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Harle Sykes Stockbroker

Turning The Spotlight On Some Legendary Characters Best Known By Their Nicknames

By Rowland Kippax

Burnley Express and News

Date Unknown

Crusoe (Leaver)

He was either chairman or manager of Briercliffe Mill, a loom and power company, whose tenants were Haggate Weaving Company and Heasandford Mill (Tayoil).

The mill has several tenants today, including Goldenlay Eggs and Redmans.

Old Pat (John Taylor)

Manager and salesman at Harle Syke Mill (Siberia) during one of its most successful trading periods.

Tom O'Pegs (Bannister)

Secretary-sales-man at Harle Syke Mill in the same period as Old Pat. His daughter, Edith, and her husband, Ernest Pollard, both won the Rose Bowl at Blackpool Musical Festival in different years.

Johnny Sky (another John Taylor)

The village blacksmith whose motto (and the name of his smithy) was Perseverance.

No job was too large or too small for them. For example, if a boy broke his "bairl" (hoop) they would repair it for one penny (old money), and if you hadn't a penny they would repair it just the same. When radio became in vogue they would recharge batteries.

During that period, one boy up Haggate discovered that by connecting an old bike dynamo to his mother's sewing machine and pedalling all weekend he could recharge his batteries for next week.When Taylors heard of it, they told him to bring his battery in and they'd charge it for nothing.

During World War I they were employed on munitions making or repairing artillery shells of about 3in. calibre. They also made and gave those beautiful ironwork gates to Haggate Chapel.

John O'Williams O'John (Nuttall)

Was I think a manager or salesman at Walshaw Mill. He once saw me smoking when I was a boy of about 12 and told me that "onnybody what smooked shud hev a luvver on their heerd." (Luvver:dialect for chimney).

Art Shack (Greenwood)

Briercliffe's only (to my knowledge) stock and share broker. Also once a director at the now defunct Lane Bottom Mill.

On occasions would advertise whatever items he had for sale on a paper tacked on to a telegraph pole near his home. This method of advertising was often used by people in the village in that period - 1920.

Owd Trucks

Probably was the first Syker to enter the Blackpool bowling competitions. Used to practise on the third green on Nelson golf links.

Tommy Triddleoil (Thornton)

Butcher who was the first that I know who established his own abbatoir up Haggate and which became known as "Tommy Triddleoil's Slaughter Airse."

Often gave the pigs' bladders to the local lads, who blew them up and used them for footballs. They soon burst when we played in clogs.

Jack O'Nancy's (Leaver)

During his later years was a director at Queen Street Mill. In his younger days had some position of authority in the building of the Culvert Bridge in Yorkshire Street.

Owld Bowie (Atkinson)

A tackler by trade, exhibitor and judge of Airedale dogs. When Queen Street Mill was completed he played some kind of musical instrument from the top of the chimney.

Shippon Jack (farmer in Thursden Valley, surname Wilkinson)

Son of the famous Sage of Roggerham - Tattersall Wilkinson, said to be a descendant of Tattersalls of Sale Ring fame, who hold the annual auction sales of racehorses at Doncaster in Leger Week and at Newmarket.

Tommy Huddy (Hudson)

The local fish chap who hawked fish up Syke. He had a waggonette drawn by three horses, one in the centre in shafts, the others, one each side, attached to a movable pole on swivels to allow them free movement either way.

Herbert Sutcliffe gave me this information and says there is one of these today in the Transport Museum in London. Their proper name is shallobeer.

This waggonette of Huddy's can be seen on an old photo in Roger Frost's history of Briercliffe, just above Ginger Dan's shop.

With kind permission of The Burnley Express.

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