Village Web Site Forum

Paul Wilkinson
Monday, July 25, 2016 11:18
Evacuation 1941/44
I've received the following from Bryan Burnikell, who is trying to identify the location of Mrs Dickinson's house...

Childhood memories of Sutton

I am trying to pin down where exactly Mrs Dickinson lived. I cannot seem to place the terrace of houses (using Google), maybe they have been demolished. The junction of Main St and Holme Lane would seem most likely.

I would have been between three and six years old so fleeting memories.

Also interested in any info regarding 5 RHA.

G Battery 5 Royal Horse Artillery (Mercers Troop) had been actively involved fighting in France and retreated through Dunkirk, they moved through various locations during the invasion scare period and I believe were in Sutton for a few months late 1940 and early 1941.

According to the very scant information in their war diaries A Troop was in Sutton and B troop Crosshills.

Quote from G Battery War Diaries.

The Battery is equipped with three 4.5 Howitzers (B Troop) and Three 75 mm Guns (18 Pdr. Carriages) (A Troop) 4 Lewis Guns and 56 Rifles.
The Battery Defence role is as follows
A. Mobile Troop "B"+1 Gun & Quad attached from "A"
B. Armed Troop infantrymen "A" Troop
C. Remainder form defensive post in Billets

G Battery (Mercers Troop) is still active with 7 RHA 16 Air Assault Brigade.


Dad, Gunner Albert Burnikell, was in the Royal Horse Artillery stationed at Sutton in Craven in Yorkshire. He was in Sutton when a local character named Jim Carey/Carrie? tried to commit suicide by cutting his throat with a hand saw. Dad took charge of the situation-administered first aid saving Careys/Carrie life. Carey was carried into Mrs Dickinsonís house Dad got into conversation with her and found out that her late husband came from Bethnal Green where Dad was born.

Dad mentioned that Mum Sylvia and I needed an evacuation address and Mrs Dickinson offered her place.

I remember...

Row of terraced houses, third house up from bridge, large shared grassy yard.

Row of brick built toilets on far side of yard. One for each house green wooden slat door, no light, and toilet paper squares of newspaper on a nail. Solid wooden shelf with hole cut in it. When flushed big bucket below seat creaked and clanged, as it turned right over, long drop then splash, always frightened of falling down.

Water butt here, they drowned kittens, dropped them in said if we took lid off they would jump out and tear our faces, both very upset at this.

As you come out of back door to house The Beck (stream, rocks, trees) was on left down in little valley, played there with Sylvia.

Mill other side of Beck I think.

Mrs Dickinson who normally lived in house (billet) said I would be a builder when I grew up because of the way I mashed up my food before I ate it. (She was right!)

They gave me pair of clogs to wear. Thick wooden sole with metal horse shoe type bottoms nailed on, leather uppers with row of dome headed brass tacks all round
I could skid for yards down the road and kick up sparks.

Out of the house turn left up the hill on right I get the impression of a big dark building the Mission? (large hall inside with balcony).

Am told we often visited friendís farms at Cross Hills. (The Walkers and the Beecrofts.)

Also Mother Shipton's Cave.

Bryan Burnikell

Denis Marshall Pickles
Monday, July 25, 2016 15:51
Re Bryan Burnikell's enquiry. Here's my two pennorth for what it's worth.
I have vague memories of the military being in Sutton. I would have been aged about six at the time when a number of men from the Royal Horse Artillery were stationed in the Sunday School of the Baptist Chapel. They didn't take over the whole school - just the big hall and what had been the infants classroom where Miss Jessie Whittaker used to hold her classes. I don't remember the soldiers being there for long but I do remember that my mother and father invited one of them to our home in Hazel Grove for a meal one night. I remember his name too. It was Sergeant Patt. He only came the once but I believe that my dad met him several times - probably at the pub! Intermittently during and after the war, my dad would say, 'I wonder what happened to Sergeant Patt?' I'm pretty sure that they were in Sutton to recouperate and recover from the evacuation from Dunkirk.

With regard to Mrs Dickinson, I'm afraid I cannot really help. I don't remember anyone of that name, but I thought know the cottage Bryan is looking for could have been opposite the Kings Arms. Everything Bryan remembers fits in to it being there! Carey Overend was supposed to have tried to end his life by cutting his throat with a hand saw and he lived in the bottom house in that row. There is still a large grassed area at the back of the houses where the tipper closets would have been sited. (horrible, scarey things weren't they?). The beck is to the left as you go out of the back door, if you turn left out of the front door you go up the hill, (High Street) past the Nook and the long gone Mission was behind the Nook, almost opposite Ivan Spence's green grocers shop.

Anyone remember a Mrs Dickinson living next door but one to Carey Overend?
Paul Wilkinson
Monday, July 25, 2016 16:28
Thanks Denis, that's very useful information!
Bryan Burnikell
Tuesday, July 26, 2016 08:34
Thank you for that information.
5 RHA had a hard time in France and the retreat to Dunkirk with many casualty's
I cannot find a Sgt Patt on 5 RHA nominal role but there is a Sgt George Patterson.. with A Troop who were in Sutton It would follow that his nickname may have been Patt..
My Sister Sylvia recalls a pub at a crossroads near the house.
I cannot remember going to school ,early on I must have been too young but Sylvia says she went to school near a park with a pond in it.

Bryan Burnikell
Tuesday, July 26, 2016 16:52
Mystery solved
My Sister contacted a lady who lives in Cowling.
She says the house is still there ,43 High Street, the yard looks to be two Gardens now
The only thing missing on Goggle is the Beck which definitely ran between the end house and the Mill,I imagine it must now be covered over.
I think the building immediately adjacent to the end of terrace might not have been there at the time.
Denis Marshall Pickles
Tuesday, July 26, 2016 20:08

I'll lay a pound to a penny that my Sgt. Patt and your Sgt George Patterson are one and the same.
The beck is not covered over - it's just in a deep gulley. And Ivan Spence's green grocers shop was definitely there during the war.

Denis Marshall Pickles
Wednesday, July 27, 2016 20:47

I have just put the phone down after speaking to an old school friend of mine, Brian Wilcock, who has lived in Canada since 1948. During our conversation, I told him about your query and asked him if he remembered Mrs Dickinson. He couldn't but he had a little more to contribute regarding the Royal Horse Artillery's time in Sutton. It would seem that his Aunt, who then would have been called Amy Ellison and who lived at the bottom of West Lane in Sutton, met another chap who was serving with the RHA and who was stationed in the chapel. His name was Robert Jones. They were eventually married - we think the wedding took place just after the war and certainly after he came back from North Africa. The then Sergeant Robert Jones became Brian's uncle. Is there any reference to Pte/Sgt Jones in the nominal roll?
Bryan Burnikell
Thursday, July 28, 2016 19:10
I can find two Jones on the nominal roll of that time.
4430224 Sgt.Harry Albert Jones
987062 John Steel Jones ( Wounded North Africa)
But the roll is not definitive Robert may have been detached on a course or other duties for a while when the roll was taken, I will look to see if he is on later rolls.
Andrew Monkhouse
Hanoi, Vietnam
Friday, July 29, 2016 04:10
Bryan, the two big mills in Sutton during WW2 were T & M Bairstow Ltd and Wm Hartley. A nominal roll was produced listing mill employees serving with HM Forces.

Nobody by the name of Jones is listed so they would have been employed elsewhere. However there are 3 Dickinson's on the roll:

Albert Dickinson
Edward Dickinson
? Fred Dickinson (difficult to work out his first initial, maybe T)

Perhaps they were connected to the Mrs Dickinson you refer to?
Anne Matthews nee Currie
Friday, July 29, 2016 18:53
Hi Bryan, the row of houses you refer to are still the same as you remember. High Street. The Beck is still just as you imagined between wall at back of houses and the Mill, Hartleys as it was then. Mrs Dickinsons daughter Lillian was married to my cousin. Lillian had a lot to do with the Mission you mentioned in the High Street
David Laycock
Melbourne Australia
Sunday, July 31, 2016 10:14
Isn't it wonderful how one query develops into such an interesting story, keep it up Sutton web.
Bryan Burnikell
Sunday, July 31, 2016 11:04
Mrs Dickenson's husband was originally from Bethnal Green in London but no reason why he should not have worked at one of the Mills.
Nice to know my memory is not playing tricks, it does tend to adjust with time ,I remember the name Lilian and being taken up to the Mission .
As you say one query and suddenly we have links between Yorkshire .Norfolk, Essex ,Australia and Cambodia
Paul Wilkinson
Thursday, August 4, 2016 09:43
Tony Ingham has sent this old photograph taken outside 45 High Street. He's not sure of the year but thinks Mrs Dickinson might be on it.

45 High Street

He also sent a copy of the 1939 census for High Street with all the names, you can download it here.

Many thanks Tony.

Denis Marshall Pickles
Thursday, August 4, 2016 19:30
Thanks for the contributions Tony. I seem to recognise a few of those on the photograph but the only name I can come up with is that of David Baxter. Is that him sitting at the back? If it is him, the photo music have been taken about 1944. And as a matter of interest, how did you manage to get a copy (well a partial copy) of the census made in 1939? I thought that the census was taken in years ending in 1 eg 1911, 1921 etc and I thought that they were only released to the general public after 100 years. Interesting!
Jane Chatterton
Friday, August 5, 2016 15:37
My grandma, Mrs Louisa Dickinson lived at 45 High Street - opposite the Kings Arms.

Carey lived in the bottom house - nearest the mill entrance. Next to him lived Mr and Mrs Feather, then my grandma at 45, then Mr and Mrs Walmsley ( Eddie and Lena) and their daughter Joan , then Ivan Spence's shop.

I left Sutton in 1956 but have been back and the row of houses are still there but are no longer mill houses.

Doubt it is David Baxter in the photo. He is almost the same age as my husband Alan who would have been about 10 when the photo was taken.
The farm you probably went to was Lower Hill Top Farm - owned at the time by Oliver Smith.

Do you remember camping up there Bryan. Somewhere I have a photo from my mum and dad - Mary (Dickinson) and George Walker.
I also have photos of The Mission. Must get them out and scan them in.

Hi Brenda - hope to see you one of these days.

Jane Chatterton. France
Paul Wilkinson
Friday, August 5, 2016 15:51
Denis - I thought it was a census but it's actually the 1939 Register, taken on 29 September 1939, which provides a snapshot of the civilian population of England and Wales just after the outbreak of the Second World War.

Records of living people are closed for 100 years from their date of birth, but details may be listed of anyone born over 100 years ago. The "This record is officially closed." redactions are entries for people deemed to be still alive.
Brenda Whitaker
Queensland Australia
Friday, August 5, 2016 21:09
I have been following this string with great interest - evokes many memories and is also answering a lot of questions for Bryan in the process.
Although most of my memories are of Sutton Mill I remember paddling up and down in the beck 'up Sutton' and being scared because (we were told) there was a big hole under the bridge and we could fall down it.... !! A bit similar to a big bad wolf I guess.
Hi Jane your information is excellent and ties it all together. Your room here is ready any time!
Tony Ingham
Saturday, August 6, 2016 08:13
Hello Denis.
I have been to see David Baxter, he says it's not him on the photograph.
He still gets on to Sutton park, watching bowling,and catching up with the (old folk)
Then huffs & puffs his way back home to Cross Hills, he sends his regards to you.
Bryan Burnikell
Saturday, August 6, 2016 09:36
Hello Jane nice to hear from you
I have a vague memory of camping but I am sometimes confused between what is a memory and what I have been told, I do remember going "Up Cluff"

Old Carey does seem to have been a bit of a character

Excerpt from E-mail I received from Ann Bird (Mrs Dickenson's Granddaughter)

"The bottom house next to the mill( which is now renovated into apartments) on three storeys is where Carey lived. Somewhere in all the old photos i have is one of him taken in the back yard where he moved his table out, waiting for his dinner to be brought to him, knife and fork ready, he wouldn't eat with his wife!"
Denis Marshall Pickles
Sunday, August 7, 2016 12:57
Thanks for that Tony. I was almost certain that it was David Baxter but apparently I was wrong. Good to know that he is still drawing breath even though the lad huffs and puffs. It would be nice to see him again.
Jane. Your husband Alan (West Lane?) and I were in the same class at the Council School and we both started at the Keighley Grammar School at the same time. Ask him if he remembers going to 'Charlie's Picture House' to see 'They Died with Their Boots On'. It was one Saturday Afternoon, perhaps 1943? Whatever film had been shown, we used to re-enact on the way back to Sutton. This particular day we were the 7th Cavalry fighting off ferocious red indians at the Little Big Horn. Alan made a wonderful cavalry man with his raincoat buttoned over his shoulders 'cape like'. But it was the sound he produced to give the impression of a galloping horse that I will forever remember. The sole of one of his shoes was loose (hanging off) and he was able to make a very lifelike noise of a horse clip clopping, much to the envy of all the other lads. Why do I remember that from 75 years ago and I haven't a clue what I did last week?
Alan Chatterton
Sunday, August 7, 2016 19:09
Thanks for the memory Dennis. I certainly remember our times at both schools.

My 1940s Cross Hills Picture House recollections seem to be Saturday morning ones, with lots of short films - Three Stooges, Walt Disney and Abbot and Costello, etc.† But I do remember "They Died with Their Boots On", because I knew forever afterwards that I preferred Anthony Quinn (Crazy Horse) to Erroll Flynn (General George Custer).

Sadly, your vividly remembered re-enactment of the film as we raced along Holme Lane, has escaped my memory. But I doubt my mother would ever have allowed me to the cinema - morning or afternoon - with the soles of my shoes falling off. Like you, I have occasional problems nowadays remembering what I did last week!

One pleasurable outcome of your message is that I spent time this afternoon looking at pictures from the 40s, 50s and 60s on the website and find that many of them are the results of your efforts. And I think your webmaster is a wonder!
Paul Wilkinson
Monday, August 8, 2016 08:29
Jane Chatterton sent the following Mission photo and list of names:


Back row (l to r): Mr Dawson, Kenneth Dawson, Miss Wiseman (organist), Lilian Dickinson, Elsie Smith, Florence Bottomley, Margaret Shawmarsh.

Second row (l to r): Shirley Harrison, Alan Chatterton, Shirley Ellison, Marjorie Webster, Joan Walmsley

Front (l to r): Mary Richmond, Jane Walker, Eileen Nuttley

Jane Chatterton
Monday, August 8, 2016 11:00
The Mission photo was taken by Keighley photographer ( W Speight) at an Easter Service at the Mission in the mid 1940's.

Jane Chatterton
Denis Marshall Pickles
Monday, August 22, 2016 07:31
Ahhhhhh! Shirley Ellison!
Bryan Burnikell
Tuesday, August 23, 2016 07:30
Thanks to Paul Wilkinson for making it happen
and all contributors' to this thread who have answered my original question so fully and added to my knowledge of these distant times.
Susan Knox nee Currie
Monday, August 29, 2016 16:06
I was speaking to Margaret Moore nee Shawmarsh and told her about The Mission photo from Jane Chatterton. She remembered attending and being involved in many plays. It was a busy social centre for many young people. It was part of St Johns Methodist Church in Crosshills. She says hello to all who remember her
Robin Longbottom
Wednesday, August 31, 2016 08:47
Susan, Did Margaret Shawmarsh marry Lesley Moore and live at the bottom of West Lane, or am I on the wrong Moore's?

Susan Knox nee Currie
Wednesday, August 31, 2016 16:13
Yes that is right. Margaret is now on her own having lost Leslie some years ago
Isobel Stirk
Monday, September 5, 2016 13:20
It was interesting to read about the 'mission' chapel in High Street and see the photographs. I remember going to evening services there with my great aunt in the early 1950s. I was entranced by the harmonium- I had never seen one before. I think the Mr Dawson and the Kenneth Dawson have a slight connection with me. If they are the family I am thinking of Mr Dawson was a widower and he subsequently married a distant relation of mine who came from Thornton near Bradford. After their marriage she lived with him in the last street before the fields( second house from the beck) in the houses leading down from Holme Bridge ( Wighill Street was one street- I can't remember the last street) I think Mr Dawson was employed as an electrician at Bairstow's Mill. They used to go to Bank Newton near Gargrave frequently to wash their car in the stream there!! On Mr Dawson's death my distant relative moved back to Thornton. I did not know Kenneth but I am familiar with the name.
Bryan Burnikell
Wednesday, September 14, 2016 18:34

Below are excerpts from an e-mail sent to me by Mrs Dickenson's Granddaughter putting names to the photograph of
45 High Street posted by Tony Ingham posted

The photograph outside high street includes grandma Dickinson and grandad, flat hat on. Seated are Lilian with scarf around her neck, Gladys Ingram who was my mums best friend ,auntie to tony who sent the photo on the web......
Grandma's sister married a Beecroft , Jane and I think the lady sat down is one of the Beecrofts, not sure which. The photo must have been taken before 1939 as grandad died June 1938. Grandad Dickinson ,Greenwood , was born

"between the two pinnacles, son of Greenwood Dickinson in an old bone mill"

got this from obits and some of my mums tales. He went to work in London but came back and worked as cabinet maker journeyman joiner...... all camped near Elsie's farm Lower Hill Top, Aden. Jane can remember going, she remarks no fancy camping gear, just a sheet and some pieces of sheeting. The good old days!
Dennis F. Beecroft
San Miguel de Salinas Alicante Spain
Friday, April 21, 2017 08:52
Re. Bryan Burnicle....I remember Albert Burnicle ..Big chap as I recall but being only 9 at the time memories are limited. Both Albert and Sylvia (thought it was Violet?) were friends of my Mum and Dad whilst they were in Sutton and I believe they visited Hainault (I think later on to visit, as I did in the 70's whilst at a Sales Conference. Louisa Dickinson was my dads Aunt by marriage, she formerly a Hiscoe, sister I think to my Grandmother, Sarah. It's all a bit vague and complicated. I had to call her Aunt whatever when I took veggies from Dad's allotment in Crag Farm. I seem to recall that Albert spent some time with Dad in his allotment Mary Walker, Nee Hiscoe. Lillian and Edna Chatterton, my Sunday School teaches
r at the Mission up the steps. Yes, Aunt Louise lived opposite the Bay Horse up from Carey Bullock.
Your website evokes many memories too numerous to mention as I was brought up in the village (Sutton Mill) until I left for military service in 1950.Grandfather (Frederick Creamer) was a Blacksmith. Great Grandad, James Garmonsway worked in the Engine/Boiler room at Bairstows Mill, both living at Holme Bridge.
I wonder how many of your readers remember the lads of Sutton Mill, having obtained, legally or otherwise the LVD arm bands, marched around the village with Diane Air Rifles at the Slope Arms. Tell you what, they were a sight lighter than a .303.
Whilst thinking backwards as it were, I wonder if any of your readers can cast light on a Hannah Beecroft who lived up the High St, up from the Mission on the right. She, I think had our family Bilble which obviously I would love to get my hands on to assist my research into our family. I lost contact when leaving the village. Might even give me an insight into problems that seem to exist with my grandparents. No one seems to want to talk !!!
That's all folks. If I can help further, I will.
Dennis F. Beecroft
Denis Marshall Pickles
Monday, May 1, 2017 16:47
Am I thinking of the right lad? Dennis Beecroft, used to live down Sutton in the lower end of Main Street somewhere near Holmes Selling Out Shop but on the opposite side of the road, went to the Church School then on to Keighley Grammar School in 1945, little lad with jet black hair? If so I have just been looking at your photo - a panoramic shot taken in the Grammar School yard in 1946. But surely you would have left the village in 1953 to do your National Service not 1950? Unless you joined as a boy soldier?

I often wondered where you'd got to. Fill me in with the names of your Sutton Mill pals. I can remember only a few. Geoffrey Happs, Brian Clarke, Harold Hawker, Palfreman, Fretwell, - all so vague seventy years on ...... anyway, good to know you are still alive and kicking?
Paul Wilkinson
Monday, September 4, 2017 08:16
Update from Bryan Burnikell

I have just received this picture from the son of L/Bdr Archer 5 RHA who was also posted to Sutton.

It is a postcard annotated with the position of G Battery HQ in Cross Hills.

This may be of interest to some of your senior members.

philip boocock
Monday, November 13, 2017 20:13
hi dennis
you are right beecrofts did live down main street and if my memory serves me right they were in the salvation army

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