Memories of a Mountain Village Near Queensbury

My very early memories of life in the small hill village of Mountain are indeed very limited. We lived at Pickering Hall farm and my grandma lived in the house next door. We seemed to have glorious long hot summers with a lot of time spent playing on the bowling green next to the farm.

Oh! The dark nights lit by our gas mantles glowing brightly from the ceiling, there was something very satisfying about the noise they made.

Then the thunder box outside, just a non flushing tub, it did not cause any concerns for me as I did not know any different, relatives at Bradshaw had a double seater something that did cause concern as bodily functions should remain private.

A tin bath in front of the fire was Ok, as a child under 7 it was also a normal part of life.

Entertainment consisted of a radio, powered by accumulators, and since we had no electricity the accumulators had to be carried to the garage at Small Page to be charged.

We kept turkeys and I remember my dad trying to stop them fighting, a very scary experience for a child. Hens were also kept in a field, I was allowed to feed them, but the best of all was putting eggs into the incubator and looking every day to see if they had hatched into gorgeous chickens.

Then the sad part, a hen was killed to provide food, the feathers had to be plucked off the carcase, I found that was a very hard job.

The Institute nearby seemed a very daunting place, we had to pass it to go to the Coop where provisions were bought. I remember the blue paper bags and the frightening cheese wire which cut through the cheese with such ease I thought it could easily cut one of my fingers off.

Then the phone box with the A and B buttons. You had to put old pennies in, button B gave the money back.

I remember The Fleece pub and a butcher nearby, the post office, a fish and chip shop, the shops that sold sweets and of course milk being delivered by horse and cart and the gill, pint and quart measures. Yes it was full fat as the skinny milk was not available in those days,

A real treat was when the ice cream tricycle appeared. The ice cream tub at the front, the seat and pedals were behind. Why did it taste so good?

Foxhill school days were excellent except in winter, it never closed and I remember leaving school on my own and having to walk home on the wall tops as the snow was so deep on the road in fact deeper than I was tall. We had good play times running up and down the very large pile of coke used to feed the boiler. We got told off if we were found doing that, the coke used to dig into skin and become embedded and it took ages for the black coke to disappear.

Then one morning during a very hard winter, we opened the farm door just to see a wall of snow, covering the whole of the doorway. The snow had been formed into very large drifts by the high winds. We went upstairs and got out through a bedroom window. Then the digging started.

I remember attending Sunday school at the Chapel, I think we went on a trip to the coast once but I don’t remember where we went.

One of my aunts who lived at Jester Place was a very friendly person and I used to visit her a lot, she was posh as there was an outside flushing loo, I think this was shared with another household. It was not pleasant having to go there in mid-winter, through the snow and ice to use the really cold facilities, an oil lamp was kept lit in there to try and stop the water freezing. My aunt took me on walks and on Roper Lane she always told me that we were breathing in the Blackpool air, she never told me about the pollution from the factories in the towns in between. She did take me to Queensbury Station whilst it was still open and I remember the treat when she placed money into a steel box fitted to a wall and a Fry’s Chocolate Cream car appeared. It was such a very happy experience for me.

When I was about 7 we went to live in the Navy Houses at Northern Street. Perhaps more on that to follow.

Do you have any past memories of the Queensbury area? If so please let me know.

4 Replies to “Memories of a Mountain Village Near Queensbury”

  1. My dad Ronnie Cook was born and raised up Mountain. He was the Son of Jack and Doreen Cook. Brother to Linda, Sylvia, Billy, Mick and Paula. I loved hearing tales about life back then. Reading this took me back. Thank you.

  2. my dad Kenneth Brook cme from the mountain.His Dad was James Herbert Brook (Jim).He told me once that he fell into a snow drift as he was on his way to school not realising he had been walking ontop of the wall as the snow was bedroom window deep.

  3. A school friend in the early 70s boarded at a dance school in Rotherham. Her family lives or lived at mountain House, mountain. Name of Chippendale.

  4. I can remember playing on the bowling green and around the farm buildings at Pickering Hall Farm with my friend from Foxhill School. He was called Robert Sutcliffe. It would have been mid to late 60’s when he lived there.
    My uncle lived in a flat at the Speak Institute, known as Mountain Villas then. I lived down the road near the Raggalds. I can also recall walking to Foxhill along the wall tops with the snow drifted to 5 or 6 feet deep – would be in 1963.

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