Memories of Hapton by Elsie Barnaby.

Elsie Barnaby, b 1920, her memories of Hapton as told to Joan Lakeland


Whitefield Street – Church of England (now site of Methodist Church).

School doubled up as a Church until St. Margaret’s was built. First sod dug by Mr. Parks, school headmaster 1926.

Mr. Clement Westwell, who lived in Accrington was headmaster after Mr. Parks but before Mr. Frank Parks Jnr., an Oxford graduate.

Old Mr. Parks probably lived in the accommodation provided at the school.

Mr. Westwell taught religious education every morning.

There were 3 teachers:                 Mr. Westwell – top class

                                                                Miss Shoesmith – standards 1, 2 & 3

                                                                Miss Hargreaves – 5 – 7 year olds.

Married women had not been allowed to teach.

One room was partitioned to make two classrooms ie pupils could probably hear both lessons.


At the Council School on Manchester Road Mr. Clayton was headmaster. Mr. Westwell taught 3 classes, 32 children all different subjects.

No school dinners – all children went home.

Horlicks was provided for the younger children and was prepared by the older girls.

In 1931/2 the Clean Hands Brigade was launched sponsored by Lifebouy, each morning the children had to show their hands. If their hands were clean the child was awarded a gold star, after collection several gold stars the received a gold badge in the shape of a lifebuoy. Eventually the school was presented with a large mirror in the shape of a lifebuoy.

Mr. Westwell organised lots of musicals and concerts eg H M S Pinafore

Hanna and John Boothman played leading roles

The boys made the scenery, they also had the job of tending the garden. The top class girls took baskets to Shuttleworth Hall for laurel leaves to make the wreaths, with poppies, for Armistice Day.

An example of the school trip would be an outing to The Globe Theatre at Padiham to see “Traders’ Horn”

Swimming: only during the summer months, the children walked to Padiham and with the Council School teacer caught a bus to Gannow baths.

Similarly for six months of the year the girls would walk to Padiham Technical School to be taught laundery and cookery.

Very few went to go to grammar school; Fred and Arthur Westwell, also Elsie Westwell, who went to Oxford and Kathleen Park all attended local grammar schools.

Some who may have passed the entrance exam could not afford to go.

There were no final exams so students left at 14 years old.

Football scouts came looking for young talent (Plymouth Argyle Scouts) for Burnley Football Club.

Ernie Barnaby and Ellis Stuttard were picked for Burnley B Team in 1937.

Mr. Dougal came looking for them after the war, unfortunately Ernie had sustained a permanent knee injury during the war but Ellis went to play for Plymouth.

Methodists: some went to the Council School, some went to Church School.

Catholics: some went to Church School until they were 7 and then walked over the moor to St. John’s.

Mr. Parks later stopped this and Jimmy Quinn was probably the last pupil to do it.

All books were provided – coloured exercise books with mathematical tables on the back.

There were exams every year and the religious exam, held in the morning, was followed by the afternoon off school.

On Fridays the children from the Church School walked up to St. Margaret’s church for a service held by the then  vicar, Mr. Rogerson( who had been blinded during the first world war). In winter the vicar went to the school.

Caning was the punishment for school children, but Mr. Westwell never caned the girls, instead they were made to stand in a corner or on a bench during the lesson as a form of humility.

In reality there was not much caning and the children learned most subjects by repetition and the teachers were all well liked.


Skipping with strong ropes from Rutters’ fruit shop was played across the main road (no cars then). If the rope was wet it really hurt your legs if caught.

Top and whip (bought at Chadwicks’ ) the thick cotton from the factory was better than the leather.

Checks and bobbers – the bobbers were cream coloured marbles, the checks were square and coloured.

Buck and stick – the stick was a picking stick from the mill, buck was wood and bullet shaped. Flick the buck to make it rise the hit it with the stick. Furthest away wins, measured in strides and jumps.

In winter we made slides on the ice at the back of Manchester Road. Mrs. Ditchfield would put ashes on the slide so the children played nick-knack on her door.

There were also guides, brownies and scouts.

In the school yard: one area for boys, one area for girls, the children  played cricket or crust or crumbs ( chasing groups back to the wall).

Collecting flags and cigarette cards

Pricking in books

Kites up Hameldon

For older children there was dancing at the “Con” in Accrington, Nelson Imperial (Imp), Empress Ballroom at Burnley and Butts – Madam Butterworths.

There were cinemas at Padiham, Rosegrove, Accrington and Burnley.

On winter evenings , there was no television but you could listen to the radio, play games with parents or read stories. Children would paint or colour in pictures.

There were occasionally  live concerts performed in the village.

A vender would go round the village selling roast chestnuts then black peas or green peas.

3d (old pence) per week to spend was considered very good. Not many toys- made their own fun.

Christmas; Each child would get a new penny, a tangerine and a sweet from school.

Children would hang a stocking on the brass rail at the fire in their kitchen for an apple, an orange, some nuts and a small toy.

Pillow slips were left at the end of their beds for such items as a book(annual) a present from their parents, paints and paint book, Woolworth’s doll (6d) or teddy or golly (all 6d at Woolworth’s).


Machester Road

Dunleavy                                                                                                                             sweets

Mrs Smith                                                                                                                           cook shop (also midwife)

Wolstencroft                                                                                                                     paper shop

Schofield                                                                                                                             chip shop

Rutter                                                                                                                                   fruit shop

Smith                                                                                                                                    toffee

Davies                                                                                                                                   butcher

Fagan                                                                                                                                    coal man

Mrs Walsh                                                                                                                           general

Jimmy Hodgen                                                                                                                  toffee

Thicket                                                                                                                                 wool

Whitefield Steer

Co-op                                                                                                                                    grocer

Co-op                                                                                                                                    butcher

Wolstencroft                                                                                                                     clogger (spiritualist)

Jaber                                                                                                                                     grocer



Chadwick                                                                                                                             papers

Simpson Street

Miss Knox                                                                                                                           grocer/wool

Church Street

Dan Trayford                                                                                                                      toffee

Post office

Norton Street

Misses Livesey                                                                                                                  chip shop

Charlie Heaton                                                                                                                  clogger

Boothman                                                                                                                           toffee

Castle Street

Cook shop

Holden                                                                                                                                 sweets

Parkinson                                                                                                                            sweets, dinners (top shop)

Wordsworth Street

Ingham (corner shop)                                                                                                    cooked meats (home cooked)

Hapton Inn area

Clarkson (Burnley Rd corner)                                                                                      ice cream

Clark (Acc. Rd corner)                                                                                                     clothes, shoes (tally man

Mrs. Howarth( Lane Ends corner)                                                                             grocer, bread etc (big shop

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