Huddersfield Daily Examiner (05/Feb/1914) - Trams to Netherton

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 Netherton Oddfellows' Hall was crowded last night, on the occasion of a meeting of the inhabitants to consider the advisability of asking the Huddersfield Corporation to extend their tramway system from Lockwood, via Woodfield Road and the Big Valley, to the Bar House, South Crosland, a distance of about two miles, almost equally divided between territory in the borough and the urban district of South Crosland. The meeting had been convened by the South Crosland District Council, and the chairman of the Highways Committee (Councillor J. Barker) occupied the chair. He was supported on the platform by Councillors Rawlinson, Mitchell, Bradley, Carter, Derbyshire, and Haigh.


The Chairman, in opening the meeting, regretted the absence of the chairman of the Council (Mr. J. A. Wrigley) and the vice-chairman (Mr. Thomas Brooke). He read a letter from the latter referring to the details of the proposed scheme, and pointing out that the payment of a guarantee to the Corporation would necessitate an increase in the rates of the district. Councillor Barker said that Mr. Brooke's letter contained matters of detail which the Council intended to bring forward at a future meeting of the ratepayers. The object of that meeting was to obtain a mandate from the ratepayers for a deputation to be appointed by the Council to wait upon the Huddersfield Tramways Committee with a view to a scheme being considered. The interests of the township were closely interwoven with those of the Huddersfield Corporation. The people of South Crosland were large consumers of Corporation gas and water, and for those services they paid each year a considerable sum of money into the Corporation's exchequer. An application had been made to the Corporation to extend their electric Lighting system to Netherton, and the Council considered that the time was opportune for a tramways extension, as it would probably be possible to carry out the two schemes in conjunction with each other. The proposed tramways extension would be about equally divided between the Corporation and the Urban District, about one mile of roadway in each being involved. Netherton was much nearer Huddersfield than Marsden, yet there would shortly be a double line to the latter place. The Netherton district seemed altogether isolated, and lacking in the improvements and developments which had come to other districts as a result of the trams.


Proceeding, Councillor Barker outlined the extension scheme which had been suggested. The line would go along Woodfield Road to the borough boundary at Dog Hall. This would give facilities for visitors to Beaumont Park, meet the needs of the residents in the Corporation houses it is proposed to build on the Woodfield Estate, in addition to being convenient for the workpeople of Park Valley Mills. The extension would also serve Butternab, part of Armitage Bridge, and in the Big Valley it would tap Delph and Stone Pit Hill. He did not think many ratepayers would object to the cars going to the Netherton Market Place, but he thought it was desirable that the extension should be to the Bar House, where it would serve the Crosland Edge and Crosland Bank districts, and people living at Meltham Mills had already announced their intention of using the cars in preference to the trains if they were available at the Bar House. Councillor Barker proceeded to deal with details of the proposed scheme, and pointed out that as against any indemnity the district had to meet there would be reduced expenditure on main road account, and an increase in the rateable value. Some time ago a deputation from the Council waited upon the Tramways Committee, and asked them to consider the question of an extension, but they did not meet with success as they had not the support of the ratepayers behind them. He hoped that on the present occasion there would be a unanimous vote in favour of the Council appointing a deputation to open negotiations with the Huddersfield Tramways Committee, and if that were done it was the intention of the Council to give the ratepayers an opportunity of discussing the details of any scheme put forward before definite action was taken.


Councillor Carter said their greatest difficulty would be in convincing the Corporation that they would benefit by the extension. Ho pointed out that several places in the borough — Almondbury and Sheepridge for instance — were no bigger than Netherton, but the fact that the latter place was outside the borough made a considerable difference, involving, for instance, Parliamentary powers being obtained, whereas for places inside the borough all that was necessary was a provisional order. The first and greatest consideration, however, was for the people of Netherton to make up their minds whether they wanted the trams.

Councillor Rawlinson, while favouring the proposed extension, said that the cost of obtaining Parliamentary sanction would not be less than £1,000, and would probably reach £1,500. That would add considerably to the cost of the scheme. Ho agreed with Councillor Carter that the greatest difficulty would be in convincing the Corporation that the extension would be profitable. Some years ago the question of Netherton being incorporated in the borough was raised, and, although he had on open mind upon that question, he believed that if the district had been incorporated they would have had trams before now. If Netherton had trams they would not only be a great convenience, but a source of pleasure to the inhabitants. If the Council had to pay a subsidy equal to a rate of 2d. in the £ it would only mean 1s. 4d. a year for the average workingman, who would more than save that amount in difference between the car and the train fare.


Mr. Ellis Armitage said that an attempt to get the extension was made two years ago, and the Corporation would have nothing to do with it except the District Council took a certain amount of risk. It was all very well to spend a rate of 2d. in the £, but in his opinion it would be nearer 4d., and he thought the time was not ripe for the extension.

In reply to Mr. John Schofield, the Chairman said that a rate of 2d. in the £ would realise approximately £200.

Mr. Geo. Mitchell urged that if the Council were practically unanimous the step proposed should be taken, but that no definite scheme should be agreed to.


Mr. John Schofield moved a resolution authorising the Council to open negotiations with the Huddersfield Tram wavs Committee. He stated that houses near the borough boundary at Dog Hall were nearer the centre of Huddersfield than thousands of houses in the borough itself. He also said that the Borough Engineer had in formed him that there was room for 600 houses on the Woodfield estate. Support might, he thought, be sought from residents in Woodfield Road. He thought the tram fare to Netherton would not be more than 2d., whereas the present railway fare was 3d., so that if a subsidy had to be paid it would be more than met out of the difference between the two charges.

Mr. W. K. Baxter, in seconding, said that the trams would increase the rateable value of the district.

The motion was then put to the meeting, and carried without dissent.