Thursday, 4 August 2011

Carrs - The Lost Village

In a way I suppose what I can remember of Carrs, could be written on a postcard!
No, that’s not completely true, and that would be far less than fair! But to be honest my memories of Carrs are very limited, and I suppose would fall in the category of small is beautiful, because that’s just how it was. Fabulous memories of a little village nestling under the shadow of “Cob Castle”, and the towering Hutch Bank Quarry.

From memory the main street which traversed the full length of the village was called Commerce Street, which ran from the junction with Booth Street at the Station side and all the way down and through the village to the children’s play area (built much later) which consisted of swings and a roundabout.







Leading off Commerce Street on the left hand side (East side) was Jane Street, and following on down Commerce Street perhaps for some one hundred yards you would meet up with William Street adjoining from the right hand side (West side), and then finally the next terraced row of houses again leading off to the right (West side) was Smithies Street.

I can also remember another house quite large which stood alone with a large garden and think it may have been called “Carr Villa”. This house stood out to be a slightly more grandeur than most of the surrounding houses in the area and I would probably have thought it could well have originally been built as the Manager’s House for the local nearby factory.

The only industrial building I remember was the very large three story white factory, which seemed to have lots and lots of whitewashed windows. It also had a very large chimney, which was about halfway along the length of the factory. And also to its West side was a lovely lodge, which would usually have Moorhens or Coots and perhaps Mallard meandering about in its rushy margins… This factory was a cotton manufacturing company that traded by the name of James Lambert and Co. Ltd. Sometimes I would go past the office and shout hello to Mr. Whitaker who was the Manager at that time. I am sure the late Jonas Hindle whose family ran the business for a long number of years was the founder of the factory.

I personally can only remember one shop in Carrs; it was a sort of general provisions, grocery/sweets tuck shop that was on the main street, Commerce Street.

I would visit the village quite regular to see a couple of pals from school. And we would “act the pig” as they say, or do what boys do, and sometimes would go up past Todd Hall and up the lane and eventually onto the top of the Quarry. I can remember the lane always seemed to have lovely colourful wildflower borders mainly consisting of heather, and sometimes you would smell that sweet honeydew aroma of freshly cut grass from the nearby haymaking fields. There was a time I remember when grass snakes could be found in the Hutch Bank area, but that was the 1950’s, sadly there have not been any reports of them since, to the best of my knowledge.

I remember the quarry always seemed a exciting prospect to investigate when we where lads, which had by now closed down as a working quarry. But was always especially intrigued by going through the two very dark tunnels, which had cold dripping water running down from above and sometimes on to your head, so you tried to duck and dive, as you fumbled your way through them. The tunnels had narrow gauge railway lines running through them. I suppose these were the very lines that the small locomotive “Ant” must have run on to move stone from one part of the quarry, and onward to the crusher.

Another strong memory of Carrs, was that all the street’s road surfaces where made up of stone setts (rectangular paving blocks made of stone which measured about 8” x 6” and maybe about 5” in depth), and these used to have tar poured between the nicks of the stones to seal them, and sometimes during the summer months this tar would get warm in the sun and would often soften a little to make a pliable consistency, and children would pick out the tar with their fingers and then roll it in their fingers and hands and make and shape the tar into little balls, which they would chose then to chase and throw the balls at one another. The tar had quite a unique smell, which did not seem too unpleasant at the time.

Besides the stone setts for the road, I remember the pavements in Carrs also had proper stone, which could well have been what they call “Haslingden Flag” which I would have thought came from the nearby quarries or very local to the area. I was told that the same flags where used to pave parts of Trafalgar Square in London, and it was also rumoured that local stone may have been used for the base plinths of Eiffel Tower in France.

Most days, after school finished (St. James C of E) I would walk down Prinny Hill towards Carrs and after going over the railway bridge, the footpath would sort of turn back on itself, before turning into a small 6ft wide cobbled footpath, and this was sandwiched between on one side, pens where people had chickens and ducks, whilst others I think may have had allotments and growing vegetables or flowers or maybe both., and on the other side of the footpath you ran up against the old creosoted “stood on edge railway sleepers” which placed side by side with the tops chamfered to a point made a ideal boundary fence for the playing fields of our school, St. James (Top Church). I played many an interesting game of football here, changing in the large old wooden pavilion. Could not begin to count the amount of times the ball actually went into the “Swinnel” and had to be rescued before it reached the tunnel.

At the bottom of this cobbled footpath, you would then cross over the small Swinnel footbridge which was bordered with iron railings, where you could proceed to go straight forward on a sort of rough single track road, for a couple of hundred yards before joining into Commerce Street or you could do what I did on most days and turn right and follow the footpath which went along the edge of the Swinnel Brook, for a short while, whilst under the canopy of some well matured trees. Soon you reached the railway bridge, where you had to take a sharp left, and you then followed a long ginnel (narrow pathway), which ran alongside the Grove Mill factory, and then at the top of the long ginnel you either continued onward and climbed many steps, with railings on the right side of you, and this way brought you up into Commerce Street.

Or just after leaving the long ginnel and before the steps you could turn right and follow the cobbled road past the lodge and you would also join Commerce Street but further up the road, not far away from where the Haslingden Commercial Mill Company would have their boiler house on the right hand side. For me it was then a straight through journey past the nearby Haslingden Railway Station, and Stations Goods Yard and following the railway to Carr Hall Street and eventually into Hud Hey Road. I suppose I did this walk home from the school on most days.


Without doubt I would expect Todd Hall to have been the oldest property in the village and it still exist today. I remember hearing tales reporting it to be haunted, and other stories that said there was a sort of “hiding space” built into the walls, to hide escaping priest from the Church on the hill (St. James). Also there was another tale that I find extremely hard to believe of how there was a old escape route which led down from the Haslingden St. James Church on the hill and went underground and led to Todd Hall, so that early day priest could escape when the soldiers came after them.
Carrs today is in the main a Industrial Site and is photographed at the top right of the blog...
(Please click over photos to enlarge or click again to supersize)Thanks to John R. Edwards who has kindly sent in the following information about the "Prinny Hill Steam Rope Works " (4th Aug 2011). The works can be seen in the top left photo: Hi Bryan
I used to go to the Rope Works, on the right parallel with the railway at the bottom of Prinny Hill - just before the bridge over the railway line, as a boy about 9 yrs old. Over the bridge on the right a Mr Goldburn had a henpen, on the other side of the railway track.
It was run by a Mr Senior and his assistant Joe Chappelow (? spelling). The shed was about 120 yds long and 5yds wide with a dirt floor, part stone walls, windows above - on the west side, to provide light, then a wood and felt roof.
The entrance was down a couple of steps to the office down a few more to the engine room on the left, which housed as I remember a 2 stroke diesel engine, which had to be stopped at a particular point by Joe, so that he could easily start it the next day. He used a large piece of cloth to act as a brake on the flywheel to achieve this.
I used to 'help' after school and on Sat. mornings. On a couple of occasions Mr Senior let me go with him in his car, with the boot full on his deliveries to far flung places such as Bolton, selling his clothes lines and balls of different types of string. Occasionally they would make ropes 1" or more diameter, these were made on a twisting machine that started out twisting small threads together, up to 12 at a time, then joining 4 together, making 3 strings which in turn were joined together to make a three strand rope 100 yds long.
The string was made on the spinner in the middle of the room and then transferred to an endless belt system, where the strands were spliced together,to make a loop the length of the building, sized to lay down the fibres or waxed. After drying the string was cut to set lengths and put on a spooler to make balls of string. The same principle was used to make clothes lines. When these were cut to length they were wound round a piece of wood with two pegs at the ends, then wound around; still the same size as today.
Joe also had a henpen alongside the ropeworks, where he kept hens and grew some vegatables.
I remember his nephew worked there for a time, he had been a soldier, and told me stories about his time in the army, whilst whittling on a piece of wood.
John R Edwards


Thanks to Ian Edmundson who has sent the following information (9th August 2011).
The big house was owned and lived in by Tony Hoyle I believe (Empire and Duke of Wellington). I lived at 1 Commerce Street from until 1957 (when I was four) and still remember our days there. I used to go to Todd Hall Farm to see Jim Robert Sunter and to 'help' wherever I could. I remember hay making in the fields using horses to mow and pull the wagons and later on the horses being taken away from Todd Hall whilst my brother and I looked on from the hay loft.
Also just remembered that Jim Robert's wife was Elsie Sunter. Another memory is Jim Robert's pipe and the twist tobacco he used to smoke. He used to cut a piece off and then rub it between his palms and fill his pipe.
Ian


Thanks to Carol Roberts who has kindly sent the following photo and also information about the residents of Commerce Street and Jayne Street. (17th October 2011)

Hi Bryan,
I am Carol and I used to live in Carrs in the 60's. We moved to number 15 Commerce Street in 1962, there was my mother my 2 brothers and sister and of course me, I can remember a few people who lived in Carrs. First as you entered Commerce Street there was a big house on your right which was raised up and it was occupied by an Irish couple, Mr & Mrs Sharkey, and I think they had about 11 children. Then there was the archway, then numbers 1,3, and 5 not sure who lived in these but in number 7 was a young couple Mr & Mrs Kash & Madge Jogojavinsky and their baby son Kash, not sure what nationality Kash was but Madge was scottish. Number 9 was also a young couple, can't remember their name but the wife's name was Carole and they had a baby son. At number 11, was Tony and Lynda Bennet they had also had a son. Number 13 was empty, I heard it was occupied by an elderly couple and when his wife died he hung himself and there was no known relatives found so it was boarded up and earned itself the name " the haunted house" of the street. Number 15 wa Mrs Millicent Stebbings and her four children, John, Carol(me), Douglas and Susan.
Number 17 was Mr & Mrs Anne Trickett and their daughter Anne and their son. In one of the following houses was a young girl who lived with her grandmother. In the end house was a chap named Morris (who drove a Morris van and had a terrier type dog) he used it for storage but came every so often to do items for functions of which I helped to paint for him for a bit of spending money.
Jayne Street opposite not sure who was in the first house but in the second house was a Mr & Mrs Owen Greenwood then further down was Mary and George Horlock an elderly brother and sister, I used to fetch a bucket of coal up from the cellar every day and Mary paid me a shilling a week for doing it, she died around 1966/7 and I believe George died about 1967/8.
Mr & Mrs Greenwood had 2 daughters who lived in the next row of houses in Commerce Street, Hazel lived in either the second or third house with her husband and children,she married a Mr Robinson who's brother married her sister Glyn who lived further down the row nearer the shop. About a couple of doors up from the shop was a house with a fence round and a chap and his son lived there.
The shop which was on the corner of the row was in Commerce Street and William Street, it changed owners a number of times, if you turned left at the top of William Street you would find a few allotments of which people would grow their veg's or like Mr Greenwood rear turkeys for himself and daughters for Christmas, of which I would fetch his turkey food for a bit of pocket money. In Smithies Street about a couple of houses up was another irish family Mr & Mrs Delaney and their children (I think about 9), Mrs Delaney was the sister of Mrs Sharkey(Commerce Street). There was a small park which consisted of a set of swings and a roundabout,it was used on bonfire nights for the village to come and have all the bonfire treats for a couple of shillings.I didn't have much to do with the farm so I don't know who was there. Hope there are some more people who have these sort of memories, as long as we pass on our memories Carrs will never be gone for ever.
I have further memories about Haslingden but will send them in a separate mail.
Regards
Carol


Mr and Mrs Tricket moved out of number 17 and an elderly lady named Trixie with a few dogs moved in.There was a red phone box on the corner of Jane Street up against the wall of the garden which was the big house which seemed to be cut off from the rest of the village,about 1964/5 there was some celebrity visitors to the farm it was Pat Pheonix (Elsie Tanner) and William Roache (Ken Barlow) they both waved as they passed through the village,William Roache was a regular customer in one of the grocers shop up town,one day he was standing by me being served.I used Prinny Hill every time I went to town there was three ways that I used,the one under Paradise Terrace usually got rather muddy so it was better using one of the other ways,over the little bridge by Lamberts mill then up past the football ground and over the railway bridge of which if there was a train we always stopped and waved to the engine drivers,if you carried on up to the right you would come upon a rail in a wall which went round to the top,if you went to the left it brought you out by Paradise Terrace.I knew the people who lived in the first house on the balcony,they were Mr & Mrs James, daughter Susan and son Roy,and their black and white dog called Judy, on the corner was a disused shop with a full glass window and green frame,about half way down in one of the front houses lived an elderly chap, my mother worked as the school crossing patrol (lollipop lady) on the crossing for St. James's school and we used to shelter in the shop doorway when it was cold and wet,the elderly chap used to take in the lollipop save my mother carrying it home every day.I spent my last year of juniors at St.James and was in Miss Holden's class.Further along Blackburn road at the end of the houses there was a gap then Alderton's paper shop for whom I delivered papers after another gap I think the next building was a chemist.My Dad took my photo in Carrs in August 1964 with Prinny Hill in the back ground with it's many allotments and you can clearly see St. James church and the three peaks of St. James school also Paradise Terrace as it all was.
Photo is now included above or within Photo album or click here.

(16th October 2012) from Joan Merrill (nee Mead) - Thanks to Carol for the photo taken of Prinny Hill. I lived at 9, Commerce St in the 40's until we moved about 1951 and that was my view every time I came out of the door. Hazel and Glenys Greenwood were leaders of our gang. Besides organising our games they kept the maypole frame in their backyard. They organised the decorating of it and then made us ( the younger ones) practise the song and dance.


(9th April 2012) Thanks to Angela Hall who lived at No.21 Commerce for sending in the following: Hi Bryan, I lived at No.21 Commerce Street in 1962/64. I was married to Harry Moore whose mother lived at 48 Blackburn Road, Haslingden. Harry's brother, Bernard Moore and his wife, Barbara lived at No.9. They had a son, Phillip. My daughter, Jackie was born at the same time as Kash and Madge's son. Kash, and we used to walk up Prinny Hill to take the babies to the clinic. Mr and Mrs Robinson lived next door with their granddaughter. I enjoyed reading about the village and reminiscining. - Angela Hall.

(21st May 2012) from Alan Robinson
Alan has got fond memories of Carrs, where he grew up, and he has kindly sent in four photos of family members etc. The top photo is: Peter and Janice Robinson taken on Commerce Street. The 2nd down is Hazel Robinson (was Greenwood) on the right whilst Pat Robinson is on the left. The third down is: Hazel Robinson and son Peter taken on Commerce Street. And the bottom photo is Hazel & Glen at Lamberts Mill and can possibly be presumed its something to do with a Ladies Cricket Team, because they can be seen holding a bat. I will shortly file these photos under the Carrs Blog.

(4th August 2012 received) (Obituary for Kaz who died Sept 29th 2010). Thanks to John Sumner for sending me the link for the following extract of "Kash's" Obituary which was printed in the Lancashire Evening Telegraph. He was for a long time a resident at "Bentwood" in Carrs and was also the owner of the late "Flip Inn". I knew Cash and he was a gentleman in every respect and will be sadly missed, but did not know that he had been through what he had been through - he goes the "obituary".

A survivor of 11 Nazi concentration camps who travelled the UK in the Billy Smart Circus before settling in Rossendale has died aged 84. Kaziemierz Jagodinski, who was known as Kash and the ‘Del Boy of Haslingden’, died of pneumonia on Wednesday September 29.
Yesterday his grandson Kris Flannigan paid tribute to his Polish-born grandad, recalling a number of his ‘colourful’ tales. As a teenager Kash was held captive in 11 German concentration camps, where he was forced to clean and cook for Nazi soldiers. He managed to escape from every one of the camps and, on the final time, he managed to avoid being recaptured. Kris said: “He used to hide in hay bales and sleep in fields.
"Sometime he would wake up being kicked by German soldiers. “He said if he’d been older he would not have been able to to deal with the things he had to endure. “It must have been horrific, but he used to tell the stories and take the mick out himself for getting recaptured.”
Kash arrived in England in 1947 and joined the Billy Smart Circus shortly after. He performed as a clown and an acrobat and was also responsible for transporting 11 elephants between towns. While in Glasgow in 1954 he met his future wife Marjory, who travelled in the circus with him for five years.
He also owned a coffee shop in London, where he got to know the notorious Kray twins, Cliff Richard and Richard Branson. But the couple’s travels led them to Rossendale and they decided to settle at Carrs village, Haslingden, in the 1960s. They owned The Flip Inn and Bentwood, before moving to Helmshore, where Kash worked as a watch and antiques dealer.
Kris, 26, said: “He was a colourful character and one on his own. "Everybody knew him as Haslingden’s Del Boy because he was a real wheeler-dealer. "He had a fantastic life and he will be missed by a lot of people.”
Kash leaves wife Marjory, 75, their son, also called Kash, daughter-in-law Lorrie-Dona, and three grandchildren, Kris, Kaz, 21, and Conor, 18.




Todd Hall - Carrs.  (9th September 2013)
Hi Bryan,
I have just discovered and read your blog regarding Haslingden and in particular reference to Todd Hall.
I am in fact the owner of Todd Hall and have been so for in excess of 25 years. The photo you have posted is one of several that I have and which were taken at a similar period in time. Should you like any of these please let me know and I will gladly supply them.
Best regards
Bill Ramsbottom

9th September: from Bryan Yorke to Bill - I sent a link through to him with my Todd Hall archive photos for his observations.

You already have most of the photos which I have except the two attached which were given to me by the youngest of the 2 boys in the photo showing his family. His father (shown also in the photo) was responsible for lowering Todd Hall from 4 to 2 storeys. Shortly after this photo they emigrated to Australia but the father dies before reaching there. The boys granddaughter who lives in Chester brought him here to see the place once more before he died (that was 17 years ago).
I understand the lady in the other photograph is his grandmother. If you look closely at this photo you will see an etched window in the middle of the bay window. The bay window has long since gone but I still have that etched pane sandwiched between the double glazing in my porch (see photo also attached)
Finally, I have also attached more recent photos (as it is today) for comparative reasons.
Regards, Bill.  - Click over the photos to enlarge.








Email received on 19th January 2014 from Jean Tomlinson:
Hello Bryan
I've been reading about Carrs on your website and thought you might like this photo which was taken at Carrs. I used to visit Carrs in the early 1960s to see "Auntie Doreen" (Doreen Rushton) who lived there. I believe this photo is her dad. I knew him as "Uncle Barnes".
Best wishes
Jean Tomlinson


Email received on 25th January 2014 from Alen Fielding (ex pat Queensland-Australia)
Some of his recollections of Carrs Village:

I remember from 9 years of age fishing for two tiny species of fish ( "Sticklebacks" & "Redbellies") in the small stream that ran by the collection of allotments by the rail line. The stream was also infested by rather large brown leeches with yellow bellies, that would attach themselves to your arms, hands and legs in a flash, given the opportunity!

 The very large house behind the high stone walls in the middle of the village was one of the residences I delivered papers to. It belonged to the owners of Haslingden's two cinema's, the "Palace", and the more up-market  "Empire" (The Hoyles). They had a son who was I believe, a Captain in  the Parachute Regiment during the war, and a survivor of the abortive "Market Garden" Operation, intended to secure the bridge at Arnhem, and commemorated in the film "A BRIDGE TOO FAR". 

The family was devastated a few years later when his mother during a very severe winter (could have been 1947), lit a fire early in the morning to warm the house, unaware that the water pipes throughout the house (including the hot water system) had frozen solid. The poor woman was unfortunately directly in front of the fireplace when the Back- boiler exploded, killing her instantly. I'm sure any past residents of the village at the time would remember this, it was a terrible shock for all at the time. 


Towards top church taken from possibly Sunnyfield (1962)   (Click over photo to enlarge)
Is this William Street or Smithie Street, Carrs
Photo: Jean Tomlinson and uploaded here on 9th February 2016