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Bygone Stanley - Chat with Ralph Limer


I had a chat with a Stanley ex-miner and official aged 91 years, Ralph Limer. He told me the following story of an event which took place in 1909 when he was 8 years of age. His father, Fred, and some of his friends decided to have a day at Pontefract Races....

'A Stanley villager named Mat Burkinshaw had a wagon which he used for taking small parties to such events as racing and football matches within a reasonable distance. Ralph was sent by his father to see Mat and ask him it bring his horse-drawn wagonette to take this small party to the races. The wagonette was undergoing some repairs so Mat said 'Go tell your father that the wagonette has no wheels on, so I will bring the flat cart.'

So the small party of villagers went to the races on the flat cart. Between them they only backed one winner, hut it was sufficient to buy them all a few drinks. So they stopped at an Ale House on their way back home and spent their winnings on good, strong old ale. They were all very much the worse for drink but Mat managed to roll them on to the flat cart and eventually they arrived back in Stanley Lane Ends. Fred, the barber said 'Before we leave we will sing a song- 'When Shall We Meet Again' By this time Alar, the owner of the cart and driver, had seen more than enough of his passengers so he sang a song - 'Never No More I Hope'. This was typical of those days; the men worked hard, they played hard and a day out meant a lot to them and they usually completed the day being worse for drink!

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