X178 – Upper End Farm, Undated.
|Memories of a Guiseley Lad
|Read on …
Wills Gill is a hidden corner of Guiseley, ask people where it is and most folk in Guiseley have probably never heard of it, never mind tell you where it is.
Wills Gills, as those who know it would call it runs to the south east of Town Street at the junction of Moor Lane and Carlton Lane and down the back of Upper End Farm (which now has been converted into residential dwellings), for about six to seven hundred yards up to the fields that lead to the bottom of Yeadon banks,
In my child hood and even in later years the farm was owned and run by Pete and Phyllis Baker and their family, Pete’s brother Harry Baker owned Shaw Lane Farm, both farms running almost next to each other, but at the end of the 1940’s Harry sold some of his land to form what is now the Queensway Estate that started in the early 1950’s.
As children if we went to the cinema at Yeadon, from where we lived on Moorland Crescent we would walk down Wills Gills, through the style at the bottom and follow the footpath to come out at the end of Union Street and down to Church Street, turn left to cross the bottom of Shaw Lane Gardens then it would be over Shaw Beck following the footpath across the fields to come out at Haworth Lane, up Chapel Lane and onto Yeadon High Street.
In the 1940’s Wills Gills was a wonderful place, it was like a large picnic area, people would gather down there at weekends with their families for picnics and games, and of course with the beck that ran down from Carlton Lane that was a real draw for children, we used to dam it up in certain places to form large paddling pools in which we had loads of fun, unlike today the beck in those days had a good flow of clean water.
We often took our boats right up to the far end of the field and sail them all the way back down to where the beck disappeared under Wills Gill Lane and down to Guiseley rectory and beyond.
The far end of the field is where we had our cricket pitch, many a ball was lost as it sailed over the beck and into the hay field that stood next door (lots of happy hours spent playing here).
Our football pitch was still in the same field but in an area at the very top that ran parallel to Carlton Lane and onto the back of a cottage that stood there,
A lady had a small holding with a few small animals and some poultry but we never saw much of her, at some point in her life she had had a kid born with a goats head, but they say it didn’t grow to be very old.
Another game or activity we used to play was throwing arrows, these were lengths of stick or canes with a cross cut into one end and then a cardboard flight inserted, a groove was then cut around the stick just below the flight, you then had a piece of string and made a knot at one end, wrap the string round the groove and over the knot and the other end around your hand, then holding the pointed end of the stick with the same hand you would throw it as hard as you could using the string to propel it.
Long sticks would go the furthest but a short one would be the ones to go up high.
Pete Baker never gave us any problems with playing on his land, just as long as we didn’t cause any damage.
They were good days way back then.
Consolidated by Jack Brayshaw. 01 September 2022.
Last updated: 01 September 2022.