No. 43


  • Field Work

  • Yorkshire Maypoles No. 1
    March 19862 Linton-in-Craven

  • The History of Potterton by Tony Cox and Arthur Bantoft

    1. Part 5 Tenants at the Hall
    2. Part 6 A View from the Servant's Quarters
    3. Part 7 Post War Potterton

  • Field Work

    During the summer, the Society continued its programme of outdoor activities. On the evening of 8 June, we enjoyed a most interesting and instructive visit ot Potterton Hall and its grounds. A full account of this important event is recorded in Part 7 of 'The History of Potterton' printed below. We thank Mr Beattie, Dr Cartwright and Mr MacFarlane for their help.

    On 3 July, Tony Shinn conducted about 15 members of the society round the streets of Barwick in search of the locations of the many small shops and businesses that have served Barwick well in the past. He identified 23 locations and spoke about the services they offered and, with the help of many anecdotes, about the local people who ran them. We thank Tony for this most interesting event and for his hospitality.

    On the sunny evening of 7 August, 17 members of the Society assembled at Leyfield Farm to examine the nearby site of the old water mill and the attendant water courses, a section of the Cock Beck that in the past saw much more human activity than at present. We then walked through the woodland and along the top of the steep slope above the valley which makes up Becca Banks. With the permission of the owner we examined these enormous defensive earthworks whose origins are still the subject of much speculation. We thank Alan Senior for a well planned and enjoyable visit.

    SEPTEMBER 1996

    Yorkshire Maypoles

    No. 1
    March 19862 Linton-in-Craven.

    Standing in a sequestered site in Upper Wharfedale, Linton-in-Craven is an attractive village of grey stone houses - some simple cottages and others more substantial dwellings with prominent gables and stone mullioned windows. In the centre of the village is a wide green, flanked on one side by the celebrated almshouses of Fountaine's Hospital, with its wide frontage and central tower, and on the other sides by the pub and other dwellings.

    Linton Beck, a clear tree-lined stream, winds softly across the green on its way to the nearby River Wharfe and is spanned by a clapper footbridge, a slender packhorse bridge and a sturdy single-span road bridge. At one side of the green is an ornamental pillar set on a stepped plinth which was erected as "A Tribute to Linton-in-Craven on being adjudged first in the News Chronicle Loveliest Village in the North Contest 1949".

    In the centre of the green is the Linton maypole. It consists of a single piece of unpainted wood about 35 feet high, set in large iron supports. It is surmounted by a weather vane in the shape of a cock. A rope fastened to the pole indicates that it has been used to fly a flag but the pole is not now used for any celebrations or festivities.

    We are grateful to Mr Ronald Metcalfe of Linton for details of the history of the pole. There has been a maypole in Linton since the early decades of the century at least. In the late 1940s and 1950s, it was a little longer than the present pole, painted white and set directly in the ground. At that time, the St John's Ambulance Cadets were taught the movements and they danced round the pole on festive occasions. Since then the number of children in the village has dwindled with the influx of retired people and the use of houses as weekend and holiday cottages.

    The maypole rotted under the paint and beneath the ground and it became unsafe. It was replaced in the 1970s by the present pole which was obtained from the Bolton Abbey estate. In the hope of avoiding rotting it was set in the iron supports and left unpainted, which is its present state. Little preservation work is carried out now because of the expense which would be incurred in taking down the pole.

    Like all outdoor wooden structures the pole will eventually decay and will have to be taken down on safety grounds. Let us hope that when this day comes a replacement can be erected and the Linton maypole will adorn its attractive site for many more years.

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