A big welcome to our Moonrakers website.
This is our second site, built after the first webmaster was unable to maintain the old site due to pressure of work. Our thanks go to him for his hard work.
We therefore went for a new look site, which continues to develop. The intention is to keep you up to date with the latest Moonrakers local research, history stories and events. Our hope is to have various contributors bringing energy and a wealth of experience to our sharing of information and historic adventure. We hopefully might even give you a laugh on the way.
We have decided to run the two websites side by side. Therefore the information on the old website will stay there. Historic pictures of Cowling can be browsed in the old site’s gallery.
So its onward and upward and into the future – or should that be into the past? Enjoy your visit to Moonrakers and please keep returning to watch us progress.
Mark Barnes, Chairman
Thursday May 2nd Bancroft Room, St Andrew’s Methodist Church, 7.30 – 9.15pm Refreshments available. All welcome.
None Planned at the moment.
NEWS IN BRIEF: 2012/13
A local history booklet introducing visitors and new parishoners to Cowling History has been worked on to go into B&Bs and other businesses. We thank the parish council for donating the printing costs. Work has stopped awaiting decisions about photographs and design.
June walk cancelled to concentrate on deciding which parish council old documents to keep.
June -Parish council documents have been sorted into categoriesand are being scanned and listed
June/July D Gulliver, Cononley historian/author providing Moonrakers with new information (See June meeting report)
July – Work on council documents completed.
June/July/August – extreme wet weather hindered usual outside meetings – Only one short one at Cowling Hill (Head)
September – 10th year commemorative calendar planned.
November – 50 calendars sold in 4 days. A further 25 ordered and sold. No more orders to be taken. Thanks to those who have purchased our 10th year commemorative calendar.
November meeting – David Gulliver – local historian/author – speaker re Cowling research findings
December – change of mind on calendar re-order due to demand – 10 more ordered – all sold
2013 January – ‘Thrang as Throp’s Wife’ – Cowling Hill(Head), Ickornshaw connection. Cowling Pinnacle building research begins, Research on early owners of Ickornshaw Mill begins. Decision to take advice re condition of Viscount Snowden Memorial.
2013 February -Advice from English Heritage re Viscount Snowden Memeorial passed to parsh council. Research to be trialled at March meeting. 11th year as a local history group begins.
As was reported last month most of the March meeting was given over to group research into Ickornshaw Mill documents, referring to a dam
bursting, two fires and the various mill owners. This was a new development in our meetings and good progress was made.
It was decided by the members present that this work should continue at the April meeting.
The February meeting commenced our eleventh year as a group recording, sharing and promoting Cowling Local History. It was therefore good to hear of new research being carried out by members. Enquiries into the date of the original building of Cowling Pinnacle have commenced but no definite date has yet been found.
A member has discovered more information about Ickornshaw Mill and its owners. This will be the subject of work carried out at the March
meeting. This includes more detail regarding two fires at the mill and interesting family history about an early owner.
Advice requested by Moonrakers from English Heritage, regarding the Snowden Monument, was read to the group and has been passed to
Cowling Parish Council, whose asset it is, for their consideration.
It was decided that half of the March meeting should be given over to group research into the Ickornshaw Mill documents mentioned above.
This is a new development in our meetings and work which is a fitting and positive way to begin a new year.
To those of you who are keeping track of the year with one of our 10th anniversary calendars, thank you for your support. We had to make two re-orders to satisfy demand and sold many more than we expected. A decision will be made at the January meeting as to our use of the
funds. We officially complete our tenth year at the end of January. As with all things you enjoy it does not seem ten years since a few people standing around the bar at the Bay Horse agreed it might be a good idea to start a village history group. A sobering thought!
In that ten years we have gathered lots of local history information and photos, set up a website, with a photo gallery and set up our own archive storage. Guided history walks, nostalgia afternoons and talks for other groups have been completed. History work in the village such as milestone renovation, signage for the Viscount Snowden Monument and Ridge Mill Bridge plaque have all been carried out or prompted by Moonrakers. All this has been achieved by committed members and the support of Cowling parishioners.
December’s meeting discussed feedback from November’s talk, positive ways of addressing the continued problem of a parish monument that no one can be proud of, the success of the calendar sales and the possibility of a new history plaque for a village monument.
The meeting concluded, in a year of floods, with a reminder of a flood in Cowling of 1848. In that year the Cowlaughton reservoir dam burst,(on Ickornshaw Moor near to the Stone Hut) leading to the owner, John Halstead of Ickornshaw Mill, having to reimburse landlords and tenants for damage worth in the region of £320. Seeing scenes of floods televised this year, we can imagine the devastation this caused.
The January meeting heard that eighteen pictures previously donated to the old village hall have been returned to the new hall, now it is
open. Moonrakers placed them in their archive store when the old village hall became damp. Moonrakers have also presented to the new village hall a DavidHoyle original oil painting. This is a painting of Cowling village, as the late David remembered it from his childhood. This had once hung in the primary school and David had requested it be placed in the new village hall.
The continued disappointing state of the Viscount Snowden Memorial was discussed and it was decided that advice should be taken on the
A 19thcentury copy letter was examined, that indicated the reason for and dates of, the building of Cowling Pinnacle. Further research of this important information was taken on by a member of the group.
At our December meeting we reported John Halstead, owner of Ickornshaw Mill having to reimburse landlords and tenants for flood damage in 1848. At our January meeting a member discussed further research into this family which we should be able to report to you in future.
We can now announce that we have sold all our tenth year commemorative calendars and have none available. Thank you very much for your
wonderful support. The proceeds will be used for our local history work.
Finally an extract from a chapter of ‘Tales of the Ridings’ by J Moorman (1920) was read to the group. This set the saying ‘Thrang as Throp’s wife’ as being uttered around Cowling Hill (Head was its old name), about a farmer’s wife from near ‘Carnshaw’ (Ickornshaw). The inn the Golden Fleece is also mentioned. The story was briefly mentioned in the book ‘Cowling a Moorland Parish’ (1980). As the ‘Ridings’ book is a book of tales, written by the first professor of English Language at University of Leeds, a dialect poetry, song and story collector, one cannot read too much into its accuracy. However one cannot discount the possibility of the saying having local origins. A local amateur historian is exploring the theory. If anyone can add more evidence please contact us. Its an amusing story, full of dialect, which can be found on the internet by searching under the saying.
November has been a busy month.
It started with a wonderful meeting, at which members listened, enthralled, to the Cowling research findings of David Gulliver, Cononley historian and author. In researching his 2011 book ‘The Tillotson Family and its neighbours’ he uncovered much new knowledge about pre 19th century Cowling parish. From original documents he was able to identify the areas of the three old manors of Cowling – Cowling Head or Hill, Ickornshaw and Stott Hill and discuss the works of their manor courts, of which Court House Farm (Stott Hill) was probably one. The importance of the old corn mills: Lumb Mill and Ridge Mill were also highlighted and who had to use which. Magnificent, extremely large ancient documents were examined and passed round. The historic origins of Ickornshaw’s’ free’ moor, owned by its freeholders was also clearly shown, as was Cowling’s historic links with Cononley, due to some parts of both forming one manor in centuries past. Finally an original letter stating the date and reason for the building of Cowling Pinnacle was also read out. It was truly a night to remember.
On the same night we took delivery of our tenth anniversary calendars for 2013. We have been overwhelmed at the demand and must thank the people of Cowling and area for their support. Within a week all fifty were sold or ordered. A decision was then made to take orders for a second batch of . As I write all twenty five of these have been sold. Thank you to those members who have ensured this success, by their work to compile and then sell the calendars. The proceeds from this project will go to fund our continuing work to research, record and report new findings about Cowling parish history.
At October’s meeting decisions were made about the forthcoming 2013 Moonrakers calendar to celebrate ten years of gathering
historic information about the parish.
Old pictures were selected for the calendar, which was not easy. Many pictures on our website were not of sufficient quality to be included, even with digital enhancement. Each month has an old photo and caption relating to Cowling’s history.
As this report is written the calendar is at the printers. We are hopeful that it will be available for sale in early November priced £5.
The calendar can be purchased through Maurice Benson at St Andrew’s, Brian Ridehalgh at Holy Trinity or by contacting the chairman. We are also hoping to sell them at pre-Christmas events in the village
First we would like to thank people who contacted us regarding the new local history evidence that was reported in our news item for
June. We really appreciate the further information gained from other historians and just as national history develops with new finds e.g. the site of the battle of Bosworth Field 1485, so also exciting new evidence changes or adds to local history knowledge.
A second meeting with a local historian and author lead to more new evidence for our Cowling local history. Also some very interesting possibilities arose. This took up much of the July meeting. All the above, will be included on this website along with contributions received from the people mentioned earlier.
Moonrakers have now completed sorting throughold parish council documents, at their request. Items of historic value have
been indexed and stored safely, as paper and electronic copies. We must thank three of our members who have spent approximately two hundred and fifty hours on the task
Instead of a normal meeting in August Moonrakers planned their first outside session. The group met, after heavy rain, up at Cowling Hill, or Cowling Head as it used to be called. Up to the nineteenth century, along with Ickornshaw, this would have been one of the main settlements of the parish, as the present village was then in its infancy.
The visit was to see some of the sites of importance in those bygone days. These included the weaving shop, where hand-loom weavers
toiled before the age of steam. The blocked up entrance to the pinfold was seen, where stray animals were kept before the days of land enclosure. The owner had to pay the Pinner to retrieve his or her beast. A lane once important but now unused was noted as was a 17th century farmhouse date stone, now above a barn door. The chapel graveyard was visited and the site of the oldinn remembered, as was the nearby village green, where it is said there was bear baiting.
Before New Roadside, the present main road, was built as a turnpike road, at the beginning of the nineteenth century, the road through
Cowling Hill was on a main route from Yorkshire to Lancashire. Hence it would have had stage coaches visiting the inn and travellers regularly passing through.
The visit was cut short by the irritation of midges and a further imminent downpour.
Most of the September meeting was taken up with discussion about a proposed Moonraker Calendar to celebrate the group being in existence
from Feb. 2003 to Feb.2013. It was agreed that work should commence on planning a calendar, as a member is already working on a calendar for another organisation.
The Moonraker calendar will depict scenes from Cowling past and will be sold through our members in the two village churches and by members at village events in October to December. The price will be agreed at next month’s meeting, when the calendar should be ready for printing.
The only other issue under discussion was the condition of the Snowden Memorial Cairn, its base, path and signage. These are the responsibility of the parish council on behalf of parishioners. As the local history group Moonrakers are to enquire about the timescale for the agreed conservation/restoration work to the scheduled monument for Cowling’s most
Moonrakers, Cowling Local History Group needs the above skills to complete a local history booklet which will be given to school children and visitors to our village. If anyone has either or both these skills please contact us.