FORGOTTEN CORNERS

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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 10 Dec 2019, 05:02

I dipped into some of the arcane mysteries of the animal feed industry in The Flatley Drier this morning and this reminded me of a couple of stories.

It's 1960 and I am on the tramp....
"Another time I was in Newcastle on Tyne and when I went into J&H Transport they said there was a ten ton load of greaves for Paisley, right up my street, it got me back to Jimmy’s in Glasgow. The bloke in charge said “Have you got an old sheet?” I wondered why he’d asked but said yes that was no problem and off I went to the address he had given me.
Now there are always areas in every city which normally you wouldn’t want to go into and this was one of them. As I proceeded downstream along the south bank of the Tyne I passed a succession of scrap yards, car breakers, rubbish tips and the like. I came to the place I was to pick up the load and saw a terrible sight, there were huge piles of what I later found out was butcher’s offal which was partially cooked and then left to rot, this broke down the fibres and made fat extraction easier. My load was already bagged and the smell was awful, it wasn’t a violent smell but was corrupt and insidious and you couldn’t get rid of it. The place was riddled with rats as well, they were running over the bags as we loaded them. I couldn’t get rid of the smell until one day I was at a chemical works and they dipped the sheet for me in a tank of hot water and bleach. It fell to bits afterwards but at least the smell went. I burned my overalls.
When I got to Paisley I found that the greaves were rendered down and the fat was ‘refined’ and made into lard for cooking! I back-loaded out of that place with forty gallon drums of what was described on the notes as ‘Best No.1 Scotch Pale Skin Oil’ for Crosfields at Warrington. I asked what it was used for when I got there and they said either toilet soap or margarine! The thing that struck me was that the walls of the yard at Paisley were covered with notices warning you against the danger of contracting anthrax. One thing that sticks in my mind about Paisley was the fact that there are some lousy jobs in this world. The place where I tipped the greaves was a large concrete apron partially protected from the weather by a steel frame carrying an asbestos roof. It was a large area, there was no problem driving a wagon in and turning in one lock. All round the outside were the lids of large pressure cookers which were installed in the basement below, each of which was used to render down a certain kind of offal. There was a man on the floor who loaded the different cookers and when he had identified what you were carrying he directed you to the correct cooker and loaded the material in through the lid. A lot of the stuff came in on tipper wagons from the slaughter houses, they would tip their load and he would sort it out with a large wooden rake. Rops (intestines) would go in one hole, bones in another and so on. I thought it must be the worst job in the world and asked him how long he had been doing it, he told me he had been on the rendering floor for eight years! I was beginning to realise that society is supported by a large number of unsung heroes who, for various reasons, do jobs that nobody in their right minds would want to touch with a barge pole. Come to think of it, carting greaves was one of them!"

A few years later and I am working on boilers for REW...
"We used to go regularly to a rendering plant at Darwen and hated the job. Everything you touched was covered in rancid fat. Paul and I had a job there for about a week, modifying a second-hand stainless steel tank and coupling it up to the factory. One of the strange things about working on a job like this is that you become invisible. The management seems to forget that you are there and one of the consequences is that you see things that the public would never know about. We noticed that there was a man working on what seemed to be a regular job because they were all set up for it. He was unloading flimsy twenty five litre cans of vegetable oil from a large container, carrying them into another container and putting them on top of a large oil drum with a piece of reinforcing mesh welded to the top. Once in place he split them with an axe and the oil dropped into the drum where a pump picked it up and sent it down a pipe into the factory. The flimsies were clearly marked with the origin and age. It was vegetable oil out of EEC intervention stocks and was all thirteen years old! We also saw vans coming in and unloading what we found later was out of date butter, fats and cheese from supermarkets. It didn’t take a lot of nosing about to find that the oil and fats were combined, hydrogenated, and went out as ‘baker’s shortening’ with a sell-by date of six months. The cheese was heated in water and extruded to make ‘mozzarella’ cheese for pizza palaces. I called it the miracle factory, like Lazarus these materials rose from death and were reborn! Take note and remember ‘you are what you eat’!"
I sincerely hope that these are now forgotten corners. Personally I have my doubts!
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 11 Dec 2019, 04:50

Calderstones, Brockhall , Langho Colony. Three institutions close to each other near Whalley. Lots on the web about them if you want to find out more. (LINK) Grand daughter Jess worked at Calderstones until it closed. My interest started when I was driving, I often passed them and then when I worked for REW we repaired the boilers there and did annual maintenance and tests.
As usual, we became invisible as we went in to a place most people never see and it was interesting. The thing that struck me most was that those patients who were judged fit were allowed to roam anywhere within the grounds and they all seemed to be happy. I know the arguments against such institutions and recognise there were some sad cases but there were more smiles in there than out on the high street! Many a time they came and talked to us and we never had any problems.
That reminds me about an incident in Glossop one weekend when John Ingoe and I had taken Annie, his traction engine to be part of their annual Victorian Weekend. When we weren't trundling round the town we parked in a side street. Here's the relevant extract from me memoir...
"We used to go to Glossop where we were part of the ‘Victorian Weekend’ which the town put on every year. This was great because many of the locals used to dress up in Victorian clothes and there were some wonderful costumes. We were allowed a bit of a trundle about but basically, except for the parade, we just stopped in one place all the time. The first time we went there they gave us a bad pitch, it wasn’t in the town centre so we were cut off from the action and worse than that, we were on a slope and this meant we wouldn’t be comfortable at any time during the two days of the event. We were sat there getting ready to steam and bemoaning our luck when some people came and started to set up market stalls around us. I went to the organisers and pointed out that there was going to be trouble if they didn’t shift us as we were going to cover all the clothes on the stalls around us with soot within the first couple of hours! The marshalls saw the problem and moved us into the centre where we parked in front of the Town Hall and had a grandstand view of all the proceedings.
The following year we weren’t so lucky and were parked in a back street, this wasn’t as bad as it sounded but we weren’t part of the mainstream and didn’t get many visitors. I think that there was just me and John there that year and I was looking after the engine while he had a couple of beers. A lady in nurse’s uniform came down the road with two old fellows, she had hold of their hands as though they were a couple of kids. I guessed they were in care somewhere and she was taking them round the exhibits. They came up to the engine and she asked if ‘Fred’ and ‘Harry’ could have a look at the engine, I said of course they could and got down to have a word with them. Fred detached himself from the minder and started to look round the engine but Harry was in a worse state and didn’t seem to really know what was going on, I felt very sorry for them.
Just then Fred came round the back of the engine having made his inspection and said “Has it got three inch tubes?” As soon as he said this I knew I was either up against the world’s best bullshitter or he actually knew what he was talking about. “It’s a straw burner isn’t it? I see you have a bird’s nest hole in the firebox.” Now this was fairly esoteric! One of the features of burning straw is that being so light, pieces of half burnt straw could get trapped on the ends of the fire tubes and eventually interfered with the draught. The cure was a hole through the wall of the firebox on the nearside through which you could get a thin iron rod and knock the ‘bird’s nests’ off the ends of the tubes to restore the draught. This is a very unusual feature on an engine and I was absolutely certain that this bloke knew more than I had bargained for! The minder asked me to be patient with him because “He’s always reading about boilers.”
I got talking to Fred and it transpired that he had been a boilermaker in Doncaster for fifty three years and had built straw burners for the colonies. The minder kept apologising for the old bloke and in the end I said to her, “Stop apologising for him, I’m learning from him. He isn’t a nuisance he’s an expert, he’s forgotten more about boilers than I’ll ever know!” I was upset because she couldn’t recognise that he wasn’t gaga, he was a copper bottomed, genuine expert and if I had more time I could have learned so much off him. She had no knowledge and treated him like an eccentric child. I thought it was so sad but at least he was still reading the books so they hadn’t knocked all the sense out of his head!"
Fred was a walking forgotten corner!
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 12 Dec 2019, 05:12

Tripps post in Dialect and word meanings reminded me of a story.

It's 1978 and I am heavily involved in further education...
"I need to put you in the picture about Gawthorpe before we go any further. Gawthorpe Hall at Padiham was the local seat of the Kaye-Shuttleworth family but had been handed over to the National Trust when the present holder of the title Lord Shuttleworth’s father died. I suppose it was in lieu of death duties. Lord Shuttleworth, Charlie as David called him, took a great interest in the house and when David proposed to the National Trust that the College should take it over and run it, including assuming responsibility for acting as custodian for the Rachel Kaye-Shuttleworth collection of embroidery and needlework, he was all in favour. David saw Gawthorpe as a valuable extension of the college’s involvement in the community but it also gave him his own country seat. The miner’s son from Wigan had Gawthorpe Hall as his own private fiefdom and he made the most of it.

One of his first acts was to start a movement to convert the great barn at Gawthorpe into a concert and exhibition venue. He found the funding, saw the project through and it opened in summer of 1979. We had a great day at the opening and I got some marvellous pics of DJ and Lord Charles doing their bit at the opening ceremony.

Another use that David found for Gawthorpe which I personally thoroughly approved of, was to use it as a venue for dinners to which he invited people who could contribute to the work of the college. His Head of Catering was John Farington and they ran a silver service restaurant at cost in the old Colne Grammar School where the students could practice their skills on the public. David used to shift the catering department lock, stock and barrel up to Gawthorpe and they cooked and served the most wonderful meals in the main dining room. This was a wonderful oak-panelled room, loaded with history and was the best setting you could imagine for a show-piece dinner. DJ was actively introducing me to facets of life which had slipped by me when I was wagon driving and I was also one of his show pieces, I was proof that OC worked, so I got frequent invitations to these dinners. They were wonderful and a completely new experience for me.

I remember one night sitting next to Asa Briggs and having a conversation with him and Richard Hoggart over the other side of the table. Later in the evening, sitting with Richard Hoggart on the chaise longue on which Charlotte Bronte is reputed to have had a funny turn, we got into conversation about his wonderful book, ‘The Uses of Literacy’. I asked him if he knew that if you went into the college library, got their copy of the book and dropped it onto the table on its spine it always opened at the same place. “Ah yes, the section on pornography.” said Richard. He then told me a story about this; he said that when he had finished the book and it had gone through all the pre-production stages, the last thing that was done was to give it to the lawyers to read. They found only one major problem, they couldn’t be sure that there wasn’t a chance one of the authors of the pornographic excerpts that Richard had chosen wouldn’t sue! After a long and fruitless discussion Richard said he had the solution, he went home, excised all the excerpts and wrote the pornography himself! He said it was very easy and good fun. On reflection he thought that writing pornography might be even more lucrative than ‘The Uses of Literacy’!

David loved to show guests around the house and one of his favourite ploys on a calm summer’s evening was to serve drinks on the flat roof of the central tower. I remember the time when Susi visited this was part of the tour and Stan Barker was there at the same time. Stan was a very good jazz musician who worked with David frequently. It soon became obvious that Stan had no head for heights and David was completely oblivious to the fact that the only thing that was stopping him doing a runner was his innate good manners. Stan finished up sitting in a corner with a drink no doubt hoping for an early termination of that part of the tour."

One of my favourite forgotten corners.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Bodger » 12 Dec 2019, 13:23

Stanley, i bet you remember driving past this company ?
https://www.na3t.org/road/photo/RK00058

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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 13 Dec 2019, 02:48

You're right Bodge, many a time. Those old Scammels were used long after their sell-by date because nothing else was as good for jobs like that. Pickfords stuck by them as well.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 14 Dec 2019, 04:50

Image

Blowing the boiler off at Bancroft Shed for the last time in 1979.
Because we had efficient boiler water treatment and I tested it once a week we only blew the boiler off and emptied it at holidays three times and for annual shut down and inspection at Wakes Week. In the days when water treatment was in its infancy most mills blew down and washed out the boilers once a week, a very wasteful practice as everything had to be brought back up to temperature again afterwards, at most mills this was five tons of coal wasted every weekend. The way to do it was lift the lever on the low water warning valve and prop it up with bricks, this opened the secondary relief valve wide.
The noise made by a 3" pipe discharging at over 100psi was quite something! A woman on Manchester Road told me that her cat vanished for at least a day when we blew off. One old weaver once told me that she loved the sound and had done all her life, it signalled a couple of day's rest at least!

Image

Once pressure had dropped to about 40psi we opened the blow down cock at the front of the boiler to empty what water remained. This water was still above boiling point of course and as soon as it encountered atmospheric pressure it flashed into steam and every drain in the yard (and a few leaks!) blew out clouds of steam. This too was noisy but it was a low pitched rumble. It took about twenty minutes from starting the blow to reaching empty and that was the point where we opened the boiler up for cooling down to the point where the flue chaps could get in. That was the following morning and the flues were still hot. Flue cleaning was the roughest job you can imagine.

Image

Image

Charlie Sutton and his mate Jack in 1976 at Bancroft. Charlie had a flue and chimney cleaning business at Brierfield, Welldone. They did a good job and were hard men!
All a forgotten corner now but remember that where there are boilers this job still has to be done by forgotten heroes who keep our world functioning.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Julie in Norfolk » 14 Dec 2019, 09:23

I've just read your piece on greaves Stanley, we are fortunate that there is more legislation governing the transport and use of what is now termed Category 1, 2 and 3 animal by-products. However, the horse gate incidents show that where there is money to be made on the cheap, unscrupulous "businessmen (and ladies) are happy to take advantage. I'm still not convinced....
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 15 Dec 2019, 04:48

Neither am I Julie. Where the choice is between paying for expensive disposal as waste and profit by illegal use there is always a temptation and someone will grasp it.
I have told you too often about the role of the renderers like the one at Penrith where (quite legally) the most horrible maggot ridden slaughter waste was converted to 'protein derivatives' for use in the pet food industry.
If you take the trouble to research the profits of the big rendering firms during the BSE crisis, they were being paid £50 a carcass to dispose of them when they could actually do it for nothing and make a small profit from the skins you'll get the picture. See THIS article on one such group and fill in the gaps.....
All this is a forgotten corner because its the dirty secret of the food processing industry. This waste has to be dealt with and the legislators are very wary of upsetting the status quo. Think also of the way waste is being handled at source in the case of cheap imported raw meats.....
Another dirty secret was the use of very young unprofitable calves in the preparation of baby and geriatric foods by the major manufacturers. I saw that trade from the inside when I was attending the markets regularly and it was a disgrace. I have little doubt it still persists, there has to be a final end for this worrying by-product from the breeding of animals.
Then there are the maggot farms supplying the angling industry..... I've seen them as well!
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 16 Dec 2019, 06:26

I once picked up a load of very good seed hay at a farm at I think it was Idle, Bradford. The farmer's name was Lapin which stuck in my mind because one of his major streams of income was farming Mink for their fur. He also bred and slaughtered rabbits for human consumption and all his waste was fed to the Mink. I suspect that the skinned mink also went back to their mates as well. As a consequence he bought in very little food, mainly for the rabbits, as all he had to make up was the food value of the skins he sold from both the rabbits and the Mink. At the time this was totally legal and I suppose it still could be.
Then there was the maggot farm. The old bloke who was taking me to visit asked me if I smoked when we reached the top of the hill near the farm. I said yes and he said "Leet up Lad!".
He was right, it was horrible but at the same time fascinating.The way it was done was that dead hens were hung in rows above long sloping runs of plastic rain water troughing. As the flies fed on the rotting flesh and laid their eggs, the maggots eventually dropped off into the troughing and because they were wriggling and the trough was smooth they gradually progressed to the end of the row by gravity where they fell into a a plastic barrel filled with bran. The maggots were harvested from these barrels, packaged up and the bran topped up. The man said he had a ready market for as many maggots as he could produce. Anglers are still using maggots, is this still going on?
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 17 Dec 2019, 05:04

I've always been good at lighting fires. I was the official fire lighter in the days when our gang was roaming the countryside as a child. My education proceeded further when I went to work at Harrods Farm in Warwickshire and I was initiated into the art and craft of hedge-laying. The Warwickshire style was to thin the growth, layer it and reinforce with stakes and etherers. In the course of this we produced a lot of trimmings and to deal with them we always had a fire at the work site, this kept us warm as well because the work was always done on dry frosty days in winter. Burning green waste like that demanded a high level of skill. When we stopped for a break the fire was such a comfort, I loved that job!
I remember one day I was out walking on a rainy day on the banks of the Wye with Daniel and Georgie and their two sons. The conversation got round to surviving in the wild and the lads saw making a cooking fire as a major problem when everything was wet. I told them that it was always possible to get a fire going if you knew the trick. To cut a long story short they wanted a demonstration so I showed them how to find dry material in old tree stumps and odd nooks and crannies. I got them gathering dead twigs and such and then i built a small fire on the river bank to the point where wet wood was burning well. I told them all they had to do was catch a fish in the river and that was how to survive. We never got to that point but I remember how interested they were and thought that they would never forget that lesson in fire making in the rain. Daniel and Georgie thought it was wonderful because they learned as well.
I suppose that's why these survival programmes on TV are so popular. These are forgotten corners today but far more useful when needed than the ability to manage a mobile phone where Just Eat can't reach you!
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 18 Dec 2019, 05:10

Have a look at THIS description of Belle Vue at Manchester, all gone now.
It comes to mind now because as well as pantomimes in Stockport, we always went to the circus at Belle Vue.

Image

George Lockhart was the ringmaster and my sister Dorothy and I always dreaded the moment when my dad sent us into the ring with a very expensive cigar for him, an annual event. They knew each other from way back and we always had front row seats.
Its all non PC now but the lion and tiger 'training' sections were fascinating for us kids. A large cage was erected in the ring and we were so close we could smell them. I loved the elephants as well.
As I say, all unacceptable now and I agree with that but with the innocence of youth it was a delight!
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 19 Dec 2019, 05:14

One of the delights of old age is memory. I like going back almost 80 years and looking at what are now mainly forgotten corners.

"The house mother and father bought was in Heaton Norris which lay about a mile west of the town centre on the road to Didsbury and Altrincham. To get to it from the town centre you went past the tram depot, under the railway viaduct and climbed Travis Brow out of the valley. Heaton Moor where we later lived was about a mile North. Norris Avenue lay to the north of Didsbury Road, separated from the large railway sidings by Naylor’s Foundry and the Cheshire Sterilised Milk Company. Together with Bankfield Avenue Norris Avenue formed a crescent bisected by Newby Road with a small group of shops along the base on Didsbury Road. It was a single development of about 200 houses built for the private market in the mid 30's, they were all semi-detached, brick built with red tile roofs. Everyone had a front and back garden and they were all built with bathrooms, some even had garages. In short, it was a good example of best practice in upper working class housing of the period. There was only one problem, the builder had gone bankrupt after the houses were finished and the access roads were never finished. It was to be after the war before the Council adopted the roads, installed drains and lighting and surfaced them with tar macadam. All the owners were surcharged and I can remember it was a big strain on the finances when it happened. We had moved by then but still owned 40 Norris Avenue, the house next door because father had bought it off the occupant Mrs Nixon when her husband died and rented it back to her for 6/- a week. I know that was the rent because I used to go down and collect it every Saturday. Later, my sister Dorothy was to start her married life at No. 40.
On the east, the development was bounded by the Cheshire Sterilised Milk Company and Naylor's Foundry. Cheshire Sterilised faced on to the road and was a modern factory with landscaped gardens complete with central fountain between the factory and the road, it was advertised as ‘The Garden Factory’. Naylor's lay behind and to the north and was an archetypal iron foundry, dirty, noisy and busy. Their main trade was manhole covers and gulley grates. Cast your eyes down in almost any town and city in England and you'll see the words 'Naylor, Stockport' looking up at you. The firm no longer exists but its products will be about for many years yet. The foundry was accessed down a cinder track that ran alongside the upright sleeper fence of the railway sidings. To the north west, just behind the apex of the crescent lay a small municipal park with gardens, tennis courts, a bowling green and a children's playground. On the south side of Didsbury Road the land fell away sharply to the steep valley of the River Mersey. There was a cotton mill there and when the wind was in the right (or wrong) direction, the all pervading earthy smell of the heavily polluted river Mersey wafted over us.
I spent the first nine years of my life in this well-defined world bounded by the town, the park, school and forays down the side of the river where numerous delights could be found and, despite the war, it was a happy childhood."

Most of that has gone but Norris Avenue and the other houses there are still very desirable homes. Driving the motorway through the area completely changed it. But change is inevitable, no use railing against it. I simply delight in the fact that I was there and know what the roots of the area are.

Image

The Victory over Japan party on the Norris and Bankfield Avenue estate in August 1945.

Image

40 Norris Avenue on the left and 38 on the right. Well built houses and still very acceptable.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Cathy » 19 Dec 2019, 06:46

That was lovely Stanley :smile:
They look like substantial and well built houses too.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 19 Dec 2019, 08:19

Thanks Love. You're right, perhaps that's why the original developer failed and couldn't do the road. For years, all through the war, it was a rutted dirt road but thankfully had proper pavements. They are popular homes now selling for around £250,000. I think my dad bought no. 40 for £600 in about 1944.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 20 Dec 2019, 04:23

Image

Club Row in Barlick. Mention of the price of 40 Norris Avenue yesterday brought this to mind. I think the official name is Esp Lane now but ever since it was built by the Barnoldswick Friendly Society it has been known locally as Club Row. My firebeater at Bancroft, Vera's uncle, lived in the shop at the left hand end and thought it had Quaker associations until I disabused him of that notion. My mate Ernie Roberts, tackler and gent, bought the third small cottage down from what used to be the shop from John Capstick on 'rental purchase' for £500 in the late 1950s. The reason it was cheap was because the whole row was under threat of demolition but in the end they survived. Today they are desirable cottages and I'll guess they are worth around £120,000 each.
Rental purchase was a common way of buying a house. It was a private arrangement between vendor and buyer whereby an enhanced rent was paid until the purchase price was reached at which point it was signed over to the buyer. Quick simple and cheap. Too cheap for today's market and that way of buying is, as far as I am aware, a forgotten corner. Far more complicated arrangements which involve large fees to professionals are now the norm!
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Cathy » 20 Dec 2019, 06:25

Very pretty, I could very easily live there.

If they would have me :laugh5:
I know I'm in my own little world, but it's OK... they know me here. :)

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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 20 Dec 2019, 07:13

Like a lot of other old small properties in Barlick that survived they are now very desirable cottages! What a good job the planners neglected us in the 1950s.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 21 Dec 2019, 04:51

Image

I go back to an old hobby horse triggered by all the changes we are about to see, The old Town Hall/Council offices on Jepp hill. They are desirable flats now but my mind goes back to the days of the Urban District Council when, apart from paying the rates over the counter, you knew exactly where to go in the town for answers to questions and resolution of problems. No computer or phone needed, just toddle down to Jepp Hill and ask the question.
In those days the UDC ran the town and had done since the late 19th century. Under their stewardship Barlick had been built up into a good, well functioning place to live. Streets were maintained, by-laws enforced and compared to today we had few problems. It was on their watch that mains water, sewage, gas and electricity were introduced and we still ride on the back of the original technology.
To my knowledge nobody has ever done a proper comparison of cost/benefit between that system and our present all singing all dancing privatisations and central control but I suspect that if one was done, the old system would come out well from the exercise.
Of course, I could be just an old dinosaur but I have a sneaking suspicion that a lot of people outside the town have done very well indeed out of the changes. In those days income generated in the town stayed here, the Council even owned the gas and water systems. Nobody was taking profits out of us for dividends, it was all based on public duty and the good of the town. Could this be the biggest con-trick in history?
Truly a forgotten corner.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 22 Dec 2019, 06:35

I was watching a film about the history of celluloid (LINK)
One thing that caught my attention was a newspaper report about a policeman dying after his celluloid collar triggered a carbuncle on the back of his neck.
When I was a lad it was 'a well known fact' that a carbuncle on the back of the neck was dangerous because as there was no loose skin there it could generate enough pressure to damage the nerves in the spine at that point and kill by the effects on the brain. I don't know if that was true but it was definitely a most painful condition. My dad had one and I remember Tommy O'Connell our doctor coming to the house to lance it and relieve the pressure. My mother was no good at medical matters and it was a neighbour, Mrs Brannan who came in every day to clean and dress the wound. It took a long time to heal.
We have had the conversation before about boils and carbuncles and I won't bore you again with the story of how mine was cured by Mother Hanson at Blacko using horse medicine after the doctor and chemist had failed miserably. I remember Mrs Hanson telling me that what had caused the succession of carbuncles was my predilection for drinking Black and Tan with Massey's Stout in it, my blood was 'too rich'. She had kept the Moorcock for many years and that was enough for me to take notice and switch to half of bitter mixed with a Kings Ale. I can't say definitely that she was right but she cured it and I didn't have another one for many years.
This condition of 'blood being too rich' was regarded as common and outbreaks of spots in children in Spring was a symptom. The universal cure was dosing with sulphur. If you were lucky this was in the form of sulphur tablets that you sucked, if not it was straight Flowers of Sulphur blown into your throat, it was regarded as being good for sore throats and tonsillitis as well.
Ernie Roberts told me a good story about his mother dosing him with sulphur blown into his throat from a rolled paper tube. He blew first! His mother got the full dose and Ernie got a good hiding.
So when you take your antibiotics or Strepsils, remember that once upon a time, things were different!
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 23 Dec 2019, 05:23

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Barlick gas works in 1963. At the time it was being decommissioned, not because of North Sea Gas but because Barlick had been connected to the national network of gas pipelines and the smaller, more inefficient facilities were made redundant.
We forget today how important the municipal gasworks was. It was a source of coke, a cheaper fuel that was very popular. Many families had a small home made trolley knocked together from scrap wood and on old pram wheels. Young lads were sent to the gas works for a sack of coke. Lots of mentions of this in the LTP.
Distillation of the vapour from the coking ovens produced a variety of useful chemicals ranging from 'gas tar' to solvents, mordants used in cloth dyeing and chemical feedstock.

Image

Tar boilers like this old small example were a common sight wherever road repairs were going on. There was a belief that if you held a child over the boiler so it could inhale the vapours it was a cure for Whooping Cough. This gave rise to horror stories about babies being dropped in the boiling tar but I have never found a confirmed case.

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A pipeline was installed into what used to be the railway sidings and this stain on the wall in what is now the Pioneer car park betrays where the tankers were filled. It's not as obvious now, fading over the years, but if you look carefully you can still find it.

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Hot gas tar was essential for old-fashioned sett laying. The setts were bedded on a substrate, often fly ash from the mills, then the gaps between were sealed by pouring tar into the joints. It made an ideal jointing compound, never setting completely hard and allowing the setts to move slightly under load.
All forgotten corners!
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 24 Dec 2019, 04:17

Incidentally, in that last pic you can see that Hill Street is paved with concrete. I can't think of another example in Barlick, it must have been an experiment and has stood up well over the years.

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You'll find this in Hill Street as well. There are others in the town. I thing they are access holes to mains water valves installed when water was first laid on in the town. Made by Henry Brown and sons at Ouzledale Foundry.

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I think the 'SWD' on the cover refers to Skipton Water Department. They managed the town as a Rural District before the Local Board and then the BUDC took over. Manhole covers can be so informative!
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Tizer » 24 Dec 2019, 12:00

Lovely pics, the little tar boiler is a gem - it would make a great feature in my back garden!
Stanley wrote:
24 Dec 2019, 04:17
ncidentally, in that last pic you can see that Hill Street is paved with concrete. I can't think of another example in Barlick, it must have been an experiment and has stood up well over the years.
Was it paved by WW2 prisoners of war ? They paved Manxman Road with concrete in Blackburn.

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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by PanBiker » 24 Dec 2019, 12:10

The garage on Hill Street, I used to keep my Honda 500 Four there, awkward getting it in through winter if there was snow or ice with it being on the slope. :smile: The garage had an inspection pit in the floor, I boarded it over as not a lot of use for a motorbike. :extrawink:
Ian

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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 25 Dec 2019, 03:35

Tiz, My mate Robert Aram's wife Margaret was at an auction one day and it came up for sale. She got it for a song on impulse. It's in the yard at Masson Mill now. Low maintenance as well, it's covered in gas tar and will never rust.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 26 Dec 2019, 05:10

I think you might have realised I like Forgotten Corners. Not only in the town but in the way I live my life and the Shed is a big part of that.
I watch the videos of CNC machining centres doing amazing things that seem to make individual skills actually running machines redundant. True, there is serious skill in building the programmes that control the processes but the machine minders just seem to stand there watching for problems and pushing buttons.
I think there is still a place for old-fashioned skills, particularly in R&D and experimental work, I am sure that such skills are being nurtured there but not on the scale that they used to exist. At one time the Tool Room was the Holy of Holies in the factory, do they still exist?
In a small way this is always on my mind in the shed, I could make things a lot more accurate by fitting a DRO to my mill or lathe but resist it. This means of course that I make mistakes! I seem to make more of them as I get older.... But that's all part of the magic, retrieving mistakes is one of the most interesting parts of the challenge. This probably shows that I am a masochist but I don't intend to change. Every mistake contributes to my knowledge so I shall continue to be a dinosaur in the shed. It's my small contribution to preserving this forgotten corner and amateurs like me struggling with adversity are making a small but important contribution.
That's my version and I'm sticking to it!
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