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Content * * *
Welcome to Brompton - with Maps of Village and surrounding area

All Brompton Heritage Group(BHG)-including Events Programme

A Brief History of Brompton's Linen Industry

Brompton Heritage & Family History Day


BROMPTON IN FLOOD - Pictures and stories

PEOPLE & PLACES IN DAYS GONE BY - Pictures & Stories

A WALK ROUND BROMPTON as it is now -- come & join us........

BROMPTON SCHOOLDAYS - Pictures & Stories

VERA BRITTAIN'S - My Brompton Days in pictures & words

DOREEN NEWCOMBE nee FORTH - My Brompton Days

John Wilford & Sons - Linen Manufacturers

Pattison-Yeoman, Linen Manufacturers-Old Pictures

FARMING around Brompton - People, Places & Stories


FOOTBALL IN BROMPTON - History and Pictures

Article under construction




"My Family Life in Brompton" by Betty Dobson (Baines)

The Boon Family story - Fred and Desmond (Dizzy) Boon

The Chartists of Brompton - from a talk by Harry Fairburn

EVACUATION TO BROMPTON - WW2 - Sunderland Bede Collegiate Boys’

More stories of Brompton past by George Appleby

From Brompton to Australia - the Wilford Family in Australia

LORNA EMMERSON (nee FLETCHER) - My Brompton Days -

A story about a typical 19C Brompton family - by Sue Aldam

Links for Brompton Matters


Here is a look into Brompton's past......................

Also included is a selection of pictures and stories kindly donated by Elizabeth Coupe nee Balch showing Whitsuntide pageant and Fancy Dress in the 1930’s Village Hall activities and Friendly societies.
It's a long page, sit back and Enjoy !!!!

View up Northallerton Road from Church Green area

(Picture kindly contributed by Colin Narramore)

This picture dated 1908 shows the cottages on left now numbered from number 1 Northallerton Road onwards. Traffic is a little more sedate than the present day and the kids would not be able to pose for the camera like this nowadays.
Colin's Grandma lived, I believe, in No 3.
Shop on corner at right of picture is the current 21st century (and only!!)shop and Post Office


Boys & Girls at Whitsuntide Carnival and Parade 1951

(Picture kindly contributed by Colin Narramore)
(Thanks to Billy Baines & his sister Betty Dobson (nee Baines) for contributing names)

Left to Right
Rear row - Alan Hoare, ? Pattison, Maurice Gibson, Billy Lincoln, John Brown, Peter Kirkbride (at back), Alan (Garry) Dawson, Billy Stockdale (at back), George Bradley, Ronnie Carr, Betty Wilson, Jean Hodgson, Babs Robinson.

Left to Right
Middle row (Kneeling) Frank Robinson, Kenny Robinson, Desmond Gibson, Kenneth Bickerton, Norman Coverdale, Neil Hunton, Stewart Nelson

Front row (mostly seated) - Neville Atkinson(at front wearing cap), Noname (with cup? on head?), Bobby Kilding, John Atkinson, Billy Baines, Billy Lyons, Brian Hood seated in front of Harry Bell, Malcolme Tyreman (at front with stripey tanktop), Cecil Blenkinsop(half hidden), ? Marchant


View North up Station Road

(Picture kindly contributed by Colin Narramore)

This wonderful old photo taken in 1906 shows great activity around the Blacksmith's shop near the crossroads in the middle of the village.
On the very left hand side is the Crown Inn. The Blacksmith's shop was Sam Hardcastle's during the 40's and 50's. The Blacksmiths and the adjacent cottages are no longer there but they were located in what is now the Crown car park and Recycling centre ).
Wilford mill chimney is in the background and some say that the building shown next to the Crown was built out of the old Toll booth which stood in the middle of this crossroads.
Claude Wilford bought the tollbooth and demolished it in around 1912 so that he would not have to negotiate around it in his new car, believed to be the first in the village.
Not everyone agrees with this story?
The building on the right is the 3 HorseShoes and the road to the right leads up Cockpit Hill towards Water End. Behind us is Lead Lane and to the left at the crossroads is Shop End, High Green, Church Green and the road to Northallerton.


Children at the weir at Water End

(Picture kindly contributed by Colin Narramore)

This excellent view taken in 1906 of children with their prams, shows how the beck was dammed to provide a weir and there was sufficient water to use the area as a boating lake (see pictures further down this page). This made Brompton very popular as a day out in the country for Teessiders who came by train and charabanc. The boats are believed to have been removed after the First World War but there are many people who continue to visit Brompton and the Village Inn to this day.Needless to say, they normally come by road nowadays.
At the back can be seen the cottages on the north side of Water End and the geese who were so familiar to Bromptonians can be seen behind the children.


Church View from Manor House to Shop End

(Picture kindly contributed by Colin Narramore)

This view shows the Manor House on the left with it's archway hidden by the trees in the front garden. This was the main Wilford house during the early days of the Wilford linen manufacturing.
The houses on the left lead down to Shop End and a number of shops can be seen amongst these houses.The last one to close at Shop End was the Post Office at 10/11 Church View when the then Post Mistress took early retirement.
At the far end in the centre of the picture, is the old TollBooth in the middle of what is now a busy crossroads (and no doubt it was busy then also...........).
There are no trees on Church Green on the right in this picture taken around the turn of the 19th/20th century. The tree overhanging the top right hand corner is the famous and wonderful Copper Beech in the NE corner of St Thomas churchyard opposite the Manor House.
More shops can be seen centre right, hence the area being known as Shop still is called Shop End despite the shops there having all closed.


Boating at Water End

(Picture kindly contributed by Colin Narramore)

This picture shows the dam and the weir at Water End with a few of the local men enjoying the Jolly Boating Weather.
On the left can be seen the ford through the beck and the bridge on the left was just a footbridge at the time.
Claude Wilford had a bridge built which was big enough to take road traffic when he got his car in about 1912 and it has been known as Wilford bridge ever since.
The "middle" footbridge can be seen in the background and the trees which are fairly young there are now fully mature and magnificent.


The end of a busy day on the Boating lake at Water End

(Picture kindly contributed by Colin Narramore)

Here you can see the boats at rest in the boating lake at Water End. The geese are feeding on the green and there is a gas lamp on the north side of the green.
There seems to be plenty of water in the beck, we always nowadays seem to have either too little or too much when it floods!!


Cedar Mount, Boating Lake and children of Brompton

(Picture kindly contributed by Harry Cooke with thanks to Mary Wilford-Nowe in Belgium)

This picture of Cedar Mount taken about 1900 once again shows children playing by the boating lake.
At this time, George Henry Wilford was living in Cedar Mount until his death in 1910. He was a grandson of John William Wilford who started the linen business of JW Wilford & Sons which was in existence from about 1750 to about 1960.
His son John Claude Stewart Wilford became head of the house at this time and he lived at Cedar Mount with his wife Louisa (nee Fowler)until his death in 1948. His wife Louisa died in 1966 and they are believed to be the last Wilfords to live in the village although there are many relatives and/or descendents of the Wilford family in the village and the local area.
More on the Wilfords and their Linen Manufacturing later.


Village Hall 12th March 1951

(Picture kindly contributed by Colin Narramore.)
(Thanks to Billy Baines & Vera Brittain for contributing names)

Brompton Badminton Club Social & Dance

In this "game" of Musical Chairs the first male on the left is Eric Husthwaite with Dolly Winn on his knee. On this end next at the front in patterned dress is Mabel Lakin seated on Colin Burn's knee (one of the Burn boys). Doreen Newcombe nee Forth is 4th lady on right from the front leaning forward with Miss Dorothy Blaire on the 5th knee.


Yorkshire County Federation of Women's Institutes 22nd March

(Picture kindly contributed by Colin Narramore)
Yorkshire Women's Institute Novice Drama Competition held at Brompton


Garden Fete 16th August 1951

(Picture kindly contributed by Colin Narramore)
(Thanks to Billy Baines for contributing names)
Brompton Vicarage Garden Fete

Billy Baines can be seen in the middle of the picture looking up at the lady with the basket. To Billy's right is Joyce Claydon with Joyce's mother above his head. Below Billy nearest the table and basket in the white top is Jaqueline Kilding with Anne Kirby half-hidden by the lady's arm (the lady in the pale dress and hat) standing next to the Vicar.
The Vicar is William Ben Seaton and the boy to the right behind the Vicar is John Atkinson


Village Hall 7th February 1952

(Picture kindly contributed by Colin Narramore)
Brompton Women's Sick Club 21st Birthday Party


Scene outside "Three Horse Shoes" - 1st December 1949

(Picture kindly contributed by Colin Narramore)

Brompton's 80 year old Telegraph Boy salutes friends outside the Three Horse Shoes inn

Pictured from left to right,MR ROBERT COVERDALE on the bike, Syd Marchant (chauffeur to the Wilfords), Bill Sheffield and Jack Tyreman.


What a team! Green Tree Darts team 1949

(Picture kindly contributed by Colin Narramore)
(Thanks to Billy Baines, John Burn and Colin Narramore for contributing names)

Back row
Left to right
Raymond Burn, Harry Burn, Jim Burn (landlord), Tommy Dawson, Unknown lady

Front row
Left to right
Unknown, Paddy Neesham, Fred Hardcastle, Charlie Shepherd, Unknown


Village Hall 12th January 1950

(Picture kindly contributed by Colin Narramore)

Brompton Old Folks enjoy their annual Christmas treat


Garden Fete in Village Hall 28th September 1950

(Picture kindly contributed by Colin Narramore)
(Thanks to Billy Baines for contributing names)

Small boy in dark clothing at front is Neil Hunton (Dunn), other boy not known
From Left to Right
Half hidden is Alan (PuP) Thompson, Noname lady, Noname lady, Mrs Dunn, Noname lady half hidden, Mabel Thompson, Vera Robinson (above Mabel - half hidden), Noname lady, WB Seaton (The Vicar), Noname lady, Noname man, ? Wetherill, Noname man


New "Old People's Club" opens 21st December 1950

(Picture kindly contributed by Colin Narramore)

Ted Husthwaite standing at the rear

Do you have any more names you would like us to add?


Whist Drive in Village Hall 21st December 1950

(Picture kindly contributed by Colin Narramore)
(Thanks to Billy Baines for contributing names)
Whist Drive in aid of funds for Whitsuntide Sports Day

Stan Shepherd at front (with hand on mouth) with Sam Hardcastle the Village Blacksmith next to him. On Sam's right (half hidden) is Trevor Johnson.
Vernon Joblin is in the dark suit on the far table fifth from the right on this side of the table


Brompton Scouts Annual Party - Village Hall 18 January 1951

(Picture kindly contributed by Colin Narramore)
(Thanks to Billy Baines for contributing names)

Left (front to rear)
Roger Tomlinson, Tommy Flowers, Desmond Gibson,Tommy Lee, Billy Baines (nearest to table), John Baines, Anthony McLean, David Robson, Alan Young?

Adults at far end of table
Noname, Noname, Mrs Greathead, Vera Robinson, Mr Dennis

Right (front to rear)
Noname, Mrs Tomlinson, Noname,Michael Greathead, Geoffry Robinson, Billy Lincoln(nearest to table), Bill Stockdale, John Pollard, Noname,Noname

Vicar at front is William Ben Seaton


Tree Planting Hilton Close - 1953 Coronation of Queen Elizabeth

(Thanks to Billy Baines for contributing picture and most of the names)

Back row - Muriel Gibson (holding child), Helen Dennis, Audry Jenner(holding child), Edna Robinson(holding child), Lionel (Baldy) Coates, Brian Winn, Freda Robinson

Middle row - Noname, Elizabeth Balch, Susan Walker (with hood), Tommy Flowers(with cap), Beryl Jenner(hood), Dorothy Jenner(hood), Tall boy unknown, John Baines, Billy Baines(balaclava), little girl unknown, Roger Tomlinson (School cap), Oliver Kilbride, Joan Winn(woolly bonnet), Joan Hebden(beret), Joyce Vayro, Irene Vayro(both wearing bonnets)

Smaller kids middle row - ? Walker(white bonnet), Dianne(Squash) Lemon(wearing white ribbon), Kathleen Flowers, Annette Winn, Jenifer Kilbride (Beatle haircut), Alan Young with spade and possibly Jessica Plumpton holding tree.


Retta Potter nee Hoare pictured around 1946

This picture and text kindly contributed by George Appleby shows Retta Potter nee Hoare in the doorway of the shop house at Water End.
Number 14 was the shop, 16 the connected shop house and 18 next door where Agatha, her mother, was born in 1882 and lived after retiring from the shop until she died. The photo would be about 1946 when the war ended and films were available again.


Robert Clark and Elizabeth Mary Kilvington

This delightful picture believed to be of Robert Clark and Elizabeth Mary Clark (nee Kilvington) was kindly contributed by Rosalyn Greenwood of Knaresborough who is researching family names Clark, Kilvington, Buckle and Elgie.

It was probably taken at the original Ivy Cottage, now demolished, which was next to Sandgate House over the road from the present Ivy Cottage.

They retired here after farming at Brompton Banks farm sometime after the 1891 census.

Robert died in 1906 aged 78 and Elizabeth died in 1918 aged 90.


Brompton Station 1922

(Picture kindly contributed by Colin Narramore)

Brompton was built to a typical North East Railway company country station design.
In 1846 an act of parliament authorised the building of the Yarm branch of the Leeds and Thirsk railway company to link Leeds with Teesside. Building started in 1852 and the line was opened on May 15th 1854,the original company had been taken over by the N.E.R.
The railway station, pictured above in 1922,was closed to passengers in 1963 (see picture below).

(Picture kindly contributed by Colin Narramore)
Last passenger train departs from Brompton Station in 1963


Mrs Sarah Walker at 58 Water End in late 1920's

(Picture kindly contributed by Colin Narramore)

Mrs Sarah Walker in the doorway of her house at 58 Water End in the late 1920s.
This is one of Colin's favourite photographs as it typifies the working housewife of that era.


P.C. George Tiffany

(Picture kindly contributed by Colin Narramore)

Brompton village " Bobby " P.C. George Tiffany pictured in 1912 outside his house at Water End


Brompton Girl Guides 1926

(Picture kindly contributed by Colin Narramore)

The smartly presented Brompton Girl Guides pose for the photographer in 1926, only known names are that of Hilda Relph 4th row from front 5th from left and her sister Nellie 3rd row from front 3rd from right.
Do you know anyone else ?


Cedar Mount & Water End cottages 1908

(Picture kindly contributed by Colin Narramore)

Water End Brompton 1908,the stone gate pillars on the left mark the entrance to Cedar Mount,once the home of Claude Wilford great-grandson of the Wilford Mill founder.
The cottages show the northern side of Water End including Stainthorp's cottages leading to Fullicar Lane.


Mrs Hull with her daughter Ann

(Picture kindly contributed by Colin Narramore)

Mrs Hull with her daughter Ann pose for the camera outside their General Store at Water End Brompton.
This store was also featured in George Appleby's stories where Danny Hoare and his mother Agatha traded in earlier days.
The postbox in the wall can still be seen to this day although how long the now "privatised" Postal service will empty it is not yet known.


Northallerton Methodist Youth Eisteddfod prizewinners of 1949

(Picture kindly contributed by Alan Stewart and some names and details provided by Alan Stewart and Joyce Boon)

Several of the children in this picture are from Brompton, they are mainly in the middle row.
The known names are as follows:-
Second Row, 2nd from left (with paper) is Muriel Gibson, Freda Robinson in dark top, Joyce Boon (with dark hair behind Freda), Pat Dennis (blonde hair face partly hidden),to her left is Sheila Walker and Mabel Laking hiding unknown girl's face at rear and Evelyn Watson on the end with the long hair and white dress.
Third from the left on the front row is Yvonne Lee who was a regular visitor to Brompton. It's possible she was related to Lee's corner shop.
4th from the left on the front row is Emily Outram.


Annual General Meeting of the Odd Fellows

Picture and description kindly provided by George Appleby

The annual general meeting of the Odd Fellows comes now. We were all in it for the sick benefits and Dukie Tyreman was the local grand master. From the right front going back there is me, the Edgar, then Danny, then Johnny. At the right side going back along the wall is John Mitchinson's dad, but I can't remember his sirname, Charlie Shepherd, fourth, Percy Lee, then next but one to him Walker who married Jessie Robinson, My dad's cousin. Can't make
anybody else out in the shade.


Elizabeth Coupe nee Balch – My family and Brompton

The following pictures were kindly made available for us all to see by Elizabeth Coupe nee Balch who left Brompton in 1960.
Elizabeth has many family connections with Brompton. Her family has been traced back to the C.18th in Brompton, when a William Smith walked from Swainby to work in the linen factory.
Elizabeth is featured on the picture of the Tree Planting Hilton Close - 1953 Coronation of Queen Elizabeth which can be seen in our “People & Places” section and is repeated here.

Elizabeth is standing- the second "big girl" from the left.


The most poignant image of Elizabeth’s family, at this time of the 90th Remembrance of the end of World War 1, can be seen on the pictures of the Brompton Football teams where her Grandfather James Smith and his brother Thomas are pictured in the team photos prior to the advent of World War 1. Sadly, as with so many families, neither of them returned and their names are recorded on the Lych Gate War Memorial. Please have a look at Steve Metcalfe’s Website (see our link below to find out more about these 2 brothers).

More recently, her Aunt, who lived in the village for most of her life (and who used to loan Elizabeth her copy of Clacking Shuttles) was rescued from her home in Viking Court up Corber Hill during the floods of 2000.

Whit pageant and Fancy Dress in the 1930’s

This picture of the Whit pageant was taken in the 1930’s and shows the Fancy Dress competition taking place on High Green (opposite the Chapel and The Cobbles with Slater’s butchers Shop on the right of the picture).
Elizabeth was brought up for her first 4 years with her Grandmother who lived in the cottage to the right of Slater’s butcher.


Brompton Board School group 1 C1904

This picture has been reproduced from a copy of a sepia print which shows its age and although this reproduction on the website may be quite poor (for which I apologize), it shows Brompton Board School group 1 C1904 we believe.
Elizabeth’s great Aunt, Jane Appleton is the girl scowling 3rd from the right on the 2nd row from the top. Her brother William (Billy) is second left on the front row.


Brompton Friendly Societies

This wonderful picture of the Brompton Friendly Societies is believed to be C1900. They are clearly outside the Three Horse Shoes pub and it must be an important occasion because of the ceremonial dress and the bunting/decoration and we would be pleased to receive more information about either the Friendly Societies or this particular occasion.
It is believed that Elizabeth’s Grandfather George Appleton is 2nd from the left at the back of this picture. He was married to Elizabeth nee Robinson, the parents of Jane & Billy who appear on the School photo above. He was a Coal Merchant at the Coal Yard between the Wilford Mill and the Railway (still a very active local Coal Merchant)


Whitsuntide Pageant in the 1930’s

This picture of an unknown boy watching this also unknown young man riding the Penny Farthing bike in his Sunday best is also believed to be at the Whitsuntide Pageant in the 1930’s. Any names would be very welcome.
W.G. Slater Family Butcher is clearly seen behind him.


Queen of Hearts

This picture shows Elizabeth’s mother in the centre of the Village Hall stage as Queen of Hearts. Seated in front of her is her lifelong friend Diddy Thwaites.
Elizabeth’s Mum, 93 years of age at the time we posted this picture, believes that she was about 18 at the time so we reckon this picture is dated C1933. Up to very recently (2008), these two performers and friends have been in weekly telephone contact for the past 50 years although sadly, Diddy’s recent illness has now brought this contact to an end.


Village Hall assembly – does anyone know the occasion?

This picture shows an assembly in the Village Hall on Cockpit Hill. The occasion is unknown but it is believed that the man at the back, 3rd from the left is Elizabeth’s Grandfather George.

Thanks to Elizabeth for the above pictures and stories.


The Old Lock Up on The Green

(Picture kindly contributed by Colin Narramore)
Mr Albert Johnson going through the door of the Old Lock up which was located behind Number 1 The Green. It was a 12ft square brick building with a stout wooden door which was still in use up to the First World War.


Water End around the Black Swan (Village Inn) 1910

This top picture kindly contributed by Colin Narramore shows Water End in 1910 with the Black Swan pub (now Village Inn) in the far centre of the shot beyond the horse and cart. The sign on the pub says Black Swan and John Smiths but the landlord’s name is hard to read. Whose name would be there in 1910? If you know, let us know.
The horse and cart grazing on the green belongs to the gentleman delivering to what is now Number 78, it looks like he has a basket on his arm. Could be a baker, a grocer or perhaps it is one of the Hoare’s delivering fruit and vegetables? Poultry can be seen on the green and there is a man holding a horse outside what is now Number 82 which is now a much bigger house. The bottom picture shows a view in June 2009 from more or less the same position.


High Green in 1915

(Picture kindly contributed by Colin Narramore)

This postcard shows High Green in 1915, with the Wesleyan Methodist Chapel on the left (arched doorway and Notice Board) and the newly planted trees on the Green itself. The Wesleyan Methodist Chapel was built in 1817 and restored in 1878. It has now been converted into residential use.
The Chapel Sunday school built in 1893 can be seen in the distance on the right and this is the current Methodist Chapel although the entrance porch has been removed and a wheelchair friendly entrance is on the left of the building.
Looking at this view today shows that it looks essentially as it did then, the main difference being that now there are cars parked outside every house and on every available piece of roadway, thankfully not on the Green. The trees are now mature.


Syd Walker washes his bus (1960’s)

(Picture kindly contributed by Colin Narramore)

This picture taken probably sometime in the 1960’s shows local bus proprietor Syd Walker washing his bus in the ford at Water End.


Walker’s Shop at Water End

(Picture kindly contributed by Colin Narramore)

One of Brompton’s many shops (see Doreen Newcombe’s article on shops in Brompton for further details), Walker’s Shop was located halfway down the south side of Water End almost opposite the “Middle Bridge”.


Primitive Methodist Chapel Cockpit Hill 1905

(Picture kindly contributed by Colin Narramore)

This 1905 picture of Cockpit Hill (without safety railings!!) shows to the right of the drainpipe, the Primitive Methodist Chapel. This was erected in 1821 and the picture below shows its minister in 1906, Reverend G J Lane pictured with chapel officials. The gentleman 2nd from right with beard is John Richardson. The Primitives and the Methodists amalgamated in 1934.

(Picture kindly contributed by Colin Narramore)

The building is now a private house and can be seen in the 2007 picture below:-

Easter 1930 Primitive Methodist Bazaar.

(Picture kindly contributed by Colin Narramore)

This delightful and interesting card was sent by Rose Atkinson to a Miss A Tweddle at Water End to raise money at the Easter 1930 Primitive Methodist Bazaar.


Floods at Water End.

(Picture & text kindly contributed by George Appleby)

This one is almost the same as the one already on the site, except one horse and cart is missing. It shows the foot bridge which was to be replaced by the road bridge for motor cars very well.


School photo in 1957/8:

(Picture & text kindly contributed by George Appleby)

Our daughter Ruth is 6 from left on front row. 8 along is Maureen Pollit and at the end Margeret Beharel, her friends who also lived in Hilton Green.


School Photo 1959

(Picture & text kindly contributed by George Appleby)

On this one in 1959 their faces are more recognisable as they grow older. Ruth is 2 in from left on front row, Margeret 7 in and Maureen 4 in from left on centre row.


The Bradley Sisters.

(Picture & text kindly contributed by George Appleby)

This shows of the three surviving sisters of the old established Brompton family of Bradleys. Agatha Ann Hoare. Sitting in the middle, Harriot, Eliza, Edna, Rowena, Margerete Cornforth who lived on Cockpit Hill opposite the village hall. On the right, Blanche, Loretta Hepworth. She left Brompton to go into service outside Leeds and married a cousin from the Hepworth family in Barnesley. Their mother, Mary Joblin-hepworth who married Robert Bradley, age sixteen, after living in with the Clarks on Winton Bank as servant, trecked from Barnsley with her Hepworth family for work in the linen trade. Her and her husband went to Canada and became prominent members of the Jehova Witnesses. She was here for one of their conventions at Wembley and stayed with Agatha for several weeks. She did not manage to make any converts but tried.


A Family Outing on the Moors

(Picture & text kindly contributed by George Appleby)

This was a group of branches of the family to Osmotherley for the benefit of Blanche. The Hoares, Cornforths, Bradleys and Applebys on the moors near Swainby. Blanche wore her white hat throughout.


Green Tree revellers 1958/9.

(Picture & text kindly contributed by George Appleby)

This would be about 1958/9; a Green Tree group of revellers. Ada Parish at the back. On the left of the photo by the piano Jean Thompson, whose dad had the Black Swan, and her husband, an retired Squadron Leader. Next to Jean, Retta. The two ladies in front of her were from Osmotherley.
Sylvia and I are middle left. I know the other faces but not the names.


1958 Christmas party at the Green Tree

(Picture & text kindly contributed by George Appleby)

This was the 1958 Xmas party at the Green Tree; 2/6d a head. Donnie Hunton and Eileen Dunn, his wife, were landlord and landlady. She is standing at the back 3 in from the right and her mam is looking over her shoulder. Going up from the front left, ? Whitaker, Ivy Gregg, Retta, her husband John, Vena Wilson, Nora Neesham, her husband Eric Eynson.
Standing from the left along; Marrion Dunn, Ada Parish, Dukie Tyreman, Arnold Dunn, Stan Dunn's wife Doreen behind. Know the faces but not the names of the other two. Sitting on the right side from the front; Don't know name then Agness Elgie (Dukie's wife.) Don't know name next two. Sylvia, me and Ada Parish's daughter at the end.


1977, OAP do in the village hall.

(Picture & text kindly contributed by George Appleby)

Facing the camera, Danny Hoare my uncle and mam's brother, Danny's wife Lilly who used to be cook to Mrs Williamson at the close, my mother Mary Appleby before she emigrated to New Zealand, her brother Edgar Hoare my uncle, who I spent many long days hawking fruit and veg around surrounding villages with and on Thirsk markets.



(Picture kindly contributed by Colin Narramore)

This bill from September 1942 shows Mrs Garbutt purchasing a piano from W. Smith & Son, Tailors and Outfitters. The piano cost £30 and it was paid for over 28 weeks.


Purchase of 2 Brompton Road (now 47) for £400.7shillings

(Picture kindly contributed by Colin Narramore)

This 1935 bill from Walter Thompson is for a house bought by Colin’s uncle, Harry Relph. (Number 2 Brompton Road is now Number 47.)

1928 Bill from Husthwaite’s Tobacconist

(Picture kindly contributed by Colin Narramore)


Windress' Paper Shop Bill

(Picture kindly contributed by Colin Narramore)

Notepaper from Allan Windress’ Newsagents Shop on Cockpit Hill


This aerial view shows the old windmill in full use for farming storage. Vera Brittain who kindly contributed this picture, remembers the farmer used to let the local school girls practice their milking in the cow-sheds. There are some clues as to when this picture was taken but if you know exactly, or have some idea when it was taken, please let us know. Thanks


Gladys Wetherill's story

Gladys Wetherill (nee………..)
(story as told to the Brompton Heritage Group)

When the War started, Gladys was 10 years old, living at Water End with her parents, 5 brothers and 1 sister, and attending Brompton school. Her Father did the driving for Mr Wilford, a mill owner who also lived at Water End, and who had 2 cars. A car was an unusual sight in the village. Her Mother took in other families’ washing, though she already had 9 of her own family to wash for. At the beginning of the War, she gave a home to 2 boy evacuees, so the children had to sleep 2 to a bed – “top and tail”. One of the evacuees turned out to be a “bad’un”, though he looked angelic. When he was caught stealing money from his hosts, the authorities were notified and he was removed, but the other lad became a long term friend of the family.

Though there was no money to spare for toys, the children made their own fun and had a good time. The Water End Green and beck played a big part in this, especially in the summer, when the children paddled and fished in the water, dug in the mud and walked across the beck balancing on some pipes, frequently falling in.

When double summer time was introduced during the War, to help the farmers maximise the hours of daylight, the children played out till late, having games of rounders etc, while the adults took kitchen chairs to their front doorsteps and sat outside chatting. The Green was important in other ways. Cows and geese were kept there, as it was common land for anyone to use, and one farmer exercised his horses on it before selling them on to the army.

The beginning of the War was marked by the news bulletins on the radio. Adults did not explain to children what was happening, so they gleamed what they could by eavesdropping. One morning, the once familiar Green became transformed into a transit camp for soldiers who had been rescued from Dunkirk. They were washing themselves and their clothes in the beck, and boiling up water on camp fires. This was the Border Regiment, who was billeted in the village and church halls and Sunday schools. The soldiers baked bread under canvas, did PE on the recreation ground on Northallerton Road, and did training on the Greens. Villagers were asked to give them hot meals at midday. The officers occupied 2 cottages on Cockpit Hill, and a sentry was stationed on Water End Bridge.

The Borderers were here for some time, and made a big contribution to village life. They gave impromptu concerts in the village hall, and some of them married local girls. When they left, the villagers turned out to see them off, many of them in tears and singing a song made up for the occasion – “Bring Back the Brompton Border Boys”. The tune and words can still be remembered by some. The Borderers were replaced by the East Lancashire Regiment and then the Northumberland Fusiliers, but these did not stay long enough to win the hearts of the villagers in the same way.

Other newcomers to the village, brought in by the circumstances of war, were some Polish men, who were billeted on Little Lane in Nissan Huts for a time. Some of these married local girls also. When they left, the same premises lodged Land Army girls, who worked on the surrounding farms, and also added to the social life of the village by giving parties, dances and fancy dress competitions. Then there were the evacuees, many of whom remained friends for life with the people who took them in. At the end of the War, these families each received a letter of thanks from the Queen, wife to King George VI.

Women’s lives changed at this time. Many women turned out to help on local farms at peak times, such as harvest and threshing. Some of them got work in Northallerton to replace the men who went off to fight.

Going out into the fields to pick rosehips in the autumn was part of the war effort for village children. A child received 2d for a pound of rosehips, which were then sent off to be made into rosehip syrup, a rich source of vitamin C, which was much needed when oranges and many other fruits could not be brought in from abroad. As another means of making a few pennies, children would offer to do the shopping for neighbours, visiting the many Brompton shops and having to remember all the prices and bring back the exact amount of change, which did wonders for their mental arithmetic.

There were some very cold winters during the war years, and when the beck froze over, the children walked on the ice to school. Sometimes the ice broke, and some of them got a soaking.

Bits of Perspex, used for the windows in aircraft, could be found, and the girls strung pieces together for “jewellery”. Mothers used parachute silk to make into underwear and even wedding dresses. Nothing was wasted.

Very few people had holidays even before the War. Soon after the War started, however, Gladys and her sister were sent off to Hartlepool to stay with relatives, but returned almost immediately, because the bombing raids began! A big excitement for the villagers was to go to local air fields for Open Days. Buses were provided, and nearly all the village went. As there was no petrol to spare, the buses ran on gas, which was held in containers on wheels and pulled along behind each bus. At the air fields, people could look inside the planes, some of which were riddled with bullet holes. It seemed amazing how many of them managed to fly, they were so flimsy looking. The Canadian Air force, stationed nearby, flew in the biggest treat – ice-cream, which couldn’t be obtained normally. These outings were holidays to the villagers.

An average Brompton home had no bathroom. The toilet was in a shed in the garden, which was horrid to use at night, with only a candle, which often blew out. This could be terrifying for children, as rats were likely to be in attendance. At the back of the house was the wash-house with the boiler, where the women did all that laundry. This was also where the family had baths, in a tin tub, starting with the youngest. If the weather was really bad, the tin tub was brought into the kitchen where it was warmer.

Villagers were allowed to keep a pig, hens and ducks in the garden, and they also grew a lot of vegetables. When the hens weren’t laying, frozen eggs were delivered in enormous tins, which were placed in front of the fire to thaw out.

When Gladys was 14 or 15, she left school to start work in Northallerton with the Ministry of Agriculture. She couldn’t afford the bus fair into work, and her great aim was to own a bike. Buying one outright was impossible, so, when funds allowed, she bought bits of bike piecemeal – a chain one week, a wheel another etc – and then her father put all of it together for her. She was very proud of the final article.

The traditional Whit sports and carnival managed to keep going right through the war years, and lasted 3 days, with long distance races, tugs of war, and even pillow fights across the beck.

It was unusual for the children of Water End to play with those from High End (Shop End). There was great rivalry, especially on Bonfire Night (not held during the War, of course) when each Green had its own bonfire. Everyone did come together, though, for major celebrations, such as those when the War ended in 1945, when there were tea parties and dances.

Though the War years were terrible in many ways, they did enrich the village with the widening of horizons through new experiences and meeting new people. Children were left very much to their own devices, and enjoyed the freedom to roam across the countryside, and to develop their own entertainment. Even the sounds of aircraft, seeing the search lights sweeping the sky, and having to hide under the table when there was an air raid warning, were somehow exciting.


Mrs Pollard

(Picture kindly contributed by Colin Narramore)

We think Mrs Pollard is in her work clothes and that she worked at Wilford's mill around the turn of the century C1900.
Grateful for any further information please.


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