Loyal "Who Could Have Thought It" Lodge No. 416 of the Grand United Order of Oddfellows (Huddersfield Unity)

The "Who Could Have Thought It" was lodge number 416 of the Grand United Odd Fellows Huddersfield Unity and was formed in 1838. One of the founding members was named as Thomas Pindar.

The lodge was presumably linked to the Who Could Have Thought It beerhouse on Castlegate, Huddersfield, although no newspaper reports of them holding meetings there were found during research.

The unusual name suggests a possible link to an area of East Ardsley near Wakefield which was known locally as "Who Could Have Thought It" after ten miners were killed in a tragic accident in 1809.[1]

The 1851 anniversary dinner took place on Good Friday at the Cross Keys Inn, chaired by Brother Thomas Cowgill with Past Noble Father (P.N.F.) Henry Lawton vice-chair.[2]

The 1852 anniversary dinner took place on Good Friday at the Cross Keys Inn. The chair was occupied by P.N.F. Thomas Pindar, with Brother John Halstead as the vice-chair.[3]

Around 500 people attended the funeral of lodge member John Kaye, a local bill poster who was "well known throughout the entire district". The funeral procession was accompanied by the Lane Sax Horn Band who performed the "Dead March".[4]

Past Grand Master (P.G.M.) William C. Wilson presided over the 1858 anniversary dinner held on Good Friday at the Cross Keys Inn with around 70 members in attendance. It was reported that "upwards of £49" had been given out in sickness pay.[5]

The 33rd anniversary dinner took place on 7 April 1871 at the Albion Hotel on Buxton Road with around 70 members in attendance and presided over by P.G.M. Riley. The secretary was Brother John Kershaw, who reported that £66 18s had been paid as sick pay during the year, with a further £24 3s. 5d. for "funerals and other expenses". The total value of the lodge was reported as £306 13s. 8d. with a membership of about 80.[6]

Their 1873 anniversary dinner was held on Easter Monday at the Albion Hotel, with "about 40 of the brotherhood" in attendance. The chair was occupied by P.G.M. J. Cowgill, the vice chair was Brother George Bottom, and the secretary was Brother G. Banks. The lodge's finances totalled £107 0s. 3d., of which £75 had been received in subscriptions. The total value of the lodge was reported as £346 16s. 5d. with less than £15 being used for sickness payments.[7]

At the 1874 dinner, held on the evening of Good Friday at the Albion Hotel, P.G.M. J. Cowgill was "re-elected treasurer for the 27th time", and Brother George Bottom was elected secretary. P.G.M. Joseph Battersby was appointed to the role of corresponding secretary.[8]

Notes and References

  1. The Historical Gazetteer of England's Place-names. According to some sources, it was a small cluster of miner's cottages at Spring Bottom which became known as "Who Could Have Thought It" and the name is given on O.S. maps until circa 1930 when they were shown as "Haigh Hall Terrace". The Oddfellows provided services such as health and injury insurance, so the Lodge's name may have been chosen soon after the mining accident.
  2. "Oddfellows' Anniversary" in Huddersfield Chronicle (26/Apr/1851).
  3. "Odd-fellowship" in Huddersfield Chronicle (17/Apr/1852).
  4. "Local and District News" in Huddersfield Chronicle (25/Apr/1857).
  5. "Local and District Intelligence" in Huddersfield Chronicle (10/Apr/1858).
  6. "Lodge Anniversary" in Huddersfield Chronicle (08/Apr/1871).
  7. "Oddfellows' Anniversary" in Huddersfield Chronicle (17/Apr/1873).
  8. "Lodge Anniversary" in Huddersfield Chronicle (06/Apr/1874).