"Band - what is band?" I asked.
"Oh love, it's a Yorkshire word for string," she said. "I used to work at the Band-walk a long time ago."
"Tell me what it was all about, please, Mrs. Thewlis," I asked. So she did.
There are several kinds of string, white, brown, yellow or grey, and different qualities, light and fine, dark and heavy, and in between stuff, e.g. "bandages" are made from many rows of fine, white band. I bet you didn't know that. Ropes are made from many twisted (ravelled) rows of very heavy band. You learn a lot more by listening than by talking.
Now the Band-walk was a one-storey, high brick shed, with lots of windows, about seventy or eighty feet long and twenty feet wide, with machinery at each end. One week they made one kind of string and another week another kind. Blanche took me there one day, to see the building where her Mom had worked. The band girls, three or four on each side of the band, walked miles, checking for flaws in these many strings flying by. The stuff was put in at one end, then twisted and spun around, finishing up a the other end on big spools, wrapped and labelled, and away, the girls walking and checking all the way, back and forth. Mrs. Thewlis (Blanche's mother) said it was tired leg work, but the girls three each side of the noisy, dusty long walk, liked the job.
|Shoshiplatypus photo of Kent rope-walk, very similar to the band-walk Letty describes. See Shoshi's blog for a description of her historical tour .|
I was with Blanche and her Mom when Mrs. Thewlis died, in 1946. She was a lovely old lady.
January 9, 2008