Public House, inn, alehouse, tavern, pothouse, beer house, boozer, local, gin palace, saloon, honky-tonk, shebeen, snug, taproom…
No township or hamlet could hold its head up high unless it had a number of the above establishments and Netherthong was no exception.
From the early times Netherthong had boasted a total of five named public houses plus a further two in Thongs Bridge, which for a long period was part of the Parish of Netherthong. There were also a number of un-named beerhouses located at Deanhouse, (a beer-house being licensed to sell beer but not spirits).
In the 1820s – 1830s, the Government were keen to promote beer drinking instead of spirits, especially gin. Widespread drunkenness, through gin consumption, was believed to be detrimental to the working classes and had led to the rise of the Temperance Society which campaigned for the closure of ‘gin shops’. Beer was taxed which meant that the cost of beer could be prohibitive to the working classes, despite the fact that beer was safer to drink than water. Water at that time was untreated and dangerous to drink. The Alehouse Act 1828 established a General Annual Licensing Meeting to be held in every city, town, division, county and riding for the purpose of granting licences to inns, alehouses and victualing houses to sell exciseable liquors to be drunk on the premises. It was introduced by the Duke of Wellington’s Tory Government and abolished the beer tax and extended the opening hours of licensed public houses, taverns and alehouses from 15 hours a day up to 18 hours a day.
The Beerhouse Act of 1830 followed closely on the Alehouse Act and remained in force with various modifications before it was repealed in 1993. The Government encouraged people to allow their houses to sell beer by retail in 1830. An application to the Justices for an excise licence was granted on payment of two guineas, the occupant had to be a rate-payer and named on the rate-payer register , complete with Christian and Surname, a Memorial from an official of the town and a description of his character, job, house and address. The Memorial had to be displayed upon the church door advising people of your intention to change your house into a retail beer shop at least three weeks before your application was to be heard by the Licensing Justices. If the applicant was found a fit and proper person to hold such a licence for the purpose of retailing beer, they would grant him a certificate of excise, the licence to retail beer was granted later. The Justices also considered the rateable value of the applicant’s house which at that time would have been approximately £4 per year. As a beerhouse this would increse to between £14-16 per year. With these changes to the applicants’ homes, a new name was created in 1830 – public or beerhouse.
The earliest reference to Inns in the village that I had been able to find was in the 1848 Directory which listed the Clothiers Arms, Queen’s Arms and the Rose & Crown but, with the information above about the Beerhouse Act, there can be no doubt that one or more of the three had to have been in existence, plying its trade, for a long time before 1848. Subsequent Directories have been useful for tracking changes in the landlords and I have tabulated these later.
I have just ( May 2014 ) looked at a superb reference book titled ‘Images of England – Huddersfield Pubs’ written by Dave Green and published in 2006. In it he has photographs and some information about pubs throughout the local area including Holmfirth, Honley, Meltham etc. He included a photograph of the Clothiers with the following information – it was established around 1822 by Jonas Mallinson who apparently had the occupation of a clothier hence the pub’s name.
Another good addition to local history is by the Holme Valley Civic Society Local History Group who published a book in 2016 titled ‘ Public Houses of Holmfirth – Past and Present’. It is a fascinating book full of photographs and names and was the result of collaboration by a number of its members. It is only available to buy at Holmfirth Public Library
The very first Ordnance Survey map in 1855 identified an Inn called the Gardener’s Arms located at Miry Road Bottom near to the Wesleyan Chapel and across the road from the Parsonage. This is the only reference I have ever found about it and in the next issue of the Ordnance map in 1888, it had “disappeared”. There were four or five cottages on the edge of the field on the right hand side of Miry Lane leading up to Oldfield and there are stories that two of them might have been ale- houses. In the 1848 Directory there were three un-named beer houses in Deanhouse with landlords called Thomas Crook, John Littlewood and Charles Wood and I’m sure that one of those three had to have been located in the house that is now known as The Cricketers Arms. One or both of the others could have been based in the cottages mentioned above. In the 1851 census , Thomas Crook, aged 60, was listed as a Beerhouse Keeper at Miry Lane Bottom and as stated below was in the 1857 Directory.
In that Directory, issued in 1857, only one beer house in Deanhouse is mentioned with the landlord being Thomas Crook and this confirms that it most likely had to be the one located in the “ cricketer’s house”. The first anomaly about the Gardener’ Arms is that the OS cartographer gave it its full title rather than inn or ph that he inscribed on the map for the Clothier’s and Queen’s Arms ( N.B. there is no reference on the map for the Rose & Crown which we know was definately in existence and located in Towngate). He did however have a lot of blank space around the black dot denoting the inn and maybe he decided that the map would look more “ artistic “ by filling the space with writing. It still doesn’t explain how he decided to give it that name but there was a reference that there were allotments in the area so Gardeners would seem an appropriate name. Maybe we will never know. However patience is a virtue and lo and behold in January 2015, I came across the following report in a May 1855 issue of the Huddersfield & Holmfirth Examiner. ‘ A ball and concert was held at the Gardener’s Arms. Attendance was moderate. Dancing and other amusements were kept up with great animation until a late hour.’ The next question is what happened to it. It stood on the edge of the land that was required for the erection of the new Deanhouse Workhouse in 1864 and maybe the Guardians purchased the public house because they could not risk the temptation to its inmates of having a source of alcohol so near. However the beer house at the “ Cricketers “ was not that much further away. So maybe another mystery.
The Clothier’s Arms was the only other Inn shown on the 1855 map. It played a prominent role in the village not only as an Inn and an eating establishment but also as a meeting place for local organisations and clubs. It served as the Coroner’s Court on many an occasion and was the official headquarters and Lodge room of the Netherthong Gardener Friendly Society, It features in a number of the photographs in this history.
The Queen’s Arms was located in the cottage, now marked as Queen’s Cottage in the Town Square, adjacent to what was to become the location of the War Memorial .The Directories recorded landlords from 1848 right through to 1927 – in the 1880 OS map it is marked as a PH but in the 1918 and 1932 OS maps it becomes an Inn. It was very spacious at the rear and was a venue for many organizations including the Cricket Club, Liberals, Conservative Club and often accommodated up to 60 people for meals. It co-existed side by side with the Co-op when they opened their shop in 1881.
In February 1936 a Notice of Objection to the renewal of the licence was given at the Licensing Sessions in the Upper Agbrigg Division held at County Police Court, Huddersfield. The objection was based on the grounds of redundancy. Inspector Cooper said the Queen’s Arms was owned by Messrs. Seth Senior & Sons, Highfield Bewery, Shepley and was not good structurally and the trade was small. There were two other houses within 500 yards( Clothiers and Cricketers ) and two convictions had been recorded against the present tenant. In his opinion the house was not necessary for the requirements of the neighbourhood and no inconvenience would be caused if the licence was taken away. Mr.W.Hinchliffe represented the owners and the tenant, William Brook, and made formal application for renewal of the licence. The Chairman , Arthur Lockwood, said the Bench had decided that the licence should be referred to the compensation authority and in the meantime the licence would be provisionally renewed. This could have only been temporary because in 1937 the Co-op bought the Inn from the Brewery and, after renovations and alterations, they converted it to living accommodation and the Sykes family rented it from the Co-op. Two of Mr. Sykes daughters who were young children at the time, were still living in Netherthong in 2010.
Richard Russell, a native of Netherthong, who had been “ mine host “ of the Queen’s Arms for many years, died in February 1925 aged 63 years.
The Rose & Crown is another mystery – it was not shown on any of the maps but was included along with its landlords in five of the Directories from 1848 with the last entry being in 1870. We know from the minutes of the Netherthong Co-operative Society that they purchased the premises when they set up business in 1881. Rumour has it that the bar of the inn was located in the same position as the counter of the current Londis shop .
The following item from 1841 refers to the landlord of the Rose and Crown. PARDON ASKED – I, Jonas Sykes of Deanhouse, having slandered, and injured the Character of Moses Sykes, of Netherthong, by circulating a false Report respecting a crime he was not guilty of; I hereby declare that there is no truth in the Statement that I made. I beg his Pardon for so doing and he has kindly consented to foregoe all proceeedings by my publicly acknowleging myself in error, and paying all expense of advertising the same.
Witnesses: George Sykes, John Mallinson.
Netherthong, Sept 8th 1841.
There is reference to two inns in Thongs Bridge in 1853 – the Rose & Crown , publican Hiram Earnshaw and the Royal Oak with publican Ellen Bray. By 1857, the Rose & Crown had closed and Hiram Earnshaw had moved and taken over the Royal Oak. In 1870 the publican had changed to Walker Fenton and in 1901 it was being run by Maria Esther Walker. That was the last recorded reference. We do know that the Royal Oak was closed in 2004 and converted into flats.
The final mystery relates to the Cricketers. There are no references to it by name in any of the Directories other than that there was a beer house in Deanhouse . However there was an unnamed public house shown in the 1932 Ordnance Survey map in the building where the current Cricketer’s Arms is located. The building is dated as being early C18. In 1853 there is reference to three beerhouses in Deanhouse owned respectively by Thomas Crook, John Littlewood and Charles Wood but in 1857 there is just the one reference to Thomas Crook. However in the Huddersfield Weekly Examiner for November 1881 there is a reference that ” a supper was provided by Mr.Stanfield of the Cricketers Arms for the members of the Deanhouse Cricket Club”.There is no further information until 1936 with Arthur Sykes being listed as a beer retailer. It doesn’t need much imagination to realize that there always must have been a beer house located in the building and somewhere along the line a decision was made to finally to make it “ respectable “ and give it a name. There is a report in the Holmfirth Express of April 20 1889, that Deanhouse Cricket Club had been recently revived and the old field had been re-formed. When they came to give the pub a name what more natural than to call it The Cricketers. A public house , ph, is shown on the site of the “ Cricketers “ for the first time in the 1932 OS map. In 1936 Arthur Sykes is referred to as a Beer Retailer and it is likely that the sign would have been erected by then.
I have been researching the history of Netherthong for about ten years and thought I had found all the pubs that existed in the village. Lo and behold in May 2016, whilst I was reading through all the copies of the Huddersfield Examiner for 1871 , there was a reference to a Public House called the Butcher’s Arms in Deanhouse. First and only reference I have ever come across and the details of the report were as follows : There was an alleged assault in a Public House in November when Daniel Woodhead, sizer of Netherthong, appeared at the County Police Court in Huddersfield to an information charging him with having, on October 21, assaulted Mark Woodhead, weaver, also of Netherthong. The complainant said he was at the Butcher’s Arms in Deanhouse when the defendant came in and charged him with something of which he was not guilty. Shortly afterwards some other person made a remark to him and he said ” Are you as ill as Daniel?” Upon that the defendant struck and kicked and knocked him down. A witness was called but he said he knew nothing about it. The defendant denied having assaulted the complainant and called a witness who said both men shook each other but no blows were exchanged. The magistrates dismissed the case.
In 1849 there were three breweries listed in the District. Two were in New Mill , Bentley & Brook were called New Mill Brewers and Highfield Brewery was run by Seth Senior. The third one was owned by Josiah Helliwell of Wood Bottom, Wooldale.
So far the only information that I have been able to get on the landlords of the three local pubs and The Cricketers was from the early Directories and occasional references in the local paper. Both Moses Sykes ( Rose and Crown ) and John Bates ( Queens Arms ) in the 1851 census gave their occupations as Inn keepers and John Littlewood , a widower aged 78, who lived in Town Gate gave his occupation as a beer house keeper.
Rose and Crown.
1848- 1853 — Moses Sykes – see also 1851 census. He passed the licence to Thomas Woodhouse in 1854.
1854 — Thomas Woodhouse Sykes.
1866 — Alfred Gill
1870 — Noah Woodhead
1881 – Taken over by the Co-Op and closed.
1848-1853 — John Bates see also 1851 census
1857 — Miss Sarah Gill
1866 — James Woodhead
1873 — Ann Woodhouse
1879 — Thomas Woodhouse
1901-1904 — Fred Charlesworth. Mrs.Rachel Roebuck ( see photo )
1912 -1920 — Richard Russell
1927 — Mrs.Ellen Wood
1932-1937 — William Brook
1937 — Purchased by the Co-Op , closed and sold as private accomodation.
1822 — Jonas Mallinson
1848-1857 — Uriah Hobson
1866 — Elizabeth
1870 — Joseph Ashworth
1871 — George Henry Beaver
1873 — John Mallinson – died October 1873
1895 — Ann Senior
1898 – 1904 — Mr.& Mrs.William Broadbent
1922 — John Moorhouse
1931 — Chas. Edward Carter
1943-57 — Frank Silverwood Hampshaw
1982 — Derek & Sylvia Schofield.
I am indebted to the patrons and the current proprietor, Sue, of the Clothiers for an informative chat on November 2014 and for them delving deep into their memories to supply me with the following lists of landlords after Derek Schofield. They were less sure of some of the exact dates.
1983 ? — When Derek Schofield died, his wife Sylvia took over on a widow’s licence for one year.
198 ? — Derek Lander
1991 — S.Whittle – for about 10 months. During this period he also owned the Cricketers
199? — David Greenside
199? — Thwaites , the brewers, bought the freehold and installed Linda Gledhill.
199? — Graham Hoyle – he ran it for seven years.
2000? — There were a series of caretakers, one of the names was Paul.
2012 — A couple, Sue & Chris, residents of Netherthong, took over until the summer.
2012 .. Ian and Karen Morrison took over and ran it until March 2016.
2016 — The new owners were Heather Krasner, Gillian Holden and Graeme Hoyle.
1871 — Alan Woodcock
1881 — Mr.Stanfield
1906 — Mr.& Mrs. James Taylor
1910/1920 ? — Mrs. A.Sewell
1914? — William Sewell
1927 — Alice Swallow
1928 — Norman Goldthorpe
1936 , 1978 — Arthur Sykes. ** see report on his death below
1983 — John & Judith Beardsell
On the same evening that I visited the Clothiers, I also went to the Cricketers where I received help from the patrons in filling some of the gaps.
1991 — Stuart Whittle – he also owned the Clothiers during the same period.
199? — Vance and Brenda
199? — Roger and Eileen
1998 — Mark and Anita Taylor
2000 – — Peter Sykes – current owner
In August of that year the licensee of the Cricketers was found dead in the cellar of the public house a few weeks after being told of an ‘ out of the world tax demand’. The Kirklees coroner heard that Mr.Kenneth Sykes, aged 52, a a father of three children was also a dyehouse colour mixer and was worried about the demand. His wife, Vera Sykes, told the inquest about her husband’s concern and she said that she had wanted him to give up the dyehouse job. Apart from the problems with the tax matters, there was really nothing to worry about at all. She described how, on the morning of August 10, she could not find her husband when she got up after realising he must not have gone to work. There was a smell of gas coming from the cellar and she called a neighbour. P.C.Keith Garlick said that he had found Mr.Sykes in the cellar with a plastic bag over his head and a flexible gas pipe inserted into the bag. Dr. Barlow , the pathologist, said death was due to asphyxia.
In August 1899, the Local Board discussed Public Houses and their closing hours with reference to the Populous Places Licensing Act 1874.The annual licensing sessions for the West Riding had been held in the courthouse at Huddersfield. Unless a district was classed as a populous place, licensed houses had to close at 10pm. According to the Act it was up to the licensing commission to declare whether a district was a populous place. The Beerhouse Act of 1870 said that beerhouses, licensed prior to 1870, were not bound by the Act of 1874. In some districts this could mean beerhouses staying open until 11pm and fully licensed pubs closing at 10pm.
In September the Local Board referred to the licensing act confusion with the public houses closing at 11pm instead of 10pm. The Council had arranged for the gas lights to be turned out at 11pm but now the law was going to be enforced, it was resolved that they should be turned out at 10.15. The chairman said the lamps were lighted for the benefit of the people of Netherthong and not the publicans and the resolution failed.
In June 1902, to celebrate the Coronation, it was decided that non-populous places would have an extra hour of opening on the Thursday, Friday,Saturday & Sunday.
In February 1912 it was reported that the Annual Brewster sessions discussed the closing hours of the Clothier’s Arms, Queen’s Arms and Royal Oak Inn ( which was in the Netherthong Urban district and would shortly be in the Holmfirth district ). Because the population of Netherthong was under 1000 , it was treated as a non-populous district and pubs would have to close at 10 pm. However as the Cricketer’s Arms was classified as being in the Honley District it could stay open until 11pm. The question was raised that as Netherthong was to be part of Holmfirth could the pubs stay open until 11pm. The bench declined to comment.
On the 22nd. November 1915, new regulations were brought in relating to the “hours during which intoxicating liquor may be sold”. The regulations were very complicated with lots of paragraphs and conditions. The decision was that opening hours for weekdays would be 12 noon to 2.30 and 6.30 to 9.30. Sunday opening would be 12.30 to 2.30 and 6.00 to 9.00.
Temperance Societies were prominent in the surrounding areas and in October 1891 a Temperance meeting was held in the Wesleyan school with Fred Sykes as lecturer.
In November 1914, the Board of Guardians met to discuss whether the inmates at the Deanhouse Workhouse should be given beer at Christmas. There was a tie in voting and the chairman, Miss Seddon, gave the casting vote in favour. Letters opposing the issue of beer had been sent from the Huddersfield Temperance Society, Band of Hope Union, Women’s Total Abstinence Union and the Home Mission Lodge of Good Templars. Bentley Yorks. Brewery Co. supplied a barrel of beer for the festivities. ( This article also appears in the Deanhouse Institution chapter ).
Gaming was very much frowned upon as the following articles show. In April 1871 the Huddersfield Chronicle reported that George Henry Beaver, the landlord of the Clothiers, had been charged at the County Police Court in Huddersfield with permitting gaming in his house. P.C. Ramsden said that he had visited the defendant’s house by the tap room door and after he had been there a little time, some one came out and seized him at the same time making a sign to several persons in the room to desist playing at some game. He went into the room and saw a portion of a pack of cards in the landlord’s hand. The defendant made the comment that unless something was going on nobody would stay in the house. The defendant denied he had participated in the gaming. The Examiner also reported on the same incident but with slight variations in the details. On 11 April. PC Ramsden said that at 6.30, he went to the house kept by the defendant and, going in the tap-room door, a maid said ‘hush’ to the company in the room. The PC rushed forward and saw a table at one end of the room at which was seated 5 or 6 persons of which the landlord was one, he having in his hands some cards. As soon as the landlord saw him he put his hand in his pocket but he, the PC, also put his hands in and pulled out 35 cards. Some of the men who were in the room rushed out. PC Ramsden left the house but visited it again after 15 minutes when the landlord said to him ” You know as well as I know , that unless there is something going on, nobody will stay”. A penalty of 5s and costs was imposed.
Later the same year in November, Alan Woodcock, landlord of the Cricketer’s Arms, was charged at the County Police Court in Huddersfield with permitting gaming in his house and premises. Sergeant Lucas with two policemen, Ramsden and Yates, went to the house of the defendant and found some company there. They looked through a hole in the blind and saw the landlord with cards in his hand. On entering , the officers found some men seated at a table. The landlord had a number of cards in his hand which he put into his pocket. Mr.Booth ,who defended , said that no offence was committed unless they were playing for money and there was no proof of this. The Magistrates dismissed the case.
The second anniversary of Armistice day was celebrated in November 1920 by a supper and social held in the house of mine host, Mr.Richard Russell, the Queen’s Arms Hotel. Covers were laid for 60 ex-servicemen and friends and an excellent meal was provided. The social that followed was very well attended and the only toasts proposed were ” The King “, ” The Army, Navy and Air Force” and ” The Memory of the Fallen Heroes “.
1931 . In March at Holmfirth Police Court , the magistrates were engaged for a lenghty period in the hearing of licensing prosecutions relating to the Clothier’s Arms. Chas. Edward Carter, the licensee, was summoned for supplying intoxicating liquors during non- permitted hours to four men, John Smith, Frank Dickinson, Herbert Kenyon and Herbert Sykes all of Netherthong were charged with consuming alcoholic liquor during non- permitted hours. The landlord was also summoned for aiding and abetting but this was not proceeded with.
Supt. Wood, outlining the case for the prosecution, stated that about 11pm on Saturday, February 7 , Inspector Wilde, Police Sergeant Askam and P.C. Jones were on duty in plain clothes near the Clothier’s Arms and they noticed a light in the kitchen. They stood near the window and heard voices. The Inspector was lifted up to the window and could see glasses containg beer on the tables and persons reaching for the glasses and drinking from them. At 11.50 pm the Inspector tried to open the back door but was unable to do so and it was not opened for a while. On entering they saw the landlady rushing out of the kitchen carrying four glasses which she emptied on the floor. There was a lengthy discussion on who did what etc. and the Inspector finally told them they would be reported for drinking beer which they denied.
The defence contended that there had been no drinking and that the men were just eating cheese and biscuits. After considering for five minutes, the Chairman announced that they had considered the case against Chas. Carter had been proved and he was fined 25/- on each of four counts. The other defendants were each fined 20/-.
22 years later it was a case of deja-vu when the licensee of the Clothiers, Frank Silverwood Hampshaw, pleaded guilty at Holmfirth Magistrates Court in August 1953 to three summonses for supplying beer during other than permitted hours. Ronald Stephenson (49 ) a scribbling engineer of 119 Wood Street and Clarence Sykes ( 30 ) a machine packer from number 8, Outlane were summoned for consuming beer and James Horncastle ( 28), a farmer at Beech House was summoned for consuming stout. None of them appeared but sent their apologies via their representative. Hampshaw said he had been the licensee since June 1943 and this was his first conviction – he pleaded guilty and was fined £3 on each of the three summons. The three drinkers were fined £2 each for consuming.
The first record I have come across involving the Queen’s Arms was in March 1873 at the County Police Court, Huddersfield. Ann Woodhouse, the landlady, was charged with having, on February 14, kept open her house for the sale of intoxicating liquors during prohibited hours. The excuse given was that the three men observed drinking by P.C. Booth were helping the landlady with her accounts but no books or pens were seen. The Bench said that they were of the opinion that the making of the accounts had been feigned because the parties had been caught. They fined the defendant £1 and expenses but did not order that the licence should be endorsed as this was her first offence. It was almost 60 years before the Queen’s Arms was reported again, this time in April 1932. William Brook, licensee, was summoned for serving intoxicating liquor to John Winder, a scourer from Honley, and F.Williams, a tile fixer, also of Honley, during non-permitted hours and the two men were summoned for consuming drinks. On Sunday, June 12th. about 11.30pm., Inspector Wilde and PC Jones went to the Queen’s Arms entered by the back door and, when they went in the tap room, they found both men with a pint of beer. The landlord was standing in the doorway and when the Inspector asked the landlord what the two men were doing there , he said he had been fairly caught. Inspector Wilde said that they had kept the Inn under observation for some time and they had seen a man coming out wiping his mouth. All three defendants admitted the offence. The Chairman fined the landlord 30/- on each case and fined the other two defendants £1 each.
In April 1934, William Brook, the landlord of the Queen’s Arms, once again pleaded guilty to supplying intoxicating liquor during non- permitted hours and Arthur Dyson, piecener, was summoned for consuming intoxicating liquor during non-permitted hours. Supt. Crockford stated that on Sunday, March 10, about 10.30pm, Inspector Cooper and P.C.Jones, after making observations, entered the Queen’s Arms and found Dyson in the bar with a pint of beer in his hand. When P.C. Jones was taking away the glass, Brook struck his hand and some of the beer was spilt. The police asked the landlord if he cared to give an explanation and he did not reply. P.C.Jones, in evidence, said that when he looked inside the bar he saw a number of beer glasses with fresh froth adhering to the sides and there were six men in the tap. Supt. Crockford asked Jones if the landlord gave any explanation for the men being there. Inspector Cooper replied no. Brook said he did not serve any drink after 10pm. He had not sold the beer to Dyson but had given it to him. He said he had been playing the piano. It was stated that Brook had been fined for a similar offence previously. The Chairman informed Brook that he would be fined £5 for supplying liquor. He added that Brook had taken over a house of good standing without conviction for a long number of years and here in two years there were two convictions.
The 4th. of a series of Harvest Home was held by Mr.W.Babb in the Clothiers Arms in aid of the Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen’s Families Association and £8 was raised. There was a large turnout for the services when harvest songs were sung by George Earnshaw and Corporal Will Wagstaff. The licensees were Mr.& Mrs. Hampshaw.
Harvest Home was regularly held in the Cricketers Arms and in November 1951 there was a very large array of produce on show – after the appropriate hymns were sung , £15 15s was realised and this money was handed over to the Holmfirth UDC for distribution to the Old Folks’ Clubs at Holmfirth, Honley and New Mill. The final Harvest Home of the series was held in aid of the Holmfirth British Legion’s effort for the Earl Haigh Poppy Fund and generated £16 14s.
In September 1967, the Holmfirth Round Table organised a Medieval Fayre and Tavern Tournament and more than 30 hostelries in the area journeyed back a few hundred years to take part in the Tournament. There were five competitions which consisted of tossing a sheaf of corn, climbing a rope, tug-of-war, jousting and drinking of a yard of ale, with a prize of 100 guineas going to the winning team. It was won by a five man team from the Clothiers’ Arms and the achievement of the team was marked the following week with a presentation of the yard of ale glass to D.Scholfield, the landlord. The glass was hung on a silver chain in the bar. The Harvest Home in the Clothiers in October 1968 raised £21 and the money was handed to the treasurer of the Village Feast Committee. The Rev. Frank Lord conducted a short service.
The Express in March 1969 published a full page listing many of the local pubs. The advert for the Clothiers was as follows.
Dinners – up to 20 book in advance
Sandwiches – anytime
Pie and Peas – Friday Nights
Buffet Parties catered for
Telephone – Holmfirth 3480.
A pile of old pennies collected at the Clothiers were cashed in on D-day ( decimal day) in July 1971 and the proceeds from this and a raffle were handed over to the Scout Group. The pile had been started by Mr.& Mrs.D.Scholfield the previous November and, with the help of a raffle to guess the number of pennies, £11 was raised and a cheque was presented to Mr.J.Jackson, chairman of the Scout Group Council. Later that year in September, the Clothiers paid host to the Village Feast harvest home which realised £31.50 with the proceeds going to the Village Feast fund. The fruit, flowers and vegetables were auctioned by Mr.H.Brook who was assisted by Mrs.A. Harrison. The Rev.J.Capstick officiated and Mrs.A.Shaw was the pianist.
The Senior Citizens Club benefitted by over £1,000 from collections at the Clothiers Arms from 1974 to 1979. The money was raised by a bottle on the bar, holding raffles and using half the proceeds of the harvest home. A cheque for £201 was presented by the landlord, Derek Schofileld , to the treasurer, Raymond Hall, of the club in August 1979 taking the total to £1,100. The photo shows the handover of the cheque.
A team from the Clothiers was one of 12 from various local hostelries that took part in a Farmers Knockout pub tournament at the 1978 Pennine Show. Each team comprised four lads and two lasses and the first prize was £30. The Clothiers were not in the first three but all the entrants did compete in the grand finale – ‘Old Mother Giles’ Corset race’.
In January 1979, Derek Schofield of the Clothiers Arms was among 100 publicans nominated by their customers for regional and possible national awards in recognition of their contributions to the local community life and to charity.
A total of £122 was raised for the School Feast and Old Folks Treat at a harvest home in the Cricketer Arms in September 1980. Honley Silver Prize Band provided entertainment for the visitors and a short service was conducted by the Rev.J.Capstick. The auctioneer was Stanley Dickinson, a customer at the pub. Three years later another similar auction was held, organised by John and Judith Beardsell, landlord and landlady.
In December 1982 Derick and Sylvia Schofield, landlord and landlady of the Clothier’s Arms, decided to part with their collection of 700 ex- juke box singles which covered every variety of pop music from the mid- sixties. They were auctioned off and the sale was very well attended and just over £70 was raised with the proceeds going to the scout group to help their funds.
The Huddersfield Examiner printed the following photo in November 1983. It shows Derick and Sylvia Schofield and customers in the Clothier’s Arms. The licensee, Derick Schofield, was born and brought up in Netherthong and had run the pub since 1966. In his youth he played for the village football team and said that at that time there was a football field and tennis courts where the Netherfield estate now stands. He helped rebuild the local football team 10 years ago and it had since grown to three teams.They met at the pub but played their home matches at a football field in Thongsbridge, In 1981 in recognition of their community work he and his wife earned them the village’s nomination for a Brewer’ Society Local Life Award.
The photograph below shows the Rev.John Capstick outside the Cricketers in disguise.
Apparently the occasion for the above festivities was the Queen’s Jubilee in June 1977. Steven Gledhill, a plumber and a well know local character, dressed up as the vicar and John Capstick reversed roles.
Below are three photographs with an age difference of 119 years all featuring the Clothiers. The first photograph is one of the earliest photos taken in the village and shows a line of villagers ready to celebrate the Jubilee in 1887. The second is titled ” a group of villagers set off in a char-a-banc on a big adventure from The Clothiers”. Date is not confirmed but likely to be the 1930s. The third is dated 15 September 2000 and shows the athletes passing by the Clothiers.
The following photograph shows the barn adjacent to the Clothier’s Arms which would have been used for a large range of activities.
Below are two interesting comments by inhabitants about the role of the public houses in the village.
The first is by Mrs. DB. “ The Clothiers was the centre of village life. My father spent all his social life there, much to the wraith of my mother who was a strict Methodist. I was brought up to regard it as a den of iniquity and was very nervous when I first crossed the threshold to collect the infant granddaughter of the landlady for the day. Every Autumn a Harvest festival was held in the pub, the fruit and vegetables were sold and the proceeds donated to the annual school feast funds. My mother was only persuaded to play the hymns there when she was told the vicar would be present. However I was not allowed in. “
The second is by ML whose memory is of “ a tradition of hymn singing on Sunday nights at the pub in Deanhouse. I went there in the mid-60s and they had all the words to the hymns written on large oilcloths so that everyone could join in. The atmosphere seemed to be more about singing than having a religious slant and, indeed in my parent’s generation, the churches and chapels were the basis of most of the social activity, in particular the choir. I only went to the pub there to capture something I’d heard about, having been brought up not to go into pubs – they were more the affair of the working man.”
April 28 2015 was definitely a Red Letter Day for Netherthong and the Clothiers when The Bengal restaurant opened its doors in the left hand side of the pub where the pool table used to be located. It is very tastefully decorated, creating a good ambience and the menu is extensive covering Bengal Specialities, Tandoori Dishes plus the Old Favourites. The head chef is Ali , originally from Bangladesh , who is well known and respected in the area and mixes all his own spices to his own secret recipes. The Head Waiter, Maz, is equally well known in the area. My wife and I visited for the first time at the beginning of May 2015- she had a fish Coconut Curry and I had the Tandoori Mix Delight. As Arnie says – ” we will be back” – many times. The Bengal celebrated its first anniversary in April 2016 and has proved to be a success.
And now for a piece of trivia : In 1960 there were 500 ‘Indian’ restaurants in the UK and by 2015 this had increased to 2015 with some 65% of them are actually owned and run by Bangladeshis. By far and away the most the most popular dish, with 14.2% of the market, is Chicken Tikka Masala which ,on googling, I found was ‘invented ‘ in Glagow !!. The phrases ” do you want Indian tonight ?” and ” going out for an Indian ” are now part of the vernacular.