West Yorkshire market town of Pontefract
 
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Pontefract Letters Page

BILL POSTER, PONTEFRACT
ADDED 16 SEPTEMBER 2007

It’s strange how just one sentence, or occasionally just one word, can summon up a whole raft of memories. So it was with me as I read William Wood’s lively article in the August issue entitled ‘Pontefract Senior Boys and Beyond’.

When Mr. Wood mentioned the Mills and Rockley depot at the top of Horsefair, Pontefract, and the man who operated from there as a Bill Poster, I knew at once who that man was. His name was Charles ‘Charlie’ Beale, a tall gaunt figure of a man who was a familiar sight in and around Pontefract as he trundled around in his quaint Reliant three-wheeler van complete with ladders, brushes and paste. I believe the bill poster lived at the depot through the archway mentioned by Mr. Wood. In about 1934/5, Mr. Beale left Horsefair and bought a plot of land off Swanhill Lane, Pontefract, and placed a pair of semis on it. He and his wife Gertrude lived in one of the houses and my parents and I lived in the other. Schoolboy humour dictated that Mrs Beale was always known as ‘Gert’, thus leaving out the rude bit!

The Beales had two sons and a daughter. Clifford Beale had a butchery business in Churchbalk and the other son, Howard, had a hairdresser’s shop in the large house next to A.P. Smith’s, referred to by Mr. Wood. The daughter, Peggy, married a milkman called Gordon Wallace and they lived in Chequerfield Avenue, Pontefract.

Mr. D.G. Clee
Pontefract


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