Sheila Wright

Highfield Lane, once known at Stockings Lane, with Woodlesford School on the right. For many years in the early part of the 20th century the grocers, drapery and newsagent’s at 18 Highfield Lane was run by Henry George John Edwards who lived next door at No 16. Villagers could leave written “items of interest” at the shop for printing in the Wakefield Express. In 1920 Mr. Edwards got into the papers himself after he was summoned to court for keeping a dog without a licence! He was fined 12 shillings. It was a fairly common offence prosecuted by zealous local bobbies who had little else to do apart from arresting of pub goers for being drunk and disorderly or bike riders for not having lights. George Edwards’ grandson, Bryan Edwards, became a professional footballer playing in the famous Bolton Wanderers team in the 1950s.

Sheila Wright (married name Hollings) had many family connections to the industries which were the mainstays of employment in Woodlesford for nearly 200 years. 

Her mother, Annie Britton, and father, Leonard Earl Wright, grew up living close to each other on Airedale Grove and were married in 1926. Leonard had worked at Water Haigh colliery but left shortly before his marriage for a job at Armitage’s quarry and brickworks. He later returned to the pit where he worked on the surface at the washery. 

Her mother’s father, Charles Pickering Britton, was also a miner at Water Haigh. Her other grandfather, Arundel Earl Wright, was employed at Bentley’s brewery. 

Another relative, William Maundrill, who was married to Sheila’s aunt Mary (Britton), was one of three miners killed in an explosion at Water Haigh in 1933. 

When she left Woodlesford school Sheila worked for a time at Woolworths in Leeds but after gaining secretarial qualifications she went into the offices at Hulse’s mill where she stayed until she was 22.  

Click on the links below to hear Sheila talking about her memories of schooldays and working at Hulse’s mill which exported its products all over the world.