Weaving Ossett's History is a project led by Ossett Community Archive to collect and share yarns about the locality of Ossett and Gawthorpe, West Yorkshire. As part of Ossett Gala 2017, we invited locals and visitors to come and share their stories about the history of Ossett and add them to the map on our display boards. Here's a selection of photos and stories collected on the day. Click on 'item details' to find out more about each image.
In the build up to the event, pupils of Holy Trinity Primary, Ossett, created Yarn stories based on what they have learnt about local history this term. You can read the stories by clicking on the links or find more by visiting our project page at https://yarncommunity.org/projects/3.
A visitor to our stall attached a note to this extract from Adam's Yarn story, adding that descendants of Edward Clay still live in the house he used to inhabit next door to his mill on Wesley Street.
Ossett Town Hall's organ kicked off procedings.
The Gala opened at 10am on Saturday 8th July 2017, to the sound of the theatre organ in Ossett Town Hall. Our stall was ready to welcome visitors with information about the 'Weaving Ossett's History' project, as well as leaflets about local library services and archive resources. With our display boards, we wanted to create an interactive exhibit which visitors could add their stories to throughout the day.
Our stall, ready to welcome visitors.
Information regarding Wakefield Library services and archive resources, such as the 'Twixt Aire and Calder' and 'We Will Remember Them' websites (http://www.twixtaireandcalder.org.uk/ and http://www.wakefield.gov.uk/residents/libraries-and-local-history/local-and-family-history/we-will-remember-them). Both are great resources for anyone interested in local history.
Our colouring sheets for younger visitors to the stall (or the young at heart) were taken from ‘Cockburn’s Ossett Alamanac’ (published 1890).
F.C.J.Cockburn was the proprietor of the Ossett Observer in the late 1800s.
Some visitors to our stall just came to read and browse the photographs. Others stayed for a chat and added stories to the interactive display.
Exploring the 'Weaving Ossett's History' web page and Yarn stories. This mother and daughter plan to add their own Yarn story based around how grandmother and grandfather first met in Ossett.
Apparantly, Santa Claus used to arrive by Fire Engine around these parts.
Within five minutes of the Gala opening, we had our first story, contributed by a jolly chap who reminisced about his time as Ossett's Father Christmas. A steady stream of stories and snippets of local history followed, throughout the day.
A former Ossett Santa Claus and his sister at our stall in Ossett Town Hall.
A local plasterer remembered.
An account of a UFO sighting!
Memories of innovation at Charles Roberts Works at Horbury Junction.
According to local history website Ossett.net, Charles Roberts (1831-1892), established the Buffer and Wagon Works at Ings Road, Wakefield in 1856, before moving to the Horbury Junction site in 1873 (http://www.ossett.net/beyond/Charles_Roberts.html).
Blacksmith's workshop at Charles Roberts.
Some of "the girls" who worked at Charles Roberts.
Memories of Spa Street Infant's School, next to the Baptist Church.
An account of how Ossett has changed over the years, from one resident whose parents ran the Dale Street Corn Mill and the pet shop on Bank Street.
It seems that Westfield Mill was used as a temporary barracks during both World Wars.
Mischief and mayhem in Ossett!
Our photograph had this row of houses labelled as "Lower end of Tumbling Close about 1960?" but one local informed us that it was only when the houses were knocked down and rebuilt that the road was given this name.
This however was incorrect - after the original Tumbling Close was demolished one of the roads on the new development a short distance away was given the same name
A beautiful album of historical postcards, loaned to us for the day. We'll definitely have to create some Yarn stories based on these!
A swift half was commonplace when delivering goods to local pubs on the morning rounds.
Lots of people commented on the demise of Ossett's railway station.
The Mystery Photos board.
One feature of our stall which attracted a lot of attention was the 'Mystery Photos' board, featuring images which Ossett & Gawthorpe Community Archive (https://ossettarchive.wordpress.com/) didn't have much information on.
This chap identified himself in one of our mystery photos (the one third from the top on the left of the photo)! See the next image for details...
Aceprint Gawthorpe Victoria Brass Band, identified in one of our mystery photos. The cloud shaped note reads "This is ME c.1990".
More detective work linking two of the images on the mystery photo board. Was the building in the background formerly 'V&A News'?
We're told that this photograph is of Ossett Band, playing at half-time at Fernhouse Club (now closed).
One visitor to the stall pointed out the building which used to house Kitson's Bakers, which was run by his father. Next door was formerly Barkers Fish Shop and, further down the road, was Butterfield's leather goods shop.
Is the lady on the right hand side of this photograph Minnie Bold, who apparently used to work in White's fish shop in Gawthorpe?
One local thought that the photo in the top right corner, here, showed Station Road. Ossett Historical Society's Ruth Nettleton concurred and suggested that the house was built by Frank Nettleton, Manager of the Roundwood Colliery, who passed it on to his daughter Ruby.
One woman told us that her mother, Mary Parkin, had been May Queen in 1937. Ooops -Unfortunately the wrong caption had somehow been put against this photo. It should have been 'Ossett Common Gala, 1958'. Correct photo for April Dawson, May Queen 1986 - see below.
Lots of people shared memories of former May Queens!
April Dawson - May Queen 1986.
Penny was the Gawthorpe May Queen in 1978.
St Mary's Church used to select a Rose Queen for its festivities.
If you'd like to learn more about the 'Weaving Ossett's History' project or find out how you can contribute your own story, click on the story link above.