Portraits of People and Events

   The purpose  of this chapter is to include  photographs of the  inhabitants of the village and of events where many of them were involved.  Only a few have been identified  so if you are viewing this chapter and  recognise anybody or anything in any of the  photographs or can supply a more accurate date,  I would be grateful if you would contact me so that I can update the details. To make it easier to identify a particular photograph I have numbered them from mm1 onwards in the captions. Many of them were contributed by Sheila Gledhill, a resident of the village.


mm1. Very old family grouping – 1900s?


mm2. Mr. C or G. Greaves


mm3. Large family group anon


mm4. Husbands and wives anon



mm 5. Messrs. Greaves, Hardy and Gledhill.


mm6. Wedding photo of C.Bray



mm7. Mr.Herbert and family 1937


mm8. Annie Hawksworth and baby John


mm9. Clara picking bluebells


mm10. Miss Cousen outside her house in Outlane
Nora and her dog, Moss, with Dockhill in the centre background.


mm11. Top view is of young Vera and her dog, Moss- 1936.Lower view is Vera and Moss with Joe and a roller.
mm12. Ned Wood – a hand loom weaver

All I know about this next photograph is that it is supposed to show a large group of children outside a Deanhouse  public house.  The date looks to be about the 1920s. The public house is probably the Cricketers although it was not called that officially until many years later. Perhaps it was a Sunday School group ( Wesleyan? ) having a party?

Large group of young children outside public house? 1920s
Large group of young children outside public house? 1920s
mm13. An enthusiastic gardening group 1938.
mm14. Mr. Wagstaff with his family


mm15. A group of children from Deanhouse 1936
mm16. Father Benj Dyson
mm17. Mr. J.W.Green – church organist 1946
mm18. Mr.Hirst and his “band ” of willing musicians


mm19. Family group anon.


Sheila Whittam ( nee Roebuck ) sent me a number of old family photographs. She’s not sure that the people in the first two were residents of Netherthong.  The third photograph of the Roebuck/ Hellawell family could have been taken in the garden of Ludgate House.  Her uncle Frank Roebuck is on the far left in the back row, and the other younger man also on the back row was his elder brother, Stanley, Sheila’s father.  Alice Roebuck( nee Hellawell ) , her grandmother is 2nd. left in the middle row,

courtesy of Sheila Whittam


courtesy of Sheila Whittam 2


Roebuck/Hellawell family group


The villagers loved celebrations whether they were for Jubilees, Coronations, War victories or their own annual field days when all the Sunday school children combined to have a good time. Many of these events are reported in various chapters. I have managed to obtain a number of photographs of some of them  but as yet am unable to put accurate dates to many of them.

mm20. Deanhouse victory group



mm21. The Netherthong Ladies Victory Group + 2 men.


mm22. Procession led by Brass Band  coming up Outlane to Towngate
mm22. Procession led by Brass Band coming up Outlane to Towngate


mm23. Combined school feast in Towngate 1934
mm23. Combined school feast in Towngate 1934


mm24. Jubilee celebrations in Towngate.
mm24. Jubilee celebrations in Towngate.


mm25. Combined school feast in Towngate
mm25. Combined school feast in Towngate
mm26. Combined school feast 1949. See Co-op in background.
mm26. Combined school feast 1949. See Co-op in background.


mm40.  A large happy group watching an event.  Must be 1930s but is connected to Netherthong ?
mm40. A large happy group watching an event. Must be 1930s but is it connected to Netherthong ?

 The Annual  Hospital Day in Holmfirth was always very well supported by organisations and individuals from the various villages. The photograph below , date unknown, shows a decorated horse and wagon, which won 1st.prize . Mr.Moorhouse is standing by the wagon with Beatrice sitting on the swing.  Holmfirth Gasometer can be seen in the background.


The photograph below, courtesy of Haydn Boothroyd, was taken in the late 1940s/early 1950s and is of an annual Co-op outing, with  most of them from the village. The venue could have been at either Blackpool/Morecambe/Bridlington, which were the places popular for day-outings or annual holidays. Many of the people are identified on the back of the photo and I have included it..  The man in front with the colourful tie and crossed hands was Philip Dixon who lived in the house that was the Methodist Chapel at the bottom of Outlane. Haydn’s mother , wearing glasses, is directly behind him and on her left in the white cardigan is Aunt Kathleen, who until her death lived in the big house at the top of New Road  with the gable onto the War Memorial. Haydn’s father, in the dark suit, is second in from the right on the back row.


Co-op group late 1940s/early 50s


Names of people in the photo
Decorated horse and cart


In March 1977, a group of mothers in the Dean House estate got together and decided it was time for action. The result was that  the village had its first Mothers and Toddlers Club which would meet at Zion Chapel. Mrs. Irene Aspinall of St.Mary’s Way said that initially they would meet fortnightly and then move to weekly. About 20 children were expected at the first meeting.

New mothers and toddlers club March 1977
New mothers and toddlers club March 1977


The photograph below is of Mrs.Edith Hart who lived in Leas Road. She reached ninety in September 1984 and was treated to a big party by all her friends. She moved to Netherthong 23 years previously, when her husband died. During her time in the village she said she had seen some radical changes with many of the shops closing down.

Mrs.Edith Hart 90th. birthday
Mrs.Edith Hart 90th. birthday


Every village needs  “characters ”  and in Netherthong one of them was Mr.Leonard Leak of Outlane. He spent all his working day making sure the streets of Netherthong and surrounding areas were kept clean and he admitted it was a job that he took pride in . He had lived in the village since 1950 and used to work at Deanhouse Mill when it was still a busy cloth producer. He joined Kirklees Council just a month after the council was formed and worked for a while as a refuse collector before  transferring to his street cleaning duty. He said there was still a marvellous community spirit in Netherthong although the village had been spoilt by the large amount of building and the heavy traffic. When he retired he was still seen around the village. The photo was taken in 1983.

Leonard Leak on the job
Leonard Leak on the job


The Examiner wrote  an article on Mr.Jim Ellis ( 68 ) of East End. For over 30 years he had been indulging his hobby of making walking sticks and shepherds’ crooks. Each stick he made had its own distinctive handle, crafted out of elm, sheep’s horns or antlers. He said that the sticks he used were collected whenever he went out walking, but it took  two years before they could be turned into walking sticks as they first had to be straightened and treated, A more elaborate stick took a week’s work. Some of his sticks were donated to charity and others proved to be popular 70th. birthday presents. A few of his sticks were in the collection of about 160 different walking sticks at the Clothier’s Arms. He was well known in the village and used to be a farmer at Hagg Royd Farm and delivered milk round the village in his early days.


Mr.Jim Ellis 1983 - walking stick man
Mr.Jim Ellis 1983 – walking stick man

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