Huddersfield Chronicle (15/Jun/1872) – Meltham: Mr. Charles Brook’s Benevolence

MELTHAM.

Mr. Charles Brook’s Benevolence.

It has often been said that genuine charity knows no bounds. This is amply proved by the large-hearted benevolence of Mr. Charles Brook, of Enderby — whose health is now unfortunately in a precarious state, — who looses no opportunity of dispensing portions of his vast wealth for the temporary and permanent benefit of the working-class. A recent act of this kind deserves recording, and has only oozed out during the past few days. On the last visit of Mr. Brook to his native hills at Meltham Mills, the list of “pensioners” (male and female) of the firm was examined, and with his characteristic benevolence, Mr. Brook at once increased the allowance to the old employees of Meltham Mills in the following proportion : The men who had previously been in receipt of 5s. per week, were advanced to 8s., while the females, (widows and others) allowance was raised from 2s. 6d. to 4s. per week.

Huddersfield Chronicle (15/Apr/1865) – Meltham: Navvies’ Tea Party

Charles Brook had cut the ceremonial first sod for the Meltham Branch Line almost exactly a year before.


MELTHAM.

“Navvies'” Tea Party.

In the formation of the Huddersfield and Meltham Railway, as in all such like undertakings, large numbers of “navvies” collected from all parts of the country are employed. Generally speaking, this class are of a loose, wild, reckless character, and in many instances quite lawless. The “navvies” engaged on the Meltham line have, however, so far proved a happy exception, they, on the whole, behaving themselves in a quiet, and orderly manner ; so much so, that they have gained the respect of the gentry of the neighbourhood, which was testified on Tuesday last, when upwards of 200 of them were treated to a good substantial tea in the spacious dining hall of Meltham Mills, and to which it is needless to say the bronze-faced navvies did “ample justice.” This treat was got up principally through the liberality of Charles Brook, sen., Charles Brook, jun., J.W. Carlile, and Edward Brook, Esqs., and the Rev. E.C. Ince. In testimony of their appreciation of the character of the “navvy,” the whole of the above gentlemen were present on the occasion with the ladies of their respective families, and addressed some very appropriate remarks to the assembled workmen, who paid great attention to what was said to them. At a later period of the evening J.W. Carlile, Esq., amused and interested the audience by exhibiting his magic lantern, and a very agreeable evening was spent.

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 (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.

Manchester Guardian (02/May/1829) – Singular Accident

Singular Accident.

On the 20th ult. a poor girl of the name of Ellen Finn, who worked at Meltham Mills, near Huddersfield, met her death by a drunken man of the name Marsh squeezing her very forcibly around the waist, which caused the rupture of a blood-vessel, and she died in a few hours from the effects of his rude and brutal embrace. An inquest was held on the body, verdict — Accidental Death.