Yorkshire Post (25/Oct/1919) - Huddersfield and 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 AND THE RAMSDEN ESTATE.

THE PROPERTY SOLD TO "THIRD PARTY."

PURCHASE PRICE £1,300,000.

We are informed that the preliminary negotiations for the purchase of Sir John F. Ramsden's Huddersfield estate have been completed, and that the purchase price agreed upon is £1,300,000, the figure at which the owner, after prolonged bargaining, had finally offered it.

As has already been explained, the Corporation have not yet come into the transaction, though the intention of the purchaser is to transfer it to the municipality if the Town Council should accept the offer that will be made to them in due course. The negotiations have been conducted by a committee of three well-known local public men — the Mayor (Alderman C. Smith), Alderman Ernest Woodhead, Chairman of the Corporation Finance Committee, and Councillor Wilfred Dawson, vice-chairman — with an intermediary, Mr. S. W. Copley, who formerly lived in Huddersfield, afterwards went to Australia and amassed great wealth, now resides in London, and is associated with many big concerns, among them being the Western Australian Insurance Company (Limited), of which he is chairman.

Nothing in writing was in the hands of any of the Huddersfield gentlemen concerned last night, but a message which leaves no doubt whatever was received yesterday from the solicitors acting in London for the purchaser, and was afterwards confirmed by Mr. Copley, that this gentleman had agreed to the price asked, namely, £1,300,000.

Though Mr. Copley is the actual purchaser, we understand that the Corporation will have given to them in a day or two the option of buying the estate at the price named. In the event of the Town Council not agreeing to the purchase, or anything else arising that would prevent the transfer, Mr. Copley would keep the estate. But no such contingency is anticipated. Though the matter has come suddenly upon the townspeople, we are informed that it is very likely public opinion in the borough will be strongly in favour of purchase by the Corporation, as it will strengthen the financial position of the Corporation and lead to many desirable improvements in the town. Many of the leading townsmen, on being questioned in the early part of yesterday, hesitated to express a decided opinion whilst negotiations were pending, but now that the sale of the estate has been definitely agreed upon, there is a general feeling that the Corporation would be wise to acquire the estate, that the Town Council will decide to do so, and that they will have the support of the ratepayers as a whole.

The importance of the scheme is indicated by the fact that the estate includes the most valuable business part of the town, and that its ground rents are said to amount to about £180,000 a year.