A091 – A Local Quarry, Pre 1939.
|Sometimes I just don’t get things right, and sharing Brian Triffitt’s memories with you is a prime example. I didn’t realise until Brian pointed it out that he had written his memories in order, and supplied them to me in short bursts, but numbered, so today I share what should have been the first of his memories about the quarries he used to play in. My apologies to Brian and to you all if this snippet doesn’t make sense, but its worth reading and of course the other memories are stored on this website. Carlo Harrison.
“My play ground in the quarries around Moor Lane, Guiseley.
I was born at number 28 Bingley Lands, Guiseley, in March 1936, now the site of Frank Parkinson retirement homes off Kelcliffe Lane.
By November of that year we had moved into number 5 Moorland Crescent on the new Moorland estate.
My sister Beryl being born there in April 1937.
So all the quarries and fields in that area were to be my childhood play ground, along with my neighbours and mates at that time who were;
Betty & Eric Stephenson,
Joyce & Bernard Metcalfe,
David & Robert Kendall,
and of course my own sister Beryl, and many other mates from around the estate.
We had a small piece of land to play on at the moor lane end of Moorland Crescent, on this during the war years was our streets air raid shelter, this was our den, until it was pulled down after the war, but the bricks were all dumped in Wheatleys quarry so we used them to build our own new dens.
But then in later years the land at the end of our street was built on, a police house, and Sergeant Brown and his family of five children.
We had seven quarries in and around Moor Lane,
The play quarry,
The fish pond quarry,
Reddiough’s, and a very small quarry, going to the right from the corner of Moor Lane, along the lane that led to old Billy Bells farm.
It stood on the left hand corner as you went up the hill towards the
lone house that stood on top of the hill.
You can carry on up this lane to bring you onto York Gate or turn right by the lone house, onto Cross Lane and back down onto Carlton Lane”
“After Ripley lane comes the allotment area, still there even after all these years but now twice as big.
After the allotments comes what we used to call the play quarry, we spent a lot of time in this quarry which is probably why we called it the play quarry.
I can remember all the powder blue moths and all the different butterflies that were attracted to the many different plants and flowers that grew there.
We also used to turn over the many stones that were flattened into the ground and watch the ants scurrying around carrying their little white eggs along the many little passages.
It was also a good place for the many birds that were around in those days many of which you never seem to see at all now.
As with all the quarries it was a good blackberry site.
We used to have some good fun sliding down the two mud slides we created that ran from the top level down into the quarry bottom.
There was a well in the quarry bottom and it was covered over with Natural stone flags.
At some point about the back end of the 1940’s a model racing car club set up a circular track using the centre of the well top as the circle centre point from which a metal stake was positioned with a wire attached to use as a pivot point and the other end attached to the car.
The owner of the car would then start the small engine and release the car to go around the track, and from a set starting point it would be timed over so many laps and at the end of the session they would see who had done the fastest time of the day.
There used to be a good gathering of folk lining the wall top to watch the cars when the club held their meeting.
Back in those far of day’s summer was always sunny and warm and the grass would be very dry.
We used to go to old Mrs Wheatleys shop at the corner of Carlton Lane and buy a box of matches, go back up to the quarry and have a little fire,
Until one day we couldn’t put it out, so what do you do when things go wrong, you run!
We disappeared over the wall into the next quarry, and when the fire brigade came to put out the fire we came out of our hidey hole, stood with all the other folk who had come up Moor Lane to see what was going on, and we were so innocent when we said, eh who did that?
And when it was all done we just ambled back down home for our tea as though nothing had happened.
Oh happy days.”
Consolidated by Jack Brayshaw. 02 September 2022.
Last updated: 02 September 2022.