Bradford Observer (06/Jun/1844) - Huddersfield

The following is a transcription of a historic newspaper article and may contain occasional errors. If the article was published prior to 1 June 1957, then the text is likely in the Public Domain.


The Town's Award.

In the Court of Queen's Bench, on Saturday last, Mr. Pashley, the barrister, moved for a rule nisi against Mr. George Clay, landlord of the White Horse Inn, to compel him to give up possession of the town's award, that it might be placed in the iron safe in the vestry of the Parish Church with the remainder of the town's documents. The rule was granted, and the hearing fixed for Monday next. Mr. Clay will perceive by this that the town is determined, if possible, to have possession of its own documents.

Highfield Chapel.

The newly-erected chapel at Highfield — which is doubtless one of the most chaste and beautiful edifices belonging to the Independent Denomination — is to be consecrated to the worship of God next week, by a series of special services, in which some of the more eminent Congregationalist divines are announced to take a part. For the times and order of the services, see advertisement in our first page.

Death of Thomas Thornhill, Esq.

This gentleman, who possessed large estates in this county, as well as in the county of Norfolk, who had not for many years resided at his Yorkshire seat (Fixby Hall, near Huddersfield), died on Wednesday last, at his house in Berkeley Square, London. Mr. Thornhill was a very liberal landlord, a benevolent man, and one of whom his late steward, Mr. Richard Oastler, used to speak in the highest terms. His complaint was dropsy in the chest.

The Stabbing Case.

Cliffe, the young man that we reported last week as having stabbed the landlord of the Golden Lion Inn, was, on Saturday last, brought before the magistrates, at the Guildhall, for examination, when the fact, as appeared in our paper of last week, being sworn to, he was fully committed to York for trial, for "cutting and wounding with intent to do some grievous bodily harm."

Awful Conflagration. Mill Burnt Down.

The most disastrous fire that ever occurred in this town, took place during the night of Sunday last, in a mill the property of Mr. Joseph Kaye. The premises were very extensive, being about 140 feet in length, and 40 wide, and 5 stories in height, exclusive of the garrets. The building was tenanted by nearly 30 small finishers, most of whom will suffer severely by the catastrophe. The mill is situate at Folly Hall, and was first discovered to be on fire by Mr. Eastwood's man, who saw the flames raging in the inside of the third story, the part supposed to be occupied by Mr. G. Berry, of Lockwood. This was about half-past one. He immediately gave the alarm, and in a few minutes the flames burst through the windows, and finding vent, the devastating element spread with amazing rapidity from room to room, until the whole building was one entire mass of flame. The scene from the top of Chapel Hill, and also from Crossland Moor, was at this time (12 o'clock) one of the most awfully magnificent that can be imagined. About a quarter-past two the main part of the roof fell in with a tremendous crash, carrying the three top floors with it, the others shortly following. From the first discovery of the fire all hope of saving any part of the mill was entirely given up. The powerful engine belonging the mill was quickly got into play ; the Leeds and Yorkshire was quickly on the spot, but from the carelessness of the person whose duty it was to attend to the suction-pipe, was rendered useless for a considerable time. The fellow had put the suction hose into a dyke, without first putting on the "rose" or the end to prevent its sucking stones into the pipe ; the consequence of which neglect was, that in a very few minutes the pipe was choked with stone, and would render no service until the whole length of the pipe had been taken to pieces and cleaned out, a work of some difficulty. Two other engines were also soon on the ground, Messrs. Aritage Brothers, of Milnes Bridge, and the one from Messrs. Brooke's place, at Armitage Bridge, whose powerful assistance was required to cool and reduce the fire in the mills opposite, which were on fire in three different stories at one time ; but by the plentiful supply of water, handed up by buckets and other vessels, it was reduced. The steam from the engine was also turned on into every room, and was of great use ; from two to a quarter to three o'clock the fire was at its height. The heat, at this time, even at the distance of 100 yards, was intense ; and such was the glare from the fire that the inhabitants of the remotest parts of the town imagined that their next door neighbour's house was on fire. The wind was very still ; had there been wind from the north-eastward no human exertion could have saved the whole range of new factories lately built. The greatest exertions of the firemen were required to save the engine house, which was eventually accomplished. The engine is about 60 horse power. By half-past five the whole building was an entire mass of rubbish, nothing standing but the four walls, and all further danger being at an end, the engines, except Kaye's, left the ground ; Kaye's was kept playing upon the smoking ruins the whole of the day ; nearly all the parties who had machinery in the mill were insured ; Mr. Kaye is partially so. The whole damage is variously estimated at from 20 to 40,000l. Although thousands of persons assembled to witness the devastating element, we are glad to announce that no accident whatever occurred until after five o'clock in the morning, when a young lad ventured rather too near the northeast corner of the building, and one of the large coping stones, weighing perhaps half a hundred weight, fell from the parapet and striking him on the arm and shoulder fractured it in a very severe manner. He was immediately taken to the Infirmary, where every attention was paid to him. By this sad catastrophe no fewer than five hundred persons will be thrown out of employment. The ruins were still smoking, and one of the engines playing upon them, during Tuesday last.