Yorkshire Diary: Fond memories of my parents' store

Yorkshire Diary's post bag is always full and it is sometimes difficult to publish all the letters we receive, so here, by way of catch-up, is a selection of those sent in recently

I GREATLY enjoy your articles on old Leeds and the recent one on churches which are now gone.

I wonder if anyone possibly has a picture of a double-fronted shop next to the Baptist Tabernacle on Hunslet Road?

My parents ran this shop in the years around 1936-42. One half was paint and wallpaper and the other side sweets, tobacco and toys.

The baptist church is still used but the shop, along with the streets down to the Regal Cinema, were pulled down after the war.

During the war the cellars of the shop were knocked through and people in the street came in during air raids. I was born in Stafford Street in 1933 and although the street is still there the house is gone.

I would love a picture of the shop.

Mrs M Edmondson, Stonehurst, Barville Road, Leeds

Norman puzzle

Does any reader know the whereabouts of a coat of arms bestowed with a knighthood and traced to the time of William the Conqueror to his farriers and armour makers?

It is said to display butterflies and originates in Brittany, France, from a family named Butteurys which in English became Butterfield, believed to be ancestors of William Butterfield, the architect of Gothic buildings and restorations who also built Keble College, Oxford.

Relatives of William Butterfield remained in Yorkshire and the farrier business line of them continued for some time. They are traced to Kellington, near Goole, where they had a forge making horseshoes and nails and had connections with Howden near Goole, where a street is named after them, from approximately Georgian times.

Another mystery are the Bigod family, who have connections to Pontefract. They built Framlington Castle near Ipswich in the 12th century and are believed to be relatives of Queen Margaret, the second wife of Edward I, who founded a priory of Cluniac nuns at Brotherton in Pontefract.

The Bigods displayed their coat of arms and banners in support of the signing of the Magna Carta on June 15, 1215.

I do not know what became of them after the 12th century but prior to then they were of Yorkshire.

Wendy Duncan, St Andrews Road, Ferry Fryston, Castleford

At the pictures

IN the 1940s in the Woodhouse area of Leeds most of the houses were back-to-back terraces – the so-called "mean streets".

One of the best pleasures was going to the pictures. The name of the picture houses are embedded in my mind. There was the Electra, about 500 yards from where I lived – it used to be a chapel and only about 50 yards from the school I went to. We didn't move far in those days.

A bit further away was the Woodhouse, which later became the Astra and, later still, a well-known nightclub called the Ace of Clubs. Then there was the Royal which an old aunt of mine insisted on calling the Atlas.

The Cottage Road, which is still a picture house, the Lounge, which was about 200 yards from Headingley Cricket Ground and Hyde Park, as well as being a listed building. There was also the Carlton, near the Army barracks and finally the purpose-built one with a dance hall adjoining it, the Capitol at Meanwood, which was a tram ride away.

All these picture houses had a change of programme twice a week: Monday to Wednesday and Thursday to Saturday (there were no pictures on Sundays). Everyone went to the pictures three times a week. There would always be a newsreel, there was no TV in those days.

Everyone remembers, of course, Laurel and Hardy and Abbott and Costello but who remembers the lesser-known comedians like Edgar Kennedy, Leon Errol, Hugh Herbert or Joe Doakes? The latter always appeared behind a number eight ball at the beginning of a film.

There was also Leo Gorcey and the Bowery Boys with Huntz Hall and a film called a 'Pete Smith Specialist.' Probably the most obscure was Henry Aldrich, whose films always started with the 'all-American mom' standing on the front porch shouting: "Henry, Henry Aldrich!" He would appear, running home. How many of you can remember him?

I vividly remember young mothers feeding their babies on the front row but some picture houses didn't allow it and displayed notices saying: "Babes in arms not admitted."

Mike Forrest, Brigg Lane, Camblesforth, Selby, York

Old pal sought

I have been searching for my friend James Brown for sometime and I have come to the conclusion that he may have returned to his hometown in Yorkshire.

Jim was from Fartown, Huddersfield. He was born in about 1943-5. He lost both his parents and was brought up in a home, I believe he had an elder brother but I do not remember his name.

Jim and I sailed on the Orion in December 1950 and arrived in Sydney, Australia in January 1951. We were taken to the Big Brother Movement (BBM) Training Farm near Fairfield, Sydney where we remained for a couple of months until we were found a job by the organisation.

Jim and I would meet up in the town of Berrigan, New South Wales. Some months later and we decided to approach the BBM organisation in the hope that they would find us a job on sheep and cattle stations.

After a few years we went our separate ways. Jim decided to work in one of the bush towns while I continued working with sheep and cattle.

Our last meeting was in Mackay, Queensland in 1957/8, we intended to meet up again later and work our way towards Perth, Western Australia, where we would take a ship back to England. Unfortunately, we were never to meet again.

With luck he may still be about and I can then give him the photographs I picked up for him. My telephone number is 01353 659740, email arthurjamestaylor@btinternet.com.

Arthur Taylor, Morton Close, Ely, Cambs

Christening tour of Ark was top flight

IT is with great sadness we read of the fate of the Ark Royal. As a family, we have very happy memories of the ship, as 25 years ago, on October 27, 1985, we attending a christening there. It was one of five held that day and the dads were all ship's officers. Petty Officer Malcolm Camphorn and his wife Amanda were there to have their first son, Ben, christened. Malcolm also took us on a short tour of the ship and on the flight deck, it was a memorable experience.

Rosemary Metcalf, Vesper Road, Leeds

School '50th' reunion plea

Did you attend Benton Park School, Rawdon, in 1962? One famous former pupil is comedian Billy Pearce, whose real name is Stephen Cookson. A reunion is being planned for May 2011 and we would like to hear from as many old pupils as possible. Please email: bentonparkreunion@gmail.com

Benton Park School, Class A2: Back Row: Joan Elliot, Marie Calvert, Janet Beilby, Caroline Beevers, Linda Walton, Christine Webster, Barbara Wood. Third Row: Terry Scales, Billy Doubtfire, Keith Vine, Brian Rudley, Marttin Lewis, Shirley Hill, Marilyn Thackray, Julia Wilson, Marion Horsley. Second Row: Iain Robinson, Alan Sutcliffe, Jimmy Sunley, Malcolm Irving, Graham Cox, Andrew Gracie, Susan Palliser, Brenda Murphy, Christine Glendenning, Alison Hudson, Pamela Randall. Front Row: John Metcalfe, Mark Midgeley, John Payne, David Meays, John Balmforth, Brenda Jackson, Kathleen Hardaker, Jean Flanigan, Jane Longbottom. Seated: David Morby, Melvyn Scott. Also in this class, but not on the photograph: Dennis Ripley, Stephen Cookson, Jacqueline Edwards, Michael Thompson, Lynne Yates.

Pictures sent in by Pamela Morris of Horsforth

CLASS A1: L-R Back Row: Shelagh Brown, Susan Waugh, Pamela Armistead, Pamela Llewelyn, Lynne Varley. Third Row: Stuart Mathie, Stuart Savage,John Holmes, Nigel Boden, Zigmond Sienko, Susan Megson, Anne Jowett, Hazel Goodyear, Maureen Atkinson. Second Row: Robert McArthur, Graham Coltman, Richard Thompson, Ralph Eastwood, Stephen Hitchener, Susan Dean, Julia Radcliffe, Mary Schofield, Susan Woodgate, Angela Cook. Front Row: Douglas Ellis, Roy Maud, Eric Wilkinson, Robert Beverley, Keith Webster, Janice Carey, Brenda Thomas, Pauline Collinson, Evelyn Leeming. Seated in Front: Malcolm Stansfield, David Miller, Allan Wood.

THIS picture was taken at my old school camp at Ilkley in either 1934 or 1935

The boys are mainly from Hunslet Moor School. One of the teachers was Mr Hardwick, who was responsible for the creation of the camp. Initially, it was under canvas and took just a few boys but ended up being four or five large huts. To go there you had to pay 10 shillings for the week and there were various activities, the best day being a hike to Beamsley Beacon with a midday picnic in Dingly Dell, where I got pushed into the beck. My wet trousers were hoisted onto a pole at the head of the column until they were dry.

We had a nickname for Mr Hardwick – Totty – on account of him liking a wee dram. He taught geography and often regaled us with tales of three-day, three-night fishing trips from Scarborough.

The other teachers were Mr Marsden, Mr Graham, Miss Holdsworth, Miss Graham, Mr Carrington and Mr Kaye, all under the auspices of head Mr Downing, who, at assembly, played the piano while standing up and looking over the top.

Sam Chadwick, Sandbed Lawns, Leeds

EP 1/1/11

Double boost for Leeds city centre cultural and heritage buildings