Meltham Mills Mechanics' Institute

The Meltham Mills Mechanics' Institute was in existence by late 1849, when lectures were being delivered in the National School Rooms.[1]

A separate Meltham Mechanics' Institute was established circa 1848.

In October 1851, a reporter from the Huddersfield Chronicle visited the institute:[2]

It is under the patronage of the Messrs. Brook, who provide the rooms and furniture for this society, rent free, besides contributing very praiseworthily to its support in other respects. The number of members at present on the books is about 55, which will, no doubt, be greatly increased during the winter. The only class at present in operation is that for writing and arithmetic, which meets three times a week, and the average attendance at which is about 30. The reading room is open every night, and is supplied with the Huddersfield Chronicle, the Leeds Inteliigencer, Chamber's Journal, Dicken's Household Words, and the Union, a monthly. The library contains only about 130 volumes, but amongst these are some very choice works.

In November 1851, Mr. W. Richardson delivered a series of four lectures on the topic of "Electricity, Galvanism, Electro-Magnetism, and Pnuematics" but the Chronicle reported that "attendance at the lectures has not been so good as we could have wished".[3]

In January 1853, William Leigh Brook proposed that the separate institutes of Meltham and Meltham Mills should be combined, but this was seemingly rejected.[4]

The institute was still in existence in February 1860, when a large number of people attended the annual soirée which was held in the National School and then the dining room of Brook's Mill. The report, read by James W. Carlile, noted that evening classes were limited to reading, writing, arithmetic and geography. Although most mechanics' institute remained secular, the Meltham Mills institute also provided a Bible class.[5]

Notes and References

  1. "Meltham Mills Mechanics' Institution" in Leeds Intelligencer (08/Dec/1849).
  2. "Meltham Mills Mechanics' Institution" in Huddersfield Chronicle (04/Oct/1851).
  3. "Meltham Mills Mechanics' Institution" in Huddersfield Chronicle (15/Nov/1851).
  4. "Meltham: Mechanics' Institution Soirée" in Huddersfield Chronicle (22/Jan/1853).
  5. "Meltham Mills Mechanics' Institution" in Huddersfield Chronicle (18/Feb/1860).