Do You Remember the Old Brighouse and its Villages?
The Old Co-op Where Did They Go?
The Co-operative Group. The Co-operative Wholesale Society (CWS), Co-operative Retail Services (CRS).
Not just in Brighouse but most of the north of England at one time had a Co-op close to where you lived, worked and socialised? (did you know the Co-op was formed the other side of the Pennines in Rochdale 1844 the Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers and at one time produced a lot of their own products). So what went wrong was it just a case of downsizing or was it deeper hidden problems that brought the biggest chain of shops to their knees?
I worked for the co-op in my teens as a milk man (or boy) although it did make you grow up fast, in Brighouse the Co-op were the biggest delivery company of milk in the area and at one time delivered more milk than all the rest of the milk delivery people put together, they also delivered Meat, Grocery’s, Coal and other family needs with a fleet of mobile shops.
My milk round took in Clifton, Brighouse Town Centre, part of Rastrick, Daisy Road, Birds Royd taking in J. Blakeborough and Sons Ltd, The Soap Works right to the end of River Street, Wakefield Road area, both sides of Bradford Road taking in Waring Green, Bailiff Bridge and the lower end of Wyke, the round not only supplied Houses and Businesses but every school in the area with a third of a pint glass bottles, these little glass bottles were in heavy metal crates with 30 glass bottles to a crate and I delivered over 30 crates a day which were stacked high across the back of the truck, I once came off the end of Victoria Street up Clifton Common and turned up the hill when about a dozen school crates had come loose on the rough unmade road and fell off the back of the truck all these little bottles rolled down the hill and local people came to sweep them all up (load smashed, some the foil top came off and some were OK), we also supplied to every Co-op Shop with their daily supply of milk to sell in their shops.
I drove a large red Commer 5 ton petrol milk float with open sides, and had to go back to the depot on Wakefield Road (behind the Shell Filling station) to refill half way round, my round was the largest in both in quantity delivered and the distance of around 30 miles, originally there were 5 rounds in Brighouse this was reduced to 4 while I was there so we all had a lot more to milk to deliver, the work was long and hard and the pay not very good, even when we got the extra areas to deliver we never got any more money, imaging today if they increased your work load and didn’t give you any more money. It would cause a riot? I lived in Elland and started a 5am and normally finished between 1.00pm or 2.00pm then I went back to Elland to start my afternoon job till 8.00pm.
The Co-op in their madness decided these heavy petrol trucks were costing too much on fuel and introduced even heavier slow electric milk floats, this was a disaster for me as you had to charge them up over night and once a week you had to remove the back floor that was big heavy aluminium sheets that seemed to be held down with hundreds of bolts (most likely only a couple of dozen but seamed a lot more) then you had to fill all the batteries up with acid out of great big glass tubs which were in a metal crate and packed in straw so they did not break, filling the batteries up with acid took about three hours after you had finished delivering the milk, which again you never got paid for? If that wasn’t bad enough my petrol truck could go up to 50 MPH and the electric float could only travel at best 15 MPH.
Because my round was the largest the batteries only got as far as Bailiff Bridge before dyeing, so someone had to come out to tow mine back to the depot and then I had to transfer my milk on to the spare float and finish my round up Wyke by the time I finished it was almost tea time some days, after two weeks of this I got my old truck back, also where I worked in the afternoon. they were not very happy when I turned up late every day and offered me more money if I left the Co-op and worked for them full time which I did, but I still enjoyed my time at the Co-op and the people I met.
Anyway back to the old Co-op’s of the past: How many do you remember and how many have I missed off the list?
King Street in Brighouse was at one time known as Co-op Street as they owned both sides of the road.
They had a Co-op on Towngate Clifton set back off the road side, there was a Co-op up Huddersfield Road just past the Railway, they had a Co-op with a separate Butches shop at Brookfoot, there was a Co-op on Old Lane and one just below on Bradford Road, there was a Large Co-op at Waring Green with a separate Butches shop, this was later pulled down and the land is still vacant and fenced off today, (they also had a Co-op at the back of Lightcliffe Road area I think it was off Piggott Street but this was not on my round), they had a large Co-op half way up Smithy Carr Lane with a separate Butches shop, there was a Co-op in Bailiff Bridge and a further three shops in Wyke.
The above was the only shops on my round and I know there were dozens more all around Brighouse, maybe you remember some of these including at least three up Rastrick, Hove Edge and Hipperholme, Smith House, Lightcliffe?
Remember their Co-op Divi (dividend) cash back to entice you to shop and stay loyal with them later to become Co-op Stamps? Do you also remember Green Shield Stamps along with others?
A true fact about the Co-op that a lot of people maybe didn’t know was they made their doors bigger than any other shops and were specially made extra wide, the reason was so they said is that if someone was coming out of the shop at the same time as somebody was coming in to the shop the person coming in to the shop thought the shop was full and many would change their mind and not bother going in if they was only popping in for a packet of cigs or other small items?(before the days of double automatic doors, just maybe the Co-op had the right idea regarding doors?).
The Co-op today is still a strong retailer although not in the same league as they were before the big four or maybe now the big six supermarkets came to dominate the supermarket outlets, although the Co-op still have a lot of smaller supermarket mini type shops along with a few large Superstores, with a large number of Filling Stations, they are also the largest Funeral Care Companies in the UK, they are also a large company in Insurance & Banking, Farming & Milk Suppliers, Car Agents & Garages, Travel Agents along with other consumer related interest.
Today Around Brighouse the Co-op still have a large number of loyal customers.
I would love to hear from anybody who has fond or not so fond memories of Bailiff Bridge, Firths or surrounding area, or if you have any photos or maybe you know someone who could help in obtaining information of Bailiff Bridge?
I would love to hear from former Village Workers & Residents & their Memories?
Please see old photo of Firth’s workers, does anybody remember any of these people or if you lived or worked in the village pre 1960s I would love to hear from you with your memories, stories or pictures? Please See Photos sent by ex Firth workers Jim by his Daughter.
People who lived in the village.
Donald Craig now 80 remembers living at 27 Lower Crow Nest Drive arriving on the 20 September 1939 as a young boy, he went to Bailiff Bridge Elementary School in 1943 and remembers teachers and pupils from the school and the Sunday school, do you remember Donald or any of these people? Miss Rushworth who married to become Mrs. Feather, Miss Wood, Mrs Jagger, Mrs Reed and Miss Rushworth (niece of the headmistress).sisters who ran the Post Office, Miss Ainsworth and Mrs Sharp who were Sunday School teachers at the Ebenezer, the village policeman Mr Stennet, his daughter Nancy, Philip Holland, Michael Graves, Betty Hendry, Barbara Shackleton,Gordon Denny, Malcolm Crawshaw, Philip Parr, Michael Clare, Marian Clare, June Fricker, Pauline Baldwin, Margaret Nicholson, John Grey, David Glover, Pauline or Jill Waddington. Donald went on to Hipperholme Grammar School in 1943.
I was also contacted by a lady who now lives in Cornwall and as a child lived in Lightcliffe and used to visit her grandparents who both worked at Firth’s and lived in an old cottage off Wakefield Road above the stream which she thought was a block of four cottages owned by Firth’s’ Anybody got any photos of these cottages?
Lost Forever (our Pubs)
This section we will try to list some of the old Pubs Around Brighouse that are no more, unfortunately lost forever and many have made way for development along with making way for new roads although many have unfortunately closed due to lack of business and the changing lifestyle that has helped in drastically reducing the number of pubs and other drinking related establishments.
Social Acceptance or PC (Political Correct) has possible made the biggest change in reducing the numbers of Pubs not just around Brighouse but throughout the UK, also the ‘Breathalyzer’ and ‘Digital TV’ have also made a significant way to our changing lives from popping down the local pub for a quick one to staying in and watching the TV or spending time on a computer has all made many of these pubs unpopular and unviable.
Drink Driving for many was the big killer for the British Pub as the Breathalyzer was introduced, another killer was anti-smoking in public places, even building smoking areas outside just wasn’t the same a bit like been told to sit on the naughty step, at the same time the pubs which offered free live football and cheap meals was now competing with most families now having live sport at home and takeaway home deliveries for the half time, with cheaper beer from the supermarket and they were even allowed to smoke if they wanted to? Also some of the Breweries got greedy especially on soft drinks with people only drinking soft drinks when driving many were charged more for a pint of soft drink than the price for a pint of best beer. No wonder they left in droves?
As I no longer drink I have to pull at my hair to try and remember where the pubs from the past were and what they were called, so please forgive me if I get a few wrong, also I have added some older pubs that I don’t even remember, and there is also loads I have not even listed? So here we go.
Starting in Brighouse Town centre I think it was ‘The White Swan’ opposite the George that became the Lloyds Bank on Bradford Road, (Lloyds moved from the corner where Sainsbury car park stands).
The Albion. Halifax Road/John King, Lane Head, next to the former Post Office, just above the Brighouse Library, Thought to be a takeaway now?
Black Bull. Towngate Clifton now thought to be the Black Bull Farm now?
Black Horse. Nether House, Hove Edge, a coaching house possibly one of the oldest properties in the area? Sorry not much known about this pub?
Black Horse. Rastrick was on the opposite side of the crossroads to the Sun Inn? Thought to be a shop or takeaway now?
Blue Ball. Briggate Brighouse, Sorry not much known about this pub?
Bramble. Field Lane Estate, Sorry not much known about this pub?
Broad Oak Inn. This was in the Broad Oak area of Hove Edge above the football fields and made way for the Broad Oak Garage which itself made way for a new housing complex.
The Casa Hotel (formerly The Grove Motel) which is at the side of the Elland Road with a massive extension overlooking the former ‘sand and gravel quarries of Elliot’s Sand, although the extension is not currently used as there is some conflict with the planning?
The Clifton Arms which was down Park Street opposite the former Post Office and Former Gas Showroom and is now an eating place.
Delvers Arms. Towngate Brighouse & Denholme Road, Hipperholme, Sorry not much known about this pub?
Delvers Arms. Rastrick, Sorry not much known about this pub?
Dog & Gun. This was on Eleanor Street, off Gooder Lane. Rastrick?
Duke of Edinburgh, Mill Lane Brighouse.
The Duke of York. Bridge End Rastrick at the side of the River Calder pulled down in the 30s? I think it was at the side of the railway bridge and is still a plot of land where it used to stand?
Dyers Arms. Birds Royd, Brighouse with a name like this it was almost certain to be close to some Dyeing Mill?
Empess of India. Was on the old Police Street Brighouse that disappeared to make way for the new A641 road, although Lawson Road is more or less where the old Police Street was? Long after the pub was closed.
The Engineers. Hangram Street/Old Bradford Road, Brighouse. This was thought to be on the corner of the original Bradford Road where it has been cut off for the Subway/Lüdenscheid Link.
The Football. was on the old start of the original Elland Road which started after leaving Briggate where there was a large curved row of shops, one of these shops even sold scooters and motorbikes, where the Wilkinson’s car park is now and the pub was around this area, this pub like many pubs in early 1900s was always changing their names and was also known as The Footballers Rest among other names.
The Freemasons Arms. Was on Bradford Road, opposite the New Swimming Baths?
The Greyhound. Was up Crowtrees Lane, where it joins with Delf Hill at a double mini roundabout Rastrick. This has only closed since around 2017 ish and is thought to be still connected with drinks and possible food?
Horse and Jockey. This was thought to be up Halifax Road area of John King above Waterloo Road?
Joiners Arms. Hove Edge was opposite Half House Lane? The premises has since been a Greengrocer and Post Office and is now a private house, if you look closely you can still see the remaining lintels where the extra doors and windows were?
Lane Ends Inn. Norwood Green? Sorry not much known about this pub?
The Lower George. Raw Lane/Jumble Dyke, Rastrick.
Malt Shovel. Wakefield Road Brighouse. Sorry not much known about this pub?
Martins Nest. This large impressive pub stood for years as a land mark on Bradford Road in a triangle with Smithy Carr Lane and Cross Street, before it was first modernised it had a large stable block to the Bradford side of the pub, this came in handy if you were waiting for a Bus as you could shelter in this open fronted stable.
Neptune Arms. Brookfoot. Thought to be at the junction of the Southowram Brookfoot Lane as it forks off to Elland Road? Sorry not much known about this pub?
The Old Pack Horse. On the corner of Highmoor Lane and Halifax Road Hartsed. This was another large impressive landmark pub and restaurant, standing proud at the crossroads opposite
‘The New Pack Horse’ (which was actually the oldest of the two pubs). The Old Pack Horse was successfully run by a couple from Newcastle and it was popular and very rare to get a table without booking or queuing. What a shame that this once great pub has just been pulled down (April 2019) to build more houses?
The Punch Bowl Hotel. Bailiff Bridge Crossroads. The Punch Bowl Hotel (1813) formally called ‘The Bailiff Bridge Inn’ this large imposing building stands in the heart of the village on the corner of Wakefield Road as it Joins Bradford Road and used to be the focal point of the village with many old photos showing the locals standing outside the pub watching the trams go by. Many workers used to call at the pub for a drink before making their way home after a hard day’s work in the mill. Now a Pest Control Companies Main Office.
The Rawson Arms. Elland Road on the Elland Boundary this great little cosy detached pub was a very popular watering hole until the breathalyzer that more or less killed its trade over night, after it closed Knowles Pipe Works Bought the pub and uses it now for their offices.
The Red Rooster (Formerly called The Wharf Inn) situated on the Hairpin Bend at Brookfoot at the edge of the A6025 Elland Road. This slightly elevated pub was very popular at one time with all the mill workers along with some locals, with changes to peoples life styles and the closing of the big mills this former Webster’s drinking hole The Wharf struggled to survive even with its specialist brews and home brews and even a new name it still found it hard to survive and the last news May 2020 it has closed its doors?
The Ring ‘O’ Bells. This former town centre pub was on Commercial Street (near where Boots now stands) and it backed on to the old bus station only a few doors from the ‘The Wellington Arms’ before this area was redeveloped to the Wellington Arcade and the Bus Station moved to its current location which has been a total disaster for all to say the least.
Ring ‘O’ Bells. Lillands Lane, Rastrick. Sorry not much known about this pub?
Robin Hood which was across the road again from the Stott’s Arms in Wakefield road which made way for a new supermarket.
The Rock Hotel. Top of Upper Edge, Dewsbury Road on the boundary of Elland/Rastrick/Ainley Top, thought to be a private dwelling now?
The Royal Hotel. Huddersfield Road/Mill Lane Brighouse. not much known about this pub?
The Royal Oak. Commercial Street. Brighouse. not much known about this pub?
Royal Oak. Top of the Lower Edge on the edge of Rastrick? This former pub was a very popular pub with Disco, Live combo Music, bar meals and a large car park made it very popular which all changed with the introduction of the breathalyser as most of their customers came by car, it is now 1 or 2 private houses.
The Round House at the end of King Street in the 70s they had a Parrot which was on the end of the bar greeting the customers with some very strong language, at the time many of the customers just came to see the Parrot and attempted to teach it some new words to add to its growing choice swear words, any newcomers were often greeted with “Hello what the **** do you want” most of them were at times very shocked and not seeing the Parrot would either walked out or say “I am sorry I just wanted a pint of Best Please,” the former pub is now a Solicitor?
Stag & Pheasant. Bethel Street/Park Street, Brighouse thought to be on the corner where a Hairdresser now stands?
The Star. Bridge end Rastrick this pub is currently closed so watch this space as we hope it may reopen? What a shame I remember they had a long shed at the side of the pub and the local Bird Fanciers Club used to show their small animals and birds.
Stott’s Arms across the road from the Round House now in the centre of an island which is now a sandwich shop.
Thornhill Arms. Church Street, Rastrick. Not much known about this pub?
The Vulcan Inn. Foundry Street, off Birds Royd Lane. Not much known about this pub?
The Wellington Hotel. Was a town centre pub standing on the corner of Briggate with Commercial Street, following its closure it was pulled down and a small memorial garden was built where it once stood and is still in place today? Also the new shopping area was named after this pub ‘Wellington Arcade’.
The White Horse Rastrick Common, opposite Millers Oils, although it is still standing and the faded sign is still partly visible but, it does look like it has closed?
The Woodlands Hotel. down Birds Royd Lane, this pub was at one time in the heart of Brighouse’s Engineering hub not sure if this is still open please let me know?
Please will anybody who has some old photos or memories of old pubs or anything else for that matter please get in touch? Thanks Brian