Huddersfield Chronicle (09/Apr/1864) – Meltham: Cutting the First Sod of the Railway

The first sod was cut by Charles Brook of Meltham Hall and is described in this blog post.

The “Gill-up rudes” mentioned in the article is most likely a phonetic spelling of Gylloproyd Dyke, the old name for the stream which flows over Folly Dolly Falls.


MELTHAM.

Cutting the First Sod of the Railway.

The long expected ceremony of cutting the first sod of the Huddersfield and Meltham Railway took place on Monday afternoon last, amid a continual downpouring of rain. The large assembly present, however, appeared to care little for the weather, their interest in the undertaking being sufficiently great to withstand personal inconvenience, and they were probably further buoyed up by the adage, that what is commenced in a storm frequently ends in sunshine. A few minutes before three o’clock, Charles Brook, junior, Esq., arrived on the ground, there being then assembled more than a thousand persons. Amongst those present we observed Messrs. J.W. Carlile, Thickhollins ; Edward Brook, Benthouse; James Wrigley, Netherton ; Alfred Beaumont, Esq., Greave ; Rev. Thomas Thomas (baptist), Meltham ; Edwin Eastwood, Meltham ; T.A. Haigh, surgeon, Netherton ; W. Kilburn, Netherton ; Joseph Taylor, of Golcar and Meltham ; — Ramsden. W. Wrigley, Huddersfield ; T. Dunderdale, steward to H.F. Beaumont, Esq. ; Henry Tinker (Geo. Tinker and Son), agents to Messrs. Brooks ; — Varley, manager for the late Mr. Ibbotson, Netherton ; G. Dyson, solicitor, of the firm of Laycock and Dyson, Huddersfield ; Mr. Watts, the resident engineer to the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company, Manchester ; Mr. Perring, surveyor to the company, Manchester ; Mr. Brown, working-engineer ; Messrs. Barnes and Beckett, Manchester, the contractors for the works; &c., &c.

All being in readiness, Mr. James Wrigley came forward and presented Mr. Charles Brook, jun., with a polished steel spade, with a carved oak handle, bearing on the blade a suitable inscription. In presenting the working-tool, Mr. Wrigley said the promoters had selected Mr. Brook to perform this ceremony, believing that on this as on many other occasions he was the “right man in the right place.” He (Mr. Wrigley) looked forward to the completion of this undertaking as being one of great importance to the manufacturing population of both Meltham and Netherton, and hoped that the time was not far distant when the district would become A 1 in the manufacturing world. He trusted that Mr. Brook would live to see the undertaking carried out, and long afterwards to enjoy the benefits of the railway communication which the present line would confer upon the entire district. Mr. Brook having lifted three large sods in workmanlike style, placed them in a new wheelbarrow provided for the occasion, and wheeled them from the platform to the tip end, where he overturned them as the foundation of the future embankment. He then thanked the committee for the gift of the spade, which to him was of infinite value as a reminder of the day’s proceedings, in lifting the first sod of that important railway. It was only a short branch, but they looked upon it as one of great importance to the manufacturers of the whole district. It was also of great importance to the working classes, who, he was proud to say, would bear comparison with any working men in the kingdom. Where, he asked, would they find a more industrious, well-conducted, or comfortable working population than in this beautiful valley? (Cheers.) They were greatly indebted to the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company for giving them the line. Some of them at first did not think the line would be advantageous to the district ; but when they (the directors) were shown the operations that were carried on in that locality, they (the company) came forward nobly and gave them the line, which in due time would prove of immense advantage to the whole population of both Meltham and Netherton, as well to the manufacturer as the working man. (Cheers.) It was a great day for Meltham — (a voice, and Netherton also) — (cheers) — and for the 8,000 or 9,000 of population living there. The Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company might rest assured, that for the great interest they had shown in the district by giving them the line, the inhabitants would not be backward in repaying them. He hoped that at the opening of the line they would have the directors amongst them, and when they (the directors) saw the beautiful valley through which the line ran, they would never regret what they had done. He concluded by thanking the promoters sincerely, from the bottom of his heart, for the honour they had done him by selecting him to perform the ceremony of the day. Three cheers were then given to celebrate the laying of the first sod, three for the first workman (Mr. Brook), three for the directors of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company, three for the contractors, and three for the Queen. On the call of the Rev. Mr. Thomas, three hearty cheers and one more were given for Mr. Wrigley, who briefly returned thanks, and the assembly broke up.

The contemplated line will be, as above stated, about 3½ miles long, and will be a single line, the total cost being estimated at £70,000, or £20,000 per mile. It will commence at the Huddersfield end of the Lockwood viaducts, passing behind Woodfield House, the residence of Bentley Shaw, Esq., by a deep cutting about half a-mile in length, the average depth of which is 40 feet, and then proceeding by a tunnel 200 yards long, through rock, under “Butternab.” This tunnel will be followed by an embankment 200 yards long and 80 feet deep, passing by a culvert over the stream that runs down to Armitage Fold, then passing through a small cutting and approaching Netherton through a small tunnel, from which it will emerge on to another embankment 60 feet high ; then through a tunnel of rock and shale 335 yards long, ending in a cutting a quarter of a mile in length. It then passes along an embankment the whole length of the “big valley,” behind Healey House. The average height of the embankment will be 20 feet, and it will be fully half a mile in length. It next traverses a small tunnel about 30 yards in length, under the grounds of Healey House, then through a shale cutting a third of a mile long, averaging 25 feet in depth, and then proceeds forward by an embankment half a mile long, averaging 20 feet high, crossing the Lockwood and Meltham turnpike road by a skew bridge 36 feet span and 16 feet high on to “Gill-up rudes,” the place where the sod was lifted, passing on to the terminus at Meltham proper, just below the church, where will be the station. A short branch will diverge at “Gill-up rudes,” passing under the grounds of Meltham Hall by an open cutting, winch will afterwards be arched over, then filled up level, then by small cuttings and embankments on to Meltham Mills, the whole length of the branch being 700 yards. The Railway Company will construct the first 300 yards of this line to the end of their boundary lines of deviation, and Messrs. Brook the remainder. Another short branch will join the main line near where the sod was taken up, and run to the silk mills at present occupied by Messrs. Ainley and Taylor. The gradients will be 1 in 60 at one part, 1 in 120 at another, the remaining small portion being level. It is expected that the line will be completed in less than two years, the company being compelled to have it working before the expiration of five years from obtaining the act, which received the royal assent in June, 1861. The proceedings on the ground being over, between 20 and 30 gentlemen proceeded to the house of Mr. John Bray, the Rose and Crown Inn, where they sat down to a first-class dinner. Charles Brook, junr. Esq. occupied the chair. The usual loyal, patriotic, and complimentary toasts having been given and responded to by the various gentlemen present, the company separated shortly after eight o’clock, The church bells rang merry peals, with firing at intervals, during the afternoon and evening.

Commencement of the Work.

The works on this undertaking commenced on Wednesday last, when a number of navvies were employed removing the soil, at the place where the first sod was taken up. On Thursday morning a number more men were set to work at the end of the intended embankment leading to the Netherton tunnel, and in a short time the work promises to be pushed vigorously forward

Rejoicings.

In remembrance of raising the first sod of the railway, on Monday last, Mr. Kilburn, iron-founder and machine-maker, subscribed a sum of money towards giving a number of his workmen a treat. This sum was augmented by one of his employees, who had that day been married. At night upwards of twenty of the men partook of a substantial supper at the house of Mr. John Hollingworth, the Swan Inn, Meltham. At the same time and place twenty other workmen joined them. After the cloth had been removed, Mr. Peter Sykes occupied the chair, when the evening was spent harmoniously amid singing, reciting, dancing, &c.

On the same evening a number of gentlemen assembled at the Life Guardsman Inn, Meltham Mills, for the purpose of rejoicing over the ceremony of the day. Mr. Moran, surveyor, of Huddersfield, occupied the chair, and Mr. Dan Dyson, of Netherthong, the vice-chair, when the evening was heartily enjoyed, the usual loyal and patriotic toasts having been drunk enthusiastically.


1864.04.09 Meltham, Cutting the First Sod of the Railway - Huddersfield Chronicle

Leeds Mercury (05/Apr/1864) – Cutting the First Sod of a Line of Rails from Huddersfield to Meltham

The first sod was cut by Charles Brook of Meltham Hall and is described in this blog post.


Cutting the First Sod of a Line of Bails from Huddersfield to Meltham.

Yesterday, the ceremony of cutting the first sod of the Huddersfield and Meltham Railway was performed by Mr. Chas. Brook, jun,, in a field near Meltham Mills, on the estate of Mr. Charles Brook, sen,, of Healey House. The line will be about 3½ miles long, and branches out of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Company’s line to Penistone, a little past Lookwood station, passing behind the residence of Mr, Bentley Shaw, of Lockwood. The first heavy work on the line is a cutting 40 ft. deep and half a mile long, and this is followed by a tunnel through rook 210 yards long, which is succeeded by two embankments across “the big valley” (Netherton) of 80 feet and 60 feet high. A tunnel 335 yards long conveys the line beneath the village of Netherton, where there is to be a station, and after a short cutting there will be an embankment 20 feet high and half a mile long. Then comes another short tunnel, followed by a cutting 25 feet deep and one-third of a mile in length, and then an embankment 20 feet high and half a mile long, in the middle of which will be an askew bridge, of 36 feet span, over the Meltham and Lookwood Turnpike road. A series of short embankments and cuttings carries the line on to Meltham where it terminates, but about a mile from its close there will be a short branch to Meltham Mills. The heaviest gradient is 1 in 60, and a portion of the line is level. The line was surveyed by Mr. Perring, of Manchester, and will be constructed by Messrs. Barnes and Beckett, of that city — Mr. Brown being the engineer — and it has to be finished before June, 1866. In spite of the heavy fall of rain, which caused the proceedings to be brief, a large number of spectators assembled, and amongst those present were Mr. Charles Brook, jun., Mr. J.W. Carlile, Thickhollins ; Mr. J. Wrigley, Netherton ; Mr. Edward Brook, Benthouse ; the Rev. T. Thomas, Mr. Edwin Eastwood, Meltham ; Mr. Haigh, Mr. J. Taylor, Golcar ; and others. Mr. J. Wrigley presented Mr. C. Brook, jun., with a spade suitably inscribed, and with it Mr. Brook cut three sods, wheeled them to the edge of a platform prepared for that purpose, and emptied them out of the barrow as though to form part of an embankment, amidst the cheers of the spectators. He then briefly adverted to the advantages that the manufacturers and the inhabitants generally of the district would derive from the formation of the line, and said he felt sure their gratitude was due to the Lancashire and Yorkshire Company for taking the matter up. (Cheers.) Cheers were then given for the new line, Mr. Brook, the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company directors, the contractors, and the Queen, after which the assembly dispersed in a very damp state, inconsequence of the rain which fell without intermission.

Huddersfield Chronicle (17/May/1862) – Sale by Tender: Meltham Railway

Sale by Tender.

MELTHAM RAILWAY.
WOOD.

TO BE SOLD BY TENDER, all the TIMBER (except that in the Grounds at Healey House) on the Lands set out for the Branch Line of Railway to Meltham, in Dungeon Wood, and in the Township of South Crosland, viz., 45 numbered trees, 1011 Oak, 71 Ash and Elm, and 39 Sycamore, Birch, &c., Poles with the Bark, Tops and Underwood.

Tenders for the same to be sent to Mr. Dunderdale, Land Agent, Huddersfield, on or before the 24th May instant.


Huddersfield Chronicle 17.May.1862

Huddersfield Chronicle (23/Mar/1861) – Meltham

Mr. Bentley Shaw (1816–1878) was a vocal opponent of the proposed Meltham Branch Line, as the planned route would run close to Woodfield House, his estate near Lockwood.

Charles Brook is named as a supporter of the line and he cut the first sod of the railway in April 1864.

Some of the other named people are:

  • James Wrigley (1809–1893) of Field House, South Crosland, a woollen manufacturer who is named as employing 150 people in the 1881 Census. He died aged 84 and was buried on 15 April 1893 at Holy Trinity, South Crosland.
  • James Kilburn (1828–1913) of Croft House, Meltham, owner of an iron foundry and an engineer employing 26 men in the 1881 Census. He married Ann Eastwood Farrar in 1850.

MELTHAM.

Public Rejoicings.

On Monday afternoon, about three o’clock, a special messenger arrived at the Rose and Crown Inn, bearing a telegraphic message from London, announcing that the bill before parliament for the proposed branch railway from Lockwood to Meltham had been passed by the Committee of the House of Commons, notwithstanding the efforts made by Mr. Bentley Shaw in opposing it. The welcome news spread with incredible rapidity from house to house, and every countenance bespoke one common sentiment of gratitude for the boon thus far obtained. The bells of Old St. Bartholomew’s Church soon caught the strain, and began to peal forth merrily, as if determined not to be outdone. In the evening, the Meltham Mills Brass Band paraded the streets, playing their favourite musical airs, and the hand-bell ringers also contributed their quota in the general rejoicing.

Meeting on the Railway Bill.

At a public meeting held in the Oddfellows’ Hall on Tuesday evening, the following resolutions were unanimously adopted by a crowded assembly:— “We, the inhabitants of Netherton and South Crosland, feeling ourselves aggrieved at the conduct of Mr. Bentley Shaw, in his determined and persevering opposition to a bill now pending in parliament to enable the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company to make a branch line of railway from Lockwood via Netherton, to Meltham, resolve therefore that we will refrain from drinking any ale, beer, or porter brewed by the firm of Bentley and Shaw, till the train shall run on the said line through our village.” Resolved also:— “That the thanks of this meeting be given to Messrs. C. Brook, jun., J. Wrigley, J. Ibbotson, James Kilburn, Edwin Eastwood, and J. Ramsden, for their indefatigable and praiseworthy exertions in defending the bill for the aforesaid line of railway.”

Huddersfield Chronicle (27/Oct/1860) – Meltham: Railway for Meltham and South Crosland

MELTHAM.

Railway for Meltham and South Crosland.

On Wednesday last the above project was brought before the directors of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company for consideration, by whom it is understood to have been favourably entertained.

Huddersfield Chronicle (20/Oct/1860) – Meltham: Railway for Meltham and South Crosland

MELTHAM.

Railway for Meltham and South Crosland.

Active steps are being taken in the promotion of the above named desirable object, which seems to be almost the all-absorbing topic of conversation in this locality. The prospects are understood to be favourable, but the result of the movement will be for time and circumstances to determine.

Huddersfield Chronicle (21/Jul/1860) – The Projected Branch Railway to Meltham and Meltham Mills

The Projected Branch Railway to Meltham and Meltham Mills

Another influential meeting ot the mill-owners and manufacturers was held at Meltham on Monday afternoon to discuss the considerations arising ont of the project ot a branch line of railway to the places above named, from the adjacent station of Lockwood, on the Lancashire and Yorkshire line. Chas. Brook, jun., Esq., J.P., occupied the chair, and the gentlemen present represented the wealth and influence of the district. The point which has prin-pally occupied attention since the last meeting has been the amount of tonnage which it is estimated the new line would he required, to convey, and the probable nature of the undertaking, considered as a commercial speculation. Considerable care has been taken to ascertain from facts and figures the amount of traffic on which the projectors might depend, and the conclusion is one which augurs well for the carrying out of tho project. From the extensive firm of Messrs. Jonas Brook Brothers alone the tonnage is sufficiently considerable to justify a far easier mode of transit than is at present in operation, even should the traffic continue at tho present rate ; and when it is considered that the traffic from other large firms will he proportionately extensive, and that, as in all other cases, the probability is that with the increased facilities traffic will very much increase, there can be little doubt that the Lancashire and Yorkshire Company will make a profitable investment, should they undertake the construction of the line. The conclusion come to by the meeting was that there was sufficient grounds on which to justify an appeal to the company for the construction of a line conformably with the wishes of the inhabitants, and the committee which has already been formed, was instructed to proceed and take steps accordingly.

The Engineer (13/Jul/1860) – Notes from the Northern and Eastern Counties

Notes from the Northern and Eastern Counties

A scheme is proposed for the construction of a branch line from the Lockwood station of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway to Meltham (near Huddersfield), the site of the extensive cotton mills of Messrs. James Brook and Brothers.