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LOCAL ee SOCIETY
rcl/ AAD ag (90003) I2aaq eet
JOURNAL No. 8 WINTER 1997/98
In the Picture
By PATRICIA ANN DYSON
One of Longley’s greatest assets is the bluebell wood, and although it seems such a permanent feature of the landscape now, it was only planted 130 years ago. The hillside once looked very different, as we can see from a picture painted a decade or more before the trees were planted.
In 1849, the artist William Cowen set up his easel by the side of a footpath leading from Lowerhouses Lane to the King’s Mill, and painted a landscape of fields and lanes, and distant views of Huddersfield. The lane before him, bordered by stone walls and complete with horse-drawn cart, was Channel Lane. This branched off Dog Kennel Bank just above the top house and converged with Cocker Lane (Squirrel Ditch) and the original King’s Mill Lane at the bridge over the Channel Dike stream. At the point where the lane starts going downhill towards the stream, a footpath~ branches off to the left. This went across the hillside to the farm known as Mount Pleasant’ and thence to Wood Lane and the farm called Bank Gate. Both houses are long gone, and tile cobbled entry to Bank Gate now leads to three new houses. The deeds for the middle house still specify a right of way for farm animals. Before 1850, Wood Lane had been known as Longley Clough, and as its present name first appears about 1853 well before the trees were planted - it was probably named for the Wood family, whose mediaeval Hall still stands at the top (much refurbished).
Sir John William Ramsden put forward a proposal to re- route this old footpath to the mill in 1860. He wanted it moved farther along the hillside towards Wood Lane, and his agent wrote to him in 1859 confirming that the proposal shortened the journey to the mill by 196 yards. Although it probably suited his purposes to present the change as beneficial to his tenants, I think that Sir John was working to his own agenda, and had far-reaching plans for his ancestral home and its surroundings, all designed to ensure maximum privacy and seclusion for the new mansion he intended to build. A mansion to properly reflect his status before the citizens of the town he owned.
A meeting of ratepayers was held in Almondbury Church vestry to discuss the full proposals, which sought to close three footpaths and open twonew ones, all in the immediate area of Longley Hall. It is, perhaps, some reflection on the decline in the mill’s importance, that only four people
turned up. (At this time, the miller was complaining of insufficient water in the river to operate the mill, and lack of capital to buy in grain from outside. Already large parts of the mill had been given over to the woollen industry.) One of the ratepayers, a Mr. Brook, was there to complain that the new path passed right in front of his house. Mr. Hathorne, Sir John’s agent, foresaw no problem in a small deviation.
Mr. Jacob, law clerk to Moldgreen Local Board, was also concerned about the changes - the board being legally responsible for paving and repairing the roads. His enquines into the legality of the closures prompted Mr. Hathorne to write in a letter to Sir John “Itis very evident that Mr. Jacob must be watched very narrowly, otherwise he will endeavour to defeat your wishes.” Sir John triumphed, albeit at his own expense, and paid £177 8s 9d for the work to be done. A small price, for his plans included a private carriage drive from Smithy Lane to the Hall, and the old footpath to the mill would have crossed it!
The path dealt with, Sir John began discussing with his agent details of his plans for tree planting around the Hall. At this point the vicar of Almondbury, the Rev. Lewis Jones, put forward an idea which must have been very unwelcome to Sir John. The Rev. Jones saw a need for a new church to serve the people of Longley, Moldgreen and Dalton, and suggested a site immediately in front of the Hall, just north of the road junction at the bridge. Moreover, his plan envisaged Sir John opening up his proposed carriage drive on Sundays for access to the church. It comes as little surprise that the plan was rejected on the grounds that the site was inconvenient for tenants from Moldgreen and Dalton! In reality, the site was one Sir John had already designated for tree planting. The letter turning down the scheme was dated 8th February 1860, and by 14th February, Sir John Kaye had offered a site for the church at Moldgreen. It was on the left side of Wakefield Rd., 180 yards beyond the Ivy Green cross roads. A happy coincidence, at the very least! It did not placate the Rev. Jones, however, who dismissed it as no use to the scattered hamlets around Longley and New Laithe, and put forward acompromise. He suggested that the school at Lowerhouses be set up for divine worship, and a clergyman engaged to work the district at a stipend of not less than £100. This scheme went ahead, and finally led to the creation of St. Mary’s Church in 1888, when the school inspectors began to complain of the cumbersome church furniture.
Although the Rev. Jones supported his plan for a new
church by saying that the tenants around Longley were almost without any means of religious worship and instruction, this wasn’t strictly true. Early in 1863, the schoolteacher at Lowerhouses noted that scarcely any of the children attended church, butnearly all of them attended Dissenting Schools on Sundays. The Rev. Jones probably intended to try and remedy this situation, and as St. Mary’s was converted from the Primitive Methodist Sunday School, one might say that he succeeded.
In 1866 Sir John William seized the chance to close all the remaining lanes and footpaths around Longley Hall. A new road had been suggested from Almondbury to Huddersfield, the present day Somerset Road. The land needed was owned by Sir John William and this gave him his bargaining counter.
In aletter dated September 1866, Sir John writes ‘The stopping up of Channel Lane and the footpaths should be arranged first. The Local Board, and inhabitants generally, will be much more amenable while I have the power of giving or withholding so great a public boon as this new road would be.’ In the same letter he says that he will not commit himself to the new road unless it can be ‘macadamised’ and not paved (macadam being the cheaper option).
100 yds (appron)
In another letter to his agent he stresses that he is mainly interested in improving communications on his Huddersfield Estate, and, but for the arrangement over the lanes and paths, he would not have considered improving his Almondbury Estate for many years to come.
The lanes he wished to stop were Channel Lane (462 yards long), and the road around Ashinghurst (858
yards long). In addition, there were 2367 yards of footpath to the West of Smithy Lane, to be closed, and 858 yards of footpath to the East. Sir John was primarily concerned with the closure of those to the
West, as they were the ones around Longley Hall. So eager was he to get his plans ready for the next Quarter Sessions that he offered extra remuneration to the clerk tohave them ready in time. Major Graham, Sir John William’s agent, advised him that part of the Public Notice would read ‘The footpath from Channel Lane, by Mount Pleasant, will be called in the Notice “a reputed public footpath” - which will guard against the admission of its really being public.’
He put the proposals before the Almondbury and Moldgreen Local Boards. Almondbury Board gave the plans ‘hearty approval’, Moldgreen Board was more difficult to persuade. Major Graham wrote to Sir John William ‘But it was a work of some difficulty to obtain the approval and concurrence of the Moldgreen Board’. No doubt Almondbury was very anxious that nothing should stand in
Based on Estate map dated 1860
the way of improved access to Huddersfield, and the Lane closures were a good mile away. Moldgreen, however, would have little benefit from the new road. Indeed, Major Graham had to exceed his authority and had to promise road improvements which would cost Sir John William an extra £300 in order to gain their approval. As a sop, Major Graham was directed to allow the footpath from Jockey Hall to the new road to remain open. As a further sweetener, Sir John William indicated that he was willing to replace the old wooden King’s Mill Bridge with a permanent structure. Then, at a special meeting on 26th September 1866 Moldgreen Local Board decided to cooperate with Sir John William, and in January 1867 they finally agreed to the plans.
At the same meeting they decided to ask Sir John William to give them land for a recreation ground, as some compensation for the loss of roads and footpaths. In September of that year the legal moves for closure were completed and Sir John William finally achieved the secluded setting for his mansion that he desired. It had taken him seven years.
His plans having gone so well, by July 1868 Sir John William was putting more new roads out to tender. These
would accommodate people living on the far side of his now private estate. One road ran direct from King’s Mill Bridge to Stile Common Lane, with a branch up Whitegate Road. When this road met Wood Lane it turned right and crossed the little ravine, following the course of the present Stile Common Road, to where it now meets Newsome Road. Part of Whitegate Road merely needed widening as it had formed part of the old lane around Ashinghurst. As you go down the road today, the original line of the lane can be seen branching off to the right. In the September of 1868 Major Graham suggested an intermediate road off Whitegate Road in order to open up even more land for building purposes. He calculated that for an outlay of £300 Sir John William could expect £100 a year in rents. Lower Whitegate Road thus became part of the plan, and our present familiar road system began.
I would like to thank the West Yorkshire Archive Service at Kirklees for their permission to reproduce the map, and the Tolson Museum for allowing the reproduction of William Cowen’s painting. I would also like to thank all the staff in the Archive Department at Huddersfield Library for their help in obtaining the documents used in this study.
Shocking Accident at Windermere
Cathy McLester submits this Victorian tragedy from the Examiner of 11th August 1877
Four Huddersfield young men drowned
Yesterday afternoon an event of very disastrous nature occurred on Lake Windermere to anumber of Huddersfield excursionists, whereby four of them met with their death, and two only just escaped being drowned.
Monday being Bank holiday, a trip to Windermere had been organised by the members of Huddersfield Young Men’s Christian Association, and it left early in the morning -about5 o’clock. It comprised nineteen carriages, in which were about 600 excursionists, and they reached Windermere about twenty minutes to 10 o’clock. On arrival at Windermere the excursionists dispersed themselves into parties and went wherever they felt inclined, as the officers of the Association had only made arrangements for the excursionists being conveyed to Windermere. Six of the excursionists, Edgar Brook, Weaver, Salford, Lockwood; Ingham Kaye, Newsome, who was in the employ of Mr. Marsden, Queen’s Mill; John William Hodson, Newsome, Factory hand; Byram Crossley, aged 18, assistant and nephew of Mr. T. N. Swift, Cross Church Street, Huddersfield, Chemist; Richard Ainley, Newsome,
Plumber; James H. Mellor, Newsome Cross, who 1s on a visit from America to his uncle at Newsome Cross, went out in a boat for a row on the lake but without a boatman. At what time they went on we do not know but about 2 o’clock the boat in which they were seated suddenly capsized and turned over. The whole of the occupants were thrown into the water. It is stated that a pleasure steamer passed the boat at about one hundred yards distance, and that the swell from it caused the boat to upset. The persons thrown into the water struggled to save themselves, but only two of them managed to cling to the boat, namely Ainley and Mellor, the others perished in the lake. Ainley stated that the swell of the steamer came across the boat broadside. Crossley who was steering not getting the prow of the boat to the wave in time. The boat then filled, and its occupants sat till the water had all but filled the boat and they then went into the water. Ainley and Mellor were near each other in the water, and by Mellor’s aid - he being able to swim Ainley got on the boat which was then keel upwards, and Mellor also got on the boat at the other end. They kept as still as possible, and shouted for help. In a short time a boatman who was ata distance, heard the cries, came to their assistance, and took them ashore. Ainley,
who was almost exhausted, was taken to Lowis’s Stag’s Head Hotel, whither also Mellor proceeded. Afterwards Mellor went out with some boatmen to show them the spot where the accident occurred - some two miles higher up the lake than Bowness. Both Ainley and Mellor returned home by the excursion train that night. Mellor was none the worse for his immersion, and Ainley has gone to his work this forenoon. We are informed by Mr. Petitt, the Secretary of the Young Men’s Christian Association, that he and about ten or eleven others went on the lake in a rowing boat, but they took the precaution to take out with them a man to manage. When they were returning to the shore they passed a boat which he believes contained the deceased and the others who were saved who were without boatman; and when nearing the pier the boat in which he and his companions were was passed by a pleasure steamer. The prow of the boat was headed towards the swell which came from the steamer, or the consequences here might have been disastrous. He states also that the persons he was in the boat did not appear to know how to control a boat, as they were rowing very irregularly. It is stated that the boat in which the unfortunate persons went out was not suited to carry six persons, but whether this is so or not is not known to us.
The place where the accident occurred is said to be about 300 feet deep. When the train left, drags were being prepared to use, but it may be some time before the bodies are recovered.
When the excursionists arrived at Huddersfield last night the train was about an hour and a half late, and a large number of persons went to the station to await the trains arrival, and to learn the details of the sad catastrophe. Mr. Hilton the Chief Constable, had taken the precaution to have some police officers on duty so as to prevent a crush.
The deceased are all about the same age, from eighteen to twenty and were nearly all connected with Newsome Church or School.
HUDDERSFIELD EXAMINER MONDAY, AUGUST 13th 1877
The Shocking Accident at Windermere Lake
Funeral of the young men at Newsome
On Saturday last, the funeral of the four young men, Edgar Brooke, Ingham Kay, Byrom Crosley and John William Hodson, who, scarcely a week prior, had been in the full enjoyment of health and strength, but who met a watery grave in the beautiful Windermere Lake, took place at Newsome Church, in the presence of a large number of spectators. There was great excitement when the news arrived in the district of the fatality which had befallen them, and it was only anxiously canvassed by the large numbers of people who gathered in the lanes. Throughout the week great sympathy had been expressed towards the bereaved families of the young men, and if the presence at the funeral means anything then the expression of sympathy was increased in intensity, for there were notonly hundreds in the funeral procession but thousands of people looking on. “There was never such a Newsome before” said one inhabitant of the immediate locality. Long before the time
of the funeral, namely 4 0’clock, people were streaming up the steep from Lockwood to Newsome, others were seen wending their way along the footpaths from the Taylor Hill direction while many more came from the opposite side of Newsome. In Lockwood itself there was an immense number of people. The road from the centre of Newsome, along past the Church, and round by Daisy Royd was filled with people, and there was only justroom for the procession to pass along two abreast. When a portion of the procession had passed into the churchyard the people in the lane could be restrained no longer, and they topped the wall and gained admission into a field separated from the churchyard by a wall. They would have come into the churchyard itself if they had been allowed. On the other side the people made their way in a similar manner into a field, but there was another field between it and the churchyard and ahigh wall separated the two fields. A woman leaning against the wall at a point where it formed an angle, brought down a portion of it, whether intentionally or not we do not know; she fell with the wall, but escaped without much injury, and then the people, taking advantage of the opportunity, poured into the other field so as the better to see what was going forward. There were officers stationed in the churchyard to prevent persons scaling the wall, but while one of them was conversing with two young men, three young ladies had cleared the wall, and notwithstanding the officer’s orders to leave the place, they sat down and were immovable. There was an extraordinary amount of interest shown in the funeral, and after the sad proceedings were over, large numbers of people visited the churchyard to look at the grave.
The procession started from the home of Edgar Brooke’s parents at Salford, Lockwood and near Lockwood Church. The members of the committee for raising subscriptions to defray the expenses connected with the sad affair, together with four gentlemen from the Huddersfield Young Men’s Christian Association, the two survivors (James Mellor
A\ JOHN WILLIAM HODSON of Newsome, aged 19 years
INGHAM KAYE of Newsome, aged 18 years
EDGAR BROOK I of Salford, aged 18 years
==>) BYROM OLDFIELD SWIFT CROSLEY —- of Newsome, aged 18 years
who were accidentally drowned by ~ capsizing of a pleasure boat on —\ Windermere Lake on Monday 6th August and were interred in this vault on Saturday 11th August 1877
"In the midst of life we are in death"
THIS MONUMENT WAS ERECTED BY SYMPATHISING FRIENDS AND NEIGHBOURS
and Richard Ainley), and others, joined in heading the cortege. Moving along up Taylor Hill and rounding into Newsome, acall was made for Kaye, Crosley, and Hodson, and then the procession passed on to the Church. Edgar Brooke was borne by the young men of Newsome Bible class, of which he was a member, and his remains were accompanied by some members of the Court Unity A.O.F., No. 2,316, held at the White Lion Inn, Lockwood, and by many of the scholars of the Newsome Church Sunday School. Kaye was bourne by a number of the young men from Bentley Street Chapel and his remains were followed by the members of the adult class of the United Methodist Free Church School and by relatives and friends, of whom there was a large number. Crosley was bourne by the members of Newsome Church Choir, and there followed his remains aconsiderable number of relatives and friends. Hodson’s remains were borne by Newsome Church Sunday Scholars, and they were followed in the main by teachers from the Sunday school which he had attended. The bodies were enclosed in ordinary coffins bearing the name, age, and date of death. On arriving at the church each coffin was placed on a form intended for it, and whilst the mourners and friends were taking their seats, the “Dead March” in Saul was played on the organ by a lady. The pulpit, reading desk, lectern, and alter were draped in black. The service in the Church was conducted by the Rev. R. B. Bensted, Rector of Lockwood, and the Rev. T. Lewthwaite, Vicar of the parish, taking each alternate body and reading the sentences from the Burial Service. T he choir chanted the 39th Psalm, and the Rev. R. B. Bensted read the Lesson. The coffins were then removed to the grave side and they were lowered into the places prepared for them. The grave is a double one, bricked, coffin shaped; each compartment would hold two coffins, and flowers of various kinds, but mostly roses, together with ferns, were strewn in the grave. The rev. T. Lewthwaite took the remainder of the sad service, and soon all was over, the relatives and friends took a last long look, and then the procession moved out of the churchyard and homewards.
HUDDERSFIELD WEEKLY EXAMINER SATURDAY, AUGUST 11TH 1877
The Tragedy In The Lake District
The accident that occurred on Windermere Lake last Monday afternoon was a most terrible one. Four young men in the fullness of their strength, delighting in the glorious scenery with which they were surrounded, enjoying, as only those pent up in inland towns can enjoy, the luxury of a sail on broad waters all drowned without hope or chance of rescue; the accident, we repeat, was a most terrible one. It was one of a kind that occurs more or less frequently every summer, and stil] the cause of almost every accident is with astonishing supineness allowed to remain. Go to almost any watering place, and the various tyros are allowed to take out a skiff, or other light boat, to the risk of their own lives and of those of their friends who may be accompanying them. This accident has occurred on the largest lake in the Kingdom, where storms are not infrequent, and where swift steamers plough the waters almost incessantly, yet at Bowness, or Lake-head, and, we believe, at Lake-foot, any youth, though he be as ignorant as a child of the use of an oar or a pair of sculls, can hire a skiff and go out into the middle of the waters. He may, if he choose, get others as unfamiliar as himself with the
implements we have named, to join him in taking a light four-oared boat, and when he and party have paid the fee- penny they are apparently considered fully capable of looking after themselves. Such a party may often be seen, handling their oars in lumbering fashion, unable to keep time, knowing nothing of the mysteries of feathering or of bringing the blade sweetly out of the water; as ignorant of the art of steering as a North American Indian 1s of that of driving a four horse coach, they proceed.
As you were saying...
The latest in our series of personal
memories, recalls the spring joys of Whit
Monday, with Cathy McLester
What memories does Whit Monday hold for you?
For me, Whit Monday memories are of long hot sunny days (it must have rained some years!), so hot that the tar melted on the roads, and woe betide you if you got your white canvas shoes messed up in it. Shoes that had been carefully whitened in the moming and put on the wall to dry.
I attended Birch Road Wesleyan Methodist Sunday School and all the children looked forward to the Whit Monday walk round the village dressed in their Sunday best.
We met at the Chapel early afternoon. Four of the older Sunday School lads carried the banner (each Sunday School had its own banner) whilst everyone else assembled behind them. What a thrill it was if it was our turn to look after the band, as we all felt very proud to walk behind them from the Chapel to join up with the other two Churches in our area.
Our procession left the chapelyard, turned down Birch Road and round the corner into Bridge Street to meet Salem New Connexion Chapel and Armitage Bridge Church Sunday School scholars and members at the top of Waingate, Berry Brow, where we started off with a good sing.
This large crowd then processed round the village, stopping at various places to sing and ending up at Park Gate, by the Golden Fleece public house (no we did not go in) for a real good sing and short address. Then we all made our way back to our own Church or Chapel where there was a tea laid on for the Sunday School children. Tea of potted meat sandwiches, buns and jelly. After we had all eaten we were each given a threepenny bit.
After tea we made our way down to Armitage Bndge cricket field for races, rounders and games with the children from the other Churches, and the band played to entertain the adults.
Everyone going home tired out, but happy.
Berry Brow, or
Newsome South Methodist Church, the venue of our day schools, held an exhibition on
‘Old Berry Brow' in April 1997. This article from t
e Examiner of April 1908,
presents an unusual view of this ‘lost’ village.
‘*“How do you come to know the Staceys?”
My father had often brought me, before I could boast of a dozen years, to the brink of some of the vertical cliffs in Beaumont Park, whence we drank in copious draughts of the beautiful prospect that lay in the large irregular basin before us, and tried to interest me in the view that had historical as well as aesthetic interest to him. Facing us was the hump of Castle Hill, the most prominent feature in our view, and we felt something like a psychic magnetism in the interest with which we were possessed in such proximity to the hill whose fame radiates through many a valley cliverging from its foot. The descent from the summit to the valley forms a series of fairly regular terraces - a feature of that side of the valley but not of this. To the left arailway viaduct mercifully cuts off (to some extent) the chimneys and smoke of Huddersfield; to the right is seen the pleasant Holme Valley to which history has lent the unwelcome distinction of a disastrous flood; in front is Berry Brow, covering the slope to the valley from the terrace on which Newsome stands. Here is the chapel so interestingly associated with the name of “Little Abe.” Was it not above the pulpit of the sanctuary that the simple and daring preacher suspended the red hankerchief containing the meagre dinner he had brought with him on his Sabbath morning tramp to the House of God - a red handkerchief, the fiery beacon of indignation at the people who had not thought the labourer worthy of his hire, and had on the occasion of a previous service held there by him not found one among their number to offer him Old, irregular, artless, unconscious, charming Berry Brow. Elsewhere, old customs have died out, but here tradition has preserved many words unknown to modern authors; sanctioned, however, by Chaucer, and in the near neighbourhood the old Candlemas custom of the “Bleeze,” or burning of leaves left by the winter winds -
how do you come to know the Staceys?”’ All paths are circuitous, or at least irregular, in and about
Berry Brow, and my Story is really leading to that end, although you do not yet see my goal.
Tittle thought when my father brought me over to Beaumont Park in those days of my childhood that I should one day be domiciled at the Berry Brow which he pointed out to me across the valley. But so it is, and a happy fate I consider it which has thrown me in this stagnana spot where you would expect everyone to be as conservative as tradition. And don’t you think itis charming too? Go up Robin Hood Hill so far as to get a good view of the village, and tell me if you do not long to be a painter. I was astonished the other day an old lady denounce Berry Brow in unmeasured terms. Her husband had brought her to the village as he was engaged in some piece of engineering in the neighbourhood. They were soon to remove, as her husband’s work was approaching completion, and she was glad of it. She found the place intolerable, nothing worth seeing about the place; and the curious villagers - everybody knew everybody else, and discussed him: if you went out a-shopping you were stared at from every half-open door and from behind every curtain. But, bless us; the lady’s favourite reading was the news of “society” folk in the “D. M—r,”’ and she was as busy as any villager watching through the curtain of her twaddling paper the movements of people going a- shopping or a-walking. To be sure if you take any particular square foot of ground anywhere in Berry Brow by itself you will probably find no reason to admire it (unless you are sentimental, and your belle once stepped upon it) any more than a square foot at the bottom of a coalpit. But is it charming to see an old lady, who has outgrown all affectation, sitting at a doorstep mending a pair of red stockings with blue wool, in defiance of the convention that red stockings must be dressed with red wool? Is it charming to see the sweet naivete of age? Why, then, it is charming to see the irregular streets and old-world “folds” of Berry Brow which were fashioned to cling to the Brow without any affected thought of the appearance of the whole.
And what if, instead of containing your view to this or that square foot of ground, you lift your eyes to the hills which you cannot but see from almost any point of view, and which will meet you half way in producing a pleasurable sensation within your soul if you will not check their loving advance by a frigid and unsympathetic gaze. Come up higher where many a path invites you, and let your eyes
feast on a hemisphere of wonders in sky and air and earth. Yonder, eight miles or so away, is West Nab and Deer Hill, which conceal from us Wessenden Valley; a few degrees to your right is Pole Moor.
did you come to know the Staceys?”’
“Philistine! Can you not for a moment let your panting curiosity in personalities rest, and think how Moses from Pisgah’s height viewed the landscape of Canaan o’er?”
If a wind is blowing with strength enough in the valley to make a perceptible impression on your gait, how would you expect to fare in such a gale at the top of Castle Hill? I love to mount the hill on such occasions, and battle with the flapping, roaring, beating, driving, battering hurricane at the summit. As you mount you must pull your cap tight over your head, or, better, put it in your pocket, and button well up your coat, or the wind will penetrate within, and swell you out as if you were hanging on a clothes-line. Hark how the wind whistles and howls about the railing; hold on to them, and listen to the invisible sea that is roaring wildly about your ears. What a sight that would be if the wind were visible, say red!
How strong and buoyant the rushing stream is; how it cracks as if there were huge unseen sails in vessels riding upon it. What a turmoil and a bustle and a boisterousness and a bluster. Is ita pack of imperceptible hounds that some hand of wild Bacchantos, with deshevelled hair, are urging on in their wild frenzy? Shout if you can, and make your human power manifest above the mad confusion of this insensate riot. Lean forward and be buoyed up on its strong Strain; leap forward, lean to its bosom, and laugh a long loud laugh with the friendly element, for are we and it not all a part of nature? Oh, the glorious tussle! Although in many a bout you gasp for breath and have to take a firm stand to maintain a footing.
‘*And the Staceys?”’
On such an occasion I got the worst of the tussle, and my opponent, a lusty hurricane, threw me with considerable force against the wall of the tower. I was rather badly bruised as to the head, and, almost stunned, made my way with difficulty to the hotel at the summit. After some laving of my wound and elementary bandaging a visitor at the hotel -
‘Stacy, at last?”
Pointed-out to me that my wound was of a more serious nature than I seemed to think, and asked-me if I resided at some distance. When he had learned that I lived in Berry Brow, and that I had no conveyance thither, he suggested
that the wound should be kept sheltered from the wind, ard that I should accompany him in the covered motorcar, which was awaiting him just below the summit, to his home, where he could get proper attention for the wound. I did not think very seriously of my mishap, but allowed myself to be persuaded to accompany him. The result, however, proved the correctness of Mr. Stacey’s opinion as to my bruise, for, ere we reached his house, I had fainted, and woke up a couple of hours later to find myself in a bedroom commanding a good view of the Holme valley. For two days I was confined to my bedroom, during which period I was attended by a nurse, and enjoyed some conversation with Mr. Stacey. He was curious as to my motives in mounting the hill, and dwelt long on the reality or unreality of the human feeling of kinship with nature. Be was disposed to believe such a feeling an affectation, and not areal feeling at all. Now, if aman does indeed think so, is 1t of any avail to contend with him? Is it of any avail to attempt to prove to one whose soul is not moved by “concord of sweet sounds,” that he ought to be, or to show him in what the moving elements consist?
I did not long contest the point with him, but was the more surprised with the incident that followed. In the evening of the next day I dressed and went down to the drawing-room, where I was delighted to find a beautiful “grand” piano by © my favourite maker. I sat at the instrument, and after some preluding my fingers wandered into the first movement of the “Moonlight” sonata; my eyes closed, my head bent over the instrument, and I played to my own soul; I was completely wrapped up in this commune with myself, which the wonderful music makes possible, and oblivious of everything else. Did someone enter? I knew not. Could any more words have been so potent to disengage me from trivialities and conventions and unrealities, and bring me in curious contact with myself? And as I played my imagination was led to contemplate a being who should live as near to me as that, whose companionship would be this exquisite contiguity with my own soul, who would, in fact BE this profound music in my life.
My fingers dwelt long on the keys as the last sounds passed away, and I awoke as from a dream. Raising my head my eyes fell on - a vision which gave me the same deep satisfaction as the being of companionship I had but just been dreaming of. A lady’s pouted lips, her eyes open but seeing nothing, but with the expression of one contemplating an inward thing, her arms resting on the head of the couch on which she sat, her head thrown back, her face divinely beautiful; she seemed lost in this inward contemplation for some moments after the music ceased, and then she sighed deeply as she assumed an expression of interest in outward things. We had been living together for a time in the realm of things non-material, and we both divined it, and that was our true and deep introduction.
And that was how I came to know the Staceys, and among them Miss Stacey.
Skelmanthorpe in Verse
Stanley Sheard submits this unusual tribute to his native village Written by T. Appleyard
E A y native place I love thee well, i i I love thee more than I can tell; In thee my eyes first saw the sky, Also the stars that shine on high; I love the fields that gird thee round In which much pleasure I have found; My youthful days in thee were spent, And with thee now I am content: If work were good 'twould better be For every one who dwells in thee; But I would murmour not, nor sigh, In Him I'll trust who reigns on high. When quite a boy my father led Me to the school and house of God, And there I heard the gospel truth Which much impressed my mind in youth; My mother was a Christian good, And now she is ‘thro Christ with God; She taught me when a boy to pray, And prayed herself each passing day. In shady lanes I've often walked And with my little comrades talked; Gather'd wild flowers fresh and gay, While song-birds their cheerful lay.
n Smithy Lane the flowers fair
From New Lane round the view is good, In summer there I've often stood; I've looked and feasted on the sight, Again, I've gazed with great delight. Molly Greaves, a neighbouring wood, Has wintry storms for years withstood, It forms a dell that's very low, Through which a lucid stream doth flow; The feathered choir, a merry throng Drink of this stream and sing their song. O music sweet! I love to hear Their joyous singing without fear: In this wood I've lingered long, List'ning to their cheerful song; Oft from the sun's oppressive heat I've found this place a cool retreat: While in its sylvan shade I've been Numbers of conies I have seen; They pricked their ears, and raised their head, And then into their burrows fled; Poor timid things! No harm I'd do, You therefore need not scamper so.
Cast off their scent from hedgerows there.
rom Pilling Lane, I'll tell you true, You've Bretton Woods and Park in view. High Hoyland Church, too, by the wood, Where it has for centuries stood, In which the servants of the Lord, Have preached to men the gospel word; Told them to cast on Christ their care, And often come to Him in prayer. The church is closed, save when 1s read The solemn service o'er the dead; It is deserted, left alone, As if its work on earth was done. There's Emley Park, lies on one side, From Pilling Lane both long and wide; There a Brook, with many a turn, Pays tribute to the River Dearne; Past the park gate this brook doth run, Which once a narrow bridge did span: This bridge is now no longer there, Showing the Local Board had care By building one both strong and broad, Able to bear the heaviest load.
N mley Old Hall, not far away, FAS Was moated in its pristine day. ! To keep off all invading foes, The inmates (from impending woes) To get to this much famed abode A drawbridge formed,—an easy road,— But when drawn back there was no way, Those left behind, behind must stay. The moat was once in water deep, But now it's dry; the banks are steep, Save on one side there's water now Where cattle drink, and tall trees grow. Near to this place in Lady Oak, From something strange its name it took: A lady lived there long ago, And to her wooing one did go; Accepted as her future spouse He often saw her in her house: There was an oak both strong and high, Which flourished in a field near by. This fine oak tree (their trysting place,) They with their pleasure oft did grace.
Nag oung, bold he was, and active, too, With bow in hand he feared no foe. His foes to take him were intent, So to her Ladyship they went, And offered her a bride, if she Would cripple him beneath the tree. She took the bribe; Oh faithless heart! To act a foul, deceitful part; I She cut his bow string, shame to tell, And then into their hands he fell. The oak might blush with very shame, But this is how it got it's name. Now from this village we can see The field where stood that great oak tree. My native place, so much beloved, Has been much altered, much improved. If many who have passed away, Could see it as it is today, Would see a change they little thought Would ever here be brought about. The roads were bad, the ruts were deep, Enough to make one sad and weep; But now they're fit for king or queen, And smooth as any bowling green.
water course, as some will know, Ran thro’ the village years ago; This water course was open wide, ‘Tis covered now from side to side. A great rude stone was laid across, O'er which pedestrians might pass. This Anthony's bridge, so called of yore, Has passed away for evermore, The palce where lay this stone so rude, Was at the entrance of Elm Road. Old houses which could not turn rain, Have been pulled down and built again. It's sanitary state 1s good, Far better than it ever stood. We've chapels four wherein is taught The gospel, that's with blessings fraught: It's savings power can make you free, Come, villagers, and happy be!
Most of the Society’s events centre around the monthly talks and the June excursion. The range has, inevitably, become wider in recent years as interests have spread beyond the narrow confines of Huddersfield itself.
Recent examples included the talk by Agnes Lyons of Huddersfield University on the textile fabrics of India, a subject of great importance to the once substantial textile industry. David Weldrake came to explain the work of a modern archaeological service - dismissing images of dedicated diggers toiling to uncover buried treasure and observing that digging is now regarded as an admission of failure. Finds should be mapped and measured and then left alone.
Some talks take a more academic path, such as Rebecca Bryson’s study of wages in late Victorian textile industry, and Richard Fellowes “Reflections on architectural theory 1840-1996, and its relationship to Huddersfield’s architecture”’.
On the lighter side, there has been Mr Sotnik with his personal collection of Huddersfield slides and Mr Beaumont, whose dialect talks run the Mirfield Potter very close in the humour stakes.
The June excursion in 1976 crossed the Pennines to visit a very interesting small museum on the “wrong” side of the border. Or was it? Saddleworth has long boasted a dual identity - as the Yorkshire home of Lancashire people. Only in 1974 did it leave the West Riding to become part of Oldham, and even more recently lost its political ties to
the Colne Valley Constituency. All of which makes for a rich historical heritage, well preserved in this independently run museum. Located in the village of Uppermill, in converted textile premises, the museum backs onto the Huddersfield Narrow Canal and contains many of the features normally seen in larger, public museums. There are period rooms and galleries, working textile machines, a shop, and, of course, a section on Saddleworth’s very own literary luminary Ammon Wrigley. In short, a very enterprising museum and well worth a visit. Bretton Hall was the subject of this years’ excursion. Well known as a college, and home of the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, the Hall and its occupants has a long history in its own nght. Eloquently described by Cyril Pearce and a colleague, this made for a fascinating visit, and will be followed up with more revelations at the Woodsome dinner.
Another important part of the Society’s year is the October Day School - usually themed around a specific topic. Cyril Pearce was the main speaker at the 1996 event, held on education in Huddersfield. While this year’s school was in local transport. In both cases the venue was Newsome Methodist Church and thanks are extended to all involved in making them a success.
Talks in 1998 will include: Mr and Mrs Minter on markets and fairs. Jan 26 Rev. Stopford on the Fire Service. Feb 23 Dr Ingle on Yorkshire cotton. 30 Mar 98 Mr and Mrs Lucas on Wildlife imagery inchurches 27 Apr John Goodchild. 18 May
Westgate 70 Years Ago
As the Market Place is re-developed, this Examiner article (found by Lesley Kipling) recalls the town centre scene of C. 170 years ago.
Kirkgate, Westgate & Market Place as they used to be.
Below, Mr Robert William Jubb, of Westbourne Road, Marsh gives further reminisces of Huddersfield seventy years ago. In a previous contribution Mr Jubb described Ramsden Street and its neighbourhood, and in this he deals with Westgate and Kirkgate.
There are few streets in Huddersfield which have altered their appearance more than the northern side of Westgate and Kirkgate. From the mouth of the tunnel at the bottom of New North Road to the Parish Church, there is not a single old building that existed 70 years ago.
From the tunnel mouth to the site where the Old Cherry Tree stood was a long row of little, old one storey shops. The top one was occupied by alittle, old woman who baked oatcakes. I had occasion to call on this old lady on Saturday momings for sixpenny worth of oatcakes and had to wait my turn until she made them. Continuing down this little row of shops we came to one occupied by a Mr Lambaraini, ''maker of weatherglasses". From the number of instruments I have seen in this district bearing his name, he must have gained a considerable reputation. At the bottom of this row was the old Cherry Tree. Its appearance has become pretty well known by the photograph taken by Mr Hatch before it was pulled down, with a group of its frequenters standing in front of it. I knew every individual in that group - the landlord, James Cooper, his wife and little boy (later Colonel Cooper) and the others.
From this point the buildings encroached into the street. The first was a shop occupied by Mr Hirst, bootmaker, a tall, military looking gentleman who wore trouser straps underneath the instep of his boots. The next was a private house occupied by Miss Blade, stays maker. The shop below was occupied by ''Old Wright''acheesemonger. By this shop was an entrance to Schwann's Yard. On the low side of this entrance was the Plumber's Arms, kept by Math Gawthorpe, plumber, whose workshop was further in the yard, alongside an old blacksmith's shop. The next building was Joe Johnson's house and tinner's shop, with the workroom at the back. Next was the Royal George, adram shop, and below was J&G Brook, stationers, who had a small lending library. Then came Heaps, ironfounders, with a large gift key hung up in front of the shop. Between these two shops was a narrow entry leading to Schwann's Yard. This narrow passage had a short cut to "Mother Ramsden's" pie shop - also to the Wellington.
Below Heap's Shop was a confectioner's establishment, and then came the Old George Hotel, which occupied a
position across what is now John William Street. On the top side of this hotel was a broad passage leading to the "Spout Fields". This extended to what was called Bradley's Spout, opposite the gable end of the old brick factory. The water from the source was said to possess unique virtues, but it was later condemned. After the Old George Hotel was pulled down it was re-erected as a warehouse in St. Peter Street. Below the hotel were two old shops which stood in the same line as the George. One was occupied by a firm of drapers, Messrs Cooper, Smeaton and Norton and from this point buildings projected into the street.
The top shop in the new line was occupied by Miss Woodhouse, confectioner. The next were Edward Clayton's, Bickerdyke's cap shop, "Old Haigh's", the hosier; and then George Haigh's, druggist's shop. This last establishment was busy morning and night, and Mr Hall and his assistant, Robert Hill, could be seen in their white aprons serving customers all the day. The shop below was Binns's (rope and twine), and next was a butchers shop and then a corner shop (kept by a saddler), which led into the White Swan yard. (Below the entrance were two very old shops, one kept by Mr Swallow, tobacconist, who lived over the shop). The next shop was one kept by Thomas Knott, "practical silk hat maker". The gable end of this shop formed the boundary wall of the churchyard. Beyond it were a lot of old buildings facing into the White Swan yard, occupied as stables. The back of these also formed part of the boundary of the churchyard, and encroached within three yards of what is now the main entrance to the Parish Church.
I have a faint recollection of a small hotel, beyond the Parish Church, called the White Horse. The corner of what is now Lord Street was Styring's wine and spirit stores. A little lower down, facing the street, were the Boy and Barrel; Armitage's, seed merchants; and Macuen's grocer's shop. Across the way stood the old Rose and Crown Hotel - a noted house in the old coaching days. At one time it must have been a very important and busy centre. There was extensive stable accommodation at the back. above (where now is Venn Street) was the Parish Church vicarage.
Where the Town Councillors met At the corer of Cross Church Street old Sammy Oakes had a shop. He was a familiar figure as he stood at one side of the door of his shop in his white apron, and a "pocket of hops" at the other. Crossing Cross Church Street and facing into, it was Baldwin's silk hat shop, with his residence above. Turning into Kirkgate was Wheatley and Higgins's, wholesale druggists, and then Mr Aconley's draper shop. Over the latter shop were the works of the ''Huddersfield Chronicle", next came the Pack Horse Hotel, which always had a good reputation. It was reported that many members
of the Town Council assembled here and council work was often ''cut and dried" in this hotel. From here a bus ran daily to Halifax. A little deformed man they called "Little Pickwick" attended to passengers and parcels.
Above the passage was the White Swan, then atailor's shop kept by Mr Ludwig, next Alfred Jackson, and then another tailor's shop kept by one Dougherty. Other shops, in their order, were: a basket shop kept by Mr Burteraux, a taior's establishment occupied by Mr Kilner, Alfred Smith, silversmith and clock maker; Nicholsons, where it stands now' a butcher's shop, and then we came to the Market Place. Where now are the bank premises was an ironmonger's shop kept by two brothers, John and James Booth, who lived on the premises. At the comer of Chancery Lane was Joseph Brook, Stationer. On the building of the Paragon Mr Brook took a shop on the top side of the Market Place where he had also a stamp office.
Then came the Swan-with-two-Necks, and then above the broad passage Ramsden's" pie shop. The next buildings were Robinson's, a grocer (well known amongst the best families - there was always a carriage and pair there), a warehouse owned by Messrs J&G Hinchcliffe; the Wellington, Mary North's fish shop, and above that Culley's Temperance Hall, with an entrance through a narrow passage. The old ''Co-op" was here, and this was popular for it's sale of "Tom Buck snuff". The next shop was a draper's, kept by Tom North Swift. It was afterwards occupied by Ralph Cuthbert, chemist and then by G.H. Robinson, grocer. Above this was Kirkby's tobacconist, and then came the Green Dragon, which was pulled dow n to permit of improvements to Market Street. Where is now the Cherry Tree was a saddler's shop with an entrance at the corer. A temperance hotel, with an entrance to Westgate, came next, and then the old Plough, which overlooked Johnny Marshall's farmyard.
A more appropriate heading for this column might once again be “picture this”, as compilations of historical photographs once again predominate. The largest and glossiestis undoubtedly Heritage of Huddersfield: Kirklees Cultural Service’s sequel to the successful Images of Huddersfield. Using more photographs from the Kirklees and Examiner collections, to show how the local scene has changed in the late C20th.
Without any obvious irony, the authors of Around Huddersfield note that “Huddersfield is fortunate in that it has been home of good local photographers”. It has certainly been beneficial to publishers, as this Victorian selection confirms. Iris Bullock and Denis Broadbent are the compilers.
But photographs don’t have to be about buildings and places. A new history of the Huddersfield police describes itself as a“pictorial history of the Huddersfield and District police force from the earliest times to the present day”. This doesn’t quite do justice to a well-written and accessible account of the service since the 1830’s. Written by a serving police officer, Sgt Steve Holberry, it concentrates on the personalities behind the uniform and includes many potted biographies of individual officers.
For those who would rather see their history “on the hoof”, there are two new walking companions toconsider. Gordon and Enid Minter have produced On the Trail of the Holmfirth Flood 1852 to give a different view of a familiar story. Audrey Kenyon and Pamela Thorpe have written An historical tour of the Parish of Denby and its surrounding area.
For many towns, their defining structure is a grand municipal or ecclesiastical building, but in Huddersfield it is the
railway station. After 150 years this grand building has become synonymous with the town and is the subject of an affectionate tribute by Paul Salveson Our beautiful station: Huddersfield 1847-1997.
A fine Victorian building of a less conspicuous sort 1s Lunnclough Hall, the subject of a fascinating article by David Gniffiths in Yorkshire History Quarterly November 1997. This “commodious mansion” was built in Kaffir Road, Edgerton (described by one estate agent as the “Belgravia of Huddersfield’) by Read Holliday, and the article relates the dye-stuff manufacturer’s fortunes to those his splendid home.
Family life of amore modest kind has become the preserve of Hazel Wheeler recently, and no year would be complete without another chapter in the family saga. The current offering strays beyond the bounds of Huddersfield to describe a grandmother’s upbringing in Boroughbridge in Milliner’ s apprentice: a girlhood in Edwardian Yorkshire.
Sadly, the past year has seen the demise of Old West Riding, a periodical that has done so much to foster the serious study of local history in this area. The final issue (vol 15) was largely devoted to the Huddersfield area and included articles on Robert Meeke, the Slaithwaite diarist, Joe Perkin composer of the Holmfirth Anthem, a view of Slaithwaite in the 1890's by Mrs Quarmby, and an American account of Huddersfield in the 1870's Not to mention the local phenomenon of the Yorkshire “sings”, and a Skelmanthorpe man’s explanation of Knurr and Spell. With a range of articles such as these, the magazine must be greatly missed in the future, especially as the commercial publishing tends ever more towards the nostalgic and photographic. There are all too few outlets for such popular, but seriously researched pieces of work.
Never Mind that Tune - Name the Town
The ‘Huddersfield sound’ has always been special, even reaching parts of the world that other voices can't reach.
This is a particular example which comes from the Republic of El Salvador in 1941, and is addressed to Harold Sykes of the Glee and Madrigal Society. But what of the "Huddersfield Colony", of which Mr Crossley was apparently a member? Did it really exist and what was it doing in a small Central American country in the st
depths of the Second World War?
Editor: Mr. K. Brockhill, 52 Croft Gardens, Birkby, Huddersfield.