Large Mushrooms and Walking Blindfold to Castle Hill

One of the joys of hunting through old editions of local newspapers is stumbling across weird and wonderful articles.

Let it never be said nothing exciting ever happens in Kirkburton:1

Large Mushroom.

The other day a large mushroom was gathered in a field near to the Stocksmoor Station. It measured ten inches across, and was healthy in appearance.

Meanwhile, over in Armitage Bridge and Berry Brow:2

Extraordinary Feat.

A large number of persons assembled in the Big Valley, Armitage Bridge, on Saturday afternoon, to witness an extraordinary feat performed by Mr. Joshua Longbottom, joiner, Berry Brow. This person had undertaken, for a wager of 50 shillings to walk blindfolded from that place to the top of Castle Hill under 30 minutes. Sponges were placed over his eyes, and tied on by a bandage, and over this was a bag or cap securely fastened. The start took place near the Coalpit Lane, Longbottom having no other assistance than two small sticks in his hands. Off he started in good style, but the small sticks were taken from him, not being considered as coming within the conditions of the race. To supply the place of these he used his two-foot rule, but that aid was also taken away from him. Nothing daunted away he went, and, with no other assistance than his hands and feet, he accomplished the difficult task by reaching the pole (erected by the Sappers and Miners on the crown of the hill some years ago) in the extraordinary short space of 23½ minutes.


  1. Huddersfield Chronicle (04/Aug/1860)
  2. Huddersfield Chronicle (17/Dec/1870)