60 Years On

Work had been held up at the Sam Hoyle Memorial Garden in West Vale because of snow. The site, once home to the Stainland Road Methodist Church, had been given to Elland UDC by Mr Edmund Hoyle in memory of his late son. Three shelters (two for buses) and rose gardens were planned for the garden.

Miss Carole Moorhouse, a weaver from Sowood, was chosen as Stainland’s Gala Queen. Over 300 people attended the event at the Mechanics’ Institute. Irvine Lodge, the renowned Halifax hair stylist, was one of the judges.

Workers’ Playtime was broadcast (Light Programme) from Benjamin Whiteley’s at Park Road, Elland.  The announcer said ‘over to a canteen of an Elland mill’ but the canteen was empty. Instead a warehouse with a temporary wooden stage was used. A grand piano was borrowed from Halifax. At noon the mill stopped and the employees trooped into the warehouse.  Geoffrey Wheeler, producer of the show, was the warm-up act. (He had a long and illustrious career in broadcasting). First on the bill were the Peter Crawford Trio singing ‘Riding on a Rainbow’, ‘Three Bachelors are We’ and ‘Mr Sandman’. Next was comedian Bunny Doyle, fresh from panto at Leeds. John McHugh, tenor, followed and Freddie Sale, in a brilliant yellow cap (sadly lost on the wireless), wound up the half-hour broadcast. The happy audience sang ‘Side by Side’. Ben Aspinall, who had worked at the mill for 38 years, thanked the BBC. Does anyone remember this programme?

Finally from February 1955 farewell presentations were made to the Rector of Elland, the Rev. Bernard Pawley, who was leaving Elland after ten years to take up an appointment at Ely. Miles Prestwich, Churchwarden at St. Mary’s, presented a cheque to Mr. Pawley and Anne Hodgson (a late President of our society) made a presentation on behalf of the Sunday School children.


David J. Glanfield

Greater Elland Historical Society