Sheffield Daily Telegraph (31/Oct/1919) - The Ramsden Estate

The following is a transcription of a historic newspaper article and may contain occasional errors. If the article was published prior to 1 June 1957, then the text is likely in the Public Domain.


Huddersfield Council to Buy from Mr. S. W. Copley.

The facts concerning the negotiations for the purchase of the Huddersfield Ramsden Estate were laid before a special meeting of the Huddersfield Town Council yesterday.

The Mayor (Alderman C. Smith) said that some ten months ago Councillor Dawson approached him as Mayor of the Borough and informed him that he had an idea that the Ramsden Estate could be purchased, and seeing the enormous benefits that would accrue to the town, he (the Mayor) requested him to get to know as early as possible if that could be done. Councillor Dawson made the necessary inquiries and reported the result to Alderman Woodhead, the chairman of the Finance Committee, and himself.

They authorised him to ascertain terms, and resolved to negotiate. It was a rather tedious business, as the ideas of buyer and seller as to price were necessarily different, and the gulf was so wide as to take a long time in bridging. In fact, it was not bridged when the premature revelations of the negotiations were made a week ago.

Their first difficulty was to find someone to take the responsibility of the carry-over and to find the money until the Corporation could get a Bill through Parliament. They were fortunate in solving that difficulty by finding in Mr. S. W. Copley, a Berry Brow (Huddersfield) lad who had been exceedingly successful in Australia, one willing to become responsible for the carry-over, and to give them the necessary financial backing.

Considering the nature and the vast importance of the subject, secrecy was very essential. Eventually, however, the secret got round to someone interested in the Press of another town. He asked the representative of the paper not to publish anything as the time was not ripe, but they published several incorrect statements which it was thought necessary to deny. The result had been that their hands were forced and the town placed at a disadvantage.

The Council decided by a unanimous vote, subject to the sanction of Parliament, and any necessary consent of any Government Department being obtained, to purchase the estate.

The purchase price paid by Mr. S. W. Copley is £1,300,000.