Huddersfield Chronicle (07/Jan/1871) – Golcar: Lost in a Fog


Lost in a Fog.

On Tuesday night a flock-dealer, from Ley Moor, Golcar, found himself in a ludicrous position, and which has caused considerable amusement to numbers of his friends and neighbours. It seems he visited Huddersfield that day on business, and bad imbibed to an extent that towards night he became somewhat muddled. Remaining in town till the last train had left Huddersfield, he started off to walk home, and managed very well till Chapel Hill was reached ; but here the fog (in his head) was so thick that, instead of continuing on Manchester Road, he took the more easy one, and descended Chapel Hill, continuing on through Lockwood and Dungeon, nor did he discover his mistake until rudely brought to his recollection during the small hours of the morning, by discovering that instead of being, as he imagined, at Golcar, he was actually in the Big Valley, and going to Netherton. Chagrined, he retraced his steps, and ultimately reached home, the fog having by that time become much less dense than when he left Huddersfield.

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 (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 (06/Oct/1866) – Landslip on the Meltham Railway

Landslip on the Meltham Railway.

On Monday evening an extensive landslip occurred in Dungeon Wood, on the branch line of railway in course of construction from Huddersfield to Meltham. Within a short distance from the junction of the new line, with the line to Penistone commences a deep and heavy cutting through Dungeon Wood to the entrance of Butter Nab Tunnel. The deepest part of this cutting is almost immediately in the rear of Woodfield House, the residence of Bentley Shaw, Esq., whose stables, coach-house, and other outbuildings are situate at the foot of the slope on the lower side of the cutting. Between these and the top of the lower edge of the cutting, which is about eight yards high from the level of the line, are two strong burr walls, one belonging to the railway company and the other forming a fence of the private road to Mr. Shaw’s residence. Between these walls are a number of traes and poles. The cutting is a very heavy one, the upper side being between 30 and 40 yards in height, the top portion formed of heavy block stone, while the lower bed is composed of “scale” or loose shale. The sides of this cutting were left nearly perpendicular, but no danger was apprehended of any fall till very recently, little or nothing having been done at the Lock wood end of the cutting for nearly twelve months. On Monday morning, the men went to work, and the “gauger” or overlooker, Mr. Brook, observing indications of the slackening of the shale on the upper side of the cutting, was on the look-out all day. In the meantime he caused all the metals, sleepers, and other working plant to be removed from the place, and towards the middle of the afternoon noticed the servants of Mr. Shaw to remove their stock, &c. from the outbuildings for fear of mischief. At a quarter to eight o’clock the misgivings of the overlooker were verified. A loud crashing, crumbling noise was heard, together with the bounding of huge masses of stone and rock immediately behind Woodfield House. On examination it was found that the upper side of the cutting had given way for about forty yards in length, the rock, shale, &c., completely filling up the cutting, and heaping masses of stone higher than the lower side of it. Many massive stones, some of them yards in length, were rolled down the lower slope towards the stables of Mr. Shaw, but their force being broken by the company’s retaining wall — which was knocked down for fifty yards in length — and intercepted by the trees, no damage was done. The cutting for thirty or forty yards is entirely blocked up with immense masses of rock and stone. The weight of the debris is immense, and will take some time to remove it. The removal, however, will not be attempted until the entire cutting is completed, as the mass of stone and rubbish will have to be removed to the Netherton side, there being no place to deposit it on the Lockwood side of Butter Nab Tunnel, which is about 500 yards from the scene of the slip. The cause of the disaster is attributed to the late continuous rains having penetrated through the ground to the lower bed of shale, which it loosened, and rendered unable to bear the superincumbent weight of rock above it. Beyond the time required for its removal, no loss will be sustained by the contractors, Messrs. Barnes and Beckett.

Huddersfield Chronicle (17/Jun/1865) – Lockwood: Local Board Meeting


Local Board Meeting.

[…] The Clerk then read the minutes of the last meeting, which were confirmed. A short conversation then ensued as to the railway works now progressing in Dungeon Wood, which were within ten yards of the bridle footpath, which has already occupied the attention of the Board.

Mr. Ashton urged that it was time the Board took positive action, as unless that was done forthwith the road would be stopped altogether. He considered they ought to apply immediately for an injunction to prevent the company going on with the works until they had made a good and safe road in lieu of it.

The Chairman was also of the opinion that something ought at once to be done in the matter, otherwise the public would loose their rights.

Mr. Crosland asked whether it would be best to leave it with the committee, or instruct the clerk to write to the company forthwith.

Mr. Ashton considered the best way would be to give their clerk instructions that night to take instant action.

After a further conversation, Mr. Crosland moved, and Mr. J. Shaw seconded a resolution, which was carried unanimously, that the clerk write to the Lancashire and Yorkshire Company, calling attention to the matter, and requesting the making of a good and safe footpath, and if no notice be taken of the letter a special meeting of the Board be immediately convened to consider what steps should be next taken.

The diversion of the footways in Dungeon Wood by the railway company was next mooted, but as Mr. Abbey had not yet completed his tracings of the plans, &c., for the information of the Board, the subject was left over till such tracings were presented to the Board.

Huddersfield Chronicle (13/May/1865) – Lockwood Local Board Meeting

Lockwood Local Board Meeting.

This Board held its monthly meeting on Monday evening, at the Red Lion Inn, Lockwood. Mr. R. Roberts, the chairman, presided ; Messrs. J. Shaw, J. Crosland, Haigh, Ashton, Whiteley, W. Shaw, A. Crowther, E. Greenwood, and J.T. Rhodes were present.

Stopping of the Road through Dungeon Wood.

Mr. Ashton, referring to the stoppage of the bridle way through Dungeon Wood by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company, who are constructing a new line to Meltham, stated that the chairman, the clerk, and himself had been through the wood, and Mr. Watts (the clerk) had said pretty confidently that it was a public road. But what he (Mr. Ashton) had to complain of was that, whilst they were parleying, the road was still stopped. It was the duty of the Board to open the road, and keep it open, until some arrangements nad been come to. He moved that the Highway Committee be empowered to move all obstructions in the footway. A wall had been erected, and a board had been put up, notifying that trespassers would be prosecuted, and concluding with “by order.” It had turned out that Mr. Brown, inspector, had caused that notice to be put up ; but until the railway company had proved they were in the right parties coming from the mills ought not to be prevented from travelling that way.

The Chairman remarked that by what they could gather from Mr. Watts, the deputation from the railway company, they would be able to establish their claims to the rights of the road; but he (Mr. Watts) thought the Board had better not take any harsh measures until he had communicated to his superiors. He believed Mr. Penin had ordered the wall to be built, and for him to order it to be pulled down, would be to clash with his superiors. He (the Chairman) was inclined to let the matter stand in abeyance for a short time, to enable Mr. Watts to correspond with Mr. Perrin, of London.

Mr. Crosland observed that there had scarcely been sufficient time for Mr. Watts, the engineer, to receive a reply from London.

Mr. Brown, the resident engineer, had denied that the notice had been put up ; but when the committee went through the road, Mr. Watts pointed it out to him.

Mr. Shaw : Is it not Mr. Armitage who has put the notice up ?

Mr. Crosland : No ; it’s a new notice.

Mr. Ashton stated that there were notices forbidding persons to pass through the east and west side ; but the public were never prevented from travelling along the bridle footpath. The harshness was on the side of the railway company; and he reiterated that it was the duty of the Highway Committee to remove every obstruction instantly.

Mr. Haigh said the public were beginning to conclude that the Board were dilatory in the matter. The Company, who were getting the thin edge of the wedge, ought to have allowed the road to remain open as hitherto until the question of right had been disposed of.

Mr. Ashton added that Mr. Wrigley, who had enjoyed the use of the road 40 years, had declared that, if the Board did not take action, he would have the road opened himself.

Mr. Crowther would insist upon the road being opened, but would give reasonable time for the receiving of a reply from the superior officers of the Company.

Mr. Crosland suggested an alteration in the motion of Mr. Ashton, who, in reply, urged that five weeks had already elapsed and that there ought to be no further delay.

The Chairman said Mr. Watts was informed that the Board would maintain its rights at any cost.

Mr. Ashton repeated that the “blockade” ought to be “raised,” and said if he could have his own way he should raise it.

It was then moved by Mr. Ashton, seconded by Mr. Haigh, and unanimously resolved, that if no communication be received from the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company by Wednesday on the subject, that the Highway Committee take steps with a view to the removal of the obstructions.

Deposit of Plans.

Mr. Ashton remarked that it was usual for parties about to build to apply to the clerk, who prepared a notice embodying the conditions upon which plans of proposed new buildings were passed by the board. His (Sir. Ashton’s) impression was that there ought to be printed forms, which could be obtained free of charge by persons about to build. He decidedly objected to parties being called upon to pay 2s. 6d. for entering a plan ; and he had received complaints of the custom. Architects had complained that the board went far beyond the Huddersfield Improvement Commissioners who made no charge.

Mr. Crowther saw no hardship in it; and the Chairman had not heard of any complaint.

Mr. Ashton moved that the forms be printed, and that, on being applied for, they be given gratuitously to persons about to deposit plans.

The Clerk said the Board had sanctioned the practice. Most of those who applied for notices absorbed a great deal of time by asking questions and soliciting information.

Mr. Ashton : You must charge them 6s. 8d. (Laughter.) Several members of the Board thought no advantage would be gained by the motion, which was not seconded ; and the subject therefore dropped.

The Water Supply Question.

Mr. Ashton gave notice of his intention to propose the subjoined motion at the next meeting :—

That a committee be appointed from this Board to examine into and report upon the best and most practicable plan for obtaining a good and sufficient supply of water for the township.

It was, he said, high time the question was taken up in some tangible form.

In answer to one of the members of the Board, the Clerk said he had seen Mr. Armitage respecting certain land required in the improvement of the road at Crosland Hill. Mr. G. Armitage was quite willing to meet them, but preferred having the requirements of the Board in writing.

Mr. Crosland said no doubt Mr. Armitage would give the land that was required, but he wished to be furnished with the wants of the Board in writing.

The subject was referred to the Highway Committee.

During the month bills had been paid to the amount of £165 16s. 6½d. ; and accounts amounting to £14 19s. 8½d. were passed.

Huddersfield Chronicle (13/May/1865) – The Footpath and the Railway Company


The Footpath and the Railway Company.

From time immemorial the inhabitants of Lockwood have enjoyed the right and privilege of taking a walk when inclined through that romantic place known as Dungeon Wood, and so much has it been appreciated by the working men that it has gained the appellation of “Lockwood Park.” During the formation of the Huddersfield and Meltham Railway, the contractors have thought proper to wall up the road and render it impassable. The company’s servants were communicated with but to no purpose, and although the wall was knocked down by some of the public, the company built it up again. At the meeting of the Local Board, held five weeks ago, a deputation of the inhabitants waited on the board and complained of their “rights” being thus infringed. A remonstrance was sent to the officials, but no notice was taken of it. The subject was again mooted at the Local Board on Monday evening last, when the Highway Committee was ordered to view it, unless some satisfactory reply from the railway officials was obtained by Wednesday morning last. No communication being received up to that time, the committee met, and Messrs. J. Crosland, J. Ashton, W. Shaw, the chairman (R. Roberts), and the clerk went to view and inspect the place. They were accompanied by their surveyor. After looking at the place where the interruption exists, it was concluded that the footpath was a public highway, and had no right to be interfered with by the company until they had provided another one in its place. The surveyor, therefore, set to work and demolished the obstruction, and little doubt exists but that as often as it is obstructed it will be knocked down again. The road leads from “Upper wood” gate to Woodfield House, thence to Dungeon.

Huddersfield Chronicle (15/Apr/1865) – Lockwood: The Local Board


The Local Board.

Public Footways and the Railway Company.

A deputation, consisting of Messrs. Thos. Etcliells, Allen Crosland, and Benj. Spencer, waited upon the Board, asking for their advice and interference with respect to the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company, who while making the new line to Meltham had entirely stopped up one public bridle way, and another was partially stopped. Great inconvenience and annoyance had been felt by the public. The bridle paths ran through Dungeon Wood, and were alleged by the deputation to be the only places available for the working classes to resort to to obtain fresh air after their labours were completed, and they urged upon the Board the necessity of taking immediate action in the matter. The Board promised to do so. Mr. Ashton intimated that the Highway Committee had already taken it in hand, and that while walking through the wood with Mr. Shaw that very morning he took the liberty to knock the wall down which had been placed in the path, and would do so again.

The deputation thanked the Board and retired.