Charles Brook had cut the ceremonial first sod for the Meltham Branch Line almost exactly a year before.
“Navvies'” Tea Party.
In the formation of the Huddersfield and Meltham Railway, as in all such like undertakings, large numbers of “navvies” collected from all parts of the country are employed. Generally speaking, this class are of a loose, wild, reckless character, and in many instances quite lawless. The “navvies” engaged on the Meltham line have, however, so far proved a happy exception, they, on the whole, behaving themselves in a quiet, and orderly manner ; so much so, that they have gained the respect of the gentry of the neighbourhood, which was testified on Tuesday last, when upwards of 200 of them were treated to a good substantial tea in the spacious dining hall of Meltham Mills, and to which it is needless to say the bronze-faced navvies did “ample justice.” This treat was got up principally through the liberality of Charles Brook, sen., Charles Brook, jun., J.W. Carlile, and Edward Brook, Esqs., and the Rev. E.C. Ince. In testimony of their appreciation of the character of the “navvy,” the whole of the above gentlemen were present on the occasion with the ladies of their respective families, and addressed some very appropriate remarks to the assembled workmen, who paid great attention to what was said to them. At a later period of the evening J.W. Carlile, Esq., amused and interested the audience by exhibiting his magic lantern, and a very agreeable evening was spent.