Large Mushrooms and Walking Blindfold to Castle Hill

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

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

Large Mushroom.

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

Meanwhile, over in Armitage Bridge and Berry Brow:2

Extraordinary Feat.

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


Huddersfield Chronicle (06/Aug/1859) – Magistrates in Petty Sessions

Magistrates in Petty Sessions.

A Midnight Rambler.

Ann Elder, a gipsy looking woman, was brought up charged with wandering abroad at Almondbury, and behaving in a lewd manner. The policeman on duty in that locality, about eleven o’clock on Tuesday night heard a female scream in a field, and on going to the spot he saw seven men and the prisoner there ; he also found an apron belonging to her on the ground. At one o’clock the next morning he found her laid under a hedge two field lengths from where he first saw her, and two men were laid with her. The magistrates enquired why he had not brought the men as well ? to which he replied they made their escape. Magistrate — Then why not let the woman escape also ? On promising to return to Dewsbury and not come here again she was discharged.

A Boniface in Trouble.

Mr. Joseph Smithson, innkeeper, of York, was charged with being drunk tho previous Tuesday. Superintendent Priday stated that he found the defendant lying on the flags near the Railway station, in St. George’s Square, in a helpless state of drunkenness, and took charge of him till sober. Ho was fined 5s. and costs.

A Pitiable Spectacle.

Mary Shaw, a poor half-witted creature, was brought up by Police Constable Lumb, charged with being drunk. The officer stated that the previous evening he had his attention called to her, when she was lying saturated with the rain that had fallen, in Dungeon Wood, and was quite drunk. On reaching the lock-up and being searched, a bottle of gin, half a bottle of brandy, and some money was found upon her. She was evidently insane, and Police Inspector Haworth requested the bench to remand her, in order to make enquiries after her friends, but the court would not accede to the request except by the answer, “She is fined 5s. and the expenses.” The inspector again urged, but the magistrate replied, “We have nothing more to do with it : she is fined 5s.”