There were two unrelated families with the name Carrington living in Oulton and Woodlesford in the period between the two world wars. Census records from the 19th century show no Carringtons in the area so both families must have migrated from other parts of the country to work locally.
Samuel Carrington, who was born at Ocker Hill in Staffordshire in 1851, and who had been a gardener, lived originally at Cross Green in Leeds. He walked 6 miles to work each day at T. and R. W. Bower’s pit at Astley on the Lowther estate near Swillington. He later moved to Eshald Place in Woodlesford and was probably one of the first miners at the newly opened Water Haigh colliery in 1911.
Samuel’s son Walter, born in 1891, worked at Water Haigh for most of his life after fighting with the York and Lancaster Regiment in the First World War. Walter’s son, Jack Carrington, was born in 1920 in his grandad’s house and grew up absorbing stories about pit work and local life.
In the 1930s the family moved to a council house on Green Lea and later to Holmsley Field Lane, with Walter adamant that none of his three sons would follow him “down t’pit.”
Click on the links below to listen to Jack reminisce about his boyhood and some of Woodlesford’s colourful characters.