Meltham in Focus: Volume A by Meltham Photography Club

The following is the OCR text of a book and will likely contain conversion errors. This page is designed to be indexed by search engines. Click on a page number to view the book in your web browser.

Please note that the text is not in the Public Domain and should not be reproduced further without the express permission of the copyright holder or their estate.

Page 1

Meltham in Focus

Its Industries, Organisations, Societies & People

Meltham in Focus has been compiled by K. Oldfield of the Meltham Photographic club, for the community of Meltham.

Our thanks go to the many people and organisations who have helped in many ways to record this little history of our small township for the present and future generations.

Compiled 1994 with additions. If any members of the public have any photographs of old Meltham or information they think could be included, please contact the librarian or a

member of the Photographic Club

These volumes are not for re-sale, but for reference only and are to remain in Meltham Library.

Page 3

Meltham in Focus Its Industries,

Organisations, Societies & People

Volume A

Page 5

Year Description Volume I Page History of Meltham [5 pages] A 7-11 Meltham Town Council Shield A 12 1894+ I List of Meltham Urban District Chairmen, 1894 - 1973 A 13 1860 Meltham Local Board Elected at the First Meeting A 13 1974+ I List of Meltham Parish Council Chairmen, 1974 - 1992 A 14 1858 I The Local Government Act [5 pages] A 15-19 1860 I The Local Government Act and Meltham A 21 1891 Huddersfield Union, Meltham Township, Overseers Account A 22 1860 Meltham Local Government Act A 23 1860 I The Local Board, the Adjourned Meeting, Adjourned A 25 1860 The Local Board, the First Meeting, Adjourned A 25 1860 I The Local Board, the Re-adjourned Meeting A 26 1862 The Local Government Act in Operation in Meltham A 27 1894 Meltham Local Board, Last Meeting [2 pages] A 29-30 1894 Meltham Urban District Council, First Meeting [2 pages] A 31-32 1900 Meltham Urban District Council Monthly Meeting A 33 1898 Meltham Annual Steeplechase [2 pages] A 35-36 1953 Meltham Urban District Council, First Civic Ball A 37 1973 Meltham Urban District Council, Probable Last Civic Ball A 38 1973 Parish Status for Meltham A 39 1974 Meltham Parish Council, First Civic Ball A 41 1975 Meltham Parish Council, Civic Ball A 42 1976 Meltham Parish Council, Civic Ball A 43 1977 Meltham Parish Council, Civic Ball A 44 1978 Meltham Parish Council, Civic Ball A 45 1980 Meltham Parish Council, Civic Dinner A 46 1981 Meltham Parish Council, Civic Dinner A 46

Page 6

Year Description Volume I Page 1970 Meltham - a Vital Living Community - Express [3 pages] A 69-71 1887 Meltham Cotton Spinning Company, Erection of Building A 72 1903 I The Grand Old Man of Meltham - Colne Valley Guardian A 75 1818+ I Toll Gates on the Old Lockwood to Meltham Road A 77 1874 Meltham Turnpike Trust and Tolls, End A 78 1818+ I Toll Bar House, Meltham Mills A 79 1971 Toll Bar House, Meltham Mills, Burning Down A 80 1908+ I Sickness and Accident Aid Association [2 pages] A 81-82 1964 Meals on Wheels Service Inaugurated A 83 1965+ I Meltham Pensioners’ Luncheon Club A 84 1953 Meltham Hall Park, Play Equipment Provided A 85

Page 7


Page 8

pasture land in the summer months.

Probably the settlements of Meltham did not finally take place until the Angles finally conquered ELMETE.

In 654 the Mercian Angles took over from the Fenda Angles and can be fairly sure that it was the Mercian Angles who gave Meltham it’s name "Melt" — smelting, "Ham"

Page 9

In 1670 Edward Radcliffe of Oldham had married Mary daughter of Abraham Beaumont of Meltham. The Radcliffe family still hold. land to the present day.

In 1698 James Taylor of Royd acquired the use of 9 acres of land containing two farm houses and 2 barns as

Page 10

Road. The year 1840 saw the opening of the Silk Mill at Bentley which added further to the to the local textile industry. In 1849 the Mechanics Institute was opened in Meltham Mill.

At this time Meltham was quite well developed around the Market Place and a little way along Huddersfield Road, apart from this there was little development along the other roads leading into the Market Place. Along Holmfirth Road there was no development beyond Tinker Lane with the Oddfelows Hall being built in 1851 and enlarged in 1894. Dewn Station Street the main cluster of buildings ended at Mean Bridge and after that a very few scattered houses up Slaithwaite Road. Along Wessenden Head Road only scattered buildings were there, the Old Vicarge at the corner of Pan Lane being built in 1839.

Page 11

1900 and offered an alternative form of employment, but the industrial pattern of the area was still dominated by textile manufacturing and it was to remain so until 1939 when the large Cotton Mill at Meltham Mills closed down and was taken aver by David Brown Tractors and later Shaw Packing was opened at Bentley.

Page 12

Meltham Town Council

Purple Background

Page 13

Meltham Local Board Elected at their First Meeting on Wednesday 30th May 1860 at

Page 14

Meltham Parish Council Kirklees Metropoliten Council-started on 1st April 1974 First meeting of the Parish Council took place in the Town Hall on Jan.3rd 1974 was elected the first chairman The following were the Chairmen from 1974-1994,

1974 R.Rowley 1975

Page 15


Page 16

Local Government.

(1.) In Corporate Boroughs, the Mayor, Aldermen, and Burgesses acting by the

Page 17

Local Government.

of:the Local Board, and to. declare. what: Proportion of .the Members of: the Local Board be selected by each ‘Ward, and .the said Secretary of State may by his Order make such Division and Declaration after such Inquiry as he shall deem necessary; and Fourteen Days Notice shall be given of the: Time, Place, and Object of such Inquiry ; and ‘if any Member be elected in more than One Ward, he shall within “Three Days Notice thereof choose, or, in default of his choosing, the Local Board at their next Meeting shall decide for which One of the: Wards the Member shall serve, and he shall thereupon be held to ‘be elected in that Ward only, and a Vacancy shall be held to exist on account of the other Ward or Wards; no Person entitled to vote shall give in the whole of the Wards a greater Number of Votes than he would have been entitled to give if the District had not been divided into Wards, nor in any One Ward a greater Number of Votes than he is entitled to in respect of Property in that Ward ; but subject to these Limitations, any Ratepayer or ‘Owner may, by Notice in Writing delivered to the Clerk of the

Page 18

760 21° & 22° VICTORIA, Cap.98. I Local Government.

Astocasual (7.) Any casual Vacancy occurring by Death, Resignation, Dis- Vacancies. qualification, or otherwise in the Local Board may be filled up within One Month by the Local Board out of qualified Persons, but the Member so chosen shall retain his Office so long only as the vacating Member would have retained the same if no Vacancy had occurred :

As to (8.) In the Case of Districts not consisting of Boroughs or

Page 19

21° & 22° VICTORIA, Cap.98. 76)

Local Government.

Duties, Property, and Liabilities which have been or shall hereafter be made by any Local Board of Health to the Mayor, Aldermen, ‘and ‘Burgesses of any Corporate Borough by their Council, the ‘District of such Board and such Corporate Borough being identical, shall be valid and effectual to all Intents and Purposes, though no Day for such Transfer shall have been named in the Charter incor- porating such Borough. I Power to

Page 21

Meltham and the Local Goverment Act March 3rd 1860

A public meeting of owners and ratepayers of the township of Meltham,was held in the Town's National School,on Wednesday noon. The meeting was convened in compliance with a duly signed requisi- tion,and the object was "to consider a resolution for the adop- tion of the Local Goverment Act,1858,in the said township,and if the said act were adopted to determine by a resolution of the said

Page 22

HUDDERSFIELD UNION. I Street, Huddersfield, May Ath, 1891,

Dear Sir or Madam,

Township of Meltham.—Overseers’ Aecounis,

It will no doubt ‘have come to your knoutedge that certain irregularities have been recently discovered in the Accounts of

Page 23

Meltham Local Goverment Act Saturday May 26th 1860

During the Pre-set week,the minds of the ordinary peaceful inhabitants of this locality have been thrown into a state of anxious and unusual perturbation,such as rarely occurs,conse- quent upon the poll which has just taken place for the selection of the Local Board for the district.The voting papers containing the names of 22 persons nominated of whom only 12 are to be elected,were delivered to the owners and ratepayers on Monday and collected on Friday,and the examination of the papers comm- enced this day Saturday May 26th 1860.

Page 25

The first meeting of the Local Board for the district of Meltham held at the Rose and Crown Inn,in Meltham on Wednesday the 30th May 1860 at

Page 26

At the adjourned Meeting of the Board July 2nd 1860 Present Messrs Edward Brook,Edwin Eastwood,James Kilburn, James Ramsden,John Taylor, Joseph Mellor, Mermon Taylor,John Thorp, Edward C.Gooddy,Joseph Hirst. Orderd that Me.Joseph Hirst be chairman of this meeting. Applications for the conjoined offices of Clerk etc. as advertzed were received fron, Mr.John Mellor of Wooldale,Holmfirth. Sam Colwell application for Clerk only John Haigh,Crosland Edge,Collector of Rates and Inspector of Nuisance £20.0.0. Thomas Hirst,Meltham £1.1.0 per week. Edward Shaw,Headyfields,Meltham £50 per annum Frank Palin,Boro,Middlesex.£300 per annum John Moorhouse Jun.,Meltham £70 per annum Joseph Wilkinson,South Crosland £54.12 per annum James Garlick,West Town,Dewsbury £65 per annum James Wood Skelmonthorp £60 per annum George Taylor,Royd,Meltham £50 per annum Ben Wood,Post Office,Meltham £20 per annum I proposed by Edward C. Gooddy and seconded by Abel Thorp that George Taylor of Royd be appointed to the conjoined offices as advertized at his offer of £50 per annum,the whole of his time being at the services of the Board and promising security for £100. Carried. The application of the working Surveyor being by adjourment brought before the Board. It was proposed by Hermon Taylor and Seconded by Joseph Mellor That the wages of working Surveyor continue as at present 18/- per week.An amendment was proposed by Edwin Eastwood and seconded by Edward C.Gooddy,That the wages of the working Surbeyor be raised in accordance with his application to 20/- per week the amendment being put was carried. Noting on working Surveyor salary amendment put that his salary be raised to 20/- per week.

Yes Noes Mr.Joseph Hirst Hermon Taylor Mr.Edwin Eastwood John Taylor Mr James Kilburn Joseph Mellor Mr.Edward Brook Abel Thorp James Ramsden John Sykes

Edward C.Gooddy Proposed by Mr.John Taylor seconded by Mr.Edward Brook that the ordinary monthly meetings of the Board be held the first Friday in each month at the hour of six p.m. carried unanimously The Inspector of Nuisances reported since the last meeting of the Board the nuisance at Mrs Bastows,Meltham Mills had been attended to and no longer existed.He also reported the existance of a Nuisance in Battyes Yard on premises occupied by John Chappel a tank pigstyes and petties. The Clerk (Geo.Taylor and Mr.Blackshaw working Surveyor attended before the Board by order and had their duties defined to them Proposed by Mr Edwin Eastwood and seconded by Mr.John Taylor that Edward Brook appointed Treasurer.

Signed Joseph Hirst Chairman.

Page 27

The Local Goverment Act in Operation at Meltham May 3lst 1862

Meltham was one of the first places in this neighbourhood to adopt the Local Goverment Act;and as the first result of the measure,the waterworks as from May 5th are now in operation in a part of the district where,so long back as the memory of the oldest amongst them,the inhabitants have had to fetch water a great distance both for slop and culinary purposes. As a proof that the efforts of the members of the Local Board are appreciated by the township during the past week an election of four members to the board has taken place,when the four old members sought re-election,and were returned by the following large majorities.It is acknowledged that the roads were never kept in better repair;and the whole township partakes of the benefit,and not,as formerly,just that part in which the surveyor for the time happened to reside or have property. The result of the poll was:-Edward Brook 467;Joseph Hirst,414; James Mellor,318;total,1597;Bannister Bower, 226;George Wood,140;Thomas Broadbent,119;William Dyson,50,total 5935.The first four were of course,elected.

Page 29

Meltham Local Board Dec.2/th 1894

The members of the Local Board held their last meeting as a representative body on Thursday evening Dec.27th 1894.The follow- ing members were present:-Messrs R.Mellor (chairman),Jonas P. Hirst,Jabez Taylor,William Haigh,W.Wood,Joe Durrans,Joel Pogson, and J.H.Preston.Mr.Henrey Thomas,the water inspector attended and reported that both reservoirs were overflowing on Tuesday last and that Colders tank fills up satisfactorily during the night. The mains have been flushed since the last meeting.There was a leakage in the pipe at Bower Hill and Mr.Watson's attention had been called to it and he promised the defect should be remedied at once.About 15 yards of the fence wall on the west side of the Recreation ground wall had been blown down in the storm of Sat. last.This was ordered to be repaired by Elliott Moore.Charles Kenyon's tender for the gas lime produced at the Gasworks for the ensuing year was accepted at 2s 6d per ton.Paul Normington and Co's tender for a supply of 3ft knotted was accepted at 3s 9d per yard and 12in,by 8in kerbs at 2s 6d per yard for the Hollingworth Green improvement.A letter was read from Mr.G.W.Pogson,acting on behalf of the Building Comm.of the new Liberal Club,asking the Board to flag the footpath on the north side of the building.It was decided not to flag this foot- path,but to kerb the whole length from the Market Place as high as Lockwoods building,and to make the footpath thereto of ashes. The old kerbs from Hollingworth Green were ordered to be put down at the Spark Green end of Helme Lane.The business of the meeting was then concluded,but Mr.Jonas Brook Hirst said they could not seperate without acknowledging in a fitting manner the services of the chairman for the past 12 monthsHe believed they would have some difficulty in finding another man to give his services to the Board as Mr.Mellor had done.He had a special opp- ortunity for so doing,as he had plenty of time,and his services had been very valuable not only to the members of the

Page 30

Meltham The following is a complete list of persons nominated for the 12 seats in the above Urban District Council Elections December 8th 1894

Joseph Armitage.innkeeper,Victoria Inn, Wilson Brook,cotton spinner,Calm Lands, John Carter,gentleman,Ing House, Joe Durrans,school attendance officer,Rock Cresent, Tom EFarnshaw,engine tenter,Clark Lane, Charles Firth,joiner,Hollingworth Green, William Haigh,gentleman,Bank Cottage, Josh Henry HAigh,clerk,Helmet, Jonas B.Hirst,foreman mechanic,Spring Place, James Livsey,gentleman,Wessenden Road Richard Mellor,gentleman,East View, Richard Edward M.Mellor,linsey manufacturer,Vermont Terrace, William Midgley,stock and share broker,Hey Green, Josh Mitchell Moorhouse,joiner,Mill Moor, Enoch Mortimer,gentleman,Hollinworth Green, John William Pickersgill,gentleman,Glen View, Joel Pogson,farmer,Upper Hey, George William Pogson,clerk,North Croft, John Pogson,joiner,Calm Lands, Josh Henry Preston,cashier,Helme Lane, James Quarmby,woollen weaver,Stove Cottages, William Roberts,grocer,Meltham Mills, Wilson Sykes,newsagent,Market Place, Jabez Taylor,farmer and grocer,Mill Moor, George Taylor,farmer,Mill MOor, John Taylor,joiner and builder,Mill Moor, Walker Wood,farmer,North Croft, John Wilkinson,weaver,Dudd,

Page 31

First Meeting of the first Meltham Urban District Council

Page 32

First meeting of Meltham U.D.C. cont

Mr Preston moved an amendment that all the members be on this committee,but found no seconder.The motion was therefore carried. Mr.Durrans moved,"That the meetings of the Council should take place fortnightly,on the Monday night instead of Thursday as here- tofore,"and urged that it would be more convenient for all,and that the Council would no doubt secure a more lengthy and detailed report in the papers if the meetings took place earlier in the week-Mr.Preston seconded the motion,-The convenience of each mem- ber was duly considered by a free and full discussion.Eventually it was agreed that Wednesday would be most convenient night,so it was carried unanimously,-Mr.J.Carter moved,and Mr.Preston

Page 33

Meltham District Council Meeting Monday 8th January 1900

The monthly meeting of this authority was held on Monday evening when the following members were present Councillors J.Durrans (in the Chair),J.H,Preston,Joel Pogson,J.Moorhouse,R.Carter,J.R.Hirst Pogson,T.Earnshaw and W.Manchester. Before the commencement of the business the chairman took the ortunity of wishing every member the compiments of the season,and Councillor Hirst reciprocated the good wishes on behalf of the members.At the meeting of the highways and waterworks Committees the Surveyer reported the new reservoir lft 3in down and the old and Colders tank full.It was resolved that tenders be got for 200 yards of stone leading from Holthead Quarry to Meltham Moor road above Catch Dyke for the next committee meeting,and that the oil required for the lamps during the next 12 months be got from Messrs Needham Bros.Councillor Mellor moved,and Councillor Carter seconded,the comfirmation of the minutes,The Gas and Lighting Committee's minutes showed a sum of £65 2s 7d paid to Preston's Saving Bank as part principal and interest on loan.The treasurer had received £12 1s 5d.The bank was overdrawn £96 13s 8d.Bills amounting to £139 17s 8d were reccommended for payment.The Gas Manager reported that the average candle power of gas was 172 for the four weeks ending Januarylst 1900.The minutes wereconfirmed on the motion of Councillor Mellor seconded by Councillor Hirst. The Finance Committee's sumanary of accounts paid amounted to £228 19s 5d.The receipts from water rents £22 16s 6d other re- ceipts £1 Os 10d,and £200 from Mr.W.Roberts as a gift to the Coun- cil being part of the purchase money of land at Honley Wood Bott- om for the sewerage disposal works,The balance in treasurer's hands was £1,391 2s 10d Bills amounting to £43 1s 2d were

Page 37

Meltham's Civic Ball 20th Feb.1953

The Meltham Urban District Council promoted the first Civic Ball ever held in Meltham in the Oddfellow's Hall on 20th Feb.when there were about 200 guests present. The hall had been transformed into a beautiful Ballroom for the occasion,and the floral decorations were supplied by the Hudders- field Corporation Parks Dept.,whilst the plants used in the table decorations had beenprovided by Messrs Crowther Bros.of Meltham. The curtaining and trimmings had been arranged by Messrs Andrassy Bros. of Wakefield. The guest were welcomed by the Chairman of the Meltham U.D.C. Councillor Edward Greenhalgh and Mrs.Greenhalgh.These included the Mayor and Mayoress of Huddersfield Alderman and Mrs.J.F.C. Cole,the Chairman of Kirkburton U.D.C.Councillor F.S.Wood and Mrs. Wood the Chairman of the Colne Valley U.D.C.Councillor A.R.Red- fern and Mrs, Redfern,along with members of the Local Council and their wives. Councillor Greenhalgh said he was pleased to extend a warm wel- come to everyone present at this first Civic Ball and was most grateful for the way in which they had all responded.He hoped they would all have a most enjoyable evening. Prizes for competitions were donated by the Chairman of Meltham Council and several Huddersfield tradespeople.The music for danc- ing was supplied by Mr.J.Vivian Rawlins and his Orchestra,whilst Mr.L.Armstrong carried out the duties of M.C. Buffet suppers were served during the evening.

Page 38

Civic Ball 23.Nov.1973

What was probably the last Civic Ball to be organised by Mel- tham Council was held in Meltham Hall on the 23rd Nov. The hall had been attractively decorated with flowers and ever greens for this twenty-Second annual ball.There were banks of blooms and foliage on the staircase,and around the stage was a rockery and a minature fountain. At the entrance was an arbour where the Chairman of the Coun- cil(Clr. the Rev.Conrad Stott) and Mrs Stott welcomed the guests The magnificent flower display was the work of the Meltham Coun cil gardener (Mr.Fred Bennungton)and his staff.assisted by Mr.A. Firth.The hall was also festooned with coloured lights,and decor- ations which were the work of Mr.T.G.H.Wiley of Bradford. The guests present included the Mayor and Mayoress of Spenborough Ald.K.Sowden and Mrs.Sowdenand chairmen of the following Councils Clr.H.Senior(Colne Valley) and Mrs Senior,Clr G.H.Keen(Kirkburton and Mrs.Keen,Clr.J.Collier (Saddleworth) and Mrs.Collier,Mrs E.F. Coombes (Holmfirth) and Mr.Coombes,Mr.David Clark(MP for Colne Valley)and Mrs.Clark.Ald R.Hartley(Huddersfield) and Mrs.Hartley Ald.Mrs.Jessie Smith,Mr.R.Marshall( David Brown Tractors) and Mrs Marshall,Supt.S.Boothroyd (West Yorkshire Constabulary) and Mrs. Boothroyd,Mr.D.Fishburn (Midland Bank) and Mrs.Fishburn,Mr.H. Brammald(Huddersfield Lions Club) and Mrs.Brammald and Mr.B. Ormshaw(Clerk to Meltham Council) and Mrs.Ormshaw. About 200 guests danced to music provided by "The Olefs" and during the interval music was provided on the electric organ by Mr.Rodney Pearson.MC's were Mr.and Mrs Colin Smith. There was buffet supper.


Page 39

Parish Status for Meltham December 1973

The Secretary of State for the Rippon, this week announced Parish status for 27 small towns,among them Holmfirth.Meltham,Kirkburton and Saddleworth,and they will take over as the old councils go out of existence next April 1974. The statement form the Minister explained that to provide con- tinuity,the same council members would become the new Parish Councillors."And they may entitle the parish town in which the chairman is designated the Town Mayor"it stated."The powers of Successor Parish councils"the statement went on,"will be the same as for parish councils generally and will thus include the new added by the Local Goverment Act 1972,notably the right to see all applications for planning permission and comment on them-— a right for which the existing parishes have been campaigning for over a decade.

Page 41

Meltham Parish Council Civic Ball 7th December 1974

The first Civic Ball since becoming a Parish Council,was held in the Civic Hall,Meltham on Fiday 7th December. Councillor R.Rowley(Chairman,Meltham Town Council) and Mrs Rowley invited special guests which included Coun.S.Webb(chair- man Holmfirth Parish Council)Mr.Richard Wainwright(M.P.for Colne Valley) and Mrs.Wainwright.

Page 42

Meltham Civic Ball Friday 5th December 1975

The Mayor and Mayoress of Kirklees,Clr. and Mrs Bill Gregory, and the Chairman of Kirkburton(Clr.A.Lockwood),Holmfirth (Clr.R. Hawksworth) and Saddleworth (Clr.W.R.Wheeler) Parish Councils, with their wives,were among the guests at Meltham Civic Ball held at Meltham Hall on Friday evening. The Chairman of Meltham Town Council,Clr.Mrs Joan Jollans and her husband Mr.W.M.Jollans,received the 200 guests,who also inclu ded Clr.Stuart Webb Meltham and Holmfirth Ward representative on Kirklees Council,and Mr.H.H.Kellett.Clerk to Meltham Town Council Music for dancing was provided by the Modern Dance Quintet,Mr. Rodney Pearson(organist) and Mr.Jabger(drums).and the first dance after midnight was an anniversary waltz to mark the wedding anni- versary of Mr.and Mrs.Tony Dixon of Pioneer Farm.

Picture from left Mrs Kellett,Mr.H.H.Kellett,Mrs M.Will- iams Mr.W.M.Jollans and Clr.Mrs Joan Jollans

Page 43

Meltham Civic Ball Friday 10th December 1976

Deputy Mayor of Kirklees,Coun.Jack Brook and the chairmen of Holmfirth,Kirkburton and Saddleworth Parish Councils were Quests of Coun,John W.Roberts,chairman of Meltham Town Council,and Mrs. Roberts at the Council's thitd Civic Ball on Friday. Floral decorations and Christmas trimmings gave Meltham Hall a traditionally festive air for the occasion and music to suit all tastes was provided by Lewis Hill and his Music and Steve Perri- man Entertainments disco sound. A buffet supper was served during the evening and Mr.J.Dawson was an enthusiastic master of ceremonies.

Page 44

Melthams Civic Ball 1977

The Assistant Mayor of Kirklees,Clr.Mrs.Elizabeth one of the guests at the Meltham Civic Ball at Meltham Hall. The 150 guests at the ball were entertained by the Sounds Tijuana Band.The master of ceremonies was Mr.J.Dawson. It is the fourth ball given by Meltham Town Council and other guests included Supt.A.Atkins,of the West Yorkshire Constabulary Colne Valley M.P. Mr.Richard Wainwright,managing director od David Brown Tractors Ltd.Mr,John Goymore,Mr.Geoff.Earnshaw,Chair- man of Kirkburton Parish Council and Mr.Bernard Cook chairman of Holme Valley Council.

Page 45

Meltham's Civic Ball November 1978

Coun.Stephen Reid,chairman of Meltham Town Council and his wife Coun.Mrs Virginia Reid,welcomed guests at the annual civic ball, held at Meltham Hall. Amongst the Guests.were the Assistant Mayor and Mayoress of Kirklees,Coun.Mrs Harwood and Mrs B.Thackray,Coun.Mrs.Mrs Dorothy Webb chairman of Holme Valley Parish Council and Coun.Stuart Webb chairman of Kirkburton Parish Council,Coun.Leonard Drake and Mrs. Drake,chairman of Denby Dale Parish Council,Coun.Frank Smith and Mrs.Smith.Rev.John Beech former Methodist Minister at Meltham,and Mrs Beech and Mr.and Mrs R.Marshall,representing David Brown Trac tors. A cabaret spot by Meltham Majorettes was a highlight of the evening and music for dancing was by the Phil Douglas Band.

Page 46

Meltham Civic Ball-or Dinner?

The cash loss on the 1976 Ball prompted,a rethink of the formal of next years event. Mr.H.H.Kellett,Clerk of the Council,suggested that a dinner, with a limited number of tickets should be arranged. Clr.J.W.Roberts,Chairman said that the previous year the ball had resulted in an appreciable profit.The price of tickets this year had been based on a "full house" but as this had fallen Short there had been a deficit. Mr.Kellett pointed out that the deficit had been covered by the previous year's profit. Clr.H.Bastow said that by next year the financial climate might have altered and he thought it was too early to make any decision. Clr Mrs J.Jollans said the alteration of the date from the last Friday in November to December might have affected the att- endance.

Meltham Civic Dinner Feb.1980

Meltham Town Council Civic Dinner is likely to be scrapped be- cause of differences over dates. Only one date was suitable before the end of the council's year in May for the traditional annual social event. But the date-Friday March 2lst clashes with a planned public meeting to discuss low flying aircraft over Melthan. Originally a civic ball was to held at Meltham Hall in Novem-— ber but it was decided to postpone the event until early 1980. Councillors decided to have a civic dinner at Durker Roods Hotel on Friday March 14th.But the hotel was booked up so the dinner had to be put back a week until March

Page 47

Meltham Christmas Eve 1950

On Christmas Eve carol singers from Meltham Methodist and Bapt- ist Churches joined in the Market Place and were supported by a record crowd.At midnight the Christmas Hymn and carols were sung under the conductorship of Mr.C.Taylor.An illuminated Christmas Tree was provided by Meltham Council for the first time in the Market Place for the occasion.

Christmas 1952

A giant fir tree,gay with coloured lights and tinsel,will adorn Meltham's Market Place.After the lights have been officially swi- tched on by the Councils chairman(Coun.E.Greenhalgh)schoolchildren will sing carols round the tree.At midnight on Christmas Eve.Melt- ham Nonconformist churches will hold a carol service in the same place.

Christmas 1953

For the fourth year in succession Meltham Council have pro- vided a Christmas Tree,In the past the tree has been sited in the Meltham Market Place,but with the alterations which have taken place,including the provision of an elongated island with two traffic bollards,there is no room now for the tree and a new site was found in the south-east corner of Meltham church- yard. The lights on the tree were officially switched on ,on the 18th Dec. in the afternoon by the chairman of Meltham Council,

Page 49

Late Mr.Robert Charles Ashton Died 4th March 1997

Robert Charles Ashton,was born in Louth,Lincolnshire,on March 14th 1920.His father was the accountant for Louth Borough Council and his great uncle was Louth's Mayor on three "Bob" who he is known by,left school at 14 and started work as an errand boy for a grocery store in the town.He gave up groceries and became an electrical fitter's mate,but when the job threat- ened to take him to Scapa Flow,he remembered a relative talking about being in service. He applied for a post at Meltham Hall,and started work as a valet there in 1937,for Mrs Esther Hirst,which brought him to Meltham. With the outbreak of war he joined the R.A.F.The same year as he married his wife Audrey at St.James's Church,Meltham Mills. Towards the end of 1942,he was given a posting into industry,he was sent to David Brown's Engineering works,where he worked until 1943,spent six months with a bomber squadron,and was then posted to South East Asian Command,being demobbed in 1946,and was immed- iately taken on again by David Brown's Tractors,and it was there he first became involved in politics joining the Frade Union and Labour Party,and eventually being elected shop steward for the assembly department,a position he held for 29yrs until 1981,when he took early retirement. In 1952,his name was put forward for the Urban District Coun- cil of Meltham,and was successful in being elected,so started a life-time of public service to the people of Meltham.He was elec- ted Chairman of the Council in 1963,1969,and later the Parish Council in 1979 and 1996.He had served on all the Council Comn-

Page 51

Sir William Ramsden's Will llth Jan.1929

Sir William Ramsden,of Marshfield,Huddersfield,president of the Halifax Building Society,senior partner in Messrs Ramsden,Sykes and Ramsden,solicitors Huddersfield who died on Oct.22nd 1928 aged 7l,left £29,790 12s.9d. He directed that a copy of his will be printed and a print supp- lied to each beneficiary who may desire one.The bequests included £10 each to the following instititions. The Huddersfield Cinderella Society, Huddersfield Police Court Mission,Huddersfield Home for Crippled Children,Huddersfield Deaf and Dumb Society,Huddersfield Blind Society Huddersfield Victoris Sick Nurses.Huddersfield branch of the League of Nations,Hudders- field British Union, Dr.Barnardo's Homes,Solicitors Benevolent InstitutionSecular Education League,Workers Education Association National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children,Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to animals. Other bequests are subject to other legacies,the residue of the property is left to his wife for life.On her death he gives £500 to the executors for institutions and societies for the assistance of soliers and sailors disabled by the war.and £500 to the Urban Council of Meltham,in trust for the aged poor.

Sir Maxwell's parents and grandparents once lived in Meltham His grandfather,the late Mr.James Ramsden,some 100yrs ago was a woollen manufacturer and occupied Newbridge Mills,Meltham (more familarly known in those days as "Pana Mills") Mr James had a lot of sons and those best known were the late Sir William who was remembered with the bequests to the old people of Meltham;the late Mr.Robet Ramsden,founder of Messrs Robert Ramsden& Co,stockbrokers of Huddersfield;and the late Mr.Arthur Ramsden,father of Sir Max- well Ramsden.

Page 52

Melthams Old Folk's Tea and Concert 29th Oct.1949

People of Meltham of ages from 7Oyrs were entertained in royal fashion on Sat.29th Oct. with a tea and concert in the Meltham Schools.That the treat was possible was due to the kindness of the late Sir William Ramsden,formerly of the firm of Messrs Ram- sden,Sykes and Ramsden.of Huddersfield. Sir William a native of Meltham was born at a place of the name "Britain"and later resided with his parents at Dudd House, Meltham.He left Meltham in 1894,but always retained a warm affec- tion for the people of his native place. Sir William himself entertained the aged people of Meltham on Friday 3rd Feb.1928,on the occasion of his 7Oth birthday.He passed away in Oct. of that year. Arrangements for Saturday's function was in the hands of the Meltham Urban District Council.Four hundred and two invitations were sent out,and over 300 either attended or had tea sent to them.The councillors kindly provided an ample supply of cars to convey those unable to walk to and from the schools.The task of catering for the large assembly was tackled in capable fashion by Mr.George E.Hill of Meltham.A happy band of workers from var- ious churches and chapels in the district had the task of serv- ing tea,preparing rooms etc.Meltham Church was open for those who wished to rest between tea and concert,and Mr.John.Hirst played a pleasant programme of organ music. For the concert the school was full,and before the programme began Councillor J.W.Hollingworth,chairman of Meltham U.D.C., addressed the gathering.He said that Mr.A.M.Ramsden,nephew of the late Sir.William,was unable to be present but had asked that his regards and best wishes for a happy day should be conveyed. Councillor Hollingworth explained that Sir William left a legacy of £500 to be used for the welfare of the old and needy people of Meltham,the gift to become operative after the death of Lady Ramsden. Mr Creaser proposed a vote of thanks to the donors of the entertainment and to the Council and the staff who helped in the arrangements. Second Annual Treat 16th Sept.1950

Through the generosity of the late Sir William Ramsden,who left £500 for the welfare of the aged of Meltham,The elderly were en- tertained in the Meltham School on Saturday for the second year in succession.The affair was organised by the Meltham U.D.C.and many helpers were drawn from the various churches and chapels. The Clerk to the Council stated that 391 invitations had been sent out to people over /Oyrs and upwards. Tea and concert was provided.

Third Annual Treat 22nd Sept 1951 Through the generosity of the late Sir William Ramsden,the eld- erly were entertained for the third year to a tea and concert in the Meltham School.Councillor H.Hirst Welcome the guests said that 400 invitations had been sent out but only 269 tickets had been collected,and 63 teas sent out.he also welcomed Mr.Max.Ramsden,a nephew of the late Sir William.Giving the state of the "Ramsden Bequest Fund"as it was before the party that day,he said the Coun- cil had £312 3s 2d left.Each of the previous parties had cost £90 to £100,so after this year's party was paid for there would be about £200 left,so he thought there would be one more party for certain.The Council decided,when they first got the money,that after they had spent £400 they would consider how to use the last £100 Mr.Ramsden,who was warmly received on rising,said he was pleased to be present to see his uncles wishes put into practice.

Page 53

Fifth Annual Treat 3rd Oct.1953 Clr.M.H.Kaye(chairman of Meltham Council),welcomed the guests explained that the £500 bequest made by the late Sir William Ram- sden for the welfare of the aged of Meltham,from which the costs of this and the four previous treats had been met,was now almost absorbed,but he thought that a way would be found for the event to be continued.

Sixth Annual Treat 2nd Oct.1954 Through the generosity of the late Sir William Ramsden,who was born at Meltham,and left £500 for the welfare of the aged people of his native village,old people were entertained to a tea and concert for the sixth year in succession in the Meltham School on Sat.2nd Oct. The event was organised by the Meltham Urban District Council. The Clerk Mr.H.Harris and his staff,drawn from various churches chapels and other organisations in the district,worked hard so that nothing should be left undone which would add to the comfort and well-being of the guests.Mrs D.Haigh was responsible for the catering,and she put on an excellent tea.About 200 people sat down to tead and teas were sent outto about fifty persons who were not well enough to be present. Councillor Quarmby conveyed greetings from the Council,and in- toduced Sir Maxwell Ramsden to say a few words.Sir Maxwell,in his usual inimitable racy and humorous manner,said he was pleased to come back to the home of his fathers.As boys,the Ramsden family were well known as the rapscallions of the village.Sir Maxwell said he had been told that there was nothing left in the "Kitty" for next year's treat,and promised he would see what could be done in the matter amongst the Ramsden Family

Seventh Annual Treat 6th Oct.1955 Now that the bequest fund had been expended correspondence had taken place between Sir Maxwell Ramsden and Councillor J.W.Holl- ingworth.and that Sir.Maxwell had arranged with the directors of Messrs David Brown Tractors to bear the cost of the old folk's party this year.Over 230 old people were entertained at Meltham Hall on Wednesday 6th Oct.Tea was served by the company's staff under the direction of Miss B.Wilkinson and catering students of Huddersfield Technical College.Later a concert was given by the Celest Trio.Thirty teas were sent out to those unable to attend. Sir Maxwell said that he hoped another year to bring along with him TV's Lady Katherine Boyle,who was a granddaughter of his uncle the lateMr.Robert Ramsden.

Eigth Annual Treat 10 th Oct 1956 Although the funds of the Ramsden Bequest for the provision of an annual treat for the old people of Meltham have run out,the David Brown Corporation have taken over the responsibility,and about two hundred people,aged seventy or over sat down to an ex- cellent tea at Meltham Hall on Wednesday afternoon 10th Oct. Arrangements for the meal were made by Mr.J.Hallam,catering manager of the D.B.Tractors,and tea was served by the catering staff.An excellent entertainment was provided in the evening by the Celeste Trio of Bradford.

Page 54

Ninth Annual Treat 9th Oct.1957

With all expenses paid by Messrs David Brown Industries about 170 aged people were entertained at Meltham Hall on Wednesday 9th Oct. This annual treat was begun as a result of a bequest of £500 by the late Sir William Ramsden,who was born in the village.Al- though the bequest has now been used up,Messrs Brown are seeing that the treat goes on. Free transport was provided for the guests,and the firm's cat- ering staff,assisted by students,served tea. Entertainment was given by the Concord Singers.

These Annual Treats continued until 1962 all sponsored by David Browns Industries

1963 The clerk of the Council Mr.Harris submitted a letter from David Brown Tractors Ltd.suggesting that instead of their bearing the cost of an Old Folk's Treat as a continuation of the arrange- ments carried out under the Ramsden Bequest they bear the cost of giving a voucher or some other gift to the value of 10s,around Cristmas time.The firm was prepared to do this provided the Coun- cil would carry out the administration and distribution of the gifts. Mr.Harris reported that the present staff could well make all the necessary arrangements to distribute the gifts,and it was decided that the Council would be only too pleased to carry out the administration and distribution of such gifts to persons aged seventy years or over living in the district. The Clerk was instructed to inform the firm of this and also to thank them for their generous gesture in offering to continue the Ramsden Bequest in the manner suggested,but to suggest that the distribution be made in cash and not by vouchers. Mr Harris stated that old traditions died hard and the annual tea and concert would be a loss to the old people,but the gift of 10s would be very welcome.The distribution took place on Thurs

Page 55

Meltham Warship Week April 4th 1942 Re-opening of Campaign by Mr.W.Glenvil Hall M.P. Final figure for the Meltham Warship Week campaign,which ended last Saturday,is £93,508,which gives an average per head of the population of £18 10s.The aim was £55,000.The Urban District will now be allowed to “adopt"the trawler-minesweeper "Mazurka." The campaign was re-opened at the Alhambra picture House, Melthan, last Saturday by Mr.W.G.Hall M.P.for the Colne Valley Division. One of the features of the afternoons events was a ceremonial pa- rade through Meltham of the Meltham and District youth organisa- tions,led by the band of Bavid Brown Tractors.Councillor P.Matt- hews presided at the re-opening ceremony. Mr.Hall began by saying that the object of Warship Weeks was two-fold one,besides raising money,they demonstrated the unity of the people of this country,helping to hearten them for the st- ruggle that lay ahead. London had raised a vast sum during its Warship Week,but it was of far more use to the nation that places like Meltham should raise comparatively small sums.That was not only his opinion,but the opinion of the Goverment.It was the small savings of men and women like themselves which made all the diff- erence,not the huge sums which poured in from the great banks and insurance companies.The small man's money wasS new money as far as the Goverment was concerned. It was money which had not been spent in the shops,and less money spent in the shops meant a quicker victiory. A vote of thanks was accorded to Mr.Hall on the motion of Coun. G.Greenwood seconded by Coun.Arnold Haigh. Coun.A.L.Butterworth proposed a vote of thanks to the members of the Warship Week Committee and local services who had done such magnificent work for the success of the weeks campaign. Coun. Miss H.B.Haigh seconded the motion which was enthusiastically carried.Mr.J.W.Moss, hon secretary of the Warship Week Comm, responded.

Page 57

Meltham Council

Before the Local Board was elected in 1660,the running of Meltham was performed by the Lords of the Manor. In 1819 the

Page 58

Local Council Memoranda Dates 1724 July28th Mean Bridge bottom of Station St.built 1727 First School Built. 1743 Sept 13th Mean Bridge Enlarged 1761 Guide Stopps Installed 1805/7 Mean Bridge Enlarged Again 1832 Enclosure Act came into being 1845 Post Office Started 1855 Gas Works built in Station St. 1860 Local Board Elected 30th June 1861 Water Tank Sunk in Vicarage Garden for Reserve Supply 1862 May 5th Water connected to the Mains 1875 Some Gas Lamps installed 1878 Town Lamp to hurn allnight 1881 Land bought for New Reservoir on High Moor 1884 Fearn Nook Spring diverted to new reservoir 1886 Gas Works purchased by the Council 1887 Public Water Troughs Condemned 1887 Meltham Recreation Grounds opened on Nov.16th Given by

Page 59

Meltham Housing Scheme

There was a large gathering on Saturday afternoon Feb.26th 1914 to witness the stone-laying ceremony of the working class houses being built at Meltham.Councillor J.E.Mawdesley,chairman of the Urban District Council,performed the ceremony,and was supported on the platform by Dr.Gallatly,members of the Council,and repre- sentatives of the contractors. Mr.W,Carter,the clerk to the Council,expressed on behalf of the Council and the ratepayers the pleasure they had in making Coun- Mawdsley to lay the stone.Continuing he said that the twenty-two houses they were now engaged upon were part of the housing scheme which the Council had in hand,and with sufficient support the Council would be able to carry out the whole scheme.Following upon the Local Goverment Board inquiry of last year the Board had give the Council permission to borrow £5,500,with which to purchase five and a half acres of land,and to carry out the drainage and streetmaking for the twenty-two houses.Complaints had been made about the smallness of the houses,but he confidently asserted that when finished they would be both substantial and convenient. If there was a demand for more of them,the Council might then decide to build some bigger houses. Mr.Frank Abbey of Messrs J.B.Abbey and Sons then handed a sil- ver trowel to Coun.Mawdesley and Mr.John Butterworth,of Messrs J.Moorhouse and Sons,also handed him a mallet inlaid with silver with which to perform the ceremony. Coun.Mawdesley thanked the architects and the masons for their handsome presents.He thought the occasion was a fitting one on which to enlighten them on what had been done by their represen- tatives during the past generation.The waterworks were acquired by them at considerable trouble and at a cost of

Page 60

Meltham Housing Scheme cont

Mr.W.Brook vice-chairman of the Council proposed a vote of thanks to Mr.Mawdesley.They could not he said,have selected a better site.There would always be a plentiful supply of fresh air and sunshine surrounding the houses,which was most important in the interest of people's health.He had spent twenty-three years of his life in a cellar dwelling,and was therefore able to appre- ciate the luxury of modern houses.It was the duty of the commun- ity to see that the people were comfortably and properly housed, and that was their Council's intention. Councillor H.Holroyd briefly seconded,and the motion was carried with acclamation,Councillor Mawdesley suitably responding. Later the members of the Council and officials were entertained to dinner at the Rose and Crown Hotel by Councillor Mawdesley,and a capital repast was provided by the landlord. The contractors are :-Joiners Garlick Bros,Meltham;masons John Moorhouse and Sons;streets and sewers Fred Farnshaw;concreting, J.and J.Mellor;plumber Ainley,Slaithwaite;surveyor and architects J.B.Abbey and Sons;painter Lewis Armitage;slater,A.Peake,Meltham.

Page 61

Housing at Meltham Feb 26th 1913

At the Urban District Council Meeting on Monday Evening,the plans of twenty-two houses to be built by the Council at Broad- lands were passed and the clerk was instructed to apply to the Local Goverment Board for powers to borrow £6,000 to carry out the scheme. April 7th the fortnightly meeting of the Council,a letter was read from the Local Goverment Board with reference to the Council's application for sanction to a loan of £6,000 for the erection of working class dwellings,and stating that before deciding upon the application the Board would hold an inquiry.They also asked for full partculars of the scheme,and for a full statement as to how the amount of the loan was made up. A telegram was read from the Local Goverment Board fixing the date of the inquiry for the evening of the

Page 62

Housing at Meltham cont.

only two bedrooms,139 with one bedroom,and the total number of houses in the district was 1,300.The wages earned in the locality were:-Spinners,30s to 40s,per week;bobbin turners 25s.,piecers and menders 20s.,labourers and dyers 22s.,woodyard men 22s., and girls from 10s. to 20s. Mr.F.W.Littlewood,surveyor and sanitary inspector said there were in Meltham eight cellar dwellings with bedrooms on the grou- nd floor,and all were inhabited.There were other premises which he would not like to live himself.Roughly speaking there were twenty dilapidated houses in the district.Lodgers came into the district and caused overcrowding.He knew of one case where a bed- room and a living room were occupied by a man,his wife,three child- ren,and two lodgers.It is quite a common practice to divide the bedrooms with curtains only.That was all that divided the girls from the boys as a rule. Mr.Frank Abbey,a member of the firm of Messrs J.B.Abbey and Son architects and surveyors,Huddersfield who had prepared the plans of the proposed houses,was the last witness.He stated that the proposed site(behind the Baptist Chapel,and known as Broadlands), was a very good one.He considered that 4s to 4s.6d.could be ob- tained as rent,and 4s.3d. was a very reasonable rent.He consid- ered that an allowance of 10s,per house per year for maintenance and repairs was reasonable.The houses would be composed of three bedrooms,a living room,and a scullery,with bath.The land was av- ailable at 43d per uard freehold.As a business man he would ad- vise the Council to take it all. The inquiry closed with a vote of thanks to the Inspector.

Page 63

Meltham Sewerage Works Application for Sanction to Borrow £600 Local Government Board Inquiry Tuesday May 20th 1913

Mr A.W.Brightmore,Local Government Board inspector,held an inquiry at the Meltham Town Hall this morning into the appli- cation by the Meltham Urban District Council for sanction to borrow £600 for the extension of the sewerage works in Helme Lane.There were present Councillor J.R.Mawdsley(chairman of the Council),the clerk to the Council (Mr. William Carter), the sanitary inspector (Mr.F.W.Littlewood),the inspector of the West Riding County Council (Mr.H.M.Kershaw),and Messrs J.B.Abbey and F.Abbey of(Messrs Abbey and Son,engineers) The Clerk read out the follow ing figures:-Area of Melthan, 5,134 acres;population,in 1911 5,159,in 1901 5,000;inhabited houses at the last census,1,297;average number of persons per dwelling,3.95;rateable value,£26,656;assessavle

Page 65

Meltham Presentation Long and Faithful Services of Mr.William Carter Recognised

At a meeting of the Meltham Urban District Council on Monday 18th July 1921,the services of the late clerk Mr.William Carter were recognised by the presentation to him of an enlarged photo- graph of himself. The Chairman (Coun.J.S.Quarmby)then called upon Coun.James Quarmby the oldest sitting member of the Council to make the pre- sentation. Coun.James Quarmby said he had known Mr.Carter practically all his life,and he knew him when he was courting.He had known him very intimately for the last 17 or 18 yrs.and had always found him very straight and helpful and willing to give advice.They were sorry to lose such a very valuable servant,and he was sure if Mr. Carter was spared-which he hoped he would be for a long time yet he would at all times be willing to give them his advice if req- uired. Mr.Carter,in returning thanks,said that after an unbroken period of 40 years service,first as clerk to the Local Board,and then clerk to the Urban District Council,he could not sever his connec- tion without a deep feeling of regret and thankfulness.Mr.Carter went on to give a resume of the various projects that had been carried out during his term of office,and after heartily thanking them for the gift,requested that the Council accept the photo to be hung in the Council room of the building for which he was the architect. Coun.J.S.Quarmby said such occasions always took one into the past,and brought back recollections of the momentous times when Mr.Carter and himself had been brought to-gether on the township business.He thanked Mr.Carter for the photo as an adornment to the Council Chamber,and he invited him to come and look at it when ever he pleased,ot to come and sit in the stragers gallery when- ever he wished. The photo is tastefully framed and bears the following inscrip- tion at the bottom;-"Presented to Mr.William Carter by the Urban District Council in recognition of 40 years faithful service as clerk to the Meltham Local Board and Urban District Council.1880 to 1920.June 1921".

Page 66

Death of Mr.William Carter

Mr.William Carter,of Station Street,Meltham died at the Bradley Lane Nursing Home on Monday 21st May 1923,after a short illness. He was operated upon for internal trouble on Thursaday last week and up to Saturday appeared to be doing well,but later he gradually grew weaker and passed away.

Page 67

Death of Mr.James Kilburn April 29th 1913

We regret to have to announce the death in his 86th year of ex- Alderman James Kilburn J.P.:which occurred on Tuesday morning at his residence,Croft House,Meltham.The deceased had been a conspi- cuous figure in the public life of the county and district for a great number of years.Born at Meltham on June 25th 1827,the decea- sed on leaving school entered the business of engineer and iron founder at the Meltham Foundry,which had been established by his grandfather, Quite early in life he interested himself in the public life of Meltham,and became a member of the first Local Board for the township and acted as chairman for a number of years Mr Kilburn was well known in the Poor-Law world.When he retired in April 1910.the Board passed the following resolution:-—-"That this Board place on record their appreciation of Mr Kilburn's valuable services for 42 years as member of the Board 22 years as chairman of the Assessment Committee,and 13 years as chairman of the Board and expresses its unfeigned regret that increasing years and phy- Sical infirmity compel him to sever his long connection".In 1898 Mr.Kilburn was elected a co-opted member of the Board and in July 1894,his colleagues on the Board in recognition of his valuable work,presented him with a full length portrait in oils,which now hangs in the Boardroom."The inscription at the foot of the port- rait is as follows:- "Presented to James Kilburn Esq.J.P.,C.A,FOR many years chairman of the Huddersfield Union,by the members of the Board of Guardians of the Huddersfield Union,elected and ex- officio Union officisls and other friends." A replica of the port- rait was also presented to Mr.Kilburn,and this hangs in one of the rooms at Croft House.At the same time Mr Kilburn was presented with an illuminated address which paid a vey high tribute to his services.Mr Kilburn was an expert valuer,and his judgement was very highly valued by the members of the Assessment Committee.The first members elected to represent the Honley division on the County Council in 1889 was Sir Thomas Brooke.When that getleman was elected an alderman the vacancy was filled by the election of Mr Kilburn.Some years later Mr.Kilburn was also elected an alder- man,and he only retired a few years ago.Greatly interested in the building society movement,he was elected a director of the Halifax Permanent Benefit Building Society in 1887 and from 1899 to 1908 he was president of the society.On his retirement,after nearly 22 years service,he was presented with an illuminated address and a large photograph,which now hangs in the Board room.In January 1894,Mr Kilbirn was added to the commission of the peace for the West Riding,but in recent years was not often seen on the local Bench. He was promanently identified with the old Meltham institutions including the Carlile Institute and for many years he acted as a member of the committee.In religion he was a Baptist and attended the Baptist Chapel at Meltham.In politics he was a Liberal.The deceased gentleman leaves three sons and five daughters.The busi- ness will be carried on by Mr,John and Mr.Leonard Kilburn.In 1900 Mr.and Mrs Kilburn celebrated their golden wedding,but in the following year Mrs Kilburn,who was a daughter of the late Mr.Far- rar,of Slaithwaite passed away.

The funeral took place in Meltham Church yard Friday May 2nd in the afternoon amid many manifestations of sympathy and respect The flags at the Town Hall and the Conservative and Liberal Clubs were at half mast,and many Meltham people witnessed the interment A service was taken at Croft House by the Rev.A.E.Bach(Baptist minister)and the Rev.Canon How,M.A.(vicar) officiated in the chu- rch and at the graceside. The principal mourners were Mr.John Kilburn(son)Mr.Leonard Kil- burn(son) Misses Charlotte and Katie Kilburn(daughters) Mr and MRS Rennards and daughter and son-in-law,Mrs Davis (daughter)

Miss J.Davies G/daughter,Mr E.James and Mr George Kilburn, grandsons

Page 69



COMMUNITY As written in the Holmfirth Express April 25th 1970

Page 70


In 1900, Meltham Sitica

’ thi time there was one kiin and pro- bably a dozen men The stone used by the Fire brick Company was the quartzite rock a Ov and Is only three years since the quarry ceased lo be used by the firm, Before the 1914-1918 war the company developed and became keenly competiuve, and during this period Meltham initiated and ecame: pioneers in the produc- tion

Page 71


Meltham Mills Church had quite a long in

Page 73

Safeway's Supermarket

In August 1998 plans were submitted for a Super Market on land at the bottom of Station Street once owned by the railway company and David Brown tractors now owned by Sheffield based Dransfield Properties. Many Meltham residents welcome the prospect of a new store in their village so said local councillors when Meltham Town Counci- llors were discussing the plans to built the supermarket.A Safe- way trailer was to be at hand, to Stage a public exhibition of the plans in Carlile Street Carpark on Thursday Aug 13th 1998, Meltham traders agreed to set about fighting the plans at their monthly meeting,including the launch of a petition seeking signa- tures from shop customers.Objectors say the new supermarket could put other traders out of business-and would bring traffic conges- tion to the village Shoppers gave plans for a new supermarket the thumbs up when they went went to look at the plans,More then 70 people arrived in the first 30 minutes to see the proposals Despite strong opposition from existing retailers who fear the supermarket will result in loss of trade.The plan got the go- ahead in March 1999,the backers believe the store is the best bet for revitalising a run-down part of the village,creating local jobs and attracting more visitors. Major excavation work to clear the way for the £13m super-market got under way when Clr John Bakanoba,chairman of Melthem Town Cou- ncil cut the first sod by means of a mechanical digger on Friday 30th April 1999.Diggers then moved on to the site of theformer. railway atation,David Brown tractor factory at Scar Bottom to prepare for a 15,000 sq.ft. Supermarket. The steel frame having been completed by builders who arrived on Site at the end of April,work on the stone walls of the 15,000 sq. ft store is also well under way,which was helped by lengthy spell of good weather. A spokesman for Dransfield said"the project was providing approx 200 building jobs,and the new store will also bring 150 new retail posts when it opens in December. The development includes a petro station,parkingfor 150 cars, a coffee shop,toilets and baby changing facilities. Work on a floodlit footpath to the store should be completed in October,this will extend to Near Lane and Station Street. On Tuesday 16th November 1999,Children from Meltham Junior and Infant School buried a Time Capsule under the front entrance of the Supermarket in the village at 11.00 a.m. Pupils filled it with items which will show future citizens what life was like in 1999,They included a newapaper,poems written by the children,a Tellytubbies magazine and coins adding up to how much it cost,fax paper,Huddersfield Town maga zine and a School sweatshirt.One child from each class was invited to the store to help bury the capsule. As a thank you for getting involved in the project,the store manager Tom Golden presented headteacher Maggie McClean with a cheque. Then on Tuesday 30th November 1999 at 9.00 O'clock the store was opened by Kirklees Mayor Clr Harry Fox,assisted by Jason Smith a pupil from Meltham School,after a few speeches by various people and gifts handed out to members of the staff for work done

Page 75

The Grand Old Man of Meltham Taken from the Colne Valley Guardian 30 jan 1903

Sir,-With your permission I should like to broach a subject that has laid heavily on my mind for some time past,and will I feel sure appeal strongly to every ratepayer in the happy valley of Meltham.With communities,as with individuals,it is a common failing to delay the adequate appreciation of the work of a public benefactor until he is dead.Would it not be a more graceful and grateful recognition of the sterling worth and benefactions of Mr.Edward Brook,if some commemorative monument could be

Page 76

Lockwood and Meltham Turnpike Road Feb.23rd 1861

Notice is Hereby given,that the Tolls arising at the several Toll gates,Bars and Chains upon the turnpike road from Lockwood to Mel- tham and a branch of road to Meltham Mills,all in the parish of Almonbury,in the West Riding of the county of Tork,called by sev- eral names of the Dungeon Gate,Netherton Gates abd Chain,and Hare- wood bridge Gate and Chain,will be let either by Auction or Ticket to the best bidder,for the term of one or more year or years as may be agreed on at the time of letting,and subject to such condi- tions as will be then and there produced at the house of Mr.Thomas Jennings Wigney,the George Hoel in Huddersfield on Thursday the 14th day of March next,between the hours of three and five o'clock in the afternoon in the manner directed by the general Turnpike Act or Acts of Parliament which Tolls produced the last year,on being let during past therof,and in the hands of the trustee's during the residue therof,in the sum of £812 ds,2d and will be put up at that summ.A deposit of £20 will be required from each person intending to become a bidder.

Page 77

Toll-Gates on the Old Lockwood to Meltham Road

Three Hundred yards or so beyound Lockwood Viaduct,on the left hand side of the Lockwood Road to Meltham are two solid stone gat- eposts.For almost certainly these two blocks of stone are one of the few remaining relics of the old turnpike road which ran from Lockwood to Meltham,and later as far as Wessenden Head. Not only does their position coincide exactly with a toll-gate marked on the Ordnance Survey map of 1843,but supporting this evidence are two sets of cast iron hoops on each post,which in- dicate that the gate was no ordinary one,and a mile stone(since defaced as an invasion precaution)near by. The Lockwood-Meltham road became a turnpike in 1818,when pre- sumably,its poor state of repair made it necessary,for tolls to be levied to pay for its upkeep. These,it seems were collected not only near Lockwood Viaduct but at two pther points as well.For two more toll-gates are marked on the map-one 300yds beyond Netherton just by the little cottage at the bottom of Church Lane leading to South Crosland.and the other at a spot just short of the junction of the roads to Meltham and Meltham Mills known as the Bar House,(where now there is a plaque on the wall),which place was probably the far end of the payable stretch.Until 1836,that is when the turn pike was extended to Wessenden Head and more toll-gares were introduced on at the corner of Pan Lane by the old vicarage and the other at the top of Wessenden Head road by O'Cot(Wentworth Farm). Width of Wheels,over the years three separate acts were passed declaring this road out of Huddersfield a turnpike.The last one in 1852,was valid for the usual twenty-one years,so probably tolls ceased to be levid somewhere around

Page 78

Extinction of the Meltham Turnpike Trust and Tolls May 9th 1874

There were three toll bars along the Lockwood and Meltham turn pike road,the first was about three hundred yards Meltham side of the Lockwood viaducts,next at the bottom of Church Lane,South Crosland,and the last at Junction of Meltham Mills Road and Hudd- ersfield Road,Harewood Mount,Meltham. For several years the larger proportion of the expense of re- pairing the Lockwood and Meltham turnpike road,has been borne by the ratepayers of the various hamlets through which the road passes.This has been considered a great hardship,especially when the ratepayers were saddled with an additional tax,in the shape of tolls to support the trust.Some months ago it was understood by a letter from the clerk to the trustees of the road,that it was not their intention to apply for the renewal of the trust, and this gave general satisfaction to the public.Ultimately,how- ever,it oozed out that the trustees did intend to renew the trust and had made application to the Local Goverment Board,in London, for that purpose.Immediately on this becoming known,the opponents of the tolls and tollbars put themselves into communication with the London Board,the result of which was that on Thursday last Mr.Edward Brook of Meltham Hall,on behalf of the Meltham Mills firm of Jonas Brook and Brothers,accompanied by Mr.John Freeman their solicitor,and Mr.James Kilburn on behalf of the Meltham Lo- cal Board proceeded to London to oppose the trust being renewed. The renewal of Turnpike Trusts Committee of the House of Commons with Lord George Cavendish as chairman,met on Fiday morning to hear applications for renewal.When the above gentlemen appeared in the committee room they there found Mr.George Armitage,chair- man of the Lockwood and Meltham trust,Mr.J.H.Abbey the surveyor, and Mr.Edgar Fenton,solicitor to the trustees,prepared to make the application for the trust to be renewed.The committee having decided only to hear one gentleman on each side,Mr.Abbey spoke on behalf of the trust,during which he stated that the tolls were likely to decrease in the value of their income,and that the three toll-houses with the bars,were not worth more altoget- her than £40.0n being questined as to the amont of tolls received during the past three years,he admoitted that the tolls received in 1871 amounted to about £145,and in 1872 the receipts were £155 while in 1873 it had risen to £185.0n behalf of the Meltham Local Board and Messrs Brook,the opponents statements were placed be- fore the committee by Mr.Kiburn;and at the conclusion of the en- quiry the committee refused to recommend Parliament to renew the Act,which expires on the 3lst of October next.They ordered the final extinction of the tolls and the removal of the toll-bars etc.,at the end of the 3lst of December of the present year. Immediately on the decision of the committee being delivered,the welcome newsS was at once telegraphed to Meltham,where it was re- ceived with unbiunded pleasure.It was computed that the traffic of Messrs Jonas Brook and Brothers to and from Meltham Rilway Station to their works amounted to between 13,000 and 14,000 tons per annum,and if the whole of that traffic passed through the Har- wood bar chain-which is the nearest way-the cost to that firm would amount to about £113 per annum.Instead of going that route the contractors went round,cutting up the Meltham roads very much The more stress was laid upon this from the fact that the above in conjunction with the Local Board,have been at an expense of over £1,000 in setting the road from the mills to the junction of Harwood Bar. The

Page 79

Meltham Mills Toll Bar House

In 1818 the Lockwood-Meltham Road, became a

Page 80


Page 81

Sickness and Accident Aid

Page 82

Sickness and Aid cont Then on the 2nd Jan.1962 at the Annual meeting of the Association held in Meltham Church Vestry. The association,which was formed fifty years ago,had,said the chairman,done in valuable work in providing food and money to the disabled.He questioned however,whether in the days of the Welfare State it was of as much benefit as it had been at its inception. After some discussion it was decided that the people of Meltham should be consulted on this point,and if so,if they still had need for them.

As District Nurse for Meltham for 30yrs Nurse F.M.Burdett,having to attend patients in many parts of that hilly district,walked thousands of miles.Yesterday 3lst July 1953 she had leisure to do as she pleased,for now she has retired.Nurse Burdett,who had been trainened as a Queens Nurse at Liverpool,went to Meltham in 1923, there were no buses in that area,so for the first ten years there she had to walk an average of eight miles a day.In 1938 she was presented for the use of her and another nurse a car given by Mrs T.J.Hirst of Meltham Hall.So now that she has handed in her uni- form she intends to remain in Meltham at 50 Calmlands,as it has been for the past 30yrs. Later at a meeting of the Association she was presented with a Westminster chiming click and a monetary gift.The clock bears the inscription"Presented to Nurse Burdett by the people of Meltham in appreciation of her loyal and devoted service over a period of 30 years,1923-1953." Miss Haigh made the presentation

Page 83

Meals on Wheels Service

A Public meeting was convened by Meltham Urban District Council on the 25th Feb.1964 in the Civic Hall,to consider the inauguration of a "Meals on Wheels Service"in Meltham.There was a good atten- dance which included representatives of various organisations in the village. Councillor R.C.Ashton (Chairman of the Meltham U.D.C) presided and said he was pleased to see so many people present.He said the Council had been approached by the Medical and Nursing Staff in Meltham to get this scheme going,as there were people in Meltham suffering from malnutrition. Mr.H.Harris(clerk to the Council),explained the scheme.He said that the County Council was the welfare authotity and responsible for the welfare of the elderly people.Under this proposed new service they thought in dozens and not in hundreds.They got to know people who needed the service from the local Medical Officer of Health,the health visitor,nursing service and the welfare officer. It was proposed to supply hot meals on two days per week and the meals would be provided from a central point in the village, preferably from an existing industrial canteen.The meals would be distributed in cars and this question of transport was one of the chief problems. The cost of the service was to be bourne in three ways 1-By the County Council,who paid for the cost of providing the meal,less one shilling paid by each of the recipients;2-Local Voluntary Service to provide time and labour in distributing the meals and cleansing the containers,3-The Local District Council to provide milage allowance for the cars used, Mr.Harris stressed the point that this was a sevice which once started,had to be kept going,and it was therefore essential to provide in the first place plenty of car drivers and mates to ensure that the service would continue.It was expected that the service would start by providing meals for 12 elderly people on two days per week,as they were advised not to be too ambitious at the start. The Chairman appealed to the people of Meltham to provide cars and asked people who wished to volunteer to give their names in a the Town Hall. The matter was put in the hands of the following committee;Mrs J.S.Robinson(secretary),Mr Arthur Riley(treasurer) along with Councillor R.C.Ashto,Councillor Mrs J.R.Kirby,Councillor H.Fisher Mrs D.Haigh,Mrs A.R Bray,Messrs Geoffrey H.Crowther and R.Brook with power to co-opt.

Page 84

Meltham Pensioners' Luncheon Club

An extension of the Meltham Meals on Wheels service was inau- gurated on Wednesday 22nd Dec.1965,when a luncheon club fot the elderly people was held for the first time in Meltham Civic Hall. Started eighteen months ago when twelve meals were taken out each week to people in the village,the Meals on Wheels service now serves 36 lunches each week. There were thirty people present for lunch at the inauguration of the luncheon club and a meal of turkey followed by christmas pudding had been prepared in the kitchens of David Brown Tractors canteen. Afterwards the pensioners were entertained with carols sung by Meltham Girl Guides.Before they left each received the gift of a packet of tea. The idea of the club is that able-bodied pensioners are provided with a lunch each week and given the opportunity to meet other other people of similar age and enjoy a chat.In this way some of the loneliness which many old people feel will be alleviated. The cost of the meal was the same as Meals on Wheels,that is ls per person. The meals in the 1990s are prepared and collected from Meltham C of E Junior School where they are prepared alongside the school dinners for the children.Packed in heat-retaining containers. The food is swiftly transferred by car into the centre where the diners are waiting. And the willing heplers then filled up the plates of the old people who were waiting.The majority of the diners make their own way to the club,but those who can't are transported by volunteers.The cost to the diners is £1.35 each.

Page 85

Children's Playground

In July 1944,Meltham Hall Estate was given to Meltham by the family of the late Mr.and Mrs.T.J.Hirst,to perpetuate the memory of their parents.The gift included a large field lying between the Hall and the Meltham Mills Church,and the portion of this I field adjacent to Meltham Mills Road was fenced off as a child- ren's playground.It has been the intention of Meltham U.D.C. to instal apparatus suitable for children to play on,but difficul- ties in obtaining supplies has held up the work.Last Monday 16th March 1953,the first of the required equipment was installed in the playground,consisting of swings fixed on supports set in a four-inch concrete base.Further equipment will be provided as supplies become available.

Page 86

Official Opening Ceremony Coronation Bungalows at Meltham

Page 87

Meltham's "Wings for Victory" Week

Meltham Urban District's "Wings for Victory"Week the objective of which is the raising of £50.000 for ten Spitfires,began on Sat- lst May 1943,when the streets of the village were lined with pros- pective Spitfire buyers,who watched a ceremonial parade of all the services in Meltham headed by the David Brown Tractors Band. The procession marched through the streets,and arrived at the Alhambra Bicture Theatre for the "Wings"Week opening ceremony which was performed by Squadron-Leader W.E.Mulford.In addition to the Squadron Leader,the R.A.F.contingent consisted of Flight Lie- utenant W.B.Cass and Pilot Officer H.D.Quilter. Councillor R.F.Woodhead,chairman at the ceremony,read greetings telegrams. to Meltham.One from Sir Kingsley Wood,Chancellor of the Exchequer,read;"National Savings have played a vital part in sus- taining the war offensive.I look confidently to Meltham, "Wings for Victory"Week to increase still further our national resources.By spending as little as possible on our selves and lending all we can to the country we can make "Wings For Victory"a triumphant reality. Sir Archibald Sinclair Secretary of State for Air sent the following message;My best wishes for Meltham "Wings For Victory" reaching your target you have a fine opportunity to show gratitude for what the R.A.F. has done,and is doing.The task fac- ing them calls for the very best machines we can give them.These cost money.Yoy now have a chance to provide that money,and by so doing to speed our final victory. Councillor Woodhead,in his address said that the people of Mel- tham had always prided themselves on the independance of the val- ley,Meltham was a cul-de-sac,there was no road through and on the majority of its boundaries were no neighbours,only moorland.Their places of religion were all free from debt,thanks to local effort and their recreation grounds had all been purchased by their fore- fathers for freedom and for the benefit of the generations to come Now the people of that independent valley were faced with a much bigger objective,yet one which stood for that same symbol- freedom.The money of the people of Meltham was needed now to put England in the same happy postion as their own valley. Squadron-Leader W.E.Mulford stressed the importance of "Wings For Victory Weeks.The R.A.F.he said were being called upon now in all theatres of war to carry out a great amount of work,and to do that work they had got to have more and more aircraft,bombs and all manner of equipment.The more you produce from this week the sooner we shall be able to have a crack st the enemy and finally pin him down.He urged the people of Meltham to get their teeth into this new effort and raise not only £50,000 for Spitfire,but a further £50,000 for a cuople of bombers.He was,he explained,a bomber pilot. A comprehensive vote of thanks to the opener and all who had helped towards the ceremony was moved by Mr.J.W.Moss,seconded by Councillor Matthews. By Saturday night the latest total was £11,250.Todays noon total was £14,500. On Sunday 28th December at Meltham Alambra the result of the Wings for Victory Week was commemorated by the presentattion by Wing Commander Redman of a plaque to Councillor R.F.Woodhead, Chairman of the Meltham Council.In making the presentation Wing Commander Redman said he was asked by the Air Ministry and the Air Council to thank the people of Meltham for the keen interest they took in the "Wings For Victory" Week when against a target of £50,000 they raised the splendid total of £65,000 or enough money to purchase thirteen Spitfires.Councillor Woodhead said that the gift would be highly treasured. Councillor John Hollingworth then presented to Wing-Commander Redman an aircraft

Page 89

Meltham Wings for Victory Week

The Meltham Urban District has gained its "Wings " for the total} amount invested during the local "Wings for Victory"Week was £64,122 5s 6d.The targat figure was £50,000,the cost of ten Spit- fires. On the occasion of the final opening ceremony,on Saturday 7th May 1943,there was a parade of local youth organisations.The cer- emony,held at Meltham Alhambra Picture Theartre,which was crowded was performed by youth representatives. There was a further meeting at the Alhambra Picture Theatre on the Sunday night,when a Ministry of Information speaker,Major F.J.Ney M.C.,GAVE AN Address on "The Great Crusade"after which three special films were screened,Councillor R.F.Woodhead, presided Saturday's procession at Meltham included members of the A.T.C, Army Cadets,Scouts,A.R.P.Messengers,Nursing Cadets and the Service of the Youth movement.It was formed opposite the Town Hall and headed by David Brown Tractors Band,it proceeded via Station St. Broadlands,Spark Green and Golcar Brow to the Alhambra Theatre,which had been placed at the disposal of the Savings Committee by Mr.Fred Haigh,Police-constable Barham was the marshal for the procession. Councillor A.Haigh presiding at the opening ceremony,intro- duced the young people who were participating,and said that the Savings committee had acted very wisely in asking the young people to officiate The youth who took part were Scouts

Page 90

Meltham Tennis Courts

Meltham Urban District Council have had laid two new tennis courts in Meltham Hall Park,and the official opening took place on Wednesday evening the 5th July 1961 before a very large gathering The opening was performed by Councillor J.Steel,chairman of the Council,and Councillor H.Fisher chairman of the Housing and Planning

Page 91

Greenacres Residential Home

The new £76,623 Greenacres residential home for the elderly at Meltham was officially opened on Tuesday 16th July 1968,by the chairman of the West Riding County Council(County-Ald.Maj.J.H.Hud- son) Ald Hudson said there were 462 old peoples homes in the West Riding,with a total membership of 50,567.There were also 140 meal services.Some of these services might have to be restricted owing to the national financial position.But I hope what may have to be done will be no more than slowing down of the present expansion, and that before many years are passed we shall be on an even keel Ald.Hudson said he was glad he had lived to see that some rec-

Page 92

Rifle Corps

Meltham can at last,owing to the untiring energy of a few of its gentry,boast of its rifle corps.Amongst the gentlemen con- Spicuous in the early formation of the corps were Charles Brook, jun.Edward Brook,Major Carlile and Captain Gooddy.On Wednesday 14th October 1868 the men assembled at their drill room,the National School,Meltham,for the purpose of being attested or "Sworn in".They were first put through a short drill,under the Superintendence of Adjutant Chichester,of Huddersfield;after which,Major Carlile and Captain Gooddy proceeded to swear in all members present,to the number of about forty-five.The company was then marched to the Oddfellow's Hall,under the command of Captain Gooddy,preceded by the Meltham Mills Band.At the hall supper had been provided for the band and all the volunteers who had been "sworn in."A blessing having been asked by the Rev.C.S.Green of Helme,the men set to in right good earnest,and if they only proved as willing and as effective with the rifle,as the knife and fork, Meltham may look forward to possessing one of the smartest corps in Yorkshire.A special table had been provided for the officers and friends,at which were present the Rev.C.S.Green,Major Carlile Capt.Gooddy,Lieut.E.Brook(Yeomanry),Lieut.T.S.Hirst,Abel Thewlis, and J.Allen.Supper being over,and thanks having been returned by Mr.Green,Captain Gooddy called for an address from Major Carlile, who said"It was a happy day for him to be able to say he was the first man to address the Meltham Rifle Volunteers on this their first muster.He said"first muster" because,although they had met together many times before,they were only volunteers in name;but now,having solemnly sworn allegiance to her Majesty,they were volunteers in reality.It was,indeed,noble of any man to come vol- untarily forward abd say he was ready to defend his country and his Queen,and he was glad to see that Meltham contained more than forty such loyal spirits.They had heard a great deal about Napol- eon and his doings;how he was placed on the throne by an enormous army,and kept there by an army;and what difficulty he had in res- training the ardour of his soldiers for war.At one time it was thought that his attention was directed towards England,and that too,at a time when by the absence of our regular forces,we were almost in a defenceless postion.But what did the people of England do ? Why,in almost every town throughout the country Volunteer Corps were formed,to defend their homes.And this force,raised un- der those circumstances,has proved to be our bulwark from foreign invasion,and it was the duty of every man to enrole himself,so as to be ready when required.He was proud that so many had come for- ward for that object, and was glad to see the excellent manner in which they had gone through their drill,and he would exhort every man individually to try to make the Meltham Rifle Corps one of the best in the district.They had the material,and they only wanted the will,and he should feel highly pleased if,when they came to Huddersfield,they would so conduct themselves,not only when on duty but after dismissal,in such a manner as to set an example to their elder brethren in arms.Above all he would advise them to beware of talking in the ranks.It was the curse of the volunteer force,and he hoped every man would set his face sternly against it.He wished the Meltham Rifle Corps every success,and hoped when they turned out next spring they would do so,a well drilled corps.Captain Gooddy now called upon Lieutenant E.Brook to address them,who said,that although he was not connected with the rifle movement,in the yeomanry,in which he was an officer,he could see the beneficial effects of good drill amongst his men.and if they would make good volunteers,they must be regular in attendance at their drill.Sergeant Palmer the drill-master,rose to give the men a few practical hints.An address was delivered by Lieutenant Hirst and after which a vote of thabks had been given to Mr.Mapleston for the excellent and ample supply of provisions,the meeting sep- erated.

Page 93

Meltham Hall Park To The Robert C.Ashton J.P. Memorial Park

The Chairman of Meltham Town Council John Bakanoba cut the ribbon at the newly named Robert C.Ashton J.P. Memorial Park formerly known as Meltham Hall Park on Saturday 14th November 1998 at 11.00 A.M. Members of the late Ald.Ashton's family gathered at the park gates for the dedication ceremony,and were joined by town councillors,Colne Valley M.P.Kali Mountford and representtatives from the Royal British Legion and the Meltham Pensioners' Social Welfare Club. Two stones either side of the gateway are inscribed with Clr. Aston's name,to mark the 32 years of service he gave on the town council before his death on the 4th March 1997, Clr Ashton worked as a butler at Meltham Hall from 1936-39 and served in the RAF during the war.Later he worked at David Brown Tractors and became a councillor soon after the war and was chair- man several times.

Page 94

Millennium at Meltham Jan ist 2000

Meltham marked the end of the 20th Century-and the dawn of the new millennium-with a firework show. The display,staged by local pyrotechnics expert Andrew Szoradi saw rockets and shells fired high into the night sky from the top of Cop Hill-a landmark recognisable from miles around. And there were fireworks, gardens across the village as dozens of families began their own celebrations. So,from early evening,the skies above Meltham were sporadically lit by displays A sub-group of Meltham Town Council has organised the display, which was designed to be seen from hundreds of homes. Members will present millennium mugs to children from the area's three primary schools—Meltham Moor,Meltham C.E. and Helme C.E. These ceremonies were held in the first week of term in January, after which the public could buy the £4 mugs from the Council.

Page 95

Local Council Memoranda Dates cont.

1967 Car Park Extension in Clark Lane completed 1968 Carlile Street Car Park Opened 1969 Jan.Council took over the collection of Refuse from

Page 96

Enclosure act

Most people in Meltham,has in most cases ten minutes or more walk before they reach open moorland.In 1800 the moorland or common as it was called was on the doorstep of many Meltham in 1784 the act was passed in Parl- iament allowing the selling off and enclosure of the common..tland.In Meltham this did not take place until 16432,when land around MNeltham was enclosed,and was awarded to the following people:-

Joseph Green Armitage 118 acres at Fleak Moss Richard Henry Beaumont 252 acres at Belle

Page 97

1845 1851 1870

Page 98

at West Nab

For many years people have been thinking that West Nab, Meltham was the site of a Roman Camp,but excavations carried out in Aug.1960 by a team of local arch- aeologists established that the camp at Vest Nab had no connections with the Romans It is extremely likely that the camp was established by Iron Age farmers, comtemporaries of the Romans some 2,000 years ago. They excavated parts of the

Page 101

Meltham Mills Festival,Treat for the Workpeople Wednesday October lst 56

Meltham Mills was the scene of a most interesting festival on Wednesday.It is well known that Messrs Jonas Brook and Bros. carried off the first prize at the Great Exhibition of 1851 for the manufacture of cotton thread.At the Paris Exhibition they were equally successful;and some time ago,it was decided that a festival should be held in celebration of these events.The sudden death of Mr.W.Leigh Brook one of the partners of the firm,caused the scheme for a time to be postponed.Since,whay more then twelve months having elasped since that unfortunate occurrence,the firm felt that they could not delay the promised treat to their work- people any longer;and Wednesdat was the day appointed for the festival. On the way to the festive scene,we learned some particulars of the district,we were approaching.In the valley in which Meltham Mills are situated.Within the memory of those still living,the whole of the valley,now studded with masses of buildings forming Meltham Mills,was a forest. On approaching the village of Meltham Mills ,the village bells of Meltham was heard pealing merrily over the hills and through the valley's,External marks of a high holiday were also visible. A huge Union Jack was suspended from the cotton mill;and numerous other small banners were displayed from other windows of the mill as well as houses in the village. The day happily proved most favourable Meterological influences have for some time past been of a most depressing nature,sun how- ever had evidently determined that for this day,his gladsome face should once more become visible;and he shone throughout the day. Over the principal entrance of the mill,an arch of evergreens had been erected.Passing beneath this we arrived at the room in which the festival was about to be held.It had been erected with- in the past six weeks,under the superintendance of Messrs Pritch- ett &Sons,architects of this town.It is 105 ft long by 78ft wide lighted from above by four rows of Dormerlights eight feet high and running the length of thr room.It is intended to be used as a winding room for Sewing Cotton.Along the upperside of the roon, a table was erected for the members of the firm& invited quests, being elevated above nine other tables. Over the chairmans seat was an illumination in the shape of a crown with the initials V.R. On the opposite side of the room was a small device in gas jets consisting of the representation of a dove with an olive branch; and the motto "art & industry" To the left of this was a tricol- oured Flag,which on examination was found to be formed by 2,500 reels of cotton strung together.On this ingeniously constructed flag,the medals awarded to Messrs Brook at the Great Exhibition of 185l,and the Paris Exhibition of 1854 were displayed.To the right of the illumination was a large banner,also suspended against the wall which had been provided by the workpeople. It bore the inscription "J.Brook & Bros. cotton thread manufacturers, Meltham Mills exhibition prizes,V.R.N.E Treat to the workpeople Oct lst 1856". A vast number of smaller banners,containing various devices and mottoes from scripture were suspended around the room and at one corner of the chairmans table was a large Union Jack, whist at the other,was a large banner,bearing the Stars & Stripes of America. Turning to the decorations of the tables,ample preparations of all that could tempt and appease appetite was brought in by Mr. Bradley of the Imperial Hotel,Huddersfield,who had been commiss- ioned to provide the necessary food. For the tables also,the dec- Orative part had not been neglected.

Page 102

Meltham Mills Festival (cont) The large room would not accommodate above 500 at dinner;and as about 1,200 had to be dined,the large rooms at the principal Inns had to be used. At the Swan Inn were assembled not less than 230,at the Rose & Crown Inn 197 female operatives were provided for,and at the Waggon & Horses,provision was made for 15l,and back to the Friend- Ship Inn another 51 operatives were accommodated.In the bobbin- turning shed 52 more were provided for,and in the New Mill 38 with the number at dinner in the festival room 495,the whole numb- er entertained was 1,224. In the festival room the company were seated about 2. o'clock, with Mr.C.Brook the senior partner of the firm presiding.The Meltham Mills Band played several pieces in excellent style during the dinner.When all present had been satisfied with the excellent fare.The tables were cleared,and then about half an hour. A process- ion was seen consisting of about 300,who had been dined in Meltham who were coming to join the other operatives in the festival hall When all were again comfortable seated and provided with suitable beverages,the various toasts were said by the chairman and other quests, In the evening a concert was held which went on till 11.00 p.m. and so ended a most succesful and glorious day.

Page 103

Presentation to Mr.Arthur C.Brook at Meltham Mills on Monday 5th July 1909

A very pleasent and enthusiastic gathering took place in the dining hall of Meltham Mills on Monday evening,the occasion being the presenting by the employees of the world faimed firm of Messrs Jonas Brook and Bros. of a solid silver tray,weighing 1000gms,to Mr.Arthur C.Brook,as a momento of his marriage with Miss Darlington of Southport,which is to take place on Thursday next. Immedately after the mills had been closed for the day the empl- oyees began to crowd the dining hall. The general manager,presided and was supported in addition to C.Brook by Mr.J.B. Hirst and Mr.Charles Myer. The following is the inscription on the beautiful tray.Presented to Arthur C.Brook Esq. on the occasion of his marriage as a token of goodwill by the employees of Messrs Jonas Brook and Bros at Meltham Mills and Spring Mills July 5th 1909. It was supplied by Messrs Walker and Hall of Sheffield. The chairman said they had met to the honour to Mr.Arthur C. Brook,who as they all knew was going to be married in a few days on hearing of the forthcoming event the employees at once decided that the proper thing for themselves to do was to make him a pres- ent of some kind and in a very short time it was agreed to get a silver tray.The readiness with which all contributed;showed the good spirit that prevailed between the subscibers and the firm, and he hoped that it would continue for their own and the firms benefit.They gave Mr.Brook their best wishes,and hoped that he and his future wife would live long,happy and prosperours lives. He called upon Mr.J.B.Hirst,who had worked for the firm about 60yrs,to make the presentation. Mr.Hirst,who was heartily greeted,said he had the greatest pleasure in making the presentation to Mr.Brook.The present was in honour on Mr.Brooks marriage on Thursday next.They already liked Mr.Brook though he had only been with them a short time, and hoped ultimately to like him better the longer he remained one of their masters,The work people of Meltam Mills have hith- erto been pleased with the members of the firm,and he hoped such would continue.He had the greatest pleasure in making the presen- tation as a testimonial of Mr.Brook's wedding on his own and the workpeople's behalf. For he's a jolly good fellow was then sung,and cheer after cheer given for Mr.Brook and Miss Darlington The chairman's remarks then closed the proceedings.

Page 104

Shaw Export Packing Ltd,

In June 1962 Shaw Export Packing of Export House,Bent Ley Rd. took possession of a new factory.The firm's parent company was W.H.Shaw and Son,Ltd,Milnsbridge,which was founded in 1894,and over the years had become one of the country's leading manufact- urers of heavy duty stillages and timber pallets.In the mid 1930's the company extended into export packing and because of the rapid growth in business after the war,a quite separate company was formed in 1962.The continuing development in business necessit- ated large premises,and the company moved to Meltham. Goods of all kinds are despatched all over the world and incl- ude a wide range of textile machinery,machine tools,instruments, heavy capital equipment,electronic and electrical gear,tractors and vehicles and giant transformers. In 1967 a fire gutted the building at Bent Ley,but in 1968 new premises on the same site were opened when Mr.Balmforth said "Reliability means a Shaw representative visiting a customer hours,or even days earlier than in these apathetic days is con-

Page 105


Like many small communities in this part of the West Riding,textile manu- facturing has been for generations the traditional industry,since early times. In the age when the bulk of the local population were peasant farmers,the making of cloth in the house,with the help of all the family,was very much part of the way of life. The farmers of the area earned little enough from the

Page 106

the west Riding Brewers,until it burned down onNew Years Eve 1985 ,other mill in the area of the two rivers which flowed through the town were Albion Mills,Sefton Mills Calverleys Mill and Spinkmere Mills all dealing with the textile industry. A smaller industry was that of coal mining at Brow Graines and Greasy Slack Wood,which started about 1840,then declined and never recovered,when the railway's started in 1867 and brought cheaper coal into Meltham. In Wilshaw,Thomas Hirst of Lower Greave,married Mary eldest daughter of William Brook,their son Joseph Hirst started woollen manufacture at Wilshaw Farm about 1849.Later he enlarged it ,it then became known as Willshaw Mill(now pulled down)in 1853 he further extended his production by renting miils at Royd Edge, where he specialised in Turins,Seftons,Leopolds & Liverpool pieces of cloth. In 1948 the mill chimney was pulled down to end the story of cloth manu- facture in Wilshaw. In June 1962,W.H.Shaw(Export Packing possession of a new factory at Bent Ley,where they specialise in the packing of goods for overseas and this country.They collect the goods from the makers,transport them to Meltham,box them and then transport them to the docks for shipment. Besides the major industries,there are smaller one's such as Beaumonts Central Garage and Austwicks (Late Canneys) both Motor Engineers who have been established for over 50 years. Then we have the retail shops,which are needed in any village or town, to provide the essential foods,clothes etc.for the population and the Banks and Post Office who provide the money and deal with their respective services. At the end of the day what else,our Public Houses,and Clubs where one can go for a social drink and have chat with friends.

Page 107

Early Mills in Meltham Albion Mill

Page 108

Early Mills cont

Millmoor Mill/Sefton Mill

1818 1823 1834

Woollen De

Page 109

Early Mills cont

Rough Nook

Page 111

Bent Ley Mills

Steam Powered Silk Throwing Mill,built in 1840 by Charles Brook,to provide employment for the wives of his employees,he thought they would have a more gentle touch for the silk threads. in produceing yarn from raw-silk,but by 1872 it was also used for waste-silk spinning. The mill of 1840 was a single - storeyed shed,with a cast iron roof trusses and attached two storyed warehouse and office.the dyehouse was added by 1847.In 1890 a change of ownership led to a major expansion of the shed area,in particular to building of two sheds and a new power plant to desgn dated 1901-2, On April 19th 1968,the mill was voluntarily closed,due to lack of demand for the yarns that was produced at Bent Ley mill,and the board of Wm.Bamford & Sonscould not see that there would be any improvement in the foreseeable future.

Page 113

David Brown Tractor Club Rally May llth 1996

On Saturday and Sunday May 11th and 12th the David Brown Tractor Club held their first rally to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the first tractors to be produced by the famous company. actually made at Lockwood in 1936 under the name Ferguson-Brown. The partnership with Harry Ferguson did not last and David Brown Tractors was founded at Meltham Mills in 1939,which was unfortunate timing. Second World War work interrupted agricultural production until 1946.The company soon made up for the lost years and at the height of demand a tractor was rolling off the assembly lines every four minutes.They were exported to more than 60 countries. But business declined and the force of 3,800 was cut.An Amer- ican merger resulted in it being cut still further.By 1983 the tractors were known as Case and by 1988 only 400 workers remained and they were in spare parts.That year the last tractor was com- pleted and despatched to the Case Museum in Wisconsin U.S.A. Tractors on display this weekend will include some of the ear- liest made when the 200 enthusiats bring their tractors to the Meltham Hall Grounds,and parade around the village. During the weekend a plaque was fitted in the old Meltham Mills Dining Hall entance to show when the 60th anniversary was of Tractor Production at Meltham Mills.

Page 115

United Thread Mills,Meltham Mills

The Mills at Meltham-the stone buildings outside which Collop Monday pennies were thrown to the children,and the five storey brick twisting mill which was built in 1928-have behind them a history of nearly 150 yrs. It was about the end of the eighteenth century,between 1/790 and 1800.that a company was formed as Messrs Jonas Brook and Bros.Ltd.For about a century,until 1896,it carried on under that title,and then it became part of the J. and P.Coats combine.In 1931 there was formed a subsidiary company of the Coats concern United Thread Mills Ltd.which took over the four mills at Meltham

Page 116

Meltham Mills Jonas Brook and Bros.

Meltham Mills originated as a woollen mill founded by William Brook,a farmer and woollen manufacturer,who lived at Thick Hollins in the late 18th century,but after its change to cotton,by 1805, it grew on an exceptional scale and became one of the largest cot-— ton mill complexex in the West Riding of Yorkshire.Initially just a cotton-spinning mill,by 1822 it also made sewing thread and for a time threw silk.During the second half of the 19th and early 20th centuries the mill concentrated on thread manufacture,its brand bearing the goats head emblem.By 1834 there were evidently three multi storeyed mills on the site,running on combined steam and water power.This combination continued until the end of the 19th century;a mill built in the late 1840s was both steam and water powered,Weaving was never undertaken on the site,but sheds were built for winding,warping and dressing,and for storing tim- ber for bobbins which were made at the mill.. History The extensive mill complex known as Meltham Mills,one of a small number of textile mills built in the village of Meltham Mills,was created by a succession of members of the Brook family.In the late 18th century William Brook occupying Old Mill, for scribbling, carding and slubbing wool,two further buildings on the site of Meltham Mills,one for fulling,the other as a woollen mill,as well as another fulling mill nearby built in 1786 and initially used by Nathaniel Dyson,Two of these mills were evidently built in 1/791 and had a water wheel and ,because of inadequate water supplies, a steam engine to pump water from the pond at the foot of the wheel into a small dam above it. By 1805 Brook had converted to cotton spinning and was tenant to the Dartmouth Estate of a large cotton mill.In about 1805 Wil- liam Brook passed the business to his son Jonas who,with his bro- thers Charles and James,traded as Jonas Brook and Brothers.Jonas died in 1836,Charles left to establish Bent Ley Mill for making silk,and on James'death in 1845 he was succeeded by his sons Wil- liam Leigh Brook and Charles Brook junior.In 1896 Brooks merged with J.and P.Coats,based at Paisley,and traded still as Jonas Brook and Brothers Ltd,.In 1931 the firm was taken over by United Thread Ltd., and was closed by them in 1939,the year in which the last of the family directors directly connected with the company. Charles Lewis Brook,died 1986. When it closed in a textile mill it was then conveyed to David Brown Tractors Ltd,later part of

Page 117

A Day At Messrs Brook's Cotton Mill At Meltham Mills April 1853 About five miles from Huddersfield,in a valley at the foot of the backbone mountains of Bngland,stand the Meltham Cotton Mills, the village of Meltham being half-a-mile higher up,upon the very edge of the wild moorlands which stretch,with little interuption, from thence into North Britain.The scenery in the immediate neigh- bourhood of the mills is very varied,and presents many features of woodland beauty,which are heightened by the contrast of the black and savage moors,which come sweeping down to them from the neighbouring hills.The valley is well cultivated,blooming with corn-fields and rich pastures,and made merry with babbling brooks and the song of birds. Large tracts of country round about the mills,and indeed,for many miles round Huddersfield,have been re- claimed within the last sixty years.Manufacturing enterprise has changed the entire face of the country,and seated its large human population upon lands formerly covered with bog and heather,and inhabited only by grouse,and the weird ferns over which Will o' the-Wisp presided as king.Factories have sprung up outrivalling the stories of eastern palaces and oriental splendours which many of us loved to read in our youthful days:- factories,shooting up skyward,lighted by innumerable windows,range above range and con- taining within them wonders such as the eastern world never drea- med of in its wildest flights of fancy;machinery,doing the work of men without hands or feet;making broad-cloths and cotton fab-— rics,silk and fancy goods,to clothe naked backskin all quarters of the globe whilst thousands of men,women and children have lit- tle else to do but superintend its operations. Nearly the whole of the population of the village of Melthan, and its environs is employed in the Meltham Mills.These mills con- Sist of an enormous pile of buildings,which stretch their huge length along the valley,and have a very imposing appearance as you come suddenly down upon them from the "Isle of Skye" and those vast moorlands,before alluded to,which lie on the plateaux of the adjacent hills.There is nothing flimsey and weak about them;all is solid and messy,as if they were erected,like the old Saxon endure for ages.One magnificent chimney shoots up in the fourground,high above them,the top of which is visual at a great distance.A beautiful church,funded and endowed by Jonas Brook.Esq. deceased,who was one of the most gentle and beneficent of men.stands on the slope of a hill,as you enter the village,not far from the noble hall,and almost within the precincts of the park,where one off the proprietors of the mills resides.The par- sonage house surrounded by trees,and overlooking the valley,is Situated within a short distance of the church,and a handsome schoolhouse not far off where the children belonging to the mills are educated-complete the external features of Meltham Mills and the neighbourhood. We will now conduct the reader through the mills themselves; and that he may have as clear an idea as we can convey of the pro- cess which the raw cotton undergoes before it is finished on the spools,we will commence at the Cotton Stores,that is,the room wh- ere the cotton is stowed in bales as it comes from the plantation We will then follow it through all the stages of manufacture un- til the process is completed. Imagine then a large room,in the lower part of the mill,filled with these long and tightly packed bales,the growths of the south- ern states of America,of the West Indies,and of romantic Egypt.In those remote regionssundered by prodigious distances,hundreds of Slaves have toiled under burning suns to produce this cotton,that hundreds of freeborn men might convert it into threads at Meltham Mills.And here it is at last stowed carefully away for this purp- ose,after witnessing many painful scenes where it was grown.and enduring many stormy tossings during its voyage,which,if all could be written in detail,would make the cotton manufacture the saddest of histories.Let us examine,however,some of the bales,

Page 118

Messrs Brooks Cotton cont. See,here is a specimen,Take hold of it and pull it to pieces.How full of dirt,chips,and gins,is the whole batch.It seems impossible ever to convert it into twist fit for the delicate fingers of a fair lady to handle;and yet I have no doubt it can and will be done.We shall see by what process hereafter.In the meanwhile let us try another bale.Here is a handfull of what is called "Sea Is- land Cotton"and what a contrast it presents to the other,Mark how beautifully white it is,and how fine,long and silky,is the fibre. This is the prince of all cottons,and the material which is chief- ly used in the mills.You see,however,that it is not free from man- admixtures of dirt,and chips;and now we will witness in another room,the process by which it is cleaned. Observe that curious machine,which those men and boys are feed- ing with the dirty cotton;samples of which we have just seen.It contains two scutches or blades,which revolve 1600 times per min- ute,and the cotton is fed into these and held fast by two pair of rollers,the blades striking against it at such distance as enable them to open up the cotton,and separate the larger chips and for- eign substances which are mixed with its fibres,and these fall to the bottom of the machine;the cotton thus parially freed from its ineumbranches,is now carried forward to another roller,and under- goes a further cleaning,until it is finally driven down into a great basket at the end of the machine,and carried off to receive a more complete and satisfactory dressing.This is the first pro- cess in the manufacture,And now mark that,although vast quanties of this dirty,dusty cotton are constantly suject to this operation of cleaning,there is neither dust nor dirt in the room.The air is quite clear and healthy.Where then does the refuse go?By a very simple and beautiful contrivance,it is all driven up a pair of tunnels,running from the machine into a cylinder placed in the roof,and is carried thence into a chimney outside the building. This is effected by means of a very ingenious contrivance of fans which has saved many thousands from premature graves;the process of cotton dressing being formerly as possible to human life as the trade of the Sheffield grinders. Let us now go to another machine,and witness the second process of cleaning,which consists in taking out all the small nips and shores from the long cotton.This operation is performed pretty muched in the same manner as the former,the cotton being fed in by rollers,and placed upon huge cylinders or combs,by a series of cylindrical brushes;the combs are then carried round one by one,and brought under the action of a beater holding fast all the long fibres,whist the beater frees them from the shorts,when they are stripped off on the other side,to be ready for further use. This machine answers the same purpose as the combing machine used for wool. We now come to the blowing machine,where we see numbers of men engaged in subjecting the cotton to a third process,similar to that which it underwent in the first machine,only this blowing being much larger and finer set,the openings is more minutely done The cotton is now delivered,you will observe,in the form of a web and wrapped round a roller,freed from most of the dross that was originally mixed with it.The rollers are then carried to another machine,where they are doubled three together,and passing through another eight scutcher,are again formed into a webb,and wrapped round a roller,being made by thisprocess as even in every square inch as possible,so that they will fill the card equally without choking it.See what piles of these rollers stand there,in their white jackets,ready to be carried to the card-room;and from thence to be doubled upwards of thirty-five millions of times,and twisted and twirled by remorseless spindles,before they have been torture into twist,and made ready for the market Open that door in the side wall;but be careful or you will tum- ble down thirty feet below.What see you there? Asquare tube,runn—

ing from top to bottom of the mills,with a movable floor exactly

Page 119

cont. fitting it,which rises or falls as required by means of ropes and pulleys.See,the floor is now far down below where we are standing Give the signal.Lo up it rises,with a man to direct its movements Now it is on a level with us.We step upon it,and in a few seconds are carried to the

Page 120

cont. Let us go forward to the slubbing frame,and the difficulty will

Page 121

Messrs Brook's Cotton Mill cont.

Let us now follow the cops to another part of the works.Look you,here is a large iron chest,or rather a great cistern,piled with baskets full of them.What is going to be done with them now We shall see.The doors are suddenly closed,and the cistern is thus made air-tight.A man near by turns a tap,and there is forth- with a rushing and roaring of steam as it penetrates into the cis-— tern,and through every fibre of the yarns,softening and moisten- ing them,so that they will not double up and kink when they are made into twist.They are now taken out,and are ready for winding on the bobbins,whist they are yet warm and moist.We shall not how ever,pause to describe this process.One hundred bobbins are filled at once,each of the same length,when they are doffed off by the girls,and put into a basket to be further dealt with.The operations seem endless,and no one would imagine that it required so much trouble and skill to make a spool of cotton.There is no time for reflection,however.and we are hurried along by the never-ceasing machinery to the next process,by which the yarn is turned into thread.

Page 122

cont. The process by which the thread is wound upon spools or balls, such as are purchased in shops,is also a very interesting one;but we have already gone sufficently into detail. Such is a sketch of this wonderful process of cotton Spinning. It would have been easy enough to have written a higher and more dashing article about it,but the object has been to describe the manufacture,and to convet some idea of the complicated machinery uced ib it.Little do the ladies of England imagine,as they sit at work in their quiet parlours or magnificant drawing rooms,at sew- ing or embroidering,how many thousands of persons are employed, how many hundred of thousands of pounds have been expended in machinery to provide for them the material of their occupation.

Page 123

The Exhibition Prizes Oct.18th 1851

Rejoicings at Meltham Mills

The announcement in the evening papers of Thursday of the award of prize medals to Messrs Brook, in Class

Page 124

Brook, J., &

Page 125

Treat to Workpeople-Grand Excursion

Saturday August 20th 1859,was a great day for the workpeople of Jonas Brook and Brothers,Meltham Mills.Anew pertner Edward Brook son of the late Jonas Brook,has just joined the firm,and of course in order to introduce him properly,there must be some treat to the workpeople.At first it was suggested to have a dinner(which would have been on no small scale)in the Assembly room,but the majority of the operatives preferred a trip to some seaport or watering place.Accordingly the "knife and fork"affair was set as- ide,and a trip arranged for,the place selected being Liverpool, and onward to New Brighton.Saturday Aug.20th was the day appointed for the trip,and as early as four o'clock a,m,the majority of the hands met outside the mills,and formed themselves into four divis- ions under four different colours of flags,each division having a commander.In this order they moved forward,preceded by the fire brigade,in uniform,to Meltham,where they were met by the other workpeople.All then formed in procession,five deep,and marched to Slaithwaite,where two trains were in readiness for them.The train started at six

Page 126

The Factory Girl ot August 1869

Although the factory girl can scarcely be dcsignated a Girl of the Period, still some insight in- to her condition, as contrasted with that of ber more more fortunate will be found not devoid of interest. Her mother before her was as she is ; her daughter will be the same. Mayfair may change its fashions and its manners, and may be followed by

Page 127

Millhands Excursion New Meltham Mills Directors Generosity

Charming Scarborough,To one who has been brought up in a small working class village this lovely watering place appears to them as perhaps Naples does to the rich.Blackpool might come first in some respects,but for beauty Scarborough,with the sea to look at, and stretching away inland richly luxuriant open meadows. On Saturday 2lstJune 1913,Meltham people were every-where. It was the Meltham Mills trip and 1,848 workpeople took the gay town by storm.Kindness seems to run in this ably controlled mill, for the trip on Saturday was given by two members of the firm,who have recently been made directors of Messrs Jonas Brook and Bros.namely Mr AC.Brook nephew of Mr.C.L.Brook,one of the directors,and Mr.C. J.Hirst,the second son of Mr.T.J.Hirst the senior diector, who resides at Meltham Hall.Each employee of the firm was presented with a ticket,and married men were also given tickets for their wives,together with

Page 129

Meltham Cotton Spinning Company

At last there seems a prospect of this scheme,which has been so long talked of,now being fully realised and carried out according to the original and settled intention of the shareholders.The site for the building was bought about eighteen months ago,and is very conveniently situated near to the railway station.Plans have been prepared by Messrs Scott and Son,architects,of Oldham and Manches- ter,the contractors are Mr.Abraham Graham,mason,Huddersfield; Messrs Garlick Bros,joiners,Meltham;Mr F.Drake, plumber,Melthan; and Mr.J.Wilkinson,plasterer,Meltham.The work is to begun at once on June 30th 1886,and no doubt its erection will be watched with considerable interest by the people of Meltham,in the anticipation of a revival of good trade,regular employment,and prosperity to the town. The erection of this mill goes on rapidly,and on September 3rd 1887 was fast approaching completion.The smoke stack,which has an elevation of over sixty yards,is to all outwards apperance finis- hed. The mill was opened later in 1887.

The Meltham Cotton Spinning Company closed down down in 1933 afte- 50yrs of production.At one time the mill employed 150 about the beginning of 1933,during the slump in the cotton busin- ess,many of these workers became unemployed. One of the features of the mill was the huge engine flywheel, which was thirty-two feet in diameter,and was claimed to be the biggest engine flywheel in Yorkshire. The mills had been unoccupied for some time,when in September 1933,they were acquired by Messrs W,H,Robinson,metal brokers,who cleared out all the machinery. Then in early February 1935,the mill was bought by a Continen- tal firm,who installed worsted spinning machinery on the Contin- ental system. When they get going a single shift will be in operation and they will employ about a hundred people.. Then on Friday evening Sept.23rd 1939,that on account of unfort- unate and unforeseen circumstances the mills were closed down. until further notice.The news came as a bombshell to the work- people when they saw the notice,for the firm was full of orders. However,the machinery was covered up with the yarn still on it. and the mills were closed.The mills are French controlled,and the closing of them was due,to the calling up by the French authori- ties of the managing director,M.Louis A.Florin,who had already left

Return to the Huddersfield Exposed home page
View the list of other OCR'd books