Lorna Handforth (married name Draycott) went to work for Hulse & Co Ltd as production picked up again in the years immediately after the Second World War. She left school in 1945 and initially was employed at Dixon and Gaunt’s clothing factory in Hunslet but didn’t like it there, so through a connection of her father she was taken on at Hulse’s to make and pack “Shave Eze” waterless shaving cream.
Lorna grew up in a small house on Midland Street which was taken over by the village hairdresser, Sam Garland, when the family moved to a council house off Green Lea. Before the war her father was employed to maintain the village gas lights and later became a water inspector for Rothwell Urban District Council. He was a member of the Leeds Radio Society and was the first owner of a television in Woodlesford which he built himself in 1935.
Lorna went to Woodlesford school and was encouraged to develop her talent as a singer, travelling with her mother to a competition at the BBC studios in Manchester when she was about 12 years old. But, like so many others, lack of money during the war meant the family couldn’t afford to pay for her to receive professional training. Nevertheless she went on to perform in choirs all her life.
Below she remembers growing up in Midland Street, working at Hulse’s factory, and the day the tanks rolled by as the local unit of the Territorial Army was mobilised at the outbreak of the war.