Memories of Scholes in the 1930's Back to the Main Historical Society page
Back to the Barwicker Contents page

Memories of Scholes in the 1930's

June 2015

Blanche Bader, Amy Bean (Peggy's mother),and Peggy Banner

This article has been written by Mrs.Margaret (Peggy) Banner neé Bean born in Scholes and now living in Ontario where she has been over 50 years. Her father was Dr. Bean who was a general practitioner in Scholes. She wrote these memories in a letter to her friend from her Scholes days, Christine Hudson.

Scholes was, and probably still is, a good place to live with plenty of amenities and activities. The village had football, cricket and tennis clubs. It had a well used Village Hall with activities such as dances and bazaars as well as performances of the Scholes Village Players. There used to be a fancy dress dance once a year. I think I must have been allowed to watch this as I remember my Father was dressed as a baby and was in a pram with an outsized baby bottle; Mr. Leigh dressed as a nurse pushed him around the room. They won lst prize. Also in the parade was Miss Dimbleby, the local dressmaker; she was dressed as a thatched cottage, which she made herself. As she was of ample size she made a good cottage.

The building which was until recently the Post Office had previously been Miss Crick's drapery shop. She lived with her mother and they supplied the village with knitting wool, underwear, etc. They moved to Scarborough as Miss Crick had a lung problem. She was in better health there. She fmally married a cousin in the Canadian Army, who was stationed in Scarborough, and eventually moved to Canada.

A few yards further up from the former Post Office and on the other side of the road, there was a very old stone cottage where "Chart" Richardson lived with his crippled stepmother. Chart was what might be called a "village character" who liked to stand on Main Street at night. There were no street lights but you knew him by the light glowing from the cigarette in his mouth. I went into the cottage once with Blanche Bader. I think the house had sunk into the ground over the years as we went down a slope into the one room which was like going back in time with small windows set in thick walls, a low ceiling and an inglenook fireplace.

The old lady was sitting in front of the fire and obviously was unable to walk but she chatted to us. I hope the district nurse called sometimes. She had some strings hanging from the ceiling with buttons on the end for the cats to play with. She told us that the house was five hundred years old. She also said she had been run over by a horse and cart years before.

A few yards down the road from them was Mrs Horton' s general store, right opposite our house (the Scholes Surgery) on Main Street. Her window was filled with glass jars full of sweets, humbugs, lemon and lime drops, liquorice, etc. She also sold groceries and delicious cooked ham. She was also the source of village gossip.

Further down Main Street on the left was The Grange where two old ladies (one somewhat bald and the other somewhat bearded) named Dawson lived. They had a round flower bed at the front which was a mass of snowdrops in the spring. They had three orchards at the back (now Grange Court). The apples were easy prey for the children, except if one of the ladies went to the outhouse privy then she shooed them away. Poor Miss Harriet choked to death one day on a piece of meat.

In those days, if a funeral was going down Main Street, everyone closed their curtains and any men in the street stood still and removed their hats.

There was a house on the corner of Belle Vue and Main Street where some people called Henderson lived. They had a parrot which they often put outside in his cage. He would call out to people. Blanche Bader lived across from them and she said he used to swear. She said one day the man from Goodall' s farm was delivering milk to a house and the parrot made a clicking sound so the horse starting walking away with the cart.

I attended the school in Station Road for a while. Miss Spencely was our teacher. I think she taught about three grades or standards in the one room. In those days we got the cane for bad behaviour.

I remember Blanche Bader pulled her hand away when Miss Spencely was about to wield the cane. The boys had their punishment from Miss Cox, the head teacher. We had break, or playtime as we called it, but a fence separated the girls from the boys.

I seem to remember one day a year, known as Royal Oak Day1 when we had to carry a piece of oak twig or the boys would sting us with nettles. I think it was to commemorate the occasion when King Charles hid in an oak tree during the Civil War and avoided capture.

In the thirties my grandparents lived at Morwick Terrace. I liked to stay with them. There was no electricity so I went to bed with a candle and slept in a feather bed. If I was there on Sunday I used to walk to Scholes Church with my grandfather who was a lay reader. To light our way he carried a lantern with a candle in it. Sometimes the candle blew out so we had to stop while he relit it. We always went to Evensong. I remember a curate; I think his name was Heath. He had been shell-shocked in the 1914-18 War and sometimes during his sermon he would start shaking and had to cut it short.

There were some lovely walks in the area. One was down Brickyard Lane (Wood Lane). The only problem was Isaac Chippendale's flock of geese. If they saw you they would come after you hissing. They were as good as a watchdog. Isaac liked to have long conversations with any adults who passed his house. I did hear he was a fountain of knowledge. I used to walk from Cross Gates and through Stanks, then cut across the field just before Legat Wood 2, over the stile and down the church field. One Sunday when I went there were police cars by the wood as part of a woman's body had been found. We used to walk down Rakehill Road to Barwick; it was often called Workhouse Lane then.

Everyone knew Brooke's shop on the corner opposite the station and also Froggatt's next to the Barley Corn. There were rows of small houses opposite the Barley Corn. Mrs. Precious lived at the end one of them next to the chapel. She was always lively and a "chatterbox". She used to invite us for tea sometimes and made delicious cakes. Beyond there was Wetherall's (now Cullen's) Farm.

On the other side of the road was Rayner's dairy farm. My mother was a friend of Mrs. Rayner so we were invited for tea sometimes. The children had tea in a separate room. The chairs had horse hair covering and I remember the bristles round the chair stuck in your legs.

Blanche Bader married an American and moved to the U.S.A. after the war, but often we talk on the phone about Scholes and the happy times we had there.


1. Known also widely as Oak Apple Day (29th May) to celebrate the day of the Restoration of King Charles IT (which was also his birthday). It was celebrated in Barwick in the 1730's with the ringing of the church's bells.
2. The wood was called Scholes Wood in the 1840's O.S. map. There was a family called Legat at Scholes Park Farm in the period 1850- 1870. The wood was cut down some time after 1939.

Back to the top
Back to the Main Historical Society page
Back to the Barwicker Contents page