Queensbury History submitted by Maureen Hardcastle (née Ruthven)

I had Mrs Darke as my teacher at Queensbury Infants’ School when it was in Chapel Lane, in the mid 1940s. I seem to recall that another of Mrs Darke’s sons (Malcolm, I think) was in my class too for I used to wonder what it would be like to have your Mam as your school teacher. The only other teacher I remember was the headmistress, Mrs Thomas. I do however have a clear memory of the school itself, its cloakroom – in winter, full of wet coats, gloves, girls’ ‘pixie’ hoods, boys’ balaclavas, and ‘wellies’; the classrooms – especially one big one divided into two with a folding partition; and the playground (adjacent to a graveyard) with its outside toilets. I recall learning to read and write (several lines of my exercise book taken up with strings of the letter O (starting at top right and going anti-clockwise – as I still do!). I remember too, the wall charts where we recorded the weather; learning to knit (a floor cloth – or was it a dish cloth?) from a ball of string – full of holes, whichever;  learning the sol-fah music scale with the teacher indicating different notes by hand signals (I never did get that!).  Still, 70 years on and at a distance of some 12000 miles – QIS left a lasting, happy impression.

Queensbury from the Mill Chimney – Courtesy of David Greenwood

Do you know anyone who came from Medomsley, Consett, Co Durham

Hi Stuart
Jim came to the village last Thursday & met Sheila & Geoff Thornton. He wanted to know if there was any one still living in the village that came from the cottage homes in Medomsley, that either worked in the mill or lived in the hostels’ run by Fosters.


Previous messages


Submitted on 2014/04/13 at 11:03 pm

Dear Sir My father Jimmy Clarke was employed at Black Dyke Mill between 1947 – 48.He was sent to the Mill from the cottage home in Medomsley Consett Co.Durham.During that time he joined the band and made friends with. Allen Woodhead and Jeffery Thornton.My father is 82 years of age and is planning a visit to Queensbury is it possible to ask if anyone knows if these gentlemen are still living in the area.It would be great for my dad to meet up on his visit. Kindest regards Phillip Clarke.


Submitted on 2014/04/13 at 11:31 pm | In reply to Phillip Clarke.


I have placed your comments on the band’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/blackdykeband?fref=ts Their web site is http://www.blackdykeband.co.uk/




Submitted on 2014/04/14 at 6:38 pm | In reply to admin.

Many thanks Stuart for your speedy reply




Submitted on 2014/04/16 at 10:42 am | In reply to Phillip Clarke.


Message received via Facebook:

From Paul Armstrong, Jeffery Thornton is living next to me on Littlemoor. Queensbury

Queensbury and Stage Coaches

Leeds and Halifax Turnpike Road.


 The sum of £2000 is wanted on the security of the Tolls of the above roads, which produce an annual Revenue of £7575. Interest after the rate of 5 per cent. per annum will be punctually paid, half-yearly. The object of the Trustees in taking up the above sum is to give work to the unemployed poor of the neighbourhood.

Particulars may be known on application at the offices of Messrs. Hailston and Thompson in Bradford.

The money will be accepted in sums of not less than £100 each.

Bradford, July 24th, 1826.

 At a Meeting of the Highway Commissioners of the above board held at the Sun Inn, Bradford, May 23rd, 1824, Mr. Michael Stocks in the chair, “It was resolved to make a new road to Halifax and Manchester, so as to be able to avoid Clayton Heights, Blackstone Edge, and other considerable Hills.”

Continue reading

Old Book of Queensbury.

Historical Sketches

I have been given some photo copied sheets from the below book:

Clayton, Old Dolphin, Queensbury district and Shibden Dale: Historical sketches by James Parker 1901

and would like to borrow this book from someone or library so that I can scan it and place information on this web site for all to have use of. It will now be out of copyright so I should not have a problem.

Speak Institute – Request for Information

Message below received via contact form:

Message Body:

Hi me and my girlfriend were walking the other day and was passing the big building on the mountain that is getting renovated . We saw on one of the bricks it had speak institute written on it could you tell me what the building was originally and what it was used for as I can find nothing online.




Many thanks