YEARS IN FOCUS
KNOTTINGLEY IN 1966
REPRODUCED COURTESY OF THE
24th FEBRUARY 1966
GRAND OLD GENTLEMAN MR. JOHN JACKSON
The death on Friday of
Knottingley Industrialist Mr. John Jackson ended a career of
novel-breadth and colour. For what Simon Crowther was to Bankdam, John
Jackson was to Jackson Bros. (Knottingley) Ltd. But Mr. Jackson went
further, for in addition to guiding with a sure hand an ever-expanding
business, he became the towns’ civic leader. For 65 years, fighting
every three-yearly election, he served with distinction on Knottingley
Urban Council - eleven times as its chairman. He was appointed a
magistrate in 1932 and became chairman of the West Riding Bench at
Pontefract; and in many other spheres, including education, hospitals,
employment and church, he gave unstinting service. He had a favourite
saying; "There’s always a sure cure for worry. It’s called hard work."
John Jackson and his
brother Tom were at work when they were 13, apprenticed to the
glass-manufacturing firm of Bagley & Co Ltd., to be taken over by
Jackson’s 60 years later, after which the ‘old man’ retired - on paper.
In fact, he still went to his office every day, in his new role of
President of the company, and that despite total blindness. His sight
began to fail as long ago as 1936 and for many years before he left the
Council. In the early 1900s the Knottingley works was the first in the
country to install a Press and Blow machine. The invention of an
American, it was ahead of its time and failed after a year.
Next the brothers tried out
one of the new gas, cross-fired regenerative tanks estimating an initial
investment of £500 but ultimately holding a bill for £2,000. Faced with
bankruptcy, but convinced they were right, the brothers pressed ahead -
and they were right. In 1912 the firm became a private limited company;
installed more American machinery in 1921; and then after the war,
completed plans for an entirely automatic plant estimated at a cost of
£200,000, but which, when finally installed in 1954, had cost half a
In 1959, the firm
amalgamated with J.W. Sutcliffe and Son, one of the most experienced
glass merchandising companies in London, and in 1962 came the take over
of Bagley & Co Ltd., and the Crystal Glass Co, John Jackson had indeed
come a long way.
A funeral service was held
privately at Ropewalk Methodist Church, Knottingley, on Tuesday, before
burial at Knottingley Cemetery.
3RD MARCH 1966
NEW POWER STATION FEEDING INTO GRID
On Sunday night electricity
from the new Ferrybridge Power Station was fed into the National Grid
for the first time. This is the first single-line generator of its size
to be put into operation in the world.
After the disaster in
November 1965 when three towers were destroyed by gales it was feared
that commercial operations would be set back for a long time. It proved
possible, however, to connect one of the towers still standing with the
first state production unit, as a result, the Power Station has begun
operating soon after the scheduled time.
7th APRIL 1966
EMIGRATED TO AUSTRALIA
The Knottingley Central
Club gave a farewell party for two men heading for Australia. On
Thursday a local man, his family and his batchelor friend, left
Pontefract on the first part of their journey to Australia. For
36-year-old Geoffrey Jarvis, a driver salesman, his wife and four
children, who lived at East Parade, Knottingley, before the house was
sold recently, emigration was just a whim. He and his wife talked about
it and eventually decided to promote their ‘spirit of adventure’. A
family friend for over 15 years, George Challenger, also aged 36,
decided to go with them because he felt he had nothing to stay here for.
"I have no parents and no-one to leave behind and we have been friends
for so long." he told an Express reporter. The party of seven went by
train to Southampton, and set sail on Friday.
About a year ago the two
men arranged the emigration under the assisted passenger scheme. Neither
of the two men has any employment fixed. "We are going with an open mind
willing to do anything that comes along." said Mr. Jarvis. He was
expecting it to be a good thing for the children. The eldest boy,
Steven, aged 15, wants to be a professional footballer, and expects
there to be more opportunity in Australia. Before he left he played for
Rotherham Intermediates. Mr. Jarvis had no idea what his 13-year-old
daughter, Denise, who has been attending Pontefract Girl’s and District
High School, will do. Mr. Challenger commented "I am just looking
forward to it."
Last Wednesday members of
Knottingley Central Club gave a farewell party for the two men and
presented wrist watches to them.
14TH APRIL 1966
REBUILDING POWER TOWERS
The work of rebuilding the
three cooling towers, which came down in gales last November at
Ferrybridge ‘C’ Power Station, has begun. The 375ft high towers, perhaps
the largest of their kind in the world at the time they were built,
weighed 8,000 tons and cost £290,000 each. They were to help supply
electricity to a wide area of the West Riding and the stations
compliment of towers - all of the same dimensions - is eight.
Workmen have started to put
additional piling in the foundations of one of the destroyed towers. The
Resident Site Engineer, Mr. G.D. Leydon, told ‘The Express’ ; "Work is
proceeding on the thickening of the five remaining towers, but the
weather is not helping this work."
21ST APRIL 1966
FORMER CLERK IS NEW CURATE
A native of Knottingley,
Mr. Sam Doubtfire, was ordained as deacon by the Bishop of Pontefract,
the Rev. E. Treacy, at St. Botolph’s Church, Knottingley, on Sunday. It
was the first time an ordination had taken place at St. Botolph’s and
there was a full church of 230 communicants present.
For the past three years
Mr. Doubtfire has been studying at Edinburgh Theological College, where
he returned to complete his course after his ordination. He will start
his duties as curate of Knottingley in June. After his national service
which was spent with the R.A.F. in Egypt, he joined the National Coal
Board at the Area Headquarters at Allerton Bywater, as a clerical
officer, and was there nine years. Mr. Doubtfire was Scoutmaster at St.
Botolph’s before going to Edinburgh, and was also a member of the
Church’s Dramatic Society.
His parents Mr. and Mrs S.U.
Doubtfire, who live at the Bungalow, Trinity Farm, Knottingley, were
formerly in business as greengrocers in Aire Street. When he returns in
June, Mr. Doubtfire, who is married, will live at Lamb Inn Road,
2ND JUNE 1966
COUPLES 'GOLDEN' TOMORROW
Mr. Alfred Schofield and
his wife Martha, (Pat) of ‘Bridgefield’, Knottingley, are to celebrate
their Golden Wedding. They were both born in Knottingley and have spent
all their lives here. For more than fifty years they have been members
of Ropewalk Methodist Church where Mr. Schofield has held many church
offices, but they were married at the Congregational Church, where Mrs
Schofield was a member of the choir.
During the First World War,
Mr. Schofield served in the Royal Artillery from 1916 to 1918, and took
part in the Battle of the Somme. After the war he joined the local glass
manufacturing firm of Gregg & Co Ltd., and has been a Director for more
than 30 years, a position he still holds, but he is now semi-retired.
They have one son, Kenneth
who is a Doctor of Science lecturing in the University of Exeter, and
two teenage grand-children. Proud of their humble beginnings, Mr. and
Mrs Schofield have a quiet zest for living and a youthful interest in
11th AUGUST 1966
JOHN JACKSON WILL
Mr. John Jackson, of Chapel
Street, Knottingley, President and Co-Founder of Jackson Bros. Ltd., for
over 50 years a member of Knottingley Council and 11 times Chairman, who
died on February 18th aged 90, left £34,953.
13TH OCTOBER 1966
SPOTLIGHT ON YOUTH
"Have you a set of
draughts, Mr. Vickers?" "Could I have a pack of cards, Mr. Vickers?"
"By the way Mr. Vickers,
can I put my name forward for the committee"
Amid an endless string of
questions and requests, I managed to get a question in myself, writes
"Is it easy," I asked Mr.
Peter Vickers, full time leader of the new, exciting, Kellingley
(Knottingley) Youth Club, "to get to know members as individuals?"
"No it isn’t," he replied.
"For two reasons; the membership is large and the staff is small. I
would hope eventually to know every member individually. I would like to
visit their homes and get to know their parents in an attempt to know
the member in depth."
I was sitting in Mr.
Vickers office in the new youth club which forms a part of the
Kellingley (Knottingley) Social Centre. The building of the club was
financed by the Coal Industry Social Welfare Organisation and was
designed by Poulson’s, the Pontefract firm of Architects.
A blonde head suddenly
appeared through the window to my right "Put the Troggs on" she said.
Her tone was pleading rather than demanding, and 14 year old disc-jockey
William Miller, of Warwick Estate, nodded his head and selected ‘A girl
like you’ from a stack of the ‘latest’ piled next to the record player.
The office allowed some degree of soundproofing, though the noise in the
dance area itself was not unbearable. Mr. Vickers was now my target, I
was aiming for the bull’s eyes, and his replies registered the score.
"My objectives?" he asked
himself, "To integrate the members and to teach them how to live. To
give them facilities for enjoyment both physical and mental. To give
them the opportunity of meeting people of their own age outside this
community, to broaden their interests."
I saw his words being
translated into action as we talked. A mixed group was gathered round
the club notice board, which seemed to contain as many varieties of
activities as Heinz has tinned foods.
Badminton, table tennis,
motor-cycle maintenance, football, drama, hair-styling and beauty
culture, cookery – "You name it and show sufficient interest and we'll
have a bash" was the tacit suggestion to the members.
Dances once a month with a
‘live’ group make the change from ‘record requests’ a stimulating
experience; you don't have to visualise so much when the
instrumentalists and singers are there in the flesh. "Misconceptions
about modern youth?" My arrow headed for double top.
"People label them as
modern youth and think that adolescence equals trouble" said Mr.
Vickers. "Many people are not willing to give them a chance to prove
THEMSELVES. These young people are anxious to do things - not just
physical, either; it is the age of curiosity."
I glanced through the
window into the games room. In front of me was an example of keeness and
energy. Jim Thompson aged 15, and David Fletcher, aged 16, both of
Knottingley, both employed at Kellingley Colliery, were giving the
celluloid table tennis ball a bashing.
"They are also members of
the Club’s football team which plays in the Castleford Sunday League,"
said Mr. Vickers. "Modern youth is striving for the re-organising of
itself. After leaving school they encounter a new environment, a new way
of living, and they have to learn all over again. The relationship with
their parents is different. Evil is confused with ignorance, it is a
traditional time for making mistakes."
"We are going to vote for a
Member’s Committee next week." He handed Susan Lancaster, aged 16, of
Womersley Road, Knottingley, a card. She slipped away to get a proposer
and a seconder so that she could be a canditate.
The club has excellent
premises, A games room. girls powder room, showers and toilets, boys
work room and leaders office- that’s the ground floor. Walk up a spiral
staircase and you discover the long room and refreshment bar, the
activities room, the lounge, the library and the committee. Four smart
young women behind the well-stocked refreshment bar attracted my
attention. I was a stranger to all four, but not for long. Young people
are rarely anti-social; it is foreign to their make-up. "I like serving
behind the counter, you get to know more people," said June Mather, a
pretty 16-year old, of Acacia Walk, Knottingley,
"What is an average night’s
sales?" I asked 15 year old Anne Iveson, of Vale Crescent, Ferrybridge
Road. "About three dozen packets of crisps, two dozen bottles of pop and
loads- we can’t keep count - of Pepsi and Lemonade."
She pointed to the first
soft drinks on draught I had seen. A large membership of 385 augers well
for Knottingley and district. They don’t all go to the club every night,
of course, but most of the five nights a week it is open the club has a
three-figure attendance dance. Mr. Vickers wife helps him in the club,
and Bill Haggan, a Durham ‘import’ to Kellingley Colliery, lends
valuable assistance. Miss Mary Brittain and Mr. John Wilbourne are
"The club doesn't exist
just to keep the young people off the streets," said Mr. Vickers. I took
his point. ?
10TH NOVEMBER 1966
GIRLS RAISE £25 FOR ABERFAN
The chairman of KUDC, Cr.
W. Sarvent, said at the monthly meeting of the Council that he was proud
to announce that the people of Knottingley and Ferrybridge had raised
£565 in one week for the Aberfan Disaster Fund. Cr. Sarvent accepted £25
for the fund raised by Patricia Rhodes, of Broomhill Stores, and Linda
Swales of Broomhill Grove, by means of a jumble sale. The girls have now
raised £60 during the past two years for various charities.
A coffee evening and
bring-and-buy sale arranged by the Mayor and Mayoress of Pontefract, (Cr
and Mrs D.Robinson) in the Old Town Hall on Thursday raised £68 for the
Years in Focus is researched by
Maurice Haigh and reproduced
with the permission of the Pontefract & Castleford Express.
[Focus Years Index]