Views Old & New

Views from the church tower
The first view looks towards Park Ave. with High Street in the foreground and Clarel Street in the distance. Starting with the next one, these scans are original photographs which were taken for the 1958 Penistone Almanac. My scans show much more than the almanac pictures, as they were heavily cropped. I have carefully 'cloned' details over thin white cropping lines, to make them disappear. The Park Ave. picture below and the NorthWest picture lower down link to better pictures than before. Out of interest, I plucked out a detailed area of the scan showing Scholes Ave. for the third picture. It shows what looks like a row of allotments behind the houses. They were very popular in those post-war years.

Notice all the washing poles and outhouses, which probably contained the functions of coal-house, wash-house, garden shed and (secondary) outside toilet. Washday was always Monday. For people without a washing machine, the weekly wash was done in the wash-house using a 'copper' gas boiler, galvanised dolly tub, posser (a kind of copper plunger) and 'dolly blue' bags containing an inky substance to whiten the wash. They would have cranked a mangle to squeeze out excess water and, if the weather was not suitable to hang out washing, an indoor hoistable rack would have been used to lift the washing up to the kitchen ceiling. And then there was the ironing to do. Washday was not the quick and easy process it is now.

Back to the main picture, the tall building in the left foreground is the Rose and Crown, which had a sign advertising Hammond Ales. The colour picture was taken in 2000. Notice that trees are very much part of the landscape in modern times.

Toward High Streetold park AveScholes Ave2000 Park Ave

Next below, two views for comparison to the North. The 1950s picture (left) shows Wellhouse Lane in its centre and Water Hall to its left. Its date might not be accurate as it comes from a batch of photos taken around 1953-4. The road crossing left to right is Wentworth Road before most of the houses arrived. It was not tarmacked but was very rough, with glass-like foundry spoils and it was diabolical to ride a bike on. These days the lane down to Water Hall has a tall conifer edge down its left side, garden fences down its right, a snicket leading to Shelley Close and a coating of 'rural tarmac' from horse and pet. You can't see these details in the wider 2000 view (right), as trees obscure most of it. Emley Moor transmitting tower is on the horizon of the RHS pic, at the extreme left. Notice the huge increase in housing over the years.

Wellhouse Lane 1957 Wellhouse Lane 2000

The next line of pictures starts with a view to NorthWest. This is a very interesting picture with much detail. Just to the left of the 'P' is an advertisement sign. On the pavement to its left was a very convenient 'Gents' urinal which no longer exists. There was a similar urinal on Thurlstone Road, somewhere near the old Drill hall, which became the sports centre (not the toilet). The railway line (electrified dc catenary system) going to Manchester was eventually closed down, with the last freight train running on 16th July 1981. It is now part of the Trans-Pennine Trail for walkers and riders.

The following pictures in this group are close-ups from the first picture. The second picture shows a building being constructed on Talbot Road, to become the 'new' automatic telephone exchange. The building has the date of 1954. You will notice that the railway gantries are in position but not the overhead cables. The electrified railway became operational 3rd June 1954, so the picture was taken before that date.

Penistone's telephone system had started in a house at the top of Church Street (close to The Arthouse Café), with a rotating staff of women operators. That was the original telephone exchange. An automatic telephone exchange opened in this new building on Talbot Road on Wednesday, 8th February 1956. At that time, there were 450 subscribers, some of whom would have had more than one phone number.

St. Mary's RC Church was later built on Talbot Road, near to the exchange, by John Callanan. It was consecrated by the Bishop of Leeds, George Dwyer,on Monday 31st May 1965. A message from John Wright said that the land where St. Mary’s was built was purchased in 1919 by the priest of St. Ann’s Church of Deepcar, a church which was 150 years old in 2009.

A new row of houses was built on the other side of Talbot Road either in the late 1980s or early 1990s and the telephone exchange moved again into a box-like building close to the entrance of Stottercliff Cemetery. The departed exchange on Talbot Road was converted into a house and appropriately named 'The Exchange', with a plaque on the gate. In fact, the windows of the exchange were set a little too high for a dwelling and the floor was raised to restore the balance.

Talbot Road is of two halves, forming a right-angle. The part joining with Bridge Street is properly tarmacked and has new relatively new houses. The 'old' part has an un-made road and has some very old stone-built houses. The join is not easy for a small car to negotiate. (Many thanks to David Wilkinson for information about the exchange.)

Northwest viewNorthwest fragmentTop of Northwest Viewold bus, not clickable

Just right of the railway catenary in the centre is the current Police Station on the corner of Talbot Road. Huddersfield road is at the top, with Netherfield old folks' home on its bend (also see third picture). That was the workhouse in the old days and is now Penistone Grammar School's sixth form annexe. The actual school is higher up the road, obscured by trees in this shot. The graveyard of Netherfield church is just visible left of the trees. Gravestones used to gleam in those days. They don't gleam now.

The fourth picture is a small section from the first picture, a 'toast rack' bus ('not clickable'), similar to those belonging to Baddeley's Bro's. of Holmfirth. In fact it most likely belonged to JF Hinchliffe & Sons who ran a haulage and 'luxury coach' company from 2 Bridge Street. See if you can find it in the first picture. Baddeley's was a bus company with personality, memorable for their busses tearing down Cubley hill at breakneck speed without slowing down for the vinegar brewery dog-leg. The road was straightened after the brewery was demolished. In those days, Penistone to Holmfirth passengers would patiently wait as the driver had a couple of pints in the Flouch Inn. I once saw a Baddeley's bus fully decorated with Christmas trimmings.

Overheard remark from 'South Yorkshire Bus Co.' bus conductor, about their rivals:

"Little pigeons in the street,
Yorkshire Traction potted meat."

Back Top Home Groucho Marx: 'From the moment I picked your book up until I laid it down, I was convulsed with laughter. Someday I intend reading it.'