Jubilee History of the Corporation of Huddersfield (1918) - Chapter II

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Table of Contents for Jubilee History of the Corporation of Huddersfield: 1868 to 1918 (1918) by Owen Balmforth:



All before us lies the way,
Give the past unto the wind,
All before us is the day,
Night and darkness are behind.

Having now traced the growth of our local governing bodies, let us show in detail the achievements under the newly established system of municipal government. This may be done by examining the various works and institutions which they have created, and which the Borough Council now has under its control. It is proposed to deal in this chapter with the Revenue producing or Trading undertakings as follows:—


In the year 1743, the Ramsden family were obliged to construct waterworks for the domestic use of the inhabitants, which they did from the river Colne. Fancy imbibing the waters of the Colne at the present time! The following interesting account of these primitive waterworks was published forty years ago by "An Old Resident." He says:— "The source of our water supply was the river at Folly Hall, or Engine Bridge. In a cottage near to Mr. Eastwood's dyeworks, was erected a forcing engine or pump. This was driven by a waterwheel, and sent the turbid water up to Huddersfield. The main pipes that conveyed the water were large tree-trunks, with a 3½ inch hole bored through them lengthways. They were tapered down at one end, and the bore at the other end widened a little to admit the tapering end, thus making what is called a fucet joint. These wooden pipes ran under the canal, up the hill to the top of Outcote Bank, then along what was called the Upper Road, to the higher part of the town, and finally discharged their water into a small reservoir which stood near the bottom of George Street. From this reservoir the town received its scanty supply. You may judge of the size of the mains from the following incident:— It so happened that the supply to one part of the town was stopped. Much digging and searching was done to discover the obstruction, until at last the cause of the mischief was revealed. Imagine the astonishment of all when it was found that a large trout had stuck fast in one of the pipes. Connected with these waterworks was an old woman named Betty Earnshaw. She carried a large turnkey on her shoulder to turn on the water in the various parts of the town. The servant girls, who had to rise early on washing mornings, well knew how to get an early supply of water for their work. Betty also professed to tell fortunes for the silly lasses, so that with water turning and fortune telling, old Betty managed to turn many an honest penny. Whilst a lad, I had to go to Lockwood for milk, as we had no milk-hawkers in those days. As I passed Folly Hall I used to be attracted by the screeching and groaning of the old pumping engine. It sounded as if it had not had a drop of oil for 12 months or more. I would peep in through the broken window and watch the crazy thing at work. It would make a desperate effort, stand for a few seconds, and then groaningly move off again. Thus painfully and laboriously was the scanty supply of water pumped up from the polluted river."

As time rolled on, and the number of mills and population increased, these waterworks were found insufficient for the wants of the town, and in 1827 a number of gentlemen, known as the Waterworks' Commissioners, under the authority of a Special Act of Parliament, provided a fresh supply, known as the Longwood Reservoirs. One of the clauses included in the above Waterworks Act provided that, although the Commissioners found the money and incurred all the risks of the enterprise, the interest on the shares subscribed should in no case exceed five per cent., and that when the income from the water rents exceeded five per cent. and the necessary expenses, the water rents must be reduced.

These waterworks were purchased by the Corporation in 1869 for the sum of £58,663.

The first full year's revenue after incorporation only amounted to £6,513.

The Corporation almost immediately commenced to carry out works to improve the supply of water for the town, by constructing additional reservoirs. Deerhill and Blackmoorfoot were commenced in 1870 and 1871 respectively, and other works followed as they became necessary. In October, 1873, certain springs in the Wessenden Valley were collected into a tank and the water conveyed to Lindley and there distributed. These Springs were estimated to realise about 350,000 gallons per day.

Below is a complete list of the Reservoirs constructed by the Corporation since 1868, viz:—

Name of Reservoir Date of Completion Capacity (gallons)
Deerhill Sept. 1875 160,000,000
Blackmoorfoot Dec. 1876 675,000,000
Wessenden Head Aug. 1881 82,000,000
Blakeley Aug. 1903 80,000,000
Butterley Dec. 1906 403,000,000

Wessenden Old Reservoir, with a capacity of 107,000,000 gallons, was purchased from the Wessenden Commissioners in 1890 and Deanhead Reservoir was also purchased in 1913. This latter reservoir holds about 100,000,000 gallons, but owing to the war, it has not yet been put into use for supplying water to the town.

The total impounding capacity of all the reservoirs is about 1,675,000,000 gallons.

A large number of break-pressure and service tanks have also been constructed to supply particular districts, as follows, viz:—

Name of Reservoir Date of Completion Capacity (gallons)
Snodley Mar. 1874 1,250,000
Lindley Jan. 1875 570,000
Longwood Feb. 1876 140,720
Gleadhill Nov. 1876 280,000
Berry Brow May 1879 184,000
Kirkburton July 1879 46,000
Hall Bower Aug. 1879 90,000
Clough Head, Golcar Nov. 1880 280,000
Cowlersley Sept. 1891 128,000
Windy End May 1901 200,000
Scapegoat Hill Oct. 1901 1,500,000
Shepley Oct. 1904 2,000,000

As the water from certain sources was not considered to be of a sufficiently high quality for dietetic purposes, it was decided, in 1899, to put down Sand Filters at Deerhill, and these were completed in July, 1900, and are still working very satisfactorily.

Owing, however, to the large area of land required for this method of filtration, and also to the heavy cost both in capital and upkeep, it was decided, in future works, to adopt Mechanical Filters, which take up much less room, cost about half the amount in capital, and are worked on a very much cheaper basis than Sand Filters.

These have been installed at Longwood, Scapegoat Hill, Blackmoorfoot (both sides), and an installation is now in course of erection at Cowlersley.

All the water now supplied to the public, with the exception of the Spring Water, can be efficiently treated by filtration.

Parliamentary powers were obtained in 1869-71-76 and 80 to supply certain districts outside the Borough, and the total area now authorised to be supplied by the Corporation, amounts to 51,824 acres.

The total length of water mains is nearly 350 miles. The following figures, taken at intervals of 10 years, shew the growth of the undertaking, viz:—

Year Population Supplied No. of Gallons per Day Receipts
1878 88,245 1,600,000 £21,098
1888 121,755 3,004880 £47,143
1898 128,682 3,445,000 £51,632
1908 145,716 3,964,800 £62,210
1918 164,162 6,525,260 £112,057

In addition to the above quantities 3,370,000 gallons of water per day is paid out from the various reservoirs as compensation.

For the financial year ending March 31st last, the receipts were £112,057 13s. 0d., which left a credit balance of £1,334 2s. 11d. This sum was transferred to the Depreciation and Contingencies Account, making a total of £24,582 0s. 2d. Down to last year the total capital expenditure reached £1,831,611 0s. 6d., which includes the large sum of £31,586 for Parliamentary expenses in connection with the same. The total number of houses now supplied is 39,776.


In the old days oil lamps were used for lighting the streets of our town; but in 1821 gasworks were established in Leeds Road by a private company, composed of some of the leading inhabitants, and in 1822 Huddersfield was, for the first time, lighted with gas. In 1830, the Parish Church was first lighted with gas. The gasworks when first erected were only on a small scale, occupying a site of 843 square yards of land, and the entire capital for constructing the works was £3,400. In 1861 an Act of Parliament was obtained, whereby the company was incorporated and its capital fixed at £60,000. It is needless to say, that the gasworks have repeatedly been greatly enlarged. In 1821, when the gasworks were first established, the yearly production of gas was very small; in 1849 the yearly production had risen to 33,000,000 cubic feet, and in 1866 to 140,000,000 cubic feet, while last year the quantity sold was actually 868,600,000 cubic feet. What a huge contrast these figures represent! The Town Council, in January, 1871, purchased the gas-works from the Huddersfield Gas Company for the net sum of £130,336; also the Moldgreen Gasworks from Mr. Anthony Kaye, in 1874, for £17,000.

In 1894 the works were re-modelled and enlarged to meet the growing demand for gas. Further considerable improvements have been effected during the last five years, namely: A 4½ million cubic feet capacity gas holder has been erected. A 3,000,000 cubic feet per day water-cooled condenser has been installed. A large new sulphate of ammonia producing plant has been installed. A carbonizing plant complete with power house, mechanical coal and coke handling plant, capable of producing 2,000,000 cubic feet of gas per day has been erected. A complete coal tar distillation plant has been put in, which is capable of distilling twenty tons of tar per day. The products from the tar distilling process are:— crude naphtha, containing benzol and toluol used for dyes, explosives and motor-spirit; light oil containing benzol, toluol, heavy naphthas or solvents, and carbolic acid, which is used as a disinfectant; creosote, used now mainly as fuel oil by the Admiralty; anthracene and naphthalene, both of which are used for road-making, and dehydrated tar for spraying roads. Besides the production of gas and coke a large quantity of sulphate of ammonia is manufactured, which is in great demand for agricultural purposes, and sulphur which is used in the manufacture of vitriol. When the carbonization of coal is considered in respect of the bye-products which are recovered, it is most necessary in the national interest that all bituminous coal should pass through the process of carbonization.

Heating by gas has been adopted in almost every kind of business, a few examples of which are:— Furnaces for hardening, annealing and welding steel; furnaces for drawing and tempering wire; the melting of metals, glass and enamels, &c., &c. Prepayment or "Penny-in-the-slot" meters, and also cooking stoves have been extensively supplied by the Corporation, and at the present time there are 20,000 of the former and 25,000 of the latter in use.

The works cover an area of twelve acres and supply gas through more than 200 miles of mains. The prices for gas are amongst the lowest charged by any municipality in England. The revenue account for the financial year ending March 31st, 1918, shows the receipts for gas and meter rentals were £123,061; for the sale of products, such as coke, tar, ammonia, &c., £37,346, or a total, including sundries, of £165,408. The account shows a nett surplus of £4,384. Down to the end of the financial year in 1917, the capital expenditure upon the gas undertaking reached £335,249. Since the works were purchased by the Corporation in 1871, the sum of £174,087 in the shape of profits has been handed over for the relief of the rates of the Borough.

The following figures, supplied by Mr. H. Singleton, Gas Engineer, will prove interesting:—

Year ending June 30th Gas Sold (cubic feet) No. of Customers
1873 187,000,000
1883 326,000,000
1893 509,000,000 19,000
1900 578,000,000 22,637
1909 745,000,000 28,549
1918 868,600,000 32,486

Huddersfield was the first municipality to construct, operate and develop its own Tramway System.

The question of constructing Tramways was first considered in 1877 in connection with a Parliamentary Bill introduced by the London Tramways and General Works Company, for the construction of Tramways within the Borough of Huddersfield, and application was made to the Corporation for their consent, as required by the Standing Orders. The Corporation, after full enquiry and consideration, decided that it would be to their advantage to retain the maintenance and control of the roads in their own hands and withheld their consent to the Company obtaining powers of construction. The Bill was proceeded with, notwithstanding, and the Corporation opposed it, with the result that it was defeated on Standing Orders. In 1879, the Corporation promoted a Bill in Parliament for powers to construct the Tramways, and the Act was passed in the Session of 1880. The construction of the Tramways commenced in 1881 and as the Act did not empower the Corporation to work the Tramways, it was decided to lease them. During the period of construction the Corporation made every effort to effect a lease for working the Tramways, but without success. The Corporation then decided to work the Tramways themselves, and made application to Parliament for the necessary powers which were granted by a conditional licence of the Board of Trade, as provided for in the Huddersfield Corporation Act of 1882. The licence was granted subject to the following terms and conditions:— "That the Board of Trade reserved the power to revoke the licence to the Corporation if, in their opinion, a Company made a satisfactory offer to lease the line."

It was decided to adopt Steam Haulage, and an engine and car was purchased for trial purposes. The trial run of the engine and car took place on November 13th, 1882, on the steep gradient in Chapel Hill, and was considered to be satisfactory.

In 1883 the Hallidee Cable Company entered into an agreement with the Corporation to rent two of the Sections, and expended a considerable amount of money in excavating and partly building a Power Station in Manchester Road, but eventually they abandoned the undertaking with the consent of the Corporation on terms.

The agreement with the Hallidee Cable Company having been abandoned, the Corporation eventually purchased six additional Engines and Cars. The first Engine and Car commenced to run for passenger traffic on the Lockwood Section on January 11th, 1883. As the work of construction proceeded, other sections were opened, and with the exception of the Moldgreen Section, which was completed in 1885, the whole of the Tramways were worked by Steam haulage. This section was opened for Traffic in May, 1885, and worked by horses. Steam haulage was substituted in April, 1888.

The Tramway Depot, which was a large wooden structure in Northumberland Street, soon became insufficient to accommodate the Rolling Stock, and a new Permanent Depot was erected in Great Northern Street, and was occupied in June, 1887.

In 1897, the Corporation made application to Parliament, and obtained absolute powers for working the Tramways. After the trams had been running a few years, it was found necessary to substitute the four-wheeled cars with larger cars of the bogie type, and as the engines were unsuitable for this type of car they were substituted by engines of the locomotive type. The increased traffic soon began to have a serious effect on the Permanent Way. The system of construction proved unsuitable and of insufficient strength to withstand the wear and tear. In 1891, the general re-construction and re-paving of the Permanent Way was commenced and was carried out without interruption until the end of 1893. The cost of the re-construction was charged against the Revenue of the Department.

In January, 1898, the Corporation were approached by the Urban District of Linthwaite, and requested to extend the Tramway System into that District. The application was favourably received by the Corporation, and eventually an agreement was entered into on a rental basis, and a joint application was made to Parliament, the Linthwaite Urban District Council obtaining powers to construct the Tramways, and the Corporation powers to operate them. The line was opened for traffic on May 21st, 1900. In 1902, the Tramways were extended from the Borough Boundary at Berry Brow to the Urban District of Honley. This section was opened for passenger traffic on June 5th, 1902. The extension of the Tramways into Outer Districts raised the question of providing additional Rolling Stock for working the extension.

The Tramways Committee decided not to purchase any more engines and cars, but to consider converting the whole of the system to Electric Traction. The work of converting the system from Steam to Electric Traction commenced in 1899 and was completed in 1902. The Power Station was erected at Longroyd Bridge on a site that was intended for a Sanitary Depot, and part of the buildings which had been erected for this purpose were utilized. The necessary plant having been installed, the electric service of cars commenced to run in February, 1901, and the whole of the system had been converted by the end of July, 1902. The Sunday running of Trams commenced June 9th, 1901 During 1908, the Permanent Way was re-constructed from single to double line on Lockwood, Moldgreen, Birkby and Edgerton sections. The Corporation also completed negotiations with the Linthwaite Urban District Council for the purchase of the Linthwaite Tramway Track, subject to the Tramways Committee relaying the track with double lines. The re-construction of the track commenced in August, 1910, and was completed in the following October. In 1913, Parliamentary Powers were obtained for further extensions of the Tramways, which included extensions outside the Borough to West Vale and Marsden. The West Vale extension was carried out in two stages: Birchencliffe to Elland Town Hall, which was opened for traffic on January 14th, 1914, and Elland Town Hall to West Vale, opened for traffic May 30th, 1914. This extension was the means of linking up the Huddersfield Corporation Tramways with the Halifax Corporation Tramways. The Marsden extension was opened for traffic on October 3rd, 1914.

The route mileage of Tramways in operation is 34½ miles, or 56 miles of single track. In order to meet the demands arising from the increased mileage and traffic during the growth of the undertaking, additional Generating Plant has been installed at the Power Station. The Plant at present consists of:— Four Inverted Vertical Compound Engines, Seven Lancashire Boilers and Two Motor Converters. The Motor Converters were installed for the purpose of taking an additional Power Supply from the Electricity Department.

The carriage of parcels on Tram Cars has been greatly developed since it was first instituted in 1887. Parcel Depots have been introduced along the line of route, by which means, the delivery of parcels has been facilitated. Further developments of the system are to be made in the near future. The revenue from the carriage of parcels for the year ending March 31st, 1918, is £1,567.

The haulage of Coal along the Tramways by means of specially designed trucks was commenced in September, 1904, as the result of arrangements made with Messrs. Martin, Sons & Co., Ltd., of Lindley, for the conveyance of coals from the Hillhouse Railway Siding to their Works. The system has since been extended and two other mills are now being served. The quantity of coal carried during the 12 months ending March 31st, 1918, was 13,652 tons. The Revenue derived from this source is £756 per annum.

The Rolling Stock at present consists of 106 Cars and Two Electrically-equipped Coal Trucks. Letter Boxes are attached to the Cars and are cleared by the Postal Authorities every hour from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on ordinary days, and from 4-30 p.m. to 7-30 p.m. on Sundays.

The following is a brief account of the financial position of the Tramways:— From the commencement in 1883 to the financial year ending 1905, the Tramways were worked at a loss, and the undertaking had to be subsidized from the rates to the amount of £73,041. At the end of the financial year of 1907, the undertaking began to be self-supporting, and to contribute to the relief of the rates, and had continued to do so yearly up to the present, the amount repaid amounting to £79,978, which is £6,937 more than the amount borrowed from the rates. The capital outlay up to March 31st, 1918, is £477,507.

In connection with the working of the Tramways the Corporation have had the misfortune to have the following accidents:— On July 3rd, 1883, an engine and car from Lindley was descending the gradient in Westgate when the engine got beyond control, and when rounding the curve leading into Railway Street, the car overturned. Seven persons were killed and 28 injured. On June 3rd, 1891, a fire box shell of one of the steam engines burst whilst the engine was standing at the passing place at Longroyd Bridge. A youth (who was employed as a cleaner in the sheds) happened to be standing immediately in front of the furnace door and was killed. The driver was badly scalded, and a number of passengers and pedestrians slightly injured. On June 28th, 1902, an electric car got out of control when descending Kidroyd, Almondbury Section, and on reaching the curve at the bottom of Somerset Road it left the track and collided with the Somerset Arms and adjoining buildings. Three persons lost their lives in this accident and several others were injured.

The appended schedule gives particulars of Income and Expenditure on Revenue Account at stated periods:—

Year Ending (March 31st) REVENUE ACCOUNT Gross Surplus APPROPRIATION OF SURPLUS Deficiency Paid from Borough Rates Passengers Carried Miles Run
Receipts Expenditure Interest & Redemption of Debt Amount Carried to Depreciation Account Amount Carried to Relief of Rates
1901 £37,702 £28,580 £9,121 £14,222 ... ... ... 6,080,000 600,000
1905 £67,576 £31,476 £36,100 £23,384 £12,013 ... £5,485 12,838,150 1,666,262
1910 £90,828 £47,466 £43,362 £24,305 £12,249 £6,807 ... 17,925,058 2,027,077
1915 £127,059 £73,978 £53,081 £29,106 £15,574 £8,400 ... 23,933,065 2,797,276
1918 £174,292 £117,490 £56,802 £31,078 £15,039 £6,750 ... 32,389,732 2,822,606

In 1888 the Corporation were approached by certain gentlemen with the view of obtaining their consent to the formation of a local company to supply Electricity, and appointed a Committee to investigate what had been done in other towns. This Committee visited several towns, in a few cases found works being constructed, and almost everywhere a determination to keep the supply under the control of the municipality.

The Corporation, after considering the views of the Committee, decided to ask for competing tenders from responsible firms for putting down a system of supply, and allocated a position of the then vacant land on the north side of the Gas Works facing St. Andrew's Road, as the site for the Generating Station.

The Brush Electrical Co. submitted a tender which was considered the most suitable, and an order was placed with the firm in 1891, the plant comprising four Babcock & Wilcox's Boilers, one 30 Kilowatt and two 100 Kilowatt Generators, together with duplicate high tension mains for conducting the energy at 2,000 volts from the works to four sub-stations in the central portion of the town, and a system of low tension mains in the principal streets for distributing electricity at a pressure of 100 volts to the consumers' premises.

The Gas Committee were responsible for the adoption of the scheme and the erection of the works, a separate Electricity Committee being formed in 1892, and the supply commenced in July, 1893, when 38 consumers were connected. At this time the supply was for lighting only and the charge sixpence per unit.

The supply was soon appreciated, many more consumers being connected and the mains extended to the residential districts.

In 1898, a demand was created for electric motors for driving all kinds of small machinery from the existing single-phase mains, and in 1899 the works were extended, more Boilers and Generating Plant being provided, and in 1904 and 1905, the mains were extended to supply the outer districts, including Milnsbridge, Linthwaite and Golcar.

In 1907, the demand for energy for power purposes had so much increased, and the prospects of supplying power in large quantities to the Mills appeared so good, that the Corporation decided to install additional Boilers and Generating Plant and distribute the energy on the three-phase system at a pressure of 6,500 volts. This plant was completed and the three-phase supply commenced in May, 1908.

In 1910, the Corporation considered various schemes for destroying the town's refuse and generating steam. The Destructor Works, in St. Andrew's Road, were erected and have successfully converted the refuse to steam, saving the Electricity Department approximately 4,000 tons of coal per year.

The continuous growth of the demand for Electricity for power purposes made it necessary, in 1915, to install additional Boilers and Generating Plant, and this has been of great benefit in meeting the demand for power for War purposes.

The undertaking has been financially successful, excepting for a deficiency of £5,985, which was provided by the rates during the years 1893-4-5 and repaid to the rates in 1904. In 1912, the undertaking commenced to contribute one penny in the pound toward the relief of the rates, which has been continued. In 1891, Mr. A. B. Mountain was appointed Electrical Engineer to the Corporation, holding this appointment until 1916, when he resigned and was retained by the Corporation as their Consulting Electrical Engineer. Mr. J. W. Turner was appointed Borough Electrical Engineer.

The amount received for rentals, &c. in the year ending December 31st, 1917, was £87,588 3s. 2d., leaving a surplus balance of £23,637 15s. 7d. After providing for repayment and interest of debt and depreciation, there was a balance of £2,250 carried to relief of rates. The Depreciation and Contingencies Account amounted to £11,971. The progress of the undertaking is shown by the following statement:—

Year Capital Expenditure (£) Prices Charged (d.) No. of Customers Connections in K.W. Units Sold Income (£) Gross Profit (£)
1893 39,000 6 112 320 43,224 1,067
1898 94,600 6 806 1,805 593,377 11,866 6,936
1903 170,454 1,888 4,417 1,559,960 26,005 13,378
1908 200,454 4 2,843 8,139 2,462,046 31,614 12,013
1913 249,637 4 5,418 16,718 7,983,119 49,886 18,215
1917 293,637 5 6,851 26,203 14,340,187 87,588 23,637

As far back as 1272, the village of Almondbury boasted a weekly market. When this market was discontinued is not known, but probably (says Canon Hulbert) when a market was granted to the Ramsden family for Huddersfield, 400 years later. The Huddersfield markets were formerly held in the open air in the Old Market Place, New Street, and also on the site of the present Market Hall, in King Street, which was then called "The Shambles." The terms made between the Ramsden family and the stall-holders were not always satisfactory to the latter, and many disputes resulted, which ripened into rebellion by the tenants about the year 1857. This dispute was settled by the then Local Authority — the Improvement Commissioners — taking the market tolls on lease and subsequently, in 1876, the Corporation purchased from Sir John Ramsden all the market rights and tolls of which he was possessed for the sum of £14,453.

The foundation stone of the present Market Hall, in King Street, was laid on September 5th, 1878, and the erection of the building was completed in March 1880. The estimated cost of the building was £31,325, and the site, which was bought from Sir J. W. Ramsden, cost £6,491. The length of the building is 270 feet, and the width 101 feet 6 inches. There are 55 shops in and around the Market Hall, which let at an average annual rental of about £46, and 76 stalls, the average weekly rental being about 11/-. During the erection of the Hall, the Cloth Hall was used at a yearly rental of £50 as a market, and was, in the meantime, internally altered at a cost of £1,609. The capital expenditure on the building up-to-date is £53,571.

The Income and Expenditure on Revenue Account are shown in the following table:—

Year Income (£ s. d.) Expenditure (£ s. d.)
1881 5,322 7 8 1,074 2 10
1891 5,427 9 2 1,801 18 5
1901 5,231 17 8 2,272 16 7
1911 5,394 18 0 2,168 5 0
1918 5,868 10 11 2,217 15 8

In 1888, a Covered Wholesale Fruit, Vegetable and Fish Market was erected in Brook Street, at a cost of £14,700, including £6,000 for the site, which is 3,619 square yards in extent. The capital expenditure up to date is £14,721. The following table shows Income and Expenditure on Revenue Account:—

Year Income (£ s. d.) Expenditure (£ s. d.)
1889 803 19 10 175 10 6
1896 849 7 8 267 19 10
1906 1,187 10 10 329 2 5
1916 1,339 11 4 362 0 7
1918 1,315 19 7 372 9 1

Prior to the Market Rights being purchased from Sir J. Wm. Ramsden, slaughtering of animals for food was carried on under most unfavourable conditions in an old building at Aspley. The Corporation in 1877 acquired from Sir J. W. Ramsden at a cost of £16,115 land in Great Northern Street upon which to erect the present Slaughter House, and also to form a Cattle Market. This has since, from time to time, been improved, and is now considered typical of what is necessary for the requirements of a large modern Borough. The total cost exclusive of the land has been £16,590, and the area is 7,333 square yards. The building may be classified as follows:—

(a) Slaughter Hall and lairage for beasts, sheep, calves, and pigs.
(b) Dead Meat Market.
(c) Blood and Gut Rooms.
(d) Cold Storage Rooms.

The number of animals slaughtered therein each year averages 7,000 beasts, 3,000 calves, 23,000 sheep and 9,500 pigs. The accommodation is far in excess of the above numbers.

The statement herewith relative to the Income and Expenditure on Revenue Account will be interesting:—

Year Income (£ s. d.) Expenditure (£ s. d.)
1883 693 9 6 426 7 11
1891 729 14 6 409 18 7
1901 879 1 8 399 6 5
1911 974 11 4 482 3 5
1918 1,374 4 11 1,029 7 0

On July 5th, 1900, Cold Storage premises at the Public Abattoir were officially opened. The total capacity of the Stores is 21,000 cubic feet, made up of 9,000 cubic feet of freezing space, and 12,000 cubic feet of chilling space. There are seven cold storage rooms, very effectively insulated with Messrs. Newall's "Non-Pareil" Cork Slab. Perishable goods of all kinds are taken into Stores.

The capital expenditure to date amounts to £3,621. The following table shews the Revenue Account:—

Year Income (£ s. d.) Expenditure (£ s. d.)
1901 91 12 0 164 3 2
1911 288 19 6 250 12 11
1918 645 8 4 387 3 6

Prior to the year 1877, the Cattle Market was held on ground now known as the Beast Market, and also at the Swine Market, in the precincts of Victoria Street.

On May 14th, 1881, the present Cattle Market and Fair Ground in Great Northern Street were opened.

The amount of purchase money paid to Sir J. W. Ramsden was £16,115, subsequently additional land was acquired at a further cost of £4,901 14s. 5d., the excavating, and forming site, constructing shelter pens, fencing ground, street paving, etc., cost a further £6,960 1s. 1d., making a total capital outlay of £27,976 15s. 11d. The Cattle Market is in close proximity to the Public Abattoir, being separated therefrom only by a boundary wall. The Market is held each Monday during the year, a fully qualified Veterinary Inspector being in attendance for the examination of all animals passing through the gates into the Market. A plentiful accommodation is provided for all classes of animals, part of the Market area being provided with a covering, and the whole of the area is well penned; the area is paved with impervious material, enabling it to be easily and effectually cleansed after each Market. The Market is in close proximity to the main railway, a cattle dock being erected thereon for the discharge and shipment of cattle to and from the Market, if required. There is ample space for extension, if necessary.

The Income and Expenditure on Revenue Account are shown in the following table:—

Year Income (£ s. d.) Expenditure (£ s. d.)
1883 228 12 6 82 11 9
1891 620 19 1 51 4 11
1901 654 16 7 60 11 2
1911 814 17 2 97 13 11
1918 881 11 0 244 13 11

The citizens of Huddersfield have reason to boast of its series of Markets, unsurpassed by any borough of equal size. The receipts from all the Markets for the year ended March 31st, 1918, were £10,542 17s. 7d., leaving a deficiency of £298 1s. 2d. The total capital expenditure on Markets and Slaughter House reaches the sum of £121,849.


Huddersfield was one of the first municipalities to avail itself of the Artisans' Dwellings Act.

The Artisans' Dwellings erected by the Corporation in 1880-2 comprise 160 houses situate at Turnbridge. The rents derived last year reached £2,168, and the expenditure on interest on the capital outlay, ground rent, rates, &c., was £2,113, which left a surplus for the year. The total capital expenditure upon these dwellings is £28,944. The weekly rents range from 3/10 to 6/3. For the past five years there have been no empties and no leakages.

In consequence of the great shortage of housing accommodation in the Borough, the Council have erected a number of tenements and houses during recent years, as per the following list:—

Situation Number of Houses Date
Moldgreen 38 Tenements April, 1912
Moldgreen 22 Tenements Aug., 1913
Moldgreen 6 Scullery Houses Aug., 1913
Kirkgate 36 Tenements Jan., 1914
Meltham Road 30 Scullery Houses May, 1914
Salendine Nook 24 Scullery Houses March, 1914
High Royd (Moldgreen) 20 Scullery Houses Jan., 1915
Bradley 25 Scullery Houses March, 1914
Royds Wood 48 Scullery Houses May, 1914
Royds Wood 15 Scullery Houses June, 1916
Royds Wood 12 Scullery Houses Sept., 1917

The capital outlay in connection with the above land and buildings up to March, 1917, was £64,366.

There still remains a considerable shortage of houses, but in consequence of the war further building operations have had to be suspended. So recently as May, 1918, the Council passed a resolution expressing the opinion that after the war a minimum of 1,200 houses should be built.


The Cemetery at Edgerton was opened in 1855, by the Improvement Commissioners, at a cost of £11,500 and was subsequently acquired by the Corporation. It has since been enlarged at an additional cost of £6,600, and now covers 18 acres of ground, tastefully cultivated; one-half being consecrated, and the other half unconsecrated. There are two chapels — one for each portion of the ground — and, says Mr. Hobkirk, "these are apparently joined by a wide arch spanning the road of division." The word "apparently" is a most fitting word, because they are not really joined, as the curious may see on close examination there is a niche between the supports of the arch and the two chapels. These two niches were purposely left in order to clearly separate the consecrated chapel from the unconsecrated. Such was the compromise arrived at by hot disputants representing Church and Dissent sixty years ago!

During the past year there were in this Cemetery 723 interments, bringing the total number up to 44,683.

The revenue account reaches £1,490, with a credit balance of £1,008.

The Lockwood Cemetery was acquired in 1898. The estate was purchased at a cost of £5,131, and there has since been expended in erections and laying-out the grounds, &c., the sum of £7,798. Last year there were 150 interments, making a total number of 2,009. The nett expenditure for last year reached the sum of £687.


The Model Lodging House, in Chapel Hill, was constructed by the Old Improvement Commissioners out of an old warehouse in 1854, at a cost of nearly £6,000. It was stated at that time to be the only Lodging House in England constructed and supported out of the public rates. It was enlarged in 1879, and now contains 186 beds. Last year the number of lodgers accommodated were:—

Males at 6d. per night 14,893
Males at 4d. per night 44,620
Single Females at 4d. per night 3,898
Married Couples at 8d. per night 2,006
Total No. 65,417

The total receipts from lodgers last year amounted to £1,388.


The Central Baths in Ramsden Street were first erected in 1847 as a Public Hall — known as the Gymnasium Hall. The Corporation purchased the property in 1888 for £2,000 and converted it into Public Baths. Last year the number of persons using the Slipper Baths reached 31,110. The Swimming Bath, in consequence of war conditions, was only opened for eleven weeks, and was patronised by 16,320 bathers. The receipts last year were £931 and the expenditure reached £2,970, which included a considerable sum for new filtering plant, &c. The total capital expenditure is £6,684. There are also some Corporation Baths at Lockwood on the left bank of the river Holme. These were originally opened in 1827, purchased by the Corporation in 1870 for £910, and enlarged in 1881. This Swimming Bath was closed last year owing to shortage of labour, the Slipper Baths only being open, which were visited by 5,741 persons. The receipts last year were £100, and the expenditure £467. The total capital outlay is £3,748.

In consequence of the shortage of labour during 1917, arrangements could not be made for the instruction of the School Children in Swimming, and therefore they did not attend the Baths. In the previous year 18,000 visits were made by the school children.

The above Baths have been found utterly inadequate to meet the public requirements, and the committee have prepared plans for new Baths near St. John's Road. Unfortunately the war has prevented the work being carried out.


To summarize the aforesaid undertakings, the following particulars, prepared by Mr. E. Dyson, the Borough Treasurer, will prove interesting.

The first is for the year ending March 31st, 1917, and the second gives the total figures from the beginning of each undertaking to March 31st, 1918.

Undertaking Amount of Stock and Loans Income Expenditure (excluding interest, &c.) Gross Surplus Surplus % on Capital Outlay Interest & Contribution towards Repayment of Debt Depreciation and Contingencies In Aid of Rate
£ s. d. £ s. d. £ s. d. £ s. d. £ s. d. £ s. d. £ s. d.
Waterworks 1,815,182 11 4 101,049 18 5 28,932 18 10 72,116 19 7 3.75 69,849 9 4 2,267 10 3
Gas Works 326,000 0 0 143,920 6 6 120,285 13 2 23,634 13 4 7.25 15,643 2 1 1,164 15 2
Electricity 293,637 10 0 77,698 16 4 53,046 19 9 24,651 16 7 8.39 20,552 10 7 1,899 5 10 2,200 0 0
Tramways 483,755 0 0 152,536 1 6 95,805 19 3 56,730 2 3 11.73 32,561 8 4 15,368 13 11 8,800 0 0
Markets 121,856 0 0 9,523 10 5 4,459 1 2 5,064 9 3 4.15 4,760 3 4
Edgerton Cemetery 6,750 0 0 1,585 18 5 1,381 5 6 204 12 11 3.00 280 18 8
Lockwood Cemetery 12,953 10 0 1,135 5 6 476 15 2 658 10 4 5.08 577 4 7
Model Lodging House 6,492 3 1 1,188 2 7 1,177 7 1 10 15 6 0.16 123 15 0
Artizans' Dwellings 28,944 14 11 2,171 12 4 1,132 8 5 1,039 3 11 3.59 1,193 19 8
Ramsden Street Baths 6,684 15 1 999 7 0 1,496 14 0 300 10 2
Lockwood Baths 3,747 18 0 253 6 10 391 11 6 130 12 9
Totals 3,106,004 2 10 492,062 5 10 308,586 13 10 183,475 12 0 5.97 145,973 14 6 20,700 5 2 11,000 0 0
Department Received from the Rates (£ s. d.) Paid to the Rates (£ s. d.)
Tramways Undertaking 73,041 6 7 79,977 19 1
Waterworks Undertaking 202,470 6 0 25,846 10 3
Gas Works Undertaking 3,230 0 0 177,317 10 4
Electricity Undertaking 5,985 16 6 18,735 16 6
Markets Undertaking 4,209 18 9 2,530 0 7
Lockwood Cemetery Undertaking 11,202 0 0
Totals 300,139 7 10 304,407 16 9

Continue to Chapter III...