My father Harold Hoare is in the main doorway with Margaret and her Aunt Dorothy Emsley. Dorothy and Harold managed the shop and had several other employees. They often sat in a small room overlooking the shop and answered phone calls from customers and suppliers telephone number Rawdon 51! Harold moved to Rawdon from Masham N Yorks where his father had the Black Horse Public House at Healey. He joined the Church and the Rawdon Church Players where he met and married Renie Long in June 1936, she lived at Grange Farm opposite the top of Carr Lane. He had to leave when the Second World War began in 1938. He left behind his son Stuart, born March 1938 and wife and joined the Army and was stationed mainly in Belgium and the Orkney Islands on submarine watch. He returned to work at Emsleys after the War ended in 1945 and then I arrived. I was born at Four Gables Nursing Home in Horsforth and we lived at 12 Wentworth Terrace, but shortly after moved to Larkfield Avenue. Harold really loved working for the Emsleys he was very happy there and liked all the customers. I believe he must have left about the time of Roy Emsleys death in 1953 when the shop was sold to the Farrers. I have memories of going there with my Mum to see my Dad and the distinctive smell of the shop with freshly ground coffee, cheeses and bacon cut on a huge bacon slicer. There were always sacks of various grains and cereals on the floor.
His new job was as Manager of Walter Steads a grocers in Horsforth, they had two shops one near to the station and one in Fink Hill, but he was never as happy as when he worked at Emsleys. He also worked for a short time at the Rawdon Co-op, as did my mother in 1970s. She worked for Mr Dennison in the office and was given the role of training all the staff in Aireborough for the introduction of decimalization. Harold suffered from ill health and took a part time job at Cartwrights in packing and dispatch but sadly died of cancer age 58 in 1966.
My thanks to Margaret Bostwick (nee Emsley) who has sadly since passed away and Graham Branston of Rawdon. Without him and his books written in 2010 and 2011 I would not have known of the existence of the photograph of my father and some of the other information about the shops. Local history really does matter and it is so important for us all to share our memories, photographs and experiences these form the community we live in. Our surroundings and its inhabitants are constantly changing and it is important to note and record so that future generations will know more about the place they live and their predecessors. I am sure there is so much history hiding away in attics, old shoe boxes and drawers in Aireborough so get rummaging and scanning and onto the Aireborough History Society website.
Valerie Ryan (nee Hoare)