Photo: Martha Ellen Barrett at her home in Cross Street.
"When the co-op was closed, me
and my dad shoveled all the coal out of their cellar.
I enjoyed shoveling - still do.
As a teenager I was part of the "Cinders gang”.
Too young to be a teddy boy but I hung out with them.
A certain member (still much alive) had a flick knife and beer and later became a senior professional
with Leeds City Council!
We had a bonfire on Barrett Street - which ran from
the lower part of Morrison’s car park to the Methodist Chapel - the cemetery is
still marked opposite Springfield Road end.
I was sent to be a "Primitive Methodist” on Barrett
street , but at age eleven, I had to foreswear women and drink, and so I
Guess I was too primitive.
I can remember all of lower Guiseley as though it
was yesterday - I have ‘mind pictures’ of every path and street and car and
even the nettles and flowers
When you went ‘down the fields’ from Greenbottom (I
believe the footpath is still there but diverted), there was a field on the
left and I can remember the tepee shaped hay stacks and the pitchforks and the
labourers loading the horse and cart - that must have been 1952 ish - still had
a ration card then.
There is a syphon which takes that stream under the
railway and it pops up near the nursing home on Ghyll Royd
I can remember every pole on the path (to stop
bikes) and every electricity pylon with tar painted on the bottom, and every
stone fallen out of the wall and the little stream, and the hawthorn bushes and
the rise of the land towards Silverdale and the old disused cottage cellars
opposite the bowling green on Silverdale and the concrete bomb shelters behind
I can remember the phone box on Otley Road near
Green bottom and the push button A and button B - and the steps from there down
to Park Road.
I can remember the DP’s (displaced persons from
Europe) living on Otley road - Yvonne Wasack"
I can remember Harry Corbett’s son Peter being made a "sixer " at the cub hut - it should have been me so I
I can remember the bubble gum machine chained up at the bottom of
Springfield Road and a ginger kid called Ingham taking the rap for shaking
it - none of us had red hair so we were
Wish I could remember what I had for tea yesterday !
Ps here is my mum’s mum - Martha Ellen Barrett at her home on Cross
Street opposite Coopers wine bar
Pre- NHS so no teeth.
She bathed me in a
tin bath many times
I grew up right there off Otley Road - I had 200 hens and 50 rabbits and
lots of guns in my long garden - all
within 50 yards of Morrison’s front door (now)
The ’spare land’ was bought by the co-op to build a huge transport
garage (where the bottom of Morrison’s car park is now), and long pieces of
re-enforced concrete laid there for many years. That is where the cinders gang
had their bonfires
There was petroleum store with 8 foot high pipes to vent to fumes and
big underground tanks full of petrol
Our tenant at 9 Edward Street was a Spiv - a bus driver who stole the
company petrol which he kept in open tin baths in the cellar ! He
by-passed the gas meter with a rubber pipe and ran his several gas fires
without flues. His house and our house stunk of petrol fumes and waste gas from
His house lights were powered by a cable hooked up to the street
lights ! He kept an illegal .45 army revolver under his pillow as so many
people were owed money by him. One day his little kid went to Mrs Lee’s
house on park Road with the gun. He pointed it at her and said "bang, bang you
are dead” She took a proper look at it, realized it was real and took it
His wife got cancer so he abandoned her and shacked up in a caravan at
Hawksworth with a young girlfriend !
He had a Jaguar with no engine and polished it every Sunday
He kept bantams in his garden which had to sleep in the hedge as he was
too lazy to provide a shed - they woke my dad up at 4am every day -
especially Sunday. My dad came swaying back from the Regent one Saturday night
and put his arm in the bush, and wrung the cockerel’s neck and shoved it back
in the bush
Next day our tenant told my dad he found his cockerel dead in
the bush and it had obviously suffered a heart attack. Oh dear said my
Sleepy Guiseley wasn’t sleepy on Edward Street