Huddersfield Chronicle (20/May/1865) - Correspondence: Right of Way Through Dungeon Wood
RIGHT OF WAY THROUGH DUNGEON WOOD.
To the Editor of the Huddersfield Chronicle.
On behalf of the cottagers about Dungeon and neighbourhood, I beg to thank you, together with your correspondent, for so kindly noticing the efforts now being made to open the bridle paths through Dungeon Wood. It is a fact very much to be regretted that, as a body or class of men whose numbers are great, we have not been particular enough in this most serious matter of bridle paths and foot paths. In Lancashire, so great has been the increase in mill and villa sites, that had the people not taken up this subject, and kept open all footpaths, the working man would have had to be buried in cotton dust ten and a half hours per day, and buried in road dust the remainder ; but, thanks to the Foothpath Association, they have kept open the "working men's parks." I would, Mr. Editor, by your further kind permission, particularly request more attention not only from working men, but all classes of society, to this subject, as the time is fast coming when the footpath through the green and verdant sloping hills will be the only chance we shall have left to view nature in her loveliest garb, and breath her pure and healthy odour. And it only requires attention. If a new railway or a new mill is wanted ground is also wanted, but not to be taken without compensation. If the road to be made touches a gentleman's grounds, or destroys his privacy, as one who understands property, he naturally calls out, and gets compensation ; but in a road belonging to the many there was no one (at least was not before we had a Local Board), who felt responsible, though jointly our claim is greater than the individual claim. We have now 63 houses, and suppose the average rateable value to be £4, this will amount to £252, leaving out all other claims. Now sir, I ask what single house is assessed so high, and yet their claims are never for one moment disputed, simply because a larger occupier or owner looks after his business, or rather his rights. The right of road cannot for one moment be disputed ; there are men here who have, and their fathers, grandfathers, and great grandfathers had a right of way for man and horse, so that if we are inert we have no one to blame but ourselves.
I am, Sir, very truly yours,
ONE OF THE LOVERS OF FOOTPATHS.