Letter - My grandfather’s true Yorkshire education

Over the years our Wakefield Express has been many things to many people, but on the whole a really good local newspaper.

It has been and still is a platform for differing viewpoints. Somewhere for our local community to place and record the birth of a new family member and the passing of a loved one, the tying of knots and hearts. The selling of unwanted goods and much, much more. You used to line drawers with the local paper, you can even light a fire with it.

However, I bet our Wakefield Express has seldom been thought of as a learning tool.

My granddad, on my mum’s side, who had a rather large and young family to bring up in early 1920s Crigglestone had hit a hard place in his young life.

He worked on the coal face and had to find a way of boosting his income. Becoming a pit deputy was one way of doing this, but you had to be able read and write, he could not do either.

So, instead of begging for extra cash, instead of moaning about his dire predicament, he did something about it.

In those days the Wakefield Express had very large borders of white paper with nothing on it. Being made of true Yorkshire blood, he knuckled down and in those barren spaces my granddad taught himself to read and write. Mainly because he could not afford to buy writing paper.

Sadly, a great man was buried doing his job and his daughter, my mum, nursed him until his death. No NHS, no welfare system, just plain true-blue Yorkshire grit.

Thank you, Wakefield Express.

Geoff Hall

Horbury Road

Wakefield