Friday 22 December 1916
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VOLUNTEER NOTES We shall be debarred from the luxury of grumbling at the weather, even with the snow and fog of this week, for some time to come. After all, December is December, and following the perfect weather on the occasion of the York Review, to hit upon another fine day with bright sunshine and blue sky for the practice in patrolling the railway from Market Weighton to Beverley a fortnight later was a good deal more than the 2nd Battalion had any right to expect. We have still the privilege of grousing at the railway companies for taking three hours to run a special train both ways on Sunday, when the lines are fairly free from traffic, for a distance of under 70 miles but there were compensations on the return journey. Yorkshire pudding The lucid explanation of our C.O. that in case of invasion men, guns and ammunition would be rushed off by every available train to the East Coast and that the important duty of safeguarding the railway lines would be entrusted to the Volunteers, reconciled one to many small discomforts. The levies upon the farmers of the district for hot water and tea and in
one case on record, for a  substantial helping of Yorkshire pudding, which proved too tempting for one member of the Shipley Corps, were kindly received. And the hot tea and Oxo served with the kind cooperation of the station master and his family on our return to Kipling Cotes station, were, if one may be excused the Eppsian turn of the expression, most grateful and comforting. Coming back, there were two reflections which must have occurred to everyone. First, the splendid work done by the soldiers’ and sailors’ buffets at important railway centres. Being in Volunteer uniform, we were privileged to be supplied, during the long wait at York - to enable an engine to be sent from Leeds before we could continue the journey -  at under cost price with excellent coffee and refreshments. The buffet is kept open all night and served by ladies of the district. They must indeed be blessed as ministering
angels by thousands of Tommies who would otherwise have to undergo the pangs of hunger and thirst in this trying season. Why is it that a  staid, middle-aged paterfamilias, whom the irreverent flapper would not deign to notice at any other time, suddenly becomes frolicsome on such an occasion? We can only ascribe this to the wearing of khaki or the grey-green substitute and the traditions of the military forces. Clay pipe Does not Jerome say that with a three days’ growth of stubble on his chin, a muffler instead of a collar and a cutty clay pipe in his mouth, he could cheerfully murder his grandmother? But the most inspiring sight of the day, to our mind, was the two trains full of high-spirited munition girls on their way to the night turn, regardless of the fact that many of them in their dangerous occupations carry their lives in their hands, waving from the windows and shouting “We’ll make the shells” as the trains moved slowly past us at Leeds station. If anyone in these weary anxious times feels in need of a tonic, let him watch a few of these evening trains out of the Leeds North Eastern Station.
“But the most inspiring sight of the day, to our mind, was the two trains full of high-spirited munition girls on their way to the night turn,”
Late trains, ministering angels and brave munition girls
Piano is in place but concern over soldier who stirred the Christmas pudding the wrong way
Having put out an appeal the previous week for the loan of a piano to entertain wounded soldiers, the newspaper was delighted to report its success. Mrs Giles of 48 Victoria Road, Saltaire had stepped forward and ‘a considerable disturbance was heard on the stairs of Salt Hospital and after much tugging and heavy breathing, the carriers put the piano in its place.’ The hospital had also been the scene of a Christmas tradition. Unthinkable to be puddingless ‘We may have meatless days but one couldn’t think of puddingless Christmas days. Christmas puddings had, therefore, to be made and during their preparation, the boys were invited into the sacred precincts of the kitchen, each to give a stir for luck. ‘Alas! Before he could be stopped, one of them stirred the batter the wrong way and quite a commotion ensued. ‘Now, we are all in a fever of anticipation as to what will happen. And if anything does happen, I would not be in that youth’s shoes for anything, to be forever assailed in derision with the question “Who stirred the plum pudding?” ‘When the festive day arrives, the boys are going to forget their losses, aches and pains and like good children, make belief they haven’t got any. ‘They are going to live in the present and have a good and happy time and so far as we can see, the generous people of Shipley will look to it that Santa Clause provides it.’
The Rev Richard Whincup, vicar of Windhill, who was working as chaplain at the front line, sent a Christmas message to his parishioners at home. ‘The very mention of the word Christmas with all its old associations of peace, of love and home and brotherhood, seems to be almost a mockery in these terrible days of separation and world-wide national enmity. Children ‘But despite all this, I hope that you will try your best to enter into the real inward spirit of the festival. ‘Try to realise within you something of that real peace which the apostles and the early Christians could appreciate although they were daily beset by all manner of awful persecutions and heart-rending trials. ‘Keep your Christmas Communions, make the festival as happy as you can for the children in particular, and work and pray earnestly so that the great heart of humanity may be more fully open to receive and welcome the coming of Him whose teachings and principles alone can bring that peace and goodwill towards men for which we all long so much in these times of bloodshed and misery.’
Salvaging Christmas in these terrible days
Conscientious objector delays ambulance service to sit exam
A youth named L Wm Brown, 18 years of age, a chemist’s apprentice employed by Thompson and Gapper, told Shipley military tribunal that he had a conscientious objection to fighting but was willing to serve in the Friend’s Ambulance Unit, subject to the approval of the tribunal. Born a member The tribunal’s military representative, Mr Burton, asked him: “Do you belong to the Society of Friends?” to which Brown replied, “I was born a member.” Having been told he had the tribunal’s approval but must join at once, Brown said that he was not 19 until the following November and that he would like to wait until then because he had an examination in chemistry coming up in March. Postponement was granted until June 30th.
Before the start of Baildon District Council meeting, the chairman, Cllr W E Rhodes, referred to the question of allotments, a matter which is engaging the attention not only of the Government but of most local authorities. The Baildon Council had received a letter from the Board of Agriculture inviting them to co-operate with the scheme. In a township like Baildon, which is broken up into small residential areas, it should be possible to provide every resident who is willing to undertake the cultivation of land with some share of it not far from his own door. Charlestown tip The chairman and clerk had decided to put up type-written notices in the various wards inviting those who are willing to undertake work of that kind to send in their names. Cultivators would only be asked to pay a very nominal sum in rent and the chairman hoped that landowners would enter into the spirit of the thing and support the Council. He had already received the suggestion from one enthusiastic supporter from Charlestown who had suggested that one half of the Charlestown tip might be straightened up and used. Among the discussions at the Highways Committee was
correspondence with the West Riding Council relating to the proposed establishment of a ten mile speed limit on certain streets and highways. It was also resolved that an agreement be entered into with Mr J M Tankard in regard to the proposed improvement at Silson Lane, and that steps be taken for obtaining sanction to the diversion of the highway. A complaint was received from the Glen Property Owners’ Association relating to the bad condition of the footways. It was resolved that the surveyor be directed to inspect and report. Over-crowding According to the minutes of the Sanitary Committee, it was agreed that notices be issued requiring the improvements recommended in the inspector’s report, including the abatement of nuisance arising from over- crowding at No 11 Oak Place, and the provision of sink traps and gullies at the property at Church Hill. Two cases of diphtheria had been removed to hospital from 18 Green Mount, Baildon Green, during the month.
Council discuss allotments, 10 mph speed limits and
tackling sanitation nuisance
Bumper cattle show
The annual Christmas cattle show and sale promoted by Mr J E Jennings of Baildon and held at the Auction Mart, Apperley Bridge, was perhaps unique in the history of the Apperley Bridge Mart. Abnormal prices were paid by buyers, bullocks fetching as much as £60, heifers up to £47 and cows as much as £30. There was an excellent entry for the show and the prizes awarded were valued at £97. The challenge trophy, valued at sixty guineas and offered yearly for the champions beast in the yard, was carried off by Richard Lightfoot of Bradford whilst the prize offered for the best locally fed cow was won by Scott Bros. Mr Jennings had started the show 19 years before and County Councillor Garnett, formerly of Idle, pronounced: “There is not another cattle show in the West Riding of Yorkshire better than the one we have had this afternoon.”
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