X181 – Quarry.
|Brian Triffitt of Guiseley shares this brief memory with us.
“The smallest quarry was right at the top left hand corner of Moor Lane, where now stands a row of green farm buildings.
This was the fish pond quarry, with two small ponds in the bottom.
For its size it was full of wild life, sticklebacks, water beetles, newts, frog’s, toad’s, dragonflies, plus all the birds that were around, and during the summer the swallows would be diving down for some water to help in the building of their mud nests.
We used to be up there on hot sunny days catching fish, and we would take the odd one or two home, keeping them in large glass sweet jars that we got from either Mrs Poppleton’s or Mrs Street’s shops down on Town Street.
Most of the time we would put them back to be caught again another day.
On one occasion I caught a dragonfly, I still have it to this day. (It’s dead now of course), wrapped in cotton wool and kept in an old red Elastoplast’s tin in the bottom of a draw, and that was seventy years ago.
It was a real shame when they started to fill in the old quarry.
A lot of rubbish came from the lamp works at Crompton Parkinson’s and came in open tin and wooden boxes, it was like glass wool and when it came in contact with the water it used to hiss and bubble away and smoke would rise up into the air.
Wild life just disappeared, such a shame.
I wonder if today’s youngsters would have enjoyed it as much as we did in our day.”
Another snippet from Brian Triffitt of Guiseley.
“The first quarry up moor lane opposite Mount Pleasant was an old council quarry, but always got called Wheatley’s quarry.
This was probably because George and Charlie Wheatley built the bungalow that still stands at the side of the entrance.
George and Charlie started keeping poultry in the quarry before going big time and started their poultry farm right at the top end of Ripley Lane which runs off to the left a little higher up Moor Lane.
At the entrance to the quarry were two large wooden gates, usually left wide open.
Inside the gates and to the left on top of the hill stood a large mill style stone chimney, and at the base of it a deep well.
I remember going home one night and got an almighty clip round the ears, someone had told my dad that I had been walking over one of the steel girders that spanned the well, I knew it wasn’t me, and found out later that it was Eileen Clegg of Mount Pleasant
(Eileen later went on to marry John Cooper who had an auto spares shop in Yeadon).
A bit further into the quarry you could turn left into a large square area surrounded on three sides by large stone walls about 15 or 20 foot high on which we used to practice our climbing skills, also a good place for blackbirds, thrushes, and pied wagtails to build their nests.
After that and still further into the quarry you came to what we called the valley and at the back was the cliff face.
We used to spend a lot of time playing on that cliff face and it was in later years when I took my own children up to have a look around and stood there and looked in horror.
If you can imagine that the cliff face looked very much like the overhang of Kilnsey Crag.
We used to imagine that we were quarry men digging under that, but come fireworks time and we would dig a hole into the face of the rock tie four banger together, put them in the hole, light them
And then run away as fast as your little legs could carry you.
That rocky overhang could have come down anytime even without the aid of bangers.
As children you don’t see these dangers after all you are out there enjoying yourselves.
Its only when you get older and you look back on those times
That you see them in a different light”
Consolidated by Jack Brayshaw. 01 September 2022.
Last updated: 01 September 2022.