- Written by Peter Hartingdon
These fine views of Linton School in the snow are typical of winter scenes to be had in this part of the world.
Kevin Wilson took these photographs around 1981/2 not as above when he was employed at Linton in charge of maintenance
and the boiler house. I was at Linton in the severe winter of 1962/3 when drifts of snow were many feet deep,
enough for us to build igloos, have the sledges out every day, and to use the skis we had made in the woodwork lessons, under the watchful guidance of Mr (Don) Robinson.
To give the reader some idea of just how bad the winter of 1963 was, well it was the worst since 1947. Wharfedale was hit particularly hard. The road from Skipton and the railway was blocked by snow on 20th January, the road, and particularly the railway is very exposed, and prone to drifting snow. The railway was still open for goods traffic at this time, and was in use right into the station at Grassington, which was really in Threshfield. In fact at one time the station was called Grassington and Threshfield.
On the 21st January the road was impassable, but the train, using 2 steam engines coupled back to back, with a snow plough at the front managed to get through to Grassington. Passengers were carried in the brake vans. On the 6th of February, both the road and railway was closed once again, when 2 steam trains sent from Skipton only made it as far as Embsay Junction before turning back. ON the 7th, a steam train was stuck in drifts just passed Rylstone, another locomotive was sent to drag the first back to Skipton. Same thing happened on the 11th. On the 14th once again steam trains became stuck in the snow, 2 more engines sent to rescue, and all three returned to Skipton the day after. On Sunday the 17th the weather turned really nasty, heavy snow drifting in gale force freezing winds. Bigger, more powerful engines were summonsed from Leeds, 2 of these departed, got stuck in drifting snow, and promptly derailed. On and off till the end of February the railway line had brief moments of use, and people and goods were ferried into the dale, where road traffic had failed.
Of course, we were oblivious to all these shenanigans, it was snow, and we were out playing in it, for about 6 weeks! The temperature did not go above freezing for weeks. You could cut a slice of the fallen snow, and count the “rings” in it, the different periods of snowfall.
When it did finally thaw, we had a massive lake in front of the class rooms, the ground was so frozen, because the snowmelt had nowhere to go.
We all so loved snow. What a difference 50 years makes!
Can’t stand the stuff now!
1/ John Horner (below) and another member of staff attempt to take part in the World Hernia Championships. Can anybody identify the pointing finger on the left side of this photograph. Small prize for the correct answer. Terms & Conditions Apply. (Friends or family of the phographer may not enter.)
2/ The cook serving the food is Gillian and trying to hide from the camera is Angela Stubbs, the daughter of Anne Sanderson, who worked at Linton in various roles, finally as a seemstress, Anne attended the reunion and was interviewed for the DVD film of Linton School.
3/ Dave Smith and Raymond Pickles busy with routine maintenance work.
4/ Kevin Wilson poses next to his little run about.
5/ Kevin in charge!
6/ Another classic shot of snow at Linton.
(The fancy car was not actually Kevins, but belonged to a cousin of Dave Smith, who ran a chauffeur business, and often called in at Linton when passing.
Included is a picture of some other members of the maintenance team from about 1983.Some of the pupils responded to my comments about Dave Smith who was very popular with some of the pupils, some of whom kept in touch with him after the closure of the school..
From left to right: Dave Smith (Boiler man), Harry Bowden (handy man), John Horner (Head Gardener) and Raymond Pickles (gardener). Now, all these are sadly deceased.Also shown are three other staff members. I wonder who can put names to these people Pictured in my flat at Linton in May 1985, from left to right: Chris Thornton (chef), Audrey Scholes (domestic) and Sybil (I can't remember surname but she was the bursar and eventually married one of the teachers, Ross MacDonald). There are two views of the fire that destroyed the gym. One of me, messing about on the bins. With a shot of Geoff Holmes cleaning the windows of what looks like dorm 4, senior girls. (old dorm 6). Harry Bowden was the last member of the maintenance team employed at Linton., staying on for a time after the school closure as caretaker.
The highland cattle (below) were squatting in a neighbouring field. Birds, particularly House Martins, Swallows, or Swifts, I can not remember specifically which ones, but do recall them nesting in sometimes awkward areas. One pair had built a nest inside the vestibule of the boys ablution block. Kevin’s pictures here depict a similar situation this time featuring the boiler house. Realising that this was not an ideal environment for the little perishers, Kevin at great personal expense had a nesting box built to house the little perishers, darlings.
1/ First picture below shows John Horner cutting the grass circa 1983
2/ John at work in the greenhouse, an area that was strictly 'Out Of Bounds' when I was a lad.
(Although I was for a time in Cheezys Gardening Club, although this was just digging and turning the soil, a job which I considered donkey work, so I soon quit.)
3/ This is Harry Bowden and his dog Rusty.
4/ Geoff cleaning the windows on what looks like dorm4 (6)
5/ Geoff and Harry gathering the rubbish bins for onward collection and disposal.
6/ John and Raymond having a Statagy Meeting in the boilerhouse office.