Memories of life in Castleford’s Wheldon Lane

Paul Hampton has written a book about what life was like down Wheldon Lane over the last 80 years. (p610a503)
Paul Hampton has written a book about what life was like down Wheldon Lane over the last 80 years. (p610a503)

Memories of life in Castleford’s Wheldon Lane over the past 80 years are featured in a new book by town author Paul Hampton.

Life in the Lane (The people’s memories of Wheldon Lane Castleford) focuses on the reminiscences of those who grew up with the industries that were based in the area - including the Hickson and Welch chemical factory and Wheldale Colliery.

Mr Hampton, 58, has compiled stories from former residents on the street - now known as Wheldon Road.

He said: “I decided to write the book after my mum was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s about eight years ago.

“She used to tell me about what it was like on Wheldon Lane when she grew up and I wrote her memories down so they weren’t forgotten.

“As I heard more of her stories I started speaking to other relatives and people who lived down there and realised how many people had tales to tell.”

Mr Hampton, whose grandparents ran George and Lizzie Crowder’s shop in Chapel Street off Wheldon Lane, has spoken to former workers at Hickson and Welch, the colliery as well as the former Bellamy’s and Mackintosh’s sweet factories.

He added: “ The book is a social history of a community that needed telling and I hope it fills a small gap in Castleford’s history.

“Wheldon Lane is an area that has been talked about by so many people but their thoughts have never been written down.

“The book tells the story of the lives of the people that lived there - the workers, their families, the businesses and the school.”