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Guardian-Chronicle - 5th Mar 1965 - 19th Century Village - A Nice Little Spot


'19th century village: "A nice little spot"'

One of the older residents who was born in Cottingley and spent most of her life there, recalled that before the turn of the century, Cottingley was "a nice little spot."

She did not want her name mentioning, but said her father had often said that the old site of the Town Hall had been a hill, which had taken a lot of levelling.

At the age of three - in 1897 - she began school in the infants' department of the Town Hall School. By the age of 13 or 14, most the the pupils were going part-time to what is now Butterfield and Fraser Ltd. (popularly called "Cottingley Mills". No one,

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"Nice little spot"

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as far as she could remember, then went to Bingley Grammar School from Cottingley.

Pay at the mill was 1s. a week rising later to 1.3d. and then to 4s. By the age of 14, most were on full-time, earning 7s. a week. Parents had to find 1 to pay for their children's training for graduation into the weaving shed.


The old part of Cottingley, apart from the widening of Main Street, was more or less the same as when she was a child. There used to be a laundry on Skirrow Street, and where the Fourfold Precision Tool Company Ltd. now stands, was a bakery which sold hot bread.

Part of a row of houses on the Main Street was once bungalows, whose gardens, like their two-storey successors, stretched down to the river.

She recalled that one man who used to live there once owned a donkey, and it was always rumoured that he kept it in his house.

In those days there were no cinemas to go to and they made their own entertainment.