Beyond the Comment Box : a rRV Invitation
Ex-residents, Visitors to the village, People whose work took them there and Others with knowledge of;
- the Victorian industrial model village of Ripleyville – ‘the Villa’
- the various Bowling works of Edward Ripley & Son
- and the life in this particular part of Bowling between 1936 and 1970.
This your space !
Content for the rRV web-site based on evidence (photographs, illustrations, mementos, souvenirs, objects, documents) that aid Ripley Ville’s rediscovery are invited.
For 2014 the priority for posts on the blog will be contributions that add to our knowledge of; ‘Ripley Ville and its Victorian world 1835-1885’.
Content about the period 1936-1970 need either to shine a light on the village’s Victorian history between 1835 and 1885 or provide cues and clues to what life in the village may have looked like between 70 and 100 years earlier.
see also Adding Content page
Ripley Ville 1935-1970 : More than a Memory
This page is the parent page to a set of pages and blog posts that allows Ripley Ville and its Victorian world to be seen in retrospect; by looking backwards from 1935-1970.
It provides a space for ex-residents, visitors or researchers to share:-
photographs, illustrations, mementos, souvenirs, objects, documents of any kind of :-
- the Villa
- the various Bowling works of Edward Ripley & Son in West Bowling (not other BDA Works)
- related to family histories that extend back across two or more generations in the Villa.
The priority for 2014 on the rediscovering Ripley Ville blog continues to be; ‘Ripley Ville and its Victorian world 1835-1885’.
It is difficult in advance to know what might shine a light or offer cues and clues to the village’s Victorian history.
The best way of finding out is to contact me with a description of what you have.
What follows is an example of the kind of content invited during 2014.
The content is taken from a blog post last year.
- It offers clues and cues of how things might have been in Ripley Ville and its Victorian world (in this case photographs of Vere St and Ellen St beyond) by what is shown and described.
- These help us make connections because things that seem relatively unchanged; the Co-op shop, shopping, the terraced houses, life outdoors, washing on the lines, etc.
- The leap of imagination required to take us back to when Ripley Ville was newly built seems less of a barrier.
I have made small amendments (e g underlining) to the original post to bring out how it meets 2014 priorities.
Options and advice for providing about how content can be passed on in 2014.
Adding Content page
see also Resource Constraints
Family Connections, Vere St photos and the Co-op shop; Ripleyville in 1950s to 1970s & 1928
Lives spill across boundaries of space and time. In the subjects of an informal family group and portraits taken in a garden we find traces of lives in the 1920s and around them buildings from more than 60 years before, from when Ripleyville was being built. Childhood memories from the 1950s and one family’s connections back across the generations to the Villa and Ripleys’ dyehouse in the early 1900s provide one set of links in this post. The post features photographs taken around 1928 in the garden of 24 Vere St – the ‘posh’ end, where the gardens were generous, with railings and in this case a privet hedge – and it uses one in particular as a window looking backward and forward on life in the Villa across post-war and inter-war periods. The images were sent to me in a recent e-mail by ex-Villa resident Graham Austin. They are scans based on 3 of 4 glass negatives safely removed from 24 Vere St when Graham’s maternal Grandmother died. He calculates that the photos were all taken around 1928/9. (I’ve used the 1928 date.) For the most part in this post I have used Graham’s words as well as the photographs. Many thanks to Graham for copies of the images and for sharing his memories of the Villa, of which what follows are just a selection.
Austin – Kenworthy : Family history and Ripleyville and Dyehouse connections early 1900s to 1970s
1950s – 1970s
I was actually born in number 24 Vere St in 1949 and lived there with my parents and Grandma (Mums side) for my young years, going to Usher Street School initially, before moving to what was then a shiny new Council Estate built post war by Bradford Council. My Mum and Dad were married at St Bartholomew’s. I was christened there. My Aunt and Uncle were married there and came to live at 33 Sloane Street, just opposite our house, so it was a family affair all round. My cousin was a BR fireman and I spent many hours as a kid at Hall Lane Crossing waiting for him to pass and get a whistle from the driver! My Mum’s family name was Kenworthy. It was a well-known name in Bradford in the late 50’s through to the late 70’s as my uncle – my Mum’s brother who was also brought up in number 24 Vere St – built up a good sized removal company and did many a house move (and midnight flit!) and furniture delivery from town centre shops. Plus he had flat wagons which were employed in moving wool bails between mills locally – happy days for me in school holidays on the back of the wagons! I see from the blog that the top end of Vere St, near the Church, which was just about us, was known locally to be a bit posh! I do recall my Grandma instructing me on who I could and couldn’t play out with and some streets were supposed to be out of bounds! All my uncles had cars then and we often had smart cars parked outside number 24 Vere St. I don’t recall many others in the street at that time.
My Grandparents moved in sometime in the early 1900’s but as I know very little about that bit of the family history I am not sure when. My Granddad was one of the earliest men to drive motor buses, driving ‘Chara’s’ as far as Scotland. The hard life in open cabs, heavy controls and roadside repairs killed him when he was still relatively young. My Grandad on my Dad’s side (Born 1881) spent his working life from a young part-timer in Ripleys’ dyehouse or the ‘dyass’ as it was pronounced. My Great-grandfather – his Dad – also worked there as a labourer. They did not live in the Villa, but in Bolling and around Bankfoot/Manchester Road.
The photos : Windows on Life in the Villa 1928
Its amazing to think that photos of my Mum taken as spontaneous snaps during the 20’s will be there to view 80 odd years later, by people who still have an interest in The Villa. It was luck that they survived hidden for 70 years as glass slides, to be found and then developed.
… the child in the photos is my Mum.
Picture 1 shows a group in our Front garden in Vere St. It shows my mum as the child and to the side of the group it shows a path being built in front of the parlour window, probably by my Grandad. I note he has dumped the spoil on the lawn!
Picture 2 shows my Mum again. The gables mentioned as shown on your plan on the blog, can be seen. Plus the detail of the porches.
(I’ve kept back Graham’s comments on photo 3 for the enlarged version, shown below)
1950s : 24 Vere St and the privet hedge
Graham has sent me detailed descriptions of the internal layout and arrangements of 24 Vere St and 33 Sloane St and these have been passed on to Peter Knowles. Of 24 Vere St, he also writes:-
One of my most vivid memories is the garden. We were lucky, as you will know the Vere St houses had nice long front gardens. We had a privet hedge between ours and next doors, running the length of our front path and if I brushed against it I got filthy from the soot lodged on the branches and leaves. I was then in trouble for making a mess of my clean clothes. It was not until I moved out and went to live in what was then countryside, that I realised trees were not dirty things to be avoided!
The hedge must have had special associations across the generations. Graham also mentions that his Dad went back prior to demolition and got a piece of Privet Hedge which he replanted as a lasting living link and reminder of the family’s time there.
Picture 3 : 24 Vere St – house, garden and view beyond the privet
Picture 3 shows the houses across the street and also the gable of the Co-op at the bottom of Vere St (scene of my shopping trips 25 years later!). Peter Knowles will also be able to see the porch and front windows of number 20. What is also clear is the iron fencing in between the hedge. As this was pre-war, it is still there and in use! The railings and gates were all taken for the war effort, my Grandma told me. We had a little bit of railing to the right of our front door between us and number 26. About three feet and it was obviously cut off at the end. As a kid I couldn’t understand why it was there. I asked my Grandma what is was for – it was painted in the same shabby blue/green as the house. She told me the railings went in the war along with the garden gate, but she managed to persuade the man with the saw to leave her that bit as a token. I can see washing hanging out further down. It was probably easier than trying to hang it out in a small back yard. To do this the lady of the house would have had to carry all the washing from the scullery, through the back room and the front room to the garden – quite a way. How they ever kept it clean outside in that environment beats me.
Graham’s Memories of the Co-op shop in the 1950s
The Co-op sold all manner of goods from loose products out of barrels and sacks to boxed toys. I recall the main counter in dark wood was on the left as you entered and the assistants wore light coloured aprons. It always seemed to be a bit dark inside. As a very small child I was regularly dispatched to the Co-op at the bottom of Vere Street. The divi number was 21646 and 60 years later it is still fixed in my mind -as I was in lots of trouble if I forgot to give it!
For a present, I got a wind-up mechanical truck from the Co-op. It had cigarette lighter type flints installed which sparked when it ran. The body was transparent plastic, so you could see the sparks as it ran along the floor! I can remember now, the time I was bought the sparking toy truck, as it was such a big treat. It was taken from under the counter, wound up and then placed on the counter top, towards the back of the shop and I was mesmerised by the flashing in the darkness of the shop when it ran. I suspect that’s why I was bought it!
Many thanks again to Graham for his e-mails and sharing his memories and the family photos. In a future post I hope to pick up on the Ellen St Co-op shop’s story and take it back another sixty years to 1868, to the very beginnings, when the industrial model village of Ripleyville was still being built.
last updated 2013/09/09