Memories Of Skipton: The Forgotten Streets Of Skipton

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By Brian Stott (Regular Contributor)

I have at home a map of Skipton in 1906.

Looking at this map recently reminded me of some of the streets leading off Broughton Road that were there when I was a boy in the 1950’s and 1960’s but which have now been demolished and replaced with newer homes.

Here is the section of the map for Broughton Road area in 1906

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It is interesting to see the four blocks of streets running at right angles to the main road opposite the railway yards. It is difficult to make out from my photograph of the map the names of these streets but from the original and my own memory they were as you approached from “up town.”

Emmanuel Street

Watkinson Street

Bradley Street

West Bradley Street

York Street

You can also see from the map that only six houses existed on Pendle Street and that the shops I mentioned in my previous article on the main Broughton Road at the end of Pendle Street were not yet built. Ruskin Avenue is not on the map too.

If you look at the map you can see a building marked as “school”. This is what the Broughton Road Community Centre is today. You can see further towards the edge of the map the area where Ings School is now is just fields and that the houses across from it called Ings Avenue are not there either. The Bus Garage is not there of course as no buses in 1906.

When I was a boy the Community Centre was just used as a Sunday School for the Broughton Road Methodist Chapel which stood on the site of the allotment gardens opposite Thornton Street shown on the map. At the top end of this area is the current Broughton Road Social Club and Bowling Green.  The Sunday School in the 1960s was clad as it still is today in corrugated metal but by then it was very rusty and needing a lick of paint to say the least. It is apparent that as it appears on this map in 1906 it was the original metal I can remember. Sometime in the 1970s, it was completely re-clad. So the school was moved when Ings was built. If you look at Ings you will see it has a stone set into the top saying 1910.

So lots of changes going on in the first decade of the last century.

Back To Back

The five streets I mention above were what are known as Back to Back Houses. This is that they had a front door but no back exit, the back of the house backing onto another one hence the name. Two rooms downstairs and two upstairs they were very small. They were all over the north of England and it was popular for Local Authorities to compulsorily purchase them in 1960’s and early 70’s to demolish them and replace with Local Authority houses for rent. This was the fate of these streets in Skipton as they were replaced by what are now Thornton Court.  Some were saved and knocked through to form bigger houses but not our Skipton ones.

It is also interesting to see on the map that Bradley Street extend right up to the canal towpath. The street at the top end near the canal has always been called Midland Street in my memory so must have been renamed.

Does anyone remember the streets long since demolished? Some of my friends from Ings School lived in these houses.

John Eastwood

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Whilst I was researching these long-forgotten streets I came across some historical records about Skipton’s part in The First World War. Sadly I came across this “Broughton Roader” John Eastwood who lived on Emmanuel Street and had moved to there from Greenfield Street just round the corner.

John Eastwood was killed in action in July 1916 in France. His full details are on a great website about Craven’s Part in the Great War. Have a look. I have found my Great Uncle Frank Stott on there complete with picture which I had not seen. You might find an ancestor of yours there.

 http://www.cpgw.org.uk/

http://www.cpgw.org.uk/soldier-records/john-eastwood/

Finishing off on a lighter note I forgot to mention in last time’s article, when I was listing all the amenities in Broughton Road, the Fish and Chip Shop, the Ladies Hairdressers (they were in the same premises!), the Allotment gardens, The Social Club and Bowling Green and the Football Team which had its ground there before it went underneath Skipton Bypass – Skipton Bulldogs (who remembers any of the players?)

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