Talk: Over the Mountain from Keighley to Queensbury


SAT 16 MAR 2019

Join us on 16 March at 1.30pm for a free talk arranged by the Cliffe Castle Support Group.

The history of the old Great Northern Railway which linked Keighley to Bradford and Halifax. 

The talk will look at the massive engineering challenge to cut through the high level terrain to allow Keighley to be linked with the isolated mill villages of Cullingworth, Denholme and Thornton. It will feature the effect the navvies has on the surrounding villagers life and local constabulary! It will also tell the transformation of the abandoned line back to a popular cycle trail.  

Booking is essential. to book your place please either call in at Cliffe Castle Museum, telephone 01535 618231 or email:

The Queensbury History Society

This year is special for Queensbury in the fact that our unloved and forgotten War Memorial has been improved by a plan, formed by a committee of villagers and carried out by Bradford Council to remove the ugly bus stop and improve the immediate area.

To commemorate the 100 yr anniversary of the Armistice for WW1 The Queensbury History Society plan to honour the 153 men, (known to date, research is ongoing to ascertain if there are others), who died from Queensbury throughout the Great War.

To do this we will place a named knitted poppy installed on a background (villagers have knitted poppies) on the Memorial prior to the 11th November (Thursday 8th Nov. proposed)

Also 153 stemmed poppies in the new planters at the memorial. In addition purple poppies will be planted along the red to remember the 16 million animals ( eight million Horses died) who also served, all knitted by the Fox club Purlers (the out of school knitting club at Foxhill school  Fox club ages 8-10yrs).The pupils have knitted all the heads and some of the stems.

We will also mount a display of research about Queensbury in the Great War, the soldiers (not just the ones who died) compiled over many years by Mrs Sheila Thornton (Archivist History Society) and joining us will be Andrew Mitchell (Military War Historian) who will display his research alongside.

This will be in the Lady Chapel and the entrance to the Parish Church 9th-12th November.

Andrew will also guide Grave tours which will be held in the local cemeteries and these will be lit with a candle. Walks will last approx one and a half hours

Dates for your diary

27th Oct Sat.  Queensbury cemetery walk. Meet Parish Church gates 10.30.


Saturday 3rd  Queensbury cemetery walk. Meet Parish Church gates 10.30.

Friday 9th      History display. Parish Church 10.00 – 12.00.

Union Croft Cemetery walk. Meet Union Croft church gates 14.30.

Candle Service and Act of Remembrance. Meet at Parish Church 18.30, walk down to the cemetery for a service commencing around 19.00. Final candle lighting, wreath laying and the sounding of the last post. Refreshments afterwards in the church and a short talk on the fallen.

Sat 10th    History Display. Parish Church 10.00- 13.00 and 17.00-19.00.

Queensbury cemetery walk. Meet Parish Church gates 10.30 and 13.00.

Sun 11th History display. After remembrance service, the Parish Church will be open until 16.00.

Sat 24th   Queensbury Cemetery walk. Meet Parish Church gates 10.30>


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: Their web site is




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 “Queensbury and Stage Coaches”