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

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.”

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

Huddersfield Chronicle (06/Jul/1872) – Illness of Charles Brook, Esq., of Enderby Hall

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


Illness of Charles Brook, Esq., of Enderby Hall.

The illness of Mr. Charles Brook, of Enderby Hall, has lately taken an alternating course. On Saturday, Sunday, and Monday he passed a comfortable period, but since Monday evening be has had violent attacks of coughing, and on Wednesday he was not so well. On Thursday, he appeared better again, but as he varied very much in the 24 hours, the medical men in attendance found it very difficult to describe his real condition.

Huddersfield Chronicle (29/Jun/1872) – Health of Charles Brook, Esq.

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


Health of Charles Brook, Esq.

Our readers will be glad to learn that Charles Crook, Esq., of Enderby Hall, Leicester, is making the most satisfactory progress towards recovery. We have been favoured with the following extract from a letter received by Edward Armitage, Esq., on Saturday last, the nature of which will gladden the hearts of thousands in this neighbourhood :

We had a most anxious day yesterday. For a long time we thought Mr. Brook was not gaining ground ; indeed we thought him decidedly weaker, and he was incessantly afflicted with a distressing cough. Last evening, however, he improved and slept most comfortably, and today he is better. We have had Sir William Gull here today, in company with Dr. Shaw and Mr. Marriott, and he has made a most careful stethoscopic examination. Sir William says, “He is a great deal better than I expected. The tide has fairly turned. He has no progressive disease or injury to his lungs. It is retrogressive. He will require perfect quiet, and the most careful nursing for weeks, but unless some unforeseen relapse occurs he will do well. It is a most interesting case of a life snatched from death.”

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/Jun/1872) – The Illness of Charles Brook, Esq., of Enderby Hall

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

The high esteem in which he was held by the people of Huddersfield is shown by the coverage afforded to his illness by the Chronicle.


THE ILLNESS OF CHARLES BROOK, ESQ., OF ENDERBY HALL.

YESTERDAY.

Our latest information respecting the illness of Mr. Charles Brook, of Enderby Hall, reports that, yesterday, his general condition was the same, and that, with the exception of a troublesome cough, the symptoms are improving. The following telegram was received yesterday at the Huddersfield Chamber of Commerce :—

“Passed a quiet night. Since four a.m. his cough has been troublesome. His general condition remains the same.”

The following appeared in yesterday’s Leicester Journal:

“Our readers in town and country will, we feel certain, rejoice with us that the serious illness of this much respected gentleman has assumed a more favourable form, and that there is now hope of his recovery. A relapse set in on Friday afternoon last, and Sir William Gull was again telegraphed for, and came down on Saturday, and held a consultation with Dr. Shaw and Dr. Marriott, who are in constant attendance. During Saturday night the condition of the patient was exceedingly critical, but early on Sunday morning, a change for the better took place, and from that time there has been a gradual improvement in the symptoms. The succeeding night was favourable, and throughout Monday Mr. Brook continued better, on which day a consultation was again held with Sir William Gull. On Wednesday and yesterday (Thursday), we understand Mr. Brook was still going on well, and we trust that now there is reason to hope that Mr. Brook will be spared to us.”

The following are the telegrams and documents we have published during the week :—

Friday last, 9:15 a.m.
Mr. Brook is most seriously worse ; has passed a quiet night; slightly better ; still very critical.

Friday last, 5:15 p.m.
Mr. Brook has passed a comfortable morning. Sir William Gull considers the case grave, though not hopeless.

Sunday. 9:50 a.m.
Mr. Brook appears to have taken a favourable turn ; and after a most distressing night, he sleeps soundly.

During the last few days much anxiety has been evinced by the inhabitants of this town generally, and on Sunday special prayers were read in the Pariah Church both morning and evening for the recovery of Mr. Brook.

Monday Morning.

The latest advices that have reached us concerning the illness of Mr. Charles Brook, of Enderby Hall, are of an encouraging character. After passing a very critical period on Friday and Saturday, Mr Brook took a favourable tarn on Sunday morning, and slept calmly for some time. The following telegrams have been received by Mr. G.H. Brook, Edgerton :—

Tuesday Morning.

The condition of Mr. Charles Brook, of Enderby Hall, remains unchanged. He slept calmly on Sunday night, and spent a calm day on Monday.

The last bulletin, which arrived at Hudderstidd, by telegraph, at 3:25 p.m. yesterday, was as follows :—

Mr. Charles Brook has passed a quiet night. General condition much the same as yesterday.

Wednesday Morning.

Our readers will be glad to learn that, on Monday, we received information to the effect that a gradual but satisfactory improvement had taken place in the condition of Charles Brook, Esq., of Enderby Hall. It appears that Mr. Edward Brook, of Meltham Hall, who went to Enderby on Friday night last, returned home on Monday morning. No further telegrams are expected unless a relapse takes place.

Thursday Morning.

Charles Brook, Esq., of Enderby Hall, continues to improve in health. His progress is slow but satisfactory, and his ultimate recovery is now confidently expected. The following telegram was received at Meltham Hall on Wednesday afternoon, a few minutes before one o’clock:—

Mr. Brook has passed a comfortable night, and his general condition continues to improve.

A similar telegram was posted in the Huddersfield Chamber of Commerce during the afternoon.


The Illness of Charles Brook - Huddersfield Chronicle 15 June 1872 BL-0000167-18720615-048

Huddersfield Chronicle (08/Jun/1872) – Serious Illness of Charles Brook, Esq., of Enderby Hall

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


Serious Illness of Charles Brook, Esq., of Enderby Hall.

The public will doubtless share the regret with which we learn of the serious illness of that well-known and highly-esteemed philanthropist, Charles Brook, Esq., of Enderby Hall. The affection from which Mr. Brook is suffering is congestion of the lungs, and so dangerous were the symptoms at one time, that Sir J. Gull was telegraphed for to assist the medical gentlemen in attendance. We are able to state that the alarming symptoms have somewhat abated, and that there are sufficient grounds for hoping that the sufferer will sooner or later recover.

Fridays account.

Yesterday’s Leicester Journal says : We regret to have to announce that Mr. C. Brook, of Enderby Hall, a gentleman so highly respected by all classes in town and county, has been seized with a serious illness. About a fortnight ago Mr. Brook became very unwell, and Dr. Shaw was called in. From that period to the present he has been most assiduous in his attention to the patient, but on Saturday last matters assumed so grave an aspect that Sir William Gull. M.D., one of the physicians in attendance on his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, was sent for. A consultation took place between him and Dr. Shaw at the Hall, on Saturday, and the joint impression of these gentlemen, we rejoice to say, was favourable to the recovery of Mr. Brook. On Tuesday Mr. Brook had passed a much quieter day, and yesterday (Thursday) the symptoms were more favourable than at any previous period during the illness. That he may be speedily restored to health is the unanimous hope of all who know him.

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

MELTHAM.

Opening of the Branch Line of Railway to Meltham.

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


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

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

The Meltham Branch Railway.

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

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