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Location: Barnoldswick. Nearer to Heaven than Gloria.


Post by Stanley »


The dairy that Dickie Roundell founded in 1900 was still operating when Sir Amos bought the estate and he must have looked after it, appointing an experienced manager and letting him get on with the job. I think that Sir Amos gave the dairy to his son Joe from his first marriage. Later Gilbert Nelson went into partnership with a man who I think was an accountant from Crosshills called Scott. In 1947 they set up a new company, West Marton Dairies Limited, engaged David Peacock as manager and converted the dairy to producing bottled milk. Colin Barritt, who went to work there in 1948 tells me that the first invoices had the name ‘Gilbert Dairies’ on them.
The dairy was bought by Associated Dairies from Leeds in 1960 while I was working out of there as a driver for Harrison Brothers who hauled for the dairy. Associated soon stopped bottling and converted the dairy to making cheese. In 1987 it was sold to a subsidiary of Unilever and later in 1999 to a new group called Yielding Tree. Something went wrong and in October 2000 Yielding Tree went into receivership and the dairy was closed and everyone made redundant on the last day of 2000. A very sad outcome and to this day I can’t understand how a creamery in the middle of a milk producing area could fail.
Let’s have a look at something that I have happier thoughts about. If you remember, when Old Gledstone was demolished the stables remained. When I worked for Richard Drinkall at Yew Tree he stored his hay-making machinery there. Once a year, because of my experience as a fitter, I was given the job of checking all the machinery and making sure it was ready for work. It was always sunny and I loved going down there and spending a quiet day in the courtyard. As I mentioned earlier I was told that the stable block had been built with the intention of it being large enough to accommodate a troop of horse when a French invasion was expected during the Napoleonic Wars.
The block is an interesting design being square on the outside and having a circular courtyard. This involved some marvellous brickwork to effect a seamless transition from square to round. This was done by hand shaping the bricks in the vaulting of the cloister that surrounds the yard and I was told that people teaching brick-laying used to bring groups of students to see the craftsmanship. Later, David Nelson refurbished the block and lives there now. I am glad it is being looked after!
I have written a lot about West Marton in previous articles so I must stop here. Believe me I could bore you for the next six months! I have nothing but good memories of the Martons and consider myself very lucky to have had the experience. If I could go back and do it all again I would choose to go as apprentice to Jimmy Thompson in the smithy.


The stables at Old Gledstone.
Stanley Challenger Graham
Stanley's View
scg1936 at

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