Nostalgia: Batley - a textile town made famous

OCTOBER 1979:

These two young Batley Cub Scouts decided a pillar box would take some licking as an unusual place to eat a meal.
OCTOBER 1979: These two young Batley Cub Scouts decided a pillar box would take some licking as an unusual place to eat a meal.
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Batley is famous for many things but perhaps two stand out more than most.

Firstly, if popular myth is to be believed, it was the birthplace of ‘shoddy’, the material which was used to make uniforms during the two world wars.

FAMOUS TOWN: Batley is also famous as the birthplace of Foxs Biscuits, whose first product was brandy snaps

FAMOUS TOWN: Batley is also famous as the birthplace of Foxs Biscuits, whose first product was brandy snaps

One story has it that this came about quite by chance, as things often do. It seems that, in the run up to the First World War, an Army general was visiting one of the town’s textile mills and examining their methods of production.

When he stopped and asked about a rough looking type of cloth, he was told by the foreman not to be bother 
with it, because it was just ‘shoddy’.

The General, however, had other ideas and the material, which had previously been deemed of little worth, became the focal point for the British Army uniform.

The second biggest thing Batley is famous for is Batley Variety Club, which later changed its name to the Frontier.

It was founded by Jimmy Corrigan, pictured, who really pioneered the variety club, bringing top-line acts, such as Shirley Bassey, Roy Orbison and Tom Jones to the previously little-known textile town.

Our second pictures was taken in Woodkirk on October 26, 1979.

It shows two young Batley cub scouts eating a meal next to a post box. It was all part of the National Cub Campaign to find the oddest place in which to eat.

Pictured on top of the box is Andrew Harkin, aged 10, of Craig Close, Batley, while inside is Jon Smithson, also aged 10, of Timothy Lane, Batley.

Both were members of the 9th Batley (St Thomas’s) Cub Scout pack.

George Corner serves up the meal. The event took place in George’s garden at Heybeck Lane, Woodkirk, Leeds.

Stars in the dark skies at Gisburn Forest.

Days Out: Hidden Horizons, North Yorkshire