Mr. Bentley Shaw (1816–1878) was a vocal opponent of the proposed Meltham Branch Line, as the planned route would run close to Woodfield House, his estate near Lockwood.
Charles Brook is named as a supporter of the line and he cut the first sod of the railway in April 1864.
Some of the other named people are:
- James Wrigley (1809–1893) of Field House, South Crosland, a woollen manufacturer who is named as employing 150 people in the 1881 Census. He died aged 84 and was buried on 15 April 1893 at Holy Trinity, South Crosland.
- James Kilburn (1828–1913) of Croft House, Meltham, owner of an iron foundry and an engineer employing 26 men in the 1881 Census. He married Ann Eastwood Farrar in 1850.
On Monday afternoon, about three o’clock, a special messenger arrived at the Rose and Crown Inn, bearing a telegraphic message from London, announcing that the bill before parliament for the proposed branch railway from Lockwood to Meltham had been passed by the Committee of the House of Commons, notwithstanding the efforts made by Mr. Bentley Shaw in opposing it. The welcome news spread with incredible rapidity from house to house, and every countenance bespoke one common sentiment of gratitude for the boon thus far obtained. The bells of Old St. Bartholomew’s Church soon caught the strain, and began to peal forth merrily, as if determined not to be outdone. In the evening, the Meltham Mills Brass Band paraded the streets, playing their favourite musical airs, and the hand-bell ringers also contributed their quota in the general rejoicing.
Meeting on the Railway Bill.
At a public meeting held in the Oddfellows’ Hall on Tuesday evening, the following resolutions were unanimously adopted by a crowded assembly:— “We, the inhabitants of Netherton and South Crosland, feeling ourselves aggrieved at the conduct of Mr. Bentley Shaw, in his determined and persevering opposition to a bill now pending in parliament to enable the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company to make a branch line of railway from Lockwood via Netherton, to Meltham, resolve therefore that we will refrain from drinking any ale, beer, or porter brewed by the firm of Bentley and Shaw, till the train shall run on the said line through our village.” Resolved also:— “That the thanks of this meeting be given to Messrs. C. Brook, jun., J. Wrigley, J. Ibbotson, James Kilburn, Edwin Eastwood, and J. Ramsden, for their indefatigable and praiseworthy exertions in defending the bill for the aforesaid line of railway.”