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If you live or work in Oxenholme, have ever lived or worked in Oxenholme or have ancestors from Oxenholme, then we would love you to join our Oxenholme Past & Present facebook group.

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Have you memories, photographs or family stories that you would like to share? Then we would love to hear from you!

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Christine Hunter, writer and biographer

Selection of Christine Hunter titles …

Christine Hunter, born in 1910, was not only a schoolteacher, but also a writer and biographer. She is understood to have lived at Woodlands (no. 98) Helmside Road in later life.

Among her titles were:

Year Title
1952 Boy from Down Under
Bunty and Peter
Coutier Treasure
Escape to Adventure
1953 Mysterious Neighbours
1955 Come on Spencers
Michael Graham, Police Cadet
1956 Michael Graham, Police Constable
1957 Mystery of Tentenbury Manor
1960 Mystery of Cousin John
1966 Deep Waters
To Life Anew
1968 Years of Our Days
1969 Guiding Light
1972 Annalisa
Gladys Aylward
Secret of Tentenbury Manor
Sparks Flying Upward
1974 Anna’s Family
Bwana Masua
1976 Day Will Dawn
Winding Road

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Undeveloped Plots on Helmside Road

The undeveloped plots on Helmside Road. Photo copyright of Tony Hartley.

The photograph above, courtesy of Tony Hartley, shows the undeveloped plots which lie on the eastern side of Helmside Road, between number 53 (left-hand side) and number 47 (right-hand side). Immediately behind the undeveloped land are the properties on Scar View Road, then Bleaswood Road.

Long-time resident John Bateson tells us the properties were all built between 1968 and 1972 and that this particular piece of land was originally intended for the children’s playground. However, it was deemed to be too close to the road and so has remained undeveloped ever since.

8.8.88

In her fascinating short history of Oxenholme: The Railway Village (1995), Laura Oldham wrote about “Auntie Vi’s” shop and went on to say that Vi Atkinson ‘had an unusually distinctive birthday, beng born on the eighth day of the eighth month of 1888’.

However, further investigation reveals that Vi Atkinson, who was born Violet Emma Lord, was born on the eighth day of the eighth month, but in 1887 not 1888. Vi, who married Thomas Atkinson, died in 1978 aged 90. They lived at Helm Garth in Helmside Road.

But another Oxenholme resident, Florence Jellett, born Florence Caley, was born on the eighth day of the eighth month in 1888, according to her entry on the 1939 National Identity Register. Florence married railway porter George Jellett in 1918. They lived at 18 Helmside Cottages. Florence died in 1988, aged 99.

lord and jellett

1926: Exciting Fire Scenes

EXCITING FIRE SCENES – FARM GIRL’S BRAVE RESCUE OF DAZED MAN – A TIMELY DISCOVERY AT OXENHOLME

The prompt and plucky action of a 17-year-old servant, Margaret Bateson, led to the rescue of all the inmates of a burning isolated farmhouse on Fellside, at Oxenholme, four miles from Kendal, at midnight on Sunday. Unaided she rescued a 23-year-old labourer from an upstairs room.

The girl, who sleeps above the kitchen, was awakened by fumes. She went downstairs for a drink of water and found the kitchen on fire. Returning upstairs she roused the farmer’s son, Henry Rishton. By this time the stairway was impassable owing to smoke, and Rishton, telling the girl to rouse the others, leapt 18 feet from the bedroom window in his bare feet. He got out the car ready to drive to Kendal to summon the fire brigade.

Frank Rishton, aged 77, the farmer, was awakened by the motor horn, and went to the bedroom window and threw out his son’s trousers and slippers.  The old man then awoke his 70-year-old wife and wrapping her in a blanket let her down to the roof of an outbuilding against which the son, before his departure, placed a ladder.

In the meantime Margaret Bateson had awakened the two male farm servants, George Mason and Wilfred Smith. The latter went through the window to assist his employer, who had escaped in the same way as his wife. Together they did their best to fight the fire.

Margaret Bateson, on finding that Mason had not escaped, re-entered his bedroom and found that he had been overcome by the fumes. She dragged him from bed and across the landing into her room, beneath the window of which as another outbuilding. After a great effort she got Mason through the window and together they slid down the sloping roof, dropped six feet on to another roof, slipped down this, and jumped ten feet to the ground.

Frank Rishton, in an interview, said that had the alarm been given a few minutes later the household would have had no chance whatever of escaping. The fire engine was bogged in a muddy lane leading to the farm and had to be dragged out by a tractor. The brigade fought the fire until five o’clock in the morning. The loss includes old oak furniture, pewter and brass.

Miss Bateson told a “Lancashire Daily Post” correspondent that she was aroused about midnight by a tickling sensation in the throat. “Realising the house was on fire,” she said, “I threw something about me and roused Harry Rishton, son of the farmer, Frank Rishton. Then I went into the farm men’s room across the landing opposite mine. This was full of smoke, and George Mason was gasping and struggling for breath on his bed. The fumes here were suffocating. By the noise I knew the others were busy, so I shook Mason vigorously, and at last got him up. Assisting him across the landing into my room I helped him to climb on to a roof. Still holding his hand we slid down on to the second roof, where Mason had to lie gasping for breath before we could both jump to the ground.

Lancashire Evening Post 14 December 1926

 

1890: Porter killed at Oxenholme Junction

Another of those shocking accidents, which have during the past few years been numerous at Oxenholme Junction, occurred on Thursday evening. The unfortunate man was named William Langhorn, he was 25 years of age, and lived at Helmside, leaving a widow and three children to mourn his loss. The circumstances are very simple and are easily told. It appears that about 7-40 p.m., Langhorn was engaged in shunting operations at the north side of the station, near to the signal box, when he became caught between a horse box and a railway carriage. He was very much crushed, and expired almost immediately. Mr. Moffatt, station-master, and the foreman porter (Armitage) both witnessed the sad affair, which was quite an accident. The body was removed to one of the waiting-rooms to await an inquest.

Westmorland Gazette, 18 October 1890