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STANWORTH's of Fly, Warley Moor

Map of Fly

The large black dot by the reservoir on this map shows where James Stanworth lived in 1838. He married Betty Marshall, the widow of Jonas Bentley of Heptonstall. James and Betty had one son, Frederick William b. 1839, while living at Fly Brass Laithe. James, a Stone Merchant and Stone Delver, employed 15 men at the Nab Hill Quarries at Fly in 1841. By 1861, James and Betty had moved to Deep Arse in Far Oxenhope at the north edge of this map. Numerous other ancestral areas can be seen on the map - 3 small black dots mark WellHeads (Blackburn 1851), Moor Cock (John Wright, 1800) and Hob End (Samuel Wright, 1841). Other visible sites are Foreside (birthplace of Hannah Wilson) and Soil Hill (Blackburn 1840) which lies to the northwest of Mt. Zion Chapel.

Delf at Fly

Fly Flatts stone quarries

More than delving was going on at these remote quarries in the 19th century. 'Pitch and Toss' gambling at Fly Flatts stone quarries became so successful that men were employed to keep an eye open for the police. Stone embankments would be built in amongst the rise and fall of the landscape. The spotter's job was to peer out of the embankments and warn gamblers of any police presence.

As news of the gambling leaked out, people came from as far away as Harrogate. One man moved his family from Bradford to Oxenhope to be nearer his 'work'. Local police officers were powerless to stamp out the practice for many years, until they decided to co-ordinate. Bradford, Halifax and Keighley police poured hundreds of men onto the moors and virtually surrounded everybody within the area, and that was the end of organised gambling. (from 'A Brief History of Oxenhope' David Samuels, 1996)

Fly Sandstone

Fly Flats Sandstone Properties:
With exceptional weathering qualities. 
Colour: Buff with buff/brown rings 
Quarry: Fly flats, Cold Edge Road, 
        Oxenhope Moor W. Yorks. 
Modulus of rupture: 12.5N/mm² 
Density: 2302 Kg/m2 
Crushing Strength: 74.4 N/mm² 
Water Absorption: 3.9% 
Skid resistance (SRV) 70-80 SRV 
Durability: Failure due to frost action is unlikely

   (however, Turner, A Spring-Time Saunter,1913, p.63
    informs us  "John Whitaker was killed instantly
    on 6 February 1869, by a stone, loosened by a thaw
    after strong frost, and weighing about fifteen cwts.,
    falling upon him"

Fly Flats drawing ~1900 (by Whitely Turner).

Turner's 'Springtime Saunter' shows six farms above Fly Flatts Reservoir below Cold Edge. By 1900 the area was depopulating. Within the space of forty years 15 working quarries had shrunk to two. From 300 men and 50 to 60 horses, to a mere five men. Only three couples still lived there.

Fly Flats and Warley Reservoir 2004

The six farms are now long gone - only a few stones and sheep remain. New residents include Canada Geese foraging along the shores of the reservoir. Development has continued with the WindFarm erected in the 90's and the WindSailing facility and boats on the reservoir. Heavy machinery was present in the quarry photographed above but appeared inactive in June 2004.
Turner's saunter, in late May 1905, took him to Far New Fly to see his friends, 
Betty (o'th' Fly) and Samson Sunderland. William Stanworth, a quarry owner and
 Fly resident in 1881, was also a Sunderland friend and was still
 delving at Fly in 1905. Sam informed Turner on his arrival that "it's 
William, et's fettlin'a tooathry slate-stooans on th' delph-hill" (p.65).
 Some years earlier when the Sunderland's were snowed in for a week "Stan'orth,
 their old friend from Oxenhope . . . scratted up
 th'edge just ta see if they were all alive at th' Fly" p.68. Betty
 served up the grub in a huge snow cave excavated by Samson.

Turner sauntered back across the moor from Haworth a few
days later in late evening and encountered William Stan'orth
 who told Turner "Aw'd a tooathry slate-stuns aw waanted ta finish
 befooar aw ligged away. Ther's plenty dayleet naah, en we'st 'av ta
 mak hay whol th'sun shines." (p.236)

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