West Yorkshire market town of Pontefract
 
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Pontefract Letters Page

NEWSPAPER DELIVERIES

Seeing the reference to the pink ‘un and the green ‘un in the Digest magazine, stirred memories of my schooldays. My father, a haulage contractor based in Tanshelf, Pontefract, had the job of collecting the evening papers from Castleford railway station from Monday to Friday. He had a big Ford V8 30hp saloon and I had to dash from school at Kings School and go with him to collect the papers. We dropped them off at various newsagents in the town. One was between the Alec and the Premier picture house, another just above Dunhill’s offices and the rest we dropped off in Beastfair.

It sometimes happened that the car was not available so we used one of the Fordson Thames 5-ton flat lorries and I had to ride on the back and throw off the bundles of newspapers at the various stops.

Sometimes there was not a driver available so my dad had an arrangement with South Yorkshire Motors to ‘borrow’ a driver from them. They used to send a young mechanic and he was a bit reckless. The car being a powerful one, he used to put his foot down hard. He did it once too often and lost control bear the Railway Bridge near Parkside Farm. The car spun round and round and ended going backwards under the bridge and finished on the grass verge pointing back towards Pontefract.

Neither of us was injured and the car survived for many years after that but they never sent that particular driver again!

The above car was a maid of all work. As well as a family car it was hired out for weddings and my mother covered all the seats with white sheets and bedecked it with white ribbons. Young men would often hire it for the evening to impress their girlfriends! It was also used to tow in lorries that had broken down (no Green Flag in those days) Sometimes it was even pressed into service to tow gang mowers around Pontefract Cricket Field at the beginning of the season.

Jim Hardcastle
August 2005


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