Huddersfield Daily Chronicle (29/Mar/1888) - Huddersfield Equitable Permanent Benefit Building Society

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.

Huddersfield Equitable Permanent Benefit Building Society.

A public meeting in connection with the Meltham agency of the above society was held in the Oddfellows' Hall, Meltham, on Saturday evening. the chair was occupied by Dr Haigh, who was supported by Mr Charles Vickerman (vice-president of the society), Councillors Stuttard, Goodwin, Holland, and Mr James Haigh (directors), Mr J. Craven (solicitor), Mr J. S. Kirk (surveyor), Mr Henry Kaye (secretary), Mr T. H. Lawford (Meltham agent), and the Revs B. J. Holmes, M.A., vicar of Newmill, and E. Hutton Hall (curate of Meltham Mills). There was a large gathering of members and friends of both sexes. After some preliminary remarks by the chairman, Mr Lawford, by request, read his report of the rise and progress of the society In Meltham. It was as follows —

Having had the chief management of the Meltham Branch of the Huddersfield Building Society for nearly 23 years, and no public recognition having been taken of it except by the members themselves, it is thought quite high time for some account to be given of our stewardship. In order to do this I would call you attention to the first meeting in the old school, associated as it is in the memory of many persons here present with the earliest impressions. It was there that on the 20th May, 1865, about 40 persons met in the evening, under the auspices of the Rev E. C. Watson, for the purpose of establishing this branch of the society, when it was resolved that the first subscription meeting should be held on the 17th June, 1865, when 22 members were enrolled, taking up 21 4-5 shares. The receipts for the first year amounted to £378 13s. 6d., and for the year ending 31st August, 1887, the receipts amounted to £2,660 15s. 5d. Since the Meltham Branch was established the large sum of £39,707 8s. 7d. has been received from the working men and women of Meltham alone. The present number of shareholders is 230, holding 320 shares. The rate of interest allowed on share subscriptions is four per cent and profits, and on deposits three per cent. Many persons having shares here been enabled to purchase or build houses for themselves, others have been enabled to emigrate and carry away with them nice sums of money, and others have made a provision for themselves and their families for sickness or old age. There is an impression that taking up shares involves the necessity of building — this is not so. Persons can join the society and withdraw at any time without being compelled to build. Building societies give great encouragement to young people to improve their savings. Many a factory boy and girl in Meltham, by saving up 1-5 or more shares has saved as much as to enable him or her to commence business, as an instance among many others. A young woman took up 2-5 of a share, paying 4s. per month, and after she had paid £28 16s. received out of the society £36 18s. 6d. Such being the very satisfactory result of a fractional part of a share, what must be the result of a whole share or more. It has often been a pleasure to me to hear expressions of satisfaction, and sometimes of gratitude, which such results have given rise to, especially from those members who have left their shares to run out, in proof of which moat of them have taken up new shares immediately or soon after the completion of their former ones. (Applause.)

The Rev B. J. Holmes then gave an address, basing his remarks on the saying which Wesley is reported to have made use of when a farmer asked his advice, viz., "Get all you can. Save all you can. Spend all you can." He remarked the desire to obtain something we could call our own was the natural instinct of humanity. Money was not an evil in itself, but rather the means of doing great good. Those who had wealth were responsible for it as for all other gifts. He believed in the advance of all that was good, and thought that never in all the history of their country had the working classes had such splendid opportunities as they enjoyed at the present. He urged them to make use of them. Let them get the highest wages they could, and when they had got them take care of them. Thrift was a splendid thing. It meant growth, and was a good old Saxon word. There could be no prosperity or happiness unless they carried out the principles of thrift. Hence he strongly urged the good done by building societies, and especially the Meltham branch, on whose behalf they were pleading. He deprecated all extravagance whether in the kitchen or in the drawing-room. They must, however, be liberal in the true sense of the word. Parsimony was a vice, generosity a virtue, but they must be just before generous. A miser was the most despicable being under the sun, and was rightly called a "miserable" creature doing no good to himself or others. He concluded by wishing all prosperity to their society. (Applause.)

Mr Vickerman, in a humorous speech, proposed, and Mr Stuttard, in a similar manner, seconded a vote of thanks to Mr Holmes for his excellent address, which, on being put from the chair, was carried amidst much cheering.

Mr Holmes briefly returned thanks, end in complimentary terms proposed a vote of thanks to the chairman, which was seconded by the Rev E. H. Hall, and carried with acclimation.

The Chairman suitably acknowledged the compliment, and then requested any member of the society present to come forward and say a few words as to the benefit or otherwise he had received from the society, and Mr G. H. T. Hall, of Wilshaw, replied by a few well chosen remarks.

Mr Henry Kaye, the secretary, briefly explained the objects the society had in view. He observed that the great want of the society was borrowers with good security. The society had on hand £10,000, which they were prepared to lend at the low rate of four per cent, which, combined with other advantages, would compare most favourably with any similar institution. He complimented the agent, Mr T. H. Lawford, and his stewards, on the efficient manner in which they had carried on the work of the society, and finished his remarks by proposing a vote of thanks to them for their management of the Meltham branch.

Mr Holland seconded the proposition, which on being put to the meeting, was carried with much cheering.

Mr Lawford returned thanks in a few words, on behalf of himself and his stewards, and the meeting terminated.