Horbury’s Station Clock

From my diary for Wednesday, 8 September, 1971, Horbury, West Riding of Yorkshire: On our way back [from visiting grandparents in Nottinghamshire] I noticed that Horbury Station was half demolished. I cycled down and asked them for the clock – they let me have it. Man in charge of demolition (note: in my drawings no-one […]

Egg Market, Western Desert, 1941

When he sent this photograph back home to Sheffield, my father, Robert Douglas Bell, then a sergeant in a light anti-aircraft unit, stationed in the Western Desert, North Africa, wrote on the back: ‘The Egg Market (remember) taken in Feb. 1941’ Years later he told me about setting up this pop-up trading post. He’d been an […]

J Armitage, Dramatist

J Armitage was a dramatist, whose plays ‘received the compliments of many distinguished people’ according to a photo feature in the Leeds Mercury, dated Saturday, 7 June, 1913. A Jesse Armitage appears in the 1911 census for Horbury; then aged 24, he was employed as a railway clerk. He lived in the family home, at 4 […]

Goodnight to Flamboro’

Another link with Yorkshire composer and pianist William Baines (1899-1922): Alan Cuckston’s 1990 recording of a selection of his piano music is the only CD that I’ve ever provided the cover artwork for; a pencil and watercolour of one of Baines’ favourite places, drawn on location at Flamborough Head. The centre piece of Cuckston’s recital, recorded at […]

William Baines Leaflet

Following a discussion on the Horbury and Sitlington History Facebook page, I looked out a copy of my leaflet, The Yorkshire of William Baines, produced as part of my Major Project on the Communication Design (graphic design) course at Leeds College of Art. The project grew and grew until it included an exhibition and a recital […]

The Old Scouring Mill, Horbury Bridge

After sorting and blending, the first stage in preparing raw wool is scouring: washing in hot water. The old scouring mill at Horbury Bridge is a reminder of the Victorian heyday of the West Riding woollen industry, when there were several large woollen mills at Horbury Bridge. The mill closed long ago and is divided […]