JUST four pages of yellowing newspaper survived. What was so important? The answer was soon clear: Rainhall Road Primary school was celebrating its centenary, writes Alan Roberts.

The school had been built thanks to the generosity of local industrialist and philanthropist William ‘Billycock’ Bracewell. A fervent Methodist Bracewell nevertheless built the Unsectarian School or non-denominational school in nearby Fountain Street. This was to appease those people who did not like the perceived Wesleyan monopoly on education in Barnoldswick.

It was then 1961: that school had since closed and become the Rolls-Royce Club.

During the Second World War, Rainhall Road school was occupied by staff and children evacuated from Daisy Hill Special School in Bradford. Five classes from Rainhall Road were accommodated in the hall at Gisburn Road. With its key role in the development of the jet engine at Rolls-Royce, Barnoldswick was a better target for German bombs than Bradford, but thankfully that was never the case.

The newspaper was faithfully preserved along with some very early photographs featuring four different classes at the school.

Elsewhere, Courtaulds, a major textile company, was suing Thomas T. of Barnoldswick for damage caused to one of its cars to the tune of £129 16s 2d. It was raining heavily at 10.15pm  at night and Peter W. was driving from Skipton towards Barnoldswick at a speed, he said, of around 40 mph.

He then saw a car reverse out of The Bull car park on the left of the A59 at Broughton. It was heading for the middle of the road. Peter swerved to the right, but could not avoid the collision. How could this have happened? It was the right-hand side of his car that had been damaged.

Peter said, ‘It was just one of those things’, and said it was impossible that he had passed on the left hand-side of the other car. He then reconsidered: he might actually have passed the car on the left. A frustrated judge asked him again what actually happened.

Thomas was learning to drive under the guidance of his wife. He had had just one pint in The Bull. He had reversed across the forecourt, but no part of his car was actually on the road.

Charles T. was filling his car up at the nearby petrol station when he saw Peter’s car speed along the road and pull up near the forecourt after the collision. He subsequently took Peter home afterwards. Peter told him he was travelling at 70 mph with his ‘foot absolutely flat down’ and did not see the other car until he hit it. The 70mph national speed limit was introduced just four years later.

The judge said the problem was that no-one had seen the movement of the vehicles immediately before the collision. The witnesses gave very detailed descriptions of what took place. ‘As usual’, he said, ‘each one exonerated himself and presented a picture nicely coloured in his own favour.’ Nothing changes!

The judge conscientiously nipped out in his lunchtime to inspect the scene for himself. He concluded that the road was dangerous with bends, a hill, a road junction and a public house. If Peter had been driving slowly and more carefully, there would have been no collision. Case dismissed! (The Bull is a listed building believed to have been built in the late 18th century.)

In Skipton, it was July and holiday time. How about a day trip to Blackpool by train for just eight shillings?

For the more adventurous, a holiday ’runabout’ ticket offered six days’ rail travel throughout much of the north-west for thirty shillings. There were coach trips as far afield as Gretna Green in Scotland for sixteen shillings and sixpence, and to Rhyl in Wales for one pound.

It was reported that more Barlickers were going abroad. Many stayed loyal to the traditional west coast resorts like Blackpool, Morecambe and Southport; some ventured south to Bournemouth or Cornwall; others visited the Channel Islands or the resorts of the east coast.

The banks stayed open in Skipton, but with reduced hours. They were Barclays, the Midland, Martins, National Provincial and of course Yorkshire Bank. How times have changed!

For a fun evening there was the Manor Jazz Club at Thornton-in-Craven with the fabulous Casey’s Hot Seven and the Calder Valley Jazzmen with a very special guest artiste.

There was a motorcycle scramble at Capernwray Farm near Carnforth. In those pre-satnav times, you could follow the RAC signs, or else catch a bus from Morecambe or Lancaster.

The chance for a little ‘je ne sais quoi’ could be found in the X-rated film ‘And Woman was Created’ (Et Dieu… créa la femme) starring young French film star Brigitte Bardot. Sharing the bill at the Skipton Odeon was ‘The Fantastic Disappearing Man’, but this vanished without trace for most.

Thanks to Barnoldswick History Society for its help in preparing this article. And finally, a teacher told her class: 1961 is special because if you twist the date round through half a turn it will still read the same. The class worked out this would not happen again until more than four thousand years later in 6009!