All Stations to Manchester! (1949) by Stanley Chadwick

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The Centenary of the Huddersfield and Manchester Railway and Standedge Tunnel by


Price - One Shilling and Sixpence

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MARSDEN ENTRANCES TO STANDEDGE RAILWAY AND CANAL TUNNELS Left to Right—Up South Single (Nelson, 1871), Down South Single (Nicholson, 1849), Double-Line (L. and N. W., 1894) and Canal Tunnel (1811).

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The Centenary of the Huddersfield and Manchester Railway and Standedge Tunnel



(Author of "Through the Backbone of England" and "Woodhead Centenary")

The Venturers Press 38, Byram Arcade, Westgate, Huddersfield


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Chapter I Warned Off $0 we Chapter II Fight for Through Line 6 Chapter III Men at Work ese tee ts 10 Chapter IV ‘* This Stupendous 15 Chapter V The Third Link er (0000 wee eee nee 19 -List of Dates (9 2 reset ae 23 Standedge Railway 90000 = 23

Photographs by R. A. Clayborn

Copyright 1949 Reproduction in whole or in part expressly forbidden without the consent of the Publishers

First Published - July, 1949


"THIS is my third railway book, written to commemorate the opening of the line from Huddersfield to Manchester on July 13th, 1849. While the local appeal is strong, I am confident the book will be read with interest by people in other parts of the country who have travelled on the lines described and marvelled at the feats of engineering skill.

I have to express appreciation of the assistance given by my colleagues Mr. V. E. Firth, Mr. R. A. Clayborn (Photographs), and Mr. J. E. Lawton (Station engraving), and to British Railways (London Midland Region) for co-operation in photographing the Standedge tunnels.

STANLEY CHADWICK. Huddersfield, July, 1949.

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the first of the two big booms in railway construction in this country, the inhabitants of Huddersfield aimed high and then beat a hasty retreat. Years later the consequences of this action nearly saddled the town with a railway line which would have made direct com- munication with other parts of the country impracticable. The long battle to put Leeds and Wakefield on the railway map was nearing completion when a public meet- ing was held in the old George Hotel, Huddersfield, on October 17th, 1835, to consider the question of establishing ‘rail communication with these two towns. Actually the Royal Assent was given on July 4th, 1836, to an Act authorising the making of a railway from Manchester to Leeds by the Manchester and Leeds Railway Company (known after July 9th, 1847, as the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway). The North Midland Railway (one of the three lines which in 1844 amalgamated to form the Midland Rail- way) was busy about this time with plans for a line to Wakefield.

Joseph Brooke, of Armitage Bridge, presided over the meeting held in Huddersfield, and moved the resolution proposing the formation of a company to construct a railway from the town. The resolution made reference to the volume of trade between Huddersfield and Leeds, and of the safety and advantages of the project as ‘“‘a permanent investment of capital,” while the favourable nature of the levels (which had been accurately taken) rendered the eligibility of it “unquestionable.” “The Huddersfield and Leeds Railway Company” was to traverse the valleys of the Colne and Calder by Wakefield and Leeds, with a branch to unite with the North Midland, thus opening up communication with London and the south-west parts of the kingdom. The capital proposed was £350,000, in shares of £100 each, a deposit of £2 being required on each share. No



person was to be permitted to subscribe for more than one hundred shares.

I A committee of sixteen prominent local gentlemen. was formed, and em- powered to take all measures preparatory to obtaining the requisite Act of Parlia- ment. The Huddersfield Banking Company were appointed as_ bankers, with Battye and Hesp as solicitors. The selection of the civil engineer and sur- veyor was left to the committee, who subsequently appointed George Stephen- son and Frederick Swanick as consulting engineer and engineer respectively. The shares of the company were fully taken up in just over a week, and afterwards changed hands in the town at £3 (a premium of fifty per cent. on the amount of the £2 deposit). In the words of a contemporary: “ There can be no doubt of the undertaking realising a handsome profit to the proprietors, besides affording great and important facilities to the commerce of the district.”

The plans of the first proposed railway from Huddersfield were made public on November 21st, 1835. It was to commence in a field at the bottom of Quay Street, which was rented by David Gladstone from Sir John Ramsden, Bart. (lord of the manor), on the east side of the latter’s canal. From here it was to pass through the several townships of Deighton, Dalton, Cooper Bridge, Mir- field, Hopton, Dewsbury, Castleford, Normanton, Hunslet, and Holbeck, terminating at Hunslet Lane, Leeds. Three branch lines were contemplated, and one of these was to terminate in the garden of Daniel Hall and Joseph Wain- house at the junction of Castlegate, Kirkgate, and King Street.

Just before Christmas, 1835, it was announced that measures were in active progress for the application to Parliament during the approaching session. Then came the bomb-shell early the following February that the shareholders had met

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in private at the George Hotel and decided to relinquish the project because of the fear of opposition in Parliament from the Manchester and Leeds Railway Company. In. consequence of this abandonment the latter company agreed to appropriate a portion of their shares to Huddersfield. This eventually amounted to 750 shares at par, and they were allotted among the local company’s share- holders at a premium of £4 per share in order to defray the expenses of preparing to go to Parliament. After discharging all claims against them the Huddersfield and Leeds Railway Company had a sur- plus of Ils. 6d. per share to return to those of its shareholders who had purchased shares of the Manchester and Leeds Railway Company.

No doubt the shareholders of the first railway company to be formed in Hudd- ersheld made a good financial bargain with the Manchester and Leeds Railway Company, but they left the town high and dry so far as railway communication with the rest of the country was concerned. The M. and L. having got its Act of Parliament apparently found some diff- culty in commencing the line, for it was not until August 18th, 1837, that the ground was broken at three points. The

railway was opened in sections, and on October 5th, 1840, Huddersfield was brought within four miles of the new station at Cooper Bridge. Elam’s Omni- buses met the trains and conveyed first and second class passengers and_ their merchandise free of charge to the town. The journey from Huddersfield to Leeds by this arrangement was undertaken in one hour and a half. During the construction of the M. and L. line through Elland the inhabitants petitioned the company to make a station and goods warehouse to serve the two important towns of Halifax and Hudders- field. Elland got its railway station but the promise of the company to complete a branch line to Halifax by the time of the opening of the main line was not honoured.

The sixty miles of railway between Manchester and Leeds was _ opened throughout on Monday, January 11th, 1841. Every train had first and second class carriages. and most of them, “ for the convenience of the working classes,” open waggons without seats at fares proportionally low. First class passengers were charged 3d. per mile and second class 2d., and pigs, “according to size,” at 4d. to 1d. per mile each!



HEN the railway mania hit the country for a second time between the vears 1844-48, Huddersfield was regarded by the speculators as a rich “plum.” Regardless of the protests of the local inhabitants lines were projected which paid scant regard to the require- ments of the town as a whole, and in consequence many bitter remarks were made about “ motives of self-aggrandise- ment and the spirit of monopoly.” Finally the Huddersfield people again resolved to have their own railway line and engaged in one of the most herculean of fights to achieve their aims,


However, when the directors of the Manchester and Leeds Railway Company were urged to make a branch to the town in 1842 they gave the memoralists a sharp rebuff... The company’s general manager was the centre of a stormy scene when he attended a meeting and informed the audience that the Huddersfield traffic was “ not worth stopping the engine for.” A vear later brought a change of front, and found a certain Mr. Alexander engaged in making surveys for a line of railway from Cooper Bridge to the town. By November 18th, 1843, the M. and L. Company had announced its decision to

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obtain an Act for this purpose, the intended station being in the vicinity of the turnbridge in Quay Street, crossing the valley directly behind the Peacock Inn and Whitacre Mills, and round by Colne Bridge to their existing line at Cooper Bridge. The chairman of the company had many complimentary things to say about Huddersfield at a special general meeting in Manchester. “The Huddersfield branch would pass through a narrow valley which was a perfect beehive of industry from one end to the other.” (Hear, hear). The gradients and curves were good and the probable cost of the whole work was put at £60,000. No wonder the motion to construct the tine was passed unanimously.

The gentlemen, merchants, magts- trates, end other people in Huddersfield, however, did not feel so enthusiastic over the scheme. At a consultation held in the offices of Messrs. Fenton and Jones, solicitors, on January 17th, 1844, for the purpose of considering what line of railway communication between Hudd- ersfield and other large and important towns and districts would be most advantageous and conducive to. the general prosperity and welfare of the town and neighbourhood, it was resolved to call a public meeting to ascertain the feelings of the people on the question.

This meeting was duly held in the Court of Requests, Queen ‘Street, on January 20th, the room being full. There was a general feeling of disapprobation of the course being pursued by the M. and L. Railway Company after years of neg- lect of the town, and that a more advan- tageous offer was required from them. It was stated that the trustees of Sir John Ramsden (the heir to the manor was at the time a minor) were anxious to know the feeling of the town, and that all the landowners on the proposed line were opposed to it, together with the trustees of the Birstall Road.

The opinion was that had the M. and L. been desirous of serving Huddersfield they would have instituted their line several years ago, but in fact they never discovered the need of the railway until the Sheffield and Manchester Company

talked about making a line. After observing that the proposed line instead of being calculated for the purpose of effecting a junction with any other, was designed on so low a level that no other railway could join it, one speaker declared: “ They have clapped us into a hole and want to keep us there.” Finally a resolution was carried rejecting the plan of the M. and L. as not being “the most advantageous communication for Hudd- ersfield and its neighbourhood.” ‘Three months later the Huddersfield people were still “as strenuously opposed as ever to the proposal,” and entertained the most confident expectations of defeating the intruders.

Then on Saturday, April 206th, appeared the announcement for which the town had been waiting—an invitation to subscribe for shares in “ The Huddersfield and Manchester Railway and Canal Company.” The prospectus of the new company stated that a railway for Hudd- ersfield had become ‘a matter of paramount necessity in order to maintain so important a locality in its due position in the mercantile and trading com- munity.” Preliminary arrangements had been entered into with the Huddersfieid Canal Company whereby the canal would be united with the projected railway, both concerns being vested in one undertaking. This combined ownership would be particularly valuable in making the Standedge tunnel, providing the means of estimating the precise cost of the tunnelling and insuring the completion of the railway within two and a half years from the commencement of the works. The canal proprietors were to have the option of either taking shares in the new company or receiving’ payment in cash.

The railway was to be twenty-one miles and thirty-eight chains in length and to commence at a junction with the Manchester and Leeds line near Cooper Bridge. After passing through Hudd- ersfield it would continue up the valley to Marsden, through the Standedge to Saddleworth and terminate in Stalybridge at a junction with the branch then forming at that town from the Sheffield, Ashton-under-Lyne and Manchester Railway. The engineer (Joseph Locke)

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stated that from surveys already made he did not anticipate “engineering difficulties of any moment in the construction of the line.’ while the cost would be “very moderate.” The capital of the company was £600,000, in 20,000 shares of £30 each, the deposit upon each share being #1 10s. The provisional committee numbered six- teen, and included Joseph Walker, of Lascelles Hall, as chairman; Joseph Armitage, Milnsbridge House; William Leigh Brook, Meltham Hall; Thomas Firth, Toothill: and two M.P.s in the persons of William Aldam, Jun., of Warmsworth, near Doncaster, and John Parker, of London. Public confidence in the company was shown in the rush of applications for shares, about 3,000 more than the total available being applied for. “Great satisfaction” was expressed in Huddersheld when as a result of the defeat in the House of Commons Select Committee of their proposed Ledgard Bridge branch line to Bradford, the Manchester and Leeds Railway Company withdrew their bill for a branch line to Huddersfield. But the battle had only just commenced, for two other companies simultaneously announced their intention of constructing lines to the town. ‘he Leeds and West Riding Junction Railway actually proposed two lines from Cooper Bridge, the terminus of the passenger line being in the Swan Yard, Kirkgate, at a depth of twenty-six feet, with a goods terminus at Turnbridge. The Manchester and Leeds Railway Company were inter- ested in this proposal to the extent of one half the capital and directors in the new company. The West Riding Junction Railway also. favoured two lines, one being identical to the M. and L. original branch proposal, and the other to behind the George Hotel (the original site of this building was approximate to the present junction of John William Street with Westgate and Kirkgate). The latter line was to cross the Huddersfield Collegiate grounds (now the Albany Hall) in a cutting seventeen feet deep and would completely destroy the Bradley Spout spring with its water pipes and cisterns. The one line of railway which was wel- comed was the Huddersfield and Sheffield

Junction’s announcement of September 23rd, 1844, to build a branch from the town to join the Sheffield and Manchester Railway at Penistone.

The several railway schemes were considered at a meeting held in the Huddersfield Court House on October 28th, 1844, which lasted from eleven o'clock in the forenoon to three in the afternoon, Eight resolutions were passed and the newspaper report extended to five columns of small type. According to statements made at this gathering, Huddersfield was situated sixteen miles from Leeds by a very good road but twenty-seven by railroad. Manchester was twenty-four miles distance by road and thirty-nine miles by rail. To Sheffield the journey was twenty miles extra each way. Another fact revealed at this meeting was that the late Sir John Ramsden had decided against a main line I through Huddersfield from Manchester to Leeds.

The next Huddersfield meeting to consider the various railway proposals had to be held in the Philosophical Hall (site of present Theatre Royal), and _ the audience comprised the entire wealth, infiuence, and respectability of the town. The necessity of direct communication from coast te coast was emphasised by all the speakers. I Further meetings were held and the verdict of them all was that the proposed lines from Cooper Bridge would reach the town at such a level that it would be impossible to form a junction with the railway from Sheffeld and Manchester. “They would put us ina hole from which we could not get out” was still the general opinion, and it was decided to oppose their construction.

Greatly to the surprise and indig- nation of the people of Huddersfield it was reported on March 29th, 1845, that the Board of Trade had decided against the Huddersfield and Manchester Railway and Canal Bill but favourable towards the proposals of the Leeds and West Riding Junction Railway. The question was asked on all sides: Why should the town be given up to the tender mercies of the Manchester and Leeds Railway Company? The Board of Trade did not give any explanation why it had

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reached its decision, but in cross-exam- ination before the Select Committee of the House of Commons the engincer of the West Riding Junction Railway admitted that the main facts on which the favourable decision of the Board had been given were furnished by himself, and that in two specified cases had got “ most woefully elongated!”

On April 3rd, 1845, the Huddersfield and Manchester Railway and Canal Company announced that it had concluded arrangements with the trustees of the late Sir John Ramsden, Bart., for the purchase of the short canal from Cooper Bridge to Huddersfield, upon terms which would yield a clear return of five per cent. per annum upon the cost price. It had also decided to make a branch railway to Delph. These two decisions necessitated the capital of the Company being increased to £850,000. The meeting of shareholders summoned for this purpose decided to continue the vigorous prose- cution of their Bill before Parliament.

The Select Committee stage of the three railway Bills directly affecting Huddersfield opened in the House of Commons on April 21st, 1845. The chairman was Mr. P. M. Stewart, Mem- ber ior Renfrewshire, and the other members of the Committee were Mr. M. O’Parrall, Mr. Rice, Mr. Reddington, aiid Mr. Trotter. From the evidence of witnesses it was found that the ’buses from Cooper Bridge to Huddersfield were now making thirteen journeys a dav and carrying upwards of 2,000 passengers a week. During 1844 the passengers totalled 110,692, with receipts of £50—£60 a week. The passenger fare inside was ninepence and outside sixpence. Alfred S. Jee, the assistant engineer for the Huddersfield and Manchester, furnished the Committee with estimates of the undertaking, which he placed at £630,000. Of this sum £147,240 was the cost of the Standedge Tunnel (£28 per yard), with two other tunnels at £48,835 and stations £33,000.

At the fifth day’s sitting (Friday, April 25th) the chairman announced that the Committee had decided the preamble of the Huddersfield and Manchester Bill proved, When the news reached

ersfield by the first omnibus from Cooper Bridge on the Saturday morning the church bells were rung and a band of music paraded the streets until nightfall. This victory was the culmination of a week of good tidings for the town, for earlier the Huddersfield and Sheffield Junction Railway Bill and a new Hudd- ersfield Waterworks Bill had been approved by appropriate Committees.

“The Railway Times ” writing on the decision of the Select Committee said that “the first blow had been struck against the grasping monopoly of the Manchester and Leeds Railway Company.” Subse- quently the preamble of the Leeds and West Riding Bill was proved, but the West Riding Junction was negatived. After passing through all its stages in the Commons the Leeds and West Riding Bill came to grief in the House of Lords on June 27th. It was estimated that the costs of the contest reached £100,000. The Huddersfield and Manchester Railway and Canal Bill obtained the Royal Assent on July 21st, 1845.

The determination of the people of Huddersfield through the directors of their local Company to secure the best possible railway communication with the rest of the country played an important part in the progress of the Bill through Parliament. Without the work of one man, however, it is doubtful whether it would have reached the Statute Book. Speaking at the first meeting of the H. and M. after the passing of the Bill, the chairman said that the name of ‘Patrick Maxwell Stewart (chairman of the Select Committee) “ought never to be men- tioned in Huddersfield without shouts of applause.” Mr. Stewart was not content with his bare duty as chairman of the Committee, but left London at a period of the year when the weather was incle- ment and his own health was not good, and came to Huddersfield incognito and spared neither time nor expense to acquire the requisite information with which to combat the reports vented I against the scheme in the House of Commons.

The son of Sir M. N, Stewart, Bart., he was born in 1795 and entered politics at anearlyage. Mr. Stewart represented

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Lancaster in the House of Commons from 1831 to 1837, and his native county of Renfrewshire from 1841 until his death on October 30th, 1846. He was a Liberal in politics, an ardent Free Trader, and a warm advocate of the Church movement in Scotland. It was stated there was no more active and respected man in the House of Commons, and his decease in the prime of life was received with universal regret. Mr. Stewart’s business interests included the chairman- ship of the Peninsular and Oriental Steamship Company, while he was a director of several other companies.

When the news of Mr. Stewart’s

death was received in Huddersfield a feeling was expressed that the town and neighbourhood ought to show its grati- tude for his arduous efforts in connection with the local railway. The erection of a column or statue in the Market Place was suggested and several gentlemen intimated their desire to contribute towards sucha memorial. The centenary of the completion of the railway which Mr. Stewart’s championship obtained for the town is an appropriate occasion for the erection of a memorial plaque to memory in a prominent position at the Huddersfield Railway Station.



OR two vears three lines of railway were simultaneously under con- struction to Huddersfield. The first to be completed was the Cooper Bridge portion of the Huddersfield and Man- chester Railway on August 2nd, 1847, amidst scenes of great enthusiasm and festivities. Just over eleven months later the stupendous undertaking of the railway to Manchester through the Standedge tunnel was completed, while another year rail communication § to Penistone was established.

It is proposed to deal with the con- struction of each line’ separately’ in consequence of their completion at different dates, but the vast nature of the work involved in bringing the iron road to the town should be viewed in the light of the whole undertaking. When Thomas Firth keved-in the great arch of the Huddersfield viaduct across Bradford Road, he ventured to predict that when the railway was finished Huddersfield would commence “anew era.” How true were his words succeeding generations of citizens quickly discovered, and although during recent years the railways have lost both passenger and goods traffic to motor transport, the railway is still the town’s principal link with the rest of the country.


The Huddersfield. and Manchester Railway and Canal Company lost no time getting to work once the Royal Assent had been given Bill. The work of construction was divided into’ three portions, each with a resident engineer. Alfred S. Jee, fresh from his work on the Woodhead railway tunnel, was entrusted with the supervision of the whole line.

The ceremony of lifting the first sod took place on Friday, October 10th, 1845, at a plage called Dawson’s Field, Cinder- held Dyke, near Whitaker Bridge, about two and a quarter miles from the town. In the presence of some fifty persons W. L. Brock, of Meltham Hall, broke the turf with a new steel spade and after- wards made a neat speech. He also gave £10 to be expended upon refreshments for the labourers. The whole of the proceedings were of a formal nature, it being stated the more public and osten- tatious ceremony would take place on the occasion of laying the first stone of the Huddersfield Station.

The first accident on the line was reported on November 15th, when a labourer named Silverwood sustained a severe fracture of the leg by a large quantity of earth falling in upon him

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while at work. The Cooper Bridge line of railway was fortunately free from serious accidents, and only one man lost his life shortly before the work was com- pleted. Another labourer was crushed in a severe manner in the deep cutting at Whitaker Park the following April, and about twenty men had a most providen- tial escape from destruction while excavating for the foundations of the piers of the arches of the Huddersfield viaduct. They were all buried by a tremendous fall of earth but rescued alive.

While the contractors proceeded apace with the railway, the directors had to face fresh problems of finance and threats to their independence by existing companies and competition from “ direct ” lines proposed in new schemes. The purchase of Sir John Ramsden’s Canal at a cost of £46,560, together with the shareholders in the Huddersfield Canal Company who had not elected to com- mute their shares for railway stock, made it necessary to create 1,552 shares for paying off these parties.

Of the original 21,000 shares, 17,812 had been allotted, leaving the balance to be apportioned to the existing holders of one new share for every four held. The Canal shareholders exchanged 5,552 of their shares for 7,677 shares of £30 each in the new company, which was a bonus of £5 a share when compared with the holders of 687 Canal shares who were paid off at the rate of £25 a share. No lessa sum than £180,885 was paid for the Canal undertaking, and in the words of the chairman, “ the bargain was a capital one for the Canal proprietors.” The capital of the H. and M. was augmented by £230,300, to a total figure of £850,300, con- sent having previously been obtained. The Huddersfield Canal Company merged into the new company with the passing of their Act, but Sir John Ramsden’s Canal was not to become the property of the railway company until the lapse of one year from that date. The allowance to the ten directors was fixed at £800 a year.

The Huddersfield and Manchester decided to apply for additional powers to make a branch line to Oldham and another near Cooper Bridge in connection with the Manchester and Leeds Railway,


but only the latter was proceeded with. Strenuous efforts were made by the Sheffield and Manchester Company to lease the new line between Huddersfield and Manchester, and _ following the adjournment of a meeting called to sanction amalgamation, it was decided to preserve the independence of the company after a discussion extending over seven hours (February 28th, 1846). However, before the first line of railway was opened arrangements were made whereby the Huddersfield and Manchester became a part of the London and North Western Railway.

The numerous railway proposals advertised for Huddersfield late in 1845, for which the papers had to publish special supplements, included the Keighley, Halifax and Huddersfield (via Elland) ; Manchester, Huddersfield and Great Grimsby Direct (via Barnsley and Doncaster); and the Leeds, Hudd- ersfield, Sheffield and South Staffordshire. This avalanche of railway schemes was estimated to have given three London newspapers a profit of from £3,000 to £4,000 a week each from advertising. At Leicester a theatre was converted into a railway exchange by sharebrokers, while at Leeds 60,000 shares were sold in one railway of which only 6,000 were issued by the company. Ata meeting held in the Huddersfield Guild- hall on December 10th, the number of projected schemes for the town were “viewed with alarm,” but actually few of them were ever incorporated in a Parliamentary Bill.

The site selected for the Huddersfield Railway Station was in Tumbling Field at the rear of old premises at the corner of New North Road and behind the George Hotel. Part of the land was used as a bowling green. The work of level- ling the ground was commenced on December 13th, 1845, and by the following May the site had been raised nearly to the intended level. The architect was James Pigott Pritchett, of York, who had been responsible for rebuilding the Hudders- field Parish Church and the Huddersfield College in New North Road. Mr. Pritchett was a Welshman, having -been born at St. Petrox, Pembrokeshire, on

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October 14th, 1789. He practised as an architect in London in 1812, but the following year moved to York, and soon had what almost amounted to a monopoly of architectural work in the county.

From an architectural standpoint Huddersfield has the second finest railway station in the country. First is the world-famed Doric Arch at Euston, but while this is purely symbolical and hidden in back streets, the Corinthian design of the Huddersfield Station occupies a

commanding site and gives dignity and

beauty to the spacious Square which it flanks, while meeting all traffic require- ments. When questions were asked about its cost at a shareholders’ meeting _ the architect stated that the difference between a station giving every accommo- dation but devoid of ornament, and the present one, was only £1,200.

When the people of Huddersfield during 1850 objected to the plans of the Ramsden Estate for laying out the ground in front of the station, they described the structure as “an ornament and an object of just pride to the town.” They regarded it as “criminal” to hide the station from view by narrow streets, and urged that full advantage should be taken of the public spirited action of the railway company in building such a fine front to their station.

As with the architecture so was the station planned on liberal lines. The frontage is 410 feet in length, with an elegant well-proportioned centre portico, the pediment being supported by eight fluted columns 68 feet high and corres- ponding pilasters. The two wings, which also have porticos, are connected with the centre by a colonnade. Each wing was built complete with booking offices, waiting rooms, and parcels offices, with covered platforms and carriage sheds at each end. Originally the centre building contained refreshment rooms in addition to the general offices and meeting rooms of the two companies owning the station. Until the amalgamation of the London and North Western and the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railways in 1922, the Huddersfield Station was the joint property of the two companies, and this was the reason why everything was in


duplicate. Even their arms were carved over the porticos of their respective wings of the station.

At the time of its erection the plat- form of the Huddersfield Station was 700 teet long. The lay-out of the railway itself consisted of a platform road and a through line, with a “scissors crossing ” between them in the centre of the station, to enable trains in either direction to draw up at the platform. There was only one

platform until the station was enlarged in 1878.

The man responsible for building the station was Joseph Kaye, who at the time had actually built more than two-thirds of the town. It is on record that when it was suggested his name and date of erection should be inscribed on the front of the station, he replied that “ the work itself would be the best record of the builder’s name.” In appearance, durability. of material—local stone—and execution as to workmanship, Mr. Kaye’s words still ring true a century after they were spoken. The cost of the whole building was less than £19,000. I

Drenching torrents of rain marred the ceremony of laying the foundation stone of the station on Friday, October Oth, 1846. <A procession formed. of the Constable on horseback, the Huddersfield Old Brass Band, the Troop Band of the 2nd West York Yeomanry, Vicar and clergy of the district, magistrates, Free- masons, gentlemen of the town three abreast, contractors, engineers, and shareholders, departed from the George Yard at a quarter to one o’clock under a complete array of umbrellas. The route taken was down Kirkgate, along Cross Church Street and Queen Street, up Ramsden Street, on New Street, up Westgate, and to the Station. The Masons numbered upwards of a hundred

in their rich and becoming regalia.

A deep excavation had been prepared at the site, with a gallery for the ladies atoneend. The foundation stone formed the corner stone of the principal entrance, and in the cavity was placed a bottle containing local newspapers of the previous Saturday, other documents, and several coins. The inscription on the brass

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plate was as follows:

This Foundation Stone of the Huddersfield Station of the Huddersfield and Manchester Railway and Canal Company, built under the direction of the Board of Directors, was laid by The Right Honourable The Earl of Fitzwilliam This 9th day of October, A.D. 1846, being the 10th Year of the Reign of Her Majesty Queen Victoria.

J. P. Pritchett & Son, Architects Joseph Kaye, Builder.

(The names of the Directors and Alfred S. Jee, Engineer, also appeared on the plate).

_ After depositing the bottle and plate, Earl Fitzwilliam said: “I hope it is securely done and that it may remain for ever.” The stone was lowered into its final resting place and then his: Lordship stood upon it and struck the stone severai smart blows with a mallet. He then observed: “ Having performed the last

act of the ceremony of laying this stone,

1} can only say that I hope the work of which this is the beginning will realise the expectations of those who have set it agoing; and that it will be a source of prosperity to the town and neighbour- hood, as the solidity of the structure which is about to be raised up makes it desirable it should be.” Three cheers were then given.

The mystic ceremony of laying the stone according to the custom of the Freemasons followed. The Rev. Dr. Senior, Vicar of Batley, offered up a beautiful prayer. He then scattered corn upon the stone, the emblem of plenty ; poured wine upon it, the emblem of cheerfulness; and oil, the emblem of joy. Three further cheers and a prayer by the Vicar of Huddersfield, the Rev. J. Bateman, concluded this part of the pro- ceedings, after which a grand public cold coliation took place in the Philosophical Hall, presided over by W. Aldam, Jun., M.P.

A beautiful model of the station was placed on a cross table immediately in front of Earl Fitzwilliam, and he referred to it in his speech, contrasting the beauty


of Huddersfield fabrics with the beauty of the building to be erected. It was stated that the massive corner stone. which had been laid a short time before weighed nearly six tons, and had been obtained from one of the quarries of Joseph Armitage, of Milnsbridge House. Stones of this size are seldom used in the construction of public works. Presumably Earl Fitzwilliam was invited to perform the ceremony at the station because he was a trustee of the Ramsden Estate.

Orders were now placed by the directors for passenger and luggage engines with Messrs. Hawthorn, New- castle-upon-Tyne, while agreement was reached with the Leeds, Dewsbury and Manchester Railway Company for mutual working of traffic over their respective lines. Notwithstanding that one share- holder charged the’ directors with “profligate and excessive expenditure, imbecility, and harassing the proprietors with unnecessary calls on their shares,” while asserting that several lawyers were kept out of the Company’s funds, the

whole of the works continued to make


The terms of amalgamation with the London and North Western Railway were at first received with “extreme coldness.” The L. and N.W. to the sharcholders of the Huddersfield and Manchester five per cent. on their outlay until the line was completed, and seven-tenths of their dividend afterwards. The Leeds, Dewsbury and Manchester also decided to become part of the L. and N.W. system. The Bills to give effect to these two amalgamations became law on July 9th, 1847. As events transpired the agreement in both instances proved fortunate and judicious.

By June 26th, 1847, the Huddersfield viaduct of forty-seven arches, which carries the Cooper Bridge line to the town, was almost completed. This via- duct—“ one of the noblest structures of its kind in the country ”—was 650 yards long, and originally comprised 43 segmen- tal arches of 30 feet span each, and 4 skew arches. The latter were at the following points: Bradford and Huddersfield turnpike road—35 feet on the square and at a skew of 38 degrees, the height from

Page 16

road to rail being 38 feet; Oxford Street —30 feet span on the square and 73 degrees skew (no longer in use); Fitz- william Street—35 feet span on the square and 48 degrees skew; Fountain Street (now replaced by girder bridge and John William Street)—30 feet span on the square and 464 degrees skew. Josephus J. Roebuck was responsible for the plan of the viaduct and the contractors were Messrs. Nowell and Hattersley. The masons were paid five shillings for a day's labour of ten hours, and when they went on strike for an increase of sixpence a day, the contractors strongly opposed this “illiberal and unwarrantable demand.” Following a slight subsidence of one arch during March, 1947, part of the viaduct has since been rebuilt.

The Cooper Bridge lne commenced at Heaton Lodge and after half a mile through slight excavations is carried over the River Colne by a viaduct of five arches, one of 40 feet span and the rest at 30 feet span. Bradley station is situate two and a half miles from Huddersfield. The Huddersfield and Leeds turnpike road. which had to be diverted, was carried over the rails by a skew bridge of 30 feet span on the square and at an angle of 45 degrees. Shortly before the Huddersfield viaduct is reached the line passes an embankment 40 feet high. When Captain Simmons, the Government Inspector of Railways, examined and reported on the line, he formed a very favourable opinion of the works in regard to their stabilitv, beauty of workmanship, and quality of materials.

On Friday, July 24th, 1847, a truck furnished with seats and drawn by a horse went down the line from _ the Huddersfield Station and was expected to have brought back the engine, but hopes were disappointed. The following morn- ing, at nine o’clock, the first railway engine steamed into the town. It was named “ Aldam” after the chairman of the Company, and was described as being “very handsome and powerful.” With its tender crowded with directors the engine started down the line and com- pleted the journey to Cooper Bridge in twelve minutes. Afterwards it returned with a first class carriage and continued


to run to and from Cooper Bridge during the whole of the day, carrying great numbers of people—‘ curious” is the term used by one writer-—free of charge.

The official opening of the railway to Cooper Bridge took place on Monday, August 2nd, 1847, and was the occasion of great celebrations in Huddersfield. The bells of the Parish Church were rung and the streets bedecked with flags. At the station a beautiful triumphal arch was erected over the railway and encircled with evergreens and flowers. On the summit of each pedestal were placed tricoloured flags, with blue middle, white borders, and red corners—each formed in squares—emblematical that the works were constructed in squareness and solidity. Union Jacks were hoisted on lofty posts at different parts of the station, together with red and white streamers with the insignia “H. and


The time fixed for the departure of the first train was eleven o’clock, but there was some delay and it did not arrive until a quarter to twelve when it was greeted with prolonged cheers. The twelve carriages were quickly crowded and two large trucks fitted with seats were attached to the train for the bands of music. The engine was. officially christened “Aldam” with champagne, and another locomotive in the engine house was named “ Huddersfield.” At five minutes past twelve the train passed through the triumphal arch on its first journey to Cooper Bridge, being driven by Mr. Roche, manager of the engine department. After a second trip rain caused the cancellation of further journeys.

The directors of the railway company and the contractors provided a dinner of “roast and boiled” tor the 6CO workmen who had been engaged on the construc- tion of the new line. Three rows of tables extended along the entire front of the north side of the station, and it was an amazing sight as well as pitiable to see these poor fellows dining in the midst of torrents of rain. The inspectors and overlookers dined at the Ramsden’s Arms Inn, and the directors and engineers at the George Hotel. The rain ceased in

Page 17

the evening and the populace were able to resume their ceiebrations, which they did in the most “convivial and harmon- ious manner possible.” One wing of the Huddersfield Railway Station was completed in time to accommodate the Cooper Bridge traffic.

At the first half-vearly meeting of the Huddersfield and Manchester Railway folowing the opening of the line to Cooper Bridge, the chairman reported that a total of 121,801 passengers had been conveyed (first class 10,207; second

class 39,120; and third class 72,474).

Total receipts for passengers and goods amounted to £2,757 12s. 1d.

The construction of the first line of railway to Huddersfield presented few of the difficulties encountered during the work of the other two lines, but this in no way detracis from the magnitude of the task or the joy which it brought to the town. At long last they were linked by rail with other towns in the country and had seen the realisation, at least in part, of their most cherished ambitions. No wonder that August 2nd, 1847, was a day of great rejoicings.



THE building of the railway through the Standedge over- shadowed all the other work on the second railway to Huddersfield. It was more than once described as “the key to the opening of the main line,’ and reports of the progress of the work during the two and a half years that it was under construction werc eagerly awaited and discussed in the town.

Standedge, the Pennine _ ridge between Marsden and Diggle, was first tunnelled by the Huddersfield Canal Company to connect their waterway from Marsden to Diggle. This canal tunnel, the longest and most elevated in the country, took seventeen years to com- plete, and was opened on April 4th, 1811. Its original length was 3 miles 171 yards —the tunnel was extended 220 yards when the double-line railway tunnel was built in 1890-94-and is bored for a consider- able part through solid rock. The Standedge canal tunnel is estimated to have saved the railway company no less a sum than £100,000 in building their tunnel, for the old shafts were used and the different kinds of strata through


which it passes were at once known.

Thomas Nicholson, who had been a sub-contractor for the Woodhead tunnel (1838-45), was given the contract for the Standedge tunnel. Mr. Nicholson began lite as a labourer and worked on the first railway ever made—the Stockton -and Darlington. He lived to the age of seventy years, and died at Tedbergh on May 9th, 1861, from injuries sustained after being knocked down by an engine at Ingleton while inspecting a viaduct.

The re-opening and widening of the Standedge shafts were commenced in October, 1845, but excavating did not begin until November Ist the following year. On June 4th, 1846, the men employed on the shafts consisted of 36 miners, 100 labourers, and 140 other workmen, the work continuing for eighteen hours each day. August found the cuttings at each end of the tunnel in course of execution. At the height of the operations Mr. Nicholson employed 1,953 men.

The length of the first Standedge railway tunnel, now called the “ Dowa South,” is 3 miles 62 yards, and exceeds

Page 18

the Woodhead tunnel by 40 yards. The distinction of being the longest railway tunnel in the country was lost when the Severn tunnel was completed in 1886. The railway tunnel is parallel with the canal tunnel and within a distance of 50 feet throughout (the double-line tunnel was bored between the first railway tunnel and the canal tunnel). The level of the water is ten feet below the level of the rail, and the canal thus acts as a drain to the railway tunnel.

The height of the railway tunnel exclusive of masonry is 18 feet, with a breadth of 15 feet, the thickness of the masonry ranging from 18 inches to 3 feet. Some 300 yards had to be worked out of a solid mass of basaltic rock, wherein not the slightest fissure could be discovered. This part was left without wall or sus- taining arch. The depth from the highest point of the hill above is 652 feet. The shafts made admirable ventilators.

The hill was pierced so straight that it was stated at the time of its opening that on a clear day a person standing at one end could see through to the other, and even observe if he crossed the mouth at the opposite end. Unfortunately the present existing communications between all three tunnels now makes it impossible to verify this statement, because the tunnel is seldom clear of smoke from trains passing through the tunnels on either side. The road is dead level and the weight of the original rails was 85 lbs. per vard.

Several steam engines were used to draw the debris up the five shafts and fortv canal boats conveyed the excavated material through driftways connecting the two tunnels. For blasting purposes 102 tons of gunpowder were consumed at a cost of £5,131; gun cotton (then a new invention) cost £29 (168 lbs); and fuses a further £698. Illumination was by candles, of which 150,798 lbs. were burnt, costing £3,618. To run the engines and keep the men warm, 8,733 tons of coal were required. Lime for building pur- poses amounted to 2,535 tons.

The complete cost of the tunnel was £201,608 12s. 34d., this figure including £30,605 for making the approaches. The


tunnel and approaches combined extend to three and a half miles, the cost per yard being approximately £33. (The estimated cost placed before the House of Commons Select Committee in 1845 was £147,240 and £28 per yard respectively). Mr. Nicholson had a slight dispute with the railway company about the extra work involved in his contract, and he afterwards stated that the building of the Standedge tunnel brought him no mone- tary reward and that actually he was financially the poorer by it.

Nine fatal accidents occurred during the construction of the tunnel. The miners employed were paid at the rate of © four shillings and ninepence a day, but towards the end of their work they suffered a reduction of a shilling a day.

The engineer’s report at the Com- pany’s meeting on August 24th, 1846, stated inter ala that difficulties had been encountered with landowners at Marsden and Huddersfield. However, work was going on rapidly at Milnsbridge, the first stone of the viaduct having been laid on Julv 9th. The first of five fatal accidents took place at Golear on October 19th, the other men meeting their deaths at Slaithwaite. Gledholt, No. 2 shaft of the Huddersfield tunnel, and Paddock.

The first stone of the mason’s work of the Huddersfield tunnel (from the Station to Springwood) was laid by J. J. Roebuck, the Huddersfield viaduct engineer, on March Ist, 1847. “Success to the undertaking” was drunk with beer at the mouth of the tunnel. At Milnsbridge the first arch was keyed-in on July 3rd, and the last on November 24th. This viaduct is 249 yards in length and has 20 semi-circular arches of 30 feet span, with five feet piers. The highest arch is 76 feet from the bottom of the valley to the level of the rail, and the whole is built on a curve of 60 chains radius. About 700 people assembled for the official ceremony on November 24th, but once again rain acted as a spoil sport.

Trouble over “subbing” and pay- ment of wages to some of the labourers engaged on the railway occurred at the Roval Oak Tree Inn, Paddock, on Feb- ruary 20th, 1849, and the police had to threaten to fire before order was restored.

Page 19

There was another “Irish row” at the Warren House Inn, Milnsbridge, during April, and subsequently twelve men were committed to York for trial. The Standedge tunnel was completed at the end of January, 1849, and the permanent road laid through it. There was similar news about the two tunnels at Huddersfield in February. On Monday, May 7th, some of the directors and a few friends made a trip as far as Marsden, and were afterwards taken through the Stand- edge tunnel on trucks pulled by horses in twenty-five minutes. The Government Inspector went over the whole line on July 2nd and again on the 6th, when he at once issued his certificate enabling the railway to be opened to the public. For the second time in less than two years the good people of Huddersfield prepared to celebrate the opening of a railway line. From the town to Staly- bridge the distance is 18$ miles. Here the line formed a junction with the Ashton Branch of the Sheffield and Manchester Railway, and after passing over this line for a short distance the trains joined the Lancashire and York- shire Company’s system to Victoria Station, Manchester. The opening of the new line made the distance from Leeds to Manchester 434 miles compared with the Lancashire and Yorkshire route by way of Normanton of 62. miles. From Huddersfield to Manchester by rail the distance was 254 miles.

Immediately on leaving the Hudders- field Station the line enters’ the Huddersfield tunnel in diagonal direction for 800 yards, and having a sharp curve of 35 chains radius. The making of this tunnel necessitated the removal of 55,464 cubic yards of earth and rock. Several buildings directly over the line of the tunnel had to be removed, including a Primitive Methodist Chapel and Schoolroom, which was purchased by the railway company for £2,700. At the junction with the Huddersfield and Penistone line (Springwood) an open cutting is formed for about 142 yards, being 80 feet in depth. The hill is again entered and the line emerges at Gledholt. The Paddock cutting near the Church is 700 yards long and formed through solid rock.


Leaving Milnsbridge viaduct, Golcar station is reached (3 miles’ from Huddersfield), and then Golcar Brook viaduct 61 yards in length (four arches of 30 feet span). Another half mile brings the Crimbles viaduct, described as “the most noble one on the line.” It is 233 yards long and consists of 19 arches of 30 feet span, the height being 60 feet. Slaithwaite viaduct, another quarter mile distance, has 14 arches of 30 feet span (length 182 yards and height 75 feet). From Huddersfield to Marsden (7 miles) the line is one continuous rise, the gradients being 1 in 105.

The entrance to the Standedge tunnel is upon one of the sharpest curves of the whole line, and gives the appearance as though it is necessary for the train to make a sudden sweep before disappearing in the bowels of the earth. Incidentally, at neither of the entrances was any large amount of money expended in ornamental masonry. Emerging from the tunnel at Diggle the descent is made to Stalybridge, first to Saddleworth by several cuttings and then over a viaduct of twenty arches. From Greenfield station the line proceeds over embankments and through cuttings to the immense Mossley cutting formed on the side of a steep hill. Some 118,967 cubic yards of earth had to be removed and the loose nature of the soil added to the many difficulties.

Beyond Mossley is the Scout tunnel— 220 yards in length and 60 feet below the surface. Another mile and a half and Stalybridge tunnel is reached (660 yards long and 101 feet below the surface). At the end of the Stalybridge viaduct over the streets of the town the junction was formed with the Sheffield and Manchester Ashton Branch.

The general character of the railway was described at the time of its inaugura- tion as “heavy,” the gradients being steep, with the line mainly composed of sharp curves, the ruling curve being one of 40 chains radius. The total number of bridges (1849) was 77; viaducts 6; and tunnels 5. The line of rails was double throughout except at the Standedge, where only a single line was laid. Shortly after work had been commenced on the tunnel the directors considered a proposal

Page 20

to extend the width to permit of two lines of rails, but the scheme was not proceeded with probably on account of the additional expense. However, land was arranged to make a second single line tunnel “as soon as it is deemed expedient to do so.”

The directors’ opening of the Huddersfield and Manchester Railway took place on Friday, July 13th, 1849. Tickets for more than 1,100 persons were issued and eagerly sought after. The first train of twenty-nine carriages, drawn by two engines, left the Hudders- held Station at eleven o’clock amid the loud huzzas of the immense concourse of spectators assembled at every point from which a view could be obtained.

The passage up the valley to Marsden was one long triumphal journey, bridges and stations being packed with people. After a short halt at Marsden the party passed safely through the tunnel in exactly nine minutes. From the junction at Stalybridge the train traversed the branch line of the Sheffield and Manchester until it joined the Company’s main line at Guide Bridge and then on to London Road Station. This, of course, was not the route by which Huddersfield passengers were brought to Manchester when the line was opened to the public on August Ist, but the L. and Y. branch line to Victoria Station was not ready in time, and this was responsible for the delay in opening the Huddersfield and Manchester line.

The special train only remained for a few minutes at London Road, and as it was leaving the second excursion train of twenty-two carriages passed on its way to Manchester. Preparations had been made at Diggle to hold an immense picnic party. Sandwiches, beer, porter, wine, and sodo water were supplied ad libitum. Huddersfield was eventually reached at 4-30 p.m. The whole of the arrangements for the opening worked smoothly and there was no accident of any kind. Small wonder that the directors’ dinner at the George Hotel continued until a late hour.

The new line was opened to the public on Wednesday, August Ist, 1849. In an advertisement issued by the London and North Western Railway (North Eastern Division) on July 28th, notice was given


that the doors of the booking offices would be closed punctually at the hours fixed for the departure of the trains, “after which no person can be admitted.” Passengers had to be at the principal stations five minutes earlier, and at intermediate stations ten minutes in advance of the times specified. The times announced were those at which the trains were intended fo arrive at the various stations, but no guarantee could be given that these times could be kept “ under all circumstances.” Incidentally, no passen- ger could be re-booked by the same train at any intermediate station.

The third class fare from Hudders- field to Manchester was 2s. 7d., but from Manchester to Huddersfield it was 13d.

more. The fare express first class was 6s. 6d.; first class 5s. 3d.; and second class 4s. Od. There were seven trains

from Huddersfield to Manchester on week-days and three on Sundays, with the same service in the opposite direction. The expresses were timed to do the journey in an hour and a quarter, and ordinary trains in an hour and twenty-five minutes.

At first traffic through the single line Standedge tunnel was regulated by electric telegraph working, on the usual “train in” and “ train out ” system, but a pilot engine was stationed at the Marsden end for the purpose of assisting goods trains through the tunnel to Saddleworth and bringing back the passenger train. This pilot engine was the test of safety.

In consequence of the great delay to the trains waiting the return of the pilot engine, “staff working ”’ was introduced. This “staff” was about three feet long and was always carried by the last train or engine to enter the tunnel. Unless the signalman had the staff in his possession e would not allow any train to enter. Occasionally the driver of the pilot engine was drunk when he reported for duty, and in one case the Company summoned their unfortunate employee and he was sent to prison for two months with hard labour.

With the completion of the Hudders- field and Manchester line the manage- ment passed out of the hands of the loca! gentlemen who had been its prime

Page 21

movers. They had shouldered heavy responsibilities for many years but the culmination of their great enterprise earned them the heart-felt thanks of their fellow townsmen, No one now remem-


bers the names of these men. but their work has endured down the century, and even in an age of engineering marvels stands unchallenged in the magnitude of its conception and achievement.



HE Huddersfield and _ Sheffield Junction Railway, the third of the main lines to connect Huddersfield by rail with the rest of the country, was just two months short of five years under construction. Exorbitant claims for land and attendant legal difficulties, during which time the railway company were kept out of possession of the site for the Paddock viaduct, together with negotia- tions as to the best method of effecting a junction with the Huddersfield and Manchester Railway, unexpectedly delayed the completion of the _ line. Although it was announced on March 7th, that: less than four.. -mrles of permanent way remained to be laid, it was not until over a year later that the first engine was able to run over the entire length of line, proceeding “ very cautiously ” over Paddock viaduct, which was still unfinished.

The Manchester and Leeds Railway Company having been thwarted in its previous designs to “serve” the Hudd- ersfield people, finally persuaded the Huddersfield and Shefheld Railway to amalgamate. Agreement was reached at a meeting held in the Huddersfield Guildhall on June Ist, 1846, and Parlia- mentary approval followed in August. A dinner in celebration of this joining of forces was held at the George Hotel on August 27th, 1846, from which date it became effective. The original capital of the Huddersfield and. Sheffield Junction Railway was £400,000, in 8,000 shares of £50 each. The vice-chairman was C. H. Jones, who in 1868 became the first Mayor of Huddersfield.


The Right Hon. Lord Wharncliffe, Lord President of Her Majesty’s Privy Council, was invited to perform the for-

mal ceremony of cutting the first sod of

the railway at Penistone on Friday, August 29th, 1845. A procession led by a band of music was waiting at the

Penistone Station of the Sheffield, Ashton-under-Lyne and Manchester Railway to welcome his Lordship.

Without waste of time he removed the turf and then called for three cheers for the success of the undertaking. There was a hearty and unanimous response, followed by three cheers for the noble Earl. At two o’clock a “ sumptuous ” repast was served in the Church School- room, presided over by J. Armitage, chairman of the Company. Lord Wharncliffe also inaugurated the work on the Woodhead tunnel (October Ist, 1838). He died on December 19th, 1845.

The piece de _ résistance of the Penistone line is the great viaduct across the Lockwood valley from Dungeon Wood to Taylor Hill, built by John Hawkshaw, M.Inst.C.E. The contractors were Messrs. Miller, Blackie and Short- ridge, with John Fraser resident engineer and William Bain inspector of works. The inscribed stone placed in the pier of the arch which crosses Woodhead Road (Taylor Hill end) is the only one of its kind to be found on the three Huddersfield railways. Lockwood viaduct is bold in concep- tion and design, and its engineering, architecture, and workmanship challenge comparison with any other railway work in the country. The viaduct is 476 yards

Page 22

in length, and consists of 32 semi-circular arches, each of 30 feet span, and two oblique arches, The oblique arch over the Huddersfield and Meltham road is 70 feet span, at an angle of 33, while the skew arch at the opposite side of the valley is 40 feet span, at an angle of 52. The height from the foundations to the top of the parapet is 136 feet and from the bed of the river to the level of the rails 122 feet. The total quantity of masonry is 36,000 cubic yards. The outside width of the viaduct at the level of the rails is 28 feet, with an inside width of 25 feet. The line across the valley is straight.

The accounts side show the viaduct to have cost £33,000, inclusive of all excavation for foundations, scaffolding, centering, and every expense connected with its erection. The materials used— hard and tolerably flat-bedded sandstone —were obtained from the adjoining Taylor Hill and Berry Brow cuttings, which were one great mass of stone. The style of masonry adopted was not the best, but it was employed to use up all the stones which were quarried. “ Snecked rubble” stonework had not hitherto been

applied to structures of such magnitude.

The first stone was laid by Mrs. John Shaw, wife of the principal contractor, at the Taylor Hill side, on Monday, April 20th, 1846, and the viaduct was completed except for the parapet three years later. For a period, however, the work had not been actively carried on. The first arch was keyed-in on the afternoon of Friday, August 13th, 1847, in the presence of a

large crowd and a brass band. Severa! accidents occurred during building operations but only two _ lives’ were lost. The Penistone line, however,

took a heavier toll of life than the other local railways, seven fatal accidents being recorded, The dead men included Thomas Wallwork, a sub-contractor, who ventured too near the edge of No. 3 shaft at Thurstonland tunnel, and was precipi- tated to the bottom. The Paddock viaduct claimed two victims.

The original plans of the Huddersfield and Manchester Railway provided for the Penistone line to have its junction in the Huddersfield tunnel, but Parliament refused to sanction such “a dangerous


proposition” in the dark recess of a tunnel. Consequently the deep open cutting was made at Springwood.

The whole work of the thirteen and a half miles of the railway to Penistone was of a formidable and costly character. From the Springwood junction a little to the south-west of Huddersfield, the line immediately strides boldly across a deep valley to Thornton Lodge by a viaduct of 13,000 cubic yards of masonry. ‘The (Paddock) viaduct consists of 20 openings, 15 being arches of 30 feet span. Four openings are spanned by iron trellise work of a peculiar construction, and one opening by girders, with a span of 77 feet. The viaduct is built on a curve of 35 chains.

Yew Green tunnel, the first of six tunnels on this line, is 225 yards long. Leaving behind the Lockwood viaduct, a passage had to be cut through solid rock at Taylor Hill and Berry Brow, some 201,950 cubic yards of earth and rock

being removed to form both cuttings.

Robin Hood tunnel is 230 yards in length, with a short tunnel of 80 yards before Honley Station is reached. Continuing over Gynn valley embankment, through Cliffe Wood and Brockholes, Thurston- land Bank with its tunnel is reached. This tunnel, the longest on the line, measures 1,700 yards, and was built by five shafts. The large quantity of water encountered made it necessary to form driftways through the side of the hill to drain it away. Stocksmoor cutting and Stone Wood takes the line through the 814 vards long Cumberworth tunnel to Denby Dale.

The Dale at the point of crossing !s 1,000 yards wide. ‘The original viaduct was built of wood, being nearly 400 yards in length and towering in the air from the bed of the stream to a height of 112 feet. The design of the viaduct was unique, the beams of timber being set end to end, and held together by cross-pieces placed at right angles and diagonally. This frame- work was surmounted on top by a double flooring composed of planks passing also diagonally and cross-wise, and over the whole the rails were laid on longitudinal sleepers. The general appearance of this wooden viaduct was one of extreme

Page 23

lightness, and even its birdcage look did not entirely rob it of being a work of art.

About £5,000 damage was caused to the Denby Dale viaduct by a gale on January 27th, 1847. Of the forty perpen- dicular supports erected, twenty-seven were blown down. ‘The original plan called for a stone viaduct, but the present viaduct was not opened until May 16th, 1880.

The last tunnel—Wellhouse Hill—is 400 yards in length. The line enters Penistone by a stone viaduct of 31 arches (330 yards in length) across the! River Don, built by Messrs. Ingham and Bower. From the bed of the river the viaduct rises to a height of 83 feet, and is built on a curve of 40 chains radius. The gradient of the Penistone line from Springwood to the east end of Thurston- land tunnel is 1 in 100, and from the latter point to Penistone 1 in 200. Throughout its whole length there are 4 viaducts, 6

tunnels, 20 embankments, 20 cuttings, and (1850) 30 bridges.

Trial trips were made by engines on April 27th and 29th, 1850. John Shaw, the contractor of the Paddock viaduct, entertained all his workmen at_ the Shoulder of Mutton Inn, Lockwood, on May 6th, to mark the completion of this length of line. The public opening of the railway on Monday, July Ist, 1850. took the form of an excursion trip to Chats- worth House and Park, Derbyshire, the seat of the Duke of Devonshire. The Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Com- pany made special arrangements with the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire and the Midland Railway Companies for the train to run over their respective lines. The price of the rail tickets—13s. first class and 6s. 6d. covered—included admission to the House and grounds.

The special train left Huddersfield at eight o’clock in the morning, but in consequence of its heavy load and the dampness of the rails, came to a standstill in Thurstonland tunnel. A portion of the train had to be detached and taken to Penistone, the engine returning for the remainder of the carriages left in the tunnel.


During the whole of the opening day the public were allowed to book tickets at any Lancashire and Yorkshire railway station at one return fare to any station on the Huddersfield and Penistone and M.S. and L. lines. The branch line from Brockholes to Holmfirth (2 miles) was also opened on July Ist, 1850, and passengers given the same concession.

There does not appear to have been any official opening of the Huddersfield Railway Station, probably because of the rail connections being made at different dates. Work upon it was reported to be at a standstill during the first three months of 1850, but during April orders were received to expedite its completion. By October 19th, 1850, the station was “nearly completed,” and Mr. R. Heslop, a local watchmaker and jeweller, had erected a handsome clock in front of the centre pediment. This was not provided for in the original design. The central refreshment rooms had _ just been equipped with gas cooking appliances, and the good news made public that without the tedium of kindling a fire “ visitors could have a goose and a large number of other joints cooked in an incredibly short time.”

The first station master at Hudders- fleld was William Padmore, who held the post for fifteen years. He was appointed to a similar office at Crewe from July 6th, 1862, and retired in 1875 after thirty-five years’ service with the London and North Western Railway Company.

The staking out of the ground for the new George Hotel directly below the station was undertaken by the architect, Mr. William Wallen, on January 3lst, 1849. The question of laying out the ground in front of the railway station and the new hotel was later in the year taken up on public grounds by the Huddersfield Improvement Commissioners (at this time the local authority for the central area of the tewn). During the following year representations were made to the trustees of the Ramsden Estate that the design should conduce to the public advantage. There was a strong feeling against the projected and published plans of the trustees to crowd the largest mass

Page 24

of buildings possible upon the smallest available space.

In face of this opposition a new plan was prepared and what is now the spacious St. George’s Square was dedi- cated to the public as an open space for ever. The report made to the Improve- ment Commissioners on August 9th, 1850, stated that the new town of Huddersfield would be erected and laid out on a far better design than originally contem- plated. Both in the matter of proper railway communications and the best planning of their town, the people of Huddersfield insisted upon and got the best. The new “George” was opened on September 22nd, 1851, and the Lion Arcade (now shops and_ offices) on January 23rd, 1854. J. P. Pritchett was the architect of the latter building. Britannia Buildings on the south side of the Square were completed in 1859.

After the Crimea War (1854-56) the Huddersfield Improvement Commis- sioners requested the local M.P. to obtain some trophies of the war for the town, and in due course two large cannon from Sebastopol, mounted on wooden carriages,


arrived in Huddersfield. A stone platform was built opposite the centre portico of the Railway Station and the two guns placed upon it.

The Crimea guns were removed when the ground was given by the L. and N.W. and the L. and Y, Railway Companies for the erection of the statue of Sir Robert Peel. This statue was unveiled on June 3rd, 1873, and at the banquet which followed in the George Hotel, Lord Houghton responding to the toast of the railway companies. said that a_ signal honour had been done to their station, “that a great man should be put upon a site in front of it.”

The building of the three Hudders- field railway lines; the masterpiece of Station architecture; the imaginative planning of St. George’s Square; ‘and the noble monument to a great benefactor of the people, have their counterpart in few other towns in the country. Huddersfield citizens point with pride to this heritage of the past which has played such an important part in the town’s general prosperity and well-being.

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1836 1838 1840

1841 1844




1849 1850


Oct; 17

Feb. 13 July 4 Oct.) A Oct. 5 Jan. 11 Apl. 20

Apl. 3 Apl. 25

July 21 Aug. 29 Oct. 10 Dec: 22 Apl. 20 July 9 Aug. 27

Oct. 9 Oct. 30 Jan. 27 Mar. 1

July 9

Aug. 2 July 13 July 1 July 1 Jah. -1


Formation of The Huddersfield and Leeds

Company. Abandonment of Huddersfield and Leeds Railway. Roval Assent Manchester and Leeds Railway.


Woodhead railway tunnel commenced. Cooper Bridge Station opened. Manchester and Leeds line opened throughout.

Formation of The Huddersfield and Manchester Railway and Canal Company.

Purchase of Sir John Ramsden’s Canal by the Huddersfield and Manchester R. and C. Co.

Preamble of Huddersfield and Manchester Railway Bill

proved. Royal Assent Huddersfield and Manchester Railway. First sod cut of Huddersfield and Penistone Railway. First sod cut of Huddersfield and Manchester Railway. Woodhead railway tunnel opened. First stone laid of Lockwood viaduct. First stone laid of Milnsbridge viaduct.

Amalgamation of Huddersfield and Shefheld Junction Railway with Manchester and Leeds Railway.

Foundation stone laid of Huddersfield Railway Station. Death of P. M. Stewart, M.P., aged 51 years. Gale damage to Denby Dale wooden viaduct. First stone laid of Huddersfield tunnel.

Amalgamation of Huddersfield and Manchester Railway with London and North Western Railway.

Opening cf railway from Huddersfield to Cooper Bridge. Opening of railway from Huddersfield to Manchester. Opening of railway from Huddersfield to Penistone. Opening of Holmfirth branch railway.

Opening of branch line from Bradley to a point near Brighouse (shorter route between Huddersfield, Brighouse, and Halifax).


Down South Single Up South Single (Nelson) 3 miles 62 yards.


3 miles 391 yards (Extended 220 yards 1894).

3 miles 62 yards. Opened July 13th, 1849. Opened February 12th, 1871.

3 miles 64 yards. Opened August 5th, 1894.


Commenced 1794.

Opened April 4th, 1811.


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