The Big Valley Hotel

Standing on Meltham Road at the bottom of the hill running down from Netherton to the former Big Valley Garage is a large property which, until very recently, look rather dishevelled and unloved.

bigvalley

This photograph from the Kirklees Image Archive from around 1910 shows the same building on the far right:

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For over 100 years, this was a public house and an occasional hotel, most commonly known as the Big Valley Hotel.

The earliest newspaper references I could find are from the early 1840s, when two names are given for the building — the “Dean Wood Beer House” and the “Odd Fellows’ Arms”. The names appear in public house auction listings published in the Huddersfield Chronicle (April 1843) and Leeds Mercury (May 1843) respectively, and both name the location as Big Valley, South Crosland. The latter identifies Hannah Wilson as the current occupier and the former links the property to the Lockwood Brewery.

Hannah appears again in August 1848 when local newspapers name her in the Brewster Sessions applying for a new license for “the Big Valley, South Crosland”.1 Hannah, who was born around 1797 in Leeds, is listed in the 1851 Census as a widowed licensed victualler at Big Valley.2

On the 1854 map of the area, the building is marked as the “Odd Fellows’ Arms” public house. An article in the Huddersfield Chronicle (11/Dec/1852) identifies the owner of the property as Mr. James Walker and implies that he was linked to the “Grand Order of the Modern Druids, Honley and Huddersfield District”.3 There is some evidence that the pub was also known as the “Walker’s Arms” during Walker’s tenancy.4

bigvalley1854

A couple of years later, the Chornicle reported that the licence for the Odd Fellows’ Arms was transferred from James Walker to John Crowther of Lindley on 4 October 1856.

By 1857, it had been renamed the “Big Valley Hotel” — presumably a reflection that the pub now offered lodgings — and a magistrates court report in the Chronicle named Crowther as the landlord. The report implied that Crowther was regularly in front of the magistrates and in August 1857, having already been fined five times during the past year, his licence was not renewed.

By late 1859, Jesse Kaye had become the landlord. In late August, Kaye’s licence was initially not renewed as Superintendent Heaton gave evidence before the Brewster Sessions that whenever police officers visited the premises, Kaye “abused them, and heaped all manner of vile names upon [officials and] called them ‘a set of dastard thieves and scamps’.” The following month, the bench debated and, having heard that Kaye “had never been convicted of any offence”, decided to renew the Big Valley Hotel licence.

One noteworthy article from April 1865 (coincidentally the month when President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated) details the finding of “a large horse or cavalry pistol” in a “dilapidated state” whilst workmen were clearing an old hedge near Big Valley. The Chronicle described it as being in a “deeply corroded state, the whole of the stock and other woodwork completely rotted away, the lock and ramrod are rusted partially away, but the brass trigger guard, and the brass casing or socket that held the ramrods are in a perfect state of preservation.” The article ends by stating that the pistol was “now in the possession of Mr. Jesse Kaye, landlord of the [Big Valley Hotel], where large numbers of people have been to inspect it.” It was the opinion of many that this was one of the pistols used by the Luddites to murder mill owner William Horsfall in April 1812.

The pistol is mentioned again in an October 1871 article describing the exhibits on display at the “Fine Art and Industrial Exhibition” held at the Methodist New Connexion School at Paddock. Amongst the many dozens of weird and wonderful items loaned for display were two from Jesse — the sword of a swordfish and “the pistol that shot Mr. Horsfall during the Ludd Riots”.

It seems likely that Jesse remained the landlord at Big Valley for over 30 years until around 1890. He died in 1892. What happened to the pistol next remains a mystery!

bigvalley1892

An inquest held in October 1892 included a witness statement from Sarah Ann Harrison, wife of Thomas Harrison who was named as the landlord of the Big Valley Hotel. Although Sarah Ann died in 1908, Thomas is still listed at the Hotel in the 1911 Census.

The West Yorkshire Alehouse Licences provide details of when licences were granted for the premises:

  • 26.Aug/1879 — Jesse Kaye
  • 24/Aug/1897 — Thomas Harrison
  • 06/Dec/1921 — William Shaw
  • 03/Jun/1924 — Harold Farand
  • 05/Oct/1926 — Ada Wimpenny
  • 14/Feb/1928 — Walter Jackson
  • 07/Jun/1932 — Harry Heap
  • 07/Apr/1936 — Ernest Lockwood Nicholls

A photograph in the Kirklees Image Archive shows the building in the 1960s:

bigvalley4

At some point it became a residential property and local carpenter Joseph Hemingway lived there until recently — locals will surely remember the day in 2007 when a fire in his workshop behind the property led to Meltham Road being closed for 24 hours. Me? I managed to sleep through the sound of the fire engines that night!

The property was put up for auction in 2014 and, after selling for £142,000, has undergone what appears to be a full renovation. Hopefully a new chapter in the life of this local landmark is about to begin and, who knows, maybe the next owners of 221 Meltham Road might find the pistol used to kill William Horsfall over 200 years ago hidden somewhere in their house!

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At the time of posting this, the renovated property is on the market for £299,950 (view PDF).


Newspaper Articles

The following are a selection of newspaper articles mentioning the property or its landlords.

Huddersfield Chronicle (03/Jan/1857):

Magistrates in Petty Sessions

Guildhall, Saturday, December 27, 1856.
On the Bench : G. Armitage and W. Willans, Esqs.

Irregular Houses.

John Crowther, landlord of the Big Valley Inn, South Crosland, pleaded guilty to having his house open during the hours of divine service on the previous Sunday. Superintendent Heaton visited the house on Sunday morning, and found five persons there drinking and smoking — some in working clothes, apparently neighbours. The defendant was fined 5s., and expenses 5s. 6d.

Huddersfield Chronicle (07/February/1857):

Magistrates in Petty Sessions

Guildhall, Saturday, January 31, 1857.
On the Bench : G. Armitage, J. Haigh, and W. Willans, Esqs.

Irregular Houses.

John Crowther, of the Big Valley beerhouse, pleaded guilty to having his house open after twelve o’clock on Saturday night. Sergeant Sedgwick entered the house at a quarter to two o’clock on Sunday morning, and found four young men in the house, all drunk, with a pitcher of beer and a glass on the table before them. The defendant said two of the young men were going to America. He turned them out at the proper time, but they got in again, and induced him to serve them with a pitcher of beer. Superintendent Heaton said it was but a few weeks since the defendant was before the bench for having his house open at improper hours. The bench fined the defendant £2, and expenses 8s.

Huddersfield Chronicle (25/Jul/1857):

Magistrates in Petty Sessions

Guildhall, Saturday, July 18, 1857.
On the Bench : G. Armitage and W. Willans, Esqs.

Contrasted Decisions. — Where Was the Justice?

John Crowther, Big Valley Hotel, Armitage Fold, was charged with having his house open on Sunday morning at Four o’clock. Mr. Learoyd appeared for the defendant. The case was this:—

A man went knocking at the door of the defendant from two till four o’clock, demanding admittance, which was refused. At last Mr. Crowther, who was unwell, sent down his boy to see to the man, and the boy opened the door and served the man with a glass of ate. Whilst the man was drinking the ale, County Police officer No. 205, who had previously been talking to the man, walked into the house, having, in fact, listened to the knocking, and instead of ordering the man away as a disturber, permitted him to go on until he gained admittance. The defendant was fined £1 and expenses.

The Huddersfield Chronicle (22/Aug/1857) noted that publicans licences were renewed with 4 exceptions, including, “John Crowther, Big Valley Hotel, South Crosland, he having been fined five times during the past year.”

Huddersfield Chronicle (02/Oct/1858):

Magistrates in Petty Sessions

Guildhall, Saturday, September 25, 1858.
On the Bench : G. Armitage and T. Mallinson, Esqs.

A Public House Row.

Joseph Kinder was charged with having assaulted John Gibson on the 20th September, at Lockwood. The two men were drinking in the Big Valley Hotel ; and the complainant, after taking as much refreshment as he deemed necessary, had just got outside the house when the defendant went up and gave him a push, but was prevented from doing more violence there by the landlord. The defendant and another man, however, followed the complainant, and when he was about half a mile from the Big Valley Hotel, the defendant pulled off his coat and challenged him to fight. Complainant refused the invitation, and the defendant then attacked him, kicked him, tore his coat, and got him on the ground, when Mr. Bentley Shaw came up with one of his workmen, and pulled the defendant away. The complainant pro-duced the coat, which was torn to rags, and be estimated the damage at the certainly moderate sum of 5s. The bench fined the defendant 5s., allowing 10s. to the complainant, making a total of £1 2s. ; and in default of payment committed him to the House of Correction for one month.

Huddersfield Chronicle (01/Oct/1859):

Magistrates in Petty Sessions

TUESDAY
On the Bench: G. Armitage, J.T. Fisher, T.P. Crosland, W. Willans, and J.T. Armitage.

The Adjourned Brewster Sessions.

[…] The next application for renewal was that of Mr. Jesse Kaye, of the Big Valley Hotel, South Crosland. Superintendent Heaton said this house was necessary for the accommodation of the public. The police could not visit the house without being insulted, but he wished the bench to deal leniently with the case. Mr. Learoyd, who supported the application for the renewal of the license, said that Kaye had never been convicted of any offence, and never complained of until be appeared at the Brewster Sessions to obtain a renewal of the license, when a charge was for the first time made against him, without his having received any summons or intimation, so that he might have been prepared to rebut it. The license was suspended without conviction, without complaint, and without offence. He held that under the circumstances the bench had not the power under the act of parliament to suspend the license ; for the act provided that the magistrates had only the opportunity of doing this when the party applying had been convicted three times in the course of two years. He asked the magistrates to treat their adjournment of the license as a nullity. Mr. Kaye had succeeded a bad tenant, and had kept the house so well that during two years there had been no complaint and no conviction against him. Superintendent Heaton offered to go into evidence as to the conduct of the defendant towards the police, but the magistrates declined to hear it, and retired to consult as to their decision. On their return, G. Armitage, Esq., the presiding magistrate, said:—

[..] “In the case of Jesse Kaye, the bench merely state what they consider to be their opinion of the law of the case. We contend if we license any public-house in a district, and the keeper infringes the law, and is brought two or three times, and convicted within three months of the licensing day, we can take the license away at once without waiting for the Brewster Sessions. After hearing all that has been done in this case, we shall renew Jesse Kaye’s license in this instance. In case of no conviction, we think the magistrates have the power to take away the license at the end of the year, and, in case of two or three convictions, to take away the license at any time.”

T.P. Croslaud, Esq., said : “This is scarcely the unanimous opinion of the bench. Mr. J.T. Armitage and myself think that, in case of complaint, the party should be summoned and convicted before the license can be suspended.”

Mr. J.C. Laycock, the magistrates’ clerk, then remarked, “Anybody who knows this bench know they will commit no act of tyranny.”

Huddersfield Chronicle (19/May/1860):

DISTRICT NEWS.

Subscription Cradle.

To the great credit of the good people at Armitage Bridge, they are a charitable community altogether, as will appear in the sequel. Some time since, a poor woman in that neighbourhood was confined of twin children, which afforded an opportunity for her neighbours to exercise that spirit of charity for which they are noted. A subscription was at once entered into, and a cradle with two heads was purchased, in which the two babes were to be rocked to sleep at the same time. A week or two ago, another woman had the good fortune to be also confined of twins. The good husband then went for the cradle with two heads, but he was told that it was only to be used by those who were subscribers. The poor man was not of the number. Here, then, was another opportunity for the neighbourhood to do good. Another subscription was made, and another cradle with two heads was purchased at a cost of £3. The cradle is on a greatly improved principle, and is a great favourite with the good housewives at a Armitage Bridge. When out of use, the cradle is to be deposited at the Big Valley Inn ; and this cradle with two heads is also only to be used by those who are subscribers. Of course the subscribers to one or other of the cradles with two heads include almost the whole community at Armitage Bridge, and a fear is now beginning to be felt by the good men that their better-halves will be more anxious to have two at a birth than one, in order that they may have the advantage of one or other of the cradles already provided.

Huddersfield Chronicle (27/Sep/1862):

Vegetable Show

On Monday last tbe first of an intended annual show of vegetables was held at the bouse of Mr. Jesse Kaye, tbe Big Valley Hotel, Netherton, where a very craditable display of excellent grown vegetables were placed on tbe tables. For the first prize — a large handsome copper kettle, given by the landlord — for a tray of vegetables there was a spirited competition, — no less than nine trays being exhibited. It waa won by Brook Lockwood, who has obtained three other kettles this season, for vegetable trays. The following other principal prizes were awarded. Second tray, John Senior. Lewis Lunn obtained first prizes in leeks, parsnips, white turnips, red onions, red potatoes, eschalots, cauliflowers, and dahlias. Brook Lockwood, first in celery, white onions, peas, and white round potatoes. George Stringer, first red cabbage, first scarlet runners. Benjamin France, first carrots. John Booth, first white kidney potatoes. The judges were Mr. Joseph Heys of Armitage Bridge House, and the gardener of Bentley Shaw Esq., and their awards gave general satisfaction.

Huddersfield Chronicle (16/Apr/1864):

NETHERTON

The Railway.

The works of the Huddersfield and Meltham line of railway have at this place progressed very favourably for the few days since its commencement. On Wednesday an unusual bustle was occasioned in the village by the removal of the first barrow of earth from the Netherton end of the Butternab tunnel. The line at this place crosses a stream of pure water, reserved to Mr. Tolson, dyer, of Armitage Fold. To prevent the fouling of this water has been a source of great anxiety to Mr. Tolson. The consequence has been that several interviews have taken place between his manager and the contractors for this part of the works, the result being extremely satisfactory. To cement the amicable feeling originated, Mr. John Worth, manager of the dye-works undertook to remove the first soil for the boring of the tunnel. This took place on Wednesday last in presence of a large number of spectators, who had been attracted there by the novelty of the occurrence, as well as the fineness of the day. On the occasion, Mr. Jesse Kaye, of the Big Valley Hotel, presented Mr. Worth with anew spade, with which he removed the soil like one accustomed to such work. This being accomplished, Mr. Worth and a large number of workmen adjourned to the above hotel, where refreshments were plentifully provided, and a merry evening was afterwards enjoyed by all who partook of the same.

Huddersfield Chronicle (23/Apr/1864):

NETHERTON

Large Duck Eggs.

On Sunday last two ducks belonging to Mr. Jesse Kaye, of the Big Valley Hotel, laid eggs of extraordinary size — one weighing 5oz. and the other 4¾oz.

Huddersfield Chronicle (07/May/1864):

Magistrates in Petty Sessions

TUESDAY
On the Bench : Lieut-Col. Crosland, S.W. Haigh, Josh. Hirst, and Joshua Moorhouse, Esqrs.

A Stormy Scene at the Big Valley Hotel.

Jesse Kaye, William Kaye, Lucy Kaye, and Margaret Sugden, the landlord and household of the Big Valley Hotel were charged with an assault upon Joseph Taylor, a coal merchant, residing at Netherton. Mr. Learoyd supported the charge ; Mr. J.I. Freeman defended. The case was cumbered with a great deal of evidence on both sides. On Tuesday night the complainant, Taylor, who appears to be regarded at the Inn in question as a man of quarrelsome disposition, and between whom and the landlord enmity has existed for a length of time past, introduced himself amongst the company at the Big Valley Hotel, and commenced tossing for “glasses round.” In course of time the old enmity between Taylor and the landlord was revived, and he was ordered to leave the house. He declined to do so, and the landlord then resorted to violence in putting out his unwelcome guest. The other defendants were also alleged to have assisted more or less in the unenviable task. Complainant, on the whole, appeared to have been roughly handled, as he presented an extensively discoloured eye, and produced a coat which had been ripped into ribbons. He claimed the value of the coat under a special charge for damages. The magistrates considered that Jesse Kaye, the landlord, had been guilty of a very gross assault, and fined him £2 and expenses, and 2s. 6d. for the damage done to the coat — total £3 16s. They presumed that the other defendants — if they assisted in the assault — were acting under the landlord’s directions, and consequently dismissed the charges against them.

Huddersfield Chronicle (13/Aug/1864):

Local News

Accident to a Boy.

On Wednesday afternoon, an accident occurred to a boy named Kaye, whose parents reside in the Big Valley, Netherton. The lad is an apprentice with Mr. R. Haigh, mechanic, Folly Hall. On Wednesday he was sent in company with a younger boy to the foundry for some castings belonging to a tearing machine. When returning with about 13 cwt. of them in the hand cart, the shaft was jolted out of his hands and he fell to the ground the castings falling on him out of the cart. He was much bruised and shaken, but fortunately no bones were broken.

Huddersfield Chronicle (08/Oct/1864):

NETHERTON

Dastardly Outrage.

On Thursday evening week a brutal outrage was committed upon a woman named Scott, in this neighbourhood. The woman’s husband, Tom Scott, a pie hawker, lives in Huddersfield, and has been ill a long time. On the above day, Mrs. Scott went to her brother-in-law’s, who is a butcher, at Meltham, to obtain some preserves and other niceties for her sick husband. Having obtained them, she returned home. Upon arriving at a lonely part of the road known as Scotcher Dyke, a man suddenly jumped from Allheys Wood, seized her by the throat, and demanded her money. The poor woman had nothing to give, and in sheer brutality he throttled her till she was nearly insensible, such being his grip that he took a piece of flesh from her chin with his nails. Fortunately someone was heard approaching from the direction of Huddersfield, and the cowardly ruffian made off down the wood. The woman walked on as well as she was able till she met Police Constable Yates, who, finding her in an exhausted state, took her to the Big Valley Hotel, where brandy and other restoratives were administered, and she was forwarded to her home at Huddersfield. The ruffian who attacked her has not since been heard of.

Huddersfield Chronicle (29/Apr/1865):

NETHERTON.

A Relic of Luddism.

The murder of Mr. Horsfall during the reign of terror in this district, consequent on the Luddite disturbance in 1811 and 1812, will not soon be forgotten, and many yet living will remember the circumstances related at the time of the murder, and the search then and afterwards made for the weapons used without discovering them. At that time it was positively asserted that the murderous weapon had been buried somewhere in the neighbourhood of Armitage Bridge, or Netherton Wood. A circumstance transpired during the latter part of last week, which tends greatly to clear up this portion of the dark transaction. Mr. G.S. Tolson, manufacturer, of Dalton, has a dyehouse at Armitage, not far from the bottom of the “Big Valley,” and has lately purchased that estate. A number of men were last week engaged in removing an old quickset hedge, in order to supplant it with a strong fence wall, and while thus engaged, they discovered the remains of a large horse or cavalry pistol buried deep under the hedge. From the dilapidated state in which it was found, there is not the least doubt but it has lain there for more than half a century. On its becoming known that such a weapon was discovered, many circumstances were related tending to confirm the supposition that this was the very instrument by which the murder was committed, as it is well known the murderers took that direction from Crosland Moor in their way to Honley. Among these circumstances, the following was recollected. An old Waterloo veteran, now 73 years of age, named Bob Wood, some five years ago, while conversing in the Big Valley Hotel with the landlord and John Worth, foreman for Mr. Tolson, declared he knew for a positive fact that the identical pistol with which Mr. Horsfall was shot was buried under the hedge at Armitage, but he could not point out the exact spot. Since the fatal occurrence — now nearly 53 years — this instrument of death has lain where it was found till last week. It is in a deeply corroded state, the whole of the stock and other woodwork completely rotted away, the lock and ramrod are rusted partially away, but the brass trigger guard, and the brass casing or socket that held the ramrods are in a perfect state of preservation. It is now in the possession of Mr. Jesse Kaye, landlord of the above hotel, where large numbers of people have been to inspect it.

Rejoicing.

For a long time past the inhabitants of the Big Valley have been using their utmost endeavours to obtain gas mains laid from Messrs. John Brooke and Sons’ works at Armitage Bridge to the top of the hill in order to obtain a supply to their houses. This great desideratum has at length been accomplished, mainly by a private subscription to defray the cost of mains, &c., the principal subscribers being Bentley Shaw, Esq., Messrs. Milnes, Jesse Kaye, and others. On Saturday evening last the Netherton Brass Band met at the Big Valley Hotel and gave a concert of instrumental music in honour of the event, which was well attended.

Huddersfield Chronicle (31/Mar/1866)

NETHERTON

EXTRAORDINARY DUCK EGG.

On Tuesday morning a duck of the common breed, belonging to Mr. Jesse Kaye, of the Big Valley Hotel, laid an extraordinary egg, which measures nine inches round the long way, and seven inches in diameter, and weighs over five ounces.

THE “TRIPLED-HEADED CRADLE.”

About two years since a “triple-headed cradle,” purchased by subscription at the Big Valley, was presented to a working man named Alfred Berry, of Meltham, whose wife had been confined of three boys. A few days ago Mr. Jesse Kaye received the following letter from Berry:— “Meltham. Dear Friend, I am very sorry to inform you we have lost our little ones ; they have died in the measles. I shall send the cradle down to your house in a few days, and I thank you and your friends for the sympathy you have shown towards us.” It seems the children lived to the age of two years and five months, the dates of their deaths being January 13th, January 28th, and February 1st of the present year.

In April 1871, the question of the current whereabouts of the “triple-headed cradle” came up in an article about the birth of triplets in Meltham Mills, to John Marshall.

Huddersfield Chronicle (08/Jun/1867):

SOUTH CROSLAND

An Uncouth Customer.

Thomas Patrick Carney, a navvy, was summoned to appear before the magistrates at the Petty Sessions, on Thursday, on a charge of assaulting Mr. Jesse Kaye, proprietor of the Big Valley Hotel, South Crosland. Last Monday afternoon the defendant and three other men called at the hotel, and were served with a quart of beer. They called for another quart, and Carney asked the complainant to give him credit. He replied that he must be paid for the beer, and one of the party threw down some silver in payment. When the complainant was taking it up. the defendant wanted him to return it to the party, and, because he would not do so, kicked him in the abdomen ; and lie had been suffering ever since from the effects of the kick. The defendant, who, Police Constable Yates stated, had absconded, was fined in the of 10s. and expenses — total 23s. ; in default of payment, 14 days in the House of Correction.

Huddersfield Chronicle (04/Jan/1868):

NETHERTON.

Large Pullet Egg.

On Wednesday afternoon a pullet, in the possession of Mr. Kaye, of the Big Valley Hotel — only eight months old — laid an extraordinary egg, which measured seven inches by six inches, and weighed over 3¼ ounces.

Lost, Lost.

At an early hour on Wednesday morning the inhabitants of the Big Valley were alarmed by hearing a man shouting out, “Lost, lost,” in most pitiful accents. On some of them opening their bedroom windows to ascertain the cause, it was found that one of the musicians, who had been at the Lockwood concert, was returning home, when, from the darkness of the night, and the quantity of “Timmy’s best” imbibed, he became bewildered. Being directed in the right way, he went home rejoicing.

Huddersfield Chronicle (29/Aug/1868):

SOUTH CROSLAND

Breaking Windows at the Big Valley Hotel.

On Thursday, at the Huddersfield Police Court, Geo. Hy. Levi Lumb, delver, Black Moor Foot, was charged with breaking windows at the house of Mr. Jesse Kaye, landlord of the Big Valley Hotel. The complainant stated that, on the day mentioned in the precept, the defendant came into his house, and wanted something to drink. The defendant was labouring under the influence of drink, and he refused to supply him with anything. He (complainant) took hold of him, and he went very peaceably out. The defendant, who did not appear, was fined 2s. 6d., damages 2s. 6d., and costs (total 18s.)

Huddersfield Chronicle (24/Oct/1868):

NETHERTON.

Cricketers Supper.

The annual batting-off supper of the Armitage Bridge Cricket Club took place at the house of Mr. Jesse Kaye, the Big Valley Hotel, on Saturday last, when upwards of 40 of the members and their friends partook of a first-rate spread. Mr. Lewis Lunn occupied the chair. The report of the year’s proceedings was read and adopted, and a very pleasant evening was afterwards enjoyed.

Huddersfield Chronicle (30/Jan/1869):

NETHERTON.

Supper of Employees.

The cloth millers to the number of thirty, employed by the firm of Messrs, John Brooke and Sons, Armitage Bridge, partook of supper together on Saturday night, at the house of Jesse Kaye, the Big Valley Hotel. The after proceedings were conducted by Mr. Wm. Scaife, who occupied the chair, and the evening was spent with singing, reciting, and other recreations.

Huddersfield Chronicle (24/Sep/1870):

SOUTH CROSLAND.

Fatality in a Quarry.

Yesterday morning a fatality occurred, in Robinson Wood delf, near the Big Valley, to Joseph Bangham, a delver, residing on Manchester Road, Huddersfield. It seems the deceased was undermining a portion of rock, when, without any warning, a large piece of rock fell, knocked him down, and killed him almost instantly. A fellow workman, named Swallow, ran to his assistance, as did also a teamer, named Fred Todd. As soon as possible after the accident the deceased was extricated, and the body conveyed to the Big Valley Hotel, to await an inquest.

…at the subsequent inquest, it was heard that Bangham had likely been raising his pickaxe above his head when rock fell, causing the pick to be “driven into his head for some inches, entering just below the right eye”. A verdict of accidental death was recorded.

Huddersfield Chronicle (22/Apr/1871):

Huddersfield County Court.

An Alleged Cigar Transaction.

Jesse Kaye, of the Big Valley Hotel, Netherton, was sued by Henry South-worth, tea dealer, &c., of Huddersfield, to recover the sum of £6 4s. 11d., balance of amount for cigars sold. Mr, John Sykes defended. The evidence of the plaintiff went to show that he had had dealings with the defendant in the years from 1862 to 1865, both inclusive. The last transaction was about November of the latter year, alleging that at that time twelve boxes of cigars, amounting to about £5, were supplied to the defendant. — This transaction was utterly denied by the defendant and his wife, both of whom swore that they had never had a dozen boxes of cigars at their house at one time since they had kept the place. — The plaintiff declared he had taken the order himself, and had packed the goods, and that they were sent by the omnibus. The plaintiff not being in a position to prove the delivery of the goods to the defendant, the case was adjourned till the next court day, May 5th, to prove the delivery.

Huddersfield Chronicle (06/May/1871):

Huddersfield County Court.

A Cigar Transaction.

Southworth v. Kaye.

This was an action brought by Hy. Southworth, tea dealer, &c., Cross Church Street, to recover from Jesse Kaye, of the Big Valley Hotel, the sum of £14 8s. 5d., for cigars sold to the defendant. Mr. J.I. Freeman (for Mr. John Sykes) appeared for the defendant. The case had been partially heard on the previous court day, and was adjourned for the purpose of the plaintiff proving the delivery of a dozen boxes of cigars, which the defendant disputed having received. From the above sum certain payments had to be deducted, reducing the claim to £7 18s. 3d. The plaintiff called James M’Gowran, grocers assistant, who swore to having, in November, 1863, delivered a parcel containing twelve boxes of cigars to John Armitage, the driver of the Meltham omnibus, for delivery to the defendant. After the date named the defendant paid to plaintiff £1 on account. The defence was a denial of ever having received the cigars in question. — His Honour believed the goods had been ordered and received by the defendant, and gave a verdict for the plaintiff for the sum of £7 18s. 3d. and costs.

Huddersfield Chronicle (23/Aug/1873):

NETHERTON.

Club Termination at Netherton.

A small bat successful money club that had been held at the house of Mr. Jesse Kaye, the Big Valley Hotel, Netherton, was brought to a close on Friday week. The books and accounts were audited, and everything connected with the club was found satisfactory and certified by the committee. At the close of the audit, over 20 of the officials and friends of the club partook of a splendid supper provided by Mrs. Kaye, Music was afterwards introduced, and a pleasant evening was spent.

Huddersfield Chronicle (01/Jun/1881):

COUNTY POLICE COURT.

A Disorderly Man.

Albert Bates, logwood grinder, Netherton, was summoned for refusing to quit the Big Valley Hotel, Netherton, kept by Jesse Kaye, for assaulting the landlord, and for tearing Miss Kaye’s imitation sealskin jacket, doing damage to the extent of 13s. Mr. W. Arimtage, for the defendant, admitted the charges. The defendant had a friend who, on the day in question, recovered some money which he thought he had lost. After lodging a substantial portion of it in the bank, the two went and spent some of the remainder. The defendant who had been an abstainer for 12 months, was easily overcome, and he now expressed his regret that he should have misbehaved. On the suggestion of the Bench an arrangement was come to between the parties and the summons for damage was withdrawn. Defendant was fined 5s. for each of the other offences.

Huddersfield Chronicle (01/Jul/1885):

COUNTRY POLICE COURT

A Raid on the Big Valley Hotel

John Brook and Fred Brown, moulders, Primrose Hill, Huddersfield ; Willie Shaw, John Jenkinson, Fred Wood, and William Kaye, moulders, Almondbury ; were summoned for being disorderly, and refusing to quit the Big Valley Hotel, South Crosland; and William Kaye was further charged with doing wilful damage to a window of the hotel, and with assaulting Jesse Kaye, the landlord. The Magistrates decided to take the charge of assault first. Mr. J.H. Sykes appeared for the complainant, and Mr. W. Armitage for the defendant. The case opened for the prosecution was that an apprentice at the place where the men worked had come of age on June 22nd. About noon on that day three men went into the Big Valley Hotel and gave an order. They were supplied with drink. Shortly afterwards three or four more men went in, and it was evident that they were friends of the first lot. They were asked to have a drink, and accepted the invitation. Drink continued to be supplied as ordered until one of the men became ill. A shilling was handed to the prosecutor to pay for the beer supplied and for clearing up the mess which had been made. After that two glasses of beer were supplied and two more ordered. Seeing that there was likely to be a row about the sixpence which had bean given him he asked for payment before leaving the beer. This was refused and he took the beer back to the bar. The men followed him in a very threatening manner, and it appeared as if they would wreck the bar. Prosecutor and his wife did their best to get the men out of the bar and pushed them on the passage. Mrs. Kaye got a whip and used it. She was thrown down and ill-used, and the defendants used very bad language to her. The men persisted in pushing forward, and it was with great difficulty that the bar was protected. Defendant Kaye was one of the most violent of the defendants. He had a belt with a steel hackle round his waist, and in response to calls to use the belt the defendant took it off, succeeded in getting past Mrs. Kaye, and, swinging the belt round, broke the fanlight. He then ran at the prosecutor and struck him with the buckle end of the strap a violent blow on the head. The consequence was very serious, the prosecutor bleeding very freely and suffering from the wound till the present time. The men then apparently thought they had done enough and went away Prosecutor, who was 60 years of age, had kept the hotel for 28 years. Prosecutor said he hid a mallet in his hand during the disturbance but he did not use it. Mrs. Kaye and a man named Brooksbank gave corroborative evidence. Mr. Armitage submitted that Mr. and Mrs. Kaye lost their tempers and behaved themselves in a way which was not becoming for people in charge of an hotel. There was no doubt the belt was taken off, and on being swung round the window was broken. He suggested that the falling glass had cut the prosecutor’s head. It was alleged that the disturbance arose in consequence of the conduct of the landlord and his wife, and a number of witnesses were offered to bear this out. The Magistrates were of opinion that the fact that two of the defendants did not pay for their glasses of beer did not make the six defendants disorderly, and they therefore dismissed the case. Mr. Armitage said the defendant William Kaye admitted breaking the window, and was willing to pay for it. The Magistrates then made an order for the payment of 1s. penalty, 3s. damages, and 13s. coats. They were of opinion that the assault had been committed, and that it was a vary aggravated one. They therefore fined the defendants £1 and £1 Is. 11d. costs.

Huddersfield Chronicle (11/Jun/1890)

COUNTY POLICE COURT. TUESDAY.
Before W. Brooke (in the chair), A. Walker, and F. Greenwood, Esqs.

A Costly Refusal.

Ingham Spencer, millhand, of Lockwood, who did not appear, was charged with being drunk and refusing to quit the Big Valley Hotel, South Crosland, shortly before 10 o’clock on the night of Sunday, the 1st inst. Fined 10s. and expenses.

Huddersfield Chronicle (13/Jun/1894)

COUNTY POLICE COURT. TUESDAY.

Before J.F. Brigg (in the chair), E. Armitage, T.J. Hirst, and J. Crowther, Esqs.

Assaulting a Landlord.

Walter Woffenden, dyer’s labourer, South Crosland, who did not appear, was summoned for assaulting Thomas Harrison, landlord of the Big Valley Hotel, Netherton, on the 15th inst. The evidence was that on the night of the date named the complainant refused to supply the defendant with drink because he thought that he had had sufficient, whereupon the defendant hit him in the face, cutting it and causing it to bleed. A fine of £1, with 17s. costs, was imposed, or in default 21 days’ imprisonment.

Huddersfield Chronicle (02/Feb/1898):

COUNTY POLICE.

In the Snug.

John Jagger, hay and straw dealer, Huddersfield, was summoned for having allowed his horse and waggon to stand outside the Big Valley Inn, Netherton, unattended, for 20 minutes on the afternoon of 18th ult. Defendant was found by Police Constable Cooper and Sergeant Lee in the “snug” of the inn, drinking a glass of beer.

Footnotes

  1. See Huddersfield Chronicle (26/Aug/1848) and Leeds Times (26/Aug/1848)
  2. Hannah possibly appears listed as a servant for Richard Wilson (aged 41) of Church Street, Netherthong, in the 1861 Census.
  3. A further meeting is mentioned in the Huddersfield Chronicle (14/Oct/1854).
  4. The Huddersfield Chronicle (19/Jul/1856) reports on an inquest held at “the Walker’s Arms, bottom of Big Valley” in the supposed suicide of Honley weaver Joseph Whitehead.

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