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Pontefract Letters Page

A TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE

ADDED 25 JANUARY 2006

Since I received the Pontefract Digest, issue six, I have now got all the rest. In the photograph of Love Lane School, 1932, I had a shock when I saw my photo in it as Beatrice Evans. I could not recall four of the pupils depicted but I knew all the others. I wonder how many of those girls are still around?

Born in 1920 I have lived in Pontefract all my life. I am now 85 years old and have been housebound since suffering a stroke over five years ago.

I was taking a look through my souvenirs the other day and I came across the Pontefract Almanac Yearbook for 1933. It cost 3d and it’s now a bit fragile but it makes very interesting reading. It has everything in it. There is a map with the name of every street and the names of all the pubs. One grocery, the posh one, Vaux Brothers, sold coffee beans and they were ground into powder and the smell used to waft out into the town. The aroma was out of this world.

You could buy a new house for £450 from the local building society. The deposit was £25 and payments were then 11s per week for a term of 19 years, after which the house was your own. There are 163 pages in the Almanac – all full of interesting facts.

One letter in the Digest, from a family in Australia, asked about their hometown and about the number of pubs it contained. At one time there was 52 though many are now no more. I have a little tale to tell which might interest her and your other readers:

Robin Hood and his Merry Men went on a pub crawl. Setting out from the New Inn, they met a Green Dragon, a Red Lion and an Elephant. In a field there was a Windmill and a Woodman. One man met a girl in the Rose and Crown and she took him for a drink of Pineapple juice. For a joke he rang a ‘Blue bell’ and was then chased by a Greyhound and a Fox. To escape he took a leap at Nevison and ran back to the United Kingdom. After visiting most of the pubs he was drunk and ended up in the Horse Vaults where he drowned his sorrows.

Beatrice Thorpe
25 January 2006


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