Mrs Shackleton’s story

It was going to be a very long wait.   The waiting room at the hospital was full to bursting and the long faces said it all.   I tried to brighten the mood by commenting I had found a magazine for November … this year … wow!   An old lady opposite beamed at me and seeing the front cover picture was of the Dales asked me what had happened to Hannah Hauxwell as she had seen nothing of her in the news.   I replied I did not know.   She then told me she was brought up in Barnoldswick (known as Bar’lick to anyone who lives there).  Her dad was the milk man and she was the youngest of three sisters.  Every morning at 4 am they were up and the first stop was at Hartley’s farm.   Every morning her dad had to shout to wake ‘Billy’ up.  It was his job to fill their milk churn and place it on the wooden barrow her dad pushed.  Once back in the town her dad pushed the barrow up and down the cobbled streets.  At this point she stopped and asked herself why she was telling me all this but the whole room was fascinated and a few encouraging smiles persuaded her to carry on.   At each house he knocked on the door and went right on in to fill the jug left out on the table.  He remembered each house’s measure – a gill, a quart or a pint.  In the summer they left a bucket out on the step to keep the milk cool.  At four o’ clock in the afternoon they did another round.   She said that eventually her dad bought a horse called Bess to pull but sadly her dad died early and her mother was left with the three young girls.   She trained up as a weaver at Bannisters mill.  thank you Mrs Shackleton – I loved listening to your story.

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