Blue Slates, Netherton

Blue Slates was the name given to a now-demolished multi-tenant property in Netherton, South Crosland.


The property was possibly built in the 1830s, since it first appears in the Holy Trinity baptismal register in 1839.[1]

Unlike most roadside properties, Blue Slates was built with a gable-end facing the road. On the either side of Blue Slates were the Bethel Buildings and a collection of properties known known as Miners' Square, where the Commercial Inn was situated.

From August 1878 onwards, Alfred Kaye of Bramley (who was presumably the owner of the properties) allowed surface water to drain across the gardens of Blue Slates in return for being paid 1 shilling per year from the local district council. In August 1900, it was reported that he hadn't been paid since 1891 and that the council's clerk had no record of the agreement. It was resolved to contact Mr. Kaye to see if the agreement could be continued, as it would be cheaper than laying proper drainage.[2]

On Thursday 27 November 1884, Police Constable Chapman was called to the house of William Chick, "rag and bone gatherer, of Blue Slates, supposed to be about 72 years of age." Chapman found the door locked and blinds drawn and was unable to rouse Chick. After breaking down the door, Chick was found dead in his bed, with a quantity of blood by his mouth. He had last been seen the evening before, sat smoking by his fireside. It was reported that for a number of years he had complained of "great pain when he coughed".[3]

The building was still standing in the 1960s, but was later demolished.

Census Returns

n.b. entries are shown in the order entered by the enumerator and ages are given in parentheses

1851 Stone mason George Waring (29), his wife Eliza (38), their children William (8), Albert (6), Mary (4), Atkinson (2) and Angela (6 months), and lodgers stone labourer Samuel Hirst (21) and hand loom weaver James Todd (50).
Farmer Adam Beaumont (70).
Hand loom weaver Joseph Todd (58), his wife Sarah (56), their children Henry (25), Wright (22), Maria (18) and Alexander H. (12), and their grandson Thomas Todd (4)[4].
Cloth finisher Joseph Dawson (53), his wife Hannah (49) and their daughter Emma (15).
Hand loom silk weaver John Field (28), his wife dressmaker Emma (23) and their children Elizabeth (2) and Green (1).
Mill wright William Stead (31), his wife Sarah (28) and their children Henry (10), Ann (7) and Alfred (1).
Power loom weaver Jonathan Sykes (47), wife Hannah (43) and children power loom weaver Charles (21), power loom weaver Ann (18), cloth finisher Best (16), power loom weaver Levina (15), cloth dresser Alfred (13) and Emma (7).
Iron moulder John Rimmer (19), his wife Jane (20) and daughter Elizabeth (2 months).
1861 Methodist local preacher and bookkeeper Richard Tinker (47), his wife Sarah (44), their daughter-in-law Emma Kaye (13) and his uncle retired wool manufacturer Adam Beaumont (80).
Woollen weaver Joseph Todd (68), his wife Sarah (67), and their children power loom weavers Maria (28) and Alexander H. (22).
Letter carrier Joseph Dawson (63) and his wife mangle woman Hannah (59). Also power loom weaver John (35), his wife Hannah (32), their children Ruth (4) and Hiram (1).
Agricultural labourer Henry Garnett (61), his wife Martha (57), and their daughters power loom weaver Hannah (23) and cotton thread winder Eliza (21).
Mill wright William Stead (41), his wife Sarah (37), and their children Henry power loom weaver (20), power loom weaver Ann (17) and Alfred (11).
Power loom weaver Jonathan Sykes (57), his wife Hannah (54), and their daughters cotton factory worker Emma (16) and Levina Penny (25)[5]. Also two grandsons, both baptised as sons of Levina, Rowland Sykes (4) and Tom Penny (1 month).
1871 Power loom weaver Henry Parkin (48), his wife Sophia (38) and their son Alfred (10).
Woollen warper Thomas Dawson (27), his wife Eliza A. (28), and their children George (5), John T. (3) and Miriam (1).
Mill wright William Stead (51), his wife Sarah (47), and their sons unemployed woollen weaver Henry (30) and stone mason Alfred (21).
Power loom weaver John Dawson (45), his mother Hannah (69), his wife Hannah (42), and their children Hiram (12), Fred (5) and Ruth (14). Also boarder power loom weaver Allen Hirst (21).
Widow Hannah Crowther (63), her daughter Christiana Booth (30), her husband power loom weaver George Booth (28), and their children William Booth (2) and Sarah J. Booth (8 months).
Wool dyehouse labourer James Lucas (26), his wife power loom weaver Alice (25), their daughter Emma (11 months), and his mother-in-law housekeeper Jane Smith (56).
Wheel wright Wright Barker (37), his wife Ann (37), and their children Mary H. Crowther (12), Rebecca (5) and Tom (9 months).
1881 Farmer Henry Parkin (60), Sophia (47), and their son cloth finisher Alfred (19).
Navvy labourer George Johnson (36), his wife Elizabeth (25), their children Alice (5), Abel Henry (4) and Louisa A. (1), and boarder navvy (30).
Navvy James Alban (41), his wife Hannah (46) and visitor navvy James Dance (40).
Rag gatherer William Chick (66).[6]
Wool weaver John Dawson (55), his wife Hannah (52), and their children woollen weaver Ruth (24), woollen weaver Hiram (21) and woollen piecer Fred (13).
Woollen weaver George Heaton (43), his wife woollen weaver Mary (43), and their sons woollen dyer John (20), silk dyer Joe (18), wool piecer James (13) and Ben (3).
Widower mill wright and model maker William Stead (61), his son woollen weaver Henry (40), Henry's wife housekeeper Elizabeth (25) and their daughter Florence A. (4).
1891 Silk dyer Jesse Heath (40) and his widowed mother Rachel (75).
Farmer Harry Parkin (71), his wife Sophia (57) and their son cloth finisher Alfred (29).
Clogger Morland Sykes (36) and his siblings quarryman Erasmus Sykes (43), quarryman Lammas Sykes (39) and warp winder Zilpha (32).
Weaver George Heaton (65), his wife burler Mary (53), their sons dyer John (31) and silk packer Ben (13). Also John's wife weaver Elizabeth Heaton (31) and their son Harry Yates Heaton (2).
Quarryman Thomas Bullas (24), his wife cotton reeler Fanny (26), and their daughter Margaret (4).
Woollen weaver John Dawson (65), his wife Hannah (60), their daughter widow Ruth Binns (30) and her daughter Annie (5).
1901 Clogmaker Morland Sykes (46) and his siblings quarryman Erasmus Sykes (50), quarryman Lomas Sykes (49) and housekeeper Zilpha (39).
Widower retired woollen weaver John Dawson (75), his daughter Ruth Robertshaw (44), her husband stone quarryman Sutcliffe Robertshaw (39) and John's granddaughter Annie L. Binns (15).
Mary A. Kaye (22) and her children Walter H. (2) and Mary V. (1)
Stone quarryman James McCallum (58), his wife Phoebe (48), their children worsted beamer Thomas (20), Florry (12) and Sarah H. (10).
1911 Stone quarryman Sutcliffe Robertshaw (50), his wife Ruth (57), and their daughter woollen mender Annie Louisa Binns (24).
Mechanic's labourer Frank Whitehead (29), his wife Mercy (32) and their children Phyllis Mary (7), Elsie (4) and Zena Irene (2).
Wall stone dresser George William Dyson (62), his wife Eliza Ann (60) and their daughter shoddy mill rag sorter Ruth Hannah (32).
Matilda Burhouse (44) and her children woollen weaver Archie (18), silk spinner Janet (14) and Haytlem (7).
South Crosland Urban District labourer Erasmus Sykes (61).
South Crosland Urban District labourer Harry Wilson (30), his wife Hannah (29), their children Hilda (6) and Edith (1), and his cousin Mary Alice Knights (10).


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Notes and References

  1. Specifically for the baptism on 31 March 1839 of Alexander Hiram Todd, son of Joseph and Sarah of Blue Slates.
  2. "South Crosland" in Huddersfield Chronicle (18/Aug/1900). Kaye responded by sending the council a copy of the original agreement.
  3. "Netherton: Supposed Sudden Death" in Huddersfield Chronicle (29/Nov/1884).
  4. Thomas was baptised as the illegitimate son of Mary Todd (daughter of Joseph and Sarah) on 20 September 1846.
  5. Elsewhere, her name is given as Lavinia.
  6. Died November 1884 in his bed.