LOW­DOWN ON LOW HOLE BOT­TOM

Yorkshire Post - Property - - PROPERTY -

Price: £695,000 Con­tact: Carter Jonas. Tel: 01423 523423. LOW Hole Bot­tom is two miles from Pate­ley Bridge, but sits in idyl­lic, shel­tered coun­try­side. It dates to 1780s when it was four cot­tages and is now a large home with an at­tached two-bed­room cot­tage.

The main house has an en­trance con­ser­va­tory with views over the front gar­den. It also has a sitting room, din­ing room, break­fast kitchen, cloak­room/util­ity room, games room and a study.

There are four dou­ble bed­rooms, a bath­room and a shower room.

Out­side, there is a garage, a south-fac­ing walled and lawned gar­den and stream and a rear wild gar­den. could do most things bet­ter than any­body else. He could “put a horse and cart on their backs”, he could make a horse­shoe into a corkscrew; he could pick a man up by the seat of his trousers and hold him out with a straight arm. It was he who “smashed to smithereens” a punch­ing tester at the Pate­ley feast.

But he was a gen­tle gi­ant, as an old lo­cal his­tory book with a chap­ter en­ti­tled “t’oade ‘uns upuv Greeho’” (old ones up above Green­how), re­counts.

“Bin hardly ever took of­fence or got mad. Though some things did make him mad. He would never stand by and see a man thrash­ing a kid or his mis­sus.”

Bin would do al­most any­thing for any­one, which made him pop­u­lar in the mines where he did the work of two men and was al­ways cho­sen for the tough­est jobs. When wag­ons came off the mine rails, he lifted them back sin­gle handed.

So when the pump failed one day in 1895 and the mine be­gan to flood, he stepped in and hand- op­er­ated it for 36 per­ish­ing hours, waist deep in icy cold wa­ter, while a fresh part was made for the pump. The mine and jobs were saved but Bin paid a heavy price.

Rheuma­tism racked his body and al­though he was only in his fifties, he never worked again. Re­liant on crutches and a wheel­chair, he stayed at Low Hole and lived on his sav­ings for 13 years be­fore be­ing sup­ported by the rates.

“The pains in his body were such that per­spi­ra­tion pearled on his fore­head and ran down his face, but never an out­cry,” says the his­tory book’s au­thor, who re­veals that de­spite the agony, Bin never com­plained.

“He was never happier than when, ev­ery sec­ond Sun­day af­ter­noon, his neigh­bours, hum­ble like him­self, ar­ranged for the lo­cal preacher to hold ser­vices in his kitchen.

“The neigh­bours were good to him and few passed his door with­out throw­ing him a word or two. Some­times they would have a chat and ‘reek’ a pipe.”

One of his hap­pi­est mo­ments was when a good friend and for­mer miner came to stay with him to cel­e­brate his birth­day. On the morn­ing, Bin wheeled him­self to the front door and saw the rock with the in­scrip­tion “God is Love”. His friend had risen early and carved it for him. The au­thor re­veals: “It cheered his last days be­fore he died. I look at it and think of Bin, whose heart was so great, so no­ble, so fine.”

Roger Tush­ing­ham thinks so too. “Peo­ple told me the story when I bought the house in 1977 and I started look­ing into it and found a pic­ture of Bin on the in­ter­net. He is sitting in what is now the end of my lounge.

“He died in 1915, but the story hasn’t been for­got­ten not least be­cause of that carved rock.”

Roger bought Low Hole Bot­tom af­ter it had been con­verted from a youth hos­tel.

“I’ve had a few peo­ple knock on the door who re­mem­ber staying in it in the 1950s and 60s, and en­joy­ing a lovely time,” he says.

He is only leav­ing af­ter 34 years be­cause he is re­lo­cat­ing his wind­surf­ing sail man­u­fac­tur­ing busi­ness to Devon.

“I’ve loved liv­ing here and I hon­estly thought I’d be here for ever, but it’s got to the point where I am spend­ing most of my time on the M5 and it makes sense to move,” says Roger.

“The per­son I bought the house from mod­ernised the place but they did such an ex­cep­tional job that it still re­tains all the old char­ac­ter and fea­tures.

And while they don’t make them like Bin Han­nam any­more, Roger re­ports that there still plenty of char­ac­ters in “them there hills”.

“There are still a lot of in­ter­est­ing char­ac­ters in this area thank good­ness,” says Roger. “It’s that kind of place.”

LO­CAL HERO: Low Hole Bot­tom was for­merly four cot­tages, one of which was home to lead miner Ben­jamin “Bin” Han­nam, above.

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