Postcards

Postcard #20 – Lumb Bridge, Silsden

This is a postcard from my own collection. The location is Lumb Bridge at Silsden in West Yorkshire. I bought the postcard because Silsden is the birth place of my paternal grandmother and I can imagine her standing on the little wooden bridge you can see.

The card is unused and in good condition. It was published by R. Dewhurst, 71 Kirkgate, Silsden.

RMS Cumberland – Postcard #19

Here is a very battered , torn and creased postcard which has been in my family for almost 70 years.  The card shows RMS Cumberland at Barrow in Furness

There is no publisher or printer information.

The postcard was sent from Barrow on 13 July 1942 to my grandparents, Mr & Mrs J Dawson, 7 Ellis Street, Brinsworth, Rotherham, Yorkshire.

Unfortunately I have no idea who sent the card. You will see that there are only some initials to indicate who wrote to my grandparents – they could have been friends or relatives, I simply don’t know.

The message says

Dear A & J

Everyone landed here OK and quite happy to be together. Sorry to say it looks like rain but hoping for better weather later as  the tide goes out.

All the best.

C. G. TD & MO

The message is intriguing. And I also wonder whether or not the RMS Cumberland is more important to the story than just appearing on the front of the postcard.

Does the use of the word ‘landed’ suggest that perhaps they travelled to Barrow in Furness on the RMS Cumberland?  Does the phrase ‘quite happy to be together’ suggest that before they arrived in Barrow then they were not together. Does ‘everyone’ mean a larger group of people than just C. G. TD and MO?

I did wonder if ‘they’ had been evacuated from Rotherham – but then I thought Barrow, with its shipyard, was probably not a place people were evacuated to. However this link on Wikipedia – Barrow Blitz – suggests that the last bombs of the blitz fell on Barrow in January 1942 and the last air-raid siren was sounded on 25 March 1942.

Also further research suggests that Rotherham did not loom large on German maps and only suffered two serious raids – both in August 1940. Maybe C. G. TD and MO came from somewhere else.

Anyway, I could go on trying to imagine the story behind the message on the postcard, but I need to just accept it as a piece of family history and leave it there.

Edisford Bridge – Postcard #18

This is a postcard of Edisford Bridge, near Clitheroe in Lancashire.

The card is from the Valentine’s Series and was printed in Great Britain. It is postally unused and in good condition. There is no date but there is a serial number – 62116.

Research on the Internet suggests that the photograph was registered in 1909 but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the postcard dates from the same period. My feeling is that it might be a more modern reproduction.

In any event I purchased the postcard because of the location. I know that when my parents were ‘courting’ they used to go to Edisford Bridge.

Edisford Bridge incorporates the structure of a five arched bridge possibly dating from 1339. Today the bridge has nine spans and is considerably wider than the original. It is thought that a timber bridge had been constructed on the same spot even earlier.

Edisford – “the nobleman’s ford” or Anglo-Saxon nobleman - was the scene of an 1139 battle, where King David of Scotland’s army fought and defeated the less numerous Lancastrians.

The bridge is located about a mile west of Clitheroe Castle and is the subject of a noted painting by Turner.

For bridge enthusiasts here’s a link to more information – Transport Heritage.

Here’s the painting by Turner c.1799

I’ve never been to Edisford Bridge – I will have to put it on my ‘to do list’ – maybe this summer.

Dick Hudson’s – Postcard #17

This is a postcard from my own collection.

The picture is of the locally famous Dick Hudson’s in Eldwick, near Bingley, West Yorkshire.

The postcard has some damage to the corners and the back, mainly from being stuck in an album and then removed. Any publisher information is obscured by the damage to the back of the card.

You can see below that the postcard has been postally used. The date is 9 March 1917. I would guess that the card has been sent to a young man fighting in WW1, although there is no postal address.

The text on the card is:-

Dear Fred

Packed your parcel tonight and hope you get it in good condition. The weather is still very winterly and bitterly cold. Had snow all the week. Hope you are keeping well considering state of affairs.

The rest of the text is not very clear. It certainly mentions father and mother but I’m not sure if it was sent by Fred’s parents or if the sender is just mentioning them.

Dick Hudson’s itself has no family connection at all. The pub is still there and I have visited several times.

Since the 17th century there has been a traveller’s tavern on what was an old pack horse trail from Bingley to Ilkley. The original tavern called ‘The Plough Boy’ was at a former farmhouse at Rattle Bank on the Otley Road. However following construction of a new road the liquor license of the old pub was transferred to a Mr Tommy Anderson at Highgate Farm – the site of the present day pub.

Back in 1809 the farm and the public house – now called ‘The Fleece Inn’ became the property of Thomas Hudson in whose family they remained until 1895. Thomas passed on ‘The Fleece Inn’ to his son Richard in 1850 and he stayed as landlord for nearly thirty years. It was during ‘Dick’s’ stewardship that the tavern became so popular with Airedale’s urban workers resulting in the more familiar name of ‘Dick Hudson’s’.

Two other members of the Hudson family subsequently ran the pub following the death of the celebrated Dick Hudson in 1878.

Towards the end of the 19th century an Austrian business man became proprietor of the inn and had great plans to commercialise the site with fountains and pleasure gardens . None of these plans came to pass but in 1900 the old farmhouse and tavern were demolished and replaced by the present day building. The first landlord of this new inn was Mr J Newsome who was succeeded by his brother in law in 1913.

If you ever happen to be in the area it’s well worth a visit – Dick Hudson’s

Cowling – Postcard #16

This is a postcard from my own collection – one I have recently bought.  The view is of Keighley Road, Cowling, with the old Co-op building on the left hand side.

If you are a regular reader of my blog you might remember that the village of Cowling is an important part of my ancestral roots.  The village falls under North Yorkshire County Council.  But the Royal Mail post code is BD22 which means it is a North Yorkshire village with a West Yorkshire post code.

I prefer to think of it as being in West Yorkshire.

Anyway, I digress.

The postcard is part of The Wrench Series with the number 6679 and was printed in Saxony.

I understand the company was established as E Wrench in 1900 at 20 Haymarket, London, and soon moved to Arthur Street, London.  It then became E Wrench Ltd in 1902.   The company held a large percentage of the postcard market in the early 1900’s.  In 1904 the name changed to Wrench Postcards but they soon ran into difficulties and closed sometime between 1904 and 1906.  The main problems appear to have been caused through exclusively selling its own cards.

The card has been postally used as you can see below.

It was posted in Cross Hills on 11 December 1903 and sent to Miss M H Smith at 19 Mosley Street, Nelson, Lancashire.  The postcard was sent by someone described as her ‘better haaf’ with ten kisses.

I was interested to find out what became of Miss M H Smith so I checked the 1911 census and found her still living at 19 Mosley Street, Nelson.  Her full name is Martha Hannah Smith and she is 25 years old, which means she was born about 1886.  Her place of birth is given as Colne, Lancashire.  The census shows her as being single and living with her parents Holmes and Betty Smith.  Also at home are two siblings, a sister Sarah Jane aged 32 and a brother Albert Edward aged 18.

I was left wondering what happened between Martha and her ‘better haaf’.  I decided to do a bit more research.

I found a marriage for Martha H Smith in Q1 of 1916 in the Burnley registration district.  She married Francis C Smith.  So a good start, the marriage is in the right area at least.

I also found a death record for Martha H Smith in Q3 1966 in the Worth Valley registration district.  She was 80 years old when she died – which means she was born in 1886.  Could this be the same person I wondered.

Worth Valley district covers the town of Keighley which is not a million miles from Cowling, Colne and Nelson.  It was common for people to move across the Lancashire / Yorkshire border – between Cowling and Colne – to live and to work.

So while I can’t be 100% sure I really feel that this is the Miss M H Smith who received the postcard in 1903.

Austwick – Postcard #15

This is another postcard from my own collection.  It’s the second one I have shown you from the Yorkshire Dales village of Austwick.

The first one featured the Church of the Epiphany and village cross.  This time it is the village green which is just around the corner from the church.  The postcard is unused and is in very good condition.  There is no publisher and no printer identified on the front or the back of the card.

The area around Austwick is said to have been inhabited for over 4000 years.  Archaeological finds in and around the village include prehistoric burial places, a large Bronze Age settlement, and even an Iron Age settlement.

At one time, Austwick and the nearby villages of Clapham, Lawkland and Newby, were independent manors each with their own lord.  Together they formed the larger parish of Clapham.

In the Domesday Book Austwick was at the head of a group of 12 manors and was obviously of importance.  The Anglican lord at the time Norman Conquest in 1066 was Thorvin.  A field in the village is known as ‘Thorvin Croft’ – a connection or just a coincidence?

Since 1782 the Farrer family has held the Lordship of the Manor of Austwick – the present Lord being Dr John Farrer of Clapham.

Here’s a link to the village website.

This is how the postcard scene looks today.

Horton in Ribblesdale – Postcard #14

This is a postcard from my own collection.  It is a real photograph published by Joanes Publications, Broomhouse, George Nympton, South Molton, Devon.

The postcard is unused and in very good condition.

The image is of steam engine number 45522 ‘Prestatyn’ with a train from Carlisle at Horton in Ribblesdale station and is dated 27 July 1962.

If you’re a regular reader of my blog you might remember that Horton in Ribblesdale is an important location in my ancestry.  This is where my nannie, Florrie Musgrove, was born in 1897 – here’s a recent post about Foredale Cottages where she lived.

Horton in Ribblesdale railway station was built in 1876 during the construction of the 73 mile long stretch of line between Settle and Carlisle by the Midland Railway Company.  The line runs through remote regions of the Yorkshire Dales and the North Pennines, and is considered to be the most scenic railway in England.  The drama of its history and construction mean that it is regarded as one of the culminating symbols of Victorian enterprise and engineering.

All the station buildings along the route were designed by Midland Railway Company architect John Holloway Sanders.  The general design was known as Derby (or Midland) Gothic because the company was based in Derby.

There were three sizes of buildings in all, reflecting the relative importance of the station stops.  Horton in Ribblesdale was a Type C station.

In 1963, Beeching Report into the restructuring of British Rail recommended the withdrawal of all passenger services from the line.  Some smaller stations had closed in the 1950s.  The Beeching recommendations were shelved, but in May 1970 all stations except for Settle and Appleby were closed.

Over the next two decades the Settle – Carlisle line faced the threat of closure by British Rail as passenger number reduced and the cost of repairing viaducts and abandoned station buildings grew.  A very public campaign against the closure was eventually successful and the Government finally refused consent to close the line in 1989.

Meanwhile refurbishment work had already begun at Horton in Ribblesdale station and it was reopened in 1986.

There is one other family connection with this post.  The Midland Railway Company was merged into the London Midland & Scottish Railway, with the LNWR also forming part of the new company.  My granddad, Joseph Dawson, worked for LM&S, first as a fireman then a driver.  He’s the one in the photograph with a x on his arm.

Grandad Joe and his work mates

Kendal – Postcard #13

Here is a postcard of Kendal Parish Church in Westmorland.

This is a real photograph published by Lilywhite Ltd. of Brighouse, West Yorkshire.  The postcard is unused and is in very good condition.

Kendal is a very important location in my family history.  It is the home of many ancestors on my nannie, Florrie Musgrove’s side of the family.  I can trace my Musgrove, Carradice, Turner, Rooking and a few other relatives to Kendal and the surrounding area.

Over the years my ancestors moved away from Westmorland and made the journey south to Lancashire and particularly Clitheroe.

Austwick – Postcard #12

Here is another postcard from my collection.  This time it’s the Church of the Epiphany and cross in the village of Austwick in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales.

The postcard is unused and is in very good condition.  There is no publisher and no printer identified on the front or the back of the card.

It looks like a really quiet rural scene.  However it is much different today with a two lane main road running alongside the church.

© Copyright James Bentall and licensed for reuse under a Creative Commons Licence

My interest and connection with Austwick is through some of my Paley ancestors who were born in the village.

As far as I can tell the church dates back to the 1800’s.  The building is said to have been a former lecture hall and was consecrated in 1841.

The building is an English Heritage Building and is Grade II listed.

Austwick has it’s own Parish Council and the website has lots of information about the area including a link to some fabulous Dales Walks.

Kirkby Malham – Postcard #11

Here is another postcard from my collection of Yorkshire churches.  This one is of St. Michael the Archangel at Kirkby Malham.

The postcard is unused and is published by the Skipton Stationery Co.  It is in pretty good condition.  There is a small crease in the bottom left hand corner but apart from that there are no other blemishes.

This ancient church is sometimes referred to as the Cathedral of the Dales.

Here is an excellent Kirkby Malham Church Guide

The placename Kirk-by (church place) is from old Danish and it is reasonable to assume that the Danes found an old church here when they overran the North of England.  The church therefore probably dates from around the 9th or 10th centuries.

The Domesday Book (1086) however describes the area as wasteland, indicating that the church and settlement were probably left in ruins after the recent Norman invasion.

King John confirmed the gift of the Church and glebe land by Adam of Giggleswick, to the Abbey of St. Mary, West Dereham, Norfolk in a Charter dated 1199 and this Order supplied the Parish with it’s clergy until the Reformation.

The present building is large and imposing as it towers over the small village of Kirkby Malham.  The major part of the structure is built in millstone grit and dates from about 1490, but some features of earlier construction were incorporated and many further embellishments have been added over the centuries.

The church is dedicated to Saint Michael the Archangel, the earliest evidence of this being a will of 1275.  However by the 19th century there seems to have been some confusion over the dedication and many guide books and even the Ordnance Survey of that period refer to it as St James’.

This particular church is of interest to me because I have several ancestors who were born in Kirkby Malhamdale and were either baptised or married in the church.