Ken Hutton’s grandfather came from Norfolk to work at the brewery and Ken himself was a drayman there for six years. He still has an unopened bottle of Coronation Ale which was brewed specially in 1953 to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation at Westminster Abbey. The brewery also produced jugs and other memorabilia for the event.
Ken was born in 1934 and spent his first years in Claremont Street. He went on his own to watch the trains at Woodlesford station when he was just three years old. Naturally his mother disapproved and sent him to St John’s school in Oulton before he was four.
The family moved to a stone cottage on Quarry Hill when he was seven, and he remembers a happy childhood roaming around the local area with his many friends. Amongst their activities were collecting straw for their school rabbits from Knowles’ farm down Farrer Lane, picking coal from the Water Haigh slag heaps, and larking about in the old quarries.
His mother shopped mainly at the Woodlesford Co-op but Ken also recalls the parade of shops which included Parker’s butchers and Carter’s fish and chip shop. The shops were built of wood along Aberford Road in the vicinity of the current Lidl supermarket. Next to them was a small garage.
Other local businesses were Atack’s radio shop and the hairdresser Jess Garland, a Boer War veteran who sent the boys off to the Midland Hotel to fill up his beer bottles!