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PUBLIC TRANSPORT IN EAST HARDWICK 1950
BY BRIAN LUNN
In the 1950s East Hardwick was well served by public transport with 3 buses per hour to Pontefract and 3 back. The Ideal Service from Barnsley to Pontefract ran 10mins to the hour, however they were never very reliable on time keeping and it was safer to be there at 20mins to just to make sure, in which case it would no doubt arrive at 10 past! The return journey left Pontefract at 15 minutes past – the first one was 7.50am to Pontefract and the last one back was 10.15pm. These were mainly single-deckers with about 37 seats. Before the bus station was built you alighted outside what is now Tescos, and caught it outside Beastfair Vaults. The last bus from Pontefract never left anyone at the bus stop – one bus was once stopped on Southgate and 72 people alighted.
Two companies ran the service: H Wray and Sons from Hoyle Mill Barnsley and R. Taylor and Sons from Cudworth. Their vehicles were very different in appearance; Wray’s were mainly second hand vehicles which rattled and they later obtained some double-deckers and one, if you sat upstairs when it was raining, you did not sit near the front or you got wet. That bus had hit the bridge at Monk Bretton and never got repaired correctly. Taylor’s on the other hand, bought mainly new vehicles and were a much better ride.
The school service at 8.50am could prove a little difficult as there were five vehicles on the run; 2 to the Kings School and 2 to the High School (now New College) and the service bus. You had to put you hand out for each one as it arrived and eventually you caught the service bus!
This bus was built for St Helens in 1934 as an English Electric bodied B32F Leyland TS6c. In 1949 it had a new body fitted by Roe reversing the position of the door to a B36R. It is parked in Corn Market before the Cenotaph was moved there. The buildings to the right are where the toilets are.
R Taylor’s sold out to Yorkshire Traction in 1967 and the service was run between them and H Wray until, I think, 1974 when they too became part of the Yorkshire Traction. They then ran the service until it was bought out by Stagecoach who are now the sole service through the village. The service stops at 1800 and does not run on Sundays.
Turtons was later Fords from Ackworth. The Garage was in Bell Lane. This service in those days ran via Station Road all the way to East Hardwick and this was at 10minutes past the hour and ran to Pontefract starting at 7am and the last one back being 10.30pm. You alighted at the same as Ideal and caught it on Valley road outside what is now B & M. They too never left anyone on the last service on Saturday night. If you wanted East Hardwick you tried to sit as near the front as possible as it used to be so crowded it had been know that you had to alight using the emergency door at the back. They had Ben Moxon as conductor during the day and in the evening sometimes John Turton conducted, and on a Saturday Doreen Worsfold was in charge, she stood no nonsense and you had to watch your p’s & q’s!
They ran a good service – I know when Ackworth Station was in use they often waited at the end on the drive for the trains to arrive.
In later years when they purchased a double decker the route changed via Rigg Lane as there was a weight limit on the railway bridge.
Dennis Lancet 3
This was taken outside South Yorkshire garage dropping off passengers
Dennis Lancet 3 33 Seater with Yeates body EAJ 77
In 1962 Turton sold out to Fords who moved from Fairburn to the Bell Lane garage. They continued the service until they too sold out to South Yorkshire Road Transport in 1985 who continued to run the service until they were taken over by West Riding (Arriva) in 1994 and the service was run down until it ceased a short time later. The service ran from 0710 until 2115 from Pontefract, Monday to Thursday, and 2215 from Pontefract on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. 1210 was the first bus to Pontefract when the service was run by Fords.
The third service was the South Yorkshire Motors Pontefract. Their base was what is now Tescos. They ran to Leeds from Doncaster and back. The first service was 7-10am to Doncaster and the last 9.10pm to Leeds. The first service was 8.20am – this had a duplicate bus running from the Fox and Hounds to Whitwood Technical Collage. This was the later one I caught this to school at Pontefract. It always arrived, hail, snow or thick fog. Many times it was manned by garage staff as all South Yorkshire employers were licenced to either Conduct or Drive. On a Saturday there were always Duplicates on from Doncaster to Leeds.
My old school bus parked outside South Yorkshire Motors Pontefract
EWX569 Albion CX13 Pickering B34F body. New1946
Before new regulations came in for bus stops, the Pontefract bound one was across from the ‘T’ Junction and the Doncaster, Barnsley Ackworth was outside Step House. On one occasion my Grandad, who normally caught the 10.10am to the Fox and Hounds and then walked down to his Office at Wentbridge, instead of standing still he used to walk up and down, unfortunately for him he was walking south when the bus shot past without stopping, he had not seen it coming….he was not amused.
The fares in the 1950 to Pontefract 2½ old pence for Adults and 1½ old pence for children.
After South Yorkshire was taken over by West Riding the service continued, until a further takeover by Arriva, and then the service was re-routed via Carleton, Darrington and Wentbridge. Finally it returned to its original route at the Fox and Hounds.
SOUTH YORKSHIRE ROAD TRANSPORT
No95 DWX395T Fleetline Northern Counties H70F 1978
This was one of the last vehicles to run on the Ackworth Turton’s route before the service was ended. The photograph is taken in Pontefract bus station awaiting the journey to Ackworth if I remember correctly it did not run every hour and was worked in conjunction with another service.
Pictures Ideal, Turton’s South Yorkshire Motors copyright R F Mack
South Yorkshire Road Transport copyright unknown.
AMENITIES IN EAST HARDWICK LATE 1940s AND EARLY 1950s
BY BRIAN LUNN
In the years before electricity was brought to the village in 1952, the power for the radio was by lead acid batteries. Looking back, I think these were the most dangerous as they were open topped and the acid used to swill about. One was in a wooden lead-lined box approx. 24 by 18 inches and there was a smaller one in a glass container. These were delivered by a firm called Carter from Featherstone each Monday. (See end of page for more information). The lighting in those days was by paraffin lamps or candles. Mr Amory delivered the paraffin, I think weekly. The outside loos were often quite a walk from the house and setting off with a candle which then blew out while you were on route could be a bit of a challenge.
The village in those days came under Osgoldcross District Council. Most of the houses had outside toilets some with pales (buckets). These were placed on the village street each week for emptying, they did have lids on, and some with midden, this is where all the contents of the toilet were stored and they were emptied I think, once every one or two months. These could get a bit wiffy in hot weather.
Postal Services: the Post Office which Miss Moulding ran was opposite the Village Hall and the Telephone Box was also situated there. This was due to the fact that the box was on the same line as the Post Office. After Miss Moulding died Mrs Roberts took over for some years and when she gave up it was never replaced. The telephone box was moved to its new location, I believe for safety reasons, as lorries would stop to use the box, so blocking part of the main road.
Papers were delivered each day in the 1950s by Tommy Steel (not the singer) from the Six Shops at Ackworth Moortop. They delivered Monday to Saturday and I cannot remember who did the Sunday delivery.
Various firms delivered to the village, some weekly and some fortnightly. On Friday Joe Dixon would deliver Fish and Veg. Remember there was no refrigeration on vehicles in those days and he arrived starting at the top of the village about 6pm and called at most houses. On a Tuesday and Friday evening Harold Clayton would deliver meat and bread, he was based in Pontefract. Webster’s delivered bread and cakes twice a week they were later bought out by Johnston’s on Pontefract who had a bakery where BM Builders Merchants are today. I cannot remember if it was weekly or every two weeks that the Muscroft’s and later Hey Brothers came round with Lemonade etc. Coal was delivered as most if the houses had a coal fire. On the grocery side, there were deliveries from both Vaux Brothers and Wordsworths grocers, both based in Pontefract. The orders were collected by members of staff on cycles on a Tuesday and the order arrived later that week. One firm came one week and the other the following. I believe Pontefract Laundry also collected washing and delivered it back.
Milk was delivered daily by Mr Pycock, originally in a can and was measured out into a jug as to the quantity you required, in the evening you went with your jug to the farm and got it filled then. Later it was bottled and it had a cardboard seal at the top, when Mr Pycock retired his son Edwin and his wife Hilda took over the round.
The village had its own library which was in a building next to Cawood Farm (Cawood Court today) this opened 2 hours on a Friday.
Postal deliveries were two per day Monday to Friday, the afternoon one by Mrs Jackson from Thorpe Audlin on a cycle the route which started at East Hardwick and finished at Walton Wood, and included Thorpe Audlin.
This was one of the batteries needed to power the radio sets in those days. This one was 2 volt and heated the valves. You also required an aerial which could be 30 to 40 feet long and there were only BBC Home Service (Now Radio 4) and The Light Programme (Now Radio 2). The third Programme I remember was when King George V1 died in 1952. All radio programmes were cancelled and sombre music was played. In those days broadcasting was not 24 hours. I think it started at 6am and finished at midnight, the last item on the Home Service was the shipping forecast. The Light Programme, “Music while you work” was on at, I think, 10.30am. This used to be played in many factories across the country and I can remember hearing it whilst in Leeds. It ran from 1940 until 1967. Various bands took part in this and it was broadcast live. However, the song Deep in the Heart of Texas was banned from the show, because of the potential danger of production line workers taking their hands away from their work or banging their spanners on the machinery to perform the four hand-claps in the chorus.
CHILDHOOD MEMORIES OF EAST HARDWICK IN THE 1960s
Going to school with teachers Mrs Ward and Mrs Reading.
Using the toilets outside round the back, then the new extension being built with indoor toilets. “Mrs Reading, please may I go round the back?”
Drinking milk from the small milk bottles, sometimes the milk was frozen in the winter. And eating crisps at playtime with a twist of salt that cost 6d, my weekly pocket money.
Playing rounders in the playground with Mrs Reading bowling from her spot.
The day they sliced all the spikes off the school fence to make it safer.
Playing What time is it Mr Wolf? And Kiss-catch in the playground.
The Michelin Man who came every morning on top of the school dinner van which, at age 5, we thought was exciting.
Catching sticklebacks in a jar down the Common
The weekly bread and coal and milk and lemonade household deliveries.
This post office in Mrs Robert’s home.
The library bus that called on a Thursday afternoon.
The children’s parties in the village hall.
The village show in the huge white marquee in Spurdens field. The magnificent dahlias and vegetables, and playing in the tug-of-war competitions.
Having injections in the wooden village hall.
The new village hall being built.
Playing in the bushes down by the bridge.
Feeding the ponies in the field by the bridge.
Cycling to Wentbridge, you’d never let your children do that now!
Collecting wild flowers for Mrs Reading’s annual wild flower competition.
Going to Sunday school in the Church.
Carol singing for the elderly every year in a church singing group.
Walking to school up the village and having to get past the geese at Grandfield’s every day avoiding getting your legs nipped.
Endless days playing out.
Darrington Road – then and now
The 1950s photograph of Darrington Road in the snow shows Mr Arthur James who lived in the 2nd to the last house on the village going toward Darrington. He lost a leg in the First World War and had an artificial one. The only houses then on Darrington Road were the four at the bottom end of the village. The building on the right is Brain Lunn’s stables which had to be pulled down. The picture was taken in the early 1950s.
The colour photograph shows the same view and was taken in May 2016.