West Yorkshire market town of Pontefract
 
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Pontefract Letters Page

THE MYSTERY OF THE FEMALE CYCLIST

ADDED 13 FEBRUARY 2006

I was born in Pontefract in 1930. I married in 1953 and then I came to live in Huddersfield. I still have family living in Pontefract so I visit quite often. I am a regular reader of the Digest Magazine.

In the February issue a lady wrote in to say she was the 'female cyclist' depicted on one of your photographs. I think she is mistaken, in fact it is myself and the dog’s name was Rex. The year was 1947 and Bradburn's were back selling ice-cream as you can see in the photograph. No matter how I tried to dodge the dog, somehow he would find me. I was trying to ignore him.

Around this time Woolworth’s had a side entrance so one day I thought I would fool him. I went to the side door and told him to wait for me. I quickly dashed to the front entrance but lo and behold he was already there waiting for me - there was to be no escape!

There was a very well known character in Pontefract at that time who a lot of people will recall; her name was little Lizzie Butterworth and she lived in Northgate. Most days she could be found in the town centre, her handbag held close to her chest. People would give her coppers or buy her a pie.

One day I was out with a friend and we fancied a bag of chips – we couldn't afford a fish. The fish and chip shop was by the town hall and Lizzie was stood outside and so we asked her if she would like a bag of chips. Back came the reply "I don’t like chips without fish".  Needless to say we didn’t fall for that one again.

Sometimes Lizzie would stand outside Woolworth's, where mothers would leave their prams outside, the babies would be asleep. Lizzie would guard the prams for a copper. One particular day a lady declined her offer so as soon as she entered the store Lizzie gave the pram a good shaking and the baby started to cry, hence the mother vacated the store. That was Lizzie!

Mrs J. Norcliffe
13 February 2006


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