Memories of Fence & Wheatley Lane

Articles

A feature article in a local paper on the villages of Fence and Wheatley Lane stirred happy memories of two former residents who now live out of the area.

Former Nelson milkman Jack Foy, who now lives in Morcambe, wrote to tell of his memories of duck shooting on farms around the village in the days when a man called Frank Berry was the gamekeeper at Tunstill Farm. At that time, he added, Montford Farm had as many as eight duck ponds.

Mr Foy spent his teenage years in Fence and can recall characters such as Harry Sager who lived at Harpers Farm, Jimmy Booth who lived at cottages which stood on what is now (but probably not for much longer) the carpark for the Harpers Inn, Walter Wood of Cuckstool Lane, and other villagers such as Sammy Meanwell, Alec Milligan and Herbert Smith. The last two ran the Wheatley Lane Co-op and delivered coal around the area.

The second letter came from Mrs Sylvia Hinton who now lives in the Gloucester area and who left Fence in 1938 after living most of her early life in the parish.

Mrs Hinton's grandmother lived in the White House (built in 1762) and has memories of the disused Catholic Church nearby.  This was reached by a passageway to the left of the house.  She lived in the Tunstill Fold area of the village where families such as the Andertons, Simpsons and Baileys were among the best known.

She told us she remembered Pollard Row, a row of cottages near to the Swan (not White Swan) Hotel, and Rycroft's farm between the pub and the Sparrow Hawk Hotel. Although she has been away from Fence for half a century, Mrs Hinton said she would love to visit the village once again to see the house in which she was born and the mill where she worked.

She has happy memories of Wheatley Lane Methodist School where among the teachers were Mr J D Devis, Mrs Moore, and Nora Duckworth who used to cycle from Barrowford every day. She recalled how her grandmother helped in the building of Cherry Tree Terrace, carting the bricks for her uncle from Brierfield, and also remembers the village Co-op opposite Jimmy Rhodes Farm, as well as Proctor Brothers Mill wher her grandmother worked as awinder until she was 74. 

 

The picture below shows one of the earliest cars in the parish:

The caption below the photograph reads:- 'The Heatons of New Laund Farm, Fence owned one of the first cars in the village, seen here on what appears to be a surprisingly smooth road between the Sparrow Hawk and Carr Hall top. With Mr Heaton is another gentleman farmer, Mr Frank Berry of Montford and Ridg-a-ling.