Greenbooth Memories

Greenbooth Memories

An article in Lancashire Life in June 1981 records the memories of an old inhabitant of the village. William Wightman, then 81, had been brought up in the village from infancy, his parents having moved there when he was 9 months old, from Selby. His father worked as a cowman at Naden farm.

He recalled a sweet shop (first priority for a child), a Co-op store, school and about eighty cottages. There was also a woollen mill , but no pub or church. As there was no church, children walked over two miles to Sunday School, whilst their parents attended morning service.

His memories of the sweet shop are very clear! It was in a cottage living room, and he remembered that children used to run there on Fridays to spend their halfpennies on sugar mice, gob stoppers, kali, aniseed balls and Spanish bootlaces. No doubt they also spied many more goodies as they stood on the large stone outside the window, put there especially for the toddlers who needed a step-up to see through the window into toffee wonderland.

Milk deliveries were by horse and cart, with the horse apparently refusing to pass one house unless it received a sugar lump! The cost of the milk to each house was taken out of the mill workers wages, along with their rents.


Memories from Mrs Hilda Birthwhistle from Whitworth

Father worked in Greenbooth Mill, women would collect hot water in pails from a cauldron (they ladelled the hot water out) and do their washing, blankets were then dried in drying room at the mill.

The mill owners wife was a Mrs Hutchinson, she used to pay periodical visits to make sure houses were clean - even that tables were clean. Doorsteps had to be scrubbed if they wasn't Mrs Hutchinson would give them a telling off.

The village had a Co-op and a small sweetshop, outside there was a huge stone to enable children to see in through the window. There was a Tudor style house next to the school, Mr Ritson was the headmaster in 1911, one day his son went swimming in the lodge behind the mill with his dog, there were cries for help, but by the time Mr Ritson got there the boy had drowned.

The Norden Colliers photograph, back row with pipe Robert Taylor, front on the right Mr Crabtree, pit is Knowl pit photgraph is about 1910.


Words from Mrs Ena Myers nee Smethurst

I lived in Greenbooth village from being born I am 68 yrs old from a family of 9 children 3 boys and 6 girls all boys have now died as has one girl.

We started school at St Pauls and then went to Norden community school, we left the village when I was 14 yrs old.

We had some great years in Greenbooth, we weren't rich but we had a good upbringing, our family life was good in the village we played well with the other children.

Bonfire night was good there was a piece of land right in the middle of the village and we had bonfires there, all the mums made parkin, roast potatoes, black peas etc and we all sat round the fire until late telling stories.

In the summer we all helped the farmer with haymaking and he paid each of us half a crown, we always went up Knowl hill at weekends with our jam butties and a bottle of pop or water.

This is an email I recieved on Thursday 27 October 2011 from a Mrs Fennell.

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Greenbooth Memories

Tel: 01706 340132

Mobile: 07727 545917

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