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Linton Barn Field



The field adjacent to the playing field was nick named the Barnfield. We would not normally venture onto what was farm land, and in the summer time it would have sheep grazing freely.
In fact sheep were to be seen everywhere in the surrounding fields around this part of the world. Often they would stray onto the football pitches, leaving their calling cards all over the place. During winter when snow was on the ground the barnfield was used to sledge and ski in.
The sledges were kept underneath the main assembly hall; entrance was via an outside small door, near the school office. During 1962 a rather long cold snap prevailed, for about 6 weeks the temperature never ventured above freezing. Snow simply did not melt, and when it snowed further, it settled on the existing snow, you could slice the covering and count layers, just like tree rings! I learned later in life just how bad that 1962 winter was. The Grassington branch railway line had closed to passenger traffic around 1930, and remained open only for goods trains, about 2 a day I think. Well it seems that passengers were once again carried during the big freeze, and commodities that could not be brought in via road due to the snow drifting and making the roads impassable.

We were often on cross country runs during PE. On one occasion, we were running from Thorpe up to the moor top, and along the ridge to Rylstone Cross. One bright spark, and I think it was Gerald Coe, showing off, shouted ‘watch me boys’, and jumped onto a large snow drift, only it completely buried him above his head, and we had to dig him out! Totally disappeared he did.

The underground water pipes that ran around the school were a good judge of the temperature, they were sunk in a concrete conduit, with a concrete flag covering, usually following the course of various paths, anyway, thing is, they usually melted any snowfall due to the inefficient heat insulation, if they were covered in snow and ice, then one could assume, it was cold, and they were covered in 1962.

I mentioned skis.

These were home made in the wood/metal work class under the guidance of Mr Don Robinson. The wood was specially purchased, and I simply cannot remember the name of it. But, it was a type that would bend and keep its shape. The timber was soaked in hot water for a given time, and gradually bent on a previously made wood template, by the copious use of G Clamps, a slow and laborious job, but essential to perfect the curvature needed. It was left for a time to dry, and hopefully, when the clamps were detached, the thing had a lovely pointy curving shape. The final shaped ski was coated in many coats of yacht varnish.
The parts where your foot would be anchored were made with steel, using the forge and equipment, I thing the whole thing was made by us boys! They worked a dream. Of course one could not ski on long mountain pistes as one would in the alps, but never the less, it was exciting just using the barnfield, and the short run that was a available, to do this on your own home made skis, I think, was pretty special.
The sledges were also I believed home made, but must have been made by others, as I do not think we made any while I was at Linton. When it was announced that we could go sledging, there was always a rush to grab the best and fastest sledge. Often we would have to make do with just the playing fields to use these.
This photo shows theafore mentioned barn. When the thaw finally came in 1962/3 this area by the wall was flooded to about 2 foot deep, as the thawing snow was added to by rain, but the sub soil was frozen hard, and water simply would not soak away.