Charles Arthur Hudson – WW1 survivor

Charles Arthur Hudson was a Netherthong lad, who enlisted in 1914 to serve his country and was fortunate to survive the horrors. He is listed in my “Chapter, Details of soldiers who fought and survived WW1”, with what few details I was able to find.
He was born on 10/11/1894 and was baptised  on 06/01/1895 in All Saints Parish Church and his parents were John Henry and Ann,  who lived in the village. His father was a cloth finisher. He attended the village school and, like many of his friends ,he became a scout in the Netherthong troop.  His name appears in a list of soldiers in the Holmfirth Express Roll of Honour (ROH), issued January 9 1915, as serving in the Army. In the framed Roll of Honour in the Parish Church, he is listed as a Private in the 9th. Battalion of the Duke of Wellington regiment with his enlistment date given as October 17,1914.

, In the baptismal records for all Saints’ Church, his Christian names are given as Charles Albert and not Charles Arthur. His birth date appears correct as it tallies with him giving his age as 20 years when he enlisted. He did have an older brother, Harry, who was born on 17/05/88 and in the 1891 Census Harry is listed as being two years old. The baptismal records give another brother, Willie, who was born on 12/12/84, but who was not included in that Census.The same baptismal records show that his father, John Henry was born on 02/07/1860 but was not baptised until much later on 25/07/1869. His parents were John and Mary, who lived in Thongsbridge, and they would have been Charles grandparents.

photograph of Charles Hudson courtesy of Tim Parsons – August 2019
Full size render from Holmfirth Express – supplied by Paul Sims

I received the first photograph of Charles from Tim Parsons in August 2019 and he also sent a number of certificates and forms relating to Charles enlistment , service and discharge from the army. Unfortunately they were very badly damaged and, as can be seen in the images below, large portions are illegible. However they are important documents, as they would have applied not just to Charles and all his friends in village but to all the soldiers who enlisted in WW1. I have augmented the details by extracting additional information from Google.

Image 1. The form above is the Short Service Attestation and it was introduced by Lord Kitchener in 1914 under which a man could serve for three years or the duration of the war, whichever was the longer. This was instead of the 12 years of service normally demanded when joining the army.

You can make out the list of questions –
1. What is your name ? – Charles Albert Hudson
2. What is your address ? – ?? Netherthong
3. Are you a British Subject ?, -Yes
4. What is your age – 20 years 7 months,,
5. What is your Trade or Calling, – ??
6. Are you married, – No
7.Have you ever served in the Forces, – No
8. Are you willing to be vaccinated or re-vaccinated? Yes
9. Are you willing to be enlisted for General Service.? Yes
10.Did you receive a notice …?
11. Are you prepared to serve upon the following conditions…

signed by Charles Albert Hudson.
Image 2.
Image 4. Record of promotions, reductions,transfers etc. during active service. Awarded Military Medal 1916. Transferred to Class “Z” Army Reserve on Demobilisation, Date 3-4-1919.
Image 5. Form – With reference to your application stating you have lost your discharge certificate. I am to request that you state overleaf the circumstances as under which the Certificate….. On receipt of your declaration , the question of replacing the Certificate or book will be considered. The declaration must be made before one of His Majesty’s Justice of the Peace ….. and returned to me when it is completed. It was signed by Officer I/c Records.
Image 6. The reverse side of the form in Image 5. and is his declaration. I sincerely declare that I have lost my Discharge Certificate. It got destroyed among some more old papers on October 17, 1937. Signed by Charles Hudson, present age 44, place of birth Netherthong, present address Upper George St. Huddersfield. Signed in the presence of Commissioner of Oaths on August 1939 in Huddersfield.
Image 7.
Image 8. Army Form B5112, Forwarding of accompanying medals and a request to complete receipt and return card. Signed by Hudson on March 11th. 1921.
Image 9. Dispersal Certificate ( Soldier ).
Image 10. Military History Sheet. Listing his Campaign Medals. Awarded Military Medal on 21/10/16. 1914/15 Star.
Image 11. Certificate of Medical Examination.

A search on Google shows that there were over 1100 Army Forms.

A short history of the Wharam family

I have recently ( February 2019 ) been contacted by Glenn , who has supplied me with the following interesting information about the Wharam family ( frequently misspelled as Wareham). From his research efforts he has proven that his family lived in and around Netherthong at least by 1782, and knows that they departed Netherthong in 1849, bound for America. His line of Wharam seems to have been the only family with that surname in Netherthong and , like most of those living in and around the village, they were engaged in weaving woolen cloth. The majority of persons with the surname Wharam seem to be in Clayton West and High Hoyland, with smaller numbers around Cumberworth and New Mill. Distant cousins live today in Skelmanthorpe. Glenn’s theory is that his great-great-great grandfather, Charles Wharam, must have migrated to Netherthong from the east. He married Ann Hudson in Netherthong, but she was baptized in Holmfirth.

Based on census and baptism records, the family moved around a bit, residing in Moor Lane Farm, Moor Gate Farm, and the Burnlee section of Upperthong. Cousins lived at Holmroyd Nook. One of the residents of Holmroyd Nook showed Glenn a leasehold document signed by Jonas Hinchliffe, the brother of his great-great-great grandmother, Lydia Hinchliffe Oldham. His great-great grandfather was baptised in All Saints Parish Church in 1837( the baptismal index records show a James Oldham Wareham, born 07/08/1837 and baptised on 27/09/1837 : father John and mother Sally Hinchliffe, both of Moor Lane), although this seemed to have been an exception as almost all the other baptisms and marriages were conducted at the Wesleyan Chapel.

The history continues when the Wharam family of Moor Lane (father John, mother Sally, great-great grandfather James Oldham Wharam, and his two sisters Lydia and Elizabeth) left Netherthong. They sailed via the Port of Liverpool to Canada and then on to join a family member who had already established a farm at Gaines Township in Genesee County, Michigan. The Hinchliffe cousins, who once lived at Holmroyd Nook, left a bit later and came to New Jersey. Incredibly, the Hinchliffes then traveled from New Jersey to Michigan and lived for a while with their Wharam cousins. So, two families who had lived on adjacent farms west of Netherthong were reunited and lived together in Michigan.

But Michigan did not appeal to the Hinchliffes because it was too cold . They left, and great-great grandfather, James Oldham Wharam, went with them (his mother had died, and his father had remarried). This group of cousins eventually made their way to Buckingham County, Virginia. It is helpful that the Hinchliffes had a child born in New Jersey, Michigan, and Virginia, as confirmed by the 1860 US census, which helped trace their movements. The Hinchliffes bought land in Buckingham and started farming.

In 1861 war broke out. James Oldham Wharam volunteered and became a soldier in Company C of the Virginia 44th Regiment of Infantry of the Confederate States of America. The Hinchliffe farm had no slaves, and James fought because his adopted homeland of Virginia was being invaded by the North.

James Oldham Wharam was a participant in the American Civil War for the duration, 1861 to 1865. He marched hundreds of miles and was shot twice, the second time through both lungs. He was left for dead on the battlefield but survived. He was captured by Union troops and taken to hospitals and then to a prisoner of war camp at Fort McHenry, Maryland . When the war ended, he was released and walked back to Buckingham County, which was devastated. There were no cows to milk, no pigs to slaughter, no stores of grain, and no seed to plant. The Hinchliffes had lost everything and after military actions had ceased, they moved to Philadelphia. James married a local girl and started farming, after surviving the winter of 1865-1866, living mostly on the game he killed – mainly squirrels. He fathered 14 children. Almost all of the persons today with the Wharam surname, stretching from Georgia to Maryland, are descendants of James Oldham Wharam of Netherthong. Today, there are more Wharams in the US than in the UK. Glenn is obviously very proud of his family roots and ended his information with the following question.

What do you call a fellow whose family of clothiers were put out of business by the Industrial Revolution, who survived the cramped conditions of a ship sailing to America, who survived the Michigan winters in a log cabin, who trekked from Michigan to Virginia, who marched hundreds of miles while a soldier in the Confederate Army, who was wounded twice and left for dead, who survived the horrible conditions of a prisoner of war camp, who walked back home, barefoot and with no food after the war, only to find his home place totally devastated, who started a farm from scratch while avoiding starvation, and who fathered 14 children? Answer: a Yorkshireman – one from Netherthong.

Details of local places from 1892 map – then and now

Dave Pattern is involved in an ongoing project to index historical maps of the Huddersfield area. One relevant to Netherthong and District ( Thongsbridge, Deanhouse and Oldfield ) is titled Hudds. Exposed 1892 Honley, and is centered  on grid ref. SE 4145 4105. The accompanying chart features places from that map and details ( 2018) their current situation after 126 years.

Dave has very kindly agreed that I can use this information in  my website.

Error reading file/URL.

Netherthong and the Holmfirth Floods

The history of the various floods that occurred in the Holme Valley and Holmfirth is well documented and it is not the purpose of this chapter to re-visit that information. However those floods must have impacted in numerous ways on  the inhabitants of Netherthong. Some may have had friends or relatives in the stricken areas, many  helped to raise funds for flood relief , others would have traveled down New Road to see if they could be of any assistance and others would have gone simply just to ‘look’. 

The involvement would have more likely to have been on the days following the Great Flood of 29 May 1944, which was at its worst between 6.30pm and 7.00pm. It occurred  just over 73 years ago, so if there are any eye witnesses living today they would have been children or teenagers at the time.  However many years ago, when I first started researching and writing the history of the village, I interviewed a lovely lady who lived in one of the cottages in Outlane. Her name was  Nancy Millican and, among the items of local history she shared with me,  she said that she remembered having gone to the theatre in Holmfirth on that Whit-Monday with her mother and returning home along the Huddersfield Road and seeing the waters flooding down the roads . They were near enough to New Road not to be in any real danger.

It would have made great copy if she had said that the floodwaters chased them, lapping at their heels all the way and that they just managed to get to New Road and scramble up the hill to safety with the waters trying to suck them back down….. 

A recent visitor to the website, Margaret H, supplied me with some super photographs of the village and the school and also eight photographs of Holmfirth, two taken before the flood and six afterwards.  I make no apologies for including them in this chapter as they may stir the memories of any remaining Netherthongians in the 80-year bracket. The villagers set a target of raising £200 for the Flood Relief Fund by organising various events.


Victoria Park before the flood.


Victoria Square before the flood


Hollowgate showing flood damage


Hollowgate showing flood damage


Flood damage to Lower Mills


Market Walk flood damage


Victoria Square and Towngate flood damage


Victoria Bridge flood damage

How this History started, website activity, statistics and other useless information.

I first started researching the history of Netherthong in 2002 and I began to realise, that with the amount of information that was becoming available, publishing it as a book  was not going to be the answer. The  only  alternative was to set up a web site  in 2005 and the large number of people who have visited the site  and  supplied information, memories and photographs has more than justified that decision.  What is encouraging  is that in July 2017, 12 years after the start, I had a new visitor who had been born in Rob Roy, the house standing by itself on the right hand side of New Road opposite Netherfield Drive,  and she corrected the dates of several photographs and supplied a number of her own which are dotted through the various chapters. They include two good photographs of the ” big snow ” in 1947 and some great ones of the school including the school orchestra.

In 2010  Google Analytics was installed and this system records very comprehensive data each time  anyone clicks on my History.  It includes  the number of sessions, the number of users, page views, the pages read per session, the average  session duration, the Bounce Rate ( the percentage of single page sessions of which there was no interaction with the site ), the percentages  of new sessions and  returning visitors. There is a pie-chart comparing these percentages  and there is also a moving   monthly chart, updated daily, of the number of visitors per day. At its peak there were  500 a month but over the years that number has steadily dropped  to between 250 – 350 . As I said in the first paragraph, people are still discovering the site and   70% of the current visitors are first timers.

The Analytics also details the nationality and language groups of the visitors. The UK is obviously top with 72% followed by the U.S. with 20% and Australia, Canada and New Zealand feature as they are countries that  villagers would have emigrated to. Other countries on the list include  Brazil,  Russia, Germany and Italy.  Since it was installed  there have been over 16,000 visitors to the site,  many of whom have been returning visitors, and  this figure does not include the people who would have visited the site in the five years from its start in 2005 to 2010 during which time no statistics are available. 

I find it hard believe that after 15 years of research just how much information  I have accumulated about this delightful little village of ours. The History has  a word count of over 250,000 plus 315 photographs, maps and other ephemera and this compares with Moby Dick at 209,117 words, East of Eden at 226,741 and yours and my favourite bedtime read of War and Peace with 544,406 .

The History is split into more than 80 chapters  and, because of the large amount of information in certain categories, I decided it would be appropriate to split  them into more easily manageable  chapters of between 5,000 to 7,000 words.   Crime and Punishment needed to be split into four with  the Wesleyan Church , All Saints Parish Church, Football, Deaths, Deanhouse Workhouse/Hospital and Interesting Odds and Bods all being split into two. One exception is A Netherthong Story which is nearly 11,000 words long, much of it written in Yorkshire dialect. ( I’m not sure if anyone has actually read it from start to finish ). 




Deanhouse – a hamlet that shows the changes of time

In April 1973 the Holmfirth Express printed two articles titled ‘A brief history of Deanhouse – a hamlet that shows the changes of time.’ It  was written by Eileen Williams, who was the secretary of Holmfirth Civic Society. It is superbly researched and, as Deanhouse features throughout the history of Netherthong, it is a valuable addition to this web site. With acknowledgements to Eileen.

” Few hamlets in the West Riding can show the changes of time as clearly as Deanhouse. It now comprises two separate entities, on the one hand are the neat rows of modern dwellings, while barely a stone’s throw away, via a ginnel passing the 18th.C. Wesleyan Chapel, a cluster of 17th. and 18th. cottages still survive – one bearing a date-stone marked 1698 above the door. Deanhouse Mills standing just below give their evidence of the Industrial Revolution.

  Earliest traced record of Deanhouse is given in the Poll-Tax of 1379 in the Haneley ( Honley ) section which included a Johanne Dean whose homestead sited in the modernised section was to become Deanhouse. Little is known about him but he grew his own corn, taking it to Honley Mill to grind. 200 years later in 1569, John Beaumont, a husbandman of Deynhouse, bought land from the Stapletons of Honley and appeared to be thriving. Beaumonts remained at Deanhouse until 1675 when Abraham Beaumont sold to Joseph Armitage. From Armitage the property passed to a Woodhead, a Wilkinson and then Sir John Lister Kaye  spanning the years to 1763 when Godfrey Berry bought ‘ Deanhouse and other lands at Honley for £400.

  In the latter half of the 18th.C , Deanhouse was a very small community of farmers, clothiers and handloom weavers. They were among the first of the followers of John Wesley and Methodism and they built their own chapel in 1769. In 1772, John Wesley visited the chapel but had to walk from Hagg. A Mrs. Dinah Bates accompanied him back to Hagg and she was a noted Leech-woman, held in deep respect for the curing of ailments. The panorama of the Deanhouse Valley was then unbroken by the Deanhouse Mill which was built some years later. The brook into which three streams converged flowed unsullied through woods and pasture land. Above it the bridle path, now known as Haigh Lane, led directly to the Chapel skirting a two-storied double fronted dwelling with a substantial barn, presumably a farmhouse, now the Cricketer’s Arms.The four weavers’ cottages stood at the brow of the bridle path while below them was a drinking trough for the horses. Behind these weavers’ cottages was a fold with smaller cottages, one of which still carries the date stone of 1698 above the door.

  It is recorded that in 1798, Nathaniel Berry of Deanhouse was a Constable and a church warden of Honley. In 1838 the Deanhouse passed to Joseph, Ben and John Eastwood, the family then connected with the mill. Joseph Eastwood and Sons being recorded as fulling millers. By 1838, a John Jordan had taken over the scribbling and fulling while Joseph Eastwood and his brothers were then known as woolen merchants.

  At that time there was no record of an inn in Deanhouse but an unnamed beerhouse was listed in 1853. As farmhouses in those days often brewed and sold beer as a sideline, the conversion of farmhouse to inn, first known as ‘The Blazing Rag’ seems to have been a gradual one. While officially the Cricketers today, it is still known locally as ‘The Rag’. May 1860 brought about the most significant change to the old Deanhouse community when the house and grounds carrying the name of the hamlet was conveyed from the Eastwood family to the Guardians of the Huddersfield Union as a site for a new Workhouse.’

The second article dealt with the rise and decline of the dreaded workhouse of Deanhouse. I have a chapter covering the  the Workhouse in detail so I have just pulled a few interesting items from her report.

‘ The first inmates were admitted at the beginning of September 1862. Before the end of the month a boy named Thomas Clough absconded and was found drowned near Huddersfield the same day. No regrets or mention of an inquiry were made in the minutes. The following year, in September 1863, the list of absconders over the boundary wall was proving a worry and included a Sarah Jane Hobson who had escaped taking her three children with her to Honley, one man took his workhouse clothing with him and a young female got over the wall for an immoral purpose. As a result a higher boundary wall was built at a cost of £150.’


Deanhouse Workhouse 1916 to 1968

The second part of the history of the Deanhouse Workhouse covers the period from 1916 to the closure of St.Mary’s Hospital in 1968.

 In January 1916 the master presented his half yearly report to the Board of Guardians. He said that large portions of the Institution had been painted but more still needed painting and plastering and the exterior also required attention. He reported that the gas supply had failed on several occasions and  asked the committee to condemn the present lavatory basins and replace them with modern pans.

In May of the same year the Board approved that the wages of J.Settle, engineer, be increased from 31/- to 34/- a week with leave on alternate Sundays. Mr. Froggatt, the handyman, received an increase from 27/- to 30/-.

1917. In September the Board of Guardians agreed to increase the salary of Dr. Smailes, the medical doctor at Deanhouse , from £70 to £100. The half-yearly report of the Master said that he had considerable trouble evolving a dietary, which is within the limits of bread, meat and sugar suggested by the Food Controller, and had been forced to introduce oatmeal gruel into the breakfast dietary. But in view of the state of world events , he thought the committee would find the diet had been satisfying if not as varied as usual.

In November 1918, about a dozen blind inmates were entertained by Cllr. J.Sykes and Mr. G.Batley. A most enjoyable time was spent and, in spite of the restrictions, there was a “ good spread “.

 Dr. Smailes presented Mr. & Mrs. Rowbotham, the retiring Master and Matron, in April 1919 with a Queen Anne tea service which had been subscribed to by all the staff and friends.

 The Christmas Day celebrations were said by everyone to have been one of the best ever- Mr. Settle , the engineer, said that it was the 25th. time he had attended.

Through the energies of Mr. Lodge and Mr. Beaumont, a concert was given in February 1920 under the direction of F.Whitely. At the Board of Guardians meeting in October , the Deanhouse Committee minutes were read in which they recommended that thanks be given to Mr.Beaumont for providing 48 patients with a charabanc trip. The resignations of Mr. & Mrs. Hill, the porter-book-keeper and the porteress- laundress were received as well as the resignation of Leah the cook. After discussions the Board accepted the resignations.  In the same month the inmates were entertained by Mr. P. Sandford’s party . The concert was highly successful and, as a bonus, chocolates and sweets were supplied to all patients. At the Guardians meeting in December, the Board discussed a proposal for the erection of a nurses home at the Institution. The estimate was £12,000 and, after lots of discussion and concern about the cost, it was agreed to delay the matter for 12 months.

Christmas day was a very special occasion as it marked the starting of the electric lighting installation. It consisted of a Crossley 23 brake horsepower engine to run an electric light  plant providing for 300 lights. Mr.Broadbent was asked to start the engine and switch on the lights and he christened the new engine ‘Betty’ after the name of the daughter of the master of the Institution, Mr.Beavis. The normal Christmas activities for the inmates started at 7.30 with breakfast after which the wards were visited and fruit, sweets and tobacco were issued. Dinner was at 12 and was presided over by some of the Guardians and their friends and was followed by games and entertainment. Mr.Tom Bamforth, a patient, said the day was one of the best within his recollection and the food was of first order, beautifully cooked and well served. A  concert was given at the Institution on 2 February 1921  by ‘The Middles’ a male voice concert party from Meltham.T he first reported meeting of the Board of Guardians of that year was in March  and the Deanhouse  Committee’s minutes showed that the number of inmates at the start of the year was 177 compared to 163 for the same time the previous year. Considering the large number of weak-minded patients, the fact that no restraint or punishment had been necessary was deemed highly satisfactory by the Board.

The inmates were entertained in April 1921 to a concert given the Huddersfield Tramwayman’s Concert Party. The reporter wrote that due to the length of the programme the encores were limited.

Several months later in  August  , members of the two House committees of the Huddersfield Board of Guardians ( Crosland Moor and Deanhouse ) played bowls on the tennis court at Deanhouse for the Silver Rose Bowl trophy, which had been offered by Miss Siddon several years before. Deanhouse had won the trophy for the last three years but this time Crosland were the victors by 373 points to 363.  The following month 92 members of the Institution plus ten officials and six members of the Board had an enjoyable outing. They were conveyed in five motor coaches to Marsden and went to the Liberal Club for tea, after which they were entertained by local artistes. In October it was found that the disease of smallpox was prevalent in the  Workhouse and this had caused a great deal of alarm.  At that time there was a total in residence of 180 people and staff and, after the presence of the disease was discovered, an investigation showed that eight inmates, seven men and one woman, were affected.  As soon as the disease was found all visiting was stopped and extensive vaccination and re-vaccination was carried out. Because of the number of people who had been in contact with the Institution,  they were all advised to be vaccinated immediately. No obvious cause for the outbreak was ever found.

In January 1922 the Board of Guardians Deanhouse Committee agreed to open the Institution for visitors, subject to the approval of the medical officer. Later in the year in August, thanks to the kindness of Miss Seddon, 130 patients, staff and Guardians had an enjoyable day out. A total of seven charabancs took them to Fryston Hall at Pontefract. They had a substantial meal on arrival and were given tobacco, cigarettes and pipes for the smokers and sweets for the women and non- smokers. At 4.30 they were fed again and sat down to an excellent tea. The patients, who couldn’t make the trip due to sickness or infirmity, were not forgotten and were supplied with chicken, beef, tongue and jelly and custard.The Deanhouse Committee met in September and agreed that payments for work involved in the extermination of rats in the Institution be left with the Master to agree with the man concerned. They met again in December to discuss the quality of the accommodation for the nurses. Some of the nurses were sleeping six to a room and many of those rooms were like prisons which was why, all over the country, Deanhouse was being boycotted by nurses. It was agreed that the question of accommodation would be considered further. Near the end of the month a meeting of the full Board of Guardians discussed the future of the Institute. Among the items was the movement of the whole management structure to Crosland, and another idea was to build an extension, such as a new wing. A special sub- committee would be formed.

To finish off the year they had a great Christmas party with lots of food and music. Mr.J.Lodge, who was chairman of the Deanhouse Committee, presided and Tom Bamforth, one of the inmates, moved a vote of thanks ,which was seconded by John Morley, another inmate. Mr.E.A.Beavis was the Master.

1923 started off with two concerts in February, the first was by the Holmfirth ” Merry Makers ” followed a few weeks later by the Crosland Moor United Hand Bell Ringers. There was a great feeling of loss when the Board of Guardians reported in June the death of Miss Seddon who had been a member of the Board for 41 years with specific responsibilty for Deanhouse and had been chairman for a long time.

The Hospital Day was celebrated on Saturday, August 18, 1923 with a Procession and a Fancy Dress Parade plus a Public Tea and  Grand Gala. The attractions included an Aunt Sally,Kicking Dolly, hoopla, coconut shies, pony rides and top of the bill was Prof. T. McMenemy, a ventriloquist. It was a great day and a profit of £30 was made.

In October of the same year, Mr.& Mrs. Beavis, who had been Master and Matron since March 1919, left to take up a similar appointment at Crosland Moor Institute

 After many discussions the Board of Guardians gave formal approval for the enlargement of the present building occupied by the nurses but it wasn’t until July 17th. 1924 that the work was finally completed. On that date, in the presence of members and officials of the Board of Guardians, the nurses’ home, which had been added to the Institution, was officially opened by Mr.J.Lodge, chairman of the Deanhouse Committee. The scheme had been carried out from plans prepared by J.Ainley, architect, and provision had been made for accommodation for 23 nurses. On the ground floor there was a large dining room and sitting room. It had been furnished throughout by Shaw’s of Holmfirth and other work was carried out by :  Mallinson & Son of Lockwood – mason’s work; carpentry and joinery by Batley & Sons, Netherthong ; plumbing, glazing and electrics by E. Rayner of Milnsbridge ; plastering by Oldfield Bros. Honley and the painting was done by W. Holroyd, Huddersfield. J.Dyson of Holmfirth was the concreter, T.Allison of Milnsbridge were the slaters and, last but not least, the heating engineers were H.Rayner & Sons. of Huddersfield.  Not suprisingly there were lots of speeches and Mr.Ainley, on behalf of the contractors and himself, presented Mr.Lodge with a gold key to open the door of the nurses home. The key was inscribed ” Presented to James Lodge Esq. on the opening of the Nurses ‘ Home, Deanhouse Institution on July 17th, 1924. After the ceremonial opening all the assembled company sat down for tea.

In December 1923, the Board of Guardians discussed the efficiency of having a single master for Crosland and Deanhouse and it was agreed to try the idea for a probationary period. Deanhouse would be treated as a secondary part of Crosland Moor.

A social evening in May 1924 was enjoyed by officials and staff when they were entertained to supper by the newly appointed Master and Matron, Mr.& Mrs. H.Johnson. After supper they had musical items, recitations and dancing.

The Christmas Day celebrations in 1924 maintained the high standards, and Mr.& Mrs. H. Johnson, the Master & Matron, presided over the festivities with 240 patients in residence.

At the end of January 1925 a fire broke out at the Institution. At about 1.30a.m. an inmate discovered that a building used as a store room adjoining the main block was on fire. The Institute buzzer was sounded and the Huddersfield Corporation Fire Brigade was summoned. The staff set to work using fire-extinguishers and when the Fire Engine ” Wilfred Dawson ” reached the scene about 15 minutes later, it was found that a quantity of hay in the loft was burning.The Holmfirth Fire Brigade also attended and in a short time the fire was extinguished and the damage, which was confined to the roof of the building, was estimated at £100 but covered by insurance. The fire was discussed at the Holmfirth District Council meeting regarding  the response time of the Holmfirth Brigade and the capability of its engine.

At the Board of Guardians meeting in March, Mr.Wraith, the district auditor appointed by the Ministry of Health, attended to hear the views of members on his decision to charge individual members of the Board in respect of Christmas dinners eaten by them at Poor Law Institutions on Christmas Day 1923. He objected to an item of £1 7s 11d in respect to Deanhouse, which provoked a great deal of discussion, with the auditor adamant that it was illegal expenditure , that he had no discretion and that he must disallow what could not be supported in law. The matter rumbled on and was discussed again at the Board’s meeting in September. The question of ” free food “for the Guardians, who had helped at the Christmas festivities and which the District Auditor had taken exception to, had been referred to the Ministry to approve payment.  They said that on this occasion they would approve the amount of £5 12s 5d made by the Board in respect of meals provided to members who visited Institutions at Crosland Moor and Deanhouse on Christmas 1924. The sanction was given on the understanding that no further charges of a similar kind would appear on the accounts.

 A youth, who was employed at Deanhouse Poor Law Institution, was charged with stealing a silver watch and gold chain, valued at £5, the property of a man who had been an inmate. When the man had been admitted he was in possession of the items but ,when he was discharged, he no longer had them and his relatives reported the loss to the Guardians and the police. The youth was seen and at first denied knowledge of the stolen property but later admitted he had stolen them. At Holmfirth Police Court he pleaded guilty and elected to be dealt with summarily. The Guardians asked that the Court to exercise clemency and put him on probation and, as a result, he was discharged on the undertaking that he would be on good behaviour for 12 months.

Mr. Armstrong and a party from Meltham visited the Institution in October and gave a concert of quartets, duets and solos. Also in October, T.Dyson gave one of his lantern slide lectures on the subject of Hardcastle Crags.

The Christmas festivities at the end of 1925 were to the usual high standard with 120lb. of pork, 120lb. of beef, 12 chickens and 140 plum puddings being consumed under the watchful eye of the Master and Matron, Mr. and Mrs. Johnson. Music was by the Holme Silver Band.

In their first meeting of 1926, the Board of Guardians agreed to the installation of a wireless system at a cost of £92 17s.

The inmates were entertained twice in December. The first was a lantern lecture given by T.Dyson on the Yorkshire Moors and Dales using 100 lantern views lent by the L.N.E. Railway Company.  The second followed on a week later and was a musical entertainment by members and friends of Netherthong Parish Church Mothers’ Union.

The Christmas treat maintained its high standards with the Institution beautifully decorated and masses of food. The Mayor and Mayoress of Huddersfield paid a visit.

A motion at the January 1927 meeting of the Board of Guardians stated ; ”  That his Board  appoint a committee to consider a report on the advisability of disposing of the Deanhouse Institution to one or other of the Mental Hospital Boards or other similar authority as a mental hospital and thus enable the Board to concentrate the administration at Crosland Moor. ” It was discussed and approved.

The Huddersfield & District Band of Hope Union gave a lantern display and concert in March to the inmates. It was directed by J.Pitchforth with views of London plus humorous slides. Recitations and dances were given by  Miss Hilda Hawkyard and Lily May with Miss Hilda Townsend on piano. The latter part of the programme was sustained by a party of girls from Deighton United Methodist Church who were known as The Merry Coasters. A vote of thanks was proposed by one of the inmates and seconded by the master, Mr.Johnson.

At the Board of Guardians meeting in September a letter was read out informing the committee that the late Mrs. Amelia Benderlow of Dalton had given the Guardians a sum of £100 to be used for the supply of comforts for the inmates of Deanhouse Institution.

Mr.T.Dyson and party paid one of his regular visits in October and gave a lantern slide lecture entitled ” The message of the flowers ” and the show finished with a large selection of Hymns.

Lindley Liberal Club visited the Institution in December and gave a pleasing programme to the inmates. A carol party from the WMC got the Christmas celebrations off to a good start and after the breakfast, super dinner and distribution of gifts, the Merrymakers rounded off the day with a rousing concert.

Mr.Dyson and friends visited in February 1928 and gave an entertaining lantern slide show to the residents.

At the February meeting in 1928 of the Board of Guardians, the Deanhouse Committee recommended that a 1st. class man be appointed as charge- house attendant. He should hold the medico- psychological certificate, have musical ability and be able to play the piano. The motion was approved. The committee had received a report by the Medical Officer, Dr. Smailes, and the Master, Mr.F.Johnson, on the accommodation of the Institution, the nursing and accommodation of male patients in the hospital and the employment, recreation and staffing of male patients. The report stated there were 269 beds in the Institution and there was sufficient room for 231. It was now two and a half years since the experiment of nursing male patients by male staff had been put into operation and it had proved satisfactory in spite of inexperienced attendants being appointed. The employment scheme had proved beneficial to the inmates and to the Institution. The garden, poultry, roads and paths, firewood, painting and general cleaning of the Institution kept the whole of the more-or-less able men fully employed. Cricket, football and walks provided adequate out-door recreation and concerts were a welcome diversion.  Of the nine male attendants at present employed, seven were temporary and these  latter were taken on from unemployed men who were working on the land here or from Labour Exchanges. None of them had any previous experience and this fact emphasised the need for a charge house attendant.

Cricket was on the menu again in July 1928, when the Holmfirth Group of Toc H paid a visit to the Institution to fulfill a cricket engagement against  a team selected from the inmates.The visitors batted first and scored 96. Jones and Webster opened the innings for the Institution but Jones was run out having only scored one run. Webster did much better reaching 19 but the innings closed at 71.

They had another match later in the month against a team representing the 1510 Coronation Lodge R.A.O.B. Honley. The Institute batted first and in spite of Epton top scoring with 39 could only achieve 63. The visitors scored 77 with Richardson taking 6 wickets. Later in the year in October the same group showed their versatility by giving a well received concert.

Mr.& Mrs. Johnson, the Master and Matron, were appointed in September to the Harton Poor Law Institution under the South Shields Union.

On Christmas morning  two parties of carol singers traversed the Netherthong district. The WMC, conducted by H.Preston, stopped and sang on 29 occasions. The other group was the Male Voice Choir, who had a great time and raised funds for their choir. The Holme and Hinchliffe bands also visited the area and every group paid a visit to the Institution.

1929.  In 1925 it appeared that the question of Board members having “free meals ” when helping at the Institutions had been resolved but it raised its head again four years later. At their meeting in March the Huddersfield Board of Guardians were flustered when the District Auditor asked why the Guardians had shared the Christmas festivities of the Deanhouse inmates, and why they should not be surcharged for the cost of their entertainment. The Guardians are not allowed to feed at the ratepayers expense. 41 Guardians had visited Crosland Moor and others had visited Deanhouse and all had had dinner and tea. It had got rather confusing and bitter as some of the Guardians who didn’t have dinner,  had received notices of surcharge and a few who “ went the whole hog “ got no notice at all. The sums involved amounted to £6 11s. 8d. and £1 7s. 11d. The outcome was never reported !

The Board of Guardians announced in February 1929 that Mr. &.Mrs. F.Lewis, the Master and Matron at Berkhampstead Institution, had been  appointed to the same roles at Deanhouse. They replaced Mr.& Mrs. Steadman who had moved to Crosland Moor. Mr.J.Settle of Miry Green, who had been employed at the Institute as an engineer, died the following month. He had had a honorary connection with the Sons of Temperance, was one of the trustees of the Wesleyan Chapel and had been caretaker for a period. In July members of the Honley Group of Toc H visited and played a game of cricket against a team composed of attendants and inmates.The Institute batted first and scored 92 runs but Toc H passed this total for the loss of only two wickets.

The Christmas day celebrations  involved  a visit by the Mayor & Mayoress of Huddersfield, Alderman & Mrs. Priest. They were welcomed by the Master and Matron, Mr.& Mrs. Lewis. The superb dinner was followed by lots of speeches and thanks and the evening’s entertainment was provided by the Merrymakers.

The first entertainment for the inmates in 1930 was in February, when the Netherthong Operatic Society visited and gave several selections to an appreciative audience.

April 1930 was a a very important date when the Board of Guardians, which had been formed in 1834 and had always been unpopular performing a very difficult duty, ceased to exist as a local public body. A special valedictory dinner was held for its members. It was replaced by the new Public Assistance Committee.

June saw the return of cricket when a team from the R.A.O.B. Coronation Lodge Honley narrowly beat the Institution by 93 runs to 82.

The able-bodied inmates at the Institution had a very enjoyable outing in July visiting Southport accompanied by Mr. W. Stephenson, the vice-chairman of the Institute committee and the Master & Matron. The party travelled in six motor vehicles, three for the men and three for the women. Several months later Mr.Dyson gave a lantern slide lecture of a trip to Southport with illustrated slides, which were  of particular interest as the inmates had visited many of the places shown  during their earlier outing.

The Patients Sports Day was held in August with a full programme including flat races, potato sack races, egg and spoon, tug-of-war and throwing the cricket ball . The tug-of-war was most popular with 15 nurses and female officers competing against 11 male officers, which was finally won by the men. The proceedings were organised by the Master & Matron, Mr.& Mrs. C.Billington, and tea was served on the sports ground. Later in the year, Mr.T.Dyson gave a lantern show titled – Views of North Wales. The patients were entertained in October with a concert by Mr.A.Taylor’s Concert Party from Meltham consisting of vocal and instrumental items. The next month, St.Georges ( Brockholes ) children’s concert party  visited on Guy Fawkes Day and presented a play ” The Enchanted Forest “. There was even more entertainment during that month when the Male Voice Choir visited and, during the interval, went round the infirmary wards and sang for the bed-ridden patients who had not been able to attend the concert. At the end of the month there was a concert presented by Moldgreen Congregational Church Married Ladies Party organised by Mrs. George Brown. The show was a great success and patients were amused by the Party of Midgets and the Yorkshire dialect was very much in evidence.

The first entertainment for the inmates in December was a concert organised by the Meltham “Lyric ” Male Voice Quartette accompanied by Mr.Herbert Downes. The humorous element was provided by John Drake, the once-champion Yorkshire humorist from Meltham. The penultimate treat of the year was for the deaf, dumb and blind patients, who were entertained to a tea arranged by Mr.& Mrs.Batley, through the generosity of anonymous friends. The tea was partaken in a comfortable room provided by the Master & Matron and was followed by an excellent concert for all the patients presented by the Speedsters Concert Party.

The hospital was beautifully decorated with holly and bunting on Christmas Day and  the Mayor of Huddersfield, Alderman T. Shires paid a visit. After a superb dinner, the patients received presents from the tree that had been donated by Mrs.Law Taylor. To round the year off, the entertainment on New Years Eve was provided by the Woodroyd Handbell Ringers.

The first entertainment in 1932 was a concert presented by the Thongs Bridge Church Married Ladies and, during the interval, sweets, tobacco and cigarettes were distributed among the patients. A very successful Whist Drive and dance was held at the Hospital in February in aid of the Local Government Officers Benevolent and Orphans Fund. Over 130 people attended and music was provided by Monreve Dance Band. Mrs. C. Billington (Matron) and her staff served the refreshments and the Master was in charge of the dancing, with the assistant manager running the Whist drive. Under the auspices of the Colne Valley Divisional Labour Party, a large group visited the Hospital. They were shown round everywhere and then walked to Holmfirth for tea at the Co-operative cafe.

The Hospital Sports Day for 1932 was arranged by the Master and Matron and they organised 21 events which included flat racing, egg and spoon, team races, potato races and tug-of-war. Upwards of 200 patients were entertained. The Holme Silver Prize Band played music during the day and also, for dancing, in the evening. Mrs.Law Taylor presented the prizes.

Several friends, resident in the Hospital, arranged an outdoor concert one afternoon in September. Music was by the Marsden Senior School Brass Band . After an interval for tea at the Wesleyan School, the inmates returned to the field for dancing. T.Dyson visited in October and gave his lantern entertainment with slides of a miscellaneous nature. Harold Atkinson of New Mill also entertained with stories and songs.

The deaf, dumb and blind patients were given an enjoyable and appetising tea in November  by Lt. Col. Sir Emmanuel Hoyle and Lady Hoyle. All the patients were presented with buns, sweets and fruits and the males received cigarettes. T.Dyson gave another of his lantern lectures in December on Christmas Hymns and their writers. He was assisted by C.Bray and T.Dufton.

Two of the early entertainments in 1933 were a concert party in February organised by Mr. F. Merritt followed in March by a T.Dyson lantern lecture on ‘Messages of Flowers’. A most unusual item was headlined ” Killing the Pigs ” by the Holmfirth Express.  The Huddersfield Town Council had commented at one of their meetings on the fact that pigs were being killed by the old-fashioned method at St. Mary’s Hospital. Councillor W.Scott pointed out that the Corporation abattoir at Great Northern St. was equipped with modern electrical killing instruments and he suggested that the pigs should be sent from Deanhouse to be slaughtered there. Mr.J.Barlour pointed out that the killing of pigs was not governed by the regulations of the Huddersfield area and that no action should be taken.

The Annual Sports and Field day for the patients at St.Mary’s was held in August 1933 in ideal weather and 150 patients took part. There was a full programme of 18 events and the proceedings were enhanced by the Holme Silver prize band. The outstanding events were the tug-of-war contests and the potato race. Cllr. Barlow made some pleasant remarks and his wife presented the prizes.

In October Mr.T Dyson presented one of his lantern slide shows of holiday pictures and local beauty spots.

At the end of the month the Express printed a very interesting letter .  It was entitled ” Jolly Times at St.Mary’s ” and was a message from Deanhouse Institution by someone who signed themselves C.G.

Some of my friends who possess considerable knowledge of this delightful valley of ours have not the slightest idea of where St. Mary’s really is. Now if you come up to Netherthong you cannot miss it.  It is a most lovely spot in summer or winter. One lady said she thought she might have mistaken her way and must be in Cawthorne and St.Mary’s was Cannon Hall but she had seen no swans and thus could not make out where it was. However we were able to guide her and put her right for that ancient little village of Holmfirth. There is not much chance of getting lost and you are in one of the beauty spots of the North of England. The object of these famous places is to have a home for every poor cripple, persons who have lost their sight or who have lost control over their mental powers or the use of every organ of their bodies.

St.Mary’s is governed on Communistic lines. Do not let anyone be frightened. We are much in advance of the “Red Flag “of 20 years ago. It is more like a New Haven with gardens, poultry farms, piggeries,heating appliances, cookeries and electrical machinery.All work under the principle of every man and everything working for others as well as for themselves. Also everty trade and profession are represented here at some time or another, We have tinkers, tailors and skilled gardeners. In our gardens besides the ordinary things of life such as potatoes, onions, cabbages, turnips etc. we go in for salads of all kinds, herbs, tomato culture and flowering plants. We have a little mission church or chapel in which some of the ablest preachers in the district visit. We have some delightful times in the wireless and occasionally friends from Deanhouse and other parts of the district will come to entertain us.”

In November the inmates were treated to a Firework Display  on the Saturday and, on the following Monday received a visit from the Berry Brow Wesleyan Choir. The final entertainment of the month was a lantern slide show by T.Dyson entitled Christmas hymns. The Christmas festivities were up to their normal high standard and the Mayor and Mayoress of Huddersfield, Alderman and Mrs. A. Hirst, paid a visit.

The first show of 1934 was in February  by F.L.Merritt and his concert party who entertained both staff and patients. This was followed in March by a concert by Mr.A.Taylor and party from Meltham. In the same month they were treated to a lantern slide show on Bonnie Scotland but not this time by T.Dyson. Miss Jessop was the lecturer and her address was interspersed by songs by G.Earnshaw, accompanied by Miss R. Dufton on pianoforte.

August saw the Annual St. Mary’s Field Day with flat races, egg and spoon races and the ever popular tug of war. The Master and Matron, Mr. & Mrs. C. Billington presided over the events.

T.Dyson made a welcome return to St. Mary’s in October to give a lanter slide lecture titled ” A tour of Ireland “. They were entertained in November  by the Gay Girls Concert Party of Heckmonwike. The firework display had to be held on November 6 due to the very bad weather the previous day and Mr. Edwin Greenhalgh sent them a parcel of fireworks.


The Master, matron and a guard at St.Mary’s Hospital. Date ??

The first entertainment in 1936 was in March when Mr.Dyson gave a varied lantern slide show  on Yorkshire scenery, Blackpool in Winter, the Netherthong Jubilee and the School’s festival. Later the same month Mr. Nelson of Huddersfield gave a concert that was very well received. Nothing else was reported for the year but at Christmas all the patients were treated to the normal special festival feast.

 In 1939  the Master and Matron were Mr. & Mrs. D.S. Pugh ( Ivy Guest and David Stanley Pugh ). They  were in charge of two other local hospitals  until they retired between 1951 -52, and moved to Sheffield where they took over a public house called the Beehive ( which is still there today ). The Pughs had two daughters, Barbara and Dilys,  and  recently, February 2019,  I talked to  Barbara about her memories of her time in the village and the Workhouse.  She was born in Todmorden and moved to the Workhouse when she was two years old and then moved, when her parents retired   to Sheffield, when she was about 14 years old. She said that her parents were always on duty and she and her sister seldom had very  much quality time with them and instead  were looked after by a very kind lady called Mary Brown.  She attended the Wesleyan Chapel and went to the National School and remembered many of the names of her classmates who are listed in the chapter on schools and  was pleased that I had a reference in it to her being crowned School Queen in 1949 ( see photos below ). One very intriguing memory was of the teachers  asking children to collect elderberries and bring them into school.   Barbara  said that when she first saw equipment bubbling and boiling , she wondered that, maybe  the staff were making illicit ” moonshine “, but then realised that they were more likely to have been  making jam, ( I like the moonshine story best). A good day out was to go to the Lido in Holmfirth, have fish and chips for lunch, and then go to watch a cricket match, but Barbara said she and her friends were less interested in the cricket but more in eyeing up any young men there. She had little recollection of what went on in the Workhouse and the gardens,  but clearly remembers the baker in the bakehouse making her chocolate eggs. One very strong memory of her father was  that he had a Jaguar car and also liked a pint, so he would drive his car to the Cricketer’s Inn. Barbara sent me photocopies of some of the photos from her family album.The first set of three  shows her father and his beloved Jaguar car, which was very well known in the area. The second is another view of the car with her father holding their dog , Susie. The lower picture is a family group with Dad, Janet, Barbara, Dilys and Alan.  

Family photographs
Barbara Pugh

The second set of photographs shows on the top left – Dad, Barbara, Mum and Dilys. Next is Susie, Dilys, Barbara & Joan Settle ( the Engineer;s daughter ). The two photos underneath are not notated.

Workhouse family

In  the third set of photographs taken at Whitsun 1949, the one on the left is of Dilys and Auntie Jean( her father’s sister  ), Sister Clayton is  in the RH photo and the lower photo is of dad, Barbara, Jean and Yvonne Hinchliffe plus the car.

Workhouse photos


The next set of photographs has Mrs. Ross, Master & Matron , Matron with a group of the nursing staff and underneath Barbara with her mother and susie on the front step of the hospital.


Workhouse picture 

The photo below, which also appears in the chapter on schooling,  shows on the left Barbara with her crown and dress after she was crowned the School Queen in 1949, she is with her older sister, Dilys. In the lower picture she is leading a procession with her maids of honour- in Miry Lane? The third picture , probably dated 1940 shows a young Barbara and her sister with their father and mother.

Crowning of School Queen

The Christmas festivities were up to their normal standard and 226 inmates were entertained by the Male Voice Choir.

Numerous rumours in October 1938 caused a great deal of concern among the 200 inmates and their relatives because the West Riding County Council were proposing to transfer all the inmates to other Institutions. Many were going to be sent to Pontefract, Penistone, Todmorden, Clayton and others. Huddersfield Corporation owned Deanhouse Institution and, for the last three years, had leased it to the West Riding County Council. When the lease expired there was a dispute between the Corporation and the County Council as to the terms under which the County Council should continue to occupy the buildings ending in the County Council’s decision to evacuate the Institute. There were no further reports until December when the Holmfirth UDC reported that the patients were likely to go back to Deanhouse as negotiations between West Riding Public Assistance Committees and Huddersfield Corporation on the future of the Institution had  reached a successful conclusion.  The Institution would be repaired and when completed the patients would be taken back. It would then become a County Institution.

 The repairs must have been completed very quickly as all the residents enjoyed their normal Christmas treats.

1939. In January the West Riding County Council approved a proposal by the West Riding Assistance Committee that Deanhouse Institution should be purchased from the Huddersfield Corporation for £15,000. There had been a public outcry in 1938 because the majority of patients from Deanhouse were transferred to other institutions in different parts of the West Riding, miles away from their relatives. Previously the County Council had rented the Institution from the Corporation at a rent of £848. The Public Assistance Committee in their report said the institution was an old one, structurally in good repair but about £5,000 was needed to provide adequate heating arrangements. They were satisfied that an Institution in that part of the County was essential and recommended the purchase of the building and land at the price named.

 In September a member of the Board of Guardians stated “ It would appear that the inmates were evacuated from Deanhouse sometime in August due to a Home Office order. Friends and relatives had experienced hardship, inconvenience and expense to visit the patients at various other institutions throughout the area “ – his report concluded “ it will be the Committee’s earnest endeavour to have all the patients returned to Deanhouse as soon as the present crisis has been brought to a definite and victorious conclusion.” The above reports were taken from the Holmfirth Express but there does appear to be some confusion between the events in 1938 and 1939.

The situation must have been resolved because, in Novembe,r Thomas Dyson gave one of his lantern slide shows titled Shakespeare’s County – Warwick to the patients. Mr.C.Bray was the lanternist and many songs were sung including Holmfirth’s anthem. 

In December 1939 the patients of St.Mary’s Hospital spent a most enjoyable Christmas. Members of the Netherthong Male Voice Choir visited and sang carols and hymns. As usual there was a special dinner with gifts and in the evening there was a concert. On Boxing Day, the staff held their own celebrations and enjoyed various presents sent by local firms and individuals.


Male patients at a Netherthong field day 1940


The same picture as the one above but this time eight nurses have miraculously appeared.

In October 1940 the patients at the hospital were treated to a meat tea, supper and a concert. The artistes were Mrs. J.Dixon ( soprano ), Mrs. Merritt ( elocutionist ), F.Dickinson ( bass ), E.Mortimer ( baritone ), A. Sanderson ( tenor ) and the Male Voice Quartette. Tobacco, cigarettes and sweets were handed round to about 60 guests.

In spite of the restrictions  due to the war the patients at the hospital enjoyed the Christmas festivities. There was no pork or poultry available but they still had a good meal. In place of a concert they were entertained by gramophone records and the wireless. The nurses had their dinner on Boxing Day.

The following photograph  shows many of the nurses at the hospital – it is undated but I suspect it must be circa 1940s.

Nursing staff - date unknown
Nursing staff – date unknown

In July 1941, 60 old women from a bombed-out convalescent home on the coast were sent to the Institution. Among them was 97 years old Mrs.Mary Giese with curly white hair, rosy cheeks, twinkling eyes and a keen sense of humour. She had been bombed-out twice but very quickly won the hearts of everyone at Deanhouse.

The old folk at the Hospital were treated in June 1942 to a concert by the  “ Oh Kay Gang “. The audience thoroughly enjoyed the show and among those present were Mr. and Mrs. S.Pugh , the Master and Matron.

 In the same month Mary Wimpenny aged 82 years passed away peacefully at the hospital.

In February the patients were entertained by the Four H’s Trombone Quartet directed by Mr.W.Kay.

The “Balt Cygnet ” Scheme was the first labour scheme which marked the influx of DPs ( displaced persons ) into Britain, mainly from various eastern European countries.The main purpose of this plan was to relieve the acute shortage of nursing and domestic staff in hospitals and sanitoria. Initially recruitment was limited to single women , between 20-40 years old, coming from the Baltic States  under the condition that they could not change employment without the permission of the Ministry of Labour. The first recruits arrived in mid- October and Huddersfield was among the first places to receive its share. In 1947 many more came to the area and 15 went to St.Mary’s Hospital and the Holme Valley Hospital.  The term “Cygnet ” symbolised ” a spotless white femininity ” and, to ensure good assimilation and acceptance, a desirable and social background were key factors. They used every opportunity to present themselves well and six Estonian war orderlies were involved in a staff pantomime called ” Babes in the Wood ” which was presented to the immobile elderly patients at St. Mary’s at Christmas 1947. A special feature was the dancing of the Estonian workers who appeared in their national costume. An excerpt from the St.Mary’s Hospital staff records shows the names of the Estonian persons and the dates they started and left their jobs. e.g. Lia Astrid Sormus started in 5/2/47 and left in 8/4/49. The 1948 Christmas festivities followed the normal pattern with plenty of meat, plum pudding , cake and mince pies. On the  Wednesday prior to Christmas the choirs of the Meltham Nonconformist Churches visited and sang carols to the patients. In the new year the staff held their annual dance.

An ” Estonian ” wedding was held in the village in March 1949 and was attended by 30 Estonian guests, some of whom were colleagues from St.Mary’s and Holme Valley hospitals plus workers from Washpit Mills with  the reception being  held in its canteen.

This information is taken from a superb document written by Frank Grombar titled ” Brief Encounters : Baltic Hospital Workers in and around Huddersfield 1946-1951″. It can be found on the net.

May 1949 was a very special occasion for Mr.C.Hobson, a patient in No.8 Ward, as it was the first time in two years that he had been out into the open air. He and five other patients were taken by taxi on a half-day trip round New Mill, Penistone and Hade Edge. All the six patients were able to afford the 10/-, which was the cost of the trip, and thought it was money well spent after such a long time in the hospital. Most of the other patients did not have enough money to afford such trips. Mr.J. Whittaker, the male nurse in charge of Wards 8 & 9, tried to get help from some philanthropic organisation. Holmfirth British Legion offered to meet the expenses of ex-Servicemen.

In September  the Hospital Clerk , Mrs.Robertson, was fined by Holmfirth Magistrate’s  Court for fraudulent conversion. Old Age Pensions money had not been paid over to bed-ridden patients. There were six summonses totalling £12 5s and, after the Chairman ( Major Brian Tinker ) had announced that the Magistrates had found the case proved, Mrs.Robertson asked for a further eight cases totalling £9 10s to be taken into consideration. A fine of £5 was imposed on each of the six cases with witness costs of £1 1s 2d, and she was also ordered to make restitution of the amount of £12 5s. The Express devoted three columns to a detailed report of the case. In May 1950, members of the Holmfirth Inner Wheel Club entertained 19 patients to a bus outing to Wharfedale and also thanked the two nurses who accompanied them.

 In 1951 the death occurred at the  Hospital of Miss Mary Mallinson, daughter of the late Mr. & Mrs. John Mallinson. She was 90 years old and the oldest lady in the village and had been closely connected with the Parish Church. Because of the prevalence of influenza among the staff in February, a ban was imposed on visitors for three days. At that time the number of staff suffering had risen from 15 % to 20% and it was also discovered that there were six fresh cases in one of the wards. In January of that year , following on from complaints made by visitors  regarding the difficulties of obtaining transport to the hospital, the Huddersfield & District Hospital Management Committee discussed the matter. They decided to support an application to the Traffic Commissioners for the institution of an additional bus service.

In December 1953 the patients were entertained over Christmas by several local choirs. The Moorland Singers turned up on Christmas Day and sang carols as dinner was served by members of the house committee. In the evening there was a film show of the Coronation and the Queen’s visit to Edinburgh.

The festivities for the patients of the hospital in December 1955 were spread over a long period . They were entertained by the Huddersfield Co-op choir, Holme Silver band, Meltham Baptist Choir, Netherthong Church Choir, Linthwaite Church Choir and Slaithwaite Church Choir. On Christmas morning they were visited by Father Xmas and entertained by the Moorland Singers. Relatives and visitors were welcomed by Miss Smith, Matron, and Mr.A.Stangroom, secretary.

The Chairmen of Holmfirth, Meltham and Colne Valley District Councils paid a visit to the hospital on Christmas Day 1966. They were received by the Matron, Miss M.A.Smith and the Assistant Matron, Miss E.Nesbitt. Turkeys on each of the wards were carved by the visitors and all the patients received a gift. The entertainment was by the Moorland Singers. 

A report in the new look Holmfirth Express stated that, on Tuesday 16th. 1968 ,  Deanhouse Hospital, St. Marys, would close and the 53 patients  transferred to other hospitals in the surrounding areas. It added that the future of the premises would be decided by the Regional Hospital Board. Alfred Stangroom, who lived in the Lodge at the hospital and had been the hospital secretary for 16 years, died aged 55. He had also been the treasurer of the Parish Church and one time chairman of the Holme Valley Scouts.

In March 11 members of the staff of the now closed hospital received awards for long service as hospital employees. All had completed 25 years service of which a minimum of 10 years had been worked in the Huddersfield Group of Hospitals. The awardees were Miss M.A.Smith ( Matron ), Misses N.Smith, C.Bray and E.Beever ( State Enrolled Nurses ), Miss A.Winter( Enrolled Nurse ), Mrs.M.Leach ( dressmaker ), Mrs.A.Brooke ( housemaid ), the late Mr.A.Stangroom ( Hospital Secretary ), Mr.W.Rhodes ( deputy Hospital Secretary ), Mr.D.North ( barber ) and Mr.H.Taylor ( porter).T he Express reported in August – ‘ the former patients of the late Dr. Brian de la Harpe Meyer will be pleased to know that the teal seat, which was presented to the hospital in his memory, has now been handed over to the Holmfirth UDC and placed in a new position at the junction of Victoria Street and Huddersfield Road in Holmfirth.’

On November 1st. 1968, the Secretary of State for Social Services sold the buildings and the land to B.Dunford of Flockton  for £8500. He started work straightaway  demolishing all the buildings, except for the Lodge, and the first people to move in said that by 1970, two new houses had been built and all the  demolishment was  completed the same year with  the estate finished by  1974. The Lodge, which had been  semi-detached with one half the accomodation for the Master and Matron and the other half for the Engineer, was converted into one residence and remains so to this day.

  This brought to an end over 100 years of an Institution that had been a key factor in the life and times of Deanhouse and Netherthong residents.

Arthur Sanderson- Mr.Music

Arthur Sanderson  achieved fame in the village as the founder of the Male Voice Choir, and was its conductor throughout its existence as well as being the conductor of the choir at All Saint’s Church. He also composed music and  deserves the title of Mr. Music.

He was born on April 28 1904 at Lower Hagg Farm ( now a private residence ), and was the youngest of 12 children. His father was also called  Arthur and he was born on March 13 1856.  After moving from Hagg ( date uncertain ), the family lived in a house opposite the Zion Chapel and they were definitely there in 1907. Arthur went  to  school in Netherthong but there is no record of when he left. He was employed , like so many others in the village, at Deanhouse Mills and, at one period worked in the dyeing department. He married Rachel Porter on September 6 1939 at Netherthong, either at the Chapel or the Parish Church. He died on July 7 1987 and was buried at the Parish Church.

I have been very fortunate to have given a lot of information and many photographs from his son John Sanderson.

As I mentioned above, he was the youngest of 12 children – his father was Arthur and his mother was called Jane.  His brothers and sisters were, in order of birth, Herbert born September 14 1878  : Sarah Eliza born December 10 1879  : Brook born September 1881 : Harriet Hannah born June 19 1884 : Clara Jane born April 6 1886 : Harold born October 21 1887 : Emily Ann born September 29 1889 : Herman born October 2 1892  : Edith Annie born November 30 1894 : Ethel Marion born February 15 1896 : Florence Gertrude born December 23 1897.  Apparently it was the custom in those days that daughters were given two christian names at birth, whereas the sons were only given one. Arthur Sanderson is seen standing in his garden in the early 1900s.

Arthur Sanderson, born 1856, in his garden in 1900s.
Arthur Sanderson, born 1856, in his garden in 1900s.

The photograph below shows a number of the Sanderson family outside their house which was opposite the Zion Church.They are from l to r  – Herbert, Florence Gertrude, Edith Annie, Arthur ( father ), Emily Ann, Ethel Manon and ? .In the front is a very young ( 3years old ) Arthur.

A family photograph of the Sandersons in 1907 in their house opposite the Zion Church with a very young Arthur in the front.
A family photograph of the Sandersons in 1907 in their house opposite the Zion Church with a very young Arthur in the front.


 Like many of his friends, he joined the local scout group and the photograph below was taken in 1916 aged 12.

Arthur in his scout's uniform 1916.
Arthur in his scout’s uniform 1916.

He was also a keen sportsman and played football for the Netherthong A.F.C. He started with the Argyles, a youth team, but later progressed to the senior village team. In the first photograph he is seated first left on the bottom row.

Argyle Football Club.
Argyle Football Club.

In the next photograph, note the change of shirt colour, he is seated in the front row , second from the left.

Netherthong A.F.C. in striped shirts
Netherthong A.F.C. in striped shirts

The following photograph of four young men on a mission makes one wander exactly what they are up to. The one on the left  has the shears but unfortunately the bottom of the photograph was cropped, so  one can only guess that the other three had rakes. They are from l to r : Harold Wimpenny, Arthur Sanderson, George Charlesworth and Arthur Buckley.

4 men on a mission.
4 men on a mission.


He formed the Netherthong Male Voice Choir  in 1926 when he was still only 21, but I have given the history of the Choir a separate chapter.

In 1927 he appeared in the Netherthong production of H.M.S. Pinafore. The photograph is titled Nether Thong P.C.S.S. H.M.S.Pinafore Easter 1927 and Arthur is the sailor sitting right in the middle of the front row between two ladies.

H.M.S. PinaforeEaster 1927
H.M.S. Pinafore
Easter 1927

He was appointed choirmaster of All Saints Parish Church and took up his duties on Sunday, March 3 1929. At that time he was also a member of the Holmfirth Parish Church Choir, conductor of Netherthong Male Voice Choir, a member of Holme Valley Male Voice Choir and a principal in the Church Operatic Society.

The next photograph is of ten very smart men all in a row for whatever reason. Difficult to date, but could fall between late 1920s/early 1930s. Seven of them have been identified : so from the left : Morley Mallinson, George Charlesworth, Bill Buckley, Arthur Sanderson, Gilbert Bailey, ? , Leonard Hilson, ? , ?, Harold Wimpenny.

Line of 10 men - 1920s/1930s
Line of 10 men – 1920s/1930s

His wife to be , Rachel Porter, was a member of the Holmfirth & District Amateur Operatic Society and she starred in their presentation of Our Miss Gibbs which ran from Nov 29 to Dec 3 1927. In the first photograph she is in the front row 3rd. from the left. In the second photograph she is seen in full costume and is the 2nd. from the left of the five girls.

Holmfirth & District Amateur Operatic Society - " Our Miss Gibbs " Dec 1927
Holmfirth & District Amateur Operatic Society – ” Our Miss Gibbs ” Dec 1927

" Our Miss Gibbs " Dec 1927
” Our Miss Gibbs ” Dec 1927

The photograph of Arthur shows him sitting on the steps of the War Memorial in Townsgate with one of the many cups he won with the Male Voice Choir.

Arthur sitting at the village War memorial
Arthur sitting at the village War memorial

I mentioned in the very first paragraph of this chapter that Arthur wrote music and the hymn below, composed by him , is titled ” May “.


May. A hymn with words and music by Arthur Sanderson.
May. A hymn with words and music by Arthur Sanderson.


Reports of Inquests held at the Workhouse and Hospital.

It is not suprising, considering the ages and general health of the inmates/ inhabitants of the Workhouse and later on St.Mary’s Hospital, that there were a lot of deaths. Inquests were conducted by a District Coroner when it was thought that the circumstances of a death warranted a public examination. Some inquests required a jury on which occasions a foreman was elected. The procedure followed a general pattern and someone, usually a close relative, was always asked to give evidence of identification. The witnesses were normally the nurses and the Medical Officer at the hospital who had diagnosed the cause/causes of death and invariably the verdict given was in line with the medical evidence. 

In November 1882 an inquest was held at the Clothiers on the body of Edward McArdley, 62, a paper stainer, who died in the Workhouse on November 14. The coroner was Mr.Barstow. It appeared that Henry Mitchell, a mechanic, was going down Marsh Lane when he found the deceased in a very weak state. He told people who lived nearby and they attended to him until he was removed to the Workhouse by PC Battle. The deceased did not rally and died the same day in the presence of Mrs. Hinchliffe, the matron. The jury found the deceased had died of natural causes, accelerated by want of food, and exposure to the cold. 

At the end of 1910 an inquest was held into the death of Martha Hoyle, aged 67 years. She had been admitted to the Workhouse in 1893 and was classed as a harmless lunatic. She was well nourished with no signs of violence and was adjudged to have died of pneumonia.

The next record I could find was In April 1911 when the District Coroner, E.Hill, held an inquest at Deanhouse into the death of Sarah Gledhill, 80 years, who had died at the institution. She was a hawker who used to travel the district with a man known as George the Grinder. Mary Hughes, the night nurse, said Sarah had gone into the lavatory to wash and had slipped and fell forward. She was attended by Dr. Smalles who found that her right thigh was broken at the hip joint. The jury returned a verdict that her death was due to old age accelerated by the fracture.

In November 1912 an inquest had been held into the death of Mrs. Mary Broadhead, aged 93 years, at the Workhouse. She was poorly and on getting out of bed had fallen on the floor and broken her leg. The jury returned the verdict that death was due to old age accelerated by the fracture of her thigh.

An inquest was held in April 1919  into the death of J.W.Berry an aged inmate who had passed away after a seizure. He was an epileptic and was injured in a previous seizure in February.He was born in 1840 and admitted in 1898. Various members of staff and Dr. Smalles gave evidence and the verdict was given as death from natural causes.

An inquest was held in October 1923 into the death at the Institute of Elizabeth Sykes ( 50 years ) who had died suddenly. Mr.Beavis stated that the deceased, from the Lockwood district,  was a single woman who had been very ill when she  was admitted in June. Dr.Smailes said the woman had been bed- ridden and at his post mortem he had found a tumour on the brain which had brought about her death, A verdict of death by natural causes was returned, Another death occured in July 1924 when Martha Armitage, an unmarried woman, was admitted to the Institution on July 15th. and died a few days later apparently due to senile decay. The death was reported to the District Coroner who deemed that an inquest was unnecessary.

In October 1926 an inquest was conducted by the District Coroner, Mr.E.Norris into the death of an inmate, Harry Grange ( 30 years ), who died suddenly in the grounds. His mother, Mrs. Ellen Grange of Slaithwaite, said that he had been subject to fits since he was 6 years old. Charles Newell, head attendant, and F.Earnshaw, attendant, both gave evidence. Dr. W. Smailes, the Medical Officer of the Institution, said the deceased was an epilectic and that, on post-mortem, he found the epilepsy was the cause of death. The Coroner recorded a verdict that death was due to epilectic convulsions.

Mr. Norris, the District Coroner, conducted an inquest  in July 1927 on the body of Joe Morgan, aged 54 years, of Cross Road, Huddersfield who had died at the Institution. A few weeks previously he had jumped out of a window on a visit home but was not injured and was released from Huddersfield Infirmary after a day. He returned to the Institution and the male attendant said that death took place at 5.15 pm on the Sunday. The doctor said he had seen the deceased and said he was suffereing from valvular disease of the heart. The jury decided that death was due to valvular disease of the heart and was accelerated by the fall.They also agreed that the fall was his own act.

Two months later there was another inquest held at the Workhouse relating to the death of Ben Haigh, an aged inmate of the Instution. Mr. E.Norris was the Coroner and Mr.Settle was chosen as foreman of the jury. Prior to entering the Institution, Ben had been a casual porter and had been in the Workhouse for 3 years. Fred Taylor, his grand-nephew, said he had visited his grand-uncle the previous week and he had looked ill. He said he had been told he had broken his arm some time ago. Herbert Sykes, a male attendant, said the deceased had broken his arm about six months previously. On this occasion  he apparently had been standing by a table, the floor was slippery and he fell although  he was wearing boots. Sykes was in the dormitory and was called immediately and picked Ben Haigh up. He added thar he had seen the deceased numerous times on the Tuesday morning and he was obviously very ill. He died in the presence of witnesses. Dr. Smailes said the deceased was admitted to the Institution in 1924 and that after his admission he was certified, he stated that the broken arm had healed but was somewhat deformed and that he also had a club foot. He said that death was due to a softened brain and in his opinion the fall had nothing to do with his death. The verdict was death due to natural causes.

An inquest was held in January 1928 into the apparent suicide of Hildred Shaw , 18 years old. He was a patient at the Institution  and his body was recovered from the service reservoir adjoining the main block. The coroner was Mr.E.Norris and there was a jury. The boy’s father said that five years ago his son began to be afflicted with sleepy sickness and in November 1927 was taken to Crosland Moor Institution and brought to Deanhouse in November 1928. Various witnesses including Stanley Stoke, an attendant, and Willie Castle, a gardener’s labourer, were questioned. Dr. Smailes said that the sickness made any patient almost an imbecile and affected him mentally and physically. The jury returned a verdict to the effect that the deceased had drowned himself while of unsound mind and while suffering from sleepy sickness.

Mr.E.Norris conducted an inquest in November 1931 sitting with a jury with Mr.J.R.Ellis as foreman. Emma Lingard ( 73 ) a married woman and inmate fell down in the ward cutting her head and dying a few days later. Giving evidence, Mrs.Mary Sykes said the deceased was her mother and had been feeble for some time and had had falls on many occasions. Dr. Smailes said that Mrs. Lindgard had sustained a scalp wound as a result of the fall but he considered the death was due to softening of the brain. A verdict of death due to natural causes was returned.

At the beginning of 1935 an inquest was held at St.Mary’s Hospital on the death of an inmate, Sophia Hallas aged 84 years from falling  down a flight of stone steps. Formal identification was given by her son, Arthur Hallas of Newsome, who said he was very satisfied by the treatment his mother had received at the hospital. When his mother was at home she had frequent falls.Dora Marsh, a nurse, said Sophia had fallen about 4.50 just after she had had tea in the day room. She heard a cry and rushed to the bottom of the steps where she found her laying on her right side and unconscious. The flight consisted of 10 steps. With the assistance of another nurse she carried the woman into a ward and went for the sister. Dr.T. Samailes said he saw the deceased and she was unconscious and suffering from concussion. There were no signs of fracture and she recovered consciousness two days later but as she was suffering from senile degeneration she was never sensible afterwards and died after a further two days. The jury returned a verdict of death due to heart failure and concussion following a fall.

In January 1937 Mr.T.Norris, the District Coroner, opened an inquest at St.Mary’s Hospital into the death in the hospital of Cornelius Kennedy, aged 64 years, a journeyman and stonemason of Linthwaite. Evidence was given by his son who said his father had been ill on and off for 4-5 years and he added that his father had been examined on three occasions by the Silicosis Medical Board. The inquest was adjourned. When it resumed Dr. Denton Guest a pathologist at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary who made the post-mortem examination, said that death was due to tubercolosis but it was likely silicosis was a contributory cause. The verdict was returned that death was due to tubercolosis and silicosis accidently contracted at his work.

4 Inquests were held in 1947 at Deanhouse Hospital  into deaths of patients. The first was in January and concerned Miss Eva Daniels, 77 years, who had been left in a hot bath prior to treatment for a skin disease and had been found dead by a nurse. Mr.E.W.Norris was the District Coroner. Her brother, Alfred Daniels of Saddleworth, gave evidence of identification. Eva had lived with him but had been admitted to the hospital. Nurse C.Bray said she had put the deceased into a hot bath at about 12.45 and had left her to “soak ” for about 15 minutes prior to treatment for a skin disease which necessitated the soaking. At 1pm she said she was fetched by another nurse, Mary Lucas, who had found the patient dead. The Coroner called on Nurse Lucas to give evidence. Speaking in a quiet voice she answered the question but the Coroner was unable to hear her.After he had asked further questions he was still unable to hear her and dismissed her in favour of  Sister Edith Broadbent. She said that when she arrived Miss Daniels had been lifted out of the bath and Nurse Bray was applying artificial respiration. After calling for the doctor and the Home Sister she gave the deceased an injection of one sixtieth of strychnine but there was no response. Dr. John Lubran, Medical officer for the hospital, made a post-mortem and in his opinion death was due to myocardial degeneration and atheroma of the mitral valve. He stated that there was no evidence of drowning although he had looked specifically for any such evidence. The recorded verdict was that death was due to natural causes.

The next inquest was in April with the District Coroner, Mr.E.Norris, investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of Miss Ada Hanson, a patient at the hospital. Evidence of identification was given by Miss Clara Pearson, her niece. Ada was 77 years old and had lived in Marsden and was formerly a burler and mender. She had been a patient at various local hospitals. She had fallen from her chair at home and witnesses had lifted her onto a sofa. Dr.Wallace was called and he ordered her removal to the Infirmary straightaway as  she had had a seizure and a number of falls. Mrs. Eleanor Ivy Pugh said Miss Hansen had died in her presence. Medical evidence was given by Dr. John Lublan of Honley who stated that the deceased had been admitted to the hospital on March 20 suffering from a fractureof her femur. Her heart was very bad and he was mentally confused and in his opinion death was caused by myocardial degeneration accelerated by the injury. A verdict that death was due to the above causes was recorded.

The next inquest was the following month with E.Norris the District Coroner. It concerned Miss Elizabeth Barker, 78, formerly of Todmorden who died at the hospital. Evidence of identification was given by Miss Mary Smith of Todmorden who said that, about three weeks before the deceased was taken to hospital on March 28, she had been in the habit of sitting in a chair in front of a gas fire. Nurse E. Lenderyew said Miss Barker died in her presence on April 30. Dr.John Lublan said that when the deceased was admitted to hospital her heart and circulation were in poor condition and she had scalds on the front of both shins. The Coroner recorded death by natural causes.

The final inquest of the year was in July and concerned the death of Mrs. Alice Hobson of Lepton who died at the hospital. Mr.E.Norris was the District Coroner. Evidence of identification was given by James Hobson, a male nurse, who said his mother was 82 and had been blind for about 2 years. She was hard of hearing but not deaf. On May 23rd. she had had a fall on the stairs coming from her bathroom and she was attended by Dr. Paterson. About 5 weeks later she was taken to hospital and was pleased to go. Nurse Margaret Ball said that Mrs. Hobson died in her presence on August 12. Dr. John Lublan of Honley said the deceased was admitted to hospital on June 20 and she  was suffering from blindness, deafness, myocardial degeneration, a fractured left wrist,vancrose eczema and a rodent ulna near the left eye. In the doctor’s opinion, death was due to myocardial degeneration due to old age and the coroner gave this as the recorded verdict.

The first inquest of 1948 was in January and, as the District Coroner Mr.E.W.Norris had died earlier in the month, it was conducted by Mr.A.C.Ackroyd, the Deputy Coroner. Miss Ada Jobson, 76, a retired power-loom weaver of Skelmanthorpe had died in the hospital.  A nephew said that until recently his aunt had been in good health but in December she had been climbing onto a buffet and holding on to a chair when the chair slipped and she fell hurting her arm and leg. After being seen by a doctor she was taken to Huddersfield Royal Infirmary for an X-ray which showed she had a fractured arm. After having her arm bound she was taken home but removed to Deanhouse Hospital in January where she died. Dr. John Lublan, the medical officer, said in his opinion death was due to cerebral thrombosis from arteriosclerosis accelerated by the fracture of her arm. The Deputy Coroner recorded a verdict in accordance with the medical evidence.

The next inquest was in April . A verdict that death was due to carcinoma of the liver accelerated by carcinoma of the bladder was returned  by the jury on Jack Woodhead of Linthwaite who died in the hospital on March 25. The enquiry was conducted by the acting Coroner, Mr. A.C.Ackroyd and W.E.Batley was elected foreman of the jury. Also present at the inquest were Miss Forest, H.M. Inspectorate of Factories, Miss Atkinson representing the relatives and J.D. Eaton Smith who represented ICI Ltd. Huddersfield.

The Acting District Coroner, Mr. A.C.Akeroyd,  conducted an inquest in May on Mrs. Emma Barker who died in the hospital. Evidence of identification was given by Mrs. Annie Barker her daughter-in-law who said Emma was 82 and in fairly good health but only had one leg. On March 18 the deceased told the witness that she had fallen off the bottom step of the stairs. Dr.Hubbard was sent for and the deceased was kept in bed until removal to Deanhouse suffering from cerebral thrombosis.She did not make any progress and died 10 days later. The recorded verdict was that the deceased died from hypostatic pneumonia due to confinement  owing to injuries sustained by an accidental fall.

The new District Coroner , Mr. M.G. Billington, conducted his first inquest at the hospital in June. It concerned Mrs.Ann Roberts of Dobcross who died at the hospital. Evidence of identification was given by Eber Longley, the brother in law of the deceased, who said Mrs. Roberts was 84 and lived with him in Dobcross. He said he found her lying on the floor in her bed-sitting room complaining about her leg hurting. The doctor came  and Mrs. Roberts was admitted to the Institution on May 13. The patient was deaf and could not give her history as she was mentally confused and restless. An X-ray revealed a fracture of the right femur and she also suffered from arteriosclerosis and a weak heart. She progressed quite favourably until June 14 when she had a cerebral  thrombosis . The doctor said in his opinion the cause of death was due to arteriosclerosis accelerated by the fracture of the femur. A verdict of accidental death in accordance with medical evidence was returned.

In July the Deputy Coroner, Mr.H.Whitely, held an inquest  into the circumstances surrounding the death of James Dawson of Netherton. He was 83 and formerly a woolen fettler. About 6pm on July 13th. he was standing in front of his house taking a newspaper from a boy. He turned round to go back into the house and slipped. Witnesses saw him fall but he was not unconscious. His daughter got him into the house and Dr. Smailes of Honley was called for. Two days later he was removed to Deanhouse Hospital. His daughter was present when he died on July 22. Dr. John Lublan, the medical officer at the hospital, said the deceased had been suffering from a fractured femur and arteriosclerosis due to senility and in his opinion this was the cause of his death. A verdict of natural causes was recorded.

There was another inquest in September on Annie Halstead , 59 years, by the District Coroner, Mr.G.Billington. Dr.John Lublan said Annie had been admitted to the hospital suffering from a scald on her right foot, severe arthritis in both hips and degeneration of the heart muscle. Her wound healed completely but her general condition became worse and she also failed mentally. In his opinion death was due to myocardial degeneration. The Coroner recorded a verdict of accidental death.

The next inquest was in held in October saw yet another inquest into the death of Gertrude Leigh ,75, a spinster of Leeds. The Coroner was Mr. G.Billington. Evidence of identification was given by her sister who said the deceased had been a patient at the hospital for 4 or 5 years. Assistant Nurse Elsie Parker said the deceased had been suffering from senility and blindness ever since she had been admitted but she was allowed to get out of bed to go to the toilet. On September 6th. she heard a commotion and found Miss Leigh laying on the floor with her head on two steps at the entrance to the toilet. Dr.John Lublan had attended the deceased since her admission to the hospital and stated that after her  fall she was bruised and complained of a pain in her left hip. She developed bronchitis a week later and when that cleared up her heart began to fail and continued to fail. She died from miocardial degeneration caused by senility. A verdict of accidental death was recorded. The Coroner asked if the floor had been polished and the doctor said it was not polished where the woman fell.

The last inquest for the year was in November. It was held  by the District Coroner, Mr.G.Billington, into the death of Miss Harriet Moseley, 77, of Honley who died in the hospital. Her sister, Clara Moseley, said she had been bed-ridden for 12 years at home and in August had fallen out of bed and complained that her arm was hurting and Dr.Smailes was sent for. After a fortnight she was removed to the hospital. The witness added that her sister had never had bed sores in the 12 years she had spent in bed. Dr. John Lublan said the deceased was admitted to hospital on 26th. August and had extensive bruising down her left arm. He diagnosed a fracture of the neck of the humerus and found she had signs of cerebral softening. Her general conditioned deteriorated , her heart became weaker and she died from miocardial degeneration due to general arteriosclerosis. The verdict was Death by Misadventure.

Death occured in the hospital on December 24 1955 of Mr.John Shaw of Denby Dale who had been suffering from the effects of gunshot wounds received in the 1914-18 war and had been in and out of hospitals ever since. At an inquest held in Halifax and a verdict of ” Death from Natural Causes ” was recorded.

Mrs. Ann Mallinson of 17 Outlane died in Huddersfield Infirmary and an inquest was held in May 1956 under the Borough Coroner, Mr.S.Lister.He was told that Mrs.Mallinson who was 83 fell whilst hanging clothes out in April.She was taken to Holme Valley Hospital and later to huddersfiedl Royal Infirmary. Dr.Abdul Hafiz said she received a fractured thigh in the fall. Death was due to hypostatic pneumonia due to recumbency om account of the fractured thigh. A verdict in accordance with the medical evidence was recorded.

Enclosure Maps, Tithe Maps, O.S.Maps


  Maps are essential tools to help plot changes over the years,  and the earliest one for the area is Thomas Jefferys ( The County of York Survey’d ) 1775 . Nether Thong, Wolfstones and Brown Hill are shown with just the one track  coming from the main road and  appearing to stop at Wolfstones.

There are  three types of maps  in  the Archives Library.

 Enclosure Awards and Maps.

Enclosure awards and maps relate to the enclosing of common land. They date mainly to the late eighteenth century and the earlier nineteenth century. Separate Acts of Parliament were passed for each township which wished to enclose its common land,  Commissioners then drew up an enclosure award detailing the lands enclosed and listing which local people received them. Most awards have maps to accompany them. Enclosure maps vary in the amount of information they provide: some show the whole of the township they refer to, while others only show the lands actually being enclosed. The enclosure map for Netherthong is dated 1826.

 Tithe Awards and Maps.

Tithes were payments made by parishioners to their clergyman for his support. Originally these payments were made in kind but from the seventeenth century onwards they were increasingly commuted to money payments. Tithe awards ( also called tithe apportionments ) date from the 1830s and 1840s. They were drawn up in the years after the Tithe Commutation Act of 1836 which allowed the commutation of tithes to be made more easily by commissioners working in negotiation with the inhabitants of each parish on the basis of a professional land valuation. Tithe maps show the land in the township divided up into numbered plots. The accompanying awards give details of the owner, occupier, field name, state of cultivation, acreage and tithe – the  amount of rent charge apportioned and payable to the Vicar of Almondbury. The Tithe award for Netherthong is dated 1847.

The listed landowners were : Richard Battye    :   Richard Boothroyd   :  The Trustees of Joseph Bray   :   Brook Jones & Brothers   ;   Trustees of Joshua Brook  ;   William Brook   ;  James Dyson  ;   Thomas Dyson   ;  Thomas Frith   ;  John Haigh  : Joseph Haigh   ;  Richard Hinchcliffe   :  Richard Hirst   ;  Elihu Hobson   ;  Reverend Howe   ;  William Kinder   : Marshall & Leigh    ;  Thomas Mellor   ;  John Moorhouse   :  The Trusteed of Penistone School   ;  William Roebuck    ; The Executors of Joshua Robinson   : Henry Shaw   ;  William Stephenson   ;   Benjamin Wilson   ;  John Wimpenny  ; The Executors of Abraham Woodhead   ;   Sarah Woodhead.

In the Kirklees Library there is a large map of Netherthong,dated 1850, which accompanies the Netherthong Tithe Award. It covers the area stretching from Dean Brook on the North to Sands, Bridge Mills on the South, and from the river Holme on the East to the hamlet of Greaves on the West.  A Mr. C.M.Fuller, in April 1983, compiled a set of excellent notes  on the map and i have basically reproduced those notes. The principal road on the map runs East to West, leaving the Huddersfield to Woodhead turnpike at Thongsbridge, passing through Netherthong and Wilshaw to Meltham. The Parish Church is on the map, having been built in 1830 but New Road had not been constructed – my sketch shows the various fields that it would have had to gone through on its construction down to the main road. The watercourse to the North of the valley is the Dean Brook, forming the boundary with Honley township, and to the South – West is Hebble Dike, both of which run into the River Holme. The village of Netherthong stands about 700ft. above sea level and is somewhat higher than most of the land around it.

The map is divided into many irregular size fields, all of which are named and numbered. There are only some very small residual pockets of what appear to be original woodland, mainly on the steep slopes facing the river valley. Many fields incorporate Hollins in the name and holly bushes are still common. A charter of 1365 mentions ” Holynge ” and holly is known to be an important source of fodder. Abraham de la Pryne in his diary of 1692 refers to feeding sheep in winter with holly leaves and bark and a farm with plenty of holly trees was considered particularly valuable.

A study of the field names in the Tithe map reveals  several interesting features. On the map the field names have been inserted and the leys, royds and ings have been shown in distinctive colours. Orange for leys, yellow for royds and green for ings. The numbers refer to the list in the Tithe Award. Surrounding the village is a series of crofts, small enclosures, adjacent to the cottages. Most of these crofts are no longer to be seen, having disappeared under buildings. Close to the village are two crofts with the name Turner and there were Turners in the village at the time of the Tithe Award. Immediately to the West of the village are several fields known as Far Green and Great Green, and it can be supposed that these formed part of the wastes and commons, providing common grazing until the time of Enclosure in 1829.

Along the road to Wilshaw is a large number of fields on either side of the road with the common general element West Field, for example Lower West Field and Upper West Field. Almost certainly the whole of this area represents a medieval open field reached from the village by a track. Two fields straddling the track to the West Fields are called Upper Ledgits and Lower Ledgits and , it is reasonable to suppose that a lydgate or swing gate stood here to prevent stock straying onto the cultivated field. A building nearby ( 601 on the map ) is still known as Lydgett Farm. To the north of these fields are Kiln Acre and Lower Kiln Acre but there is no remaining evidence of kilns. There is a group of field names which suggest the crops formerly grown – to the East of the village are several fields with the common element ,rye.

Descriptive names include Brown Hill, Winney Close and Broomy Lee, giving an indication of earlier vegetation and Stone Pit where there would have been a quarry. Upper Flats and Lower Flats and a series of fields alongside the river called Bottom, Great Bottom and Sands.

Apart from a small area near the village known as Little Ing and Ing, the main ings or pasture lands are towards the river Holme and near Brown Hill on the West. Those near the river are also associated with carrs, all indicating that this was a marshy area. The outstanding feature to emerge from the study of the Tithe Award map is the evidence of clearance. The suffix “leah” of O.E.origin means’wood’ or ‘clearing in a wood’ and there are two significant area of ‘lees’ or ‘leys’ in Netherthong. The place name evidence suggests these were cleared before the 12th.C, and the larger area, Broomy Lee, which shows signs of the strip system, may also have been one of the township’s open fields. There are also four fields known as Crodingley. There is evidence of settlement at Crodingley and there may have been a house on the site from the time of the first woodland clearance in this area, which probably took place soon after the initial settlement in Netherthong itself. Royd, which indicates clearance that took place between 1150 and 1350, is a common field element, especially in the eastern end of the township, Harroyd and Petty Royd leading down to the Dean Brook and Old Royd abutting the south side of Thong Lane. There are 14 fields with the common element of Harr Royd ;  Sun Harr Royd lying on the crest of the hill, where it would receive the maximum amount of sunshine. Tom Royd is referred to in the charter of 1365 – ” one bovate of land from village to rivulet Turn Royd abutting  Old Rode Side …”. Wright Royd and Crow Royd , adjoining Broomy Lee, are also mentioned in the 1365 document.

I noticed that the map had a mark, All, for allotments, in the top left hand corner as well as Pla for plantation.

Ordnance Survey Maps .

 The very first Ordnance Survey map issued that included details of  Netherthong township  is dated 1854 ( it was categorised under their County series ) , subsequent updates were issued in 1888,1906,1917 and 1932. The maps for 1854 and 1888 are very  informative and I have included hand –drawn copies.  Many of the changes that occurred are mentioned in various chapters but I make two observations here.

The first is the appearance on the 1854 map of the Gardener’s Arms P.H. situated not far from the Wesley Chapel in the Deanhouse area. It did not appear on the next OS map ( 1888 ) and  it was many years before I was able  to find another reference to it  – see my Chapter on Public Houses.

The second is that on the 1854 map both Lower & Upper Greave were part of Netherthong, and Wilshaw was a moor-fringed sweep of pasture land.  By the time the 1888 map came out, Joseph Hirst had put Wilshaw firmly on the map, building the church in 1863. He bought the hamlet  of Upper Greave and renamed it St.Marys.  Lower Greave exists to this day and consists of half a dozen houses.

 The maps are very large and I have had to break them up into sections. There are two for the 1854 map and 5, A,B,C,D and E , for the 1888 map. I have checked that I am not infringing any copyright  by my trace copies but it is appropriate to say how important these comprehensive maps of England have been and still are. 

1854 Map page 1



1854 Map page 2




1888 Map – section B


1888 map section C


1888 map section D


1888 map section E