Last week’s brief letter inquiring after more information about the legendary “Ling Bob Witch” has provoked an interesting response.

Our correspondent Richard Bent had read something about this supposed practitioner of the dark arts, and heard her name mentioned in regards to Wilsden, where there is a Ling Bob pub, and also Yeadon.

We were contacted by Astrid Hansen, a local historian who wrote a history of Wilsden in 2001 (still available from Astrid or the local Post Office, we believe), who wrote: “The Ling Bob Witch, Hannah Green, is, or was, well-known around Wilsden.

“William Cudworth refers to her in Round About Bradford, published 1876. She was a celebrated fortune teller, who must have been very successful as she had saved more than £1,000 by the time she died at Yeadon in 1810.

“She could not have lived at the present Ling Bob pub, which was built in 1836, but there was an older one on the site of the present pub car park. There were also a few very old cottages in this area, which was a tiny hamlet before most of the cottages and mills in Main Street were built.

“I don’t know when or why she moved to Yeadon, but would be interested to find out.

Further information comes from Geoff Hutton, from Bradford, who writes: “Hannah Green was a fortune teller who lived in the latter half of the 18th century and whose chosen method of divination to provide her clients with a glimpse of their future was reading the tea leaves, although she could occasionally be induced to make more general prophesies.

“She lived in a cottage at Ling Bob (for the curious, it’s local dialect and means Heather End), which is near Wilsden. Her husband was, I believe, a miller.

“The cottage had a tall chimney stack, white painted so her clients would know where to find her. She was very popular with the gentry who would travel considerable distances for a consultation and whose carriages were often to be seen outside her home.

“In a career spanning 40 years, she is said to have saved more than £1,000, this in a time when a pound a week was considered to be a good wage for a skilled man and many had less than half that.

“She eventually moved to a house which was situated on the old Otley Old Road between Yeadon and Carlton, where she died on May 12, 1810. Her daughter, Hannah Spence, tried to continue the family business, but without much success.”

And some historical verisimilitude is provided by S Jennings, from Baildon, who sent us a photocopy of a page from a book entitled The Ancient Parish Of Guiseley.

This obviously details Hannah’s life after Wilsden, and the book says: “She lived at Novia House, between Yeadon and Carlton.

“Her connection was an extensive and aristocratic one, for it was no novel sight to see carriages with pairs of horses standing outside the Ling Bob oracle’s abode awaiting their fair mistresses, who had come to consult old Hannah concerning their conjugal or other difficulties.”

The cutting says that Hannah’s daughter built a house on a plot of ground that became known as Penny Fool’s Hill.