150 Years Ago: Huddersfield Chronicle (24/Jun/1865)

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


1865.06.24 advert 1

1865.06.24 advert 2

1865.06.24 advert 3

Selections of Wit and Humour

The bachelor has to look out for number one — the married man for number two.

Magistrates in Petty Sessions

HARBOURING DISORDERLY COMPANY. Wm. Hopwood, occupier of the Brown Cow beerhouse, Castlegate, was summoned for having disorderly persons in his house. Police Sergeant Mellor stated that on Monday, about twenty minutes to four o’clock, he went to the above house, and found in one of the rooms six women and 15 or 16 men, under the influence of drink. In the front room there were five men, who had apparently partaken freely of liquor. Mellor spoke to the landlady concerning the conduct of the company, who were indulging in most obscene language, and left the house, but returned with another officer about twenty minutes to five o’clock, when the company were still behaving themselves in a very improper manner. Some of the women were “unfortunates,” and one was a returned convict. Police Constable Sedgwick gave corroborative evidence, after which Mr. J.I. Freeman, on behalf of the defendant, said he was instructed to deny the statement of the officers. The persons in the kitchen were the relatives of Hopwood’s wife, but it was true that one of them had had the misfortune of being convicted. He (Mr. Freeman) had been assured that no bad language was used, and there was no disturbance. Mary Gannon, a washerwoman, substantiated the statement of Mr. Freeman, and afterwards Mr. Superintendent Hannan informed the Bench that the house had been very badly conducted, and that the defendant had recently been convicted at the sessions of harbouring prostitutes. Fined 10s. and expenses ; total 19s.

THE “UMBRELLA” COURTSHIP. Ann Mooney was summoned for assaulting Mary Walters on the 20th inst. Complainant stated that on Tuesday the defendant seized her by the hair of the head and dragged her to the ground. The only motive for the assault was that the complainant had threatened to summon the defendant, who had assaulted her on the Sunday. Defendant asserted that the complainant had annoyed her, and had accused her of “being with a man under an umbrella in the passage.” The case was dismissed.

District Intelligence

HOLMFIRTH — Mill Accident.

On Wednesday last, at the mill of Messrs. Joshua Barber and Sons, at Holmbridge, a young woman named Thewlis, met with a serious accident. It appears that she was employed on a condensing machine, and that she had to put a chain on to a pulley connected with the machine. To do this it was her duty to do so on the outside of a slowly revolving wheel also connected with the machine ; but instead of doing so she thoughtlessly put her arm through the spokes of the slow wheel, and before she could withdraw it she was caught and her arm was dreadfully mutilated. Dr. Trotter was sent for, and was soon in attendance, and recommended her to be sent to the Huddersfield Infirmary, where she was at once conveyed. No blame attaches to any one but the young woman herself, who is 30 years old and ought to have been more cautious.

KIRKBURTON — Omnibus Accident.

On Monday evening last an accident occurred to Jenkinson’s omnibus on its way to Kirkburton, which was unattended with the slightest personal injury. The ‘bus had proceeded all right as far as Fenay Bridge, and while ascending the steep hill, near the works of Messrs. Riley Brothers, the off hind wheel came off, but the ‘bus was brought to a stand before the passengers were aware of any danger. Being brought to a stand, the ‘bus fell down for want of support, which caused the breaking of the springs. Another ‘bus was speedily obtained from Burton, and the passengers conveyed to their respective destinations.

MELTHAM — “Disgraceful Conduct of a Band.”

Under this head a letter appeared in the Chronicle of the 10th instant signed a “Lover of order,” complaining of the Holme Mills band playing past the church at Meltham on Whit-Monday, while the Rev. Mr. Ince was preaching, and continuing to do so after they had been requested to desist. In reply to this, we have received a fetter from Mr. Godfrey Wood, leader of the band, stating that the writer of the previous letter had been unnecessarily hard upon the band, who were strangers to what was going on in the church, and were ignorant of the practices of Meltham on this occasion. Mr. Wood also alleges that it is a common practice on holiday occasions for bands to play through the villages, and the Holm Mills band only observed this rule, and had no idea of interrupting any one. He also enquires how the band could give up in the middle of a tune, when they were in marching order, and complains of the “excited manner” in which the person went to the band and demanded them to desist, at which the band were not well-pleased, and refused to answer the enquiry where they came from. The band is not Mr. Crowther’s, but relies on its own resources, and is called the Holm Mills brass band, and while going to play for other Sunday scholars on the above day, they had no intention of disturbing the “kind people at Meltham,” and urges that Whit-Monday not being set apart for religious worship the same as Sunday, they had a perfect right to play and enjoy themselves on the occasion.

Local News

Patent Self-acting Fire Extinguisher.

A patent self-acting fire extinguisher has been tested near the Cloth Hall, by Mr. Alfred Wilby, of Hightown, near Cleckheaton. The patentees are Messrs. J.G. Hey and V. Savory, Cleckheaton. The extinguisher, which is a simple invention, consists of a perforated ball, supplied with water by means of a metallic tube, at the end of which is a valve. This valve is held by solder, which is covered by a fusible material. The ball is also charged with the patent combustible material, which will ignite when the temperature of heat has reached 140 degrees. The explosion of one material thus ignites the other combustible compound, the valve is opened, and the water flowing through the perforated ball, is ejected in all directions, the distance being in a measure in proportion to the quantity of water passing through the mains. The extinguisher, which may be attached to steam or water pipes, is useful and comparatively inexpensive.

150 Years Ago: Huddersfield Chronicle (03/Jun/1865)

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





Wit and Humour

A gentleman a few days ago said to a young lady who had just returned from the sea-side, “I’m delighted to see you’re back — or rather, your face — again.”

To Be Let

WESTFIELD TERRANCE. MRS. FARRAND, having been induced to take a good House at the above address, would be glad to LET SITTING and BEDROOMS to one or two Gentlemen.


MISSES SHAW, Milliners, Dress and Mantle Makers, are NOW SHOWING some of the Choicest NOVELTIES, suitable for the present season. An Inspection is respectfully solicited. 15, Ramsden Street.

Turnpike Roads


Notice is hereby given, that the TOLLS arising at the several Tollgates, Bars, and Chains upon the Turnpike Road from Lockwood to Meltham, and a Branch of Road to Meltham Mills, all in the parish of Almondbury, in the West Riding of the County of York, called by the several names of the Dungeon Gate, Netherton Gate, and Chain and Harewood Bridge Gate and Chain, WILL BE LET, either BY AUCTION OR TICKET, to the best bidder, for the term of one or more year or years, as may be agreed on at the time of letting (and subject to such conditions as will be then and there produced), at the house of Mr. Samuel Bradley, the Imperial Hotel, in Huddersfield, on Thursday, the 8th day of June next, between the hours of Three and Five o’clock in the afternoon, in the manner directed by the General Turnpike Act, or Acts of Parliament, which Tolls are now in the hands of the Trustees of the said Road, and produced in the year last past the sum of £1,043 9s. 1d., and will be put up at that sum.

Whoever happens to be the highest bidder must at the same time pay one month’s rent in advance (if required) of the rent at which such Tolls may be let, and give security with sufficient sureties, to the satisfaction of the Trustees of the said Turnpike Road, for the payment of the remainder of the money monthly, or in such other proportions as shall be directed by the said Trustees.

A deposit of £30 will be required from each person intending to become a bidder, previously to any bidding by such person being accepted.

By Order,
EDGAR FENTON, Clerk to the Trustees of the said Turnpike Road.
Huddersfield, 3rd May, 1865.

Public Notices


THE above Grand MATCH will be played on the Lockwood Ground on Whit Monday, June 5th. Wickets pitched at Eleven a.m. Admission 6d. No dogs admitted.

Magistrates in Petty Sessions

DAMAGE BY HENS. Daniel Fisher, of Kirkheaton, was charged with doing damage to a field of grass the property of Ephraim Sykes, of the same place. The damage was laid at 6s. Mr. Dransfield defended. The defendant keeps a number of hens, which continually trespass in complainant’s field, and have scratched up his hay grass. He cautioned defendant six weeks since to keep them out, but without effect. The complainant did not press for a penalty, only this his property should not be destroyed. At the recommendation of the Bench he withdrew summons on the expenses being paid.

District Intelligence

CLAYTON WEST — Dastardly Outrage.

During Friday and Saturday nights last, some rascal entered the small plantation belonging to John Kaye, Esq., of Clayton, known as “Plumpton Park,” and cut down and destroyed a number of young valuable trees. A reward of £20 has been offered by Mr. Kaye for the discovery of the perpetrators of the outrage.

MELTHAM — Freak of Nature.

A singluar freak of nature has occurred at Thickhollins, the particulars being as follows. Mr. Benjamin Wilson, spindle maker, of Thickhollins, sat an ordinary English duck on the usual number of eggs to form a brood. On Thursday evening week the duck hatched her progeny, when among the brood was one most extraordinary formed, it having three legs and four feet. The usual two legs — one on each side — are properly formed, but a third one is attached to the body behind, and is perfect down to the centre joint, from which place a fourth foot branches out, so that the little waddler has four perfectly formed feet — the two hind ones being webbed together — and three legs.

NETHERTON — A Long-Needed Improvement.

Netherton for many years past has been much behind many villages in public improvements, but the formation of the railway and other causes appear to have given a good impetus to it, and, of late, considerable improvements have been made. Among the greatest of these is the laying down at present of a substantial and much-needed flagged causeway, together with the erection of a handsome pillar lamp, at the cross, which, when completed, will be an ornament to the village.

LINDLEY — A Centenarian.

On Monday last, a hearty old lady of Lindley, named Sarah Firth, widow of the late Thomas Firth, of that place, accomplished her 100th birthday. The old lady continues in the enjoyment of all her faculties, with the exception of hearing, in which at times she had found herself rather deficient of late years. She walks nimbly about, and goes about her usual household work with alacrity. Her eldest child — a daughter — is still living, and is 79 years of age. This centenarian has forty grandchildren now living, several of whom having emigrated to Australia, no information can be obtained as to the total number of great grandchildren, but there are between forty and fifty of them living in England at the present time. Her eldest grandchild is upwards of fifty years old.1

Does anyone know if the “handsome pillar lamp” in Netherton is the one stood on Moor Lane? If so, it’s celebrating its 150th birthday this month!


Huddersfield Daily Examiner (23/Jan/2013) – Rural Pennine Rail Line that Just Refused to Die

Rural Pennine Rail Line that Just Refused to Die

It was due to shut but now carries 1m passengers each year. Paul Salveson is a councillor for Golcar ward and founded the Penistone Line Partnership in 1993. Here he examines a new book about the massive cuts to the local railway network over many years.

Dr Richard Beeching is a name that still sends shudders down the spines of many rail supporters. He was the famous ‘axe man’ who was responsible for the closure of thousands of miles of railways in the 1960s and 1970s. His report — The Re-shaping of British Railways — was published 50 years ago, on March 27, 1963.

A new book puts the Beeching legacy into context and prominently features one particular railway — the Penistone Line — which refused to die.

“Holding the Line — How Britain’s Railways Were Saved” is written by two highly experienced railwaymen, Lord Richard Faulkner and Chris Austin, OBE.

The book is the first detailed account of successive attempts to drastically cut Britain’s railway network, of which Beeching was the low point.

While Richard and Chris are passionate about railways — and their anger about the slashing of our railways in the Beeching era comes through strongly — the book does not harangue the reader. It shows, with clear evidence, that there really was what amounts to a conspiracy in government circles to destroy what was once the best railway system in the world. And it could have been far worse.

Many lines had closed before Beeching published his infamous report.

Locally, Holmfirth lost its passenger service in 1959 and Meltham’s passenger trains ceased 10 years earlier.

The Penistone Line itself from Huddersfield to Sheffield was proposed for closure by Beeching in 1963.

Perhaps, surprisingly, it was reprieved in 1966 by Labour’s incoming transport minister, Barbara Castle, as one of six ‘conurbation commuter services’. However, that was not to be the end of the story.

The section of line between Denby Dale and Sheffield was proposed for closure in 1982, making the remaining section from Denby Dale to Huddersfield unviable.

South Yorkshire Passenger Transport executive relented on the Denby Dale-Sheffield closure but meanwhile West Yorkshire Metro had withdrawn financial support from the Huddersfield section. It wasn’t until 1987, after much pressure from groups such as the Huddersfield Penistone Sheffield Rail Users’ Association that the threat of closure was removed. However, the branch from Shepley to Clayton West saw its last train on January 22, 1983 — one of the last major closures in the country. The authors stress that the threat to large swathes of the rail network continued throughout the 1980s. The Serpell Report of 1983 presented ‘options’ which included a network of just 1,630 route miles — a loss of nearly 9,000 miles, including all of Huddersfield’s railways.

The book demonstrates that the attempts to close substantial parts of the network were highly political. Villains of the piece include Ernest Marples, Conservative transport minister at the time of Beeching, but also the shadowy figure of Alfred Sherman, a right-wing ideologue who had the ear of Mrs Thatcher. His ‘big idea’ was to tarmac over as many railways as possible and turn them into ‘super-highways’. But Labour Governments do not escape criticism either. The incoming 1964 Labour Government of Harold Wilson could easily have saved several well-used routes such as Whitby to Scarborough and York to Beverley.

The last major attempted closure came in the early 1980s when British Rail announced its intention to close the Settle-Carlisle Line. The route had been threatened, but reprieved, in the 1960s. The announcement led to a high-profile campaign which saw over 23,000 objections — including one dog!

The Government backed down. Like many other lines which had been threatened by Beeching, the Settle-Carlisle went on to prosper, today carrying a mix of both passenger and freight trains. Other lines in West Yorkshire which Beeching wanted to close included the now-electrified commuter line to Ilkley.

Sadly, the line to Wetherby succumbed and one has to wonder at the madness of closing what might have been an important part of the West Yorkshire commuter network had it survived.

Since the ‘final’ reprieve in 1987 the Penistone Line has, of course, gone from strength to strength. An active users’ association has been complemented by the Penistone Line Partnership, the first ‘community rail partnership’ in the country, formed in 1993. It became a model for other lightly-used lines around Britain. Passenger numbers have more than doubled and the line now carries well over a million people a year. It could so easily have been lost.

The main problems facing Britain’s local railways today are not lack of passengers but shortage of capacity to meet rising demand.

The so-called ‘basket-case’ lines of the 1970s are now carrying trains which are bursting at the seams. The challenge of the next 20 years will be to provide the capacity — both extra trains and more track capacity — to meet the sort of growth that the so-called experts of the 1960s would have dismissed as a pipe-dream. It was the romantics like John Betjeman who were proved right, not the ‘realists’ such as Beeching, Serpell and Sherman.

“Holding the Line: How Britain’s Railways Were Saved” by Richard Faulkner and Chris Austin is published by Ian Allan.

Huddersfield Chronicle (14/Sep/1850) – Having an Outing

An amusing write up of two men getting wasted in Holmfirth and then crashing their horse drawn carriage (“phæton“) near Berry Brow.

I’m intrigued about the use of “totally fu” in the article — is this an abbreviated version of “totally f**ked”?!



The other day, two gentlemen from Huddersfield took a phæton for a day’s outing, and went to Holmfirth. What occurred at that town is not our intention to relate, suffice it that they were “rather fu,” when the commenced their journey homewards, and what with their additional potations and the effects of the night air, they became perfectly “glorious.” Somewhere near eleven o’clock at night (for ought they seem to know it might have been broad non), just a little below Berry Brow, these unfortunate Jehus could get no further, and topsy-turvey they went on to the foot road. Shortly afterwards Mr. Superintendent Heaton came up, and found them sprawling on the ground — the phæton shaft broken, and one of the travellers groping in blissful ignorance for his chapo. In answer to Mr. Heaton’s interrogations, they expressed themselves as “exceedingly glad that somebody had come up whom they knew;” and one of them added, “I told — you Bill — you would throw — us — over; but you would — drive — you know.” Ultimately the unfortunate mortals were relieved from the dilemma, and we hope their night’s experience will have taught them a beneficial lesson.