Huddersfield Local History Society: Newsletter 3 (1985) by various

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Huddersfield I


a pee COU n

rel SAT ag {stan rp ed

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We know that education of some description was taking place in Skelmanthorpe as early as 1780, since we have a list of school masters going back to that date. There was a school of sorts then and it was described in a report of the 1860's as an ancient low stone building with stone slates and an earthen floor.

By 1875 the school had become so ruinous that it was closed down, the authorities being so disgusted with its condition that they refused to allow any grant to be made towards its upkeep. I

Church School had been opened in 1867 but had accommodation for only about half the population of the village and a need was felt for another school in the area, especially by the dissenters.

On Thursday May 23rd 1878 a Committee met in the Old School, which was still standing, to discuss what could be done. How this Committee was first formed we do not at the present time know. I strongly suspect from the names of the Committee that it was formed from the Local Board. This Committee comprised the following: Thomas G. Bottrill, Benjamin Eastwood, Benjamin Norton and George Tunnicliffe. Benjamin Eastwood was elected Vice Chairman and W.J. Beanland and B. Norton represented the Scissett portion of the township. (Scissett already had a Church School).

One of the first Minutes recorded is that the room used by the Local Board should be appointed the place of meeting until other arrangements could be made. The meetings were to be held on the second Wednesday in the month at 7.00 p.m. If necessary a meeting could be called in between in an emergency.

Benjamin Eastwood was appointed Clerk for the first six months and Benjamin Norton, Treasurer. The Clerk was to wait upon Mr. John Kaye for the purpose of ascertaining the nature of the correspondance between him and the Charity Commissioners with reference to certain land in Skelmanthorpe which was the property of the Parish. The Clerk was also to obtain from Mr. Fitton, the local Registrar for Births and Deaths, a copy of the Census which he compiled for the School Attendance Committee of the Huddersfield Union.

At the second meeting of the Committee a resolution was passed that a case _ in which to carry books and the seal of the Board should be purchased. The Seal of the Board was about an inch across and had around the perimeter the legend - Skelmanthorpe School Board - and in the centre a Crown.

At a meeting called on July 22nd the Clerk was instructed to write to the Steward of Sir Percival Radcliffe's estate and to Mr. Jackson or Mr. Child or Trustees, as the case may be, and to the Executors of Mr. T. Firth and to Mr. H. Field (Humphrey), owner of a field called Croft Head, to ascertain if any of the before-mentioned are agreeable to sell land and report to the next meeting.

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At a meeting on October 30th a resolution was passed that the Board purchase land from the Executors of Mr. T. Firth, subject to the approval of the Education Department, being a plot at Gill Gate containing 1600 sq. yds. at a price of three shillings and two pence per sq. yd. and it was agreed that application be made to the Education Department to build a School to accommodate 180 children in the mixed department and 120 in the infants.

The Minutes of February 12th 1879 show that William Beanland had tendered his resignation and that Harry Field had been appointed Clerk to the Board in his place.

Evidently the proposed purchase of land at Gill Gate came to nothing for at the meeting on July 9th the Clerk was instructed to enquire about land at the top of Pilling Lane (that is the field next to the Methodist Chapel) and land at the top of Green Lane (King Street) owned by Mrs. Hinchcliffe. This would be the land between Commercial Road and the old Tallow Candle Factory.

The Committee eventually found a suitable site at Pond End owned by Mrs. Child. with a cottage and garden adjoining owned by Mr. Edwin Field. Architects were invited to submit plans for a school to accommodate 120 infants and 100 older scholars and it was agreed to call for a loan of £1500 from the Public Loan Commissioners.

The Minutes of April 21st, 1880 record that the following tenders be accepted:

Masons John Allott £689.10.0 Joiners Thomas Blacker 250. 0.0 Plumbers and James Hayley 110. 0.0 Glaziers Plasterers W. Needham 56. 0.0 Slaters Goodwin 106. 0.0 Whitesmiths W. & J. Thornton 80. 0.0 Painters Quarmby 15. 0.0

Total £1306.10.0

It was agreed in the following November, after some haggling, that Mr. Field should receive five shillings per sq. yd.for his land and the price eventually agreed for the 1,927 sq. yds. bought from Mrs. Childs was £240.18s.9d.

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We must assume that building began in the Summer of 1880 because on April 13th of the following year the Board visited the site and suggested a number of alterations to the building in progress. These included additional heating pipes and the Gallery in the Infants section to rise in small steps for the convenience of the children.

The Board now proceeded to select its staff. As Master of the school it appointed Mr. David Harris from Staffordshire at a salary of £90.00 per annum and as Mistress of the Infants Miss L.A. Eastburn at £60.00 p.a. Mr. Harris's wife was to teach sewing and a local youth, Willie Bolton was selected as a likely candidate for the post of pupil teacher at a stipend of £10 p.a. Mr. Allen Jackson was appointed Clerk and Attendance Officer at £10 p.a. and the Caretaker was to be Samuel Radley at £15.12.0 p.a.

The school eventually opened on August 15th, 1881. The infants paid 2 pence per week for their education, Standards 1, 2 and 3 paid 3 pence and Standard 4 and upwards paid 4 pence. As well as Willie Bolton,the pupil teacher, there were two girl monitors, Rose Booth and Phoebe Field, aged 13 and 15 years respectively, who were paid 4 shillings per week for their supervisory work. The total School Pence received for the first month of the school's life amounted to £6. ls. 5d. The number of scholars admitted on the first morning was 101, with a further 15 enrolling in the afternoon. Phoebe Field was an early casualty of the new hierarchy being ordered to send in her resignation because the Mistress complained that she was neglecting her homework.

Willie Bolton's career in education too came to a sudden and in his case tragic end. The reports on his work are consistently good but on 24th February 1886 the School Log Book records that "The School was closed in the afternoon so that the Teachers, Members of the Board and scholars could attend the Pupil Teacher's funeral". Local tradition has it that he had attended an examina- tion at a local school and fell asleep on the train when returning home. He was carried past Skelmanthorpe station and got out of the train on the wrong side when he arrived at Clayton West and fell onto the line. The fall caused injuries which eventually brought about his death.

Rose Booth however managed to negotiate the pit-falls of the teacher's world successfully. She married and became Rose Gawthorpe and continued to teach at a variety of schools in the district, returning eventually to Skelmanthorpe, whence she retired in 1919, her career in education having spanned 38 years.

The Headmaster, Mr. Harris, continued in post until 1901. The last entry in his hand is dated 15th May when he records the closing of the school for the Whitsun holiday. He died the day the school reopened whilst conducting his class. During his twenty years as head teacher he had won the respect of the local community as well as that of his pupils who saw him as both capable and fair.

T. Wainwright

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An early indication of the existence of fairs in Huddersfield is to be found in a survey of the manor of Almondbury which was conducted in 1584 when Queen Elizabeth was the owner of the manor. The findings included the fact that there were three little fairs, commonly called tyde days, held within the town of Almondbury, that the Queen, or the farmer of the manor, received a certain rent for the tolls arising therefrom, together with the toll of two other little fairs kept in the town of Huddersfield on St. Ellen day and on St. Peter the Apostle day. It was also reported that there were no stalls, standings, shops, booths or such like belonging to the said fairs or tydes. Almondbury was granted the right to a market in I294, in the person of Henry de Lacy, Earl of Lincoln (who in the same year also had grants in respect of Campsall, Pontefract and Slaidburn this must have fallen into disuse by 1584 for the terms of the survey included an inquiry into both fairs and markets, yet the latter are not mentioned. The report of the fairs at Huddersfield appears to be almost an afterthought, and their description as “little fairs" is an indication that they were considered rather insignificant. The next hundred years was to see the reversal of the relative importance of the towns of Almondbury and Huddersfield, and the Ramsden family in I67I, rather than reviving the market at Almondbury, applied to the crown for the grant of market rights in Huddersfield. An enquiry was held in the town on I2th September I67I on the oaths of “twelve honest men", and on Ist November a charter was drawn up which granted to John Ramsden the right to hold a weekly market on a Tuesday for the sale of cattle, goods and merchandise, with all profits, tolls etc arising therefrom! Apart from the immediate objective of assuring to himself a further source of income, John Ramsden would be looking to the long term development of the town as a trading centre with a consequent increase in property rentals. The first indication we have of the nature of the market is found in a lease of letting, among other things, “all the tolls and profits belonging to the market place and fairs of the town of Huddersfield. Also the three old fairs of Huddersfield and Almondbury, with the tolls of all sorts of corn and grain." The lessees being responsible for the repair of all the stalls and trestles in and belonging to the market place. They were also to keep "a measure and standard and all other things belonging to a clerk of the markets.” We may imagine from this a market very similar in nature to the open markets of the present day, with moveable stalls no doubt with their own canopies or covers. The market must have been a feature of weekly life for miles around; a case at Almondbury manorial court in I689 records John Hurst of Busker, in the parish of High Hoyland, as attending in the customary market place in Huddersfield. The variety of stalls probably rivalled those of todays markets. John Brook, a bookseller and binder, commenced business on a stall in the mid eighteenth century, the following century a local nail maker was a stall holder for between 30 and 40 years. Demand for stalls appears to have been keen, one stall holder only got onto the market place after standing at the top of King Street for some 20 years. In the early part of the day some of the stalls were occupied by wholesalers of fruit and vegetables who, when they had disposed of their stocks, sublet the stalls to retailers. An interesting description of the market appears ina work of 1795 :- The markets of Huddersfield are very well supplied with beef, mutton, veal and pork, which are exposed for sale in shambles built by the lord of the manor. The market-day is Tuesday, but mutton and veal may be had on other days at the butcher's shops. It is also

tolerably supplied for a considerable part of the year with sea- fish from the Yorkshire coast. The fat cattle and sheep are brought

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out of Lincolnshire and the neighbouring counties, and generally bought at the fortnight fairs of Wakefield, which supply much of the western part of Yorkshire and the adjacent parts of Lancashire. Butter, eggs and fowl are not usually sold at the market cross, but may sometimes be bought in the neighbourhood. A moderate quantity of corn is brought to the market by the farmers round, and a larger quantity is brought by water from the more southern counties, much of which is carried forwards into Lancashire. There are small quarterly fairs at which some horses and lean cattle are exposgd to sale; but the principal fair for this purpose is on May 4: I The market place was the same area as we know it today, but whilst it was the focal point of the market day, other areas were also utilised. The more important aspects of the trade may be gathered from the following headings into which the income was analysed in I74I:- Pieces. Bystands. Rents. Corn. Wool. Cattle. Bell. Woollen pieces must have been a very important commodity, being brought into the town from a very wide area, and noteably from Saddleworth. As trade developed the market place would not be sufficiently large to meet the needs of the clothiers, leading to the practice of displaying their wares on the wall of the church, and on the tombstones themselves. This particular facet of the market was eventualy provided with its own market, the cloth hall, which Sir John Ramsden commenced building in March I765 and which opened in November 1766. Bystands and rents were probably synonymous, the only distinction being of physical location; the rents relating to those stalls on the actual market place, the bystands being the remainder whether on the streets or in adjoining fields. A toll was taken on all corn which was offered for sale in the town, the toll was taken in kind and the collector carried a one pint brass measure, which amount was taken from each sack displayed. It is no surprise to learn that the farmers tried to evade the toll, and the Almondbury court rolls of May I735 record that corn was being sold in public houses and other places, a practise still being followed one hundred years later when the collector reported that it was being displayed in the yards of inns. This toll was allowed to lapse in the when the amounts coming into the town were so small that its collection was no longer worthwhile. It may well be that this toll also included malt and other grain, for a note of prices of corn, wheat and malt at Huddersfield market is recorded in the diary of John Turner here was at one time a toll levied on every pack of wool displayed for sale, but it is said that the woolstaplers brought and won a court case to discontinue the toll and certainly it had ceased to be collected by I8IO. Probably wool ceased to be sold on the streets in the last quarter of the eighteenth century as the cloth hall became the focal point of the textile trade and the inns of the town incorporated shops and chambers for merchants, woolstaplers etc. In I795 the income of the White Hart, a new inn in Cloth Hall Street, included £156-15-0 per annum in respect of rents of 36 shops etc. in its yard. The tenants came not only from the surrounding villages, but as far afield as Manchester, Penistone, Saddleworth and Leeds; Cattle sold in the town on market and fair days were also subject to toll though the amount is not known. There never appears to have been a definitive list of the tolls; even last century when the whole question of fairs and tolls was being aired no lists of tolls or charges were known. In the lease of the market tolls in I7I8 the tenants were instructed not to charge above the usual rate that had already been received and paid, but without specifying such rates. Clearly the market place was not suited for the display and sale of

cattle on a busy market day and it is probable that from the very inception of the Tuesday market they were dealt with in the area which took the

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name Beast or Cow Market, between Kirkgate and Northgate. This toll was also allowed to lapse circa I8IO on account of the very small numbers being presented for sale. The Ramsdens may have been partly to blame for the decline of the cattle market for no attempt seems to have been made to provide a specific market site for them. In later years a small area was cleared on the north side of Beast Market but by this time sales of cattle took place only at fair time. The term cattle market probably included all agricultural livestock, and references are found at various times to horses and pigs. The existence in the eighteenth century of an area named Horse Fai the south of Kirkgate, indicates that whilst the town could not support a regular horse market there was a periodic fair. There was also a pig market, noted in the Ramsden rental of I836 as part of the holding of Joseph Kaye; it seems probable that he administered that market in addition to his many other interests, for in I833 he is noted supplying pigs to the Huddersfield Infirmary. The pig market was to the south of the shambles, the area being known as Swine Market in the I840's, and later as Victoria Street. All knowledge of bell tolls appears to have been lost with the passage of time; it had already passed into obscurity in 1852. _ One suggestion was that it may have been levied to pay the town crier or bellman to announce sale times and such like, and the recollections of John Hanson confirm that this practice took place in the town. The same source tells of one market which does not appear to have come under the superintendence of the Ramsdens, the fud market. This appears to I have been a specialised wool sale and was held in a room over the Plough Inn which stood at the corner of Half Moon Street and Market Street. At the present time, and probably in the days spoken of, fud is woollen waste such as the ‘fly’ produced in carding, loom droppings, or the strippings from the carding engines on changing blends. The term may also have applied to the products of such waste, for Hanson tells of the sale of hanks of yarn. As well as being lords of the manor of Huddersfield, the Ramsdens were virtualy the sole owners of the soil, and as such they considered themselves entitled to conduct the market and fairs wherever they wished. Sir John Ramsden erected a new shambles in the town circa I771, where as many as 40 butchers were housed, these stood where King Street joins New Street and may be seen on the plan of the town of 1778. These premises were removed circa 1807, possibly to release valuable New Street frontage, and were replaced by new shambles behind the original site. The area between these shambles and King Street was utilised for stalls and became known as the new market. In the I820's the corn market was held at the doorstones of the White Horse? giving the area at the top of Beast Market known as Amen Corner, the alternative name of Corn Market which is found in the I8I4 directory of the town. The market cross was probably set up shortly after the granting of the market rights in I67I, a view supported by the heraldic evidence. Apparently at a time of disturbances there were fears that the eross would be damaged, and it was removed to Longley Hall for safe keeping. The date of its removal is not known, the mention in Aikin's survey would indicate that it was in the market place in I795, and the definition of the scope of the Act for Lighting etc. the Town of Huddersfield, as "I200 yards each way from the spot where the old cross stood in the centre of the Market Place" shows that it had been removed by 1820. Whether by design or neglect it was to remain at Longley Hall for the next 30 years. In I85I Joseph Kaye was asked to consider the best method of replacing it in the Market Place, and Hordern notes that it was re-erected there on 2nd June 1852 One must wonder if this timing was a deliberate act on the part of the Ramsdens to assert their private

ownership of the market place, for it was at the May fair, only a a fortnight earlier, that the opposition to the tolls first emerged. Whilst

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the market place was private property, and was assessed for taxes as such, it had come to be the centre of the public life of the town. Mass meetings were held there, crowds assembled there to listen to orations from the upper windows of the George Hotel, and at the county elections the polling booths were sited there. At one time it was the location of the town stocks, and on Sundays it became the pulpit of itinerant preachers. It is not known how the Huddersfield market was administered at its inception, probably the Ramsdens took personal responsibility for an initial period to assess the income potential. By 1686 it had been farmed out, or leased for a fixed annual sum. In adopting this course they were following in royal footsteps; King Edward VI farmed the tolls, markets and fairs in the lordship of Almondbury in September 1548 for 9/- per The first farmer of the Huddersfield tolls of whom we know was Richard a Huddersfield coalminer, who mentioned them in his will of I686™ Although he calls himself a coalminer it is clear from his will that he was a prosperous businessman. He left his wife the benefit of the unexpired term of the lease of the market place, and sufficient money to pay any outstanding rent of the same. His two sons were each left a house in the town, and one of them, Richard, also inherited coalpits at Huddersfield held under Madam Ramsden, with all the tools and implements for working them. It is interesting to find the tolls and collieries already associated, and it may well be that this association persisted to the I850's. It would seem that the Ramsdens also preferred to farm out their mineral rights, and not until I862 did they become, personaly involved in mining their own coal, at Springwood colliery: In I718 the tolls, in association with all quarries of stone on the common, were leased for 2I years to James and William Murgatroyd and James Whittaker, all of Huddersfield. The Murgatroyds are described as yeomen, but it is possible they were innkeepers for a dame Murgatroyd died at the George Inn in 1757. Whittaker was a butcher, and a later note to the I7I6 survey of the Ramsden estates shows him as the successor to Widow Cooper, the tenant of the market place. Another note records that the Murgatroyds and Whittaker are to surrender the present lease, taking a new one for 2I years at an annual rent of £}+ and paying a fine of £500; the terms on which the I7I8 lease was taken. A provision of that lease was that the tenants were forbidden to assign their rights to anyone other than their children without the permission of Sir William Ramsden. A draft endorsed on the lease indicates that an assignment was considered, with the Murgatroyds 2/3 interest going to Henry Wentworth and the other I/3 passing to John Nichols of Brighouse. It is not known if such an assignment took place, and the holding of the tolls is lost sight of until I76I. There was at one time a book in the possession of the Ramsdens which recorded the tolls collected in I76I/2 by Thomas Dransfield, and it may be that he was the contractor for the tolls at that time. In I768 they were leased by George Crowther and Edmund Sykes for £50 per annum, at the same time George Crowther, in partnership with John Bradley, was the lessee of a colliery under the Ramsdens. This was almost certainly the same John Bradley, a Huddersfield innkeeper, who in 1784 left his half of the tolls of the market and of collieries in Huddersfield and Almondbury to his son Joseph’ He in turn left them to his brother William by whom they continued to be held to the end of the century, at which time the tolls, at a rent of £30 p.a. were very subsidiary to the collieries for which the annual rent was £400. In I8I4 the tolls and the collieries were again leased together, to Messrs Ogden & Co who are said to have held them prior to that date. When the lease was renewed in I82I it was to Messrs Ogden,

Horsfall & Co, a partnership which included Nathan Whitley of Stile Common. The Whitleys were to be associated with the tolls and the collieries for the next 30 years, and Nathan had already been involved

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many years, having collected the tolls for Messrs Ogden & Co as early as I8I3. The partnership was dissolved in I828 when Nathan Whitley took the leases of both the tolls and the collieries for himself; on his

death in I837 they passed to his son, James, who was in possession in 1852 when the market question came to a head.

The principal fair of the town was the May fair when all manner of stalls were erected on the streets to cater for a festive public who flocked to the town from surrounding villages near and far. Schofield in his reminiscences™ notes that at one time the May fair was held on land to the south of the present High Street, that it had then removed to the Back Green, and finaly to fields on the east of Chapel Hill. It was this latter site which in I852 the Ramsdens allocated for the fair in order to relieve the congestion being created in the town streets by side shows and stalls. There would apvear to have been some discussion on the market rights in I849 when the stalls were removed from the street to within the kerbstones of the market place, but the matter must have been forgotten for the dispute in I852 cameas a complete surprise to the Ramsden's local agent. The Watch committee of the Improvement Commissioners, who had not been consulted about the removal of the fair-ground, issued posters objecting, not to the new arrangements, but to tolls being taken for stalls erected on public streets. One may imagine that little encouragement was required for stall holders to evade the tolls, and the notice had the effect of keeping the streets full of stalls and the fair-ground empty. Whitley approached all the stall holders for the toll, was duly refused, and distrained on the goods of several of them. Whilst the dispute arose from the annual May fair, popular feeling imposed the same objections to the actual market place, and whilst the Ramsdens had undoubted rights to market tolls, there were various matters which clouded the issue; principal among these was whether the payments by the stall holders were tolls (a levy on goods) or rent. The Ramsden estate appear to have taken an early decision to extricate themselves from the whole matter as diplomaticaly as possible. In 1853 they advised the Improvement Commissioners that arrangements would be made to transfer the tolls and the management of the market and fairs to them. The matter dragged on interminably, in I864 the Commissioners were granted a I4 year lease at £30 p.a. for three years and £50 p.a. thereafter. However, the lease was not to run its full course for in I876 all market rights were transferred to the Corporation at a figure of £39,802, which included 41,930 square yards of land for the site of the covered and cattle markets. The agitation of I852 served the purpose of abolishing the tolls for the remainder of the period that the rights remained with the Ramsden estate, but it was a temporary respite only, for an extensive list of tolls was incorporated in the towns Bye-laws when the Corporation acquired the rights.


I Huddersfield Archives, DD/R/dd/V/29. 2 Yorkshire Fairs and Markets, K L McKutcheon, Thoresby Society volume XXXIX. Huddersfield Archives, DD/RE/I98 (Translation). Huddersfield Archives, DD/R/dd/IV/23. A Description of the Country from 30 to 40 miles round Manchester, J Aikin. Huddersfield Chronicle 24-8-I89I, et seq. Halifax Archives RP/I435/2.

Old Huddersfield I500-1800, G Redmonds. Huddersfield Examiner 25-5-1878 et seq.


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IO Huddersfield Chronicle 7-5-1853. II Pigot’s Directory I8I4-5. I2 Huddersfield Archives DD/RE/4I9. I3 Huddersfield Archives I4 Borthwick Institute, York, Vacancy Register 478. I5 Springwood Colliery, W P Hartley, Yorkshire Archaeological Journal volume 53. I6 Borthwick Institute, York, April 1784, will of John Bradley. April I787, will of Joseph Bradley. I7 Huddersfield Examiner I15-9-1883.

General sources of information include rentals and surveys of the Ramsden estates, deposit DD/RE/I98, and the Huddersfield Chronicle and Examiner for I852 and I853, all of which are at Huddersfield Central Library.

An account of the town's markets subsequent to this article can be found in a piece by S Chadwick in the Huddersfield Examiner of I2th July 1969, and much detail will be found in the report of the Royal Commission on Market Rights and Tolls, based on an enquiry

of August I888, a copy of which is at the library of the Yorkshire Archaeological Society.

Edward Law.


Bretton Workshop

Mr. Cyril Pearce will lead our workshop at Bretton Hall College on March 23rd. The theme is "Estate Records and the Local Historian”.

Programme: 10.00 - 10.30 Assemble. Tea/Coffee, Environmental Studies Room 10.30 - 12.00 Bretton Estate Archives. An Introduction 12.00 - 1.30 Lunch. Packed lunches are advised. 1.30 - 4.30 Workshop session.

There will be no charge but nember will be limited to 20. Please contact Mrs. Haigh if you are interested.

Luddite Exhibition I Members are reminded that the Luddite Exhibition at the Tolson Memorial Museum will continue until March 1985.

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Historical Association HLHS is a member of the Historical Association. As such we are able to participate in their national meetings and conferences, we received their magazine, the 'Historian' and we may purchase their publications at a discount. The H.A.'s local branch meets at Huddersfield Polytechnic and our members are welcome to attend their meetings, listed below.

Tuesday 26th March Mr. P.H.W. Booth (Liverpool University) “A Search for the ‘Ordinary Person’ in the Middle Ages".

Thursday 25th April Dr. F. O'Gorman (Manchester University) “The Hanoverian Regime and the People - Politics and Reform in England 1734-1832".

All meetings will take place in the Department of Humanities, Z Block, Huddersfield Polytechnic, beginning at 7.30 p.m.

British Association for Local History HLHS is a member of BALH and receives 'Local History News' and details of courses run by BALH. They are to arrange a series of visits to the Public Records Office at Kew on March 15th, April 19th and May 17th and a seminar on ‘Using Probate Inventories in Local History and Family History Research in London on May 18th 1985.

Confederation of West Riding Local History Societies The A.G.M. will be held on Saturday, 9th March, in Calverly Parish Hall, Pudsey at 10.00 a.m. This will be followed by a series of lectures on "Oral History and the Local Historian" with speakers from the Bradford and Kirklees Heritage Units. There will be a charge of £1.00 per head and visitors are advised to bring packed lunches. Contact Alan Longbottom, Bradford 665664 for further details.

Annual General Meeting/Conference Attendance at the AGM and Conference is usually poor and the Committee are anxious to obtain the views of members as to whether a Saturday Conference should be arranged for 1985. Comments please to Committee Members.

Gas Industry in Huddersfield We have received a request for help in locating information about the gas industry in Huddersfield and the Colne Valley in the Nineteenth Century. Mr. Golisti, from Leeds, is interested in factories with their own gas plants which may or may not have provided a public gas supply. He has indications of a gas plant at Moldgreen in the 1830's/1840's, another plant at Outlane slightly later and plants run by Mallinsons at Slaithwaite and Victoria Mills, Golcar had gas plants at the end of the nineteenth century. If members have any information about these and other gas plants, please inform Mrs. Haigh who will pass it on to Mr. Golisti.

Committee News At the AGM held at Tolson Memorial Museum on October 1984, Mr. Tom Wainwright was elected Chairman of Huddersfield Local History Society, Mr. Stanley Sheead was elected Vice Chairman, Mr. J.N. Broadbent and Mrs. H. Haigh re-elected Treasurer and Secretary respectively. Other Members of Committee are Dr. D. Jones, Mr. J.H. Runsby, Miss R.E. Coull, Mr. K. Brockhill, Dr. S. Davies.

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