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Snow Clearance, Otley Old Road

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Snow Clearance, Otley Old Road
Description:
1947. Otley Old Road at the junction of Tinshill Lane to the left and Farrar Lane to the right. Snow has been cleared from this section of road, a post office telephone van is in the centre. Cookridge water tower can be seen behind the houses on the right.

User Comments:

Name:
p ashton

Comment:
the post office van is in frount of the garage & petrol station.a box van can just be seen at the top of farrah lane

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Name:
Steve Learoyd

Comment:
I went to Tinshill Lane Promary School, which was at the foot of the water tower, from 1951 to 1953, while I was living at Grove House Farm, which was back down about 1/2 a mile behind the camera.

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Name:
Ann Major (nee Cross)

Comment:
I lived in the first of the white houses next to the bakery originally called Tower Rise & which became no 403. My Father was Albert Cross the plumber.

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Name:
B Hallam

Comment:
Ah ... the legendary winter of 1947. But only because it stayed like this until spring. Otherwise, such scenes were also typical of winters throughout the 1950's. I particularly remember 1962/3 and having to negotiate road scenes - just like that seen here, making weekly drives to tend our caravan at Flamborough. That winter also remained until the sudden thaw in spring. Unfortunately - after such 'freezes' - the much awaited thaw often resulted in burst water pipes, especially in outside toilets.

Date:
05-Jan-2009

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Name:
Graham A. Schofield

Comment:
Yes Mr. B. Hallam is right when he says that such scenes as this were typical of winters throughout the 1950's & 1960's,and if my own memory serves me correctly we had some bad winters in the 1970's. It goes without saying that most winters prior to the 1940's were as this scene. However, it's the 1946 to 1947 winter that everyone mentions, because, as B. Hallam notes, it lasted a very long time. I think that spring was a 'long time coming' in 1947. There is one important thing that should be mentioned here, and that is:- apart from those in very isolated areas, we all got to school every day. Also, schools didn't close down because a few dozen snow-flakes happened to fall. The comment by Ann Major (nee Cross), mentions her father being a plumber. If he was in business at the time of this picture, then he would have been a very, very busy man when the thaw eventually came. The total cost of damage to outside plumbing, on a national scale, must have been horrendous. Even inside the houses, plumbing was very vulnerable. I can remember candles (night-lights) being kept alight under sinks and in pantries; there was no central heating in those days. The warmest place in the house, no, that is wrong. The only place where there was any heat, was in front of the fireplace, and only then if you had enough fuel to burn. Coal was still on ration, well into the mid-1950's.

Date:
07-Jan-2009

Email:
GrahamScho@AOL.com

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Name:
George Wigglesworth

Comment:
This seems to be a few days into the snow. We had to walk to the trams until the road was cleared of snow for the buses

Date:
03-Feb-2009

Email:
g.m.wigg@googlemail.com

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Name:
George Wigglesworth

Comment:
Steve Learoyd must be quite young! When I was there, taught by Miss Trenholm in 1935 it was called Cookridge Temporary School. The huts were connected with some use during the Great War but may well have been somewhere else.

Date:
04-Feb-2009

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Name:
Angela

Comment:
I remember going to the "temporary" school in the hut at the foot of the water tower. It must have been in the early 1950s. There was no other provision for schooling of junior children, the Ireland Wood Primary school not yet having been built. I remember a coal/wood stove and chimney in the classroom and seem to remember the lady teacher being called Miss/Mrs Rhind? Anyone else remember this?

Date:
09-Jan-2010

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Name:
B Hallam

Comment:
A while back, I commented on this picture and stated that 1963 was comparable. However, I did not do full justice to the winter of 1963. It was in fact (officially) worse than 1947. So much so that a State of Emergency was declared. The big freeze was so bad, and lasted so long, that none of the winter vegetable-crop could be dug out, and we actually ran out of milk-bottles. As far as I am aware, 1963 has remained on record as the worst winter of the Twentieth Century, but for some reason, 1947 has become the stuff of legend. I was only five-years old at that time, so don't have any particular reason to remember it, but most winters throughout the 1940's and 1950's were much the same to me. Outside toilet frozen solid, bedroom windows frozen on the inside, lemonade bottles used as 'hot-water bottles', gas-lit street sledging - often spoilt by ashes thrown into the roadway and on pavements, and the itching agony of 'chillblanes'. That awful green stuff our mothers rubbed on them, must have been magic ... you never hear about chillblanes these days.

Date:
10-Jan-2010

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Name:
Graham A. Schofield

Comment:
Mr. B Hallam's comments about 'chillblanes' brought back a few memories, and his remark about how one doesn't hear about them these days, amused me. One has to be aware that when we were kids, (ie:-my generation), lads wore only short trousers and girls, short skirts. So when winter arrived in all its fury, it was our bare legs and faces that took the brunt of its winds, ice, frost and snow, as we played out. I would imagine that there were hardly any children who didn't suffer from 'Chapped Legs'. The backs of the knees, and where the skin was constantly rubbed by our trousers legs seemed to come off worse. We'd go home with parts of our legs, red raw, but we'd know that our mothers would rub on the magic green ointment, and all would be well. The next day we'd all be there, walking to school, knee deep in snow, or playing out in it. N.B:- Schools NEVER closed, no matter how bad the weather was, and we all had to walk to get there. I read an article once by someone who had lived on a farm in The Dales, and during the 1947 snows they were unable to get out of the farm and no one was able to get to them. It was five or six days before help arrived, just as food was about to run out. The next day the little girl managed to get to school, which incidentally was four or five miles away. There was, what for me, was an amusing end to the story. When school finished that day, the little girl was given a letter from the headmistress to take to here parents. It was along the lines of - - - WHY HAS YOUR CHILD NOT BEEN COMING TO SCHOOL? - SNOW IS NO EXCUSE. - PLEASE MAKE SURE THAT IT DOESN'T HAPPEN AGAIN!!! - - - And this was even though she had tried to get there. What a much different world we all live in today. It never entered our heads not to go to school if it snowed. We would be looking forward to playing out in the yard, or wherever with our mates, snow-balling, sledging or whatever - just enjoying ourselves. It seems to me, that at the first sign of snow, schools can't wait to shut down these days. - Do kids enjoy themselves today? I certainly know which era I would want to live in if I were a kid again. To expand on Mr. Hallam's comment. We won't hear of chillblanes these days, because kids wear long trousers. And I bet that they've never had to walk to school, in freezing wind with a sheet of brown paper stuffed down their shirts, or have hot baked potatoes in their pockets to give some small degree of warmth, in the freezing conditions. Primitive stuff, but along with other things from those days it adds to a source of multifarious memories. I'm glad I was born when I was. Oh! I do have a question. Can anyone remember what that magical green ointment was called?

Date:
16-Jan-2010

Email:
GrahamScho@AOL.com

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Name:
B Hallam

Comment:
Thanks to my Father's memory for recalling - in uncanny detail, things now long forgotten by most of us, the name of that 'Green stuff' for chapped-legs and chilblains, was 'Snowfire'. It was a stick of green wax which usually had to be warmed prior to application. I have since found many citations confirming my Dad's recollection on a 'Memories' archive site courtesy of Ancestry UK. And to my astonishment, the substance - still using its original illustrated logo of a 'Flaming brazier sat on snow', is still available on Ebay.

Date:
26-Mar-2010

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Name:
Ron Davies

Comment:
I can remember the winter of 1947 very clearly, as a four year old I moved with my mother and father into a pre-fab on the Beckett Park Estate. One morning we opened our back door to find a snowdrift from ground level to the top of the door. However as B. Hallam rightly says 1963 was a worse winter, I can recall us not being able to play rugby for a full three months because of frozen pitches.

Date:
06-Sep-2010

Email:
rondavies66@googlemail.com

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Name:
Darren Gibson

Comment:
I remember walking this way to school in winter - although it was 30+years later than this photo - and the snow was so deep it was above my knees. The water tower is at the highest point in Leeds, so always got the worst of the snow. I often wonder today how the council can't manage to keep on top of the snow clearing with all the modern equipment available, when they obviously had it in hand when winters were more severe!

Date:
07-Dec-2011

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Name:
Michael Hall

Comment:
I went to Ireland Wood School from 1956 to 1959 but these huts at the foot of the watertower were still being used as an overspill facility and were then known as the "Annex". I was in the Annex from 1957 to 1959 and the then Head Mistress was called Miss Forbester. As fading memory recalls there were three or four wooden buildings each dived into two classrooms with close to 50 pupils to a class and all inadequately heated by a single freestanding cast iron coke fire in each room. I still recall the smell produced by the fires. These were bitter winters and there was always a scramble to getting a seat close to one of the fires. Mind you, these were not exactly temporary facilities as my mother, formally living in Cookridge in the mid 30's, also spent a couple of years there. Despite the hardships and unsophisticated facilities, I seem to recall that my time there was positively idyllic.

Date:
16-Feb-2013

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Name:
Peter Henry

Comment:
With reference to Michael Halls comment. I was at the ''Annex' in the huts next to the water tower at my last year at Ireland Wood School before progressing to Moor Grange on the ring road some distance away. I was also a pupil at the school as an infant before going to Ireland Wood School in 1955. Yes I remember the Annex clearly and there were two classes in the right hand huts as you went into the playground from Otley Old Road. These were concrete pre fabricated low buildings but there was a wooden building on the left parallel with the concrete huts and this was used as an assembly and a classroom the teacher was Mrs Brunton. Michael Hall's memory is correct, the head teacher was Miss Forbester who was a vey posh tall lady who chain smoked. I remember her attempting to teach us French but she became extremely frustrated and bad tempered with us all and abandoned the lessons after a short time. There were two classes at the annex a lady and a male teacher who's names I can't remember but the male teacher taught me. There are some photo's of the annex somewhere on the Leodis site but I can't find them.

Date:
16-Aug-2016

Email:
peter@totrain.co.uk

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