Nostalgia: From the archives

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In this week 30 years ago: forensic science team was called to investigate the cause of a fire which caused thousands of pounds worth of damage to bedroom and kitchen furniture at a former mill complex at Liversedge.

The possibility of arson had not been ruled out as a cause of the fire, which was fought by 50 firemen from Cleckheaton, Heckmondwike, Dewsbury and Batley. The former Cooke’s carpet mill building in Huddersfield Road was being used by kitchen and bedroom specialists of Keith Fox Limited.

Two groups of Mirfield youngsters had been working hard to raise money for children less fortunate than themselves by organising a stall selling secondhand goods and their own items. Vicky Calvert, Lee Calvert, Tracy Ellis and Catherine Molzer held a stall at Greenside Road in Mirfield and delivered notes to nearby houses asking for unwanted items. They raised £33 for the NSPCC .

A 12-year old Birstall girl helped Yorkshire’s gymkhana team to victory in a national games competition. Lynn Jackson, of Raikes Lane, Birstall, was the youngest member of the five-strong Yorkshire side that pipped Hereford and Worcester by half a mark to win a Challenge Cup at the competition in Peterborough.

In this week 50 years ago:

The culmination of years of careful planning was realised when the new parish hall for St. Saviour’s Church in Ravensthorpe was officially opened. Various speakers at the opening ceremony commented on the attractive modern building and congratulated members of the church on their energetic efforts in raising money. The hall was officially opened by Col M.A.C.P Kaye, head of Marshall Limited, who said: “ Our firm has been associated with the parish for a great many years and I think we have done our best to support this parish.”

Rain brought a cricket game between Liversedge and Mirfield to a premature close, with Mirfield having to be content with a draw. Liversedge, the home side , batted first and scored 101 in 45 overs, though the innings began full of promise. B Wood and G Slingsby opened for Mirfield and had 49 runs before rain stopped play.

Ravensthorpe Cycling Club’s 25-mile time trial, which was ridden over the Wakefield-Doncaster course was won by scrachman, Ron Rose in 1hr, 6min, 51 sec. Coming second was 16-year-old Graham Sheard and Stephen Hallam was third. The handicap award went to Graham Sheard. Ron Rose also won the evening 10-mile time trial and G Sheard again won the handicap award.

In this week 75 years ago:

Work was to be started immediately upon provision of public shelters in Batley for the protection of people who might be caught in the streets during an air raid. The situation of the shelters was to be: Ward’s Hill, Birstall Recreation Ground, the basement of Batley Public Library, and the “pram” store at the Child Welfare Clinic in Wellington Street. Other sites being inspected and reported upon to the County Council, which was the responsible authority for the provision of public shelters in Batley.

The Chief Constable of Dewsbury had issued the following Don’ts in connection with the lighting restrictions: Don’t let shaded lights show through the blinds or curtains. Don’t let bars of light show above, below, or at the sides of blinds or curtains. Don’t keep your front door open so as to let light stream into the street. The regulations required that no article of light whatever should be visible. In other words, a blackout meant that darkness and anything short of it did not comply with regulations.

An effort was being made in Dewsbury to again run a National Savings Campaign during WWII as was the case with the last war. A County Borough of Dewsbury Savings Committee had been promoted not long after WWI had begun 25 years earlier and it was still being kept up-to-date when war broke out once more.