Honley Bridge and Newtown (2013) by Honley Civic Society

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Honley Bridge and Newtown All Rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored ina retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior permission in writing of Honley Civic Society, or as expressly permitted by law.

Published in England by Honley Civic Society Printed by Enterprise Print, Honley © Peter Marshall and Honley Civic Society Text Peter Marshall Design PFM First published 2013

ISBN-13 978-0-9572638-4-0

Telephone I I Heddersteld 61249

Qa YW ¢ Sons

Chemical & Sanitery Plumbers, Electricions & Heating Engineers








Some images in this volume have been digitally altered to remove blemishes and correct colour balance.

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Contents Honley Bridge page 5 Honley Council Offices Honley Gas Works 15 Electricity Works 21 Tram Terminus 23 New Road Side to Honley Bar 27 Newtown Businesses 35 Honley Mill 39





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Honley Bridge and Newtown

Honley Bridge

o the casual observer, the tourist heading for the lure of Holmfirth or T simply the unaware, Honley means the junction of two roads - those from Huddersfield to Holmfirth or to Sheffield, prosaically, the A6024 and the A616. Despite these two roads by-passing the heart of the village, there is much to tell about the history of the area of the village better known as Honley Bridge and Newtown.

Due to its location, Honley Bridge was often a meeting place for celebratory processions or riotous assemblies. In 1841, a notice appeared in the local press for the men of the district to join a procession to hear Feargus O’Connor, MP for Nottingham, leader of the Chartists and projector of the Land Scheme for securing votes to the masses. The procession left Honley Bridge at five o'clock on Saturday 4'* December to march the four miles to the Philosophical Hall in Huddersfield to hear him speak.

The River Holme powered several mills from the 18 century and probably earlier. The earliest mill is believed to be Honley Mill, now Drakes’ Mill, just to the north of Newtown, opposite Lower Reins. A little up the valley lie Crossley Mill and Neiley Mill, both from the late 18' century, while further upstream was Banks corn mill and Banks fulling mill, both near to where the Hope Bank Pleasure Grounds were created. At Honley Bridge was the dyeworks of James Beaumont and downstream, Reins Mill and Queen’s Square Mill.

The river crossing at Honley has had several forms. An early bridge at Honley existed downstream at Steps, erected by Joseph Roberts in 1759. However, the 1768 Huddersfield to Woodhead turnpike crossed into Honley at Steps corner and past the bridge there to Upper and Lower Reins, where the ancient route from Almondbury (Northgate) joined from the east. The turnpike then turned westwards over the old bridge at Honley and turned immediately in a southerly direction up the road now known as Old Turnpike.

This early bridge was recorded in the 17" century, for a grant from Agbrigg and Morley Wappontake of £50 for repairs was made in 1662, followed by further grants throughout the 18" century. In 1754, John Lockwood, constable of Honley, made an agreement with Joshua Barker, a stonemason of Netherthong to repair and maintain the bridge and the roads around it. The contract was for 12 months. He had to keep the arch and parapets in good order for seven years. For all this he was paid £14.

Perhaps due to this continual need for repairs, the bridge was substantially rebuilt in 1791. During this time, access to the village could be made by

opposite top. The original Honley Bridge, which offered a narrow entrance to the village. lower. This was the view looking from Honley Bridge, prior to widening in 1915. The tinner’s cottage is in the foreground. In the left background is the Waggon and Horses public house.

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Steps Bridge and Magdale. A further grant of £97 from Agbrigg and Morley Wappontake may well have been to cover the cost of the later work. The double span bridge was rebuilt with segmental arches and was 24 ft 6 ins wide.

By the early 19 century, road improvements were needed once more and this time it was for a better route to Holmfirth. As part of a dispute with the Wadesley and Langsett Turnpike, who were building a new road along the line of the present A616, New Mill Road, the Huddersfield and Woodhead Turnpike

sought to improve their road to Holmfirth.

A new bridge was built over the Holme south east of Honley Bridge in 1828 to create a better route to Hagg and on to Thongsbridge and Holmfirth. At first the new turnpike only went as far as Banks where it rejoined the old turnpike, but

the remainder of the route was opened in 1831 to Thongsbridge where it joined the 1772 road into Holmfirth. The 1828 bridge date stone is now barely visible.

The matter of lighting the two bridges over the River Holme at Honley exercised the Honley Gas Company. The bridge was considered to be a dangerous place as it was unlit and had low parapets, over which someone crossing could tumble. The company provided a gas light at Honley Bar, the wells and at the entrance to their works. However, this light did not the Woodhead Turnpike and concern was expressed that in foggy weather, the lamp barely shone over one, let alone both bridges.

It was resolved to place a second lamp at the corner between the two bridges to illuminate both routes. The Directors agreed that it would make the Gas Works nearby more obvious and no longer make Honley look “like a cow with one horn”.

The effectiveness of the light was undisputed when it was lit, but in 1869, Joseph Earnshaw of Farnley Hey and Amos Stringer were returning home from Honley around nine o'clock on a dark December night, when they became lost at Honley Bridge. They found themselves in the Gas Works yard and, it being open to the river, fell into the water. They were rescued by workmen in the yard and were only slightly injured. However, the lamp at the dangerous corner was, on this occasion, found not to be illuminated!

The supply of water to the villagers was next to be considered, this time by the Local Board. In September 1861, the wells at Towngate had become unfit for domestic use and were about to be covered over. Many in Honley believed that there were thousands of gallons of water going to waste into the river. The 300 to 400 people, who were reported to live on the eastern side of Honley felt that they deserved a good supply of water and so it was requested that water be piped from the wells to Honley Bridge. There it was made available for public

opposite top. The tinner’s cottage is hidden in the summer foliage of the trees lower. In 1913, Honley Band lead a procession of village children back from Northgate Mount, home of William Brooke. The old narrow bridge can be judged from this view. Bridge Cottage on the corner of Huddersfield Road has not yet been built

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consumption via a ‘lion’s mouth’. In the spring of 1870, the Local Board agreed to lay water pipes in the causeway down to Honley Bridge while it was being repaired.

The bridge may seem an unlikely place for a political hustings, but in May 1859, two parliamentary candidates met an assembly of Honley villagers at Honley Bridge. In order to be seen and heard, Patrick Crossley and Sir John Ramsden stood (rather precariously) on the parapet and addressed the crowd.

The river was sufficiently wide and deep for the occasional sailing expedition at Honley Bridge. In April 1869, two young men were witnessed sailing and carrying their skiff downstream. At Honley Bridge they gave the populace a display of their sailing skills before carrying their boat downstream and sailing off towards Armitage Bridge.

Just two months later Sam Lee wagered that he could sail a tub from Honley Mill dam for about 200 yards. He ran aground, was rescued at the tinner’s house and shipped water, but after two hours of “buffeting” in the river and with an audience of about 200, he won his wager - a bottle of brandy!

Honley Bridge was rebuilt once again in the 20" century as part of the extensive improvements at the entrance to the village. As well as widening the bridge, the local council built a new set of offices, widened Eastgate to remove the dangerous corner at the Coach and Horses public house and improved the road to the centre of the village.

In 1918, Honley Urban District Council set about purchasing land around Honley Bridge to enable widening to take place. The council paid Mrs Ann Fowler £660 for property, presumably the adjacent dwelling on the riverside. However the tinner’s house, which sat next door below the road and bridge, became the subject of much dispute. A sum of £125 was asked for the property, but was rejected as being too high. The council resorted to a third party to purchase the tiny house and plot of land, before announcing that they were now the owners.

In June 1914, Honley UDC advertised for tenders to widen Honley Bridge and in August the contract was offered to Alfred Firth of Shepley for £327 7s. 4d. The new bridge was built of ashlar with rusticated dressings and ashlar parapets. It was widened to 36 feet, including a six foot pavement and the approach roads at either end were also widened with the sharp bend into Eastgate being reduced. That work was undertaken separately by S & S Sykes of Golcar. The design for the bridge was by J Berry and Sons, Architects, of Huddersfield.

The final stone was placed by William Brooke at a ceremony, at 5.00pm on Wednesday 22" September, 1915. Mr Brooke was presented with an inscribed silver trowel to carry this out. He said that he had travelled over the old bridge for 80 years and hoped that those crossing in the next 80 would be as thankful as he was to be from Honley. To great applause, he declared that with the new roadway, it would soon be ‘Huddersfield near Honley.’


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Honley Council Offices

Government Act of 1894. Councillors were elected for three-year terms. There were to be no ex officio or appointed members as had existed in some of the predecessor bodies, the Local Boards. One-third of the council was elected on 15 April each year. UDCs could, by a resolution passed with a two-thirds majority, change to a system of elections of the whole council every three years. The council elected a chairman at their annual meeting, who was, during their term of office, a justice of the peace for the county.

= Urban District Council was formed as a result of the Local

Prior to the UDC village affairs were under the jurisdiction of the Local Board. The first popularly elected local government in Honley was formed as part of an Act of 1858. It was initially feared that no one in Honley would be prepared to stand, but eventually almost 50 names were put forward for the 12 places.

On Sunday 4 December, 1864, the results of the election for members of the Local Board were published by the summoning officer. The names of the gentlemen elected would have been well known in the village. William Brooke, Esq. Merchant Northgate House lead the poll with 5283 votes followed by Richard Haigh, farmer, Gynn House, George Jessop junior, drysalter. Others were James Robinson of Smithy Place, dyer, Lupton Littlewood, Enfield House, manufacturer, George William Farrar, Cliffe House, dyer, William Wilkinson, Market Place, gentleman, William Henry Walker, Townhead, manufacturer. William Roebuck farmer of Wood Nook, John Haigh coal merchant of Hall Ing, Edward Lees surgeon of Bleak House and Henry Thackeray, druggist of Westgate were also elected.

At their first meeting, the Board acknowledged two main deficiencies in the village, namely street lighting and water. Just one year later, the Board had petitioned to divide the Township into three wards, central, east and west, delineations which continue into the 21*t century. However, the provision of gas lighting, especially to the streets where various members lived, seemed to be much more easily achieved than the provision of water.

In September 1866, the Board appointed John Hirst to light the public lamps at an annual salary of £10. Typically, in 1894, the monthly income from rates was £147 15s. 11d. and payments were made for sewerage and road repairs. Plans for a new larder at Deanhouse workhouse and an outhouse in Crown Street were approved. Plans for a house in Concord Street built by Joe Theaker were also approved. An order was placed with Messrs Henry Brooke and Company of Colne Road Huddersfield for new street name plates.

The Local Board existed for 30 years during which time it exercised its powers over the villagers of Honley. It was dissolved in December, 1894, when the members enjoyed a farewell dinner at the Waggon and Horses Inn, Eastgate.


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Amongst the many toasts, was one to the chairman of the Board, Dr Thomas Smailes, MD. In his comments, Arthur Drake observed that the whole village had been “drained in the most thorough manner” during Dr Smailes term of


The new UDC members met at first in a variety of rooms in the village. The Wesleyan Sunday School, offices at 18 Church Street and the Gas Works had all served as home as well as the Working Men’s Club in Westgate. Separate to this, the UDC registered office was at 17 Southgate, the premises of Taylor and Jones. However, a new civic building was the aim of the council.

In 1914, tenders were sought for the construction of new offices to include rooms for both the gas and electricity undertakings. The site chosen was adjacent to Honley Bridge which would be widened along with Eastgate at the same time. This required the purchase of property, both at the river’s edge and along the opposite side of Eastgate from Lower Fold to Turnpike.

The location was a peculiar triangular shape but the two-storey building would accommodate all the council’s needs. J Berry and Sons, the council architects, of 3 Market Place, Huddersfield, drew up the plans and the work, like that on Honley Bridge which was completed at the same time, was carried out by a variety of contractors.

Alfred Firth was again the main contractor with joinery being undertaken by J R Marsden and plumbing by local plumber Charles France. Other trades included Wilkinson’s the painter, Spence and Company, slaters and concreting by E S Jessop. The new building had central heating, in the form of hot water radiators, installed by C Watson and Sons. All the council departments were accommodated in the new building together with a large workshop for the Gas Works with a boiler and coal storage in the basement.

In the ground floor vestibule was the rate collector's office and the clerk to the council’s office. The gas department was situated at the right hand side with a showroom and three large display windows to Eastgate. On the first floor, was the council chamber, two committee rooms and offices for the surveyor and the gas manager. The building also accommodated a laboratory and dark room.

The imposing facade employed hammer-dressed ashlar to the Eastgate elevation. With the two entrance doors beneath substantial arches and pediments, balustraded parapets and the words Council Offices carved in stone, the village could take pride in its new civic building.

Following the official opening of the widened bridge by William Brooke on Wednesday September, 1915, the party moved round the corner to the

opposite top. Elon Crowther, Chairman of Honley UDC, makes a point in his speech, opening the new offices. Emily Frances Siddon and William Brooke stand to his left.

lower left Lupton Littlewood, chairman of the Honley Local Board 1870 -73. lower right, Elon Crowther, chairman of Honley Urban District Council and Honley Gas Company


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front door of the new offices. There, Councillor Elon Crowther, chairman of the council, was introduced by Councillor William Oldham and Alderman Joseph Berry presented him with a gold key to perform the opening ceremony.

Alderman Berry said that Honley was progressing as it now made its own gas and electricity and so was becoming one of the most up-and-coming towns. He praised Councillor Crowther for his work in the township and hoped he would chair the Urban District Council for many years to come.

Elon Crowther then opened the door of the new offices and addressed the crowd. He said that he had been waiting for this event for several years. Once the party had entered, County Councillor Samuel Jagger, husband of Honley’s historian, Mary Jagger, unveiled a plaque in the vestibule, with a lengthy inscription reading: L915 This tablet commemorates the building of the Honley Urban District Council Offices, the widening of Eastgate and the enlargement of Honley Bridge. The total cost £7,500. Members of the District Council during the improvements were:- Central Ward: J E Heap, F Oldfield, S Jagger, G Pearson T Smailes MD East Ward: G H Barraclough, Chairman E Crowther JP, T E Littlewood South Ward: J A Beaumont, G T Oldham Clerk: T Smailes, J Berry and Sons Architects Despite being at the Bottom o’ the Gate, the Council offices soon became a focal point for the village. During the council’s years of existence, bills were paid there - rates, electricity and gas. New appliances could be purchased. Once the Urban District Council began to build houses in the 1920s, the rents could be paid.

Among the notable locals who were members of Honley UDC was France Littlewood, a founder member of the Independent Labour Party. He went on to hold the post of national treasurer of the ILP until 1902.

At the end of its existence, in April 1938, the UDC members had a farewell meal and the decision making was transferred to Holmfirth UDC. Amongst the notable councillors who represented Honley on the new body was Harry Holdroyd, who had a joinery business at Far Banks. The new council was responsible for housing developments, the biggest being at Roundway in 1946 to accommodate those returning from war. Local architects, P N Brown and Son of Market Place, Honley were given the task of designing the estate.

In the government reorganisation of 1972, Holmfirth UDC was abolished and Holmfirth Parish Council came into being, renamed Holme Valley Parish Council in 1975.

opposite top. \Ve don’t know the names ofall of the members of this gathering of Honley UDC, nor the date. It is probably around 1913. The back row includes Harry Holdroyd, far left and Tom Chapman, third from left. Dr Tom Smailes with the white moustache is centre and at the far right is J Thornton. The middle row is James Sykes (Clerk to the Council) and a rather short A Hinchcliffe. The front row includes A Matthewman, Harry Oldfield and George Pearson lower, The members of Honley UDC at their annual dinner include Harry Boothroyd, Harold Bray and Leonard Battye (from the electricity office) Harry Marsden, the engineer, manager and secretary of the council is on the right in the bow tie.


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Honley Gas Works

onley was a dark place in the middle of the 19% century, with only a flickering candle or greasy lamp to light the homes of Honleyers after dark. Many other towns across the country had installed gas works from around 1825 to illuminate their streets but Honley was not included in that number. In December 1851, one villager was about to change all that.

Edwin France, who was many things, a plumber, glazier and farmer, set up a gas apparatus and storage tank at his own expense at Marsh and offered gas for sale to the public. The proprietors of various shops took up his offer and before long gas was supplied to businesses such colourful names as Law Beaumont’s Ironmongery, Pae’s Manchester House, Greenwood’s Tea Mart, Wilkinson’s Drapery, Wood's Printing Office and the Barber’s Shop, all of which were near Marsh in Market Place or Westgate.

The village took on an illuminated air as the windows of these and other establishments shone with the light of gas mantles. Hannah Schofield of the Coach and Horses went one step further and erected a large gas lamp at the front door of the inn, which, being on the sharp bend at the Bottom o’ the Gate, lighted the roadway towards both Honley Bridge and Eastgate.

The previous year, on 31% December, 1850, Edwin France lit a lamp that he had erected, again at his own expense, on a post at the town wells, at the Top o’ the Gate. The date exactly seven years later, given by Mary Jagger in her History of Honley, is probably when piped gas was brought to the wells from the gas works.

Many Honleyers were frightened of this new monster in their village and Edwin France was subsequently the subject of law suits. However, he was still able to persuade the postmaster to install a gas light in the post office in Far End Lane in order to show residents that the new method of lighting was safe.

Edwin apparatus was shortly to be superseded by the creation of a village gas company. A meeting was first held at the Coach and Horses in October 1854, resulting in an Act of Parliament the following year, setting up the Honley Gas Company (AGC). Capital of £1,000 was sought in £1 shares, all of which were quickly subscribed. A concession was made to permit women to hold shares as the enterprise was at first considered a risky investment.

The newly-formed company had 15 Directors drawn from Honley, including Reverend Charles Drawbridge, William France, plumber and Joshua Midwood, grocer. A parcel of land was offered south of Honley Bridge by Lord Dartmouth

opposite top, One of Honley’s most impressive buildings, the UDC Offices have had many roles - health centre, Midland Bank and the Kirklees neighbourhood housing office. lower, Buildings on the opposite side of Eastgate were demolished to widen the road outside the new council offices. Here the Waggon and Horses pub and adjacent buildings are taken down


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at a rent of £10 per annum. This was considered to be exorbitant and Rev Drawbridge offered to exchange church land to enable the works to be built. However, Lord Dartmouth changed his mind and agreed to a lease on the site at Honley Bridge at an annual rental of £5 for a period of 90 years.

Once its Act was obtained, the Company awarded contracts for the erection of the gas works and equipment. Carpentry was given to local joiner, Thomas Eastwood and the digging out of the pit for the gas holder and other mason’s work was awarded to another Honley man, Edward Haigh. The gas holders were made by a Manchester company, W Maben. By April 1855, the gas making apparatus had been delivered to Honley station and awaited transfer down to

the Gas Works site.

After measuring the streets, it was agreed that around 3,000 yards of piping would be needed. Based on the number of lamps which would be needed, an annual output of one million cubic feet of gas was planned. Such was the success of the provision of gas to Honley that a second gas holder was needed and large pit, 49 feet in diameter and 15 feet deep was created in September 1865 by Mr Bakewell of Armitage Bridge.

When the new road to Honley station was opened, early in 1872, gas pipes were laid along its length to provide lighting. The cost was borne by the Local Board and taken from the lighting rate, which had been applied to villagers.

The Gas Company prospered as more people came to trust its product and by 1877 the shareholders received a dividend of 10% with a reduction in the price from 6s. 3d. to 6s. Od. per thousand cubic feet.

However, the odourless gas supply was not without its problems. In March 1879, at the Coach and Horses, John Schofield, the landlord, noticed on getting up that there had been an explosion in his front room. He turned off the gas at the meter and went into another room with a light to check for more leaks. A second explosion resulted and Mr Schofield was knocked over, his hair was scorched and the ceiling was brought down.

By 1885, Honley Gas Company was extending its boundaries. As part of their expansion, the Directors applied to increase the Company’s capital in order to supply South Crosland and part of Thurstonland. In so doing the Company would encroach on the area which was the responsibility of Huddersfield Town Council.

At an inquiry held in the Wesleyan Sunday School into this expansion, evidence was given by Robert Dempster, a gas engineer from Elland, who valued the existing equipment at £11,500. Another engineer, Thomas Newbiggin, criticised the Gas Company for having an imperfect purifying plant resulting in the loss opposite top. A view of the gasworks from Turnpike, with Honley Mill prominent in the background. Turnpike House, one-time home of Samuel and Mary Jagger is on the far left.

lower, Newtown looks deserted after the explosion in 1899 had caused considerable damage to the gas plant but left nearby buildings unscathed.


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At about half-past two o'clock on Tuesday afternoon, a terrible explosion occurred at the works of the Honley Gas Company, Limited, near Huddersfield, by which four men lost their lives and another man was seriously injured. Taking advantage of the slack time of the year, the company decided some time ago, in order to meet the increased demand for gas in the winter season, to replace their chief holder with one of larger capacity. On Monday last, workmen employed by Messrs. Dempster and Sons, gas engineers, Elland, began operations with the view of taking out the old single-lift gasometer, which had a capacity of 25,000 cubic feet. The new holder is to be of the telescopic kind, capable of holding 75,000 cubic feet of gas. The demolished holder was in use until Monday morning, when it was let down and apparently was free from gas. On Tuesday, after the dinner hour, five men were engaged on its surface, preparing to strip off the top sheets, and for their purposes chisels were employed. Another man who was engaged near at hand heard a hissing, noise and saw the holder suddenly rise to a height above the stays by which it had formerly been supported, and the men at work on its surface were hurled into the air. Simultaneously there was a loud report, and the mangled remains of workmen fell in various parts of the works. The serious nature of the occurrence was at once apparent to those about the premises, and doctors were summoned. Drs. Dyson and Smailes, both of Honley, were quickly on the spot, and other medical men from Huddersfield attended shortly after information of the accident had been conveyed to that town. The list of killed is as follows: Thomas Carter (25), single, Elland John Makin (27) single, Elland Joe Binns (27), married, Greetland Ben Pearson (35), married, Milnsbridge. Ben Taylor (30), single, Elland was badly bruised about the leg and was removed in the ambulance carriage to Huddersfield Infirmary. Pearson, Carter and Makin were dead when picked up and Binns died in an hour after the explosion. The terrific force of the explosion may be indicated by the fact that the bodies of the deceased men were blown to a height considerably above the scrubbers which are adjacent to the wrecked holder. The scrubber at the summit measures about 30 feet from the ground level. Pearson was found on the roof of the office on the opposite side of the yard to that occupied by the holder. Carter was blown on to the top of a coal slice and Makin, whose injuries were of shocking nature, alighted on the step of the scrubbers hard by the demolished holder. No damage was done to the surrounding property. John William Banks, Greetland, the foreman, was lucky to escape injury. He had been on the holder a short time before the explosion, but had retired to write a letter in one of the rooms at the works. Ben Taylor, the man lying at the infirmary, alighted near the purifying shed, and was assisted to a sheltered place by Fred Jenkinson. The latter says the first warning of the explosion that he heard was a hissing noise like that made by the ascent of a rocket. He looked round and saw the holder elevated in the air, a good bit above the iron supports on which the chains had run and three or four men being blown above the top the holder. The men fell in various directions and the holder came down on its side. Mr Barstow will hold an inquiry. There is a theory that the explosion resulted from a spark emitted by a chisel used in cutting the plates. Binns was the popular and very capable full back for Sowerby Bridge FC. He had his leg broken whilst playing a match at Beech on Shrove Tuesday and had only resumed work last Monday morning. He leaves a widow and one child.


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of ammonia. He put this down to bad management. He said that a well run gas works should be able to supply gas at 3s. 9d. per thousand cubic ft.

In June 1886, the plans were passed to permit an expansion of the Gas Works. This was on a new site of 2,230 square yards on the east side of the Woodhead Road, bounded by the River Holme and opposite the existing Gas Works. Also sought was the mandatory right to supply gas to a defined area - presumably the wider Township of Honley. As a result of the 1886 Act, a large gas holder was built at the new site on the Holme to cope with the increased demand.

Until this time, the HGC had been permitted to lay mains through negotiation with the Local Board and initially approval was granted provided that gas was supplied free to “dark places” in the village. By the late 1880s, the HGC had 756 domestic customers, being supplied with nine million cubic feet of gas annually. A further one million cu ft was pumped through 11 miles of pipes to just 47 street lamps in Honley. The village was still a dark place.

There was more demand in 1890, when the members of the Local Board asked the Gas Company if they were willing to lay a mains and supply lighting to Scotgate. Further extensions of the mains took place at Steps and Sentry and from Far End Lane to Hagg later in the decade.

The position of the works, below the Old Turnpike, meant that surface water was prone to seeping into the premises. The Local Board considered this in November 1895 and resolved not to create a footpath with kerb and draining, but simply to ‘improve the channelling’ to take the water away to the foot of the road and so away into the river.

The expansion in the capacity of the gas holders was to be the cause of a major explosion and loss of life at the Honley Bridge site. Work was being undertaken to renew one of the gas holders by Robert Dempster of Elland, who had given evidence at the 1885 inquiry. The explosion occurred on Tuesday 4” July, 1899 at about half-past two resulting in four men losing their lives and another seriously injured. The newspaper reports of the time were dramatic.

It had been the ambition of the Local Board and its successor, Honley Urban District Council, to own the Gas Company and to generate electricity to ight the village. James Sykes, the clerk to the council, confirmed with the Local Government Boardin 1900 that the latter could be achieved through an Electrical lighting Order, but that the former would require a bill to be passed through parliament. The council wished to apply for both together to save expense. The UDC agreed to purchase the Honley Gas Company on October, 1900 and formally confirmed this on 2" July, 1901. The councillors obtained their Act of Parliament to purchase the company, the Honley Urban District Council Gas Act, 1901. At a special meeting in September 1901 to wind up the HGC, Elon

opposite. A report in the Huddersfield and District Chronicle gave a full account of the explosion at Honley Gas Works on Tuesday 4t" July, 1899.


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Crowther was appointed liquidator. Having been floated in 1856 for just £1,000, the Honley Gas Company was brought into public hands for £18,500.

Honley Gas Works continued to supply the village, although lighting dropped from a peak of 90 street lamps in 1904 to virtually none by 1920, when street lighting was turning to electricity. After the 1914-18 war, supplies of coal had run so low in 1919, with only two weeks’ stock, that use of gas and electricity was curtailed between 1.00pm and 7.00pm and between 10.00pm and 6.00am each day. By 1988 and with the demise of the Urban District Council, negotiation had begun to transfer the undertaking to Huddersfield Corporation and this was completed on 20% August, 1939, along with Holmfirth and New Mill gas companies and those of Thurstonland and Netherthong. To avoid wartime damage and loss of supply, the two mains distributors to Honley were linked by four miles of new pipes.

Following nationalisation after the Second World War, the undertaking was transferred to the North Eastern Gas Board. The nation-wide conversion from coal gas to natural gas between 1967 and 1977 brought the end of all local gas works, including Honley. It closed in May 1971, just a year after neighbouring Holmfirth.

above, New Road Side and the Gas Works extension alongside the River Holme. Station Road, Council Terrace and Gynn Lane in the background.


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Electricity Works

he village Electricity Works was built in the Gas Works by Honley Urban T District Council at a cost of around £2,400. It was housed in a long single storey building along the southern bank of the Holme as it passes from the Woodhead Road bridge to Honley Bridge. This building can still be seen today.

The UDC had first considered the provision of electricity for lighting both public streets and private dwellings in December 1899 and experimented in 1901. Application was made to the Board of Trade under the Electric Lighting Acts, 1882 and 1888, for a Provisional Order enabling the Honley Urban District Council to produce and supply electric light for public and private purposes within the Urban District of Honley.

The Gas Works building was converted by a local company, Edward Holdroyd and Sons, of Far Banks. The main plant consisted of a 22 kilowatt Westinghouse dynamo driven by a 35 brake horse power Westinghouse double cylinder gas engine. A larger plant was capable of generating 40 horse power. Generation was from the same gas engine as powered the Gas Works.

A third, smaller dynamo was similar, but with an output of 8 kW and used only for lighting. It was manufactured by the Alliance Electrical Company of Thurstonland. The switchboard and mains cables were supplied by AEC the latter consisting of bare overhead copper wire on steel poles. The whole output was at 200 volts and was capable of supplying 2,500 homes.

Electric power was first switched on in November 19038, prior to the official opening of the generating plant. At a ceremony on Monday 14% March, 1904, Councillor Elon Crowther formally opened the Electricity Works, the engineer Mr AB Mountain having handed him an inscribed gold key. Elon Crowther said that he felt honoured and that the machinery was of the most modern type. He then set a small generating set going and William Brooke JP switched on the electric light.

This event was a big step in taking Honley into the 20 century. After the ceremony, the party celebrated with a dinner at the Wheatsheaf Inn, in Southgate. It was proposed initially to illuminate Eastgate, Westgate, Southgate and Church Street and later to supply electricity to other parts of Honley.

By the 1920s, many gas street lights had been replaced by electric lamps, one of the earliest conversions in the area. By 1937, there was a national grid system for the UK and ten years later, all mains electricity to homes was at 240 volts. At the same time, electricity undertakings were nationalised into area boards.

In November 2009, following the collapse of a retaining wall of the River Holme and the front portion of the old generating house, Kirklees council staff were intrigued to discover the original electricity cables protruding from the building. Fortunately these were not live!


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Honley Bridge and Newtown

Tram Terminus 5 Corporation was the first in Britain to own and operate its

tramway system, with the first steam trams operating from Thursday 11” January, 1883. These trams reached the Golden Fleece at Berry Brow on 2" June, 1892. Electric trams commenced running from St. George's Square to Outlane and Lindley almost 10 years later, on 14 February, 1901 with other routes following by the end of the month.

The Holme Valley route was extended from Berry Brow to Honley on 5 June, 1902 still using steam trams which had been replaced on other routes. Huddersfield Corporation had originally applied for a route via New Mill Road to New Mill and another to Holmfirth and Holmbridge but these lines were not built. By 17 June, 1902 the new electric trams in their maroon and cream livery had arrived at Honley Bridge. The tram tracks formed a small loop anda stub at the junction of Huddersfield Road and Eastgate.

The trams seated 56 passengers and had electric heaters in the lower saloon, with curtains at each window and crimson velvet cushions. The fare on the open-topped vehicles was cheaper if you travelled on the upper deck and pre- printed tickets were issued for the first time.

Honleyers could then have an alternative way of reaching Huddersfield apart from the train from Honley station, another half mile away up Station Road. Trams ran via Lockwood and Chapel Hill to St George’s Square then on to Sheepridge. One feature pioneered by Huddersfield Corporation was the addition of a post box on each tram. In May 1891, the subject of tram car mail was first raised at a Huddersfield Town Council meeting. The suggestion was that a letter box should be placed on each of the trams with a view of making them a kind of travelling post office. This would enable people living in more distant places to post their letters as late as nine o'clock in the evening for the last clearance at


The postmaster general was slow to give approval, but eventually on 20" March, 1893 the first letters were posted in the bright red boxes fitted to all steam trams and in due course to electric trams, including on the route to Honley Bridge. When each tram arrived at the terminus, the conductor would remove it from the rear and take it to the other end. Once back in town, the box was replaced and the original taken to the General Post Office in Northumberland Street. Post boxes lasted until 1939.

opposite top. The first electric trams were open-topped, offering very little protection for the traveller. The Railway Hotel is seen to the right and the tram waiting shelter at Honley Bridge terminus can be seen on the left. Note that the house at corner opposite the shelter has not yet been built. lower, The policeman is not taxed with traffic in this view looking northwards from Honley’s other bridge which was built in 1828. The tram shelter can be seen to the left of the picture, although passengers remain outside on this sunny day in the 1920s.


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Honley Bridge and Newtown


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Honley Bridge and Newtown

In order to provide cover for the passengers waiting for the trams, an octagonal- shaped shelter was built out over the River Holme on the south eastern corner of Honley Bridge. With Sunday services and a speedy trip into town, the trams were soon the preferred mode of transport for Honleyers.

In the years 1921 to 1924, new routes for motor buses were opened up, both from Honley Bridge, to Holmbridge and to Jackson Bridge via New Mill. The Jackson Bridge service started at the bottom of Station Road, just a short walk from the tram terminus. It must be presumed that the Holmbridge bus left from near the Jacob’s Well public house.

These shuttle services connected at Honley with tramcars, apart from the first journeys out in the morning and the last journeys back in the evenings, which were through buses. Tram services from Honley ended to become entirely bus operated on 19% February, 1939, with through routes all day. Trolley buses were considered unsuitable because of the low headroom beneath the railway bridge at Lockwood, however, until the end of the 1940s, Huddersfield Corporation kept open the option to run trolley buses along the Holme Valley.

opposite top. The post box is clearly visible on the rear of tram number 99 at Honley Bridge terminus. The crew are keen to pose as are the staff at Hartley’s shop. The passengers on the upper deck seem happy to be in the picture! lower, A tram waits at Honley bridge for the return trip to Huddersfield and Sheepridge around 1935. In the middle of the picture is Maddison’s yard and Buildings. The petrol pump at J A Littlewood’s garage is visible to the right. above, A Guy bus (CX 5180, Huddersfield Corporation Tramways No.10) waits to take the Jackson Bridge service from the bottom of Station Road in the mid 1920s, observed by the village constabulary. Council Terrace is clearly under construction.


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Honley Bridge and Newtown

Len tae eae. Bey le

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Honley Bridge and Newtown

New Road Side to Honley Bar

rom the opening of the improvements to the Huddersfield to Woodhead + turnpike, the Jacob’s Well tavern has been a welcome sight. Despite the biblical connotations of the name, the pub was actually built alongside an old piggery which had a well on land owned by Jacob Hanson. The pub was put up for sale in June 1856, presumably on his death.

A later landlord, James Hinchliffe, rose from bed around midnight on Wednesday, 4 December, 1884 telling his wife he would attend to the pigs. Charlotte Blackwell, a servant at the pub, found him the following morning, hanged in the kitchen. It was not to be the first suicide in the neighbourhood.

The Jacob’s Well has been the scene of many events in Honley, from holding inquests to an assembly point for protesters as well as the location for at least one illicit prize fight in 1867. It even became, in 1862, a refuge for a policeman, who was being hounded out of the village by disgruntled Honleyers. Three cottages at New Road Side opposite the Jacob’s Well were offered for sale freehold in September 1874, perhaps giving a clue to the date of building of this row of houses.

James Beaumont moved from Scissett to his newly built dyeworks alongside the River Holme at Honley Bridge in 1880, but was soon in financial difficulty, for, by August 1883, his creditors were calling for a liquidation of his assets. Beaumont did not have his troubles to seek, with fire breaking out in October 1908. However, he did seem to make a success of the business, an ornate letter head being employed well into the 20" century.

Northgate, now a route distant from Honley village centre, was once linked directly to the turnpike at Honley Bridge. At the junction sat the toll house and gate to ensure travellers paid for the privilege of using the roads to either New

Mill or Holmfirth and Woodhead.

The Huddersfield and Woodhead Turnpike Trust came into being in 1778 and went on to agree to build the road from Honley Bridge to Smithy Bridge, but this wasn’t carried through. It was left to the Wadesley and Langsett Turnpike Trust to build the route, New Mill Road as we know it today.

In 1818, the tolls for the five toll bars from Lockwood to Woodhead were let to the highest bidder for a maximum period of three years. At that time the rent for all five was £1,185 per annum. The revenue could be quite attractive. In 1835, the Huddersfield and Woodhead Turnpike received £1806 whereas the Wadesley and Langsett in New Mill area received just £493.

opposite top. The road to Holmfirth is lined with the gas houses and the Well Inn in the right middle distance and the houses of New Road Side to the left. lower, A 19" century photograph of Huddersfield Road showing Newtown House in the centre and the mill chimney in the background. Honley Bridge leads off to the left. It is notable for how much is missing compared with present day views. inset, A bill head for James Beaumont’s dyeworks at Honley Bridge


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Honley Bridge and Newtown

The New Mill Road was opened northwards on 18 April, 1825 as far as Scar End Brockholes and eventually to the Flouch Inn by September that year. There was a second toll bar at the foot of Gynn Lane (Crossley or Catch Bar) and at Smithy Bridge. The toll bar was originally situated at Honley Bridge on the site of the former Railway Inn. It was moved to Northgate to ensure that New Mill traffic passing through to Honley paid the appropriate toll. At Northgate as at other bars, there would have been a gate and possibly a chain across the road to ensure payment was made.

Avoidance of the tolls was a frequent occurrence. The toll-keeper had to rely on the honesty of travellers to declare their destination. If they were going to New Mill, the toll was three pence, whereas going to Holmfirth (and thereby Honley Bridge) required a payment of six pence each way. Regular travellers and carters preferred to come to an arrangement with the toll keeper.

The tolls were finally removed on 1% November, 1876, on the expiry of the trustees’ powers. The toll house was removed when the Huddersfield Road was widened in the early 1920s.

In August 1868, William Brooke solved a drought problem on his land and amused villagers as well, as reported in the Huddersfield Chronicle.


Agriculturists are fertile in expedients for supplying by art what is withholden by nature. We have read of water being forced from the river Nile, in Egypt, to irrigate the adjacent lands. Something similar has been adopted at Honley this week. An enterprising farmer, William Brooke, has a plot of fine turnips in a field on the eastern side of the Sheffield road at Honley bar and more than 200 yards from the river. The weather having been so long dry and the turnips drooping for lack of moisture, Mr. Brooke adopted the expedient of substituting artificial for natural rain. For this purpose he caused the powerful water-engine to be brought from the mills at Armitage Bridge and placed on the banks of the river at Honley mills. This being done, about 200 yards of hose was attached to the engine and carried right into the field so as to command the whole plot of turnips, with a jet at the extreme end, and a man to conduct the water. The engine was then set to work and presently a large volume of water was sent 40 or 50 feet into the air, descending on the turnips in showers ; putting to flight or drowning all vermin and well saturating the parched earth with water. The villagers seemed delighted with what they called a “raining machine,” and hundreds were present to witness this novel, but effectual, mode of watering the turnips.

opposite top. The Huddersfield road is much narrower at Honley Bar toll house, seen on the left with the petrol pumps of Littlewood’s garage on the right. An early motor car is passing in front of Lockwood’s Buildings. The toll house was rebuilt further back from the roadway as the lodge for Northgate House. lower, Looking towards Honley Bar and Newtown at the bottom of Station Road which comes in on the right. Station Road was originally to be named Park Lane. Littlewood’s garage is in the middle distance, behind the motor car. Kilner and Brooke’s garage is off to the left.


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Honley Bridge and Newtown


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Honley Bridge and Newtown

William Brooke, whose home was Northgate Mount, offered land in 1870 adjacent to the muddy track known as Cow Lane to create a more convenient route from Honley to the railway station which had opened 20 years earlier. This would avoid the twisting steep route via Northgate or the longer route via Gynn Lane and the track alongside the railway.

Members of the Local Board approved the plans and by August the ground had been measured out. The first turf was turned on Christmas Eve, 1870, by the chairman of the Board, Lupton Littlewood, followed by a celebratory spread. The new road was originally to be called Park Lane, but that grand title was reduced to a more descriptive Station Road. It was opened to the public on 23" January, 1872 and William Brooke took possession of Northgate to be the driveway to his house.

Prior to that the road from New Mill Road towards Honley Bridge required attention. In April 1867, the Local Board ordered that the road should be lifted, the pathway repaired and well covered with asphalt.

There were (and are) several shops around Honley Bridge. One was what was known as the Bottom Co-op and Cafe. However, prior to that the shop was owned by Edwin Kinder and was a saddlery. The business was begun by Edwin’s father, David and his uncle Abraham. Abraham lived at Bridge Building, Honley and died in December 1893. Two years later, David was given approval by Honley Local Board to built the house and a workshop at Honley Bridge. When David died in 1910 aged 73, the business passed to his son. Edwin and his wife Elizabeth lived ‘above the shop’ and brought up two children, Helen and Albert. But tragedy was about to strike the area a second time.

In a state of depression, Edwin hanged himself at the workshop around lunch time on Saturday 7 December, 1912. Although found by his 11 year-old daughter, it was a neighbour, Thomas Hardy, who cut Edwin down. It was said that the saddler feared that the arrival of the motor car would bring about the end of his saddlery business. He was just 40 years old.

The premises was sold to Honley Industrial & Equitable Co-operative Society Ltd. There, the upper room could be hired out for wedding or funeral teas. There was an early cigarette machine at the door and you could buy the old tea chests for fire wood. The grocer’s was on the corner with the confectioner’s next door in the hands of Miss Hirst. The shop is now an antiques centre. Round the corner in Station Road was Tom Brooke’s fish shop, a favourite on a Friday night.

The most substantial building at the junction was the Railway Hotel. Erected on the site of the first Woodhead Road toll house, the hostelry was may have originally been called the Sawyer’s Arms and began simply as a beer house run by William Turner, who died in 1859. His widow, Ann, ran the house in the 1860s. However, she died in 1872 and was succeeded by her son-in-law Thomas Stocks, who sought to have a full licence in 1878, but was refused. opposite top. Edwin Kinder’s saddlery shop at the corner of Station Road and Woodhead Road by Honley Bridge. The sign above the door reads ‘A & D Kinder Saddlers’. lower, The Railway Hotel was popular once, being next to the tram terminus and opposite to Kinder’s saddlery. It is likely to have previously been called the Sawyer’s Arms.


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Honley Bridge and Newtown

Page 35

Honley Bridge and Newtown

The inn passed to David Dodson in 1877. He was granted a wine licence but at first refused a full innkeeper’s licence although this had been granted by 1890. The Railway as it became known in the village was a popular public house up until the millennium, but eventually closed to become a fast food outlet.

Alongside is Sizing Boiler Row or Row. These early houses in Newtown were the home in 1851 to Benjamin Kay, also a saddler, and Thomas Eastwood, a carpenter. Behind is Buildings, a pair of cottages, which appear to have been owned by Edward Lockwood of Armitage Bridge.

On the corner, next to Honley Bridge, stood Jonathan shop, dating from around the end of the 19 century. A grocer’s and tobacconist’s, the shop provided refreshments for tram crews as well as passengers and those living in the Newtown area. It was said that Jonathan, sometimes known as ‘the Honley mayor’ and ‘Little Jonathan’, was the fount of all the gossip on Huddersfield Town FC and both Yorkshire CCC and Honley Cricket Club. He reckoned that Brian James was “t’finest player we've ‘ad since Alonzo Drake”. The chocolate machine outside the shop was always a temptation to passing children

On the village side of the bridge, a barber’s shop was set up in 1891. This was run by the well known local, Sam Green. Henry Bray had the newsagent’s next door and next to the Council Offices was Tommy Chamber’s tailor’s shop.

The first telephone exchange was established near the tram terminus at Honley Bridge in a room of a house at Huddersfield Road. In February 1870, the Huddersfield Chronicle carried the following item.


Honley is no longer an isolated place, but is connected with other parts of the world by the electric wires, which stretch from the Post Office to the railway, some half a mile, and which workmen have been engaged in fixing up during the past few days. However, complaints have already been made of the fixing of the posts. All the way up the Gynn-lane the posts are fixed close by the causeway side, thus making it dangerous for foot passengers going to and from the station on dark nights. Then, again, at Honley Bridge there is a post fixed which is said to be in the way of both foot passengers and carriages.

The National Telephone Company sought permission from Huddersfield Corporation in May 1881 to establish a public telephone exchange in the town to connect with the mills of the district. Approval was given but not for any poles to be erected. In 1885 they asked for the erection of poles from Brockholes to New Mill. This was granted at a charge of 1s. per pole per annum.

opposite top. The short stretch of Station Road was sometimes known as Sizing Boiler Row but is shown on the 1854 OS map as Lockwood's Row. Note the fields beyond where Council Terrace now sits and Grove Mill in the distance. There is no footpath on the left, but then there is no traffic. lower, Looking in the opposite direction along Station Road, towards Honley Bridge. The Gables, a house built at Kilner and Brooke’s garage has appeared, as has the later dwelling next to the saddler’s but still no footpath opposite. The two boys are playing in the road with a hoop, an activity which would be difficult today. The horse droppings would soon be scooped up for fertiliser.


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Honley Bridge and Newtown

WTO hee mame ia

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Honley Bridge and Newtown


T here were several businesses in the Newtown area. Ben and Charlie Oldfield were joint owners of the timber yard. No longer to be found, the yard was sandwiched between the mill cut and the old laundry, approximately where the HB Bearings factory is today. One important role for the Oldfields in the village was that of undertaker. They were one of three such businesses in Honley. In his spare time, Ben Oldfield was a breeder of prize rabbits

Robinsons ran the adjacent Honley Steam laundry, first of all in the short row behind Newtown House and later from much larger premises across the lane. The row is now converted into two cottages but the location of the old steam boiler (minus chimney stack) can still be identified. The laundry existed in the new location until 1970, when it became HB Bearings, the thriving engineering company which exists today.

The small triangular piece of land that now serves as a car park for staff at the engineering works was formerly occupied by J W Maddison and Sons, plumbers and heating engineers. This was a partnership of John William Maddison, Geoffrey Maddison and Alexander Maddison. The partnership was dissolved on 6 April, 1941 but Geoffrey and Alexander continued to run the business under the same name. The company remained in existence well into the 20 century, finally closing in 1980.


al STEAM La 1

a Lt Bate

a Aes

above, Three horse-drawn vans to collect and deliver items for Honley Laundry. opposite top, Oldfield’s timber yard in the 1920s. lower, J A Littlewood’s charabanc - The Velvet Coaster - sits outside the garage. inset, John A Littlewood, proprietor of Newtown garage.


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Honley Bridge and Newtown

Newtown House dominated the area for many years being the home of the Mellor family, who ran nearby Reins Mill. Benjamin Mellor was a clothier. The advent of the motor car brought two garage business to Newtown - J A Littlewood and

Kilner and Brooke.

John A. Littlewood was born on 19% October, 1869, the second son of Lupton Littlewood of Enfield House, a woollen manufacturer and local councillor. After attending school, John was apprenticed to Blakey Emmott, electrical engineers of Halifax. Following his marriage to Elizabeth Birkett and a period in Boston USA, he returned to Honley and it is understood that he set up as an electrical and motor engineer with Fred Beaumont in premises at the bottom of Scotgate.

In 1907, Fred Beaumont and he bought a car formerly owned by King Edward VII and drove it to Honley from London. Also in 1907 a family diary shows that John was commissioned by the local suffragettes to drive them from meeting to meeting (Honley had several connections with the suffrage movement. Adela, a younger daughter of Emmeline Pankhurst, spoke at a meeting in Honley Towngate on 11 July, 1907. Emmeline herself had visited Honley in 1895).

John leased Newtown House in 1919. The Velvet Coaster pictured (left) was used to transport small groups on excursions to the Yorkshire Dales, the Peak District, the Lake District and the coast. After service as a naval engineer officer in the First World War, John’s son Laurence L Littlewood joined him in the business. The garage eventually became a car showroom and finally a petrol filling station and shop.

Kilner and Brooke, at Bridge Garage, was a partnership between two local men in 1918, who set up vehicle repair and car hire business at the junction of New Mill Road and Station Road. The partnership did not last for long, with Kilner taking his side of the business to Woodhead Road just a short time later.

Charlie Brooke continued the garage, taxi and charabanc hire business supplying wedding and funeral cars. The latter were in connection with E Holdroyd and Sons of Far Banks, joiners and undertakers. Charlie’s wife was Maggie Holdroyd. The garage continued through son, Les.

National Benzole was the brand of fuel sold at the garage which, being on the main road, stayed open until 9.00pm each night. The business eventually passed to Ron Womack as Bridge Garage. Ron retired and the business was later sold. Bridge Garage sign was removed, revealing the original Kilner and Brooke signboard. The garage went on to become a tyre fitting outlet.

opposite top, An aerial picture of Newtown with Honley Laundry, Oldfields yard, Newtown House and garage and Honley Mill prominent. lower, Charlie Brooke at the wheel of his charabanc at the bottom of Station Road.


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Honley Bridge and Newtown



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Honley Bridge and Newtown

Honley Mill

ary Jagger, in The History of Honley, states that there was a mill on Mier site in 1344, but there does not appear to be any clear evidence to support her claim. However, there are records showing that James Thornton, corn miller, occupied a mill here in 1767.

There was a diversion of the River Holme through the mill to provide the power by means of a wheel. The river was dammed below Honley Bridge to create a head of water. Mary Jagger also reports in her Account of the Parish Church of Sit Mary’s that the villagers of Honley were required to maintain the dam in exchange for the right to cut timber. In turn the freeholders were excused the obligation to keep the mill in good repair if they relinquished their right to the timber. Mrs Jagger described the mill as ‘Honley Old Water Corn Mill’.

The power was dispersed throughout the mill and was used to operate both the grinding stones for milling and scribbling machines. By 1848, there was a 12 horse power steam engine in use alongside the water wheel, which produced a similar output.

Flooding of the Holme did damage to Honley Mill on more than one occasion. In December 1876, the workers of Thomas Marshall Tolson had to withdraw during the day as the river rose and flooded the engine works.

The mill tenants enjoyed mixed fortunes, many of them becoming bankrupt. One such was the same Thomas Tolson, who in July 1877, had his assets liquidated to pay off his liabilities of nearly £4,000. They raised £1,600, but after taxes, rent and wages were paid, only £1,227 6s. 3d. remained to pay off the creditors.

In October 1890, Ellis Lockwood proudly announced to his ‘many customers that he had removed to Honley Corn Mill and installed a new kiln and extra machinery. This enabled him to make oatmeal and grind corn at short notice. Orders, were however, to be placed through Samuel Drake and Company.

That business was formed in 18238 by Samuel Drake as corn millers and agricultural merchants. The corn mill and grocery business in Westgate was the primary side and the milling in Honley Mill occupied only part of that building. The company remained in family hands for five generations eventually becoming Keith Drake and Sons, when Arthur Drake sold the grocery side in Westgate. Keith Drake Ltd has continued to sell animal feedstuffs in to the 21* century.

Honley Bridge remains a busy commercial area with a much increased level of traffic. Reassuring, then, that a survey of the bridge did not reveal any troublesome signs of deterioration.

opposite top, Honley Mill, under the ownership of Samuel Drake and Son. lower, one of Drake’s yellow delivery lorries in the 1960s.


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Honley Bridge and Newtown


Thanks go to several people for their help and material for this booklet.

Janet and David Levell gave liberally of their family records and photographs on the Kinder family shop. Liz Oldfield passed on information on Maddison’s and Stan and Melodie Staniforth information and a picture of the old laundry. Rita Walker shared her memories of life at Honley Bridge.

Hilary Haigh lived at Newtown House and generously supplied family history and photographs of the Littlewoods. Thanks also to Margaret and Alan Greaves for assistance with the Brooke family of Kilner and Brooke.

Kirklees Library provided access to the 19** century newspaper records and West Yorkshire Archives provided the Honley Urban District Council minutes. Some details of the gas works were supplied by the National Grid archivist.

All other photographs come from the Honley Civic Society archives and Peter Bray.

Coe se Piaf

above. An early view of the River Holme from Honley Bridge, showing the properties which sat along the river's edge.


Page 44

Honley Civic Society

Local History Books in Print

Published by Honley Civic Society 19th Century Life at Lord’s Mill A History of Honley Band A Walk Around Honley Andrew Jenkin’s Portrait of Honley Hope Bank, Honley’s Pleasure Grounds and Gardens Mary Jagger Honley’s Historian Non Conformist Chapels of Honley, Moorbotom Non Conformist Chapels of Honley, The Methodists Pagodas and Potato Salad, A History of Honley Cricket Club St Mary’s Church and Honley, A Chronological Canter Woodroyd, Honley’s Hidden Hamlet

Published by Tempus Honley, Then and Now by Peter Bray and Honley Civic Society

ISBN-13 2013

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