Tuesday 20 December 2011

Yorkshire Dialect – Rambling Remarks December

“Now all our neighbours’ chimneys smoke
And Christmas logs are burning,
With baked meats all their ovens’ choke,
And every spit is turning.

Outside the door let sorrow lie;
And if for cold it chance to die
We’ll tomb it in a Christmas Pie,
And evermore be merry”

“Ther’s one thing ‘at allus should be deead and buried deep at Kursmiss, an that’s selfishness. If yo want to mak sewer o’th’ merriest kursmiss yo ivver had, aw’ll tell yo ha to do to get it. Begin, as sooin as yo con, to gether up ivverything yo can think on 'at’ll be likely to afford onny enjoyment to th’ time, an when yo’ve getten it all piled in a lump begin to share it, reight an left, amang those abaat yo, an dooant be afeeard yo’ll be robbin yorsen, for th’ happier yo mak others an th’ happier yo’ll be yorsen. Its noa use deckin yor picter frames wi holly an mistletoe, an trimming th’ gas pipe wi fancy paper unless yo’ve some smiling faces an lovein hearts araand yo...

God bless yo all! An if it isn’t a Merry Kirsmiss, may it be a happy one.”


John Hartley (1910) The Original Clock Almanack

Friday 2 December 2011

At the archives... nursery, lather-boys, school ships and dinner ladies

Yesterday was spent having lots of laughs with the staff at Bradford Archives as I uncovered some hidden gems of information.

Before that an update – the archives service is up and running as near normal service just in a different location within Bradford central library. The Bradford local studies library, now next to the archives is running a reduced service, you have to order books 2 working days in advance. On the positive side they have now managed to find a space for one microfiche which is bookable and have brought down the Telegraph and Argus newspaper microfiches. The staff have coped well under the difficult circumstances we just hope that the issue is resolved soon.

During 1920 the first nursery school was opened in Bradford at St Ann’s School. It had accommodation for 80 children aged 2-5 at a charge of 6d per day for children. Two more nursery schools were in the course of being built. For those that are interested there is a book The Nursery School, Bradford [St. Anne’s Nursery School, Broomfields] available from the local studies library.
 “It provides an account of a day’s activities at a nursery in an impoverished area of Bradford. Written in the early 1920s, this slim publication provides a historical and social study of the resources available at the time for disadvantaged pre-school children.”

The Education Act 1918 and the amendments to the Employment of Children Act 1903 came into effect on 1st April 1920 and resulted in a new set of bylaws for Bradford passed on 10th April 1920. At the time they were passed 165 children were being illegally employed and 271 offences against the Act and bylaws were being committed. The provisions of the Act were carefully explained to all persons found employing children and warnings were issued to those committing offenses with one exception where the employer was prosecuted and fined.
“One gratifying effect of the bylaws has been the abolition of the lather-boy and the substitution of adult labour in his stead. During the period only one boy was found to be employed in a hairdresser’s shop, and though at one period there was much talk of passive resistance, the hairdressers as a body have loyally observed the bye-laws.”

LATHER-BOY - a young lad who put the shaving foam on the faces of men in barbers shops, ready for the barber to shave. 

“Another noticeable feature has been the passing away from the streets of the city of the street trader of school age. Prior to the first of april there were 171 children licensed to trade in the streets, but at present only 12 persons under 16 hold licenses.”

The 1920’s also saw the introduction of lunchtime supervision in the school playground
“It has been deemed advisable that children who either stay at school for dinner or who on account of home circumstances return to school some considerable time before the opening of the afternoon session should be allowed to use the school premises under proper supervision. Head teachers should report back on progress and in all schools where there is a necessity for supervision teachers are requested to volunteer to undertake the duty. The teachers who take the duty for a week at a time in turn are paid a fee for their services.”

So teachers were expected to undertake the dinner lady role monitoring outside play at lunchtime. But it begs the question of what happened to the children previously did they feed them dinner then chuck them onto the street until school reopened in the afternoon?

Finally for today, the council seriously considered whether they should purchase a school ship in 1920 costing of £250,000. According to the National Archives currency converter that is equivalent to £5,302,500 in today’s money! They considered that it could actually be used to transport cargo to support it financially. An alternative was to put boys on existing cargo ships but this was ruled out due to the lack of educational facilities on board normal vessels. I knew that boys from the workhouses were often sent to “training ships” but I had not heard of a council wanting to purchase a ship for educational purposes before. It’s not like Bradford had its own port! The Ministry for Education did not completely dismiss the idea but considered that a decision should be deferred until more normal times returned.

Monday 21 November 2011

Yorkshire Dialect – Rambling Remarks

November - Weather

“We’re all fond o’ tawkin abaat mists, fogs an dull days i’ November, as if ther’s nivver onny breet days; but aw’ve known money a November ‘at’s had days as breet an bonny as what ther’s been i’ April and May. But that’s just like us, if we find owt pleasant we accept it an forget it in a few baars, but if we meet owt ‘at’s disappointin or disagreeable, we nurse it, an harp on it, for months. It’s foolish we all know, for nubdy ‘at’s onny wit expects to find nowt but sunshine i’ this life. If we wor hawf as thankful for us blessins as we are discontented wi awr trubbles, we should find life better worth livin.”

John Hartley (1910) The Original Clock Almanack

Friday 11 November 2011

Peace and Remembrance

The war which lasted 4 years and 3 months was called to an end when the Armistice was signed on the 11th November 1918 and 6 hours later military operations ceased. Everyone felt the impact of the war and we should take time to remember not only those who sacrificed their lives or were wounded but also those who contributed to the war effort at home. Remember those who worked in a munitions factory, nursed the wounded, volunteered, who struggled to survive emotionally and financially and the communities that supported them.

I’m sorry that I cannot provide details of the reaction to the armistice in Bradford as the newspapers are currently unavailable. However I thought it might be appropriate to record the Peace Day Celebrations that were arranged by Bradford Poor Law Board of Guardians on 19th July 1919.

Inmates, who were still dispersed at different locations due to the use of Union House and St Luke’s Hospital as a War Hospital, were allowed special fare consisting of:
·   Breakfast – bread, margarine, tea, bacon, sausage.
·   Dinner – beef, plum pudding, vegetables, oranges.
·   Tea – bread, margarine, cake, cheese.
·   Extras – sweets, tobacco, snuff, biscuits.

Visiting regulations were relaxed and entertainments arranged. The children at the children’s home at Bowling Institution were provided with sports and outdoor amusements with a marquee erected for the provision of tea and, with the approval of the Minister of Health, the sum of 6d each for pocket money. The members of the Ladies Cottage Homes Visiting Committee were invited and arrangements made to hold the event in a vacant block at St Luke’s in case the weather was wet.

Staff at the various institutions were granted a days holiday and 2/6 in consideration of the extra work they had to perform on the actual day (given at the discretion of the master/superintendent).

I hope the memories of a wide range of people who lived during that time can be maintained forever. If you would like to preserve the memory of your Bradford ancestors and their families who experienced life during through the war by sharing it online please contact me.

Friday 4 November 2011

Whiskey and Worms – wonderful Yorkshire dialect and storytelling

“It matters nowt what yo say if fowk miss th’ point. It reminds me o’ what aw heard when aw wor at Keighley. Ther’d been a teetotal lecturer thear, an after tellin em what a fearful thing drink wor, an ha they wor shortenin ther days wi swallerin sich poison, he sed he’d give em a object lesson to prove it; soa he gate two glasses an filled one wi water an tother wi whisky, an then he tuk a worm aght ov a little box an dropt it into th’ glass o’ watter an it wor sooin wriggling abaat as lively as could be. “Nah,” he sed, “yo can see for yorsen ‘at watter willn’t hurt even a worm. But mark th’ difference,” an he tuk th’ worm aght o’th’ watter, an dropt it into th’ whiskey an in a minnit it wor deead. Ther wor a deal ov applause at this experiment, an as sooin as things quietened daan a woman at th’ far end o’th’ raam gate up an spake. “Awm glad aw coom to this lectur,” shoo sed, “for aw’ve been troubled wi them things i’ mi inside for monny a year, but aw know nah ha to get shut on them.” Soa yo see shoo’d mist th’ point o’th arguement.”

Just one example of the wonderful use of the Yorkshire Dialect by John Hartley in his 1910 Clock Almanack.

Hartley, John 1910 The original Clock Almanack in the Yorkshire Dialect

Tuesday 1 November 2011

On this day 31st October...

1858 Bradford Lozenge Poisoning

“The most dreadful calamity that perhaps ever befell this district has occurred within the last few days. The careless and negligent use of a deadly poison – arsenic – has had the unhappy result already depriving no fewer than 17 persons of life and filling innumerable homes throughout the district with suffering, mourning and woe.” Bradford Observer 4th Nov 1858
In total 18 people died, mainly children, and it was estimated that there were 193 cases of illness but there may have been many more as no complete and accurate list could be compiled. They had all eaten peppermint lozenges and were struck by sudden and violent vomiting; sudden deaths were occurring all over the city as though a dreadful plague had come. 

The lozenges had been brought from William Hardacre in Green Market who was also suffering from eating one of his own lozenges. He had brought the lozenges from a wholesaler dealer in confectionary, Mr Joseph Neal, of Stone Street.

Mr Neal made the lozenges partly from sugar and partly from a mineral technically called terra alba or “daft” and described by the chemist as Plaster of Paris used as a substitute for sugar. By alteration he could produce lozenges at about 8d per pound which would normally cost 10d or 1s per pound. These lozenges had been made by Mr Neal by the order of Mr Hardacre. 

There had obviously been some mistake in the supply of the daft which was purchased from the shop of a druggist in Shipley named Hodgson. A fortnight ago Mr Charles Hodgson being ill in bed left a young assistant Mr William Goddard in charge, he had only been in his employ a few weeks having recently left school. He had been asked by a man from Bradford (James Archer, who lived with Mr Neal) for 12lb of daft not knowing where it was placed he asked Mr Hodgson who directed him to a corner of the cellar. Unfortunately Mr Goddard went to the wrong cask, which had no mark or label, and actually contained arsenic. Mr Archer then delivered the arsenic back to James Appleton one of Mr Neal’s men who had made up 40lbs of lozenges. 

Immediate steps were taken to publish the news far and wide in order to induce caution and safety. The quiet sleep of people was broken at midnight by the sound of the bellman’s warning and notices were put up in around the neighbourhood and in public houses asking people to return any lozenges to the police station.  

Mr Leveratt the chief constable had been able to obtain about 35lbs of the lozenges which were analysed by Mr Rimmington a chemist. He discovered that just one lozenge contained enough arsenic as would be sufficient to poison a man.

James Appleton confirmed that “daft has always been used ever since I have been in the trade. I have been in the trade 6 years... we do not put draft in always; it is just according to price. When lozenges are sold as these were at 2oz for 1½d it could not be expected that they were genuine. But I did not expect there would be poison in them. They are made of sugar and gum and daft put in to adulterate – to cheapen... it is the custom to use daft in all adulterated lozenges.” 

Charles Hodgson, William Goddard and Joseph Neal faced manslaughter charges. However all parties were set free without trial “the only thing criminal in the whole affair was what the law could not touch – the practice of adulteration and the supply of daft for that purpose”   

A relief fund was established to help the families of those who had been affected. The case resulted in a change to the legislation regarding the sale of poisons.

Orlando Burran, aged 5 and John Henry Burran, aged 3, sons of Mark Burran, 30, Jowett Street, Manchester Road, Bradford.
Elizabeth Mary Midgley, aged 7 - Margerison Street, Bermondsey.
Elijah Wright, aged 9 - 63 Queen Street Bradford.
Joseph Scott, aged 14 - 5 Railway Street Bradford.
Joseph Crabtree, aged 16 - Jacob Street, Bradford.
Ann Shutt, aged 38 wife of John Shutt - Leeds Road, Bradford.
Herbert Holdsworth, a child Rutland Street, Bradford.
John McCormack, aged 4 Heaton Syke.
Adela Lee, aged 3, Heaton Syke.
John Broadley, aged 21, labourer, Heaton Syke.
Mark Green, aged 17 months, Low Moor.
Mrs Shackleton, aged 30 residing at East Ardsley.
John Lupton Constantine, aged 69, Tyersall.
— Wright, a married woman, residing at Wibsey.
Briggs Ramaden, clogger, aged 24 Thornton.
Robinson Wood, aged 3, East Ardsley.
Thomas Wright, child, Thompson’s House.

Armitage, Martha, adult, Nursery Lane.  
Bairstow,  Martha, adult, Marsh Place.
Bairstow,  Abraham, adult, March Place.  
Cluster, Grace and Elizabeth adults, Preston Place. 
Cooper, James, adult, Scarr Hill.   
Cosgrane, John, adult, Eastbrook Lane.  
Crusher, Walter, adult, Crowe Street.
Dennison, John, two children, Scarr Hill.  
Dixon, Thomas, five adults, Thompson's Houses.   
Downbrough, Elisabeth   adult, Preston Place.
Fletcher, Elizabeth, adult, Marsh Place.
Frankleton, -, three children, Thornton Street.
Freeman, John, one adult and one child, Scarr Hill.
Graces, Leah, adult, Nursery Lane.    
Hartley, Richard, child, Scarr Hill.  
Hudson, Abraham, three children, Seymour Street. 
Isles, Hannah, two children, Swaine Green.     
Jowett, Elizabeth, adult, Bower Street.   
Lawson, William, three children, Buck  Spring Row.  
Laycock, Mary, an adult and a child, Fitzgerald Street.
Mann, Samuel, adult, Daisy Hill. 
Mann, John, three children and two adults, Daisy Hill.
Midgeley, Sarah, adult, Margerison Street.       
Murgatroyd, Richard, two children, Scarr Hill.   
Neamont, Hannah, adult and child, Croft Street.
Pattchett, John, two adults, Scarr Hill.   
Pease, - , three adults and two children, Manchester Road.    
Smith, Rebecca, adult, Preston Street.
Smith, Ann, Preston Street.
Smith, James, Preston Street.
Smith, John, 4 adult family members, Four Lane Ends.
Stead, William, adult, Crown Street.
Stott, Joseph  adult and two children, Croft Street.
Swaine, John, six children and two adults, Bowling Back Lane.  
Taylor, Mrs, one child, Scarr Hill.   
Tetley, Benjamin, two adults, Swaine Green.   
Thompson, Eliza, adult. Mulgrave Street.
Watson, Elizabeth, adult, Jury Street.  
White, Martha, adult, Little Horton Lane.
Whitehead, James, one child, Scarr Hill.   
Wilkinson, Mary, child, Daisy Hill.    

Holmes, family, four adults.

Wilcock, Henry, 55, toll bar keeper.
Wilcock, Sarah, 53, wife of the above.
Wilcock, Hannah, 23, daughter of the above.
Wilcock, Mary, 9, daughter of the above.

Curtis, Thomas, 18, joiner.
Denison, Emma, 13, Millhand.
Denison, Abram, 9,  schoolboy.
Duxbury, Catherine, 6, schoolgirl.
Hartley, Samuel, 10, schoolboy.
Murgatroyd, Ann, 20, millhand.
Paget, Charlotte 42, no trade.
Paget, Grace 16, no trade.
Patchet, John, 46, mason.
Taylor, Richard, 16, labourer.
Waterhouse, Benjamin, 48, weaver.
Waterhouse, Martha, 44, no trade.

Beaumont, John, adult.
Beaumont, Mary, adult.
Bennett, Hannah, two adults.
Priestley, Hannah, Child.
Thompson, Thomas, four children.

Ardester, Kester, 23, delver.
Child, Samuel 22, delver.
Child, Zilpha, 53, no trade.

Greenwood, Joseph, 41, delver.
Greenwood, Ruth, 12, servant.
Hollingworth, William, 13, labourer.

Ardester, Grace, 63, no trade.
Ardester, Grace, 17, mill hand.
Chatband, Mary Elizabeth, 5, mill hand.
Child, Sophia, 94, mill hand.
Waterhouse, Sarah, 26, mill hand.

Skirrow, George 30, clothier.
Skirrow,  Sarah Ann 8.

Bartle, Lea, 10.
Bartle, James, 19.
Bartle, Samuel, 17.
Bottomley, Elizabeth, 33.
Bottomley, Elizabeth, 60.
Bottomley, Henry 3½.
Bottomley, Mary,  30.
Burnett, Deborah, 5½.
Green, James, 20.
Mason, John 18½.
Tordoff, Love, 6.
Taylor, Joseph, 20.
Walker, Jane, 5½.
Walker, Samuel, 35.
Walker, Susannah, 6.

QUEENROW, near Thirsk
Clark, Henry and John, adults.

Boston, Jacob, 10, schoolboy.
Boston, Jane, 22, mill hand.
Golden, John, 21, mill hand.
Golden, Mary, 53, no trade.
Sutcliffe, Ingham, 14, mill hand.
Sutcliffe, Jane, 48, no trade.
Wood, Margaret Ann, 25, weaver.

Boston, James, 14, mill hand.
Boston, Mary 16, mill hand.
Boston, Mary, 55, no trade.
Fortune, David, 58, comber.
Garth, Isaac, 15, mill hand.
Golden, Mary, 21, weaver.
Sutcliffe, John, 27, weaver.
Sutcliffe, William, 56, weaver.
Wood, Jemima, 35, weaver.

Wheatman, James.
Wheatman, Nancy.

Northrop, Betty, 63.
Ramsden, Elizabeth, 2½.

Brook, Elizabeth, 35, mill hand.
Brook, John, 40, labourer.
Chapman, Elizabeth, mill hand.
Chapman, Margaret, 23, mill hand.
Chapman, Milly, 27, mill hand.
Dalton, George, 35, mill hand.

Pitts, Ellen, 11.

Wright, Mary, 40, married woman.

There is a lot of detail relating to the lozenge poisoning including inquests into the deaths. Was your ancestor one of those affected? Want to find out more details please contact me.

Bradford Observer, 4th November 1858 
Bradford Observer 23rd December 1858 
Leeds Mercury, 2nd November 1858 
Leeds Mercury, 4th November 1858

Monday 31 October 2011

At the Archives... or not as is actually the case

Library closures, half term, children’s birthdays and Roman Day at school have been keeping me away from the archives the last few weeks.

Bradford Library was shut for 4 days when they identified a “fire risk”. The building has now reopened but there is only access to the first two floors.

The archives service has been temporarily relocated to the first floor but is closed this week for collections work and opening hours are restricted after that. Access to the local studies library which was on the third floor is severely restricted. Bradford Council’s statement on the current situation confirms that there is no access to microfilms (newspapers and parish registers), maps, card catalogues (including newspaper and WW1/WW2 soldier index cards) and if you want to obtain a book you have to give two full working days notice. 

Newspaper reports that the cost of making the current library building safe is £4 million meaning that all options now need to be looked at and may result in the library being relocated. It is expected that the library will remain open and will continue to provide service in the medium term (18 months – 2 years). But what happens to access to the local studies materials in the mean time and are they and the archives collections themselves safe from fire risk.  

I have written to my local councillors and asked them to press for a speedy and satisfactory resolution to the issue and encourage you to do the same. 

On a different front I am going into a local school to do a talk to year 3 (7-8 year olds) about why the Romans came to Ilkley. I will be using a variety of maps to show why Ilkley was strategically important and what life was like there at that time for the soldiers and the natives. If any other local schools would like me to visit them for similar talks please get in touch.

Friday 14 October 2011

Bradford War Hospital / St Luke’s Hospital

Information on how St Luke’s came to be Bradford’s base War Hospital have been uploaded onto the BradfordWW1 website. At its height it provided almost 1,550 beds for wounded soldiers and that was just one of 9 military hospitals open in Bradford at the time.