Blackpool when we'dfinished hay making, that was it.

    Did you go tobeaches?

    MT:

    Yes – we went toBlackpool.

    Which school did yougo to?

    PT:

    I went to five – fivedifferent schools. I started at Mytholm and then I moved up toColden, came down to Central Street which...is that...

    MT:

    You went there when youwere thirteen weren't it?

    PT:

    And then I went toRiverside which was Calder High Lower School, and then I came down toMytholmroyd, Calder High here.

    MT:

    And I just went toCentral Street.

    Are you glad thingshave changed?

    PT:

    Am I glad what'schanged?

    Are you glad thingshave changed?

    MT:

    Well we're better offfinancially than we was.

    PT:

    I think generally,yes...but the country's in a state in't it? Yes I think we'rebetter off.

    Would you like toadd anything else?

    MT:

    I thought you wereasking questions [laughing]. You've gone through them have you?

    PT:

    You haven't asked allthose questions have you?

    Yes.

    Have you?

    MT:

    And how do you likeScout Road School?

    It's lovely, yeah.

    MT:

    It's very nice in'tit? Modern and.......

    We've had some newbuilding..

    Yes we've been in thelift. Have you been in the lift?

    No

    It's for grown-ups[laughing]

    TW:

    Well what I'mgoing to do now is...I'm going to ask a few questions myself,basically following up on some questions the children have asked, andif you want to add other questions then go right ahead and join inonce we've finished these. There are two things really – foreach of you. One is...I'll start with you Peter, is about you....yousaid you were brought up a farm.....and I mean what farm was that andwhere was it?

    PT:

    Scammerton Farm,Blackshaw Head. Do you know it?

    I don't really,no.

    Oh I'll tell you howto recognise it...it's just erected one of these wind turbineswithout planning permission and the council won't let him use it.

    I know where youmean.

    On your left as you'regoing along

    Along the road there

    Yeah, yeah, that'swhere I was......well...from being two years old I was there up togetting married, apart from going in t'forces

    Did your parents ownthat farm?

    Well it was LordSavile's.

    And were you tenantsthen?

    Me dad was a tenant,yeah.

    And what kind offarming was there?

    Dairy and poultry, hekept about fourteen milk cows...wholesale milk, you know...two orthree hundred hens

    Was your milkwomanMrs Clegg?

    [chuckling] Well we hadour own milk

    MT:

    [chuckling] Yeah weknew Mrs Clegg

    PT:

    But we knew Mrs Cleggyeah, yeah......

    VAROUS CHILDREN:

    What type of animalsdid you have....like how many animals did you have?

    PT:

    Twelve or fourteen cowsand he used to...he kept a bull....and a cow dog.

    MT:

    I thought you had adonkey.

    PT:

    Well we did, we didhave a donkey, and a horse, a cart horse. We did have a donkey atone time but the horse kicked it and broke its leg, and we'd tohave it put down.

    Did you everslaughter animals, like...did your dad ever slaughter animals?

    Poultry yeah, pulledtheir necks [made 'croaking' sound]. You'd to be careful youdidn't pull the head off, and then you pluck them you see...takethe guts out... then for eating.

    So you had cows,horses

    One horse

    One horse, cows

    A bull, and a dog

    Our grandma usedto...my dad used to have to stick his hand in the hole...

    Mmm...better to do itwhile it's still warm

    She got it...she gotit in a cage.. and had to wring its...

    MT:

    Wring its' what? Neck?

    PT:

    Yeah...oh we used tokeep rabbits for eating

    MT:

    Well that would be ahobby wouldn't it?

    PT:

    Well I suppose itwere...aye, I once had a guinea pig as well, yeah.

    Did you get attachedto any of the animals?

    .....[chuckling] Isuppose you do don't you? Meat would be rationed in those dayswhen we were keeping rabbits. We kept 'em to eat, youknow.....because rationing – you don't remember rationing...

    What was yourfavourite thing to do on the farm?

    .......Knock off![laughing]...finishing time!

    TW:

    Are you trying tosay that you didn't like farm work?

    No not really, no –it was forced

    ONE OF THE CHILDREN:

    Did you fish? Gofishing?

    No, no I never wentfishing.

    MT:

    That's funny, becausewe had a farm when we got married...now then...he didn't likefarming, but...we had pigs

    TW:

    Where was that?

    PT:

    Just a bit further onthe road......

    MT:

    Cally Hall........there'sfour cottages there now

    PT:

    It's on the righthand side as you leave.........Scammerton there

    MT:

    There's a block ofhouses

    PT:

    The third block, thethird block of buildings

    VARIOUS CHILDREN:

    Did you have pigs onthe farm when you were young or did you just have cows, a bull,chickens and...did you have sheep?

    No, no, me dad didn'thave pigs or sheep, we had pigs after we were married.

    Did you have a goat?

    No, no.........we'vesome photographs at home haven't we, I'll show 'em ya.

    TW:

    Have you gotphotographs of the farm?

    Little pigs and....

    MT:

    When Paul were a baby

    Would you be ableto...us to borrow them?

    MT:

    Yes, sure, in fact Iknow where they are at the moment because I got them out for someoneelse.

    VARIOUS CHILDREN:

    Did you.......hasthe winters and summers changed? Is it hotter...is it hotter in thesummer, because when we were doing weather.....you let me borrow abook and there was....there was like five foot snow and men walkingin shorts in the pictures.

    MT:

    [laughing] Yes, thewinters were bad.

    PT:

    That must have been apostman...walking in shorts?

    Yes.

    MT:

    Not in the snow,surely?

    No, the snow waseither side of him, it had been swept.

    PT:

    The winter of 1947 –Colden School, I think it was closed for five or six weeks.

    Were the summershotter?

    MT:

    They weren't as wetwere they?

    PT:

    No I don't think theywere........

    MT:

    You got t'hay indidn't yer?

    PT:

    Yeah but we were haymaking you see and it would drag on for five or...everything done byhand, no machinery; forks and rakes and an old horse, no baling, itwere all loose – it was donkey work.........that means hard work.

    Did you....did youever get flooded? Like, did the town ever flood because on one of thepictures Burnley Road was flooded.

    Oh yeah, yeah...

    MT:

    Yes, Hebden Bridge gotflooded, yes.

    And there were busesin the water, double decker buses.

    PT:

    Yeah you've seen thepictures haven't you?

    MT:

    There were someshops......you know, they went down the river, those timber buildings

    PT:

    The butcher's shop inMytholmroyd weren't it?

    MT:

    And there were anelectrician's

    PT:

    Floated away like ahouseboat

    MT:

    Further on tha......youknow, the...travel agent's

    [school bell]

    What was the mostexciting bits of..........your life?

    MT:

    What, as a child?

    No, as an adult.

    I suppose it weregetting married really.

    Did you have acelebration

    Yes.

    Did you have a partyafter?

    No.

    PT:

    We had a receptionafter we got married.

    MT:

    Yes, she said did youhave a party.

    PT:

    Well that was a partyweren't it?

    MT:

    Well it were areception and then we went....we went to Ilkley in a bubble car.

    A bubble car?

    It only holds twopeople.

    PT:

    We toured Scotland init

    MT:

    [laughing] Yes

    PT:

    It were a 200cc highcentre, do you remember them?

    TW:

    I do remember them,yes.

    BMW air-cooled enginet'door opened at the front and t'steering wheel went out

    That's right

    VAROUS CHILDREN:

    Was it like shapedlike a bubble?

    Yes, it had threewheels – two wheels at the front and one at the back.

    Where did you firstmeet?

    Bridge Lanes, HebdenBridge. I were sat having fish and chips.....I'd been out for adrink or been to the pictures with a friend and....I saw Mona walkingup the road.....and I says 'by golly that's a fine looking girl[all laughing] and I chased her up the road...I followed her up theroad, frightened her to death and asked her for a night out...and wewent to the picture didn't we?

    MT:

    Yeah.

    Did you the cinemasthen?

    PT:

    Yes, Hebden Bridge.

    When you were anadult, not when you were a child?

    MT:

    Yes, when you were achild, yes. Didn't you go....to the morning do sometimes?....OnSaturday mornings?

    PT:

    No, Saturday afternoon.

    MT:

    Saturday afternoon

    PT:

    Matinees, yes.

    When you were achild?

    Yes.....we usedto.......you mustn't do this.......don't try this.........we usedto go...I think it was a shilling to get in

    MT:

    I don't think so.

    PT:

    Weren't it?

    MT:

    No, it were aboutsixpence, thre'pence half price.

    PT:

    I think it was ashilling but you're a bit older than me.

    MT:

    Oh right [chuckling]

    PT:

    There was a littletobacconist's shop down Bridge Lanes, he used to sell a few loosecigarettes in a paper bag, you know....a penny each maybe, and wewere silly, and smoked.....we got rid of them before we went home.

    Did you stop....like,when you were an adult?

    Many times. It'staken me a long time to stop...I gave over for twelve years didn'tI, then started again, but now it's...it'll be eight years thisChristmas since I stopped smoking...and take my word for it, don'tstart....difficult to give up.

    If you were poorly,would it be bad or.....was it different from now?

    MT:

    They didn't have thesurgeries like they do now. We all had individual doctors. Therewas Doctor Clegg and...Doctor Henderson...Doctor [Dowdall]....Doctor Dearden, and they were all in different areas.

    PT:

    When I was sick, oncewhen I was a child, Doctor Clegg came up, and he had a chauffeur. Hehad a Hillman Minx car, a black car with a red roof funnily enough,and he had a chauffeur who came to visit me when I was in bed,poorly.

    Did he give you anymedicine?

    Well, he left aprescription and somebody had to go down Hebden Bridge to pick it upat the chemist.

    Did you havechemists?

    Yes.

    MT:

    Oh, though the doctorsdid dispense medicines

    PT:

    Yeah.

    Did they haveanaesthetics?

    MT:

    Well yes.

    To put you to sleep?

    Yes.

    PT:

    My mother was once inDoctor Clegg's on Market Street, just as you get over the bridge,he had a little surgery there. There's a balcony over the river now; that was his surgery.

    TW:

    Just on the left?

    Yeah, and he had atrapdoor...he did his dispensing downstairs, and my mother fell downthat didn't she?

    VARIOUS CHILDREN:

    Did she break anybones or was it just a bad fall?

    No I don't think shedid, just the shock, shook up.

    Did you break anybones before?

    I've never had abroken bone, touch wood.

    MT:

    Yes I have.

    Which one was it?

    Wrist.

    Were the teachersdifferent from now? Were they stricter?

    [MT and PT laughing]

    PT:

    Well yes, you'd get abit of, you know...cane if you were caught, but the thing was not toget caught

    Did they do it onyour knuckles like that?

    No, flat hand, and ifyou pulled it away you got an extra one, you'd to hold your handthere and shut your eyes.

    Did you ever getlike thrown a rubber or a whiteboard rubber? Did you have...

    MT:

    Blackboards.

    Did you haveblackboards and you wrote with chalk

    PT:

    Chalk.

    Have you ever beenpicked to have the cane?

    No, I were crafty[laughing]...I once....I knew a chap who were a metalwork teacher, MrHinds, he put this lad's head in the vice....he didn't tighten itof course, but he put it there, you know, threatened him [laughing]

    What typeof.....classes did you do? Did you do like history, literacy, maths

    Yes.

    Did you do woodworkand metalwork?

    And I did domesticscience, cookery. I made a shepherd's pie and what else.....I madesomething else......I don't know, I made a shepherd's pie

    MT:

    And you know, theteachers only taught one subject. You moved around in school withsenior doing music

    Did you do sewing?

    Yes.

    Did you do likehousework?

    No – oh at home?

    Yes.

    Not much.

    Did you clean?

    No not much.

    Were your parentsdifferent to the teachers?

    Well yes, because youwere part of your parents weren't you? But the teachers weresomeone to look up to...you know, because they had an important jobhadn't they?

    And educated

    Yeah.

    Did you go on anyschool trips?

    No

    PT:

    Well yes, I once wentto Chester Zoo, and I was leaning over the bear pit with mesandwiches and I dropped them [all laughed] I did! Big concretepit...and then at lunch time we all had a whip round and they gaveme...

    MT:

    A sandwich

    PT:

    Yeah, I dropped them inthe bear pit

    Did the bear eatthem?

    PT:

    Yeah!

    What kind ofsandwich?

    PT:

    Oh, I don't know..

    MT:

    They'll be an egg.

    Did you ever havemeat in your sandwiches or was it just like egg

    MT:

    I'm afraid it wasrationing, there wasn't much meat. We did have swimming lessons,we went to Shade baths at Todmorden on a Todmorden bus.

    PT:

    Is it still Shade bathsat Todmorden school?

    TW:

    I think they'restill there but they're not

    Not used

    They're not usedbecause they have the new swimming pool now in the park.

    MT:

    But weren't theyadvanced in their ideas, to have the swimming pool in....well,thirties and forties?

    Yes.

    VARIOUS CHILDREN:

    What was yourfavourite animal?

    Oh I didn't have anypets, but I always wanted a dog but my mum and dad wouldn't let me.

    PT:

    We had a budgie

    MT:

    Oh yeah we had a budgie

    PT:

    Called it Peter

    My dad had a budgie,and he had five, the yellow one, used to, and you'd open yourmouth, if you'd been eating a biscuit it would come in and peck allthe crispy bits out1

    A tooth pick! [alllaughed]

    So, did you have abudgie in your childhood or did you have it when you were together?

    MT:

    No, no we've neverhad a budgie, no we had two or three but me dad were interested inbirds.

    You lived on a farm,so you had a lot of animals but they weren't really a pet, but yousaid you had a guinea pig

    PT:

    Yes, a black guinea pig

    Did you ever likeplay with your guinea pig if you were bored like?

    Yes.....I'd have itout and nurse it, yeah, as a pet.

    MT:

    Is she prompting yer?

    Grace used to have aguinea pig, no a hamster or a guinea pig?

    PT:

    A hamster, yeah.

    MT:

    That's the ones thatrun round a ring aren't they?

    Yeah. Did you havea cat?

    PT:

    Yes, several cats.

    Because of the miceon the farm?

    Yeah, yeah. Mice andyou can get rats as well.

    Oh yeah, our catcomes into your house

    MT:

    Yes it went upstairs aswell.

    I know! Once, ourlittle kitten, who we had to have put down, Mathew, he didn't knowwhat a bath was, so when the bath was full, he jumped into the bath,and then we heard this loud bang and everybody came rushing upstairsto see what

    And we saw Mathew,all shivering

    PT:

    I caught a mouse, I hada jam jar with a sixpence underneath, you see the mouse went in,knocked the sixpence, it were very finely balanced, and then the jarwent flat down and the mouse was in the jar upside down. I got it....Igot it off on to a book or something, took it upstairs....put it inthe bath, went and got a cat, put the cat in and the cat jumped out![all laughed] It didn't know what to do with it!

    MT:

    I think it died didn'tit? Oh I met Peter's brother on the bus and said 'there's amouse in our bath, can you get it out Jim?' and when we got thereit was dead, it had been there all day.

    VARIOUS CHILDREN:

    Did you have fish? Did you have goldfish?

    PT:

    Our Paul had somegoldfish didn't he?

    MT:

    But that's not you.

    What people used tosay, I heard this off my grandma, you used catch like mice, you usedto make a little pen out of like, out of wire and you'd put themice in and keep it as a pet. Oh yeah, once Duncan, he caughta mouse and he went up and he showed me mum the mouse and she said'aaagh! Get that away from me!' and she was really scared of it.

    MT:

    They take it as a giftdon't they, when they catch something, like birds

    And they say 'look,I've caught

    MT:

    Yes, aren't I clever?

    Yeah but they never– our cat never eats them, he only plays with them

    Does your cat eat them?

    PT:

    Dunc well fed, hedoesn't want to eat mice does he?

    My cat had a birdonce.

    Ooh yeah, our catgot a bird once as well, and we wrapped it up in newspaper and then Idon't know what we did with it

    Did you have toiletpaper when you were little? [children laughing]

    PT:

    Yes, it was called theRadio Times! [all laughing] Me mother used to take the pins out, cutit up into quarters, page, make a hole with the scissors, a bit ofstring, and hang it up on a nail in the wooden toilet, and that wasour toilet paper.

    Did you have like atoilet with....like was it just like a potty, or was it actually

    It was a wooden boardthat you sat on with a hole in and a big bucket underneath.

    And then you used toput bucket

    Was it for compost?

    MT:

    Yes, funnily enough.

    PT:

    Me dad used to put iton, you know on....the muck midden where all the cow muck was....he'ddig a hole and then empty this bucket into it, and cover it up andthen it went out onto the land at muck spreading time, spring time,winter time.

    MT:

    Do they know what muckspreading is?

    PT:

    Course they do.

    Do they spreadmuck? Do you like get shovels and spread it all over your farmyard?

    A fork, you used to doit with a fork.

    Did you have atractor?

    Later on, later on,but....

    Never when you wereyoung.

    Not when I was at home,no....I'd left.....well I was at home but I'd left school andgone to work.

    Were yourclothes...did you like make them yourself or did you buy them?

    PT:

    I don't think...did alot of knitting, me mother used to knit socks, me grandmother – megrandmother lived with us

    MT:

    It were hand-me-downsweren't it?

    PT:

    Yeah.....I had an elderbrother and I used to get his you see.

    My grandmother knitsstuff for us

    Pullovers, socks,gloves, balaclavas....you know the helmet for winter time

    Yeah.

    Did they havefairgrounds when you were little?

    MT:

    Yes...yes.

    In some rides nowyou can win a fish. Did you get like, you had to hook a duck and geta fish or something like that.

    PT:

    I know what you mean,yeah. Yeah, the fair used to come – it used to come where thetelephone exchange, a street in Hebden Bridge

    Did you get a sweetfor half a penny?

    MT:

    Oh no you'd get morethan that wouldn't yer? You'd get a bar of chocolate for aha'penny.

    What's anha'penny?

    PT:

    Half of a penny.

    Half a penny!

    MT:

    But that isn't yourcurrency now is it?

    Twenty-five p [25p] now.

    I read 'Beano'and they used to be like one p [1d} and now it costs one pound

    Do they?

    PT:

    Beano – we used toget the Beano and Dandy

    Our dad has stacksof Beanos and I've read them all

    MT:

    Have you?

    PT:

    Desperate Dan, Biffothe Bear, Dennis the Menace, Echo the Ostrich

    Oh that was thefirst one, Minnie Minx, Bash Street Kids

    The most cheap onewas three p [3p] and the most expensive one was seven p [7p] –that's the range

    He collects old comicsdoes he? He'll have saved them from

    Yeah

    MT:

    But you see there's abig difference in age gap in't there so they'd be a lot cheaper

    PT:

    I don't know whatthey were – three ha'pence, tuppence maybe, I don't know.

    What kind of gamesdid you play?

    MT:

    We played cards.

    Did you playhopscotch?

    Oh yes, hopscotch.

    PT:

    We used to play a lotof hide and seek....we had a game where you kicked a can, you had acircle on the floor and you put an old baked bean tin or something,kicked it as far as you could, and then everybody ran away and hid,and you'd fetch the can back and count up to a hundred and then goand look for 'em. And we'd a lot of places to hide

    Like a different wayof playing hide and seek?

    Yeah...bows and arrows,catapults.....all sorts

    Did you makelike...did you ever make like wooden....toys?

    MT:

    What do you mean? Likecrafting?

    You know, likecarving wood to make a toy, like a horse or a duck or something.

    Well I had some madefor me, but my uncle made 'em.

    What was yourfavourite toy?

    Oh me doll.....and theycalled it Peter [children laughing]

    PT:

    What as well as yourbudgie?

    MT:

    Yes, and t'little boydown the street, it was celluloid, you know celluloid, it's....

    PT:

    Plastic

    MT:

    it in't like plasticreally, and he pinched it's nose, and it wouldn't come out again.

    Why did you call thedoll Peter?

    Yes it was a boy, hehad a romper suit on.

    Did you ever have achina face doll, cos if you had an all china doll then you'd bereally

    No I don't think itwere china, I think it were pot.

    TW:

    Was this when youlived on High Street?

    MT:

    Yeah.

    What was it like atHigh Street then?

    It was a different mixof people and there were some evacuees as well, and I could go fromthe bottom house and say how many lived in that, you know, sixhouses.

    PT:

    They won't know whatevacuees – do you know what evacuees are?

    VARIOUS CHILDREN:

    You know rationpacks, did they have like a tin for your tea, your lunch and yourbreakfast, and did they have....chewing gum and cigarettes andmatches

    MT:

    You could getcigarettes out of a machine on the station, and bars of chocolate.

    On ration packs,what type of food did you have? What type of things did you have? Was it like a big amount of food or was it just like a tin for eachmeal?

    Well no, we didn'thave tins.

    PT:

    You'd so many ouncesof sugar, butter, cheese

    MT:

    Fat, meat, tea

    PT:

    Yeah, and it wasn'tmuch, you'd to make it last...you know per person, everybody had aration book, children had a ration book.

    When you were inschool, did you have to carry around like gas masks?

    Yes, yes.

    In boxes?

    Yes, but we never usedthem.

    You know thatcigarette thing where you could get chocolate bars when you werechildren, did they have like a picture on the front of them?

    MT:

    Yes – five boys...andthere were five little boys on this front...

    Now on cigarettes,you're not allowed to sell cigarettes unless they have a picture ofwhat they do, like cos on one picture there's a person standinglike that, and like their face half eaten, it shows you what it doesinside.

    Don't smoke.

    Have you ever beenan evacuee?

    No, no. They evacuatedpeople from Bradford at the beginning of the war...and then they allwent back because nothing happened, and then they came fromLondon...and Jersey.

    Did you have to hideor were you like just staying in your house hoping the bomb wouldn'tget you?

    Bombs never came thisway, apart from the planes going over to Manchester.

    PT:

    The nearest one wasHalifax weren't it?

    MT:

    Oh yes, there were somepeople killed there.

    Was there violencein Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd? Was it still called Hebden Bridgeand Mytholmroyd and Halifax and Todmorden?

    PT:

    Yes

    MT:

    But they did make itinto Hebden Royd at one time.

    PT:

    But they were separateweren't they?

    MT:

    Oh yes.

    PT:

    Mytholmroyd had its owncouncil and Hebden Bridge had, and then they amalgamated didn'tthey?

    MT:

    Yeah.

    PT:

    Hebden Royd Council.

    Did you know anyonewho went to war?

    MT:

    Yes....your uncle, mycousin....and the ladies went as well...oh I had a cousin who went inthe ATS.

    PT:

    We know a lady that wasin the Land Army, she lives in Hebden Bridge.

    You know sport –did you play football? Was it like, did you have to go to a footballclub or were you just playing football

    In a field – put thecoats down for goalposts.

    That's what we doon the field.

    Did you play – didyou play on the streets because there wouldn't be any cars around?

    MT:

    Yes.

    PT:

    Well I didn't, yousee cos we had fields, we'd fields.

    That's what theboys do on the field, they put their coats down

    MT:

    So nothing's changedhas it?

    Not really.

    Did you do anysports but netball and football?

    Cricket did you say?

    No I didn't, I justplayed netball.

    Did you do golf?

    Golf? No, no – thatwere too posh.

    TW:

    What was it like inthe sewing shops? Which ones did you work at?

    I worked at Dewhirst's,and we made overalls. It was bluette, not flannelette trousers likethey made at Astin's.

    And were they justfor the regular people or were they for a particular company?

    Well orders came in andyou....made them and...but sometimes you did specials because me dadwas a painter and decorator, and I used to make his overalls and hisjackets, because he ordered them from where I worked.

    How much did you getpaid?

    My first week's wagewas one pound and sixpence.

    And when was that?

    1945, and then....itwas piece work.

    Were you in theunion?

    Yes.

    PT:

    Garment Makers.

    MT:

    Yes, Tailors andGarment Makers.

    How long did you doit for?

    I worked in the sewingshop until I got married in 1962.

    VARIOUS CHILDREN:

    What was the fastesttransport to get somewhere?

    On a bus. We hadn'ta car.

    A train would it be,or...

    Well it weren't oftenwe went on a train. If we went on holiday we went on a coach.

    Did...how often didyou go on holiday?

    Once a year.

    Did you have fights?

    I didn't.

    PT:

    We didn't go toSingapore either. [laughing]

    We went to threedifferent countries on holiday, we went to Singapore, Malaysia andIndonesia.

    I've been toIndonesia but recently.

    TW:

    When you live upBlackshaw/Colden way and as part of the church, did you ever go downto the praying hole down Colden Valley?

    Just recently, but notwhen it were....I walked up there....a couple of months ago.

    You didn't goon...because on May Day they used to have a service there.

    MT:

    Yes, yeah – don'tthey have it now?

    I believe they stilldo, but I was wondering if you'd ever been on them.

    MT:

    No I haven't, no. You see, people went to church and chapel didn't they and they weremuch more religious than they are now. Well there wasn't anythingelse to do was there?

    PT:

    When weleft....Mytholm...when we started going to Blackshaw Head MethodistChapel Sunday School you know, social evenings, concerts....

    VARIOUS CHILDREN:

    Were there any liketheatres there...were there theatres

    Blackshaw Head?[laughing] No

    MT:

    We used to go to thepantomime on a coach, but it was all organised.

    When was the firsttime you saw a telly, a television?

    PT:

    Oh we had a television– believe it or not we had a television for the Coronation, for theQueen. A black and white television from Dugdales in Hebden Bridge.

    MT:

    And we never had atelevision until...did we live in Heptonstall.....

    Did you ever liveanywhere than around Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd, or did you livelike....you lived up in the moors

    On the moors!

    PT:

    That's what my frienddown London says – 'what do you do up there at night?'[laughing] He thinks we're.... No, no, no....say that again –Eleanor in't it?

    MT:

    No it's Rachel

    PT:

    Rachel, I allus get itwrong. What was the question again? Did you ever

    Did you ever liveanywhere else than Mytholmroyd and Hebden Bridge?

    We've lived inHeptonstall

    MT:

    Yeah but that were whenwe were married weren't it?

    PT:

    Yeah

    MT:

    They wanted to knowwhat you did as a child.

    PT:

    Oh no, no, I was upBlackshaw Head up to getting married.

    Did you ever liveanywhere in else then when you were married?

    MT:

    On TrinityStreet

    PT:

    Yeah, and StubbingHolme in Hebden Bridge, and then we went up Blackshaw Head for tenyears, then we lived in Heptonstall for four years, we sold the farmbut we hadn't a house so we got a council house, before we boughtthe house next door to you.

    Were there any popstars when you were around?

    MT:

    Of course therewas

    PT:

    Cliff Richard's olderthan me! [all laughing]

    Who's CliffRichard?

    MT:

    Haven't you heard ofCliff Richard? Oh dear!

    PT:

    Cliff Richard...andthere were Pat Boon

    MT:

    Gracie Fields

    PT:

    There were a few....whowere that that sand 'Bluebirds Over'?

    MT:

    Oh Vera Lynn

    PT:

    Vera Lynn [laughing]

    Was there TheBeatles?

    Pardon?

    The Beatles?

    MT:

    Oh The Beatles weren'tgoing when we were children.

    PT:

    Oh no, no

    Was Queen around?

    Pardon?

    Was Queen around?

    MT:

    The Queen – no, itwas a King.

    PT:

    No she means the popgroup.

    MT:

    Oh sorry! [alllaughing] No, no, they weren't around. I mean they'd be ancientnow wouldn't they, if they were around when we were children.

    How old were youwhen TVs started coming into colour?

    Oh it weren't untilwe were married were it, we had a black and white one didn't we? There weren't colour televisions

    PT:

    When our two childrenwere small, we didn't have a television till.....until 19.....

    MT:

    Paul would be eleven ortwelve, yes...so about 1972.

    PT:

    Cos they used to say itdamaged their eyes you so, staring at t'television screen

    MT:

    I've seen you twostaring at 'television screen.

    You know the blackand white, was it fuzzy as well, because my dad, he had....I think hehad like....half an hour of a kid's programme in the morning orsomething like that. There wouldn't be a lot and that was when hewas in his ....

    Yeah but your dad's alot younger than us

    PT:

    I mean it was fuzzy

    Was it fuzzy like,really fuzzy

    No...I think we'dgood reception at Blackshaw Head. You know it were....we thought itwas a good picture anyway.

    Was there everylike, children's films, like cos there would have been just....howlong were the children's films, or were there children's films?

    MT:

    There were ShirleyTemple, she was a child star.....you haven't heard of her eitherhave you

    No

    Shirley Temple......

    PT:

    I remember Andy Pandybeing on – you know Andy Pandy don't you?

    Oh Andy Pandy with..

    Muffin the Mule...withAnnette Mills

    Was thereTeletubbies?

    No, but the Teletubbieswere on yesterday afternoon on...

    MT:

    Paul O'Grady Show

    Oh yeah I saw them!

    PT:

    Did you?

    Yeah

    And there was....twolittle girls...

    MT:

    Oh yes, there were twolittle girls

    And they weredancing a bit

    And Jack Dee wasn'tit...on Paul O'Grady.

    PT:

    I'll tell you who meand Mona liked a lot.....The Flintstones

    Oh, The Flintstonesare really good!

    Were they TheWombles?

    MT:

    No, no

    My dad loves TheWombles.

    What was like thefirst...Winnie The Pooh or Tweenies, when did they actually come in?

    That would be....AnnetteMills with....she were about the first weren't she? Kiddiesprogramme

    PT:

    And er....what wasthat.....teddy bear.....

    MT:

    Oh....Harry Corbett?

    PT:

    Yeah...what was hecalled

    MT:

    Sooty

    PT:

    Sooty....Sooty andSweep

    Sooty!

    My granddad used towatch that

    Satuday afternoon

    Have you ever heardof Frank Worthington?

    FrankWorthington?

    MT:

    He was a footballerwasn't he?

    Yes

    PT:

    Is that your granddad? Who did he play for?

    I think he playedfor England.

    MT:

    Yeah....he wasn't agoal keeper was he?

    Er no

    No

    He was always drawnlike Sooty on a piece of paper and that...

    PT:

    And is he...is he stillalive

    Yeah

    Where does he live?

    Well he lives....Ithink...can't remember....somewhere near Rochdale

    MT:

    Oh yes

    Did you have PeterRabbit...in like books, not the telly?

    No, no we didn't havethem sort of books.

    Did you have books?

    Yes, of course we hadbooks

    PT:

    Treasure Island

    [incomp – alltalking]

    TW:

    Don't talk at once– take turns...carry on

    Yes I leant them it...youbrought it back. It was a children's Treasure Island book

    Oh yeah

    I bought it at a carboot sale.

    MT:

    Are you sure they hadcar boot sales?

    PT:

    It was when you wasaway...our little car boot sale.....she's imprisoned me! [alllaughing]

    Anything more?

    What otherentertainments did you have apart from the pantomimes and maybe alittle bit of TV?

    Riding bikes...

    MT:

    Swinging on railings

    PT:

    Me first bike I had,had solid tyres

    What do you meansolid?

    You didn't need apump to pump it up, it were permanently hard....

    Did you have......parks?

    MT:

    Yes.

    Like just a swingand a slide and a roundabout?

    Yes, yes.....and thenthey opened the memorial gardens when....oh I can't remember whatyear it were...I'd happen have left school then.

    Did you have....werethere still the Olympics on then?

    PT:

    Oh yes.

    MT:

    Well there was theOlympics but I don't remember it

    Well did you like,if you had a TV, would you watch the Olympics on TV?

    I don't think itwould be filmed would it?

    PT:

    Well it would befilmed, but it

    But it wasn't onthe TV

    I don't know...thereis old films of the Olympics isn't there?

    MT:

    Oh yes.....

    TW:

    Were there any sortof unusual people or like characters about...can you remember any ofthem?

    MT:

    Yeah, there were abloke called Druffened Fred....he were permanently drunk [laughing]and there was...

    PT:

    Knock 'Em Back Annie,she were a bit of a.....and do you know of the Cider Queens inHeptonstall....did you ever hear of the Cider Queens?

    No, tell us.

    One of them was from awealthy family, and this friend...companion of hers, they paid her toget her away you see, and she came living in Swan Fold inHeptonstall, and they used to go in the cemetery...

    MT:

    Drinking cider.

    PT:

    On a nice summer'safternoon, they'd be sat on t'edge of a bridge you know with abottle of cider [laughing], but they weren't local people, theywere from away weren't they?

    MT:

    Yeah. There were abloke lived up Heptonstall Road and they called Sammy Pie. He had apie shop, and he used to go round the pubs of night with two basketson his arm selling pies. By the time I think he'd finished, hewere drunk as well [laughing]

    PT:

    His grandson goesdrinking in the Working Mens' Club here, Stephen Holroyd, doyou know him?

    I don't, no.

    VARIOUS CHILDREN:

    What did you thinkof the first telephone?

    MT:

    Ooh we never had atelephone. We had to go up to the telephone box if you wanted tomake a call, and then it were generally only for the doctor wasn'tit?

    PT:

    Put two pennies in.....

    MT:

    And if you got through,you pressed button A

    PT:

    And then the lady atthe other end would say 'number please' and you'd say 'HebdenBridge bla bla bla bla' whatever number you wanted wasn't it? And then when you heard the voice, you pressed button B.....or was itbutton A? Button A

    MT:

    Button A because buttonB you got your money back if you – if there were no-one there.

    PT:

    Press button A and thetuppence used to drop into the box, you'd lost it then, and thenyou'd make your call and if you couldn't get through, if youpressed button B you got your money back.

    Did you likebuild...cos my mum said she used to find like...a wood seat thing abit like a skateboard but with wood here and then some wheels

    Yeah, pram wheels, pramwheels and yeah

    MT:

    And sledges

    When we were intown, there was this girl who said her mum had this telephone and itwas the size of a brick, and it was about this big and she used tohave to carry it around

    PT:

    Yeah that was an earlymobile

    And she got it free

    MT:

    Did she?

    Yeah she got it freeand it was about the size of this .....

    PT:

    And the old radios thatwe had, we used to call 'em wirelesses....big thing with a dial onand a light, it had a big battery, a dry battery, and then it hada....an accumulator with acid in.....do you remember those? And weused to get Radio Luxembourg......

    MT:

    And you used to have totake your accumulator to be recharged didn't you?

    Did you haverecords...the flat disc things? A record player?

    No, no...no.

    TW:

    I think we'regonna have to call a halt there cos we're just about an hour now.

    PT:

    Right. Well it'sbeen very interesting

    MT:

    Yeah, nice to meet youfour girls – you are Grace?

    Yes.

    Mia

    Mia.

    And you know us.

    Yes, well I weren'tincluding you.

    PT:

    I know your names butI....I forget which is Eleanor and which is Rachel

    Rachel'sthe one with the dark hair

    MT:

    Yeah I keep telling him

    And she's also mybest friend

    PT:

    Oh is it?...Right then

    TW:

    Do you think thatthis kind of work is important that, it's important to remember thepast and...and for young people to...you know, get engaged with whatused to be?

    MT:

    Yes, yes.

    PT:

    Oh yes, I like to...

    MT:

    Go back in the past.

    PT:

    Yeah, I like, you know– local history and...see...I've books at home. I've a book athome, I don't know whether the school got on, they did one atMillennium, leather-bound book with the author's signature in –Colin Spencer

    Colin Spencer didone

    MT:

    Yeah that's it

    And then FrankWoolidge did one with...at the Millennium...'A Century of Change'I think it was called

    PT:

    Yes it were the Spencerone that I got, yeah.

    So do you think it'simportant for future generations to

    MT:

    Well they've got toknow the past haven't they?

    Yes, that's true Ithink. Well

    PT:

    Aye, it's been veryinteresting, yeah. Because things...Hebden Bridge, it's justtotally different in't it? It was right industrial weren't it? Ready-made clothing, engineering shops, dyeworks

    MT:

    Chickens

    PT:

    Well, chickens were inMytholmroyd, yeah.

    MRS PARRY:

    Yeah, cos like whereElphaborough, not Elphaborough

    MT:

    Where the CommunityCentre is ...

    The Community Centreis now, when I came, when we moved in '82, and that was allmills then, that was TS Trousers, Redman's, that was in there whenI moved here in '82 so that was all mills at the bottom of theRound

    PT:

    F & H Sutcliffe

    MRS PARRY:

    The Catholic church,that was cottages ready for...and the library was going to be onthere, they were going to build a new library on there

    TW:

    Do you think thischange has been good or bad, or a bit of both?

    MT:

    Well you've got toprogress haven't you? And go with the times really.

    MRS PARRY:

    I think there's a lotof jobs been lost haven't there?

    MT:

    Oh yes

    MRS PARRY:

    It's all office jobsnow, t'manufacturing's gone hasn't it ..

    MT:

    Cos they went abroaddidn't they?

    PT:

    They used to come –hundreds of women sometimes in a morning

    MT:

    Yeah, they bussed themin

    PT:

    There was Pickles'sengineers at Mytholm, Ormerod's

    MRS PARRY:

    What was the one wherethe doctor's is now – you know where the new doctor's is now

    PT:

    Oh that was Astin's

    MRS PARRY:

    That was a huge workswhen we came here

    MT:

    That were a sewing shop

    PT:

    Astin Brothers

    MRS PARRY:

    Engineering, it wasengineering

    PT:

    Oh, Fred Brown's

    MRS PARRY:

    Sort of right acrossthe back to the Post Office

    PT:

    Broadbent's

    MRS PARRY:

    That was allengineering when we moved in the eighties.

    MT:

    It got that things weretoo dear weren't they and they went for cheaper things and wentabroad...oh there were Moderna, made blankets...they went out withduvets didn't they

    OTHER PERSON:

    Fire, it went up...

    MT:

    Yes I went to the fire. The lady next door came in, she says 'there's a fire at Modernaand have we to go?' Yeah, I remember that, yeah.

    MRS PARRY:

    You know where the newbuildings are, that was a huge five-six storey mill weren't it, itwas huge the old mill that burnt down.

    MT:

    Yeah, yeah but it

    MRS PARRY:

    The only placemanufacturing is - do they still make the blankets at the bottom ofthe road? I don't even know whether that's still going

    PT:

    Calder Weaving?

    MRS PARRY:

    Yeah

    PT:

    Dennis Clayton, yeah,it's still going

    MRS PARRY:

    They did the Whitneyblanket

    PT:

    You see it moderniseddidn't he? He got some Japanese looms in didn't he?

    MT:

    I think that were whyModerna went out because everything were old fashioned, lots ofdust......

    MRS PARRY:

    But it makes melaugh...that about Cliff Richard [all laughing]

    MT:

    Do you think....

    MRS PARRY:

    What generation are wewhen they don't know Cliff Richard

    MT:

    You feel as thoughyou're in the Stone Age or somewhere don't you?

    MRS PARRY:

    He said 'when youwere a little girl Mrs Parry, did they have cars?' Man went to themoon you know and...they just think you're so old...

    [END OF TRACK ONE]

    Read more

  • Interviews and Storytelling: Norman Windle

    [TRACK 1]

    VARIOUS CHILDREN:Twenty-seventh of November 2009, Scout Road.

     
    What are the names of your family?

     
    NORMAN WINDLE:Didn’t understand that, what did you say?


    What’s the last name of your family?

     
    Windle [spelt w i n d l e].


    What’s your favourite moment at your house?

     
    My favourite?


    Moment when you were at your house.

     
    What do I do at home for pleasure, is that what you’re saying?


    Yes.

     
    Well I still do quite a bit of reading and I do what television of course like everyone else, and listen to the radio – Radio 4, when I have time to myself.


    TONY WRIGHT:When you were a child, what  things did you at home?

     
    Oh is that what you meant?


    Yes, yes.

     
    Oh you didn’t say that.  Well, when I were at – I came to this school until I was eleven and in those days you had to take an exam at eleven – your eleven plus.  If you failed it, you stayed here at this school until you were fourteen and then left – fourteen.  And if you passed it which I did, you went to the Grammar School in Hebden Bridge which was Riverside School – do you know where that is – on by the Post Office there, so you went to a Grammar School, and so time at home was spent doing homework, doing an awful lot of homework – at least two hours a night, that was from here and then I went up to the Grammar School and you got even more homework.  You’d no calculators in those days – do you have a calculator?


    Yes.

     
    You’d no calculators, you’d no mobile phones,  you’d no…you didn’t take an exam and see all the information on the exam sheet, you had to know it, and if you didn’t you were in trouble.  Right, anything else?


    What was your favourite holiday?

     
    Favourite holiday, when I was at school?


    Yes.

     
    Well I was brought up in the Second World War and there were no such things as holidays really, although I do recall after the Second World War we used to go to St Anne’s which is near to Blackpool and then after I’d be about fourteen, I used to go youth hostelling, I rode all round England on my bicycle and then when I was still at school I rode across from here to Switzerland, twice.  I went to school till I was eighteen – people don’t seem to do that nowadays, it seems to be dangerous, but we all got up and did things, you did them – worry about the danger afterwards.  Have you got another?


    Do you remember any of your teachers, you know when you were in school?

     
    Oh yes, from school, oh I do remember indeed.  One of them has just died and he was a science master at Calder High School cos Hebden Brige Grammar School became part of Calder High School, and he was called Mr Hacker, and he would stop you on a corridor and ask you so-and-so’s law and what this was and what this formula was, and if you didn’t know you would get a clip round the earhole, and everyone, everyone passed physics with Mr Taylor, everyone passed physics, no failures.  And then…..do you know where Burnley Road School is, on by the road, do you know where the school field is?


    Yes.

     
    What happens on there in summer?  Mytholmroyd..Gala.


    Gala, right.  Well when I was a young boy that was Hebden Bridge Rugby League Club, and I used to play for them, not for the senior team but for the under-fourteens and under-fifteens and under-sixteens, so two nights a week were spent training and playing games on Saturday, either at home or away.  I found when I was a boy, I didn’t watch much television – why don’t you think I watched much television?


    Cos they didn’t have any.

     
    Exactly – very good.  The first television I saw…..I was eighteen years old, I’d never seen one before, and do you know how big they were?  They were about – yeah, they were about that big, the screen was and it was black and white, and then a very important event happened in 1953 – do you know what that was?  It’s just on the news at the moment………well when I was born it was King George the Sixth on the throne and then King George the Sixth died and Queen Elizabeth the Second was crowned as queen so 1953 they had Coronation Day and we had – over on the field at Calder High School were Coronation Day sports and on Coronation Day, I think it was June the second 1953, it rained, it poured down, so the sports were cancelled until the Saturday afterwards, and I was a bit thinner then, I wasn’t as big as I am now and I was a very good sprinter and I won the….two-twenty race and came second in the hundred yards, and I won thirty shillings which was an awful lot of money in those days – one pound fifty – different days.  Any more questions?


    Who were your parents?

     
    Who were my parents?


    Yes.

     
    Mr and Mrs Windle of course.  My father was in the war and…mother has been dead about forty years and father about thirty-five years, something like that.  Rather an interesting thing cos…long before I was born, my grandfather was caretaker of this very school – long before – I don’t even remember him, but he was an old soldier from Queen Victoria’s army and I know someone who knows us both and he said I looked like him, I took after him, you know.   Any more questions?


    What was your favourite school?

     
    What was my favourite


    School trip.

     
    School trip?


    Yes.

     
    What do you mean by that?


    Like, where you go with school to somewhere.


    I see…..well the answer to that – we never went anywhere with the school, when I went it were about learning and trips…..we just didn’t have them.  A lot of people my age did things for themselves, they didn’t go with school trips.  Once a year we used to have the school sports, the Halifax and District School Sports, and they were at Thrum Hall to begin with which is near where the rugby league ground is and then they were at the Shay.  Where’s the Shay?  What happens at the Shay at Halifax?


    Football, rugby.

     
    Football, or rugby, yeah, yeah.  And then after that, the last one I was in, Spring Hall which is just further on past the Shay.  School trips – no, didn’t have them, not a one, but as I say people used to go off for themselves…


    What’s the most exciting job you’ve had?

     
    ……….well it certainly wasn’t school teaching – I was a school teacher for many years, for older children, I was a sports master originally, but I was in the forces twice; I was a soldier when I was younger and then a bit older, I was air crew in the Royal Air Force so I was a commissioned officer in the Royal Air Force and I think that was the most exciting by a long, long way.  I didn’t make it through the flying training, I didn’t make it all the way so I used to fly and that was very, very interesting, very exciting, very interesting, and I should, I should never have come out because I did, I should have stayed in, and since then everything’s been a bit of a….a bit of a let down.  Anything else?


    What different jobs have you had?

     
    Well I was…I was in the forces twice as I say, in between times I trained as a teacher, and do you know where Ryburn School is – just up through the wood here isn’t it?  I was the very first sports master, or one of them at Ryburn School – there were two of us – and then I was in the RAF and then I worked for an American company down in the Midlands, Goodyear Tyre Company, as a sales manager…and I’ve had all sorts of jobs.  Interesting enough, I often found you earn more working with your hands just as a labourer and driver, I could make quite a lot of money then, much more than school teaching, but it’s alright when you’re a young man in your twenties and thirties, but when you get older you don’t want to be working in the rain you know, like these men – do you remember them doing all that building last year?  I thought ‘I wouldn’t like to be working outside’.  You can always – you know, people have no reason for being without a job.  You young people, when you grow up, you can always get a job.  Learn to drive.  Get a driving licence as soon as you can – it’s always there, it’s always there.  Anything else?


    What was your best birthday?


    My best birthday?.........well I think when I was twenty-one because…in my day, in my day, you couldn’t vote in a general election – do you know what a general election is?


    Yes.


    You couldn’t vote until you were twenty-one, but you could fight and die for your country, and when I was twenty-one I’d come out of the army, I was at teacher college in York and…I had a very wonderful birthday I can assure you, we won’t go into detail but that was one of the best ones I think [laughing].  There was a very beautiful girl lived nearby and I persuaded her to come and play tennis with me that afternoon cos I was twenty-one and then I went out down into York at night and had a few beers.


    Did you have a school uniform when you were in school?


    Yes.  Yes, at Hebden Bridge Grammar School you had a blazer badge that said HBGS – Hebden Bridge Grammar School – we also used to have hats which we had to wear and if you weren’t wearing it you were in trouble.  Also, wore….are you in long trousers?  We wore short trousers, you wore short trousers till you were about thirteen fourteen – went to the Grammar School and had short trousers, and one of my biggest thrills was getting my first pair of long trousers.  You’ve got them on now you two lads.  Anything else – Joseph?


    What job did you gain most friends from?


    Gain most?


    Friends from.


    Friends in?


    Yes.


    When I was in the military, without a doubt.  You – I still go – you know what a re-union is?  It’s when old soldiers meet together.  I went to one only a couple of months ago and I talked to some that were my comrades all those years ago.  You never forget, particularly if you’re on active service, you never forget them – friends for life, and I’ve been doing this – you’ll remember me coming to talk to the school with the British Legion, and I was in the Co-op at Hebden Bridge selling poppies, and if ever an old soldier came up it was like a fellow…a fellow friend of mine, we understood each other, but definitely that – not anything else.  Any more things folks?


    Have you always lived in Mytholmroyd?


    A lot of the - yes, a lot of the time.  I had a place, I had a flat in Hebden Bridge.  Obviously I was away when I was in the military…..and I lived down in a place called Derby in the Midlands when I worked for the Goodyears Tyres, so I have lived away but….like all Yorkshiremen it’s nice to come home, I’m very proud to be a Yorkshireman.  Do you know what Yorkshire Day is?........have you heard of Yorkshire Day?


    No.


    The first of August, it’s Yorkshire Day is that – wear the white rose.  And you’ll find that in your lifetime you will no doubt go away, work away.  Whatever you decide to do, you’ll get your job and then you may have to go somewhere else.  If I was a young man, I would go to Canada or New Zealand, I certainly wouldn’t stay here, but that’s political and maybe that isn’t within the scope of what we’re talking about now.   Okay – any more?


    Who was your best friend?


    Who was my best friend?.....you mean when I was a young man?


    Yes.


    Well I had many, many best friends………I still know people now that I was at school with, and……if in life, if you get older, if you can count your friends on the fingers of one hand, you’re a very lucky person.  A friend is someone who will help you when you’re in need or whom you will help when they’re in need, that’s not necessarily a relative…..So friendship is a thing – I mean, you’ll have a best friend will you in school?


    I have loads of best friends.


    Right.


    I have loads of best friends.


    You as well – you’re all popular aren’t you at Scout Road School!  Does anyone know anyone who goes to another school?


    Yes.


    Gosh you’ll all meet up in the end you see.  If you lived lower down in the village, you know towards the main road, you’d probably be going to Burnley Road School wouldn’t you?  But you’re coming to this school, to Scout Road School.  Anything else?


    Do you remember Mytholmroyd when you were younger?


    When I was younger?


    Do you remember it?


    Yes I remember it very well….because there weren’t as many houses.  You know over by Calder High School – your bottom yard and look across – big estate – Hullett Drive – do you know where that is?


    I live near there.


    You live over there.  There were no houses over there when I was a young man, none – just fields.  And the other estate – Bankfield Estate - was built just after the war when I was, probably about your age, I can remember that being built, and there were…..in Mytholmroyd there used to be at least three banks, many shops…there isn’t one bank now, this is progress – they’ve all closed down, so you have to go to Hebden Bridge.  Much smaller and everyone knew everyone.  If you went down the village, most people knew you, and nowadays a lot of these houses that’s being built, some are sold to Rochdale Housing Association so we get people from there living in the village.  Any more?  Just even if you haven’t got them written down – just general.


    Which of your friends has changed the most?


    Changed in what way?


    Like….I don’t know – overall.


    Well, as I say, because I’ve been away so many times….you tend to make friends as you go along and I haven’t really anyone that I’ve known all that long.  I had some trouble with my eyesight two or three years ago; I’d come back from ski-ing and I went to the opticians and I found out I was going blind and I am blind in this eye, and this one is going the same, so I had to have some injections and it’s okay now, and some of the chaps who helped me then – they were true friends.  I have – I have one friend and he’s the one who – you know between Hawksclough and Hebden Bridge, all the canal boats are moored aren’t they on the thing, well the guy who owns that, the guy who owns the canal bank and there, he was an evacuee from Bradford of all places and he use to come to this school and he was in my class, and I still know him to this day, sixty-odd years after.  I can remember him.  I have another friend of mine who was at school with me, I still see him cos he lives up Pecket Well, but a lot of the others moved away to different countries and what have you, but never be afraid, never be afraid to go away and seek opportunities – you can’t always be sure to get them round here, particularly in this day and age.  Anything else?


    Is there anything else you’d like to say?


    Anything else?

    You’d like to say.


    I’d like to say?


    Yes.


    Oh many things – about what?


    Anything.


    About anything?  Right I’ll ask you a few questions.  What sport do you do?


    Football.


    How many times a week?


    I don’t really do it as a club but I play at school and at play times.


    What about you?


    I like running.


    You like running.  And do you do it here?


    I do it here and you know Spring Hall?


    Oh you go down there do you?  Oh with Halifax Harriers?  Oh that’s very interesting.


    Every year two people from each class get picked to go.


    Oh right.  And how many times have you been down there?


    Twice.

    Right.  Do you like that?  Very good, well you stick to that.  What about you son?


    I just do football at my house.


    Oh yeah, yeah, well keep it up.  Sports are a very good thing; you’ve got to have a balance between study and physical activity because it’s no good having too much of one thing and too little of another.  There’s a saying – ‘all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’ – have you heard that before?  It’s an old saying; you’ve got to have…when you’re studying for something you’ve got to have a break and do something else, and……with me, it was always sport, it was always sport.  I played…I played a lot of rugby when I was a young man which is why I don’t have many teeth now, these are not my own – you tend to lose them playing rugby, and it was very good at the time.  What bits of advice have I given you, from my point of view, what have I said?...Get a what?


    The village has changed.


    The village has changed, yeah.  


    Quite a long time. 


    Right, what else have I said?


    About  all your friends.


    Right friends are very important, they really are important.  Get a…
    Driver’s licence.
    Driving licence as soon as possible.  Even if you don’t have a car it’s always there.  And be prepared probably to go abroad when you’re older – I don’t say you have to do, you may find something in this country, but we live in difficult times at the moment, and without going into politics – there are problems here which are not of our making…cos the….round here if anyone got a job with the Halifax Building Society, that were a job for life, it really was….I wouldn’t like to have a job for life, I wouldn’t like – ‘you’re here till you die – that would bore me, I’d be absolutely bored.  I go ski-ing every year, I go ski-ing next month, in January, and I don’t find it easy at my age but I still go, I still enjoy it.  If you want to do something, do it.  No good sitting – no good waiting for someone to help you – you help yourself and get on with it.  Anything else?  Anything you haven’t asked yet?


    TONY WRIGHT:Well I’ll ask one or two and if the children want to join in they can do.  I was just wondering about – you were talking earlier about Mytholmroyd where Bankfield and the other estates weren’t there – has it change in any other way and do you think any of  it’s been good change?


    I’m sure there’s been good and bad you know….I don’t think the development at the back of the Post Office is for the good, for the village.  All these self-appointed important people, our leaders – houses for young people – and there’s so few of them taken off that they’ve sold to Rochdale Housing Association and some of the people in there are not the ones you would normally expect in a village……Hebden Bridge is, I think, is a trashy little town, dreadful.  You can’t pedestrianize – it’s too small.  We have too little streets. You pedestrianize one – nowhere for the traffic to go.  Eight sets of traffic lights between this side of Hebden Bridge and you know where the station is, the railway station and the Fox and Goose at the other side, there are eight places where people can either stop the traffic and cross the road, and that makes traffic very very slow doesn’t it, so people try and avoid coming to Hebden Bridge.  In my day, younger day, there were lots more sporting clubs, a lot of tennis clubs up and down, and other sporting clubs.  Everyone, everyone played sport – either running or something like that.  There were never enough hours in the day for me.  I heard……some young people the other day when I were selling poppies and ‘I’m bored’ she says, child of eleven – ‘I’m bored’ – how can you be bored?  God  Almighty.  Perhaps young people are spending too much time in front of a television set and


    Do you think there are different values today then for young people?


    Sorry?


    Do you think there are different values that young people hold today?


    Well they only hold their values of their peers….they definitely are different values.  In my day, anyone without a job…it was a shame, a shame.  I can understand nowadays, some of the guys who worked on this school, one was fifty-two years old and he’d never been without a job before but he was going to be because he didn’t know how things, you know – it’s just the way things are.  There are different values and you gave me one of these forms which is to complain about if I feel – if I had any complaining to do I would do it to you, I’d do it face to face, you would certainly know about it.  I don’t have, I don’t have to – please don’t think that – but you’d be in no doubt as to my feelings, I wouldn’t send a silly little form in, that’s sneaky – that’s underhand.  You’ve got to be honest to yourself.  You can pretend, you can pretend things are happening but you can’t fool yourself.  Anything else?


    Well you have to leave in a couple of minutes so I’ll just ask one last question really.  This exercise that we’re doing, interviewing you with the children, do you think this sort of thing is important?


    I think it’s excellent for the children, talking to me rather than their own parents you know.  Do listen to your own parents, but…..it’s nice talking to other people, to older ones who’ve perhaps seen more of the world than a lot of people have.  Listen to what’s said and make your own mind up afterwards, that’s what I would advise you to do.  I think this is excellent.  I mean, it’s good in that all three of you knew me before I came – I’ve been coming to this school – November – all the time you’ve been here and before, and you’ve seen me every day, sort of across the road with William’s dog comes round to see how I am most mornings.  Do you know William’s dog?  Big black Labrador.


    Well you’re going to miss your bus if we don’t finish so I think we’ll stop now.  The only thing I’d like to say is I’d like to thank the children for taking part and I think you’ve done really well.


    I thought you were excellent, excellent.  Some excellent questions.


    And thank you for participating.

     [END OF TRACK 1]


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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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