This is the front view of Green Row (Long
Row) in1982. This row stood at right angles to the main A639 road, going up
towards the hill. The other four rows were parallel to the A639, one of them
at the main roadside. All the rows were built by the first colliery owners
of Junction Pit, the Burnley family, and indeed one row was called Burnley
Row. (The other rows were Front Row, Low Row, and Middle Row). The houses
were later bought, along with Junction Pit, by Henry Briggs and Son Co. Ltd
(1860) and later by the National Coal Board. Finally they were sold
privately to sitting tenants.
The Junction, so called because of the
junction of railway lines here. The Lancashire and Yorkshire (L&Y), the
Great Northern (GN) and the North Eastern (NE) having a joint running line
with running rights on the adjacent Midland line. This was once a very
thriving and closely knit community, with different generations of families
living adjacent to each other.
At the bottom of Green Row, or Long Row as it was often called, there was a
small shop. For many years it was kept by the Beards family and later by the
Pritchards. Beards' had a newsagent's in this shop in about 1910. In those
days Mrs. Beards, a widow, walked to Castleford and bought evening papers
from a wholesaler there, walked back to Methley and then delivered papers.
Later the shop became an agency and newsagents in its own right. As well as
selling newspapers it was also well stocked with groceries, drapery and
hardware, and also old patent medicines such as Indian Brandee, sweet nitre,
syrup of squills and ipepechuana wine.
At the road end of Burnley row, ie. the first parallel row up the hill, was
another shop, chiefly selling groceries. For many years Moores kept this
shop. In between Low Row, which stood on the main roadside, and Burnley Row
was a Primitive Methodist Chapel, erected in1875, the architect being Thomas
Howdill. It closed in the 1930s and was later taken over by the Salvation
Army. Nearby was a Reading Room and, nearer Low Row, a fish and chip shop.
Hence the Junction was a self-contained community, with mine, railway
station and shops. The mine was at the top of Junction Hill, the Lancashire
and Yorkshire Railway Station half way up the hill and the London North
Eastern and Great Northern station higher up the hill.
Henry Briggs, the owner of the colliery and the houses, was a very
autocratic employer, adverse to Trade Unions, and in 1862 evicted 41
colliers and their families from their homes at Methley Junction because
they had joined the Union.
All the five rows at Methley Junction were demolished, demolition beginning
in February, 1987, Green Row being the first to be demolished. All the
properties were demolished by the end of that year. A private estate of
houses, Barnsdale Meadows, was later built on the site of Methley Junction