Huddersfield Local History Society: Journal 27 (2016) by various

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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 (2016/17) per year are:- Individual membership £10; Double membership £15; Group membership £15 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 (address inside back cover) or submitted at a Society meeting. Payment by annual Standing Order is encouraged and a form may be downloaded from:

MEETINGS: The Society organises a full programme of meetings each year and the programme for 2016/17 is published in this Journal (page 4). Our Monday evening meetings are held in a ground floor West Building Lecture Theatre at the University of Huddersfield, commencing at 7.30pm. Occasional visitors are welcome at a charge of £2 per meeting. (There is free parking on the campus adjacent to the lecture theatre after 6.00pm)

PUBLICATIONS: The Huddersfield Local History Society Journal is produced on an annual basis, free to Members and at a cost of £4.00 to non-members. In addition the Society publishes a number of booklets which are listed separately in this Journal (page 5) 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 (see inside back cover) 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.

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2016/17 Issue No. 27

Huddersfield’s famous railway station, date unknown, but looking much as it would have been in 1850 when the Holmfirth branch line opened (see page 56). Courtesy Kirklees Image Archive,

Huddersfield can be justly proud of its railway station. Opened on the 3" August 1847, designed by James Pigott Pritchett and built by Joseph Kaye. It is grade 1 listed and was described by John Betjeman as “the most splendid in England”.

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. We are planning a “Special Edition” of the Journal in 2018 to mark the 150" anniversary of Huddersfield Corporation, articles linked to this theme will be especially welcome.

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 2017/18 Journal, (Issue 28), will be Friday, March 31° 2017. 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

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Huddersfield Local History Society Journal 2

TABLE OF CONTENTS About the Society Inside Front Cover HLHS Committee................ Inside Back Cover EDITORIAL 3 NEWS & EVENTS: The Society’s Programme of MeetingS, 2016/17 4 The Society’s PUBLICATIONS 5 Heritage FOPUIM 7 ARTICLES: Looking to the Future: Huddersfield Chamber of Commerce Year Book 1918 ANNE C BrOOk — 8 Marsden Mechanics’ Institute: the Hall and final years Steve 15 ‘Home James’ and Huddersfield’s Musical Traditions Brian Haigh 23 Travelling Around Huddersfield 1880-1920 JAN uses sus 33 ‘Among the Best...’: the Lindley Bicycle Club up to the First World War DAVid 43 That Andy Warhol Moment David COCKIMAN 53 The Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway: The Holmfirth Branch JOAN RAWLINSON 56 Marie Louise Middlebrook-Haigh: A life dedicated to public service in Huddersfield CHriStin@ 68 Czech Me Out! Introducing next year’s Journal Editor Frank Grombir 77 Three Job Offers in One Day! (Part One) WaASCOEM RiAaZ csc 83 Book Reviews David Cockman & Keith Brockhill ccc 94

ODICUATLICS «0... oo. ccc cece 98

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Huddersfield Local History Society Journal 3


Welcome to the 27" edition of our Society Journal. This will be the last Journal for which I will be Editor. The article on page 77 introduces my successor and I am sure you will agree that the Journal! will be in good hands. Frank Grombir brings to the task a wealth of experience, and significant academic achievement together with a real commitment to local history and our Society.

Each year our Journal seems to grow in size and, I ee John Rawlinson hope you agree, in quality. For two years running Journal Editor the Journal has achieved distinction by receiving awards for outstanding articles by the British Association of Local History (Anne Brook in edition 25 and Christine Verguson in last year’s edition). In this edition you will find the usual information about next season’s programme of events, our available publications and book reviews. This year the Journal has something of a transport theme with articles on railways, road transport and bicycles. The second part of Steve Challenger’s history of Marsden Mechanics’ Hall completes the story and Brian Haigh’s article about Huddersfield’s rich musical tradition gives us much to ponder about. Anne Brook’s fascinating piece about Huddersfield industry in the 1950s and Christine Piper’s article about Marie Louise Middlebrook-Haigh remind us of the more recent history of our proud town. A read of Waseem Riaz’s interesting piece reminds us that our town has a rich and varied cultural heritage.

Our Society continues to be active on a wide range of fronts. Our publications are listed in the following pages and our website is comprehensive and informative. Members with email addresses now enjoy a regular e-newsletter which is informative and nicely produced by Christine Verguson.

As we go into press the new season’s programme of meetings and activities is almost finalised. The 2016/17 Programme is produced in later pages of this Journal and we are looking forward to another interesting year. Can |, therefore, encourage you to renew your subscription — at £10 for single and £15 for double membership it is good value. New members are very welcome. 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:-

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Huddersfield Local History Society Journal


Local HW SM! Society


Monday, September 26th 2016 The Great Yorkshire Election of 1807 Monday, October 31st 2016 Members’ Evening and Annual General Meeting Monday, November 28th 2016 Edgerton: home to a Victorian elite. Monday, January 30th 2017 The latest news from a Yorkshire glossary Monday, February 27" 2017 The History of the African-Caribbean Community In Huddersfield Monday, March 27" 2017 Hinchliffes in the West Riding Monday, April 24th 2017 A History of Huddersfield’s Jewish Community Monday, May 22™ 2017

The Pevsner Project and the Buildings of Huddersfield

Professor Edward Royle

David Griffiths

Dr George Redmonds

Natalie Pinnock-Hamilton

David Hinchliffe

Dr Anne Brook

Joseph Sharples

Please Note: All the above meetings will take place in a ground floor West Building Lecture Theatre at the University of Huddersfield at 7.30pm. (Note: There is free parking on the

campus adjacent to the lecture theatre after 6.00pm).



1. A Study Day on November 5th 2016 — details to be circulated in September

2. ANew Year Social Event to be held in January 2017 3. An Evening Excursion to a place of historical interest in June 2017

NOTE: Details of all these events will be circulated to Members later

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Huddersfield Local History Society Journal


As well as our annual Journal, the Society has a range of booklets in print, as follows: parte _. tie “Yours for Eternity” A Romance rae of the Great War Edited by John H Rumsby

(ISBN 978 9509134 9

£5.00 plus postage and packing

Joseph Brook of Greenhead ‘Father of the Town’ By David Griffiths (ISBN 978 9509134 8 3)

Joseph Brook of Greenhead ee

£6.00 plus postage and packing

Liberty or Death: Radicals, Republicans and Luddites, 1793-1823 By Alan Brooke and Lesley Kipling (ISBN 978 9509134 7 6) (

£8.00 plus postage and packing

Huddersfield in the 1820s By Edward J Law (ISBN 978 950913 45 2)

£6.00 plus postage and packing

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Huddersfield Local History Society Journal 6

Pioneers or Partisans? OM NS? Governing Huddersfield, 1820-48 By David Griffiths

(ISBN 978 9509134 45)

£5.00 plus postage and packing



c.1778 to 188

Builder of Huddersfield, c. 1779-1858 By Edward J Law (ISBN 9509134 1 3)

£2.50 plus postage and packing

John Benson Pritchett:

First Medical Officer of Health for Huddersfield a Bn es = By J B Eagles gorse mer (ISBN 95091350 5) =

£1.50 plus postage and packing

Queen Street Chapel and Mission Huddersfield By Edward Royle (ISBN 9509134 2 1)

£4.00 plus postage and packing

All the above 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. PLEASE ADD POSTAGE AND PACKING AS FOLLOWS: £1.50 for one item, £2.25 for two items, £3.00 for three or more items. 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.

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Kirklees Heritage Forum is an informal body which i aims to list what has been written about the minority Hiscaver ethnic and religious groups which have resided or LL settled in Kirklees and to encourage further research

and writing about their histories. An audit of what has H [ fl

been done so far can be found on the Migrations page

on the Society’s website,

In July 2014 the Tour de France passed through Kirklees. Along its route from Ainley Top to Holmfirth the riders passed many sites associated with Kirklees’ diverse international community. The Huddersfield Examiner, under the headline ‘Speeding past some cultural landmarks’ noted many of these: The Ukrainian Club, the Guru Nanak Gurdwara, the Spring Wood mosque, and many others. The article concluded ‘So the Tour is far more than just a cycle race. It’s the route of Huddersfield’s rich and varied heritage.’ The same theme was taken up by Kirklees Local Television, which produced four programmes of interviews with people connected with these sites. These can be found on and contain

interesting material on features such as the Punjab Stores and the RanX nightclub on Chapel Hill.

gee Huddershele

Huddersfield Local History Society continues to encourage the objectives of the Forum. The 2014/2015 Journal contained an article by Anne C. Brook, ‘A Communal History of Jews in Huddersfield’. In November Dr Rebecca Gill gave a talk on ‘Belgian Refugees in World War 1’. This was attended by the granddaughter and members of the family of Belgian carpenter Josephus Van

Camp and his wife Bertha who had found refuge in Huddersfield. Frank Grombir, one of the Society’s Committee Members, has produced the European Exile Communities Trail for Discover Huddersfield.

These additions to the record are very encouraging. However, there is still much to be done to identify and preserve the records of the various groups which have made their homes in this area. Many of the first arrivals have passed away; their memories and the records of their arrival are being lost. Now it is time to look at the achievements of their descendants.

Anyone interested in supporting the objectives of the Forum please contact Bill Roberts at

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Huddersfield Local History Society Journal


Huddersfield Chamber of Commerce Year Book 1918'

By Anne C Brook

“The Council of the Huddersfield Chamber of Commerce have thought it desirable to follow the example set by such important Chambers as those of Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds, Nottingham, and Swansea, and to issue a Year Book, with the view of making the town and district and its industries more widely known, especially in foreign countries, and it is believed that the information contained in the work will be

appreciated for its usefulness.”






Year Book in its original binding. Courtesy West Yorkshire Archive Service

Hardly a sentence to set the heart beating faster But, when found in the Preface to a volume containing long sections in French, Russian, and Spanish, and produced during the First World War, it certainly grabbed my attention as I looked through a collection of second-hand _ books. Nearly 500 pages long, and with 17 colour __ plates, it seemed an extraordinary thing for any organisation to produce after more than three years of a war which the Chamber had described elsewhere as “the most terrible in the history of mankind”’, and with no end to hostilities in sight.

Beginning with lists of officers, Council members, Committee members, past Presidents, and corporate and individual members of the Chamber, the book then went on to its first main section, introduced by a Preface from the

1 A copy in its original binding is deposited in the West Yorkshire Archive Service’s Kirklees office

(WYAS(K)) under catalogue reference S/KCC/H/27.

I am grateful to the Chief Executive of the Mid

Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce for permission to access that copy and associated minute books and

annual reports.

2 Annual Report 1918, p. 5 (Annual Reports 1911-34, S/KCC/H/22 WYAS(K)).

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Huddersfield Local History Society Journal 9

Retiring President. Seven short articles covered the history of the Chamber itself (established in 1853°), an introduction to the history and character of Huddersfield, information on “municipal Huddersfield”, an overview of English woollen and worsted manufacture, a more detailed introduction to textiles in Huddersfield and district, a survey of the area’s other industries and trades, and a description of its technical education resources’. Those articles preceded a further reference section listing trade organisations in the district (employers and trades unions), British Consular officials overseas, Board of Trade procedures, regulations, and forms for trade with foreign countries, and British Chambers of Commerce based abroad. A classified trade index followed, listing each firm under business sector headings with name, address, telephone number, and telegraphic address, with cross-references to pages on which the firm had an advertisement. The whole of the trade index was repeated in French, Russian, and Spanish, introduced in each case by translations of the first five of the seven articles which opened the English text. A final two-page spread illustrated the trade marks and brands used by nearly 30 of the local firms. Almost 150 firms have advertisements in the book, mainly full page. Firms having only one advertisement are in a clear minority, with most having at least four in multiple languages, the most prolific being Dyson, Hall & Co Ltd (producers of mohair pile fabrics) with two colour plates and five in black and white, covering all four languages. British Dyes Ltd took a different approach, with a two page article on its work, illustrated with full page photographs, the latter being repeated with new captions in each of the foreign language sections. Some firms with only one advertisement nevertheless included panels in all four languages. A few businesses even advertised their willingness to tender in any language and currency!” The quality of the colour plates is somewhat artificial by today’s standards but compares very well with that still common after the Second World War.

Unusually for Huddersfield publications of the period, the book was printed and published in Derby, by Messrs Bemrose & Sons Ltd. Their own full page

3 Bennett, Robert J (2011) Local Business Voice: The History of Chambers of Commerce in Britain, Ireland, and Revolutionary America, 1760-2011, Oxford University Press, provides a comprehensive context for the history of the Huddersfield Chamber.

The articles give a very useful snapshot of the life of the town at the beginning of the twentieth century, particularly the interrelationships between the textile industries and the other business sectors, supported by the public and private infrastructure of transport and finance. They were mostly written by the Advisory Secretary of the Chamber, Charles Mills, a solicitor, with other contributions from the Town Clerk, the Principal of the Technical College, and a former Technical College student, Arnold Frobisher, who was holding a research studentship at University College, London.

5 The Chamber had been a prominent advocate of the adoption of the metric system by the United Kingdom and “all civilised countries” since at least 1862.

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advertisement makes it clear that the firm had cornered the market in this type of publication, listing 15 Chamber of Commerce Year Books already published, and another 12 in preparation, as well as over 30 smaller scale Chamber Registers. The number of printers able to handle both Cyrillic type-setting and colour plate reproduction would have been limited, and there must have been economic advantages in having standing type for general reference material such as that relating to British Consuls and the Board of Trade. However, the publisher’s format was not entirely standardised, each town or city adjusting the basic scheme to suit its own commercial interests and strengths. The first edition of the Leeds Year Book, for example, included trade index sections in French, and Spanish (with a few advertisements featuring Russian text), and an Italian section was added for the 1913 edition

So were numerous Chambers of Commerce across the country producing these substantial year books during the First World War, as the publisher’s advertisement suggests? Perhaps not. The initial publication dates for the five Chambers mentioned in the Preface, are 1905 (Birmingham), 1910 (Leeds, 2™ edition 1913), 1914 (Nottingham), and 1915 (Glasgow, Swansea). Birmingham was the only Chamber publishing annually, resulting in a less onerous updating task in each subsequent year’. Leeds and Nottingham were pre-war creations, and Glasgow and Swansea would have been well advanced in their preparations before war was declared, given the amount of work involved in preparing a first edition. Nottingham’s second edition is listed by the publishers as “in preparation” but does not seem to have appeared until 1920. The Huddersfield Chamber of Commerce minute books record a first approach by Messrs Bemrose in April 1914, when the firm was invited to send a representative to a subsequent meeting of the Council. Understandably, discussion with the firm was delayed until November 1915, when the terms of a contract were agreed. The Annual General Meeting of the Chamber, in January 1918, received apologies for the delayed appearance of the Year Book and noted the expectation that it would be published in the next few months. The delays were attributed to translating the introductory articles, art work for the advertisements, and collating material from all the different firms’.

° Beresford, M W (1951), The Leeds Chambers of Commerce, Leeds Incorporated Chamber of Commerce, p. 91. ’ The use of the title “Year Book” is somewhat misleading for all the other locations. 8 Minutes of Council 24 April 1914 and 24 November 1915, and of Emergency Committee of 26 November

1915 (Minute Book 1913-1919, S/KCC/H/S WYAS(K)), Annual Report 1917, p. 15, and 1918, p. 28 (archival reference as above).

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Huddersfield Local History Society Journal 11

Why would Huddersfield want to publish a multi-lingual commercial year book in the middle of a world war? The town and its businesses operated in no parochial backwater. The dominant textile industries, and their allied trades, depended on sourcing raw materials from around the world, exporting finished goods to an even wider market, and keeping a close eye on technical innovations wherever they were being developed. The Chamber’s specialist committees included ones for Foreign Trade and Tariffs, and for Travelling Scholarships, the latter enabling Technical College Students to live abroad “perfecting their knowledge of foreign languages, and acquiring an insight into the commercial methods of those countries”. The article about the history of the Chamber gave numerous examples of its active engagement with foreign trade issues since its foundation, and of the successes of local firms at international exhibitions, some of the medals won on those occasions featuring in the individual advertisements. The Chamber had also affiliated to the national Association of Chambers of Commerce in 1862, only two years after the latter’s creation, with Huddersfield’s President immediately joining the national Executive Committee.

The outbreak of war, in 1914, had brought both great difficulties and great opportunities. Moving anything between countries had become a regulatory nightmare but one in which the Chamber had had to become expert in order to advise its members and provide certificates to government. Just about every local firm had more business than it could cope with — from supplying allied uniforms and blankets to gears for tanks and submarines — the dominant problem being the availability of labour. Although the Chamber was appreciative of the contribution women were making, describing their introduction into the machine tools section of the munitions works as “entirely successful”, the new female workforce being “both willing and able”, that went only part of the way towards solving the problem”. Other sources of labour were sought from across the country, even if that meant employing men from Ireland as construction workers in close proximity to a large explosives plant - to the alarm of the security The war did not dominate the editorial material in the Year Book, or the advertisements. Over the years the town had known the impact on trade of wars with France, America, and South Africa,

9 These were substantial awards. The scholarship holders had to live and work in an approved firm in the host country for a year, and to send six monthly reports to the College and the Chamber in the language of their country of residence (Teasdale, Vivien (2004) Huddersfield Mills: A Textile Heritage, Wharncliffe Books, p. 41). One of the scholarship holders, J A Falck, was interned in Germany at the start of the war (Council Minutes 25 June 1915).

+0 Annual Report 1915.

11 n wa: wy wp: Pearce, Cyril (2" edition 2014) Comrades in Conscience: The Story of an English community’s opposition to the Great War, Francis Boutle Publishers, p. 181.

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Huddersfield Local History Society Journal 12

as well as the opportunities of wars elsewhere, such as that between Russia and Japan. Allies could soon become enemies and vice-versa. Information on trading with Austro-Hungary, Germany, Turkey, and Bulgaria was naturally omitted from this first edition of the Year Book but that could well change’. The Spanish section was a reminder that Spain was neutral throughout the First World War, and was also the gateway to South America, a vital area for the textile trade. Choosing to include a Russian section reflected strong local interest in the commercial opportunities there. The Technical College had begun Russian language classes in September 1916, which were well attended, and the Chamber had launched an appeal to endow a new Russian travelling scholarship the following month’. British cotton thread manufacturers were significant players in the pre-war Russian economy, and the historical overview mentions a member

wy I I of the Huddersfield Chamber being part Res B. VICKERMAN & SONS, I of a trade delegation to St Petersburg

TD Limrren, as far back as The impact of the SL aoe two revolutions of 1917 on normal commercial life had not yet become clear when the book was sent to press, but by June 1918 the Chamber had to




pin abandon the scholarship appeal and —- return subscriptions to the donors” ee It is clear from the minute books and

MATEPIM usa, u 4ECAHHOHM WIEPCTH: CapAM, MATePIM NaAnbToO, MaTepin juin KOCTIOMOB, (po, marepin) MT.

annual reports of the Chamber that its members did not let the immediate pressures of the war crowd out longer

3 Achy area MACTEPCTHO term planning. There are regular references to discussions about ways of UDDERSFIELD, Y

accessing new markets areas previously dominated by German firms such as Holland and Scandinavia, as

Year Book advertisement in Russian.

te The unusual absence of Bradford and Manchester from the list of “important Chambers” in the Preface probably reflects a sensitivity about the dominance of German firms in both cities. 18 Minutes of Council 29 September and 27 October 1916, and of the Special Committee for Russian Language 6 October 1916. “ Probably from United Threads (Jonas Brook & Bros) of Meltham, which owned a factory in Russia (Perks, Robert B (1985) The New Liberalism and the Challenge of Labour in the West Riding of Yorkshire 1885-1914, unpublished CNAA (Huddersfield) PhD thesis, pp 40-41).

*> Minutes of Council 28 June 1918.

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Huddersfield Local History Society Journal 13

well as more general factors affecting the success of trade world-wide such as ensuring the different needs of each market were properly assessed, supported by a good knowledge of local languages, currencies, weights and measures, and financial The Chamber was still able to access some information from inside Germany and was aware of its competitors planning renewed exports after the war, which might lead to a sudden influx of cheap goods into the world market. Strong support was also given to the national Association’s efforts to focus government attention on the need to return to normal trading conditions as rapidly as possible when the war ended ’. Although the international focus of the Year Book is obvious, the domestic market was not ignored. Mention was made of the growth of the garment industry in the town, both ready-made and bespoke, as well as the beginnings of a hosiery sector, both developments being portrayed as logical ways forward, given that Huddersfield supplied substantial quantities of cloth for the Leeds clothing trade and almost all the yarn for East Midlands stocking production.

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Chamber of Commerce’ Chamberof Commerce Year Book. Year Book.

Close-up of tracker stamps

So did I buy the book? Yes — the deciding nee moment being when I found, towards the Publicity tracker stamps. end, a page of perforated stamps, not for postage but to identify your inquiry or order as having been prompted by reading the Huddersfield Year Book. Each gold-coloured stamp featured a sepia-toned picture of a formally dressed man pointing to a globe attached to telegraph wires, from which a ship, a train, and three vans of various sizes raced away. Long before internet cookies, monitoring the success of your publicity was already in hand.

16 The Annual Reports of 1915, 1916, 1917 and 1918 all include sections relating to post-war planning. 17 First referred to in the 1914 Annual Report.

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I would love to know who owned the book before I came across it. It has been rebound and there are three newspaper cuttings carefully pasted into the inside front cover and another left loose, the earliest two dating from 1903 and 1904, and the latest 2009. Taken together they suggest a family with roots in the Thurstonland township, and connections to Rock Mills, Brockholes (Joseph Sykes & Co Ltd), and to Illingworth, Morris & Co Ltd (Huddersfield Fine Worsteds). My thanks to them for keeping this treasure safe over the last century.


Anne C Brook ( Anne Brook is Huddersfield born but resident in Bradford. She took early retirement to celebrate the millennium, following a career in various parts of higher education, and completed a PhD on Huddersfield’s commemoration of the Great War at the University of Leeds in 2009.

King Street, Huddersfield, 1918 Courtesy Kirklees Image Archive,

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Huddersfield Local History Society Journal 15

MARSDEN MECHANICS’ INSTITUTE: the Hall and final years. By Steve Challenger

In last year’s Society’s Journal, I described the early years of the Marsden Mechanics’ Institute: how it grew and how, in terms of education and entertainment, it became a major influence on the life of Marsden society in the mid 1850s. Throughout its early years, the Institution struggled for space moving from a small cottage to a room above a smithy in the village. For the annual soiree and other large events, rooms were hired at local inns and mill rooms. To address this, the committee started the process of raising capital to build its own Hall.

The new Hall was first mentioned in the Secretary’s report to 1857 Soiree, when he stated that there was ‘a reserve in the bank of £40 (£25 last year) a small wedge to achieve a Hall’*®. In March a donation of £50 towards the Hall was received from Samuel Lord Esq. It was at the Directors’ meeting, held on the 27" December 1858, when the building of a Hall started to become a reality. At the meeting, it was announced that a contribution of £405 to the new building had been received bringing the total funds to £703. Another meeting was held on the 1° January 1859 by which time £726 had been promised and with £120 in the savings account, there was £846 available for the new Hall. At that meeting, it was agreed to raise a canvas and 50 people volunteered for the duty. On Monday 31st January 1859°°, the Canvassers and subscribers met, when it was announced that the canvassers had managed to gain subscriptions from


Buiklers, Masous, Carpenters, and Joiners, Plumbers and Glaziers, Slaters, Plasterers, and Painters, willing to CONTRACT for the various Works requiredin the Erection ofa MECH ANICS’ INSTITUTION HALL, at Marden, near Hud+lersfield, may inspect the Plans ann Speci and obtain bills of quautitics at my Office on and after Monday, the 25th inst. Sealed Tenders, alidrexssed to J. B. Robinson, Esq.. Marsden, and marked on the envelope *‘ Mechanics’ Halli,” to be delivered not later thau Oue p.m., on Saturday, the ON vai for Tender will the lowest, allowance for 8, nor eo} or ap Tender, necessarily be accepted. JOHN HOGG, Architect. Croasley’s Buildings, Northgate, Halifax, 2let April, 1859.

Fig 1: Advertisement for tenders to build the Hall

526 people increasing the £846 to £1252. This included a subscription of £50 from James Crowther & Son. Although the canvassers were sent out again to gain further subscriptions, it was agreed to get the _ building underway as quickly as possible. Two architects had already offered their services ‘gratuitously’ and Mr Crossley

Esq of Halifax was so impressed with the generosity of the people of the village of Marsden at the recent soiree that he

offered to aid them in the matter of the architect. The architect appointed to

Huddersfield and West Yorkshire Advertiser (17th January 1857) * Leeds Mercury (1st January 1859) *° Huddersfield and West Yorkshire Advertiser (5th February 1859)

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oversee the building was Mr John Hogg from Crossley Buildings in Halifax. In April 1859 an advertisement for skilled workers appeared in the local paper (Fig 1)*”.

A local man, James Shaw of Scout, was appointed as the builder. At the laying of the Foundation Stone, the building was described as being of the Italian order of architecture from an original design by John Hogg’. In the building there would be two classrooms which could be converted into a single room, a reading and news room, a library in addition to rooms for the resident caretaker. Upstairs was a Hall 75 feet by 38 feet 4 inches and 26 feet high. It had a gallery with a committee room beneath it. It was claimed that it could comfortably seat 1000 people. Originally it was planned to work to a budget of £1000, but with that target already being reached and with over £1400 being raised, it was planned that the building of £2000 should be built.

The Foundation Stone was laid on Saturday 9th July; an event that would involve thousands of people and was reported in detail in three columns of the Huddersfield Chronicle and West Yorkshire Advertiser. The event began with a parade, which started at the New Inn on the new turnpike (now Manchester Road). The parade was led by the Marshal on Horseback - Mr John Crowther - with the police. They were followed by the Building Committee and the workmen, Ministers of Religion, schoolmasters and visitors, members of local Mechanics’ Institutions, Sunday Schools and friendly societies. Four bands were dispersed through the parade with Marsden Mechanics’ Institute Band leading. Following the parade were the general public. The parade, with its music and and banners, was estimated as having not less than 3000 persons and was said to be a mile and a quarter long with hundreds of people watching from the hillsides. On a glorious July afternoon, the parade proceeded along the New Turnpike Road (now Manchester Road) to the Rising Sun Inn (West Slaithwaite) and returned along the Old Turnpike Road (Carrs Road) to Marsden Foundry, past the New Inn to the Throstle Nest and then to the site of the new building, where it was claimed that between 5000 and 6000 people had assembled.

The ceremony was a mixture of hymns and speeches. It celebrated not only the laying of the foundation stone, but also the success of the Institution under the leadership of Mr John Bower Robinson. J. B. Robinson had played a major role in the Institution from its inception in 1841. Following the death of its first President, James Taylor, he became the successor and was responsible for the building of the Hall. In recognition of this he was presented with a solid silver trowel and a lignum

*" Huddersfield and West Yorkshire Advertiser (23rd April 1859) *? Huddersfield Chronicle and West Yorkshire Advertiser (16th July 1859)

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vitae mallet with a silver plate on top with the inscription

‘Presented to J. B. Robinson Esq., President of Marsden Mechanics’ Institution, by the Building Committee of the Mechanics’ Hall, on his laying of the foundation stone of that edifice, as a slight acknowledgment of his personal worth, his great and universal efforts on behalf of the Institute, and in the cause of education and human progress in Marsden and its vicinity. 9th July, 1859.’

The dedication of the building ended in the following words: ‘May no evil befall those those engaged in its erection, or upon the work of their hands; and may a common blessing from our common Father rest upon it, upon our hills and valleys; upon young and old, rich and poor, who people them, and upon all in the great empire, now and evermore. Amen’

Following the laying of the Foundation Stone, the crowd moved onto the Soiree held at Bank Bottom Mill. This Mill is no longer in existence, but was located somewhere near what is now the embankment of Butterley Reservoir. The 3000 people that formed the procession ‘wended their way to the secluded and romantic valley’ to tea before the Soiree began. However, there were too many for the room at the Mill, so ‘five or six’ long tables were arranged in a nearby field and were supplied with 50 trays and 200 waiters. The water for the tea was boiled in a vat holding of upwards of 1000 gallons and the water was continually passed to and fro. After the tea, people wandered along the valley or up the hillside where they could observe the goings on.

‘..they obtained a splendid panoramic view of Fig 2: J B Robinson (1894) the brilliant and animating scene in the valley below - the tables crowded with visitors, the stream of waiters carrying tea and provisions passing over the bridge and then dispersing to their various tables, and then groups of other visitors were to be seen strolling about the valley, or resting themselves in the fields on the hill side.’

At the same time the other members of the public (‘the various orders’) had their

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feasts at the various hostelries, where the inns ‘victualling capabilities...were severely tested.’

800 people went to the Soiree in the large new rooms at Bank Bottom Mill, which had been re-modelled in the previous year, but had not yet been filled with the machinery. The evening followed the usual programme. Speeches were interspersed with music performed by singers Mrs Sunderland and Mr Delvanti, who were regular performers at the annual soiree. The speeches were delivered by members of the committee and invited guests. They advocated the benefits of education and the benefits that would arise from the building of the Hall. The inclusion of women in the Institution was also praised. The President, J.B. Robinson, in his speech raised the issue of the outstanding debt on the building. The estimated cost of the building was £2000, but only £1400 in donations had been raised.

After the celebrations were over, Mr James Shaw the builder, who was successful in winning the contract, was given the plans by John Hogg, the architect to the building committee, and the building work started in earnest. Unfortunately the work did not run smoothly”. During the latter part of 1859, on several occasions the imperfection of the work was pointed out until the architect requested Mr Shaw to pull down the defective parts and rebuild them. In the following January (1860), when the work had reached a height of six feet below the intended, the building was inspected by the architect and found ‘the walls cracked both perpendicularly and horizontally’ and he was requested ‘to pull down and re-build in proper style that was condemned’. Mr Shaw took 24 hours to consider the request, but he never returned to the site other than to remove the scaffolding and the materials. Here the story is a little contradictory, because the article states that the architect ‘at once interfered, and took possession of his plant and scaffolding and gave him notice under the contract’. The builder was asked to return the plans and drawings so that another builder could carry out the work. Mr Shaw made a claim of £250 from the committee for the work he had already carried out and refused to give up the plans until the money had been paid. With this impasse the Building Committee had no alternative but to take the case to the County Court for resolution. The trial was heard on the 14th June 1860: Mr Clough appeared on behalf of the Committee and Mr Freeman represented Mr Shaw; the judge was J. Stansfield Esg. The hearing took between seven and eight hours. The arguments included expert testimony from masons and architects, all of whom pronounced the work ‘defective and dangerous’. The judge found in favour of the Committee. He ordered firstly that the plans must be returned to the committee and that Mr Shaw should pay the costs of the action;

*? Huddersfield Chronicle and West Yorkshire Advertiser (June 30th 1860)

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secondly, that Mr Shaw had no claim on the Committee for the work carried out and that he should pay them £100 for damages for the bad work; and thirdly, at the same time as the money is returned, the Committee should return the builder’s tools. The building had to be taken down, but I have not found any documentary evidence from primary sources of who built it or when it was exactly completed. states that the work was completed by William Wadsworth of Holmfirth, but, in his book, he had inaccurately identified the architect as a Mr Cocking. The annual soiree of 1861 was not held in the new Hall, but at the Assembly Rooms; however, the article stated that the new Hall was soon to be opened””. In the same newspaper article, it was reported that the cost of the Hall had now risen to £2500; £1500 higher than the cost of the original design.

Sometime in 1861, the Hall was opened. The first report of any activity at the new Hall was the performance of Handel’s Oratorio, the Messiah.”° It was held in place of the annual soiree, to which the article offered a little mild negative comment. The vocalists were Mrs Sunderland, Mrs Hirst, Mr Schofield, Mr Whitehead and Mr Mellor. J Taylor, of Manchester Concerts, was leader of the orchestra and was assisted by Mr G Carter of Marsden. In total, there were 70 performers. The article


BS weeHAMes




ae Gia ft Che Messiah,

Conductor:—MR. H. PEARSON.

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ea 2 c iM ri eet =) Meee a Tipu we I 4, Carte So. FRIBAY EVENING, JANUARY 100, 1862. (4 wie, I eee ees

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Fig 3: Extracts from the Messiah Programme

** Whitehead, Lewis Buckley. “Bygone Marsden” (publ. 1942) p78 *° The Leeds Mercury (January 12th 1861) * Huddersfield Weekly Examiner (January 18th 1862)

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Mrs Sunderland’.The debt hanging over the building continued to be a burden. While the building was still under construction, at a meeting of the Building Committee and canvassers held at the Assembly Rooms on 6th December 1859, it was reported that £2000 was needed for the building, but that only £1500 had been subscribed. Mr Sami Dowse proposed ‘Let us do as they did at Pole Chapel - each put down ona slip of paper what he will give’. The amount paid or promised amounted to £251. But still the debt persisted, indeed during the building of the Hall, as we have seen, the costs had escalated to £2500. I have not been able to establish how, when or even if the debt was paid off. The last reference to the debt I have found was in a speech given to the Soiree of 1874, when John Sykes in his business report of the Institution stated that a legacy of £50 from Mrs James Taylor of Fenay Hall had reduced the debt to £200.””

It could be argued that the building of the Hall coincided with the peak of activity of the Marsden Mechanics’ Institution. It also coincided with a reduction of reports in the newspapers on its progress. Since the building of the Hall only two annual Soirees, January 1869°° and January 1874”, were reported. The 1869 Soiree report was dominated by the speech by E. A. Leatham Esq. MP. who was arguing that funding education through the Church would not deliver education to all, rather than it should be done through a local rate. This speech was also reported in London” and Sheffield**. However, there was no reference to the progress of the Institution in terms of classes held, financial health or numbers of members. The last glimpse of how the Institution was progressing was given in 1874 Soiree, where we learned that there were 150 members - a decline from the maximum reported membership of 230 in 1861°° - 3000 volumes in the library and as already mentioned a debt of £200 on the building. The guest speaker Mr Stansfield MP argued that mechanics’ institutions were beginning to play a dual role, a college or school and a social club. That in effect describes how the Marsden Mechanics’ Institution evolved over the forty years after the Hall was built.

While information on the Institution itself in the newspapers dried up there were many reports on the other activities. There were weekly events that included a wide

*” Huddersfield Chronicle and West Yorkshire Advertiser (3rd January 1874) *® Huddersfield Chronicle and West Yorkshire Advertiser (9th January 1869) *° The Morning Post (London) (9th January 1869) *° Pall Mall Gazette (8th January 1869) ** The Bradford Observer (8th January 1869) ** The Sheffield and Rotherham Independent Supplement (9th January 1869) *° The Leeds Mercury (January 12th 1861)

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range of performances: minstrel shows”, fife and drum bands,’ readings,” concerts and balls,*” glee parties’®, brass bands* and unusual entertainments such as a diorama of the Franco-Prussian War’. The Hall was often used for tea parties for such as the mill workers, the cricket team” and the local branch of the Halifax Permanent Building The Hall also became the centre for local politics. Both local Boards” held their meetings in the Hall. The first report of the Marsden in Huddersfield Board appeared in December 1876°° and the Marsden in Almondbury Board in July 1877°°. On the 16th November 1881, an enquiry into the possible amalgamation of the two Boards was held at the Mechanics Hall*’. The merger was approved and the merged Board continued to meet at the Hall. The ratepayers also used the Hall as a meeting place and on one occasion in something of a revolt against the Board*®. Fora period the Hall was also used to house the Infants Department of the Town School. It opened in 1879 with Miss Killin as mistress’.

Marsden Mechanics’ Institution was booming when the Hall was built. It attracted funding from the general public for the building of the Hall, it had a large library and the highest membership in its history. This though seemed to have been its peak and the rest of the 19th century saw its gradual decline. It is as if the community of Marsden had shifted its connection with the Mechanics’ Institution to the Mechanics’ Hall and with it the Hall became associated more with the role of a public hall. Whitehead’s history of the Marsden Mechanics’ in Bygone Marsden has some inaccuracies, but it is the only account of the end of the Institute I have With the introduction of compulsory education the need for mechanics’ institutions declined. Some evolved into more formal education establishments, but as we have seen in Marsden the legacy, like many others, was to be that of providing a public

** Huddersfield Chronicle and West Yorkshire Advertiser (22nd October 1870) *° Huddersfield Chronicle and West Yorkshire Advertiser (16th November 1872) °° Huddersfield Chronicle and West Yorkshire Advertiser (5th November 1873) °” Huddersfield Chronicle and West Yorkshire Advertiser (27th October 1874) *8 Huddersfield Chronicle and West Yorkshire Advertiser (7th March 1874) °° Huddersfield Chronicle and West Yorkshire Advertiser (8th August 1874) *° Huddersfield Chronicle and West Yorkshire Advertiser (8th March 1873) “* Huddersfield Chronicle and West Yorkshire Advertiser (5th February 1870) “* Huddersfield Chronicle and West Yorkshire Advertiser (29th January 1870) Huddersfield Chronicle and West Yorkshire Advertiser (29th January 1875) “ That is “Poor Law Boards”, established by Poor Law Amendment Act 1834 “° Huddersfield Chronicle and West Yorkshire Advertiser (15th December 1876) “© Huddersfield Chronicle and West Yorkshire Advertiser (28th July 1877) “” Huddersfield Chronicle and West Yorkshire Advertiser (19th November 1881) “® Huddersfield and District Chronicle (26th March 1890) °° Whitehead, Lewis Buckley. “Bygone Marsden” (publ. 1942) p80-81

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hall. With the closure of the library in 1905°”, the Hall was transferred to the local District Council.

Biography Steve Challenger moved to Huddersfield in 1974 from Loughborough in

Leicestershire. With degrees in Animal Physiology and Cardiovascular Studies, he had a career in further and higher education in Leeds and Huddersfield for over 35 years. Since retiring in 2011, he spends his time in photography, walking with a little cycling and studying the local history of West Yorkshire, Leicestershire and the South Wales Valleys. He is involved with a group of enthusiasts trying to bring the Marsden Mechanics’ Hall into community ownership.

Hi oe eH ae

Bank Bottom Mills, Marsden in 1910 Courtesy of Kirklees Image Archive,

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In his most avuncular tone and with vowels somewhat flatter than those to be heard on his most recent film, Child's Play, James Mason narrated Yorkshire Television's Home James, which brought the 63 year old actor back to the town of his birth. The Huddersfield portrayed in the film is rooted in the past as if none of the developments begun in the 1960s had ever taken place. The men walk to work; they clock-in and doff their caps to Mr Jack and Mr Ernest. The millocracy oversee their family businesses by day and ride home in their Rolls Royces to comfortable homes and cocktail parties. What brings them all together is a love of music and music-making.

ai There is no passion more indigenous to James Mason - born in Huddersfield, 15“ Huddersfield than its music. It draws May 1909 together the people from every walk of life. More people are involved in music here than in any other town in Britain. Of an evening Huddersfield and its valleys can muster six performing church choirs, sixteen registered brass bands, one chamber music society, one madrigal society, three light opera societies, three choral societies, three male voice choirs, one women's choir, one youth ensemble and two symphony orchestras....... So ingrained is music in Huddersfield life that there are more concerts given in the town hall than there are football matches in Leeds, and the house is always full!

Mason explains Huddersfield's musical propensities as the product of the nonconformity which grew with the expansion of industry. Whilst chapel and Sunday school certainly played their part, teaching children to read music and to play instruments, the established church was not far behind in promoting music as part of the act of worship, and as morally and spiritually uplifting. Many of those who met at the Plough Inn on 7th June, 1836, when they established the Huddersfield Choral Society, were Anglicans. The growing Roman Catholic population should not be

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forgotten either; St Patrick's Church was to play a prominent role in the town's musical life in the middle of the 19th century.

Music and music-making were already a well established feature of life in the region as a whole in the 18th century. In his epistolatory Musical Tour (1788), Charles Dibdin commented, ‘the facility with which the common people join together throughout the greatest part of Yorkshire and Lancashire, in every species of choral music, is truly amazing’. The domestic textile manufacturing industry of the Pennine hills developed a class of independent, self employed men and women with the resources to buy instruments and sheet music (though this was still an expensive consideration until the mid 19th century) and flexible working patterns which gave them the time to copy music and to take part in musical clubs and gatherings. Taking place in members' homes and rooms in inns, these, together with the more formal church and chapel choirs, were the origins of the musical societies which started to appear from the 1820s onwards.

The Huddersfield Philharmonic (1820), Glee Club (1827), Friendly Musical (1832) and Choral (1836) societies included both singers and players in their membership. It wasn't until later that separate orchestras and bands emerged. These were often ad hoc ensembles which came together for the joy of making music or to support some particular event.

The Huddersfield Philharmonic Orchestra started inauspiciously in 1862, when the Unitarian minister of Fitzwilliam Street ‘got a number of lads and young men around him gave them lessons and bought many instruments’. For the first few years Mr Thomas's band was ‘exceedingly crude and often painfully out of tune,’ but over time, the players developed in skills and confidence, and, in 1885 established the Huddersfield Philharmonic Society (not to be confused with the earlier society of the same name).

It was local pride which encouraged the formation of the Slaithwaite Philharmonic Orchestra. In 1891, a group of enthusiasts, led by cellist John Taylor, who declared that, ‘the lack of an orchestra was an affront to the village’. With funds raised from a local appeal and steadily increasing box office returns, the orchestra, which had had a shaky start, began to enjoy success both locally and from 1911 in competitions held around the country. ‘J do not know where Slaithwaite is, but musically it is bigger than Birmingham’, declared Sir Granville Bantock (Professor of Music at Birmingham University) having heard the winners of the Orchestral Class at the Midland Music Festival perform the Overture from Die Meistersinger.

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Competitiveness, the desire to be the best and to rival local towns, played an important part in the later history of the brass band movement. And, not only local towns. In Working Class Community, Brian Jackson recorded the words of the President of the Huddersfield & District Brass Band Association, 'We want Huddersfield to lead the way in this country. It does lead the way other bands look to us to show them how to do things.’ But he went on to complain that his fellow citizens were unaware of this and too taken up with their choirs and orchestras !

The first bands, which appeared in the 1820s, and the distinction of being the first has been fiercely contested, included both brass and reed instruments. The invention of the valve, around 1820, and the introduction of a whole range of new brass instruments, which were relatively inexpensive and easier to play than some of the older instruments, encouraged the formation of brass bands, though this did not take off locally until the second half of the century. These were frequently associated with church and chapel institutes as well as the temperance movement, although the patronage of local millowners and the volunteer military organisations, whose parades they led, were also to play a part.

It was the desire to make music better that encouraged choirs, orchestras and brass bands to employ professional conductors, choirmasters and soloists. Dr (later Sir) Macolm Sargent's name has become synonymous with that of the Huddersfield Choral Society, which had been employing professional conductors for at least 70 years before his appointment. From the 1890s, the Huddersfield Philharmonic employed a professional conductor. The celebrated Yorkshire composer, Arthur Butterworth, was the society's longest serving conductor. In his 30 years (from 1964) with the orchestra, he introduced a wider and, sometimes demanding repertoire. Edwin Swift, a power loom weaver, who turned professional, conducted Linthwaite Band for a number of years in the late 19th century, leading them to success in band contests. He joined John Gladney (a former member of the Halle and conductor of Black Dyke) and Alexander Owen (solo cornet with Meltham and later conductor) in leading the movement for change in the brass band community.

Professional musicians were involved with music-making locally from at least the beginning of the 19th century, though they did not necessarily receive payment for their contribution. Thomas Parratt, who was appointed organist of the Parish Church in 1812, is said to have been the town's first professional musician. The first of the dynasty of organists that was to include Sir Walter Parratt, Master of the Royal Music, he was involved in various musical groups and was an early member of the Choral Society. Henry Horn, the society's first conductor, or leader, as he was then known, was organist at the recently opened St Paul's Church. He was later to become

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organist at Lincoln Cathedral. In the choir at St Paul's was Susan Sykes, better known as Mrs Sunderland, who was to make frequent appearances with the Choral and other local organisations as a soloist.

Mrs Sunderland retired after more than 30 years on the concert stage to become a ‘teacher of singing’. She was not alone. The talented musicians who were the backbone of the local musical societies saw an opportunity to make music their profession and to train the next generation of singers and instrumentalists. In 1893, the pages of the short-lived periodical, Local Society included advertisements for ‘S.Dawson (Conductor of the Huddersfield Philharmonic Society), Professor of the Violin and Pianoforte ' and ‘J.E.lbeson,

Pianoforte, Violin, and Theory of Music. Professor of Music' among many other MRS. & MISS GLOVER SCHOFIELD || teachers. In the inter-war years, Arthur Have resumed Lessons at Willie Kay, was to become one of the

1). |e 74, SOUTH STREET (Central) country's finest teachers of the violin. It is

said that he launched more than one

J. KE. LBESON hundred violists on professional careers.

of usic,

24, UPPER GEORGE ST., HUDDERSFIELD. || AS well as elementary and_ technical education, the Mechanics’ Institution and S. DAWSON, the Female Educational __ Institute (Conductor to the Huddersfield Philharmonic Society.) introduced the liberal arts into the PROFESSOR OF THE VIOLIN AND PIANOFORTE, I curriculum. Singing classes featured from seen Weak; the 1850s, whilst regular soirees provided a platform for the performance of music Mr. T. YORKE SHEFFIELD, and the spoken word. With surplus funds

(Late Pupil of Dr. E. G. Monk and Dr, Horton Allison, F.R.A.M.

$ustruction Counterpoint and Orcbestration. from the celebration of Mrs Sunderland's

Author’s Works revised and corrected for publication. i I Compositions scored for Orchestral, Military and Brass Bands. Golden Wedding, the Technical School 36, SPRING STREET. (successor to the Mechanics’ Institution) was invited to organise a musical Mr. W. H. CROSS, competition. Yorkshire's Queen of Song, (PROFESSOR OF MUSIC,) Reet Sige at gave the venture her blessing and Teacher of VOICE PRODUCTION, SOLO SINGING, ; HARMONY, ORCHESTRATION, &c. presented the prizes at the first

Preparation for all Examinations, Local and Metropolitan.

HIGH STREET. competition in April 1889, when there

were 37 competitors. The number of

Advert in “Local Society”, 1893 competitors increased gradually along with the introduction of additional

classes, particularly after the Second World War, when Huddersfield Corporation and the West Riding County Council (responsible for education in the urban districts) encouraged musical education providing tuition in playing instruments. The W.R.C.C.

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boasted a professional ensemble which performed in schools around the county. The Technical College, by that time under local authority control, also played an important role in musical education. The School of Music was established in 1948, moving into its own building in 1966, by which time it had become a regional centre. Now part of the University of Huddersfield, many of its alumni went on to become soloists, members of orchestras and teachers.

St Paul's Church was converted, in 1979, into a concert hall for student performances and professional recitals. Since 1983, it has been home to the Huddersfield Music Society, founded in 1918, to promote live concerts by professional artists. Under the society's auspices, Dame Myra Hess, Peter Pears and Benjamin Britten, Paul Robeson, the Manchester Camerata and many others have appeared at venues around the town.

At the beginning of the 19th century, the emerging town had few suitable halls which could be used for performances but, as the population grew along with demand, new

Be Tm il 1: ee IM Hl a - ‘i i eo ee ui || He I ae Piles g ie jn 7] my i yy ee LET I i ol) I iW i) Ah Ee te ui Make TT = a ts = ry — sv ine ct Tm i a mn \ I ill 9 I it it A

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Huddersfield Town Hall in the late 19" Century

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buildings provided venues for the societies, which were set up from the 1820s onwards, indeed the availability of suitable venues may have been a factor in their foundation. The County Court in Queen Street, the Armoury (subsequently the Hippodrome) in Ramsden Street, the Philosophical Hall (later to become the Theatre Royal) also in Ramsden Street and the Town Hall housed their concerts as well as performances by professional singers, players and ensembles.

Johann Strauss, the elder, and his orchestra appeared at the recently completed Philosophical Hall in 1838. Such was the demand for tickets that a second concert had to be organised. Lizst performed here in 1840, Jenny Lind in 1849 and Adelina Patti in 1862. Henry Corri, a notable tenor, brought the first touring opera company to the town in 1856, when operas by Bellini, Balfe and Weber (Der Freischutz) were performed at the Armoury.

The Town Hall opened in 1881 with a musical festival. This was to have been a biennial event but, although a great success, it proved to be the first and the last. Designed with the needs of the large choral societies in mind, with its greater capacity than other venues and the Father Willis organ, the town hall quickly became the home to the town's leading musical societies. Organ concerts were popular with arrangements of orchestral works introducing Huddersfield audiences to the latest in music. The Subscription Concerts, which had started at the Highfield Chapel, moved to the town centre venue. Madam Albani and Padarewski were among those making appearances. Charles Halle ‘and his band ' appeared at least once a year. Saint Saens gave an organ recital. After the First World War, the Corporation promoted Municipal Concerts with cheap workmen's seats. There were concerts staged by Arthur Wllie Kaye featuring large orchestras made up of his past and present students as well as by the inappropriately named Huddersfield Permanent Orchestra. Before the days of contracted employment for players, ad hoc groups of professionals came together to promote and produce their own concerts.

After the Second World War, Huddersfield joined forces with other local authorities to form the Yorkshire Symphony Orchestra. From 1947, twelve concerts a year were performed in the town hall. When the orchestra disbanded in 1955, the council decided to organise annual seasons of concerts with well-known orchestras and conductors from Britain and overseas. As well as the London orchestras, there were appearances by the Amsterdam Concergebouw, the Leipzig Gewandhaus, and the Moscow Philharmonic among others. Increasing costs and reducing budgets made It increasingly difficult to hire international orchestras. Since 2002, the Orchestra of Opera North has managed the seasons, bringing innovative programming and the

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high standards for which they are renowned on the opera stage to the concert platform.

Home James was a nostalgic view of Huddersfield, a town that was already in the midst of change. If the programme were to be re-made now, over 40 years after the original was screened, what changes would be most apparent? There are now few obvious signs of industry, which is still important in the local economy, no mill chimneys billowing smoke, not so many mills, large numbers having been demolished or converted to other uses, few of those family firms, some surviving in name only, once soot-blackened buildings cleaned, and the air polluted only by the ever growing onslaught of the motor car

And what of music, is that still central to the life of the town and its people, if it ever was? The community pages of the Kirklees website still show a wealth of musical groups and societies. Just how accurate James Mason's figures were is open to question, but many, if not most of the groups he listed survive. There are more choirs and amateur operatic societies now than then, but fewer brass bands. Many struggle to fill a venue or to raise the funds they need to keep going. Costs have increased: box office receipts have fallen. Audiences have grown older. Will a new generation replace the loyal supporters as they feel less able or willing to venture out on a cold, dark night? And it's not just a warm fireside which competes for an audience. There are SO many competing demands on the time of potential audience members; there are many more calls on their pockets. Whilst Mason spoke of Huddersfield being an isolated, self-contained and self-sufficient town, local people are willing to travel further afield for their entertainment. Theatres, concert halls and arenas in Manchester, Leeds and Sheffield are within easy reach and the capital is a major attraction. Queues no longer stretch around the town hall for tickets and it is now possible to buy tickets for Choral Society concerts which, in 1972, were fully subscribed.

Attitudes too have changed. Faced with the challenge of delivering services and meeting targets with a budget that is being drastically cut in line with government austerity measures, the local authority has done what would have been unthinkable in 1972, and withdrawn support for the Music Centre, which provides tuition in playing a variety of instruments and runs a number of ensembles, including the popular and successful Youth Symphony Orchestra. The Orchestral Concerts season was also under threat, but appears to have been reprieved at least for the time being. The town hall, which the Victorians saw as ‘advancing the welfare of the people’ and ‘a great centre of light and influence’ is regarded by at least one civic

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leader as a ‘white elephant' , and music education and orchestral concerts by others as expendable and ‘elitist’.

There have been difficulties in the past, the inter-war years being particularly problematic. During the Second World War, the government considered the arts and music in particular, to be important for the morale of the country. The post-war Attlee government continued its support for the arts despite the need to re-build the country and this was reflected locally. Times and attitudes may have changed but there is hope for the future. This year's (2016) Mrs Sunderland Festival attracted more than 3,300 people in ten days of musical competition and many hundreds more took part in a programme of workshops and events. The standards were said to be higher than ever. Some of those competing for highly regarded awards were students at the university, which has more than 400 undergraduate and postgraduate students taking degrees in music.

The University of Huddersfield, which did not exist when James Mason re-visited the town of his birth, is now the town's main single employer. The successor to the Mechanics’ Institute is a significant player in musical education and a pioneer in electronic and contemporary genres, and the principal supporter of the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival. The university's ‘world-leading work to promote, produce and present contemporary music to an international audience’, has recently been recognised by the award of a Queen's Anniversary Medal.

The Home James of 2016 would tell a very different story of a town facing the challenges resulting from the financial crash of 2008, of coming to terms with the post-industrial era and responding to the opportunities and difficulties created by new technology and the digital age. Music may not be the single uniting factor but it has the power to enthuse and energise people from all walks of life and to take them beyond their everyday worries and concerns to the sublime.

Finding Out More...

This account is based on secondary sources and newspapers. Anyone wanting to take the story further or explore particular themes, might find the following useful.

Home James, Yorkshire Television, 1972. Available as an extra on a number of DVDs of James Mason films, but perhaps more easily viewed on You Tube.

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The Huddersfield Chronicle, available online and easily searched through British Nineteenth Century Newspapers. Available to Kirklees Library Users.

The Huddersfield Examiner can be viewed on microfilm in the Huddersfield Local Studies Library. There are some particularly useful reminiscences of the town and its musical life which help to make up for there being no specifically Huddersfield title in the first half of the century.

West Yorkshire Archives (Kirklees) holds the records of the Huddersfield Choral Society, the Mrs Sunderland Music Festival [the Festival is also represented in the records of the Huddersfield Technical School in Heritage Quay], J.Wood & Sons Ltd, Music Publishers, Musical Instrument Makers and Dealers, as well as the papers of a number of musicians and composers.

Heritage Quay, which holds the records of the University of Huddersfield and its predecessors has a specialist music collection, which includes the records of the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, the Incorporated Society of Musicians (Huddersfield Branch), Slaithwaite Brass Band, and the Huddersfield Amateur Operatic Society.

The following works have proved especially useful in preparing this article :

R.A.Edwards, And the Glory, Second Edition, Huddersfield 2009, is an exhaustive study of the history of the Huddersfield Choral Society.

Brian Jackson, Working Class Community, London, 1968, provides an interesting account of the local brass band movement and culture.

Ruth M. Holmes, Huddersfield Philharmonic Orchestra: the Music Goes On, in HLHS Journal No. 25 , 2014- 5.

Hilary Norcliffe, The Huddersfield Music Society : A Short History, in HLHS Journal No. 24, 2013.

Dave Russell, Music in Huddersfield c.1820-1914, in E.A. Hilary Haigh, Huddersfield, A Most Handsome Town, Huddersfield, 1992.

Adrian Smith, An Improbable Century, The life and Times of the Slaithwaite Philharmonic Orchestra, 1891- 1990. Huddersfield, 1990.

Adrian Smith (ed.), Music Making in the West Riding of Yorkshire, Huddersfield, 2000.

Biography Encouraged by his parents, Brian wanted to visit castles and museums before he

went to school. They were not surprised that he should choose a career as a curator.

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He was brought up in Kirkburton and, after spending time in other parts of the country, returned to Kirklees to take up a temporary post. He worked for the authority for over 20 years and finished his working life happily at the University of Huddersfield.

Mrs Sunderland Singing Festival Winners, 1938 Courtesy Kirklees Image Archive,

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The coming of the railways from the 1840s changed the shape of long distance travel; stage coaches and wagons were slow and cumbersome. However, in the West Riding, the close proximity of the prosperous commercial centres meant that road transport continued to be a viable option for goods — the double handling necessitated by rail journeys made those less economic: the goods had to be taken by wagon to the rail head, unloaded onto the train, shipped, then unloaded off the train onto a wagon for delivery. Haulage businesses and carriers such as the Hansons of Milnsbridge thrived. Rail passengers also required road transport to take them to the railway Station, either personal or public; the major London termini are all situated in built up locations and the congestion around them was notorious.

The Victorian household had an established pattern of domestic servants; genteel households would employ a general maid, a house-maid and a cook. Next, a manservant was engaged, whose work would combine indoor work such as waiting and valeting with care of the horse or pony and carriage. The income level for this was c £500 pa in 1857 [1.] At £1000 pa, another manservant was engaged, providing a butler and a fulltime coachman or groom essential for the family’s four wheeled Carriage.

Applying this rule of thumb to two extremely wealthy local families, those of Henry Dewhurst at Cuckold’s Clough and of Godfrey Binns at Deighton, both employed three live- in female staff, but neither employed any live-in male staff, despite having extensive attics to cater for separating the sexes. Henry was a son of Richard Dewhurst, founder of the profitable Aspley Print Works, printing woollens and other stuff. The family’s Clough House/Clough Hall/Dewhurst Hall/Fartown Lodge, built in the 1840s beside the

Fartown Lodge Courtesy Kirklees Image Archive, www.

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Wibsey-Low Moor-Bradford turnpike, had substantial stabling and a coachman’s cottage but this was occupied only at the 1871 census and again at the 1901 census; otherwise coachman William Dixon lived and farmed elsewhere. However, the Huddersfield Chronicle records evidence that horses were kept by the family for their personal use: in July 1885, the Chronicle reported: “Last night, about midnight, a fire was discovered to have broken out at the stables of Mr Dewhurst at Fartown, from some cause as yet unknown. An alarm was given at the Fire Station, Huddersfield, by 12.15, and Sergeant Holt and six firemen had the fire put out, but not before the roof of the stables had fallen in and the place completely gutted. A valuable clock, amongst other things, being destroyed. The horses fortunately were got away to safety and the traps and harness taken from the stables with slight if any damage.”

For those who did not keep at least a pony and trap or a riding horse, local public transport was provided by four-wheeled hackney coaches and later by two-wheeled cabs (from ‘cabriolet’, with a folding hood) drawn by a single horse. The lighter four- wheeled ‘growler’ was introduced shortly after the Hansom cab (completely remodelled by John Chapman) came into use in the mid 1830s. By 1840, there were around a dozen hackneymen in Leeds, for example; one John Germaine operated cabs, hackney coaches and omnibuses as well as running a beerhouse. The growlers were used for heavier work, transporting station luggage and as coachbuilder G N Hooper wrote in the 1880s, “Tommy Atkins and his friends from Aldershot or Mary Jane and her boxes to her new place in a distant suburb”. [2]. Initially the trade was unregulated; indoor servants were obliged to leave their employment on marriage and one of the Metropolitan Commissioners commented “a gentleman’s servant saves up two or £300 and fancies he can do better with a coach than any other man: the workhouses are filled with hackney coachmen’s wives and children at this moment” [3]

By 1880, Manchester had 100 hansoms and 361 four-wheelers; in May 1868, the Minutes of the Huddersfield Hackney Coach and Lodging House Committee record that the Committee had made the annual inspection of Hackney Carriages and had granted 30 renewed licences. In May 1890, the Huddersfield Watch Hackney Coach Sub-Committee and Chief Constable carried out the annual inspection, now covering 48 Cabs, 33 Hansoms, 42 Waggonettes and one Omnibus, finding that generally the 121 vehicles ‘were in satisfactory condition with a few exceptions’ [4]. In 1891, the Committee observed that ‘It is against the practice (rules) of the Committee to grant licences for wagonettes to persons resident outside the borough (Meltham and Linthwaite)’

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The cab fares were measured from the Market Cross, although in March 1890 the Fartown, Deighton and Bradley Sub-Committee proposed that cab distances should be measured from the station instead of the Market Cross. The same Sub Committee had reported “the necessity of revising the table of distances in connection with the hire of cabs in the Borough, more especially with reference to the Fartown District”. The Committee resolved that ‘the Borough Surveyor should revise the cab distances for the whole Borough’ and this was duly carried out, as reflected in the little red pocket Borough of Huddersfield Year Book. The Cab Fares page showed charges were levelled on distances for a minimum 1 mile and for every succeeding half mile (or by quarter hours).

Huddersfield is unique in having triangular stone markers at half mile intervals on the roads within the township, stating the distances to and from the Market Cross — these were the cab fare stages, although in the 1890 Year Book, all the datum points mentioned are chapels, toll bars, houses or junctions, which suggests that the ‘To & From’ stones were not in situ in 1890. On the Bradford Road, the fare stage at ‘a mark on the wall 11 yards N of Mr Dewhirst’s entrance gates’ was reviewed by the Borough Surveyor and moved a few yards northwards, against the shoeing forge (on the corner of modern Ashbrow Road — the bus fare stage is still known as The Smithy today); the distance from the Market Cross was 1 % miles and the fare was 1s 3d for a two-wheeled cab, 1/6 for a four wheeler. The furthest distance recorded in the Year Book was_ to Thongsbridge Toll Bar, 5 miles 396 yards; no fare was specified.

A ‘To and From’ milestone, a cab fare

stage Around the same time, there was a request

for additional cabs on the stands at the railway station; such work was often ‘privileged’ ie the cabmen paid a fee to the station. By 1894, the Light and Watch Committee was considering the Regulation of Traffic by the Railway Station; it was resolved that ‘arc electric lights should replace the two gas lamps by the Peel statue’ and that horses were to face east.

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A glance at the census returns for 1871 and 1881 reveals that many men were employed as coachmen or cab drivers with the occasional teamer; someone has pencilled ‘groom’ alongside many of these entries, perhaps an attempt at a generic enumeration. However, there is no indication whether the coachmen were in domestic, commercial or public service. Ostlers (also ‘grooms’) would have been required at all the inns, theatres and other meeting places to take care of visitors’ horses or stagecoach horses.

One local family that became closely connected with the coaching, cab and livery trades in the 1880s was the Darwins. Thomas Darwin was born in Holmfirth in 1853, one of the six sons of James, a weaver who moved to Huddersfield around 1855 and was working as a Woollen Sorter. Most of the Fartown neighbours were employed in the woollen trades, including Thomas’ older brother George H, although brother Frederick was a ‘labourer on roads’. Aged 18 at 1871 census, Thomas was employed as a butcher, living with his parents in Bradford Road. By 1881, Thomas was listed as a Master Butcher, living with the Bowtrey family at 121 Halifax Old Road; in October that year he married Elizabeth Ann Roberts of South Crosland at the Parish Church, Holmfirth.

With the granting of the operational licence in 1882, Huddersfield became the first municipality in Great Britain to construct and operate their own tramway system — such systems as existed elsewhere were privately run. The first ten miles of Huddersfield Tramways track were laid down in 1882 and a steam engine drawing a car was given the first trial run on Chapel Hill in November that year; it was planned that the Paddock route would be operated by cable but this was abandoned. The first regular service was between the Red Lion Hotel, Lockwood and the Royal Hotel at Fartown (Toll) Bar, commencing in January 1883. In the first year of operation, the Corporation had six steam locomotives and the revenue was £1277. The fare from Lockwood to Fartown Bar was 2d inside, 1d on the top deck; the inside fare to the interim fare stage at Hebble Bridge (near the junction of Hillhouse Road with Bradford Road) was 1d. However, it was deemed too dangerous to operate steam trams in King Street, so from 1885 — 1888, the Moldgreen trams were pulled by horse traction. [5] Similar consideration must have been given to the Fartown section because in the Huddersfield Town Council Minutes of 22" August 1885, the sub- committee had decided that the Fartown Tram was to be run with horses; although they would undertake to confer with Mr Longbottom about his proposal in future, they accepted the tender of Mr Thomas Darwin of Fartown to work the route with horses. It was further decided that as soon as practicable the cars should be every quarter of an hour on that route.

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That this actually operated is corroborated by a letter in an undated newspaper cutting [6] from Mr James H Earnshaw of 18 Springwood Street, stating “The first horse tram to run in Huddersfield began to run to Moldgreen from September 1885 to March 1888. A few months after, two horse trams were run on the Fartown section, horsed by Mr Thomas Darwin and continued to November 1886. I was the tram driver on the Fartown section for the last three months of their running and William Cromack was the other driver”.

By 1897, the Corporation had a rolling stock of 26 steam locomotives and 26 double deck bogey cars; the revenue was £30,193. Conversion to an electric track system was begun in 1899 and completed in 1902.

Was it marriage that caused the young entrepreneur to branch out from butchery? Slater’s 1887 Huddersfield Directory lists him as a coach proprietor and cab owner, working from 158 Bradford Road North, the Miners Arms Beerhouse (now the Railway Inn) near Fartown Bar, then run by his mother Ann. Two dozen cab owners are listed, including older brother George H, who is also a postmaster at 27 Wasps Nest Road, and William Cromack.


By the 1891 edition of Ce ae Slater’s, Thomas is Mal “vil duce al” 70h. ste building a successful Tip Bid

“Yn Wt as a Livery Stable “Stace Coxcu >. I Keeper and coach/cab

ConTRAcTOR Mavestys Mais,

a pitas proprietor; his brothers Pete Sct I are in associated roles, George H is a jobmaster (hiring out livery) as well as a postmaster, Frederick is a cab driver (though the census listed him as a Corporation yardman), John is a cab driver in Cross Grove Street, William is a teamer (a driver of a team of horses used for hauling) at 18A Upper Aspley and Thomas F (son of George H) is a cab driver living at Norman Road, Birkby.

ae er,

Fartown Mews letterhead, 1906. Courtesy West Yorkshire Archives

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Thomas’ livery stables continue to prosper, in extensive premises on Flint Street called Fartown Mews, proudly engraved on his letterhead. He is often mentioned in the Chronicle, including for winning a four-wheel competition or taking groups of ladies or children on pleasant outings — the children taken to Sunny Vale Gardens in 1893 were each presented with five tickets including for the boats, swings and automata. In the same year, the Chronicle notes, he provided stabling for the June Exhibition, the Grandest Programme of the Season: ‘All the horses for this Night will be specially selected from the most WILD AND VICIOUS HORSES in this vicinity.’ In 1894, he treated the yard stablemen and coachbuilders in his employ to a capital dinner at the Miners Arms, then run by his (less reputable) brother James. Note the reference to ‘coachbuilders’ rather than ‘coachmen’ so presumably he had an in- house maintenance team.

Around this time, another revolution in transport was noisily beginning. The Germans (Daimler and I Benz) had been producing motor cars since the Aine wees 1880s although the French dominated the acu ae rene FO] \) production of cars in Europe until 1933, when I Britain took over. [7] British-built Daimlers (under licence) began in 1896, the same year that the Locomotives on Highways Act removed the strict rules on UK speed limits. The RAC was founded in 1897 and the Yorkshire Automobile Club in 1900, one of the strongest in the provinces by 1905, with 600 members. [8]

The Rippon Brothers of Viaduct Street were coachbuilders; they did not actually claim descent from the eponymous coach builder to Elizabeth 1°, nor did they deny it. However, they did adhere Tram in Viaduct Street by Rippon to the very highest standards and they began Bros. coachbuilding bodies on various Continental Courtesy Kirklees Image Archive, automobile chasses, including Spyker; in 1906 they began a partnership with Rolls Royce, building bespoke bodywork to customers’ orders. The early horseless carriages often resembled their antecedents, with the driver exposed at the front, as the coachman had been on the box.

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The early adopters were often wealthy young men with an engineering bent, essential because the vehicles were most unreliable, needing repairs by the roadside and frequent changes of tyres or wheels as a result of punctures. However, as the vehicles became more reliable in the early 1900s and tyre technology improved, they I were bought by

Che Rolls-Royce Jeetrol I private families to

Fe et? supplement the oLandaulet pear Excellence I carriage. The driving

<1 «=. WITH 8-CYLINDER INVISIBLE V-ENGINE. skills required were i I not those of the horseman, more of the ‘stoker’, some vehicles being propelled by steam, hence the term ‘Chauffeur’. The wealthy often imported a French or German driver with their cars. Older coachmen found it difficult to adapt and ‘Home, James’ by Lord Montagu of Beaulieu contains some amusing and insightful anecdotes. A young groom or male house-servant might be delegated to learn how to operate and maintain the thing; there was no standard layout of the controls. A provider such as Rippons might give elementary instruction but after that, they were on their own, or at the mercy of one of the repair ‘garages’ that sprang up, providing servicing as well as storage. Domestic accommodations for cars were known as ‘car houses’.[9]

ont ar

Advert for Rolls-Royce “Landaulet”

The career of the live-in young coachman employed in his declining years by Henry Dewhurst at Fartown Lodge provides an example. The 1901 census lists 26 year old Arthur Cockayne, who hailed = from Swanwick, Belper, on the Derbyshire/Nottinghamshire borders. Live in domestic staff were not permitted to be married, but this did not apply to outdoor staff such as coachmen, for whom separate accommodation could be _ provided. Recruitment was either by recommendation or through advertisements in magazines or newspapers, both local and national; by the 1890s, most large towns had one or more servant registries [10] - the Huddersfield Chronicle carried advertisements by the Lincoln Registry at Springwood Street, for ‘Servants for Town and Country’. Servants frequently travelled long distances for work — employers often preferred staff with no local connections and therefore less likelihood of gossip in the neighbourhood.

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After Henry Dewhurst died ‘of senile decay’ in 1902, Arthur Cockayne married Margaret Allen from Durham at Huddersfield in December 1904 and went on to take advantage of that new development, the automobile. He moved to Middleton in Leeds where his daughter Beatrice Rosetta was born, then to York; by the 1911 census, aged 35, he was employed as a chauffeur, living in Walton Road, Wetherby. The chauffeur was a professional, falling outside the customary servant hierarchy, as had the governess; he was often in close contact with the mistress of the house and scandalous indiscretions occasionally resulted.

Little formal instruction was available and driving licences were not implemented until 1910. In that year, doctor’s son Stanley Roberts realised that motoring was going to be big business and set up his own driving school, naming it “The British School of Motoring”, now known simply as BSM. Previously an engineer’s apprentice with Thomas Sopwith, Roberts was a motoring fanatic and persuaded his parents to rent out their garage at 65 Peckham Rye to his fledgling business and to house his prized possession, a Dutch-built Spyker. Offering a “Popular Course of Mechanism and Driving”, Roberts’ first pupil was a former coachman, whom he trained to become a chauffeur; the business expanded nationwide.

Thomas Darwin also kept abreast of the new developments in the twentieth century as owner-drivers enthusiastically embraced the automobile, catering for both those who drove and those who did not. He is generally listed as a cab proprietor in the trades directories, but also as a funeral director; his 1906 letter-head notes that he offers the “New Silent Tyred Funeral Cars”. The history of hauliers Joseph Hanson & Sons of Milnsbridge records that “In 1920, Thomas Darwens, wedding and funeral car hire, was acquired. Some 8 years later the old cars were replaced with Rolls Royces and the limousine service continued for 50 years.”

Thomas became a major shareholder in the Yorkshire Motor Car Co, of Elland Road, Brighouse, calling in his debenture in 1922 and later was appointed a receiver for the business. His own operations were now managed by his nephews James Henry Heaton Darwin and Norman Darwin, sons of George H, the jobmaster & postmaster; Norman ran the site at Flint Street trading as Fartown Garage, also funeral directors, supplying motor hearses, landaulettes, horse carriages &c, while James H H, his family and his younger brother John Edward were operating out of Fartown Lodge Mews, the former home of Arthur Cockayne the coachman, described as Fartown Lodge Garage in the Halifax & Huddersfield District Trades Directory [11]

Thomas’ draft will in 1926 bequeathed ‘all stock in trade, horses, carriages, harness and other effects as a Carriage Proprietor’ to his nephew James H H, and ‘the

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motor hearse and cars as a Garage Proprietor in Flint Street’ to his nephew Norman. Thomas died in 1938, the year that Norman is listed as a Director of the newly incorporated Silver Wheels (Hire) Ltd. James H H had an ironic end at the age of 57; in 1930 his daughter wrote to Thomas in great distress from Vancouver, reporting that he had been knocked down by a car and killed. [12]

The Darwins’ connection with the coachman’s house continued until the 1950s; in the early 1930s, it was bought by another cab proprietor, Walter Vosper Holder Halstead, whose sister Beatrice then married James HH’s son Stanley; they all lived together in the coachman’s house and continued to run old-fashioned cars as taxis, perhaps those sold off by Hansons. After Walter’s death in 1953, Beatrice and Stanley moved out, and the property was bought by another member of the motor trade, Olaf Olsen the Volvo dealer ; he had completed his coachwork apprenticeship at Rippon Bros and apparently had painted the coachlines on two of the Rolls Royces supplied to Beaulieu, presumably to be driven by Lord Montagu’s chauffeurs, although the Volvo was fast gaining a reputation for outstanding reliability, too!

Volvo 164 —Jan’s ‘dream car’ in 1972!

Travelling around Huddersfield — References 1. John Burnett, The Victorian Web, quoting J H Walsh - Trevor May, “Victorian and Edwardian Horse Cabs”, Shire Publications, Oxford, 2009 Trevor May, “Victorian and Edwardian Horse Cabs”, Shire Publications, Oxford, 2009 Huddersfield Corporation Light and Watch Committee Minutes, May 1890 The Huddersfield Examiner, 26/7/1952, 70" Anniversary Supplement Huddersfield Local History Reference Library, ‘Trams’ file “Carscapes, The Motor Car, Architecture and Landscape in England”, Kathryn A Morrison and John Minnis, published in association with English Heritage, 2012 8. Motoring Annual 1907, quoted in “Rippon Brothers” by Jonathan Wood.


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9. Carscapes, op cit 10. Trevor May, “The Victorian Domestic Servant”, Shire Publications, Oxford, 2009 11. Halifax & Huddersfield District Trades Directory 1925 —1926, p 121 12. West Yorkshire Archives, Darwin files

“Home James, The Chauffeur in the Golden Age of Motoring”, Lord Montagu of Beaulieu and Patrick Macnaghten, Widenfield and Nicholson, London, 1982

Biography A founder member of the Milestone Society in 2000 and with a background in HR,

Jan Scrine’s interest in local transport history was further stimulated by her researches into the previous occupants of the coachman’s house at Fartown Lodge. She can be contacted at

ou ai ea a = i a oe — =p et ast f fate ree oS 1 L > — eee

4 I

Westgate, Huddersfield, 1911 Courtesy Kirklees Image Archive,

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‘AMONG THE BEST.....’: the Lindley Bicycle Club up to the First World War. By David Verguson

With the development of the ‘safety’ bicycle in the mid 1880s, cycling was poised to move from being a dangerous sport of a few rich young men to becoming, eventually, a mode of transport for even those of modest incomes. Most local sports days soon featured cycling events and clubs were formed in villages across the district. By 1899 there were fourteen dealers or ‘Cycle Manufacturers’ listed in the Huddersfield Trade Directory, including Joseph Field, of West Parade, a member of the Lindley club.

Singer Safety Bicycle, Glasgow Riverside Museum

There seems to have been a cycling club in Lindley, at least from 1882. In 1885 the Lindley Rambler’s Bicycling Club was reported as holding its ‘second annual tea dance’ in the Mechanics Institute, with 100 ‘sitting down’ to tea.

The club’s minutes, which begin in 1886, make reference to this earlier club and mention the taking over the premises of this club. JR Joy, a jeweller of 79 Lidget St, is listed as the first President, holding the office from 1882 to 1886 and then becoming Secretary of the new club.

The club had been re-launched at a meeting chaired by local doctor David Orr held on 20 January 1886 in the appropriately named Saddle Hotel on Lidget St, in the centre of the village, and attended by fourteen ‘influential gentlemen’. A Dr

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Beauland, also present at the meeting, said that cycling ‘ought to be indulged in by every young person in search of good health. They should ‘make the club interesting to non-riders [to] join us in other amusements and improve themselves in various ways such as elocution, reading essays and other subjects that may occur’. The club should be ‘among the best clubs in the borough’ and respected as much as the gentleman’s club of Huddersfield, which gives us a clue to the aspirations of the first members. (Here, Dr Beauland may be referring to the Borough Club to which many of the town’s business leaders belonged.) The club would improve its members’ health, intellect and standing.

The rooms of the ‘late club’, in Melrose Place behind Thomas St and just across the road from the Saddle, were rented for £7.15s. This, along with the cost of coals, gas and sundries came to some £14.8s. a year. With an annual subscription of £1 the fourteen members could more or less cover this.

Probable Clubhouse in Melrose Place, off Thorncliffe Street, Lindley, now the premises of Loomspun Ltd.

The rooms evidently needed organising and some cleaning so a committee to handle the matter was proposed by the new Secretary, and this met the following week at

>” Dr Beauland has proved impossible to identify. Any help with this would be greatly appreciated.

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his premises on Lidget Street. Fred Ainley, a housepainter, gave a price for decorating and varnishing the room and driving nails into the floorboards.

A cashbook, gas fittings and ‘glass bells’ (lampshades) along with seats and a long table were purchased. Eventually card tables were acquired. Much later, a piano and a billiard table were installed.

Rules and regulations for running meetings and rides were drawn up and agreed. There was to be no ‘obscene language’ or swearing in the clubroom, no chess, cards or bagatelle on Sunday. Later it was agreed that members should speak through the chair and be standing and without a hat.

There would be monthly general meetings and a committee of three along with the secretary to manage things between meetings. For reasons of safety, a captain and vice-captain were chosen to lead rides and anyone disobeying instructions from the captain could face sanctions. Eventually a club uniform of blue worsted was adopted with that of the captain and vice captain having ‘military-style’ braid.

But as we have seen the club was to be a social club. One year’s annual subscription of £1 would buy 7% gallons of ale or porter and a quantity of beef and bread. Beer and spirits were bought from local suppliers such as the Ainley brewery on East St, Lindley. An 18-gallon barrel was later sold to members in the clubhouse at 1%d a glass. Mineral water was purchased from JH Sykes of Temple St, in the village.

Newspapers were also bought for the use of members in the clubhouse. Apart from the Examiner, the Manchester Evening News and The Cyclist, the Pink (the racing paper?), the Buff, the football and cricket paper and The Umpire were also bought. Interestingly, another magazine taken was for smalholders. Various members promised their copies of Tit Bits, Cassels Saturday Journal (a cross between Reader’s Digest and Tit Bits) and The Exchange and Mart. Dr Orr promised the Glasgow Herald and the Glasgow Mail. These papers could be purchased by members after meetings.

Within a year the club had so prospered that at the 1887 AGM, club secretary JR Joy could point at the wonderfully decorated walls and the furnishings and fittings and suggest that they had a gentleman’s club equal to that of Huddersfield, with sports and social gathering and ‘splendid Cheerful Happy hours’ as well as supporting the ‘bicycling sport’ and its ‘beneficial exercise for young people.’ Members, he said, took a pride in each other’s welfare. When Wilkinson Dyson, a warper and one of the founding members, got married at the end of 1886, it was proposed to buy him an electric plated inkstand.

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From the beginning, the club’s ‘runs’ programme was ambitious: the Holme and Colne Valleys, Mirfield, Brighouse and Elland, Bradford, Wakefield, Hardcastle Crags and Hollingworth Lake were regular destinations and there was a frequent Sunday morning run starting at 6.30 to the Great Western Hotel for a ham and eggs breakfast. There were evening runs to Grimescar Woods and Aunt Sarah’s. Further afield, runs were proposed to Ilkley, Manchester and a ‘midnight express’ to Sheffield. A trip to Derby was planned. In the beginning they were going out many evenings a week as well as on Saturday and Sunday.

The run in April 1886 to Wakefield attracted eight members with Dr Beauland joining them by train. However, most runs that spring attracted fewer members. Before long, no record was kept of numbers turning out. Within a few years the frequency of outings seems to have declined while the social functions of the club expanded.

Turnout for Monthly General Meetings declined so much, that by 1890, general meetings became quarterly. However, the founding principles of the club — that members should be helped to improve themselves - were met in meetings like that held in 1890 when two papers were read on the subject of ‘Smoking, Drinking and Swearing’, followed by a discussion. It was well attended and it was resolved to hold such meetings fortnightly.

The club was soon so much part of the local social fabric that during the controversy around fielding a labour candidate — Allen Gee - in the local elections of 1890 the Ratepayers Association had proposed to ‘invite the co-operation and assistance of the Working Men’s Club, the Bicycle Club, the Conservative Club and the Liberal Club to select a suitable candidate to fill the seat now occupied by Councillor Broadbent. While it never happened it shows how much a part of local life the club had become. In 1896, it officially became the Lindley Bicycling Club. At the same meeting ‘Honorary Members’ who paid subs of £1 were distinguished from ‘Ordinary or Riding members’ who paid only 10s. The distinction is not made clear. A 1927 photograph shows well over 40 members. ‘Honorary Members’ may have paid a one-off lifetime subscription.

The aims of the club — cycling and socialising — are apparent but who were the members?

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Cycling may have become cheaper from the early 1880s onwards but it was still a relatively expensive pastime. In 1885 a Singer Safety sold for as much as £16. Prices — fell: by early 1914 you could et eee buy a bike with Sturmey- Archer 3-speed gears, at the Raleigh Shop on West Parade, or from agents in Hillhouse or Kirkburton, for £5.19s.6d. This was_ still ket Cone beyond the means of most Crcle Cn, Mottinabam. "Poin har Orda”: 1, Few people: skilled §=machine : tenterers at Sykes in Lindley

Advert which appeared in the Huddersfield Daily were paid about £2 a week Examiner, March 1914 by 1907. However, when paid off at 9s.6d. a month, it could be more than a pipe-dream. A second-hand bike was offered for sale in Lindley in 1913 for £3.

BALFIGH OM. 64, West Parade, MATIC rit, fone, 5, Halting Old Bond, KIRK pastoris Junction Works 0. 2,

Certainly most of the early members of the club could well afford a bike. Apart from the two doctors (and Dr Orr also later ran a leather ‘horse-clothing’ business and was one of the village’s first car owners) most of the others were local business or tradesmen. Tom Warner was a farrier on Plover Rd, and as such was probably skilled at repairing cycles. John Shaw, a blacksmith, could probably do the same. J H Sykes

[ bi I it I i #

Dr Orr, first President of the Lindley Bicycle Club, at the wheel of his car in 1904. Courtesy of David Morley.

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was a mineral water manufacturer and A Kelsey a butcher. John William Pearson was an auctioneer. It is difficult to believe Stephen Dean, an early member and the manager of the family drug business, when he claimed to have left the club because he ‘cannot afford the subscription’. He reapplied for membership twenty years later.

George Henry Walker, who along with Fred Ainley, was one of the five employed workers among the founders: he had been a weaver but became a shopkeeper and later a bookkeeper to a woollen manufacturer. A stalwart of the club, Walker was on the committee and in 1897, 1900 and again in1906, was Secretary. It is not difficult to believe that being a member of the Bicycle Club and the people he mixed with was very much part of how he saw himself, being an enthusiast for this modern sport and taking on administrative roles as he moved in to white-collar employment. He was active in the club for almost twenty-five years.

Among the other workingmen were a warper, two warehousemen and Eli Dyson, a mechanic, who was nominated as treasurer in the second general meeting. William Shaw, who became Secretary in 1914, was a painter and decorator living on Thorncliffe St. Many early members were self-employed craftsmen like joiners, plumbers, decorators or stonemasons, and small shopkeepers such as Arthur Walker, a grocer, or JH Wilkinson, grocer and coal merchant on Acre St. Shop assistants also appear in the records.

In March 1887 Wesley Wilman became a member. Wesley worked as a card setter at Joseph Sykes and Brothers on Acre St. He was the first of at least seven of Sykes’ workers who joined the Club, including Sam Blackburn, aged 23 when he first appears in the minutes, and Arthur Holmes, aged 19, who lodged together on Union St, not far from the factory. Their wages in 1890 were usually £1.14s. a week; finding club membership and the cost of a bike cannot have been easy. Sam Blackburn became President in 1922. Another Sykes worker, Alf Jones, became a club auditor in 1897 and later, in 1924, President.

When the clubrooms’ caretaker, a Mrs Smith, resigned at the end of 1915, members were invited to apply for the post which carried of £6 per annum, not a princely sum even in 1915. This implies a socially broad membership since local businessmen, or even shopkeepers, could not have been expected to consider such a job. Tom Bates, a textile worker, was hired at a salary of £6 per annum, paid quarterly and he did the job for ten years.

The business class continued to be well represented. In 1893 Ralph Walker, of the family that owned a mill on Plover Rd, joined the club, though other members appearing at the same time included cloth finishers and a machine turner in an

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engine-making works. Later members included Alfred Whiteley, a grocer from Birchencliffe. Joe Dean joined the club in 1901 followed by near-neighbour on George St, William Fawcett, a textile worker, whose son Arnold would later die on the Somme while serving with the Post Office Rifles. Further along George St, lived Henry Beaumont, a textile worker and long-standing club member.

Joe Dean, like his brother Stephen, described himself as a ‘Manager to Wholesale Druggist’. WH Dean was a family firm manufacturing patent medicines sold across the county. Joe eventually became club treasurer in 1915.

Fred Collins was an interesting member. He first appears in the minutes in May 1890, when he was aged 29, and by the following year is on the sub-committee organising the club’s road-races. In the 1881 census he was living on Luck Lane in Marsh and described himself as a ‘Civil Engineer and Land Surveyor’. By 1891 he lived in Honley and had added insurance agent and cycle dealer to the occupations he squeezed into the box provided on the form. He did well in local competitions: in an event organised by the Paddock Cricket, Football and Tennis Club in July 1890 — one of the many sports events held every summer around the district - he came first in the One Mile Bicycle Handicap, winning a marble clock, valued at five guineas. But his luck did not last. He got into trouble with debt and by 1911 was living in Manchester selling photographic supplies.

Over seventy members appear on the books between 1886 and 1900 and another eighteen before 1914. Of course, there was a turnover and the well-produced annual accounts show subscriptions collected from 1913 amounting to about £22. With ‘honorary’ and ‘riding’ it is impossible to tell how many members this represents. But over £50 taken each year in refreshments alone suggests healthy patronage of both the socials and the club bar. Further income was generated when the clubroom was let on Wednesday nights to Lindley Band in late 1896 for 10s. Annual cash-in-hand of more than £7 suggests the club continued to prosper.

Standards were maintained: in 1905 C Collet was asked to resign after ‘several unpleasant incidents’. Despite an appeal he eventually had to leave the club. In 1905 Dr Orr, who was President at the time, fell behind with his subs: Job Fairbank, a worker at Sykes’s was asked to speak to the doctor. It is difficult to imagine that conversation!

Cycling being what it is, most members seem to have joined in their mid-20s or early 30s. The ‘social club’ nature of the organisation may have meant that many continued as members long after they finished cycling or at least had stopped the

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long hauls. The minute books certainly mention fewer programmes of rides after the first enthusiastic years. More is recorded about the buying and selling of drink and newspapers (out of date ones were sold on to members) or the organising of social events, the Shrove Tuesday tea, the Christmas party and the annual ‘smoker’, all requiring the purchase of large quantities of draught and bottled beer and food. Sometimes members’ wives were asked to provide sandwiches and cakes, the only mention of women in the minutes. Despite the large number of ‘ladies’ bikes that feature in the local small-ads and the women riders in the Milnsbridge Cycling Club’s parade of August 1900, no women appear as members of the Lindley club, although there is no specific prohibition in the rules.

Despite the full social programme, the cycling did continue: in May 1897, the Secretary, George Walker, was asked to write to the Bedford Hotel in Harrogate to accept their offer for dinner and breakfast at 4s.6d and the ‘terms’ (probably for accommodation) from the White Hart Mews of 4s. It seems likely this was a ride out with an overnight stay, returning the following day. It must have been a good do: the following month the Secretary was asked to write again expressing thanks for how well they had been looked after.

In early 1915, the then Secretary wrote to the club’s landlord, Lindley sculptor and stonemason, Samuel Auty, to complain about leaking drains. Interestingly, the carbon-copy of the typed letter is on the reverse of blank Sykes Brothers paper. It seems likely that the ‘J Dyson’ who was Secretary was JW Dyson, a clerk at Sykes’s.

The meeting of January 1915 resolved that ‘due to the unsettled state of the country no decision’ regarding the Whit Monday trip be taken until after Easter. Bank Holiday outings were presumably regular events.

The First World War affected the club in other ways: rules concerning the sale of “exercisable drink’ meant that the club had to stop selling drink at 9.00 pm so that no annual ‘smoker’ (smoking concert) or whist drive was to be held in 1915. Nevertheless, quantities of whisky and rum as well as bottles of Bass were bought for sale to members after the usual thorough discussion on prices and the best source of supply. An improved deal for whisky was secured from Carter’s in Elland.

Later, regulations resulted in the club being closed at 6.30 and the outside lamp was to be painted green and green curtains installed to comply with lighting rules. Cash was raised for the Mayor’s fund to buy cigarettes for local men serving in the Forces. No members are known to have died in the War. Any member born after the mid 1880s would probably have been conscripted. For many, it would have been their

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sons who enlisted. However, one, Charley Runham, who joined in 1907 and later became an auditor, was called up into the Army Service Corps in November 1918, a few days before the war ended, despite being over 40.

‘ és i ai cee + bi bs 3 : ci Bi Pee) ee ee 4 TT oe ee a i ital eae.


Club photograph, Lindley Bicycle Club, 1927. Courtesy of David Morley

The list of Presidents given in these first four books, records that G Dyson, who may have joined in 1897, became President in 1935. The last minute book held by the West Yorkshire Archive Service goes up to 1958. The club flourished for at least seventy years, and certainly early membership broadly reflected the nature of the village: textile workers, clerks, shopkeepers and self-employed craftsmen as well as the occasional businessman were among the members. Many were members for well over twenty-five years; Fred Ainley who attended the first meeting in 1886 was one of three Vice Presidents in 1910.

The club photograph of 1927 shows a prosperous group of men, dressed in their Sunday best for the occasion. Most are of an age to have been members for over twenty years; some may have been founding members. Few are young men.

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A comic piece in the Yorkshire post in 1935 described the cycle club as ‘the club which should change its name’ since ‘none of the thirty-odd members owned a bike’. Three original members, Harry Beaumont, William Shaw and WH Fairbank the article

said, were still members.

It is apparent that the business of the club, organizing rides and the nitty-gritty of buying and selling drink, ordering newspapers, mending the piano, arranging socials, arranging the cleaning and then letting of the room, admitting new members, running and attending general and committee meetings all became very important to leading members. For the rest, whose involvement in the democratic process may have been intermittent, it was at the very least part of the social fabric of the village

as a social club and the organizer of days out and other events. Sources: The Minute Books, the Lindley Bicycle Club, The Wages Book, Sykes Brothers, 1890 Both available at the West Yorkshire Archives, Huddersfield Library. The various annual censuses on The Huddersfield Daily Examiner The Huddersfield Chronicle Both available on Find My Past. Com

Photographs of club members and Dr Orr, courtesy of David Morley,


David Verguson is a retired history teacher who has lived in Lindley since 1975 and who is a member of the Lindley History Research Group.

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Never could I have anticipated that in my dotage I would be appearing on BBC television with Michael Portillo. Bumping into Angelina Jolie in New MIIl Co-op seemed a more credible scenario. But the finger of television fate had pointed and was not to be denied. It went something like this.

The TV company which produces the “Great British Railway Journeys” series had contacted the tourist information office in Holmfirth for help. In the now famous Victorian Bradshaw Railway Guide there was a short entry describing the catastrophic flood of 1852 which caused so much damage and loss of life in the Holme Valley. Could the tourist office provide more information, pictures and possibly someone to interview? The tourist office passed the buck to the Holme Valley Civic Society, who passed the buck to Holmfirth Local History Group, who ganged up on me and passed the buck to me, especially that bit about the interview. “You're always doing talks! You are the chosen one!”. I had been hoist with my own petard. There was no one left to pass the buck to.

In the weeks prior to the filming I was regularly sending material, helped by Deborah Wyles and Alan Tinsdeall of the History Group, to the programme’s researcher, Frances Kendall, at her office in London. This she stitched together in a form suitable for use by Michael Portillo on the programme. All that now remained was the visit to Holmfirth and the interview.

In previous years I had witnessed the palaver in Holmfirth every June when the BBC came to film clips for the next series of “Last of the Summer Wine”. Half the Corporation seemed to descend on the town. It was astonishing just how many men, women, technicians, vehicles, cameras on cherry-pickers and large powerful lights were required to film three old men tottering along Hollow Gate. At the whim of the producer streets would be closed, traffic and pedestrians sent packing. Even worse, the word had spread and coach parties from places like Billericay and Ashby-de-la- Zouche would come to stand and gawp. I was dreading being the focus of a similar such gawp.

I need not have worried. It is an independent company which makes the Railway programmes, called Boundless Productions and they run a very tight ship. Not for them the lavish spreading of dosh for which the BBC has now become notorious, as I was shortly to discover. Michael arrived in Holmfirth with a team of five in an

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anonymous transit van. There was the producer, Rebecca (“call me Bex”), the researcher Frances and three lads to film and record the sound. Even before I had time to say “Hello”, Bex shoved some very legal looking documents under my nose to read, the gist of which was: “I shall not receive one penny of remuneration for my contributions to this programme, now and at any time in the future.” “Agree? Sign here, here and here!” Welcome to Holmfirth, Michael. So glad to be of service!

The filming was also carried out in a very unobtrusive way: one small video camera and a tiny radio mike clipped to my jacket. At least no one was going to thrust one of

< a OS pe a PA a a eo AER eee eek ee ay ea eee David on the present Bilberry Dam with Michael Portillo; the Producer, Rebecca, (“call me Bex”) with the headphones. those big furry things under my nose to capture the golden nuggets of information. And although Holmfirth was very busy we passed through seemingly unnoticed, even when filming the marker on Sharland’s butchers shop showing the height of the flood (not used in the programme). And for all his appearances on the television no one seemed to recognise Michael, or were too shy or polite to show it. I took them to a quieter spot on Rotcher and then Scar Fold for part of the interview. But up at Billberry reservoir quite a lot of walkers stopped to chat, rather surprised to see someone famous “off the tele” in such a remote spot.

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The interviews were repeated several times off the cuff to give the camera several different perspectives. What you see on the finished programme was a skilful combination of these. As is probably always the case more material was filmed than could be used in the programme. For example Yorkshire Water had sent a representative from, I think, Sheffield, to be interviewed also at Billberry, but this does not seem to have been used. In talking about Bradshaw Michael admitted that in using the few lines about the Holmfirth flood he was starting to scrape the bottom of the barrel. (Holmfirth? Bottom of the barrel? Surely some mistake.) Suggesting the Bamforth film “Kiss in the Tunnel” to them as offering a suitable railway introduction to Holmfirth seemed to be the clincher which decided them that a visit was worthwhile.The whole operation from Holmfirth to Billberry was. slickly completed in about three hours and for my loyal co-operation Boundless Productions bought me one cup of tea in a paper cup. Oh the glamour of television!

Like “Dad’s Army” these Railway programmes seemed to be being broadcast on various channels on a continuous loop. (“Saw you on tele - AGAIN”, my sister will phone in a slightly accusing manner, as though I was trying to elbow the cake-baking ladies off the screen.) But they are being repeated because they are so popular with a very wide audience, and deservedly so. In stark contrast with the nightly tawdry shrieking of the soaps they present an image of a country which is a pleasant place to live and explore, where decent people lead quietly unspectacular lives with enriching and fulfilling interests. Television valium? Maybe. If nothing else Michael Portillo with his well-thumbed Bradshaw has shone a bright light on the efforts and achievements of local historians up and down the land and I am delighted to have played a very small part in this.


David Cockman is a retired language teacher living in New Mill from where he pursues a life-long interest in history, as a member of the Huddersfield and District Archaeological Society, the Holmfirth Local History Group and the Huddersfield Local History Society.

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By John Rawlinson

I have to confess to a lifelong interest in all things “railways” and have enjoyed watching, and re-watching, Michael Portillo’s series on “Great British Railway Journeys”. I recently watched the episode where Michael Portillo traversed the Huddersfield to Penistone line and called in at Holmfirth to see, at first hand, the scene of the great Holmfirth flood of 1852 which was noted in his Bradshaw’s Guide (see David Cockman’s description of this event). This famous guide, which informs Michael’s various railway explorations, was first published in the early days of railway travel and, in its various volumes, became immensely popular. My own copy, first published in 1863, notes that Holmfirth had a population of 2466, boasted a telegraph station, had a Saturday market and three fairs a year. The guide goes on to say, with dubious accuracy, that Holmfirth, which is 6 miles from Huddersfield:


in fine hollow of the mountains, where the Ribble and Digley brooks join, was dreadfully ravaged in 1852, by the bursting of Bilberry Dam, a reservoir above the town, nearly 200 yards long and 70 feet deep in one part, fed by springs from the hills, and used to turn the cotton mills below. The valley is about 6 miles long, and

Drawing of the flood at Holmfirth 1852 only 100 yards broad at From the Illustrated London News the widest; the Courtesy Kirklees Image Archive, immense volume of water

set free in this narrow gutter carried away 100 lives, with houses, mills and other property, worth £600,000. The bridge was entirely destroyed; and only the bare walls of the church left. Upwards of £120,000 was collected through the country for the poorer sufferers, - so abundant, indeed, were the subscriptions that a good proportion was returned to the donors.”

Of course, at the time of the publication of the Bradshaw Guide which prompted Michael’s interest in Holmfirth, he would have been able to make the journey from Huddersfield directly to Holmfirth along the branch line, which opened in 1850. This

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branch line left the Huddersfield to Penistone line at Brockholes and went on through Thongsbridge and terminated in the town. Sadly the last timetabled passenger train, on this short branch, ran on 31° October 1959 and the line was finally dismantled in 1966. Fortunately the Penistone line remains active and, for his trip to Holmfirth, Michael alighted at Stocksmoor and came down to Holmfirth in the production team’s transit van.

The expansion of the railway network in the UK in the middle years of the nineteenth century is quite extraordinary. Following the success of the Liverpool and Manchester railway, which opened in 1830, it was possible by 1841 to travel by rail from Manchester to Leeds — howbeit following a circuitous route via the Calder Valley and Normanton. This involved a 61 mile journey of some 3 hours. However, our Victorian forbears, undaunted by the engineering challenges, were soon blasting a way through the Pennines under Standedge using the existing Huddersfield narrow canal to bring out spoil. On September 18th 1848 it was possible to travel from Huddersfield to Leeds (London North Western Railway — LNWR) and then on 1° August 1849 there was a through service from Leeds Central to Manchester Victoria through the Standedge tunnel. Such was the enthusiasm for railway travel and railway construction that within a generation most of the major routes of our current national rail network were either in place or under construction.

The Huddersfield to Holmfirth branch line - 4 Papoock VIADUCT has its genesis in a Lockwoo TONNEL 1° - proposal, put forward _ is by a group of local 2 eter OF ind ‘ali k NETHERTON ‘o 3 industrialists, nown Ae is st eo CLAYTON WEST as the Huddersfield |meityam atock Zo ONT 4 weopHouse TUNNEL and Sheffield Junction oe Rail HSJR). Thi HONGSBRIOGE MT ailway ( ). IS HOL MFIATH DEN BY DALE line was to join, at oo Se eee ae Penistone, with the 1 _ 9 - NETHERTON TUNNEL Sheffield, Ashton Shad pose ies 4- TunWeL HevSe under-Lyne and PENISTONE YQ PENISTONE viADUCT Manchester Railway ee

(SAMR). It had been supposed that the SAMR would operate the 13% route of the Huddersfield line — including the branch to Holmfirth. By the

Railway lines in place by 1900. Courtesy Peter Rawlinson

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time the HSJR was opened in 1850 it had amalgamated with the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway (LYR) and, after some tetchy negotiation, running powers through Huddersfield to link up with the original Manchester & Leeds Railway (which had become the LYR) at Heaton Lodge were arranged. At the Penistone end equally complex negotiations resulted in the LYR being granted limited running powers along the SAMR, which by then become the Manchester, Sheffield & Lincolnshire Railway (MSLR) into Sheffield. It must be added that these somewhat complex arrangements of ownership and running powers caused considerable problems during the early years of the Holmfirth branch.

We can look back with a degree of amazement at the vision, energy, engineering skill and sheer audacity of our Victorian ancestors in promoting, planning and building a railway from Huddersfield to Penistone with its branches to Meltham, Holmfirth and Clayton West. The engineering challenges on the 13% mile stretch of line between Huddersfield and Penistone were monumental. It was necessary to bore six tunnels with a total length of nearly two miles in addition to a number of deep cuttings towering embankments and some thirty bridges including four major viaducts. On leaving Huddersfield towards Manchester the line diverged from the main line at Paddock and crossed the last of the viaducts to be completed which spanned the Colne valley crossing the river, canal and main road. This structure, still in use, consisted of six stone spans and four enormous wrought iron lattice girders each 77 feet long and 7 feet deep and built as a 34 foot long continuous beam which led on to another nine stone spans. The whole was built on a curve and crossed the river at a height of 75 feet. Records show that the iron work cost £5175. After crossing the viaduct the line went through a 205 yard tunnel and emerged at the first station, Lockwood, 1% miles from Huddersfield. This station, still in use today, is built on an embankment between two cuttings. On leaving the station the line passes through the mm second of these cuttings which is some 200 yards in length with a sei depth of 45 feet and then straight on to the magnificent Lockwood viaduct, without doubt I one of the largest structures of ie nig eee its kind in the UK. It is built of i See stone quarried from the two I cuttings (it is recorded that some 201,950 cubic yards were

Lockwood Viaduct, one of a series of views

produced by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway, circa 1908 removed). The dimensions of

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this viaduct are eye-watering. Its total length is 476 yards, at its highest point it crosses the valley some 122 feet above the river Holme. It consists of 32 semi- circular arches, each spanning 30 feet; a larger 70 foot oblique arch over the Meltham road and another of 42 feet over the road at the other end. It took 972,000 cubic feet of stone to complete this massive structure. Construction began at the end of 1846 and it was completed in 1849 at a cost of £33,000.

The next station on the line was Berry Brow, still in use, some 2% miles from Huddersfield — famous in Victorian times for its fine sandstone carvings of trains by Thomas Stocks and his son J.C. Stocks. One of these can be seen at the York Railway Museum, sadly the other weathered away. A further 616 yard long embankment leads to another tunnel, Robin Hood, which is 228 yards long and beyond it the line crosses a narrow valley on an 85 foot high embankment with an occupation road _ passing through an arched tunnel of some 100 yards. After another short tunnel Honley Station, still in use, is reached 3% miles from Huddersfield. After Honley the Gynn valley is crossed by a substantial embankment over 90 feet high and very wide at its base, two more cuttings take the line through Cliffe Wood and _ across’ the Brockholes valley on a 506 yard embankment into Brockholes station, still in use, some 4% miles from Huddersfield. Just beyond this station the Holmfirth line branched off to the right and the main line continued on for a further 9 miles through Thurstonland tunnel (1631 yards in length and the fifth longest on the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway) and on through more cuttings and tunnels, across further viaducts and embankments with stations at Stocksmoor, Shepley and Denby Dale (all still in use) to finally reach Penistone 13% miles from Huddersfield.

Brockholes Station — still from Bamforth’s film “Kiss in the Tunnel”, 1899

It was in 1847 that John Hawkshaw, the chief engineer, of the H & SJ railway was able to report to the line’s promoters that working drawings for the branch line to Holmfirth were complete and that work was about to start. Interestingly plans were

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being drawn up to extend the branch up the valley to Holmbridge with a hope that this might

subsequently be extended, by tunnelling under

Holme Moss, to a junction with the MSLR at Crowden — a truly ambitious plan

which never Mythombridge Viaduct 1910, this replaced the timber materialised. It is d structure which fell on 3 January 1866 perhaps the vision to

Courtesy Kirklees Image Archive, 9 26 5 extend the branch

beyond Holmfirth which resulted in a double track layout for its entire length. The key engineering challenge on the short branch to Holmfirth was bridging the New Mill Dyke Valley by means of the Mythombridge viaduct just three-quarters of a mile from the junction. The plan to build a stone viaduct was shelved in favour of a timber structure for economic reasons. When this wooden structure was nearly finished, in February 1849, a great gale sprang up and three quarters of the viaduct fell down fortunately without loss of life. Undaunted by public concern about the safety of a wooden structure work began again and the viaduct completed. Just beyond this viaduct was Thongsbridge station, some 5% miles from Huddersfield. The station at Holmfirth had a single platform beyond which was a turntable. Holmfirth station was 6% miles from Huddersfield and the short branch from the main line just under 2 miles in length.

The winter of 1849/50 was particularly severe delaying the final works to complete the line. It was finally decided to open the whole line, including the Holmfirth branch, on July 1° 1850 with the first train, open to the public, leaving Holmfirth Station at 11.25am. The story of the first trains along the line, is worth recounting here. We have to project ourselves back to an era when travel for the average man or woman was limited to local towns or villages, at a walking pace of around 3mph or, for those who could afford it, coach travel at around 8mph. Imagine the excitement which would have been generated by the advertised first train from Huddersfield which would whisk them along the new line at speeds of up to 30mph. This first train, timed to leave Huddersfield at 11.25am, was an excursion to Rowsley

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where passengers would transfer to horse drawn coaches for a visit to Chatsworth, including access to the house and grounds. All this for a return fare of 13/- (65p) first class and 6/6 (32%p) for a covered carriage. So popular was this excursion that the heavily laden train was too much for the engine and got stuck in the Thurstonland Tunnel and had to be divided — no doubt adding considerably to the passengers’ store of memories of this momentous day!

The first train from Holmfirth was timed to make a guaranteed connection with the excursion. It was a day of great rejoicing in the Holme Valley with church bells tolling from early morning heralding the significance of the day. Mr James Bates, a local


celebrity, organised the send off at [gaa Holmfirth Station. The Holmfirth [eas Band assembled on the platform and played enthusiastically. Some 14 coaches and a locomotive were assembled in the station and when all was ready the band climbed into an open wagon and played, despite torrential rain, for the 6% mile { nb a journey into Huddersfield pausing See ae.

oa ‘i

a5 ‘ “Sf }! only as the train ran through the ts ee U8 4 ‘* ea : aD eae an - ; _ Ne: a) various tunnels on the route. At 3 BD =

Huddersfield the train was met by a Thurstonland Tunnel as it is today, in 1850 it would military band and then formed a have been double track.

12.00pm departure for Penistone Courtesy of David Cockman where another’ military band welcomed its arrival. July 1° was declared a public holiday in the Holme Valley with passengers being allowed, for the purchase of a single ticket, to travel over the whole of the HSJR for the day. Trains continued at regular intervals throughout the day and it was after dark when the last passengers alighted. Most of the Holmfirth passengers returned on the 3.32pm train from Penistone so as not to miss a celebratory tea organised to mark the occasion. It is interesting to note that during the first week 1869 tickets were sold at Holmfirth (population of the town around 2500 at the time) and a further 674 at Thongsbridge, the only intermediate station on the branch.

Travelling on the Holmfirth branch line in its early years was not without its difficulties. Complications arose because the service from Huddersfield to Holmfirth was operated by the LYR whilst that from Penistone by the MSLR with seemingly, little effort to make appropriate connections. Some unfortunate passengers found

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themselves with a wait, at Brockholes, of over 3 hours for a connecting train. Keeping to the published timetable was also problematic. A good example is the chaos which ensued on the first market day, 2n4 July 1850, after the opening. In Holmfirth alone over 970 tickets were sold and many more at other stations along the line. The LYR completely underestimated the demand and, when the return train arrived in Huddersfield from Bradford, more than an hour late, it was already overcrowded. The company hurriedly attached 18 additional coaches and the waiting crowd of passengers attempted to clamber in. Many gave up and decided to walk home. When the overcrowded train finally departed, by then around 2 hours late, it had 38 coaches - even then a second extra train had to be laid on at 7.15pm for those passengers left behind. Letters to newspapers were written!

Part of the cause of those early days problems was the acute shortage of locomotives experienced by the rapidly expanding LYR. However, it would be wrong to record that everything went awry (although much did!) in those early days on the branch. In August 1850 the Huddersfield Lodge of the Oddfellows Friendly Society organised a bargain picnic excursion to Holmfirth. This event attracted some 2340 members and their friends — quite outside the scope of the LYR on a single train. So, a compromise was reached - a single train of 36 coaches would be provided, and this train would make two journeys thus ensuring nobody was disappointed. It was a Sunday and arrangements were made with the Methodist church for a special service; it was a fine day so visitors could enjoy wandering around the town and surrounding coutryside; local inns did a roaring trade and a good time had been had by all when the last train left Holmfirth at 10.00pm.

Clearly, despite locomotive and timetabling difficulties, travelling by the railway was beginning to secure the attention of a significant cross-section of the public. At Honley Feast, in September 1851, 1190 passengers travelled on a special excursion along the branch. The impetus for this article was the visit to Holmfirth by Michael Portillo who interviewed David Cockman about the great flood of 1852. The dam of the Bilberry reservoir burst in the early hours of 5” February 1852 resulting in a catastrophic flood which killed 81 people, bodies were washed from the graveyard, buildings destroyed, the town bridge demolished and the parish church left in ruins. Local businesses and industry were badly affected. All of this aroused national interest and concern. Disaster funds were raised and, unsurprisingly, people came (much as they would today) from far and near to observe the scene of devastation. Indeed, it is recorded that the LYR (no doubt interested in a sales opportunity) laid on a special excursion from Manchester to Holmfirth which attracted 362 tourists with a morbid interest!

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Holmfirth Station 1918 with its splendid iron and glass canopy and, to the right, coal being unloaded into a waiting cart. Courtesy of Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway Society Over the next half century the LYR put in place significant improvements to timetabling, coaching and locomotive stock and passenger and goods facilities. By the 1890s it was clear that the line would not extend beyond Holmfirth and plans were put in place to create a more substantial terminus for the line. The platform was remodelled and raised in height and an impressive overall iron and glass canopy erected, some 180ft long.

By 1879 there were 9 trains a day along the branch and 10 on Tuesdays and Saturdays but only 3 on Sundays. Most trains worked through to destinations beyond Huddersfield, Leeds, Bradford and Halifax being the most usual. The journey to Huddersfield from Holmfirth normally took 23 minutes and the return trip 25 minutes. On Market Days especially trains were often very busy and ticket collectors would board the train at Thongsbridge in order to avoid congestion at Holmfirth. By 1896 it became possible to book a through coach from Holmfirth to Blackpool which was added to a trans-Pennine train at Halifax. The First World War saw ambulance trains formed of Midland Railway coaches arriving to transfer wounded soldiers to war hospitals at Holmfirth and Dean Royd.

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Plan of Holmfirth Station Courtesy Peter Rawlinson

After the Great War, in 1923, the multiplicity of existing railway companies were regrouped and the LYR merged with the LNWR to become the London Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS). The 1930s were a significant time for local transport with the LMS purchasing a 50% share with Huddersfield Corporation in the omnibus operation. This had surprisingly little effect on the passenger receipts of the branch line — and the line continued to enjoy 20 trains per day although this was drastically reduced during the Second World War.

After 1945 road transport began to take its toll on the profitability of the branch. The previous lucrative trade in woollen “pieces” (bales of woollen cloth), which had necessitated the construction of a special warehouse in Holmfirth Station goods yard (see plan of Holmfirth Station), was lost to road transport. Coal traffic had always been significant on the branch, witnessed by the coal drops, some of which remain extant, though now disused, to this day. Deliveries of coal to local merchants and mills with steam driven boilers continued in the 1940s and 1950s.

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Holmfirth Station yard Coal drops at Holmfirth Courtesy of Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway Society

Steam trains pulled by 2-6-4T engines operated the passenger __ service right up to its closure to passenger traffic on 31° October 1959. After that the line became freight only with a 20mph limit on speed. The occasional “special” passenger __ service ventured in to Holmfirth after 1959. The line was finally dismantled in 1966 and it is interesting to muse about whether its fortunes might have been significantly different in our present generation — for tourists who regularly flock to Holmfirth in their hundreds and commuters who currently endure the daily grind to and from Huddersfield. And... what if it had been made possible to travel by train directly from Holmfirth to Manchester through the Holme Moss tunnel — now there’s a thought!

Overgrown trackbed of the Holmfirth branch at Thongsbridge. Courtesy of David Cockman

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Holmfirth station after closure. Booking Office — but no tickets! Pictures taken in 1983, 24 years after closure. Courtesy of Tony Button

Bibliography For this short article I am heavily indebted to the excellent accounts of the Holmfirth branch line in:

The Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway — Volume 1, John Marshall, 1969

The Holmfirth Branch — Professor Alan Earnshaw, published in Backtrack magazine, Volume 12 Number 6, June 1998.

Bradshaw’s Descriptive Railway Hand-book of Great Britain and Ireland, originally published 1863, reprinted 2012.

I have also referred to the following publications:

A Regional History of the Railways of Great Britain — Volume 8 South & West Yorkshire, David Joy, 1975.

The Leeds Huddersfield & Manchester Railway, The Standedge Line, Martin Bairstow, 1990.

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The Huddersfield & Sheffield Junction Railway, The Penistone Line, Martin Bairstow, 1985

I am indebted to Peter Rawlinson, a fellow LYR enthusiast, who drew the plans of Holmfirth station and the local rail network as it existed in the 1860s and to the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway Society for the provision of photos from their archive.

Biography John Rawlinson is currently Vice Chair of Huddersfield Local History Society and

editor of this Journal. He has lived in Kirklees for over 45 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. He is a member of the Lancashire & Yorkshire

Railway Society (

Sleeper Stage, Holmfirth t Station. Courtesy Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway Society

Holmfirth Station Yard from across the valley, circa 1900. Courtesy Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway Society

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A life dedicated to public service in Huddersfield. By Christine Piper

Marie grew up in Huddersfield, and as with other young people who lived through the years of the First World War, her life was shaped and influenced by the events happening around her. Men enlisted in the forces and served overseas and at home women became engaged in a wide variety of new roles. Even though civilians were a long way from the battlefields, there was an impact arising from the disruption to family life and opportunities in employment and new roles outside the home. The First World War had an impact at both the local and national levels on the roles available to women, as they moved into jobs previously seen as a man’s role in order to contribute to the war effort. At the same time, a range of new and different social Opportunities emerged as a consequence of the war years, which women were arguable more suited to engaging with and addressing. Marie became involved in public service roles which might not have existed or been possible had it not been for the war years.

Marie Louise’s early years: Marie Louise was born on the 2° January 1886, she was baptised on the 7 January 1886 at St. John the Baptist Church at Kirkheaton, Yorkshire. Her father was Earnest Alexander Beaumont, a Chartered Accountant. Her mother was called Lizette and she was originally from Towcester, Northamptonshire. Marie Louise (known as Madge) had two siblings, an older sister Millie (b. circa 1884) and a brother John Churchill (b. circa In the 1891 census the family were living in Woodlands Road in the Dalton area of Huddersfield.

Arguably Madge’s family background was not typical, as both her parents were involved in public life. Her father was initially a Councillor and later an Alderman, and in these roles was a Conservative member of Huddersfield Council from 1883 until his death in July 1922. Her mother was a member of the Board of Guardians and a co-opted member on many Council Committees”’. Madge grew up in a home where there were discussions about Council matters and issues impacting on the Town, these conversations were probably an inspiration for her to consider a role in public life for herself as well as being an excellent training for her future roles as Councillor, Alderman and Mayor of the Town of Huddersfield.

2 1891 Census Huddersfield Examiner May 1963

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In 1911, Madge was the only one of the three children still living at home with her parents. In 1911, she was 25 years old, she was employed and her occupation was recorded as Typist Correspondent for 3 firms of merchant clothiers. This was a growing profession at the time and one dominated by women; in the 1911 census over 80% of typists were women. Madge was a typist for 3 firms of merchant clothiers, and it is possible Madge met her future husband, John Middlebrook Haigh, while working for his family business (not proven).

At a National level, Madge grew up during a period of women campaigning for the Vote. In February 1918, the Representation of the People Act abolished the property qualification for voting and women 30 and over were enfranchised. At this time, Madge would have been 32 years old and therefore eligible to vote for the first time. However, it was not until July 1928 that women 21 and over gained equal franchise with men. It was 1968, when the Representation of the People Act was amended and the franchise extended to all persons age 18 years and over.

John Middlebrook Haigh’s early years: John Middlebrook Haigh was born on the 14" August 1896, the eldest surviving son of Edward and Kate (nee Crosland) Haigh, of the Hollies, New Hey Road, Huddersfield. John was educated at Sedbergh School and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the 5" Battalion of the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment in March 1914 aged 17 years and mobilised in August 1914. He was demobilised in February 1919, having survived the Battle of the Somme. I believe these war time experience shaped the rest of his life, as he maintained his military connections for the rest of his life. Just over a year after being demobilised he was approved for service with the 5m Battalion the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment Defence Force (based in Huddersfield) in April 1920. As well as maintaining his military connections, John was involved in the family firm of Haigh’s and Bairtow’s Wholesale Clothing Company.

Madge married John Middlebrook Haigh. Whether they met through their work or not is not known, however Madge and John were married on the 23” September 1922, at St. John’s church, Ben Rhydding, near Ilkley, Bradford. John was aged 26 and Madge was 36 years old, and I think it must have been unusual at that time for a man to marry a women much older than himself. After they were married, John’s middle name Middlebrook, became hyphenated with their surname so the couple became known as Mr and Mrs Middlebrook-Haigh. The couple lived at Ashleigh, 9 Halifax Road, Edgerton, Huddersfield, telephone number: 3535.

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After their marriage John maintained his links with the local battalions and by 1932 he held the rank of Lt-Colonel and was second in command of the Battalion. Around the beginning of the Second World War in 1939, John succeeded Col. Keith Sykes in command of the 5" Battalion and only relinquished the position in 1942, aged 46. After his retirement from the Battalion, he continued to be involved with the Territorial Army Reserve of Officers until 1948. John was decorated and received a number of medals: He held the Territorial Decoration”, as well as the British War medal, the Victory Medal, the George the VI Coronation Medal 1937. Lt-Colonel Haigh was a vice-president of the 5"" Battalion Duke

of Wellington’s old Comrades’ Association and for many years was a member of the committee of the Huddersfield and District Army Veterans’ Association. A member of the Huddersfield Rotary Club, and was a director and chairman of the Community Service Committee.

Lt-Colonel Haigh

After her marriage Madge’s involvement in public life grew: Following the First and Second World Wars, the social fabric of society was disrupted and many women found themselves in situations where they were left struggling to raise their children alone. Problems also arose when the service men started to return home to their families after years of separation, a time when many couples experienced difficulties. According to newspaper reports, Madge with some of her friends, established in 1922 an organisation to support people living in Huddersfield who were experiencing problems. In some newspaper reports it is suggested that this was a branch of the Citizens’ Advice Bureau (CAB) but on the CAB website the CAB was established much later in 1939. The organisation Madge and her friends formed appears to have been a forerunner of what later became the CAB branch in Huddersfield. Madge was Secretary for the Huddersfield Branch and continued in this role for many years. At the Huddersfield CAB branch, Marie set up a counselling service to help couples and it was reported that she was a, “woman of sympathy and understanding who has a genius for getting straight to the root of the The headline in the paper read: “Woman who mends broken marriages” and the article went on to say that almost every day the wife of a returned serviceman goes along

54 ; London Gazette, 1° November 1919 >? Huddersfield Examiner, 19" March 1946

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to the little office in Huddersfield. The article tells the story of how this woman’s husband had changed while he had been away. The article continued by stating it was not just the men who had changed and frequently it was their wives who had also changed. During the war women had to learn to stand on their own two feet. The home might have been the centre of their lives before the war, but because of it it they had learnt to be more independent. Madge, as the Secretary of the Citizen’s Advice Bureau, was mentioned in Hazel Wheeler’s book (2014), when an example was given of when Madge’s advice was sought for a particular problem a family were experiencing. The example given suggested Madge’s approach was very practical, as she promptly arranged two weeks compassionate leave so that the husband could be at home to support the other family members through a difficult period.

Madge was also the Secretary of the Huddersfield branch of the Cinderella Society from the early 1940’s. The aim of the Cinderella Society, which is now merged with the E. Austen Johnson Trust Fund, was the prevention or alleviation of poverty. Each year during the Second World War the Huddersfield Cinderella Society gave a Christmas present to children who either had no presents or to those children whose father was serving in the armed forces. At the time this was seen as a way of giving the children a treat but may not always have had the intended effect. Interestingly Ronnie Bray posted a blog on line (2010) about his memories as a child going to the cinema on a trip organised by the Cinderella Society. Ronnie expressed the view that as a child he and the other children knew they were different and on public display as they queued up outside the cinema. He says that he felt that “their benefactors were large people full of well meaning and self importance”, and suggested that “they cared for the children as a class but did not reach them as individuals nor did the support offered address the needs of the children who were deprived of a father’s

Madge was for many years Chairman of the Old People’s Welfare Committee””’. Madge was credited with pioneering the Darby and Joan Clubs in Huddersfield which were seen as a “real boon” to the old folk. In 1963, there were 14 Darby and Joan clubs run by the Old People’s Welfare Committee and Madge kept an interest in them all”.

Ronnie Bray, 2010 7 >” Examiner, 19" December 1978 58 r Huddersfield Examiner, 23° May 1963

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A long involvement in Local Government: From her early upbringing Madge would have been familiar with the workings of local Government as her father, Earnest Beaumont , had been on the Huddersfield Council for 39 years and her mother had been co-opted onto numerous committees. In 1947, when Madge was adopted as a Conservative Council election candidate she reportedly declared, “So far as our town is concerned, it is high time there were more women on the Council”. Madge was elected as a councillor to represent North Central ward. Over the time she was a councillor there were times when she held her seat by a reasonable majority. In the Examiner in 1951, the Huddersfield Municipal election results were published. The newly formed Council was dominated by a Liberal majority of 32 Councillors, with 11 Labour and 17 Conservative Councillors completing the number of elected councillors. For North-Central Ward the results were as follows:- M.L. Middlebrook-Haigh (Cons): 1451 votes G.C. Chadwick (Lab): 816 votes Conservative majority: 635, No Change During her years as a Councillor she sat on a number of Committees and apparently attended all her committee meetings.

Looking through the Mayoral year book for 1948 I found 7 committees on which Madge was listed as a member. Madge was Deputy of the Children’s Committee, which met on Tuesdays with W.Pickup as the Chairman. The Duties and Powers of this Committee were to discharge all the functions of the Corporation under the following enactments: a) Part Ill and IV of the Children and Young Person’s Act 1933. b) The provisions relating to child life protection of Part VII of the Public Health Act 1936 c) The Adoption of Children (Regulation) Act 1939 d) The Children Act 1948

Madge was also a member of the Civil Defence Committee, the Education Committee, including the Education Committee for Further Education, the Food Control Committee (as a consumer member), Housing Committee and the Housing (Management) sub-committee, Public Library and Art Committee, and the Welfare Committee. All the time she was a councillor she continued to be the Secretary of the CAB and it is easy to imagine that these two roles interfaced perfectly. From her involvement with the Advice Bureau she would have been aware of the issues

> Huddersfield Examiner, 19" December 1978

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families were facing and hopefully in her capacity as a councillor on several committees she could influence the provision of services to address these issues.

Recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 1958: In 1958, from starting an advice bureau with friends in 1922 and becoming a Councillor in 1947, Madge had been involved in voluntary work and civic life for 36 years in Huddersfield. Her commitment to both these areas of her life were recognised when she was made a Member the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in 1958. The citation for her award was “for public service in Huddersfield”.

Elected as an Alderman in 1960: Madge was elected as an Alderman on the 21" April 1960 but John had died earlier in 1960, so did not live to see Madge become an Alderman. By 1960 she had served as a_ councillor continuously since 1947 and was elected by her peers to become an Alderman. Again she was following in her father’s footsteps as he _ had previously been elected as an Alderman during his years of public service. Aldermen were often nominated by their peers, after having served as councillors for a period of time, but have now been largely abolished.

——= Elected Mayor of Huddersfield in 1963: Ald. Mrs ML Middlebrook, Mayor of Madge became Mayor of Huddersfield Huddersfield, 1963 in 1963. In the archives in the Huddersfield Local History library there is a picture of Madge in the mayoral chain of office, to be found in the front of the year book for 1963-64. On my initial examination of the list of previous Mayors of Huddersfield, I was_ slightly disappointed to find she was not the first woman Mayor. The first female Mayor of Huddersfield was Mary E. Sykes BA. LL.B., who was elected in 1945-46. Madge was however the second woman to the become Mayor of Huddersfield, 17 years after

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first woman mayor and the headline in the Huddersfield Examiner in May 1963, was “Borough’s second woman Mayor in 95

A previous Mayor, Alderman J. Armitage, said some might have misgivings about a woman as mayor, but he said he had no misgivings about Mrs Middlebrook-Haigh being the Mayor as he knew of her dedication over the last 16 years as a councillor, and that she would fulfil the role competently! She was described as fearless and willing to speak her mind even if few others agreed with her”. Alderman Gray, in proposing a toast to the new mayor paid tribute to her by referring to all that she had done for the refugees who came to Huddersfield during the Second World War. He described her by saying, “she was like a fairy godmother to them!”

Chief guests who attended a lunch ot the George Hotel, Huddersfield, today, of the Industrial Life Offices are (from left) Mr. G. E. Crewe (speaker), Mr. C. B. Dibb (speaker), the Mayor of Huddersfield (Ald. Mrs. M. L. Middlebrook Heigh) and Mr. H. Scott (chairman).

Ald. Mrs M.L.Middlebrook, Mayor of Huddersfield, at the Industrial Life Offices Lunch at the George Hotel, circa 1963

In her Mayoral speech Madge caused some laughter when she referred to her mayoral robes. “Let me tell you this robe is 95 years old and has been lengthened and shortened, lengthened and shortened again, and now lengthened to the full edge of the hem (She was quite a tall woman). But at the same time the fact that the robe has worn so well surely underlies the wonderful reputation of Huddersfield cloth”. She continued her Mayoral speech saying that she particularly wanted to thank the poorer people of Huddersfield who had written to her expressing their

60 Huddersfield Examiner, May 1963 °* ibid

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congratulations. Many of them could hardly afford a stamp and she said she did appreciate their expression very much”.

Later in her speech she called on the Corporation to provide sheltered housing for older people so that they could live somewhere and still have their own belongings around them”. The care of the older population was an area Madge had long been involved with through her activities with the Darby and Joan Clubs and as a member of the Housing Committee. In her speech Madge pointed out that this was being developed in other parts of the country but up until now it has not been introduced in Huddersfield. The Corporation had done well for its aged population in that here were 16 residential homes, which were considered to be extremely good. Madge also paid tribute to the staff working in the residential homes for their kindness to the old people.

Having a woman as Mayor, gave rise to some interesting situations which challenged the conventions of the times. One example of this was when, following her election as Mayor, it was proposed at the Rotary AGM that she should be invited to become an honorary member of the Rotary Club (Huddersfield). The Huddersfield rotary Club, founded in 1921, had well over 100 members in the 1960s, and it appears it was common to invite the Mayor elect to be an Honorary Member during their term in office. However, at the AGM some members protested that the constitution of the Rotary laid down only men can be elected as Honorary Members. The meeting agreed to invite the Mayor for 1963-64 to attend Luncheon Meetings as a guest! Things have now changed and a third of the members, in 2015, were women. As Mayor, Madge hosted and attended many lunches and dinners such as the Industrial Life Offices Lunch.

Another example of convention linked to having a man as the Mayor was highlighted by the wording on the Mayor’s official Christmas greetings card. Madge was a widow but a Mayor needs a consort and Madge chose a woman friend to be her consort, Mrs Victoria Sisson. In 1963, Victoria Sisson was the wife of the councillor Douglas Sisson was the Conservative representative for Marsh Ward until he became an Alderman in 1967. Douglas Sisson was a solicitor and his chambers in the Lion Chambers, St George’s Square. In 1964, Victoria Sisson was elected as a councillor in her own right also representing Marsh Ward and in 1970 was elected as an Alderman. Douglas and Victoria Sisson lived very close to Madge at 2, The Mount,

© ibid °° ibid

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Edgerton and also had a second address which sounds very grand: Easby Abbey, nr Richmond, Yorkshire.

Following her year as Mayor, Madge continued to be an Alderman until 1973, when an age limit was introduced, which led to her retiring from her civic role.

John died on 11" February 1960. Although the couple lived at 9 Halifax Road, Edgerton, John died at St John’s Road, Huddersfield. St John’s Road was the site of the family business, suggesting he died suddenly at work. John is remembered on the Family grave in the churchyard of ih, Salendine Nook, Baptist Church on New Hey road, Huddersfield. Madge a ee, of I continued to live in their home until her death; she was cremated at Huddersfield Crematorium, having died on the 17" December 1978. Officially it

With all Good Wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

from appears she was in her 80’s when she The Mayor and Mayoress died but this did not correspond with (Alderman Mrs. AH. L. Middlebrook-Haigh, M.B-E- the year of her birth and her age as

Lao. ee) recorded in the 1891, 1901 and 1911

on Hall, censuses. Somewhere along the way on Christmas 1953} managed to ‘loose’ a few years Christmas greetings from the Mayor, Ald. Mrs Off her age. Good for her! Middlebrook and Mrs D Sisson, 1963.

References: Centre for Women and Democracy (2011) Challenges and Change: a Brief History of Women Councillors in Yorkshire and The Humber. CFWD, Leeds.Bray, R. (2010) Cinderella Children. 23" March, open writing blog on-line. U3A.www.openwriting com/archives/2010/03/cinderella_chil.php Huddersfield Corporation Year Book 1963-64. Huddersfield, Huddersfield Corporation. Huddersfield Examiner. (19"" March 1946) Woman who mends broken marriages; Indifferent husbands, Independent wives. Huddersfield Examiner. 11° February 1960 (Death of Lt- Colonel John Middlebrook-Haigh). Huddersfield Examiner. (22"° May 1963) “Borough’s second woman Mayor in 95 years” Huddersfield Examiner. (19 December, 1978) Death of Mrs M.L. Middlebrook-Haigh. Hazel Wheeler (2014) Huddersfield at War, Amberley Publishing

Biography Christine Piper was born in Birmingham but was a regular visitor to Huddersfield to

see family members and friends. She came to live in Lindley in 1996. Her connection with Huddersfield has been strengthened by her research into the history of the town and the small part her ancestors played in the life and businesses of the area.

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CZECH ME OUT! Introducing Next Year’s Editor

By Frank Grombir

Frank Grombir, Editor designate of

this Journal

My name is Frank Grombir I will be taking over the editorship of our Journal from John Rawlinson starting with the next issue in 2017. Under John’s editorship the Journal has gone from strength to strength. It now boasts an attractive cover and two Journal articles have received prestigious local history awards.” It is a pleasure for me to become editor at such a good time in the Journal’s history. At the same time, I also feel a great responsibility to maintain its excellent reputation. The first thing I would like to do as editor-in-waiting, therefore, is to say a big thank you for all John’s hard work on the Journal since

2011. Special thanks also go to all the Committee members for their input and to all

the contributing authors.

By way of introduction John has asked me to tell you a little bit about myself. I was born in 1985 in Czechoslovakia into a family of four. I do not remember much of the Soviet era as I was only four-years-old when the well- known Velvet Revolution brought the collapse of Communism. In 1993, after the so called Velvet Divorce, country split into two and I suddenly stopped being a Czechoslovak and

became just a Czech. As we lived close to the Slovakian border and had a holiday cottage in Slovakia, I remember my dad getting mad when

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The pin on the map marks Hroznova Lhota,

where Frank was born. Image courtesy of Google Maps

°* Most recently, HLHS Publicity Officer, Christine Verguson has been awarded a prize by the British Association for Local History (BALH) in the ‘short article’ category of its 2016 Publications Awards. This is for her article, published in the 2015-16 edition of our Journal, “All Huddersfield’: Our town on the wireless in the 1920s’. Anne Brook received an award from the BALH for her article in the 2014-15 edition of the Journal, ‘A Communal History of Jews in Huddersfield’.

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we had to go through many border checkpoints and had to show our passports when visiting the cottage which was only 15 miles away.

I come from a small village the size of Upperthong. It lies in South Moravia in the south-east of the country. The name of my birthplace, Hroznova Lhota, which could be loosely translated as The Place of Grape, refers to the long tradition of wine making in the area. Indeed, a nice glass of white Burgundy or Riesling is always something I look forward to when visiting my in-laws in summer. There is a rich cultural life in the area and each year is filled with interesting events.

When I was younger I was always at centre of many of these. For instance, in early December I used to go around the neighbourhood dressed as Saint Nicolas followed by my friends who acted as angels and we rewarded local children with sweets for their good behaviour. One month later, disguised as the Three Magi, we used to go carolling and raising money for charity. At Easter, I joined one of the many groups of boys carrying pomldzky (braided whips made from pussy willow twigs) and visiting local girls. We were then rewarded with sweets and decorated eggs (as younger boys) or a colourful ribbon which would be tied to the whip and could sometimes carry an affectionate message.

There is no one national costume in the Czech Republic but a rich mixture of regional and local variations. The insider can easily tell someone’s affiliation to a particular place just by looking at their traditional dress only worn at special occasions. One of them was the annual village fair in autumn. The day started with Mass in the morning followed by fun fair for the children in the afternoon and a dance party at night. After lunch, I joined the local youth gathered outside the village hall and we all went dancing through the main streets accompanied by the local brass band. Hearing the sound of music approaching, the villagers then came out offering us drink, food and money which would be used to foot the bill for the music.

dressed in traditional costume in August 2004.

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Another interesting but rare tradition that took place in my home village was the Ride of the Kings. It is basically a large procession led by the ‘King’ and the pageboys next to him, followed by the royal cavalcade, all dressed in ceremonial costume, riding decorated horses and shouting out short humorous rhymes that comment on the features of the village and the character and conduct of the In 1999, I had a once in a lifetime opportunity participate in this tradition when it was revived after ten years. This involved many months of preparation during which I trained to ride a horse and learned how to look after it as well as making up and rehearsing to shout out my own original cha

After completing my primary education, I went to a Catholic boarding grammar school in Kromériz.°’ These were extremely important 6 years of my life only from the educational point of view but also because I learned new social skills, started forming my own ideas and opinions as well as experiencing adventure and romance. Vladena, the girl I started going out with towards the end of my studies,

eventually became my life partner.

While my _ passion for history started in my very early childhood when I started rummaging through my grandma’s attic looking for old documents, it was at grammar school where I started to treat the I I be subject of history more seriously The grammar school Frank attended is tucked between With the view of becoming a lawyer. the Baroque Bishops Palace on the right and the Gothic But it was not meant to be and after church of St. Mauritius on the left failing the tough exams to get into the greatly oversubscribed Czech law schools, I started considering alternative options. After a short period of

°° Based on one interpretation, it represents the flight of a young nobleman, later to become King Matthias Corvinus, from Buda to Prague in the aftermath of a rebellion in Hungary in 1456-7. This is why the pretend King must be a 12-year-old boy wearing female ceremonial dress and carrying a red rose in his mouth for the duration of the procession in order not to give himself up. The pageboys are also disguised as girls. °° The Ride of the Kings takes place annually only in Vlénov, a village 15 miles away from Hroznova Lhota. In 2011, it was inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. °” The city is dubbed ‘Moravian Athens’ for its stunning architecture. The Bishop’s Palace built in the baroque style together with the city’s Flower Gardens, were added to the list of World Heritage sites in 1998.

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working as tour guide at a Buchlovice Chateau, near Uherské Hradiste, Vladena suggested the option of going abroad for one year with the view of getting to know the wider world, brush up our English skills and becoming more independent.

Our initial search was not successful as we were conned by a local employment agency which was only after our money but never helped us with anything. Later on, Vladena found a job advert in Miladd Fronta, one of the national papers, for care assistants in the UK. Undertaking a job interview in a foreign language for the first time filled me with great anxiety. Nevertheless, our 200-mile journey to Prague was worthwhile and we were told we could start work in January 2006. When being asked about our desired UK destination we just said we did not have a particular preference as our awareness of British geography was quite poor at the time. Therefore, just turned 20, and with a £400 donation from my grandparents in the pocket, Vladena and I left the snow-covered valleys of South Moravia for the wintery rain showers and sandstone buildings of Huddersfield.

I never expected that what was supposed to be a short adventure would become an open-ended stay in West Yorkshire that has so far lasted a quarter of my life. My first job in the nursing home was a good starting point. I was looking after people with dementia, many of whom were bed-ridden. Caring for people with physical and psychological disabilities and witnessing frequent death taught me to value life, appreciate things and people around me and make the best of available opportunities. This was also where I was taught my first lesson of cultural diversity. There were various nationalities in our team, some of whom were Polish. I always liked the language and so I started learning it with their assistance. This became handy when Vladena and I later founded a small youth choir at the Polish church in Fitzwilliam Street. While we are no longer in charge of it, the group is still active nine years down the line.

If anyone should ever take the blame for prolonging our stay in England it has to be me as, after four months, I enrolled on the History and Politics course at Huddersfield University. The friendliness of the staff and homely atmosphere came as a pleasant surprise to me as I expected a more formal attitude. The manager at work was very accommodating and so I could carry on with my studies during the week and work three 12-hour shifts between Thursday night and Saturday night. Another milestone in my life came in the summer of 2007 when Vladena and I decided to tie the knot and agreed to carry on despite the challenges ahead of us. We had a wonderful wedding, attended by more than a 100 family members and friends.

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Frank at the opening of Rawthorpe & Dalton Library, 2009, with the Mayor, Karam Hussain


Having a desire to step up the career ladder, I started looking for other jobs and decided that working in libraries could be a useful and enjoyable experience. I was absolutely over the moon when, after months of filling in applications and going through interviews, I finally landed my first library job in Ravensthorpe. It was only a_ fixed-term position but it helped me to get the foot in the door. In 2008 I managed to get a permanent contract with Kirklees Libraries and worked at different locations until a year

later when I came to the local studies department at Huddersfield Library.Working

there enabled me to put my history skills to a good use, satisfy my enquiring mind by having to learn more about the area and its people, and assist others

with their research. In the same year, I started my undergraduate dissertation on the history of — the Huddersfield Polish Community and so I could not __ find myself at a better place.”* This helped me to develop my own interest in the

LITTLE Amalie was the best gift that parents News Frank Grombir and wife Viadena could ask for at



@ DELIGHTED: ele: 's second of just two New Year's Day babies, Amalie ‘Grombirova “She w

with mum and dad Viladena

Huddersfield University. Frank is studying for a his-

the start of 2009. She was the second of just two babies to be born on New Year's Saat and politics ‘degree and Day in Huddersfield ‘ladena is studying English lit- Frank and Viadena say their "ature and German. first child meant their new year Frink also works a3 a cus- started in real style. tamer services officer at 4 ead parents, both Rawthorpe and Dalton Library from the Czech Republic, live in and Information Centre, Fartown. Amalie was born at ¢ couple went to the birth the Huddersfield Royal Infirm- centre at teatime on New Year's ary’s new birth centre 7 Diaty and Amalie was born at The proud dad said: “She's 7-!0pm- doing ate She’s tiny, but so. The first baby born in Hud- lovely. dersfield in 2009 was Cyprian “We'd heard such eed things Glodek, who came into the about the birth cen world in the birth centre at “There's so seen choice for 3.25am. parents and our experience was His parents are Piotr and really positive.” Marzena and the family live in He added: “Amalie is ourfirst Paddock child and is the best way for us to start this year. year-old Pola, who now wants was born very quickly,” to be a midwife when she grows The couple are students at up.

He is a brother for seven-

1 Rasy)

Frank, Viadena and baby Amalie born January 2009

Photo Courtesy of Huddersfield Daily Examiner

history of Central and Eastern European exiles in the UK and since 2010 I have

°§ The dissertation titled Huddersfield Polonia, 1948 - 1968: Workers, Political Emigrés and Devoted Worshippers received the Best History Dissertation Award by the Huddersfield University’s Department of

History in June 2010.

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written articles and delivered numerous local history talks and guided walks on the Most recently, as part of my Ph.D. research at the University of Hull, I have studied the lives of British born second-generation people of Polish and Ukrainian descent.’” One of the greatest moments in my life was the arrival of our first child, a daughter. As she was the second child to be born in Huddersfield that year, she made it into the Huddersfield Examiner. Our second bundle of joy, a baby boy, was born last May. We bring up both children bilingually, being inspired by the first Czechoslovak president Masaryk, who used to say that ‘as many languages you know, as many times you are a human being.’

There is much more I would like to say, but I have to prove myself as next editor and be brief and selective. I hope my short life story has convinced you that I am the right person for the job and I strongly hope you will enjoy reading the future issues of the Journal as much as you have in the past. I know there are many people out there with interesting and valuable research. So, I would like to encourage everyone to submit an article in this Journal or get involved

You can join me on the European Exile Communities Trail which will take place on 10 July 2016 at 2.30 pm in St. George’s Square. More details about Huddersfield guided walks can be found at: ’° For more information about my research go to:

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THREE JOB OFFERS IN ONE DAY! Part One: The Story of a Heckmondwike Community By Waseem Riaz

In September 1939, 19 year-old Abdul Rahim, like many other young Muslims from the Punjab, Kashmir and the North-West Frontier regions of British-India, volunteered to serve in the British-Indian Army.

Abdul Rahim’s mother had died when he was only a month old. His father had remarried shortly afterwards. The experience of being an orphan had instilled a strong sense of responsibility in his mind. His father enrolled him in the village school where he worked hard and tried to avoid punishment. The teachers working in British-India's schools in the 1920s had been brought up in the Victorian era. They had a strong sense of discipline and were convinced the only way to keep order amongst their pupils was with the bamboo stick! Abdul was no exception to this discipline. He often came home from school with the palm of his hands bruised.

Joining the British-Indian Army After finishing his studies, Abdul began looking for work. An opportunity eventually came with the outbreak of the Second World War. At the time, joining the British- Indian Army was seen as the best way to secure employment and to send money home. When he signed up he realised his education had helped him. There was a desperate shortage of trained typists within the British-Indian Army fighting in the South-East Asia. He spent the next six years in the army, the first two years in garrisons across India. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour in December 1941, he moved with his regiment to different parts of South-East Asia.

After The War In 1945, Abdul, alongside millions of other men, was demobilised from the British- Indian Army. But while most of his comrades went back to their villages, he decided to attend college and qualify as a schoolteacher.

His brother-in-law, Afzal Khan, had other plans for the family. Immediately after India's independence in 1947, Afzal joined the newly formed Pakistan Navy and travelled the world. On a stopover at Southampton during the early 1960s, he learned post-war Britain was recruiting young men from the Indian sub-continent and the West Indies to fill a severe labour shortage in its mills and factories. He felt sure moving to Britain would help raise his family's standard of living back at the home village of Khotli. The vast majority of Pakistan’s population lived in the rural

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areas of Punjab and Sind. Their village homes were often made from poor quality bricks moulded out of local clay. If there was a heavy monsoon, the walls would collapse. There was no electricity in many villages, the roads were not tarmacked — and the villages were often cut off at night. To construct a strong house with good quality building material cost money — and staying in Pakistan was not going raise living standards, let alone help build a new house!

Leaving the Sub-Continent After completing his service in the Navy in 1962, Afzal left for Britain. In 1963 he returned to Pakistan and persuaded his brother-in-law, Abdul Rahim “to get the papers sorted out for England”. At this time the first-generation Indian and Pakistani immigrants were, in reality, positively encouraged to come to the UK because of severe post-war labour shortages.

Abdul Rahim knew some old army friends had rented a terraced house in Batley Carr, near a town called Dewsbury. His friends had found work at a factory known as Flush Mills in a nearby market town - Heckmondwike.

Abdul arrived around 1964. Afzal came along with him. Thirty years later their memories of landing at Heathrow Airport were still clear. They recalled the rain- drenched damp weather and the shiny wet runway. They got a cab to Nottingham. The M1 was still under construction, so they caught a train for the rest of their journey to Dewsbury.

After settling down in Batley Carr, Abdul and Afzal quickly found work in the large Flush Mills complex. Abdul's 15 year-old nephew, Mohammed Shahbaz joined them in 1966. For four years, up till 1968, their lives revolved around twelve-hour rotating shifts — which changed from day to night, and then back again from night to daytime hours. This turned into a daily routine from Monday to Friday. The weekends were their only two days off work.

Harold Wilson's newly elected Labour government was eager to fulfil its promise of forging a new Britain “in the white heat of the technological revolution”. But the revolution required a workforce to fill the vacancies available in Britain's factories. Jobs were plentiful in the mills of the Heavy Woollen areas of Huddersfield, Dewsbury, Batley and Heckmondwike throughout the 1960's.

Abdul's nephew, Shahbaz remembered his first day at work because he was offered three different jobs in one day! On his first day he went to work at a factory in Dewsbury, did not like the atmosphere and walked out. He crossed the road to

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another mill, went in, filled in an application form and started work within a few minutes! A few hours later he left this job and with his friends signed an application form to join the large workforce at Flush Mills in Heckmondwike!

Settling In Both Abdul and Afzal, and their nephew Shahbaz, quickly settled into their new

working pattern and their new social lifestyle. They later bought a house in Heckmondwike. Their life was made easier as more immigrants moved into the mill towns of Dewsbury, Batley, Heckmondwike and Huddersfield. Many came from Abdul's home village of Khotli in the Punjab and from the Mirpur areas of Kashmir. The vast majority were former British-Indian Army veterans who were now in their mid-40s. No women came with them. These men planned to stay in the country for a few months, or just a few years — before they would return to India or Pakistan.

As a result it was simply a case of waste not, want not and make do with the basics whilst staying in England. What was the point for every man renting his own room or buying his own house? It would be better to save money from their wages and to spend it on more important things in life.

It was not easy during the 1960's to rent a room or apartment from most white English-speaking landlords due to the colour-bar. Racism was rife during this period, and there were regular incidents of “Paki-Bashing” on the streets. The answer to the question where to live was for groups of men to live in one terraced house and for them to share their money for food and other costs. A terraced house with a living room, three bedrooms and a small kitchen, along with a bathroom, or even an outdoor lavatory, was sufficient for a group of eight to twelve men!

But this lifestyle created a negative stereotype of these immigrants. The sight of groups of South-Asian, or, African-Caribbean men coming out of a small terraced house became the butt of many prejudiced jokes. Even the iconic BBC 'Two Ronnies’ show could not resist including a clip about this: “Oh Dear Me I forgot the people upstairs”.

Despite these jokes, such a “waste not, want not” lifestyle continued in many South- Asian communities until the mid-1970s. Most homes had only the basic necessities - things like decent wallpaper, a carpet in all rooms, curtains, gas-cooker, coal-fire, a large wardrobe for clothing, perhaps a Hoover vacuum, a small tape-recorder, and finally a black and white television with three channels, BBC1, BBC2 and ITV. None of these homes had a washing machine — instead there were the public laundrettes in town.

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Because there were no women with them, men had to cook their own food. In most cases, one or two individuals from each Asian household learned how to make chappattis and to cook meat or chicken into a tasty curry. As for buying their food, for those living in Heckmondwike a most unlikely individual was ready to help. An orthodox Jew called Ken - no one knew his surname - befriended them. Ken was not from the Ashkenazi sect. He never wore the traditional Jewish black hat or long overcoat, and there was no fully grown bushy beard. If it was not for his Jewish background, Ken could easily have been mistaken for a “normal” Yorkshire chap. He worked in Flush Mills — and it was there where he had contact with Abdul Rahim and other Asian workers. He was a plumber and decorator by trade — and that was how everyone from Heckmondwike's first generation of Pakistani residents got to know him. It was Ken who was always there if the kitchen sink pipe got blocked.

Ken was aware of the similarities existing between Islam and the Jewish faith. He knew the Jewish ‘Kosher’ ritual of slaughtering livestock or poultry was just like the Muslim ‘Halal’ custom. This amazingly kind-hearted man began to supply his new Pakistani neighbours with Halal meat which he purchased in Bradford. A weekly delivery of meat and poultry was done in his van, along with vegetables and fresh fruit, to the homes of his new Muslim friends. The accounts and receipts were kept in his book. Abdul Rahim usually paid him at the weekend for the shopping after a collection had been done from everyone.

The First Women Arrive In the late 1960s a second generation, the children of the Second World War veterans, began to arrive. Most came as teenagers. Some were old enough to work in the mills, others went to local high schools. By about 1970, many of them had gone back to Pakistan for a short holiday, got married, and then “put in the papers” for their new brides to come to England. These newly married British-Pakistani couples moved into their family homes — either with their parents or with their in-laws. So the traditional South-Asian extended family unit became established in British society.

The Driving Test After leaving school in the early 1970s, many of the young lads took their driving tests. Many passed in their first or second time since they were familiar with the streets of Heckmondwike and because of their confidence in being able to survive on the hectic roads of the Indians sub-continent. After passing their driving tests, they wanted to buy a car and then go to Bradford on a Sunday afternoon to watch the weekly Hindi films.

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An Afternoon with Dilip Kumar The Indian film industry in Mumbai released many screen classics throughout the 1960s. For the first generation, it was Dilip Kumar who struck a chord in their hearts. His films had become so popular they were still being shown in Bradford's cinemas in the early 1970s. Then in 1974 Amitabh Bachan, a handsome, tall and fiery young actor came onto the Hindi film scene. He starred in the film “Sholay” (“Flames”), a remake of the famous 1961 Hollywood western —“The Magnificent Seven’. The only difference was there were two ex-convicts (rather than seven gun-slinging cowboys) hired by a retired police inspector to protect their village from marauding daccus (Indian bandits).

The Raja Bazaar in Bradford By the late 1960s Bradford had a large well-established population from the Indian sub-continent. There were close-knit Indian-Sikh areas, and Pakistani-Muslim neighbourhoods, with their own shops — and even cinemas. The background to those arriving in Bradford, and to other areas in West Yorkshire, Lancashire and the Midlands, was a huge demographic change which had occurred in Kashmir during the early 1960s. The President of Pakistan, Field-Marshal General Mohammad Ayub Khan had begun a vast public-works programme, the construction of a series of hydro- electric dams. The most famous were the Mangla and Tharbela dams in Azad Kashmir. Entire village communities were uprooted and an entire way of life going back for centuries came to an end.

As an army officer trained at Sandhurst, President Ayub Khan knew that many of the men in these villages had served in the Second World War. These men and their families needed to be resettled and given jobs. Thanks to his close relationship with the Queen, he persuaded Her Majesty and Harold Wilson to accept these former loyal soldiers of the empire. They could fill in the serious labour shortages faced by many British factories. So in the early 1960s they had started to come to Bradford and also to Leeds, Wakefield, Halifax, Huddersfield, Dewsbury, Batley and Heckmondwike.

By 1970, Bradford more or less had everything that was needed by its local Indian and Pakistani communities. Its sweet centres on Lumb Lane became famous for their samosas, kebabs and rasmallai (a mouth-watering dessert made with sugary milk). Clothes shops filled with rolls of colourful garments opened on White Abbey Road and in the Manningham areas. The popular Pakistani politician, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto visited this area on one of his tours, and was amazed by the vibrant culture. He described it as the “Little Raja Bazaar” (after the main clothing sector of Rawalpindi).

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No Shops but plenty of mills But there were no sweet centres or Asian clothes shops or takeaways _ in Heckmondwike in the early 1970s. A small Hafiz sweet centre and one or two clothes shops had opened in Saville Town in Dewsbury. The Pakistani population living in Heckmondwike was too small to think of itself as a community. The first generation, like Abdul Rahim and Afzal Khan were still working in the mills. Most of the second generation like Shahbaz were factory workers throughout the 1970's. No one had yet thought about starting up a small business. The first generation remained in the mills until they started retiring during the early 1980s. They spoke very poor English and few of them could drive.

By the early 1970s, Abdul Rahim's nephew Shahbaz had passed his driving test. Two of Abdul's sons and a daughter had joined him in Heckmondwike in the late 1960s. The younger son Junaid attended Heckmondwike Secondary School, but Jawad was old enough to start work with his father at Flush Mills. The daughter married Shahbaz. Then Jawad and Junaid also got their driving licences. Now Abdul Rahim had the luxury of being able to get to Bradford.

But for Abdul, it was not the cinemas which lured him to Bradford. He was a devout Muslim who used to pray five times a day. Instead, he visited the Rolex Book Trading Company in Lumb Lane. At the time this was the largest South-Asian book-store in West Yorkshire. It stocked Islamic religious books like the Koran, a vast range of non- faith Urdu literature, and traditional prayer mats, Muslim hats - such as the sheepskin karakul - and cassettes of songs by popular Hindi playback singers.

A visit to Bradford for men like Abdul Rahim was incomplete if he did not go to a sweet centre on Lumb Lane. A plate of samosas and some spicy chutney left a mouth-watering taste on the tongue for days to come. And the second generation lads usually came back from Bradford with a bag of samosas and kebabs for their wives and children.

The First Asian Shops In the early 1970s Asian shops were beginning to open in Dewsbury and Batley. The Warwick Road area of Batley had a few Indian Gujarati homes — and the new Muslim shops had Gujarati speaking owners who began to sell Halal meat and poultry along with fresh fruit and vegetables. There were still no Muslim corner shops in Heckmondwike but people slowly stopped buying from Ken as they could now drive to Muslim shops like Master Brothers in Batley, or Mullacos in Saville Town. These shops sold everything — different varieties of lentils, spices, masallas and pickles and a wide range of rice.

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Ken continued wall-papering the homes of his Pakistani friends until the early 1980s when he suddenly left the area. No one knew where he went. Yet many people felt sure Ken moved to Leeds because of the Leeds United football team — supported by sections of the city's large Jewish community. He was never again seen in Heckmondwike, but he left behind nostalgic memories for the first and second generations.

The first Asian corner shop in Heckmondwike was opened on Albion Street by Majeed Cheema. It had the basic foodstuffs such as tinned food, fresh fruit, vegetables, flour, milk, washing powder, sweets, chocolates, roasted peanuts and crisps. Ice cream and lollipops were in the fridge in the summer. It was the first Muslim-owned shop in Heckmondwike to sell Halal meat. Many white English customers, usually women, also popped into this shop for their loaf of bread or bottle of milk. In the 1970s the weekly shopping was done by the men of Abdul's family at the Hillards superstore in Heckmondwike. There was also Woolworths for electrical goods, jackets and coats, stationery sets for school kids, children's story books and adult non-fiction literature. At the time, Woolworth’s products were seen as expensive but also good quality. Asian families were quick to warn their children against putting anything in their pockets without having paid for it!

Close-knit Communities In about 1969 Abdul Rahim moved into his own house on Albion Street, close to Heckmondike town centre. His two sons, his daughter and her husband Mohammad Shahbaz, along with Afzal Khan — Abdul's brother-in-law, moved in with him. In 1973 the local authority informed the owners of back-to-back Albion Street terraced houses that their properties were to be demolished, so the family had to move to High Street.

Until the late 1980s it was the custom amongst the early British-Pakistani families to live together in the same terraced house. One can ask how did they manage to live together in such small properties? Like other Indian-Gujarati, Sikh, and Pakistani communities, the Muslim community in Heckmondwike was very close-knit. There were only a few families in the town. They came from the same villages in Pakistan, and it made sense for them to stick together. They also stayed in close contact with their relatives — even if the houses were streets apart.

There was also a lot of deep psychology behind this social lifestyle. In their spare time the men always got together. Up to ten or twenty people would be sitting in one living room! There they socialised, talking for hours on a wide range of topics from contemporary news stories to memories of life back in their home village.

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These conversations were a form of escapism from the cold and damp Yorkshire weather. Conversations on village life seemed to help, at least for a few hours, to get away from Heckmondwike's mist and fog, away from its tall mill chimneys, away from the long work shifts, and away from the dark winter nights.

A Forgotten Army The first generation barely talked about their time in the British-Indian Army. It was as if they had blocked out this important aspect of their lives. Instead, their conversations were always on things like the most recent monsoon, and which wall from whose house had fallen down due to the heavy rainfall.

There were no war veterans’ associations set up for this first generation of former British-Indian Army soldiers. The mainstream British establishment failed to acknowledge the huge contribution made by these men. Even the famous 26-part “World at War” documentary series aired on Thames = = television in 1974 did British Indian Army Veterans not mention the sacrifices made by soldiers from the two-million strong British-Indian Army, the largest volunteer force ever recruited in British history! An opportunity to educate mainstream white British society on the history of their Asian neighbours was missed.

Bill Roberts with

However, this oversight did not upset the first generation Pakistani-Muslims living in Heckmondwike. Racial prejudice was so severe in British society throughout the 1960s and 70s that it came as no surprise that they were ignored. The reality was Black and Asian communities did not seem to exist for the British media during that time — unless Enoch Powell wanted to bring people's attention towards them for all the wrong reasons.

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“Growing up with Mohammad Rafi”

The first generation had their own room in someone's house whilst their sons usually went to the cinemas in Bradford on Sunday afternoons, and then to the sweet centre for samosas or kebabs. On Saturdays, they met in another house and watched television.

Because of the generation gap, their tastes were different. The second generation felt shy about watching television with their fathers; they had different things to talk about. This was certainly the case for Abdul Rahim's two young sons — Jawad and Junaid, and his nephew Shahbaz. Abdul never understood why Junaid enjoyed watching Match of the The legendary Indian singer Day or American soaps like “Starsky and Mohammad Rafi Hutch”.

Besides television, they would listen to the songs of the Indian film Industry's most famous playback singers. There was the sweet voice of Lata Mangeshkar, known as the “Nancy Sinatra of India”. But it was the beautiful voice of the amazingly gifted Indian playback singer Mohammad Rafi who stole everyone's hearts. His love songs were so popular that the second generation like Shahbaz, Jawad and Junaid kept listening to them until the early 1980s! When Mohammed Rafi died from a heart attack at the age of 61 in July 1980, Hindi film-goers across the globe were shaken with sorrow. His death was felt by many of the men living in Heckmondwike. It was as if a close friend had passed away.

New Way, New Life In 1968, the first Pakistani current affairs programme “New Way, New Life” (“Nahi Zindagi, Naya Jeevan”) was aired by the BBC. It was a sign the BBC was slowly acknowledging the growth of Britain's Pakistani communities. This programme ran in Urdu till 1987. Everyone in Abdul's household got up early on Sunday morning to watch this “Pakistani programme”. Even the children were discouraged from sleeping in. They might miss out on a Hindi movie clip showing a song sung by Lata Mangeshkar or Mohammad Rafi. By the mid-1970s, game shows like “Winner Takes All’ hosted by Jimmy Tarbuck and soaps such as “Steptoe and Son”, had become popular living room attractions! The second generation, including Shahbaz, Jawad

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and Junaid dared not miss Michael Crawford's hilarious comic talents in “Some Mothers Do Have Em”.

However, if there was one comedy series that got the men glued to their television sets during the seventies, it was “It Ain't Arf Hot Mum”. For Abdul Rahim, his older son Jawad, and for Abdul's brother-in-law Afzal Khan, this sitcom was their highlight of the week! It was based on a British regiment in India during the Second World War. For Abdul and Afzal, being ex-army men, there were two characters that stood out: Windsor Davies who played the role of Battery-Sergeant Major Tudor Bryn Williams and Melvyn Hughes, known on screen as “Gunner Bombardier ‘Gloria’



For the second generation, like Junaid, who spoke English, the smiling face of Dickie Davies on “World of Sport” signalled the start of the weekend. Barnsley wrestlers like “Big Daddy” Shirley Crabtree, and the Japanese martial arts expert Kendo Nagasaki, livened up their television screen for a full hour of Saturday afternoon.

Besides Mohammad Rafi or Lata Mangeshkar, singers such as Shirley Bassey were popular for this second generation and the likes of Peter Cushing were always waiting to give them a scare. However, it was Christopher Lee who stole the show when he played the evil Count Dracula. Showbiz figures including Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise, Bruce Forsyth, and a very young Noel Edmonds, were all popular names for these Muslim men. So were some Hollywood actors, yet none realised that one Hollywood celebrity, James Mason, was from Marsh in Huddersfield. The favourite Hollywood icons in Abdul's house were Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy. It was often said that Laurel and Hardy had made America laugh during the Depression. The “fat man and thin man” made some homesick Asian immigrants laugh as well!

“How Are You Tae'dy?” The television of that era allowed them to pick up the social culture of 1960s and 1970s mainstream British society. From their traditional Pakistani shalwar-kameez (a long shirt and baggy trousers worn in the rural areas of Punjab and Kashmir), the second-generation quickly switched to suits, shirts and ties and after-shave! They learned how to comb their hair backwards by watching the Teddy Boys. In fact, the phrase pronounced as “Tae'dy” was often used instead of their own first Muslim names. The suit and tie was a “weekend must” for young men if they were heading towards Bradford's cinemas on Sunday afternoon. Even in 2015 some of the second- generation have that nickname “Tae'dy” or “Teddy” affectionately stuck with them even though the majority are now in their sixties and retired from the factories.

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The “Blackout” Television allowed these men to enjoy their weekend afternoons and evenings. However, there was a “golden rule” to abide by, which was to keep all the curtains shut so that not a chink of light could be seen outside, which might raise suspicions that a group of “Pakis” were in the house. Otherwise a stone or brick might come flying through the window! This self-imposed “blackout” lasted up till the mid- eighties. Even the front door had to be shut tightly in case anyone walking outside was able to hear the sound of foreign words!

This “blackout” of the seventies was different to the one imposed during the Second World War. The Air-Raid Warden's loud voice shouting “put that light out!” was not heard outside a Pakistani house during the 1970's. Instead, the words were usually racially abusive terms like “Paki bastards!”

Soldiers of the Rajput Regiment of the ‘British Indian Army’, photo taken in 1944,

Biography The article has been presented under the Kirklees Faith Network by Waseem Riaz

who works for this initiative which aims to promote a better understanding amongst different cultures and faith groups settled over the years in our neighbourhoods and communities, by exploring our shared social history and heritage. Waseem is a former student from the University Of Huddersfield, and is also a 'Hifz' of the Muslim holy book - the Koran (‘Hifz' meaning someone who has memorised the entire book). He is also the author of the "Quaid-E-Azam Education Resource Pack" which looks at the life story of 'Great Leader’ (‘Quaid-E-Azam') Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan. (Note: Part two of Waseem's article will be in the next edition of this journal. Editor)

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BOOK REVIEWS Reviewers: David Cockman & Keith Brockhill


The Lost Voices of England’s Churches. By Matthew Champion Published by Ebury Press. Hardback, 272 pages. Published price £14.99 ISBN: 9780091960414 Reviewed by David Cockman

I suspect that most readers of this Journal take a fairly jaundiced view of graffiti, the angular and often skilfully drawn “tags” to be found on many local buildings. There is a particularly colourful (virulent?) example on the wall of a building alongside the narrow canal just off Chapel Hill. Anti-social, pictorial vandalism is probably the general reaction of most of us. In my years in the classroom I waged a losing battle against the felt-tip pen, the weapon of choice for the embryonic teenage graffiti artist.

But swap hats and replace the mortar board with head gear more suited to the historian or archaeologist, and our attitude to graffiti undergoes a massive sea change. In the Archaeological Society we would be absolutely thrilled to uncover a tile or pot at Slack Roman fort with some scratchings on it, even if only a name. It is as if a hand reached out to us across the centuries, saying: “Like you, I was here, too, at one time, and here’s the proof.” One of the most important aspects of the excavations at Pompeii was the huge number of graffiti uncovered. A few offered tasteful quotes from Virgil, but the vast majority were of the lavatory wall variety, demonstrating sadly that human nature has not changed much in 2000 years.

In this fascinating and highly readable new book Matthew Champion introduces us to a world of graffiti which most of us never knew existed,- the rich legacy of images on the walls of our surviving medieval churches. So rich indeed that Mr. Champion has confined his research mainly to medieval churches in Norfolk and Suffolk, although brief reference is made to churches in other parts of the country. There must also be a question mark over whether the word “graffiti” with its present day aura of disapproval, is the correct description, since the images are on such a scale and would have been so visible that they must have been not merely tolerated but perhaps even encouraged and sanctioned by the church authorities.

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In his book Mr. Champion attempts to categorise the different types of graffiti, devoting a chapter to each,- for example, crosses of faith, (to be expected in the context), ship graffiti, heraldic, animals, and many more. The graffiti consist mainly of pictures, with very little actual writing. Not so unexpected in a world where very few were literate. We also have to picture the medieval church in its pre-Reformation state. The walls would have been painted, perhaps quite brightly, allowing the graffiti to stand out in a way which we might find almost shocking. The reason why we no longer notice these images today is because the puritan reformers white-washed the walls, rendering them almost invisible. But they survive, even if specialist lighting techniques are required in some instances to restore them to life.

This excellent book opens up the medieval world to us in a completely new and unexpected light. The graffiti suggest, for example, that black magic and superstitious beliefs were still widely held, in spite of the teachings of the church, and that the church tolerated this in its buildings. For a taste of this curious graffiti landscape look for Matthew Champion’s video on YouTube. It will whet your appetite for this engrossing read.

2. THE GREAT YORKSHIRE ELECTION OF 1807: Mass politics in England before the Age of Reform. By Ellen Gibson Wilson, Edited by Edward Royle & James Walvin Published: Carnegie Publishing Ltd 2015. 320 pages, illustrated ISBN: 9781859362235 Published price: £19.99 Reviewed by Keith Brockhill

At 3pm on Friday 5"" June, after 15 days of frenetic activity, the poll booths at York Castle finally closed on the Great Yorkshire Election of 1807, and the deputy sheriffs could retire to total up the final results. Even in a county accustomed to hyperbole, this was something special; the largest, and costliest, and most flamboyant, parliamentary election in Britain before the Great Reform Act of 1832. It was a phenomenon, the first contested election for both of Yorkshire’s county seats for 73 years. There were also 28 borough seats, ranging from tiny Hedon to York itself, but theirs is another story, even more elitist than that of the County. That county itself, with such diversity of agriculture and industry was in many ways, representative of England as a whole, holding a special place in Parliament equalled only by the county of Middlesex. To manage and finance such a campaign, as the American author observes, required enormous resources comparable only to a modern American

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Congressional election. Inevitably, few could afford such an indulgence, and this Campaign pitted two of Yorkshire’s greatest aristocratic families against each other; Henry Lascelles, Viscount Harewood, one of the sitting M.P.s and Charles William Wentworth Fitzwilliam, Viscount Milton. And then there was William Wilberforce, the other incumbent M.P. slave trade abolitionist, hero of the hour, and of somewhat more modest mercantile wealth who had ‘to struggle against the combined power of high rank, immense wealth and extended family and political connections.’

The 23,007 adult male freeholders who had thronged the roads to York ‘night and day’, ‘even the poor cripples on crutches or sedans’ produced a narrow result; Wilberforce 11,806, Milton 11,177, Lascelles 10,989 and Walter Fawkes 2. How they achieved this, at immense personal and financial cost, around £9m in today’s values, is the theme of this deeply researched and scholarly work, which seeks to convey ‘the ripe flavour of unreformed Yorkshire politics’, its colour, corruption, principles, organisational skills and sheer exhuberance.

There were political issues at stake; ‘Popery’- Catholics were still seen with suspicion, concerns about a possible repeal of the Abolition Act of 1806, suggestions that Wilberforce and Lascelles had conspired to defeat Milton, and, of great concern to the West Riding, the future of the domestic system of woollen manufacture. This, together, with his family’s interests in the West Indies, was Lascelles’ achilles heel, for he had supported repeal of the Tudor laws that clothiers saw as protection for their skills, and treated them, it was said, ‘with a significant shrug, a doubting look and an unbelieving sneer.’

But, aside from these issues, the delight of this book, for the non-specialist, at least, lies in its multiple snapshots of contemporary life. As Gilray’s cartoon ‘a kick at the Broad Bottoms’ on the cover, reminds us, contemporary elections were anything but peaceful and refined. The vituperative tone of the satirists was often reflected in violence in the streets. Lascelles’ local headquarters, in the George Hotel, Huddersfield, was faced with ‘a hustling and bawling’ throng of Milton supporters until Lascelles’ friend, the magistrate Joseph Radcliffe, summoned troops from Leeds. Once this happened, the innocent could suffer, as three non-voter Honley cloth merchants discovered when confronted by the Dragoons in the Market Place But, justice of a sort, eventually prevailed, when Milton, in deference to his actual Honley voters paid their legal bills of £193 4s 6d.

Canvassing voters and paying their numerous costs, are given detailed attention. ‘Treating’ on a large scale is familiar, the minutiae less so. Milton ‘s campaign was charged 10s 6d for ruining the grass at the Halifax Piece Hall, an Oldham carpenter

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claimed £3 12s for expenses and loss of a week’s wages, was given £1 1s 6d, while a Wooldale carpenter, Jonathan Eastwood, was particularly fortunate in successfully reclaiming his £4 lost to a pick pocket. Perhaps not so surprisingly, solicitors, who provided most of the election agents, did particularly well. The Lascelles legal team, at least 63 of them, claimed from £40 to over £1700. for their services. Even the timber hustings and poll booths, with typical Yorkshire thrift were sold off, raising £93 14s 6d for the Keeper of York Castle ‘for his extra trouble and risque’.

Voters may have been few in number, but electoral participants were not. Along with several other recent researchers, the author draws attention to the importance of rituals and spectacle in the electoral process, embracing people who had no apparent role, and for whom ‘politics and politicians were entirely spectator sports’. Public meetings, the use of numerous public houses and cloth halls, the freedom to abuse the greatest lord with impunity, to parade in political colours, orange for Milton, blue for Lascelles, and neutral pink for Wilberforce, absorbed thousands in a carnival-like atmosphere.

Sadly, Ellen Wilson didn’t live to see her work published and the editors must be thanked for rescuing the manuscript and bringing it to publication. Politics might not be highly regarded at present, and this title might not be the snappiest to grace a bookshelf, but, far from dry, this is a surprisingly engaging insight into public life in a less anodyne age than our own.


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Although David Hey was not a member of our Society he had close links with us and, indeed, has spoken at our meetings on a number of occasions. He will be sadly missed and lam grateful to Brian Haigh for the tribute included below. Editor

Members will be sorry to learn of the death of David Hey, who has spoken to the society on a number of occasions, most recently at our study day in November 2014, when his theme was the medieval origins of some farms and hamlets in the South Pennines.

Before moving to Penistone when he was eleven, David lived at Catshaw, which was just such a place. He roamed the paths and fields around and, on Sundays attended services at Bullhouse Chapel, the oldest independent chapel in Yorkshire to have been in continuous use. These experiences, together with the stories told him by his mother, gave David his lifelong interest in the landscape and the men and women who had shaped it.

He passed on this enthusiasm to the pupils of Holmfirth Secondary School, where he took up his first post after university. Together they produced Peasants and Clothiers, the story of the farmer weavers of the Holme Valley.

As a boy, I first met David in the Borthwick Institute in York. Our paths crossed again when he became my research supervisor at Leicester University. He had recently completed his Ph. D. on Richard Gough's History of Myddle , to which he had been introduced by W.G. Hoskins , one of the great pioneers of the modern study of local history. David never lost that boyish excitement in making new discoveries; his enthusiasm was infectious and he was always encouraging to his students.

An excellent communicator, he moved into adult education, first in Matlock and then at Sheffield University, where he was to remain for the rest of his career. On

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retirement, he was made Emeritus Professor and last year received an honorary D. Litt. Despite his achievements, David Hey was unchanged, modest and unassuming.

The author of numerous academic and more popular works, David became increasingly interested in the study of family history. This led to work on surnames, their origin and geographical distribution. His own family had roots in Thorncliffe in Kirkburton, but knowing how difficult it could be to get started on family history research, he wrote a number of practical guides and dictionaries. His Dictionary of Local and Family History has gone through several editions. Members would also enjoy his histories of Yorkshire, Sheffield and Penistone. His most recent book was A History of the Peak District Moors (2014), reflecting his lifelong passion for walking in the countryside and reading its history in features of the landscape including earthen banks, dry-stone walls and hedges.

David Hey will be greatly missed, but his work provides a lasting legacy and inspiration.


We were saddened to hear of the death after a long illness, on January 1° 2016, of Colin Baldwin who was in his year. Although not a regular attendee at our meetings Colin had been a member of the Society for 10 years and maintained an active interest in local issues and history.


Just as this Journal was being sent for printing we heard the sad news of Barbara Crabtree’s death. She had been ill for some time which had prevented her and Philip from attending meetings. We send our condolences to Philip and hope we will see him at future meetings.

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The January Buffet Social Event was held at Newsome South Methodist Church in 2015. We were entertained by the Philharmonic Society’s Concert Orchestra

At our November “Study Day” in 2015 John Spencer talked to us about the Battle of Waterloo


Our June visit in 2015 was an evening at E-mail Val Davies Oakwell Hall where we enjoyed a conducted Membership Secretary tour.

(See inside front Cover of this Journal for membership fees)

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WEBSITE: Email address:


CHAIR: Cyril Pearce Email:

SECRETARY: Hilary Haigh 30, Stonecliffe Drive, Middlestown, Wakefield, WF4 4QD Email:

TREASURER: David Griffiths


PUBLICITY: Christine Verguson Email:


VICE CHAIR: John Rawlinson

MEMBERSHIP SECRETARY: Val Davies 21 Glebe Street, Marsh, Huddersfield, HD1 4NP



John Rawlinson Email:

COMMITTEE MEMBERS: Keith Brockhill, Frank Grombir, Brian Haigh, Maureen Mitchell, Pauline Rawlinson, Bill Roberts

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

to send full information about Members’ events by post. However we sometimes

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

circulate this by e-mail to any Member who wishes to join a list for this purpose. In

addition the Society now circulates, by email, a regular e-newsletter which includes

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