Growing up wearing Clogs in the 1920’s




 Whilst going through some old family photographs, I remember my father talking about his childhood growing up on the family farm in the 1920’s…spending his formative years wearing clogs, as the rest of his family also did.



Clog wearing appears to have been a common practice even as late as the 1920. It was not just in the northern wool and cotton mills, where many people had memories of hearing the clatter of clogs on cobble streets whilst making their way to work in the mill every morning, as shown in this picture of workers heading to work at Foster's Mill, Denholme for a 6 o'clock start.





 The practice of clog wearing  also happened with farm workers, such as my family, who  were  working in sometimes very wet conditions on the land, and needed footwear that kept their feet warm in winter and cool in summer as clogs did. Clogs also gave some protection to the toes with having metal toe fronts on them. My father never though that wearing clogs was anything out of the ordinary, or a sign of poverty, because everyone at his school or from his background in the farming community wore clogs at the time.





This picture shows my father in the middle front row, with his sister Gladys standing behind him.....note the studs in the bottom of the clogs of the two girls sat to the left of him.



 
 
 This picture shows my father, as a small child with his brother, sister and mother Hettie all wearing clogs with metal toe fronts The other lady on the left, whose identity is unknown, looks as though she came visiting them on the farm, as she is dressed somewhat more ‘fashionably’!





  Pictures of my Great-Grandparents, Lister and Jane Watson, taken around the same time show that they too were clog wearers. This wonderful pictures shows him taking a break from haymaking with pipe in mouth and clogs on feet.…..the steel toe fronts are just visible. Jane is suitably dressed with bonnet to protect her from the sun and with the wooden hay rake in her hand.













 Clogs also gave some protection to feet when dealing with farm animals, and the muck and effluent they produce. This picture shows my Grandfather John and his brother, managing a horse, no doubt the clogs would have given some protection against injury, should the horse have decided to stand on their toes!






There are two explanations of the development of the English style clog. They may have evolved from pattens which were slats of wood held in place by thonging or similar strapping. They were usually worn under leather or fabric shoes to raise the wearer's foot above the mud of the unmade road, not to mention commonly dumped human effluent and animal dung. Those too poor to afford shoes wore wood directly against the skin or hosiery, and thus the clog was developed, made of part leather and part wood. Alternatively they have been described as far back as Roman times, possibly earlier
The wearing of clogs in Britain became more visible with the Industrial Revolution, when workers needed strong, cheap footwear. Men and women wore laced and clasped clogs respectively, the fastening clasps being of engraved brass or more commonly steel. Nailed under the sole at toe and heel were clog irons, called calkers or cokers, generally 3/8" wide x 1/4" thick with a groove down the middle to protected the nail heads from wear. The heyday of the clog in Britain was between the 1840s and 1920s and, although traditionally work in Northern England, they were also worn in many other parts of the country.


Harry Greenwood and his shop

miniature clogs
The last clog maker, close to where I live near Keighley in West Yorkshire, was Harry Greenwood shown here standing proudly outside his shop, which was actually a cellar under a house, at Crossroads shortly before he retired in the 1970’s. I remember going to see him with our new born son in 1976, and asking him to make a miniature pair of clog for our son. After selling us the clogs he had just made, I can still remember his parting words which were…"ang on to ‘em lad, the’ll be wo’th summat one day”…We still have them…wonder if they are?





Clogs are still made today in Yorkshire, by a company called Walkley’s of Mytholmroyd near Hebden Bridge, who say they are the" UK's Largest Clog Manufacturer". They have a very informative website about everything concerning clogs, which can be found by clicking here.

The Bancrofts involvement with Scartop Sunday School & Chapel for more than 80 years..



Scar Top Chapel

 I wrote an article some time ago about George Riley Bancroft’s life as a farmer in the Upper Worth Valley, and the hard times he had to endure trying to make a living in the harsh conditions, farming in the Upper Worth Valley near Keighley, which can be read by clicking here.

George, together with various other local individuals, was a trustee of nearby Scar Top Chapel for over 50 years and was appointed on 6th April 1940. When he died in April 2000, his funeral was fittingly held at the Chapel.

George Bancroft and friend






















The Chapel , which the Bancrofts were connected with since before George's time, and where many of the local Bancrofts were baptised,has a very interesting history in its own right, which is briefly as follows:

The original Sunday School Building at Scartop was the first chapel erected in the neighbourhood. It was built in 1818 by the local inhabitants, everybody taking part in the work. Farmers led the stone, the outdoor workers got the stone, masons did the building, joiners did their part, and it was erected at little cost as a ‘labour of love’. There is no known description of the original building at Scartop, but we know that a  piece of land, measuring 120 square yards, was purchased 4 May 1818 from a Mr Wright, yeoman, of West House, Oldfield, for six pounds, on a 9,000 years lease, with a peppercorn rent. The land was on a steep hillside, with the Haworth-Colne Turnpike road to the north



The current Scartop Chapel, which is situated alongside Ponden Reservoir, came about when the Trustees agreed to replace the original building with a much larger two storey chapel, including a balcony, in 1868. The laying of the corner stone on February 9th 1869 was celebrated with an open air ceremony which was marred by extremely wet weather and more than 200 people retired to the nearby Ponden Mill for tea. The new school was opened in September 1869.

Scartop Chapel interior



We are fortunate to have a photograph of the new building taken soon after its completion. The area was extensively photographed during the early phase of the construction of Ponden Reservoir. The fabric of the chapel and adjacent cottages have remained largely unchanged over the past 140 years, which is testimony to the skill of the builders and their choice of good workmen and materials.

Newly built Scartop Chapel, with the construction of Ponden Reservoir in the foreground

Scartop was originally built as a nondenominational Sunday School. However soon after it was built the Wesleyan Methodists began to teach at the Sunday School. The Keighley Wesleyan Methodist Circuit were also providing preachers for adult classes, from the mid 1820s, but these groups met mainly in people’s houses, rather than the Sunday School building. The independent, nondenominational, status of the chapel was a subject of heated debate during the rebuilding of the Sunday School in 1869. The inscription stone on the original building from 1818 read
“OAKWORTH AND STANBURY GENERAL SUNDAY SCHOOL
BUILT BY SUBSCRIPTION ON THE PRINCIPLE OF UNION AND PHILANTHROPY
ANNO DOMINI 1818”.

Scar Top Chapel circa 1910

This original inscription stone was broken under controversial circumstances (accident or deliberate...who knows?). Half the Trustees objected strongly when the Building Committee asked for permission to fit a new stone with the inscription “Wesleyan Chapel built 1818; rebuilt 1869”. They objected to any change, other than adding the year it was rebuilt. The issue was not resolved, which is  why the new inscription stone was left blank.


Scar Top Chapel had a popular social aspect within the community, when all its members, sometimes numbering up to 300 individuals, would gather at various times in the summer and the photograph below records on one of these gatherings around 1909. Concerts, Lantern Shows, Sports Days, Sales, Carol Services and Parties  were all part of the local social activities in the area. As well as the Festivals and Annual prize giving concert there were numerous other concerts. Entertainment was provided by the choir, scholars and friends. In the 1920s and 30s a wide range of other concert artists, choirs and bands were hired ,and there were up to six concerts per year. Some of these were annual events, such as at the New Year and others to celebrate special occasions. Many romances between young couples from the surrounding area started at these occasions, known locally as 'copping on ', and this included some of the local Bancroft boys and girls. [see the end of this article.]

This impressive scene, looking west shows Scar Top Chapel  on the sky-line, just above the roof of the mill. Clearly it was an important occasion for the ladies to parade their finery. An Anniversary Service which was held in the open air in June 1909, was reported in the Keighley newspaper as  
‘a larger gathering, with numerous traps and waggonettes from Lancashire giving the day quite an old-time appearance.The usual Festival held last Saturday in August was also a big success, with excellent weather, and friends from near and far assembled.. In the afternoon the teachers, scholars and friends marched from the school to Intake Farm where special hymns were sung, after which Mr. John A Riley generously distributed fruit. Returning by way of of Haggate Nook another halt was made and “lucky packets” were distributed by Mr. William Greenwood. A public tea was then served to 300 people. There was then a series of competitions before an evening meeting with recitations and songs'


Anniversary Service circa 1909
The Anniversaries were still a major event attracting large numbers into the 1950s .Other than in wet weather, the afternoon and evening services were still held outdoors, at nearby Ponden Mill, as shown on the following photograph. Even today the Anniversary Services still take place, but they are now always held indoors.


Both George Bancroft, his family and his parents, John and Mary Bancroft, were all involved in the social side of Scar Top Chapel, as the following picture shows. These Chapel ladies were performing a fund-raising sketch called “Our Trip to Blackpool” on a snowy Saturday night in 1930. It had been preceded by part-songs, solos and recitals, but the ‘Keighley News’ of the time thought this, with its quaint old dresses and Yorkshire dialect, “the tit-bit of the evening”. [Mary Bancroft, George’s mother, is on the front row, first on the right.]




And another concert party night at Scar Top, shows the ladies of the chapel in fine form, looking well dressed in old-time fashions. [Mary Bancroft is standing on the back row 2nd from the left.]



In 1971 it was realised that Scar Top had never been registered as a chapel however, to be registered, it would need to come under Methodist Administration, losing its independence. Also an architect’s plan would have to be submitted, so the matter was dropped. However, Scar Top Sunday School once again became a fully independent nondenominational chapel, in 1974 because the Methodist Circuit informed Scar Top trustees that they would cease to supply Methodist preachers and presumed the chapel would have to close. The trustees were incensed by this announcement, and George Bancroft is on record as saying “we were ‘avin no’an that!”…..The independent nature of the Scartop Chapel folk was once again roused. The Trustees took some pleasure in informing the Methodists that they were in charge of the Chapel’s future, not the Methodist Circuit and that it would not be closing.

It was however not registered as a place of worship until 1997, just before it was also registered for the solemnisation of marriages, and although the numbers attending the Chapel today are small, they had no problem in attracting local preachers who were sympathetic towards Scar Top Sunday School.

The Bancroft connection continues with Scar Top to the present day, as George's son, Adrian, took over as a trustee from his father, and is still connected with the Chapel.

I mentioned earlier in this article, the part Scar Top played in bringing you people together romantically, and to finish this piece here is a couple of nice little stories written by Adrian and June Bancroft, which describes this perfectly.

'There's a little country Chapel that stands beside the road that goes from Haworth over Lancashire
moor to Colne. It's called Scartop Chapel and I have been connected to Scartop all my life. I was christened there, went to Sunday school there, we had our own children christened there and I have been a trustee there for around forty years.Scartop Chapel always holds its anniversary on the second Sunday in June and years ago it was a great social occasion. Weather permitting the services, afternoon and evening, were held in the open air. A stage was built and the preacher, the Sunday School scholars and a brass band were on this.People came from miles around, from into Lancashire, Hebden Bridge, Oxenhope, Haworth, and Keighley, hundreds of them and all the homes in the valley were full of visitors for tea between the services.Scartop Anniversary was also called locally Scartop Charity, and sometimes Scartop Copping-on Charity [a boy meets girl thing]. One Saturday night I took a young lady out on our first date and on the Sunday we met again at Scartop Anniversary. Last Sunday that young lady and I celebrated our 45th wedding anniversary, so together we chose three of our favourite hymns from Scartop Anniversary hymn sheets and the one has been chosen for us to sing tonight is 'Sweet is the work my God my King'.

Adrian Bancroft 2004

Scartop Chapel Anniversary is often known as Scartop Copping-on Charity and I think I can
safely say that my husband and I 'copt-on' there. One Saturday night many years ago I went on a first date with a lovely young man to Haworth Picture House to see 'An Affair To Remember'. The next day we met up again at Scartop for the outdoor Anniversary services'. A year later we again attended after becoming engaged the previous day. Later that year we held our wedding reception in Scartop Chapel and during the next few years our four daughters were christened there. In those days all the family attended the Anniversary and Harvest Festival services but alas we are the only two from the family to still attend. Sadly in recent years we have said “Goodbye” to many of our family and friends at Scartop Chapel. God willing, later this year, the now not-so-young man and I will celebrate our Golden Wedding Anniversary. So, thank-you Scartop !

June Bancroft 2009




I am grateful to David Riley, for much of this information about Scar Top Chapel.
David has written a really excellent book entitled “ The Rise and Fall of Methodism in the Upper Worth Valley Yorkshire 1740-2013” which  includes the Scar Top Chapel history....a copy of which is held in Keighley Reference Library.

Blackmail Case…."a tissue of falsehoods in a letter."


This is a strange tale of a young lad called Noel Bancroft, who at the age of only 17 years, was before the courts on the serious charge of blackmail.

He was born on 13th December 1913, in Keighley, the son of George and Isabella [nee Metcalfe] Bancroft, who were both born in Manchester, where George was a House Decorator, and Isabella a foreman in a Sowing Factory, making waterproof clothing. They moved over to Keighley shortly before Noel's birth in 1913, and were living at 20 Arctic Street, in the Beechcliffe area of the town,at this time.

The Keighley News newspaper of 3rd November 1831 reported 'this sensational story' with the following headlines:

Blackmail case in Keighley….Youth sent to Assizes…A tissue of falsehoods in a letter.
Noel Bancroft, [17] apprentice outfitter of Arctic St, Keighley was committed at Keighley today for trial to the Assizes on a charge of Demanding Money with Menaces.
Superintendent Coates said that between October 19th and 21st, the prisoner uttered a letter demanding £20 with menaces from Walter Burrows [43] Drapers Assistant, of Cark Road Keighley. The letter received by Mr. Burrows on October 21st stated:
'For the past month I have been very interested in your movements with a certain young lady. You have had a very bad habit of meeting in Keighley Cemetery. Your behaviour has not been very nice for a married man and a married woman. I am an eye witness of your activities. On second thoughts, if the sum of £20, or nearest you can get at short notice, is not brought to me by my directions, I will take proceedings and cause a great scandal, for I deal in nothing else'
The letter instructed the complainant to make a parcel of the notes and hand them to a youth, who would meet him at the Yorkshire Penny Bank, Keighley at 1pm on October 21st.
The letter continued:
'If you fail, I will break you and disgrace you. Don’t treat this as an idle boast, or go to the police with a blackmail idea. You will be watched by two men, both out-of-work who will do anything for money. I never ask more than once, as I have a bad temper, and I wan t to go to Liverpool and London on other business'
Superintendent Coates said Mr. Burrows at once communicated with the police, and was asked to keep the appointment. At 12.55 Mr. Burrows went to the appointed place, holding in his hand a small packet. At 1.00 the prisoner rode up on a bike and said to Mr. Burrows “Have you a parcel for me?” When asked his name the prisoner said “ Oh I haven’t time I want to be going”. He then asked for the parcel, which Mr. Burrows handed to him.
As the prisoner was about to ride away a plain clothed policeman went up to him. When cautioned and charged, the prisoner replied “I wrote the letter. I don’t know what made me do it, I am sorry.”
Mr. H Wall, of Turner & Wall,Keighley, on behalf of the prisoner said he wished to express his client’s regret to Mr. Burrows, and to say unreservedly that there was no truth whatsoever in the allegation. It was a tissue of falsehoods from beginning to end.
Mr. Wall regretted that it was not possible to reduce the charge, remarking that the offence was the act of someone not quite responsible. He intimated that that would be the defence at the Assizes.
Mr Wall remarked that it seemed a pity that there was no option but to send the lad for trial, for he felt it was not responsible mentally, for what he had done. He also asked the bench to grant a poor persons' defence certificate, but the Bench said that in view of his plea of guilt, they would not be justified in granting this request, even after Mr Wall said the accused's father had not the means to meet the defence, and the boy himself had lost his job.
The accused was remanded for trial at the next West Riding Assizes, bail being allowed in two sureties of £10.
 
The case was heard at the Assizes on 28th November 1931, when the Keighley News newspaper, together with the regional ones,  reported the outcome of 'this sensational story'  as follows:

Keighley Blackmail.
Noel Bancroft [17], Drapers Assistant of Arctic St, Keighley, was bound over for three years, after pleading guilty to uttering a letter demanding money with menaces from Walter Burrows on October 21st last at Keighley.
In the accused possession was found a diary that had the same handwriting, as the person who had sent the letter to Mr Burrows
It was stated that the Prosecutor, a married man, received from Bancroft, at his business address, a letter containing allegations which were absolutely without foundation, and demanding £20.
On Bancroft’s behalf ,Mr Wall his solicitor said that he did not propose to put the accused into the witness box or call any witnesses as it was agreed that the contents of the letter were untrue, and stated that he was run over when he was a boy of ten, and had since had a rather sullen nature, and been difficult to get on with. He was in the habit of reading sensational novels, and he  visited cinemas very frequently, despite his father’s best efforts to dissuade him.
When the Judge announced the decision, Bancroft collapsed in the dock and had to be revived before he could be bound over.’

How times have changed!....gone are the days when reading sensational novels, and going to the cinema too frequently, could be given as reasons for a young man turning to blackmail!

Shown below, a peaceful scene of the  Beechcliffe area of Keighley where Noel Bancroft lived, around this time

Beechcliffe in the background

“Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for another.”

Erquingham-Lys Graveyard 

To coincide with the WW1 Centenary and this year's Remembrance Day, here is the sad story of Seth Bancroft who died  in September 1915 at the age of only 21 years, and less than a month after going over to fight in France.

Seth was born in 1894 in the village of Oxenhope, near Keighley in Yorkshire, the son of Jonas and Sarah [nee Sunderland] Bancroft, and was one of a family of nine children, of which four died of infants. His father Jonas, came from a family of quarry owners who ran  Deep House Quarry at nearby Oxenhope, and Jonas himself eventually became a quarry manager after initially working as a carter at his father's business in Oxenhope.
The 1911 census shows the family living at 23 Prince Street, Haworth, where Seth at the age of 17 years was working as ' Jobber Lad - Bobbin Carrier' at a Worsted Manufacturers.

1911 census


No further details of his early life or photographs seem to be available of Seth, but looking at the following Army Index Card, it seems as though he was transported to France on 26th August 1915 in the Duke of Wellington's Regiment, and was serving as a Private in the 10th Battalion in September 1915. He died less than a month later. From details on the index card it appears that he qualified for the 15 Star and also for the British War Medal as well as the Victory Medal.

[The decision of who should get which medals was made separately. Everyone who entered a war theatre got the British War Medal, and everyone in service during the war also got the Victoria Medal. The men who were there before 1st January 1916 got a Star of some kind, the 1914 Star was awarded for service between Aug 5th and Nov 22nd 1914 and the 1914/15 Star from November 23rd 1914 until 31st December 1915. Those who were within range of German artillery in the first period Aug 5th to Nov 22nd 1914 also got the Clasp to the 1914 Star and were known as the 'Old Contemptibles']

Army Index Card

The Duke of Wellington's 10th Battalion was formed in Sept 1914 at Halifax and moved to Frensham, to join the 69th Brigade of the 23rd Division, before  moving on to Aldershot.
In February 1915 it moved to Folkestone and then to Bramshott, and by August 1915 it mobilised for war, and landed at Havre and engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
Trench familiarisation as part of the 20th (Light) and 27th Divisions and then took control of the front line at Ferme Grande Flamengrie to the Armentieres-Wez Macquart road and by September 1915 it was at the Bois Grenier line.

On the morning of 25th September 1915, young Seth Bancroft was stationed on sentry duty in one of the trenches when a German shell failed to reach its destination, and landed in his trench. Seth was hit in the head, and was taken to the local hospital, but died at 5.00 o'clock that afternoon.

Shown below is the Duke of Wellington's 10th Battalion War Diary for 25th September 1915, which describes that day and lists only one unnamed soldier killed that day, which I an pretty certain was Seth Bancroft. 

10th Battalion War Diary -  25th Sept 1915

" Almost simultaneously, the enemy started and a terrible artillery fired, was kept up for several hours, and did not quieten until about 2pm.
For the most part, the German shells landed behind our firing trench, and in consequence little material damage was done.
The moral effect however was great. Our men were splendid, especially considering it was their first real action.
During the morning we only suffered fourteen casualties, of which only two were serious, one proved fatal. The man dying shortly after being admitted by field ambulance."

Back home in England his widowed father Jonas, received word of his son's death by telegram from the Lieutenant in Command of the Regiment, and a few days later he also received a hand written letter from a Private George Peacock, who was also on sentry duty with Seth at the time of the incident, and who had been left unharmed by the shell damage, so was able to explain to Seth's family exactly what happened.

Seth Bancroft was buried nearby,  in the military section of Erquingham-Lys Graveyard Extension
Plot1, row F, G2

The following two pictures show the graveyard towards the end of WW1 in 1918,with the Church in the background having suffered heavy war damage, and also a modern site plan of the war graves. The earliest Commonwealth burials were made in two places in the churchyard itself, in October 1914-January 1915, but these 27 graves were moved into the extension (Plot II, Row G, and Plot III, Row G) in 1925, the churchyard being closed for burials. The extension was begun in April 1915 and used by units and field ambulances until April 1918. It was continued down to the stream by the Germans (who also used the churchyard) in the summer of 1918, and in September and October 1918, it was used again for some Commonwealth burials.The extension now contains 558 Commonwealth burials of the First World War (eight of them unidentified) and 130 German burials. One unidentified Russian servicemen is also buried in the extension.



Erquingham-Lys Graveyard Plan

Erquingham-Lys Graveyard c 1918


















   
                              “ Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for another”

Seth Bancroft's grave


Bancroft burials at Lister Lane Cemetery, Halifax.



Graveyard with Chapel behind.


Halifax, in West Yorkshire, is a town which had, and still has, a large number of Bancroft families, and many of them, for different reasons in the past, did not worship at the Anglican Churches in the town. Lister Lane Cemetery was not attached to any place of worship, and was said to be "for any denomination or none". Before it opened in 1841, people had to be buried in the town’s Anglican Churchyards or in small nonconformist Chapel Yards.Most of these areas were almost full by the 1830's, and something needed to be done. To alleviate this situation, a group of local businessmen saw an opportunity and set up private company to open a cemetery not connected to any Church or Chapel, and this is how Lister Lane Cemetery started. The business thrived, and here is an early advertisement promoting the cemetery
Cemetery Advertisement
 The cemetery was built over several years on open fields, opposite a large house belonging to a member of the Crossley family, who was a large benefactors  and was part of the family of Carpet Manufacturers in the town, and who is buried in a family vault there. The following map shows the area soon after its opening.

Graveyard plan circa 1840's












   


Originally known as the Halifax General Cemetery, Lister lane, it covers three acres of land, and has a raised terrace with views across Halifax to Beacon Hill. It is registered on the list of Historic Parks and Gardens, and has some interesting monuments, particularly the gothic spires and obelisks along the main pathway. Most of the brick built vaults are beneath this terraced area, and were constructed with a depth of about 25 feet.

Within the grounds stood a small non-denominational chapel, built in the neo-classical style, which is still there today, although sadly in a pretty poor state. Pictures below show it in its heyday, and how it is today.





 














The graveyard’s memorials provide an index of the people who shaped the development of Halifax during its period of spectacular growth in the 19th Century, a period which defined the way the town still looks today. Many of the town’s great and good were buried there…… Judges, JP’s, Baronets , MP's , Mayors, Industrialist’s, Waterloo Veterans…. the list goes on!

I was recently sent a full listing of the 53 Bancroft individuals who were buried at Lister Lane Cemetery in Halifax, which makes heartbreaking reading, when you see the ages of some of the individuals buried, and can be viewed by clicking here.


 
Path over  unmarked graves
 
The list of Bancroft burials includes some poor people who obviously could not afford a plot of their own, so had to be buried in public graves, and most of these graves go unmarked and are under paths in the cemetery, such as the one shown on this picture, which reputedly has several hundred men, women and children buried beneath it.


  There are also many Bancroft infants listed which makes sad reading when you see their ages listed as young as
'17 hours, 1 hour, 10 minutes' etc.


 The last burial was in 1969, but in reality the majority of the 20,000 burials in total, took place between 1846 and 1918.





 Here are details about a few of the Bancrofts buried here:

John Bancroft [1806-1858] [Grave number 4350]
The first grave is the last resting place of John and Mary Bancroft [nee Lees] and their family. John was the son of Anthony and Hannah [Howarth] and started his working life as a weaver, before becoming the Publican at the Queens Hotel in Gibbet Street, Halifax during the 1840-50’s. The hotel was a large establishment, as can be seen from the photograph below taken not long before it finally closed in 1968. The 1851 census showing John and family living on Gibbet Street in Halifax, without actually mentioning actually the Queens Hotel.
 At the time of his death in 1858, he was listed on the burial records as a stone merchant, but when his youngest son Fred married in 1874, he was shown on the marriage record as a deceased ‘straw merchant’. His three eldest sons, George, William Henry and Frederick went on to set up a large business in the down as Brush Manufacturers, and their story can be read by clicking here.
For some reason the grave and gravestone are positioned the wrong way round to all the other ones in the area…the question is why?....possibly because it is a fairly early grave to the site, first used in 1851, just 10 years after the graveyard opened, so it may have been one of the first to be used in this section.

John b 1806 - 1851 census

The Queens Hotel, Gibbet St, Halifax
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James Bancroft [1788 -1862]     [Grave numbers 483 & 571]    Anthony Bancroft [1826-1876]



 

















The above two gravestones are of James & Ann Bancroft[ nee Walker] and their son Anthony and his family, who ran a well known Druggist business in the town. The business was handed down through three generations, and I wrote an interesting article about the whole family, their business, their emigration to the US and their return, which can be read by clicking here.

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James Bancroft [1815-1886]     [Grave numbers 1975 & 2479]    Charles Bancroft [1841-1888]


 

















This is the grave of James and Ann Bancroft, who became a sweet manufacturer in the town, having started by making toffee and sweets in the cellar of his house. Census records show him as a ‘Master Confectioner’ living at Gibbit Street in the town at the time of the 1851 census. On his death the business passed on to his son Charles who sounds a bit of a character. Family folklore says he liked to drink and after taking his confectionery products to market by horse and cart, was in the habit of spending his takings on the way home in the pub, and after having had one too many, had to rely on the horse knowing the way home! Charles died at the early age of 47 years, and on his death the sweet business was sold to the Macintosh family who went on to become a major national manufacturer of confectionery. Interestingly the burial record for Charles lists his occupation as ‘Spice Dealer’…’Spice’ being the old fashioned Yorkshire term for sweets. The full story of this family dynasty can be found by clicking here.

James b 1815 - 1881 census


Charles b 1841 - 1881 census

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James Bancroft [1830-1900] [Grave number 3722]


Shows the grave of James and Sarah Ann Bancroft, together with 3 of their infant children who died aged 8 months and 2 years. James was described as an ‘Engine Tender’ and later as a ‘Cotton Rover’. He was the son of Elijah and Susannah, and Elijah was buried in this graveyard, but had to be buried in one of the public graves probably as a pauper. Elijah's wife,Susannah, was however given some dignity because she was buried with her son’s family in this grave, rather than in a public pauper's plot.



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 Joseph Bancroft [1866-1934]
 [Grave number 3833]
 The newest Bancroft grave on site is that of Joseph and Annie Bancroft, together with their son James, who was the son of the above mentioned James and Sarah Ann. Little is known about him other than the fact that the records show him as a ‘Goods Checker’ on the 1911 census shown below.





Joseph b 1866 - 1911 census
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James Bancroft [1814-1888] [Grave number 2326]
And finally the grave of James and Elizabeth Bancroft, which has no stone, but from the records looks as though it tells a sad story because also buried there are James's three daughters who all died in 1869 as young women. First to die was Hannah age 23 yrs in January, then Emma age 21 years in April then finally Sarah Ann age 19 yrs in September. I have not been able to research this further, but these early deaths, so close together most probably were related to some underlying health problem, such as TB [known as consumption] or smallpox which were both prevalent at this time, and both encouraged by poor living conditions. James's wife Elizabeth, who was his second wife, died in 1871. His first wife Ann had died before the 1851 census, leaving him described as a widower with 6 children. James himself died in 1886, at the age of 70 years. The 1861 census below shows the whole family living at 65 Park St Halifax, when James was listed as a 'Dyer of Woolen' from Northowrum.[Northowram]
James b 1814 - 1861 census
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In collaboration with Calderdale Council, the ‘Friends of Lister Lane Cemetery’ was formed in 1999.This group of volunteers promote the upkeep and public profile of the site, largely unfunded. New members and supporters are always welcome. For more details about this, please go to the ‘Friends’ website by clicking here.