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LOCAL HISTORY SOCIETY 7
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JOGRNG@L No. 12 WINTER 2001/2002
THE OXFORD MOVEMENT IN HUDDERSFIELD
The movement of catholic revival in the Victorian Angliean Church originated in Oxford in 1833. Combining three major strands of thought: Tractarianism, the Ecclesiological Movement and the Ritualist Movement, it spread rapidly as a major source of transformation within the Church of England - notably in its services and buildings. As the need to provide new churches in the growing urban areas grew, the movement was presented with opportunities to extend its influence. In this extract from his M.A. case study, M Tomlinson considers the influence of the Oxford Movement on one such church, St. Thomas’s, Huddersfield.
The essay now turns to examine the role of these various factors in relation to a church opened in 1859 in the expanding industrial town of Huddersfield.
Foundation and Patronage The church has its origins in one of the town’s leading industrialists, Thomas Starkey, who with his two brothers operated a large and successful woollen mill at Longroyd Bridge about 0.8 kilometre from the town centre. There is no evidence that the Oxford Movement directly influenced him; he attended the ancient parish church in the town centre which had an evangelical tradition.
Thomas Starkey was well known for his philanthropy and church involvement including the re-building of the parish church in the 1840s. At this time the was discussing with the then Vicar of Huddersfield his desire to use some of his business wealth to build a new church. He had in mind the needs of his large work force, for the children of whom he had already established
elementary schools. The death of Thomas Starkey in 1847 halted progress with the plan but his widow and two brothers continued with the scheme, which was to be his memorial. In 1856 land was bought opposite the Starkey Mills, a chapelry district was carved out of the existing parishes, andG. C. Scott was appointed architect. The building was completed in 1859 and consecrated by the Bishop of Ripon on the 30th June. Though its was built by a leading architect of the Gothic Revival and had a long chancel and elevated sanctuary, it was not designed for ritualist worship.
Moreover, though the Starkey family funded the building of the church and made provision for the clergy stipend the bulk of the seating was subject to pew rents, a practice not favoured by Tractarians.
The right of patronage was held by Thomas’s widow until her death in 1879, it then passed to his nephew, Lewis Randle Starkey It was the exercise of this patronage that caused the appointment of clergy who were to be driving forces in the creation of a catholic tradition and a major influence on the religious life of the town.
Nothing is known of Charlotte Starkey’s sympathies but some hint of Lewis Randle’s, by this time an MP, can be gained from an address he gave at St Thomas’s Dedication Festival in 1874 when the Regulation of Public Worship Bill was before Parliament:
He was unsure how he would vote, the Huddersfield Chronicle reports. He had no sympathy with any bill which would enable one body of churchmen to triumph over
another body or would encourage disunion throughout the whole church. It had great safeguard to the Church of England that they had been allowed to exercise latitude in all directions- high churchmen, low churchmen, broad churchmen.
The Clergy of the Church Two parish priests span the whole of the Victorian era and well beyond and their successive ministries neatly demonstrate some of the developments in the Oxford Movement already outlined. Though over 30 years separates their ministries, what they had in common is most
They were both new to Huddersfield and both were educated at the source of the Oxford Movement, Oxford University. They had post- graduate training at institutions in the forefront of the catholic revival ata time when an Oxbridge degree was still considered all the training necessary for ordination.
Their initial appointments as assistant curates were in working class districts. Edmund Snowden, the first perpetual curate, was the nephew of Charlotte Starkey.
In 1859 he became the first incumbent of St Thomas’s where he remained till his retirement in 1892. He thus dominates the church’s Victorian era and this essay.
Contemporary literature shows that Snowden was very much a Tractarian, seeking to renew the life of the Anglican Church but loyal to its formularies and provisions. His Pastoral Letter of 1869 - a time of much ritualist controversy- describes his position:
So far as extreme ritualism is concerned, I have no sympathy with it on the one hand, than I have with the cold, monotonous and unimpressive services which are the badge of the extreme evangelical party on the other. I believe that the Church ofEngland was intended to be a barrier against Rome on the one side, and the various puritanical sects of Nonconformists on the other: and the nearer, we, her clergy, preserve the
middle course between the two extremes, the more shall we act and preach in conformity with the spirit in which her Articles, her liturgy and her rubrics were framed.
What then were his priorities in the new church? The first was the proper conduct and dignity of the services. Like many Tractarians he wanted to use the “cathedral mode]” already referred to.
When I first came among you, Snowden reports in 1862, I was determined to put before you the beautiful services of our church according to the plain rules and directions of our Prayer Book and conduct them after the oldest of models, whichis still followed in our cathedrals.
This involved the choir and clergy leading worship from the chancel, then a generally unusual arrangement especially in Huddersfield’s churches where singing was led by threemenand two women stuck up in a gallery.
The most controversial aspect of this was the use of the surplice for choir members. Indeed the then Vicar of Huddersfield had wamed Snowden that such an innovation would drive people away and as late as 1864 the Archdeacon of Halifax, whilst approving of the use of this vestment at St Thomas’s felt unable to introduce it in his own parish church
The principal services sung by the choir were Morning and Evening Prayer. Music played an important role in the catholic revival. Temperley suggests that musical developments were less overtly controversial because their symbolism was less easily appreciated no music would so immediately suggest “popery’ as would the sudden appearance of a cross on the altar
Thus plainchant was introduced at St Thomas’s for the psalms and canticles in preference to the metrical versions On festivals more elaborate music was used drawing on more ancient sources than was the usual practice; setting based on Tallis and Palestrina were used at the tenth Dedication festival. Hymns Ancient and Modern was adopted in 1863 46 soon after the hymnal
was first published by a group of moderate Tractarian clergy. Likewise at the monthly celebration of the Holy Communion after Morning Prayer, Marbeck’s setting was used; a common practice even in advanced Ritualist parishes.
A key part of Tractarian teaching was the importance of the Eucharist in the life of the church and the need for its more frequent celebration. Some Tractarians and most Ritualist wanted to make it the principal service of Sunday morning in place of Morning Prayer.
Snowden however was content with a weekly early celebration (at a time when it was no more than monthly in most parish churches) and the monthly choral celebration just mentioned. Throughout his ministry, however, he encouraged more frequent attendance at the Eucharist and emphasised its centrality in Christian worship from apostolic times.
So many of you, he reminds his congregation in 1862, are not partaking of the Bread of Life and Cup of Salvation in obedience to our Saviour’s command and confirmed by the habits of pious Christians since the earliest times.
He was equally concerned about the sacrament of baptism. He is disappointed by the total number of baptisms in his first 10 years and so in his 1869 Pastoral Letter contrasts the value of the sacrament with the necessity for civil registration.
registration can only make your child members of the state of which the Queen is the head. But baptism makes them members of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, and first places salvationwithin their grasp by virtue of a new and spiritual birth
Whilst not putting them on a par with the gospel sacraments, Tractarians also wanted to restore the sacramental nature of other rites of the Anglican Church. Confirmation was one of these and again in his Pastoral Letter he reminds his people of the apostolic origin of this rite and the many blessing which are in store for those who come to it.
Of all the lesser “sacraments the one that most smelt of ‘popery’ and raised fears of clerical impropriety was private confession though the Prayer Book does provide for it. Snowden never used the term but in his efforts to encourage more frequent communion he reminds those who may be prevented from doing so by “an over scrupulous conscience, that he could help them prepare for a due and right reception of this holy sacrament.
Thus in his first ten years Snowden was essentially concerned with catholic teaching and discipline and matters of ornament and ceremonial had a rather lower priority. His innovations were modest. They included the processional entrance of the ministers for which the congregation was asked to stand as a mark of respect due to the office of priesthood and turning eastwards for the Creed. The surplice was used by the clergy for preaching, the black gown to which some cling (being) nota priestly but anacademiz Flowers were placed on the altar which aisc¢ ac frontals in liturgical colours to mark more distinctly to the outward eye the fasts and festivals of our church. Also by 1874 there was a cross on the altar.
The style of worship and ministry established by Snowden became the norm of his long ministry which kept St Thomas’s in a Tractarian pattern until 1892. His successor was to be the Reverend
_ Samuel Swire. As in Snowden’s appointment a
personal relationship with the Starkey family was the ostensible reason for Swire’s presentation to the living. Samuel Swire was to be a major innovator taking St Thomas’s very definitely into the Ritualist Movement.
Unlike his predecessor Samuel Swire found the existing provision of the Church of England inadequate to advance the catholic cause and he belonged to the tradition that used contemporary Roman Catholic practice to make up for this deficiency. Thus daily services of Morning and Evening Prayer were immediately started. Daily Eucharist was started in 1894 and aSung Eucharist replaced Morning Prayer in 1895. A new, larger and more prominent altar was installed with a cross and six candlesticks (a Ritualist hallmark) and presumably the celebrant adopted the eastward position, eucharistic vestments were in
use from a festival in 1895 at which Arthur Stanton preached.
Thus the church interior left the Victorian era with a much more advanced ritualistic appearance. It was hoped to enhance this further with a set of ‘Stations of the Cross’ given in 1897 but their installation was delayed by the bishop.
Bishops and their Oversight
The generally high church nature of the Victorian episcopacy, 1s seen by Yates as a positive factor in the spread of the Oxford Movement to the parishes especially in the Southern Province. In the north, however, there were fewer sympathetic bishops. Indeed the appointment of Bishop Bickersteth, who consecrated St Thomas’s in 1859 and had oversight of the parish till 1884, caused some dismay Bishop Bickersteth disliked ritualism; in 1867 he wrote: Within the last few years we have witnessed a movement in favour of ritual observances which have taken the country by surprise, led to much controversy and aroused both indignation and alarm.
it is beyond dispute that it involves a strange innovation upon the established usage of the past 300 years. The promoters claim to have discovered that the legal vestments to be worn at the celebration of the Holy Communion are suchas have been indisuse, ifnotaltogether unknown...... om the time of the reformation. Not only this: changes have been introduced in the mode of conducting Divine Service, which convey to all ordinary observers the appearance of aclose and studied assimilation of the ritual of our church to that of the church of Rome. The costly and elaborate decoration of the Communion Table, the blaze of candles in broad daylight the practice of mixing water with the wine in the Lord’s Supper, the elevation of the elements... are among the innovations which in some churches have shocked the minds of many who love the reverence of the Church of England......
However there is no evidence that anything at St Thomas’s displeased him or that he was appealed to by those who especially in the early days disliked the innovations already described. In any case they were very moderate compared with those of the large cluster of ritualist parishes in Leeds.
Bishop Walsham How was much more sympathetic to the catholic cause and was responsible for appointing Swire. He was described by his son as: @ High Churchman of the type of the last generation, and has been likened in many respects to John Keble. At the same time he was deeply impressed with the danger of the extravagances indulged in by the advanced section of ritualists.
However there is no evidence of that he saw Swire as extravagant. It was left to the last bishop of the Victorian age, Bishop Eden, to show the only evidence of censure in his refusal in 1898 to sanction the installation of the Stations of the Cross, on the grounds that some of the representations were not scriptural.” This may be explained by arenewal of suspicion of ritualism partly occasioned by a visit by the second Viscount Halifax, now the leader of the catholic movement, to the Pope. This re-kindled fears of a ‘papist’ take-over of the Church of England.
Church and People How did the people of the parish and the town generally respond to this new church? In the early days the evidence that survives points to a degree of hostility. The Huddersfield Chronicle in 1884 congratulates Edmund Snowdon for his good work but remembers his early days: For many years he appeared to be leading a forlorn hope. The files of our journal record muchto show thatin those early days there was real want of sympathy with him in the innovations he introduced. To commemorated the opening of his church under the name ‘Dedication Festival was regardedas high treasonto those who clung with pardonable fondness to the word ‘Anniversary’
Snowdon had been accused of ‘popery’ when he arrived in the town but by the 1880s and 90s there was more general acceptance, indeed the same innovations were adopted whole or in part by most churches in the town. His obituary in The Huddersfield Chronicle notes the fruits of his ministry.
From the small seed planted by Mr Snowdon thirty years ago there has sprung up among us surpliced clergy and choristers, altar decorations, processional and recessional singing, harvest thanksgiving, a better observance of festivals and fasts and other Catholic usages which Puritan intolerance and bigotry had partly swept away.
However his successor re-ignited some of the fin de siecle anti-Ritualist feeling and came to the notice of John KenSit who addressed a meeting in Huddersfield Town Hall in 1900: Huddersfield had not been passed by the conspiracy to undermine the National Church of England and he believed they had at least one clergyman - the Reverend S. Swire, Vicar of St Thomas’s - who belonged to one of the most secret societies - the Society of the Holy Cross
The Vicar of St Thomas’s has announced that he is in church to receive confessions from six to seven every Saturday [SHAME]......the real disaster in Huddersfield was the Vicar of St Thomas’s [APPLAUSE].
As far as the people of the parish are concerned there is little evidence to assess their role in the development of the church. Generally numbers increased and there is no evidence of any major disputes. Prominent members showed indications of their support by their gifts of new items for the church, including the Station of the Cross.
CONCLUSION The preceding sections of the essay show how much was achieved in this new church in the development of a distinctive tradition of worship which was to influence the whole town. Who were the driving forces in this?
The role of the patrons is tantalisingly difficult to assess. Yates notes the importance of the landed interest in the spread of the Oxford Movement and this applies to the Starkey family. They acquired patronage and used it to appoint innovating clergy whose successive muinistries put St Thomas’s in the foreground of the Oxford Movement.
The bishops of the diocese seem to have been willing to accept what happened there with the one exception noticed. Bishop Bickersteth was a major church builder and needed financial assistance and endowments from patronage. His successors needed committed priests.
Whilst the practices of St Thomas’s caused some comment and alarm tothe people of Huddersfield in its early days they seem soon to have been accepted and even emulated.
The people of St Thomas’s too seem tc have deen generally accepting; perhaps this reflectec the attraction of churches with a distinctive style to people outside the parish boundaries which were becoming less relevant in urban areas. The people’s role is perhaps easily underestimated. In 1906 Bishop Eden of Wakefield made this sweeping statement: sees with the exception of the clergy, the Oxford Movement had nothing more than an academic hold at any time in the north of England.
The main driving force then was the two parish priests whose long incumbencies saw such major developments. In this they were examples of the new clergy of the Victorian age. There was anew professionalism among the clergy underpinned by more attention to theological training. Both Snowden and Swire were seemingly men of quality achieving incumbency status rapidly. They used their talents to take advantage of the opportunities presented by a new church in an urban environment. As Wickam concluded in his study of Sheffield the institutional framework within which they worked gave great scope tomen of calibre
ROADS AND RIOTS IN THE DEARNE VALLEY
The year 1974 celebrated the centenary of two events in local history. They were originally researched by the late Mr W H Senior MBE, historian of Denby Dale.
This year of many centenaries includes two events of local importance,encompassing the areas of geography and industrial and social development.Sharp reaction to the construction of new roads is no new thing, but has been going on for centuries, and always the trouble has been the cost. The main highway to Lancashire was at first via Huddersfield and Austerlands, and consequently was of little use to the immediate district of the Dearne Valley. But, as trade and commerce were increasing, a project was instigated, in the early nineteenth century, to construct a new road from Wakefield to join the new Barnsley and Shepley Lane Head Road, which had been authorised in 1824, at Denby Dale, to link up with the Greenfield and Shepley Lane Head Road, which had been authorised in 1824, at Denby Dale, to link up with the Greenfield and Shepley Lane Head road and on to Manchester.
A proposed new road was to leave Wakefield by Market Street, cross the Calder Valley via Thornes and Durker, go up to Bretton and then proceed through the Dearne Valley to Denby Dale and Shepley.
It was an expensive and ambitious project, but it would open up the district, which was rich in agriculture, and by now partly industialised through access to the markets at Wakefield which had previously been without direct access. Most of the new road was to be cut on an entirely new course, where there had been no roadways of any kind.
A preliminary meeting to discuss parliamentary procedures was held at Bretton in July 1824. Royal assent was given on the 2nd May 1825 to an Act for making and maintaining a Turnpike road from Wakefield to join the Shepley in Denby Dale, in the Parish of Penistone, with certain branches in all the West Riding of the County of York.
A meeting of the Trustees appointed under the Act was held in the Wakefield Court House on the fourth day of June 1825, under the Chairmanship of John Pemberton Heywood, and officials were appointed. Mr Charles Stringer of Emley Woodhouse was appointed Surveyor of the road at a salary of £50 per annum. But it was not until March of 1830 that the road was opened throughout its length (although some sections had been in use for some time before then)
There were seven gates or bars between Wakefield and Shepley, and although the tolls charged were quite heavy, it appears from the accounts that it was most unlikely that they were ever sufficient to clear the original cost and maintenance of the road.
The Act itself provided for tolls to be charged for every horse or other beast drawing any coach, State coach, Diligence, van, caravan, sociable, Berlin, Landau, chariot, Vizavee, Berouch, Faton, Chase-Maree, Carlack, Cerickle, Chair, Gig, Whisky, hearse, litter, or chase, for the sum of nine pence. For every horse , mule or ass that was
unladen, it was three pence, and for every calf, Swine or sheep, a mere farthing. Foot passengers were charged one penny for not more than one gate along the route, but heavy fines were levied on those who were caught evading the toll charge.
In some turnpike roads many investors lost their capital, orreceived no interest, and the guarantors suffered considerable loss, but the estates of the adjoining landowners increased in value quite substantially.
With the competition caused by the construction of the Huddersfield to Penistone Railway, and the Holmfirth branch line in the 1850s, some of the toll charges had to be reduced slightly, but there was some resentment by the local farmers and other users at having to pay these tolls and many travellers sought to bypass the tollbars by taking obscure lanes around them. The road was eventually distumpiked in 1874 and passed to the care of the local authorities, and the gates, bars, and chains sold by tender over the following year.
Tolls were abolished on ‘I st November 1874 and the event was celebrated that same evening by a dinner at the Station Hotel, Crigglestone, which was attended by a large gathering of people. The Chairman, Mr B Watson, proposed the toast of the evening, the opening of the Denby Dale road to free traffic".
A social disturbance which attracted national interest at the same time also occurred here exactly 100 years ago. This was the famous conflict between the navvies and the natives of
It was on the Tuesday, 10th November 1874, and most of the action took place at Shelley Woodhouse between a large number of men from Skelmanthorpe and the navvies employed by J. Clarke of Warwick, the contractor for the new branch railway from Shepley to Clayton West, for the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company. For some time there had been occasional disputes between Skelmanthorpe men and the navvies working on the line, originating, according to
local newspapers, in the navvies objecting to the Skelmanthorpe men coming into the works and making too free in the navvies huts at Shelley Woodhouse and Skelmanthorpe. Consequently, whenever the navvies had gone to the public houses in Skelmanthorpe on Saturday evenings, or even walked through the village, the natives had insulted and quarrelled with them until they were induced to fight, and then they set about them in large numbers. The navvies, however, generally proved more than a match for the natives in fair fight, man to man.
After several scuffles of this kind, some Skelmanthorpe men visited the navvy huts on Sunday afternoon, the 8th November 1874 to fight a return battle.
A police officer reported that the navvies sent them back with their change. On the following day, a Skelmanthorpe man went to the railway works to settle the account with the navwvies, but he sustained a defeat. On the Tuesday morning. 10th November 874, while about 200 of the navvies were at their work in the cutting at Shelley Woodhouse, between two lots of huts, about 100 people from Skelmanthorpe, including a score of women, advanced upon the workings. They got over the wall and into the fields, picking up stones as they went, the women filling their aprons with them for the men to throw.
They ran to the top of the cutting, which was almost fifty feet deep, and from the top of this commanding position they threw down the stones upon the navvies below as fast as they could, but perhaps with more vigour than accuracy of aim.
The navvies, realising their position, began to defend themselves, many of them knocking the pick heads from the shafts. With the pick shafts, shovels and hedge stakes in their hands, they made their way out of the cutting.
When the navvies, at that part of the workings, with stones being continuously thrown at them, ran after the natives, they were more fleet of foot and were driven off the fields and onto the brow of the hill where they were joined by another body of men.
The navvies , under a hail of stones, were in some danger of being rapidly driven back, but a messenger had been sent to some workmen at another part of the line and they, similarly armed, made all haste and got behind the Skelmanthorpe people, who, seeing they were now attacked from the rear, became alarmed. The women emptied their aprons of stones, the men threw those down that they had in their hands and all ran in various directions to avoid being caught by the navvies - ultimately they got back to the village. In all this affray only one navvie was wounded and his injury was not serious. The navvies had not been able to get near to the Skelmanthorpe people or else it is very probable that the saying there’s not one whole man in Skelmanthorpe” would have had more truth in it for some time to come. About 11 o’clock, Sgt. Batty of the Barnsley division of the West Riding Constabulary, stationed at Scissett, got information of the disturbance and he went in search of the two men of his section, PCs William Haigh and Malcolm Macdonald.
When he found them, they proceeded through Skelmanthorpe, where the people were standing about in groups, towards Shelley Woodhouse. As they arrived there, they found about fifty of the navvies preparing to march in procession towards Skelmanthorpe, but fortunately they took the advice of Sgt. Batty and promised not to carry out their intentions. They carried on, however, making their way in the direction of Skelmanthorpe while at the same time, Skelmanthorpe people were seen coming up the hill towards them! Sgt. Batty and Mr Hopkinson, the cashier at the works, went after the navvies
and again they were induced to return, while the Skelmanthorpe people, seeing the three policemen, ran back to the village.
Later, a Shelley man, Mr Arthur Hey, who was employed at the works, was going to part of the line near Skelmanthorpe, when he was set on by some of the natives and kicked severely about the head and face. It was not settled yet.
As soon as the opportunity arrived, Mr Dowel, the resident engineer, sent a telegram to the Superintendent at Huddersfield, informing him that the navvies had been driven off the works and there was not a policeman on the spot - which at this time was a fact, as Sgt. Batty and his constables were giving evidence at the County Police Court in cases being held there, charging Skelmanthorpe men with assault on the previous Saturday The Superintendent, Mr Heaton, at once made arrangements to despatch a number of his force to Skelmanthorpe by-the first train, which went to Kirkburton, and five sergeants, along with twelve conatables, marched from Kirkburton to Shelley Woodhouse.
Skelmanthorpe remained quiet and no further outbreaks occurred. Several of the navvies, alarmed by the violence, drew their pay and left the works, refusing to work there any longer, and from the evidence given at the many police court cases which followed, it appears that there is little doubt that the Skelmanthorpe natives were responsible for most of the trouble. A local newspaper reported on the following Saturday, “Skelmanthorpe is notoriously the most lawless part of this police district”.
Memories of Taylor Hill Primitive Methodist Church
by Mrs. Florence Hoyle written after the church closed in November 1972.
I was 13 years old in 1921, when my family moved to the Huddersfield district. We had always gone to Chapel; our old Chapel in our little village was a tin building which was jokingly called ‘The Tin Trunk’. It was a big change going to Taylor Hill. We went to live in Lockwood, on Bentley Street, and we were “Primitive Methodists” which meant that although there was a perfectly good chapel on Bentley Street it was not for us because it was Wesleyan, I never remember quibbling aboutit. On the first Saturday we were there, my parents took my younger sister and myself on a walk around to find the nearest Primitive Chapel, which was Taylor Hill. Son on the Sunday morning my eldest sister took my two sisters and my brother and myself up Taylor Hill to the Sunday School where we went three times a day every Sunday after that.
I wellremember the first Sunday morning. When we got there the Sunday School was almost filled with children - rows of forms with girls on one side and boys on the other. The superintendant was Mr. Harry Townsend. He stood on the platform at the end of the room. We were given Star Cards which were stamped with a star for every attendance and at the end of the year we were awarded the prize of a book. This prize- giving was a great event and we had a special day for it. [remember my fist prize from Taylor Hill was “Peveril of the Peak” but I never remember reading it. Later on when my children were having prizes they got a voucher to chose their own, not like ours which were chosen for us.
I remember the first anniversary I went to at Taylor Hill - a great big stage was put up in the Chapel grrounds, about six or seven tires up and
stretching the width of the chapel. This was packed with children, with teachers and helpers on chairs in front. The choir was somewhere in front and we had a band to play the hymns. It was a great day but I think the weather must have been getting worse because I only remember two anniversaries outside. After that we had them inside.
We had avery good Christian Endeavour Society in those days which held its meeting on a Monday evening - that was where I learnt to take a meeting. We had some marvellous times. Plenty of boys and girls, I expect we were often rowdy and naughty, but we were kept under the thumb and were no worse for it. We had lots of social evenings and concerts and Iremember the Sunday evening services. We had an annex at Taylor Hill; the chapel itself was very small and after morning Sunday School we all climbed the steps to go to the momming service. We were allowed to leave after half an hour but if you didn’t go to the service you didn’t get your star on the card.
By the time I was seventeen our family had moved up to live on Barcroft Road at Newsome so we no longer had the hill to climb three times a day. By this time we had quite a large young peoples class which one of our minister’s wives started. It was well attended on Sunday afternoons by both boys and girls and went on for quite a few years until one of our ministers decided 1t should be young men only, and young women only - needless to say, after that it soon folded. Before that though we gave plays and concerts and of course we had the married ladies’ concerts which were always packed out on at least two nights.
At Whitsuntide our church didn’t have a Whit Monday parade - ours was always the Saturday afterwards, when we met at church and walked around Taylor Hill and Close Hill, and then back to Chapel for tea, then into the field for races, games, dancing to the band and general shinnanikins. The ‘field’ was in various places; once we had the grounds of the ‘Big House’ which is now Bankfield Park, other times it was at Taylor Hill, Close Hill, or anywhere with spare ground - italways seemed to be fine. Because our church didn’t have a Whit Monday walk, the young mixed group always went off on a tram ride and hike on a Whit Monday - we would set off on a tram somewhere then walk. On the Saturday before Whit Saturday the Sunday School primary teachers took the little ones on the train from Berry Brow station to Honley, then walked them up to Bluebell Woods, taking packed teas and as many mothers as could went along to help watch the children.
When you got to about 14 or 15, you were allowed to go out on Christmas Eve with the choir carol-singing, but first there was a marvellous cooked meal at eleven - roast beef(warm), masses of vegetables, finishing off with mince pies and coffee. The ladies of the church cooked and served this, then at five minutes to midnight we all gathered together and had to walk. very quietly to the top of Taylor Hill Road by the big house and all stand silently until the choir master, who had his watch out said, now - 12 o’clock - and we all burst into song, singing “Christians Awake”. We were instructed to walk quietly between the stopping places and after being out two hours we went back to Chapel where we were served mince pies and coffee and then off we went again for another session, finishing around four in the morning.
On Christmas Day the men of the church went around to all the houses in the district we had sung to collect money. All the money collected was for the Old Peoples’ Treat on the first Saturday in January. The age for eligible people was 60. All the people who went carol singing were expected to go and help with the tea, after which they had a concert. I don’t know where they all came from but it was always full.
We had great times in my earlier years. When we had visiting teams of Evangelists, although I was born and brought up as a Christian it was at one of these meetings that I was converted. We had some ‘Hell Fire’ preachers too, but by the time I was growing up only an odd one or two. If a sacrament was held after evening service our young ones never stopped to it and for a long number of years a prayer meeting was held after the evening service. It was a free for all - the people got up and prayed. I only saw one of those meetings but they went on for ages.
Of course they hada very large women’s meeting. By the time my children were at school and I started to go there were much fewer women going but it kept on.
I remember going with my father to sit in a little room in chapel to collect pew rents - people would come once a month to pay rent for their pew.
We always had something ‘doing’ at the Chapel and I don’t ever remember being bored with it. During the late twenties, about 1925, before Blagden Farm was a housing estate, our young people rented a field up there to make a tennis court. We ran a tennis club for a good number of years. I remember walking up from Lockwood through the fields right up to the top of Newsome to play tennis, after working all day in the mill. We thought nothing of it and enjoyed ourselves tremendously. The court was closed when the Huddersfield Corporation bought the land for housing.
Each Sunday our Church progressed, but as our young people married they moved to other districts and when it got to 1972 it was decided to close the church down. It was a sad day for us all. I have talked about the highlights, but there was another hightlight for me - we held our last bazaar in the October of 1972 and after fifty years of going to Taylor Hill Church, I actually opened the bazaar - I was proud. In the November we held our last service in the church.
Contributed by Cathy McLester.
MINUTES FROM BIRCH ROAD I
Around the corner, in Berry Brow, Cathy McLester looks at the Chapel minutes and asks - Does anything change (except money)?
BIRCH ROAD WESLEYAN CHAPEL, BERRY BROW
INFORMAL TRUSTEES MINUTES
1895 Nov 10th
1896 July 30th
1897 June 3rd
" June 16th
" Oct 10th
Sewing committee be asked to make some collection bags.
Rev. Thomas Cooks visit - it was agreed that the Sunday School teachers should prepare tea.
Caretaker resigns. He agreed to carry on if he could have:- 2/6d. Public tea 6d. Tablecovers washing 1/6d. A quarter for dusters 15/-Bazaar 4d. An hour linoleum and floor. Ladies in connection with sewing meeting had arranged to give a general cleaning to floors, woodwork of Chapel. (Anniversary in August)
Scholars allowed to sit in pews athalf price.
Reference made to gas account which was excessive!
Application from choir to commence an organ fund.
Young Womens Class kindly undertaken to prepare tea for Chapel Anniversary for 300. (To be a good plain tea price 6d.).
£1,000 needed for decorating church, ground rent and new organ.
Reported that football club had been able to make arrangements for a place other than the school for washing and dressing.
Letter received from P.T.A. (Pleasant Tuesday Afternoon) that new tables, tea urns and china be purchased as soon as possible.
Mr. T. W. Broadbent - electric light
throughout the church and school premises £52.10s.0d. " That the chancel and rostrum be covered with Wilton carpet at 5s.6d. a yard and ailes and gallery be covered with red Kalmuc as per sample 3611 @ 2s.6d. a yard.
" A meat tea to be provided, the sewing ladies to be asked to make preparations.
1903 That the gas pendants and scrap iron upon these premises be disposed of =v the steward to the best advantage. " Football Club applies for to wash and dress on premises. :etter sev saying this could not be granted ana that they should use the proceed from the entertainment they intended giving in school to erect a football hut in football field.
1904 200 tin boxes with slots for congregation who would subscribe Id a day for one year towards liquidation of debt.
" Caretaker - 6d for every table put up at public tea,6d. for every table cover left to wash.
1907 6 tablecloths be purchased. Decided to recommend to Ladies Sewing Committee that the old tablecloths be made into towels.
1909 April 30th With reference to a letter read, received from the Sunday School teachers about the behaviour of scholars in chapel. Mr. Donkersley said he would see the sidesmen and suggested that they and four or five teachers arrange something for making the behaviour better.
1910 Proposed all lights on premises be out by 10.00 pm Proposed obtaining a small bog for moving pianos.
" Oct 17th Proposed thatthe tablecloths used at present be cut in two.
Huddersfield Town Council was inaugurated in 1868.
A SELECTION OF MINUTES TAKEN FROM THE HUDDERSFIELD TOWN COUNCIL COMMITTEE MEETINGS
It must be remembered that Berry Brow was the responsibility of the Almondbury and Newsome Sub- Committee and was part of the Newsome Area in those days.
March 18th 1871: All houses be numbered and all streets named.
August 1879: TO FAMILIES GOING TO THE SEASIDE - The Chief Constable recommended that parties leaving their houses should give notice of the fact to the Police. Hopefully their would be a discontinuence of the depredations to the property which had recently been carried on. Ald.Jordan said it did not seem to have had any e2',,,Pect yet, for there was aburglary in his neighbourhood last night, in a house which was inhabited, when the front bedroom in which the parties slept was entered and articles taken away.
September 8th: The Corporation do hereby order and declare that the building situate in Waingate, Berry Brow, (lodging house for labouring classes) in the Borough, belonging to John Jessop and occupied as dwelling houses by Matthew Lister, Tom Armitage and Emma Jagger, are not fit for human habitation and shall not, after the 30th September be inhabited.
Ald. Eckles: Have they anywhere to go?
Ald. Hirst: This is in Berry Brow, where there are plenty of houses.
September 29th 1879: Recommending that the Lockwood tramway line be extended along Woodhead Road and Parkgate to a terminus near the Fleece Inn, Berry Brow, and that the line be taken via Queen Street and King’s Bridge and the new road to a terminus near Newsome Church.
December 9th 1878: The Borough Surveyor submitted a plan, a proposed footpath in Station Road, Berry Brow, and it was resolved “That the same be approved, and the work carried out”.
March 10th 1879: Plan prepared for the sewerage of Almondbury district. The Borough Surveyor submitted plans and estimate of costs of carrying out the sewerage of Newsome. Plans approved and tenders invited.
April 8th 1879: An application was read from Major Graham for the stopping up of the footpath between
Station Road, Berry Brow, and the public highway called School Lane. It was resolved that the same be acceded to, and the requisite order issued under Section 56 of the Act of 1871. March 8th 1880: The Almondbury and Newsome District Highways and Improvements Committee approved of the plan sent by Major Graham of a proposed sewer in Birch Road, Berry Brow. The Borough Surveyor was empowered to settle the terms with Messrs. Hirst for additional land taken for the major improvements of Station Road, Berry Brow.
April 12th 1880: That a wall at the bottom of Robin Hood Hill, Berry Brow, be built to prevent danger to passengers.
June 8th 1880: Upon Major Graham promising tonegotiate for the opening out of a proposed street from Waingate, Berry Brow, in an easterly direction to the road leading to Rock Chapel, it was resolved that the plans for the proposed new road submitted by him be approved.
January 10th 1881: That the Borough Surveyor confer with the Town Clerk as to the building erected by Martin Gledhill at Berry Brow, the plans of which are disapproved and that steps be taken for the pulling down of the building.
February 21st 1881: Talk of erecting telephone poles through the district.
April 11th 1881: It was resolved that a new water cart be purchased for the Newsome district.
June 16th 1881: At a meeting of the Almondbury & Newsome Sub-Committee on May 20th, the Borough Surveyor was instructed to prepare a plan of the road at Waingate, with a view to its improvement.
September 22nd 1881: It was decided to leave it to the Chairman & Borough Surveyor to decide upon the additional public lighting of Woodhead Road, fix the position of the lamps, and order them and the posts.
1883: Street names and house numbers be organised in the Borough.
1883: Beaumont Park opened. 1884: Greenhead Park opened.
N.B. Major Graham was the Ramsden Estate’s Agent.
FOOT AND MOUTH TRAGEDY AT CARTWORTH MOOR
For centuries British agriculture has been subjected to devastating “cattle plagues-, such as Foot & Mouth and Rinderpest, and, as an article in the October issue of the BBC History Magazine shows, the “‘treatments”’- to isolate, destroy, burn and disinfect, have a similarly depressing antiquity. Eventually the disease dies with the diseased, but as this local example illustrates, the human consequences can also be fatal.
FROM “THE HUDDERSFIELD EXAMINER” THURSDAY MAY 27TH. 1880. I “SUICIDE OF A FARMER - On Wednesday morning, Charles Crossley of Clough Head (also known as The Cart and Horses or later The Weathercock) Cartworth, farmer, 39 years old, was found to have committed suicide by suspending himself by means of a rope he had fastened to a beam in the kitchen of the house he occupied. He was found by Martha Crossley, his wife, who immediately gave an alarm and the body was cut down by neighbours. Crossley appears to have been in a low state of mind for some time but he had not been attended by a doctor. He went to bed on Tuesday night about a quarter to eight, and before he retired he said he wished he was a thousand miles away. He gave the cattle their ‘lick’ in the usual manner on Wednesday.”
FROM “THE HUDDERSFIELD” EXAMINER SATURDAY MAY 29TH. 1880. “INQUEST - Yesterday afternoon an inquest was held at the house of Elizabeth Crossley, “Cart and Horses Inn” near Cook’s Study on the body of Charles Crossley who committed suicide on Wednesday morning, Mr. Bairstow, Coroner, attended, and the jury was presided over by Mr. William Holden. Evidence was given by John Crossley, brother to the deceased and the deceased’s wife to the effect that he had been in low spirits for some time back. He got out of bed
at 4.30 a.m. and his wife asked him to stay a while longer, but he went out to feed the cattle and at 5.30a.m. she got up and found the deceased hanging by arope in the out-kitchen of the house. She called the deceased ‘s brother, then got the rope from his neck, but he was quite dead. The jury returned a verdict of “committed suicide whilst in a state of temporary insanity”.
The story that has been passed down the family, gives some reason for his “ low spirits’”’ Charles Crossley married Martha Sedgwick or. the 24th. of March 1879 at Holmfirth. Parish Church. At the same time his sister, Sarah Anne, married Martha’s brother James. He farmed on Cartworth Moor but some time the following year, 1880, his cattle contracted foot and mouth disease and they had to be destroyed. (No compensation then!). When he was told that his dogs had also to be destroyed, he said “ 1 might just as well go”. Also his wife Martha was pregnant and he could not see a way to support a wife and family. So, understandingly, he took his own life.
He was interred in St. David’s Church, Holmbnidge, in a simple grave, with noheadstone, but just a stone vase marked “CC 1880”. His funeral card was marked “My grief was more than I could bear’’. On July 2 1 st. 18 80, his daughter Clara was born at Clough Head, and it was said that Martha was haymaking the following day.
Clara Crossley, later Beever, was my Grandmother on my mother’s side of the family, making Charles and Martha my Great grandfather and Great grandmother respectively. This years outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease brought this part of my family history to mind. ““Will we ever Howard Robinson.
Once as important as the supermarket is now, the street corner co-op has all but gone. The memory, however, lingers on, as a rich source of nostalgia for those who remember their “divi” number to this day, and who, quite literally, cut their teeth on its products.
Here, Ernest Beaumont offers a dialect account of a village shop in the 1930s, and, for the benefit of newer members, we reproduce the late Alderman Stephenson’s memories of “retail therapy” in the early years of the twentieth century.
co-op Ah went ta wark int’ villige cwop wen ah wor twelve ‘ear owd. T’ war ednt started yit ant’cwop wont just a place ta get yer shoppm, it wor a place wear ya met ivvrybody an’ get ta know all abaht em anal ! Nah one amy jobs wor ta deliver t’ shop orders. Ah fair wanted a bike wi a baskit on like butcher’s lad ed ah got wor a bloomin owd pram. Ah could rahd on it tho...... dahni I but ah off wen mi booit soi 1 wor worm aht wi slurrin’ rahnd t’ corners.
Ah sumtimes gorra tip, mebbe a awpny or a wrapped up spice burr it wor genly a empty pop bottle ter cash in wen ah got back tat’ shop. Ah got two bob a week wage an wi' a few tips ah thowt it wor oreyt. It wor nobbut a branch cwop an allt’ goods wor browt in thru Birstall twice a week on aoss ‘n cart. Flaar, suga’,bran, taties, curns, raisins, cheese, butter,indy corn,an ugiins o’ uther things, all 1‘ bulk...... yer see, ther wor ardly onny pre-paks 1 them days !
Ther wor Teea, silver seal an gold seal margerine, tins an’jars o coarse an ont’ shelves at back ther wor green tins o gowlden syrup...... ” OUT OF THESTRONG CAME FORTHSWEETNESS”.
We musta used that cos it wor t’ first thing a lernt ta reed. Oval tins o Colmans Musterd...... yellerens...... all peaked ont’ shelf edge just like a row o canaries. Balls o twist...... brahn ‘n black, just like a length o
rooap.(the used ta cut it 1' bits, some chewed it an
some smoaked it.
Little droars wi spices an dried frewt in ‘em. We ewsed ta gerra squared paper. Twist it in es and an mak a paper cooan aatonit an them cooans wor that good yer cud put pepper in em.
Wen it came ter black treacle 0’ viniger wid ter tak us own bottle or jar. One woman cum intut shop an axed for a gill o vinniger...... shid forgetten er bottle ‘n boss sed, “do yer want it lowse or in a paper bag?"......
Ther wor big blocks o soap at the used to cut inta peeces an thed ta be dried afoor the wor ready fo’usin or else thed all gooa sloppy int watter. Ther wor white winsor an carbolic an robin Starch...... EEEEEE wen a think abaht it a can smell it nah...... All them smells-mixed together...... Cheese, baccateeacoffie, forleeters, paraffin, an bacon...... , smell lork that it supermarkit dus it ?
Nah wen ther wor nowt ta deliver ah wort’ weyin up lad. Ahd ta wey stuff up inta ther awn cullered bags. Blue...... purple...... pink...... white...... brahn ‘n soo on. Flar went inta luvly white bags wi block bottoms an wen yer folded em over att’ top an tucked em in ya cud carry em as good as a carrier bag. Sugar wor pur inta blew bags an wor folded over an teed up wi a bit o thin band...... the called it suger band.
T’ other stuff wor pur inta ther own cullerd bags an ya didn’t need onny labels on em.
Taties...... Ther wor pur inta brahn craft bags an wen wid weyed em up inta stooans an arf stooans we’d ta ev nooah muck left. T’ boss ed say “mucks been bowt it'll av ter be selt “ sooa we’d ta pur a bit 1' ivvery bag!
Bulk suger bags wor big uns...... 2 cwt. An wen we’d weyd em up inta punds an auf punds wimin ed nearly get ta leytin over t’ empty seeks. The wor just t’ reyt size for makkin a pegged rug.
Curns cum pact I boxes. The telld es at sumbdy ed trodden em in wi ther bare feet. A bet the’ ed an all cos the dint auf tak sum brekkin up!. T’ boss wanted es ta wissle wen we wor weyn em... e kept sayin “ ah cant ear ye wisslin Ah wor ages afoor a fun aht at ya cudnt wissle...... an eyt curs at same tarm !.
Butter wor 1 barrels an it wor purrinta shape wi two bits o wood at wor called butter pats. We rapt it up 1' greeas proof paper cos polythene adnt been invented then.
Cheese wor in a big block wi a crust rahnd it an it wor cut inta layers wi a wire wi a annle at awther end. Ah saw a chap try ter cut wun wi a piece o band wi a clooase peg at awther end Ee gor it fast it middle ee wor cross-ce sed” by gow its war ner wettin t’ bed wen yer weckn”. A] I cwop members ed a number an ivvery time ya bowt owt ya gorra divi tickit an ivvery three months ya gor a share ot profits...... that wor yer divi.
At that time a ed a bike ahd built it up aht o bits an pieces an painted it wi a tin a yeller japlac an one day t’boss sent mi tut main shop fo sum demerrar suger. Ah thowt ahd gooa on mi bike....Well...... the ged mi t’ sugar in a brahn craft bag like we ewsed fot taties ther wor abaht a stooan on it.
Well if ah didn’t goa bust it o’ mi brake lever ! Well Ya know ah brahn sugar creeps abaht this did......! Wen a got back ta t’ shop ahd lost abaht three parts on it It wort last ah went on mi bike in fact it wort’ I ast time 1 went onny where cos a wor foteen, the set anuther lad on an ah wor looking fo ful I time wark. Ay that’s wot it wor, full time wark at flateen an weer did ah goa ? ah went dahnt’ pit !
t'C0-Op When 1 was seven or eight years old I was thought to be sufficiently responsible to go to ‘the shop’ (the Co-op) for occasional items
required by my Grandmother. What a strange and wonderful place it seemed. The grocery department, my usual venue, huge, cavernous, mysterious and rather frightening to a small boy; though by modern superstore standards small, it was indeed big -by comparison, two Or three times as big- as other village shops.
Entered by acentral door, all along the right hand side there was a counter for dry goods; opposite, down the left hand side -the butter side-another long counter stacked with butter cheese lard and bacon. The hand operated bacon slicer, then a new invention, fascinated me as the gleaming circular blade sliced the chosen roll of bacon - ”smoked or plain missus?” “not so fat?” “thick or thin?”
But the butter was most impressive. Co-ops were proud of the quality of the ‘best butter’ they sold, it was known as ‘Kiel’ butter, I suppose from the area around the Kie: canal which still sends us butter now known as ‘Danish’. It came in kegs -small lightweight tubs which were opened out to allow the contents to be up- ended onto a large porcelain plate on the counter. This two foot high golden mass, the assistant sliced horizontally by a wire into four inch thick layers, out Of which were cut wedges of butter (like cutting a round cake), of the quantity each customer required. Often the sides of the counter lump were scared by grooves made by the thumb nails of customers who gauged out a sample to taste, perhaps remarking “a bit salty this week Georgell. And why shouldn’t they take these samples? It was their shop wasn’t it? They were shareholders as well as members.
There was rather less excitement at the other counter. The high spots were the two pipes coming down the wall behind the counter, one for dark treacle (for parkin and treacle toffee), the other for ‘light’. The end of each pipe had a slide to stop the flow; dexterity and experience were needed to judge the exact moment to cut off the stream into the customer’s Jug or jar beneath, neither giving short measure nor spilling over. I always hoped for the latter excitement, but it never happened.
The other piece of wizardry exercised by the assistants was the making of the conical paper bags used for currants, raisins etc. Taking a foot square of blue paper (always blue), rolling it diagonally into a cone, with a twist and a twirl at the bottom -in seconds he had made a serviceable bag. Filled with its contents, another deft finger movement folded and tucked the open top and, hey presto, there was as neat and firm a package aS anyone could want.
But the one counter feature, which marked the difference between the coop and other shops, was the check pad. This long narrow pad was made up of alternate leaves of perforated and plain tinted paper. The perforations divided the leaf into twenty or so sections about two inches wide and an inch high, on which was a space for a number and room for a £.s.d. cash entry, and initials. These were called ‘checks’. Under the perforated sheet was inserted a carbon sheet over the duplicate sheet below, and under that again a zinc plate to give a firm base for the writing on the top sheet. When a sheet was used up the carbon paper and zinc plate had to be transferred tothe nexttwo sheets. Somehow it always seemed to be my luck to follow the customer taking the last cheek on a sheet, and for me to wait whilst this manoeuvre took place.
The co-op system revolved round these checks. When a transaction was complete -the amount, sometimes of a counterful of items-added up with lightening speed, without pencil or paper ~and of course without today’s ubiquitous calculator, it was entered on the next available check witha simultaneous demand by the assistant “number please” or sometimes, if he were feeling a bit grumpy, just “number”. Thenumberrequired was the membership number of the customer, which identified the customer for the purpose of calculating the ‘dividend’ always referred to as the ‘Divi’.
It is a good example of the vivid memories of childhood referred to in my opening, that nearly seventy years since 1 last used them, my Grandma’s number 347, my Aunt Lily’s number 14245, and my Rather’s number 15387, still trip readily off my tongue. What is my telephone number? 26025 ~or is it 26052 -I’m not sure.
The co-op (co-operative) movement, an English invention of the mid nineteenth century, of supreme social importance, is usually stated to have originated in Rochdale. There is, however, claim -not without some credence- that an earlier Society was founded at Meltham Mills near Huddersfield. Tradition says that in this small village a group of men clubbed together to buy a sack of flour at sack (wholesale) price. They distributed the flour amongst themselves at a proportionate per pound price (but still wholesale), thus saving and pocketing the retailer’s profit margin. This is the principle on which today’s enormous Cooperative movement was built.
As the activities and range of products expanded, and co-op shops were established, it was found to be more administratively convenient to sell the goods at ordinary shop prices, accumulating the profit made by buying in bulk, to the year end. The profit was then distributed to members in proportion to the value of their year’s purchases, ascertained ° by adding up the amounts an all the ‘checks’ made out for each customer, and identified by their membership number. It was a simple system, easy to understand and capable of verification by members who kept their ‘checks’.
The great day in the co-op calendar was the pay- out of the ‘divi’, usually fixed in the Spring before Whitsuntide, and, at least in one case, specifically Just before the date of the ‘Anniversary’ at the local chapel. Traditionally the Anniversary was the occasion for the first wearing of ‘new clothes’. New frocks, hats and coats for the girls, new suits and hats or caps for the men and boys. It is no exaggeration to say that without that timely pay-out of the co-op divi, many households would not have been able to buy their ‘new clothes’ ~the hallmark of respectability.
At first, nearly every village had its own co-op, controlled by an elected Committee and run by an employee - manager. The amount of profit earned, and therefore of the dividend available for distribution amongst the members, depended on the efficiency of the manager and his skill as a buyer. The ambition of every Committee was
to declare the biggest possible ‘divi’, and there was great competition between co-ops in this respect. It was said that some co-ops achieved more profit and therefore a bigger ‘divi’ by putting a copper or two extra an their prices. This was probably true and if so, not a bad thing for members, who received back the involuntarily paid extra coppers, saved up for them, in’ their ‘divi’. In some cases housewives ignored their local co-op and shopped at a more distant co-op where the ‘divi’ was a copper or two extra in the pound.
I remember old Mrs Garside, (perhaps not quite as old as she appeared to my childish eyes) struggling up steep Hanson Lane at Lockwood, humping the traditional carpet bag full of groceries in one hand and a ‘flour poke’ of two stones of flour in the ‘other -which she had trailed all the way from Close Hill-passing Lockwood co-op an the way -all for the sake of the bigger “two and ten’ (14p) divi paid by Close Hill Co~op when Lockwood paid only ‘two and eight’ (13p).
As the Co-operative movement. expanded into an enormous national organization, Societies (individual co-ops) joined to setup manufacturing
organizations to make their own co-op products, using brand names such as Wheatsheaf, Xinerva, Pelaw and Crumpsall. Though always good quality products, they were not always quite as good as the best independent makes, but loyal members bought them as a matter of principle, though the less fervent disciples supported independent brands.
The June excursion this year travelled a few miles north of Huddersfield to the Moravian settlement at Fulneck.
First settled in 1743, this tiny community remains self-contained, though far from isolated, in this sliver of greenery between the connurbations of Leeds and Bradford. Its history may be but the present scene is quintessentially English, with cows in the fields, tennis on the school courts, lawnmowers humming through God’s Acre (the gravestone-less cemetery) all overlooking a Domesday village, and backed by the suburban sprawl of Pudsey. Actually originating in the present Czech Republic, the Unitas Fratrum, or Moravian
Church, spread across Europe, seeking refuge from persecution. En route to America, some settled in Britain, including the group who settled in this quiet valley, with the assistance of Lady Ingham.
Keeping themselves to themselves, the early settlers developed a textile industry (like somany other refugees before and since), specialising in lace work and glove making. Elegant buildings were built for the church and the two single-sex dormitories at opposite ends of the main street. This independence eventually caused the settlement some problems as twentieth century economics clashed with unchanging rentals and an ageing population. In 1968, a preservation
society was formed to arrest the decline. A folk museum opened and the village became a tourist attraction, while its buildings housed more and more of the famous school.
Today it is a thriving community, but one best appreciated from the inside. For, unlike some industrial model villages, its unique life is hidden behind some rather bland exteriors, and a guide - like our genial host - is really essential. But the effort is definitely worth while.
Huddersfield Local History Society Programme 2001 - 2002
24Sept The Yards Of Huddersfield
Gordon & Enid Minter
*13 Oct Study Day at Newsome Methodist Church Entertainment Also incorporating the Annual General Meeting
29 Oct Looking Back on Film Mr D Lawton - Huddersfield Cine Club 26 Nov Beaumont Park Exposed Mr Ken Kaye
12 Dec Annual Dinner at Woodsome Hall Speaker Dr. George Redmonds
28 Jan History of Making Fireworks in Huddersfield Mr John Woodhead
25 Feb Barnsley Glass Industry Mr Eric White
25 March Rise, Fall and Revival of Picture Houses Mrs Kate Taylor
29 April Castle Hill Mr Brian Haigh 20 May__— A Postcard from Sunny Bunces Mr Chris Helme
*19 June Excursion to Holme Village
All Meetings except those marked * will take place in the Light Reading Room Huddersfield Library at 7.30 pm
The 2002-2003 series of talks will commence on Monday 30 September 2002
Membership Subscriptions: Single £5 : Joint £9 are due at the start of the session
Hon. Secretary Mrs Freda Hollingworth, 62 Greenhill Bank Road New Mill, Holmfirth HD9 IER
In October, the society visited The Huddersfield Examiner to hear about its production and history, and some members even posed for a souvenir photograph.
The “feel good” factor in local history continues to sell, and last year ended with two more examples of that ever popular genre, the nostalgic photographic collection.
Huddersfield, Home Town Memories produced from Examiner photographs by two of its former staff, John Watson and Meivyn Briggs, followed in the steps of the two previous BreedonlExaminer books, concentrating on the “hornely and historic” events of the final half of the Twentieth Century. True North Books narrowed the focus slightly on to the 1940s, 50s and 60s, with an account that combines more text than the average example of its kind. There are substantial mini-essays on featured subjects, including notable companies such as W.C Holmes, S.T Shaw, Sam Weller and Sons, and the sponsors, Tom Moorhouse and Son., making for a well written book that is likely to be more useful to historians than its title Nostalgic Huddersfield might imply
This year, an enterprising publisher has produced a new variant on the popular historic theme. Ottakers bookshops, in association with Tempus Publishing, have commissioned a local history series for the towns containing their shops. An intensive publicity campaign has been used to collect essays from local people, with the added bonus of awards for the ‘best’ three.
The Huddersfield book, edited by Nik Taylor is divided into three sections: people, places, memories and ranges from the personal life story such as Annie’s story, which provides the cover picture, through seasoned topics like the Eland Feud, Robin Hood’s grave and Richard Oastler, to the mill-owning Starkey family and the Slaithwaite moonrakers. Most poignantly, the tragic story of pioneer nurse Dorothy Wood, brings the collection right up to date.lt is an extensive and eclectic collection that can be dipped into by anyone with the slightest interest in the Huddersfield district.
Keeping the past in current view, the Minters continue their journey through Old Huddersfield.
Part four of the Discovering Series circles through eight miles, from the Parish Church, through Marsh, Lindley, Paddock, Beaumont Park, Berry Brow and back to Edgerton.
A smaller geographical area given an intensive investigation by George Redmonds and David Hey. The opening up of Scammonden: a Pennine moorland valley (Landscapes, vo12, nol, Spring 2001) uses place and surname evidence to unravel the history of this once remote valley. The M62 and its associated dam have made the name at least well known; but from its early medieval origins- thename is possibly a Norse-Old English hybrid - until the mid-nineteenth century, Skammbein’s valley was a “wild and mountainous township” with names that are traceable back to the fourteenth century.
Huddersfield’s hills have long resounded to the sound of music, particularly in its organised choral and orchestral forms, and now itis possible toread about this remarkable aural history. Music making in the West Riding of Yorkshire. The exploration of a unique musical phenomenon, edited by Adrian Smith, is an excellent and comprehensive study of the choirs, orchestras,
_ Sings and festivals that abound in this musical
One of Huddersfield’s major industries was the David Brown tractor works. Some insight into its working is given by two recent publications. Chief Engineer H E Ashford recalls a life time’s work in My career as an Engineer. While the vehicles themselves, once produced in the world’s most modern tractor factory, feature in Anthony F Heath’s David Brown Tractors 1965-1988 Targeted by the Luftwaffe and prematurely written off by Lord Haw Haw, the works finally succumbed to global economic pressuves in 1988.
Sporting venues appear but rarely on this page, but one sport has a special significance for local historians. With a requirement for large tracts of land and an inherent tendency to exclusive memberships, Golf Clubs have preserved many
houses and estates that would otherwise have succumbed to decay and development. A history of Meltham Golf Club and Thick Hollins Hall by Jack Holdsworth includes auseful chapter on the Hall’s history prior to the Club’s arrival in 1908. Much of the information for this, incidentally, comes from the Green-Armitage family papers, which are currently being researched by Dr Redmonds.
The final hole at a golf club is usually of the watering variety - an accepted social habit for many, but for others, especially the poor, alcoholism has been a curse. Temperance was a perennial theme in Victorian life and a small part of Huddersfield’s contribution to the cause is recalled in Wanted; drunkards by Peter Smith (Yorkshire Journal Spring 2001)
Albert James Henry Firth or “Dickey” was born in Lindley in 1849. Already expelled and working at the age of eight, he soon took to hard drinking and gambling. In 1873 he followed his brother to America and Canada, still drinking heavily and “going to hell as fast as time could take Returning to England, he made the first,
unsuccessful, attempt to become one of the Independent Order of Good Templars. After another period of heavy drinking, and meetings with Ernest Woodhead, he placed his advert in the Examiner, and became such an enthusiast for the cause that 1,000 pledges were received in his first year. From being one who had “conjugated the verb to drink in all its senses" he became the first agent of the Huddersfield & District Temperance League.
Those whoremember the Windrush celebrations, may be interested in a book that expands one of the stories that figured in it. Learning to Trust by Philip Gibson covers his life from leaving Jamaica in 1955 to live in a “dark, bleak, cold and damp place” with only fifty other West Indians in it, to the present day.
Just published as we go to print, is founder member Cyril Pearce’s new book, Comrades in conscience: an English community’ s opposition to the Great War. The community is, of course, Huddersfield, that “hotbed of pacifism”, socialism and Nonconformist Liberals.
Editor: Mr. K. Brockhill, 52 Croft Gardens, Birkby, Huddersfield.