Memories of days gone by

Contributions from the past

In this new series we will publish items from the past which are submitted to us. After appearing here they will be passed on to the Local History Group for inclusion in their own archive, if they think they are suitable.........

When the anvil resounded

How many remember the days when the sound of the Old Smithy's ;anvil resounded through the village? This old picture was sent to us by Martin Minett  from the Bishop Monkton Local History Group's photo archive.Who can put a date on this old picture?  And who knows when the old forge closed and was replaced by a garage (see photo below)?

Fuel for thought

Remember when the village had its own garage?  This nostalgic pictures shows where it was located in a building which was first a forge, then a garage, then a shop and is now a private dwelling.  No other building in the village has undergone so many transformations!  Can anyone tell us when the forge was set up, when it became a garage, when it was turned into a shop and finally when the shop closed.  Also does anyone recognise the young angler fishing on the opposite bank? And can anyone suggest what he might have caught, if he was lucky! This picture was kindly sent to us by Morag Gray.

Martin and Carole Minett  are guessing the picture dates from the mid/late 1970's as they are sure that the pumps were like that when they first moved in. The front of the mostly hidden car looks from an enlargement of the picture to date from about that time as do the boy's clothing/trousers.


RAF Log Book 
records bombing
raids in 1943

The Log Book complete with the blotting paper Alec used. 

Most of us have been watched events to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings on 6 June 1944 but, as far as we know, no Bishop Monkton servicemen took part in that operation. 

However we do know that Flt Lt Alec Renton, son of Mr and Mrs C. B. Renton of Fernleigh, Bishop Monkton, was on active service elsewhere in Europe a year earlier.  

An RAF Log Book, which is to become part of the Local History Group’s growing Village Archive, shows that during June 1943 he was making almost nightly raids in his Lancaster bomber over such targets as Dusseldorf, Cologne and Wuppertal, and on each sortie carrying bombs with one of them weighing 4,000lb.  

Later that year Alec received the DFM (Distinguished Flying Medal) at Buckingham Palace. After the war he was a director of Bishop Monkton Paper Mill. 

The log book and Flt. Lt Renton's medals have been passed to the Local History Group for safe keeping.


Your contribution from the past would be welcomed.  It may be an old photograph, a newspaper cutting or any item of historical interest relating to Bishop Monkton. Please send them to