Memories of Littletown

A COUPLE of weeks ago in Looking Back, we asked if readers knew the name of a 'factory' which stood in Littletown.

It seems however, that the three storey building, was not a factory at all, but a row of shops with premises above which, at various times were a meeting place for the spiritualists and the Girls' Friendly Society.

We had several responses to the feature on the village - all from readers who have fond memories of Littletown before the dual carriageway was built.

Gordon Crowther was brought up there in the 1950s and among other things, remembers the Co-op - now Londis.

"It was a large open space with a stone in the middle and counters running all the way round with all the goods and the shelves were behind the counter," he said.

He could also recall Stockhill's shop which was at the corner of Ramsden Street, and Jackson's greengrocer's.

"It has some long yellow fruit I hadn't seen before - bananas!" he said.

"This part of the road was called Lower Rawfolds and the area which the article referred to as Post Office Square was called The Green, while the road towards Listing Lane was called Watergate.

"The post office was on Watergate along with Garside's paper shop, the Lion Stores and a butchers.

"Just up Well Street was a well-head fountain with a lion's head and going up to the top of Well Street, to join with Ramsden Street, was a set of allotments."

Gordon, who was born in Ramsden Square, also remembers Binns fish shop, the Star Inn, Priestley's Mill, Victoria Mill, Watson's bakery shop, Senior's Cobblers, Bailey's Barbers and a coffee bar which was very popular in the 1960s.

He also said that at the bottom of Listing Lane there used to be a milestone pointing out the distance to Bradford - seven miles - and Dewsbury - three and a quarter miles.

Edith Cartwright (nee Mortimer) confirmed that the 'factory' was indeed a row of shops which included a hairdresser's, Jackson's greengrocers and a butcher's.

She was a member of the Girls' Society which met in the upstairs rooms and remembers when the village had three butchers, two fish and chip shops, Co-op, Lion Stores, cobblers and a bakers.

"There was even a tripe shop, and then Arnold Smith's where you could get everything! There was also Dan Broadbent's furniture shop and Bousfields, or Midwood's chemists," she said.

"We lived in back to back houses in Well Street, with a stone sink and a dry toilet - then when I was still little we got water toilets - but they were outside and we had to share them!"

Edith has kindly loaned us a picture of the regulars at the Old Oak on a day trip to Morecambe. The lady on the photograph is Edie Hewitt whose father ran The Star pub, and Edith's father Frank Mortimer is also among the group.

Marjorie Penikis, who has lived in Littletown for more than 50 years, also contacted us following the article.

"It was an old village, the buildings were all very old, but it had character," she said.

"It's not Littletown any more - it's 'minute-town' because it was destroyed when they built the dual carriageway."