Accidents, injuries and deaths on the Meltham Branch Line: 1890 onwards

Following on the previous blog posts, this is a list of the other accidents and deaths on the Meltham Branch Line from 1890 onwards that I found whilst researching through old newspapers.

Once again, this is primarily based on researching the Huddersfield Chronicle archives.

20/Aug/1892: Vandeleur Earnshaw

The Chronicle reported that a gardener named Vandeleur Earnshaw had attempted to board the 5:50am train at Meltham Station when it was already in motion. Whilst jogging alongside the train, he had managed to open a compartment door and was attempting to get in when he ran off the end of the platform. He tumbled down, fell partly onto the track and the train “passed over the leg just below the ankle”. He was rushed to Huddersfield Infirmary where it was necessary to amputate the limb.1

Vandeleur Earnshaw2 was born around 1857 in Meltham, the son of wood cutter Abraham and Martha Earnshaw. He married Sarah Hannah Duckitt on 23 March 1878 at Meltham Mills and they raised a family in Meltham, where he worked as a domestic gardener.

It seems the accident meant that Vandeleur could no longer work as a gardener and the 1901 Census lists him as a 44-year-old “silk boiler” (most likely working for Jonas Brook & Bros. Ltd.) living with his wife and seven children at 18 Shady Row, Meltham. He died in 1916, aged 60, and was buried on 15 November at Meltham Mills.

Their son, Serjeant Hilton Earnshaw was killed in action on 31 August 1916 and is buried at the St. Amand British Cemetery, Pas-de-Calais, France. He was serving with the 9th Battalion Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding Regiment).

08/Mar/1894: Eastwood

From the Huddersfield Chronicle (10/Mar/1894):

NARROW ESCAPE

On Thursday afternoon, as the 3:40 train from Huddersfield to Meltham was entering the Meltham Station, the porter, Eastwood, a youth about 16 years of age, was seen to run alongside the train and attempt to catch hold of the carriage handle. He succeeded in getting hold, but lost his footing, the train dragged him a short distance on the platform, when he left his hold, and the train turned him over, and but for the timely assistance of Wright Smith, the head porter, he would in all probability have been killed. His eyes are badly knocked and swollen, and his knees bruised. It is expected that he will be all right again in a few days.

The Huddersfield Daily Examiner (05/Feb/1915) reported on the celebrations for Wright and Ellen Smith’s golden wedding anniversary. The couple, who married on 4 February 1865, were then living at 4 Beaumont Street in Netherton.

After spending fifty years together, the couple continue to live happily in their cottage at Netherton, and although he has passed the allotted span of three score years and ten Mr. Smith may frequently be found working on the land with neighbouring farmers. For over thirty years he was employed by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Co., first at the Huddersfield goods warehouse, and afterwards at Meltham, where he held the position of foreman porter prior to his retirement about five years ago.

Wright was born around 1840 in Almondbury and most likely died in 1927, aged 87. His wife was Ellen Dunn, also born around 1840, who likely died in 1922, aged 82. They had no children.

06/Mar/1895: Landslip and Derailment

The Huddersfield Daily Chronicle reported extensively on a landslip which occurred around 7pm on Wednesday 6 March 1895 — mostly due to the fact that one of their reporters was greatly inconvenienced by it!3

Following the completion of a district council meeting in Meltham, a number of people waited for the 8:28pm departure to Huddersfield but there was no sign at all of the train and the station staff seemed unsure as to what exactly had happened, other than a rumour of a derailment and an assurance that there would likely be no more trains that evening. The reporter set off walking down the line and arrived at Healey House station around 9pm, where he found the station master in “blissful ignorance of the accident, but wondering much what had become of the missing train”.

Now joined by as gas works employee who had been waiting for the train to Huddersfield at Healey House, the pair set off into the darkness, lighting matches to aid them through Netherton Tunnel and then Butternab Tunnel. Exiting the latter, they found the cause — a landslip had “encumbered the line for some distance” and the train heading towards Huddersfield had ploughed into the debris, causing a slight derailment.

The driver, named Mallinson, was praised by the reporter for keeping a cool head and assisting some dozen passengers — none of whom had sustained any injuries in the accident — to walk down the line to Lockwood station.

A team of workmen had already arrived on a train from Mirfield to the other end of the landslip and the reporter was offered the opportunity to ride on the footplate back to Lockwood. From there, he had to walk in the heavy rain back to Huddersfield, having missed the last tram of the day.

The article ended with a report on the rumours which “prevailed at the various stations on the line as to what had really happened”:

Some would be satisfied with nothing less than a holocaust of the whole of the passengers, and others added the horrors of a fire to the appalling catastrophe which their imagination pictured. The reality fell far short of this.

14/Dec/1895: Thomas Edward Taylor

Meltham wine merchant Thomas Edward Taylor (of Messrs. Taylor Bros.) was lucky not to have been injured when he tried to board the 7:25am train from Meltham Station which was already in motion.4 According to the newspaper report, he pushed a signalman to one side, grabbed hold of the second-class carriage and was dragged down the platform — one foot on the carriage and one still the platform. The train was quickly stopped and a guard took down the merchant’s details.

The Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway (L&YR) company prosecuted Thomas Edward under a railway by-law which penalised anyone attempting to enter or leave a train in motion. In court in mid-January 1896, he pleaded guilty and was fined £1 with a further £1 0s. 6d. costs.5

This was almost certainly the Thomas Edward Taylor born around 1858 in Meltham, the son of woollen weaver Uriah Taylor and his wife Martha (née Sedgwick or Walshaw). The various records name him as a “mineral water manufacturer”, rather than a “wine merchant” and he married an American woman named Bertha (who was born around 1870) sometime around 1893. Court records show that he was found guilty of “working a horse which was in an unfit condition” in July 1899 and fined 5s. and 7s. 6d. expenses.

In August 1900, he was named as one of “Messrs. Taylor Bros.” of Meltham who was attempting to obtain a beer licence for a grocer’s shop on Brow Road, Paddock. However, as Taylor didn’t reside there, it was not granted.

The 1901 Census lists the couple with a 3-year-old daughter, Eva Irene Taylor, and living with his older brother, jeweller Henry Taylor, on Market Place, Meltham. They then spent some time in the United States, where a son named Henry was born around 1907. By the time of the 1911 Census, they were back in Meltham and living at Law Cottage.

04/Mar/1896: John Allen Woodhouse

It was somewhere along the stretch of line between the Netherton and Butternab Tunnels that local man Vincent Senior made a gruesome discovery on the morning of Thursday 5 March 1896.6

Vincent was born around 1862 in Dewsbury and moved to Huddersfield where he married local woman Ellen Hirst in 1890. He lived for a while with his in-laws in Almondbury before moving to Netherton and he worked as a “platelayer“, which meant his job was to inspect the railway line for wear and tear and obstacles. He is recorded as joining the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants union in 1896.

On that March morning, he set off early at around 5:30am from Netherton to walk the line to Lockwood and found the body of a man by the side of the line at Butternab Bank. As no trains had run yet that day, it was assumed the man had been hit by a train the night before and had suffered extensive injuries to the neck and head. Vincent ran to fetch help, finding local Police Constable Ruddick, who ordered the body moved to a nearby log cabin. A Mrs. Crowther also assisted in laying out the body.

The Chronicle (06/Mar/1896) gave the following description of the deceased:7

Height, 5ft. 6in. ; dark brown hair, ginger moustache, and blue eyes ; dressed in blue cloth jacket and vest, fustian trousers greasy on front of legs, black overcoat and cap ; black, white and red check shirt, blue and white scarf, grey stockings and light laced boots. The only articles in the pockets were two clay pipes and two tobacco boxes.

By the following day, the Yorkshire Evening Post reported that the deceased had been identified as 33-year-old John Allen Woodhouse, an unmarried mill hand who lived on Plover Lane in Lindley.8 He had visited his aunt in Netherton on the day of his death and was least seen leaving her house that evening.

John Allen Woodhouse was born 24 November 1863, the son of local weaver James Woodhouse and his wife Mary, and was baptised at All Hallows parish church in Kirkburton on 2 November 1865. By the time of the 1891 Census, aged 28, he was living with his older sister Matilda and two younger brothers at the family home on Plover Road. It appears that their parents were both dead and Matilda was now the head of the family. At the time, John Allen was working as a “cotton piecer”, which meant his role was to mend broken threads.

An inquest was held on Friday 6 March at the Commercial Inn, Netherton, with district coroner Mr. W. Barstow presiding.9 It was reported that John Allen’s body had been identified by his aunt Ann Woodhouse, and that he’d visited her house in Netherton at around 5pm that Wednesday where he ate tea. Ann told the inquest that her nephew had been in low spirits:

He took a long time over his tea, and sighed several times while he was having it. He had not been well for some time and had been under the doctor, and he made a remark to her to the effect that he thought it was nearly all over for him. She told him that she thought he would look up again, and he replied that he did not think he would. He talked very little, but answered her when she spoke to him.

Ann went on to state that John Allen’s father had been twice in an asylum and had died in Wadsley Asylum (Sheffield) about three weeks before. John Allen’s brother then told the inquest that the deceased had not worked for nearly a month due to ill-health and seemed “run down” — presumably he had been deeply affected by his father’s illness and death.

Ann stated that John Allen had left her house at around 7pm and that she supposed he intended to head home to Lindley (about a 4 mile walk northwards of Netherton). Instead, it seems he wandered down either Nether Moor Road or Butternab Road and then onto the railway line where he waited for it to get dark. Given the nature of the injuries, he likely laid with his head on the line and was struck by one of the last trains of the day — none of the drivers had reported seeing anything on the line that night, so the body laid undiscovered until the following morning. The jury returned a verdict that he had probably committed suicide but it was impossible to know the exact state of his mind at the time.

John Allen Woodhouse was laid to rest at Holy Trinity parish church, South Crossland, on 3 July 1896. If I can find his gravestone, I’ll add a photograph to this blog post.

27/Sep/1900: Joe Morehouse

On 9 September at around 8:30am, 24-year-old brass finisher Joe Morehouse was collecting blackberries by the railway side near Beaumont Park with a friend named William Brown. He slipped and fell a short distance — presumably onto the railway line — and claimed he’d hurt himself. It was reported that his health deteriorated and he eventually died at 3:50pm on 27 September. At an inquest, his doctor reported that Morehouse had been in poor health recently and a verdict of “accidental death” was returned.10


My access to the Chronicle‘s archives ends in 1900, but I did find a few later reports in other sources…

21/Sep/1905: Christopher Mallinson

Reported in the Railway Accidents 1876: Return of Accidents and Casualties (July-September 1905) that goods guard Christopher Mallinson had been in charged of the 4:35pm goods train from Meltham to Lockwood. Seven waggons were uncoupled at Lockwood and “allowed to run into the shoot road” at the station. Maillnson claimed he couldn’t then stop the waggons using his brake and “consequently used two sprags, one of which rebounded and struck him, breaking his leg”.

The waggons were then stopped by William R. Bond, who did so purely with the brake, which led to the verdict that “there was no need for Mallinson to use a sprag to stop the waggons, and I attribute the accident to his own want of caution.”

20/Aug/1914

The Huddersfield Daily Examiner (20/Aug/1914) reported on an apparent suicide:

LOCKWOOD RAIL TRAGEDY

A weaver named Sam Gill (55), widower, who lived at 13, Batley Street, Moldgreen, with his two daughters, was found lying dead on the railway near Beaumont Park this afternoon shortly after the train which had left Meltham at 1:38 had passed. His head was completely severed from his body.

Samuel Gill was born around 1859 in Fulstone, New Mill. The 1911 Census lists him as a 52-year-old widower and living with him were his nephew, Ernest (aged 26), and two daughters, Alice (aged 24) and Jane Gill (aged 12). His wife, Janet, had died in 1909, aged 50.

The inquiry into his death heard that “the deceased had been somewhat peculiar of late” and that a witness had seem him climb over a wall near Beaumont Park and lay his head on the railway line as the train approached. A verdict of “suicide whilst of unsound mind” was recorded.

19/May/1921: Headless Body

From the Yorkshire Post (20/May/1921):

Yesterday afternoon the headless body of a man was found on the Meltham branch line of the railway near Beaumont Park, Huddersfield. The man was apparently about 45 years of age.

I could find no further articles about this apparent suicide, but 1921 was a year in which headless bodies were found on railway lines near Buckhurst Hill (March), Euxton (July), Etchingham Station (August), Bath (August), Newton St. Loe (September), Cambridge (December) and Hull (December). In the last case, the inquest heard that Robert Turner was in the habit of removing his shoes and sleeping wherever he was — his boots were stood neatly beside his decapitated body, so it was assumed he had decided to sleep on the railway line!

14/Feb/1952: Wyndham Bradley

The following accident was reported in the Yorkshire Evening Post11 and it occurred nearly 3 years after the last passenger train in May 1949:

MAN HURT AT STATION

Wyndan Bradley (60), Midland Street, Huddersfield, a foreman platelayer, fell from the platform at Netherton railway station, near Huddersfield, today and injured his back. He was detained in the Huddersfield Royal Infirmary.

Likely the Post got the name wrong, and this was Wyndham Bradley, born in the village of Leintwardine, Herefordshire, circa 1891.

By the time of the 1911 Census, 21-year-old Wyndham was living with his married sister, Mary Priestley, at Bottoms Wood in Slaithwaite and working as a dyer’s labourer for a woollen manufacturer. A couple of years later, he married local woman Gertrude Moore in Slaithwaite on 11 October 1913.

Gertrude was born in 1890, the daughter of Fred Moore and his wife Emma (née Bamforth). It seems Gertrude’s father died before she was born, aged only 23, and the 1891 Census finds Emma and daughter living with Emma’s parents, labourer Joseph Bamforth and his wife Charlotte, in Upper Holme, Slaithwaite. At that point, 25-year-old Emma was working as “cotton card room hand” — before cotton could be spun into a thread, it had to be carded to align the fibres and Emma would have operated a carding machine, and this was a low-status job in the cotton factory. Emma’s siblings also mostly worked in the local cotton factories, as “cotton spinners”, “cotton piercers” and “cotton twiners”.

Gertrude continued to live with her grandparents until her marriage. By the time of the 1911 Census, she too was working in the cotton mills as a weaver and perhaps she worked in the same mill as Wyndham?

Wyndham died in 1958, aged 67. There are two likely death registry entries for Gertrude in the Huddersfield area:

  • Gertrude Bradley: born 09/Feb/1890, died 1969
  • Gertrude Bradley: born 03/Aug/1890, died 1982

23/Jun/1958: Runaway Carriages

A set of four empty carriages that had been left in a siding on the branch line rolled down towards Lockwood, likely released by vandals.12 A quick-thinking signalman (presumably at Meltham Junction) routed them off into the good yards but they ploughed through the buffers and went over Swan Lane, crashing into the booking office of the station.

Amazingly no-one was injured, although the stationmaster and a booking clerk were trapped in the rubble and had to climb out.

1958.06.23 crash 2

1958.06.23 crash 1

Martin Bairstow’s The Huddersfield & Sheffield Junction Railway: The Penistone Line contains a couple of photographs taken by Peter Sunderland showing the aftermath of the crash. The one reproduced below shows the damage after the carriages had been removed.

© Peter Sunderland
© Peter Sunderland

The booking office was later demolished, as can be seen on this Google Street View of the crash site:

This wasn’t the first time an accident like this had happened — 16 empty wagons had rolled free from a siding on the evening of 9 September 1953 and crashed a wooden fence, leaving one blocking Swan Lane and two others teetering above the road.

Prior to that, in October 1913, a train had been shunting truck of coal when a few of them broke free, demolishing the buffers and wrecking part of the signal box. The Manchester Guardian (29/Oct/1913) reported that two trucks full of coal fell 40 feet onto the road below and five more were left hanging down the embankment. The signalman (W.G. Brackenbury of Newsome) had jumped to safety through the window of his signal box, sustaining only minor injuries.


Coda

With the closure of the line to passenger services in 1949, it was used purely for transporting goods.

Despite opposition from businesses in Meltham, particular David Brown’s, the branch line officially closed on 5 April 1965 and, following one last train carrying dangerous chemicals which ran to Meltham in January 1966, the line was dismantled in the autumn of 1966. After 100 years, the Meltham Branch Line was consigned to the history books.

Having said that, the next time you find yourself walking along the stretch of Meltham Road between Big Valley and Lockwood, take a moment to look down into the valley towards Woodfield Park Sports and Social Club. A little bit of the Meltham Branch Line still seemingly survives in the hundreds of wooden railway sleepers used to edge the grounds of the club…

…and a little further along, you’ll find some more which were used to fence off the access road down to the sports club:

Accidents, injuries and deaths on the Meltham Branch Line: 1870-1889

The construction of the Meltham Branch Line during the 1860s had resulted in the deaths of at least three people — curious all named James: James Phiney, James Mace and James Beaver — along with numerous injuries, which are detailed in a previous blog post.

The line initially opened for the transportation of goods in August 1868 but a series of landslips caused to the line to temporarily closed. It wasn’t until inspections in May and June the following year that the line was deemed safe for public transportation and the first passenger service left Huddersfield to Meltham on 5 July 1869.

As to be expected, incidents, accidents, and occasionally deaths, continued to occur over the years and the ones that were found during research for the decades 1870 and 1880 are listed below.

01/Aug/1871: Louis Beecher Furniss

Louis Furniss was a painter who had been employed to do work at the various stations on the Meltham Branch Line, including signs and name boards. On the afternoon of Tuesday 1 August 1871, he boarded the Meltham train at Netherton, entering the carriage closest to the engine. En route to Meltham, he leaned out of the carriage door window and struck up a conversation with the train driver. It was unknown if Furniss, who possessed a door key, had unlocked the carriage door or if it hadn’t been secured properly, but it suddenly swung open and he fell out — fortunately, he landed and rolled away from the track rather than falling under the train.

Alerted by the shouts of his fellow passengers, the driver applied the brakes. Furniss was carried unconscious back to the train and laid out on the floor of a first-class carriage. The train, presumably after allowing passengers to get out at Meltham Station, returned to Huddersfield where Louis was taken to Huddersfield Infirmary and his head injuries (described as “severe”) were attended to.1

Louis Beecher Furniss was born in 1849 in Bradford. He married Mary Quinn in 1871 in Huddersfield and they raised a family of four children. He died in 1912, aged 62.

03/Jun/1875: Samuel Mellor Johnson

According to a few sources, Samuel Mellor Johnson was riding a horse along the Netherton to Meltham turnpike when his horse was spooked by a train passing over the road bridge and he was thrown off and killed. As a result, the approaches the bridge were fenced in.

However, I could find no newspaper articles to confirm this story and there are no death registry entries in Huddersfield for anyone with that (or a similar) name in 1875.

04/Jan/1876: E. Schofield

Reported in the Railway Accidents 1876: Return of Accidents and Casualties (January-March 1876) that goods guard E. Schofield injured his toes at Meltham Station after a heavy object fell on his foot and that this accident was beyond his control.

26/May/1876: George Wood

Reported in the Railway Accidents 1876: Return of Accidents and Casualties (April-June 1876) that “weigh clerk” George Wood injured his foot at Meltham Station during shunting operations.

21/Jun/1876: T. Beaumont

Reported in the Railway Accidents 1876: Return of Accidents and Casualties (April-June 1876) that labourer T. Beaumont “slipped whilst at work on the Meltham Branch, and sprained his back”.

25/Sep/1876: Benjamin Taylor

33-year-old cotton grinder Benjamin Taylor was injured as he alighted from an evening train at Meltham Station on Monday 25 September 1876. He missed his footing and fell between the platform edge and the train, breaking his leg above the ankle. At first he thought it was just a bad sprain and the fracture wasn’t diagnosed until a couple of days later.2

The 1881 Census lists Taylor as a “cotton card grinder”, married to Mary (born in Linthwaite) and with 7 children. The family were living on Calm Lands, Meltham, at the time. He most likely died in 1898, aged 56.

24/Apr/1877: Elijah Ingram

44-year-old American-born Elijah Ingram3 was a cooper employed by Bentley and Shaw Brewery in Lockwood, who lived in Cowcliffe, Huddersfield. On the evening of Tuesday 24 April 1877, at around 5:55pm, he attempted to cross the railway line at Lockwood Station in order to catch the train from Meltham into Huddersfield but was struck by a goods engine travelling at around 30mph in the other direction. He was flung over 10 yards onto the platform. Bleeding profusely from his head injuries, he was carried to the nearby Railway Hotel where a surgeon named Hall attended to him. Elijah never regained conciousness and died after vomiting a large amount of blood.4

At the inquest into his death, his widow Ann stated that Elijah was not hard of hearing, but sometimes struggled to understand what was being said to him.5 However, he suffered from rheumatism and this affected how quickly he could move.

The driver of the train, Alfred Hinchliffe, told the inquest that he had seen Elijah but that the deceased had his back to the approaching train. Alfred shouted and sounded the train’s whistle, but Elijah had already stepped out onto the line, seemingly unaware, and was hit by the front of the engine. It was also noted that other passengers were near to Elijah but they apparently failed to alert him of his peril.

The jury returned a verdict of “accidental death” and noted that the station employees had taken reasonable precautions to alert passengers that a goods train was due through the station shortly.

One outcome of the tragedy was that the railway company built a subway to join the two platforms at Lockwood Station. Prior to that, passengers on the down line had to cross over the tracks to buy a ticket, before crossing back over again.

19/Nov/1877: William Fletcher

William Fletcher of Outcote Bank, Huddersfield — a painter in the employment of Bagnall & Quarmby of Shipley — was engaged in painting the bridge over the railway line at Meltham Station when the scaffolding he was stood on collapsed. He fell down onto the tracks, sustaining a severe head wound and a spinal fracture. The Huddersfield Daily Chronicle (21/Nov/1877) reported that William was paralysed and there was faint hope of a recovery.

As far as I can see, there were no further newspaper reports about Fletcher and there is no obvious local deaths recorded for that name in 1877. It may be that he was the William Fletcher who was born around 1860 and who died in mid-1878, aged 18. If so, this might help explain the lack of a recorded inquest into his death.

05/Dec/1877: Michael Quinn

Not long after William Fletcher’s accidental fall, Michael Quinn of Holmfirth was employed whitewashing the gable end of the goods warehouse at Meltham Station when the scaffolding he was stood on collapsed. The Chronicle reported that he suffered bruised ribs and that the lime wash, which he had been painting the walls with, had fallen onto his head and splashed his eyes.6

This was most likely the Michael Quinn born around 1851 in Holmfirth, the son of Irish labourer Thomas Quinn and his wife Cecilia.7 By 1871, 20-year-old Michael was working as a plasterer. The lack of an entry for him in the 1881 Census implies that he was the Michael Quinn who died in 1880, aged only 29.

07/Feb/1878: Collision at Huddersfield

At around noon on Thursday 7 February 1878, a Meltham train collided at a low speed with a waggon at Huddersfield Station. The Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer reported that Rev. Joshua Richard Jagoe (vicar of Meltham Mills) and Rev. E.C. Green (vicar of Christ Church, Helme) were the most seriously injured of the passengers. The guard on the train sustained a scalp wound.

19/Oct/1879: Collapse of Retaining Wall

At around 9pm, Abraham Taylor, a weaver residing at Delph, heard a “loud rumbling noise” outside. Upon investigation, he found a retaining wall in the cutting situated below the farmhouse of Joseph Brook had collapsed onto the line. Although the ”Huddersfield Daily Chronicle” (21/Oct/1879) reported that the debris “had fallen onto the line behind Woodfield House”, the description actually implies the collapse happened on the section between Butternab Tunnel and Netherton Tunnel, which tallies with the location of Brook’s farmhouse at the place known locally as Delves. The collapse may have been caused by the 8:35pm departure from Meltham passing by the spot.

Taylor sent his son to inform plate layer George Moorhouse, who lived nearby at Netherton Fold. Moorhouse inspected the damage and sent word to the signalman at Meltham Junction not to allow any trains onto the branch line. Within a short time, 22 men had been recruited to help move the debris, which was estimated at 60 tons. Work to clear the line carried on throughout the night by lamp light and necessitated cutting away some of the embankment. By mid-morning, the line was declared safe and the 11:07am departure from Huddersfield was allowed to run to Meltham.8

13/Jan/1880: Derailment

Just before 9am on Tuesday 13 January 1880, a train heading from Meltham to Huddersfield derailed on a set of points at Meltham Junction, Lockwood. Fortunately the driver was proceeding with caution at the time and, despite the train being full of passengers, no-one was injured.

The Manchester Times (17/Jan/1880) reported that:

The engine, instead of running on the down line, passed into a siding, and was on its way towards a luggage train which was standing there, but with which it did not come into contact. The tender and the first carriage left the line and cut up the permanent way for about twenty yards, but the remained of the the train fortunately kept the metals, and the passengers in that portion were not much inconvenienced. The passengers in the third class carriage were greatly terrified, and got out at the earliest possible moment. Though none of them were injured the whole were more or less severely shaken, and were glad to escape from the train.

A team of workmen from Hillhouse were able to repair the damage within a couple of hours and the line was reopened.9

12/Aug/1881: Bradley Jessop

52-year-old plasterer Bradley Jessop, in the employ of William Eastwood Jowett, fell from scaffolding at Meltham Station on Friday 12 August 1881. He suffered a fractured thigh and head wounds, having fallen head-first from a height of 20 feet. Although the initial prognosis looked good for Bradley, he died at 3:45pm on Tuesday 23 August “from exhaustion (the result of the brain injury)” with his wife at his side.10

The inquest into the death was held on 25 August at Huddersfield Infirmary and was chaired by coroner Mr. Barstow. It was heard that Bradley was one of three men whitewashing the inside of the roof of the railway goods station. For no apparent reason, he tumbled off the scaffold — asked to explain what might have happened, the other workmen felt that he may have overreached himself and lost his footing. His widow stated that, before he died, her husband could give no reason as to why he fell. A verdict of “accidental death” was returned by the jury, who felt that no blame could be attached to anyone else.11

Bradley Jessop was born around 1830 near Berry Brow and appears to have been raised by Francis and Esther Jessop.12 He married local woman Ruth Percival, daughter of weaver James Percival, at the parish church in Almondbury on 16 March 1851. The couple settled in Berry Brow and raised a family of four children.

Following her husband’s death, Ruth continued to live in Berry Brow with her children and she died in 1886, aged 65.

Coincidentally, in 1867, Bradley was the foreman in charge of a group of men whitewashing at Spring Gardens Mill, Milnsbridge, when 24-year-old plasterer’s labourer Andrew Flynn fell off his plank and was caught up in the factory’s machinery. He died about 7 hours later of his injuries. The jury at the inquest into the death laid no blame on Bradley and returned a verdict of “accidental death”.13


Details of the incidents prior to 1870 can be found in a previous blog post.

There is one further blog post detailing accidents from 1890 onwards.

Cutting the First Sod of the Meltham Branch Line (April 1864)

The ceremonial cutting of the first sod of the Meltham Branch Line occurred on 4 April 1864 at around 3pm on a miserable rainy afternoon in Meltham and took place at a location named as “Gill-up rudes”, which I’ve yet to find on any period map.

However, based on the description given below, it may have been somewhere near where Low Cote Mill once stood.1 I’m going to take a complete stab in the dark and say it may have happened somewhere around here…

According to the local newspaper write-up of the ceremony, around a thousand people attended the event, including a number of local dignitaries and business owners. The sod of earth was cut by Charles Brook, a well-known and much-liked local businessman who reportedly knew most of his 2,000 employees by sight.

The article is of importance as it details the planned route of the branch line:

The contemplated line will be […] 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.

As noted in the description, the original intention had been to have a spur branch off from the line — at the elusive “Gill-up rudes” — which would then run down to Meltham Mills. Ultimately this was abandoned, apparently due to the cost of the necessary earthworks.2

If anyone local knows where “Gill-up rudes” might have been, please leave a message! The mystery of “Glll-up rudes” has been solved — see below!

As a side note, almost exactly a year later, Charles Brook organised a large tea party for the navvies working on the line which ended with a magic lantern show presented by J.W. Carlile.


Update: 25 May 2015

When I posted this, I couldn’t find any references anywhere to the elusive “Gill-up Rudes” where the ceremony took place. I suspect now this is because the location retained its name to the locals but, over the years, the exact spelling was forgotten.

Joseph Hughes’ 1866 book, The History of the Township of Meltham, contains a description of the Meltham boundary:

First. The East end of one close called Bentylee and from the said Bentylee following the water to Gylloproyd Dyke, and from the said Gylloproyd Dyke unto the East end of old Helme, and from the said East end of old Helme unto Wykenforth ford…

From that, and an 1892 map of the area which shows the boundary line, the boundary description begins near Bent Ley Mills and goes anticlockwise up to Helme. Between those two particular locations is the stream which flows over Folly Dolly Falls and then runs into Hall Dyke, so it would seem that Gylloproyd Dyke is the old (and long forgotten) name for that stream.

Therefore, the elusive location of the sod cutting ceremony — and also that of the planned spur to Meltham Mills — was somewhere near to Folly Dolly Falls. That also happens to be near to where Meltham Mills Halt (also known as Spink Station) was later built when the spur was abandoned.

As for the name, “Gyllop” is sometimes used in old texts to mean “gallop”, and a “royd” is a cleared area of ground. So, perhaps this was once an area made suitable for galloping on horseback?

Huddersfield Chronicle (17/Oct/1891) – The Carlile Institute at Meltham

The following is a report of the opening of the Carlile Institute in Meltham in October 1891.

For further information about the Institute, see carlileinstitute.co.uk.

The text has been OCR’d from the article and may contain occasional errors — please leave a comment if you spot any and they will be corrected. The formatting has been changed slightly to improve readability.


THE CARLILE INSTITUTE AT MELTHAM.

OPENING CEREMONY.

Yesterday the public institutions of Meltham were increased by one which promises to be not the least in its sphere of usefulness to the inhabitants of that thriving locality. The Carlile Institute, erected by Mr. J.W. Carlile, furnishes a library, reading-room, concert hall, &c., each one of which, should add materially to the attractions of the neighbourhood. The selection of books made by Mr. Carlile are all excellent. Attached to the catalogue of the library is the following address:—

To the Workpeople at Meltham Mills.

My Dear Friends.

It is nearly 40 years since you and I first made each others’ acquaintance. During that time we have seen many changes, but I feel sure that I am right in saying that one thing has never changed, and that is the cordial relationship that has always existed between us.

No one can visit your beautiful valley, so full of busy industry, without being impressed by the many memorials of the Brook family, the churches and schools, the public grounds, the neat cottages, and Convalescent Home, all proving the deep interest which they have felt in you, and now that I have ceased to be their partner, I have built you an institute in order that you may keep my “memory green,” and I have bestowed my own name upon it, so that in years to come your children may give a kindly thought to him who ever held your best interests very near to his heart.

Having been always fond of books, I desire to foster among you the same taste; you will find in the institute a carefully selected reference library, and comfortable rooms, where you may have a quiet retreat when the bustle of the day is over, and become familiar with the thoughts and fancies of many a master mind.

I earnestly trust this library, the selection of which has given me great interest, may be well kept up and extensively used. In adding books to it, I particularly wish the trustees not to permit any additions which are at variance with the principles which have guided me in my original selection.

A newsroom is provided for conversation, to be supplied with papers, magazines, and various games, but cards and gambling of any description is strictly prohibited throughout the whole building.

I hope that the hall will often be filled with an amused and edified audience, listening to recitals, lectures or concerts, but I particularly wish the institute to be kept free from local or party politics, that all subjects introduced may be strictly moral and intellectual, not opposed to the teachings of the Bible, nor of a sectarian character.

The adjoining classrooms, although under the same trust, have been built in the first place for the use of the members of the Meltham Mechanics’ Institute, of which I was for many years president. My trustees have power to lease it to them yearly, as long as they are satisfied that their work is thoroughly efficient. The Mechanics’ Institute will be governed by its own bye-laws.

With an earnest hope that God’s blessing may accompany this effort to add to your happiness and well-being.

Believe me my, dear friends, Yours sincerely,

October, 1891.
James W. Carlile.

The proceedings yesterday were in two parts — luncheon at the institute, and a public meeting and entertainment in the evening at the Dining Hall, Meltham Mills.

DESCRIPTION OF THE BUILDING.

The building is erected in the Elizabethan, or revived classic style of architecture, with portico of the Doric order, richly moulded windows and string courses, and ornamental gables towards the main street, and side fronts more simply treated but in harmony with the principal elevation. All the wall facings and dressings are of Crosland Moor stone, the walls being lined with brick, with a cavity between outer and inner portions, to exclude damp. The roofs are of high pitch, covered with green Cumberland slates, and crested with red ridge tiles. Entering from the portico through a lobby formed by moulded oak screen and folding doors, there is a spacious entrance-hall, paved with marble mosaic, wide stone staircase, flanked by handsome hammered iron balustrade and moulded dark oak dado, the ceiling over staircase being panelled and moulded with plaster rib3 and enriched cornice. On the ground floor, to the right of entrance hall, are the reading-room and library, together measuring 42ft. by 21½ft. The reading-room has a dado of panelled dark oak and ceiling richly decorated with moulded plaster rib3 and cornice. Massive oak tables, specially designed, like all the fittings, in harmony with the style of the building, comfortable arm chairs, and pictures round the walls, complete the furnishing of this beautiful room. The library is entered through a broad archway, and is fitted up with oak bookcases and shelves, well stocked with valuable books. Beyond the entrance hall is a large news or magazine room, 27½ft. by 17½ft., where also quiet games may be played. This room is finished with pitch pine dado, and plaster cornice and frieze of simpler design than in the reading room. The walls are hung with large maps. On the first floor, entered through moulded oak folding doors, is the lecture hall, 42ft. by 21½ft. and 20ft. high, with a handsome pitch pine roof of arched shape, panelled with moulded ribs and cornice, and supported by massive curved principals, which spring from carved stone corbels. The dado round this room is of beautifully figured pitch pine, panelled, moulded, and polished. The hall is well lighted by large end and side windows filled with “rippled” glass which subdues the light, and has a pleasing effect; also, at night by three handsome ga3 corona of hammered iron. Its good acoustic properties make it admirably adapted for concerts and recitals, as well as for lectures. Under four of the roof corbels are hung excellent portraits of present and former partners of Meltham Mills, also that of the founder of the institute. Adjoining the lecture hall is a large classroom 20½ft. by 17½ft., fitted with dado and cornice like the newsroom under it. The detached building in the rear of the institute contains two large classrooms, specially adapted for technical education purposes, each measuring 27ft. by 18ft. The upper one has a lofty open timber roof, and both are fitted with pitch-pine dados and hot air stoves. Ample lavatory and cloak-room accommodation is provided. A spacious smoking-room will shortly be provided in the buildings, in course of erection, near the institute, for the purpose of affording by means of their rent roll, an endowment income for the support of the institute. A principal feature in the decoration of the lecture hall, staircase, and rooms, are the wise mottoes and homely proverbs which, in varying colours and styles of letters, are painted on the friezes below the ceilings throughout the buildings. These mottoes have been selected with great care and judgment by the founder, and should prove a lasting source of interest and instruction to those who may frequent the building. Much care and attention have been bestowed upon the details of heating and ventilation, in order to provide an ample supply of warm fresh air without draughts or the use of complicated appliances likely to get out of order. The institute is heated by hot water radiators and pipes. The floors generally are of pitch pine, the ground floors being laid with small wood blocks, laid to an ornamental pattern, and set in damp-proof composition. The doors and wood fittings throughout are made of specially selected oak or pitch pine; in the principal rooms and entrances they are elaborated, moulded, and polished, and the locks, hinges, &c., are all of a specially good character. The buildings, inclusive of fittings, decorations, and furniture, have been designed by the architect, Mr. J. S. Alder, of Palmerston Buildings, Old Broad Street, London, E.C. The work generally has been carried out in accordance with one of the founder’s favourite mottoes, ” Do everything well,” by the following contractors:— Masons’ work, Messrs. J. Moorhouse and Sons, Meltham; carpenters and joiners’ work, furniture and fittings, Mr. Henry Holland, Huddersfield ; slating and plastering, Mr. W. E. Jowitt, Huddersfield; plumbing and glazing, Mr. G. Garton, Huddersfield ; painting, &c., Messrs. W. and P. Holdroyd, Huddersfield; heating, Messrs. T. A. Heaps and Co.. Huddersfield; hammered ironwork and gas fittings, Messrs. Singer and Sons, Frome, Somerset; marble mosaic floor, Mr. J. F. Ebner, London.

THE LUNCHEON.

At half-past one luncheon was served in the lecture hall of the building. The caterers were Messrs. Hesketh and Birkinshaw, and they provided an excellent repast. The centre of the room was filled with beautiful foliage plants, lent by Mr. T. Julius Hirst. Grace before meat was said by the Rev. J.S.E. Spencer, and after meat by the Rev. G. Coulton. About 60 guests were present, including Mr. W.W. Carlile (in the chair), Miss Brook (Healey House), the Bishop of Wakefield, Mrs. Carlile, Lord Addington, Mrs. Gregg, the Rev. C. Jerdein, Stoke Goldington, Bucks, Mrs. E.H. Carlile, Mr. Gregg, Temple Grafton, Stratford-on-Avon, Mrs. C.J. Brook, Mr. E.H. Carlile, Mr. S. Fisher, Mrs. Fisher, Mr. G.G. Fisher, the Rev. James Brook, Mr. Lewis Brook, Miss Carlile, the Rev. G. Coolton, Mrs. Coulton, Miss Tindall, the Rev. J.S.E. Spencer, Mr. W. Wrigley, Mrs. Wrigley, Mr. H. A. Hirst, Mrs. Hirst, Mr. W. Brooke, Colonel McRae, Mrs. McRae, Mr. Tippits, solicitor, London, legal adviser to Mr. Carlile, Mr. Lawford, the Rev. Henry Davies, Dr. Haigh, Mr. J. Battye, Colonel Freeman, Mr. James Haigh, Mr. Alder (architect, London), Messrs. Kilburn, Pass, W. Tunstell, J.B. Hirst, J.H. Preston, R. Turton, and J. Manchester, committee; Mr. Henry Holland and Mr. J. Butterworth, contractors; Mr. D. Cairns and Mr. G. Moorhouse, on behalf of the Mechanics’ Institution.

The loyal toasts were given from the chair, and duly honoured.

Mr. Gregg submitted the toast of the “Clergy and Ministers of all Denominations,” expressing his belief that the Church was stronger in the sympathies of the people to-day than ever before. When aided by such noble institutions as that in which they had met, and which they would like to see planted all over the land, they could look forward with hopefulness to a higher culture in the community, and an increased growth in humanity.

The Bishop of Wakefield responded, remarking that his opinion of a Bishop’s duty was that he ought to be delighted to take part in such proceedings as those of that day. Everything that had the welfare of the people in view was of interest to a Bishop. They were deeply thankful for she generous liberality of Mr. Carlile. Such an institution as that was a great boon to a parish and neighbourhood, and he sincerely trusted that it would prove of great benefit to Meltham. (Applause.)

The Rev. H. Davies also responded.

Mr. Lewis Brook proposed “The Army, Navy, and Reserve Forces,” forces which, he thought, needed no justification at any time or place. The efficiency of these forces had made the commercial supremacy of Great Britain possible, and, therefore, the connection between the toast and that institution was not so remote as might at first be imagined. (Hear, hear.)

Colonel McRae responded to the toast.

The Rev. C. Jerdein, in submitting the toast of the “Lords and Commons,” said he believed the House of Lords had a longer life before it than some politicians imagined. The House of Commons did good work at times, and sometimes used up the beat men.

Lord Addington pointed out that a seat in the Legislature was the ambition of men in all walks of life. He had the ambition when at school, and now he could say that he had been nine years in the House of Commons and nine months in the House of Lords. There was a close connection between the two Houses. The House of Lords was not out of sympathy with either the wants or the wishes of the people. It was a House composed of the first men in diplomacy, law, military matters, trade, and commerce. There were continually passing from the House of Commons to the House of Lords the eldest sons of peers, and thus it came about that the members of the Upper House had an intense respect for the opinion of the House of Commons. He assured them that the members of the House of Lords always tried to do the best they could for their country. In the House of Lords country always came before party, because the members had not to think of their constituents. The speaker then referred to his own experience in Political life, remarking that he remembered both Mr. Disraeli and Mr. Gladstone coming to his father’s house when he was a boy. He expressed his deep conviction that Lord Salisbury was the best Prime Minister this country ever had. Some members of the Indian Council, who were Liberals, had told him they were so convinced of Lord Salisbury’s ability from the manner in which he had managed Indian affairs, that they admitted the truth of this statement. Thoo present time was one of the most interesting in political history, and he hoped Mr. Walter Carlile would soon be in the thick of it in the House of Commons. (Applause.) Education had made great strides of late years and there was a tendency which might, with the best wishes in the world, bring about disaster if care were not taken, to prevent the sinking of the individual in the State. A great responsibility rested upon the members of both Houses in dealing with such questions as the shortening of the hours of labour. The speaker mentioned that Mr. J. W. Carlile had years before the passing of the Allotment Acts let his labourers allotments at Gayhurst. (Hear, hear.)

The Bishop submitted the toast of “Success to the Carlile Institute.” When he was in East London, one whom they knew well — the Rev. Arthur Brook — put up an iron room at the bottom of his garden. It soon got so useful that the wonder was how they had managed without it. But in that place they had not merely a room, but a group of rooms, and such rooms that he was confident the building would prove a lasting blessing to the place. They all deeply regretted the absence of Mr. Carlile, the founder — (hear, hear) — but in his absence they were glad to welcome his son. A few Sundays ago he spent a sweet day in their valley, and he did not know that he had had a more pleasant Sunday in any part of the diocese. (Hear, hear.) He was glad to again visit their healthy and happy valley, which was made the more charming by such exhibitions of generosity. He could not believe that the eager, able, and earnest people of this part would be indifferent to such a gift, or ungrateful for it, or fail to make use of it. He believed it would prove a great educational advantage to the people, and would aid them morally, intellectually, and also spiritually. He trusted they would have a full appreciation of the great boon conferred upon them, and he heartily wished success to the institute.

The toast was drunk, and three hearty cheers, led by Lord Addington, were given.

The Chairman expressed his regret that his father was not present, but in his absence he would his read his speech. First of all he would read a telegram which he had just received. The telegram was as follows:—

“Better, but unable to travel for some days. Wish every success to the trustees and the institute. Thank friends for their kind wishes.” (Applause.)

The address written by Mr. J.W. Carlile was as under:—

The kind and flattering words from my friends have gratified and given me the assurance that my hopes may be fulfilled, and that this building will really be the scene of much usefulness. So much has been provided in this valley by the liberality of the various members of the Brook family for the religious and educational wants of our people that any further extension in that direction is not called for. But years ago, when I was president of the Meltham Mechanics’ Institute, I felt that the time would come when better accommodation would be required for classes and lecturers. In addition to this, as I get older I feel a desire to escape from the bustle around me, and so I conclude that many here who have retired from daily work, would gladly seek a retreat made bright and interesting by books, lectures, and entertainments. This explains to you why this institute is divided into two distinct departments, the portion in which we are now met being set apart for members above 21 years of age. I have chosen the Elizabethan style of architecture, as it is one of which I am very fond. My house in Bucks was built at that period, and I always experience in its bright and chaste architecture a style highly-suited for quiet repose and study, and consequently most suitable for an institute of this kind. Two years ago when I relinquished my interest in these works to my younger partners, I felt a strong desire to leave some permanent proof of the deep interest I have always felt in our workpeople. I therefore invested a sum of money hardly knowing at the time the form in which it should be expended. Along with my excellent architect and the clerk of the works, we formed ourselves into a most harmonious committee, and I am delighted to find that our labours have fully realised our wishes. This building has afforded me so much interest that it is almost with a pang of regret that I see its completion. I now long to see this pet work realise its destiny, and I have asked kind friends to take it into their keeping so that it may be a blessing to this neighbourhood. Some kind friends have hinted that a little extravagance has attended my functions as a trustee, but let me assure them that such, is not the case. The invested money has been entirely devoted to building and furnishing the institute and cottages, where the pictures, maps, and decorations are supplied as a pleasing addition to the original scheme. I have now to perform the pleasing duty of proposing the health of the trustees and the members of the two committees — one committee devoting themselves to the portion set apart for the older members, the other taking the name of the Mechanics’ Institute will I trust carry out some good technical classes and prove of inestimable value to the rising generation. The trustees whom I have chosen are three members of my own family ; my son, my son-in-law, and my nephew, along with a son of my old esteemed partner, Mr. Brook. I have also chosen the first committee, many of whom I have long known and esteemed. In their hands I place the management of the institute and the adjoining properties, from which a portion of the endowment will be obtained, feeling confident that they will use their utmost endeavours to make it a success when the Mechanics’ Institute is managed by their own officers and committee. The chairman added his own thanks for the reception of the gift, and the kind words which had been used concerning it.

Mr E.H. Carlile responded to the toast, dwelling upon the work of the Mechanics’ Institute in the past, and the deep interest which Mr. Carlile had always evinced in its work. At the present time the Mechanics’ Institute was at work in two small rooms, but it had done good work there. He dwelt upon the importance of technical education, holding it absolutely necessary for the future maintenance of our trade. In the words of one who had been much quoted, he would say that if knowledge was not virtue, ignorance was weakness — (hear, hear) — and he trusted advantage would be taken of that institute to dispel ignorance. He promised, on behalf of the trustees, that they would attend to their part of the work, and endeavour to carry out the wishes of the founder.

Mr. James Kilburn also replied. That structure was a beautiful one, the material and workmanship being of the best possible description. He trusted that all the anticipations of the founder would be realised, and so far as the committee were concerned they would do their best to realise them. The building would certainly prove an enduring one, and he trusted would prove an immense benefit to that locality. There were great social problems before us. It was no use ignoring them, and he held that to get the people to read and think would be the best way of preparing for a solution of those problems. In that way that institute might do untold good. (Hear, hear.)

Colonel Freeman’ submitted the toast of “Prosperity to the township of Meltham.” He had never known Meltham when it was not prosperous. They had pure water, fresh air, railway accommodation, gas, an industrious and healthy people, a large command of capital, and gentlemen controlling that capital noted for their business capacity. Whatever difficulties there were in other places between capital and labour such matters had been solved in Meltham long ago by the masters recognising the duties devolving upon them and acting up to them. Churches, schools, a Convalescent Home, recreation grounds, and lastly that beautiful building had been provided at the expense of the employers. The workmen of the district as a result had loyally supported their employers. If the present partners at Meltham Mills followed their predecessors the prosperity of Meltham was assured for many years to come. (Hear, hear.)

Dr. Haigh, in responding, mentioned that he had been in Meltham 40 years, and the darkest cloud he ever remembered was at present overshadowing them He hoped it would soon pass away, and the valley once more rejoice in the sunshine of prosperity. (Hear hear.)

Mr. Tippitts proposed the “Health of Mr. J. S. Alder,” the architect, speaking in high terms of his professional abilities, and remarking that the building itself was Mr. Alder’s best testimonial.

Mr. Alder, in reply, dwelt upon the extreme interest which Mr. Carlile had taken in the work, and assured those present that many of the features they admired were Mr. Carlile’s own conceptions. Mr. Carlile had thrown himself heart and soul into the work. He also dwelt upon the excellent manner in which the contractors had performed their share of the work.

Mr. H. Holland replied on behalf of the contractors acknowledging the heartiness of the men in the work and the proceedings at this stage then concluded.

EVENING MEETING.

In the evening a public meeting and entertainment was held at the Dining Hall, Meltham Mills. There was a large audience, which was presided over by Mr. E.H. Carlile, and the gentlemen supporting him were amongst those who were present at the luncheon.

The Chairman expressed his great regret that he was in the chair in place of Mr. J.W. Carlile. He dwelt upon the ideas of Mr. Carlile in founding the institute, and emphasised his belief that in the future the reference library would prove of great advantage to the people.

Mr W. W. Carlile assured them that his father would have been present had he been able. He read the speech his father had sent to him, and which is give above. His father wished him to say that he was greatly indebted to three persons — the architect, the contractor, and the clerk of the works, Mr. James Haigh. On behalf of his father he handed over the deed of endowment, declared the institute open, and wished it all good luck.

Mr D. Gregg, Mr. Carlile’s son-in-law, and one of the trustees, accepted the gift, and expressed his hope that, along with the managers, they would make the institute a success.

Addresses were subsequently delivered on educational matters by Lord Addington, the Rev. C. Jerdein, and Mr. W. Brooke.

The band of Meltham Mills played selections at intervals, and Roberts’ Excelsior Quartet Party (Messrs. C. Roberts, A. Roberts, M. Baxter, and R.H. Hardy) sang several glees.


1891.10.17 Carlile Institute at Meltham - Huddersfield Chronicle 17 October 1891

Grantham Journal (20/Jul/1872) – Funeral of Mr. Charles Brook

Charles Brook had purchased Enderby Hall in Leicestershire in 1865 and died there on 10 July 1872.


FUNERAL OF MR. CHARLES BROOK.

The funeral of Mr. Chas. Brook, J.P., of Enderby Hall, Leicestershire, and Meltham Mills, Huddersfield, took place on Monday afternoon in Enderby Churchyard, and was attended by a large concourse of all classes, not only from the neighbourhood, but also from Huddersfield and other parts of Yorkshire. Shortly after two o’clock the procession left the hall in the following order :— The tenantry, the (3) officiating clergymen, medical attendants, undertaker with assistants, the carriage bier, with six pall-bearers, and the mourners:— Capt. Cecil Drummond, Capt. Thos. Brook, Messrs. W. Hirst. W.B. Addison; Jno. Freeman, Julius Hirst, J.D. Birchall, Geo. Hy Brook, Jos. Hirst, Edwd. Brook, Wm. Brook, and the Rev. J.R. Jagae. Following were the parishioners, the dissenters of the parish, and the various deputations from Yorkshire and other places, making a procession of considerable length. Arriving at the church the tenantry formed in line on either side of the pathway, and the mourners followed the body through the avenue so formed into the church, and were succeeded by tenantry, parishioners, &c. The prominent parts of the interior of the church were draped with black cloth relieved by silver monograms. At the conclusion of the lesson in the burial service the Rev. G.A. Ince, of Huddersfield, delivered an address on the deceased, his late friend. The Rev. Gentleman, in the course of his address, said they were following to the grave an uncommon man. He did not speak of his wealth or his large possessions, as they did not constitute true riches, and he knew it well. The spectacle that day told that all this was vanity. He was a man rich deservedly in the esteem and love of thousands, and his name had been for years a household word with multitudes. Many were weeping, and tears were flowing, in many a cottage home that day. He felt that the best and the truest riches was to be rich in good works. He believed that in this world they should be rich in faith, and be looking to one Saviour, for whom he lived and died. In the midst of his usefulness, and in the midst of his well-earned honour, he was cut off, as they thought, too prematurely — his sun had gone down while it was yet day. At the conclusion, Martin Luther’s great hymn, “Great God, what do I see and hear,” was sung, and the procession moved to the vault in the churchyard, where the remainder of the burial service was read by the Rev. G. Edwards, a relative of the deceased, and where a large concourse of persons had assembled, including several deputations from Leicester, including the Conservative Working Men’s Association, the Licensed Victuallers, &c., W.U. Heygate, Esq., M.P., a large number of clergy and gentlemen from Leicester and district. On Monday, at Huddersfield, a special service was held at the Parish Church (simultaneously with the funeral at Euderby, Leicestershire), in recognition of the worth of the late Mr. Charles Brook, and was largely attended.

Western Daily Press (13/Jul/1872) – Death of Mr. Charles Brook

Charles Brook had purchased Enderby Hall in Leicestershire in 1865 and died there on 10 July 1872.


We have to record the death of Mr Charles Brook, of Enderby Hall, Leicestershire, and a magistrate for that county. The deceased, who was head of the firm of Messrs Jonas Brook, Brothers, Meltham Cotton Mills, near Huddersfield, was the founder of the Meltham Mill Convalescent Home, which was only opened a few months back, after an outlay of over £30,000.

Grantham Journal (13/Jul/1872) – Death of Mr. Chas. Brook

Charles Brook had purchased Enderby Hall in Leicestershire in 1865 and died there on 10 July 1872.


DEATH OF MR. CHAS. BROOK.

We have to record the death of Mr. Charles Brook, of Enderby Hall, Leicestershire, and a magistrate for that county. The deceased gentleman, who was the head of the firm of Messrs. Jonas Brook Bros., Meltham Cotton Mills, near Huddersfield, was the founder of the Meltham Mills Convalescent Home, which was only opened a few months back, after an outlay of over £30,000. Mr. Brook, about eight years ago, purchased the Enderby Hall (Leicestershire) estate, at a cost of about £9,000, since which time he has resided in Leicestershire. Socially, he was known as a staunch Conservative and a zealous supporter of Church and State, while the princely fortune which he enjoyed was distributed with a liberal hand amongst all classes, the charitable institutions of the neighbourhood receiving a large share of his munificence. The deceased gentleman had been suffering for the past six weeks from a severe attack of pleurisy and bronchitis. On Friday he suffered a relapse, and died about two o’clock on Wednesday morning. Locally his loss will create a gap which it will be difficult to fill, more especially in the Conservative ranks.


Death of Charles Brook - Grantham Journal 13 July 1872 BL-0000400-18720713-057

Royal Leamington Spa Courier (13/Jul/1872) – Death of Mr. Charles Brook, Esq.

Charles Brook had purchased Enderby Hall in Leicestershire in 1865 and died there on 10 July 1872.


DEATH OF CHARLES BROOK, ESQ., ENDERBY HALL, LEICESTERSHIRE

We record with more than ordinary feelings of regret the death of Charles Brook, Esq., of Enderby Hail, Leicester, and Meltham Mills, Huddersfield For some time past Mr Brook has been suffering from a serious illness, which ever and anon placed his life in jeopardy ; but the favourable telegraphic despatches which have lately been published led to the belief that, for at least some time to come, his life might be spared to his relatives and friends. The highest medical skill in the country, including Dr. Gull, physician to the Prince of Wales, and Dr. C. Marriott, of Leicester, attended the deceased up to the time of his death, which took place about three o’clock on Wednesday morning.

During Mr Brook’s long and painful illness the prayers (public and private) of thousands in this neighbourhood were offered up for his recovery. Every household in Huddersfield felt that the life of the noblest example of public philanthropy the neighbourhood ever produced was hanging in the balance. His illness was taken home to every heart, and felt with all the acuteness incidental to a near and dear relative. This feeling, too, was not confined to one class in the social scale, or the members of the Church of England of which he was a most devout and attached member, but it was shared in by men of every political casts and religious creed.

In all that concerned the religious, moral, and educational welfare of this district he invariably occupied the front rank. Others have done nobly, but he excelled them all. His was a princely generosity, not only in the amount of his gifts, but in the manner of giving them. No sooner was his bead and his heart convinced than his hand bestowed, some of his largest public contributions being accompanied by a total absence of ostentation. In every relation of life he was a model man. Many years of prosperity in business placed great wealth at his command and thus he largely used for the glory of God and the welfare of mankind. The churches and schools at Meltham Mills and Enderby prove his “zeal for the Lord,” and the noble Convalescent Home which he publicly handed over to the town of Huddersfield in August last will be for all time a monument of his tender sympathy for the poor. It was one of the noblest traits in his noble nature that he “never forgot the quarry from whence he was dug.” Meltham Mills and its poor was a sweet green spot in his fondest recollections, and when he paid periodicol visits to the district the workpeople in the firm of Jonas Brook and Brothers, who had been known to him throughout life, were objects of his tenderest solicitude. By his death the Church of England has lost one of its most consistent and liberal supporters. When in health he loved to enter the public sanctuary and offer up common prayer and praise to the common Father of all, and no legitimate application for assistance in promoting Church building, or the extension of Church principles, ever appealed for bis aid in vain. He was a contributor of £5,000 to the Huddersfield Church Extension Fund; £3,000 for providing additional school accommodation for the Established Church in the neighbourhood (in addition to the same amount for the town of Leicester), besides innumerable gifts to other churches including St. Stephen’s, Rashcliffe, and the one now in course of erection at Newsome.

But we refrain from making the present melancholy occasion a medium for parading Mr Brook’s liberality. He has lived a tolerably long, and in every respect a consistent life. By precept and example he has well discharged his duty in his day and generation, and

The sweet remembrance of the just,
Will flourish whlen be sleeps in dust.

In the long roll of Huddersfield worthies who have gone down to the grave, scarcely one has left a nobler, and none a more stainless name.

On the Parish Church and other places in the town, flags were hoisted half-mast high when the melancholy news reached Huddersfield, and the bells of the Parish Church rang a muffled peal. We have been unable to ascertain where Mr Brook will be interred, but whether it be at Meltham Mills or Enderby multitudes of sorrowing friends will be present to mingle their tears with those who in life were specially near and dear to him. Mr Brook was in the 58th year of his age.

Huddersfidd Daily Chronicle.


Death of Charles Brook - Leamington Spa Courier 13 July 1872 BL-0000249-18720713-012

Huddersfield Chronicle (13/Jul/1872) – Death of Charles Brook, Esq., J.P.

Charles Brook had purchased Enderby Hall in Leicestershire in 1865 and died there on 10 July 1872.

This article was printed with heavy black borders.


Death of Charles Brook, Esq., J.P.

The suggestion which we ventured to make yesterday (and which is given below) is to be acted upon on Monday next, the day on which the mortal remains of Mr. Charles Brook will be consigned to their final resting place. From an advertisement in another column it will be seen that the Mayor has issued an invitation to the inhabitants to meet him at the Armoury at half-past one o’clock, to attend a special service which will be held in the Parish Church at two o’clock. The distance which separates Huddersfield from Enderby will prevent the great body of the inhabitants from marking their respect for Mr. Brook’s memory by attending the funeral; but the opportunity which this local arrangement provides will enable a large representation of “all sorts and conditions of men” to take their part in the services of that Church of which the deceased was such a distinguished member.

We record with more than ordinary feelings of regret the death of Charles Brook, Esq., of Enderby Hall, Leicester, and Meltham Mills, Huddersfield. Our readers are well aware that for some time past Mr. Brook has been suffering from a serious illness which ever and anon placed his life in jeopardy ; but the favourable telegraphic despatches which we have lately published led to the belief that he had, for at least some time to come, escaped the portals of the grave, and that his life might be spared to his relatives and friends. The highest medical skill in the country, including Dr. Gull, physician to the Prince of Wales, was brought into exercise to ward off, so far as human effort could, the fatal result which took place about two o’clock on Wednesday morning.

During Mr. Brook’s long and painful illness the prayers (public and private) of thousands in this neighbourhood were offered up for his recovery. Every household in Huddersfield felt that the life of the noblest example of public philanthropy the neighbourhood ever produced was hanging in the balance. His illness was taken home to every heart, and felt with all the acuteness incidental to a near and dear relative. This feeling, too, was not confined to one class in the social scale, or the members of the Church of England of which he was a most devout and attached member, but it was shared in by men of every political caste and religious creed.

In all that concerned the religious, moral, and educational welfare of this district he invariably occupied the front rank. Others have done nobly, but he excelled them all. His was a princely generosity, not only in the amount of his gifts, but in the manner of giving them. No sooner was his head convinced and his heart touched than his hand bestowed, some of his largest contributions being accompanied by a total absence of ostentation. In every relation of life he was a model man. Many years of prosperity in business placed great wealth at his command, and this he largely used for the glory of God and the welfare of mankind. The churches and schools at Meltham Mills and Enderby prove his “zeal for the Lord,”‘ and the noble Convalescent Home which he publicly handed over to the town of Huddersfield in August last will be for all time a monument of his tender sympathy for the poor. It was one of the noblest traits in his noble nature that he “never forgot the quarry from whence he was dug.” Meltham Mills and its poor was a sweet green spot in his fondest recollections, and when he paid periodical visits to the district the old workpeople in the firm of Jonas Brook and Brothers, who had been known to him throughout life, were objects of his tenderest solicitude. By his death the Church of England has lost one of its most consistent and liberal supporters. “When in health he loved to enter the public sanctuary and offer up common prayer and praise to the common Father of all, and no legitimate application for assistance in promoting Church building, or the extension of Church principles, ever appealed for his aid in vain. He was a contributor of £5,000 to the Huddersfield Church Extension Fund; £3,000 for providing additional school accommodation for the Established Church in this neighbourhood (in addition to the same amount for the town of Leicester), besides innumerable gifts to other churches, including St. Stephen’s, Rashcliffe, and the one now in coarse of erection at Newsome.

But we refrain from making the present melancholy occasion a medium for parading Mr. Brook’s liberality. He has lived a tolerably long, and in every respect a consistent life. By precept and example he has well discharged his duty in his day and generation, and

The sweet remembrance of the just
Will flourish when be sleeps in dust.

In the long roll of Huddersfield worthies who have gone down to the grave, scarcely one has left a nobler, and none a more stainless name.

On the Parish Church and other places in the town, flags were hoisted half-mast high when the melancholy news reached Huddersfield, and the bells of the Parish Church rang a muffled peal. We have been unable to ascertain where Mr. Brook will be interred, but whether it be at Meltham Mills or Enderby multitudes of sorrowing friends will be present to mingle their tears with those who in life were specially near and dear to him. Mr. Brook was in the 58th year of his age.
Daily Chronicle, Thursday.

We understand arrangements are in progress for interring Mr. Brook in the family vault at Enderby Church, at two o’clock on Monday next. No doubt many of our fellow townsmen will be present on the melancholy occasion, to pay the last mark of respect to one who in life did so much to promote the welfare of this district. We have not yet heard whether the public bodies of the town have taken any steps for collectively expressing the feelings of the public, but we doubt not before Monday our chief magistrate and those who co-operate with him will make such arrangements as will enable the inhabitants to bear their part in the melancholy proceedings of the day. As Mr. Brook’s liberality was largely made available for all classes of society — for those outside as well as those within that branch of the Church Catholic of which he was a member — we would respectfully suggest the holding of a special service in the Parish Church, and the delivery of a sermon suitable to the occasion. The governing bodies of the town might assemble in one of our public rooms, and proceed in order to the church. Such a proceeding would, we are sure, be in harmony with the feelings of our fellow-townsmen generally, all of whom feel that a truly good Christian and a large-hearted citizen has been taken from us to a better and a holier life.
Daily Chronicle, yesterday.

The following is extracted from the Leicester Journal of yesterday :—

“The deceased gentleman was a county magistrate both in the West Riding and in Leicestershire. His mills gave employment to nearly 2,000 hands, and his last public act was to advance the allowance made to those workpeople who, from old age or infirmity, have been pensioned off. Mr. Brook was in his 59th year, and leaves a widow, but no family. It is about eight years since he purchased the Enderby Hall Estate, and during his residence in that parish, Enderby has had good cause for knowing who was its real friend.

“Mr. Brook in politics was a thorough-going Conservative, and took an active part in promoting the interests of his party, both in Yorkshire and this county. He was also a Churchman, and ever ready with his purse to promote the prosperity of the Establishment. His political or religious creed did not, however, prevent him from taking a warm-hearted interest in everything that was calculated to benefit his poorer brethren, be they Nonconformists or Churchmen. And thus he was universally respected. His good name was the out-growth of his good deeds, which were as unselfish as they were generous. He was in the best sense one of the worthies of Yorkshire, and during the comparatively short time he has lived in this county, one of the best Squires Leicestershire has ever had.

“His unostentatious, but really munificent liberality, had made his name familiar throughout Yorkshire and Leicestershire, and within the narrowest circle where it was test known, it had for long been a household word. Knowing this, it is no mere phrase to say that his loss will be almost irreparable. He was a merchant prince in more senses than one. He belonged to that older school, the fame of which was based upon the scrupulous honour with which all business transactions were conducted ; and he combined with this deep sense of honour the kindness of disposition which made him a gentleman in every act of his life. It was not until the sudden death of his brother, many years ago, that he took an active part in the management of the works at Meltham Mills, but he soon showed that if he had not the robust energy which characterised his brother, he had the true business tact, and that in becoming a manufacturer and a merchant, it was not necessary to sacrifice those higher qualities which had pre-eminently made him a Christian gentleman.

“In the present critical times we can ill afford to spare so excellent and valuable a person as Mr. Brook, but now he has been removed from this busy active scene, his deeds remain in after generations as the noblest memorial of a life spent in the work God has given him to do.”

A Leicestershire correspondent says :—

Mr. Brook, several years ago, purchased the Enderby Hall (Leicestershire) estate at a cost of about £96,000, since which time he has resided in Leicestershire. Locally, he was known as a staunch Conservative and a zealous supporter of Church and State : while the princely fortune which he enjoyed was distributed with a liberal hand amongst all classes; the charitable institutions of the neighbourhood receiving a large share of his munificence. The deceased gentleman had been suffering for the past six weeks from a severe attack of pleurisy and bronchitis, during which time he had been constantly attended by two local doctors, assisted occasionally by Sir William Gull, M.D., and so greatly had he improved in health, that he had been able to sit up in his room. On Friday he suffered a relapse, and died about two o’clock on Wednesday morning. Locally, his loss will create a gap which it will be difficult to fill up, more especially in the Conservative ranks.

The Leicester Evening News of Wednesday has the following :— “It is with mournful feelings we are called upon to record the death of Mr. C. Brook, of Enderby Hall. Some weeks ago Mr. Brook was seized with a very serious illness — pleurisy and bronchitis — causing the greatest anxiety to his friends. For several days he lingered between life and death, and the advice of Sir William Gull was obtained in addition to his local medical advisers, Dr. Shaw and Dr. Marriott. Under the care of these gentlemen he rallied, and it was hoped the danger was past. Indeed, we believe Mr. Brook had so far recovered as to be able to sit up in his room. Last Friday, however, a relapse set in, which all the able skill of his medical attendants was unable to arrest, and we lament to say terminated fatally at two o’clock this morning. What a void has been caused by his removal!

He was a man, — take him for all in all,
We ne’er shall look upon his like again.

Possessed of a princely fortune, he was not Blow to devote it to the alleviation of distress in every form and no case meriting his aid went unheeded. He was a most ardent member of the Church of England, and never shall we forget his enthusiastic advocacy on her behalf when speaking at public meetings in connection therewith. No sooner had he entered upon his Enderby estate than he set about doing good. The rebuilding of the parish church at his sole expense is a lasting memento of his munificence ; while the neighbourhood of Huddersfield has proof of his philanthropy in the Meltham Mills Convalescent Home, which he erected recently at a cost of £50,000. These are only a few of the many evidences of his large-heartedness, while his more humble benefactions it would be impossible to recount. The poor of Enderby, to whom he was naturally much endeared, have indeed lost a friend, and from their memory the name of Charles Brook, the philanthropist, can never be erased. Politically, he was a staunch Conservative, and although in his zealous advocacy of Constitutional principles he might appear to o’erstep the bounds of public oratory, his bitterest opponent could not but give him credit for the honesty of his convictions. As an individual his death will be deplored by all parties. Politically, the Conservatives have lost a most noble and energetic champion.

“REQUIESCAT EN PACE.”

SUGGESTED BY THE LAMENTED DEATH OF CHARLES BROOK, ESQ., OF ENDERBY HALL.

Strew cyprus round and weep
  Over this honour’d bier.
In calm and holy sleep
  A good man resteth here.

In deeds of worth he shone.
  And nobly felt for all;
Others’ cares were bis own.
  Responsive to their call.

Life’s warfare now is o’er.
  The Christian prize is won,
List as the voices soar
  “Servant of God well done.”

Bind cyprus on each heart,
  Remembering as we weep
He is, from whom we part.
  Not dead — “fallen asleep.”


“IN MEMORIAM.”

Charles Brook, Died 10th July, 1872

That noble heart will throb no more.
  Which glowed with Pity’s warmest tire,
And quivered to its very core.
  Like some rapt bard’s reponsive lyre.

When Pity touched its tender chords,
  ‘Twas answered by sweet Mercy’s thrill;
Such music heaven alone accords
  To those who soften human ill.

But now ’tis o’er! that genial soul
  Has shaken off all earthly thrall :
And he, for whom the requiems toll,
  Must fill the common grave of all.

That bounteous hand, beneath whose touch
  Pale Misery’s baleful eye shone bright.
Whose wondrous power to heal was such
  That gloomy hovels streamed with light.

That hand, alas ! is icy cold.
  Bereft of all its sacred power;
That hand — more precious than the gold
  It lavished forth in generous shower.

The film of death has darken’d o’er
  The eye that beamed with kindliest ray :
The loving words are heard no more,
  The tongue that spake is speechless clay.

But grateful hearts will long revere
  The loyal, philanthropic dead ;
With sounds of grief, the pitying tear
  Will o’er his hallowed grave be shed.


Death of Charles Brook - Huddersfield Chronicle 13 July 1872 BL-0000167-18720713-035

Leicester Chronicle (13/Jul/1872) – Death of Mr. Charles Brook

Charles Brook had purchased Enderby Hall in Leicestershire in 1865 and died there on 10 July 1872.


Death of Mr. Charles Brook.

The death is announced of Mr. Charles Brook, of Meltham Mills, near Huddersfield, and of Enderby Hall, Leicestershire, which took place about two o’clock on Wednesday morning. The Leeds Mercury of Thursday says “Mr. Brook’s unbounded generosity is well known. He built, endowed, and gave to the town of Huddersfield, a large and handsome Convalescent Home ; he restored the church at Enderby ; and he recently gave £3,000 each to the schools at Leicester and Huddersfield. In addition to these, there was hardly any charity against which his purse was closed, and he always gave munificently. The deceased gentleman was a county magistrate, both in the West Hiding and in Leicestershire, and senior partner in the celebrated firm of Jonas Brook and Bros., cotton thread manufacturers, of Meltham Mills, where nearly 2,000 hands are employed, and his last public act was to advance the allowance made to those workpeople who, from old age or infirmity, have been pensioned off. Mr. Brook was in his 59th year, and leaves a widow, bat no family. He was an earnest Conservative, a zealous Churchman, and was beloved by all who knew him.”