Loyal "New Year" Lodge No. 230 of the Independent Order of Oddfellows (Manchester Unity)

The Meltham branch of the Oddfellows was the Loyal "New Year Lodge"[1] (No. 230) of the Independent Order of Oddfellows Manchester Unity, reputedly established at Holthead on 1 January 1827.[2]

The 16th anniversary meal was held at the Waggon and Horses Inn on 31 December 1842, which "upwards of 100 members" in attendance.[3]

The Lodge built the Oddfellows' Hall in Meltham in 1851 and later extended it in 1894. During the stone laying ceremony for the extension, it was estimated that around a quarter of the residents of Meltham were members of at least one of the friendly societies.

The 1855 anniversary dinner was held on New Year's Day at the Swan Inn with around 200 members in attendance. A meeting was then held in the Oddfellows' Hall.[4] A similar number of members, including widows of deceased members, attended the 1857 anniversary dinner. Afterwards, they "adjoined to the Oddfellows' Hall, where they spent the remainder of the day in an harmonious and agreeable manner."[5]

Upwards of 220 members sat down to the dinner on New Year's Day 1858, which was split into sittings at the Swan Inn and Fleece Inn. In the evening, "singing, dancing, and reciting were kept up until about eleven o'clock" at the Oddfellows' Hall.[6]

At the start of 1890, the Lodge had 259 members. By 1894, the membership had risen to 312 members and the "sick and funeral fund" stood at £4,630.

Notes and References

  1. Sometimes referred to as the "New Year's Lodge".
  2. "Oddfellowship at Meltham" in Huddersfield Chronicle (09/Jun/1894).
  3. "Odd Fellowship" in Leeds Times (07/Jan/1843).
  4. "Meltham" in Huddersfield Chronicle (13/Jan/1855).
  5. "Local and District News" in Huddersfield Chronicle (03/Jan/1857).
  6. "Meltham" in Huddersfield Chronicle (09/Jan/1858).