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


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.

Huddersfield Daily Chronicle (18/Jun/1874) – Local and District News: Closing of Woodfield Station


Closing of Woodfield Station.

Some months ago the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company decided on adding a station on their Meltham branch. A platform was made, a station-house erected, gas lamps put up, and gas conveyed from the road. The signboard was also duly put up, on which was painted “Dungeon Wood,” and every expense was incurred necessary to meet, what we presume was considered, the wants of the neighbourhood. As the work approached completion the signboard underwent a change, “Dungeon Wood” giving place to what was probably thought a more euphonious name — “Woodfield” — and placards duly announced the opening on the first of the current month. All, however, has come to an untimely end. Yesterday the railway company issued a bill announcing that after the 30th of this month the station will be closed ! It would be interesting to the shareholders to know how much money has been spent on this little experiment. Surely it was never expected to be a paying station, and if an average of one shilling per day is the financial result, that sum is in excess of what persons outside official railway circles ever expected would be realised.

Huddersfield Chronicle (02/Sep/1871) – Removal of the Dungeon Wood Tollgate


Removal of the Dungeon Wood Tollgate.

On Tuesday, workmen were engaged in removing the Dungeon Wood toll-bar to a new position, beyond the limits of the borough of Huddersfield. The new position is at the bottom of the Big Valley, near the junction of the roads from Netherton to Huddersfield, and from the former place to Armitage Bridge. The removal of the bar is one of the results of the recently obtained Improvement Bill by the Huddersfield Corporation. During the progress of the removal many persons expressed a desire to know when a similar fate would befall the Lockwood bar, and also hoped the Corporation would not be partial in its action, but would compel the removal of every toll-gate to beyond the limits of the borough.

Huddersfield Chronicle (08/Oct/1870) – Lockwood: Escape and Capture of a Monkey


Escape and Capture of a Monkey.

On Wednesday morning, as a gentleman from Lockwood was enjoying a stroll through Dungeon Wood, he was somewhat startled by a strange sound and rustling of the bushes. A retriever dog, with which he was accompanied, soon unearthed the cause of the alarm, which proved to be an untamed monkey. Perceiving its enemy (the dog), the monkey began to chatter most energetically, at the same time bounding and climbing from one wall to another, and anon secreting itself among the brushwood. The canine tormentor did not allow it to remain long in its hiding place, and, had it not been for the timely interference of the gentleman, no doubt the monkey would have been severely treated by its pursuer. At length the monkey was captured, and claimed by Mr. Davis, lithographer, whose brother, a seaman, had recently brought it from abroad. The monkey had for the night been fastened under the cellar steps, but had contrived to escape.

Huddersfield Chronicle (10/Jul/1869) – Opening of the Branch Line of Railway to Meltham


Opening of the Branch Line of Railway to Meltham.

After innumerable predictions, the opening of the Meltham Branch Railway is an accomplished fact. On Monday morning the line was opened for passenger traffic, and although no public demonstration took place, the inhabitants of the valley were highly delighted with the event. The first train consisting of engine, tender, and eleven carriages — with a large number of passengers left Huddersfield station — for Meltham. The engine was under the care of Mr. McConkey, who was accompanied on the engine by Mr. Normanton, the assistant superintendent of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company ; Mr. Thornton, superintendent of the locomotive department ; Mr. Goldstraw, the contractors’ engineer ; Mr. Thompson, the Huddersfield station master ; and other officials. As the train moved from the platform fog signals were fired. At Lockwood about a score of passengers were taken up, and fog signals were fired as the train left the station. At Netherton a large number of persons congregated and welcomed the arrival of the tram with hearty cheers. Flags were flying at the station and across the line, and a large number of fog signals were discharged. Hundreds of the inhabitants flocked into the train, the first ticket issued being obtained by Mr. James Wrigley, who has taken a lively interest in the construction of the line from its commencement. At Healey House station flags were hoisted and signals fired. At Meltham thousands of persons lined the side of the cutting above the station, and in various ways demonstrated the pleasure they felt at the opening of the line, which had already been productive of great benefit to them by a reduction in the price of coal by at least 3s. 6d. per ton. On the arrival of the train a large number of fog signals were discharged. The first ticket issued at this station was to Master Walker, son of the station master. During the whole of the day the trains were well filled with passengers, and ample provision made for their comfort and entertainment at the Rose and Crown, the Swan, Victoria, and other inns in the town. The line, although a short length, has been very expensive in its construction owing to the many difficulties which beset the contractors, Messrs. Barnes and Beckett. The first sod was lifted by Charles Brook, Esq., of Enderby, on the 4th of April, 1864, and Monday being the fifth day of July, the line has occupied five years, three months, and one day in its construction. The difficult portions of the undertaking were at Dungeon Wood and Netherton tunnel. From the junction at the Lockwood viaduct to Meltham is a distance of three miles and a half, and the gradients are very heavy. On leaving the main line at the above junction the gradient is one in 100; at Dungeon Wood to Butternab it is one in 60 ; at Netherton it is one in 95; and from Healey House it is one in 120. The line is level at all the stations. The line passes through picturesque scenery, the Netherton valley being one of the finest for miles round, and presents a fine opening for the erection of villa residences. Emerging from the Butternab tunnel, a magnificent gorge is opened out on the right hand side, which, for beauty and variety of foliage, can scarcely be equalled in this part of the country. Leaving Netherton station, a fine, extensive panorama is opened to view. The picturesque valley, the beautiful silk mills of Messrs. Charles Brook and Sons, overtopped by the extensive thread works of Messrs. Jonas Brook and Brothers, flanked by the Spink Mires Mills, with the pretty church of St. James and the parsonage in the centre, and the extensive view of pasture, wood, and moorland forms a picture rarely met with, and this will be much enhanced when the Convalescent Home is erected. There is little doubt but that the Meltham line will prove a great attraction for pic-nic parties to Harden Moss, the Isle of Skye, and other places in the locality.

1869.07.10 Opening of the Branch Line of Railway to Meltham - Huddersfield Chronicle 10 July 1869

The Engineer (09/Jul/1869) – Railway Matters

Railway Matters.

The Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company have during the week added another important branch to their already existing lines by the opening of the new extension from Huddersfield to Meltham on Monday last. The branch, although short has been a very heavy undertaking, and has taken over five years to construct. Some time ago it was formally opened, but owing to a large landslip in the neighbourhood of Lockwood it had to be closed until the present week. The branch is intended to supply a long-felt want to the inhabitants of Meltham, who are chiefly engaged in the manufacture of sewing cotton. The route taken is attended with some difficulty. Several large eminences have had to be got through which has opened out some deep cuttings. There are no less than three tunnels on the route, which is about five miles in length. The line leaves what is known as the Dungeon Wood Junction, and passes over a very picturesque portion of country which cannot be surpassed in Yorkshire. The ascent from Lockwood to Meltham is very heavy, the gradients varying from 1 in 60 to 1 in 120. Five trains are advertised to run each way daily except Sundays, when they are limited to two each way. The first sod was cut on the 4th of April, 1864, so that fully five years and three months has been spent in constructing the branch.

Huddersfield Chronicle (25/Apr/1868) – The Meltham Branch Railway, Forced Removal of Bentley Shaw, Esq., from Woodfield House

The Meltham Branch Railway.

Forced Removal of Bentley Shaw, Esq., from Woodfield House.

The formation of the railway between Huddersfield and Meltham seems to be beset with innumerable difficulties of one kind or another. No sooner is one obstacle to its completion removed than another springs up in some quarter. A few weeks since the contractors and engineers were congratulating themselves upon the near completion of the works, when suddenly their anticipations were baffled by an immense fall of rock and debris from the upper portion of Dungeon Wood, immediately in the rear of Woodfield House, blocking up the line and impeding for a time all further progress. Men were, however, set to work to remove the obstruction, which proved no easy task, as immense blocks of stone had to be broken up and got away, some of which contained as much as twelve cubic yards of rock, and were computed to weigh 25 tons. The more easily to effect their removal, blasting was resorted to. This mode of overcoming the difficulty, however, had to be dispensed with, as Mr. Bentley Shaw, from the proximity of his house, became alarmed for the safety of his family at the danger attending this process, and about a fortnight ago he obtained an injunction to restrain the company from persisting in this dangerous mode of operations. The company were thus once more in a fix, and the works were stopped so far as regarded the objectionable portion of them. Negotiations were entered into with Mr. Shaw, by which arrangements were made for his family to remove temporarily from Woodfield House until the danger is at an end. Woodfield House is now closed, and the family of Mr. Shaw is located for some time to come at Harrogate. The arrangements having been completed, the process of blasting was resumed on Tuesday last, since which a large quantity of debris has been removed and the work is again progressing satisfactorily.

Huddersfield Chronicle (16/Nov/1867) – Lockwood: The Local Board Meeting


The Local Board Meeting.

[…] Mr. Hirst brought under the notice of the Board the stoppage of the regular supply of water to the well at Dungeon Wood, by the formation of the branch railway to Meltham. He suggested that the water should be brought by pipes to the well from the upper side of the railway. The subject was ultimately referred to the Lighting and Water Committee.

Huddersfield Chronicle (11/May/1867) – Netherton: Meltham Railway


Meltham Railway.

For months past the permanent rails from the Meltham station to the Lockwood end of the Netherton tunnel have been laid ready for traffic, but the continuation was stopped in consequence of the vacuum between the tip end of the tunnel and the tip from Butter-nab. A junction between the two tips has at length been effected, and the space between them filled

up, and it is asserted that the first engine will pass through the two tunnels on Monday next. Some idea may be formed of the immense mass of earth and dital moved by the small ballast engine, when it is stated that 160 waggons of earthwork have been daily removed from the Woodfield cutting for many weeks past. It is computed that not less than 4,050 tons of dital have been

removed weekly by the engine for months past. The great drawback to the opening of the line is the accumulation of the immense blocks of stone on the line at Dungeon Wood, the result of the “slip” of earth last autumn.