Brightholmlee Record Book

Brightholmlee Record Book 2013

Start_recordBookHelen and Eileen measuring the girth of an Ash Tree at the bottom of Townfield Lane

To go along side of the Planting Scheme a special book is being made recording Brightholmlee both as it is in 2013 and some of its history. This Book will include the planting and dedication of the trees, a photographic index of existing boundary trees, surveys of trees, hedgerows, wild flowers, grasses, insects, bees, Fungi etc, contributions from advisors and experts in the field, original research into the architecture of the hamlet, drawings of the houses, Probate Inventories and Wills of the 17th and 18th Centuries, discussion of habitats, field name maps, copies of the tree dedications, list of donors and sponsors and if possible any collected oral histories. A chapter is to be devoted to the writing and drawings of the children from Wharncliffe Side Junior School who also participated in the planting of the trees around Brightholmlee. It is hoped that this book will add a greater provenance and increase a sense of ownership and custodianship both for the hamlet, our landscape and the newly planted trees.

Western boundary hedgerow in Six Acre FieldWestern boundary hedgerow in Six Acre Field

Tree 21 dedicated by Jane WillisTree 21 planted by Eileen Williams on the 8th January 2013 and dedicated by Jane Willis to Dhira

Oak Tree in the Usher Clough at SwinnockOak Tree in the Usher Clough at Swinnock

We owe our thanks to those who have gone before and had the foresight to plant the trees we see around us today. We will never know who they were, or why they chose to plant these particular trees. It would be fascinating to know which of our houses they lived in, what they did, their relationship to the hamlet, what was important to them at the time of planting and if they made any dedications. It would give us a window onto what life in Brightholmlee some 150 – 200 years ago, was like. These people shared our landscape, our houses, walked the same paths, felt the same prevailing winds blow down the Ewden Valley, ate food grown in the same soil.

Hob Lane, Tinker Brook and Swinnock fieldsHob Lane, Tinker Brook and Swinnock fields

We will never know who they were but we can make a record of who we are now for the next 200 years. It will be like a time capsule, a record of our tiny community, who we are and what matters to us in 2013.

Dhira  with Tree 12 dedicated to Maharishi Krishnananda IshayaDhira with Tree 12 dedicated to Maharishi Krishnananda Ishaya

Giving people the opportunity to write about their dedications and involving the local school children helped to engage everyone at a deeper level with the project and landscape. It gave a sense of history in the making and helped to raise awareness and highlight environmental concerns over the loss not only of our local boundary trees but at a national level as well.

Printed on archival quality document and photographic paper and hardbound, it is hoped that Bradfield Parish Council will keep the book in their archives. We plan to also make a copy for the Sheffield Archives and possibly a small soft bound print run for sale locally.

Planting Day, Volunteers from The Steel Valley Project planting Tree 16 in Carr Close FieldPlanting Day, Volunteers from The Steel Valley Project planting Tree 16 in Carr Close Field

The Tree Dedications

Some new tree dedication text to come here.

List of all Dedications made for the Phase One Trees

Tree Number 1 – dedicated by Graham from Lea Farm to his daughter
Tree Number 2 – dedicated by Barbara & Alec Jenner to their Children and All their Descendants
Tree Number 3 – dedicated by Dhira to the Snowdrops on Manor Farm’s Lawn
Tree Number 4 – dedicated by Dhira to her parents, Margaret & Colin Helliwell for their
unconditional Love
Tree Number 5 – dedicated by Tom Shaw to Tom Shaw & The Appleyard Family
Tree Number 6 – dedicated by Dhira to her family Christmas
Tree Number 7 – dedicated by Chris & Cheryl Wallhead to their children, Freya & Honor
who have spent many happy hours climbing the beautiful trees in the hamlet
Tree Number 8 – dedicated by Julie & Gordon Bradbury Turner
Tree Number 9 – dedicated by Julie & Gordon Bradbury Turner
Tree Number 10 – dedicated by Wendy & Roy Singleton to their happy family
Tree Number 11 – dedicated by Dhira to Tim Shortland for his dedication to the Environment
Tree Number 12 – dedicated by Dhira to Maharishi Krishnananda Ishaya
Tree Number 13 – dedicated by Jane Willis to Rob Burbea & Gaia House
Tree Number 14 – dedicated by Kathryn Saryanavat Butterworth to Dhira for making dreams come true
Tree Number 15 – dedicated by Bill Bradshaw & Sheila Barber to The Bradshaw Family
Tree Number 16 – dedicated by Denison Owen to his great grandson, Ethan
Tree Number 17 – dedicated by Wendy Singleton and Catherine Maltby, to their Mum,
Elsie Taylor 1915 – 2011
Tree Number 18 – dedicated by Per Erlandson to Dhira, my connection to the wonderful landscape of Brightholmlee
Tree Number 19 – dedicated by Ed Jones to Charis and Thea Jones who grew up in Wharncliffe Side
Tree Number 20 – dedicated by The Primary Head Teachers Association, Sheffield in recognition of Sonia Sharp’s work to improve the lives of Children in Sheffield and in particular Educational Standards
Tree Number 21 – dedicated by Jane Willis to Dhira for her generosity, friendship, stillness, inspiration and companionship on the spiritual path
Tree Number 22 – dedicated by Dhira to Angela for everlasting friendship
Tree Number 23 – dedicated by Angela in loving celebration of Barbara and Douglas, and to all the family pets, for enriching life so much
Tree Number 24 – dedicated by Eileen Williams, Maya, Janet Walshaw, Keka Ghosh and Rosemary Harrison to to support the vision of this project.
Trees 35 – 44 – dedicated by Dennis & Pat Kay to our son’s daughter Molly with love and happiness.

Here are a few examples of some of the dedications being made to our new trees.

TREE NUMBER 10 – Dedicated to The Singleton Family

Made by: Mrs Wendy and Mr Roy Singleton, Wharncliffe Side
“We have a happy life at Wharncliffe Side”.

Dedication of tree number 10

Occupation: Retired
Tree Number: 10
Grid Reference: OS SK 29 015 94 911
Field Name: Carr Head Close
Land Owner: Tom Shaw
Species: Lime
Size of Tree: Whip
Date Planted: Tuesday 8th
January 2013
Planted By: Volunteers from The Steel Valley Project

We have a happy life at Wharncliffe Side.
Our children David, Andrew, Matthew and Rachael all enjoyed growing up in this lovely place! They appreciated the sheer beauty of the surrounding countryside and shared many happy hours at Glen Howe, playing games and paddling in the streams. Of course memorable picnics on Wharncliffe Crags with both our children and grandchildren are dear to our hearts, seeing their imaginations ignited by this wonderful place. We know the walks round the dams in this area like the backs of our hands and still thrive observing the seasonal changes finding it as exciting and beautiful as the first time we saw it (over 70 years ago).

The school at Wharncliffe Side is such a happy and friendly place, as much now as ever and provides a real hub to the community, joining together with the local Chapel at Christmas, Easter and Harvest times. The Methodist chapel has always been a part of our lives and although it has seen many changes over the years still provides the community with regular services and a group of people we are proud to call our friends.
Christmas in Wharncliffe village meant many rounds of Carols both in houses, churches and pubs. Collecting holly in the crisp and frosty woods and excitement of the arrival of snow, which meant the Singleton children could try out Dad’s latest home made sledge!!

How thankful we are for this village and the warm feeling of belonging to something special. Most of all we feel blessed for our family and this lovely place-Brightholmlee.


Made by: Tom Shaw, written by Dhira based on conversations with Tom

Dedication of tree number 5

Tree Number: 5
Grid Reference: OS SK 29 104 95 064
Field Name: Carr Close
Land Owner: Tom Shaw
Species: Hornbeam
Size of Tree: Whip
Date Planted: 8th January 2013
Planted By: Children from Wharncliffe Side Junior School

The Appleyard family, of which Tom Shaw is descended, has been associated with Brightholmlee Old Hall for many years. Tom came to the hamlet with his Mother in January 1958 after they had worked out their notice on their farm at Bird’s Edge, near Penistone, following the death of his father in 1955. They came to help Uncle Joe Appleyard manage the farm here in Brightholmlee.

Uncle Joe had 2 sisters called Mary and Mildred and one brother called William. Mildred married John Mills and lived in Glen Howe during the First World War and didn’t have any children. William, or Uncle Willy as Tom calls him, fought in the army in Palestine and died an alcoholic at the age of 43. He lived in the Parlour block next to the Old Hall. Mary married Hurst Shaw and lived at High Flatts before moving to Birds Edge in 1929.

Tom remembers how it first was when he came to Brightholmlee. He would have to water the horses and cattle by fetching buckets of water from the troughs in the hamlet. They would need watering twice a day and each animal needed 2 buckets. During the winter it would take him about an hour to water them, having to make around 15 trips to the troughs to collect the water. Surprisingly there is no well at the Old Hall though they did catch rainwater in a large tank which was sometimes enough. Also during the winter the animals were housed in doors and fed on turnips, hay and corn, each beast requiring 1 stone of turnips a day. They grew 2 to 3 acres of potatoes and Swedes with which to feed them. During the war, Uncle Joe had grown corn, oats and wheat, mostly in their fields around Sky Hall (New Hall), Swinnock Lane and Ball Lane (Brightholmlee lane), saving the steeper banks around Ewden Beck for grazing. They kept 2 or 3 horses for ploughing. At one time they had around 50 hens and sold eggs to Charles Crawshaw (who may have lived in Lea Farm). The hen hut was across the road in the Orchard and was later destroyed when a tree blew down on it killing 6 hens. Tom and his Mother carried on helping Joe until his death in 1969 and continued to run the farm afterwards. Tom’s Mother also died in 1974, leaving Tom to continue on his own.

When Tom was growing up he would go on holidays to the seaside with his parents and go to shows at Penistone, Bakewell and The Great Yorkshire Show at Harrogate. They would travel on the coach, sometimes taking a couple of hours to get to their destination, but would rarely buy anything as it was too expensive.

As he grew older, Tom would go to pubs and local fairs and feasts at Holmfirth and Penistone. He remembers playing on the dodgems and roundabouts. For 4 or 5 years he had a friendship with Ivy Marston, who lived next door at High Lea Farm and was 10 years younger than him. They went to Chatsworth and visited pubs mostly in Barnsley.

In the Old Hall’s Orchard, apples, pears, plums, gooseberries and currants were tendered to by Tom’s Mother. He loved her baking and cooking especially roast beef for Sunday dinner. She would bake apple pies and make jam. After she died, Tom had more responsibility and less leisure time. He listened to the radio news and weather and followed local football clubs. He supported Huddersfield Town and both Sheffield Wednesday and United. He got a TV in 1990 and read newspapers including the Daily Telegraph and Sunday People and liked beer and lager. He never went to church on Sundays as it clashed with feeding the cattle and mucking out the sheds. His favourite season was spring and the sowing of crops. Every summer it was a regular event for Tom to enlist the help of local children to bring in the hay and straw from his fields. Many of us remember him on his ancient Massey Ferguson tractor, leading a trailer chaotically piled high with bales of straw and about half a dozen young lads precariously hanging off it! He bought most of his supplies from local van rounds, selling groceries, meat, fish and latterly milk and eggs. He ate well, cooking on an ancient range in his living room.

Tom Shaw is a very quiet and gentle gentleman, having lived a very reclusive and private life, few have got to know him really well. However, as quite a character, he is very well known and liked by many people who would meet him walking up and down the road, carrying his shopping or would stand at his gate chatting and passing the time of day. Sadly, at 92 years of age, he has recently had to move into a Residential Home for the Elderly after having two falls in his house and not being able to face another cold winter on his own. His house was never modernised, electricity was only laterly installed and mains water connected in 1982. There is no bathroom in the house and it’s only source of heating is the coal fired range. He represents a bye gone era of a gentler way of life and his presence is very much missed in the hamlet.

TREE NUMBER 12 – Dedicated by Dhira to Maharishi Krishnananda Ishaya

Maharishi Krishnananda Ishaya

Tree Number: 12
Grid Reference: SK 29044 94890
Field Name: Carr Head Close
Land Owner: The Old Hall
Species: Hornbeam
Size of Tree: Whip
Date Planted: 8th January 2013
Planted By: Volunteers from The Steel Valley Project

I first saw Maharishi Krishnananda Ishaya in 2010 at a talk in Richmond. A rush of tears flooded through me that I hurriedly shut down. There was a place in me that wanted to lie on the floor in front of him, face down with my arms spread out, “What’s that all about?”, I wondered. I was already committed to travelling to Spain and starting the Mastery of the Self training course with him later that year. A few months earlier, I’d learnt to Ascend, a powerful and transformational collection of simple mechanical techniques that enabled me to instantly rest in the stillest and most silent space within myself. These techniques brought a sense of calmness and peace I hadn’t experienced before. Always stressed and anxious, with a busy chaotic mind, this new experience was very special.

I knew pretty quickly that this was “It” for me. There was nothing else quite like this Teaching on the planet, this was what I’d been searching for. For years I’d prayed to find the way to live my highest potential, thinking that maybe I’d be a little more confident, a little more happy. I tried many things; alternative medicine, Buddhism and Psychotherapy to name a few. What Maharishi Krishnananda Ishaya showed me was that it is actually possible for me and everyone else to live in freedom, right now. To live our lives beyond all the limitations, beliefs and fears that keep us small. Beyond the illusions that the surface level of the mind creates, beyond our egos, our stories and personal dramas, beyond the limitations imposed on us by others and society. That we can live our lives as they are meant to be lived; in the moment, happy, joyful, peaceful, contented and with an openly loving heart.

Ultimately what Maharishi Krishnananda Ishaya shares is the Teaching of the One. That there is no separation; we are all connected in consciousness. For so much of my life I had felt so terribly alone, like I was an alien on the planet. One of the first things he ever said to me, when I eventually arrived in Spain, was “You’re home now”. I didn’t understand or rather experience that at first, but now I do.

Now I have an experience of exquisite bliss, of being bathed in silence, that both I and the world are love. I walk with a sense of calm contentment through my days. It’s been described as “The Peace that passeth all understanding”. Sure little ripples of thoughts flitter through my mind, sometimes I believe them for a while, but then simply through the techniques and my desire to choose for peace, my busy thought filled mind recedes and I focus on the silence again. I have come home to “me”.

Maharishi Krishnananda Ishaya is a funny, loving and ruthlessly compassionate man, a fully realised human being. Like many great Teachers of Consciousness who have gone before, he patiently helps me and many others to wake up from the thought that there is something wrong with us and our lives. This is not a religion or a belief system; it is simply the truth of who we are. Through his sharing of the Teaching of the One, we can begin to see that life can be lived in a very different way. We start to remember our true nature is love and begin to experience ourselves intricately connected to all life everywhere, that we are One with our world and that it is beautiful.

I am deeply grateful to Maharishi Krishnananda Ishaya, my life now is more than I could have ever imagined. And I guess I’ve known him before, in many lifetimes of searching for this truth. No wonder I wanted to lie down in front of him in some ancient gesture of devotion and service. Now, in the 21st Century, I’m dedicating a tree to him as a way to show this. All I want to do is live this Teaching and share with others, to let them know they too can experience constant peace, no matter who they are, no matter what they’ve done, no matter what their personal circumstances. To let them know they are perfect, magnificent and whole; that life can be lived in joy.

The People – Collected Memories

Bill Bradshaw & Sheila Barber writing their childhood memories of living at Swinnock HallBill Bradshaw & Sheila Barber (nee Bradshaw) who are writing their childhood memories of living at Swinnock Hall

Over the course of this year Dhira is collecting the memories of those who remember Brightholmlee during the early to mid 20th century.

The Waterhouses by Robert Helliwell

Brightholmlee was home of my mother’s parents, Walter and Edna from the day they married in 1930. Walter Waterhouse was born in Hillsborough in 1902, one of probably eight children. Edna his wife, born in 1911, came from Oughtibridge and she had one brother, and a sister, Hettie Buckley who lived at Slack Fields Farm. Edna died in 1974 at Brightholmlee and Walter in 1993 having moved to a residential home in Shefeld after living at Brightholmlee for over 60 years.

WalterWaterhouseWalter Waterhouse

Walter worked at Swinnock Hall when he was first married, where I seem to recall that Grandma went to work there as an indoor servant. It was there too that he had an accident with a horse and plough, which resulted in damage to his leg, so he always walked with a limp. This was probably the reason that he did not serve in the forces during WWII, but did his bit with the ARP. Later work involved working on Ewden reservoir, and then at Lowood’s Refractory at Deepcar. His last employment was as foreman gardener for Samuel Fox & Co at Stocksbridge, where he looked after the grounds around the steel works and also at Underbank Hall, the company’s conference centre. As a result Granddad could turn his hand to many things, but he never learnt to drive.

Edna, Walter, John, Betty and anotherFront left to right – Edna, Walter, John (Betty’s husband), Betty and another

Walter and Edna had one child, my mother who was born in 1933 and christened Avis Elizabeth; Avis after her Godmother – Mrs. Avis Kilner who lived at Thorn Hurst, and Elizabeth after her grandmother, Elizabeth Waterhouse, but mother was always know as Betty.
Memories of visiting my grandparents go back to the late 1950’s. In those days we (mother, my brother and myself) would travel by bus via Deepcar (we lived at Wortley), getting ofat the Blue Ball at Wharnclife Side and walking up the lane to Brightholmlee. As a small child, it did seem a long way, but the walk was often broken when mother would stop to pass the time of day with people whom she knew such as Mrs Birley who lived in Saw Pit Row at Wharnclife Side, Mrs Whittaker who worked at Isle’s shop or Mr & Mrs Spooner who lived in the next to the top bungalow. When we got to Manor Farm we used to look for conkers in late summer from the big tree opposite Manor Farm. Ivy Martson would often be doing some farmwork around Brightholmlee; a memory that has stayed with me is of Ivy tending a sow on the common land. Because there was no mains water in Brightholmlee some one would be fetching water from the village troughs – Mr Marston, Joe Appleyard or Thomas Edward Shaw. Grandma and Granddad had a trained eye and could see people walking up and down Brightholmlee (Ball) Lane from the point of the top bungalow so our arrival was not often a surprise. Going home was also by bus, usually leaving it until the last minute to get down the lane to the bus stop at the Blue Ball. Grandma had an old pushchair in which she would put my brother and myself and then run down Brightholmlee Lane to catch the bus. In later years when dad had a car he would collect us.
We never knew what Grandma and Granddad’s house was called, but on the sale details when it was sold after Granddad left, it was called Rose Cottage – quite apt really as gardening was Granddad’s pride and joy with rambling roses along the top of the high garden wall which bordered the road. The house was two up two down and well built in gritstone from Spout quarry (so Granddad said). It had three unique features – it did not have electricity and it did not have any plumbing, but it did have a magnificent view of Wharnclife Woods, the Crags, Wharnclife Lodge and across to Jawbone Hill above Oughtibridge. The Hudson Trust owned the cottage, with rent collected by Mr Bradshaw from Swinnock Hall.
The front, and only door was always blue with a weather canopy fixed to the wall above. In winter a temporary snow door was fitted to reduce drafts and to stop snow from filtering under the door. Visitors entered straight into the “house” which was the main living/dining room with “kitchen” facilities combined.
A large cast iron range was the main feature of this room, which provided heating and cooking facilities. Made by Greens of Shefeld; it had a central fireplace, with large oven to the right hand side and a boiler (not used) to the left. Above all this incorporated into the range was a cast iron shelf, on which sat the teapot (cofee was not really liked) and flat irons, occasionally kindling sticks and always a magnet. The later was a vital piece of equipment in getting the fire to draw. To do this once the fire had been topped up with coal or wood, a sheet of newspaper was put across the fireplace, held by the teapot on the top, poker on the left and magnet on the oven door. This was efective at getting the fire to burn up, but of course had to be watched so the paper did not catch light, which I only recall happening once or twice, when it would be swiftly pushed into the fireplace. A kettle sat either above the boiler at the side of the fire when not in use or on the fire. A second source of hot water came from a large saucepan, which lived in the range oven. Above all this was the high mantle shelf with a photograph of my mother at one side and my father at the other. There were two silver coloured canisters, one holding tea, the other important bits and pieces. In the middle was a stainless steel tankard with a foxes head etched on the front, made by Samuel Fox and Co at Stocksbridge where Granddad worked.
Next to the fireplace was a copper or set pot – a solid structure which housed a large cast iron vat, under which a fire could be lit to heat water for washing clothes. The whole lot was encased in brick and when not in use was covered with a board making a useful work surface. To help with washing a peggy tub and posher were used on the flag stones outside, so important to have a dry day for washing. Clothes were rung out by hand, as there was no mangle, and left to dry on the clothesline in the garden – but never on a Sunday. Suspended from the ceiling in front of the range was a clothes airer. Any ironing was done using the flat irons that lived on the range shelf. These had to be heated in front of the open fire of the range and had to be the right temperature, tested by a quick touch with a finger. The ironing table was the dining table with a thick cloth in place to prevent burning the table.
To the side of the copper was the sink, made of shallow stone showing signs of use over many years, which included using the front edge as a whetstone for sharpening the bread knife – no sliced bread welcome here. An enamel bowl sat in the sink used for general washing – this was where everything and everyone had to wash or be washed – but for washing pots a diferent bowl was used. The water supply came from a trough at the bottom of the garden so use of water was carefully managed. A flag stone path led to the water trough. We were never allowed to play in this, as it was the only water supply to the cottage until the 1980’s when mains water arrived in Brightholmlee. The trough was set into the ground and fed by a spring, which rarely dried up and always seemed to be clear even after heavy rain. If this supply did dry up the village troughs had to be used, but that was considered inferior quality water, plus cattle also drank from those troughs. Water was collected using a galvanized bucket, taking care to get water from near the outfall as that was considered the cleanest water – free of midges. The water bucket sat between the sink and the copper, with water taken from the bucket with a lading can. When the piped water supply arrived, which of course tasted very diferent, a new sink unit was installed in the house replacing the old stone sink, which was probably the original dating from when the house was built. Once mains had been installed there was one cold tap on the sink – no hot water. Above the sink was a small window where a candle would be lit when washing up.
There was only one fitted cupboard, built into the wall by the sink and used for storing a range of dry goods. A walk in pantry acted as a fridge as that was always cool even in summer. Mother used to tell us that it, or the dining table were used as air raid shelters when Shefeld was bombed.
Furniture in the house was practical, some of it made by Walter’s father. The dining table mentioned earlier was used for every meal, and had four matching chairs. It was always covered with a heavy cloth, with a tablecloth on top at meal times. It sat in front of the main window, which made drawing curtains a problem, but solved by using a stick. A large sideboard had deep drawers for linen and clothes storage with smaller drawers at the top for cutlery and a range of other important items and documents. An upright Edwardian piano was also used for storage – it was remarkable what was kept under the keyboard cover, and all had to be moved when my brother and I wanted to play with the piano. This was bought for mother to learn on. It had a cast iron frame, which was cracked so the notes had a strange resonance that also echoed in the pantry. An important item hanging on the wall was a small barometer, which was used almost daily to see what the weather might do. Like many old houses, spiders were regular visitors. Grandma would never kill them, but take them outside and put them across the road at the back of the house in the “next parish” (Bradfield).
A small pot cupboard housed the daily teacups, glasses and plates and Granddad’s pint mug, which he always used for his tea. Sat above that was a radio, which when we were young seemed huge. It was a large wooden box with a speaker fitted powered by wet batteries, or accumulators and had to be allowed to “warm up”. About every month a man wouldcall to collect the used accumulator and deliver ones that had been recharged. Grandma and Granddad were of that generation who always listened to the news and weather, and every evening tuned into the Archers. The radio and newspaper (Shefeld Telegraph and South Yorkshire Times) provided links to the outside world.
Because there was no electricity, light in the living room was provided by a parafn lamp, lit only when really necessary. If the lamp was turned up too quickly the mantle would burn away, so care had to be taken to allow the lamp to warm up before turning up. As small children we were always made aware of the lamp and had to take care especially when it was lit.
So this was the living room, dining room, kitchen, laundry, washroom, and scullery. The other downstairs room was only used for storage as the fireplace in there smoked too much to use. There was very little furniture in this room apart from a china cabinet housing more valuable china and other pots.
On the first floor there were two bedrooms, the one over the living room occupied by Grandma and Granddad and fitted out with an Edwardian style bedroom suite, which included a chest of drawers, double wardrobe, dressing table and bed. In the other bedroom was a double bed used when my brother and I would go and stay for a few nights during the summer school holiday. Other furniture in this room included a bedroom chair and a chest on which sat a sailing ship in full rigging. On the floor one or two mats were strategically placed on the linoleum – no carpets. A candle was lit for us to go to bed; once we were in bed the candle left the room and we were in darkness occasionally lit up by a car’s headlamps as it drove up the village. We also had to remember to go outside to the toilet before bed or use the chamber pot.
Outside was a range of sheds that included a coal and woodshed and also doubled as Granddad’s workshop. My brother and I learnt to chop kindling sticks there with a very sharp hatchet. Grandma would go on about the boy’s fingers, but Granddad always said that they will “learn the hard way”. Next door to this was an old pigsty, which contained various items that “might be useful.” To the other side of the coal shed over a garden wall was the outside toilet – a two seater, which was always draughty. Squares of newspaper were used as toilet paper (and also for drying hands after washing).

An espalier rose bushAn espalier rose bush established by Walter and still growing strong in 2013

In the garden was a large greenhouse in which Granddad grew tomatoes and sometimes chrysanthemums. Frogs could often be found in the greenhouse, and probably did a good job controlling slugs. A small cast iron boiler was housed adjacent to the greenhouse with hot water fed through a system of cast pipes around the greenhouse, but that was expensive to run so was rarely used, but I can still recall that characteristic musty smell that went with the boiler house. Clay plant pots were found on the potting bench and rafa hung from various points, used for tying tomato and other plants to their supports.
Dahlias were among Granddad’s favourite flowers and he grew them to show standard for display at the Horticulture shows at Wharnclife Side and at the Victory Club at Stocksbridge, competing against his friend Cyril Spooner. A wide range was grown in regimented lines usually in sheltered, but sunny positions. Granddad tended to favour the cactus type of dahlia but he also grew pompoms, single and double flowered varieties. Many visitors would leave with a large bunches, and church harvest festival was always the recipient of buckets of cut flowers. His other favourites were roses and pansies. He did once try to grow a blue rosé but it was more lilac coloured and was not hardy enough to survive the Brightholmlee winter. He often likened pansy flowers to a smiling face nodding in the breeze and loved the variety of colours that were produced from seed. The garden included soft fruit – raspberries, strawberries and blackcurrants used for jam making; cordon apple and pear trees, a large cherry tree which the birds frequently raided before we got any fruit and of course rhubarb growing by the compost heap. Beside the greenhouse was a small bed of Alpine Strawberries, which were delicious and provided us with tasty treats. Dinner (cooked on the open fire of the range) always included fresh vegetables when in season including garden peas, runner beans, potatoes, cabbages and cauliflowers. Surplus tomatoes were sold to neighbours, so a job for the grandchildren was to deliver fresh picked tomatoes to various households in the village. Lawns and paths were carefully manicured, mown regularly with a push mower. Over the garden wall was the common land, which Granddad would mow every summer with a scythe, in order to keep it tidy.
In modern times it would seem unthinkable for anyone to live without electricity, television, telephone and all the modern conveniences. When we went to visit, we would often go for a walk in the evening with Mrs Bullock who lived across the road in a one up one down cottage that is now part of High Lees Farm house. Mrs Bullock had a dog, wore an old fur coat and bright red lipstick and smelled of cigarettes. She always seemed to be very happy although Grandma knew she had little money as her husband liked to visit the Blue Ball. She collected Brooke Bond tea cards for my brother and me. We would walk up to Sky Hall and back, or on to Fairhurst and back. Glen Howe Park was a good walk going down Storth Lane and returning via the footpath past Swinnock Hall. Occasionally Grandma would take my brother and I for a days walk, maybe to Bolsterstone via Ewden, One’s Acre or around one of the dams. If we were early to rise on Sunday we might walk to Bradfield church for Mattins. In the summer there would be fruit and vegetables to harvest while in the darker evenings we would play cards or Dominos with Grandma’s set that went up to double nine. Mum’s Uncle Bernard and Auntie Doris Elliott (don’t think they were really related but Mother had spent some time there when young) lived at Thorn House Farm where we would visit. Clement, their son delivered milk bottled on the farm daily around Brightholmlee and Wharnclife Side.
There are very few photographs of Grandma and Granddad, as they never owned a camera, however they did go away most years with Shefeld United Tours, which took them across Europe. Granddad was willing to chat with anyone whether at home or away, while Grandma was quieter and didn’t like to cause any fuss.
Brightholmlee in the 1960’s was a quiet hamlet, with few cars passing through. It is remembered with fondness – for the simple life with no electricity, and water from the trough, the magnificent view of Wharnclife, for the people who lived there and but especially because it was home to Grandma and Granddad.

Waterhouse's CornerKnown by the locals as Waterhouse’s Corner

The Houses

Every house and building is being photographically recorded for the Book together with some of Dhira’s drawings. Stan Jones, an Architectural Historian, is very kindly preparing a contribution devoted to the hamlet’s vernacular architecture. Here is his summary of the Old Hall.

Old Hall and Parlor BlockThe Old Hall dated around 1600 with the house to the left circa 1660 and the Parlor block to the right circa 1690

“The Old Hall could be readily described as a house where time stopped in 1800 a unique building in the county in its unrestored condition and one deserving of the most careful treatment in future hands. As a Grade II Listed Building there is a measure of protection and the hamlet of Brightholmlee as a Conservation Area provides another safety net. However interior features include cruck trusses of probable medieval date, sturdy open joisted ceilings both in the hall or ‘housebody’ of ca.1600.
Old Hall is elongated on plan with virtually a new house ca 1660 extending the early core westwards; the interior of this new piece contains a smoke hood visible at first floor level-note very few of these hoods survive present day but evidences of their former widespread use throughout Yorks and Lancs is known.”

Smoke HoodRemains of the timber Smoke Hood on the upper floor of the circa 1660 house

“This end of the house retains a full complement of mullioned windows on both floors and unusually has two twinned cellars with balustraded steps.”

Mullion WindowsUpper floor mullion windows of the left hand circa 1660 House

The Shared Cellar RoomThe Shared Cellar Room in the top house circa 1660

The ButteryThe Buttery, a tiny room at the back of the kitchen in the central Hall. Note the timber ventilation slats carved in the wooden panelling on the left

“What really should engage persons interested in social history is the upstanding parlour block that was added off the corner of the medieval hall and accessed from it. The parlour was added ca 1690 and was a prestigious gesture on the part of the Tompson family and must have emptied a few purses in its building; it was the last major residential improvement to the Old Hall and what one sees present day is a long elevation that hopefully will remain untouched a wish that includes the 18th century barns fronting the yard.”

North side of Parlor BlockNorth side of the Parlor Block circa 1690

A Georgian BarnA fine example of a Georgian Barn with a date stone of 1792

The Hall's bottom BarnThe Hall’s bottom Barn, as with all the old unrestored buildings in Brightholmlee, this offers a home to many species including bats, swallows, house sparrows and bumblebees

The Landscape, Flora & Fauna

Swinnock FieldsSwinnock Fields against the back drop of the Wharncliffe Craggs

Close up of a fly feeding on a flowerClose up of a fly feeding on a flower

Recording the Trees, Birds, Animals & Plants of Brightholmlee 2013

photo_1Eileen and Helen measuring the girth of an Ash Tree in Lee Wood

As a Hamlet we can collectively build up a picture of our environment by making simple recordings of the wild life around our houses and land. It’s easy and fun for both young and old to have a go. We’ve all noticed the declining numbers in swallows over the past few years and heard reports of other species coming under threat; with possible climate change, things could be very different in the hamlet in 200 years time, so what appears ordinary and everyday to us now may not be in the future.

photo_2“Ladies Smock” growing in Carr Close Field 19th May 2013

I’ve designed a form based on advice given by the Sorby Natural History Society Recording for recording plants, animals, birds, insects, fungi etc and have sent this to everyone in the hamlet together with a copy of the Level 1 English Nature Veteran Tree Recording Form.

photo_3Helen and Eileen measuring the sycamore in the “Pasture” field at Manor

I find it easier to have a little book to jot down anything that catches my eye, rather than using a single sheet of paper for each thing I want to record. Living where we do, just sitting in an armchair by a window for an half an hour could result in lots of sitings or spending 20 minutes recording all the visitors on the bird feeders, or taking a stroll along one of the boundary walls or hedges could reveal many different birds, insects, wild flowers, shrubs and trees. Even if it’s just one recording of a hare at 6 am in the field in front of a house will be appreciated.

photo_4Grasses growing in “Carr Close” field 19th May 2013

Fortunately, I’ve heard the cuckoos again this year though I’ve heard their numbers are in serious decline and with the help of Eileen and Helen managed to measure an Oak tree in Lee Wood with a massive girth of 470cm!

photo_5Dhira’s Recording Notebook

Let me know if you want to take part in recording the flora and fauna of Brightholmlee and send your recordings to me by 30th September, if you’ve been jotting observations down in a book or taken photographs, I’d really appreciate a transcript or jpeg files via email. Please do join in, it’s great to be part of a community project and has been one of things most valued by the tree group, some of whom had never met before. When the Book is finished everyone will be invited to come and see it.

photo_6Unfolding fern on Townfield Lane 6th May 2013

Shaggy Ink Cap MushroomShaggy Ink Cap Mushroom

Yellow algae growing on a stone on Swinnock LaneYellow algae growing on a stone on Swinnock Lane

Acorns growing on the Oak Tree in ‘Oak Tree’ fieldAcorns growing on the Oak Tree in ‘Oak Tree’ field

Cat’s Ear seed headCat’s Ear seed head

White Butterfly feeding on LavenderWhite Butterfly feeding on Lavender

Rose Bay Willow Herb growing on Townfield LaneRose Bay Willow Herb growing on Townfield Lane

Birds Foot Trefoil and Sedges growing in “Carr Head Close”Birds Foot Trefoil and Sedges growing in “Carr Head Close”

Bee feeding on Yarrow in “Tom Ing” fieldBee feeding on Yarrow in “Tom Ing” field

Swinnock’s milk herd grazing in “Front of the Yard” fieldSwinnock’s milk herd grazing in “Front of the Yard” field

Bird feeding Record 20th May 2013

20th May 2013
Overcast, cool and breezy

Suet Pellet Drama

7.05 am   Sprinkled suet pellets along the top of both the low walls in front of terrace and filled bird feeders
Rook, magpie, Robin, house Sparrow blackbird tending to eat from the terrace wall nearest the feeders often landing on a plant pot or top of clipped yew before landing. Top of clipped yew looks to have died probably from all the birds landing on it.
Magpie ate or collected 20 pellets in its mouth before flying off towards Tom’s bottom barn

photo_8Watching for the birds with a camera in hand is less eventful!

7.14   Magpie collected 19 pellets again flew and perched on end of Toms barn
2 Goldfinches on feeder, 3rd waiting on top
7.16   2 Magpies and a Rook. Rook ate around 42 pellets before flying off. Magpies only ate a few intimidated by Rook
House Sparrows dip in for pellets here and there
7.20   Magpie 2 pellets
7.25   Male House Sparrow and Blue Tit on the pellets briefly
7.26   Magpie ate or filled beak with 28 pellets
7.28   Magpie ate 18 pellets then jumped to Olive tree in plant pot and dug into it. Then came back for 11 pellets

photo_9Only the Gnome is willing to be photographed

7.31   Magpie 15 pellets in beak flew off to top of hamlet
7.33   Magpie ate 12 pellets and flew off with 6 in beak, landed on south facing roof of Tom’s barn then out of sight
7.35   Princess (my cat) came and sat on top of steps. 2 Magpies making a caw call seemed to swoop at each other. One ate 2 pellets and flew off
7.36   Magpies back, Princess tried to chase one. The other had 8 pellets in beak and flew off
7.38   Magpie perched on edge of ridge of Tom’s barn
7.40   Large Snail eating a pellet
7.41   Princess making way back across yard from Garage area. Possibly in flower bed in front of terrace
7.41   2 Magpies flew overhead from direction of Tom’s barn (possibly landed in Old Cherry Tree but out of my sight)
7.43   Magpies flew over as before
7.49   Magpie ate 31 pellets flew off to Tom’s barn roof
7.51   Blue Tit found a pellet in the Olive Tree plant pot and flew off
7.52   Blackbird ate 11 pellets
7.52   Tom’s feral cat came down steps from Townfield lane into yard

photo_10One of Tom’s feral cats eating suet pellets

7.53   Feral cat came onto terrace and headed off towards Strawberry Tea Hut
7.54   Princess jumped up from flower bed onto terrace wall and sitting next to plant pot
watching bird feeder
7.55   Princess moved off down side of house
7.56   Robin ate 1 pellet and flew off with one
House Sparrows, Great Tits, Blue Tits, Chaffinches, Goldfinches on bird feeders, most of them seem to prefer them to the pellets
7.59   Magpie 5 pellets then flew to other wall and had 11 pellets
7.59   Large Rook on telegraph wires overhead
8.00   Snail facing other direction
8.01   Magpie 23 pellets
8.01   Collard Dove on terrace walking under feeders
8.04   Magpie 36 pellets, some smaller bits first till beak full, flew off again in direction of Tom’s barn
8.05   2 Magpies one tried to land on feeders the other flew at it and both flew off towards the Strawberry Tea Hut
8.06   Magpie 14 pellets
8.07   Magpie 23 pellets
8.09   Magpie on end of Tom’s roof flew down and ate and collected 49 bits of pellets, mostly gone now
8.11   Magpie flew overhead terrace
8.15   Blue Tit found a pellet in Olive Plant pot
8.16   Snail has moved about an inch in a SW direction
8.18   Magpie 34 bits of pellets flew back to top of Tom’s roof
Pellets pretty much gone only tiny crumbs left over, gave up recording but then noticed 10 minutes later 2 magpies still on the wall clearing up the last crumbs

photo_1110.35   Jay on ground underneath the feeders

Photographs taken at a different time to the recordings

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