Swindon Lime Works
I made mention of a trip with cheesy in the Austin J2 minibus to the Corn Exchange in Leeds on another page. Mr Robson, cheesy, ventured out of the school on several trips in my days at Linton. One of the most exciting visits was made to the Swindon Lime Works. This visit really went down with a bang!
We had a tour of all the facility, stone crushers, loaders, trucks, even stood on the top deck walkway high above the main Skipton to Grassington road. At that time the main road passed alongside the works, the diverted highway to the east of the quarry was some way off. We were treated to a grandstand view of the main explosion that was scheduled every so often, to bring down the bulk of the side of the hill, in bits, so the chaps could cart it off, sort it, crush it, and then tip it into the kilns to be rendered into lime. I recall there being 4 of these beasts with plumes of polluting smoke pouring over towards Linton Village. Not all of the kilns were fired at the same time. At the road junction where the narrow Linton road shoots right off the main Threshfield road, there is to this day a stone farm house, nice and clean, when the kilns were in operation this house, along with the row of workmans cottages that have since been demolished, were white with lime dust!
Linton Sewage Works
We go from one extreme to the other! Yes cheesy took us to see the sewage works at the other side of the river from Linton Church. This small compact facility was a bit of an anti-climax after the dynamite!
Some chap or other guided our little class around the full works, while we held our snouts very firmly.
It was all over in a short time. This place was not big, and what can one say about a tank full of O'Nasty?
Of course, we had to write up our experiences and what knowlegde we had gained from these trips out.
(The General Post Office)
This was a surprisingly interesting trip out. Again, cheesy drove the mini bus to Skipton, where we arrived at the Postal Sorting Office on the main junction on Swadford Street at the bottom of the High Street. I think the sorting office is not there anymore, its now shops with apartments over. Here we saw letters and parcels being sorted and we learned much about how post is moved and delivered. Once back at the ranch it was heads down and write up what we had learned.
Talking of letters, at Linton we could write home at any time, say what we wanted, no censorship of any kind. There was a red post box built into the wall by the school entrance gates. However, once a week, in class, we had an hour’s letter writing lesson. This was where the letters were read by teach, but not looking for anything untoward, but more a practical session in terms of grammar, spelling etc. As it happens, for a lot of children, this ‘official’ letter would have been the only letter actually written, and the only one a parent would have received. So if you wanted to say something that a teacher would not want to hear, then you must write in your own time. Ass visiting days were once every three weeks, this would be another reason not to write too many letters.
About a mile and a half past Burnsall on the Bolton Abbey road, on the left hand side, down a steep bank, there was a small Trout Hatchery. We had a visit with cheesy in the little J2 minibus. Parking precariously at the side of the road, we had to scramble down a very steep hillside before coming to the trout farm. Here were 2 or 3 large tanks, or dams, using the fast flowing hillside stream as a feeder. We took it turns to assist the man feeding the frenzied slippery little beasties. I never had a taste for trout myself, my good wife loves them, I do not care for all the messing, bones and bits, even filleted, I have never had one free of them. I recall cheesy taking back to the J2 a sample, but we did not get to try them.
Occasionally around September time, we would get to provide some food to the kitchen staff to be cooked, and this was mushrooms. We would pick them fresh; the playing fields had corners where they grew in abundance, given the right conditions.
Morecambe & Wise
Not strictly an education trip this one, but more of a social or entertaining occasion. We travelled to Leeds, the City Varieties, I think, to see a pantomime. We would have gone by West Yorkshire bus, so I guess this trip would have been open to most senior children. Can’t recall the name of the panto, but I do know that topping the bill was one David Whitfield, a Top 20 crooner of the period, and one of my mum’s favourites. A few years ago while having a pint with my pal David Scriven, we were discussing our comic heroes, Morecambe & Wise. I mentioned in passing that I wish I had have been able to see them live on stage.
“But you did see them” David said.
It transpires that they were also on the bill in Leeds, but I had completely forgotten this.
York Railway Museum
This would have been a very enjoyable trip out for cheesy! Being a keen railway enthusiast, this would have been more pleasure than heartache.
We travelled again, by red West Yorkshire single decker bus, and this trip would not have been limited to the Linton Model Railway club, but probably open to all seniors. The museum we went to see was the old one, rather small, and not a great deal of exhibits, many artefacts and locos still in London at this time, it would be some years before the steam engine sheds closed and was taken over, and eventually rebuilt to house the nations historic railway collections. I do recall that the bus must have been clapped out, as it was extremely slow travelling along the old A59 between Bolton Bridge and Blubberhouses. Until this section was much improved, it was a winding, hilly and awkward road to travel on.
These trips out were really useful to us children, and I feel sure that they all fell into the plan of practical teaching, learning about life as well as reading and writing. We were taught many subjects that would not necessarily sit comfortably with a modern curriculum, or even the one in use at the time I was at Linton. I think we, certainly I, was all the better for it, and to this day feel grateful and privileged to have been taught and looked after by the teaching staff at Linton.