Huddersfield Chronicle (21/Dec/1861) - Local and District News: Holmfirth

This page is part of the Holmfirth Flood Project and its content is believed to be in the Public Domain.
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 “OWD GENN.” — The only remembrance of events gone by is the “Owd Genn,” a stone pillar, some 15 feet high, which was set up in Holmfirth to commemorate the peace of Amiens, some 60 years ago. The old monument stood during the succeeding 50 years, at the end of which it was dethroned by the great “Holmfirth flood,” in 1852. It was set up again, however, in its former place, and remains there. It leaves no memorandum of what it was first erected for, nor yet of the great local event which threw it to the ground. Moreover, like many other old things, “Owd Genn” is now considered rather in the way. It is on the Wooldale side of Holmfirth, and the local authorities in that township are making improvements, and “Owd Genn” is rather in the way of some of them, so that it must either be removed or taken away altogether. Amongst many of the respectable ratepayers there is a desire that the old monument should not be taken away, but removed a few feet to the side of the boundary walk of the street where it would be out of the way of every one. The Board of Surveyors have no objection to this, if done by private means. A meeting on the subject took place last Saturday, but it was only thinly attended ; the question seemingly had not taken sufficiently hold of the public mind. It was suggested that “Owd Genn” should be shifted to the wall, that the pedestal should be raised 2 feet, that the pedestal should have inscribed on it the object for which it was first erected, and that a brass plate should be affixed to the pillar to commemorate the flood, the number of lives lost on that occasion, and the height which the water rose. On the subject of this being done by private subscription, a lady was waited on, to whose property the shifting the pillar would be the greatest benefit ; but she refused to subscribe anything. It is hoped, however, that the attention of the ratepayers will be drawn to the question, whether Holmfirth is to hand down to posterity its great local calamity by means of a monument, or that it is to be left to tradition.