Yorkshire village ridiculed for its name with 'wonderful' people but 'really tight' for parking

-Credit: (Image: Yorkshire Live)
-Credit: (Image: Yorkshire Live)

Outsiders may snigger at its name but the people of Netherthong always have the last laugh.

Not only are locals chatty and friendly, they have a sense of humour and don't mind the 'thong' jokes (in old Norse, 'thong' just means a strip of land). They are tickled that Netherthong often appears on lists of rude and funny UK place names.

Maurice Edinboro has lived in Netherthong for 62 years, having been born in nearby Wooldale, and says the village has changed a huge amount during those six decades. Most of the shops have gone for a start, and the number of Sunday worshippers has also declined.

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He recalls a bustling Co-op, a packed Post Office employing about six people, and at least two butchers. Today there's a Londis store and the Clothiers Arms pub (also home to an Indian restaurant, Sweet Chillies) but not a great deal more.

Maurice says Netherthong is a handy place to live as it's fairly easy to reach places such as Manchester Airport, Manchester itself, and Sheffield, Barnsley and Wakefield. The airport is about an hour's drive away.

"It's good to live here because you are out in the countryside but you can get out to places." He says the village has attracted lots of new faces over the years - but not everyone takes part in village life. "We have a lot of folk that live here but don't have anything to do with the village," says Maurice, a retired joiner.

"They don't go to church or anything like that. We are lucky if we get 12 (for worship) on a Sunday. Sometimes it's less than 12."

Attendance may be down but the local church has embraced change and is now called All Saints Church and Community Centre and is available to rent as a place for children's parties, fairs, discos and heritage events. It is also used for a a yoga class, art and theatre.

Netherthong is also popular with young families. Mum of two Sophie described the local primary school as 'very good' and says the village is a 'quiet' place - despite the traffic which has to negotiate the narrow roads. She loves the walk up to Wolfstones, a local high point with panoramic views.

"From Wolfstones you can see Castle Hill, Emley Moor Mast and Holme Moss. It's very hilly around here, with wonderful views."

Sophie moved to Netherthong from Almondbury and says "moving here is the best thing we have ever done - it's lovely". Adding: "It's good for schools and the countryside and how quiet it is. And it's a short walk to Holmfirth."

However, villagers do have to get used to the traffic. The roads are very narrow, and some pavements are too, which means that drivers sometimes lose their cool with one another. And pedestrians have to be on their guard. A lot of traffic passes through the village and, in places, the main road narrows so much that cars have to stop and give way.

"Traffic is an absolute nightmare," admits Sophie. "If there are large vehicles, cars will mount the pavement."

Bumps and scrapes are common and villagers often hear drivers beeping at each other in frustration.

Jason Atkinson, 54, has lived in the village 14 years and loves the 'peace and quiet' although he says the roads are 'really tight' and difficult for buses and other large vehicles. "The village is very nice and quiet. There's a nice little church where people are very pleasant. There are a lot of new houses and people have moved in. There are some really good walks."

Mark and Janet, who had walked up from Thongsbridge, described Netherthong as a 'nice village' but they say parking is a problem.

Mark said he would have second thoughts about living in Nertherthong due to the traffic. "It's nice but I would not want to live here. You can't park your car - it's very tight."

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