Railway Times (10/Jan/1846) - Huddersfield and Manchester Railway


On Friday week a meeting of shareholders of this undertaking was held in the Guildhall, Huddersfield. The number of shareholders present was not very large. The real object of the meeting was to take into consideration the amalgamation with the Sheffield and Manchester Company, and to take what steps might be thought necessary in reference to it. Joseph Brook, jun., Esq., was called to the chair. The meeting was addressed by the Chairman, Mr. W. Moore, Mr. Shaw, Mr. Joseph Stocks, (a proprietor of above 1000 shares), Mr. Bennett (of Liverpool), Mr. T.A. Heaps, Mr. Armitage (Chairman of the Huddersfield and Sheffield), and Mr. Freeman. A feeling against amalgamation was very decidedly manifested. The position in which it would place this Company was reviewed with great calmness by several of the speakers. A circular, recently issued by the Directors to the shareholders, was made the subject of repeated allusion, and though, by some of the gentlemen who referred to that document, it was admitted to contain some more weighty considerations in favour of the amalgamation with the Sheffield Company than had been previously laid before the shareholders, it was, nevertheless, at the same time contended, that they were still insufficient to prove the desirableness of such a union. All who gave expression to their sentiments were unanimous as to the importance of an alliance with the Leeds and Dewsbury, which was generally viewed to be so desirable that the obstacles to such an arrangement which it was conceived would be presented by uniting the Huddersfield and Manchester with a Company having the enormous responsibilities in which the Sheffield was involved, were made a prominent argument against an amalgamation with the latter Company at the present period. If an amalgamation could be effected with the Leeds and Dewsbury, it was generally thought that they would be in a position to obtain, at a future period, far more advantageous terms from either the Sheffield and Manchester, or Leeds and Manchester Companies, than they could procure at the present time. In the course of the proceedings the conduct of some of the Directors in pressing, as it was conceived, unduly, the amalgamation with the Sheffield and Manchester, also became the subject of animadversion, and some of the speakers did not hesitate to assert the inefficiency and want of local knowledge of the requirements of Huddersfield on the part of some of the Directors; and Mr. Armitage, who complained that he had been driven out of the Directory by the unhandsome treatment of one or two of them, urged the necessity of the Director being weeded at the meeting of the Company which was to take place in February.

At the close of the discussion a series of resolutions (the same as those adopted by the Liverpool shareholders), were submitted to the meeting, on the proposition of Mr. Shaw, seconded by Mr. Stocks. The resolutions expressed a disapproval of the amalgamation as hasty, imprudent, and ill-advised; and set forth the Leeds and Dewsbury and the Leeds and Thirsk as the obvious and natural allies for the Huddersfield and Manchester.

On the motion being put to the meeting, it was adopted without a dissentient.

A Committee was afterwards formed to carry out the objects of the resolutions, and for the purpose of communicating with the shareholders at a distance, in order to ensure their co-operation.