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In-Grane-d memories of life 100 years ago
LIFE in Haslingden Grane a century ago, has been brought to life in the memoirs of one resident who came from a long life of village folk.
Ada Barlow, nee Nuttall, who was born in 1906 and lived to the grand old age of 94, wrote her family story for future generations, and gave an insight into the community that is no more.
Her mum Alice was one of 13 children born at Hartley House, one of the many small farms, which made up Grane, and her father, a tackler, worked at Flash Mill, Haslingden, and lodged at ‘Flip’ – the Dyers Arms pub – until their marriage in 1903.
Ada and her parents lived at 252, Grane Road, and her mum used to rise every day at 5am to light the fire.
The first person in the village to own a car was the doctor, John Harrison and she remembers everyone rushing to the front door to watch it pass by.
A variety of street criers would visit the village, including the bellman who relayed the latest news, the fish seller, who carried his scales as well as his fish, the organ grinder and a man with a dancing bear.
Sunday school was taken by Mrs Warburton, the factory manager’s wife, at her home Vine House, which employed a coachman and two gardeners famous for their grapes and orchids.
As a youngster she used to watch Royston Heys, the blacksmith at Cronkshaw’s, put rhubarb through the mangle to extract the juice for his home-made wine.
One of her cousins married the manager of the Empire and Palace cinemas in Haslingden and she and her friends, used to enjoy the best seats and free ice cream.
Ada went to Manchester Road school and then the council schools and remembered the annual church tea party and Whit walks, led by Helmshore brass band, which ended with a field day.
After the end of the Great War, celebrated with dancing in Victoria Park, Ada embraced the 1920s’ flapper style, with bobbed hair.
She saw all the latest films at the picture house at Rawtenstall — Rudolph Valentino was heartthrob of the day.
It was now that she met Frank Barlow and the couple married at Grane Church on Whit Sunday in 1928.
They bought a baby linen and fancy drapery shop in Blackburn Road and their two sons, Allan and Clive were born in 1929 and 1931.
Frank usually did the weekly shopping in Accrington, sometimes buying a shilling parcel from Almond, the greengrocer’s, which contained a rabbit, carrots, potatoes and apples.
During WWII he was an ARP warden, but then got called up to the RAF.
He contracted scarlet fever, but instead of sending him to isolation, he remained at home, with a sheet soaked in disinfectant over the bedroom door.
After a spell in East Sussex, Ada and Frank came home to Haslingden, moving in to number 339 Grane Road.
Allan worked in the tax offices in Rawtenstall and Blackburn, before moving to Jersey, while Clive, went to work at John Butterworth’s in Waterfoot, eventually becoming sales manager.
He married Joan Whewell in 1957. The couple later ran a wool shop in Blackburn.
Ada started work in the canteen at J H Birtwistles and Frank joined the local pigeon club.
He died in 1969 just a fortnight before his 66th birthday, Ada was 94 when she died in 2000.