Poulton-le-Fylde Historical & Civic Society

OCTOBER   2017

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JUDITH PRYCE

My name is Judith Pryce, and I was brought up in Poulton. My mum and grandmother went to Sheaf Street school and I attended Hodgson School.

 

I was christened confirmed and married at St Chad's and had many happy times in Poulton.

 

Milli Ramsbottom was still at Hodgson when I went,and she also taught my uncle. I also played in Jean Stansfield park and biked round the streets,and spent many an hour in the Rialto cinema.

 

I moved to Wrea Green after marriage,and my husband and I retired to Spain,but I love visiting the UK and hope to move back someday.

 

 

RON BOWLER

As a Baines pupil I passed through the Market Place on my way to and from school. One kind lady would open her front room window so that we could listed to the Test Cricket commentary on her radio whilst we waited for a bus to take us home.  This must have been in 1937 or thereabouts

 

My other excursions into town were to use our limited knowledge of trigonometry to measure the height of St. Chad's Church Tower.

 

I would like to say a belated thank you to the townspeople for their tolerance of us.

 

Ron Bowker

 

  

BILL ASPDEN  aspdenw@bburn406.fsnet.co.uk

Poulton always did hold fond memories for me.  My time there was from being born in 1932 to leaving to join the Marines in 1952. Looking through the site  I did not see any mention of one who became a legend there - Jack Winchester, headmaster of Sheaf Street School., although he is mentioned in a book on Poulton-le-Fylde,  as is Mrs Kay's sweet shop and just round the corner opposite Stocks Cafe, Hart's shop and dairy.

 

I have still got the taste of Mayor's pork pies in my mouth.

 

Apart from a time at Longfield Place and down Lower Green, most of my time was spent at my Grandfather's down Berry's Lane or Springfield Road as it was sometimes called.

 

Tommy Hart's place was just across from us on the other side of the railway line.  Ours was called Rays House, the land was at the back of No. 4 Signal box.   It looks like a lot of the other contributors were from the other side of the village - they would not remember the pace egging at Easter and rolling the eggs down the slope near the old railway liine on the Carleton side.

 

It sometimes seems like the setting for a children's series, with Mr Allet the postman and Mr Alletson the barber and sweet shop owner.  Who remembers Millie Ramsbottom, the music teacher at Hodgson Senior school?  Then again - a recollection from the war when we took newspapers into the bug hut, so we could get in  free to the pictures.

 

Good site, enjoyed it.

 

Bill Aspden.

 

  

ANNE HOLT

I have just been reading your website on Poulton-le-Fylde, a village I grew up in from 1951 until 1963. It was so interesting reading about other people’s memories, especially when someone asked if anyone remembered Millicent Ramsbottom. She was my English teacher at Hodgson School and another remembers Peter Ball, (the Bobby’s son). He was an old boyfriend! My parents were Betty and Eric Riddle (sadly both have passed away), and my sisters are Susan and Georgina. We lived in the first house to be built on Carr Head Lane, number 52. We loved it when it rained heavily, because the lane flooded and we couldn’t make it to school. Our life revolved around St Chad’s Church.

 

Sunday morning services were so well attended; thanks to the Rev. T.J. Stretch. We are still very friendly with his daughter Diane and her husband Peter Scupholme, another Poulton boy. I can hear the church bells calling us all to service to this day. I now live in the states and I am sometimes asked what I miss about England. My reply is usually church bells. St. Chad’s hold many memories for me; a place where we were confirmed, where I was married and later one of my children was christened. I also met my husband in Poulton, Peter Holt, whom I have now been married to for 37 years.

 

We played tennis at the club, badminton on Sunday evenings in the church hall. Don Rydings was the assistant in church and with his help we put on musicals, slap sticks to sold out audiences. My father and his friends, Bob Farrar,? Slack, ? Jackson and faces I can no longer put a name to, were very involved also. We had parties to welcome in the New Year, which were always great fun. I have many memories of walks up to T Wood, riding our bicycles for miles and generally enjoying wonderful times in Poulton-le-Fylde.

 

I haven’t been back in many years, although my husband’s mother and father are buried in the church yard. One day I would like to return, although I know it will be nothing like old times, but memories live on. Your website made my day!

 

Thank you

 

Anne Holt

 

J. Anne Holt First Tennessee  Retail Administration MO2  701 Market Street  Chattanooga TN 37402  (423) 757 4206  (423) 757 4408 fax  jaholt@ftb.com  

 

 

TIM BROOKSHAW   tim.brookshaw@virgin.net

Thank you for your web site, which I found this morning while surfing for an old school!. I was looking for anything to do with Poulton High School, a private school which used to be on Lockwood Avenue at the corner with Elletson Street (I think - it's the first right turn on Lockwood anyway). On my last visit to Poulton in the mid 1990s (having spent most of my life living abroad, my UK visits were rare and infrequent) the playground has now been built on with what looks like a medical center. The building which used to be the school is still there however.

 

I was born in Poulton-Le-Fylde on January 11th, 1951. I lived at 160 Hardhorn Road, a house which my father had built in the late 1940s. I was born in a nursing home which used to stand opposite the exit of High Cross Road from Hardhorn Road. That has now gone.

 

Hardhorn Road was much narrower than it is now. Opposite 160 there is a grid in the middle of the road. That used to be in our front garden. In those days we had a hedge and not the wall which stands now. I remember the wall being built. I used to walk up to the bus stop and get on the #2 bus to Blackpool and sit on the front right hand side upstairs so I could look down into our house as the bus passed. The buses were all cream with green stripes in those days, run by Blackpool Corporation Transport. They look different now.

 

I attended Poulton High School from just over 3 until I was 8, when I went away to boarding school. 5 years later my parents moved to the Yorkshire dales, and I lost touch with Poulton and my friends there. Then my parents and I moved to the Canary islands, and I eventually ended up spending most of my adult life in the southern USA. The only names I remember are Joanna Patterson, who lived on one of those steep roads which go downhill from High Cross Road near the High Cross end, and David Trotter, and where he lived I  don't remember.

 

Carr Head lane was virtually unbuilt on then, a nice country road. I used to cycle on it. The junction between High Cross Road and Hardhorn Road was just the two streets. The third road (opposite High Cross Road) was built when I was about 6-8.

 

I could go on and on, but I don't want to bore you!   I'm now back living in the UK, in Yorkshire, south of Harrogate. I really must make the effort to drive over to Poulton and spend another day wandering round!

 

Thanks once again for the web site - I shall devour it avidly..

 

Regards,

Tim Brookshaw  

 

 

ERIC KAY (erickay982@aol .com)

I was born in 1929 in the Market Place Poulton-Le-Fylde above my grandmother's (Mrs Kay) Toffee Shop, which is now the site of the HSBC Bank. I then lived at 23 Market Place for a few years until my parents moved to Chapel Street where they had a Fish and Chip shop.

 

My grandmother Mrs Kay (nee Bunn) came to Poulton from Lincoln with Mrs Whitton whom she worked for before marrying my grandfather George Henry Kay who worked as a tailor in Poulton. After opening a sweet shop in Church Street. Grandma moved her sweet shop across the Square into part of Mrs Whitton's larger store which is now the site of the HSBC Bank (photo page 55 of Christine Storey's  'History & Guide - Poulton-Le-Fylde').

 

I well remember the occasion in the 1930s of the Methodist Sunday School Trip that should have gone to Knott End but ended up destroying the window and front of the corner shop at the bottom of Chapel Street. (Page 127 of Christine Storey's 'History & Guide - Poulton-Le-Fylde'.) My cousin Lionel and I having been lifted into the drivers cab out of the way, found this large lever (brake) was stopping us sitting together on the drivers seat so between us we managed to push the lever (brake) down, fortunately we were lifted out before the bus slowly started rolling forward gathering speed as it headed for the corner shop, needless to say we never got to Knott End or ever went on a Sunday School Trip again.

 

I remember when during the war incendiary bombs were dropped in the fields alongside Garstang Road West between Poulton and Layton, My brother Jack and I found an unexploded one, which I hid under my coat from the prying eyes of the policeman (PC Oliphant) who was guarding the site. I took it home and showed brother Jack how to defuse it having seen it done by the ARP warden who visited our school. Unfortunately ours had a lot more magnesium than the one at school and caused quite a panic with our neighbours when I put a match to it. Happy Days.

 

Before leaving school at fourteen I delivered newspapers for Mr MacWhinney who owned the paper shop on Breck Road. One of my deliveries used to be to 'Beryldene' on Mains Lane where George Formby lived .1 could always tell when George was at home his motorbikes (he about four or five) would be lined up outside his garage. I can remember on two occasions asking George for his autographs. I sold these to lads at school for half-a-crown each!

 

Poulton in the 1930s was a very different place to live in than it is today, Where Teanlowe is now used to be Burlington Avenue which you entered under an archway between two buildings to be met by that terrible sight and smell of poverty and hardship, a smell I can still recognize 70 years later. Work was hard to find in Poulton and my father who in the late 1920s (having one of first driving licenses in Poulton) had been employed as chauffer to Dr Buckley. In the Mid 1930s he could only find summer employment with Walls Ice Cream Company pedalling a  'Stop Me And Buy One' ice cream tricycle from Blackpool to  Fleetwood

 

Regards.  Eric Kay (erickay982@aol .com)  

  

PETER AXON   peter.axon@bt.com

I happened on your web site by chance and after reading each section, decided to add my, not that ancient by comparison, memories.

 

My first visit to Poulton was in 1959,  ( I lived in Layton then and went to school in Blackpool ) My school chum at the time, John Bamber, who lived at 41 Tithebarn St, invited me to his house one day in the holidays and I was taken with Poulton even at the age of 15.    John showed me round the village, where to obtain the best apples from an orchard where now stands the Teanlowe car park, fish & chips from Mrs Russell's next to the Golden Ball. Sunday night film at the Rialto. Youth club in St Chad's Church hall. Looking round that hardware store on the corner of the square, Richards I think it was called and the little delicatessen in Queen's Square, was it called Reeds?

 

He introduced me to his Poulton friends to name a few :- Jack Webster, Peter Ball ( his dad was the village bobby ), Stewart Entwistle ? Bernard & Mick Robinson, Jack Davey,Paddy Riley,Linda Robson,  Mick Garvey, Sid Hodgkinson, Steve Nelson, George Dobson and others whose names have faded..............

 

When we reached legal drinking age, ( I'm sure it was 17 then.......) we used to climb some rickety wooden stairs up to the Comrades Club in Hardhorn Road, probably where La Piazza is now. Ronnie Forsythe at the Golden Ball was a little more critical of the age limit but once in, Sally Webster always poured the drinks. Sunday auctions of farm produce set out on the snooker table also in the Golden Ball.

 

Traffic flowed through the village from every which way. Through the market place, both ways, I don't remember any road which was ONE WAY. Petrol pumps at the garage where Booths now stands in Ball Street.  If there was a restaurant in Poulton at that time, I can't recall the name or where.

 

Years later,in 1972, we ( Sandra & Myself) moved to Poulton. Our first house was 2 Leander Gardens and we lived there until 1988 when we moved to 18 Derby Road where we still live. Both our daughters, Helena & Jennifer, have grown up in Poulton and love it.

 

My lasting memory of the first summer spent in Derby Road was hearing the sound of men playing bowls on the green at the back of the Club on Elletson St. This unfortunately didn't last long as the land was sold off for development along with most of the rear garden of a big house in Lockwood Ave which bordered our house and the Club land.

 

Once in the 70's, Sandra and I made our way to St Chad's for the Sunday Evening service led by Paul Goodson It was snowing quite heavily on the way there and the congregation numbered about 10. By the time Rev Goodson reached the dismissal, the snow was about 12 inches deep and still snowing heavily. Most of the people at that service decided there was only one course of action, The Thatched House, and there we stayed to wait out the snow storm. By closing time, traffic was at a standstill and the snow was now about 15 inches with drifts higher than that. Poulton resembled a Winter wonderland during the walk home and things took about a week to get back to

normal.

 

During the 70's, Poulton still had that " villagey " feel about it, a night out in the village was quite enjoyable where most of the people appeared to be locals and after closing time, folk went home, some with fish & chips etc under the watchful eye of the local bobbies who were very evident during and after the pubs shut their doors.

 

By midnight, Poulton was quiet. I am not saying that there was never any trouble, the old formula Beer + Men X Women = Trouble. Poulton was no exception. The difference between now and then is that the trouble continues into the early hours with resulting damage to property, cars and people in the process.

 

Let me say that I am not a complete Ludite. I know that things have to change in order to keep abreast of "progress". But I firmly believe that with progress, things should also improve. What I see know in Poulton is far removed from when I first visited in 1959 and in some cases quite rightly so.

 

I welcome the choice of eating establishment which Poulton now offers, some to quite a high standard, but I wonder just how many eating outlets one village can sustain ?  It seems like when one shop ceases to trade, another eating establishment opens in its place. Poulton is becoming a place where more trade takes place in the evening than during the day. I could go on about what I think is wrong with Poulton now but that's just my view. There are a lot of positive improvements I'm sure, and perhaps someone will remind me.

 

I feel privileged to have known Poulton during the 60's to the present day and those memories will always be with me, I just hope that common since will prevail when decisions are made in the Council Chamber as to how further "improvements" will be introduced.

 

Regards   Peter Axon

 

  

MIKE WALKER

I lived at 59 Station Road with my grandparents -Mr and Mrs Dodds. They had retired from Wakefield. My grandfather Bill, had an artificial leg.  He worked for Mrs Hunter as a gardener. She lived on Hardhorn Road and was of the family who owned "Hunters" shop on Abingdon Street,  Blackpool.  The shop had a life-size huntsman on a horse displayed up a height outside the shop. Her son was married to the daughter of the "Derbyshire's" bread family.

 

My grandfather was very active in Poulton band up to his death in 1963. In the summer my grandmother would sit in the back yard counting the Saturday excursion trains running through into Blackpool North-sometimes over 30. The steam from the engines drifted into our yard!

 

I was at university 1957-60 and during the Xmas vacations worked as a postman in Poulton.   Mrs Woods was the postmistress and I remember her early morning appearances in the sorting office and recalled that she was a member of the bowling club.

 

After University I worked for what was then the UKAE, now BNFL, at Salwick. I used to get the works bus, the W10, in the Square and had about 26/- a month stopped out of my salary as bus fare. I remember the Rialto cinema, owned by a Mr Bishop, which he subsequently turned into a supermarket. The landlord at the "Golden Ball" at that time was a Mr Forsythe.. Mr Rawes, a retired longstanding master at what was then Baines Grammar School, was a frequent site about the town walking his terrier dog. He was organist at St Chad's and Mr Fog was the vicar.  Mrs Russell [from Rotherham] ran the fish shop in the square and the late Saturday night sessions after the last bus from a night out in Blackpool were excellent.

 

Football matches on the pitch opposite the "Queen's" were well attended.

jmwalker@wakefield.gov.uk

 

  

DAVID BINNS

Hello there!

 

I decided to send a brief note to encourage you in your efforts to develop your website to let the world know a little about the history of Poulton le Fylde.

 

I was born and bred in Burnley, East Lancashire and have lived here all of my life. However I have the happiest of memories of spending childhood holidays in Poulton during the 1960's when I used to stay with my grandparents Arthur & Florence Craine who lived at No. 3 Prudy Hill. My other grandparents were Harold and Ethel Binns who lived on Garstang Road East.

 

Although the increase in traffic has probably had an adverse effect on the town a stroll down Vicarage Road and into Station Road brings back great memories of the days when my brother and I would kick a football around the Jean Stansfield Memorial Park. We also spent hours "train-spotting" at the end of Prudy Hill which overlooks the station, and also sat on the wall at the back of the "cattle market watching trains going into Blackpool and Fleetwood and then of course passing again on their return journey. I remember being sat on the wall watching the last steam train go into Blackpool and seeing it pass through Poulton on its way out. (1968ish I think!).

 

I remember particular at Easter time when we "still had to do bob-a-job week" chores in Poulton although we were cub scouts in Burnley. Easter always seemed an exciting time as the spring weather made Poulton a lovely place to visit and see the crocuses and daffodils in the graveyard at St Chads. I remember lying comfortably in the back bedroom at Prudy Hill listening to the tuneful peal of the Sunday morning church bells from across the way at St Chads. I am always reminded of Poulton when I hear church bells ringing.

 

I remember the neighbours at Prudy Hill - the Hornby's, Jacksons, Wolstenholme and Greens, plus the Jollys and Groves families at the end towards the railway embankment.

 

Grand-dad was a Manxman and grandma was born in South Wales although they moved to the Fylde in the early part of the 20th Century. For many years they lived in a cottage at Little Poulton where my mum Freda was born in 1928 - the cottage is still there! Grand-dad worked as a chauffeur and handyman for a Doctor Nuttall at Farnholme which was a big house adjacent to the cottage. I believe he first met Doctor Nuttall in the early years of 1900's when grand dad worked as mechanic at South Shore.

 

During the second world war a lot of the younger men went to fight around the world and Grand-dad (who was in his fifties) extended his window cleaning round due to popular demand and the absence of the younger men. By the time they returned from war the younger men had lost some of their business and a degree of resentment was shown to him, although this was perhaps a little unfair because he was a mild mannered man who was only trying to help out! It is a source of amusement that Grand-dad at one stage was hired to clean the windows at the home of actor and singer George Formby's house in Poulton (ironic of course that one of George's better known songs was "When I'm Cleaning Windows"). Although this seems a likely "claim to fame" as we would say nowadays, Grand-dad was a modest man and admitted he had only seen George on one occasion and he didn't speak to him in any case.

 

I have lots more memories of the town and if you like I could send a few more details to you but perhaps this is enough for now.

 

Please keep up the good work with the website and try and include a few pictures of the Vicarage Road, Prudy Hill area as this will bring back memories for me and my family.

 

If anyone remembers my grandparents, who are all sadly long gone, I would love to hear from them.

 

Many best wishes

David Binns

 

 

ALAN BINNS

I am Alan Binns, father of the David Binns whose memories are listed above.  I came to Poulton in 1945, just before the end of WW2. My father, Harold Binns was a Police Officer and we had always lived in the Fylde. I was born at Wesham in 1931. During the war we lived in Victoria St Fleetwood next door to the Market Hall and when we came to Poulton we lived in one of the pair of houses that used to stand at the top of the Police Station yard, through the archway leading from the Square. We were Methodists and the old chapel, now demolished, which stood in Chapel St was very handy for us.

 

Poulton had only just started to expand and many of the older buildings still stood, especially the Tithebarn. I can remember the common lodging house which was adjacent to the rear of our house. Many Irish agricultural workers came over during the summer and autumn to work on local farms. They spent their leisure , and their money, in the Golden Ball and some of them spent time in the cells at the Police Station when they became boisterous.I remember  Joseph Locke getting into trouble there because he insisted in singing and was told by the landlord that the pub had no entertainment licence.

 

The Square was much busier in those days as all the buses came through.  I travelled each day to Kirkham Grammar School and had only to cross the road to board the 162 Preston service. I was always a keen sportsman and had happy times at Thornton Cleveleys Rugby Club and at Fylde Cricket Club, where I was an up and coming tearaway bowler. Bernard Nabb was my mentor and told me to bowl as fast as I could.  This was in the pre Statham and Trueman era when England was short of fast bowlers.  It was not always the best advice but when it worked it was very effective. I remember Bernard and Stan Bowman and the Marsden brothers with particular affection. I played tennis at St Chads courts which were behind the Church Hall. I played my tennis like my cricket with the result that I never won the tournaments but left a few bruised opponents on the way. I have happy memories of Skippool Creek.  Old Mr Pomfret from chapel had a dinghy there and as he was growing old he used to take me as crew.  I can recall sailing under Shard Bridge when the tide was strong and missing one stanchion as we went in and grazing the other as we emerged.   I was a good swimmer but I shudder to think how I would have managed Mr Pomfret.

 

I still visit Poulton but rarely meet anyone I recognise.  I used to come back to the new Methodist Chapel on special days when I was Tenor Soloist as their Easter Oratorios but that has now gone.  Harold and Ethel, my parents have been dead for many years and my sole contact is Grace Halstead, now resident in Queensway Lodge and approaching her hundredth birthday. She ran errands for my mother when they both lived on Garstang Rd. Mother thought Grace was a young woman because she was so active.  I have lived in Burnley ever since my National Service in 1952 and have always been happy there but I still have happy memories of a Poulton that has now altered so much.

 

These memories have been prompted by the wonderful book that you compiled and which came into my possession at Christmas.  Keep up the good work.

 

 

STUART McGEACHY

Hello

 

I found this site looking for information on Poulton Railway Station, and then sent the link to my mum, Evelyn McGeachy (Blundell) formerly of Hayfield Avenue. Mum still lives in the area, having moved to Hambleton from a 30 years exile in Hampshire.

 

In the late sixties and seventies we used to regularly travel up to see my Grandparents staying in the then two up and two down terrace with outside loo and washroom. Space was limited but with uncles sleeping behind sofas, in sheds and even greenhouses there was always a comfy bed, with blankets so think that you could hardly move, and a backroom so cold you wouldn't want to. The issue for me was the outside loo, not only was the seat freezing but lit by a small kelly lamp with a small window I was sure someone or something was looking in!

 

I would also lie in bed at the rear of the house and listen to the railway traffic during the night jump up to and wipe the condensation from the windows in the hope of catching a glimpse of a train. My earliest recollections of the station was catching a train to Chorley market and whilst waiting for our train a old tired looking steam engine came slowly past us on the up line freight loop, its dirty coal black colour matching that of the drivers face as he disappeared towards Blackpool and the history books.

 

Being a bit of a train spotter I used to spend many hours on the fence which ran behind a footpath just off the railway bridge.  The first indication of activity on the down line was faint ringing of a bell in the signal box, then one of the signals would rise, I think it was the red one and then some time later the yellow "distant" signal, which would mean that a train was near. If I was lucky it would be one of the huge "deltic" type diesels, blue with bright yellow noses, engines roaring as they picked up speed heading out of the station. If I was unlucky it would be the drone of the two or three coach commuter traffic. After the excitement I would settle back down and wait for the next train, and this I would do for hours upon happy hours. The signal box has gone, so has the freight loop and the long platform is looking a little weed ridden, with respect to the platform this really is a very long platform given the size of the station and must have been built that long for a reason?

 

Getting a bus to Blackpool was an adventure, I recall the buses, double deckers with cream and green liveries and even the odd one in blue and cream, I thought at the time the blue bus was a special bus and always hoped we would ride on it.

Evenings were spent on the putting green, the distinct smell of the shed where you paid your sixpence and collected your putter and ball. We seemed to eat a lot of chips in those days, my personal favourite (and still is) was the pudding, chips and gravy, collected from the chippy on Lower Green down from the Queens.

 

The Queens was where my Granddad, Colin Blundell used to drink and play snooker, well he drank at a few pubs, dependant on whether he liked the company and if they had a snooker table, the Golden Ball was also one of his haunts and the Bull.


Crewe    

   

 

MARTIN RODDY

Good evening. Your website asks for some memories of Poulton le Fylde.

As a young boy from Manchester my summer holidays in the 50's and 60's were initially spent in Blackpool in B&B's off Gynn Square. I worked on the donkeys to alleviate the boredom of every holiday in Blackpool!

In the 1960's/1970's my parents bought a caravan which was sited on a site on Garstang Road. It was a dairy farm but several acres of the farm had been turned into a caravan site. The farm was owned by two brothers who were not very nice people although, again through boredom, on occasions I would help them heard cows ready for milking. One had a limp and had two doberman dogs.

My elder brother and I would go off to Fleetwood fishing off one of the small pleasure fishing boats. I think it cost 15 shillings although I am unsure if that was each or for both of us! There was a fishmonger in Poulton village then and we used to note the price of his fish and sell it slightly cheaper on the caravan site!

The loveliest memory I have of Poulton is the cinema! It was very small and family run. During the performance the ladies would bring tea round on trays and I'm sure we had biscuits! I think the refreshments were included in the price!!!

My memories of Poulton are in the main happy ones although spending each holiday and every weekend in a caravan, particularly during the wet weather, became a little too much.

I'm not sure if these are the kind of memories you are after but I do have many fond memories of 1960's/70's Poulton.

Kind regards,


martin_roddy@hotmail.com

Martin Roddy MBE
Cheltenham
Gloucestershire
 

 

 

 

 

 

Memories of Poulton