A selection of articles and news from the Huddersfield Chronicle from 150 years ago today.
Magistrates in Petty Sessions
NEIGHBOURS’ BICKERINGS. Maria Hill was charged with assaulting Mary Ann Eastwood on the 29th ult. Mr. Learoyd for the complainant, and Mr. Dransfield on behalf of the defendant. The parties, it seems, are neighbours, and live in Dobson’s Yard, Cross Church Street. On Thursday week the son of the defendant and the son of the complainant were quarrelling in the yard ; and the sister of the former boy ran out and seized the latter by the hair of the head. Mrs. Eastwood, on seeing what was taking place, went out to quell the disturbance, when defendant’s daughter struck her with a stick across the forehead. Immediately after this Mrs. Eastwood was rendered insensible, but she did not see by whom. Complainant subsequently spoke about the assault to Mrs. Hill, who replied “I am ready for all the law you can fetch ; and if you run all the way you cannot go fast enough.” It was proved that the defendant followed the attack with the stick and violently struck the complainant, who fell to the ground insensible. She bled freely from the mouth, and during the evening of the day on which the assault was committed had a serious attack of illness, and had been confined to bed for more than a week in consequence of the injuries received. Mr. Booth, surgeon, who had attended the complainant since the day of the affray, described the state in which he found Mrs. Eastwood, and stated that the severe symptoms did not subside until Wednesday last. The complainant was enciente. His bill amounted to £1 14s. The defence was that Mrs. Eastwood was thrashing the daughter of the defendant, who thereupon pushed her on one side. Complainant fell, and, coming into contact with the ground, might have injured herself. Their worships considered the assault proved, and fined the defendant as follows :— Mr. Booth’s bill, £1 14s. ; allowance to complainant, 10s. ; fine 10s. and costs — altogether £3 12s. 6d.
A DISORDERLY. Catherine Hopkin was committed to Wakefield for ten days, as a disorderly character, having been found concealed at half-past one on Sunday morning behind the back door of Mr. Oldroyd’s house, New North Road.
IDLERS. James Hackey and John Langan were each committed to prison for seven days as idle and disorderly characters.
MOLDGREEN — Attempted Suicide.
Yesterday week, Sarah Ann, wife of Thomas Armitage, an engine tenter for Mr. George Gelder, attempted self-destruction. For some days past the young woman had been depressed in mind. About a fortnight ago the left home on a visit to her friends, and returned after four or five days’ absence in her usual health. In the meantime her husband became acquainted with the fact of her having involved him in debt, and he charged her with it. After this her conduct changed, and she became low in spirits. Since then her husband has taken from her a razor and carving knife, with which she threatened to destroy herself. Yesterday week, about ten o’clock in the forenoon she went to the shop of Mr. Dewhirst, druggist, King Street, and purchased a pennyworth of laudanum. Mr. Dewhirst labelled the bottle “poison.” This she took on reaching home. Her husband, on going to his dinner at half-past twelve o’clock, found his wife sat in a chair half unconscious, and her tongue protruding from her mouth. He instantly went for Police Sergeant Greenwood, who resides next door, when an emetic was administered, and Mr. Gardiner, surgeon, sent for. By great efforts the woman was brought round, when she exclaimed, “If I had thought it would not have killed me, I would have got more.”
NEWSOME — Accident to a Boy.
On Monday evening a boy, four years of age, the son of Joshua Hinchlitfe, spinner, of Newsome, met with a severe accident whilst playing with some other children. The little fellow with his companions had gone into a field belonging to Messrs. Taylor, manufacturers, and while there he was kicked in the face by a horse. The boy was taken home, and Mr. Goodall, surgeon, sent for, who rendered every assistance, and the sufferer is now slowly recovering.
Thunderstorm in Yorkshire
Thunderstorm in Yorkshire. On Friday, Hull and the neighbourhood were visited by a very severe thunderstorm, which, amongst other casualties, has been attended with injury to a windmill on Holderness Road and to a house in Walker Street. The storm appears to have passed over the east and north ridings of Yorkshire, and the rain with which it was accompanied has proved very welcome to the farmers. The condition of the atmosphere all Friday night and Saturday morning was highly electrical, and during the day on Saturday there was a good deal of lightning and thunder, and some very heavy rain. Many of the concussions were just over Hull. Between eleven and twelve o’clock a woman named Williamson, whose husband is in the employ of Messrs. Reckitt and Sons, whilst standing looking out at the window of her house in Pease Street, Hull, was struck by the lightning, which had the effect of paralysing the optic nerves so as to produce blindness. Dr. Usher was immediately sent for, but his efforts were vain so far as the recovery of eyesight is concerned. Somewhat earlier in the day, on the Lincolnshire side of the river, at Barton-on-the-Humber, the house of Mr. Driffield Legard, in Junction Square, was struck by the lightning, which passed through the wall into the house, and smashed some of the furniture and paintings, broke chimney ornaments, a pier-glass, tore down paper and plastering from the wall, and then passed through to the adjoining house and struck Mrs. Henwood, the wife of Mr. Henwood, shoemaker, of High Street, who at the time was standing in the room talking with her married daughter, Mrs. Siddons. Mrs. Henwood was struck on the left side, and the electric fluid passed down on that side and seriously injured her leg. About the same time two valuable cows were killed by the lightning, whilst grazing in a meadow on Cheriot Farm, near Barton. The cows were the property of Mr. Bainbridge. We have heard that four beasts were killed in a field at Storkhill, in Yorkshire.
A BOY RUN OVER. A fatal accident occurred on Thursday to W. Thornton, a boy, residing in Manchester Street. It appears that, as two lurries, coupled together, were passing along Macaulay Street, the deceased and other children playfully jumped on and off the last lurry unobserved by the driver. Thornton fell off the waggon, and one of the wheels passed over his head. The aid of Mr. Knaggs, surgeon, was called in, but before his arrival life was extinct.
THE WEST RIDING ELECTION.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE HUDDERSFIELD CHRONICLE.
Sir, Mr. Beaumont makes a great talk about what he would do for the working classes, &c. Let any one go to Crosland, and see the wretched hovels provided by him for his tenantry.
Again ; it is reported that, in consequence of certain land and cottages being wanted for the new Meltham line of Railway, now making, partly through Mr. Beaumont’s and the Earl of Dartmouth’s estates, that whilst the noble Earl demands payment for his land only, and allowed his tenantry to receive compensation for such buildings as they had erected thereon, Mr. Beaumont — the Liberal — demanded compensation for both land and cottages, and would not allow his tenants to receive one shilling. Considering that this is little better than downright robbery, I waited upon the Liberal Committee of the Southern Division of the West Riding, on Tuesday last, with a view of being allowed to question Mr. Beaumont upon so grave a charge, but was peremptorily refused.
And this is Liberalism ! Is Mr. Beaumont fit to represent the progress and industry of our ever-improving community ?
I am, your obedient servant,
JAMES BROOK. Buxton Road, Huddersfield, July 14, 1835.
In the early 1880s, Huddersfield had become the first town to own its own municipal transport system, with a fleet of steam-powered tramcars. By the early 1900s, many of the routes had been converted from steam to electricity and these, in turn, were eventually replaced by electric trolleybuses.
By the early-1960s, the costs of maintaining the infrastructure of overhead wires and the fleet of trolleybuses were becoming too high. At a lengthy Council meeting in October 1962, a decision was taken to phase out the trolleybuses and replace them with motor buses.1 Over the next few years, the trolleybus fleet was gradually withdrawn.
Huddersfield Corporation were acutely aware that this was the end of an era, and the week beginning 7 July 1968 was publicised as the “Last Trolleybus Week”, with souvenir tickets and brochures produced to mark the occasion.
Exactly 47 years ago today, on the afternoon of Saturday 13 July 1968, the final electric trolleybus services ran.
The following is a transcription of the souvenir brochure published to mark the occasion, which rather optimistically predicted the citizens of Huddersfield might soon be riding around on battery powered public transport…
The County Borough of Huddersfield, in 1879, promoted a Parliamentary Bill for power to construct tramways and the Act was passed in 1880, giving the Corporation such powers.
Construction commenced in 1881 and the track was laid on several routes within the County Borough boundary. During last century it was customary in this country for a Corporation to lay the tram track in its area, but lease the working of the lines to a company. In the case of Huddersfield, difficulty was experienced in persuading companies to lease the working of the laid tracks. Because of this, the Corporation decided to apply for powers to operate the tramways system themselves and these powers were granted under the Huddersfield Improvement Act of 1882. On Thursday, 11th January, 1883, the first tramway route operated by the Corporation was opened from Lockwood, through the town centre, to Fartown, using steam locomotives and trailer cars. Thus Huddersfield became the first County Borough in the country to operate its own Tramways.
Towards the end of the century development in the use of electric power as applied to tramways had progressed so much that the Corporation decided to explore the possibility of converting the steam tramways to electric traction.
It is hoped that this brochure will be useful to those interested as a detailed history of electrified transport in Huddersfield by Tramcars and Trolleybuses.
The extension of the Tramways into outer districts raised the question of additional rolling stock, and the Tramways Committee, following a report prepared in September, 1898, by the Manager, dealing with the suggested electrification of the Lindley and Outlane routes, decided not to purchase any more steam engines and cars, but to give consideration to the proposal to convert the whole system to electric traction.
On the 25th February, 1899, the Corporation adopted this proposal, and the application to the Board of Trade to borrow the sum of £47,780 for the electrification of the system being successful, the work was put in hand at once and completed by 1902.
The contractors for equipping the Outlane and Lindley route were Greenwood and Batley of Leeds, and for the Longwood and Crosland Moor routes, R.W. Blackwell and Co., the remainder being constructed by the Corporation’s own staff.
The first electric car was put into service on the Lindley route on the 14th February, 1901, and on the same date electric cars commenced on the Outlane and the Lindley via Edgerton and Holly Bank Road routes.
The first 25 electric tramcars were built by G. F. Milnes & Company of Hadley. They were the open-top type, seating 24 inside on stuffed longitudinal seats trimmed with crimson velvet, and 29 on the upper deck. All were originally mounted on Brill Maximum Traction Bogies, but as it was found that bogie cars were unsuitable for Huddersfield routes they were converted to four-wheelers by 1910; this change over effected a considerable saving in current consumed.
Opening dates of other routes (by electricity) are as follows:-
18th February, 1901
Linthwaite and Slaithwaite (Star Hotel)
18th February, 1901
Longwood and Paddock
25th February, 1901
15th May, 1902
15th May, 1902
Fartown via Bradford Road
19th May, 1902
21st May, 1902
10th June, 1902
17th June, 1902
17th June, 1902
Bradley (steam discontinued 2nd June)
13th July, 1902
The total cost amounted to only £101 more than the total of the accepted tenders, which was £72,458.
The last steam trams in regular service ran to Almond bury and Honley on the 17th June, 1902, but three cars were used on the 21st June, 1902, in connection with traffic to Fartown Sports.
There were now 29½ miles of route (32.63 track miles) open for traffic within the Borough, and an Act of 1900 authorised a further 3½ route miles inside the Borough and 19½ outside.
The foundation stone for a new tram depot and generating station in St. Thomas’s Road, on a site originally intended by the Corporation as a Sanitary Depot, was laid on the 13th February, 1900.
In April, 1901, the Corporation decided to give three months’ trial to the proposal of charging the same fare inside the cars as outside; hitherto, the outside passengers had been allowed to travel at a cheaper rate. Sunday services, as the result of a poll of the ratepayers, were put into operation on the 9th June, 1901, whilst in January, 1902, the pre-printed ticket system was introduced on the electric lines only and later adopted over the entire system.
In 1903 the rolling stock had increased to 70 tramcars by the purchase of 44 new and one second-hand rebuilt from the British Electric Car Co., Ltd.
During 1907 the permanent way was reconstructed from single line to double line on the Lockwood, Moldgreen and Birkby sections, and negotiations were completed with the Linthwaite Urban District Council for the purchase of the Linthwaite tramway track, subject to the Tramways Committee agreeing to relay the track with double lines.
One of the unique features of the Huddersfield tramway service was the carriage of coal in specially designed trucks, the scheme being started in September, 1904, following an agreement made in December, 1902, with Martin, Sons & Co., Ltd., of Wellington Mills, Oakes, to carry all their coal requirements from Hillhouse railway sidings — a distance of three miles from the mills. This method of handling coal, which was carried out for a considerable number of years (being abandoned when the track was removed on the conversion to trolleybus operation) proved very satisfactory. The difference in level between the railway sidings and the street allowed the railway wagons to discharge the coal into chutes from which the coal trucks were easily loaded; the 10 ton capacity of these trucks could be filled in three minutes. The coal was discharged at each side of the truck or from the bottom through hoppers into the boiler houses of the three mills concerned. Approximately ten thousand tons of coal were conveyed annually when this service was in operation.
TRAMWAY EXTENSIONS AND OTHER DEVELOPMENTS
In 1913, Parliamentary powers were obtained for further extensions of the tramways, including those from the Borough Boundary to West Vale.
The extension was carried out in two stages, Birchencliffe to Elland Town Hall, approximately 1½ miles, which was opened for traffic on the 14th January, 1914, and from Ell and Town Hall to West Vale, another mile, on the 30th May, the same year. The extension to West Vale was the means of linking up with the Halifax Corporation’s transport system.
The Slaithwaite (Star Hotel) to Marsden (Peel Street) extension was inspected by a representative of the Board of Trade on the 1st October, 1914, and was opened for traffic two days later. The distance from Huddersfield town centre to the Marsden terminus at Peel Street is 7·22 miles and the route to Marsden was the longest tram route put into service.
In July, 1914, the Town Council approved the Tramway Committee’s minute, relating to the carriage of dogs in the upper saloon of the trams, provided the dog was carried on the passenger’s knees and payment was made at the full passenger rate.
In 1915, the Corporation introduced Route numbers, when all trams were fitted with opal glass plates on which the route number was shown by metal stencils.
During the 1914-18 war, female labour was engaged on the trams and in the depots for the first time. In all, 211 conductresses and 45 car cleaners were employed. A silver and enamelled brooch was presented to every woman with two or more years’ service. Sixty women were recipients of this souvenir.
In January, 1920, the Corporation successfully promoted a Bill in Parliament empowering them, inter alia, to construct a tramway extension to Brighouse via Rastrick. The Huddersfield Corporation (General Powers) Act of 1920 also authorised Motor Omnibuses on certain specified routes outside the Borough, and also on any other road subject to the consent of the Ministry of Transport and the West Riding County Council, sanction being obtained to operate inside the Borough and taking such reasonable fares and charges for the conveyance of passengers therein as may be approved by the Board of Trade under the Huddersfield Corporation Act of 1913.
The Brighouse tramway extension, three-quarters of a mile of which was laid on sleepers through the fields between Netheroyd Hill Road and Bradley Lane, was opened for traffic on 12th March, 1923. This important extension, which was the last to be constructed by the Corporation, formed a direct connecting link of tramways between Huddersfield and Bradford.
On completion of the Brighouse extension, the route mileage of the tramways was 38½ the track mileage being 62½. The Corporation at this time owned 132 tramcars, and of these, 66, each with a seating capacity of 58, were supplied by G. F. Milnes & Co. and the British Electric Car Company. The remainder of the cars were of the vestibule type — later adopted as standard — seating 62 and 64 passengers, and were built by English Electric Co., Ltd. A large number of the older type cars were converted by the Department’s staff to the standard type. Eight further doubledeck vestibule type tramcars, of up-to-date design, were obtained from the English Electric Co., Ltd. , in 1931. These were the last tramcars purchased and were sold to Sunderland Corporation in 1938.
The fares and stages were on the zone system, being revised on 1st January, 1924, on the basis of 1d. per mile, the stages being arranged numerically at approximately half-a-mile distance. A minimum fare of 1d. entitled the passengers to travel two stages. In the endeavour to compete with increasing motor omnibus traffic operating on the “return fare” system, a 3d. maximum fare was instituted in November, 1927, on the trams between the Town Centre and any tram terminus.
In 1931 it became apparent that the tramway system, track and most of the rolling stock was approaching the end of its useful life, and would within a few years have to be renewed completely, or replaced by some other form of transport. One of the worst sections of track was that from Wakefield Road to Almondbury, approximately 11 miles in length, and the necessity for an early renewal of this route gave an opportunity to experiment with a service of trolleybuses between Byram Street (near the Town Centre) and the tramway terminus at Almondbury. The tram service on the Almondbury route was gradually abandoned during the early part of 1933, and a temporary service of motorbuses was run via Almondbury Old Bank while Somerset Road was closed to traffic during track removal and highway reconstruction.
The trolleybus service commenced over the newly constructed highway in Somerset Road on the 4th December, 1933. Six doubledeck trolleybuses of four different makes were used so that experience could be obtained as to the best type of vehicle.
After initial “teething troubles” the results on this route were encouraging.
Early in 1933 it became obvious that the tram track to Outlane and Lindley, via Trinity Street and Westbourne Road, needed early attention, and it was found that the Ministry of Transport would not authorise the renewal of a double track tram route unless a clear margin of 9′ on either side of the tram track was available for ordinary road traffic. The existing width of part of Trinity Street made this impossible, and the estimated cost of the dual work of widening Trinity Street and relaying the tram track was so very much in excess of the cost of conversion to trolleybuses that it was finally decided trolleybuses should be introduced on the Lindley, Out1ane and Waterloo routes. Accordingly authority was obtained under the Public Works Facilities Scheme and the trolleybus operation on these routes began on the 11th November, 1934.
24 double-deck trolleybuses with Karrier chassis and both Metro-Vick and English Electric electrical equipment were obtained for these services. Following further experience on the Almondbury, Outlane, Lindley and Waterloo trolleybus routes, the Passenger Transport Committee decided that the rest of the Corporation tram routes should be converted to trolleybus operation, and powers were obtained under the Huddersfield Corporation (Trolley Vehicles) Act of 1936 for this purpose.
In order to deal with the building developments and in some cases to find a more suitable turning point, the trolleybus routes were extended for short di stances beyond the old tram termini as follows:—
Church to Newsome, Caldercliffe Road.
Dryclough Road to Crosland Hill Road.
Peel Street to Fall Lane.
Commercial Street to Bone gate Road.
and an additional route was run from Woodhouse Church down Woodhouse Hill joining the existing routes at Fartown Bar. The conversion of these routes began on the 2nd May, 1937, and completed as follows:—
3rd Oct. 1937
6th July 1964
7th Nov. 1937
6th July 1964
l0th April 1938
31st Jan. 1963
Sheepridge ex-Brackenhall —6-3-49
19th June 1938
14th July 1966
Bradley ex-Keldregate —2-4-56
19th June 1938
13th July 1967
1st Jan. 1939
13th July 1967
12th Jan. 1939*
14th July 1966
19th Jan. 1939†
28th May 1939
9th Nov. 1961
30th June 1940
9th July 1955
6th March 1949
14th July 1966
30th June 1940
15th July 1965
2nd May 1937
14th July 1966
4th Dec. 1933
15th July 1965
Outlane, Lindley & Waterloo
11th Nov. 1934
13th July 1968
* temporary † permanently
The tram route to Honley was not converted to trolleybus operation for two reasons:—
The tram terminus at Honley was some little distance from the centre of the township, and the bulk of Hanley traffic was carried by motor omnibuses over the tramway route.
The railway arch at Lockwood viaduct was too low to allow for double-deck trolleybuses, plus the overhead equipment, and the cost of lowering the road beneath that bridge was found to be prohibitive.
Accordingly the trolleybuses on this tram route were terminated at Lockwood Church. The roadway has since been altered allowing normal double-deck vehicles.
In order to relieve congestion along Northgate, Viaduct Street was equipped for trolleybus operation and open for traffic on the 21st January, 1954, and the Bradford Road routes were permanently diverted along that thoroughfare, although the overhead equipment was retained for emergency purposes.
Again to relieve congestion in New Street and John William Street, the powers under the Act of 1936 which authorised a trolleybus diversion from Manchester Road, via Outcote Bank, Manchester Street and Market Street, were exercised in 1947. The incoming vehicles from the Marsden, Crosland Hill and Longwood routes were diverted on the 9th November, 1947.
On the 17th July, 1940, a provisional order (under powers, conveyed in the original Act of 1936) was obtained authorising an extension from Woodhouse Church to Riddings Road and an extension from Ash Brow Road along Bradley Boulevard, these extensions being opened on the 6th March, 1949.
Powers authorising further extensions of the following routes were obtained but not exercised:—
From Blackmoorfoot Road.
Into new estate at Keldregate.
Black Horse, Dalton
From Moldgreen via Long Lane.
The depot at Longroyd Bridge, which was formerly used as a tramway generating station taken over by the Electrical Department in 1917, was entirely reconstructed in 1937, and was capable of housing all the 116 trolleybuses owned by the Corporation. An administrative block was built over the Colne River.
On the 9th July, 1955, the Brighouse Trolley Bus Service was discontinued and operated to Fixby (Borough Boundary) only. The West Vale Trolley Bus Service was discontinued on the 8th November, 1961, and the Marsden service was discontinued upon delivery of buses in 1962.
Children of three and under 15 years travel at half the adult fare.
No workmen’s return fares issued.
Free travel on production of passes is granted to blind persons, legless and severely disabled ex-servicemen and to old people of 70 years and over (during certain hours and with resident qualification in the Borough), whilst those between 65 and 70 may travel half-fare under specified conditions.
The conveyance of parcels on vehicles was discontinued on the 30th November, 1953.
The total route mileage operated was 35.968.
It is felt that the foregoing concise history of the development of the electrified operation of tramways and trolleybuses by the Huddersfield Corporation will have been of interest to those who, during the last 67 years, have taken advantage of this form of public transport. It can be said that this marks the end of an era, so far as electrified transport as it is known today is concerned. The tramcar, which in its day fulfilled an extremely useful purpose within the limits of its track. The trolleybus, a silent smooth-running vehicle, but also with limitations according to the overhead system.
It is significant that the end of electrified transport, as described in this brochure, coincides with the Centenary Celebrations of the incorporation of the County Borough of Huddersfield. Another 15 years of operation will have to pass before the Corporation’s public transport system can achieve such a distinction.
What will the next decade bring forth? We live in a world of change where mechanical and electrical developments are taking place with amazing rapidity.
Could it be that in the course of time, developments in electric batteries or fuel cells will once more bring to our towns and cities a form of public transport which is as silent and smooth as the trolleybus but without the limitations of circumscribed distance and mobility.
A selection of articles and news from the Huddersfield Chronicle from 150 years ago today.
Poetry, Original and Selected
EVENING ON THE RIVER.
Over the water, over the water, Floating adown by the light of the moon ; Fair Minnie Collins, the old miller’s daughter, Sitting beyond me, this evening in June.
Down went the sun in a heaven of splendour, Leaving the twilight still warm from his blaze : Up came the rounded moon, tranquil and tender, Sheeting in silver the flood with her rays.
White water-lilies are languidly floating, Opening their bells amid broad leaves of green, Bending their heads to the swell of our boating, As gardens aquatic we wander between.
Off from the meadows that border the river Comes the fresh odour of newly mown-hay. Perfume from orchard and garden, while ever The bittern booms loud in the marsh far away.
I with the paddles, and she at the tiller, A vision I see, as we dreamily glide. Of the long-vanished past, and the child of the miller Reams through the greenwood a child by my side.
Long vanished past! yet unchanged is the wild wood, The river flows by the same meadows and mill— But ah, Minnie dear, we have both passed our childhood. The man and the maiden are drifting on still.
“Tis pleasant to float down the stream, my sweet neighbour, Through flowers and odours still shaping our way ; While working up stream is a bore and a labour— The course of an hour we retrace in a day.
“But there’s no beating back up the stream of existence Onward and downward we speed evermore ; Long or short be the voyage, in vain our resistance, We must sink in the ocean or strand on the shore.”
“If so it must be,” was the maiden’s replying— The laugh on her lip mocked the tear in her eye, “Let us never look back on the shores that we’re flying But watch every change of the water and sky.”
“Then so let it be, my sweet moralist, ever ; In the same little shallop let both of us glide, My arm at the oar as we go down the river, Your hand at the tiller to steer through the tide.”
Over the water, over the water, Boating adown by the light of the moon, Wooed I and won I the old miller’s daughter, fair Minnie Collins, that evening in June.
Selections of Wit and Humour
When is a cat like a tea-pot? When you’re teasin it (tea’s in it).
Foreign Miscellany and Gossip
Linback, the Swedish pastor, who murdered several of his parishioners by poisoning the cup in which he administered the communion to them, has been sentenced to be beheaded.
Magistrates in Petty Sessions
A RUNAWAY HUSBAND BURNT IN EFFIGY. Henry Iredale, a pensioner, was charged with neglecting to support his wife. Mr. Learoyd defended. It appeared that the complainant, who is in a delicate state of health, applied to Mr. Sykes, relieving officer, for relief on Monday ; and he had learned that she had no home. The defendant was now cohabiting with a woman at Marsh ; and the couple had been burnt in effigy by the inhabitants of that Place. George Iredale, brother of the defendant, was called as a witness by Mr. Sykes. Iredale stated that his brother had been married to the woman, on whose behalf the complaint had been made, 14 years. After their marriage, they went to Ireland, whence the defendant proceeded to the Crimea as a soldier, and his wife returned to her parents. About five weeks ago she came from Wiltshire in search of him. She found him, but he would not receive her; and the neighbours brought her to his (witness’s) house at Rashcliffe, where she had since been staying. Cross-examined: Defendant told him he had offered her money to see her home. Was not aware that he had illtreated her. Defendant had been in the army 23 years ; and was in receipt of a pension. Mr. Learoyd, who submitted that there was no case, said he should be able to prove the woman left the defendant of her own accord. Mr. Laycock : If the Marsh people have burnt the man in effigy, will no one come to give evidence ? The Chairman said the case would be adjourned for a week, as they could not decide upon heresay evidence. The case was accordingly adjourned for a week.
CHARGE AGAINST A “PROFESSIONAL” PEDESTRIAN. Patrick Stapleton, a celebrated pedestrian, was summoned (but did not appear) under the following circumstances :— It appears that, on Thursday week, the defendant was training, between Honley and Smithy Place, for a 1,000 yards handicap, which was to come off at Leeds on the ensuing Saturday. Mr. John Goody, of South Crosland, preferred the charge, and stated that as he was driving a gig between Honley and Smithy Place, he saw the defendant who was almost stripped, and who appeared to be training for a race. Witness had a lady in the gig, or he should have stopped the defendant, and very likely thrashed him. The Chairman reminded Mr. Goody that that would have been an indiscreet act. Mr. Goody : I was very much annoyed ; he was in such a disgraceful state. Police Constable Yates stopped the man, who acknowledged that he was training for a race. The Bench inflicted a fine of 5s. and costs ; in all 18s. 6d. ; and the Chairman intimated that, if the offence was repeated, a much heavier fine would be imposed.
LYNCH LAW AT GOLCAR. Eliza Haigh was charged with assaulting Joyes Haigh at Golcar. It appeared that on Tuesday defendant went to the house of the complainant, and pushed her against a washing machine. Complainant, who was making a pudding, had in her hand a rolling pin, and with this she “broke” the head of the defendant, who then called her all sorts of names. Mr. Laycock : You have taken the law into your own hands. The Chairman thought the complainant had acted improperly, and the case was discharged.
TRESPASS BY PIGS. Joseph Dawson, Longwood, was summoned for committing damage to a field of James Mayhall by suffering pigs to be therein. Defendant admitted that the pigs were in ; and a fine of 1s. 6d. damage, and costs were imposed ; and the defendant was advised to keep his pigs at home in future.
OBSCENE LANGUAGE. Michael Mahon, an old offender, was fined 1s. and costs 10s., or ten days to prison, for using disgusting epithets to Catherine Gannon on Monday last.
Wrigley Mills, Netherton, also known as Cocking Steps Mill, had had its own gas supply as early as the 1850s and discussions had begun by December 1852 amongst some of the wealthier inhabitants of Netherton with Messrs. John Wrigley & Sons for the mill to share its supply with the village.1 Unlike natural gas today, the mill would have most likely created its own gas supply by burning coal.
The intention was to form a company, issue shares and then use the money to lay mains from the mill up to the village. The gas would then be sold for a higher price to end customers than the company was paying the Wrigleys in order to recoup the costs and to hopefully pay an annual dividend.
The shareholders met again on the evening of 14 March 1853 to discuss the planned route of the gas main up the hill to the village.2 At a meeting a week later at the Rose and Crown Inn, they examined several estimates for the laying of the pipes and they selected that of Mr. Boothroyd, a plumber of glazier of Lockwood.
This was presumably 29-year-old Joseph Boothroyd (born Fartown) of Buxton Road, Lockwood, listed in the 1851 Census as a “master plumber and glazier employing 2 labourers”. He had married Elizabeth Thompson on 14 December 1845 at the parish church in Huddersfield and they had at least 7 children.
The work was scheduled to be completed by 1 September, which was a significant date, as the shareholders had already agreed the supply terms with the mill. From the first day of September until the very last day of April, the Wrigleys would supply gas to the village at a cost 4s. 3d. per thousand cubic feet.
By September 1853, the Huddersfield Chronicle was able to report:3
The Gas Works.
These works have now been completed, and pnt into operation, and the inhabitants of Netherton are rejoicing in the light which has been happily shed upon them. The gas is of good quality, and most, if not all, the principal innkeepers, grocers, and other public dealers, as well as many principal families have gas in their rooms, and have their burning apparatus in the first style of the day. We are informed that a subscription is on foot to have one or more gas lamps in the streets for the use of the public.
A further report appeared in the Huddersfield Chronicle (12/Nov/1853):
The Gas Company.
The public-spirited gentlemen in this little village have now enlightened the place outwardly as well as inwardly. Gas lamps are being put up at the corners of the streets, in front of some of the inns and the larger shops, and again at the entrance gates to gentlemen’s houses. Thus the inhabitants will have no difficulty in going to any part of the village in the night time, and many accidents will be thereby prevented.
The first year evidently went well, as the Chronicle (16/Sep/1854) reported gave an update the following year:
The first annual meeting of the Netherton gas company was held on Wednesday night, at the Rose and Crown Inn, and the result of the year has richly rewarded the shareholders, and shows that their enterprising spirit has been appreciated. James Wrigley, Esq., occupied the chair, sad the report of the secretary, Mr. Samuel Pontefract, showed that the affairs of the company are in a very prosperous position. In the first year’s operations of such an undertakings the expenditure was, of course, heavier than may be anticipated in future years. Near ten per cent interest was declared, and the shareholders were paid seven and a half per cent on their shares, and the residue was left to meet future incidental expenses. The report gave great satisfaction, and after a vote of thanks to the worthy chairman the meeting closed.
This success caused other villages to consider setting up a similar scheme, and the Chronicle (04/Nov/1854) reported that a second meeting had taken place at the Town Hall in Honley, chaired by Mr. Joseph Midwood, for the purpose of “forming a gas company”.
The gas supply for Huddersfield was supplied the town’s Gas Works and, in November 1860, it was announced that the company was to be dissolved in order to form a new company (the Huddersfield Gas Company) which would supply the town centre as well as many of the outlying districts.
In mid-June 1884, the Netherton Gas Company found themselves on the wrong side of the law when Sergeant Shuttleworth and Police Constable Chapman, who were patrolling Netherton at night, nearly fell into a trench that had been dug by the side of the road by Joseph Taylor for the purposes of laying new gas pipes. Taylor had requested that the company provide a warning light but “was told that there was no necessity for one”. Hopefully the company covered Taylor’s fine of £1 and 6s. 6d. costs!
At some point, a separate South Crosland Gas Company was established, although this seems to have been an offshoot of the Netherton Gas Company.
Before long, most of the villages surrounding Huddersfield had their own gas supply companies, which led to a wide variation in prices being charged. The supplies could also be temperamental and in December 1872, the supply to Meltham was cut off, leaving the village in darkness. Several of the local mills were running overtime shifts that evening but they had to be closed and the staff sent home in the dark.4
Further newspaper references to the Netherton Gas Company are summarised below and are from the Huddersfield Chronicle unless specified (the dates given are those of the article):
10/Mar/1893 — At a meeting of the South Crosland Local Board, assurances were given that the gas company would, in future, ensure that the Board’s surveyor was notified in advance of any road works. It was also noted that the company was unable to reduce the price of the gas used for public lamps in the village.
24/Jun/1893 — A public meeting was held at the Netherton Liberal Club to consider “the advisability of asking the Huddersfield Corporation to bring the gas to Netherton”, as the price of the gas supplied by the Netherton Gas Company was nearly double that paid by those in Huddersfield. A small committee was elected to progress this matter.
21/Jul/1893 — A meeting was held by the ratepayers of South Crosland and Netherton at the Oddfellows’ Hall in Netherton to discuss the pricing of the gas supply. The price of gas in neighbouring areas was read out: 2s. 9d. in Huddersfield, 3s. 4d. in Meltham, 3s. 9d. in Honley, Slaithwaite and Linthwaite, 5s. 10d. in Netherton and 6s. 6d. in South Crosland. John Radcliffe5, of the Netherton Gas Company, attended and stated that the rumours of the company’s profit margins were much exaggerated and had never been more than 10 percent per annum. The meeting ended with the proposition (which was carried by a large majority) that “we request the Huddersfield Corporation to treat with the Netherton Gas Company, with a view to the purchase of their plant”.
21/Dec/1893 — The Huddersfield County Borough Council meeting discussed a letter sent by the Netherton Gas Company asking if the Corporation would be willing to “take over the pipes and apparatus put down by the company”. The Corporation agreed that it would be willing to “meet the company in a fair and amicable spirit, and to take over such of the pipes and apparatus as might be found to be of use” to them.
08/Mar/1894 — The South Crosland Local Board reported that the Huddersfield Corporation Gasworks had written to the Board to inform them that they would be digging up the road to inspect the gas mains which belonged to the Netherton Gas Company and that they would also be laying new gas mains to the area.
17/May/1894 — Following the inspection of the Netherton Gas Company’s mains, it was reported to the Huddersfield County Borough Council that leaks were found that would amount to around 500,000 feet per annum and they entire mains would need to be dug up to locate and repair the leaks.
19/Jul/1894 — The Huddersfield County Borough Council considered a request by the Netherton Gas Company that they purchase the existing mains for £300. It was agreed to offer the company £266 instead.
16/Aug/1894 — It was reported that provisional terms had been agreed for the takeover of the Netherton Gas Company’s mains.
Leeds Times (22/Sep/1894) — At the meeting of the Huddersfield County Borough Council it was reported that the mains had been purchased for £266 and the Huddersfield Gas Works was now supplying the area. Over 200 applications for the new gas supply had been received from the “inhabitants of Netherton”.
And with that, the 41 year history of the Netherton Gas Company came to an end!
A selection of articles and news from the Huddersfield Chronicle from 150 years ago today.
Selections of Wit and Humour
Why was Bonaparte’s horse like his master? — Because he had a martial neigh (Marshall Ney).
HIGH PRICE OF MEAT.
Meeting at Crosland Moor.
In consequence of the high price of butcher’s meat, a meeting of working men was held in the schoolroom, Crosland Moor, on Monday night last — about 300 persons being present — to devise means to obtain a reduction in the price of that article of food. Timothy Bates occupied the chair. Resolutions were adopted to abstain from the use of butcher’s meat for one month, and unless the price be then lowered, another meeting should be convened to consider what further steps should be taken in the matter.
Magistrates in Petty Sessions
CARD-PLAYING ON FOOTPATHS.
Levi Crompton, Mark Gledhill, and Ephraim Gledhill, weavers, Longwood, were summoned for obstructing a footpath. Police Constable Wilson stated that he had received frequent complaints of men and boys playing cards and otherwise gambling on footpaths in the fields. About a quarter past seven o’clock, on Saturday evening, he saw the defendants in a footpath near Leach’s, at Longwood. The officer concealed himself behind a wall, and from his hiding-place espied Mark and Ephraim Gledhill playing at cards. Crompton stood up, looked about to see if there was any one coming, and then sat down again. Levi said, “I’ll bet on the game.” Wilson, after satisfying himself, presented himself to the defendants, and seized one of them (Ephraim), who had the cards in his hand. The defendants sat near a style, and obstructed the footpath. The defence was that no money was played for, and that the footpath was not obstructed. The officer said he had previously cautioned the men, who were fined 2s. 6d. and costs each ; in all, 10s. 6d.
AUDACIOUS PROCEEDINGS AT THE UNICORN INN.
John Ainley, a notorious character, who answers to the alias of “Ripponden Jack,” had been summoned under the following circumstances :— Mr. Superintendent Hannan said the complainant in this case was Ann Senior, occupier of the Unicorn, a licensed house, at Castlegate. Ainley and other notorieties had been accustomed to frequent the complainant’s house, create disturbances, and assault and rob people. When the beerhouses closed, many persons resorted to the Unicorn, and therefore it was important to the complainant that an end should be made of such unruly behaviour. If the case was proved he should ask their worships to inflict a penalty that would deter the defendant and his associates from continuing their disgraceful proceedings. Mrs. Senior stated that between eleven and twelve o’clock on the previous Tuesday evening the defendant and others, who were very much “beerified,” came into her house and demanded a quantity of drink. She refrained from filling any ale for them, and Ainley threatened to turn out the lights. They were ordered to quit the premises, but the defendant rejoined that he would go when he pleased. Ainley pushed her (complainant) about a good deal, and was taken out of the house by a companion named Stringer. Defendant was fined 10s. and expenses ; altogether £1, or the option of 21 days in gaol.
A FILTHY TONGUE.
William Moore, a labourer from Birchincliffe, Lindley, was summoned for using abusive and obscene language to Elizabeth Hey, of the Walker’s Arms Inn, of that place. The defendant pleaded guilty. The language used was foul and filthy in the extreme, and having previously been guilty of similar indecencies, he was fined 10s. and l1s. expenses, or the alternative of a month to prison.
FARNLEY TYAS — Fatal Accident
Yesterday (Friday evening week) the inhabitants of Farnley Tyas were thrown into a state of excitement by the report that Mr. John Kaye, of the Golden Cock Inn, of that village, had met with a severe accident. On enquiries being made the facts proved to be as follow :— Mr. Kaye, who was a farmer as well as innkeeper, was on Friday afternoon proceeding to his field with a cart load of sheep nets and stakes, accompanied by his servant boy Wigglesworth. Mr. Kaye was sitting on the top of the loaded cart, and while proceeding down Field Lane, to the field, the horse took fright Mr. Kaye was thrown backward off the cart, and fell on to a heap of small stones. The boy Wigglesworth ran for assistance, and the injured man was removed home where Mr. Dyson, surgeon, of Almondbury was promptly in attendance but all efforts were in vain, and Mr. Kaye died about half-past twelve o’clock on Saturday noon. Deceased was 66 years of age and highly respected, not only by the villagers but by all who knew him. He was a man of whom it might truly be said, few in any sphere have passed through life more respected and esteemed for his sterling qualities as a master, a husband, parent, and friend. Mr. Kaye, like most of the tenantry on the Farnley estate, was descended from an ancient family, who from generation to generation had lived upon the same farm, borne the same name, and been equally respected, from the time of the Saxons. Mr. Kaye was a man of unostentatious manners, kind disposition, and warm attachment. In his business as a publican he was remarkable. In his house no tippling was ever allowed, and if a man was the worse for liquor, no persuasion could induce him to supply more. Equally inflexible was he where he saw a man wishful to spend money that ought to be taken to his family. One pint, and one only, would he suffer such an one to have in his house. This, and his other qualities had endeared him to the whole village, and his loss will not soon be forgotten.
HONLEY — Female Club Feast.
On Monday afternoon, the ladies of the “Lily of the Valley” Lodge of Ancient Royal Shepherdesses had their annual tea at the Coach and Horses Inn, Honley. The lodge consists of upwards of 100 females, 82 of whom sat down to tea, which Mrs. Walker, knowing the tastes of the ladies, took care to make of the right sort. Besides a good supply of “Jamaica,” they had an abundance of “Shem, Ham, and Japheth,” in the shape of ham sandwiches, which were enjoyed with much zest. The time was danced merrily away.
NETHERTON — Funeral of a Musician.
On Wednesday last hundreds of persons assembled to witness the funeral obsequies of Godfrey Berry, a cloth miller for Messrs. Crowther, of Lockwood, but who resided with his wife and family at the Big Valley. The deceased was only 46 years of age, was inordinately fond of music, and highly respected by all who gained his acquaintance. The deceased originally sprang from Marsden, where his father was greatly esteemed for his love of the divine art. The custom of Old Berry was, immediately after dinner, to gather the whole of his children round the table, and there give them a lesson in music. This was repeated in the evening, till the old man could at any time produce an excellent concert among his own family. His son Godfrey followed in the steps of his father, and being a good instrumentalist himself — being able to perform upon many different instruments — taught all his family music in the same way he had himself been taught. Berry, who had been ill some time, died on Sunday evening last. His musical friends assembled on Wednesday last to pay a last tribute of respect to his memory. The members of the Meltham and Netherton bands preceded the mournful cortège from the house of the deceased to the grave, at Crosland Churchyard, playing effectively the Dead March ; and as the procession passed through the village the inhabitants turned out to take a last farewell of one they esteemed.
MARSH — Popular Indignation.
On Monday evening last Marsh was the scene of great excitement consequent upon an attempted piece of lynch law, known as riding the “stang.” The circumstances giving rise to this popular expression of indignation appear to be as follows. Some two years ago a pensioner named Henry Iredale took up his residence in Cross Lane, Marsh, and lived, to all appearance, as a single man. About twelve months since a man known as “Lanky Ben” died leaving a widow and several children. Our hero of the army soon became familiar with the widow and thus matters went on till some weeks since when the real wife of the pensioner — whom it seems he had left in her native Wiltshire — put in an appearance, to the great discomfiture of the soldier. His treatment of his lawful partner and the scandal thus brought on Marsh aroused the indignation of the populace who resolved on the summary punishment of the delinquents by burning him and his cara sposa in effigy. Accordingly figures were prepared; one representing a soldier — scarlet coat, sergeant’s stripes, cap, boots, and all complete ; the other, a female in full dress ; and with these, preceded by the Lindley brass band, accompanied by nearly 2,000 people, they commenced parading the village about nine o’clock on Monday night. They, however, had not proceeded far before they were intercepted by Police Sergeant Sedgwick, Police Constable Stansfield, and Police Constable Hawksby, who induced the parties to give up the figures, which they did with great reluctance. These were deposited for security in the stable of the Junction Inn, from whence the mob determined to take them, which becoming known to the police, they managed to escape with them from the back of the stable over the fields towards Paddock. They were, however, observed by an old woman, who screamed out at the top of her voice, “T’ police are staleing ’em.” At this hundreds started in pursuit, and succeeded in recapturing the female from Sedgwick, which they afterwards burnt in front of Iredale’s house, in Cross Lane. Stansfield was more fortunate, as he escaped with his capture, with the loss of its head only. The crowd continued to pace about the place, making noisy demonstrations, the band continuing playing at intervals in front of the Marsh House Inn till long after midnight, when the people gradually dispersed, many, however, remaining till after one o’clock in the morning. Fearing a repetition of the turbulence on Tuesday night, a large posse of police were stationed in the locality to prevent anything of the kind, but nothing more was attempted.
The members of the Huddersfield Athletic Club celebrated their first annual festival on Saturday afternoon, when they had a “field day” in the Rifle Ground, Trinity-street. An out-door spectacle to be successful must be attended with auspicious weather. With the exception of a gentle gale, Saturday was as beautiful and as delightful a day as the lovers and patrons of open air sports could well wish; and in this respect the athletic festival may be accounted a singularly happy and prosperous event. The elete were largely represented ; and there was a goodly coterie of ladies, whose graceful forms and dashing garments imbued the scene with an aspect of gaiety, and splendour.
WALKING MATCH (TWO MILES).
In which, out of eleven who had entered, three members competed, namely, T. Beardsall, W.N. Haigh, and A.J. Loseby. Much excitement was elicited by this feat of pedestrianism, and Beardsall, whose style of walking was deservedly admired, was greatly applauded as he outstepped his opponents. He maintained the lead throughout, and won easily. Haigh kept ahead of Loseby and came in a good second. The time occupied by the contest was 19 minutes 35 seconds. The distance, however, could have been accomplished more speedily but for the uneven condition of the course.
THROWING THE HAMMER.
The 14lbs. hammer was used pretty freely. Ten entered, only seven competed ; but there was some good throwing. The triumph remained between J. Dow and Wm. Crowther, the latter of whom finished by throwing 86 feet, 2 ft. less than the former.
150 YARDS FLAT RACE.
Seven of the nine who had-entered ran. The race which was somewhat exciting, was completed in 17 seconds by C.W. Beardsall, with F.J. Stewart at his heels, and the rest of the pedestrians landing in close proximity to each other.
Five competitors (nine entered) participated in the single vaulting. F.A. Pilling was most successful ; M.H. Bradley being next. Height 6 feet 1 inch.
This race, over seven hurdles and a water jump 12 feet wide, fronted by a hurdle 18 inches high, distance 200 yards, brought 13 of the 29 who had entered to the post. The contest created the greatest amusement, and the spectators — those who had not quitted the field — were convulsed with laughter as the exhausted competitors were immersed in the water, which was cleared only by H. Jones, who was heartily applauded as he alighted on the opposite embankment. The race was run in heats, the first of which was won by B. Beardsall in 1 minute 20 seconds ; M. Bradley being second. The second heat was accomplished in 1 minute 25 seconds ; and the deciding heat, in the same time, was won by A. Bradley, D.K. Rhodes being the second.
The unsuccessful competitors’ “consolation scramble,” 100 yards, was well contested, and ultimately won by C. Atkinson, J. Brooke coming in for the bronze medal.
THROWING THE CRICKET BALL
Throwing the cricket ball was the last act in the athletic performance ; and there were eight entries. Many persons witnessed the throwing, and the successful feat was achieved by J.E. Jones; B. Crowther being entitled to the second prize. The longest distance the ball was thrown was about eighty yards, as stepped by several gentlemen who took an interest in the competition.