Nellie Hiscock

Nellie’s shop at the bottom of Church Street. Click on the photo to see Facebook comments.

Nellie’s newsagent and sweetshop at 78 Church Street near the junction of Station Lane was a Woodlesford institution in the 1960s and 70s.

Wilfred Ernest Hiscock and his wife Nellie opened the shop in about 1958. It’s not known if the premises had been used as a shop before that but the previous occupants for a few years had been Charles M. Hobkinson and his wife Patricia. 

Ernest and Nellie were married in the Tadcaster registration district in 1946 and shortly afterwards moved into 10 Church Street in Woodlesford where they were recorded in the electoral register in 1949. Living nearby were the Gater, Hoult, Wheeler and Fowler families at 6, 8, 12, 14 Church Street respectively. Their houses were eventually demolished and stood on the site of the present Woodlesford Green. 

Ernest Hiscock was born in 1921 and lived at Bowers Row with his father Thomas Herbert Hiscock, born in 1897, and his mother, Florence May, nee Pritchard. They had married in 1919 at Woodlesford church.

At the age of 14 Thomas Herbert was working as a cow boy at Royds Hall farm in Oulton. He later became a miner. Florence May lived at Beecroft Yard in Woodlesford and was the daughter of a miner, John Pritchard, originally from Staffordshire. In 1939 Thomas Herbert Hiscock was working as a power station attendant. There are no records for Ernest’s occupation. 

Nellie was born in 1923. Her maiden name was Gettings and she too had grown up in Allerton Bywater. In 1939 she was living with her parents on Main Street and working as a canteen hand in a clothing factory. Her grandfather, Issac Gettings, came from Shropshire and was a coal miner at one of the pits on the Swillington side of the River Aire.

At the age of 14 in 1901 Nellie’s father, Alfred, was an apprentice colliery joiner. He later became a railway wagon builder and inspector, probably making wagons used in the local collieries. In 1919, at Rothwell, Alfred married Hettie Goldthorpe from Royds Green, the daughter of Robert Adam Goldthorpe, a pit engineman. In 1911 she was a general servant in the home of Alfred Russell Bingham, a blouse manufacturer in Leeds. 

Nellie and Ernest closed the shop in the early 1980s and Nellie passed away in 1988.

Nellie Hiscock with Diane Fowler in about 1948.