Miners and Mining in the New Mill Valley (2014) by Pamela Cooksey & Alan Tinsdeall

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Holme Valley Civic Society Local History Group

Aspects of life in the New Mill Valley

Miners and Mining

Pamela Cooksey and Alan Tinsdeall

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Published by Holme Valley Civic Society 2014 Registered Charity No. 255297

© Holme Valley Civic Society.

Full acknowledgement must be given for any part of this text when reproduced in any form.

Printed by Enterprise Print, Honley, Huddersfield HD9 6EA

PDF Edition 2020

Books published on Aspects of Life in the New Mill Valley Chapels and Churches 2009 Schools and School Days =. 2012

Front cover: Photograph of Herman Kaye with Jock, a pit pony, at Sledbrook Colliery, 1953

Back cover: Road sign for Coal Pit Gate, New Mill

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Page Holme Valley Civic Society i Acknowledgements i Preface iii List of Mines Vv Coal mining Introduction 1 Early mining 24 Coal Mines and Mining Employers in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries 26 Coal Pits and Coal Production during the nineteenth century 62 Mining Employees in the nineteenth century 73 Underground Working Conditions in the nineteenth century 97 “Maisters and Men” 116 Mining during the twentieth century 123 Appendix 1 Sources 145 Appendix 2 Glossary 146

Appendix 3 List of Names 148

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Holme Valley Civic Society Local History Group The members of the Group have been researching various aspects of the history of the New Mill Valley and the lives of those who lived in the villages of the area. The valley, through which the New Mill Dyke flows, lies between Mythombridge and Gatehead on the A616.

This is the third in an anticipated series of books which when completed will provide an overall context for life in the valley. The intention is that each book will be read in conjunction with the others. The two books already published are Chapels and Churches and Schools and School Days.

Acknowledgements We would like to extend our thanks to those who have assisted in the production of the content of the book

- to Philip and Barbara Horn for sharing our interest in the mining in the valley. Their personal memories and local knowledge have been greatly appreciated. We are particularly indebted to Philip for the account of his experiences when working in Sledbrook Pit as a young engineer and to Barbara, the daughter of a mining family, for the information relating to the mining fatalities within three generations.

- to Les Tinsdeall for his personal account of working in Sledbrook Pit.

- to George Robinson, Stanley Hill, Eddy Parkin, Alastair Smith and Eddy Lomas for their personal memories and local knowledge.

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to Rita Pearson for giving permission for the use of her late husband, Keith’s, unpublished paper FEAT OF CLAY The story of Hepworth at Hazlehead.

- to Dinah R. Bentley for making available to us the portraits of members of the Tinker family.

- To Charlotte Earnshaw for the use of the photograph on page 129.

- to Roger Lynch, John Bennett, Lee Wyatt and Mike Smith for their interest in our researches into local mining and for their permission for us to include a number of their photographs in the text.

- To Pauline Rawlinson and David Cockman for thei constructive helpful comments on the text.

- to the staff of Huddersfield Local Studies Library, West Yorkshire Archives in Kirklees and Wakefield, Sheffield Archive Service, West Riding Registry of Deeds and the Yorkshire Archaeological Society. Their assistance has been much appreciated.

The Ordnance Survey Maps are included in the text with acknowledgement to the © Crown Copyright. These have been added with the hope that they will aid the present-day identification of the pits referred to in the text.

Photographs without a reference have been taken by Local History Group members Alan Tinsdeall and David Cockman.

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lil Preface

To date little has been known about the mines and mining in the New Mill valley, the reason for this being that little research has been undertaken on the subject. In publications dealing with the mines and mining in the Huddersfield area there is only a limited coverage of those in the New Mill Valley.

The intention of this book is to make available information relating to the nature of the pits and local mining activity, the coal proprietors, the men, women and children employed in mining and aspects of their lives.

It is from the findings of recently undertaken research of archival records and documents, such as Court Rolls of the Manor of Wakefield, West Riding Registry of Deeds, County and National Mining Records, family and company papers that much of the content of the book is based. The primary sources of manorial records, official and legal documents provide the verification for much included. Inevitably some of the sources consist of often randomly retained documents offering only partial information and fragmentary, incomplete details. Nevertheless, there is sufficient evidence for a wide-ranging description of what was an integral element in the life of the valley.

Extracts from archival material are included in the text. These are presented in italics and remain unaltered from the original text.

There are a number of place names that have different spellings, such as: Stagwood Hill/Stackwood Hill, Fulstone/Foulstone, Snowgatehead/Snowgate Head, Hollin House/Holling House, Knab/Knabb/Nab, Knowles/Knowls/Knolls

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Unfamiliar and technical words when they are first used in the text are marked with a *. These then appear in the Glossary in Appendix 2.

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List of places in the New Mill Valley where

it is known there were coal pits

The page number refers to maps showing the location

Bank House Barnside Biggin Butterley Carr Gate Carr Wood Cripple Hole Engine Farmer Lane Foster Place Fulstone Hall Lane Fulstone Lane End Foxhouse Gatehead Hazlehead Hepshaw Hepworth Iron Co. Hollin(g) House Hollinghouse Green Holme House Lane Hullock Knabb (Nab)


6 Knowles (Knolls/Knowls)

7 Law/Lowe 72 Lower Foster Place

74 Lower Holme House

72 Lower Milshaw 140 Lydgate 77 Meal Hill

71 Meltham House Lane

46 New Biggin 64 Oxlee 41 Red Gin 59 Riddle Pit 68 Sally Wood 5 Sinking Wood 125 Sledbrook 133 Snowgate Head 126 Snugg 3 Smut Hole 39 Stackwood Hill 70 Top of th’ Hill 74 Upper Holme House 77 Wood


68 77 75 32 88 69

70 70 71 77 23 72 125 46 77

41 71 75 113

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In the introduction to his booklet Colliers and Hurriers the working conditions in coalmines in the Huddersfield area 1800 - 1870 Alan Brooke stated that: “the mining industry of the industrial revolution was typified by the small colliery in rural surroundings rather than by the large scale operation with which deep mining has become This is a description that clearly applies to coal mining in the New Mill valley.. Today’s landscape stretching from near the county boundary on the A616 at Bedding Edge Road down the valley to Mythombridge betrays very little of this industry now long gone.. However, one can become aware of the indications of mining activity, for example there are the names Wood Pit Farm above Jackson Bridge; Gin Pit Lane which, according to the enumerator’s area of the census return for 1881, was part of, or the whole of, today’s Scaly Gate stretching from Shorthorns to Hirst Lane; the pony shed at Sinking Wood is still standing; one can walk along the restored plateway at Top th’ Bank, Thurstonland.. There is also one old postcard of interest showing Coal Pit Gate in New Mill dated 1910. The lane has

retained its name and is signed as such. (see back cover). 12s iT, yt

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1 Kirklees Image Archive k002536

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To New Mill


O Hollin House

Upper Holme House

Short Horns

Scaly Gate

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The restored plateway at Top of th’ Bank, Thurstonland

A closer look at the landscape reveals some stretches of moorland and fields with patches of ground that seem to betray human activity rather than a natural feature. Both the presence of shaley material, mounds and hollows in the ground strongly indicate the presence of former mining activity. Examples can be seen as one looks across the road from Upper Milshaw to Gatehead; above Meal Hill alongside Broad Carr Lane, the lane leading to Bank House; just below Upper Knab Farm, Bedding Edge Road; near Moorlands Farm, Fulstone Hall Lane, New Mill; near the Toss a Coin Public House at Snowgate Head; along the A616, between Thurstonland Bank and Hollingreave in Sinking Wood, New Mill.

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disused coal mine workings

View from Upper Milshaw towards Gatehead

To Lower Milshaw

ow fo «aioe: q AF Section of O.S. map 1854 showing the colliery and pits at Gatehead Bottom

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Mound above Meal Hill, probably associated with mining. It is situated alongside Broad Carr Lane, the lane leading to Bank House

Section of O.S. map 1893 showing Broad Carr Lane

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View of the top of Barnside Colliery taken from the bridleway leading to the former Lower Knab Farm

y "hite “= M0 Victoria

Swine rah a “and Gétehead

Section of O.S. map 1893 showing Barnside Colliery

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The opening to a shaft that can be seen in a field near Moorlands, Fulstone Hall Lane

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About twenty yards of stone plateway can still be seen. It appears to have been built on raised ground. Most of the stones show wear from wheeled vehicles as shown below.

Remains of a plateway in a field near Moorlands, Fulstone Hall Lane

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The most observable legacy however, is the bright orange water that from time to time flows into the New Mill Dyke. This usually occurs at Jackson Bridge when, after heavy rain, water runs from a disused pit or pits situated on the hillside above. Known as ochre water it is the result of the oxidation of iron pyrites present in the shale’, the colouration being the orange particles created by the chemical reactions between water, dissolved oxygen in the water and pyrites.

Ochre water in the New Mill Dyke at Jackson Bridge February 2014

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Dipping in an easterly direction the coal seams occurring close to the surface of land were quite thin and consisted of Halifax Hard Bed and Soft Bed coal. The former was the more valuable to the pit owner as it was for household use, the Soft Bed coal being of a poorer quality was used in manufacturing in boilers and furnaces and also for the production of coke due to its low sulphur content. Other mineable materials were also present these being ironstone, ganister’ and clay.

The reality for those on whose land coal mines were created was that many of these narrow, shallow workings were quickly exhausted. Nevertheless, there is evidence that coal was mined from Mythombridge to Gatehead from the fourteenth century to the twentieth.

The coal was extracted from the ground through the use of shallow pits, known as day holes’ or adits”, which allowed the miners and those who worked as and thrusters’ to walk into the hillside in order to reach their place of work. This being no further from the entrance than where there was daylight the digging of anything other than a short entrance was not necessary. Once the use of candles became common practice then the length of the passages’ was extended. Interestingly, the term day hole continued to be used to describe both a pit and the specific underground location where the coal was dug. Such a hole was Uriah Tinker’s day hole colliery, at Meal Hill where: “Zhe adit is full 400 yards. The gates” vary from 27 to 30 inches and along the whole of the adit they do not average more than 28 inches.” *

2 Report of the Government Enquiry into the Employment of Children in Mines 1842

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View from the barrier looking down an adit

Sally Wood Drift Mine’, New Mill 1981 ?

3. www.AditNow.com Sally Wood Coal Mine Archive Album Image 8110

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Looking back towards the rendered wall

Sally Wood Drift Mine, New Mill c1981*

4 www.AditNow.com Sally Wood Coal Mine Archive Album Image 81107

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George Parkinson of Hollingreave has childhood memories of there being at least two day holes in Sinking Wood and of playing during the 1940s in one of these that had an entrance of about fifteen feet long. He also remembers rescuing a dog that had become trapped down the lower of the day holes.

There was also a brick-lined shaft to the workings of Sinking Wood Pit. According to George Parkinson this was thirty to fifty feet deep.

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ea ¥ 8 Sia ice ba ee

id er a trapped aes ig a entranc i

At this spot was a 30 to 50 feet deep brick- lined mine shaft, now filled in-for safety.

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To provide access to the slightly deeper seams single shafts were sunk as at the pits at Moorlands, Snowgate Head, Sinking Wood, Milshaw, Gatehead, Law, Hepshaw and by the Hepworth Iron Company. Interestingly, the only record referring to those involved in shaft construction in the census returns is in those for 1851 in which the fifty year old William Battye, living in Gatehead Bar House, described himself as a: “pit sinker.” This early hoist was a simple hand operated wheel mechanism with a single rope by which descent and ascent was possible.

Children descending on a hoist °

5 Report of the Government Enquiry into the Employment of Children in Mines 1842

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This system was subsequently developed, with the use of ponies, round’ or flat" ropes and tackle, into what became known as a gin pit’. Messrs Stansfield and Briggs, pit at Low Common was one such pit: “This pit is worked by a gin horse with round ropes and no conductors’. Shaft about 30 yards.” ° In 1829 Uriah Tinker of Meal Hill acquired Lower Holme House and nine acres of land. Whether or not there was coal being mined under these at the time is not known but he certainly worked a gin pit there until 1862. On closure the unwanted machinery disposed of included: “a two inch hemp drawing rope, an half-inch wire rope and a drawing gin.” ”

A gin pit horse powered hoist *

The need to use ponies in this way ceased when steam power became available, provided by the newly installed engine boilers, particularly in the larger gin pits. The drawing engine was placed about twenty or thirty yards from the shaft, the ropes then passing

6 Report of the Government Enquiry into the Employment of Children in Mines 1842 7 Huddersfield Chronicle 24" May 1862 8 Report of the Government Enquiry into the Employment of Children in Mines 1842

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from the drum of the engine over a large iron grooved pulley, elevated above the shaft on scaffolding called headgear. As early as 1843 such an engine had been installed at Engine pit in Thurstonland, for in September of that year: “a fellow was attending at the mouth of the pit when by some means unexplained, he fell against the fly wheel of the engine.” ’ and was killed. The information in the advertisement for the sale of the pits at Snowgate Head owned by Joseph Haigh included that these consisted of: “S/ acres of Halifax hard bed and 60 acres of Halifax soft bed ungot with reservoir, engine and boiler houses with engines and boilers, fixed and loose plant.” '° An appraisal of the Hepworth Iron Company’s holdings in 1897 included: “At the Coal Pit Head: steam boiler, pair of ten- inch cylinder winding engines and drum, pit head gearing and appliances.” "'

Drawing engine, pulley and shaft 12

9 Bradford Observer and Halifax, Huddersfield and Keighley Reporter 14" September 1843 10 Huddersfield Chronicle 23" November 1878 11 FEAT OF CLAY The Story of Hepworth at Hazlehead Keith Pearson 12 Report of the Government Enquiry into the Employment of Children in Mines 1842

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In his Report the Government Inspector, Jelinger Cookson Symons, included a specific comment condemning the use of unsafe ropes where: “a rope had been fixed to cover the drop for work-people to hang on to as they were both let down and drawn

up.”’ His concern was that too frequently he had seen such ropes in use.

The hoist was also used to lift the filled corves” to the pit head. As this was being done a potentially dangerous situation was created by the movement of the loaded corves as they were raised up a shaft resulting in some coal falling out. In 1838, when standing near the shaft bottom of Stanfields and Briggs’ pit at Law Enoch Hirst: “was killed by coal falling down a shaft.” By 1841 the introduction of a device known as a chair led to a greater stability of the ascending corve. Consisting of an open flat bottomed iron frame with triangular sides, the corve was either fixed into it or more simply just hooked on to it. Such a chair was used for some time in the pit near Milshaw owned by Hepworth Iron Company. In several pits, where the deeper levels reached by a shaft were linked by a network of passages to the shallow entrance of a day hole it was a common practice to take the loaded corves out by both the shaft and the day hole. “Zt appears Mr Charles Lockwood, manufacturer, is owner of some considerable beds of coal in the neighbourhood of Fulstone. Some of the beds have been worked by shafts and the coal drawn to the surface; while others have been worked and the coal taken out at a day hole at New Mill some half mile away.” '* Later, the hoist was improved with the use of a combination of a single rope and a platform and then again with the introduction of what was referred to as an open cage.

13. Northern Star 3 February 1838 14 Huddersfield Chronicle 24" December 1864

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An example of a type of open

cage '°

Something similar may have been in use in the larger valley pits (see pages 109, 110,114)

In January 1862 two hundred and four men and boys died at Hartley New Colliery (Hester) in Northumberland having been trapped under ground. After the beam of the pumping engine broke the pit’s single shaft had become blocked by debris and rubble leaving no way of escape. Six months later an Act of Parliament was passed by which it was obligatory that all new mines were to have two shafts. Before the end of 1864 all existing single-shaft mines were to have had a second shaft sunk.

Initially the pit head consisted of the area at the entrance to the mine, the pit hill, spoil heaps and a small cabin or shed. Later, with the installation of equipment required by the changes in mining activity, the pit head developed into the top of the mine shaft and a complex of buildings. The latter included head stocks

15 A Pictorial History of Mining John Trelkeld 1989

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and winding gear, boiler and engine houses, store rooms and a miners’ cabin.

The pit hill was the accumulated coal waiting to be used on site or transported to those whose businesses were dependent on it, both locally and further afield. The Wadsley and Langsett turnpike road built in 1825 (now the A616) greatly aided the distribution of coal as it ran through the bottom of the valley offering good access to horse and carts, and later by the lorries, from the pits in the areas lying either side of it. The waste materials produced during the initial sinking of a shaft and in the processes of extending maingates’ were dealt with by the creation of a hill known as a spoil heap. When the practice of back filling” at the coal face was not done the coal slack, shaly coal and stones produced in the extraction of the coal were removed and usually dumped on this hill. Many problems arose relating to the depositing and disposal of this spoil particularly if this was done without due attention to location or construction. Difficulties could arise as those experienced by Aaron Hirst, farmer of Hepshaw, who sued Hepworth Iron Company in April 1892: “for £4 -/s damages sustained by reason of his farm being deluged by water and wreckage flowing upon his land through a stream being stopped in its course by the act of the defendents tip or spoil heaps.” He also complained that: “the spoil bank" had encroached upon his land.”

The horses and carts used for transporting coal at the pit head were later replaced by traction engines and wagons. It is not on record when Tinker Bros. first acquired a traction engine but they certainly appear to have by 1892, for in June of that year they placed an advertisement in the Leeds Mercury: “wanted for hire traction engine wagons.”

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Remains of pit buildings at Sally Wood Drift Mine 2011 '°

16 wwwukminingwalks.couk Sally Wood Old Coal Colliery User Album Images 60296 and 60282

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SS ee a) fee

» : ca r a" Hollin House: od ~~ Poe Star ig 235 I I Ee cf id 238 in oe 4442

Section of O.S. map 1893 showing a coal mine in Sally Wood

17 www.AditNow.co.uk Sally Wood Coal Mine Archive Album Image 81105

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24 Early mining

The New Mill valley lies within the Graveship of Holme so the source for the, albeit scant, information for the Medieval, Tudor, Elizabethan and early Georgian periods is the collection of the Court Rolls of the Manor of Wakefield. The Lord of the Manor owned all the mineral rights so it was necessary for any tenant who wished to mine to seek permission to so do from the Court of the Manor. It was recorded in the Court Roll of November 1349 that: “Elko le Riche and John le stonebreaker give 10d licence to mine sea cole in the Graveship of Holme.” Unfortunately, it is impossible to establish the location of this earliest mining but what is known is that sea cole produced in Durham and Northumberland was shipped along the coast for delivery elsewhere in the country. It was certainly imported into the Manor of Wakefield, however, there was little need to transport it into the Holme valley due to its local availability. It had been banned in London by Edward 1 in 1306 because of the complaints about the smell and pollution arising from its use. The term sea cole was used to distinguish it from white coal (dried pieces of wood) and charcoal (carbonised wood). In the Indenture recorded in the Court Roll of 1665, by which the tenancies of several properties and land in Fulstone were transferred, the name of one of the closes” of land was given as: “Les Coallybutts.” Since this phrase can be used to mean “covered with coal” its use would perhaps suggest that either there was coal present in the land or that there was some kind of small scale mining activity in the area.

The owners of the early timber-framed or laithe houses built on the hillsides of the valley had the ancient right to gather wood and turves (peat) for fuel from the wastes and common land on the moors. These homesteads usually had the fireplace in a central

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position of the living area, the smoke then having to find its way out through a hole in the roof. A description of the atmosphere created by such a fire is to be found in the writings of Holinshed, a chronicler, in 1570. Bemoaning the introduction of chimneys into house building he stated that he would welcome back: “the good old days” when: “smoke choked the inmates” but was: “a better medicine to keep the good man from the quack.” It is highly unlikely that coal would have been burned on any of these open fires.

Cutting and stacking peat in the traditional way at Cooks Study in Cartworth during the twentieth century '*

18 Holme Valley Peter and Iris Bullock

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Coal Mines and Mining Employers during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries

The Court Rolls for the 1700s show that the population of the New Mill valley was increasing with numerous references to messuages and dwelling houses being: “newly erected” and: erected.” Many of these new dwellings were stone-built and had chimneys, a feature previously only found in the houses of the gentry. By this time, as much of the wooded areas of the valley had been cleared, there was less timber available for domestic use, so it was fitting to replace this with locally mined coal. According to the account of rents paid for the year 1709 the heirs of Jonathon Hadfield paid a rent of 1s 1d for: “one hundred and fifty acres at Riddle Pit”, which was near Foxhouse and Jonas Kaye of Milshaw Hall (now Upper Milshaw) was paying an unspecified rent for: “a colliery on Law or Low Moor.” “The lease of a coal mine at: “Lawlow Moor” appears in an Indenture dated 1843 where it was described as being: “near to Hepshaw, Upper Knab, Latham and Barnside.” Not appearing on any early map of the valley this place can be found on the O.S. map of 1854.

Advertisements placed in the Leeds Mercury also occasionally provide information such as the one on November 16" 1779 which referred to: “a new shaft lately put down at Oxlee and Mr Firth has begun to get the upper bed for which he has excellent sale.” Five years later Thomas Firth and his partner Joseph Green had clearly terminated their lease, for in May 1784 a new leaseholder was being sought. ”

19 Manor of Wakefield Book of the Account of Rents 1709 YAS 20 Leeds Mercury 4" May 1784

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Capital cantons ty A ogi ‘ad Sen tara and. Pafture 1 Land, lying contiguous thereto, now ip the

Poffeffion and Occupation { Mr, Thomas.Firth, aod his Tenant James Green, fn I

Tene. ftien with pre therete set

"hae in, of Bike et on .

_Newtoa, Widew, Thoma) } umone, and mes. There are two good Seams or aL aye Pit-or Shaft “has boon down, sna ~

Mr Firth has to get the aa orper Bel for wick bt

vies 6 oe a ae unlimited Right)\of cammon. appertsiaiog Premifes, and 2 fall s+

sr nae

skefied, but the : sta the Fas

This ESTATE is. well fumes ina Trading ‘Country, and therefore might be gonfiderably iB Rect te ‘Was divided-into-{mill Farms fuitable for. Tradefmen, which would not be attended with much Eapence as litele, more Building would-be wanted, ‘For farther Particulact apply tox abovenamed Mr. Firth, or to Mr. Jonathan, py tS ta Attomey a Bra in Barnfley, 4a the-Counry of _ via

[This will be no more advertifed J

Advertisement for the Sale of the Oxlee Estate 1779 7!

21 Leeds Mercury 16% November 1779

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Prior to the sale of the Foulstone Hall Estate in February 1783 a survey was carried out by William Fairbank of Sheffield. This well described the areas of land where coal was being mined at the time with the expectation of: “30 Acres of coal ungot” and also a lane: “used for a coal road.” ”

, Sse Thee ee GY = los Ati ee

seme = cee £0 gi tay: ay ee Paes ; = Se a faye Ds. Rog: i i ee ; 2 Mar 2D? pe ea a an

(Min. bland, Qe Goa ee)

fbr Barvailoagh, es

Part of the Survey of Foulstone Hall Estate

22 Fairbank Collection Sheffield Archives

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It is, however, from the Land Tax Returns, 1781 to 1832, for the Townships of Fulstone, Hepworth and Wooldale that one can glean a clearer picture of the mining activity in the valley during the latter years of the eighteenth century and those of the early nineteenth. These provide information concerning the proprietors who owned or tenanted land in which there were coal seams and the occupiers who worked these. Sadly, these are incomplete in respect to the years of the surviving records and in the detail given; there is also an inconsistency in the presentation of this information.

¥ pet Ae Z ae ft 5 ee es fs “5 eM ah A er pew ov I oy wif wins eon J 9 ae Po Naga foi Leste! Css aa ons Hilt fe 7 fla éé u , Afpe| 4 Ge uf hr » I 7 ‘as a if ad fi oi f = I bol AY be bf I felt yi ae othe ¥ : “ A “G lool pl Ze MM: {ste ply Clark-| ' ‘

7k: je i r Ee a3 7 yoa Ysa ney. oy Ianite ee

Extract from the Land Tax Return for the Township of Fulstone 1781 showing Joshua Charlesworth’s and Mr Joseph Armitage’s ownership of acoal pit *

Further information relating to coal proprietors and coal masters is to be found in the available trade directories covering the years 1822 to 1936 and also in the census returns 1841 to 1911.

It was not uncommon for the owner or a manorial tenant of land where there were coal seams present to utilise both the surface of his land with cultivation and livestock rearing and the coal deposits below by mining. Typical of this were men such as

23 Land Tax Returns for the Township of Fulstone WYAS

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Ebenezer Tinker of Meal Hill, who in 1851 described himself as a: “Coal Master employing 40 men, Farmer of 50 acres (3 men),”

and Adam Hirst of Oxlee who in 1891 referred to himself as a: “Colliery owner and Farmer.”

Mati My v Pe eeu de te tay 7 et, G wt toe df thts ee

chy yf

Meee we Lat 1 ecient 4 AA 3 Vine. rer 87, bigs. tae Ogio a. if, __ semen pono L “ we 2 I \ 3 fem es FE i an ™ ee) oats 4 ee ss 50 3 \ % ij ao a wo gute I \ er” Pi — I F - \ wih oor ~ yy ve ! ee ets See AGN

we i 4 \ » 4 “ei 3 Nee ~. é



a = 5 = 3

APEFERENCE. = af eninge & Mo

Me ou titans \ Hinde oye o, strate fe Bost

\ I i iF Eo Cire geet zee akon tl

ne Cael Te" be 26" he — a

Section of a Plan of Halifax Hard Bed coal mined by Adam Hirst at Oxlee in the Township of Hepworth in the County of York

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To maximise the possible financial benefits from the presence of coal, extraction rights could be sold to others. (see pages 58,61,62)

Tenancies were also created whereby those interested in speculative investments leased seams of coal. In the case of the one agreed between Uriah Tinker and Jonathan Nowell Craven (1822-1875) of Highthorne House, York in 1860 it was for both coal and ironstone. This was two years after Craven had commenced mining in the locality. (see page 56) The contracted payment to Uriah Tinker for coal was £40 per acre and for ironstone £40 for 1600 tons, any excess of this figure incurred an additional 6d per ton. There was also a yearly rent of £7 for every acre of what was referred to as Waterway’ No.1 in which: “so bed coal could be worked by means of a shaft at Milshaw.” * Soft Bed and Hard Bed coal to be mined in Waterway No.2 was at the yearly payment of £30 per acre. Craven was also granted two wayleaves' by which, for £3 per acre, he could move the coal across Wayleave No.1: “occupied by the tramway.” The date of the construction of this tramway is not on record. For £5 per acre the ironstone could be moved across Wayleave No.2. It was customary at the time for an underground wayleave to be charged by tonnage and one above ground by acreage. The fact that Craven paid by acreage would indicate that the noted tramway was above ground.

The right to deposit waste materials was agreed at the yearly rent of £5 per acre. In 1871 Craven received a letter from Tinker confirming that spoil produced at Milshaw could be deposited at Foster Place and also a reduction in his rent. There was no reason given for the latter, but since Hepworth Iron Company only produced iron stone for about ten years, 1.e. 1858 to 1868, it may well have come about due to the cessation of the iron production in the company’s two blast furnaces. During those ten years the Company also mined ironstone near the crossroads at

24 Tinker Estate Papers Box 14 WYAS

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Victoria. Interestingly, these workings could still be seen in the 1940s when they were described as being: “in an excellent state of preservation, they are standing exactly as they were left. The pack walls are just as good as when left and they testify to the ability and skill of the miners of that day.” ”


— — \ Gatehead

Section of O.S. map 1893 showing shafts near Lower Milshaw

The before-mentioned Agreement between Tinker and Craven is one of three known surviving references to hillside tramways. The other two are an Unpublished Paper by Herbert Shaw (1882-....) of Hepworth written in 1940 and an advertisement for a Sale of Estates in Hepworth and Wooldale with an accompanying Plan in 1864. Unfortunately, the partial information to be found in these

25 Unpublished Paper by Herbert Shaw

Page 41


sources leaves a range of unanswered questions relating to the dates when work on them was variously started and completed, the exact routes they took and their specific purposes. Herbert Shaw noted: “Zhe remains of an old tramway which Mr C. S. Tinker said was over 100 years old can be seen at the bottom of the Park at Meal Hill. The sleepers which were made of stone can Still be found laid in their original position and some have been built into the surrounding walls. They had square holes cut in them to receive the Hobs on the rails.” He also stated that: "There was a tramway laid from Bank House round the hill past Foster Place and then through a tunnel from Lower Milshaw to Hepshaw. The tunnel is now blocked up and services as an underground reservoir to supply village Victoria and also to supply water for colliery purposes." According to Herbert Shaw a horse had then to convey the coal from Hepshaw to the coke ovens at Crowedge, where on reaching the charge holes on the top of the ovens: “the animal often burnt the feathers on his legs.” Shaw noted that at one time the horse was: “/ed by a little boy by means of a long halter as he could not reach the head of the collar,”

Alastair Smith of Gatehead Bar recollects having heard about a wooden viaduct near Foster Place. Given the nature of the hillside terrain between the area around Bank House and Crowedge the building of any kind of tramway would have required the crossing of the turnpike road at some point between Foster Place and Lower Milshaw. There could indeed have been a bridge of some kind at Foster Place or the before-mentioned viaduct could possibly have been the bridge indicated on the diagram (see page 34) as suggested by the late Stanley Garlick. The Plan for the Sale of Freehold and Copyhold Estates in Hepworth and Wooldale in July 1864 clearly showed prospective buyers the presence of a tramway, utilized by Hepworth Iron Company across the Lower Hey. It is clear that this was above ground as it was stated in the description of the land in the

Page 42


advertisement for the sale that the Lower Hey was: by a tramway.” 7°

COLA iS pe ge Sony Te, 7

Pa? ore et Megs MEP art tT Tate.

THe 7 : ea eee

——— eS PS

bewert PY rk Sole

4,7 Gare +t a” :

Cope ny .

\ fetes ¢3 f fees

I Ox LEE ‘\ “OL wWeze,

i ct ates HE Shaw \ EH ee t i oo Seek Ve a EAT et

fr yr oer 5 ie, a “te ¥ SLEEP Ronin

x ferf Mene

- : EPG= ™

BW a

The suggested route of the tramway built to transport ironstone from Bank House to Hepworth Iron Works. *”

26 Leeds Mercury 25th June 1864 27 Article, Journal of the Huddersfield Local History Society S. Garlic 2008- 2009

Page 43


phe de al ry (Tae Betti at 5 a ee o ee, a o = +t, = wa rd - + ' é: * iv e r o a 2 dower st 7 at i é ow > %. / % = s £ * = = -


> ‘Gare HEAD

a ¥ ty

i nie ‘ = ee


% he


Plan produced for the sale by auction of Freehold and Copyhold Estates in Hepworth and Wooldale in July 1864 showing the Hepworth Iron Company’s Tramway. *

28 Collection of Solicitors Papers Holme Valley Local History Group

Page 44

A barrier or gateway made from old tramway rails in a field above the mound near Broad Carr Lane (see page 6)

Possibly the rails were from the tramway that ran from Bank House to Hepworth Iron Company

The Land Tax Returns, census returns and trade directories also show that mining was carried out by both local people and colliery proprietors from neighbouring localities. It would appear that by the early 1780s the latter had become aware of the potential business of coal extraction in the hillsides of the valley.

Amongst the names of the principal local proprietors are those of members of three long-established, land-owning families, Kaye, Newton and Tinker.

Page 45


Jonas Kaye (1639-1723), a member of a long-standing valley family, built Milshaw Hall about 1670. After the death of his first wife he remarried and had two children, John (1711-1745) and Esther. After Jonas Kaye died his brother, Joshua Kaye of Barnside, became John’s guardian.

Following Joshua’s death in 1728 John inherited the family lands and property lying in Hepworth, Barnside, Law, Milshaw, Foster Place, Butterley, Wooldale and Fulstone. When he came of age, disliking the bleak and inaccessible situation of Milshaw Hall, he built Butterley Hall lower down the valley in 1740 and moved there later that year with his wife, Dorothy (d 1797). He died in 1745 without issue leaving the estate to Dorothy for the remainder of her life if she remained a widow. After her death, or if she remarried, his nephew, John Hatfeild * (1731-1804), the son of his sister and John Hatfeild of Hatfeild Hall, Wakefield, was to inherit the legacy but on the condition that he took the surname Kaye.

The difficulties surrounding John Hatfeild’s anticipated inheritance of the estate under the conditions of his uncle’s will were increased by him accusing Dorothy of cutting down the timber of Spring Wood. This she had no right to, as it was in excess of that which she had been entitled to under her husband’s will. This led to a legal case brought by Hatfeild in 1754 on: “the grounds of waste.” *°

Dorothy remarried in 1763 but it would appear that the terms of her first husband’s will were not adhered to, for her second husband, James Banks (1727-1814) of Wakefield, was certainly: “in possession” of the Butterley estate farm in 1777 *! and Upper Milshaw and Fieldhead in 1788 to 1793.*° In addition to farming the Butterley land he mined the coal from a shaft near Butterley Hall, from the Butterley pit in Butterely Lane and from

29 This is the correct spelling for the Hatfeild family and Hatfeild Hall 30 Letter from John Hatfeild to John Stanhope Esq. 1754 WYAS 31 Butterley Farm Estate Valuation 1777 WYAS 32 Land Tax Returns for the Township of Fulstone WYAS

Page 46


pits at Upper Hollinghouse Green. From the following plan this appears to be in the area of Gin Pit Lane at Shorthorns. (see page 3)

JOD Le AAMT 5 6 j*

pean ty £4. pee Glarsih Mam es— aise Yanks bag oe I fa) se tv’ - i mae er J ME - — -\ wang lige Fe oY, ie Lf ~ Snathan. an tnt bles LV esi a é° otha” Shilpa \ |. we i a d. Bho « ‘h Opi oo

Extract of Land Tax Return for Fulstone 1784 showing James Banks’ ownership of more than one pit

By 1797 John Hatfeild Kaye had repossessed the Butterley estate.

At what point he disposed of the pits is unclear but the Land Tax Returns for Fulstone name a John Bates as the proprietor of a mine in Butterley from 1803 to 1831.

Page 47

Bypactoltinghowle Orcen

Explanation 2

aia oy é a asa Fie Scholes Nieto Barnflay bic» ___ within fF — deat oe te. Coal Ste belonging oil Bankr Fullstone «Gung York . ee. belonging to

dud FEA temporary Fence

Finee Way tothe Lt

een, Where tba is fa. extend to

fn cack Lane, iii A frnadl Brock —

te of,


UW Bank's Tands

at of Chaser ; 41 al a t


al i


Undated Plan of James Banks’ land and coal pit in Hollinghouse Green *

>t Estate Papers Box 12 WYAS

Page 48


The estate of the Newton family of Stagwood Hill lying between Cold Hill Lane and Fulstone Hall Lane in New Mill included land where there were seams of coal. Several references have survived relating to this being mined. It would appear that William Newton, (1744-1834), drysalter, acquired land when the Foulstone Hall Estate was sold following the bankruptcy of William Walton in 1782. (see page 28) According to entries in the Land Tax Returns William Newton then mined coal in an un-specified site between 1785 and 1793 but in 1791 he and his wife, Ann, granted occupancy of a portion of the land to William Mawe of Kiveton, described as: “All those several closes or parcels of land in Fulstone called Carr Wood, Hagger Royd or Stackwood Royd, the Till or Gill Royd, the Till Royd Ing or Gill Royd Ing, the Little Western Lee and the Great Western Lee, the John Royd and the John Royd Ing now divided into two by a road used for conveying coals from Stackwood Hill and the field as then divided into 2 closes called the Upper and Lower Field all being on the north east side of a lane leading from Fulstone to New Mill and contain by survey 26 acres, 3 roods, 38 perches now in the occupation of Newton, George Mallinson and Joseph Morehouse.” * William Newton’s continuing possession of this land is recorded in a Valuation of the Stackwood Hill Estate in 1807. According to this his estate at the time consisted of one hundred and fifty two acres, of which thirty-two acres he worked himself, the remainder being occupied by ten named tenants. *° One of the survey plans shows a coal pit near the close of land numbered 51, 52, 54. In the later Valuation of the Stagwood Hill Estate dated 1834 there was an un-located plot 568, described as: “a colliery.” *°

On William’s death in September 1834 his son, Isaac Parker Newton (1791-1834), inherited the estate. Three weeks later Isaac died and the estate then passed to his son, Arthur Blencoe Newton (1823-1863). Arthur’s sister, Margaret, married

34 Court Roll of the Manor of Wakefield 26" August 1791 WYAS 35 Valuation of the Stackwood Hill Estate 1807 WYAS 36 Manor of Wakefield Estate Valuations 1834 WYAS

Page 49


Charles Lockwood of Bellgreave, a woollen manufacturer, who on Arthur’s death became the owner of the pits at Stackwood Hill, Carr Wood and near Bellgreave and Moorlands.

Section of I O. map 1854 showing the land ‘and properties owned by Charles Lockwood after the death of Arthur Blencow Newton

William Newton

b: 1744 a: 1834

Isaac Parker Newton

b; 1781 d: 1834

Descendant Chart for William Newton

Arthur Margaret Blencoe Elizabeth Newton Newton

b: 1823 d: 1863

bb: 1825 1880

Charles Lockwood

bo: 1815. a: 1885

Page 50


‘ agit «he of Me ies of Me OMS Wise [seal : i = 3 Ld \/ F I 3 : gprs 7 I yy! x I s AY \ eferee eens / ar / 4 N = ayy? : bey a 47 ee |e oF ‘ ~- ae ao Sd ys Ve Pe ~ FOL MAY ee aoa I eX Gaul Ges Pe ...-.- ---\ + \7 oF ree a LA le GY pth ELI Eee eee I nas Lol ne i 4 i / pe lo Heat UD pitt ‘WP \ + 3} AQ GY , ae. Gay Ayttc ! eee 3 ts es ‘ r as ‘ vet Py foot He I eS “Wee Lt A YW lie es bees t PS be wd Aut ge GLE i/ \ is we i t 2 Lieve 4 |Z WH, os

4 ar : 4 3

Sola I 2 AA, (0)

Valuation of the Newton Estate showing the coal pit at Stackwood Hill

Page 51


The mining interests of various members of the Tinker family were both of longstanding and extensive. (see Family Tree page 48) The family home at Meal Hill had been acquired about 1770 by Abel Tinker. During the next two hundred years members of the Tinker family were major land owners in the valley with land and property situated both sides of the A616. Their acreage was greatly increased through the purchasing of land and the acquisition of many closes of land at the time of the Land Enclosure Act of 1834. Eventually their estates extended from New Mill to Jackson Bridge encompassing the areas of Sally Wood, Snowgate Head, Upper Holme House, Lower Holme House, Addingley, Pike Law, Hill Top, Cheesgate Nab, Mount and Meal Hill and then up the valley to Gatehead and in the neighbourhood of Hepworth. Members of this land-owning family worked the Halifax Hard and Soft Beds from Holme House to Foster Place and in the area of Barnside to Hepshaw. Members of the family variously realised the financial advantages of the dual potential that their land afforded them, those of both farming and mining. Under much of the land owned or tenanted by them were seams of coal in which they created an extensive network of mine workings. The development of these and the mining techniques used in them were advanced by Charles Shaw Tinker (1848-1923) who was recognised locally as being: “highly qualified in mining.” *" Tinker family members also became actively involved in the religious, educational and social aspects of valley life. As leading members of the community they were hugely influential in the development of the provision for members of the Parish Church in Hepworth and the nonconformist chapels in Jackson Bridge and Gatehead. These benefited from the granting of land for buildings and the financing of features within these. Positions such as Church Warden and Trustee were variously undertaken by Tinker family members. They also served as prominent participants of groups within the congregation. Those attending

37 Holmfirth Express 14° July 1923

Page 52


events such as the annual feasts and Sunday school outings were regularly entertained at Meal Hill. As trustees of the Hepworth Town School Charles Shaw Tinker and Philip Tinker and, after his death, his sons Tedbar, Abel and Ebenezer all had a lengthy involvement in the provision and running of both the Old School and its replacement in Maingate. Brian Tinker, having joined the Queen’s Own Yorkshire Dragoons in 1912, for many years commanded the Huddersfield and Wakefield Squadron. Charles Shaw Tinker was County Councillor and he and Major Brian Tinker served as County and local Magistrates and as members of the New Mill District Council. Their long association with the Rockwood, Badsworth and Grove Hunts meant that for many years Meal Hill was a focal point for hunting gatherings. Neighbouring Larks House was where there were the Tinker stables and dog kennels.

The Hunt outside the home of the Tinker family at Meal Hill **

38 Holme Valley Peter and Iris Bullock

Page 53


When Ebenezer Tinker died in 1855 his brother Uriah made an eleven year agreement with James Hemmingway of Robert Town, portrait painter, and Richard Jukes of Robert Town, Blast Master, for beds of ironstone under 86 acres of land at Hepshaw for a minimum yearly rent of £60-0-0 plus 6d per ton mined. The contract granted permission for them to sink shafts as needed and also for the mined ironstone to be stocked at Hepshaw. This agreement was renegotiated in 1866 at £120-0-0 per annum, but with an additional two acres at £12-0-0 per annum with the requirement that on the land Hemmingway and Jukes were: “fo erect works for smelting ore or manufacturing iron on the said premises.” A further stipulation was that at the end of the lease the land had to be restored: “fit for arable if rendered unfit for

cropping.” *°

The production of coke had been introduced by Charles Shaw Tinker in the late 1880s. Having successfully experimented with methods of producing coke from virtually sulphur-free Soft Bed coal a number of ovens were built at Snowgate Head colliery. The coke produced was transported to Shepley railway station for countywide distribution. In the early nineteen hundreds the decision had been taken to move this business to the site of Tinker’s colliery near Farmer Lane. (A616) This location lay within that owned by Hepworth Iron Company from whom it was leased. From here there was an easier access to the mainline railway as the branch line on their site linked up with the one that ran to Hazlehead junction operated by Hepworth Iron Company. (see page 125) The ovens were built in what was a gulley near the road and in time there were one hundred and thirteen of them, making up to 56,000 tons of coal into coke annually.

39 Tinker Estate Papers Box 14

Page 54


To Gatehead

Section of a plan of Crow Edge Colliery worked by Hepworth Iron showing the site of the pit, day hole and coke ovens belonging bane Poy to Tinkers Bros. ; at Farmer Lane 189]

Section of 0.8.1 map 1893 showing Snowgate Head Colliery at the time it was owned by Tinkers Bros

Page 55


Litigation was often a feature of the Tinker family mining business. There were both a number of lawsuits pursued by them against other mine proprietors and those in which they found themselves taken to Court. Cases ranged from those heard by the local magistrates to those presented in the Court of Common Pleas and the Court of the Exchequer. In the early 1850s Ebenezer Tinker and William Shaw, a member of another local land owning family, were at loggerheads about mining rights and boundaries. The result of this contentious relationship was their involvement in the complex and protracted cases of Shaw v Tinker and Tinker v Shaw. Arising from the fact that both men independently mined above Gatehead the controversy was rooted in the realities of mine workings being in close proximity and the effect that one could have upon the other. The cause of the dispute centred on the disputed issues of trespass, flooding and foul air. The area of land in question had been acquired by Tinker with the intention of mining the underlying coal seam which lay adjacent to land mined by William Shaw. It was the driving of a new seam by Tinker into this that led to the accusations of trespass. The problems relating to the changes made to the underground water courses then promoted the charges and counter charges associated with flooding. The presence of foul air in one set of workings entering from another equally gave rise to further conflict.

Page 56


Abel Tinker

be 1743 & 1823

d: 1849 1864

Uriah Elizabeth Tinker Shaw b: 1777 bb: 1780

Philip Tinker

b 1778 d: 1845

Henry Wintering ham Tinker

b: 1849 d: 1898:

Uriah Ebenezer Tinker Tinker b: 1810 b: 1807 d: 1870 dd: 1665



Tinker Shaw b: i es Tinker b: 1819 d: 1905.

Descendant chart for Abel Tinker

Page 57


Uriah Tinker Jun.

SY at —_- od



Charles Shaw Tinker at

Members of the Tinker Family

Brian Tinker

Page 58


John Haigh of Hall Ing, Honley and Joseph Haigh and his sons, George and John, were one-time proprietors of the pits at Sinking Wood (by 1838 until 1878), Snowgate Head (by 1832 until 1881) and Upper Holme House, New Mill (1836 until 1865).

Gatefoot n Shepley ic eT) Upper Holme Snowgate, - House Head I i I Lane End New Mill

Adapted Plan of Land at Snowgate Head acquired by Joseph Haigh from Wm. Stephen, John Tinker, Wm. Hirst, John Dyson 1832 based on a contemporary drawing “

40 Tinker Estate Papers Box 4 WYAS

Page 59


A FARM, cattep UPPER HOLME-HOUSE, or 4 FARM-HOUSE, (Drvipep ixro Two Tewewenrs,) And Twenty-Six ACHES and Thirty-Four PERCHES of LAND and WOOD LAND, is rae Townsmir of FOOLSTONE, asp of HOLME, tx rue or KIRKBURTON ; AND ALSO

TWO PEWS, in the Panisn Cavurcn of WAKEFIELD: :

WHICH WILL BE SOLD BY AUCTION, In Thirteen Bots, On THURSDAY, the 8th Day of December, 1836,




*,* Toe Tenants will on application shew the Proreary, in their respective Occupations — The Woops are in a thriving State, and some of the Lann at Urrer Horme-House, contains well known Bens of Coan.

Advertisement for land at Upper Holme-House 1836 “

With the successful purchase of the land at Upper Holme-House following the above sale the Haigh family extended their assets and mining business.

Receipt for monies paid by J ohn Haigh to John Firth on the purchase of plant at Snowgate Head Colliery in 1857 ”

41 Tinker Estate Papers Box 4 WYAS 42 Ibid

Page 60


ow WWE te (Me EM oho @ of Wall aH Mi wad of rw a: wd . beg ht futur a Ano: pum frente My haw Af ftw AF bbw ole’ Mf Abit Catlins, oe nen wand fae My tuinbeleff Mionley. a Mead’ Matt Sng Minh


Qo Ha day of i783

Receipt for monies received by Joseph Haigh from Mrs Elizabeth Haigh on the death of his father ®

Following the death of John Haigh, senior, both Sinking Wood and Snowgate Head Collieries were put up for sale in November 1878.

In the Advertisement Sinking Wood Colliery was described as including: “coal ungot from the Biggin and Thurstonland estates” **

43 Tinker Estate Papers Box 4 WYAS 44 Huddersfield Chronicle 23" November 1878

Page 61


Gatefoot *

& +

*Upper Holme House - Hollin House

to New Mill to Sude Hill

Adapted diagram of Snowgate Head Colliery based on “A Plan wrought by Messrs John Haigh and Sons in the Halifax Soft Seam” 1875 *

45 Tinker Estate Papers Box 4 WYAS

Page 62


The most notable of the colliery proprietors and occupiers from outside the valley who invested money and know-how into several local pits were Barbary and Arthington, James Milnes, William Stansfield, Henry Briggs and George Watkinson. Barbary and Arthington had extensive mining interests having pits in Dodworth, Silkstone and Worsborough but according to the Land Tax Returns for Hepworth, 1782 to 1784, they appear to have occupied land mined by Benjamin Wagstaff. This would suggest that the pit was near Foxhouse, as the Wagstaff family were a long established family in that neighbourhood known to have been involved in mining. James Milnes was the son of Richard Milnes of Flockton Manor near Huddersfield, who having discovered coal on his land in 1774, established the New Flockton Colliery. The exact date when he commenced mining locally is not known but this was certainly by 1787 when, according to the Land Tax Returns for Hepworth, he was extracting coal from land owned by Benjamin Wagstaff. Later references in 1788 to 1793 he was similarly employed at Upper Milshaw and Fieldhead on land in the possession of James Banks. After his death in 1804 his wife, Mary Anne, carried on the management of the business until 1815 when she formed a company, Milnes and Stansfield, with her son-in law, William Stansfield. By 1838 a second son-in-law, Henry Briggs, a coal proprietor from Overton, Halifax, had joined the company, which then as Stansfield and Briggs acquired a lease for Law Colliery. The terms agreed in a later lease dated 1* June 1843 included extraction rights, over a twenty year period, of both existing coal seams and those to be developed at a later time. It was required of them: “fo work in a workmanlike manner and according to the best possible course and Methods used in works of the like nature.” *° By the same indenture the extraction rights to coal, whether got or ungot, under Knowles Farm near Foxhouse were granted for twenty years at the annual rent of £120. They

46 Tinker Estate Papers Box 14 WYAS

Page 63


were also given: “the rights to build the roads necessary to cart away the coal.” *”

+ is ‘Roperty: of ee re: Pi Subs



oT wees Wee ht

Section of a Plan of the mine workings near Law *

47 Tinker Estate Papers Box 4 WYAS 48 Collection of Miscellaneous Papers Holme Valley Local History Group

Page 64


George Watkinson of Halifax, having established a successful wool stapling business in 1836, was convinced that the moorland around Crowedge contained sufficient iron ore reserves to warrant investment in a new venture. Having purchased land from John Chapman of Mottram and later Carlecoates, in 1858 a second company was created when he entered into partnership with the Craven family of York who, in that year had commenced their own mining activities at Crowedge.

Tom Fielding, who lived in Crowedge, described the situation George Watkinson faced when he noted in his diary how: “The iron company employed many men and a large amount of traffic was put on the road between the works and Hazlehead Station, as all the material had to be removed by team, of horses, work.” ® To facilitate a more efficient way of moving materials around and to and from the site Watkinson had a railway system constructed that included sidings and a branch line to the main line railway at Hazlehead junction. Built by 1860 the single branch line was 1.5 miles long with a tunnel and a steeply graded section. The working of the railway in the early days is unclear. It is known that the loaded waggons were hauled up the incline (1 in 23) by a stationary winding engine and that in some way horses were used on other stretches of the line. James Whitehead, aged thirteen, whilst working on the line was accidentally killed: “when a horse drawing some trucks was passing him he had struck it with a hook. The hook caught the harness and pulled him down and the wheels of the truck passed over him.” * The construction of the 450 yard tunnel was that known as “cut and cover.” This was a method used frequently for a shallow tunnel, which involved the excavation of a cutting, within this a tunnel was constructed in brick or stone, the structure was then back-filled with an appropriate material back to the original level of the surface.

49 FEAT OF cLay The Story of Hepworth at Hazlehead Keith Pearson 50 Sheffield and Rotherham Independent 23" February 1861

Page 65


line operated by = . Hepworth Iron Pye ye Company ~*

The likely intention for this style of construction at Crowedge was to prevent this stretch of the line (lying about 900 feet above sea level) from becoming blocked with snow during the winter. In spite of Watkinson’s investment in the buying of quarrying equipment, the building of furnaces and coke ovens the looked-for profits were not forthcoming. The main reason for this situation was that although the seams of iron ore were of high quality they were very thin, so by 1868 the mining of iron ore was abandoned. The coal mining that was taking place was then expanded and the clay and ganister deposits were exploited as good quality bricks were then manufactured. “The estate has in itself a good bed of hard and soft coal and iron ore and also a large amount of fire clay and ganister for manufacturing sanitary pipes and fire bricks.” The successful production of these continued over the next twenty years with the expansion of the plant which included the replacement of the stationary winding engine and the horses by a locomotive, Polly, and later, a second engine, bor. However, by the turn of the 1880s production faltered largely due to the unwise management of Benjamin Craven who apparently acted: “in a headlong and careless fashion and much money was spent unnecessarily” »*

51 Scenes from the past (Part Two) Woodhead E.M.Johnson 52 FEAT OF CLAY The Story of Hepworth at Hazlehead Keith Pearson 53 Ibid

Page 66


This situation was salvaged when the son of John Chapman, Charles Chapman also of Mottram and _ later Carlecoates, purchased the estate from Watkinson and Craven in 1882. At that time it consisted of: “/04 acres of Freehold land, buildings, working plant, railways, coal pits, engines, machinery and locomotive engine.” °* Unfortunately the business again proved less than successful and having reached the point of bankruptcy Chapman sold it to John Booth (1862-1928) son of Ralph Booth (1820-1907) in 1897. Booth with other associates then created Hepworth Iron Company Ltd.

The Land Tax Returns and the trade directories show that it was possible for a local occupier of a pit to become a pit proprietor. Benjamin Wagstaff of Foxhouse is recorded in 1782 to 1785 as having been an occupier but by 1787 he had found himself in the financial position to purchase the rights to one, Riddle Pit at Foxhouse. (see page 54) Ebenezer Heeley (1829-1901) was a hurrier described by his younger brother, Henry, in his evidence to the Government Commissioner in 1841 as: “the worst in the pit; him that hurried you in. He pays me sometimes, but he doesnt leather me hard.” However, over the years he appears to have advanced in status. Having been employed as a miner at Hepworth Iron Company by 1863 he was the proprietor of the pit at Foster Place. In that year to improve the access to this he had a new road made on the western side of Meal Hill and Foster Place called New Coal Pit Road.

In April 1870 he purchased the rights to extract coal from land at Snowgate Head from John Firth Smith, the deal also included a fifth share in the coal pit. Shortly after there was a claim by John Haigh, Coal Proprietor of Hall Ing, Honley: “to a right under a lease to a seam of coal in the occupation of Smith where Heeley had been working the coal.” Tn an attempt to assert this right Haigh, with a group of men, on two occasions

54 FEAT OF CLay The Story of Hepworth at Hazlehead Keith Pearson 55 Huddersfield Chronicle 4% June 1870

Page 67


filled in Heeley’ day hole, however, in spite of this action he failed to secure his claim. In 1878 Heeley and his partner, George Horsfall from Lockwood, Huddersfield, became proprietors of Lane End Colliery in Fulstone. This partnership ended in March 1890 with Heeley then retaining ownership of the pit.

Section of O.S. map 1893 showing that the pits in A later became known as Lane End Colliery, Fulstone

Page 68


Heeley brought the dissatisfaction of one of his employees at Lane End Colliery to the Holmfirth Petty Sessions. Arising from a disagreement between a miner and a member of his underground team who worked as a hurrier this was a: “Claim for wages — John Richardson by Ebenezer Heeley, his guardian, sued James Brook, of Sude Hill in Fulstone, collier, for 5s. for three day’ wages, and an order was made for the amount with costs.(8s)”’ °° It would appear, however, that Richardson never received his wages for James Brook refused to pay. It is not known whether it was a case of “can’t pay” or “won’t pay” but the following month Brook was committed to Wakefield prison for fourteen days. This was not the only case Heeley brought before the Holmfirth Magistrates and the High Court. Over the years he spent much energy and considerable amounts of money pursuing various claims against certain individuals and the New Mill Local Board. In May 1883 a court action was taken against Charles Shaw Tinker of Meal Hill, Hepworth, sanitary pipe manufacturer, George Booth of Fulstone, woollen manufacturer and Charles Rhodes of New Mill, coal miner. Heeley sued them for £50 as damages for alleged trespass upon his property. This had occurred following a dispute relating to issues arising from problems with water. Heeley alleged that on two consecutive days with about one hundred men: “they had entered his land and proceeded to take down the engine, boiler and other materials; in fact they uprooted almost everything. They pulled the chimney down, broke up the rails and pipes and removed the wooden cistern.” *’ In the course of the case being heard it emerged that although Heeley had bought the rights to extract coal both on the north and south sides of the turnpike road (A635) the signed agreement had only stated it was for the north side.

56 Huddersfield Chronicle 26" April 1884 57 Huddersfield Chronicle 26" July 1883

Page 69


The long standing dispute between Heeley and the New Mill Local Board arose from him claiming that drainage work undertaken by the Board in Hollin House Lane Bottom had caused flooding in his pit. The drainage drift for the Lane End pit was in Hollin House Lane Bottom and it was Heeley’s contention that excess water was backing up into his pit. His grievance was the costs incurred from having to repair the resulting damage, the installation of a larger pumping engine and the inevitable loss of production. The Local Board’s demand for arbitration in September, 1893 was agreed to with this ultimately finding in favour of Heeley. The Board had to pay him: “£€/82 13s 6d in full satisfaction of all claims and demands.” *°

There were occasions when others employed in a mine could acquire extraction rights. One such case was that of a banksman’, Jagger, who was employed at Law Colliery. In November 1809 on payment of £90 he was granted the right for seven years to: “make the Winning’ at his own expense” *»

i Wartae we Banks nan at Lies fe Witeg wre Gok, fe bus fe te lat gear wid Lean te tk ow eo J tear tole make fi der nrg a ee

Agreement between oe ME fa ney and lee. the Lord of the Manor oe go Gan ant Oc Boho a and Jagger °°

hes at fetes Siok ace la

58 Huddersfield Chronicle 4" June 1896 59 Miscellaneous Papers MD225 WYAS

Page 70


Coal Pits and Coal Production during the nineteenth century

The processes of manufacturing industries were radically changed by the advent of steam power, which at first supplemented water power but in time replaced it. This created a growing dependency on coal and to meet the ever-increasing demand more land was given up to its production. In 1825 Unah Tinker of Meal Hill acquired land situated at Bank House, Hill Top, from Jonathan Haigh, of Carlcoates. It was described as containing: “/3 days work” and: “under which there are seams and strata of coal.” Tinker was granted the extraction rights to the seams of coal and to develop all the work necessary: “under the surface of this land to win and carry away the coal.” All the work to be done: “for his own benefit.” * Later Uriah Tinker jun.: “in 1837 paid William Senior £12 for the absolute purchase of coal to be found within the 2 closes of land at Hill Named as Upper Near Close and Lower Near Close a one-time owner in 1830s having been John Goddard of Hepworth.

Nineteenth century advertisements for the sale of land and property show that the presence of coal was thought to be highly advantageous. When Miss Hatfeild put part of the estate she inherited under the will of John Hatfeild Kaye up for sale: “a house, farm buildings and land at Hey Slacks, Upper Nab, Lower Nab, Lower Milshaw and Upper Milshaw” were described in the advertisement as lying: “in the heart of the Clothing Country and are full of good coal.” Likewise after the death of James Banks in the particulars for

60 Collection of Miscellaneous Papers relating to the Graveship of Holme WYAS 61 Tinker Estate Papers Box 4 WYAS 62 Leeds Mercury 16" September 1815

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the sale of Upper Holme House it was stated that: “some of the land contains well known beds of coal.” When the ninety-three acre estate of Oxlee was put on the market the main selling point was: “it is believed there is a valuable bed of coal under it.” ™ When Thomas Morehouse of Stoney Bank, New Mill, was wishing to dispose of some land the benefit to the purchaser was described as: “All those two beds of coal called Hard Bed and the Soft Bed lying under 20 acres of land situate at Top of Th’ Hill, Thurstonland near to the north end of the Thurstonland tunnel on the Huddersfield and Sheffield Junction Railway. This coal may be got and delivered on the said railway at Trifling Expense.” © Five months later when the advertisement appeared again it was stated that a second advantage was that: “the coal can be put into waggons by the side of the line and conveyed by railway to Huddersfield, Holmfirth and other places where there is a great demand for that mineral, this will therefore be found to be of merit the attention of coal proprietors or other persons desirous of embarking on a lucrative mining business.” °° The details in the sale information for fourteen acres with a cottage in Thirskinholes included that the land also: “contains several beds of coal, ironstone and fire clay. The estate is intersected by the Langsett to New Mill turnpike road adjacent to land worked by the Hepworth Iron Company.” ” Those responsible for the sale of the pits that had been worked by the Thurstonland Coal Company stressed in their advertisements that: “fo secure a small field of operations for themselves” was particularly beneficial to those mill owners and cloth manufacturers who wished to: “free themselves from the

63 Tinker Estate Papers Box 4 WYAS 64 Huddersfield Chronicle 15" September 1855 65 Huddersfield Chronicle 4 May 1850 66 Leeds Mercury 12% October 1850 67 Sheffield and Rotherham Independent 14" July 1860

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uncertainties and trouble of a dependence upon the open coal trade.” ©

The Sale Prospectus produced in 1897, when Hepworth Iron Company was bought by John Booth, the one-time Company Clerk, the business was described as having: “368 acres of freehold, leasehold and copyhold land with valuable beds of coal, fireclay etc, a thirty year mineral lease, a railway, fifteen round pipe kilns, six square blue brick kilns, sheds, farmsteads and twenty one cottages for workmen.”

The governmental inspection of coal mines was introduced in 1850 and a significant result of this was the availability of exact and reliable production figures. Those for the Holmfirth District relate mainly to the New Mill Valley and the northern area of Hepworth Township at Crow Edge and Foxhouse. Frank Wardell became a mines inspector in 1868, a position he continued to hold for several decades. He compiled the production figures for that year when the mines in the Holmfirth district produced the total of 87,470 tons. These were Barnside (William Shaw), Brickworks (Uriah Tinker), Carr Wood (Charles Lockwood), Foster Place (Ebenezer Heeley), Foxhouse (Mrs Wagstaff), Fulstone (Charles Lockwood), Gatehead (Uriah Tinker), Holling House (Hepworth Iron Company), Hepworth ), Meltham (Uriah Tinker), Thurstonland (James Wheatley) and Wood (Uriah Tinker). Note that Meltham was included but Sinking Wood was listed in the Huddersfield statistics. ©

68 Huddersfield Chronicle 25" January 1873 69 Yorkshire Past and Present Thomas Baines

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1861 1864 1866


Huddersfield and Holmfirth District

325,500 tons 317,600 tons 376,750 tons

Included with Huddersfield Included with Huddersfield Included with Huddersfield

(In 1866, it was recorded that Uriah Tinker was producing 1000 tons a week at Foster Place pit.) ”°

1867 1868 1869 1872

Huddersfield 384,700 tons 300,500 tons 111,295 tons 74,757 tons

Holmfirth 112,500 tons 87,470 tons 36,537 tons 25,732 tons

The following Return clearly shows that by the 1890s the surviving smaller pits had reached the point of non-viability and that by this time mining was concentrated in the areas around Hazlehead and Sledbrook, with the major employers being members of the Tinker family and Hepworth Iron Company.

1896 including the numbers of those employed and type of coal

Colliery Owners U/G Surface Coal Type Top-o'-Hill Ben Moorhouse M Carr Wood C. Lockwood and Sons 9 2 M Lane End E. Heeley and Co. 4 1 M Snowgate Head C.S.and H.W. Tinker H&C Wood C.S.and H.W. Tinker H&C Oxlee Adam Hirst 2 1 M Gatehead C.S.and H.W. Tinker 19 1 M&H Hazlehead Tinker Bros. 126 27 M&C Sledbrook Hepworth Iron Co. 70 4 M&H

Coal Type: M-manufacturing H-household C-coking

70 Royal Commission appointed to inquire into the state of rivers and streams


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The reduction in operating pits and employees appears to have been created as the result of three major contemporary influences, these being the improvements in mining technology; the building of the railways and stations; the opening of deeper mines elsewhere. The national developments in mining technology resulted in the sinking of deep mines in which the working of thicker seams made an increased output achievable. The changing industrial need for greater supplies of coal was then primarily met by deep- mined coal, this being easily transported by a developing railway system. The impact on valley pits of the several new deep pits which opened in nearby South Yorkshire was clearly felt. Local miners were attracted into the area by the prospects of work, higher wages and newly built housing for their families. The coming of the railway line into the Holme Valley was also to have an enormous effect on how the demands of local manufacturing were to be met. In 1848 Uriah Tinker jun. made enquiries about the cost of coal being delivered to Holmfirth and Brockholes from Silkstone and this was two years before the stations had opened! He clearly had concerns about the threat of imported coal and the future prospects of local mining. He could foresee in the light of anticipated cheaper transportation costs the possibility of local mill owners finding deep-mined coal an attractive alternative to that produced locally. Other major reasons for pit closures were an accumulation of water rendering them water-fast and so unworkable without the installation of expensive pumping equipment; the smaller pits gradually became uneconomic as extraction costs exceeded profits from sales; in some the coal had simply been worked out.

The diagram and sections of O.S. maps 1854 on the next six pages show many of the pits in use in the valley at that time (-——> and abandoned ones Road directions are indicated (-————>

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To Honley Adapted diagram showing the e 1,9 * Gatehead Victoria fy eX, rd epits in use alter 1850 x ¢ ‘ #

disused by 1850 concentration of pits in the New Mill Valley before and after 1850 ”

71 History of the Huddersfield Woollen Industry W.B.Crump and G.Ghorbal

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To Victoria, Gatehead

ed feat

VW he I

ee ote Pe] Old Goat Pit ZL

To Carlecoates

Section of O.S. map 1854 showing the 4 old coal pits and 10 working coal pits in the area of Law/Lowe, Foxhouse and Knowles

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To Jackson Bridge

To Gatehead

Section of O.S. map 1854 showing the day hole and 6 coal pits in the area of Meal Hill to Foster Place

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Section of O.S. map 1854 showing Snowgate Head Colliery and two coal pits near Holme Lane


FN naan Aa ae i deem

Section of O.S. map 1893 showing Ox Lee Colliery and two old pits

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le f= ee weenie

Section of O.S. map 1854 showing 7 pits in the area of Thurstonland Bank to Brockholes

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Section of O.S. map 1854 showing 4 pits in the area of Sinking Wood to New Mill

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Mining Employees in the nineteenth century

The census returns show the number of people involved in extracting coal locally and the many hillside homes and those in the villages of New Mill, Fulstone, Scholes, Wooldale and Hepworth in which family members were employed in mining. It is important to note that the 1841 return does not include the considerable number of women and children, both boys and girls, who also worked underground.

Year Nos. Year Nos. Year Nos. Year Nos. 1841 - 115 1851 - 246 1861 - 166 1871 - 110 1881 - 182 1891 - 152 1901 - 106 1911 - 278

In what appears to have been primarily a family based activity it was frequently the case that a father, a miner, as a getter, employed his wife, sons and daughters as hurriers and thrusters and paid them from his own wages. Older sons would likewise sometimes employ younger siblings. If there were no children or the getter wanted to have a larger team then children from a neighbouring family or possibly a local workhouse would be taken on. The census return of 1881 provides the evidence that workhouse children from Liverpool were brought to New Mill to work in a pit. Robert Shringler, aged 14, and his brother John, aged 11, came from Everton and Andrew Bryson, aged 14, from the West Derby Union workhouse in Walton. The details for such an arrangement are not known.

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Top of the Hil Thustenland Bank Bank Hill Top Sinking Weed Hollingreave os

Sketch map la showing where miners’ families lived

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Sketch map 1b showing where miners’ families lived

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Sketch map 2a showing where miners’ families lived

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tah Monument oP

stee Potters moe gole. foster oT ee Upper — ‘ Nes nee $ Artin noose Lower Nest Milshaw Garuheod Mexlhorne.

Cripple. \>

Hole Vichoria lower

Nabo bd House upper Hepshaxy Holes Naby Kn qwies Riddt rr

Sketch map 2b showing where miners’ families lived

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The general public were, on the whole, unaware of the nature of mining communities and the realities of the daily lives of those living in them. It was only after a number of reports appeared in the newspapers detailing the tragic accidents and fatalities occurring in coal pits that this situation began to change. From only a general concern for those involved in these events there quickly arose a sense of shock and horror as the atrocious working conditions became known. It was a nation-wide outrage following the accident at the Huskar Pit, Silkstone in 4" July 1838 in which twenty-six children were drowned that led to the setting up of a parliamentary commission into the conditions of the employment of children in Britain’s mines and quarries in 1841. Itis from the Report of the findings of this Government Enquiry that we gain the insights of this contemporary account as witnessed by the Commissioners. The fact-finding mission in Yorkshire was led by a London lawyer Jelinger Cookson Symons and Samuel Swain Scriven. Symons was experienced in such undertakings having been involved in the investigation into the conditions of handloom weavers in 1835 and in 1839 a survey of the conditions of skilled and unskilled workers compared to their European counterparts. He commenced his seven month investigations in Sheffield in January 1841 and completed his task in Flockton in July, some two hundred and ninety-nine interviews later. In the New Mill area he visited the pits at Meal Hill and Low Moor where he conducted interviews with children. He also questioned William Shaw, the Agent of the pit at Foster Place, several colliers and Dr James Henry Morehouse of Stony Bank, New Mill.

The quotations and illustrations given in the following nine pages are taken from the Commissioner’s Report, unless stated otherwise.

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During the investigation employers were required to provide the names of children and young persons they employed, their ages, residence and birthplace, their earnings and how they were paid, whether they attended Sunday school and their educational attainment, length of employment and their state of health.

Ebenezer Tinker listed thirty-two young people working in the Hepworth area, thirty hurriers, two getters, twenty-nine of whom were born within the parish of Kirkburton. No information was offered as to who paid them but it can be assumed that it would be as for the times i.e. the collier for whom they worked.

Hurriers and Getters employed by Ebenezer Tinker 1841

Name Age Birthplace HorG Mary Ann Haigh 13 6 Kirkburton Hf Hannah Haigh 10 Bolster Moor Hf Henry Heeley 10 6 Kirkburton Hf Jonathan Mitchell 140 Kirkburton H Ebenezer Heeley 13 3 Kirkburton Hf William Senior 13 3 Kirkburton H John Haigh 144 Kirkburton Hf Benjamin Marsh 120 Kirkburton Hf George Senior 130 Kirkburton Hf George Lodge 10 6 Kirkburton Hf Joseph Lodge 130 Kirkburton Hf Joseph Swallow 13 6 Kirkburton Hf Charles Beever 13 6 Kirkburton H Isaac Holmes 120 Kirkburton H Charles Haigh 90 Kirkburton Hf Charles Rhodes 10 1 Kirkburton H Joseph Marsh 11 6 Penistone Hf Eli Rhodes 149 Kirkburton H Henry Cartwright 13 Ll Kirkburton Hf Allen Duckinfield 17 6 Kirkburton G Nathan Brook 148 Kirkburton H Stephen Mitchell 140 Kirkburton Hf

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Name Age Birthplace HorG Abel Holmes 13 Kirkburton H George Haigh 120 Kirkburton Hf Joseph Marsh 8 6 Kirkburton Hf John Marsh 116 Kirkburton H George Crosland 120 Kirkburton Hf Joseph Battye 13 6 Kirkburton G Elliot Holmes 8 6 Kirkburton H Henry Hincliff 161 Kirkburton Hf Mary Ann Tinker 140 Kirkburton Hf James Cartwright 160 Kirkburton Hf

Interestingly, none of the girls interviewed by Symons are on this list.

The Royal Commission sent out letters informing the mining communities when the Commissioners would be visiting. However, there were times on the appointed day when those they wished to speak with were elsewhere. If this situation arose then Symons would continue to return until the interviewee was found. Symons was also a man who wanted to ascertain the full facts, so on occasions he went underground as he did when visiting Meal Hill Pit as recalled by Henry Heeley: “Ay brother Ebenezer Aim that hurried you in.”

Hurriers interviewed by Jelinger Cookson Symons June 1841

Name Age Abode Where interviewed Henry Heeley Il Foster Place Tinker s Day hole Joseph Lodge 12 Barnside . Jonathan Mitchell 15 Mount . John Haigh 14’? Hill Top “ Mary Holmes 14’? Foster Place

Ebenezer Heeley 13 Foster Place Rachel Tinker 13 Meal Hill . Ann Winchcliffe Larks House “ (Ann Hinchliffe)

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Name Age Abode Where interviewed Isaac Hirst 13 Oxlee Stansfield and Briggs’ Gin Pit, Low Moor Hepworth Henry Cartwright 12 Lower Milshaw Stansfield and Briggs’ Gin Pit, Low Moor Hepworth Betty Swallow “

William Hirst ll Harden . Sarah Senior 13 Barnside . Caroline Swallow 8 Upper Bent . Eliza Senior 12 Hepshaw .

It was from these first-hand experiences that Symons concluded that underground workers were: “overworked” and consequently: “they become old and careworn at a very early age.”

In the cramped conditions of the narrow passages and the low coal faces in the valley pits the miners worked primarily on their knees or lying on their sides. He emphatically stated that, in his view, the physical demands of working underground were: “More severe than the constitution is properly able to bear.” His opinion on such conditions was that: “/twas rare for a miner to work beyond forty to fifty years of age and such a man would be in a desperate situation if he could not find alternative work.”

The census returns for Fulstone, Hepworth and Wooldale would appear to support this assessment as they show households where the father was no longer working as a miner. On leaving the pits some men found alternative employment, often as farm hands, weavers, general labourers. However, it was not only older men who found they could no longer continue working underground. Injuries suffered would have been a most likely cause why a younger man left a pit. It is difficult to ascertain further details of these because of the lack of any records.

A number of men of course were, like Arthur Haigh of Hill Top, able to continue working underground into middle age. Having finished work after 1871 he described himself, in 1881,

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aged 58 years, as: “a retired miner.” He was fortunate in that the pit wages of the three eldest of his six sons would have financially supported the family. In 1891 the eldest two sons having left home, the wages of two of the four remaining sons then provided for their parents and two younger brothers. By 1901 the three youngest sons all unmarried and still living at home maintained the family finances. Arthur Haigh died in 1907 aged eighty-four and left £25 to his second son John.

Images of miners

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Symons was shocked to find that: “females are taken down into the coal mines, both sexes are employed together in precisely the same kind of labour, and work for the same number of hours; the young men and young women, and even married women and women with child, commonly work almost naked and the men in many mines quite naked.” Whether this state of nakedness was a common sight in the valley pits is not known, what is clear is that Symons was so incensed with the semi-naked appearances of both adults and children that he maintained: “One of the most disgusting sights I have ever seen was that of young females dressed like boys in trousers, crawling on all fours with belts round their waists and chains passing between their legs at day pits at Hunshelf Bank and in many small pits near New Mill. In one near New Mill the chain passing high up between the legs of two of these girls had worn large holes in their trousers and any sight more disgustingly indecent and revolting can scarcely be imagined than these girls at work.” From the evidence they heard it would appear that the Commissioners found that: “all classes of witnesses bear testimony to the demoralising influence of the employment of females underground.”

Employment of females underground

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Symons was equally appalled to discover that: “children start working aged about eight or nine years but some start as young as four years and the same applies regardless of gender” and he expressed great concern at the apparent common acceptance of this practice.

Narrow passages with low ceilings were a common feature of valley mines. Such a pit was the day hole owned by Mr. Uriah Tinker of Meal Hill where: “The gates vary from 27 to 30 inches and along the whole of the adit they do not average more than 28 inches.” Horrified at the physical condition of the children interviewed, who worked in these small passageways, Symons noted their muscular development. This he regarded as being almost to the point of deformity, the children being: “stunted in height and expanded in width.”

Children employed underground (slightly better dressed than the written descriptions!)

The much respected local physician Dr James Henry Morehouse in his description of what he stated were mines: “worked upon a small scale” detailed how in these: “the beds of coal vary from 10 to 28 inches in thickness” and that to work these seams: “the miners have to take down the roof to about 30 to 32 inches.” Jt was these working conditions that caused Symons to write: “Such mines cannot be worked without inflicting great and irreparable injury on the health of the children.” Dr Morehouse, however, revealed in his evidence that he had no major concerns

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about children working underground or indeed in the local woollen mills when he stated: “from my own personal examination of a number of them, they are much less in stature in proportion to their ages than those working in mills. They are generally much broader over the shoulders and apparently very hardy. As to their moral and intellectual cultivation, I am quite of the opinion that they are much below the factory children, and those engaged in other occupations; and in their habits decidedly more vicious.”

The livelihoods of many valley families were dependent on the wages brought in by all members, none more so than those where the father was a miner.

Rachel Tinker, whose father was a banksman, aptly described how he: “has half a dozen girls and we would be fast if he couldnt send us to the pit.”” George Hirst, a collier of Millshaw Grove who worked at Messrs Stansfield and Brigg’s Gin Pit at Low Common, expressed the view that: “Jt privileges some poor folks to bring their girls to pit; and I have seen many who have made respectable women and for aught I know useful wives. I don't know that the girls have any more impudence than other girls that are brought up in other ways........... There are not mills enough that want girls to send them about here.” —__A generally held view regarding child employment was clearly expressed by William Shaw: “7 think to restrict the time of working would injure the working classes in this part”. As the Agent at Tinker’s pit he stated that local opinion accepted girls being employed underground: “there were no girls in the pit though there was no objection to them.”

When questioning the children Symons was interested in their level of education, particularly literacy and religious knowledge. At the time the possibility of a child from a mining family going to a day school would have been highly unlikely. There was little or no expectation that such children should have any schooling, this being considered as unnecessary by both employers and their

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parents, who were themselves, uneducated. To attend one of the four small day schools in the valley, these being Hepworth Endowed Town School, the National School and the Old School in New Mill and the Subscription School in Scholes, was dependent on the payment of the required weekly fee, which could be ill- afforded. Any reference made to schooling therefore was in terms of Sunday school attendance at one of the non-conformist chapel schools. These had been established by the Wesleyan Methodists in Wooldale and Scholes, the Primitive Methodists at Gatehead and the English Presbyterians at Lydgate. From their replies the children revealed rudimentary skills in reading and writing, a limited knowledge of arithmetic; a lack of familiarity of the Scriptures and little grasp of religious belief.

The intention of the majority of the parliamentarians of the day to end the abuse of underground workers was clearly evidenced in the fact that the Coal Mines Act was passed in August 1842, the findings of the Enquiry only having been presented to Parliament four months earlier. This introduced legislation whereby the employment of females and boys, under 10 years of age, was prohibited. An exception to the age barrier was that those nine- year-old boys already employed could continue working. The census return for 1851 however, reveals that eleven under-aged children were still being employed in unnamed valley pits. Indeed ten years later, in the Returns for 1861, six children were employed who were under the legal working age. Two other rulings of note were also introduced, these being that hoists were not to be left to the care of boys under 15 years of age and a system of underground inspection was to be established.

As there was initially only one Inspector of Mines appointed for the whole of the country the difficulties surrounding the enforcement of the legislation were almost insuperable and the Act was abused by many mine owners. This situation was only

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rectified in the early 1850s when a nation-wide Inspectorate was set up.

It was in November 1843 that one of the first cases to be brought to Court seeking the prosecution of a coal master for employing females contrary to the law was that brought against John William Morehouse of Wooldale, owner of a pit at Lydgate, New Mill. The infringement had only come to light because George Haigh, Constable of Almondbury, had had reason to visit Lydgate. The matter was brought before the Holmfirth Court but they refused to deal with it, one of the magistrates being a coal owner.. The trial was then brought to Huddersfield and Morehouse was charged with employing: “as hurriers, four girls named Hannah Moss aged 15; Elizabeth Moss aged 12; Nancy Goldthorpe aged 15; and Mary Senior aged 17 years.” In his evidence George Haigh stated that during this visit: “he had seen four females coming out of the day hole of the pit, with coal” and that he had: “only recognised them as females by their hair, as they were dressed as males.”” During the trial the girls were described as: “being so ignorant that they neither knew how long they had worked at the pit and knew nothing of the month of November.”

The magistrates fined Morehouse the lowest penalty prescribed by the act of Parliament namely five pound per case plus expenses.. Was this a sentence that perhaps reflected local attitudes towards the employment of women in mines?

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NS ‘ hg

a. 7 oF 5.) wade dg A x 9 2 AN ah

New Mill

Lydgate Pit Greenhill Bank

Pit, Greenhill Bank, New Mill

The writer of a contemporary political article entitled The Coal Kings and the employment of women law quoted information gained from the Halifax Guardian regarding the prosecution of John William Morehouse. He stated that: “at last, there were indications that the Employment Act of 1842 was going to be

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enforced, a law that was currently being trampled underfoot because women’s labour is cheaper than that of males.” He described females as: “working in living graves” because coal owners were: “all for themselves in this world.” ”

The requirements of the legislation introduced during the 1840s relating to the employment of children in factories were gradually extended to those employed in all other occupations. The Ten Hour Act of 1847 imposed a huge restriction on the working hours of both women and children, and by 1878 it was illegal to employ children under twelve years of age. The census return for 1881 shows that certain employers were flouting the Law as six under- age children described themselves as employed as hurriers.

For those employed, weekly certificates recording part- time school attendance, were required. The generally held opinion as to the validity of part-timing as an approach to meeting the demands of child labour and schooling was expressed by Leonard Horner Esq, Factory Inspector: “The principle of combining regular attendance at school, with wages-yielding employment, is so valuable and important.” ”

The manner in which those responsible for the employment of children in the local coal mines satisfied these requirements is unrecorded. However, within the entries in local school Log Books the way in which this pattern of child employment, once established, influenced and affected the organisation and work of the local schools is made very clear indeed.’* Headteachers were faced with the task of teaching children who were frequently so tired that they found concentrating on their lessons very difficult and who often fell asleep in class. For many part-timers time in

72 Bradford Observer and Halifax, Huddersfield, Keighley Reporter 6" January 1844 73 Huddersfield Chronicle 15" August 1857 74. See Schools and School Days in the New Mill Valley by Pamela Cooksey

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school came in the morning after a late shift, as was the case for the boys about whom Mr Hill, Headteacher of New Mill National School noted: “Zwo boys tell me that they work to 12 o’clock midnight” ” or in the afternoon after a morning spent in manual work. The entries also reveal the concerns Headteachers had about these children which well reflected those being expressed by the mining unions twenty years after the passing of the Ten hour Act: “under the present hours of working the proper education of miners children is an utter impossibility. The boys are sent to the mines by the age of ten with feeble limbs tis true, but still with feebler minds which the coarse labour in the mines had the effect of completely destroying.” ” On learning that six of the boys were to start working in a local pit Mr Hill concluded: “7 have always found it to be true that as a child begins the life of a colliery boy, he soon loses most part of what he had hitherward learnt and appears to get duller every day and I cans quite

understand it”. ”

In matters of religion it would appear that the miners and their families were drawn to the non-conformist chapels, particularly those belonging to the Primitive Methodists. As many of those present could not read well they much enjoyed the lusty and enthusiastic singing of hymns, these being sung from memory. Frequently a “Liner” was used, the lines of the hymn being spoken by somebody and then sung by the congregation. The appreciation of the Preacher and his preaching was expressed in frequent shouts of “praise the Lord”, “hallelujah,” and “Amen brother.” Amongst the founder members of the Chapel at Gatehead were four miners, Jonas Charlesworth of Upper Nabb, Thomas Booth of Lower Nabb, George Bennett of Law and Jonathan Holmes of Foster Place. As Trustees of the Chapel they were party to the agreement to purchase the land on which to build the Chapel in

75 New Mill National School Log Book March 1882 76 Leeds Mercury 5“ September 1865 77 New Mill National School Log Book March 1882

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1835. It was also they who realized the need for schooling for children and self-improvement opportunities for adults. Both men and women took advantage of the evening adult classes, some simply to learn how to read, write and do simple arithmetic others to extend their knowledge of literature, botany and geography. One such man was George Charlesworth: “a Hepworth worthy Who was born and bred a collier, but who had a love of literature, and who would quote from the translations of Homer and Milton to suit any and all occasions. In political debate he had a keen- edged wit.” “ Jonas Charlesworth became the first of the four school masters of the day school established in the Chapel, which lasted until 1884 when the Endowed school was opened in Hepworth. Following the purchase of the site for this school the trustees of the Endowment Trust sold some land which was bought by miner, Tom Bennett of Martin Nest, Hepworth.

It was not until the early 1900s that it became law that an employee injured whilst working was to receive compensation (1906) and the first National Insurance Scheme, with a four penny weekly premium, was introduced (1911). Prior to the launching of these schemes it was through the initiatives undertaken by locally established Friendly Societies and Penny Funds that some form of insurance and financial assistance was available. They frequently had a membership based on religious, political, or trade affiliations. Eli Rhodes, a miner of Fulstone: “served as an Officer of the White Hart Money Club in Jackson Bridge.” ” In banding together in order to make weekly contributions of a few pence people created a system which, then in a time of hardship, produced a little much needed money. This was particularly important when a member of the family was prevented from working by illness or injury or after a death for funeral expenses.

78 Ahier Chronicles 18" July 1900 79 Huddersfield Chronicle 25“ March 1873

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According to Dr Henry Morehouse members of the following Friendly Societies lived in the townships of Fulstone, Wooldale and Hepworth. How many of these were from mining families was not noted; Ancient Foresters, United Odd-Fellows, Ancient United Druids, Ancient Druids, United Ancient Druidesses, Modern Druids, Female Foresters, Hepworth Brief, Holmfirth Old Friendly Society (est. 1760), Benevolent Society (est. 1800), Ancient Order of Loyal Shepherds, Golden Fleece, Holme Valley Lodge - Freemasons.

It was in the numerous valley public houses and beer houses that many miners, along with farm labourers and mill hands, frequently spent much of their leisure time. Drinking, playing table games such as shove halfpenny, dominoes, billiards, bagatelle and playing card games were popular. Gambling on the winner was an essential part of the pleasure of all of these various pastimes. The rare likelihood of a local constable forsaking his duties in the public houses in Holmfirth in order to enforce the law in any of those in the outlying valley villages appears to have created a situation in which those frequenting these drank, played and gambled undisturbed. However, from reports of the cases that were brought before the local Magistrates Courts and Holmfirth Court Sessions it is clear that drunkenness was a frequent occurrence causing both disturbances and undesirable behaviour on the part of those involved and that the laws prohibiting gambling on both indoor and outdoor games were largely ignored. Recalling life as a youth in Hepworth Jonathan Heap stated in 1910 that: “Zhe gambling now is nothing to what it was then. They often gambled in the street in the old days.”

A popular pub game was Marrowing, a simple game of chance highly attractive to those who also wished to gamble on the outcome. Two such players were arrested for: “marrowing with coppers at the Rose and Crown Inn. The police who saw the

80 Unpublished Paper by Herbert Shaw

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proceedings from the passage rushed in and captured 2d laid on the table.” *' Following a complaint Ben Heeley, a miner, was one of twelve men arrested by two plain clothes policemen and accused of being members of a gambling gang and for marrowing outside the Junction Inn, Snowgate Head. At the time it was stated: “There was gambling with coins going on all the time and money changing hands.” ** The exact nature of the game and any local variants is unclear but it involved one player, who having placed a number of coins on his hand, flipped them whilst a second player called heads or tails either prior to the flip or as it happened.

Games such as pitch and toss, knurr and spell were also popular as they offered opportunities for a competitive show of skill and strength. Pitch and Toss was a game of skill and chance in which any number of players lined up a fixed distance away from a wall on which a mark had been made and took turns to toss coins at the mark. The player who pitched a coin nearest to a mark had the first chance to toss all the coins, winning those that landed heads up. Various alternate ways of playing were carried on, frequently on a public path or roadway. Knurr and Spell, a game requiring an expanse of land, was played in the fields or on the open moor. A wooden ball (about the size of a walnut) known as the knurr, on being released from a trap was then struck by the player with the spell, this being a long wooden stick (about 4 feet) to which a hardwood pommel was attached (6 x 4.x 1 inches). A game consisted of five rises of the knurr and the players’ intention was to hit the knurr the greatest possible distance using a stroke made by a full swing, not unlike a drive in golf. Any number of players could enter play, each one competing as an individual. Spectators gathered to watch a game frequently placed bets on a particular player.

81 Huddersfield Chronicle 16" January 1893 82 Huddersfield Chronicle 26" April 1892

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A game of knurr and spell

A number of the activities indulged in were considered by many people to be undesirable, pastimes such as cock fighting and bare- knuckle prize fighting.

It was not without justification that the local villages were described as the: “cock fighting villages.” * William Mitchell, miner of Fulstone and others were accused of promoting cock fights and of having: “wantonly and cruelly illtreated and tortured thee game cocks by encouraging them to fight.” ®

This sport attracted large crowds and: “excited much interest in the district” °° as on Shrove Tuesday 1859 when: “a crowd of between 400 and 500 persons gathered at a place called Lower Common in Fulstone” *'to see cocks fighting. Thirty-six

83. www.bsfl.tripod.com 84 Huddersfield Chronicle 16" April 1859 85 Holmfirth Express 3" August 1872 86 Huddersfield Chronicle 24" May 1862 87 Huddersfield Chronicle 16" April 1859

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men were later charged with the offence of obstructing the highway by assembling: “a cock battle.” °°

In June the same year an empty house in Paddock, Wooldale was used as a venue for a cock fight. On another occasion Ebenezer Heeley, Caleb Brook and eight other men were accused of both: “having made the ring with straps and sticks for cock fighting” at the Junction public house in Cartworth and of: “aiding and abetting the principals.” Heeley was further charged with having been: “not only on the outside of the ring but also in the inside, and kneeling down like other cock fighters.” All men were sentenced to a fine of 5s and 9s costs or fourteen days in Wakefield House of Correction: “hoping it would be a warning to them in the future.” © Tt would appear that the warning was not heeded by some, for Jonathan Heap recalled further: “when I was a boy there was such sports as cock fighting.” °° and in 1932 Harry Moorhouse aged eighty-two spoke of his memories of. “cockfighting at Honley Feast.” *!

Bare knuckle prize fighting was also well supported with bouts taking place involving local men as well as travelling fighters. In February 1839 the fight between two men from Hepworth, Amos Brook a 23 year old labourer and Joseph Heeley a 23 year old miner, prompted the following report: “One of those disgraceful exhibitions of up and down prize fighting took place at Jackson Bridge for £2 a side between Amos Brook and Joseph Heeley. After kicking and mangling one another for some time in the presence of scores of spectators Brook was declared the winner. It is high time for the establishment of a more efficient constabulary to put a stop to these and similar barbarous tumulus.” ”°

88 Huddersfield Chronicle 16" April 1859 89 Huddersfield Chronicle 20" June 1863 90 Unpublished Paper Herbert Shaw 91 Holmfirth Express 9" October 1937 92 Leeds Mercury 2" March 1839

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Hunting with beagles was a favourite leisure activity in the valley and was supported by those from all walks of life. On his eighty- eighth birthday Harry Moorhouse, a miner of New Mill, was described as the oldest hunting enthusiast in the Holmfirth district. It was stated that he: “had followed the hounds since he was a boy of seven and he still regularly attends the meets of the Holme Valley beagles. As a pit boy he used to work late at nights in order that he could have time off during the day to go hunting” and that “after a good days hunting Mr Morehouse liked nothing better than playing hunting songs on a homemade fiddle, of which he had three.” °* No doubt The Fulstone Grey Hunting Song, composed about 1840 that told the tale of the hunt for a local grey hare would have been much enjoyed. ™

huntsman with beagles and followers in Jackson Bridge

93 Holmfirth Express 9" October 1937 94 Hunters’ Songs Holme Valley Beagles Hunt

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Underground Working Conditions during the nineteenth century

The precise nature of their work and a compelling picture of the conditions in which this took place clearly emerged from the graphic descriptions and explicit details of their life underground given by the children as they answered the questions put to them by Symons. In his questioning Symons concentrated on the length of time they had worked and their age when they first went underground, the nature of their work, whether or not they liked it, how they dressed and how they were treated.

It was evident that where and how they were employed meant that underground workers were likely to suffer both health problems and associated illnesses and disabilities which led to premature ageing. Ill health was generally the norm for the poorest valley families many of which were mining households, so both ill- nourished adults and children rarely avoided sickness. Most commonly experienced were a range of respiratory diseases such as black phthisis and asthma. These ailments were the result of poor or non-existent ventilation which meant that it was dust- laden, gaseous and fetid air in the working spaces and communicating passages. The nature of the work induced stunted growth; injuries related to damaged backs, limbs and hands; “trammers scab” and calluses on backs and shoulders formed by a thickening of the skin caused by continual contact to a surface or perhaps a rope; “bent knee” i.e. the swelling of knees caused by often having to work bent double and kneeling in water; loss of hair and pallid skin that was frequently marked with “miners tattoos,” °° these were all hallmarks of the underground worker.

95 Greyish-blue marks caused by coal dust getting into wounds and under the skin

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In the following pages the quotations are from the Report into the Employment of Children in mines 1842 unless stated otherwise.

Those children interviewed by Symons described clearly the usual methods of hurrying, these being with a tub on wheels known as a corve that was hauled by the hurrier, often on “all fours”, with a belt around the waist and a chain through between the legs, as described by Rachel Tinker: “7 dress like a lad in the pit, and always wear a belt round my waist and a chain between my legs, and then I lean forward, and go on my hands and and as according to Symons: “thus harnessed like an animal.” A scoope’ on iron slips or shoes was dragged in a similar way. Symons categorically stated that for: “the children who draw with girdle and chain medical evidence is decisive as to the great and permanent injury done to the health of the children who work thus.”

It was a common practice for a thruster when pushing a filled corve to use his or her head in addition to their hands, this frequently resulting in baldness.

The distances the coal had to be hurried differed from pit to pit. Giving a reason for this Dr Morehouse stated: “Several of these mines are worked by levels, so that children have in some instances to hurry the coal long William Shaw stated that on a day at Foster Place pit thirty-two corves or scoopes were dragged: “a distance of one hundred and seventy yards,” each weighing about two and a half cwt. Ebenezer Heeley described how at Meal Hill pit the full corves were hurried: “up hill as well as down. I do this myself, and I have 16 runs a day, for which I get Is.” The use of an underground tramway was only possible if rails could be fixed to the floor of the passage. In Meal Hill pit this system was only feasible in one section within the maze of passages although: “the rails are in bad repair.”

It varied from pit to pit as to who loaded the coal, the getter or the hurrier. In either situation on many occasions there could be

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three or four scoopes or tubs remaining to be loaded and hurried after a getter had finished his shift. It was then common practice for a hurrier to continue working as described by Mary Holmes: “Sometimes I stop and fill corves after the getter has gone” and by Rachel Tinker: “7 sometimes hurry another run after the getter has gone.”’ Empty return journeys transported equipment, new pit props and supplies needed for repairs.

In time in pits where the passages were higher the work of the hurriers was greatly aided by the use of ponies. The tubs, filled with coal or waste materials, having been hurried along the narrow low passage to the point where the gate was higher were then pulled to the pit bottom by horses. There is little contemporary account of ponies working underground in the valley pits. However, references in the Tinker Estate papers to Tinker Bros. having constructed an underground horse road from Lower Milshaw to Barnside are indicative of their use. (This could well have been in the tunnel shown on the diagram on page 34.) A report written during strike action taken by the underground workers employed by John Haigh, coal proprietor of Honley, stated that: “to assist the hurriers Mr Haigh said he had put ponies into the works but took nothing from the boys wages on that account.” *°

Interestingly, although it is known that ponies were working underground it was not until the census return of 1891 that youths, such as James Hirst, 15, of Hepshaw, Jonas Kaye, 16 and his brother Benjamin of Woodroyd Hill described themselves as “a trammer” i.e. a miner working with ponies pulling tubs along tram rails. Joseph Swallow, 19, of Upper House was known as “a pony driver” i.e. a miner working with ponies pulling tubs along the main roadways to the pit bottom. Unfortunately the information about in which pit any of these were employed was not noted.

96 Huddersfield Chronicle 29" October 1853

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Pony working underground 7

The first national legislation introduced for the protection of horses working underground came with the Coal Mines Regulation Act of 1887. Mining Inspectors were given the powers to investigate the treatment of horses and the height of the roadways in which they worked. The most common injuries were broken legs and damaged feet, sustained if they got stuck in the rails, back and head injuries caused by low roofs and injuries resulting from collisions with a truck of the sides of the passages. Such injuries often resulted in the animal having to be “put down.”

Symons was very aware of the vitally important relationship between the getter and the hurriers working for him. He recognised that the disposition of the miner, be this kindly or otherwise, was a crucial factor in a child’s daily experience of working underground. His observations underground led him to describe the adult behaviour that he had _ witnessed:

97 A Pictorial History of Mining JohnThredlkeld 1989

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“One, when he sees the child arrive out of breath or otherwise fatigued at his bank, will bid it sit down and rest a bit, and fill the corve himself, another will take no notice of whether it is fatigued or not, a third will notice it and not care. One will assist in pushing the corve off, that is, give it a start, a material part of the exertion, another will not. One will grease the wheel occasionally, another will not.” °°

From the children’s answers to Symons questions about how they were treated underground it is very evident that the physical punishment of hurriers was common and that “being thrashed” was clearly an accepted feature of pit life. This could be administered by an adult as recounted by Jonathan Mitchell: “When the girls are long on the road they get thrashed the same as us when we do wrong” or by another an older child as stated by Mary Holmes: “They thrash me sometimes in the pit; it’s not the getters, it’s the hurriers that does it.”

The many springs and streams of the area meant that wet working conditions underground were frequently accepted as normal. At Meal Hill pit these were variously described by Joseph Lodge who stated: “Jt is a very wet pit” and Ann Hinchliffe also said that: “The gates are often wet; I always hurry with my shoes and stockings off.”” Mary Holmes explained: “Sometimes I get cold by its being so wet. The wet covers my ankles.” Henry Heeley explained the source of the water as he complained: “Jt is very wet where we hurry; it comes out of Shaw’s Pit, my feet are wet, as they are now.”” In this statement he was referring to the adjoining pit at Foster Place which lay higher up the hillside. Whether or not the draining of this pit was natural or from soughs or dug drainage channels is not clear. Herbert Shaw had relatives who were in mining (it is unclear in which local pit they worked) and he recorded: “the family talked with three elder cousins who remembered

98 Report of the Government Enquiry into the employment of children in mines 1842

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working in the collieries when only eight years of age and their feet being washed and scales and coatings pulled out on their return home, for they had to work in bare feet owing to the damp conditions in the mine.” ” To alleviate difficulties with flooding, whatever the cause, ditches, known as soughs’, were created. Such a sough was usually dug from as low a point on the hillside as possible and with the slightest achievable inclination till it met the coal. Jagger, a banksman, at Law Colliery on 5" November 1809 agreed to pay £50 for permission: “fo Open any Sough the Duke or his Agents think proper.” |°° Evidence presented to the Royal Commission appointed in 1866 to inquire into the state of rivers and streams revealed that there was an ever-present problem with water seeping from this pit. William Shaw, the Pit Agent in his evidence asserted that the gates in the pit were: “nearly all dry” which would suggest that some form of drainage work had been undertaken. In so doing the problems created by the water occurred further down the hillside i.e. in Meal Hill pit. Water seeping through passage walls, coming up through the floor and dripping from ceilings created wet working conditions that were tolerated as the norm. In the case of the latter Joseph Heeley employed by Ebenezer Tinker described a practice whereby the getters were protected by pieces of tin: “Jf the water drops from the roof it is usual to use tins to help keep it off the men’s backs.” '"' Further difficulties could arise where passageways or waterways lay in close proximity and water from one flowed into those nearby, this was particularly the case when the digging of a new gate interfered with existing drainage. The network of old and newer workings in the pits belonging to Charles Lockwood in Fulstone was prone to flooding.

99 Unpublished Paper Herbert Shaw 100 Miscellaneous Papers MD 225 YAS 101 Tinker Estate Papers Box 16 WYAS

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On one occasion such conditions prompted the pit manager to send George Kaye and Eli Rhodes underground to dig a drift: “so as to tap the water and let it run harmlessly away.” '” An account of the incident that then occurred stated that the men: “were making their way to an old pit in which in which it was known had water accumulated in it to a depth of 27yards. The men calculated that they were not far from this pit but did not know whether they had passed it or otherwise. On this point they were enlightened and that in a very unpleasant manner. On picking away some stones from the side the water oozed out and instantly a great weight of water rushed forth upon them like a cataract. The poor fellows were forced along with the water holding their breath as well they could for 70 to 80 yards, when the water turned into an old drift away and they escaped but were terribly cut and bruised on the head, face etc by being knocked against the sides, and when they got to the day hole they were utterly exhausted.” '°’

An additional problem was when water made its way into current workings from nearby abandoned pits. When attempting to deal with this situation it was customary to build a retaining dam.

All too often flooding caused by an excess of water that occurred during or following heavy rain was a constant threat. The danger of workers being caught in the rising waters was very real.

The frequent inadequacy of soughs and soak a-ways meant that in a number of the pit workings hand pumps were introduced to assist with the draining of excess water. Joseph Heeley describing his work pumping water in a pit belonging to Ebenezer Tinker near Hepshaw stated: “7 could pump out in an hour what came in in 24 and only used a small hand pump.” '* As steam power became available pit owners began to develop more efficient, mechanised

102 Huddersfield Chronicle 24% December 1864 103 Ibid 104 Tinker Estate Papers Box 16 WYAS

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drainage systems by installing boiler engines and pumps. From the advertisement for a sale of machinery no longer required in his pit at Lower Holme House it is clear that Uriah Tinker was one such owner, for included in the items to be disposed of were: “a 25hp circular boiler and four pumps.” '® During the case brought before the Holmfirth Petty Sessions in October 1901 relating to the damages sustained by Messrs Tinker Bros. Ltd at Wood Pit when men they employed absented themselves from work it was stated that: “the cost of pumping was £4 a day.”' At one point during the protracted court case between Heeley and the New Mill Urban District Council in 1893 Heeley, alleging that the road works undertaken by the council had resulted in the flooding in his pit, claimed damages to cover both the costs of the period of non- production caused by this and the fact that his pumping engine had had to be replaced, it not being big enough to clear the water.

Excess water in the underground workings of Sledbrook Colliery caused additional problems in 1894 when underground workers were absent without notice. During the hearing of the Holmfirth Petty Sessions in which the pit owners were seeking damages from the men involved it was stated that significant financial losses had been suffered both from the lack of production and because the pumping engines had to be switched off. It was stated that initially the pumping engines had been kept on in case the men returned to work, but when they did not the decision was taken to switch the engines off because the men in the pit were insufficient in number to cope with the water. These workers then had to be sent home.

The ochre water that entered the local streams which drained into the New Mill Dyke presented a real problem for the owners of the mills situated lower down the valley because the water stained the cloth during the production process. It was suggested to the Commissioners hearing evidence during the

105 Leeds Mercury 23th November 1878 106 Holmfirth Express 19" October 1901

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Government Enquiry into the pollution of rivers that these difficulties could be lessened or even prevented if abandoned day holes were walled-up and sealed as old shafts were. Mr Edward Brooke of Huddersfield suggested that: “when mines were worked up, they should be effectively closed, and any accumulation of water would then be retained in the workings, or if water came out it would be purified in the stratification, and would not be so injurious.” 1°

Of crucial importance for both the health and the safety of the underground workers was the manner in which fresh air was allowed to enter the working passages. To create this necessary air flow temporary cloth brattices’ were introduced. To improve ventilation and dilute flammable gases these were normally placed at the pit entrance to deflect air into a particular working area. During the dispute between Ebenezer Tinker and William Shaw 1851 evidence was presented that clearly showed how the workings of one pit in the close proximity to another could cause problems. Joseph Heeley in his evidence described how: “we have suffered from foul air in Mr Tinker ’s pit from Mr Shaws old workings near Stansfield and Brigg’s borehole. We shut it out as best we could with stones and lime we walled a wall and then filled it up with clay to shut out the foul air.” '° He also stated that in spite of such measures being taken foul air continued to penetrate into the passages causing several explosions. During one of these Charles Kaye was killed and in another Mr Tinker was injured. The damage to the passageway required: “8-/0 men working night and day for 2 weeks to clear up to get the mine going again.” '°°

After the introduction of the mandatory requirement that: “there were to be two separate and distinct shafts some distance apart, one for ventilation (the upshaft bringing fresh air into the

107 Huddersfield Chronicle 3 November 1866 108 Tinker Estate Papers Box 16 WYAS 109 Tinker Estate Papers Box 16 WYAS

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underground passages) and the other for taking the men up and down” "° conditions underground improved considerably, providing a pit proprietor complied with the law.

The working day was eight to nine hours, but frequently this could over run in order to reach the required production. During these hours the situation for rest time and meals differed according to the working practices of different pits. It was usual for the pit manager, the banksman and other surface workers to take a short break for dinner, but underground there were no fixed or regular duration of time for stopping. A practice about which Symons stated: “So that in the pit the time of meals varies very much, according to the pressure of work and the age and strength of the children.” Ann Winchcliffe (Hinchliffe) who worked at Meal Hill pit described how: “We dont stop for dinner. We get it as we go along any how” whereas Annie Shaw when giving her account of the position at Low Moor pit said: “7 have a bit of oatcake in the pit at noon.”

In the pits he visited Symons was shocked at the lack of provision for the personal hygiene of the underground workers for he wrote: “There is no cleaning of anything or anybody either in or near coal pits and dirtiness prevails and no washing is either practised or possible till work is over and people are at home. I am satisfied that then when at home the washing is very partial and confined, in nineteen cases out of twenty, to the upper part of the body, except on Saturdays or Sunday mornings.” Local miners’ cottages had no running water so any washing after work would have been under the pump or in a tin bath placed near a kitchen fire where some hot water would have been available! It was not until the early 1930s that pit head baths were introduced into some of the nation’s larger collieries. It was not until 1944 that the miners’ welfare representatives began to urge the management at Hepworth Iron Company to provide this facility. It was eventually

110 London News 18" September 1880

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agreed to create these in the Old Joiners Workshop provided the miners made a contribution to the cost of a new workshop. It is known that at one time at the Hazlehead Miners Club in Jackson Bridge (now Jackson Bridge Working Mens Club) Tinker Bros. provided one bath for the miners who chose to use it.

Conditions underground during the nineteenth century were exceedingly hazardous. Mining accidents were frequently reported in the local newspapers and from these it is all too apparent that these incidents were variously the responsibility of both the employers and their employees.

Conditions underground during the nineteenth century were exceedingly hazardous. Mining accidents were frequently reported in the local newspapers and from these it is all too apparent that these incidents were variously the responsibility of both the employers and their employees.

The acceptance of the pit owners of poor construction of shafts, passages and day holes created potentially unsafe conditions for underground workers. There was also a widespread disregard of matters relating to safety and working conditions of all those working underground by many colliery owners and_ those employed to manage the daily working of a pit. A classification of accidents was introduced by the Mines Inspectors Act of 1852 and three years later there was legislation laying down basic rules for collieries. The Mining Act of 1872 established both the legal requirement for colliery managers to gain certificates of competence and daily inspection of pits. Even after these colliery regulations were introduced many were not adhered to and there continued to be inadequate safety checks and lax management procedures. This situation was well described by the Mines Inspector, Mr Mackworth: “Ar every inquest I attend, at every inspection I make of a colliery in every classification of the causes of accidents one fact forces itself most strongly on my attention, that the majority of accidents are

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attributable to the neglect or recklessness of the proprietors and managers of mines, whilst they generally contend themselves with attributing the same faults to the men, at the very same time leaving unheeded the suggestions made to them by the appointed authority for the prevention of accidents, and of which no coal proprietor in this country can now profess himself to be ignorant.” iil Ten years later Mr M*Donald, President of the National Miners Association, when speaking at an open-air meeting in Barnsley, revealed that the notion of a pit owner’s or coal masters’ responsibility towards his employees for their working conditions and safety had not as yet been established, with either colliery proprietors or with the people to whom land owners had sold or leased the rights to extract coal from their land. He maintained that a colliery owner found to be in breach of the law relating to ventilation and safety requirements wrongly escaped the penalties by maintaining that any negligence was not his but that of the pit manager, the under-viewer or the banksman. In this way the pit proprietor or coal master: “could sit in his chamber and repudiate all responsibility.” "? The issues of responsibility and liability within the law were keenly debated by the colliery owners and the ever-strengthening miners unions for many years.

One of the principal causes of serious injuries and fatalities was roof falls. The ever-present danger for those working underground was the likely instability of the ground through which a passage had been driven and at the coal face being worked. To the miner the most important feature of a roof was its strength and in this respect those of the valley mines, consisting largely of shale and sandstone, were not the most robust. Shale contributed to a soft weak roof and sandstone was porous to water lying above it. The threat from roof falls arose from the combining of these two features. It was essential that before commencing work checks

111 Morning Post 20" November 1855 112 Leeds Mercury 5" September 1865

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were made for any evidence of a slip’ or a weight break’, these being indicative of a potentially flawed area created by stress, pressure or excess water within the surrounding strata. Constant awareness of such dangers, the supporting of such areas with wooden props and the making of regular checks unfortunately did not prevent roof falls. Two such cases reported were those of sixteen year old, Benjamin Webster, who was employed by Hepworth Iron Company who was crushed to death: “when working with another man in the soft bed of Milshaw Coal Pit when the roof suddenly fell in.” '’ and “Webster Haig 18 years old of Deanhead Hepworth (coalminer) was found dead in Wood Coal Pit, the property of Mr Charles Tinker of the Meal Hill Hepworth. He was found by fellow miner Samuel Turner already dead lying on his stomach and having a large stone upon him which had fallen from the roof. Only a few seconds before Turner saw Haig alive and at work in the very place.” The inquests following both these accidents recorded a verdict of accidental death.

The use of a pit shaft was precarious in that when both descending and ascending a worker could be injured by knocking against the shaft walls. Even after the introduction of a basic cage, movement through a shaft continued to be potentially highly dangerous, particularly so if the equipment was in a poor condition. It may have been from an open cage installed in the Hard Bed pit of Hepworth Iron Company that Beaumont, an eleven year old boy, fell to his death. “Beaumont got into the cage for the purpose of being lowered to the bottom of the pit where he worked as a hurrier the cage had descended but a short way when a cry came from some boys at the bottom of the pit that Beaumont was killed, the lad having fallen during the descent.” " Vincent Wagstaff, son of the late John Wagstaff, innkeeper of the Fox and Grapes, Lower Foxhouse was killed at Law

113 Huddersfield Chronicle 14" January 1865 114 Huddersfield Chronicle 24" November 1879 115 Huddersfield Chronicle 23" July 1864

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Colliery, owned, at the time, by his brother, Charles. “Zhe 18- year-old was descending the shaft when the rope suddenly broke. He was taken home insensible but died the following morning. It was reported that the rope was in a poor condition and the deceased had been asked to procure a new one more than once. "° At the inquest a verdict of accidental death was recorded, as a sudden jerk of the rope was accepted as sufficient to cause a fatal accident. A similar conclusion was given as the cause of death when George Heeley fell from the cage as he was ascending the shaft of No.2 Pit belonging to Hepworth Iron Company at Hepworth. His fall from the cage would indicate the use of an open cage, one, which according to evidence presented to the Coroner, had a hole in the bottom of it. A witness to the fall stated that he had felt a sudden jerk on the rope but that the hole was not large enough for a man to fall through, adding that a man could have caught his foot in this when the cage jolted this resulting in the fall. ''” An unguarded shaft bottom was equally perilous. The report on an inquest held in the Butchers Arms in Hepworth stated: “the body of Martha Beaver on view accords with coal being drawn up from the bottom of Law pit with Martha nearby. Her clothes became entangled in the tackle and she was lifted halfway up the pit before the dress gave way, precipitating her to the bottom and instantly killing her." Martha’s clothing had in fact become caught on a loaded corve that was being raised to the surface. The verdict recorded was accidental death.

An ever-present life-threatening danger for underground workers was the various gases present in the passages and day holes. Being readily flammable in the presence of a candle there were acute possibilities of an explosion occurring causing devastating damage, injury and loss of life. The associated lack of oxygen

116 Huddersfield Chronicle 27" October 1855 117 Huddersfield Chronicle 7" May 1870 118 Leeds Mercury 1* June 1833

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could cause choking and unconsciousness. The first attempts to create a safety lamp came in 1815 with the invention of the Davy lamp and George Stephenson's Geordie lamp. The use of these oil lamps was widely encouraged although pit owners were frequently slow to provide their workers with them. They were unpopular with miners because the light they gave did not compare favourably with that of the naked candle. Later battery-powered lamps were introduced during the nineteen forties which were clipped on to the miners’ helmets, to be used instead of or in conjunction with the hand-held lamps. It was an explosion caused by fire damp* in Sinking Wood colliery that caused the death of: “Joseph Barraclough, aged fourteen years” '" Likewise: “A middle-aged man with a family of small children died through not using a Davy lamp, in a pit belonging to Mr Tinker, Meal Hill. He entered a drift with the naked candle and an explosion occurred. The deceased died two days later.” '7° For the same reason a lad named John France was killed in an explosion at Haigh's Sinking Wood Pit. It was stated during the inquest into his death that: “He had entered the mine on Monday with a naked burning candle and the presence of firedamp had caused an explosion. The presence of this gas had been noticed the previous Friday, but no action had been taken. The underground reviewer, James Hebblethwaite, was severely criticised. One witness spoke of every rule in the book being broke by the proprietors. The verdict was of death by explosion of firedamp.” "21 No person or persons were held to account for the death of this young man in spite of all the evidence presented to the Inquest Jury. Members expressed that in their view the death of this sixteen year old hurrier had been caused by the wanton disregard of the most basic safety procedures by the man responsible for the safety of underground workers and that although it was known

119 Bradford Observer 5" September 1839 120 Huddersfield Chronicle 14" September 1850 121 Huddersfield Chronicle 4" June 1870

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there was gas in the pit no action had been taken to secure the pit or prevent anyone from entering it. Comment was also recorded that any pit Under-viewer, such as Hebblethwaite of Sinking Wood pit, ought not to have charge of more than one pit; in his case he had the responsibility for three. Those employing him were simply advised to consider this matter and to review his suitability for the requirements of the job. It was the stated view of Mr Wardell, Inspector of Mines, that: “One of the greatest mischiefs in this district was the class of men appointed as colliery managers and paid labourers or collier wages." '”*

An additional likelihood of accidents came with the introduction of the use of explosives into the process of coal getting. For many years the getting of coal from the bank face was a combining of physical strength, the knowledge of where the best places were for the cuts to be made and the skill required to do this in the correct way to maximise the cut. Charles Haigh, of Slack Terrance, an experienced collier, was severely injured having returned to work a coal face, where earlier in the day: “he had bored a hole in the coal face and charged it with shot which after lighting the fuse had misfired.” Complying with the custom he then put rails across the place of the misfiring. He later returned to continue working and on striking the face with his hammer a spark caused an explosion. The severity of injuries he sustained were such that he died later in hospital. '”°

122 Ibid 123 Huddersfield Chronicle 9* November 1893

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Py NG ee oo 4n4 rae #555 Ooi ae “rent rs eae Ag Pa are.


ae Coal Fi Pit Wend

Section of O.S. map 1893 showing the site of the magazine or explosives store in Coal Pit Wood near Wood Colliery

Incidents resulting in injury and death were also caused through the actions of miners and members of their teams, arising from ignorance, carelessness or the wilful breaking of pit rules.

In pits where there were any suspicions about the presence of gas the recommended practice was to hang a canvass sheet or place a door over the entrance to a day hole to prevent gas entering the working space, so minimizing the likelihood of an explosion or a fire. In spite of this it is clear that these recommendations were not always adhered to. One such case was when Abraham Heeley, a miner at Sinking Wood Pit, removed the sheet first thing in the morning when he went to work with the result that gas had accumulated and ignited when Edward Battye entered the area with a naked light. This incident, in which Battye was badly burned, happened after complaints had been made previously to J. Petch, the Under-Manager, who had ordered a sheet to be hung at night but on seeing it had been removed in the morning had taken

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no action. According to Battye it was common practice to remove a sheet for: “it hindered the work of the '** Samuel Roberts of Jackson Bridge having been found guilty by the Magistrates at Holmfirth of having: “wi/fully contravened rules in force at Snowgatehead colliery” preferred to go to prison for a month than pay a fine of a £1 and the cost of the damage he had caused in the pit. Having arrived late for work he was told by the banksman that if he did not come on time he could not go underground, as all the other men had already descended. Roberts instead of leaving had leapt on to an empty corve that had been placed in the cage and signalled for it to be lowered. As he tried to pull the corve from the cage it fell to the bottom of the shaft. The banksman shouted a warning to the men standing below who would have been seriously injured or killed had they not run away down the passageway. |”

Local mines differed considerably in size, in the layout and complexities of the passages and the way in which these connected to the entrance or shaft bottom. The latter was particularly relevant in the larger pits. It was vital that underground workers quickly learnt how passages linked and where they led to. An incident reported in the newspaper as: “Man lost in coal pit.” is indicative of potential difficulties. “On Saturday afternoon last a young man of the name of John Swallow by some mishap lost his way in the extensive coal mines of E. Tinker of Meal Hill and was not found till Monday morning. We do not need to state the pitiable plight of the poor fellow was in.” '*°

Pit managers took physical assaults and fights very seriously, for an undisciplined workforce was to be avoided. For this reason those involved were frequently brought before the local magistrates.

124 Huddersfield Chronicle 27" April 1889 125 Huddersfield Chronicle 21* January 1878 126 Leeds Mercury 31* January 1852

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Incidents arose as when: “at Gatehead pit Edward Ellis of Barnside assaulted Allan Kaye of Gatehead pit on needing a mall for work, on the instruction of Charles Rhodes the pit steward approached Ellis who had two in the hole in which he was working. When Ellis refused to let him have one hitting him with the pick he was using at the time Kay retaliated by hitting Ellis with his fists. For this altercation Ellis received a sentence of two months with hard labour in Wakefield house of correction.” '*”

A grievance held by one man against another could promote an altercation as on the occasion in 1857 when: “a banksman at Morehouse’ pit in Newmill was assaulted by a

collier whose hurrier he had allegedly ill-used.” '?°

127 Huddersfield Chronicle 11" January 1879 128 Colliers and Hurriers Alan Brooke

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“Maisters and Men”

The relationship between the pit proprietors and their employees was straightforwardly simplistic with the owners or coal masters determining all matters relating to the pit and the employees being paid to extract the coal. To what extent the relationship was influenced by the fact that several of the proprietors lived locally is not clear. In the case of members of the Tinker family, who were prominent in the community, their presence must have been felt, welcomed or otherwise, by the miners in their leisure time activities. Whether or not the awareness of the living conditions of their employees had any bearing on the masters’ treatment or attitude towards those who worked for them can only be a matter of conjecture.

The tensions that surfaced between miners and the coal masters were mainly related to wages, working hours and pit safety. The system whereby a miner was paid according to the number of tokens, issued by the banksman, at a rate of one per filled corve, was open to dispute particularly if tokens were not used to honestly record the number of corves. Colliers frequently demanded that there should be a to record each man’s tally of corves at the pit top. Difficulties frequently centred on the issues relating to the rates of pay for the type of work undertaken and the conditions in which this was done. Conflict also arose when the pit owner, for whatever reason, reduced the rate for payment for each corve, the reality of the same hours working for less pay then promoted a real sense of injustice.

Working hours being open to negotiation with the pit manager were adjustable to the advantage of both the manager and the miner. A self-determining approach to the number of hours a miner worked had generally been established allowing a miner to decide the hours he worked, being then paid on the coal he produced in that time. In any one week the days worked could

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vary according to personal circumstances; many miners also farmed a small amount of land so there would be planting, haymaking and harvesting requirements, times when lambing or calving became a priority, visits to the cattle market had to be made etc.; family commitments or pleasure seeking pursuits i.e. the races would have to be accommodated. Working hours were also frequently determined to meet either the needs of an increased or a reduced demand. The money earned through extra hours being worked was welcomed but the tiredness, even exhaustion, resulting from these carried the potential risks of physical injury and inattention to matters of safety. A reduction in hours and the corresponding loss of money were resented; this often giving rise to family hardship and so became a major grievance. As the scale of mining operations increased this practice was soon considered impracticable for pit managers, who were urging the necessity of a regularized system. Since the bulk of a colliery’s work was for contracts it was crucially important that the company met the regular requirements of these, so irregular undetermined working hours were not to be tolerated.

The passing of the Employers and Workman Act of 1875 made it possible for a worker who was absent from work or who broke his work contract to be prosecuted and if found in default then damages were to be paid to his employer. It was during his evidence presented to the magistrates of the Holmfirth Petty Sessions in one such case that Mr. J. Herbert Turner, the solicitor for Tinkers Bros. Ltd, well described the shortcomings of an undisciplined approach to working hours. The action had been brought by his clients in 1901 in two claims for damages sustained by the wilful absence from work of 20 colliers and 10 hurriers, the colliers having gone to Honley during the week of the Feast and the hurriers to Doncaster during Race Week. He claimed that: “For the last I 1/2 years ending April 30th the men (miners) had only put in 50% of the days they could have worked. The firms grievance was that they had to have the pit ready for work, but

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had no idea when the men were coming.” He also asserted that those dependent on the miners working for their wages clearly objected to the men’s irregular absence: “Also Roadmen’, banksmen and hangers-on’ would arrive at work and there was no output so they had to go home without wages.”” Likewise a miner could go underground but if there were no hurriers, (by then not a member of a miner’s team but paid by the pit owner), he would have to abandon a days working. Wood Pit, where eighty-five men and fifty lads were employed, was one of the pits that worked five days and Saturdays, if required, so it was common practice for employees who had: “played away a day” to work on the Saturday. |”

List of Miners and Hurriers in legal dispute with Tinker Bros. 1901

Defendants: Colliers

Firth Rowley Fulstone William Kaye Jackson Bridge Harry Oldroyd Scholes Joseph Battye Scholes Harry Garlick Holmfirth Walter Kaye New Mill Albert Beever Hepworth Allen Robinson Jackson Bridge Hinchliffe Battye New Mill Tom Tumer Hepworth John Booth Hepworth Joe Mosley Fulstone Herbert Kaye Hepworth Harry Watson Jackson Bridge Friend Tinker Fulstone Ralph Robinson Jackson Bridge Fred Senior Jackson Bridge G.H.Castle Jackson Bridge

George Hy. Turner New Mill

Defendants: Hurriers

Robert Edinboro Walter Battye Ernest Robinson Willie Wadsworth Lindley Mellor Herbert Haigh Ernest Whithead Norman Brook Nigel Helliwell Allan Bailey

129 Holmfirth Express 19" October 1901

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Ebenezer Heeley also appears to have welcomed the provisions laid out in this Act for on several occasions he applied for committal orders against men who absented themselves from his pit at Snowgate Head, as when he claimed 16s 8d damages with costs: “against three hurriers, John Booth, Henry Watson and George Marsh” who he stated had left his employ without giving the fourteen days required notice. '*’ He also sued Fred Schofield, a collier of Sude Hill, for £2 14s to cover damages for having quitted his employ without giving notice and in spite of Schofield claiming the reason for his action was that the pit: “was not safe to work in” he was ordered to work the two weeks owing to his employer and to pay the costs of the case.

The fact that on four days in March 1894 twenty-three colliers employed by Hepworth Iron Company left work without notice was sufficient a breach of contract for the company to claim 12s damages from each man or 3s a day. Two of the days in question were Good Friday and Easter Monday and during the court proceedings it was clear that the men objected to having to work on public holidays. It was stated by the management of the company that: “the proceedings were not taken vindictively but solely for the sake of example” and that: “When the men were away the company was practically disorganised whilst they were obliged to pay wages of those permanent men who they employed to keep the pit open.” It was their contention that: “Matters had got to such a pitch and events had got to such a state that it was utterly impossible for the company to carry on their business.” |”

The cause of a deeply felt grievance against the coal masters was the fact that at an inquest of an underground worker, when it was shown those responsible for pit safety had been negligent, they were never held to account or required to pay compensation to the deceased’s family. This situation may have been influenced by the

130 Huddersfield Chronicle 31* December 1883 131 Huddersfield Chronicle 12" September 1892 132 Huddersfield Chronicle 9" April 1894

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fact that amongst the leading members of the local community who served as magistrates and jurors there were frequently pit owners or their business associates, owners of a local woollen mills.

It would appear that unlike their fellow workers in the valley mills the miners did not share the need or desire to become involved with the local activities of working class political movements. The Chartists, who had a strong following in the Holme Valley, were actively committed to promoting miners rights but it is not known if many miners were amongst the large crowds attending the meetings held in Holmfirth and surrounding villages. Likewise it has to be a matter of speculation as to whether or not local miners in anyway supported “the plug rioters” from Lancashire who, on the way to Huddersfield, came through the valley drawing the boiler plugs and emptying the mill dams, so bringing work to a standstill.

The relatively small numbers of miners compared to valley mill workers may have been a contributory factor for this apparent lack of interest in political action. Unlike the mill operatives, many of whom had moved down into the new clustered housing built in the valley bottom, they continued to live in the more isolated hillside hamlets. Theirs was a way of life that did not encourage a sense of a united workforce. A lack of schooling amongst miners meant that for them the papers, circulating leaflets and posters promoting radical thinking or union meetings were of little use. Perhaps it was that, unlike the mill workers, local miners appear to have lacked a leader from amongst their own ranks, an activist who would have galvanised them into some corporate actions. A significant reality for miners was that family finances and daily living were dependant on the combination of their farming with the wages from pit work, so if employed the family could survive. Were the local miners aware of the demands and activities of the leading mine workers in the Huddersfield area or indeed

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those of the larger coalfields, particularly around Barnsley and Silkstone? Did they remain untouched, unaffected by the national developments? It is not known if any of them attended the huge rallies convened in these places by those wishing to create a union for miners or later, when through the established union movement, demands were being presented to the government of the day. These sought legislation to improve the working conditions in the mines; for a just wage structure for miners and surface workers, and compensation for families on the loss of a wage earner through injury. The first national miners’ union to gain, albeit, limited success was the Miners Association. Having been established on 27" November 1842 at a meeting held in the Griffin Inn in nearby Wakefield, local supporters of this movement held a meeting at Honley on 27° December 1843 which was addressed by a union agent, Mr D. Swallow. It is not known if any men from local pits were present or indeed if any were if they were amongst the: “3/ colliers who took out membership cards.” '* Mr Swallow revisited the Huddersfield area during May 1844 when he addressed meetings of miners and union supporters in the town, Meltham, Honley and Jackson Bridge. As any record of the Jackson Bridge meeting has not survived it has to be assumed, indeed hoped, that the miners of the valley turned out to hear him and that Mr Swallow did not have to face the objections to his meetings by the local colliery owners that he sometimes experienced. There is a lack of recorded evidence of any subsequent local union activity during the 1850s or the early 1860s. The support for the national strike action that followed included walk- outs in July 1864 at the Flockton mine owned by Stansfield and Briggs and at a number of pits in the Barnsley area. It can only be a matter of conjecture as to whether or not the valley miners knew of these or indeed, if they did, what was their reaction to them.

133 Colliers and Hurriers Alan Brooke

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The only record of local coal masters financially favouring their employees is one relating to Hepworth Iron Co. In 1899, two years after he bought the Company, Ralph Booth decided to allow the workforce to buy coal at a price below the going rate.

Two readily recognisable features within the maister-men relationship are those occasions gifted to the men by their employers and the part played by the employees at the time of both local and national celebrations and the festivities for employers’ family celebratory and special gatherings. There were treats for the employees such as the ones for those at Morehouse’s Colliery at Wooldale in 1843 and Craven and Co. at Crowedge in 1864 when: “A rather singular company had a Christmas treat at the White Horse Inn, Jackson Bridge last Saturday night. Messrs Craven and Co. and others occupy the several coal pits in this wild region and they treated 95 of their workmen to a good supper at the above inn. Two of the masters, Mr Dyson and Mr Watkinson were present and also Mr Sykes the Chief Manager. After supper these sons of the underground world were at liberty to drink, sing, tell stories etc as best suited them and many were the anecdotes they told of the pranks they play when out of the light of day. With toasts and songs etc the time was pleasantly got through and both masters and men seemed alike gratified.” ** Employees often attended special gatherings of their employers’ family as when: “Jronstone miners and colliers of Hepworth Iron Co. demonstrated their affection when 200 marched to a funeral service at New Mill for William Dyson one of the firm ’s proprietors.”

134 Huddersfield Chronicle 31“ December 1864

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Mining during the twentieth century

The years of the first half of the twentieth century witnessed a revival in the fortunes of those associated with mining in the valley. mechanised method of coal extraction and greatly improved methods of transport, both under and above ground, had a favourable impact on output and efficiency. It was also during these years that the mining industry experienced governmental control during the years of two World Wars, national and local labour disputes and strikes, nationalisation and pit closures.

The following table compiled from colliery year books and trade directories shows the surviving pits in the valley

Working mines 1908 to 1957

Owner Locality Mine Employees U/ground Above 1908 B. Heeley New Mill Lane End Standing Hepworth Co. Hazlehead Sledbrook 75 6 Hepworth Co. Hazlehead Smut Hole 4 ] H. Moorhouse New Mill Carr Wood 4 - Tinker Bros. Hazlehead Gatehead 28 ] Tinker Bros. Hazlehead Hazlehead 209 54 1918 Hepworth Co. Hazlehead Sledbrook 80 6 Hepworth Co. Hazlehead Soft Band Drift 5 Hepworth Co. Hazlehead Hard Band Drift 4 ] Hepworth Co. Hazlehead Knowles 3 ] H. Moorhouse New Mill Carr wood 2 - Tinker Bros. Hazlehead Gatehead 19 2 Tinker Bros. Hazlehead Hazlehead 167 62 1923 Hepworth I. Co. Hazlehead Armistice 6 ]

Hepworth I. Co. Hazlehead Hard Bed Drift 5 ]

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Hepworth I. Co. Hepworth I. Co.

Tinker Bros.

Hepworth I. Co.

Tinker Bros. 1940

Hepworth I. Co.

Tinker Bros.

Hepworth I.Co. Tinker Bros.

Hepworth I.Co.


Hazlehead Hazlehead Hazlehead

Hazlehead Hazlehead

Hazlehead Hazlehead

Hazlehead Hazlehead



Mine Employees U/ground Above 1923 Sledbrook 65 8 Soft Bed Drift 5 1 Hazlehead 194 66 1933 Sledbrook 60 5 Hazlehead 100 45 Sledbrook 60 5 Hazlehead 100 50 1947 at the time of nationalisation Sledbrook 60 6 Hazlechead 28 10 1957 Sledbrook 80 12

Tinker Bros. workings, although described as being at Hazlehead were, in fact spread from the drift mine in Sally Wood to the day holes sited on their land situated within that owned by Hepworth Iron Company. To create this sprawling network of workings a number of passages were linked by several under-ground tramways or horseroads.

High class foundry coke continued to be manufactured in the coking ovens at Hazlehead. Later these were replaced by beehive kilns constructed on their colliery site. In addition to the coking business Tinker Bros. also manufactured bricks and clay



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To Gatehead

nm so = ran, co Eon Sang - Stone > Hazlehead ~~~ ats ae ane

Section of O.S. map 1893 (revised 1906) showing the Tinker Bros. pit and coking plant on land within that worked by Hepworth Iron Company

It would appear that over the years the Hepworth Iron Company was served by its own mines, Sledbrook Colliery and Armistice and several day holes. Horace Kaye, a long-serving employee:

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“believes there were seven day holes and remembers the names of four: Brussen Onion, Wembley, Golden Rob and Pop Bottle.” '”

a 4 et I

or J

Fire Cla Works . wes mg it. Coat Pit

Pere eee

= 1 ™ maa a a ass fd tan Tron

Section of O.S. map 1893 showing a coal pit, an old shaft and a Hard Bed pit on the site of Hepworth Iron Works

It was the availability of electricity that greatly facilitated improvements in the mechanisation of extracting the coal, the transporting of coal, waste, supplies and equipment and in the upgrading of ventilation systems with the installation of fans that sent fresh air down the ventilation shaft.

135 FEAT OF CLAY The Story of Hepworth at Hazlehead Keith Pearson

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The electricity produced by Tinker Bros. provided power to their pits and also the neighbourhood, including Victoria and the farms on the Meal Hill side of the valley. This was done with use of a dynamo operating at 500 volts. The likely power source for this could have been either steam or gas from their coke ovens. Interestingly, there was also an electric generator sited at Meal Hill for domestic use and for Gatehead Chapel and School. From 1926 Hepworth Iron Company’s _ electricity requirements were met by the main grid supplied by Yorkshire Electrical Power Company.

By 1936 the output of the ninety miners employed by Hepworth Iron Company was insufficient for the needs of the furnaces used for the pipe and brick production. The following year: “a drift mine was driven down from the works towards Sledbrook pit head.” '*° A feature of these workings was an endless steel

ropeway which efficiently hauled the full coal tubs up a considerable incline to the pit head. (see page 129) The ropeway required the construction of a new entrance across the road from the main site.

~The Disused Sledbrook Colliery entrance 1976 1°’

136 FEAT OF cLay The Story of Hepworth at Hazlehead Keith Pearson 137 Courtesy of Charlotte Earnshaw

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During its working life the thickness of the coal seam varied from twenty to thirty inches and the coal face was circa one hundred and sixty-five yards long. The face was divided into eleven-yard sections or stints and it was expected that face workers would complete their stint during a shift. This then allowed for the worked-out cavities, known as gobs, to be back-filled with the slack, stones left after the removal of the coal. The pit props were then removed causing the collapse of the roof into these spaces. This made possible the practice of taking the coal face back five feet every twenty-four hours and the adjusting of the conveyors accordingly. It was during the nightshift that those employed as coal cutters cut through the coal seam to allow the shot blasters to then detonate explosives placed at the top and bottom of the seam to loosen the coal. It was the dayshift workers who then shovelled the dislodged coal on to the face conveyor. At the end of this, by means of a plough, it was moved on to the gate conveyor that took it towards the maingate at the pit bottom. The coal was then loaded into the waiting tubs and men known as hangers-on then lashed them on to the ropeway. This was done with the chain attached to the tub being looped around the rope and hooked back on to the front of the tub. (see page 129) Having taken two lamps into the pit a hanger-on would place one in a position a distance from himself along the ropeway, knowing that when a loaded tub passed it, it was time to lash on the next full tub. On leaving the pit main entrance the ropeway ran a distance over ground, through a tunnel under the road (A616) surfacing again at the lamp room before reaching the two-storey pit head building, entering at the upper level. (see page 130) Here the tubs were unlashed and inverted by the tippler’ so allowing the contents to fall on to two screens. The fine coal particles and dust went through the first of these leaving the best coal to travel on and pass through the second screen into railway wagons waiting below. Much of the collected fine residue material was mixed with pitch and pressed by rollers into ovoids’ for the domestic market.

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To Gatehead PtT Heap “CE RALLTRACK WITH Sse Sy ENDLESS RopEWAY ABOVE Hepworth Xe PS Tron Company Ne Site 4 To Hazlehead Nok be scale prt

Diagram showing the endless steel ropeway installed in Sledbrook drift mine




Drawing showing the method of lashing used by the hangers-on '**

138 Philip Horn of Jackson Bridge

Page 138


Two-Storey pit head building Endless ropeway Entrance to exiting the tunnel = Sledbrook Pit

Coal trucks in sidings Photograph of Hepworth Iron Company 1947 showing the entrance to

Sledbrook Drift Mine, the endless ropeway, the two-storey pit head building and the railway siding '”

139 www.britainfromabove.org.uk

Page 139


The use of ponies continued nationally well into the twentieth century and this was certainly the case in remaining pits of Tinker Bros. From 1911 a pony had to be at least four years old before it could work underground and for every fifteen horses a competent horse-keeper was required. In the 1911 census return James Elsworth, 15, of Larks House Farm, Reuben Mellor, 16, of Bank House Farm, Fred Mosley, 16, of Dick Edge Farm and Tom Eh Broadhead, 17, of Hepworth were working as pony drivers but unfortunately the pits in which they were employed was not noted. Herbert Senior of Hepworth was employed at Meal Hill pit working above ground as a teamer and horse-keeper. It was the impact of increased mechanisation that predictably and inevitably resulted in the demise of the pit ponies. However, it was not for positive productivity issues that Tinker Bros. no longer used ponies; it was in fact their decision, taken in 1946, to close the Sally Wood end of the Hazlehead colliery. Until then the ponies had entered the underground workings at Wood Pit and a well-remembered sight at the end of the day was to see them leave the drift mine in Sally Wood, and walk, in single file, back to Larks House, near Meal Hill, where they were stabled.

At Sledbrook pit it is unclear as to what extent ponies were used prior to the new driftway of 1937. Following the installation of the endless ropeway it is known that two ponies, Jock and Tom, were used for general duties, such as moving equipment and taking pit props to the coal face via the back gate”. Les Tinsdeall remembers well how Jock at the end of a shift, being keen to see daylight, would nudge the colliers to try and move them out of the way. When the pit closed the ponies were adopted by two local families. It is known that one then spent his retirement years at the home of Harry Mallinson of Cote Farm, Hade Edge.

Page 140

Herman Kaye with twelve year old Jock '”

Just as early in the twentieth century two locomotives were in use on Hepworth Iron Company’s branch line and works there were two during the last few decades up to 1960. bor, possibly replacing its namesake of the previous era, was built by Hudswell Clarke in 1899 and bought by the Company in 1933. Hepworth was built in 1905 at the Sheffield works of the Yorkshire Engine Company but only came to Hepworth Iron Company years later. Both engines were housed in a dedicated shed on a spur off the track to the Company’s brick and pipe works. (see page 125)

140 Huddersfield Weekly Examiner 17" January 1953

Page 141


Hepworth Iron Company Colliery and Bricks Works Branch Line a a, ° . y hl


Manchester Sheffield Railway (via Woodhead Line)

Section of O.S. map 1908 showing the Hepworth Iron Company branch railway line linking to the main line railway at Hazlehead

Page 142


Ebor with Alec Tinsdeall (in light jacket), fireman, approaching the engine and probably Gordon Hampshire, driver, on the engine '“!

Hepworth carrying more than 100 passengers in 5xBR open shock wagons at the summit of the line in Crow Edge village on the occasion of a visit of railway enthusiasts to Hepworth Iron Company in 1960 '”

141 Scenes from the past (Part Three) Woodhead E.M.Johnson 142 Ibid

Page 143


In spite of the advances in mining technology and underground checking practices, the issue of the potential risks arising from geological formation of the land remained and these were the ever- present reality for the underground worker. Positioned according to observed weakness in the roof from faults and slips, props were placed and wedged in the passages and near the coal face to support the roof. A roof fall was usually preceded by the well- recognised sound of the props creaking. This alerting of a potential fall meant that those underground normally had sufficient warning to get to safety. There was no such indication in the case of a slip. These just occurred, giving insufficient time for any escape.

The consequences of both fatalities and serious injuries were acute having a profound impact on family life. A number of valley families had to live through the experience of having more than one member killed or incapacitated and for some, such calamities and casualties occurred over several generations. Accidents continued to occur involving roof falls at Sally Wood and Wood pits caused, it would appear, from faults or slips in the formation of the strata.

Inspite of both the daily and nightly roof safety inspections being carried out in Wood pit the roof fall that occasioned the death of Harry Oldroyd was from: “a fall of shale and one large stone measuring about 4ft. by 2ft., and I5in. thick.” '* From the evidence presented to the Coroner it became clear that it had been the inadequacies of the system for the reporting of the results of checks undertaken that had meant that Oldroyd, unknowingly, had entered an area where the roof had been deemed unsafe. The Jury having been invited to make a recommendation on this situation chose not to do so, simply returning a verdict of accidental death

143 Holmfirth Express 16" April 1904

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The following three tragedies caused by roof falls in Wood and Sally Wood pits involved members of one family. Harry Charlesworth, aged 29, was: “accidentally killed, crushed by a fall of roof” '“ as he lay on his side hewing coal at a face called Holmes Ending, in Wood pit. The Coroner was told that having just blown a gate i.e. extended the passage, he had begun to prop with 14inch props placing them 6 foot apart. The roof, described as shaley and in which it was known that there was a slip present, then collapsed. Employed as a dataller’, George Kaye, aged 50, was killed when working on a mainly stone roof a little way from the face in which there was a fault and a lot of water. Luke Kaye, also a dataller, when describing the circumstances of the accident to the Coroner, stated that it had occurred when George Kaye had entered an area in which there was water pouring from the roof, adding: “the water is a great mischief there.” '* He had done this, having heard something which he thought needed attending to. It appeared that the movement of the water present had caused the fall of a large stone, about 30cwt, which had badly injured him, injuries from which he had then died. John Kaye working in Sally Wood drift mine in an area with a chalk mark would have known that this mark meant that the area had been checked the night before and again in the morning by Luke Kaye, the colliery deputy. There was, however, a roof fall consisting of a large amount of earth and stone which caused the fatality. The Coroner was told that there had been: “no sound from the pit props warning to the miners to get clear which was what usually happened.” '*°

A notably feature of the twentieth century mining was the greater and more effective use of explosives in the process of getting the

144 Holmfirth Express 29" April 1911 145 Holmfirth Express 12" February 1921 146 Holmfirth Express 20% May 1944

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coal. The charging of the gunpowder undertaken by a shot-firer, was a skilled job but one that remained potentially dangerous.

Brook Haigh of Sude Hill, when placing explosives in Wood Pit was badly injured when a roof fall occurred. It was later reported that: “He had his spine fractured when a I5cwt boulder fell on his back 2 weeks ago when working in the pit, is making progress. His 20 year old son, Keith, and a pit deputy, Walter Maude of New Mill, who rescued him, struggled for 4 hours to bring him to the pit entrance, having to crawl with a stretcher some of the way.” 1*”

Throughout the early years of the twentieth century there was severe discontent nationally and widespread disputes in the mining industry relating to pay and working conditions. The first recorded miners’ strike in the valley was in 1908. The miners employed by Hepworth Iron Company wanted an increase in wages which would then be in line with those set by the Board of Coal and Clay Getting. The men remained on strike from April until January 1909. During this time the “miners’ families suffered badly while they (the miners) stayed out week after week” '** The dispute ended when the Company eventually agreed a settlement, that later some considered it could ill-afford as the following year’s profits were much reduced. Discontent was again rife amongst the miners a year later when the company was facing further problems because of insufficient coal production and management difficulties. It was not long before there was again the prospect of unrest and strike action and the inevitable disruption caused by this as the miners once more demanded increased wages. In March 1912 it was reported in the Holmfirth Express that the situation at Hepworth Iron Company was such that: “the Clay getters, boiler firers and brick makers were told that if the strike went ahead their

147 Holmfirth Express 16" March 1946 148 FEAT OF CLAY The story of Hepworth at Hazlehead Keith Pearson

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jobs too would be at risk with contracts being terminated.”” After eight months action the miners achieved a five percent pay rise.

During the aftermath of the World War One there was a shortage of coal locally and for this reason a number of pits that had closed in the later years of the nineteenth century were re-opened. In most instances these were only worked for about twelve months. The most likely reasons for this being that they were worked-out or they were too costly to operate. Amongst their number were: “Knowles 1918 to 1919; Foxhouse 1912-....... , Sinking Wood 1921 to 1921; New Biggin 1922 to 1922.” '% The General Strike of 1926 came about when the T.U.C.* attempted to end the national disruption caused by the cessation of mining brought about by the colliery owners having locked out up to 800,000 miners from their pits. The T.U.C. also had a total commitment to preventing the reduction of wages and the introduction of longer working hours. The Strike began on 3™ May and nationally some 1.7 million workers took strike action in support of the miners. It lasted ten days, ending on 13" May, except for the miners, who persisted with their action until November. They eventually returned to work having had to accept longer working hours, lower wages, and district wage agreements. From the, albeit, scant coverage of the strike in the Holmfirth Express and the lack of any detailed account of the effect it had on the communities of the valley, it is clear that the general public saw the miners wives and children as the innocent victims of the conflict. A few events were held and actions taken to ease the conditions of daily living for miners families. On 19" June members of the Holme Valley Male Voice Choir raised £40 and on 25" September thirty-one representatives from religious bodies, co-operative societies, trade unions held a house-to-house collection. When the newly appointed Education Committee met in June members were told that it had been estimated that there

149 Mines of coal and other stratified minerals Northern Mine Research Society

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were between three hundred and four hundred miners’ children in New Mill, Hepworth and Scholes. Although the Miners Association was paying strikers five shillings for each man and six pence a child each week, the considered opinion of those attending was that: “the miners in these areas were in a poor way.” It was also agreed that in the circumstances: “they would try to hide their poverty with their pride.” The decision was then taken that meals would be provided for miners’ children during the school day. In the entry in Scholes Elementary School Log Book for 5" July Mr James Turner, the Headteacher, noted: “Breakfasts being served to children of miners commencing today.”” Meals were then provided for 69 children in New Mill, 19 in Hepworth and 80 in Scholes. According to an article in the Holmfirth Express on 9° October 1926 throughout the strike those in the businesses and homes of the Holme Valley were particularly fortunate in that: “there are ample supplies of foreign coal,” which was considered to be of superior quality to that produced locally and because in the areas around Kirkburton and Kirkheaton there were: “abundant outcropping workings’ yielding good supplies of moderate quality coal.” At the end of the strike the only mines continuing production were the three owned by Hepworth Iron Company, these being on their sites at Hazlehead, Knowls and Sledbrook, and the two owned by Tinker Bros. at Gatehead and Hazlehead. Carr Wood Pit was by this time owned and worked by one miner, the one-time pit manager, Henry (Harry) Moorhouse (1850- 1939). On deciding to finish mining the basically worked-out pit Charles Lockwood, the owner, allowed Harry to take it over. Living in Thurstonland Harry had started working as a pit boy in 1855, three days before his sixth birthday. Interestingly, this means that he had been employed illegally and in breach of the 1842 Act relating to the Employment of Children in Mines. He later moved to New Mill making his home in the Dye House. In 1931 it was reported that Harry, aged eighty-one and regarded

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locally as England’s oldest miner: “has decided to cease selling and is stocking up for himself for the coming winter.” '°°

Harry Moorhouse (1850-1939) '*!

To Brockholes

Kae Oy Pit Gate’ ie Bas i ™ San Cart, Wood” Pit 4

Section of O.S. = I map 1893 = a Mine woe 200 showing Carr 1 A \ Wood Pit toe

150 Huddersfield Examiner 6" November 1931 151 Holmfirth Express 9" October 1937

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After the outbreak of war in September 1939 all men between the ages of 18 and 41 were liable for conscription into the armed forces. Miners were included in the Schedule of Reserved Occupations by which certain key skilled workers were exempted from military service. It was on account of this ruling that an unknown number of local men became miners who then worked alongside the Bevan Boys who came into the area.

During the war years the air raid shelter was a feature of daily living. People in Jackson Bridge apparently took refuge in the entrance of the drift at Wood pit. Indeed Barbara Horn, a child living in the village at this time, recalls that it was the mill hooters that sounded the air raid warnings and how on one occasion she was taken with members of her family to join other local families to shelter in the pit. Having experienced this once the clear choice of villagers was to shelter in cottage cellars or under tables! '””

The decision to close Hazlehead colliery or Sally Wood as it was known locally was taken in May 1946. Major Brian Tinker, Chairman of Directors, Tinker Bros. Ltd., stated that there had been much speculation about closure for months owing to a decreasing output, caused by the thinning of the coal seam. He was also sure that the pit would be closed following the anticipated nationalisation of the coal industry.

The suddenness of the closure was triggered by the breaking of the electricity cable that supplied the required power to the pit but also throughout the upper area of the valley. A replacement cable of 900 yards was needed for the repair of this, which given the circumstances could not be justified. One hundred and forty miners transfered to pits owned by Messrs Stringer and Sons at Clayton West or Emley Moor where there were immediate vacancies. Included in their number were many who: “besides having to travel greater distances, find it a severe wrench to leave. Some have worked over 50 years there, others

152 Mrs Barbara Horn Jackson Bridge 2013

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over 40 years. The average length of service of employees may be amongst the highest in Yorkshire.” '*’ Amongst the named longest serving employees were Sanderson Sharp of Scholes, 64 years, Joe Charlesworth of Jackson Bridge, Sam Bray and Charles Kaye Battye of New Mill, all men who had served more than fifty years. Mr J Pickard of Hepworth had worked for fifty-four years as a member of the office staff.

Within a month Major Brian Tinker, had announced that there was a change of plan by which the Hazlehead end of the pit would be kept open. Retrieved cable from the Sally Wood pit workings would be used to repair the damaged cable at Hazlehead. Major Tinker expressed his fears for the future as this was dependant on the success of the new arrangement.

The coal industry was nationalised 1* January 1947. It was then recognised that in the foreseeable future small pits would be closed given their increasing non-viability. A number of such pits were allowed to remain as privately run pits under licence from the National Coal Board. This status was usually granted if the continuing coal production was subsidiary to other interests and providing the workforce was paid the nationally agreed rates. Under these conditions Hepworth Iron Company continued to operate the Sledbrook Pit.

“COLLIERY TO CLOSE” was a heading in the Holmfirth Express on 14" February 1948. The reasons given for the closure of Tinker Bros.’ pit at Hazlehead were a greatly reduced yield of coal; the development work carried out had not resulted in any increase in production and the Coal Board saw no prospect of the looked-for improvement. It was noted that the remaining twenty-six miners were to be allowed to choose the pit that they would prefer to be transferred to, rather than be directed. On 9" December 1949 Tinker Bros. Limited, Colliery Proprietors and Coke Producers,

153 Holmfirth Express 16" March 1947

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went into liquidation. Over many years the company had secured a national reputation for producing some of the finest coking coal in the county. The redundant Tinker Colliery was then taken over by Hepworth Iron Company.

During the middle 1950s the Board of the Hepworth Iron Company became deeply concerned about both falling production figures and the fact that the coal mined was considered inferior to that required for the firing necessary for clayware production. The sub-standard coal was then sold, much of it going to a power station in Manchester, and coal, known to be of better quality, was purchased from elsewhere.

Production ceased in 1959 when it was discovered that the workings had hit a geological fault running parallel with the coal face. Such a fault meant that the seam had run out. As it was deemed uneconomic to open another seam the unavoidable decision to decommission the pit was then taken. This process then required until December to complete. Fortunately for the mining employees: “such was the robust health of the labour market work was found elsewhere for all the one hundred men”'”*

The Sledbrook drift entrance could be seen from the A616 until about 1990. It was at this time covered over during the construction of two of the three settling lagoons used to filter solids from water draining from the Company’s site across the road before it entered the Sledbrook Dyke.

It was with the closure of this mine that the story of mining in the New Mill valley and of all those who had been associated with it over the years ended.

154 FEAT OF CLAY The Story of Hepworth at Hazlehead Keith Pearson

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“GOING HOME: Two smiling miners leave the private coal mine at Hepworth Iron Works in 1953”

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Appendix I Sources

Court Rolls of the Manor of Wakefield Yorkshire Archaeological Society Tinker Estate Papers West Yorkshire Archive Service Newton Estate Papers West Yorkshire Archive Service Spencer Stanhope Family Papers West Yorkshire Archive Service Fairbank Collection Sheffield Archive Service Land Tax Returns 1781-1832 West Yorkshire Archive Service Census Retums 1941-1911 Kirklees Library Service Report of Government Enquiry 1842 Employment of Children in Mines Report of Royal Commissions 1866 Royal Commission appointed to enquire into the state of rivers and streams Trade Directories - White, Slater, Baines, Post Office 1822-1936 Kirklees Library Service Mines of coal and other stratified materials from 1848 Northern Mine Research Society Forest to Township Eileen Williams The Advertiser Press Huddersfield 1975 History of Kirkburton and the Graveship of Holme Dr. H. J.Morehouse 1861 Holme Valley Peter and Ins Bullock Charlford Publishing Company Ltd. 1995 Colliers and Hurriers Alan Brooke Underground Press 1994 Unpublished Paper Herbert Shaw 1940 FEAT OF CLAY The Story of Hepworth at Hazlehead Keith Pearson Unpublished Paper 2000 Hunters’ Songs Holme Valley Beagles Eli Collins 1948 The Mining industry in the Huddersfield district D.A.Wray Tolson Memorial Museum Huddersfield 1929 The Mining and Quarrying in the Huddersfield District D.H.Holmes Tolson Memorial Museum Huddersfield 1967 History of the Huddersfield Woollen Industry W.B.Crump and G.Ghorbal A. Jubb 1935 A Pictorial History of Mining JohnThrelkeld Wharncliffe Books 1989 Scenes from the past (Parts Two and Three) Woodhead E.M.Johnson Foxline 1998, 2001

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Yorkshire Past and Present Thomas Baines William Mackenzie 1870 Rural Houses of West Yorkshire 1400-1830 H.M.S.O. 1986 Kirklees Digital Archive www.kirkleesimages.org.uk Web sites www.AditNow.co.uk www.ukminingwalks.co.uk www. britainfromabove.org.uk www.nmre.org.uk www.undergroundpress.com www bsfl.tripod.com Newspapers _ Kirklees Library Service

Bradford Observer Sheffield and Rotherham Independent Holmfirth Express Leeds Mercury Huddersfield Examiner London Gazette

Huddersfield Weekly Examiner The Standard

Appendix 2 Glossary

The number before the word is the page where the word first appears

adit 11 anearly horizontal passage into a mine by which it was entered, exited and drained of water back filling 21 practice of filling coal face worked-out spaces with extracted slack, stones, shaley etc back gate 131 the road way used to both bring supplies/ equipment to the coal face and remove these from it banksman 61 man at the pit head in charge of lowering and

raising underground workers up and down the shaft and of loading and unloading the full coal tubs. He had to keep an account of the quantity of coal for each tub brattice 105 sheeting used to deflect air into a particular area to improve ventilation and dilute flammable gases

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checkweighman 116

close 24 conductor 17

corve 19

day hole 11/ drift mine 12

dataller 136

flat rope 17

firedamp 111 ganister 11

gate 11

gin pit 17

gob 128

hanger-on 118

hurrier 11


man chosen by the miners to ensure that their output of coal is correctly recorded at the pit head a piece of land weighted wooden or steel rods placed from the top to the bottom of a shaft to contain the platform/cage coal tub — originally these were baskets, frequently made from woven hazlewood, and were carried on the miners’ backs. The term was being used locally by 1841 and was replaced later by tub amine where access was by a tunnel or drift and not by a shaft also used to describe the space where a miner worked a day-waged worker employed on a daily basis to construct and maintain roofs and roadways rope made from braided hemp or wire, the use of which was considered to be safer than that of round rope methane, natural gas ahard siliceous sedimentary rock sometimes found underlying coal beds, used in making bricks for refractory lining of furnaces underground passage or roadway acog and rung system operated initially by a person turning a wheel and then with a horse walking round in a circular path so operating a drum with a rope for winding a hoist up and down a shaft area into which the roof collapses with the removal of the pit props after coal has been extracted from a seam man who fixed the full coal tubs on to a moving ropeway an underground worker who pulled the corves usually a child or a woman

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outcrop workings 139 maingate 21

passage plough 128

roadman round ropes 17 scoope 98 screens 128 shale 10 slip 108

sough 102 thruster 11

tippler 128

T.U.C. 138 waterway 31

wayleave 31

weight break 108


the getting of coal where the workings are at the surface the main roadway down which coal was brought it also served as the intake airway roadway or gate the device that directed the coal from the face conveyor on to the gate conveyor aman working on the maintenance of the gates rope made from twisted hemp or wire similar to a corve inclined holed plates used to grade materials a dark fine grained sedimentary rock a gradual breaking of the roof that results in a sudden collapse a dug drainage ditch an underground worker who pushed the corves — usually a child or a woman a device that grabs hold of a tub, inverts it through 180 degrees and then returns it to upright Trades Union Congress an underground passage used for access and for drainage aright of way, under or over ground, granted by a landowner for the transporting of coal or iron stone generally in exchange for payment a large stone or boulder falling,

winning 61 extracting coal Appendix 3. Index of Names appearing in the text Page Page Armitage Joseph 30 Bates John 38 Bailey Allan 118 Battye Edward 114 Banks James 37,38, 39,54,60,61 Battye Hinchliffe 118 Barraclough Joseph 111 Battye Joseph 80,118

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Page Battye Walter 118 Battye William 16 Beaver Martha 110 Beever Albert 118 Beever Charles 719 Bennett George 90 Bennett Tom 91 Booth George 59 Booth John 56,57,63,118,119 Booth Ralph 57,122 Booth Thomas 90 Bray Sam 114 Briggs Henry 54 Broadhead Thomas Eli 132 Brook Amos 95 Brook Caleb 95 Brook James 58,59 Brook Nathan 79 Brook Norman 118 Brooke Edward 105 Bryson Andrew 73 Cartwright Henry 79,81 Cartwright James 80 Castle G.H. 118 Chapman Charles 56 Chapman John 56 Charlesworth George 91 Charlesworth Harry 138 Charlesworth Joe 144 Charlesworth Jonas 90,91 Charlesworth Joshua 30 Craven Benjamin 56 Craven Jonathan Nowell 32 Crosland George 80 Duckinfield Allen 79 Dyson John 50 Dyson William 122 Edinboro Robert 118 Ellis Edward 115 Elsworth James 132 Fairbank William 29


Page Firth John 51 Firth Thomas 27 Garlick Harry 118 Garlick Stanley 35 Goldthorpe Nancy 87 Green Joseph 27 Hadfield Jonathon 27 Haigh Arthur 81,82 Haigh Brook 139 Haigh Charles 79,112 Haigh Elizabeth 52 Haigh George 50,80,87 Haigh Hannah 79 Haigh Herbert 118 Haigh John 50,51,52,53 57,79,80,99 Haigh Jonathan 61 Haigh Joseph 18,50,52 Haigh Mary Ann 79 Haigh Webster 109 Hatfeild John 37 Hatfeild-Kaye John 38 Hatfeild Miss 61 Heap Jonathan 92,95 Hebblethwaite James 111,112 Heeley Abraham 113 Heeley Ben 93 Heeley Ebenezer 57,58,63,79 80,95,98,119 Heeley George 110 Heeley Henry 79,80,101 Heeley Joseph 95,102,103,105 Helliwell Nigel 118 Hemmingway James 45 Hill Mr 90 Hinchliff Henry 80 Hirst Aaron 21 Hirst Adam 31,64 Hirst Enoch 19 Hirst George 85 Hirst Isaac 81

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Page Hirst James 99 Hirst William 81 Holmes Abel 80 Holmes Elliot 80 Holmes Isaac 79 Holmes Jonathan 90 Holmes Mary 80,99,101 Horn Barbara 143 Horn Philip 130 Horner Leonard 89 Horsfall George 57 Jagger 60,102 Jukes Richard 45 Kaye Allan 115 Kaye Benjamin 99 Kaye Charles 106 Kaye Dorothy 37 Kaye Esther 37 Kaye George 103,138 Kaye Hannah Maria 37 Kaye Herbert 118 Kaye Herman 133 Kaye Horace 125 Kaye John 138 Kaye Jonas 27,37,99 Kaye Joshua 37 Kaye Luke 138 Kaye Walter 118 Kaye William 118 Le Riche Elko 25 Le stonebreaker John 25 Lockwood Charles 19,41,63,63 103,141 Lodge George 79 Lodge Joseph 79,80,101 Mackworth Mr 107 Mallinson George 40 Mallinson Harry 133 Marsh Benjamin 79 Marsh George 119 Marsh John 80


Page Marsh Joseph 79,80 Mawe William 40 Mcdonald Mr 108 Mellor Lindley 118 Mellor Reuben 132 Milnes Mary Anne 34 Milnes Richard 34 Milnes, James 54 Mitchell Jonathan 79,80,101 Mitchell Stephen 79 Mitchell William 94 Moorhouse Ben 64

Moorhouse Henry (Harry) 95,96, 123,141,155,122 Morehouse James Henry 78,84,92

92,98 Morehouse John William 87,88 Morehouse Joseph 40 Morehouse Thomas 62 Mosley Fred 132 Mosley Joe 118 Moss Elizabeth 87 Moss Hannah 87 Newton Ann 40 Newton Arthur Blencoe 41 Newton Isaac Parker 41 Newton Margaret 4] Newton William 40,41 Oldroyd Harry 118,137 Parkinson George 14 Petch J. 114 Pickard J. 144 Rhodes Charles 59,79, 115 Rhodes Eli 79,91,103 Richardson John 58,59 Roberts Samuel 114 Robinson Allen 118 Robinson Ernest 118 Robinson Ralph 118 Rowley Firth 118

Scriven Samuel Swain 78

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Page Senior Eliza 81 Senior Fred 118 Senior George 79 Senior Herbert 132 Senior Mary 87 Senior Sarah 81 Senior William 61,79 Sharp Sanderson 144 Shaw Annie 106 Shaw Herbert 33,34,92,95 101,102,146 Shaw William 47,63,78,85 98,102,105 Shringler John 73 Shringler Robert 73 Smith Alastair 34 Smith John Firth 57 Stansfield William 54 Stephen Wim. 50 Stephenson George 111 Swallow Betty 81 Swallow Caroline 81 Swallow John 114 Swallow Joseph 79,99 Swallow Mr D. 121

Symons Jelinger Cookson 19,78,80

Tinker Abel 43.44 Tinker Brian Tinker Charles Shaw 43.44.45 49,59 Tinker Ebenezer 31,45,47,79



Page Tinker Friend 118 Tinker John 50 Tinker Mary Ann 80 Tinker Philip 44 Tinker Rachel 80,85,98,99 Tinker Tedbar 44 Tinker Uriah = 11,17,32,45,49,61 63,64,65,84,104 Tinsdeall Les 133 Turner George Hy. 118 Turner J. Herbert 117 Tumer James 141 Turner Samuel 109 Turner Tom 118 Wadsworth Willie 118 Wagstaff Benjamin 54,57 Wagstaff Charles 110 Wagstaff John 110 Wagstaff Mrs 63 Wagstaff Vincent 110 Walton William 40 Wardell, Frank 63,112

Watkinson George 54,56,122,133

Watson Harry 118 Watson Henry 119 Wheatley James 63 Whitehead Ernest 134 Winchcliffe Ann 80,101,106 (Hinchliffe)

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