Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Recollections from a Graner - Mrs. Ada Barlow (Nee Nuttall) 1906 - 2000....

Ada Barlow. Nee Nuttall 1906/2000. “A Graner”

My mother- in- law who died at 94 in 2000 wrote a little history of her Haslingden Grane family in 1971. Thought you might like an excerpt.
There may be a copy of her “book” in Helmshore mill’s records. I feel Chris Aspin may have known something of it. I realize there is a lot of conjecture here but years do tend to fly by and my memory’s flying with them!

…”the traffic in those days was mostly horse-drawn. There were big drays drawn by carthorses, and carriages and traps and of course the funeral horses with their black lancer plumes, Dr. Stewart, our doctor, stuck to his horse and trap to the end of his days. Dr. Harrison (always known as Dr. John), was the first to have a car in Haslingden. We all used to turn out to see him pass. May Day was a great day; all the horses were dressed up with paper flowers and little straw bonnets on their heads. Manes and tails were plaited and they were plastered with shining rows of horse brasses.
We had a variety of street criers. There was the Bellman who wore a long coat and rung a bell. People used to rush to their doors when they heard it. He relayed news items of the day. There was a fish seller. He carried a basket with his fish in and scales flung over his shoulders to weigh the fish. Also a muffin man with a basketful of muffins. He rang a tiny bell.
There was an organ grinder who ground out his tunes from his barrel organ. He had a monkey on his shoulder. Then there was a man with a performing bear: children used to rush out with their halfpennies to these two, then there were German bands.
At dusk the lamplighter appeared with his long pole turning on the gas- lit street lamps. I was in my teens before with got electric in the house.
The gypsies used to come frequently. We had the Suffragettes delivering pamphlets and talking in the road, mostly on Saturday afternoons. All this I watched with great interest behind my little garden gate. Dad used to call me Mrs. Pankhurst..
Vine House ( Warburton’s) was then in its heyday. The gardens were lovely. They employed 2 full-time gardeners and a coachman. They were famous over a wider area for their grapes and orchids. About this time George V and Queen Mary (1911?) had heir coronation. I walked in the procession which assembled in Marsden Square. I carried an outstanding basket of flowers made for me by one of the gardeners. One little girl pinched one of my roses. I was very affronted………….

Regards, joan b.

And here are more excerts from Ada Barlow (sent in by Joan on 24th Dec 2010)FROM ADA BARLOW 'S (nee NUTTALL) More excerpts The Barlow Brothers.(All born 1884-1880)
"There was a dyed in the wool Tory in Helmshore called Owd Brandwood. He was standing for the council. In those days elections were really rip-roaring affairs. It seemed he kept pigs and on voting day one of the pigs was painted blue. It made headline news and is still talked about today. No-one knew who had done it. The first time I heard about it was when I was at school. We were being told how we "breathed" through our pores. The teacher said,"Remember how the Tory pig died at Helmshore just because they could not remove the paint?". Well you've guessed it. It was the work of the Barlow brothers. They were Liberals."

"A rag and bone man used to come to the village and it was his custom to call in the pub and leave his donkey and cart a little higher up the road tethered to a gate. He had the shock of his life one day. His cart was on one side of the gate and his donkey on the other. Once again the Barlows had been at work. They had taken the donkey out of the shafts and stuck the cart on the other side of the gate and were in hiding watching the fun. They were still at it when they moved to Blackburn road, Haslingden. They had some white mice and let them run into the walls of the house. Very soon the neighbours were complaining of black and white mice.Just imagine what a handful they must have been for grandma."

"Haslingden market was very well-known in those days.People came from far and near. The stalls ran all down Deardengate near where the Big Lamp stood. There used to be a big marquee where they sold black peas and hot pies. Saturday nights it was full of customers eating their pie and peas sitting on forms which ran along the sides of the tent. The bulging bottoms were just too much for the Barlow scamps, they ran along outside jabbing with a large hat-pin.Alas, the old market was scrapped to make way for a market hall which proved to be a white elephant. The allure was the old stalls which traded until very late, lit by napthaline flares.

One Barlow brother,Frank used to organise family outings and holidays. One year they all went to Ireland and stayed in a farm near the Giants' Causeway. The farm must have been pretty primative. Some of the rooms were divided by thin curtains. Frank's sister,Ruth and her husband shared a "room" with a curate and his new wife. They guessed they were honeymooners and put health salts in their 'jerry'. Luckily they had a sense of humour and enjoyed the joke with them!"

These lads were possibly born in Hollin Bank or Helmshore. Does that count them out as true Graners?