Ian Clayton: Wall to wall with history

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This week’s story starts with the knocking down of an old wall. It was just a bit of honey coloured sandstone, but one I was attached to, that’s if you can be attached to an old wall.

The wall was on the left hand side of Church Lane in North Featherstone. It formed a boundary to the garden of a council bungalow where the famous big band singer Geraldine Farrar lived in her retirement.

When I take my dog for a walk on a morning I sometimes used to touch that wall, bit daft and sentimental I know, but I did it because the wall was very ancient and I wanted to somehow feel connected to the past. The other morning when I went by, the wall was gone. I saw some bricklayers from Wakefield and District Housing, so I said to the one who looked like he was in charge: “That’s another landmark gone.” He said: “Do you mean that old wall? Aye, it was rotting and they told us to pull it down, we’re replacing all the old walls.” Wakefield and District Housing are indeed knocking down the old walls and replacing them with smart new ones, but it all left me feeling a bit sentimental about the old stone one.


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