Aireborough Historical Society

1947 Guiseley Childhood

Alan Hill
Alan Hill
Title Guiseley Childhood
Alan Hill
Gender Male
Date of Birth 1947 in Otley Hospital
Currently Residing Richfield, Wisconsin, USA
Top: photo: Alan, His Mother and Sister
Middle Photo:
Barrett Street on my granny’s 80th birthday (held at the co-op hall).
Cross Street is behind us and I am to the left of her.
The Barretts, Milners, Hills, Holmes, Pouncey tribes combined - all Yeadon/Guiseley/Otley/Menston families
"At 2 days old I was brought to live at Sconce Bank, Guiseley. Sconce Bank was the bottom of Park Road about 70 yards from the Yorkshire Rose pub (then "The Commercial”).
At about age three, I remember the row of outside toilets at the back across the cobbled yard.
At age 5, I was sent 2 doors up to "Farmer Strickland” to get hot milk in a stone jug straight from the cow.
Farmer Strickland’s fields were where Silverdale is now and I remember sitting in the hay field watching the men load hay on a horse and cart.
When my mother got fed up of me she used to say "Go and play between the railway lines”.
A joke (I think), but I did, and I used to put old pennies on the rails and watch them squish out really long and thin.
Then we moved to 7 Edward Street which was close to where Morrison’s sea food counter is now.
Only 2 houses had been built - numbers 9 and 7, so the land for 5 and 3 and 1 made up our huge garden right in the centre of town. Our tenant, Vic Burley, lived in number 9.
He had a Jaguar with no engine and standing on bricks - and he polished it with pride every Sunday morning".
"My early teens would be 1959 onwards.
My residence in Edward Street was 1951 to 1962

After that I lived on Nethercliffe Crescent when Edward Street was cleared ready for sale to Morrison’s

I went to school on Oxford Road (infants), then Greenbottom (Primary) and then Aireborough Grammar school 1959 to 1964

My mother’s mother lived on Cross Street which ran from near where Coopers wine bar is now, to Park Road.
That’s why it was called Cross Street.

As kids we used to play down the fields between Green Bottom and Coach Road and down to Esholt.
We would go down there alone at age 6 - quite normal.
At age 13, I bought a 12 bore magnum shotgun - quite legal.

Courting couples didn't have cars so much as now so the woods were full of couples ‘at it’ - quite interesting to a kid.

I used to go on trains to Morecambe from Guiseley Station - via Ilkley - over the bridge which crossed Ilkley high street (Brook Street)

Yeadon had a railway connection and there were wooden crossing gates on the road Ghyll Royd ? which ran from Mc Donald’s (now) to Silverdale.
It is more of a track now but was driveable then.
Regularly, I would find the crossing gates smashed to matchsticks by runaway rail trucks from Yeadon - so I always looked before I ran across

As an early teenager I would help my dad unload railway trucks at Guiseley station.
He was a coalman for the Co-op (Now Coopers wine bar).
We used to bag up the coal with Walter Melgram and weigh it into hundredweight bags.
Walter was black, and had been a pro boxer on the boxing booths - taking on local drunks who thought they could beat him.
His face was covered in scars from all the fights.
At the end of the day, me and my dad were very black from the coal dust but Walter was whiter than us because the coal dust didn’t stick to his shiny white scars.
We used to sit in the trucks and laugh about that with him.

Written April 2013

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I hope you read these comments of mine Allan, much of what you describe I remember well, particularly the old coach road, and Esholt woods. There used to be a Bradford Corporation Game Keeper who patrolled the woods with a shotgun, we called him trigger itchy,because if he heard children's voices he would loose off a couple of cartridges in the air for no other good reason than to scare the living daylights out of us. He would be behind bars for doing that nowadays..
Walter Melgram and Alf Richardson ( The Club Steward) were both friends of my dad Syd Walker, who was an amateur boxer in his younger days, Alf Richardson was a Strongman in his day, he used to bend Iron bars and break 6 inch nails for fun.
Walter Melgram was the bouncer (doorman) at Yeadon Town Hall on Saturday nights and also at Rawdon Drill hall. The strange patchwork appearance of his skin was always something he laughed about and he was known to say that " they never stood me up reyt afoor they sprayed me".
A very handy chap to have on your team if you needed help and a great sense of humour with the ability to laugh at himself, a very popular and well liked man.
21 May 2013
I also lived at Sconce Bank from circa 1950. We had the Holmes family on one side who had two boys,( John and Gilbert,) and on the other side was Ada Kitson and her mother. Ada would get the Beano from Lee's paper shop at Green Bottom, and then used to pass them on to me. Until I read Allan's post, I thought I had lived in Sconce Bank from 1950, but we were two doors from Mr Strickland, so I am wondering if we lived in the same house as Allan but later. I remember Allan, although he was older than me. I remember his father better, as when I left school I went to work for the Co-op and he was a driver at our local branch.
I remember Walter Melgrem fondly as he was always great with us kids. He told me that he used to box under the name 'Kid Chocolate'.
Thanks for the memories.
01 July 2013
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