Bonny babies, attractive ankles

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THE headline story in the Brighouse and Elland Echo on July 16, 1948, was ‘Everybody loves a carnival, especially Rastrick folk and more especially still, Rastrick children…’

I am sure that is true today just as it was all those years ago.

This week we feature two fading photographs that were taken on that special day – and it was a day that Miss Jean Gledhill would probably remember for the rest of her life as she was crowned Miss Rastrick 1948.

Jean had been declared the winner of that year’s competition by Councillor Ambrose Broomhead at the Savoy Cinema the week before.

It is often said that it’s not the winning, it’s the taking part that counts. I have a a feeling that the other finalists Sheila Hargreaves (Clough House Farm), Glenys Horton (Oaklands) and Audrey Berry (Firth Street) may perhaps not have seen it like that.

This event was the Rastrick Cricket and Athletic Club’s annual gala, and like all good galas it had a procession which on this occasion was led by the Clifton and Lightcliffe Band.

The band led a huge crowd along a route that made its way along Crowtrees Lane, Jumble Dyke, Tofts Grove, Delf Hill, New Hey Road and finally Clough Lane into the field. The procession was met by the Mayor and Mayoress, Alderman Wilfrid Whiteley, ‘Miss Rastrick’, and the retiring ‘Miss Rastrick’ Jean France.

Throughout the day there were lots of competitions including the popular baby contest which attracted more than 80 entrants. The task of judging the babies would have been very difficult with mothers looking anxiously on and fathers standing by with high expectations.

I was once asked to judge a children’s fancy dress competition at Bailiff Bridge school many years ago. I needed a fast car to get away after announcing the winners, having upset half the mothers in Bailiff Bridge by not choosing their off spring as a winner.

The Rastrick winners included Richard Sands, who won the up to 12 months prize, and Lawrence Squire who was the runner up in the 13 to 18 month age prize. There were two special prizes for the twins section, these were awarded to Donald and Susan Ellem and Janet and Kathryn Airey.

A wrestling competition, won by local lad Bernard Eastwood, was also well supported.

Some of you might remember the seaside knobbly knees competitions but how many can remember the ankle show competitions at this event?

The winner on that day was was Doris Jeffreys. I have no details of how old Doris was at the time but if, hopefully, she is still with us she can certainly show off a bit to the younger members of her family, even though it is 63 years since that sunny day at the cricket club.

We can’t let this event go by without mentioning the fancy dress winners – Alan Heywood (Slade Lane); Pat Micklethwaite; Susan Hart; Gillian Healey; Jean Horner; Pauline Byram; Charlene Webster; Margaret France; Sheila Wood and Edmund Mallinson.

Our second featured photograph shows a number of the children in the fancy dress parade. This is 63 years ago and I would expect that these youngsters will be in their 70s now.

Are you one of these children? If you are contact me on 01422-205763 or on e-mail enquiries@chrishelme-brighouse.org.uk