Gateway to the South (1950) by Stanley Chadwick

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GATEWAY TO THE SOUTH

e Centenary of the Huddersfield and Sheffield Junction Railway

Penistone and Holmfirth )

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: STANLEY. CHADWREK

I @ CONSTRUCTION OF LOCKWOOD’ VIADUCT Pace : Price - One Shilling and Sixpence . A WR eee SQ: PRE S'S mp BE RS Fol wD PU Bb AS ay ere

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AERIAL VIEW OF DENBY DALE VIADUCT

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GATEWAY TO THE SOUTH ie whe Huddersfield and Sheffield Junction Railway (Penistone and Holmfirth)

by

STANLEY CHADWICK

(Author of ‘‘ All Stations to Manchester!’’ ‘* Woodhead Centenary’’ and ‘‘ Through the Backbone of England ’’)

The Venturers Press, Ltd. 38, Byram Arcade, Westgate, Huddersfield

19f0

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1844 Sep. 23

Nov. 10

1845 Apl. 22 May 28

June 30 Aug. 29

1846 Apl. 20

June 1

Aug. 27 1847 Jan. 27

Aug. 13

LIST: OF DATES

Formation of Hudders- field and Sheffield Junction Railway Company.

Holmfirth Valley route

approved.

Preamble of Bill proved. Third Reading House of

Commons. Royal Assent.

First sod cut at Penistone by Lord Wharncliffe.

First stone laid of Lock- wood viaduct.

Huddersfield and Sheffield Junction Railway Com- pany approve amalgama- tion with Manchester and Sheffield Railway Company Amalgamation _ effective from this date.

Gale damage to Denby Dale wooden viaduct.

Keying-in of first arch of Lockwood viaduct.

VAADUCTS

Name _ No. of Arches Length Paddock 15 a 352 yards (also 5 openings) Lockwood 36 ee 476 yards Denby Dale ... 21 i 360 yards Penistone 29 380 yards

1849 Feb. 19 1850 July 1 July 1 1865. Dec. 3 1867 Mar. 11 1868 Aug. 10

1869 July 5

18/9: Sep. t 1880 May 16 1916 Feb. 2

Aug. 14 1949 May 21

Gale damage to Mytholm- bridge wooden viaduct.

Opening of railway from Huddersfield to Penistone.

Opening of Holmfirth

branch railway.

Fall of Mytholmbridge wooden viaduct.

Opening of Mytholm- bridge stone viaduct.

Opening of Meltham branch railway (goods).

Opening of Meltham branch railway (passen-

gers).

Opening of Clayton West branch railway.

Opening of Denby Dale stone viaduct.

Fall of arch of Penistone viaduct.

New arch completed. Discontinuance of regular passenger service to Meltham.

TUNNELS

Name

Lockwood

Xobin Hood ...

Honley Thurstonland

Cumberworth

Wellhouse

Length Depth under hill

205 yards 86 feet 228 yards 78 feet 42 yards 1,631 yards 270 feet 906 yards 120 feet

415 yards

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CON SEN ES

Page List of Dates 2 <.. 2 Tunnels... a oF cy a Chapter I Which Valley? ... 5 Chapter II Across the Chasms 6 Chapter III Double Opening ... Sn Fie oe ge as aa 04

Photographs by R. A. Clayborn Copyright 1950

~Reproduction in whole or in part expressly forbidden without the consent of the Publishers

First Published — July, 1950

bet RODUG PION

NCE again it is my privilege to write a centenary history of a local railway line. The Huddersfield and Sheffield Junction Railway was a long time before it was opened to the public, for the stupendous nature of the works severely taxed the resources of the Company. Gale damage to viaducts and disputes over acquisition of certain land also delayed its completion, until the people must have despaired of ever seeing it brought to

fruition.

My thanks are due to Mr. V. E, Firth, Mr. R. A. Clayborn, and Mr. J. E. Lawton (British Railways, North Eastern Region) for their valued co-operation. STANLEY CHADWICK. Huddersfield, July, 1950.

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CHAPTER ONE

VALLEY?

WHICH

TT HE intention of making a railway from Huddersfield to join the Sheffield and Manchester Rail- way near Penistone, and thereby to open a direct railway communication to Shefheld and then to the south and east of England, has been iong entertained.” Thus the opening paragraph of the pros- pectus of the Huddersfield and Sheffield junction Railwav published on September 23rd, 1844, but this aim was not realised until another six years elapsed. Actually the third of the main lines to connect Huddersfield by rail with the rest of the country was just two months short of five years under construction.

Huddersfield first became railway conscious when the Manchester and Leeds Railway Company’s Bill for a line between the two cities was before Parliament in 1835. and Leeds Railway Company” made provision for a terminus in the town at a low level in Quay Street. The fear of opposition from the powerful Manchester and Leeds Company caused the abandon- ment of this project by the local promoters, and nothing further was done to obtain a railway to the town until the aforementioned M. and L. cast envious trade eyes in this direction in 1843.

Unfortunately the new suggested

branch line to connect Huddersfield with I

the Company’s existing line of railway at Cooper Bridge paid scant. regard to the requirements of the town asa whole. As before the intended station was sited in the vicinity of Quay Street. It would have been impossible to have effected a junction with any other railway entering the town, and as one speaker observed at a special meeting held in the Huddersfield Court of Requests, “ They have clapped us into a hole and want to keep us there.”

The determination of the Hudders- field people to have a line of railway

The plans of “ The Huddersfield I

communication which would best serve the needs of the town and neighbourhood found practical expression in the announcement of April 20th, 1844, of the formation of “The Huddersfield and Manchester Railway and Canal Com- pany.” The plan was for a railway commencing at a junction with the Manchester and Leeds line near Cooper Bridge, passing through Huddersfield and up the valley to Marsden, through the Standedge to Saddleworth, and _ then joining forces at Stalybridge with the branch line forming at that town from Manchester.

After several set-backs Parliament- ary approval was given to the scheme, and the Bill received the Royal Assent on July 21st, 1845. The ceremony of lifting the first sod took place near Whitaker Bridge on October 10th the same year, and the Cooper Bridge section of the line was opened amid general reioicings on August 2nd, 1847. Another two years elapsed before the line was completed through the Standedge to Stalybridge, and again there was an official opening (July 13th, 1849), The construction of the second line of railway to Huddersfield was a fine engineering feat, with the single line Standedge tunnel being the longest rail- way tunnel in the country. This distinction was lost when the Severn tumnel was completed in 1886.

The desire of the Huddersfield inhabitants to have a good line of communication from the east to the west coasts overshadowed the efforts made to secure an equally effective link with Shefheld and the south of the country. The Huddersfield and Sheffield Junction Railway was formed to build a branch line from the town to Penistone, but its 1844 prospectus did not specify the intended route. The information was ventured that in consequence of the line commencing at the station of the Hudd-

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ersfield and Dewsbury and Huddersfield and Manchester lines, one station would serve all three lines, and “a higher level obtained to start from than the place previously selected.”

The public were also informed this would involve considerable alterations to existing plans and that the country would be immediately reinspected. At a meeting in Huddersfield on October 28th, 1844, a variety of opinions were expressed as to the best way for a south line from the town. Mr. William Brook, who had been a member of a local deputation which had waited upon the directors of the Sheffield and Manchester Railway at Penistone, stated that a line via New Mill had been discussed at their meeting. To pass down the Kirkburton Valley, however, would cost less money, for the Holmfirth Valley would consist almost entirely of viaducts and tunnels. Finally the meeting contented itself with passing a resolution urging that the Penistone branch should proceed “by a route which, on examination, shall appear to be tle best, the most direct, and accommodate the greatest number of the population of the district.”

All doubts were set at rest by the Company’s notice of November 10th, 1844, which gave the route as_ being

through the Holmfirth Valley, with

CHAPTER

branch at Brockholes to Holmfirth. The original capital of the Huddersfield and Sheffield Junction Railway was £400,000 in §,000 shares of £50 each. The chairman was Joseph Armitage, of Milnsbridge House, and the vice-chairman C. H. Jones, who in 1868 became the first Mayor of Huddersfield. The provisional committee consisted of forty gentlemen, of whom twenty-nine resided in Huddersfield and district. The consulting engineer was Joseph Locke and the engineer Alfred S. Jee, both of whom had undertaken similar duties in connection with the construction of the Sheffield and Manchester Railway and the Woodhead tunnel.

“The Battle of the Valleys ” came to the forefront again late in 1845 when it was proposed to build a branch line from a place called Hozins, near Shepley, to Barnsley. This railway would have served Clayton West, but it was not until September Ist, 1879, that the first train steamed into the village. When the first sod of the Clayton West branch railway was cut at Skelmanthorpe by John Kaye on November 27th, 1872, high hopes were entertained that the line would be continued to Darfield, but the idea was not proceeded with. The Lon- don and North Western Railway had also been asked to continue their Kirkburton branch to Barnsley when it was opened

on October 7th, 1867.

TWO

ACROSS THE CHASMS

HE Huddersfield and Sheffield Junction Railway was the one line which was welcomed by the people of Huddersfield, and only two petitions against it were presented to Parliament, subsequently one _ being withdrawn. The “fine received a favourable report from the Board of Trade, and the House of Commons Select Committee which examined the engineer's plans complimented Mr. Jee

upon his neatness and accuracy.

The Select Committee stage opened in the House of Commons on April 2st, 1845. Mr. Whateley, Q.C., addressed the members on the merits of the Bill, and stated that the only petitioner against it was Miss Anne Horsfall. It was admitted she would sustain a loss by having a portion of her garden passed over by the railway, but the value was not more than

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£300, and the company had offered her

£2,000 compensation. The outraged

temale, however, demanded £6,000.

Support for the enterprise had been forthcoming from 520 local subscribers, who had taken up shares to the amount of £37,000. Other parties numbering 106 had subscribed £90,150. The second day’s hearing sufhced for the Committee to decide the preamble of the Bill proved. The House of Commons gave it a third reading on May 28th, 1845, the Royal Assent following on June 30th, 1845. The first general meeting of the company was held in the Huddersfield Guildhall on July 31st. 1845, when the directors were optimistic enough to predict the line would be completed in two and a half years.

The whole work-of the thirteen and a half miles of railway to Penistone was of a formidable and costly character. The directors encountered unexpected diff- culties over the acquisition of land at Paddock, and negotiations were both long and costly. The best method of effecting a junction with the Huddersfield and Manchester Railway also delayed the completion of the line. Originally it had been intended to have the junction in the Huddersfield tunnel, but Parliament refused to sanction such “a dangerous proposition” in the dark recess of a tunnel, Consequently the deep open cutting was made at Springwood.

Although the chairman stated at the first general meeting of the company that Mr. Edward Fisher, silk spinner, of Long- royd Bridge, had “acted in a most honourable manner throughout” in the matter of the 2,700 yards of land required for the Paddock viaduct, and that the directors had conciuded an agreement with him which was at once “ satisfactory and advantageous” to both parties, arbitration had to be resorted to in the end. The Arbitrator (Samuel Martin, O.C.) announced his award on June 24th, 1848, giving Mr. Fisher the sum of £10,319. While the rest of the works on the line were proceeding satisfactorily, the com- pany were kept out of possession of the land at Paddock, and it was not until the end of 1848 that the building of this viaduct commenced. But for this

unfortunate set-back the Penistone line would have been opened over a year earlier than it actually was.

While the people of Huddersfield had fought against the “stranglehold ” of the Manchester and Leeds Railway Company (known after July 9th, 1847, as the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway) with their low level line, the directors were determined to gain a foothold in the town. They finally persuaded the Hudd- ersfield and Sheffield Junction to amalgamate with them, and agreement was reached at a meeting held in the Guildhall on June Ist, 1846. Parliament- ary sanction to the amalgamation was obtained the following August, and a dinner to celebrate the fusion was held at the George Hotel on August 27th, 1846, from which date it became effective. The terms of the amalgamation provided for the allotment of 10,640 Manchester and Leeds £50 shares to holders of Hudders- field and Sheffield Junction stock.

For the town of Penistone the cutting of the first sod of the railway to Hudd- ersfield was a day of great rejoicing and demonstration. The ceremony was performed by the Right Hon, Lord Wharncliffe, Lord President of Her Majesty’s Privy Council, just after one o’clock on Friday, August 29th, 1845. A procession headed by a band of music was waiting at the Penistone Station of the Sheffield, Ashton-under-Lyne and Manchester Railway to welcome his Lordship. I Without waste of time he removed the turf and then called for three cheers for the success of the undertaking. There was a hearty and unanimous response, followed by three cheers for the noble Earl. At two o’clock a “sumptuous ” repast was served in the Church Schoolroom, and the proceedings did not conclude until about seven o’clock in the evening. Lord Wharncliffe had also turned. the first spadeful of earth for the Woodhead tunnel (October Ist, 1838), but he did not live to see the completion of either of the great undertakings he had inaugurated, for he died on December 19th, 1845.

The Huddersfield to Penistone line isa succession of lofty viaducts, tunnels, deep cuttings, Throughout

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its whole length of thirteen and a half miles there are 4 viaducts, 6 tunnels, 20 embankments, 20 cuttings, and (1850) 30 bridges. The total cost has never been ascertained, but it was probably the most expensive for so short a length of railway in the country. The loss of life was also greater than on the other local railways, seven fatal accidents taking place. The dead men included Thomas Wallwork, a sub-contractor, who ventured too near the edge of No. 3 shaft at Thurstonland tunnel, and was precipitated to the bottom. The Paddock viaduct claimed two victims.

The piece de résistance of the Penis- tone line is the great viaduct across the Lockwood valley from Dungeon Wood to Taylor Hill, built by John Hawkshaw, M.Inst.C.E. The contractors were Messrs. Miller, Blackie and Shortridge, with John Fraser resident engineer and William Bain inspector of works. The inscribed stone placed in the pier of the arch which crosses Woodhead Road (Tavlor Hill end) is the only one of its kind to be found on the three Huddersfield railways.

Lockwood viaduct is bold in concep- tion and design, and its engineering, architecture, and workmanship challenge comparison with any other railway work in the country. The viaduct is 476 yards in length, and consists of 36 arches (34 semi-circular arches, each of 30 feet span, and two oblique arches). I The oblique arch over the Huddersfield and Meltham road is 70 feet span, at an angle of 33, while the skew arch at the opposite side of the valley is 40 feet span, at an angle of 52. The height from the foundations to the top of the parapet is 136 feet and from the bed of the river to the level of the rails is 122 feet. The total quantity of masonry is 36,000 cubic yards. The out- side width of the viaduct at the level of the rails is 28 feet, with an inside width of 25 feet. The line across the valley is straight.

The accounts side show the viaduct to have cost £33,000, inclusive of all excavation for foundations, scaffolding, centering, and every expense connected with its erection. The materials used—

hard and tolerably flat-bedded sandstone ~-were obtained from the adjoining Taylor Hill and Berry Brow cuttings, which were one great mass of stone. The style of masonry adopted was not the best, but it was employed to use up all the stones which were quarried. ‘ Snecked

rubble ”’ stonework had not hitherto been

applied to structures of such magnitude.

The first stone was laid by Mrs. John Shaw, wife of the principal contractor, at the Taylor Hill side, on Monday, April 20th, 1846, and the viaduct was completed except for the parapet three years later. For a period, however, the work had not been actively carried on. The first arch was keyed-in on the afternoon of Friday, August 13th, 1847, in the presence of a large crowd and Drake’s celebrated brass band. Afterwards there was a dinner at the Shoulder of Mutton Inn, Lockwood, the workmen being regaled with a plenti- ful supply of ale, etc., at Mr. Shaw’s expense. Several accidents occurred during building operations but only two lives were lost.

Next in importance to the Lockwood viaduct was the structure at Denby Dale. The Dale at the point of crossing is 1,000 yards wide. The original viaduct was built of wood, being nearly 400 yards in length and towering in the air from the bed of the stream to a height of 112 feet. The design of the viaduct was unique, the beams of timber being set end to end, and held together by cross-pieces placed at right angles and diagonally. This frame- work was surmounted on top by a double flooring composed of planks passing also diagonally and cross-wise, and over the

_ whole the rails were laid on longitudinal

sleepers. The general appearance of this wooden viaduct was one of extreme lightness, and even its birdcage look did not entirely rob it of being a work of art.

About £5,000 damage was caused to the Denby Dale viaduct by a gale on January 27th, 1847. Of the.. forty perpendicular supports erected, twenty- seven were blown down. ‘The original plan called fora stone viaduct, the wooden structure being considered unsuitable for the place and purpose. However, its

‘building was continued and completed

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early in 1849. The contract for the building of the present stone viaduct was let on August 25th, 1877, and the last arch was keyed-in two years afterwards. It was opened on Whit Sunday, May 16th, 1880, the whole works being completed by March, 1884. Two stone arches of the old viaduct are alongside the present one.

MY THOLMBRIDGE

The Mytholmbridge viaduct on the Holmfirth. branch line was similar in construction to Denby Dale viaduct. The height from the bed of the rivulet to the face of the rails was 90 feet, its length being 206 yards. Part of this erection was also blown down by wind on February 19th, 1849. It was condemned along with Denby Dale, and work on a new stone viaduct commenced in 1864. At a quarter to six on Sunday morning, December 3rd, 1865, the wooden Mytholmbridge viaduct

VIADUCT

collapsed, the massive beams of timber being riven asunder and smashed like matchwood by the falling of the huge blocks of stone of which some of the battlements were constructed. The first train from Huddersfield was due at Brockholes just over an hour after the accident occurred.

An omnibus service was run between Honley and Holmfirth until the viaduct was rebuilt. Mr. Henry Wadsworth, of Holmfirth, was the contractor, and it consisted of thirteen arches (length 200 yards). Mr, Wadsworth sustained a loss of about £7,000 by the fall of the old viaduct. On March 11th, 1867, after a break in rail communication of fifteen months, the Holmfirth line was reopened, and although snow was falling, hundreds of pecple assembled at Holmfirth Station for the arrival of the first train. Local

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manufacturers and tradesmen held a dinner at the Victoria Hotel, while the labourers and servants of the railway company had supper at the Crown Hotel.

From the Springwood junction a little to the south-west of Huddersfield, the Penistone line immediately strides boldly across a deep valley to Thornton Lodge by a viaduct of 13,000 cubic yards of masonry. This Paddock viaduct consists of 20 openings, 15 being arches of 30 feet span. Four openings are spanned by iron trellis work of a peculiar con- struction, and one opening by girders, with a span of 77 feet. The viaduct is built on a curve of 35 chains.

Other works of a _ formidable character are Lockwood tunnel, the first of the six tunnels, which is 205 yards long. From the Lockwood viaduct a passage had to be cut through solid rock at Taylor Hill (396 yards long and 61 feet deep) and Berry Brow, some 201,950 cubic yards of earth and rock being removed to form both cuttings. Robin Hood tunnel is 228 yards in length, with a short tunnel of 42 yards before Honley Station is reached. Continuing over Gynn valley embankment, through Cliffe Wood and Brockholes, Thurstonland Bank with its tunnel is reached. This tunnel, the longest on the line, measures 1,631 yards, and was built by five shafts. The large quantity of water encountered made it necessary to form driftways through the side of the hill to drain it away. Stocks- moor cutting (upon emerging from Thurstonland tunnel) is 900 yards in léngth “and “feet in depth, ‘and necessitated the removal of 150,000 cubic yards of earth. From Stone Wood the line enters the 906 yards long Cumber- worth tunnel and is then at Denby Dale.

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The last tunnel--Wellhouse—is 415 yards in length. The line enters Penistone by a stone viaduct of 29 arches (380 yards in length) across the River Don, built by Messrs. Ingham and Bower. From the bed of the river the viaduct rises to a height of 83 feet, and is built on a curve of 40 chains radius. The masonry and supports of one of the arches fell away on February 2nd, 1916, and together with an engine standing on it at the time crashed down into the river below. The arch was restored and the viaduct opened again for traffic on August 14th, 1916. The gradient of the Penistone line from Springwood to the east end of Thurstonland tunnel is 1 in 100, and from the latter point to Penistone 1 in 200.

The Holmfirth branch line leaves the main line at Smithy Place, to the right of Brockholes Station, and is two miles in length. ©The works consisted of the (wooden) Mytholmbridge viaduct, at the south end of which is an embankment 52 feet high. This leads into an open rock cutting 950 yards in length, from which 38,529 cubic yards of stone were removed. Seven road bridges had to be built.

The directors of the Huddersfield and Sheffield Junction Railway certainly carried out their prospectus promise to “spare no pains to procure the best line the country affords.” They bridged the valleys and burrowed through the rock until both they and the engineers must have regretted their choice of the Holm- firth Valley as the route to Penistone. The traveller, if he would. seek their monument, has only to look around as the train carries him over their works which a century of service has not diminished in majesty and workmanship.

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CHAPTER THREE

DOUBLE

T was first decided to open the Penistone and Holmfirth railways on June 24th, 1850, but “for obvious reasons” the date was changed to July Ist. Trial trips were made by engines over the entire length of lines on April and .z9th, ~~ proceeding very cautiously over the Paddock viaduct.” To mark the completion of this viaduct the contractor (Mr. John Shaw) gave all his workmen a substantial supper on May 6th. Great hilarity prevailed over the work on the whole undertaking being almost brought to a close. The Govern- ment Inspector passed over both lines early in June and afterwards issued his certificate.

For the public opening on Monday, July 1st, 1850, the Lancashire and York- shire Railway Company announced a special excursion to Chatsworth House and Park, Derbyshire, the seat of the Duke of Devonshire. Arrangements were made to run over the lines of the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire and the Midland Railway Companies to Rowsley, the nearest station to the Park. The return fare, including admission to the House and Park, was 13s. first class and 6s. 6d. covered. British Railways, with all their resources, were unable to arrange a similar excursion to mark the centenary of the opening of the Penistone and Holmfirth railways on Saturday, July 1st, 1950. “ Practical difficulties ” precluded the possibility of such an excursion being conducted on “a satis- factory or profitable basis at an all-in charge sufficiently low to attract the public.”

The special train left Huddersfield at eight o’clock in the morning, but in consequence of its heavy load and the dampness of the rails, came to a standstill in Thurstonland tunnel. A portion of the train had to be detached and taken to Penistone, the engine returning for the

11

- Holmfirth) ;

OPENING

remainder of the carriages left in the tunnel. During the whole of the opening day the public were allowed to book tickets at any L. and Y. station at one return fare ‘to afty ‘station.:on. the Huddersfield and Penistone and M.S. and L. lines.

At Holmfirth the day was observed by the inhabitants as a general holiday. The Chatsworth Park excursion train consisting of eight carriages, drawn by a powerful engine, departed the Station at eight o’clock, complete with a band of music. The Holmfirth Station was crowded with hundreds of spectators to witness the arrival and departure of the various trains, and the church bells sounded a merry peal. At eleven o’clock a train of first and second class carriages took the gentry. of the district to Penistone. In the evening there was a dinner and entertainment at the White Hart Inn, with Sidney Moorhouse in the chair. The only discordant note in the day’s proceedings was to the effect that the Holmfirth people had been too sanguine in their expectations of the benefits to be conferred by the railway. The reduction in the price of coal was less than had been forecast.

The first serious accident on the Penistone line occurred on June 17th, 1858, when five heavily laden runaway goods wagons from Honley came in collision with a passing Manchester train at the junction of the two lines at Spring- wocd. Three persons were killed and eleven seriously injured.

The stations on the Penistone line and their respective distances from Huddersfield are: Jockwood 1} miles (branch to Meltham); Berry Brow 2}; Honley 34; Brockholes 44 (branch to Stocksmoor 64; Shepley and Shelley 74 (branch to Clayton West) ; Denby Dale and Cumberworth 93;

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Penistone 134. There is only one station —Thongsbridge—between Brockholes and Holmfirth.

Berry Brow Station has some inter- —

esting stone carvings (now badly weather worn) chiselled by a local sculptor, John Charles Stocks, in 1886, when he was only sixteen years. of age. The carving depicts an engine and train just emerging from a tunnel, and was accurate in every detail, even to the passengers in the carriage. The model is framed by an arch resting on pillars, surmounted with three decorative head carvings. Higher up and to the right of this sculpture is an older carving of a train which was the work of Mr. Stocks’ father. Last year Lockwood Station won a special prize for being the best kept station in the area, I

The -branch line to Meltham (34 miles) was opened on August 10th, 1868, the first train carrying coal and lime. A fall of earth.in the deep cutting near Woodfield House caused the line to be closed, and it was not opened to passenger traffic until July 5th, 1869. The regular passenger service. to Meltham was dis- continued on’ Saturday, 1949. The Clayton West branch (34 miles) was opened on September Ist, 1879.

I Until the amalgamation of the London and North Western and Lancashire and Yorkshire Companies in 1922, the Huddersfield Railway Station was jointly owned by them. Probably

12

because of the rail connections being made at different dates, there was no official opening of the station, but it was “ nearly completed ” on October 19th, 1850. Under the Railways Act of 1921, the 123 separate railways in this. country were amalgamated into four main groups. The London and North Western was a con- stituent company of the London Midland and Scottish Railway Company which operated from January Ist, 1923. The railways of this country were vested in the State on January Ist, 1948.

Before the Select Committee in the House of Commons in 1845, counsel for the Huddersfield and Sheffield Junction Railway Company stated that the principal object of the proposed line was to make a more direct communication between Huddersfield and London. To-day the traveller is able to join the “South Yorkshireman” at Huddersfield — and speed over the century old line to Penistone, and thence to Sheffield, Nottingham, Leicester, and London (Marylebone). Before the present net- work of local ’bus services the Penistone and Holmfirth lines were good servants of the people in the villages through which they passed. The opening of both railways were notable events in their lives, for it made travel so much more easier. and comfortable to Huddersfield on market days, and facilitated trade with the rest of the country. A century has brought many changes in its wake, but the Penistone railway is still Hudders- field’s “ Gateway to the South.”

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LOCKWOOD VIADUCT FROM TAYLOR HILL

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