MUSICAL MEMORIES OF PONTEFRACT
ADDED 3 MAY 2007
I have just read with great interest and delight, the article by
Margaret Oates in the April 2007 issue of the Pontefract Digest.
I was friend of Margaret, then known as Margaret Hill, at the Pontefract
Girls High School and always found her to be a happy and friendly girl,
and, of course, very talented. I also got to know her family quite
well, particularly her mother, Maud, who more of later. Margaret would
not recognise me from my married name, but no doubt would remember
Kathleen Rhodes. It was such a thrill to read of her travels and
experiences as she followed her musical career. She must have brought
pleasure to many thousands of people. I was aware that she had settled
near Lancaster, as her mother always let me know when Margaret had been
back to Pontefract.
I renewed my acquaintance with her mother, Maud, in her later years
through St. Giles’ Church which we both attended regularly. Maud was an
extremely independent lady and even in her 90s would wait at the bus
stop in Hardwick Road to either catch a bus to town or, more often than
not, have a lift in any passing car that stopped. We had many long
conversations of the days when Margaret and I were young and carefree.
Maud also often spoke to my husband about her brother, E. Sheasby, who
was killed in the Great War and whose name is on a memorial table in St.
Giles Church for the Fallen Members of the St. Giles Company, Church
Although I cannot recall her, my husband knew Margaret’s friend
Christine Parker, being a neighbour and friend of her brother Graham.
As mentioned in the article, the Parker's lived in Hartley Park and my
husband lived just round the corner in Love Lane. Their father was
indeed the town’s Probation Officer and, my husband recalls, a very
He was fascinated to read of Christine’s experiences and surprised to
find that she is married to Wally Stott, resident in Hollywood and a
friend of ‘stars of screen and stage’. Being an avid fan of The Goons
from their earliest days on the radio, he knew all about Wally Stott but
wasn’t aware that he had eventually married a Pontefract girl –
obviously a sensible man!.
(Norman Blackburn would no doubt have read this article with a
particular interest in the Hollywood aspect).
Being able to ‘catch up’ with an old friend through the pages of The
Digest reinforces the benefits and enjoyment it has brought to many
Pomfretians, both here and in distant places.
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