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Keighley Corporation Omnibus Services
The Official Handbook (Date: Unknown)
Supplied & Scanned By: Dr John Laycock. - Date Added: 14th Dec 08
Front Cover
From Oakworth, by way of Pickles Hill and Oldfield, it is possible to walk over the Lancashire Moor to Wycollar Dene, and to return to Keighley on the Haworth bus.
Or an alternative completion of the trip with much to commend it, is to take the road which passes close to Newsholme Dene (admirable place this for picnics), a place with the curious name of Goose Eye, the Turkey Paper Mills, and the village of Laycock, and returning to the Fell Lane bus terminus, whence a few minutes.' run leads you into Keighley again.
To the north there are two services, the one to Sutton village and the other, which runs over the same route with the exception of the last half mile, but goes forward from Cross Hills to Colne. The latter route is run jointly by Keighley Corporation, the Colne Corporation, and Messrs. E. Laycock and Sons, of Cowling. The tickets are inter-changeable, and the return journey may be made by any of the vehicles on the route. The Colne route opens up a district of East Lancashire which has been somewhat difficult of access until the development of the motor bus services between the two places. The railway journey between Colne and Keighley was a tedious one, and there was little traffic, but the route by road not only links up the two towns, but provides a very useful means of bringing the residents of the villages between into the towns, and providing the shopping and other facilities of the larger centres. The section of the route between Cowling and Kildwick Station was the earliest motor-bus route in the North of England, and was opened by Mr. Laycock away back in the days when he spent the greater part of a week in London looking for a petrol-driven motor omnibus. The journey of the bus from London when the first one was purchased, was remarkable, and at times it was impossible to make progress, so curious were people to see what proved to be a pioneer in passenger transport.
Keighley people may now spend a pleasant half day in Colne by taking one of the cheap return tickets between Keighley and Colne. " Bonny Colne " Lancashire folk give as a name to this busy centre. The town is recognised as having been a Roman station, and on a map dated 1610, it appears as one of the fifteen largest towns in Lancashire. About 120 years ago it was the largest town in the North-Lastern portion of Lancashire, but for some reason or other it has not grown as rapidly as some of its neighbours. Colne Parish Church is well worthy of a visit. There are many interesting monuments to local families in the church. At the East end of the churchyard stands the old Grammar School, a curious old building now used as a Parish Room. A curious relic in the church yard is the stocks in which old-time malefactors were placed for punishment before the residents who attended church. The stocks are unique as they are made to be wheeled about the town to enable the victim to be shown to the populace better than if he were kept in one place. The churchyard contains a gravestone to the memory of two young men named Boys, which bears the following verse :-

Farewell, vain world, I've had enough of thee,
I care not what thou can'st do to me ;
My debts are paid, My thoughts are free,
Prepare yourself to follow me.

Aged 24 and 28 years, respectively, the brothers were hanged at Lancaster for counterfeiting, and their mother begged their bodies and brought them back to Colne, so runs the story. Industrially Colne is now almost wholly confined to the making of cottons, and it has a Cloth Hall, or Piece Hall which dates back to 1775. One of the prettiest spots in the district surrounding Colne is Wycollar Dene. Perhaps the most convenient way to reach Wycollar from Keighley is to leave the Colne buses at Laneshaw Bridge and walk across the fields. Wycollar is one of the few unspoilt bits of rural scenery where the hand of the modern appears to have passed over without spoiling. The stream comes tumbling down from the moors, twisting and turning.
with the hill sides coining down to the water, and a road, in most places little more than a path, crossing and recrossing the stream, in some places simply by stepping stones, and in others by miniature bridges of all types from the single stone slab thrown across from bank to bank to the double-arched packhorse bridge, almost in the centre of the village. The village of Wycollar is merely a collection of solidly-built houses clustered round a now ruined hall. Wycollar Hall, now rootless, will be recog¬nised as the Ferndean Manor of Jane Eyre, where the poor blind Rochester, a pitiful figure who found peace here after a troubled life at " Thorn field," which was burnt down according to the story told so graphically by Charlotte Bronte. Wycollar is but twenty minutes' walk from the motor-bus route, yet it is old-world and remote. The valley is well wooded, and the many bridges present pretty pictures. The old open fireplace of the Hall takes us back to the times when the lord and his servants lived together as one big family. Thirteen men could sit round the back of the fire in the ingle, and one can picture the glowing lire of logs flashing and lighting up the faces as the evening was spent in song and story. This is the old home of the Cunliffe family, whose name is associated with great doings in past centuries. There is a most attractive afternoon walk from Wycollar to Oak-worth or Haworth, passing Watersheddles Reservoir and Moor Lodge, the Shooting Lodge of Sir Amos Nelson, of Gledstone Hall, near Skipton. If we desire to return via Haworth, the turn to the right just beyond Moor Lodge should be taken, past Ponden Reservoir and Stanbury Village, the former of which is referred to in connection with the Haworth Route. For Oakworth we pass along via Filter Beds and Pickles Hill. Some of the Corporation buses go as far as Pickles Hill, some distance beyond Oakworth, but unless the time table has been consulted, it is best to depend upon getting a lift from Oakworth. From Oakworth either a Corporation or a West Yorkshire bus can be taken, as the two concerns provide a joint service.
The route between Cross Hills and Colne on the Keighley-Colne route is full of interest. This is the great traffic highway between the West Riding and the industrial towns of North-East Lancashire. Years ago it was traversed by heavy horse vans from the Bradford dye works, with loads of cotton goods which had been brought from Lancashire to be dyed. It was an all-night journey, and it used to be said the horses became so accustomed to the road that they required no attention from the driver. In those days the public houses on the route were busy places at the times when the waggoners stopped to " bait " their horses. Cowling is the principal village on the hill which forms the boundary of Yorkshire and Lancashire. Here Mr. Philip Snowden, the first Labour Chancellor of the Exchequer, spent his youthful days. He was born at Preston, but his father and mother were Cowling people and he came to live here in early life. Cowling has a right to its claim that it has sent more men to Parliament from among its sons than any other village of its size. Another local man who has risen to fame is Mr. J. Keighley Snowden, the novelist and London journalist, who has written several sketches and stories of the characters and places in this locality.
While Cowling is a typical upland village, Glusburn, only a short distance away, is a village of the valley. It has a modern appearance, and is really one of the earliest model industrial villages, being centred round the Hayfield Mills of J. C. Horsfall, Ltd. The late Sir John C. Horsfall, Bart., who played an important part in the work of the West Riding County Council, was the founder of the business, and he gave to the village the fine institute, which is not only an architectural asset to the main street, but fills a very useful purpose as a meeting place, and a social and recreational centre for the district. The present head of the business is the second baronet, Sir John Donald Horsfall, who resides at Hayfield, the lodges for which are near the mill. At Cross Hills, the adjoining village, the Sutton route of motor-buses joins up with the Colne route and runs along the valley to Keighley.
Keighley Corporation Omnibus Services Map
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