150 Years Ago: Huddersfield Chronicle (01/Jul/1865)

A selection of articles and news from the Huddersfield Chronicle from 150 years ago today.

You can download the whole issue as a PDF file (16.2MB).


Adverts

1865.07.01 advert 1

1865.07.01 advert 2

1865.07.01 advert 3

Selections of Wit and Humour

Why was Bonaparte’s horse like his master? — Because he had a martial neigh (Marshall Ney).

Education

1865.07.01 advert 4

Local News

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.

District Intelligence

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.

Athletic Festival

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.

SINGLE VAULTING.

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.

HURDLE RACE.

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.

CONSOLATION SCRAMBLE.

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.

The Cost of Beaumont Park (December 1883)

beaumont4

After the formalities of handing over Dungeon Wood for the creation of Beaumont Park in May 1880, work began in earnest on planning and layout out the park, making safe the more dangerous parts of the wood, and constructing the various buildings and facilities.

beaumont4

Initially, a figure of around £5,000 was mooted as the total cost for opening the park. However, as work progressed, the costs kept on rising.

By July 1882, the Borough Accountant had submitted a statement of expenditure stating the sum spent to date was £9,418 11s. 1d.

By January 1884, it was reported at a Town Council meeting that the total costs were now £22,495 8s. 6d., and some Councillors voiced concerns that this was now in excess of £1,000 per acre of land.1

In December 1883, the Huddersfield Chronicle published a breakdown of the cost for the year ending 31 August 1883, as reported in the Borough Fund Account:2

£ s. d.
W.J. Dunderdale, Charges, re Plan of Park 12 12 5
Tenants’ Compensation 0 14 6
Advertising and Cab Hire 3 5 6
ROADS
Coventry Art Metal Co., Palisading (balance) 323 3 6
Manual Labour and Teamwork 705 11 5
Stone and Dross 84 15 9
Coal, Oil, and Sundries 14 9 7
LODGE
Manual Labour and Teamwork 3 5 5
Stone and Bricks 3 10 2
Timber and Joiners’ Work 123 18 5
Plumbers’ Work 38 8 4
Plasterers’ Work 73 7 0
Spoating, £10 15s. 6d. ; Iron Fixtures, &c., £11 3s. 3d. 21 9 2
LAYING OUT
Manual Labour and Teamwork 5,257 10 2
Timber, Iron, Tools, &c. 323 16 11
Joiners’ and Plumbers’ Work, &c. 19 12 3
Stone, Lime, Cement, &c. 288 0 2
Pot Pipes, £198 19s. ; Iron Pipes, &c., £17 8s. 7d. 216 7 7
Coal, Tar and Oil 29 17 10
Plants, £216 2s. 2d. ; Seats, £63 2s. 279 4 2
R.L. Lowe, Concreting Lakes (on account) 160 0 0
W. Goodwin and Sons, Slaters’ Work at Band Stand (on account) 28 0 0
T. Longbottom and Sons, Concreting at Band Stand (on account) 7 19 0
£8,197 18 3

In modern terms, this reported annual cost was around £1,000,000.

A separate Chronicle opinion piece gave the total cost of Beaumont Park by 31 August 1883 as £18,328 18s. 11d. They then bemoaned the fact that the land value of Dungeon Wood was likely only £1,500.

Whilst this was indeed a sizable amount of money, they noted that the total expenditure on Greenhead Park so far was £37,338 16s. 6d.

From 1884 onwards, the Beaumont Park Committee came under increasing pressure from the Town Council — particularly Councillor Chrispin — to ensure the park was completed as prudently as possible.

The Beaumont Park Committee

Mr. Henry F. Beaumont (1833–1913), of the Whitley Beaumont estate and Crosland Hall, South Crosland, had initially offered in May 1879 an area of land around 30 acres in the Crosland Moor area for conversion into Huddersfield’s first public park.1

25, John William Street, Huddersfield, May 17th, 1879.

To Joseph Batley, Esq., Town Clerk.

Dear Sir.

I am directed by Henry Fredk. Beaumont, Esq. of Whitley Beaumont, to ask you whether or not the Corporation of Huddersfield are willing to accept from him the gift of a portion of Crosland Moor, containing an area of not less than 30 acres, for the purpose of a public park and recreation ground. Mr. Beaumont would offer the land in its present state, without contributing anything towards laying it out as a park, and would probably ask the Corporation to surround such park with a public road, where such public road does not now exist. If such a gift is acceptable to the Corporation, I will, on receiving your intimation to that effect, make you a more definite offer, and Mr. Beaumont will meet the Mayor and such committee or deputation as may be desirable upon the ground. Before receiving your reply it does not appear necessary to enter into details, and I shall, therefore, be glad to hear from you as soon as possible, whether or not Mr. Beaumont’s offer is entertained by the Corporation.

I am, dear sir, yours, respectfully,
W.J. DUNDERDALE.

The Huddersfield Chronicle provided much coverage of the offer and stated that, “May we not confidently assert that Huddersfield, for the first time since Doomsday, has had the gift of thirty acres of land?”

Although the Huddersfield Corporation were keen to take up the offer, and indeed toured the proposed site in early June, it was felt the location was too remote and inaccessible.2 The area of Dungeon Wood, a steep-sided wood which ran along the western side of Meltham Road towards Big Valley, had previously been mooted as a possible location for a park as early as 1866. By mid-July, the Corporation had persuaded Beaumont to donate that instead.3

At a meeting held on 8 August 1879, the mayor proposed that Beaumont’s offer be accepted:

MR. BEAUMONT’S OFFER OF A PARK FOR HUDDERSFIELD.

ACCEPTANCE BY THE CORPORATION.

A committee of the whole Council was held last evening, under the presidency of the Mayor, when the offer of H.F. Beaumont, Esq., J.P., of Whitley Beaumont, of a Park at Dungeon Wood, Lockwood, was brought forward, on the report of the special sub-committee appointed to consider the offer. Upon the motion of the Mayor, seconded by the ex-Mayor, It was almost unanimously resolved to accept Mr. Beaumont’s offer. The land which will be thus acquired by the Corporation covers 25½ acres, of which five will be required for roads. The whole of Dungeon Wood will be taken in from the commencement of Starling End to the end of Butter Nab. It is proposed to bound the upper side of the new Park with a road ten yards wide, which will extend from Starling End to Butternab. Butternab Lane will be widened from six to ten yards, from its junction with Woodside Road to its termination at Batternab. Other roads will be constructed upon the property effecting junctions with Dryclough Lane and Moorend Road. A portion of the site is in the township of South Crosland and the rest is in Lockwood. With the exception of four fields the whole of the site is woodland, and from the terrace overlooking the Meltham branch line of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway a magnificent view may be obtained. The entire coat to the Corporation of making the roads. &c., stipulated for will be £4,153, which it is estimated will be covered by an annual rate of one-sixth of a penny in the pound, spread over the whole co the borough.

We cordially congratulate the inhabitants of Huddersfield upon the acquisition of a Park, and doubt not that they will duly appreciate the generosity of the donor, as well as approve of the stops taken by their municipal representatives.

Huddersfield Chronicle (09/Aug/1879)

By November that year, a Deed of Conveyance had been signed and a ceremonial handover took place on Saturday 29 May 1880 in which Mrs. Beaumont cut the first sod of earth. A council meeting which occurred previously on Wednesday 19 May 1880 had confirmed that the park would be named the “Beaumont Park” and a rather flowery opinion piece in the Chronicle (21/May/1880) lamented that apparent delays between Beaumont’s offer and the handover, although the newspaper’s claim that the park could have been ready and opened for the summer of 1880 was certainly naïve!4

As soon as Beaumont made his initial offer, the Town Council had appointed a subcommittee to liaise with him and to progress the project. With the handover ceremony complete, the Beaumont Park Committee was formed (by a resolution passed by the council on 16 June) to oversee the planning and development of Dungeon Wood.

A meeting of the committee took place on 22 June 1880 and the minutes recorded that the members were “the Mayor, Aldermen Woodhead, Brigg, Denham, Crossland, J. Vickerman, J. Haigh, W. Hirst, Marriott, Sykes, and Schofield (S)”, with the Mayor presiding. It was reported that Mr. Beaumont’s estate agent, Mr. Dunderdale, had a recent large-scale survey of Dungeon Wood in his possession and the committee resolved to obtain a copy so that they could begin planning roads, paths and fences.

As the work progressed over the following months and years, concerns began to increase over the total cost of the park to the town and this became a contentious issue between some of the councillors at the Town Council meetings. Councillor Chrispin, in particular, was an outspoken critic of what he regarded as the excesses of the Beaumont Park Committee and their inability to reign in the costs of developing the park. However, the Chronicle did later note that the expenditure to date on Greenhead Park had exceeded £32,000.5

The Huddersfield Chronicle regularly summarised the meetings and the following gives an overview of the issues and progress, along with other notable events. The date shown is that of the meeting or event.

26/Sep/1880

The area that had been previously cleared and laid out for the sod cutting ceremony was used again on the morning of Sunday 26 September 1880 for the commencement of the annual Honley Feast.6 The temporary stand housed around 250 vocalists and 50 musicians, and it was estimated some 5,000 people attended the event. The event began at 7:15am with the singing of the hymn “Come Let Us Join Our Cheerful Songs” and was followed by a selection of choruses from Handel’s “Messiah”. Afterwards, the choir and musicians were given refreshments in Lockwood Town Hall.7

18/Mar/1881

Plans were considered for how existing roads would be affected by the park, particularly Hanson Lane and Moor End Road.

05/Jul/1881

The Districts, Highways and Improvements Committee accepted a proposal to name the road which was to be built at the top of the park, “Beaumont Park Road”.

11/Aug/1881

Plans for an entrance at Dryclough were abandoned and a new site was chosen for the main entrance gate and lodge house.8 The committee visited Butternab Road to view progress. It was agreed that they would advertise for “competitive designs” for the layout of the park.

13/Dec/1881

The Borough Surveyor reported that the building of Beaumont Park Road was nearing completion and that the project to widen Butternab Road was progressing well.

10/Jan/1882

The Borough Surveyor reported that he felt all the roads for the park would be completed by June.

07/Feb/1882

It was reported workmen had begun fixing the balustrade along the Butternab Road frontage. The Borough Surveyor stated that he was nearly ready to submit his layout for the park.

23/Feb/1882

A deputation from the Huddersfield Naturalists’ Society attended and applied for “some part of the Park to be reserved for the society as a section for the culture of aquatic and other plants”. This was agreed and suitable spaces were marked on the map.

A small group, including the Mayor and Borough Surveyor, were deputised to visit a park in Rotherham which was reported to be “composed to a certain extent of rocks”.

Finally, it was agreed to approach the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company to see if the land above the northern entrance to Butternab Tunnel could be used as part of the Park.

13/Apr/1882

It was resolved that “the fence forming the boundary the boundary of the park along the lower or deferred line of road from Butternab to the tunnel be a dry stone wall with lined tops instead of palisading.”

09/May/1882

The Borough Surveyor reported that good progress had been made on laying out the park and that 36 men were currently employed on the work.

05/Jul/1882

The Executive Subcommittee paid a visit to the park and inspected work on the new entrance lodge before walking over to the Butternab end of the park where they found that work laying out the artificial lake was progressing well. The Borough Surveyor submitted a plan for the proposed band pavilion and it was approved.

11/Jul/1882

The Borough Accountant submitted a statement of expenditure which showed the amount spent to date was £9,418 11s. 1d. An article in the Chronicle (29/Jul/1882) raised concerns that so much had been spent yet very little of the appeared to have been in layout of the various paths and areas for the public.

08/Aug/1882

The Borough Surveyor reported good progress and that the roof was currently being added to the entrance lodge. The number of men employed was now 40.

11/Sep/1882

Having been granted space in the park, the Huddersfield Naturalists’ Society met at Victoria Hall to discuss how they should proceed with the proposed botanic garden.

29/Sep/1882

The committee met at the park where they were pleased with the progress at the Butternab entrance. It was reported that Messrs. R. Whiteley and Nephew had tendered for the construction of the band stand at a cost of £139.9

10/Oct/1882

The District Surveyor reported that he had purchased 250 rhododendron trees at cost of just over 82 shillings from Mr. Lister Kershaw.10 It was also reported that the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company had agreed to lease the land above Butternab Tunnel to the Huddersfield Corporate at a cost of £1 per year.

95 men were now employed to work on the park.

The Tramway

A new tramway from Huddersfield to Lockwood was opened on 11 January 1883. Rather than terminate at Lockwood Bar, the line ran a further half mile along Meltham Road to a terminus at Dungeon Cottages, where a route up to a lower park entrance was planned. Although this proved popular and meant that a Meltham Branch Line station in Dungeon Wood was superfluous, a decision was taken in 1901 to dismantle the extension and site the terminus back in Lockwood.

10/Jul/1883

It was resolved to purchase 20 extras seats for the park, along with iron vases.

122 men where now employed in the park.

13/Oct/1883: The Official Opening

The official opening ceremony for Beaumont Park was conducted by the youngest son of Queen Victoria, HRH Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany, and his wife Princess Helene, Duchess of Albany.11

A formal procession of around 4,000 people, which stretched for a mile and half, travelled from Huddersfield to the park, although the combination of cars, elaborate floats, horses, marching bands and people walking meant that parts of the parade moved at different speeds. Soon the carefully planned procession had descended into chaos, much to the delight of the thousands of spectators lining the route.

The most detailed newspaper description of the event was printed in the Huddersfield Chronicle (15/Oct/1883).

07/Dec/1883

The release of the Borough Fund Accounts gives the Chronicle the opportunity to show the annual breakdown of costs for Beaumont Park.

16/Jan/1884

At the monthly meeting of the Town Council, Councillor Crispin raised concerns at the amount of money thus far spent on Beaumont Park — £22,495 8s. 6d. — and the negative publicity this was generating, given that only two-thirds of the work was complete. After much debating, it was finally agreed that a sum of £2,500 would be made available to finish the work.

It also was noted that the spend equated to over £1,000 per acre of park. In today’s terms, that equates to over £100,000 per acre with a total cost in excess of £2,000,000.

12/Feb/1884

It was reported that Mr. Gilbert D. Winter had made a gift of two swans for the lake in the park, and that they had been received since the last meeting and were doing well.12

21/Feb/1884

It was resolved that the balustrade “which had been constructed near the lake, and overlooking the railway tunnel” be extended to prevent accidents.

The Borough Surveyor was instructed to procure 20,000 primroses and 5,000 daffodils for planting in the park and to erect signs prohibiting dogs from entering the park unless they were under control.

45 men were working on the site.

09/Apr/1884

It was agreed to purchase a roller and lawn mower for the park and a resolution banning the sale of refreshments in the park on Sundays was passed.

In a separate Town Council meeting, letters of condolence to Queen Victoria and to the Duchess of Albany on the event of the death of HRH Prince Leopold, who had opened the park only a few months before, were drafted and approved.

13/Jun/1884

69 men were now employed at the park and their average weekly wages amounted to £71.

It was resolved to obtain tenders for 50 more seats and benches for the park and a letter from the Huddersfield Temperance Brass Band offering to play in the park during the summer evenings was considered.

24/Jul/1884

The committee met at the Town Hall and proceeded by special tram car to the stop at Dungeon Wood. From there, they walked up the path to entrance next to the Meltham Branch Line bridge. They found considerable progress had been made and the work was of a satisfactory nature.

They than considered a proposal to build a refreshment room in the park and it was proposed the Borough Surveyor draw up a plan for their approval.

Concerns were raised at the number of “rabbits and other ground game” in the park and the damage they were doing. It was proposed that a “gun be purchased and a licence procured for the purpose of killing the ground game”.

The committee also agreed to the purchase of music stands for the band stand and that glasshouses be erected for the propagating of plants.

15/Aug/1884

Initial plans for the refreshment rooms were approved and the Borough Surveyor was asked to complete them and estimate the costs.

10/Oct/1884

57 men were now working in the park.

The Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company had consented to greenhouses being built on a strip of their land, at a cost of 5 shillings a year. However, the company had also complained that water was flowing from the park onto their railway line and the Borough Surveyor was asked to investigate.

16/Oct/1884

The site for the refreshment rooms was agreed and it was resolved that they should cost no more than £800.

12/Jun/1885

Six tenders had been submitted for the concrete work required to “complete the roof and floors” of the refreshment rooms. They were considered and John Cooke of Folly Hall was awarded the job.13

A discussion took place around the issue of asking the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company to consider building a station “at a place convenient to the park”.14

16/Dec/1885

Once again the issue of the cost of Beaumont Park was raised at a Town Council meeting. Previously, it had been agreed that a limit of £2,500 was to be placed on completing the park and later the sum of £800 had been approved for the refreshment rooms. However, it was reported that a further £4,234 had been spent to date, although this figure was later contested.

Councillor Chrispin was particularly critical of what he saw as being the excesses of the Beaumont Park Committee and the heated debate appears to have tried the patience of the Mayor.

12/Mar/1886

It was agreed that park gardener be allowed the sum of £4 a year to purchase seeds.

26/May/1886

Tenders were accepted for various jobs required to finish the refreshment rooms.

11/Jun/1886

Arrangements were made for live music in the park every Thursday evening and a request for a pay rise from the park superintendent, Andrew Paterson, was turned down.

29/Jul/1886

The refreshment rooms — now dubbed “The Castle” — inspected and found satisfactory, although it was proposed that a lightning conductor should be fitted to the building.

It was noted that members of the public had been damaging plants and flowers in the park and that notices should be posted to discourage such behaviour.

04/Mar/1887

A gift of two swans from the Central Wards Committee were accepted with thanks.

07/Apr/1887

A tender from Mr. F. Maffin for the erection of a propagating house and potting shed (“not including heating apparatus”) was accepted.15

08/Jul/1887

The park superintendent, Andrew Paterson, had again applied for a pay rise and this time it was accepted. His salary was increased from 25 to 30 shillings a week and he was allowed to continue to live rent-free at the park’s entrance lodge.

03/Aug/1888

The tender of Mr. C.H. Carney “for the supply and fixing of the iron gates for the entrance to the park near Meltham Road” was accepted.

These are presumably the gates which still exist at the park’s lower entrance:

beaumont2

06/Sep/1888

It was recommended that the Town Clerk write to the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company to inform them that water was dripping from the railway bridge onto the path near the Meltham Road park entrance. It was also suggested that the company may wish to plant flowers on the railway embankment to make it more attractive to park visitors.

A tender from Messrs. H. Cross and Son for the painting the iron palisading gates in the park was approved

Finally, it was resolved that a fence should be placed around the tree planted by the Duchess of Albany at the park’s opening ceremony and a “brass plate or painted board” be fixed to indicate the importance of said tree.

07/Dec/1888

Purchase of six iron plates detailing the bye-laws for the park were approved, to be fixed in suitable locations.

08/Feb/1889

It was agreed that the Town Clerk should write to Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company and to Mr. H.F. Beaumont “as to the desirability of planting with trees the railway embankment abutting Meltham Road, and the land on each side of the roadway leading from Meltham Road to the park entrance”.

This was seemingly agreed by the parties involved, as the route is indeed lined by trees:

beaumont3

03/Apr/1890

The estimate for the annual cost of running the park, submitted by the Borough Accountant, was agreed and the Finance Committee was requested to include the sum of £550 in their budget for the next financial year.

06/Jun/1890

The tender of Mr. H.B. Kendall for “painting and varnishing seats” in the park was approved.16

07/Aug/1890

The committee approved a plan to lay a pipe to provide a drinking water fountain near the children’s playground.

18/Jun/1891

The Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company was once again approached regarding the planting of trees near the Meltham Road entrance and a previous decision to plant the railway embankment with shrubs was changed to the planting of seeds instead.

The park superintendent, Andrew Paterson, received a pay increase from 30 to 35 shillings a week.

Decisions were also made to approach the railway company with the suggestion of building a station at the western end of the park and to engage bands to play one evening a week during the summer months. The Payments Committee later agreed to that, on the proviso that not more than £30 should be spent per annum on live music in each park.

It was later reported that the railway company replied on 15 July to say that they were considering the suggestion.

16/Dec/1891

At a Town Council meeting, it was apparently decided that the Beaumont Park Committee should be combined with the Greenhead Park Committee to form a general committee responsible for the town’s parks and this appears to be the last reference in the Chronicle to the Beaumont Park Committee.

In one final swan song (apologies for the pun!), it was noted at the same meeting that two swans from Greenhead Park were to be transferred to Beaumont Park and that one of the swans from the latter should be sold.


Andrew Paterson, who is mentioned above, was born around 1836 in Scotland. His wife, Margaret, was born in Durham and they married sometime around 1869. She died between the 1901 and 1911 Censuses.

Andrew’s name was recorded by local newspapers as both “Patterson” and “Pattison” and the 1871 Census names him as “Abraham Patterson” — at that time, he was a domestic gardener at Dog Kennels (this is a house situated on Dog Kennel Bank Lane, Almondbury, where it is believed the hunting dogs of Longley Hall were looked after).

They had one daughter, Mary Ellen Paterson, who was born around 1871 in Kirkheaton and was living with her father as a spinster in the lodge at the park when then the 1911 Census was taken. Mary Ellen worked as a dressmaker. It is currently unknown what happened to Mary Ellen after her father’s death.


Sources and Further Reading:

Huddersfield Daily Chronicle (21/May/1880) – Scraps and Hints: Beaumont Park

Published 8 days before the sod cutting ceremony for Beaumont Park, the article laments the apparently lack of progress since the announcement the year before that Henry F. Beaumont would donate land for the first public park in Huddersfield.

Just prior to this article, the Town Council had confirmed that it would be named “Beaumont Park”.


SCRAPS AND HINTS

The conveyance of Beaumont Park, once called Dungeon Wood, is completed, and the first sod is to be cut by Mrs. H.F. Beaumont, on the 29th inst. It seems to us that much unnecessary delay has taken place since Mr. Beaumont’s liberal offer to the Corporation. We had hoped that the Park would have been ready for the use of the inhabitants this summer. All thoughts of this must, of course, now be abandoned and the inhabitants must wait till next spring before that can promenade and recreate themselves as the denizens of large towns do, in a park of their own. Huddersfield is behind the age in the matter of summer holidays. There is scarcely any attraction in the town to keep the people in the district, and so other towns get the benefit of most of their holiday money. The seaside will necessarily attract a large number of holiday seekers, bat there remain a great many who would rather find amusement at home. The Bradford galas at Whitsuntide are highly successful. On Monday and Tuesday the receipts taken at Peel Park not only paid expenses, but realised over £1,400 to be devoted to local charities. It is net the beauties of scenery which annually attract large numbers, but the high repute of the galas. The £1,400 does Bradford more good than if it were spent in excursions away from the town. Something of the same kind should be attempted here. On Tuesday the proceedings in Greenhead Park were very tame. A few glees by the Band of Hope children, a few temperance speeches, a Maypole dance, and fireworks at night constituted the attractions. Adults complained that the time hung heavily on their hands, while thousands of the general public, having seen the paucity of the programme, failed to attend. There is required a little more spirit and liberality in the matter of summer entertainments. At the present time the Park Committee of the Corporation are very chary of letting the park for demonstrations. We hope when Beaumont Park is completed it will be rendered a constant source of attraction. There is no reason why it should not be laid out beautifully. A little museum would be a great accession, and engagements should be entered into for public entertainments on every Saturday during the summer season. It is an indisputable fact with modern philosophers, that people are happier in proportion as they seek their enjoyments nearer home. A man is to be pitied who cannot appreciate a blue sky unless he is in Cairo, or a fine painting unless he is in Rome, or a splendid exhibition of acting unless he is in London, or the works of God as seen in the green fields, the undulating scenery, the wonders of botany, and the music of feathered songsters unless he is in a strange country. It is the duty of a Corporation as much as possible, having regard to economy, to provide for the healthy recreation as well as the imperative wants of the inhabitants. We hope these considerations will not be overlooked in the laying out and arrangements of the Beaumont Park.

Huddersfield Daily Chronicle (12/Aug/1879) – Scraps and Hints

The name “Beaumont Park” wasn’t formally announced until May 1880, shortly before the sod cutting ceremony, and this article used the name “Dungeon Wood Park” instead.

The figure of £5,000 for the conversion of Dungeon Wood into a public park proved to be a considerable underestimate and, by January 1884 when it was estimated only two-thirds of the work was complete, over £22,495 had been spent.1


SCRAPS AND HINTS.

We were able to announce on Saturday the acceptance by the Corporation of Mr. H. Beaumont‘s munificent offer of land for a public park. Ever since the original offer was made, Mr. Beaumont has evidenced every desire to make the gift as acceptable as possible to the town, and the result of the interview is that a considerable portion of the alternative site suggested by the Corporation, including the whole of Dungeon Wood, will become the property of the inhabitants. Suitable roads will be constructed around the park, and it is calculated that for an expenditure of £5,000 the Corporation will be able to fulfil all the stipulations, and to make an enjoyable recreation ground. It is estimated that this expense will be covered by an annual rate of one-sixth of a penny in the pound, spread over the whole borough. We do not think that a single ratepayer will be reluctant to bear this infinitesimal burden towards the completion of a park which will be at once a boon and an ornament to the borough. Distant about a mile and a half from the Market Cross, the park is not inconveniently situated, and it is so close to railway train and omnibus as to be available for all who desire cheap and invigorating recreation at home. We have few amusements at Huddersfield in summer months to tempt the working classes away from day excursions to the sea side and other distant resorts. By all means, let the inhabitants get as much sea air as they can, but we ought in fairness to give them the chance of enjoying themselves at home, and we feel confident that a beautiful public park provided with diversified amusements from week to week at a small cost would result in a great saving to hundreds who now rush off on day excursions because there is rarely anything to keep them in the town. We regard the acquisition of Dungeon Wood and adjoining ground as as an instalment of what we believe will be the ultimate result, as one park is not sufficient, for the wants of a great and growing community. The new park can never detract from the great boon Greenhead is felt to be, and we should like to know how matters stand in regard to a park which must still be regarded par excellence as the park of the town. It would be unfortunate if the cup of fruition, which has tantalizing dangled at the lips of the inhabitants for several years, should ultimately be dashed to the ground. Not many months ago the Corporation resolved to purchase the park on the liberal terms offered by Sir John Ramsden. The public do not yet know the precise reasons why the bargain was not concluded. We hope that, so far from being lulled into indifference to Greenhead through the acquisition of Dungeon Wood, the appetite of the Corporation will grow by what it feeds upon. Gentlemen have been ready for years to subscribe towards the purchase of Greenhead, and with the liberal example of Mr. Beaumont so fresh in memory, the Corporation would have no difficulty in obtaining the park by voluntary subscriptions. It it is worth while spending £5,000 on beautifying and improving Dungeon Wood Park, Greenhead amply deserves the same pecuniary treatment. The manner in which Mr. Beaumont and the Corporation managed to agree respecting the particular land to be enclosed indicates, in our opinion, that the Corporation have only to confer with Sir John Ramsden in the same spirit in order to arrive at some settlement which shall secure a picturesque park to the town for generations to come, when nothing will be seen around but thriving residences and busy thoroughfares. The Corporation is on the right track, and we think a vigorous expression of public opinion would avert a lamentable deviation.