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Post by Stanley » 09 Mar 2012, 06:25

This transcript is an oddball and doesn't really fit in the LTP though it is archived with it.

TAPE 84/SH/01

[In 1984 I came into contact with Sam Hannah in Burnley when I tried to help him get his films archived officially. The problem was that Sam wanted paying for them and I do not know what happened in the end. Sam knew about my interest in oral history and lent me a copy of a tape he made in 1971 with Bob Hargreaves who at that time was the oldest inhabitant of Barley.]

Aid sheet for tape 81/SH/01. This tape is a copy of a tape made by Sam Hanna and is his copyright. No quotation or reproduction should be attempted without obtaining Mr Hannah’s permission.

Tape made on the 5th December 1971 at Wilkinson's Farm Barley, the home of the informant, Mr Bob Hargreaves who is now deceased. The interviewer is Sam Hanna.

Native of Barley. Pendle Hill. Witch stood ower him. Dying, drought. Deep Clough Spring started. Hargreaves. Robinsons. Edmund Hargreaves. Pendle Forest. Newchurch. William Crook. Barley Township. Both run with water power. Barley Green hill. Cloudburst. Bankrupt. Never turned another wheel. Narrowgates. Cattle in inby land. Handloom weaving. Hand-mowing in summer. finding something in a hole in the wall. Hollin Top. Take th’old spars off, Underdrawn. Spars. Gold sovereigns. I plumbed it down. an odd un flew out. Put this all through a riddle. Attached some way to Towneley. Old Mr Foster. Journeyman, Uncle Bob. Towneley Holmes. Annually. On the harvest in the Yorkshire Wolds. Shoeing horses..

This is a copy of a tape made by Sam Hanna and is his copyright. No quotation or reproduction should be made without obtaining Mr. Hannah’s permission.

Tape made on 5th December, 1971 at Wilkinson's Farm, Barley, the home of the informant, Mr. Bob Hargreaves who is now deceased. The interviewer is Sam Hanna.

R - Well there were only one tale, one local tale, like that me mother used to tell us when we were younger. Me mother, a native of Barley. She told about a dry Summer on Pendle Hill and a shepherd as used to be employed in Barley, to the Barley people that had right to graze sheep on Pendle Hill. They employed a shepherd to look after them. It came a very dry Summer and his wages were based on't results o' what he got - wool you know what he sold and that sort o' thing, off his sheep.

Came this dry Summer and he were sat wi’ his head in his hands and springs had dried up on Pendle Hill where’t sheep went to drink. They dried up and they were suffering. Lambs were dying and sheep were dying and he were sat wi’ his head in his hands and he felt a touch on his back and he looked up and it were a witch stood ower him.

She said, "What's to do? Aren't you so well?

He said, "You can see what's wrong, look at ‘em dying! I'm short o’ water. They're dying, drought.''

She said “Oh well, we can soon remedy that! So she stuck her staff into’t ground and water sprung up. Deep Clough Spring started, what they call Deep Clough Spring. It's flowed ever since, never gone dry. My mother used to finish the tale with saying, "They weren’t all bad'ns weren’t witches. They could do a good turn as well as a bad’n."

That's Bob Hargreaves story on the 5th December, 1971. Bob, tell me all about Hargreaves family in Barley?

R- Well they're a very old family.


And Robinsons?

R - My mother was a Robinson. And Hargreaves, Edmund Hargreaves and lived in Pendle Forest for generations. 11 ancestors buried them in Newchurch graveyard. My great great grandfather, William Crook buried in front of the church at the age of 95 and at present time I'm the oldest native in Barley. My life and family life has mostly been tied up wi’ cotton manufacturing and farming.


R - Used to be two mills at one time in Barley village, both run by water power. My mother worked at one, Barley village mill, it were flooded out in 1881. A cloud burst on Pendle Hill and flooded the mill and it bankrupt the man that owned it and it never turned another wheel. Went out of business did that but Narrowgates Mill's been out of business now for two or three year now - four year. Keeping sheep, mixed farming mostly, keeping cattle and sheep. Sheep grazing on Pendle Hill. Cattle in inby land and handloom weaving previous to power weaving. I can remember helping my father to dismantle an old hand loom.


R - And my Uncle, a very old man when I was a lad, my Uncle Bob. Used to make his living wi’ hand-loom weaving in Winter time and hand mowing in Summer. He made his living that way. He was a batchelor, he never married. I helped my father to dismantle his old hand - loom when he died. I don't know where it went to but I think I could lay me hands on some of it today.

You once told me about finding something in a wall, Bob.

R - On a beam.

On a beam was it?

R - They were doing some repairs. Me father had some workmen in doing some repairs and I were helping. I were a young feller. Married I think, and I were helping when they stripped the slates off. I were going to take th’old spars off. I went up this ladder to work on these spars, taking them off and there was a lot of dust accumulated on this cross-beam and I was just knocking it away wi’ me hand and I upset a pile of gold sovereigns! They'd been hidden away. Put up there for safety at some time. I knocked this pile o'er and there were a few left. I picked them up and slid them quietly into me pocket.


R - There was a lot of lime and stuff on't bedroom floor but I'd raised enough idea where ...... I raised enough idea where I might have dropped them among this old lime. So I kicked it wi’ me foot and an odd’n flew out of this lime - a sovereign! I thought, well this lime must be riddled with sovereigns. So I told me father about it, quietly. I told him what had happened. We were sat at dinner and men were knocking off and they went away and so we set to and we put this all through a riddle but we didn't find any more. We put all this lime and waste through a riddle but that were the lot. We had a man working for us, a labourer, working and helping at the time wi’ this riddle and he couldn't understand why we put this lime through this riddle and then threw it away! He were no wiser when we finished.

What was the connection with this house, Bob and the Catholic Church at one time?

R - At one time this farm, oldest part of this farm buildings were a Catholic Chapel. Attached some way to Towneley.


Towneley at Burnley. When I was a lad in't village, very young lad, there were an old, there were an old farmer in his seventies at that time. He could remember a time when the district were full of Irish haymakers. It’d be in June when they employed a lot of Irish labour. The Priest came out from Burnley, so I suppose out from Towneley to say Mass in this old barn. This old farmer, old Mr. Foster, used to laugh and say, “He were a bit late and they'd all be in't pub and they'd all be a bit fresh but it didn't make any difference, he went on and said Mass.”

You once told me too about a relative that was a journeyman - or was it someone who used to work for your father, who used to walk and come back always on the same day of the year - who was he?

R - Oh that were my Uncle, my Uncle Bob as I were telling you, made his living in Summer time wi’ hand mowing. There wasn't any machinery at that time. It were all done with scythes. He used to start and packed up his hand loom weaving, early June and started hand mowing and first place he went to were Towneley, Towneley Holmes.

10 min (300)

R - That were first place that he started mowing and then gradually he worked his way into Yorkshire. One place in Yorkshire where he went annually and he understood he’d to be there on a certain day every year. [He knew] he’d to be there and he’d to start mowing in the meadow a mile before he got to the actual farm. And he used to tell this tale and he said he wouldn't have been mowing in this meadow an hour before somebody landed from the farm, and they couldn't see the meadow from the farm but somebody lands wi’ something to eat to him. They knew he’d be there. He were that punctual. They knew held have started. He was a journeyman and he started off from Barley and he finished up in't harvest in't Yorkshire Wolds. He used to tramp back. He used to dismantle his scythe, wrap it up and walk it back and return to his hand loom. Another Winter.


Now, you've no horses now, working horses?

R - No, only ponies, riding ponies.

Once upon a time, how many horses did you have?

R - Well, small farms had one horse but a farm a bit bigger would keep two.


R - And I still think that farm work could be done as economically yet wi’ a horse as it is wi' a tractor. They don't need shoeing for farm work, you know and they just work on the land, on soft ground, you see.

SCG/06 April 2003
1,680 words.
Stanley Challenger Graham
Stanley's View
scg1936 at

"Beware of certitude" (Jimmy Reid)
The floggings will continue until morale improves!

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