Cyril Leeman – Reminiscences

The Beards Family

William Beards and Emily Beards (nee Whittaker)
William was a miner who moved up to this part of the country to find work from Staffordshire.
William Beards died from pneumonia at the age of 37 and on his death the couple had 7 children aged from 6 weeks to 12 years old. His wife Emily had no pension or provision and to help she was given a concession by Lord Mexborough to sell ice cream and sweets from home.

The family had earlier moved into Methley from Glasshoughton in 1909 and eventually the house ‘shop’ was permitted to sell a better range of goods which included newspapers and tobacco (sales of chewing tobacco for the colliers would have been a significant part of the trade). Newspapers were included because William Beards before his death had a small Sunday morning delivery round to supplement his income.

As the children grew older, they were given areas of Methley to deliver newspapers, probably from about 1910/1911. This continued up to 1946 at Methley Junction, then the business (apart from groceries and foodstuffs) was transferred to Main Street, Mickletown.    The Mickletown business continued until about 1957/58 when the business was sold and Ernest Beards (eldest son) and his family moved to Castleford and eventually to Bridlington.          The Beards family then went on to have 3 more shops in Methley in addition to the Green Row house.
Ernest to Main Street

Bill to Main Street

Susie to Low Common

Ada was the only one who lived in Methley her entire life, she married Methley man, Norman Barron and had one daughter Elizabeth who tragically died quite young.

Article by Cyril Leeman.

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