Frank Irving

Transcript of Oral History Interview:

Were you born in the village?

I was born in one of the cottages on the Green, in 1922, the youngest of four children. My father was also born in the village.

What games did you play as a child?

Hare and hounds, marbles, tin in t' ring, and cricket and football on the green. Sometimes the older lads and the young men would join in the football – we sometimes had 20 a side. We wore clogs in those days.

Did you go  to church or chapel?

We went to the Baptist Chapel 3 times on Sundays, and there was a Sunday School.

Did you go to the village school?

I went to the school here at 3 until I was 12. Then I went to the Commercial School in Leeds for 2 years, until I was 14.

What work did you do when you left school?

I worked at Langcliffe Quarry, keeping records etc.
I joined the air Force when I was 18 until I was 23 – during the war years. I was a  wireless operator, air gunner, flying over Europe and then in India and Burma. When the war ended, they gave us white overalls, and we used to fly passengers round India.


Did you get married in the village?

We got married after the war, in Skipton Registry Office, and lived on Greengate ...in what's now John Parker's house.

Was your wife from the village?

Yes, we were at school together.

Were your children born in the village?

Yes both born in the village.

There's a photo of you in the  village football team, can you tell me about that?

That started after the war. There was a group of us young, fit men, so we started the team.  It lasted a couple of seasons and then people got married and had families and didn't have time any more. And it was difficult because we didn't have a proper pitch to play on.  We used to play cricket in the summer too.

Can you tell me about the shops there were in the village when you were younger?

There was a confectioner's on Kayley Hill, Popey's fruit shop, Jackman's tailors and coal merchants, a grocers where the post office is now, and the shop on the Green was a greengrocer's and then a butchers.  There were two butchers then.

How did you travel when you went to other places?

Bus and train.  Skipton and Settle on the bus, but we would go on the train to the matinee at  the cinema in Settle on a Saturday – there were trains that just fitted in with the times. I used to go to Leeds on the train.

What was Christmas like when you were a child?

Not like it is now – we would hang a stocking up and get an apple and an orange, that sort of thing.

What other celebrations were there?

The Band of Hope used to march round the village. We would go to Cromwell House and sing hymns, and then down to Riversdale and sing again.

January 2011