By Brian Stott
In one of the first articles I wrote for The Skipton Press I described the community of Broughton Road Skipton in the 20th century and especially the period up until about 1970.
If you have seen this article you may recall that it described a group of streets just past where the Ambulance Depot is situated. These streets were Emanuel Street, Watkinson Street, Bradley Street, West Bradley Street and York Street. All rows of back to back houses that were demolished in about 1970. I have now been able to find a photograph of these streets. Anyone who lived in Skipton before 1970 will probably remember these but younger readers will be interested to see this photograph. The main road had a 40MPH speed limit and each of the streets had a 30MPH limit as you can see from the sign, although turning in at a 90degree angle and the short length of each street would have made it difficult to reach such a speed. The large building at the left of the photo had once been a Co-op Store and was at the time of this picture The Skipton Judo Club. You can see the houses with the bay windows facing into Broughton Road, these were slightly bigger than those away from the main road. Each house backed onto another so no back door or exit. There was a cellar area and you can see this in the house at the right of the picture.
The buildings known as Clifford Court now stand here. It was several years between demolishing these houses and building the new ones. I think this was to let the ground settle down where the cellars had been to prevent the new homes subsiding.
Further along the road as you travel away from the town centre are some newer houses known as Thornton Close which are directly opposite the terrace Thornton Street.
The site of these houses was I believe allotment gardens until just after the 1939-45 World War following which a Methodist Chapel was built on this site .My father who lived in the area all of his life told me that the building that was put up and is pictured below was brought from its original site in Grassington and rebuilt for the Broughton Road people. They had been using what was known “The Tin Tabernacle” as a church. This is just further down the road and is still there today and used as Broughton Road Community Centre. Many people will still call it “ The Tin Tab” today. I have heard it called this very recvently. “The Tin Tab” is also pictured below.
When I was a boy it was used as The Sunday School for the Chapel. This was in the 1960’s and many of us who attended Ings School also went to the Sunday School at our weekend. We used to go to the Sunday Morning Service in Chapel and after the first hymn had been sung we all trooped off with the Sunday School Teachers ( I think Mrs carpenter was in charge) to “The Tin Tab”. Then after about an hour of bible stories and singing around the piano home for Sunday Dinner..
By the end of the 1960’s church attendances were falling and it wasn’t long before in the 1970’s chapels such as this were all closed and congregations amalagamated. There was also a big chapel on Gargrave Road where some flats are next to Coach street car park. This was a huge edifice now of course demolished. The churches were amalgamated I think with those on Newmarket Street and Westmoreland Street ( both directly opposite Fish and Chip Shops!)
The Broughton Road Chapel was still open in 1968 as I remember attending my brother’s christening there and also my sister Janet played the Christmas Carol “Oh Little Town of Bethlehem” on her recorder to the congregation at a Christmas Carol Service in the same year.
Amazingly Mr George Murray who was one of the Methodist Church Ministers at our chapel is still alive and well. Now well into his 80’s he is still active in the local community and is a member of Skipton Rotary Club.
The Tin Tab survived the demolition and plays an active part in skipton Life even today. I have 1906 map of Skipton and the building is shown on this as “school” so my assumptiion is that it was used as the local school before Ings school further along the road was built in 1910.