NOSTALGIA: Elephants in the streets of Colne

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this week, we travel back in time to the year 1890 as we see Lord John Sanger’s circus elephants perambulating along Bonnie Colne’s Keighley Road.

What a stir these giant pachyderms would have caused to the mill folk of those Victorian days!

For me, this historic photograph is most special. Not only for our circus Goliaths, but for a truly rare view of a building behind the parade - the demolished Georgian mansion, Northfield House.

Indeed, this rare avis of a photograph will be included in a new work-in-progress book on our town entitled “Lost Colne”.

Why, here are scenes of the long gone Heirs House, Higgin House, Naylor’s House and Providence House, the olde worlde courtyards – Broadhursts Court, Chapel Court, Lenches Court and Sutcliffes Court, the ancient squares – Bannisters Square, Dugdale Square, Park Square and Whitakers Square, the step into the past folds – Barkers Fold, Chapel Fold, Dent Fold and Halstead Fold, the time honoured yards – Bells Yard, Gosling Yard, Oddies Yard and Snowdens Yard, the primitive places – Holmes Place, Parkinsons Place, Pickles Place and Vipond Place, the whole tragically lost Colne from its palatial nine homes to its 211 sadly demolished streets of yesteryear including Court Street, Dundas Street, Gas Street, Midiand Street, Napier Street and Wellington Street, today all echoes of the past in Colne’s long history.

By Geoff Crambie