His Honour Judge Derek Clarkson Q.C. opened the final meeting and advised of three apologies.

Chairman Derek shared a quote from D.J. Sara Cox regarding school days being the best (or possibly not!!) days of your life.

Today’s Speaker was the Forum’s own Programme Secretary and Honorary Life Member John Taylor who would entertain and inform with his “Hollins Hall Story”.

John and his wife Margaret are residents at the Audley Court Retirement Village (Hollins Hall) and mentioned some of the discreet and less discreet responses to their making such a move but stressed that it was independent living for the over 55’s with some residents still gainfully employed.

We were advised of the history of the location which was uninhabitable up to the 18th century although there was a Hollins Hall farm from 1723 and Levens Hall in the area. As the transport infrastructure improves with the establishment of the Skipton Road this led to the building of Hollins Hall in around 1818. John then structured his talk around the seven ages of Hollins Hall;

–Four private owners.

–World War Two.


—Retirement Village.

Hollins Hall was originally built for John Williams, the Recorder of Ripon and his wife Dorothy and occupied by latterly Dorothy until 1855 (her death). The property was then purchased by the Tetley family (Joshua) but only for a short period due to their advanced age and was subsequently bought in 1868 by John and Letitia Wright who took up residence. Letitia was an ardent teetotaler and actively involved in the Temperance Movement. In 1909 Hollins Hall changed hands again at auction and was secured by Frederick Jowett, a West Riding Wool Merchant. 1939 saw the outbreak of World War Two and the Hall was requisitioned for evacuees, sixty-eight children and young mothers, originally coming from Woolwich. In 1941 new evacuees arrived facilitated by Barnado’s and were primarily physically handicapped youngsters. In 1943 Michael Hubert Tetley (great-grandson of Joshua Tetley) and the Vice Chairman of Barnado’s purchased Hollins Hall and gives it to the charity in memory of his son Ian who lost his life in 1941 when H.M.S. Neptune sank. The Hall is renamed the Ian Tetley Memorial School, a residential school for children with special needs. With the changing and more integrated nature of education the school closes in 1996 and Hollins Hall is sold to Audley Court to be developed as private housing for older people. This new enterprise was opened by Sir Bernard Ingham in 2000 and currently affords  seventy properties for occupation.

The talk was thoroughly enjoyed by the audience and questions/comments taken at its conclusion.

The Vote of Thanks on behalf of the forty attendees was given by Neil Ramshaw.




Comments are closed.