Huddersfield Local History Society: Journal 23 (2012) by various

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

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

Page 2

HUDDERSFIELD LOCAL HISTORY SOCIETY was formed in 1977. It was established to create a means by which peoples of all levels of experience could share their common interests in the history of Huddersfield and district. We recognise that Huddersfield enjoys a rich historical heritage. It is the home town of prime ministers and Hollywood stars; the birthplace of Rugby League and famous Olympic athletes; it has more buildings than Bath listed for historical or architectural interest; it had the first municipal trams and some of the first council housing; its radical heritage includes the Luddites, suffragettes, pacifists and other campaigners for change.

MEMBERSHIP of the Society runs from 1° September until 31° August and the present subscriptions (2012/13) per year are:- Individual membership £7 Double membership £11 Group membership £10 Double membership consists of 2 named persons using a single address and receiving one copy of the Society’s Journal. Cheques should be made payable to “Huddersfield Local History Society” and sent to the Membership Secretary or submitted at a Society meeting.

MEETINGS: The Society organises a full programme of meetings each year and the programme for 2012/13 is published in this journal. Our programme of Monday evening meetings take place in the Reception Room at Huddersfield Town Hall and commence at 7.30pm. Occasional visitors are welcome at a charge of £2 per meeting.

PUBLICATIONS: The Huddersfield Local History Society “Journal” is produced on an annual basis and is free to Members and at a cost of £3.00 to non-members. In addition the Society publishes a number of booklets which are listed separately in this journal together with details of prices and how they may be purchased.

DATA PROTECTION ACT: Members are reminded that their names and addresses are held on computer. The information we hold will only be used for membership purposes and will not be passed on to any other person or organisation. Please inform the Membership Secretary if you do not wish your details to be stored in this Way.

© This Journal is copyright and no part may be reproduced for publication in any form without the written consent of the Editor

Page 3



May 2012 ISSN 2049-8403 Issue No. 23

a! ra ng

Milnsbridge House 1910 2012 marks the 200" anniversary of the Luddite uprisings so it is appropriate to include an early photograph of Milnsbridge House in Milnsbridge, Huddersfield which was home to the Magistrate, Joseph Radcliffe, who led a vigorous campaign against the Luddites. Milnsbridge House is still standing although, sadly, now industrial units. Photo courtesy of: Kirklees Image Archive

Would you like to submit an article for inclusion in the Journal? The Society welcomes letters, articles, diary extracts, photographs on any aspects of local history. Please send items for publication to the Editor, John Rawlinson, 12 Station Road, Golcar, Huddersfield, HD7 4ED. Email address: The deadline for submission of copy for the 2013 (Issue 24) will be Friday, March 29" 2013. A “Style Guide” is available for Members wishing to produce articles and the Society offers help for those less confident in using a computer. The “Style Guide” can be found on the Society’s website

Page 4

Huddersfield Local History Society Journal


About Huddersfield Local History SOCI€tY Inside Front Cover Huddersfield Local History Society COMMItte€e Inside Back Cover cau ses 3 NEWS & EVENTS: The Society’s Programme of Meetings, 2011/12 The Society’s 5 CommMemMorating the 6 Huddersfield Heritage 7 ARTICLES: The Visiting of the Families of the Luddite Sufferers by Joseph Wood Pamela COOKSCY 8

Before the Corporation: Huddersfield’s Early Civic Buildings David 14

Childhood Memories of World War 2 JOAN RAWLINSON esses 20

In Search of Martha David 27

Domesday for Huddersfield Natalie cesses 31

Pebbles on the Wall — Further extracts from Margaret Woodhead’s Diary Bill 35

Mrs Parkin’s Parkin Lesley 38

New Deposits of the University of Huddersfield Archives and Special Collections AMY ces cna esas 40

Lockwood Viaduct Postcard JOAN RAWLINSON 43

Fancy Weavers and Famous Cricketers: Some aspects of the early history of Lascelles Hall Cricket Club BOD 44

‘Brief Encounters’: Baltic hospital workers in and around Huddersfield, 1946-1951

Frank 51 BOOK REVIEWS - 59

Romans Who Shaped Britain; Time Traveller’s Guide to Elizabethan England

Page 5

Huddersfield Local History Society Journal


Welcome to the 2012 edition of the Society’s Journal, a year a year in which the Society is engaged in commemorating the 200" anniversary of the Luddite uprisings which played a significant part in the history of this part of the West Riding of Yorkshire. We are proud to be able to publish a revised and extended version of Alan Brooke and Lesley Kipling’s classic book, Liberty or Death, (details of which can be found elsewhere in this I publication) and to be organising, or supporting, a John Rawlinson range of other commemorative events. Pam Cooksey’s article (page 8), reprinted from the Journal’s 15" issue, provides a salutary insight into the aftermath of the justice meted out to the Luddites.

This year I have had a go at writing a short article for the Journal (page 20) partly by way of a confession and partly as an encouragement. The confession, if you can bear to read it, is that your Chair and Editor was born, and spent his early years, in Manchester! As someone who is neither a historian nor a writer can I encourage you to have a go at producing something for your Journal. Please see the note on page 1 on how to go about submitting an article. In addition you will find a range of interesting articles covering different aspects of the history of our town — including a short piece from our youngest member, currently a student at Greenhead College. I would like to pay a special thanks to all our contributors who have worked hard to put articles together for this annual publication.

As we go into press the new season’s programme of meetings and activities is almost finalised. The 2012/13 Programme is produced in later pages of this Journal and I hope you agree that we can look forward to another interesting year. Can |, therefore, encourage you to renew your subscription — at £7 for single and £11 for double membership it is a tremendous a bargain, especially now that the occasional charge has been raised to £2 per meeting. (8 Monday evening meetings at £2 would cost you £16 and in addition you will receive a free copy of the Journal and a regular mailing service both by “steam” mail and email). The arrangements for paying the annual subscription will be included in our September letter to Members or can be found on the Society’s web site at:-

Page 6

Huddersfield Local History Society Journal


Monday, September 24th 2012 James Gregson: A Journey from Poverty to a Kind of Fame Monday, October 29th 2012 The Basque Children in Yorkshire in 1937 Monday, November 12th 2012 Huddersfield — 1895 And All That, The Birth of Rugby League Monday, January 28th 2013 Pillars of Community. Early Medieval Sculpture & 21° Century Yorkshire Monday, February 25th 2013 Harmless Oddities? Seth Lister Mosley and the Huddersfield Naturalist Society 1848 - 1929 Monday, March 25th 2013 Asian Voices: The First Generation Migration Monday, April 29th 2013 Domestic Linen Production in the West Riding Monday, May 20th 2013 Drink and Temperance

Barry Smith

Carmen Kilner

Tony Collins

Richard Morris

Alan Brooke

Nafhesa Ali

Liz Paget

Paul Jennings

Please Note: All the above meetings will be held in the reception Room at

Huddersfield Town Hall - commencing 7.30pm.

OTHER EVENTS WE ARE PLANNING Saturday, November 24th 2012

The “Saturday Seminar” will be held at Newsome South Methodist Church, 9.30am until

3.30pm (lunch provided). The theme will be “Radicalism in Huddersfield”

Speakers: Ted Royle, Malcolm Chase & Keith Laybourn January 2013 (Date to be announced) New Year Social Event (Details to be announced later) June Excursion - 2013

There will be an evening excursion to a place of local historical interest. Further details to be

announced later.

Page 7

Huddersfield Local History Society Journal


As well as our annual Journal, the Society has a range of booklets in print, as follows:

a) se a me ds I eR bi a

Queen Street Chapel and Mission Huddersfield, by Edward Royle - £4.00 (+ £0.95 p&p).

ie oe

ree be


Public Lives: The Family of Joseph Woodhead, by Pamela Cooksey - £4.00 (+ £1.25 p&p).

Pe ee I

Huddersfield in the 1820s, by Edward J Law (ISBN 978 950913 45 2) — £6.00 (+ 95p p&p).

Pioneers or Partisans? — Governing Huddersfield, 1820-48, by David Griffiths (ISBN 978 9509134 4 5) — £5.00 (+ 95p p&p).

Page 8

Huddersfield Local History Society Journal

Joseph Kaye, Builder of Huddersfield, c.1779-1858, by Edward J Law (ISBN 9509134 1 3) - £2.50 (+ 75p p & p).

John Benson Pritchett: First Medical Officer of Health for Huddersfield, by J B Eagles (ISBN 95091350 5) - £1.50 (+ 75p p&p).


The society is Joining with many other local Sy borty on Death organisations this year to commemorate the 200 and anniversary of the Luddite events of 1812. Our own (798 - 1828

major contribution is to publish a fully revised and updated edition of a major local study — Liberty or Death: Radicals, Republicans and Luddites, 1793-1823, : by Alan Brooke and Lesley Kipling. Alan Brooke and Lesley Kipling

It was not until 1963, when the celebrated historian E. P. Thompson, then a WEA lecturer living in Halifax, published his Making of the English Working Class, that anyone had attempted properly to set the Luddites in the context of their times. That work was widely recognised as articulating a new and more radical view of the Luddite events and of the people caught up in them.

New and fully revised edition

In 1993, thirty years after Thompson’s seminal work, Alan Brooke and Lesley Kipling took up the challenge to extend his work beyond what he had been able to achieve. Using new evidence and looking more thoroughly at existing accounts, they produced a history which in its own way has become a classic. Liberty or Death quickly established itself as an important addition to the body of scholarship which underlies Luddite studies. Now Alan and Lesley, drawing on their continuing research, have produced a revised and extended edition, which the Society is proud to publish. In doing this we would like to express our appreciation for the generous support of The Lipman-Miliband Trust.

Page 9

Huddersfield Local History Society Journal

Liberty or Death is now available at £8.00, plus £1.95 postage & packing. Information on Luddite commemorative events throughout the year can be found at

the Luddite Link website,

All the above publications are available from HLHS, 24 Sunnybank Rd, Huddersfield, HD3 3DE, with a cheque payable to Huddersfield Local History Society, or via our website,, with secure on-line payment by PayPal.

Look out for the Society’s bookstall, at our meetings and other local events, which also carries a wide range of local history materials from other publishers.


At a recent meeting of the committee of the Huddersfield Local History Society, it was agreed that the Society should identify as one of its main aims the encouragement of the recording of the history of all the ethnic and religious communities which have, over the years, established themselves in Huddersfield and the surrounding area.

The term ‘ethnic and religious communities’ includes the Irish community; the Polish, Ukrainian, Latvian and Estonian communities from eastern Europe; the Kurdish community; the Pakistani, Indian, Sikh and Bangladeshi communities from South Asia; the Chinese community; the Afro-Caribbean communities and any other ethnic or religious group which has established an identity in Huddersfield.

A working party has been formed with its first task to audit what has been done so far in recording the histories of these groups. This review will cover the work of Kirklees Moving Here project and the Oral History project at Huddersfield University, as well as other sources of information. It will then contact members of the various communities to tell them of this initiative, ask what has been done already and seek support for carrying this project on further. A website will be set up to provide information on the progress of this project.

+> Anyone who would like to promote this idea in any way should contact: Bill [Dr J A G] Roberts

Page 10

Huddersfield Local History Society Journal


Newsome South Methodist Church, Birch Road, Berry Brow Saturday, 24th November 2012

PROGRAMME: 9.30am Welcome and coffee Our Saturday Seminar In 10.00am “The Chartists” November 2012 has the theme Malcolm Chase Professor of Social History “Radicalism in Huddersfield”. University of Leeds 11.45am “Secularism & Free Thinking Look out for details and booking Huddersfield” Professor Ted Royle form in the September letter to 1.00pm Lunch Members 2.15pm “The Rise of the independent Labour Movement in Yorkshire” Keith Laybourn Professor of History University of Huddersfield 3.45pm Close


Pam Cooksey has kindly agreed that we should reproduce the article she wrote for the 15" issue of the Journal in the 2003/4 season. Given that this is the 200" anniversary of the Luddite uprisings it is a timely reprint as there will be quite a number of new members who will not have seen it before — and some old ones who will enjoy reading it again. Editor

In the Small Notebook 51 of Joseph Wood (1750-1822) of Newhouse, near High Flatts, a Yorkshire Quaker and Minister of the Gospel there is a personal account of the events of the spring of 1812 and of the executions that took place the following year.

“In the spring of the year 1812 a number of people in the town and neighbourhood of Huddersfield and places adjacent manifested a riotous disposition


Page 11

Huddersfield Local History Society Journal

frequently collecting in large numbers, & entering in the night season, into people's houses, workshops destroying machinery, stealing arms and other property; & in the 4th month murdering William Horsefall of Marsden in his return from Huddersfield market. They continued for a long time undiscovered, committing great depredations in these parts, very much terrifying and alarming the inhabitants; but thro’ the vigilance of the magistrates, particularly Joseph Radcliffe of Milnsbridge, a discovery was made and great numbers were committed to the Castle of York, so that a special Assize was held there by commission in 1° Mo. 1813 to try them, some were acquitted, many discharged upon bail, some ordered for transportation for administering unlawful oaths, & 17 suffered death. After their execution, a concern came upon my mind to pay a religious visit to the families and near connections of the sufferers, but I think it so unusual a thing to engage in, endeavoured to reason it away, but the more I reasoned, the more my concern increased, so that in the second month, at our monthly meeting; having previously acquainted Thomas Shillitoe therewith whom I found under a similar concern, I spread our united concern before friends which being solidly weighed, & many testimonies borne of friends unity therewith, The meeting gave us the following minute. “Our esteemed friends, Joseph Wood and Thomas Shillitoe have laid before this meeting a concern they have felt to pay a visit to the families or near connections of those persons who have lately suffered at York and who reside in Huddersfield and its neighbourhood. And this meeting after solidly considering their proposal, feels unity, with the friends in their prospect, and leaves them at liberty to proceed as way may open.”

So having secured this agreement, six weeks after the executions had taken place Joseph Wood and Thomas Shillitoe embarked upon their visits to the homes of the Sufferers of York. Joseph's descriptions of these give us an insight into the distressing circumstances in which the families found themselves and some understanding of the nature of the hardships and the range of difficulties that they faced.

On the afternoon of February 28th Joseph and Thomas accompanied by John Fisher and Abraham Mallinson, Quakers of the Huddersfield Meeting, visited three families in Longroydbridge. They went first to the widow of Jonathan Dean who they saw with her five children. He, having been found guilty of rioting was executed. They then went to the widow of John Walker also found guilty of rioting and executed, he having left three children. Lastly they visited the home of the parents

Page 12

Huddersfield Local History Society Journal

of George Mellor, a single man, who having been found guilty of murder was also executed.

The following day the visiting party went to Lockwood to the home of the widow of Thomas Brook, executed for rioting having left three children; ” his father, mother and two young men his brothers James and George who had also been imprisoned in York Castle under the same offence and at our request came in and sat with us. This was an extraordinary opportunity of divine favour I hope not easily to be forgot, particularly by the young men”.

They then made their way to Dalton Fold to see the widow of James Haigh. In order to talk with her they visited the home of Edward Wilson where she was employed. “He kindly accommodated us with the room for the purpose”. James Haigh had also been executed for rioting. He left no children. Of their discussion with her Joseph commented “We had a comfortable time with the widow”.

The next visit was to the home of William Thorpe, a single man executed for murder. Here they sat and talked with his parents and two of his sisters.

In the afternoon they made their way to Cowcliff to the home of John Ogden, who having been found guilty of rioting was executed. Here they sat with his widow, his two children, his parents and two of his sisters. After their conversation with them a third sister, who had been married that same day, arrived for the after wedding entertainment. Joseph noted that “we went to pay them a visit but found the men gone out but my companion had an extraordinary time with the bride and many other female guests”.

On March 2™. the families visited were in the areas of the Hipperholme and Halifax. Accompanied by John King and James Lees, two Friends from the Brighouse Meeting, Joseph and Thomas first went to Sutcliffe Wood Bottom to visit the parents of Thomas Smith. Here their conversations were with the parents, his sister and brother-in-law. Joseph recorded “that a young man neighbour came in As soon as we saw him we were both of us much struck with his appearance; when he saw us sit he turned back & the son-in-law followed him, my companion then inquired who he was and was informed he was one of the prisoners who was discharged on Bail, he then desired he might be called in, he came and sat down. He was much broken and tendered & a remarkable time of visitation it was to him. He told me his name was Joshua Scholfield, that he was in the 22 year of his age and that he knew it not of our being there until we came to the house, nor knew not why he came there at the time.


Page 13

Huddersfield Local History Society Journal

We parted in very near perfection with each other and I hope it was a time that will be lastingly remembered by him.”

The visiting party then travelled to Skirtcoat Green accompanied by Thomas Dearden, a Friend from the locality. Here they visited the home of Nathan Hoyle, who had been executed for robbery. His widow and their seven children were living there with her father and sister.

The next home visited was that of James Hay also found guilty of robbery and executed, where they met his widow, his two children, his father, Joseph Hey and his mother. At the conclusion of their conversations Joseph Hey asked Joseph to go with him to his house to meet with two of his other sons. He then accompanied them to Handgreen to the home of Joshua Stanfield where Joseph Wood was to spend the night. Joseph wrote of this encounter “Joseph Hey expressing a desire to speak with me accompanied me nearly thither and then returned; his company was very agreeable to me, he being I believe a truly pious man and a local preacher in the Methodist Society; & having had to express my belief in the opportunity that he had discharged his duty to his son and therefore it was clear, I was confirmed in the truth thereof, in our conversation together, and we parted under a near sympathy and tender regard for each other's welfare”.

On at the following day March 3" they went to Sowerby Bridge where they visited the home of the widow of Joseph Crowther, who “since his decease is moved hither and lives with her mother, he suffered for Robbery;& left 3 children, & she likely to have another very soon, she came from Luddenhamfoot to this place.”

The second visit in the town was to the home of the parents of William Hartley found guilty of robbery and executed. Here they meet with the parents, who had taken in his eight children, his wife having died about eight months before his death. Joseph records that several of the neighbours having seen the visiting party enter the house had followed them in and sat down quietly with them.

The final visit of the day was to the widow of Job Hey, executed for robbery, who had left seven children. “She appeared in a very tryed state both inwardly and outwardly & our labour with her was that she might endeavour to get into the state of stillness in which God is known & his power felt, and to stay comfort & console the mind, and bear it up in the depths of affliction”.


Page 14

Huddersfield Local History Society Journal

There were no visits undertaken on March 4" as there was a meeting of the Halifax Quakers in the morning and the proposed afternoon visit to the home of Benjamin Walker did not take place. After his arrest he had turned informer so avoiding execution. The visiting party had gone to “the top of Longwood” where Benjamin was now living with his parents “who were newly removed from Longroydbridge”. They travelled from Halifax by way of Salterhebble, Elland, Blackley and on reaching Lindley-moor they enquired as to where the Walker family lived. It happened that the man they had approached was Benjamin’s father who told them that his son was not at home but that he was expected that night. It was then arranged that Benjamin would meet the visiting party at 8:00am the next morning at the home of Joseph Mallinson.

On March 5". Joseph records “we sat with Benjamin Walker according to appointment; he appeared exceeding raw and ignorant, but a door of utterance was mercifully opened, whereby we were enabled to relieve our minds, & the advice communicated appear at present to have some place in his mind, & he is favoured to continue to take heed thereto,it may tend for his future peace.”

During the morning of March 6 the Quakers of the locality, expressed their concern that Joseph Radcliffe of Milnesbridge should be informed of the visits Joseph and Thomas were making. “the Friends here when they heard of our intended visit thought it best to inform Joseph Ratcliffe a Justice of the Peace in the neighbourhood thereof, also the nature of it lest any unfavourable construction should be put upon it, accordingly John Fisher and Robert Firth waited upon him & gave him the necessary information, he appeared pleased with our engagement, desired the Friends give his respects to us & inform us, that he wished us good success. & give him some account of what we had met with in the course of our visit.”

Milnsbridge House, Milnsbridge, home of

Joseph Radcliffe, as it would have been in

1812 (cf. photo on title page) Of the visit Joseph noted that “the

Justice and his wife received us very courteously, taking us by the hand and appearing much pleased to see us: We had an open free conversation with them for the space of near an hour and a half & then parting took us by the hand in a very friendly manner & bade us farewell.”


Page 15

Huddersfield Local History Society Journal

The afternoon was spent in Briestfield and Thornhill Edge. Here they visited the widow Joseph Fisher executed for robbery and her three children, who having been sent to the workhouse in Mirfield had now returned to Briestfield. In Thornhill Edge they first went to the home of the widow and child of John Batley executed for robbery and then to the home of John Lumb who was also convicted of robbery. He had escaped execution his sentence having been reduced to transportation. They found that his wife and their five children “had no settled habitation at present” so to speak with her they met her at her mother's house - also present was Nathan Fisher, her brother-in-law. The visiting party returned to Huddersfield travelling by way of Emily Moor Top where they made their final visit. This was to the widow of John Swallow executed for robbery who had gone, with her six children, to live there with her mother.

When reflecting later that day on the task that they had undertaken Joseph concluded “that altho’ the exercise attending the service in which we had engaged was great & the Sufferings as we had to bear heavy in a feeling sympathy with the suffering families, yet it was eminently manifested, that he who put forth, went before, & in a remarkable manner prepared our way. It was admirable to us in every family we entered how readily & how quietly they sat down with us, As much so as if they had been members of our Society. & I believe their peculiar sufferings had immeasurably prepared their hearts to receive the gospel & message, so I may acknowledge every opportunity was wonderfully favoured but some more eminently so than others. Friends were exceeding kind and lent us all the assistance in their power, and the company of all those who went with us from place to place was very acceptable, nearly feelingly uniting us in the service, In different places were they appeared plunged into great outward difficulties, at parting with them we left a little money. May he who plentifully administered seed to the sower, be graciously pleased to preserve them in a humble teachable frame of mind, looking unto him from whom all blessings flow; that so the seed may prosper & in due season bring forth fruit to the praise of the great husbandman; & then the end of our labour will be fully answered”.

Biography Pamela Cooksey is known as both a speaker and writer on a variety of local history subjects relating to Huddersfield, Holmfirth and the New Mill Valley. She has a commitment to encouraging people to undertake local and family history researches with a particular emphasis on the use of original documents. Most recently her lengthy commitment to researching the life and writings of Joseph Wood (1750-1821) A Yorkshire Quaker of High Flatts Meeting has resulted in two publications, a book about Joseph Wood, his life and ministry and writings and a Transcription, in five volumes, of his surviving Large and Small Notebooks.


Page 16

Huddersfield Local History Society Journal

BEFORE THE CORPORATION: Huddersfield’s early civic buildings By David Griffiths

The Society took part in the celebration last October of the 130" anniversary of the opening of Huddersfield Town Hall. The article below is an expanded version of a fact sheet handed out on the day.

HUDDERSFIELD became a Borough with an elected Council in 1868, and completed its Town Hall in 1881. Built in two phases — the Municipal Offices in Ramsden St opening in 1878, the Town Hall proper three years later — it brought together Corporation and School Board offices, the magistrates’ court and the main hall for concerts and public occasions. As a Borough and a town hall builder, Huddersfield was a ‘late starter’ compared to the other major towns of West Yorkshire — though it would make up for lost time by pioneering many municipal services over the next 20 years. But modern local government had been developing in the town since the early 19th century, operating from many other buildings before the Town Hall was built.

For a couple of centuries down to 1820, the governance of the town was in the hands of the lord of the manor and major landowner, Sir John Ramsden; the Justices of the Peace, appointed by the Lord Lieutenant of the West Riding; and the parish vestry, which had civil as well as ecclesiastical responsibilities. In the early 19"" century these institutions’ physical presence in the town was limited. The magistrates held court in the George Inn, then in Market Place but taken down in 1850 to make way for John William St (the Inn’s facade still stands in St Peter’s St - Fig. 1); they also appointed a clerk who had an office in Market St. The vestry took its name from the part of the parish church where it met, although larger meetings adjourned to the open air ora nearby hostelry. The Ramsden agent of the day, John Bower, rarely visited the town (and his master still less so), while the manorial court met in Almondbury — presumably at Longley Hall, in premises described by the campaigning journalist Joshua Hobson as “botha coal house and a hen roost"!


Page 17

Huddersfield Local History Society Journal

Of professional local government officers, there was at this stage no sign whatever. However the vestry did elect each year a small number of lay officials — a constable, a surveyor of highways and the overseers of the poor. The constable’s duties included responsibility for the town prison or lock-up — a place of overnight detention pending arraignment before the magistrates, not a place where a custodial sentence would be served. Inthe late 18" century this was in Castlegate, between Quay St and Dock St, near where the telephone exchange is today. It became known as ‘The Towzer' in about 1800 — the reasons are disputed - and appears as such on Crosland's 1826 town map; arguably it was the town’s first ‘municipal’ building. And in 1816 the vestry agreed to appoint a paid deputy constable, who had an office in King St by 1822.

Meanwhile the traditional institutions had been supplemented by the first body faintly anticipating modern local government, with the establishment in 1820 of the Commissioners of Lighting, Watching & Cleansing. For an area extending only 1200 yards from the Market Place, and stopping at the river, there were 59 of these gentlemen. In theory all appointed by Sir John Ramsden but in practice self-selected, they introduced gas lighting, street cleaning and a small night-time police force. Their meeting place, like the magistrates’, was the old George Inn. No office was established for the new body, but it needed a watch-house as a base for its patrolmen, which it combined with another lock-up. In the 1820s this was in Queen St, rented from the Methodist Chapel and probably in premises on the corner of King St, which they vacated when their new chapel, now the Lawrence Batley Theatre, was completed in 1819. In 1831 a new town prison in Bull & Mouth St (on the piazza side of today’s central library) replaced the decrepit Towzer, and in 1835 the Commissioners’ moved their watch-house/police station next door, managing both facilities from 1836.

But the Commissioners were not the only body contending for ‘municipal’ power. In 1837 the vestry took advantage of new legislation to set up an elected Board of Highway Surveyors. This dozen-strong body had responsibility for road maintenance in the ‘hamlet’ of Huddersfield, a wider area than the

Page 18

Huddersfield Local History Society Journal

Commissioners for Lighting etc, and employed a professional surveyor. Unlike the Commissioners, the Board was elected by ratepayers, and met in more humble surroundings at the Pack Horse Hotel Kirkgate (Fig. 2).

By this time a handsome new court building had been erected in Queen St, next to the Chapel, in 1825 — still standing today, and now the Tokyo night club This was not, as one might guess, a magistrates’ court, but rather a Court of Requests, as its facade still announces (Fig. 3). These courts were private initiatives by local businessmen and landowners, appointing a judge to facilitate the settlement of financial claims between them, rather like the small claims court today. Huddersfield’s was established in 1777 and had presumably met in less formal premises for its first 50 years.

The 1830s were a decade of great political turbulence. The famous movements of the early 1830s for Parliamentary reform and shorter factory hours were followed by the agitation against the New Poor Law, then by the rise of Chartism and co- operation and, by the 1840s, the campaign for repeal of the poor laws. Demand for public meetings was high and many were held outdoors in the Market Place, or on Back Green before Ramsden St was developed. The Court House in Queen St was also used for meetings ona range of local, national and international topics. In the late 1830s, however, two more capacious venues were erected. The Philosophical Hall on Ramsden

St was opened in 1837 by the a ¥ 7 I =e Huddersfield Philosophical Bi Society, with a main hall ee —_

Page 19

Huddersfield Local History Society Journal

officially seating 1280 plus other, smaller rooms; after a fire in 1880 it was rebuilt as the Theatre Royal (Fig. 4), standing where the Piazza is today until 1961. And directly across Bull & Mouth St, behind Ramsden St Chapel, was the Guild Hall, opened in 1838 as a private speculative venture by the ‘builder of Huddersfield’ Joseph Kaye, which soon became the regular venue for the magistrates’ court; in later decades it would be Ramsden St Chapel’s Sunday school, and Martins store, before being demolished in the 1930s to make way for today’s central library.

By 1840, therefore, a small ‘civic quarter’ had been established just yards from the site of today’s Town Hall. The extract from the 1851 Ordnance Survey (Fig. 5) of the town centre shows this group of neighbouring buildings. But none of them offered office space or committee rooms, and a ratepayers’ meeting in 1843 called for suitable rooms to be provided to accommodate meetings “for every department of the Town’s business” and to house all its civic documents; the Ramsden estate were to be asked for a suitable place. In the end all that came of this was a box for documents at the parish church and, in 1845, a rented room at the Fleece Inn in

PEER Wy — LT r rey Te ee fi og a

< Town Hall site


The ‘civic quarter’ in 1851

LL a (and future Town Hall site). iy - bor j " :

Kirkgate (now the Parish) for the Highway Surveyors and the parish constables. The latter seems to have been a fairly informal arrangement — in 1846 the Surveyors asked the Constables to tidy the place up and pay their share of the rent!


Page 20

Huddersfield Local History Society Journal

Neither the 1820 Commissioners nor the Surveyors had adequate powers to cope with the public health problems of the fast-growing town, and there were some sharp political battles between them. In 1848 both were swept away and replaced by the Huddersfield Improvement Commissioners. Eighteen of these were elected by the better-off ratepayers, plus three still appointed by the lord of the manor. The new body had much more extensive powers over highways, public health and policing — though still only within the 1200-yard radius - and established an elaborate system of committees and salaried officers much like the future Borough Council. It needed more than just a meeting place and established its offices at South Parade, now lost beneath the ring road at the top of Chapel Hill. The previous year had seen the Court of Requests evolve into the (civil) County Court, while the county magistrates had a new lock-up built in Princess St, though the court itself remained at the nearby Guild Hall.

With these new institutions in place, it was timely to revive the idea of a unified town hall. The newly-established Huddersfield Chronicle campaigned on the issue from its inception in April 1850 — largely under the influence of Joshua Hobson, whose Campaigning journalism apparently continued alongside his official role as clerk to the Improvement Commissioners. The Ramsden estate was willing to release a site in St George’s Square, then under development, opposite the new George Hotel — ie where Britannia Buildings stands today. In September 1851 Sir John William Ramsden authorised his local agents “quietly and as a matter of course to take the entire lead, so far as the design and arrangements of the building are concerned”, whilst being “very careful not to say anything that will commit Sir John to any pecuniary contribution”. This glimpse of the lord of the manor, torn between conflicting desires to appear as a public benefactor while maximising his own financial interests, continually recurs in the 2" half of the 19" century — for instance in the debates about Edgerton Cemetery, the proposed park at Springwood and eventually Greenhead Park itself, as well as in this Town Hall proposal.

Discussions on the latter proceeded fitfully, with the various bodies’ accommodation needs being specified but nobody identifying how the building was to be financed. Late in 1853 handsome plans (Fig. 6) were drawn up by Charles Pritchett, son of JP Pritchett, architect of


Page 21

Huddersfield Local History Society Journal

the parish church and railway station; these were paid for by the Improvement Commissioners and recently-founded Chamber of Commerce, but the project fell foul of poor relations between the town and the Ramsden estate, and there was to be no comprehensive town hall for another 25 years. Those years therefore saw a series of ad hoc solutions to the growth of the town and its public bodies. e The Philosophical Hall, though reportedly described by Richard Cobden in 1850 as the worst ventilated venue he had ever spoken in, remained the town’s primary public hall, until its conversion to a theatre in 1866/7. But by then it had been flanked for 20 years by the Gymnasium Hall, later to become Ramsden St Baths. e The Improvement Commissioners moved their offices from South Parade into the Philosophical Hall in 1859; they and their successor, Huddersfield Corporation, would remain there until the new Municipal Offices opened in 1878. By then the Ramsden estate, until then staying aloof from the town at Longley Hall, had built Estate Buildings, the splendid Gothic pile still standing in Railway St. It was completed in 1870, and the new School Board established in that year joined the Ramsden agents in the building in 1873. e The Improvement Commissioners had their own police force with offices at Bull & Mouth St by 1853, inheriting the CLWC facilities there, which also housed their fire engine. But a West Riding constabulary was established in 1856, and the Princess St lock-up developed as their police station. e the Princess St building was enlarged to accommodate the magistrates (Fig. 7), who finally quit the Guild Hall, while the civil County Court remained in Queen St. The Town Hall of 1878/81 enabled the fullest concentration yet of civic facilities. It was followed by the provision of new police and fire stations east of the Town Hall, on today’s Queensgate market site, the former linked by tunnel to the Town Hall’s court room and cells. These developments of the later 19" century completed the relocation of Huddersfield’s ‘civic quarter’ from the north to the south side of Ramsden St, where it would remain concentrated until the development of today’s Civic Centre in the 1970s.


Page 22

Huddersfield Local History Society Journal

Sources for this article include the minutes of the bodies concerned, trade directories, Ramsden estate correspondence, the Huddersfield Chronicle and Hilary Haigh’s booklet, ‘Huddersfield Town Hall; An ornament to the town’ (Kirklees Council, 2001); the author can provide detailed references on request. Thanks are due for images to Kirklees Image Archive, (fig. 2), Huddersfield Local Studies Library (figs. 4 &5) and West Yorkshire Archive Service, Kirklees (fig. 6). The governance arrangements of 1820-48 are detailed in the author's Pioneers or Partisans, published by the Society in 2008 (see page XX in this publication for details). Other related material can be found on the Society’s website at Biography: David Griffiths - pictured here manning the Society's bookstall on his 60th birthday - is Treasurer and Publicity Officer of HLHS. This article derives from a continuing programme of research on the development of Huddersfield's public institutions and civic realm. Comments, queries and additional information are welcome, VIQ-


By John Rawlinson

First memories are not always easy to recall or to be certain about, mixed up as they are with remembered events and those things we may have been told about by others. When my Granddaughter, as part of a school history project, asked me what I remembered about the war years I sat down and wrote down a few memories which I have reproduced here. I was born in Manchester in 1938, in a council house in Withington, and it was in this house at 3 Limehurst Avenue that my memories begin.

December 23 1940 This was the day of my very first certain memory — although recounting it is mixed up a bit with things my parents and sister told me later. The day had started like many others. It was nearly Christmas and Mum and Dad had put up our artificial tree and my sister Lorna had made coloured streamers which hung from the corners of the room to the centre light. I was very excited because Mum and Dad had said that Father Christmas would be calling with presents.


Page 23

Huddersfield Local History Society Journal

I had been tucked up in bed for a little while when we heard the wail of the air-raid siren. I was lifted out of my cot and we all ran down the garden to the Anderson

Me on Cousin Nellie’s knee — Dad’s shelter is in the background. 1939

shelter which Dad had built there in 1939. I woke up of course and can remember hearing the drone of aircraft and seeing the beams of searchlights criss-crossing the sky. Not long after we were safely in the shelter we heard the bombs starting to fall and the sound of anti- aircraft guns firing from the fields nearby. My Dad hated being in the shelter and he stood at the top of the steps watching it all. Suddenly there was a dreadful explosion and my Dad was knocked back down the steps into the shelter where he lay, unconscious for a little while, at the bottom. The bombing continued for a long time (the reports say over five hours) and it was nearly

morning when the “all clear” siren sounded and we

were able to come out of the shelter.

What a sight met us! A special sort of bomb which came down on a parachute, called a “land mine”, had exploded in the fields across the road from our house. The roof of our house had been badly damaged and the chimneys blown down, all the windows were smashed and everything was covered in dust and soot. In my bedroom the window had smashed into little daggers of glass which had flown across the room and were stuck all over the front of my wardrobe. We had to go and stay with Auntie Edith until it was decided what we could do - our house was in such a mess. Poor Manchester was in a terrible state with fires raging in the city centre and two railway stations badly damaged. Nobody was allowed to go into the city centre for a while but I remember going to see all the bombed out buildings around Piccadilly.

March 31° 1941

It was decided that our house on Limehurst Avenue was too badly damaged to move back into and Mum said that living close to the city centre was not safe. So we moved to a new house at 27, Manor Road in Droylsden. It was a bungalow and had gravestones in the front garden because it was next door to a shop which sold them and

which my Mum managed because my Dad had to Dad (second right) with his staff go back to his old job as manager of a Burgon’s at the Burgon’s shop


Page 24

Huddersfield Local History Society Journal

grocers shop opposite the University in Manchester for “the duration”. The bungalow had a big brick air-raid shelter at the back which Mum said would be much safer. I liked it at the bungalow which had a side garden with a path where I could play with my toy train. I remember going to have my photograph taken at a posh photographers — I took my teddy bear called Bruin with me.

= igs ge ae ae a sa 3 I I !

Mum outside the air-raid shelter in Droylsden. There were gravestones


Droylsden Cemetery was right opposite our house and my best friend Kathryn lived in the lodge. We got into terrible trouble because we took flowers off the graves which had them and shared them with those which didn’t — it seemed fairer that way but Kathryn’s Dad, the Superintendant, was furious!

November 6" 1942 I suppose it is inevitable that times of great joy and sadness become childhood memories. November 6" 1942 was my sister Lorna’s birthday, she was twelve years old and a pupil at Ashton Grammar School. There was excitement before she went to school with cards and presents and talk about the birthday tea we would have when she got home from school. It was a very small cake with no icing, because of rationing, and the filling was made with margarine and jam and a single small candle which Mum had saved specially.


Page 25

Huddersfield Local History Society Journal

I was playing in the back yard when I heard voices in the house and when I went in I found that Grandma Binnie had arrived. She had her arms round Mum who was crying. Grandma took me on one side and said I would have to be especially kind to Mum because her favourite brother, Uncle Eric, had been killed in the war. She had received a telegram and had come round straight away to tell us. I was very proud of Uncle Eric, he had given me a cap badge and had become famous when his photograph appeared in Picture Post being interviewed on the BBC. He was a tank driver fighting in the war in North Africa. Grandma told me he had been killed in a battle at a place called El Alamein fighting with our General Montgomery against a German general called Rommel. It was a battle the British won and it became the turning point of the war in North Africa. We tried not to let the sadness spoil Lorna’s party but I could tell that Grandma and Mum were thinking about poor Uncle Eric.

Eric Binnie (Uncle Eric), killed at the battle of El Alamein, October

Easter 1945 At Easter in 1945 Mum and Dad went to Whalley Abbey on a church conference and I went to stay with Grandma Binnie at 5 Eccles Street in Higher Openshaw, Manchester. I liked going to Grandma’s house because it was very different from mine. She had no electricity and the downstairs of the house was lit by gas. You had to pull down ona chain and, “oop”, the gas mantles would light up. In the kitchen there was a brown “slop- stone” sink and just cold water. The toilet was outside and when you looked down it you could see a little stream Grandma’s back yard, Easter 1945

flowing along — AND it had TWO seats, side by side!

Going to bed at night was an adventure. The stairs were very steep and there were no gas lights upstairs so I had to carry a candle in a special holder. I had to share a bed with Uncle Walter who, I remember, had very smelly feet and used to hang his socks out of the window at night! In the photograph I am standing in Grandma’s back yard. I am proudly wearing Uncle Eric’s cap badge in the lapel of my coat.


Page 26

Huddersfield Local History Society Journal

Grandma was very house-proud and used to clean her front steps and part of the pavement every week and cover them with a yellow “donkey stone” paste — and woe betide anyone who walked on them!

I went with my Gran to see Auntie Edith (my mother’s sister) who owned a ladies hairdressers shop. In the picture I am standing outside the shop which you had to walk through to get to the living room at the back. There were always ladies under big dryers and a horrible smell of perming lotion. Auntie Edith’s husband, Uncle Harold, was still away as a soldier.

May 8" 1945 I can remember this day which was called

“VE Day”, which stood for Victory in Europe

Outside Auntie Edith’s hairdressing salon, Grey Mare Lane, Bradford, Manchester, Easter 1945.

Day. It was to celebrate the end of the war in Europe. We had a special assembly at school and somebody important from the Council came and gave everyone a tin with chocolate in and a picture of the King and Queen on the front. We were not allowed to eat our chocolate until we got home — but some naughty boys took no notice and had to stay in at playtime.

In the same week we had our class photograph taken. It was a sunny day so we had it taken outside. I remember marching smartly out. The front row of boys sat cross- legged on mats. The second row of girls sat on PE benches, the third row of boys stood up, the fourth row of girls stood on a PE bench and my row, the back row, had to stand on dining tables! I am the tallest one in the middle of the back row. Mum knitted my jumper, it was grey, and I remember having to hold the wool with my hands apart whilst she wound it into a ball ready for knitting. It had been an old cardigan belonging to my Dad which had holes in the elbows — nothing was wasted in the war because of clothes rationing. Count the children in my class — 50!! Teachers had a hard job in those days. You can just see our school air-raid shelter on the right hand side.


Page 27

Huddersfield Local History Society Journal


August 1941 In August 1945 Japan surrendered after atomic bombs had been dropped on the

cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and WW2 ended. What I remember most about 1945 was going on holiday for the first time. We had been thinking about it for ages and we were going to Morecambe for two whole weeks. All our things had to be packed up in a big leather trunk which dad tied up with ropes and, a week before we were to set off a railway van came round to collect it. The van had “LMS” in big letters on the side which Dad told me stood for the London, Midland and Scottish Railway Company on whose train we were to travel. I remember not being able to sleep for the excitement of it all — I thought the day would never come, I had never seen the sea. Well the day finally came and Mum and Lorna and I set off - Dad was to come a day late because he had to work. We had to get the trolley bus into Manchester then a steam train from Victoria Station — I was so excited I could hardly speak. When we got to Morecambe we got a taxi to where we were


Page 28

Huddersfield Local History Society Journal

staying at 124 Fairfield Road, Sandilands. The house belonged to Mr & Mrs Gorse who had a daughter called Audrey who was the same age as me. We had to hand over our ration books to Mrs Gorse so she could buy our food. We had run out of sweet coupons so we buy any sweets all through the holiday — all Mum had were some sulphur tablets which were off ration and tasted horrible. Our trunk was waiting for us and I had to help undo all the ropes and pack our clothes away in the drawers. Then we went to find the beach with my bucket and spade but the tide was in and we walked to the end of the Stone Jetty and watched the waves crashing — I remember being very impressed by the sea.

In the group photo you can see Mr & Mrs Gorse and my sister, Lorna. I have my arm round Audrey — I liked her a lot!! In the beach photo I am wearing my grey jumper — the one I had on in the school photo — I didn’t have many clothes.


John Rawlinson is currently Chair of Huddersfield Local History Society and has lived now in Kirklees for over 40 years. He trained as a teacher, became the head of schools in Lancashire and Oldham before becoming a school Inspector/Adviser in Salford and Leeds. He retired as

the Director of Education in Leeds in December 1996.

O dear to us ever the scenes of our childhood The green spots we played in, the school where we met, The heavy old desk where we thought of the wildwood, ‘Where we pored oer the sums which the master had set. J loved the old church-school both inside and outside, J loved the dear ash trees and sycamore too, The graves where the buttercups burning gold outvied And the spire where pellitory dangled and grew.

From ‘Childhood by John Clare 1793-1864


Page 29

Huddersfield Local History Society Journal


Holmside is the little park in Holmfirth which lies between the Post Office and the Crown Bottom car park, a pleasant oasis of calm in the middle of the town. Until the 1850s this piece of land was the graveyard of Holmfirth Parish Church. When, in the 1960s, this burial ground was converted into the present day park the gravestones were preserved and used either to form some of the paths through the park or placed on display all round the edge, shedding some light on the identities of the worthy citizens of Holmfirth at the end of the 13" and the first half of the 19” centuries. Thus these memorial stones have become valuable historical documents. They show, for example, the high mortality rate amongst children at that time, whilst another records the 55 years service of the Reverend John Harrop as vicar of Holmfirth from 1740 until 1795. His memorial, ree eh couched in rather fine Latin, was an attempt perhaps to impress his parishioners from beyond the grave, although it is a moot point as to how many weavers and spinners had a fluent command of the classics.

But is another memorial stone on display which has long tickled my curiosity and which finally, in 2011, provoked me into trying to unravel some of its secrets. This particular stone can be found in one corner, close to the rear of Wagstaff’s shoe shop and records the lives and deaths of the Stocks family of Holmfirth. Fe Bog ee

oye eG a a oS é ta 1, oe eR (Belted TC Ee OS a Se

James Stocks, whose death in 1832 is recorded at the top of the gravestone, was a doctor and surgeon practising in Holmfirth from his home at Shaley House, (the building attached to Holmfirth library and now known as the Linden Grove Guesthouse). The rest of the stone details the deaths of his wife and children, (most of whom are not buried in this cemetery). Right at the bottom we find the following information concerning his daughter Martha. She died in 1878 as Martha, Baroness Speck von Sternburg at LUtzschene near Leipzig in the kingdom of Saxony. This was a tantalising puzzle to be solved: how did a Holmfirth lass like Martha come to end her life in eastern Germany as a Baroness?


Page 30

Huddersfield Local History Society Journal

The usual sources, such as census returns, parish registers and items in the local newspaper show that Martha was born just before Christmas in 1823 in Shaley House and was baptised in Holmfirth church on January 11") 1824. After the death of father James in 1832 the family moved to Kirkgate, Leeds and are recorded there in the 1841 census. One of Martha’s brothers was in the wool trade in Leeds and it seems likely that Martha met her future husband, Alexander Speck, through her brother.

Alexander had come to Leeds from Leipzig in about 1848 to set himself up in business as a dealer in wool and jute. He had an office on Trinity Street in Leeds. Sucha career move was not uncommon at that time. Anglo-German relations in the 19" century were very different from those of the 20" century. The royal family was more German that English, (Queen Victoria’s first language was German), but this fact was never a cause of friction or resentment. Cultural links between the two countries, especially in music, were strong, and business contacts were frequent and mutually beneficial, - non more so than in the West Riding textile industry (part of Bradford is still known as ‘Little Germany’). In the first half of the 19" century large quantities of wool were imported from Germany and it is almost certainly this link with textiles which was to

transform Martha’s life.

Martha and Alexander were married in Leeds Parish Church in November 1849, her sister Sarah and brother James acting as witnesses. The couple set up home at 1 Mount Preston, Leeds, the 1851 census recording that a second Martha was also part of the household, Martha Bedford, their domestic servant. In the next five years four sons were born at Mount Preston.

In 1856 Alexander’s father, Maximilian, Baron Speck von Sternburg died in Leipzig. Alexander was the eldest son and therefore would inherit his father’s title and proper


Page 31

Huddersfield Local History Society Journal

few miles from the centre of Leipzig, which was then in the Kingdom of Saxony (the united Germany that we know today did not come into being until 1871).

Alexander’s father, Maximilian, the first Baron Speck, was in fact of very humble origin, the son of an innkeeper in a village on the River Elbe. He had been elevated to the German aristocracy as a reward for his outstanding contributions to German agriculture and industry. He had made a large fortune in the wool trade which tzschena with its large estates, including most importantly the Sternburg brewery which would become a major source of income for Alexander and Martha in the second half of the 19" century. Maximilian was typical of many figures, in both Germany and England, during the industrial revolution, - humble men of genius and great entrepreneurial zeal who were able to reshape the world. George Stephenson in this country springs to mind, or Brookes of Armitage Bridge Mill. Maximilian was not a blue-blooded toff in the Downton Abbey sense, but a hard-headed and far-sighted businessman.

The outline of Martha’s early years in Holmfirth and then Leeds had been traced relatively easily. I had anticipated more problems in trying to uncover details of her life in Saxony, but, happily, was proved wrong. A little Googling led me to the Sternburg Stiftung (Foundation) in Leipzig. This was part of the museum of Leipzig charged with the responsibility of maintaining and exhibiting the large collection of paintings whi (1776-1856) and which had been donated to the museum on permanent loan by the present day Sternburg family. I sent an email to the museum explaining my interest in Martha, seeking their help. This request drew a prompt response from Wolf-Dietrich, Baron Speck von Sternburg who introduced himself as both the current holder of the baronetcy and Martha’s great-grandson. Moreover as the family historian he has written a splendid history of the Specks from the 15" century to the present day. He kindly sent me a copy and in return I was able to fill in some of the gaps in Martha’s early life, which he had not managed to research.


Page 32

Huddersfield Local History Society Journal

From the Baron’s history it is clear that Martha took to the life of a German baroness and chatelaine of a large country house like a duck to water. She bore Alexander twelve children, ten boys and two girls, between 1851 and 1867, the first four boys being born in Leeds. Rather surprisingly, given the high infant mortality of the age, all survived into adulthood and many enjoyed a long life, her last surviving son dying in 1947. Nearly all of her children were successful in their chosen careers, the most distinguished perhaps being that of her second born son, Hermann. He became a diplomat serving the German government in India and China until finally being appointed the German Ambassador in Washington from 1903 till 1908. Since Hermann was born in Leeds in 1852 this raises the rather interesting question as to whether the German ambassador was not in fact a Yorkshireman!

1878 at the relatively early age of 54. She is buried there in the family vault in the grounds of the Schloss. Correspondence between Alexander and his children demonstrate that her death was a grievous blow to the family. She was much loved, as wife, mother and member of the community. Alexander enjoyed a much longer life. He died in 1911 at the age of 91. His fourth son, James, born in Leeds in 1856, was by then the oldest surviving son and therefore succeeded to the baronetcy.

Martha’s elevation up the social ladder continued to resonate in Holmfirth long after her death, probably a typical Edwardian mixture of pride and snobbery. Thus the “Holmfirth Express” recorded Hermann’s *

appointment as ambassador in “Express” stated that Baron Speck von Sternburg, regarded as possible German ambassador at Washington, was the son of a Holmfirth lady who became a baroness.

The lady referred to was a Miss Stocks, daughter of Dr. Stocks, who was formerly in practice at Shaley House, Holmfirth. Biography David Cockman is a retired language teacher living in New Mill from where her pursues a life-long interest in history, both as a member of the Huddersfield and District Archaeological Society and the Holmfirth Local History Group.


Page 33

Huddersfield Local History Society Journal


This article examines the impact on Yorkshire of the Norman Conquest, with special reference to Huddersfield. The only written information we have is Domesday Book and to make the most of that some knowledge of the circumstances in which it was compiled is necessary. In 1066 the Normans invaded England and William the Conqueror became king. During the first few years of his reign he had problems controlling the north of the country - particularly Yorkshire. This reached a point in 1069 where the North rebelled against William, a rebellion that ended in disaster and genocide. The Archbishop of York, Ealdred, had died and he had been the key conciliator when it came to managing the north of the country. After his death anarchy arose as important local figureheads: Edgar the Aethling, Earls Gospatrick and Northumbrians and Bishop Athelwine staged an uprising against William’s monarchy. The rebels killed a man called Robert de Commines and burnt his castle in York before going on to spread the uprising throughout most of northern England, including, we surmise, Yorkshire and Huddersfield. To make matters worse for William the rebels had been joined by Malcolm, King of Scotland, and the Swein, King of Denmark’s sons with their Danish army.

William responded to the rebellion with much violence and anger. He marched his army up towards York and devastated the city. William then made the decision to destroy the rebels via a ruthless campaign of ‘unparalleled severity’ in order to prevent them re-attacking his authority. The result was the infamous Harrying of the North. William’s army rampaged through Yorkshire murdering thousands of men, women and children and creating havoc with the lands. He burnt crops and houses, leaving behind a trail of destruction and devastation. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle for 1069, in comments about Yorkshire describes how William ‘laid waste to all the shire’. It was the most brutal campaign ever recorded in the annals of Yorkshire. The quote that best illustrates the true ferocity of what William had inflicted upon Yorkshire is described by Symeon of Durham. Part of his account reads how William devastated the North: ‘throughout the winter and slaughtered the people It was horrible to observe in houses and streets and roads human corpses rotting for no-one survived to cover them with earth, all having perished by the sword and starvation, or left the land of their fathers because of hunger Between York and Durham no village was inhabited’.


Page 34

Huddersfield Local History Society Journal

Yorkshire was believed to be a desolate, uninhabited place for many years afterwards. This belief can be illustrated by the Domesday Book, a survey ordered by William himself which was designed to provide him with information about his new realm, its land and resources. It is the earliest public record of who owned what in England, how much money they had, who lived there etc. Overall, it was William’s way of finding out how much he actually owned as all lands can be traced back to

3 J] Tones. Ge dere Gaonel, bfir: 111. cay”

ty ad gtd: thi ax Ne be Gepnebey- thi 1tt. rn abort car’, Ube por 7 peda. Silas

Vt gene

bn Wrelaca ir

ube.ts. car’ poff. NheG

ta TALE. ust xl fot Sot. cant dy ad oft. amd7 Elric bine’

thy uss cit -s114, at de


Sela pall’. lev Ug. 7.


3 manors In Thornhill, Gerneber, Aldonoe and Gamol had 4 carucnto of lond to be taxed, whore thoro my bo 4 ploughs. Now Ger: 3 villeins ond 3 bordars with 2 ploughs. Horo thoro is a

pesturo 6 furlongs long end 6 brond.

(1) manor. In Whitloy, Gornobor hod 5 carucsatos

whore there my be 2

ae lond plough: Now Gar here 4 ville ins Ath 4 plo a of mondow,. Wood pasture 14 mi li 1 shillings, now (blank).

to t

long and

Extract from the Domesday Book for a part of Kirklees. Courtesy of : Kirklees Image Archive

In the time of King Edwor

ol and E

ber has hore

and a church, Wood ssossed at 40 shillings, now 10,

the King. It describes in real detail, through 913 pages and over two million Latin words, more than 13,000 places in England and parts of Wales. It was called the Domesday Book by the local population who saw it as God’s final day of judgement,

where every soul would be assessed.

In the Domesday Book ‘waste’ is recorded frequently when referring to Yorkshire. However, it must be said that there are issues surrounding the interpretation of


Page 35

Huddersfield Local History Society Journal

‘waste’ entries so it should not be viewed as completely accurate. The table below is a copy of the ‘waste’ in Yorkshire recorded in the Domesday Book taken from Darby and Maxwell:

WHOLLY I PARTLY TOTAL TOTAL I PERCENTAGE WASTE WASTE WASTE ENTRIES WASTE IN TEXT (%) NORTH RIDING 217 150 367 639 57.58 EAST RIDING 67 93 160 424 37.38 WEST RIDING 196 71 267 719 36.37 YORKSHIRE 480 314 794 1782 44.50

As can be seen, West Yorkshire was the least affected of the three Ridings, though not by much. However, to provide a sense of the extent of the devastation in “Yorkshire as a whole, the number of both wholly and partly waste vills recorded in Derbyshire was only 20.3% - less than half.

So what happened in Huddersfield? The place is recorded in the Domesday Book under the names Oderesfelt and Odresfeld’. The actual Domesday Book itself has this to say when referring to Huddersfield (translated):

‘In HUDDERSFIELD Godwine had 6 carucates of land to the geld, and there could be 1 plough. Now the same man has it of Ilbert, and it is waste. TRE was worth 6s. There are two acres of meadow, and 20 acres of woodland’.

To help understand this reference, a carucate is Latin for ploughland: notionally the area which could be ploughed with an eight-ox team. It was used in the North and the East as a unit of assessment to tax instead of the hide. Geld is Old English money and used in taxing the land. TRE (Tempore Regis Edwardi), is the formula commonly used in the Domesday Book to indicate the position ‘in the time of King Edward’ i.e. before the conquest in 1066. The ‘s’ on 6s is an abbreviation for ‘shilling’, the common use for an amount of money that amounted to 12 silver pence. Ilbert de Lacy was a member of the English nobility and one of the main land owners for the

* Redmonds 2008, drawing on Gelling & Cole, suggests that the suffix “felt” meant a tract of arable land. The origin of the prefix is more complex — maybe from an Old English word “huder”’ meaning a “shelter’.


Page 36

Huddersfield Local History Society Journal

West Riding of Yorkshire. He was probably from Normandy and had come over with William in 1066 and had been appointed by William 1 upon his coronation.

This reference helps us to see what happened to Huddersfield. There is a mention of ‘waste’: 6 carucates and one plough - ‘and it is waste’ To give an idea of the area around Huddersfield as well as the town itself, here are some villages and small towns from the outskirts: Honley & Meltham: 4 carucates of land and 3 ploughs. Almondbury: 4 carucates of land and 4 ploughs. Golcar: % a carucate of land and % a plough. Lindley: 2 carucates of land and 2 ploughs.

It can clearly be seen that Huddersfield and the area surrounding it had been affected by the Harrying of the North, and that most of the land used for crops, i.e. the ploughland, had been devastated by William and his army. This would lead us to the conclusion that this area was not much populated as it would have been very difficult to survive off this land — indeed if anybody had survived the massacre at all.

In conclusion, Huddersfield and its surrounding area had been one of many victims that had befallen the vicious attacks on those who rebelled against the king. Itis a brief, interesting, and in many way incomplete, picture of Yorkshire and our town nearly one thousand years ago.

References e Yorkshire from AD 1000 - David Hey, pp. 24-29 e The Place-Names of Huddersfield —George Redmonds pp. 74 e Domesday Book: A Complete Translation pp. 286, 287, 1431, 1433 & 1435 e Greenhead College Website e Photo courtesy of Kirklees Image Archive: www. Biography

Natalie Soencer, a Medieval History A Level student at Greenhead College, Huddersfield. /t is good to include this article from Natalie — the Society’s youngest member. We wish her well as she goes on to study history at University. (Editor)


Page 37

Huddersfield Local History Society Journal

THE PEBBLES ON THE WALL: A CHILDHOOD MEMOIR By Margaret Revell, edited by her son, the late Martin Woodhead. Introduction and selections by Bill Roberts.

We are pleased to be able to publish further extracts from the memoirs of Margaret Woodhead (née Revell), who was born in Huddersfield in 1914. She recorded her memories, which are extraordinarily lively and endearing, when she was in her sixties. (Editor)

A Stethoscope Dr Thornton’s stethoscope was of a light-coloured wood, with flat discs at either end, one small and the other much larger. He would put the small end to my chest, and lay his ear on the big one, so that his head came down very close to me, and then press down hard, and listen. It could be quite painful. Another thing he did was to put two fingers down flat on my chest, and with the corresponding fingers of the other hand go ‘tap-tap’, listening to the sound in various parts of my chest and back. It was not until I was in my teens, and attended by his newly-qualified young partner, that I first saw a modern stethoscope with earpieces, tubes and a small, lightweight listening-piece. But Dr Thornton could never be persuaded to make a change to this modern instrument.

Lindley Moor My father’s letter mentions Lindley Moor, an outing I loved. It involved a long uphill walk, sometimes shortened by taking a tram to Lindley village. There was still a steep stony road to be climbed before we reached our destination—a level tract of tussocky ground which had been given by somebody to be an open space ‘for ever’. A low wall set it off from the road, and at the mid-point was an entrance with a rather crude turnstile instead of a gate. It consisted of two horizontal beams forming a cross, turning awkwardly and insecurely on a vertical post. A sandy track led across the heathery expanse to the ‘Edge’, where the ground dropped almost sheer away in a bluff of millstone grit, with dislodged boulders lying at its foot. Almost at the Edge, and just across the boundary wall of the public open space, was a convalescent home where poorly children could go to stay until the lovely fresh air up there had made them well. What I liked best about Lindley Moor was to wander in and out among the tussocks of heather and spiny grass, studying the topography, as it were, and


Page 38

Huddersfield Local History Society Journal

inventing names for the humps and hollows. One particular hump I called ‘Hobbley Hill’, and the little clear sandy patch nearby was ‘Hedon’.

Llandudno The seaside holidays of my early years were spent at Llandudno, where we stayed in ‘apartments’ at the Jones’s. I know that I was first taken there at the age of about fifteen months. Snaps taken of me by my father show me sitting on sand wearing a bonnet, and looking more like a large clothes-bundle than a child. Behind me is my mother, wearing a hat and a formal ‘costume’ of a dark colour. The striking thing about all these ancient holiday snapshots is how incredibly over-clothed we all were. Those of a year or two later show my mother and aunts sitting in deckchairs in lighter-coloured dresses, but wearing wide-brimmed hats with which the sea breezes must have had merry sport. My father was evidently able to come with us on these holidays, for he was the only photographer in the family at the time. There were paddling pictures—taken at too great a distance to show any detail—of my mother in a wide-brimmed hat, holding up her long skirt with one hand and with the other holding on to me. We never went in deep enough to satisfy me, and the water merely washed over our feet. I wanted to go in alone but was not allowed to until I was quite a bit older. Thereafter, over the years of summers, I was constantly pursued by the cry ‘Don’t go in any further!’ I have to confess that I tried a Nelson touch, pretending that I could not hear them for the noise of the waves, and I was constantly in trouble for getting my dress wet.

Eventually I was provided with a paddling-suit, an outfit like outsize rompers, made of rubberised material and very stiff. The knickers had elasticated waist and legs, and were held up by a bib with straps over the shoulder. This was worn over all my ordinary clothes. But my ambition was to get thigh-deep in the water, and so there was trouble again, for the tough material did not gather up very neatly, and as the knicker legs came almost down to my knees, naturally a good deal of water got in.

A Zeppelin Before the ladies had finished laughing, some kind of airship came in across the coast. One of the adults uttered the dread word ‘Zeppelin!’ Auntie Edie seized my hand and began to run, dragging me after her, struggling in the sugary sand. I remember looking up and behind me, and seeing overhead the long silvery shape with pointed ends, apparently just about to swoop down on us. My one rapid glance served to register that it was very small as such things went, but this matter of size was probably an illusion. It passed on inland, and the panic seemed to be over: at any


Page 39

Huddersfield Local History Society Journal

rate nothing more was said about it. I still find this puzzling. Was it a model flying low, or a real airship very high above? Whichever it was, it seemed to be chasing Auntie and me.

Shopping Since our minor expeditions were usually for food shopping and I always accompanied my mother on these trips, it is not to be wondered at that I was very much interested in the set-up in the various shops, and watched the assistants carefully. The bread shop was also a Post Office, and Mr Stephenson, who sold stamps at one end of the shop, also carried in the trays of fresh loaves from the bakehouse behind. He was a small man whose waxed moustache was twirled into marvellously fine points. His daughter served behind a very high glass-fronted counter at the opposite end of the shop. She was a bonny girl, everyone said: she had soft brown hair tied at the back of her neck with a black ribbon, and had enviably rosy cheeks.

We were now having to save paper, and my mother had either to bring a bag with her or pay an extra halfpenny for one. If we wanted biscuits we could chose from three rows of boxes. Under long glass lids the open tins were stacked at an angle so that they were easy to see and to get out. Kathleen would come right round from behind the counter to serve us and my mother would point and say: ‘Some of these...and some of those...’ I learned a new word: we were going to have to live on ‘rations’; but we seemed to eat the same things we had always had—except for jam and sweets. I remember the food ration books very well, not indeed while they were in use but afterwards, when they were no longer needed and I was given them to play with. They contained perforated coupons to be torn out by the tradesmen— Prussian blue for meat, pink and yellow for sugar and butter. They had a special smell, just like that of the brown print in the Dutch bulb catalogues which became so familiar in the years after the war.

© Estate of Margaret Woodhead


Page 40

Huddersfield Local History Society Journal

MRS PARKIN’S PARKIN By Lesley Abernethy

Mrs Parkin lived i' Berry Brow, afore they pulled it down. It were a proper village then, not just a bit o' t'town

An’ t'Salem Chapil stood out proud on thiill for all to see, An' Mrs Parkin's parkin starred at every chapil tea.

Wi' traycle, flour an' oatmeal she would slave away for days, on t'day o't' chapil tea, to win the parson's praise.

She ‘ad a secret recipe, she kept it in ‘er ‘ead, So no-one else could ever make that special gingerbread.

But things that are not written down, wi’ time are apt to alter, When age comes on, an’ eyes grow dim, an’ t'mind begins to falter.

That parkin, once so justly famed as one that could not fail ‘em, Became a proper trial of strength to some o't' fowk at Salem.

When bakin’ it, our Mrs P ‘ad put in too much sugar, Twice the traycle, no bicarb, now wasn't that a shame?

What should be moist an' spongy were parkin in name alone, For Mrs Parkin's parkin ‘ad turned out just like a stone.

It fell to Mrs Liversedge to cut that gingerbread, But t' knife first bent, then snapped in two, so she fetched an axe instead.

She'd plenty skill at choppin' wood an’ kindlin' for the winter, But Mrs Parkin's parkin that great axe refused to Splinter.

Amos Oldfield said 'e'd go an’ fetch ‘is saw instead, And after sagin' for an hour, ‘e kicked that gingerbread.

'E broke his toe- what 'e said then I really can't repeat; But 'e swore- that by a bit o' cake ‘e never would be beat.


Page 41

Huddersfield Local History Society Journal

'E ‘obbled off up Chapel Street- defeat ‘e couldn't thoil, And limped back with the 'ammer that ‘e used for brayin' t'coil.

The parkin knew its maister then as that great mell 'e wielded; A few choice blows, a creak, a crack, then all at once it yielded.

A little lump flew off at last as Amos 'e did batter, An' landed on the parson's plate with an almighty clatter.

That dainty plate of pink and white in fragments then did fall But t'parson caught the parkin, like a fielder with a ball.

The cricketers among them were agog such skill to see: Parson said 'e ‘oped no-one minded if 'e dunked it in ‘is tea.

‘E dunked it, then with murmured prayer 'e popped it in ‘is gob. ‘Twas then ‘e found that ‘is false teeth weren’t really up to t' job.

‘Is top and bottom dentures became welded to that cake; 'E tried to signal ‘is distress, but no sound could 'e make.

Some little bairns ‘ad little flags that carefully they'd made So they could wave them as they walked in t' Sunday school parade.

To their surprise the praycher grabbed two flags they proudly bore.- ‘E'd never thowt 'e'd find a use for learning semaphore.

But no-one else knew what it meant, it's very sad to say, So 'e thowt, “There's nowt else for it but to throw these teeth away.”

Well, some fowk laughed, an some fowk cried, some just sat on their bums, As teeth and parkin, out they came, an’ t'parson bared ‘is gums.

He lithped a haythty vote of thankth to all athembled there, And ‘oped that Mithith Parkin would go bakin’ with more care.

Then off 'e went to nurse ‘is pride, and mourn a praycher's lot,


Page 42

Huddersfield Local History Society Journal Wi nowt but pobs for supper till some new teeth could be got.

It ‘'appened many years ago, that day of ‘igh renown; Whoever would 've thowt that they would pull that chapil down?

Now Mrs Parkin's up in ‘eaven, (not in the place beneath,) So I ‘ope that all the angels are equipped with their own teeth.

Lesley Abernethy

(All persons and events fictitious, even though the place is real!)

Biography Lesley grew up in Almondbury and Honley and now lives in Kelso. Her Bradley and Gledhill ancestors were among the first colonizers of Berry Brow in the late seventeenth century. Her family maintained a presence there until Lesley’s aunt had to move out prior to the demolition of Berry Brow in the 1960s.



In the 2011 Journal Janette Martin produced a useful article outlining the resources available for historical research in Kirklees. This article included an extended section on the West Yorkshire Archive Service. We indicated that each new issue of the Journal would include fresh information about one of the resource facilities listed in Janette’s first article. This piece by Amy Devenney is in response to this commitment. (Editor)

Last year the University Archives were lucky enough to accept three prominent collections into their care: The John Henry Whitley Collection; The British Music Collection; and the Open College Network Archive.

The John Henry Whitley Collection is a family archive which was begun by his wife, Margherita Virginia Whitley, to record her husband’s high-profile political career. After becoming the liberal MP for Halifax in 1900, JH Whitley was asked by the Prime Minster, in 1916, to committee which would investigate the country’s appalling industrial relations and recommend new approaches. The outcome was the ‘Whitley Councils’, which were joint councils of employers and employees where views from both sides could be aired. He then became the speaker of the House of Commons in 1921 and oversaw the House during a time of great upheaval, as changes were being made to the government and during the General


Page 43

Huddersfield Local History Society Journal

Strike of 1926 when he famously said, ‘even if the electricity was cut off he would ensure that debates continued by candlelight’. By his retirement from Speaker in 1928, he had won recognition from many and was offered a peerage, which he turned down.

On MV Whitley’s death in 1925, the archive passed first to their eldest son Percival Nathan Whitley and then to their younger son Oliver John Whitley. Under the custody of OJ Whitley, the collection developed as he began to organise and label the loose material it contained, and to supplement the archive with additional material and explanatory notes. With his death in 2005 his son, John Paton Whitley, took over and continued to add explanatory notes as he organised the material for deposit.

The Collection arrived 14" October 2011. It contains a variety of material including books, journals, newspaper articles and letters pertaining to the career of JH Whitley, both his political and subsequent career. Items of particular significance are: a letter from the Prime Minister in 1907; a handwritten letter for George V; as well as the Speaker’s House Visitors’ Book, which contains the signatures of prominent people, such as Mussolini, Mahatma Gandhi and members of the Rockefeller family.

The University was chosen as the place for deposit due to its excellent Archive and Special Collection resources and its position as the local University to Halifax. The family also hope, that by depositing this excellent resource, they are providing the opportunity for scholars and students to research into the life of a prominent Yorkshire man, who was a key figure in early- twentieth century politics.

The second collection to arrive was the British Music Collection (BMC), formerly housed and preserved by Sound and Music in London. This Collection is made up of twentieth and twenty- first century scores and recordings, and the administrative records of the former British Music Information Centre (BMIC). In November 2011, the collection was moved from London to a specially designed unit in the University of Huddersfield’s Music Library, to be jointly managed by the Music Librarian and the Archivist.

The Collection, containing over thirty thousand scores and many other items, has been inaccessible and in storage for the past two years. It is a remarkable resource for anyone interested in the musical heritage of this country or for those seeking to find a new repertoire. Recordings of British contemporary composers can be found alongside the scores. It also contains both published and unpublished works, including many pieces that are out of print or hard to obtain. High-profile composers, such as Britten, Tippett, Birtwistle, Maxwell Davies, Cardew, Harvey, Weir, MacMillan, Turnage and Adés, are featured alongside currently emerging or less well-known composers whose work deserves rediscovery. Although the majority of the collection relates to post-1960 work, it does include some material from as early as 1900.


Page 44

Huddersfield Local History Society Journal

When the material arrived, two hundred and fifty crates and two hundred boxes, only a basic contents list existed. Therefore the first job after unpacking the large volume of material was to group the material into intellectual groups, gain some knowledge of the contents and then sort the contents physically into an order, which would allow us and users to use the collection. While our first priority is to organise and catalogue the collection, and to enable online access to the catalogue via our website and online portals, the University in co- operation with Sound and Music hope, in the long term, to develop the collection further by, continuing to acquire new material and to successfully digitise the material. Although there is still a lot of work to do on the collection, the purpose-built reading room was opened to the public in January 2012 and we have already received a number of enquiries and visitors.

The Open College Network Archive was the third collection acquired by the University in December 2011. The collection shows the development of the accreditation-based Open College Networks for adult learning, which were founded in Manchester in 1982. The aims of the Networks were to allow adults without qualifications to further their learning and to study for accreditation, which would allow them access to Higher Education. From 1985 onwards, Local Authorities, Adult and Community Education providers and Further Education Colleges enthusiastically took up this idea, with Access Centres being developed throughout the country. The Collection was deposited by David Browning, the first Director of the Greater Manchester Open College Network. It includes correspondence, publications and documents such as Governmental papers, which deal with the incorporation of Further Education Colleges in 1992. This archive will be of great interest to anybody researching the history of education or the education of adults. It also complements some of the other collections we hold, such as the archive of the Huddersfield Female Educational Institute and the Huddersfield Mechanic’s Institute, both of which also deal with the promotion of education.

Biography Amy Devenney has an MA in Medieval History and has worked at the University of Huddersfield Library

since 2008 where she has spent time in both the Archive and Acquisitions teams. She is currently planning to undertake research for her PhD on Miracles & Medicine in the Norman Kingdom of Sicily.


Page 45

Huddersfield Local History Society Journal


In February I received the above old postcard from Gill Baker who lives in the West Midlands. She thought it might be of interest to the Society The original is in colour and was printed soon after 1900. It is of the Lockwood Viaduct on the Huddersfield to Penistone line which was built between 1846 and 1849. It still stands today as a memorial to the Victorian engineers who constructed it — 1428 feet long and 136 feet high. There are 32 semi-circular arches. It contains an amazing 972, 000 cubic feet of masonry and cost £33,000.

Of equal interest is the reverse side. The card was posted in Manchester on June 23" 1908, the halfpenny (!!) stamp bears the head of King Edward VII and it is written to a Miss Forster in Langholm in southern Scotland and says simply “/ have sent you a paper look down the marriages”. In those days the postcard was the precursor of an email message, text message or a phone call. Mary Forster was the great aunt of Gill Baker’s grandfather and she has cards posted to her from all over the world. Gill’s grandfather was born in Salford but how he came to choose a postcard of our wonderful viaduct to send to his great aunt is unclear — had he perhaps come ona visit to the town and bought the card at the station bookstall? We will never know. Editor


Page 46

Huddersfield Local History Society Journal

FANCY WEAVERS AND FAMOUS CRICKETERS: Some aspects of the early history of Lascelles Hall Cricket Club By Bob Horne

Lascelles Hall Cricket Club was formed in 1825 when Jane Walker persuaded her husband Joseph, tenant of the Hall, to provide a playground for local youths to indulge in the game which had come to preoccupy their spare hours.” After an initial period using a quarry, then a small field known as ‘The Croft’, the first actual ground was in the ‘Reservoir Field’. Successive tenants of the Hall renewed the sporting privilege, apart from the years 1846-49, when the hall was tenantless, although it is unlikely that the young men of the village would allow the absence of a tenant to curtail their pursuit of the summer game, even though a caretaker was in occupation. During 1865 the present ground was prepared and came into use the following year.

Lascelles Hall, taking some of its players from the neighbouring villages of Kirkheaton, Cowmes and Lepton, soon became the best club team in Yorkshire, and probably the whole country. Before the end of the nineteenth century they had produced twenty- one Yorkshire county players. On one occasion, against Derbyshire in August 1877, they supplied six of the Yorkshire team.” In 1882 twenty-three cricketers from this small district were engaged as professionals to various clubs around Yorkshire and the North. Three times Lascelles Hall played against Yorkshire, and two of those games were won. In 1877 they beat the full Surrey team, and in 1878 they played a three-day game against The North, whose players were taken from Yorkshire, Lancashire and Nottinghamshire, ‘the result being a draw in our favour’. Three villagers — Andrew Greenwood, Allan Hill and Billy Bates — toured Australia with England teams, Greenwood and Hill playing in the first-ever Test match, at Melbourne in March 1877.” There were more Greenwoods and Bateses in the village, as well as Amblers, Hirsts, Lockwoods and a plethora of Thewlises, all born close to the Reservoir Field and learning the game on its well-worn pastures.” Thousands of

*Old Ebor (A.W. Pullin), Talks with Old Yorkshire Cricketers (Leeds, 1898) p.229. ; * John Jessop, club secretary from 1850-80, quoted in Old Ebor, Talks, p. 235. > Hill took the first wicket to fall in Test cricket when he bowled the Australian opening bat Nathaniel Thompson for one. ° A team of Thewlises, all residing in Lascelles Hall, played against the Chickenley club in 1866, and won. Moreover, the Thewlis’s gatekeeper, umpire and scorer were all 44

Page 47

Huddersfield Local History Society Journal

young men played cricket in Yorkshire at the time, so how did such a small community manage to produce so many of the best cricketers of the day?

The area to the east and south-east of Huddersfield had built a reputation for the production of patterned cloth, the most profitable use for which was the flowered waistcoat then fashionable. After a depression in the trade in the 1820s, the introduction of a loom called a Witch facilitated the weaving of these patterns, and the presence of a generation of innovative designers contributed to a steady recovery in trade, given a boost by the Great Exhibition of 1851, after which ‘the high reputation of the fancy trade in Huddersfield’ kept the hand loom weaver in work.’ Most of the Lascelles Hall cricketers, and their families, were hand loom weavers producing these fancy goods, and it was this way of life, maintains Andrew Thompson, which produced the circumstances enabling them to excel at cricket:

th 19° century Lascelles Hall weavers’ cottages

the men of Lascelles Hall used to throw the shuttle from hand to hand to weave their ‘single-width’ cloth. That needed a very sharp and accurate eye for if the shuttle was dropped the cloth had to be pulled back, a process which lost time and in turn lost money, for payment was by the piece; not often, then, was the shuttle dropped.°

So, they had exceptional hand-to-eye co-ordination. How did this come to be applied to cricket? Derek Hodgson suggests that, in the mid-nineteenth century, there were few outlets for leisure for poor people, but cricket was cheap and accessible, needing

family members. (P.Thomas, Yorkshire Cricketers 1839-1939 (Manchester, 1973) p. 194.) Crump and G. Ghorbal, History of the Huddersfield Woollen Industry (Huddersfield, 1935) pp. 120-4. AG. Thompson, Cradle of Cricket (Private, 1952), quoted in D. Hodgson, The Official History of Yorkshire County Cricket Club (Marlborough, 1989) p. 21. 45

Page 48

Huddersfield Local History Society Journal

only a couple of people and a small area of waste land, with bats and balls often improvised from available materials.” Another advantage enjoyed by piece-workers, whose looms were set up in their homes, was flexibility. Orders had to be completed by the time they were collected to be taken to market, but it didn’t matter which hours of the day had been used to weave the pieces. Apparently the young men “were so keen on practising that they would commence at dinner time intending to have just half an hour, but would end in playing right on till dark. Then they would go back to their looms, and by the light of a farthing dip, which shed its lava of grease in thick lumps down the loom side, would make up at night the time they had lost at cricket during the day.”*°

This is not intended to be a history of the Lascelles Hall Cricket Club; those wishing to know more should visit Huddersfield University’s cricket heritage website. I would like to concentrate on one of these many Lascelles Hall cricketers, David Pollard, not the best-known of the club’s professionals, but a man whose career exemplifies the life of so many of these weaver/cricketers of the mid- and late-nineteenth century. He was born in 1835, in Lepton, where he died in 1909. In the 1841 census his father, Joseph, is a ‘Fancy Weaver’, living at Common Bottom, Lepton. Almost all the neighbours were also fancy weavers. ~ Ten years later Joseph’s occupation was ‘hand loom weaver’, while David and his two older brothers followed the same occupation. A ten-year-old sister is described as a ‘bobben winder’. In 1861 David was a ‘wollen weaver’, married to Nancy, and still resident in Lepton. His cricket career must have begun by 1861, almost certainly with his local club, Lascelles Hall, although it is in the following year that his first recorded appearances take place, one as a member of a Yorkshire Colts XXII against the touring All England XI, a three-day match at his home club, for a team containing at least eight Lascelles Hall players.”

° Hodgson, History, p. 21. *° Walter Haigh, President of Lascelles Hall Cricket Club for 35 years from the early 1860s, quoted in Old Ebor, Talks, pp. 232-3. tt ** In the 1841 census 131 of the 500 residents of Lascelles Hall were fancy hand-loom weavers - wnyourwayl1.pdf, p.4. ** and 46

Page 49

Huddersfield Local History Society Journal

During the 1860s Pollard established himself as a cricket professional and he represented at least 17 clubs during that decade, although the true figure is likely to be many more. Most of them were in the industrial West Riding, but also included Selby, Tadcaster and York, as well as Darlington in County Durham, and two Lancashire teams. He also played for Scarborough from 1867-73.” Many of these games were as a ‘given man’, i.e. a guest player, against touring elevens, a practice which, as Rob Light has observed, gave additional employment to many club professionals, as the competitive nature of the north of England manifested itself in the assembly of ‘a representative team of local professionals [rather than] a side of players from the participating clubs or Interestingly, Pollard’s only Yorkshire appearance came in 1865 against Surrey, a match in which five Yorkshire professionals refused to play on account of the regional rivalry which had simmered since a perceived southern bias in the selection of the English touring party which had visited Australia three years previously. ”

In the 1871 census David Pollard is described as a ‘wool weaver’, and Nancy as a ‘weaver’s wife’. In 1861 she had been given no occupation, so perhaps the 1871 designation signifies a contribution to her husband’s textile work. John Benson has made the point that ‘The census always tended to underrate the incidence of women’s, particularly of married women’s, part-time work.’ However, the main interest of the 1871 census entry is the fact that the Pollards’ address is ‘The pavillion [sic], Bootham Stray, York.’ He had played for the York club in 1868; the fact that there is no record of his playing for the club in 1871 is a reflection only of the incompleteness of records. Pollard would have the tenancy of the pavilion if he was the York professional for that season. His duties would include the preparation of pitches and maintenance of the ground, and residence would be for the summer

“ teams.html. However, he played a game for Clifton Britannia, near Brighouse, in 1872 (Brighouse News, 3 August 1872), not mentioned in this list of clubs, and there are likely to be others for whom Pollard played as a guest professional. *° ‘Bollard in his later days was a familiar figure at all matches in Scarborough’. Thomas, Yorkshire Cricketers, p. 147. *° R. Light, Cricket’s Forgotten Past: A Social and Cultural History of the Game in the West Riding of Yorkshire1820 — 1870, p.176. (Unpublished PhD Thesis, De Montfort University, Leicester, 2008.) Mv *® J Benson, The Working Class in Britain, 1850-1939 (London, 1989) p. 31. 47

Page 50

Huddersfield Local History Society Journal

months only. As the census would have been taken in early April it is possible that the Pollards had recently taken occupation of the pavilion prior to the beginning of the cricket season. The description of himself as a ‘wool weaver’ could simply relate to the occupation which took up most of his year. However, there is no evidence of the Pollards having vacated property in Lepton in order to take up their temporary tenancy in York, although such evidence would be difficult to acquire, since an available property would immediately find a new occupant.

Pollard was ‘at Cambridge University as a practice bowler’ and ‘coached at Winchester and Harrow’. He could have been at Cambridge in 1872 when he played for an England XI against the university, although his involvement at Harrow School lasted for twenty-six seasons, according to the Lascelles Hall centenary Interestingly, there had been a connection between Lascelles Hall and Harrow, when, between 1877 and 1881, the village club hosted games against Harrow Although Pollard didn’t play in any of these games, he may have been responsible for the link. In the 1881 census, still registered in Lepton, although at a different address, he is described as a ‘Professional Cricketer’, his wife as ‘Domestic Help’. Again, this could merely indicate that, at the time of the census, he had already taken up a summer engagement, after another winter of weaving. The only cricket he is recorded as having played during the 1880s are three games for South Wales Cricket Club in 1886, so it is possible that he was making a summer living from his coaching at Harrow.’ The change of address could suggest that the previous residence, at Spa Bottom, had been tied to the textile work. However, in 1891, when Pollard was probably at Harrow, the census returns show his wife as having returned to Spa Bottom, but her husband is not listed. Nancy is referred to as ‘Head of Family’, but is given no occupation. I have been unable to locate David Pollard in the 1891 census, but in 1901, his cricket career presumably over, he is back at Soa Bottom with his wife, described as a ‘Woolen [sic] Weaver’ working at home, which would make him one of the few surviving hand-loom weavers.” Nancy is given no occupation.

Thomas, Yorkshire Cricketers, pp. 146-7. *° centenary.pdf 22 *° Harrow School has no record of cricket professionals employed at the time Pollard would have been at the school. 48

Page 51

Huddersfield Local History Society Journal

None of the above appointments was unusual for the time. The professional cricketer’s job was to bowl and to field, as well as to coach; to labour in the service of the stylish gentleman-amateur batsman, and to this end they had been employed at the country’s institutions for schooling the sons of the wealthy since the Nottinghamshire bowler Sam Redgate had been engaged as coach at Eton in 1840. However, there would have been ‘no question of his enjoying the same status as the masters.’ “” Thomas Hughes, author of Tom Brown’s Schooldays, who attended Rugby School, probably spoke for many when he bemoaned the effect, as he perceived it, of the abundance of professional coaches at public schools by the 1860s:

Anyone who knew the game twenty years ago could generally tell you where any given player came from after watching him for an over or two. Each school, again, had its own style; and hits, such as the Winchester batters and the Harrow drives, were handed on from one generation to another, and became part of the school inheritance. Now one eleven of boys trained by one professional is just like another in play.”

The final decade of Victoria’s reign and the years up to the First World War are traditionally regarded as cricket’s ‘Golden Age’, a period dominated by the gifted and uninhibited amateur batsman. There is no denying that many of the leading players of the day were amateurs, and it is equally true that almost all had been educated, and their cricket developed, in the public schools. This means, of course, that the celebrated ‘natural’ ability was, to a greater or lesser extent, taught to them by whichever professional had been employed in their school. During the years that Pollard probably coached at Harrow, two of the most successful English batsmen of the ‘Golden Age’, F.S. Jackson and A.C. McLaren, both England captains, were pupils there, and must have come under the tutelage of the Lepton hand-loom weaver. This is a tantalising possibility, the social significance of which transcends the game of cricket.

It can be seen that the structure of that part of Pollard’s life in which he was a professional cricketer followed a logical course. As a hand-loom weaver, he had the economic independence to be able to organise his working hours to accommodate

**D. Birley, A Social History of English Cricket (London, 1999) p. 82. *° Quoted in Light, Cricket’s Forgotten Past, p. 199.


Page 52

Huddersfield Local History Society Journal

time away from the loom, in the summer months in particular. Weaving was also the trade to which he returned when he had completed his usefulness as an employee in the game. He played for many clubs, often as a ‘given’ man in midweek fixtures, and in order to keep himself in work he had to be prepared to travel. After his career as a player, and probably during that period as well, he obtained engagements as a coach to his social superiors, managing to obtain employment to the extent that, in 1881, he was able to describe himself as a ‘Professional Cricketer’.“° Pollard was one of many Lascelles Hall cricketers, almost all weavers, whose lives followed a similar pattern. The story of this village cricket club is extraordinary, and has never been given the national significance it merits.

Lascelles Hall today

Biography Bob Horne is a retired teacher of English and Drama. He is currently researching for a PhD in the social history of cricket in Victorian Brighouse. He can be contacted at:

*® The census returns were collected in early April, which coincides with preparations for the cricket season. One wonders what Pollard’s description of his occupation might have been had the census taken place during the winter months. 50

Page 53

Huddersfield Local History Society Journal


HUDDERSFIELD, 1946 — 1951 By Frank Grombir


The aftermath of the war marked a great wave of immigration which has significantly

shaped the social and cultural outlook of this area.”

Some scattered groups of

people started arriving in Huddersfield from 1939 but the numbers of resident aliens

registered with the local police between 1938 and 1945 did not exceed had risen to 556 in the first two post-war years which was initially due to women from Baltic countries (Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania) coming to work in the local health care institutions. They were soon joined by other nationalities which brought the number of registered aliens to almost 2,000 by the early 1950s.°° People arriving from the vast area behind the Iron Curtain (see Fig. 1) created up to the mid-1950s the largest émigré post- war grouping in Huddersfield.

This article will analyse the early days of post-war immigration into the

Eastern ‘Europe After World War II

TH Areas mv to the Soviet Union

Countries controlled by the Soviet Union

igure 1 [he map showing countries behind the Iron Curtain, many of whom had their representation in Huddersfield. The Ukraine and Belorussia are not included as they had already been annexed to the USSR.

*” Frank Grombir, A Brief Guide around Polish Heritage Places in Huddersfield, Huddersfield:

Local Studies Library, 2010, p. 1

*® Cou nty Borough of Huddersfield, Chief Constable’s Annual Report to the Watch Committee, Huddersfield: The Advertiser Press Ltd., 1938 - 1945

* Ibid., 1946 — 1952


Page 54

Huddersfield Local History Society Journal

Huddersfield area in relation to Baltic women employed in local hospitals. Most of them filled low-paid positions such as cleaners, ward orderlies, laundry and corridor maids and kitchen assistants with the exception of a small number of women working as nurses.” They were the first displaced persons (DPs) to officially work in this area, initially on short-term contracts. In the five years following 1946 these women made their contribution to the post-war reconstruction of England’s services but most of them did not sink roots in Huddersfield soil. This account aims to look more closely at these individuals and examine why their stay was so brief, including the details of their work and the general reception by the host society.

The Legacy of the Second World War

The lives of these Baltic women, many being between 18 and 30 years old on their arrival in Huddersfield, were extremely turbulent. The territory of their national states witnessed some of the most drastic consequences of the fighting between the Nazi and Soviet armies. They fled their homes, some of them becoming forced labourers in the Third Reich and subsequently experiencing the refugee life in Western zones of control in post-war Germany. They were among almost 1.5 million refugees who ‘had expressed their unwillingness to be repatriated’ because their home countries were either under Soviet or Communist control.*”

The post-war political tensions between the West and the East, together with humanitarian reasons and, most importantly, the labour shortage in many essential British industries, gave birth to various governmental labour schemes which allowed DPs and other aliens to seek refuge in Great Britain and to acquire a new status as European Volunteer Workers (EVWs). This name was to replace the term DP as it had negative connotations.

*° This number is derived from the available archival evidence. The exact figure was likely to be slightly higher but cannot be exactly determined due to the absence of some records. >” West Yorkshire Archive Service (WYAS), C361; C371/3/2 ** Jessica Reinisch. ‘Preparing for a new World Order: UNRRA and the International Management of Refugees’, The National Archives and the Wiener Library. Accessed online at <>, 12 February 2012


Page 55

Huddersfield Local History Society Journal


The Balt Cygnet Scheme was the first labour scheme which marked

the influx of DPs into Britain,

mainly from various eastern European countries. The main purpose of this plan was to relieve the acute shortage of nursing and domestic staff in hospitals and

sanatoria. Initially, the recruitment

was limited to single women Figure 2 The pioneering party of four Latvians who became the first of Huddersfield’s Baltic ‘cygnets’.


coming from the Baltic states

between twenty and forty years of age, under the condition that they could not 3

change employment without permission of the Ministry of Labour.” The first recruits under the Balt Cygnet Scheme arrived in this country in mid-October 1946; they were coming to England at a rate of one hundred per week and Huddersfield was among the first places to receive its share of Baltic women. In early November, The Huddersfield Examiner reported on the arrival of an ‘experimental party’ of four Latvian women: Ergenja, Tatjana, Kelta and Nadina, who were assigned to Bradley Wood Sanatorium. * It is not clear how many Baltic staff were employed there after this pioneering group came in 1946 as the staff records have not been preserved. This gradual introduction of foreign workforce bore fruit and improved the staffing situation in TB sanatoria, thus the Balt Cygnet Scheme was extended to general hospitals. *° This was also reflected locally. Another party of eight Estonian girls arrived ‘with snow on their feet’ at the beginning of February 1947, during the extremely tough winter which was characterised by fuel shortages and power cuts which prevented

°° John Allan Tannahill, European Volunteer Workers in Britain, Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1958, pp. 20 — 21 Huddersfield Daily Examiner, 2 November 1946 8 Tannahill, 1958, p. 21


Page 56

Huddersfield Local History Society Journal

local industries from being fully operational.*° The year 1947 saw the biggest number of Baltic women (over twenty) coming to the Huddersfield area, including fifteen staff for St. Mary’s Hospital in Netherthong and Holme Valley Memorial Hospital in

Holmfirth and another seven staff for Mill Hill Hospital in

The Local Reception

The government was aware of the potential for a popular opposition to a large-scale introduction of foreign labour and so the first scheme was designed very carefully. It initially included only white middle-class European women from the Baltic region who were regarded by British officialdom as superior workers, ‘compared with both Black women migrants and other EVWs’ (Poles and Ukrainians from rural This resulted in the selection of the term ‘cygnet’ which symbolised ‘a spotless, white femininity’ .*” Furthermore, the local newspapers went in line with the official stance which seemed to present the Baltic domestic staff in the most positive fashion. The four smiling Latvian women pictured (see Fig. 2) received a very favourable report in The Examiner which certainly does not talk about an influx of foreign labour into the Huddersfield District; rather, it stresses the fact that this was only an ‘experiment’. While highlighting the women’s unfortunate circumstances it also mentions their readiness to undertake the unskilled low-paid demanding jobs of domestic servants.” In addition, it provides a description of their professional background (there was one nurse and three clerks) and their ability to speak some English.” The desirable ethnic and social background was certainly one of the key items described in the local papers. Their middle-class status, together with good education

*° The Huddersfield Examiner, 8 February 1947 *” WYAS, C361; C371/3/2 8 Linda McDowell, ‘The particularities of place: geographies of gendered moral responsibilities among Latvian migrant workers in 1950s Britain’, Transactions, Institute of British Geographers, vol 28, 2003, pp. 21-22 *° Ibid., 24 ”° The Huddersfield Examiner, 2 November 1946 *" Ibid. ** Ibid.


Page 57

Huddersfield Local History Society Journal

I SoRmus. La, dsteid, , ine. ,

3- 4. f- #9

D- h- 149) £22. 1909

I ns. I Md. lo- -fo «ie Figure 3 This excerpt from St. Mary’s Hospital staff records shows the names of Baltic

displaced persons, including the dates when they started and left their jobs. and perhaps even the protestant religion (Lutheranism) of some women, played an

important role in their reception. When giving information about the new recruits, the papers quite often provided a description of their physical attributes, thus making them objects of male desire. The Examiner, for instance, mentions the arrival The following excerpt, reporting on the arrival of six Latvian women to Dewsbury

of ‘eight attractive looking Estonian girls [who] were greeted by snow’.

Infirmary, gives an interesting overview of their social, ethnic and educational background, not to mention physical attractiveness:

“We came here because we had no food, and living conditions for Latvians under the German regime were very poor”, said pretty, fair- haired Olga [...] who before the war was a medical student; her mother, the widow of a surgeon [...] Olga, speaking attractive broken English, explained that while they were finding the English weather

* The Huddersfield Examiner, 8 February 1947 55

Page 58

Huddersfield Local History Society Journal

cold, it was no colder than what they experienced at home, the only difference being that Latvian cold weather was drier.”

Other evidence available includes the staff records (see Fig. 3) some of which contain brief information about each person’s conduct and their reasons for leaving. Most of the Mill Hill staff books provide the following comments: ‘good worker’ or ‘very good maid’ with some remarks about an individual’s personality, such as: ‘very coarse woman, but a good worker’ or ‘very superior person’.”” It is not possible to build an accurate picture of the Baltic women’s work ethic by looking at a couple of notes but the absence of any reports on personal misconduct tends to confirm that if not above average workers, most did not fall below standard.

Estonian Girls Take Part in

Af hk

The Baltic workers used every Hospital Pantomime

opportunity to present —

themselves well. This was demonstrated by six Estonian ward orderlies (see Fig. 4) who were involved in a staff pantomime called ‘Babes in the

Wood’ which was presented to the immobile elderly patients of

St. Mary’s Hospital at Christmas 1947.*°

Figure 4 Estonian ward orderlies at Christmas 1947

~ oe a GEE.

Leaving the Huddersfield Area

The lives of the Baltic women cannot be viewed in isolation. By 1949, a large number of other nationalities arrived to work in the local textile mills, quarries and building sites, including men of their own nationality. This provided an opportunity to end their previously isolated lives. Since their biological clock kept ticking (a half of the women were born between 1918- 1930), many were compelled to seek stability and

“ Dewsbury District News, 22 February 1947 * WYAS, C361 “© The Huddersfield Examiner, 20 December 1947


Page 59

Huddersfield Local History Society Journal

security in marriage.” As the female sex was usually in short supply amongst the post-war émigré communities, their countrymen did not hesitate to quickly choose them as life partners. At least a quarter of Baltic ‘cygnets’ left their jobs in order to marry between 1948 — 1950.”

There was a ‘considerable interest shown’ in the Estonian wedding at Netherthong in March 1949.”” It was attended by around thirty Estonian guests, some being

colleagues from St. Mary’s and Holme Valley Memorial Hospitals others male

workers from Washpit Mills, with the reception occurring in the mill canteen.”

Therefore, the Baltic ‘cygnets’ did not nest in Huddersfield after all, but flew across the ocean on yet another journey. Only three out of forty Baltic hospital staff married Englishmen and just one settled and laid her bones to rest in Huddersfield.

Finally, it is important to establish why so many women emigrated to the United States, Canada and Australia. As previously stated, one of the possible reasons was their seclusion in hospital accommodation which restricted them to one place fora long time, combined with the ‘thousand and one fatigues of hospital life.’”* According to Anastazia Vidzis, some hospitals required women to reside in hospital nurses’ homes despite being married.” However, the pivotal motive for the decision to emigrate must have been the restrictive conditions initially placed on the foreign workers and the lack of support for individuals with families. The Examiner story of Ausma Buda, a young Latvian woman with a small child, who was refused permission to stay in Huddersfield with her mother despite being offered a job at Mill Hill by the matron, is a good illustration of the rigid attitude of authorities at the time.”° In the end, both Ausma and her mother left for the US where they finally settled for the rest of their

*“” WYAS, C361; C371/3/2 *° Ibid. ” The Honley and Meltham Express, 10 December 1949 °° Ibid. >t Huddersfield Daily Examiner, 2 November 1946 Patricia Mawdsley (ed.), Women on the Move: An Anthology of the real life experiences of women who have settled in Calderdale, Halifax: Halifax High School, 1992 p. 15 °° Huddersfield Daily Examiner, 8 April 1949 Ancestry Library Edition, Accessed online at <>, 20 January 2012


Page 60

Huddersfield Local History Society Journal

As the post-war refugee situation improved towards the end of the 1940s, many individuals received information about their family members scattered across Europe and wanted to be reunited with them. Others took the opportunity of emigration to Britain’s Dominions, or the US decision to accept more incomers from the Continent affected by the war. Not least, some EVWs could have decided to go to bigger cities in the region with a more widespread community presence. Although the Baltic ‘cygnets’ left, there were about two hundred Baltic workers, particularly Latvian and Lithuanian who stayed and established the Latvian Club on Belmont Street which has been part of the Huddersfield multi-ethnic landscape since the 1970s.

List of Images Fig. 1 — Eastern Europe after WWII. Pearson Education, Inc. or its affiliates. Fig. 2— The Huddersfield Examiner, ‘Latvian Girls for Huddersfield’, 2 November 1946 Fig. 3— The excerpt from St. Mary’s Hospital staff book, West Yorkshire Archive Services, C361 Fig. 4-— The Huddersfield Examiner, ‘Estonian Girls Take Part in Hospital Pantomime’, 20 December 1947 Sources Ancestry Library Edition [web page], Accessed online at <>, 20 January 2012 County Borough of Huddersfield, Chief Constable’s Annual Report to the Watch Committee, Huddersfield: The Advertiser Press Ltd., 1938 - 1952 Dewsbury District News, 22 February 1947 Frank Grombir, A Brief Guide around Polish Heritage Places in Huddersfield, Huddersfield: Local Studies Library, 2010 Honley and Meltham Express, 10 December 1949 Huddersfield Examiner (2 November 1946, 8 February 1947, 20 December 1947, 8 April 1949) Jessica Reinisch. ‘Preparing for a new World Order: UNRRA and the International Management of Refugees’, The National Archives and the Wiener Library. Accessed online at <>, 12 February 2012 John Allan Tannahill, European Volunteer Workers in Britain, Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1958 Linda McDowell, ‘The particularities of place: geographies of gendered moral responsibilities among Latvian migrant workers in 1950s Britain’, Transactions, Institute of British Geographers, vol 28, 2003 Patricia Mawdsley (ed.), Women on the Move: An Anthology of the real life experiences of women who have settled in Calderdale, Halifax: Halifax High School 1992 West Yorkshire Archive Service (WYAS), Hospital Staff Registers: Mill Hill Hospital, Dalton C361; Holme Valley Memorial C371/3/2 Biography Frank Grombir graduated with a first class degree in History and Politics from the University of Huddersfield. His work on the local Polish émigrés was awarded the Best Dissertation Prize by the History Department in 2010. Frank specialises in the history of post-war immigration into West Yorkshire from countries behind the Iron Curtain with a recent focus on second generation identities. For further information email: or call Huddersfield Local Studies Library 01484 221965


Page 61

Huddersfield Local History Society Journal


Reviewer: David Cockman

THE ROMANS WHO SHAPED BRITAIN By Sam Moorhead & David Stuttard Published: 2012, Thames & Hudson £18.95

Our perception of Roman Britain has much in common with our present perception of the Universe, which, according to the latest astronomy, consists of about 80% “dark matter” which can neither be detected nor measured, but which must nevertheless exist for the universe to function as it does.

In this newly published book the authors seek to shed a little more light on the “dark matter” surrounding our 400 year participation in the Roman Empire, reassessing the (unfortunately) not very reliable evidence of the literary sources and combining this with the latest evidence provided by archaeology and the many finds coming to light as a result of the Portable Antiquities Scheme. In particular, Sam Moorhead, a Roman coins specialist at the British Museum, uses his extensive knowledge of coin finds both recent and past, to try to plot the movement and involvement of leading figures in our Roman history. For, as the authors say in their introduction they wish “to put people back at the heart of the story”, whilst acknowledging that it now impossible to present a “true” picture of our Roman past.

The result is a highly readable semi-fictionalised historical account.,(each chapter begins with an imaginative reconstruction setting the scene. ) The original literary sources may well be stretched beyond tolerable limits, likewise the interpretation of coin finds and archaeology, but the reader comes away with a satisfyingly strong sense of what life must have been like here under the Romans, - a chink of light penetrating the dark matter.

The book is beautifully illustrated with colour photographs and many maps, and is strongly recommended both to those obsessed with the Roman world and to those who merely wish for an up-to-date account and summary of the results of latest research.

THE TIME TRAVELLER’S GUIDE TO ELIZABETHAN ENGLAND By lan Mortimer Publishes The Bodley Head, 2012, 420 pages, £20

Thanks mainly to the cinema we like to believe that we have an accurate image of life in England under good Queen Bess, - merry peasants dancing round maypoles, buxom wenches serving tankards of ale, assorted toffs throwing down their cloaks in the mud for the queen to


Page 62

Huddersfield Local History Society Journal

walk on, duplicitous Spaniard receiving a well-deserved thrashing from good old English sea dogs. We were, it would seem, the salt of the earth.

But a reading of lan Mortimer’s latest book rapidly removes the rose-tinted spectacles from this view of Merrie England. And we should be grateful that publishers have not yet managed to incorporate the stench of history in their bindings. We would need to hold this volume at arms’ length, since Elizabethan England stank, especially in towns where human excrement and the occasional dead animal were routinely thrown out into the street.

And the Englishman’s much vaunted right to freedom of speech also comes into something of a battering, especially if you moved in courtly or political circles. Any injudicious criticism of the Queen, and particularly of her policies on religion, could result in a swift removal to the Tower, or worse, to the gallows. Indeed, criticism of the Queen was an illegal offence.

On the lighter side Mortimer’s chapter on Elizabethan clothes and fashion introduces us toa rich vocabulary of terms which have long since vanished from our ken, - hose, bodies, farthingales, foreparts, kirtles and partlets. The Queen herself was a keen follower of fashion and was up to speed on the latest trends from France and Spain. And where she led, others soon followed, (a tradition happily maintained by the elegant Kate Middleton.)

This is a book rich in unexpected information based on a thorough research through diaries and letters of the period. On almost every page one finds a curious and unexpected fact about daily life in the 16" century. That, for example, of you came across a gentleman urinating in the street you were expected to raise your hat. And if his horse also chose to relieve itself over your new and expensive doublet, you were expected to show it the same courtesy. Not a lot of people know that, but they will now thanks to this excellent book.


Page 63


WEBSITE: Email address:


CHAIR: John Rawlinson Email:

SECRETARY: Pauline Rawlinson 12 Station Road, Golcar Huddersfield, HD7 4ED

Email: TREASURER: David Griffiths Email:

PUBLICITY: David Griffiths Email:

JOURNAL EDITOR: John Rawlinson With help from: Bill Roberts


VICE CHAIR: Howard Robinson

MEMBERSHIP SECRETARY: John Rawlinson: 12 Station Road, Golcar Huddersfield, HD7 4ED Email:

PUBLICATIONS: Keith Brockhill

COMMITTEE MEMBERS: Val Davies, Hilary Haigh, Brian Haigh, Janette Martin, Cyril Pearce, Bill Roberts, Chris Webb

The Society appreciates that not all members are computer users and will continue

to send all essential membership information by post. However we sometimes

receive information which may be of interest to Members electronically, and we are

happy to circulate this by e-mail to any Member who wishes to join a list for this

purpose. If you would like to do so, please e-mail your request to the address at the

top of this page. Anybody joining the e-mail list may also leave at any time.

The Society wishes to pay special thanks to Graeme Poulton and Sarah Kellet, both undergraduates at Huddersfield University who, as part of their work experience, designed the front cover of this Journal.

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