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The Story of a Station
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Nibble and Clink
Murder at Oulton
Village Memories
First World War
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Woodlesford House
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Water Haigh Colliery
1910 Disaster
1921 Strike
1933 Explosion
Meet The Miner
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Billy Williams
Albert Roberts MP
Walter Kellett
Fred Baxter
Fred Lunn
Victor Lucek
Glyn Edwards
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Frank Papuga
Frances Rigby
Arthur Wrigglesworth
Dennis Watson
George Gater
Harry Ellis
Winding Gear
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Ian Wallace
Jim Hardwick
Grafton Whincup
Eric Rymer
Terry Greaves
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Stan Penn
Jack Varley
Charles Nankervis
Richard Knowles
William Hemingway
Pit Top Locos
Bentley's Brewery
Armitage Quarries
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Aire & Calder Navigation
Woodlesford Mill
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EWYU Railway
Edwin Lambert
William Lunn MP
Frances Rigby came to live in Woodlesford from Morley when she was one year old in 1911. Her father, George Sigsworth, had been offered a job at Water Haigh and Frances moved in with him, her mother Ada, and her sister Maude, to one of George Armitage's newly built red brick terrraced houses overlooking the pit. She was still living there nearly a century later. Her father had a long career at the pit and Frances remembered the explosion he witnessed in 1933. She went to work at Bentley's Eshald Well Brewery when she left school at the age of 14. One of her jobs was to operate the "crowner" putting metal tops onto beer bottles. Frances later worked at the colliery herself as a cleaner, arriving there at 6am every morning to light the fires in the offices. Through her husband, Bill Rigby, she also had a connection to the "big houses" of the local landowning families. His father, William Rigby, was a horse carriage driver at Swillington House and Methley Hall.  Frances Rigby was born on 4 February 1910 and passed away on 29 September 2010 a few months after celebrating her 100th birthday.


Listen to Frances Rigby remembering her life in Woodlesford.mp3