Interesting odds and bods – Part 2 -1917 to date

The original chapter of ‘odds and bods’ just kept on growing so, to make it more manageable,  I have split it into two sections.

The July 7 1917 edition of the Express had a leader headed ” The War and the future of the Express “. It reported that staff numbers had been reduced by 75% and the number of pages by 400%. It added that the paper was determined to continue. Fortunately it did. 

In this modern high-tech world  we take continual rapid scientific changes in our stride without batting an eyelid, but  history shows that this was not always the case with the Luddites being the most well known example of resistance to change.  The  introduction  of electricity to the village did not proceed without difficulties. There was  a strong resistance from many of the inhabitants with a number of public meetings being held  and it needed a lot of persuasion and publicity from the local electricity department to demonstrate the benefits. In October 1923, a Series of Electrical Exhibitions and Demonstrations were held , under the auspices of the Electricity Department of the Holmfirth UDC, at the United Methodist Church Schoolroom. One exhibition  showed examples of electrical equipment and the benefits of electricity in the home. Among the appliances shown were the Thor electric washer and wringer, an electric iron, cookers and radiant fires. The Cadillac electric vacuum cleaner attracted lots of interest.

When  the three churches in the village were eventually connected , the switching- on was made into a grand occasion – see the reports for the individual churches.

At the 48th. Annual Holmfirth Agricultural and Horticultural Show held in August 1924, H.Roebuck won two prizes for his chickens. In the Utility Class- Wyandotte, any variety hen or pullet, he came 2nd. and in the ‘any variety cock or cockerel class’ he came third. At the Brighouse Agricultural Show in September 1928, Mr.J.Mallinson took four firsts and specials for dahlias, violas, gladiolas and bunches of annuals. He followed this up  in the same month when he received  the highest award at the Honley vegetable and flower show.

The Express in July 1926 printed the following Public Notice.

West Riding County Council

Holmfirth Education Sub- Committee

Evening Schools – Session 1926/1927

1. Industrial Classes for Boys at Netherthong National school.

2. Housecraft Classes for Girls at Netherthong National school.

I had been trying for a long time to discover when the first buses started to run through  Netherthong and then, whilst  reading through the  1926  issues of the Express, I came to  April 24 and saw that it had printed a copy of the Bus Service Time Table from Holmfirth to Meltham. The buses were run by Haigh’s Garage, Holmfirth ,and the service started at the bottom of Victoria Street and finished at the Swan Inn,  Meltham, before turning round and returning. There was a morning service only on Tuesdays at 9.00am and 10.00.am and, for the rest of the week, the service was only in the afternoon/evening with start times at 1.00, 3.00, 5.00, 6.00, 7.00, 8.00 with the last bus leaving Holmfirth at 10.00. There were 5 stages –Holmfirth, Netherthong, Wilshaw, Meltham Golf Links and Meltham and the fares were 2d per stage or 6d for a through trip. It took 7 minutes for the bus to get to Netherthong and a further 18 minutes to arrive at Meltham. I’m still no wiser when the service first started.

 There was a bus service from Holmfirth that went to Slaithwate and on to Marsden which would have gone through Netherthong but I have no other details. However on October 13th. 1948, a Huddersfield Corporation bus en route to Holmfirth from Meltham skidded in New Road after leaving  Towngate. The vehicle swung round and became wedged with both the front and rear ends crashing into the walls at opposite sides of the road but fortunately, only one passenger was slightly injured.

The January 31st. 1925 issue of the Express was the first time it had  included a Crossword Puzzle.

In 1926 the Holmfirth District Council, ( which included Netherthong), discussed the question of adopting measures to make Holmfirth safer and lessen accidents due to the crowded streets. Fast forward 90 years and I wonder what the members of the Council would have made about the current traffic levels!

The area had an unexpected visitant in June 1927 and  much interest was taken in the flight of an aeroplane over the Wolfstone’s area. The ‘plane flew over Knowle and landed in a field in Honley Moor and, after staying a while, took off and disappeared into the elements. A large number of locals went to view the aeroplane but it was reported that the cattle and poultry did not appear to have taken kindly to the visitor.

Mr.J.Woodhead,JP, the chairman of the Holmfirth Memorial Hospital committee, gave a report in July on the progress of the Hospital scheme paying tribute to the generous support given by the public. He presented the following statistics since the hospital had opened in 1920. 1861 patients treated, 250 maternity cases, 1,161 operations, 711 X-ray examinations, 9,125 massage treatments to 369 patients, 7,934 visits by district nurse to 1501 patients, 7,634 visits by maternity nurse to 612 patients. 862 babies had been born either in the maternity house or under supervision at home.

  The big event of that year was the Royal Visit by HRH Princess Mary and Viscount Lascelles on Friday August 5th. The Right Hon. Viscount Lascelles K.G. D.S.O. opened the British Legion Fete and Forget-Me- Not Bazaar which was held in fields off Netherthong New Road. The grounds and woodlands comprising an area of 55 acres had been placed at the disposal of the committee by Mr.F.Brown of Somerfield. The bazaar was also held on the Saturday and  admission was 1/- on the Friday and 6d on the Saturday. The following two photographs were lent to me by Anne and Pamela Watson. The first one taken at the war memorial  at Holme Valley Memorial  Hospital on 5 August 1927,  shows Louie(Watson) Charlesworth on the extreme left behind the flag – she was selected as an escort to Lillian Ogden ( Mrs.Frank Platt.)

Royal Visit
5, August 1927.

The second  photograph was taken on 7 April 1928 when Princess Mary had come to open Holme Valley Memorial Hospital, ” Elm Wood”.

Opening of Holme Valley Memorial Hospital
7 April 1928

 In November 1927 , a change was made in the day for the issue of books from the circulating library at Netherthong. Mr. Butterworth, the hon. librarian, said the library would open from 6-7 pm on Mondays.

In April 1928 the Express carried the following advert which may bring back some memories for those of a certain age.

Egg Preserving

is safe and easy with our

Water – Glass

Just mix the Water-Glass in water and you have a

compound that will keep eggs in perfect condition

for many months.

1lb. for 70 eggs – 4d

Gledhill & Brook Ltd. Holmfirth

April 1929 saw the start of serious water supply problems. The Holmfirth UDC said that, due to the state of the reservoirs, the continuous supply of water could not be maintained. Notice was given that from April 26, water was only to be used for domestic purposes and any consumers found using water otherwise would be prosecuted. In July, industrial users were cut off but rains in August managed to prevent a complete stoppage of water supply. At the beginning of September, the supply of water had met the demands on the reservoirs and, with continued effort by all concerned, the Council was able to maintain a supply. However by the end of the month there had been no further rain, so the Council issued a warning that the supply could be exhausted at any time. They did however list a number of public wells of which the water had been recently tested and certified fit for drinking ( the one in Netherthong was at Wells Green ). They made arrangements with Batley Corporation for a supply of water but continued to encourage people to use water from public wells but in all cases to boil the water for drinking purposes.That was the last report for the year so presumably autumn rains were plentiful.

I’ve included the following report taken from the Express in August 1930 because firstly, although it refers to Holmfirth, the villagers would have availed themselves of the facility and secondly because of the wording which if used today would cause more than a little concern. It read ” The new swimming baths at Newfold, Holmfirth, are aptly renamed Holmfirth’s Lido and there were gay scenes at the opening with the Youth and Middle-aged joining in the fun.” It’s appropriate to report here that the “new ” £120,000 swimming pool , which had been the subject of much discussion and debate from 1973, finally opened on September 21, 1975

The Ministry of Agriculture & Fisheries designated 1930’s Rat Week to commence on Monday, November 3rd.The Ministry urged all local authorities to enforce the Rat & Mice ( Destruction ) Act 1919 for a special effort. A year later on Saturday, November 7 1931, another Rat Week was held with all occupiers of land and premises obliged by law to destroy rats. An earthquake which occurred in June 1931  was felt from Aberdeen to Jersey with tremors lasting several minutes. According to the experts the shock was the greatest that had occurred in England since records began. Three months later on September 4, giant floods descended on the Holme Valley. The first few months of 1933 saw two ‘major’ disasters. The first was in January when a flu epidemic swept through the Holme Valley District – shops, the Mills, schools and sports were all seriously affected and two months later the area experienced its worst snowstorm for 60 years and the Holme Valley was virtually isolated. The residents of Netherthong were marooned for almost a week.

At the Worsley Open  Show in August 1935, Mr. F. Ellis, Harroyd Farm, was rewarded three first prizes and also a special for the best of sex in breed with a red setter in the canine classes. The same month there was a major drought in the Holme Valley and vicinity as well as  affecting the rest of the country and was made worse by  the current heat wave.  Water warning notices were distributed in all the villages but it continued to worsen and became critical and required Batley Corporation having to supply bulk amounts. The Express in July 1935 reported on a small note that had appeared in a recent edition of the Yorkshire Post. It referred to a Netherthong man’s candidature in a General Election that took place one hundred years ago ( 1837 ). It stated ” A 100 years ago a General Election was held following the accession of Queen Victoria. In the West Riding the election for two members gave the following results. Lord Morpeth 12,576 : Sir George Strickland 11,892 : Hon – John Stewart – Wortley 11.480. Samuel Wood ( Slaithwaite ) 1 vote : Eliha Hobson 1 vote. The last two got their 15 minutes of fame. 

June 1939 was a joyous occasion. Mr. & Mrs. Alfred Mallinson, who celebrated their Golden Wedding, were both born 74 years earlier at Netherthong. They attended the village school together and were in the same class. Both worked at Deanhouse Mills and were married at the Parish church. Alfred retired at 71 years after completing 57 years at the mill. They had a son and two daughters.

In October that year  the blackout restrictions came into force.  A man  was summoned for being drunk and disorderly in Holmfirth. It was stated that when he was spoken to , he replied “ Where am I ? Who has turned the lights out ? “ He was fined £1.

The Express carried a report headed “Britain’s Oldest Woman Organist “. It said that Mrs. Sarah W. Jackson of St.Annes Square, who was 89 years old ,was perhaps the oldest woman organist in Britain and possibly in the world. Since the age of 17 she had been the “ voluntary “ organist at Netherthong Parish Church. ‘She refuses to admit she is old, eats what she likes, dresses carefully and enjoys company and, up until a few years ago, she was a regular on the Choir’s annual trips.’

The  following report is also included in the chapter on the history of the Roebuck family of Moor Lane.

Memories. These were told to me by Keith Roebuck who was born in 1944 and owns Brownhill Farm at the end of Ox Lane. The family name goes back to the 17th. century and is mentioned numerous times in various chapters in this history. The original village reservoir is near to his farm and he said that the Water Board built an underground reservoir at the Ford Inn on the Greenfield Road and in addition there was another open reservoir and the  pipes ,which fed the Brownhill reservoir,  went right past his property. The water was then gravity fed to a pump house in the lane below and from there pumped to the village and the original concrete base and protruding pipe are still visible . The reservoir  was very popular for swimming and some enterprising soul had stocked it with trout but, once it was no longer the source of water for the village, the Board became very concerned over the safety because of the risks to people using it for  swimming and filled it in. Part of the embankment is still there  and the ” tower ”  with its level marks up the side can be clearly seen. Keith said that in the early fifties he would help his dad drive his cows down through the fields to Moor Lane and then along to the crossroads at Knoll Lane to graze. He can remember seeing Bamforth’s van regularly but traffic was generally scarce. In the village there were two fish and chip shops, one was in Giles Street on the left hand corner just before the junction with Outlane ( it later became the scout hut ) and the frier would have to light his coal -fire to warm the stove. It was very busy and opened all day Friday and always had orders from Deanhouse Institution and from Deanhouse Mill. It closed at 7pm in the evenings. The other fish shop was in a house just before Broomy Lea that was run by a Mrs.Hoyle : her husband was a driving instructor and had taught Keith to drive.

At the November 1936 show of the Holmfirth Pigeon Fanciers Society, Mr.H.Wilson, of the village,   was very successful when he obtained a 2nd. for a Racing homer pigeon adult cock, a 2nd. and 3rd. for an adult hen and 1st. prize for any pigeon bred by an exhibitor.

Following the beagles was a very popular pastime and the Holme Valley Beagles were well supported by the inhabitants of all the surrounding villages and hamlets. One Sunday in March 1939 the Beagles started from Deanhouse. The hounds found the ‘ puss ‘ near the Institution, ran towards Holmroyd and on to Lower Oldfield.  ‘Puss ‘ doubled back to Howards, Miry Lane and Holmroyd Wood then onto Larch Wood, Banks Wood, Holmroyd, the Institution, Lower Oldfield and down to Gift wood before finally ending at Honley Cricket field. The Huntsman made a sporting move and called the hounds off. I have included more details in the chapter on Sport.

  Whilst there is no record of her ever coming up to Netherthong, the big talking point in September 1941 was Fenella the tigress who could often be seen “ going walkabout “ in Holmfirth. A number of books about her have been published.

One of the popular attractions at The Hope Bank Amusement Park was a Zoo and in July 1949 a baboon escaped from its enclosure in the morning and remained at large almost all day before being captured in the evening. There was another incident  in February 1951 when a two year old Russian Bear called Tasha escaped from its cage. She had made a hole at the back of it which allowed her to squeeze through but it was fortunately too small to let the larger four year old male bear,  Bruno, escape. An appeal for aid was answered by the local police and the RSPCA but attempts to get Tasha back into her cage were unsuccessful and she wandered round the zoo causing the other bears in captivity to become very agitated. As the afternoon drew on , it was decided that she must be destroyed before it got too dark. Seemingly aware that her fate was drawing near she scaled a tree and went right to the top. Two RSPCA inspectors took aim with their rifles and she fell to the ground. With further rifle shots and humane killers her death was made sure.  Bruno  also had to be destroyed for it was feared that without his mate he could get out of control.

As an example of what earnings were in 1942  the Express published the Cost of Living Wages for bleaching, dying, printing, finishing etc for the ensuing next 3 months.

Age   Rates per week of 48hrs for males     females

14                         20/-                                     16/-

16                        26/-                                     21/-

18                       44/-                                      40/-

21                       64/

In August 1942 about 60 women, mainly from Netherthong, attended a demonstration of outdoor cooking held in a field in the village under the auspices of the Housewives scheme of the WVS. The demonstration was by Mrs. Burth with Mrs. Veronica Gledhill as her chief assistant. In January 1943 the Netherthong WVS held their 3rd. series of lectures and classes – a government “ blitz cooker “ was erected and  Mrs. Brook of Honley demonstrated blitz cookery and the Netherthong Girl Guides collected herbs for use.

In September there were 150 entries , including three from Netherthong, at the first ever members – only show for the Holmfirth Rabbit Club.

At the end of the year there was a Christmas wedding at the Wesleyan Methodist Church on Boxing Day between Bombardier Albert Cartwright of Denegarth, Deanhouse, and Miss Phyllis Wagstaff of Rob Roy, Netherthong. The bride was a Sunday school teacher, a member of the choir at the Chapel and a lieutenant in the Netherthong Girl Guide Company.

The whole area was agog with excitement in January 1943 when the famous Yorkshire and England cricketer, Len Hutton visited Holmfirth. He played with a Honley X1 against a Holmfirth team and scored 63 not out.The game attracted large crowds and the proceeds went to the Holme Valley Red Cross Comforts Fund.

The Ministry of Food had been encouraging people to rear rabbits to augment their meat supplies. This in turn had prompted townsfolk to breed rabbits as pets and also to exhibit them.  In October 1943, Holmfirth  Rabbit Club held their second open exhibition. A Netherthong youth, Clifford Leake, was the most successful exhibitor and, with an ermine rex , he won three first prizes and his exhibit also won the “ Fur and Feather “ special prize for the best rabbit in the show.. 

 On May 29 1944, a cloudburst in the Holme Valley caused havoc and widespread damage which resulted in three deaths. At 6pm, a little to the west of Bilberry reservoir, a cloudburst caused mighty torrents to swell the River Holme which rose to 18 feet. It poured through Holmfirth and Mrs. Milligan, a resident of Netherthong, says she can remember as a young girl returning home with her mother from the theatre in Holmfirth and seeing the waters flooding down the roads but they were fortunate to be near New Road  and could escape up the hill.  At a public meeting held in the Council School a target of £200 was fixed for the village’s effort for the Holmfirth Flood Relief Fund and it was agreed that the Annual Field Day, planned for August , which normally gave its proceeds to the Comforts Fund would instead be given to the Relief Fund.

One of the worst snowstorms ever known in the district  led to Britains big ” freeze- up “. Thomas Dyson & Sons Deanhouse Mills closed down with the exception of about 20-25 people on essential work. Mr.C.S.Floyd said that the company had sufficient fuel to keep the mill going but only 10t had been delivered in the last week and, if there were no more deliveries, the mill would have to shut down. German POWs and Polish soldiers were brought in to clear Greenfield Tunnel. A wedding in March 1949 was the very first marriage of two displaced persons to take place in a local place of worship. 50-60 Estonians were employed in various mills in Holmfirth  and several ladies were employed at Deanhouse hospital ( see details). The bridegroom, Mr.Lambit Raitare, called for his bride at Deanhouse Hospital , where she had been employed as  a ward orderly, a few minutes before the ceremony as per the Estonian custom. The couple were married in All Saints Church according to the rites of the Church of England by the Rev.S.Black, the vicar, and Dean J. Taul, of the Estonian Legation in London, performed an Estonian marriage service. Mr. Harold Pearson was the organist. The bride was attended by Miss Mai Penter, one of her fellow workers at the Hospital. Ten of the bride’s colleagues from the hospital and three from Holme Valley Memorial Hospital were also present. The wedding was celebrated in traditional Estonian style in the evening when about 30 Estonian guests attended a reception at Washpit Mills canteen where the groom was employed. After the wedding the Estonian pastor visited the home of another Estonian couple at Deanhouse and baptised the month-old daughter of Mr. Kalje Sadem and Mrs. Silvia Sadem. Before her marriage she was employed at Deanhouse hospital and her husband worked at Washpit Mills.

January 1945 saw the newspaper change its name to the Holmfirth Express & District Reporter, and there  was a further change on September 9th. 1967 when the Holmfirth Express incorporated the Honley & Meltham Express. The issue of the Express for March 29 1947 carried the following notice from the HUDC. that allotments were vacant at Netherthong ( I’m still trying to find out where they were located and when they ceased ). 

An Estonian celebration was held in the Parish Church in July 1949. More than 300 Estonians took part in a festival to commemorate the founding of the Estonian Republic in 1919 with a special gathering in All Saints’ Church.The exiles came from many towns and cities in the North of England and the services were conducted by an Estonian minister, Pastor Reinaru, from Selby. After the service, tea was served in the day school and this was followed by a social evening and dance. National songs were rendered by a mixed choir, a male voice choir and soloists.

The same month saw drought conditions return. 

Occasionally the Express gave the report from the County Librarian of the details of the  reading habits of the inhabitants of the village based on the number of books borrowed from the library and the number of borrowers. For the quarter ending 30 June 1948, 598 books and 52 borrowers,  For the quarter ending December 1949, the number of books were much lower at 278 but the number of borrowers stayed constant at 51. The next report was for the quarter ending 31 March 1951 and the figures showed a remarkable consistency, 290 books for 51 readers. 

A prizewinning rabbit made the local news in November/December 1949.  A Havana Rex rabbit called ” Myronne Rex “, owned by W.Fieldsend of Netherthong won 21 1st. prizes  and two 2nd. prizes in various under – five classes. Competing in the adult classes it won four 1st. prizes at Histon , Cambridgeshire and at a Huddersfield competition it won five 1sts., a best-of-show, a challenge certificate and a best fur diploma.

In April 1950, a Holmfirth & District Fox Club had been formed with the objective of eliminating as many foxes as possible. The meeting in June reported the death of 20 foxes and cubs. Every person, who had proved the killing of a fox by producing its body and having the brush removed by a club ‘ teller ‘, was paid the stipulated £1 reward. The Government made a contribution for each fox killed and various local farmers, especially poultry farmers, made donations. There was another report on the Fox Club in June 1951 and it said great service had been given by ridding the area of 60 foxes in the first year of operations. A further 47 had been killed since April 1.

All over the country in February 1953,  surplus clothing was being collected for the relief of the victims of the the flooding on the East Coast. A depot was set up at the Day School ( up to 4pm ) and afterwards at Holmleigh, the house of Mrs.Swallows.

For the quarter ending December 1953 the number of borrowers at the village library were 104 and between them they borrowed 429 books. The mathematics would indicate that they were not very fast readers. 

Nine different local organisations met in the School in October 1965 and there was unanimous agreement that there was a need for a Village Hall. A steering committee of Alan Dobson,Tim Beaumont and Peter Ball was elected. The organisations represented were : Netherthong Civic Action group, Scouts, School Feast Committee, Cubs, Netherthong Sports Club, Parish Church, Parochial Church Council, Senior Citizens and Young Wives group.

Later that month the Civic Action Group Committee met to discuss the general tidying up of the village. The main targets were the surrounds to the well at Wells Green and the footpath from Deanbrook Road to Deanhouse Chapel. They also planned to find out  information about setting a weight limit restriction on vehicles going through the village. The next report of this Group was in April 1975 when they approached Kirklees to help them provide a football field in the village as the  team were currently having to play their home games at Thongsbridge.  Action was taken at a meeting  when three councillors sitting on the Kirklees joined the other 40 people present. The club  after promotion in the last two successive seasons   were hoping to make it a triple success for the current season and aid their quest for a football field.The District football league had asked the club to improve the facilities to provide changing rooms and showers or risk being expelled from the league. To the best of my knowledge no field was ever provided.  Fast forward to July 1985, when the Express reported that the villagers were planning a public meeting to discuss the formation of a community association. It was to be held in the parish rooms with representative s of various groups. Martin Brentham was one of the organisers and he said there was no question that a multi-purpose center was needed desperately but this had been totally overlooked by Kirklees Council. There was no follow up reports and as usual Netherthong was ignored.

The Meals on Wheels Service started up in the Holmfirth Area in 1958 but it wasn’t until 1981 that a fifth rota was set up in Netherthong with Mrs. Liz Kerchar as leader. Some new drivers joined the rota and those from other ” rounds ” did extra duties until more volunteers were recruited.

In December 1954 some of the worst gales ever experienced in the village and the Holme Valley, were prevalent for a whole week and considerable damage was reported. A tree in the plantation at Fairfields, New Road, crashed across the road blocking it and the Holmfirth – Marsden bus had to make a detour via Thongsbridge.

Damage estimated at about £100 was caused by a fire at the Fish & Chip Shop in Giles street in April 1955. The outbreak was caused by fat which boiled over and ignited. The Holmfirth Unit of the County Fire Services put out the fire with foam extinguishers.  A year later they were called out to another fire in the village , this time to St.Anne’s Square where a fire had broken out in a barn belonging to T.Wilson. Hay protruding under the door to the barn had become ignited and flames spread to about 3t of hay inside the barn causing damage estimated at £20.

Mrs. A.Littlewood of Netherfields was a very successful breeder of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and the Express regularly reported on her success at dog shows. The first report was in 1957 and, at the Bolton New Year’s Day Dog Show, ” April Folley of Ttiweh ” won the Novice Dog or Bitch class. Later that year in June at the Blackpool Championship Show, ” Vairire Isolde ” gained 2nd. prize in both puppy dog or bitch ( 6 to 18 months ) and novice dog or bitch classes. The same dog won 1st. prize in the Cocker Spaniel class and also an award for best of breed at the Lancashire Agricultural Show in August . Also in August  at the Halifax Dog Show it gained two reserves in any variety toy novice and any variety toy open classes.  Competitions were coming fast and furious  and at the Birmingham Championship Show in September it gained 3rd. prize. The same month they went to the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club open show at Hampstead Baths in London. ” Vairire isolde ” gained 1st. prize and the Freedman Silver Trophy for best special beginner’s dog or bitch and 3rd. prize in the novice bitch class. The next report was in March 1958 at the Scottish Kennel Club Championships held in Glasgow and the bitch gained 1st. prize in both the limit and open bitch classes and was awarded the Kennel Club Challenge Certificate. Nearer home in the same month she won 1st. prize in any variety toy at Brighouse Canine Society’s Show. Continuing her winning ways, she won 1st. prize in the Cavalier King Charles open dog/bitch class at the Royal Lancashire Show.

In August 1961 Mr.Bruce Roebuck of Green Cottage won the Huddersfield Scooter Club Auto-cycle Union safety badge tests. His total score was 281 made up of 53/60 for the Highway Code, 60/60 for the practical test and 168/170 for the condition of his machine. The very first colour TV set in the Holme Valley was installed in the home of Mr. R.Platt of Netherlea, New Road at a cost of 315 guineas.

At 8.30 on Wednesday June 14 1967, the manual telephone exchange, which had served Holmfirth ( and Netherthong ) for nearly 40 years, was closed down and  replaced by the new automatic exchange on Wood lane.

The paper gave a short report in October 1968 on the paintings of Duncan Haughey of Leas Avenue. Duncan is a quadriplegic with use only in his lower arms and wrists and he would be having an exhibition in the private art gallery of Ashley Jackson in Barnsley.

A truly cosmopolitan wedding was held in March 1969 at the Parish Church when no less than six nationalities were represented. The bride was Miss Lillian Buck of Leas Avenue  and the bridegroom was Mr.Vincent Brammal of Choppards.  The bride’s father and godfather were Polish and the bridegroom’s mother and two sisters were French. The uncle of the bridegroom was Belgian and the bride’s godmother was Yugoslavian. The bride’s mother was Scottish and finally the bridegroom’s father was English. The ceremony was conducted by the Rev. Frank Lord and the organist was Mr.Keith Jarvis. (They must have had a lot of very interesting toasts.)

Yorkshire TV station was successfully launched on July 29, 1968.

In 1974 the Express started a weekly article titled ‘ Miss Express of the Week ‘ and printed a large photograph of a ‘local beauty’ with her name, interests and vital statistics.   Miss Karen Taylor of Netherthong was selected for the January 31 1975 edition. She was aged 16 and her ambition was to make a free-fall parachute jump. Her hobbies included horse riding and cooking. Her vital statistics were given as 36-24-36.  (If you ever happen to read this History Karen, I would love to know if you made that jump). The village had a Mobile Library Service and, in May 1974, after the take over of responsibility by Kirklees from the West Riding, the schedules were revised and the new weekly service was on Mondays from 4.35 to 5.05 pm and 5.10 to 6.00pm. I’m guessing the first period was for the main village and the second for Deanhouse.

In April 1975, Tony Blackburn , the well- known Radio 1 DJ, opened Lodges new superstore. He has lasted a lot longer than Lodges and in 2019 is a regular DJ on Radio 2 playing lots of music from the ’60s – Rock and Roll will never die.

Rosewood Farm  was located just after the junction of Wolfstones Road and Moor Lane on the way to Meltham and some of the outbuildings could still be seen in 2010. The following advert appeared in the Express in March 1976.

Rosewood Farms Ltd. Netherthong. Try a Rosewood game Type Chicken or Turkey. Frozen or fresh. Guaranteed not to have been injected or soaked in water. Enquire at your local butcher.

The following photograph shows two children from the village, Rebecca Helliwell and her friend Lindsay enjoying the swings in what was the recreational ground in 1976.It appeared in the local paper with the following report …” at the time this open space was part of a battle between Kirklees and the residents. The Council wanted the site for an extended County and Junior and Infants School against the objections of local people. They promised to provide a new recreational ground with swings at the back of the school.

 

Rebecca Helliwell & Lindsay in Netherthong recreation ground 1976

There seemed no end to the diversity of talent in our little village and the following three articles illustrate the point.  In July 1976, Rachel Pearce of New Road competed at the 1st. West Yorkshire Highland Gathering  at Cleckheaton. She won 3rd. place and received a bronze medal for Beginners Sword Dance for 8 years and under, Cadet sergeant, Glyn Taylor represented the 1466 ( Holmfirth ) Squadron Air Training Corps in the inter- squadron sports held at Cleckheaton in May 1977 and won the discus and came second in the shot putt, Pottery work of candelabra and chandeliers , made by Julia Beaumont of Westfield House , were featured at Trevor Stubbs’ Studios in Greenfield Road in December 1977.

A ‘case of the disappearing water supply’ featured in the Express in January 1977 and it created headaches for the Yorkshire Water Authority and hardships for the residents of Broomy Lea Lane. The mystery began three months before and coincided with the end of the long drought. The taps started to run dry without warning and simply disappeared at frequent intervals during the week. The Water Authority admitted that they were baffled but concluded that it was probably a hidden burst pipe causing all the trouble but by the end of the month had not been able to trace it.

In March 1977, the Express reported that Mrs.Joan Greenwood, of the Manor House, said that recent happenings in the house had convinced her that stories about a ghost in the house were true. She had lived in the house for almost two years but had not been aware of the stories about it being haunted when she first moved to the village. Mrs.Greenwood said that one night about eight o’clock she came into the living room and distinctively remember seeing that the door to the dining room was closed.  She moved across the living room and heard the scraping of the living room door over the carpet. She thought there was an intruder in the house and went out across the yard and called on a neighbour for help but , after a thorough search, they found nothing. A week later, at exactly eight o’clock, she went into the dining room to answer the phone and sat down on a nearby chair. To her amazement the chair was warm but all the other chairs were cold. She said a week later a similar incident occurred when she went to answer the phone and again found the chair warm. Mrs. Greenwood said she was not bothered now but at times felt another presence in the house. She said that people had teased her with the idea that the house was haunted and some said that in their younger days they always walked on the opposite side of the street to the Manor House because they believed it to be haunted. The photo below shows Mrs. Greenwood on the phone and….. all together… who was she going to call ? – Ghost Busters.

Joan Greenwood in the haunted Manor House
Joan Greenwood in the haunted Manor House

On Sunday morning in January 1978, motorists were bemused to find some of the streets were temporarily closed to allow a boat, or to be more exact a large part of a boat, to proceed under ‘ manual steam ‘ on an epic journey. It was a 25’ boat hull which was the product of twelve months hard work for local builders, Malcolm Hobson and Derek Adams. They were moving it, not to water but to a village barn. The villagers turned out in force to see the ‘Ark’ transported to roomier  accommodation. About fifteen able-bodied helpers assisted Malcolm and Derek to move the 15cwt hull on its 100 yard journey  through the narrow village streets. The two men were planning to add a 2-berth cabin, bunks and an engine. As I continue to go through  back copies of The Express from 1978, I might be lucky to come across another article with further details – if not then we might have to assume it could have sunk without trace. Maybe someone reading this might know the outcome.

Cosy Netherthong cottages were featured on the latest collector’s plate from Holmfirth artist, Jenny Hinchliffe in April 1982. The limited edition of 500 decorative plates went on sale at £5.

Netherthong Collector's plate 1982
Netherthong Collector’s plate 1982

 

A Doctor, who resigned from the council of the Zion Methodist Church in protest of its proposed closure, planned to open one of his own. In November 1984 the Express reported on his ideas and printed a photo of Dr. Fursdon outside the chapel he planned to open as a Baptist Church. He had dismissed claims that the Zion Church would cost £10,000 to repair and he also denied that the building was riddled with dry rot and said that about £2,000 would bring it back to scratch. He was planning to open Deanhouse Chapel near the Zion Church which he bought 11 years ago principally to preserve it. He said he would try to open it as a Baptist church and estimated that it would cost him £10,000 at the most to put his scheme into operation.  The next report was in April 1988 when the Holme Valley Parish Council general purposes committee agreed that something had to be done about the Chapel which was reputedly the 5th. oldest chapel of Methodism in the world. They discounted Dr. Fursdon’s ideas about restoring it as a combined community centre and place of worship because of its position and lack of support.

Doctor Fursdon plans to open a new church
Doctor Fursdon plans to open a new church

The Express reported in December 1984 that a group of youngsters who were doing conservation work for their Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme had unearthed a piece of Netherthong history. They had discovered an elaborate structure of wells by the side of Miry Lane. When they began work  the area was covered in weeds, grass and dirt. Mrs.Meg Parker who organised the scheme for the Honley area said they had been told that there was a well there but had not realised it was so  special . It was a mess when we started but then the steps and wells appeared. There had been various reports about whose needs the wells served, ranging from cattle to humans but they were unable to find when, how and why they were built.  The photo shows the youngsters in the well.

 

Youngsters at historic wells
Youngsters at historic wells 

Netherthong made the front page of the Holmfirth Express issue for December 6 1985 with the banner headlines – ” Hounds Run Riot- Claim “. Residents of St.Mary’s Estate claim they were abused and jeered at by huntsmen when a pack of hounds ‘ran riot’ through their gardens. Sunday morning peace and quiet was shattered when the pack followed by a posse of Land Rovers and other vehicles invaded the area in pursuit of a fox. Angry residents claimed that members of the Penine Foxhounds had allowed their hounds to run out of control across gardens, damaging flower beds and chasing pets. They had raced their vehicles up and down the estate’s roads in a dangerous manner, using foul and abusive language to people who complained about their behaviour.  The Netherthong postmistress, Mrs.Julia Scholfield, said she had told the huntsmen to get their hounds out of her garden. ‘They just laughed at me.’ The police were on the scene within a few minutes after she rang them but all they could do was to give her a name and address to write to to complain. Eventually the hunt was called off.

In April 1986 a competition to win a cuddly giant Honey Monster attracted more than 500 entries from local youngsters. It was jointly run by Lodges supermarket and Quaker. Karl Kiska from the village was the winner.  Unfortunately the quality of the picture below is poor.

Karl Kriska winning the prize of a Honey Monster April 1986

In early November 1986, Netherthong made the front page of the Express, when a 40 yard sheet of water flooded Miry Lane ,blocking access to St. Mary’s estate. After a flash flood, the stream beside Brook House Lane burst its banks- see photo. Two weeks later , the paper reported that the muddy overgrown lake, which used to be New Dam, could have been the cause of the flood – see photo. The following week torrential rain caused flooding in Miry Lane for the second time in the month. A blocked culvert passing under Miry lane was making the stream overflow into the road and blocking the entrance to St.Mary’s estate. The local postmaster, Jeff Scholfield, believed the problem was partly a result of recent work by Valley Improvement Programme on clearing and widening the stream which had in turn increased the water flow.

Miry Lane flood
November 1986
New Dam 1986

In October 1986, Carolyn Day of St.Mary’s Close passed the  Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award – see photo.

Carolyn Day with D of E Award

 

The Holmfirth Express  celebrated 100 years in its issue  on December 12, 1986.  I can only express ( no pun intended ), how big a contribution the paper has played in helping me compile this History. I’m sure I’m not alone. Below is the header for that first ever issue.

Header for the first edition of the Holmfirth Express.

In the same issue, the Express included a photograph of the old Holmfirth Station. On October 31,1959 the last train pulled out of the town for Leeds at 4.52, bringing to an end over a century of railways in the valley. The Goods services struggled on for another few years until the last empty wagons were hauled away on April 28, 1965. The line was dismantled the following year. One can picture the scene  in the early 1900s of Netherthong villagers coming down New Road and Deanhouse Lane to the station in the morning and trudging back up in the evening.

Early photograph of Holmfirth Railway Station.

May 2013 saw the opening of the Cider Press Cafe and Shop – see the advertisement shown below. It was the brainchild of Alison Pollard and Robert North with Robert being the cider maker.

It became very successful, expanded its premises and increased its menu. As 2013 produced a bumper apple harvest ,  Bob North said that it would prove to be a vintage  year. They celebrated National English Apple Week in November with a day of  celebration which included apple dunking, an apple quiz, a hog roast and plenty of Pure North cider and apple juice. The White Horse Morris Men were present to add to the entertainment. The first photo is of Bob North with Morris man Gordon. The second photo is their latest advertisement.

Bob North enjoying a pint of his cider
Bob North enjoying a pint of his cider

 

Cider Press advert Nov.2013
Cider Press advert Nov.2013

Shades of Robin Hood and Sherwood Forest. In June 1971, 55 archers from all parts of the country gathered at Fartown cricket field to challenge Mr. Benjamin ( Arthur ) Lockwood and test their skills in an attempt to win what was believed to be the oldest sporting trophy in the world. The trophy was a silver arrow, known as the Scorton Arrow, which for the previous year had been held by Mr. Lockwood of 45, New Road, Netherthong. A group of archers first competed for the arrow, cast in silver, as far back as 1672 but it had been presented by Queen Elizabeth 1 nearly 100 years earlier. By tradition the winner of the previous year’s shoot had the privilege of choosing the site and Benjamin chose Fartown in Huddersfield. He narrowly failed to regain the trophy which was won by Mr.M.Seeber of Leeds.

The Lodges new superstore in Holmfirth was officially opened in April 1975 by Tony Blackburn, the radio 1 DJ. In September of the same year, the £120,000 swimming pool which had been the subject of much discussion and debate for the previous two years opened on the 21st.

Netherthong childminder Mrs. Delya Bull was one of the stars of an educational documentary. TV crews spent two days at her home in St.Mary’s Crescent filming typical events in a childminders day and the programme was screened on Sunday May 8 1977.

Sunday, July 6 , 2014, was a red letter day or, to be more accurate,  a yellow letter day for Netherthong ( and thousands of other people ) when the second stage of the famous Tour de France passed by on the Huddersfield road at the bottom of New Road on its way to Holme Moss.From early morning groups of people from the village had meandered down New Road with their folding chairs, picnic food and flags to camp out on the pavements. The tour caravan of over 200 promotional vehicles arrived at Holmfirth about 1.00 pm along with police motor cycles – all to the accompaniment of loud cheering. The riders followed at about 2.40 pm and 198 cyclists whooshed by at speed. After waiting for a few stragglers to pass it was a case of packing up and trudging back up the hill.

It was a unique day, the sun shone, everyone was happy and at peace with each other. It was a ‘ feel – good ‘ day.

The following photograph is printed by the kind permission of Ian Entwisle of Upperthong.

funnelcloud-over-netherthong

 Ian told me that he  took the photograph as he was driving back from London on the evening of 13 September 2016. It had been a beautiful day in London and for most of his return journey, but as he was approaching Sheffield he noticed ominous clouds building ahead over Holme Moss and plenty of lightning. It was an amazing spectacle and,  as he was driving above Hade Edge, he noticed  clouds forming on the horizon in what looked like a Tornado. It didn’t last longer than a minute or two but he had time to pull in at the side of the road and take a photograph on his mobile phone and it appeared to be situated above Netherthong. It looked pretty threatening at the time but dispersed soon after he took the picture, Although it looked like a tornado it was in fact a funnel cloud which is a rotating column of air not in contact with the ground.

The Community News Magazine is a free magazine ,which is published monthly covering all of the Holme Valley area.  Beside adverts for local businesses, it includes many  items of interest. Claire, the secretary, has recently ( 2019) included  an update of my history web site- see below.

Community News
Magazine 2019

In February 2019, the  Phone Box in Giles Street became the Netherthong Red Box Book Library – see photo below.

Red Phone Box
Book Library

In 2019 I spoke to Anne and Pamela Watson about their memories of their family and early life in Netherthong. ( for more details see chapter titled the Watson Family). One of those memories was using an Earth Closet that belonged to the Mallinsons and was located in St.Anne’s Square. Some time later I was told  that there had been an Earth Closet in the centre of the Square , sheltered by trees, for the use of the residents. As we all know, everything happens in threes and  the third  was  coming across a book titled Yorkshire Privies – A Nostalgic Trip down the Garden Path by Len Markham. It was first published in 1996 by Countryside Books in Newbury- ISBN 1 85306 443 2 – and such was its popularity that there were two reprints. It has 11 chapters including Privy Pongs and  Privy Poetry and is a super book, very informative and with many amusing anecdotes.  All this toilet talk  jogged my memory that in my Chapter on the Local Board and the early days in the village, there were numerous references to privies,midden privies and water closets and it seems appropriate for me to repeat some of them  for this paragraph.

In 1887 the Local Board resolved to purchase three dozen pound tins of Calvert’s carbolic acid powder for free distribution to the ratepayers……. in 1890, three people were given notice to stop throwing sewage into the highway at Dock Hill  …… in 1892 , seven new privies were erected……. in 1902, except for a few houses, the whole village drained to the public sewer system. There had been a big improvement in the removal of the night soil and the system was that anyone requiring a closet to be emptied, sent a notice to the surveyor who had a list of farmers who were willing to supply a horse and cart for the work. The Council men would clear the closet and the farmer would take the night soil onto his land…… in 1907  the Annual Medical report recorded that nearly all the closets were midden privies but there were 12 water closets.  It went on to say that two houses were entirely without a closet of any kind, in another case 11 closets were used by 12 people living in three houses . The worst case was of one closet that was used by 90 people, 18 of whom were adults, living in five hours.

 

Property Sales

The Express occasionally gave reports of the results of  sales/auctions of property and land in the village. Invariably these were conducted by William Sykes, who still have a major presence in Holmfirth, and  were normally held in public houses .

The first report I have was in the Huddersfield Examiner and West Riding Reporter for August 1879, when it detailed the sale of the late Sarah Woodhouse’s Estate at Netherthong. It took place in the Victoria Hotel in Holmfirth and was conducted by Mr.Henry Tinker of Huddersfield. There was a large attendance of adjoining landowners and the competition for the lots was very good and they were quickly disposed of. The main property consisting of a mansion – house and grounds, farm buildings and land, messuages, dwelling houses, outbuildings, cottages and woodlands with the timber thereon said to comprise 41 square acres, was divided into seven lots every one of which was sold realising a total of £4,723. After this sale was concluded a freehold farm called Moor Lane Farm was put up for sale in two lots and was quickly sold for £1,245. The property consisted of 13 acres of land with houses and farm buildings.

The next report I have is of a public auction  held at the Victoria Hotel, Holmfirth in July 1897 for a number of lots of freehold cottage property in Netherthong. Lot 1 was a cottage at Outlane , formerly occupied by the Liberal Club  . Lot 2 was 2 cottages situated behind Lot 1 and occupied by Mrs. Sykes. Both were sold together for £175. Lot 3 of 2 cottages at Dockhill sold for £60.  Lot 4 of a cottage and outbuildings plus a plot of land at Dockhill sold for £32 10s.

In November 1901 a property sale, held at the Queen’s Arms Inn, saw a freehold dwelling house situated at the top of New Road and owned by Ben Shore sell for £137.

An auction conducted by Wm.Sykes was held in the Queen’s Arms in November 1917. Four lots of property in Moor Lane were offered. Two pieces of land fetched £110, another sold for £60 and an untenanted cottage went for £38.

At the Rose & Crown Inn in Holmfirth in May 1924, two cottages situated in Dockhill and tenanted by Miss Mallinson and Miss Shore were sold at auction for £256. Carr farm and several pieces of adjoining land of 10 acres were sold for £440 subject to tenant right.

In June 1927, Messrs. Sykes & Son held a property sale at the Waggon and Horses Inn in Holmfirth and auctioned 4 lots of property at Deanhouse. A freehold farm comprising a farmhouse and other farm buildings and land of area of 11 acres and 32 perches, in occupation of Netherthong Co-operative Society sold for £850. An adjoining dwelling house, in the occupation of Mrs. Kenyon, with an annual rental of £14 changed ownership at £350. Another dwelling house, No.28 Deanhouse, in occupation of Mr.J.Wilkinson, with annual rental of £8 8s, sold for £200. A further lot was withdrawn.

The Waggon and Horses was again the venue for another sale by public auction in August 1929. Homeleigh, lately in occupation by Harry Mellor, sold for £830. A barn, stable,mistal and three acres of land adjoining Holmleigh fetched £375. Two cottages nearly opposite the Clothier’s Arms, one in occupation of Miss Gill and the other, now vacant but previously occupied by Mrs. Mallinson, realised £105. Two dwelling houses with barn, mistal, large open shed and out-convenience together with the two closes of land at Croddingley, Thongs bridge, went for £750. One undivided third share in a dwelling house at Outlane in occupation of Oswald Sykes reached the pricely sum of £12 10s. A half share of 8 dwelling houses in Outlane in respective occupation of A.Preston, B.Scholfield, J.Walker, T.Hart and others sold for £200.The last item was a half share of a close of land called Dam Field at Deanbrook consisting of an area of 2 acres, 1 rood and 36 perches in the occupation of Fred Shore  and it achieved £25.

Carr Farm, containing 10 acres, 31 perches and in occupation of Mr.H.Firth was offered for sale in April 1931. ( note that it had previously been sold in 1924 for £440 ). It changed hands at £445.

In 1949, the freehold farm, Wells Green, with dwelling house adjoining and a close of land at Wolfstones Height was sold at auction for £4,000. Later in the same year the farm known as Lydgett or Bastille realised £1740. In addition to the buildings the farm had about 16 acres of land.

At a property sale held by Wm. Sykes in January 1950 at the Clothiers, two dwelling houses 54 & 55 Haigh Lane , Deanhouse, were sold for £1,225.

William Sykes held a property sale in the Clothiers in July 1953.  Lydgate Farm, which had previously been sold in 1949,  was sold for £1,500 with vacant possession. Four dwelling houses, 13 – 19, with vacant possession on no.15, an old bakehouse and blacksmiths shop sold for £150. Two closes of land on Moor Lane reached £150 and a close of land at New Road also went for £150. Allotments and a poultry run at New Road fetched £107. A close at Moor Lane went for £125. A small parcel of land next to the Clothier’s Arms only realised £18. A dwelling house and 2 cottages numbers 62,63 and 64 Miry Lane went for what one would consider a bargain price of £350. A fish and chip shop in Giles Street and a garage at Outlane were withdrawn having been sold privately. At another property sale held in the Clothiers in November, a freehold dwelling house sold for £352 10s.

The next property sale was in June 1954 for Hillcrest Poultry Farm , a freehold smallholding of 10 acres, which fetched £2,000.

In March 1973, 7 acres of freehold residential building land fronting onto Moor Lane were sold for £95,000 at an auction in Holmfirth Civic Hall. The land was big enough for 70 properties. Two years later in September the Express reported that the tiles on the roof of a brand new house on the estate had to be stripped off and replaced with tiles of another type and colour at an additional estimated cost of £1200. In total  5,000 had to be removed. The Chief Planning Officer of Kirklees said that the wrong colour tiles contravened their planning permission and did not match the two other houses on the site. He said the wrong tiles would stand out in a rural area. A detached bungalow at 16, New Road sold for £12,200 in September.

One of the houses that was a prominent feature of the Deanhouse Workhouse and was , I think, the only property not to be demolished when the new St.Mary’s Estate was built, was up for sale early in 2014.

The front house from the Deanhouse Institution. For sale in 2014 for £375K
The front house from the Deanhouse Institution. For sale in 2014 for £375K

The former Oaklands Home for the Blind which is mentioned several times in the History was purchased in May 1975 by Kirklees Council for just over £10,000.

If you are interested in the sale of properties in the village since 1995, you should type ‘Rightmove – House Prices in Netherthong,Holmfirth,West Yorkshire’ into Google and be prepared to be amazed. It lists 291 properties that have been sold right up to the date you click on. It gives the address, the type of property, the date of sale, the final price and, in the majority of cases, a photograph. What makes it even more interesting is that if a particular property had been sold more than once during the period covered, it allows you to see how the price has changed over the years.

Among the addresses , in no particular order, are : Moor Lane, Dean Brook Road, Deanhouse, Netherlea Drive, Church Street, The Oval, Outlane, New Road, St.Mary’s Crescent, Thong Lane, Wesley Avenue, Giles Street, West End, Miry Green, Croft House ( Dock Hill), Hebble Drive, Holmdale Crescent, Leas Avenue, Denham Drive, Dean Avenue, Nether Cottage ( West End ), St.Mary’s Rise, Moor Lane, School Street, Broomy Lea Lane, Arley Close, Wells Green Gardens.

The information is provided by the Land Registry and the site quotes that, as of  2June  2014, the average price was £176,073, which made Netherthong more expensive than Huddersfield but cheaper than Holmfirth and Honley.

Some of the older properties on the list are mentioned in this history and I have included a number of them below. 

 St. Anne’s Square  is on the left hand side at the top of Outlane leading from Towngate.  The Working Men’s Club was located in this Square. The photographs are of No.4 and No. 6.

4 , St.Annes square . 2014
4 , St.Annes square . 2014

 

6, St.Anne's Square
6, St.Anne’s Square

 

St.Anns Square 2018
For sale

114 Church Street is adjacent to the war memorial and the rear of the old Queen’s Arms pub would have backed into it.

114 Church Street
114 Church Street

152 West End known as Nether Cottage.

West End is on the right as you leave Towngate for Meltham. Number 152 was better known as Nether Cottage.

 

31 Deanhouse, a typical weaver's cottage.
31 Deanhouse, a typical weaver’s cottage.

 

132 Towngate - facing the Church
132 Towngate – facing the Church

137 School Road - a small cottage

 

131 School Street
131 School Street

 

The first half of  2014, saw a number of houses, that have also been mentioned in this history, up for sale.

The first was the Manor House in Towngate. It is a grade 11 listed 4 bedroom property with a total area of approximately 2337 sq. feet.

The Manor House, Towngate up for sale in May 2014.
The Manor House, Towngate up for sale in May 2014.

The next house is Knowl Bridge Farm on the corner of Knoll Lane. The photograph shows the ‘pond ‘ which was added about 10 years ago.

Knowl Bridge Farm, Knoll Lane
Knowl Bridge Farm, Knoll Lane

 

Knowl Bridge Farm listed again in October 2017 at £1,100,00

 

Outlane is probably  the most well known street in the village and it stretches from Towngate, with Londis on the right hand side, down to what was the original Zion Methodist Church which is now a private residence. There are many cottages on either side and the following photo is of No. 6 . 

No. 6 Outlane – 2- bedroom cottage
Large house on Moor lane on left hand side leaving the village

 

New development 2017, the Orchards on St.Mary’s estate
Some details of plots at The Orchards June 2018
Some details of plots at The Orchards June 2018

 

Women’s Institute

  Women’s Institutes are British community – based organisations for women. They were formed in 1915 with two clear aims : to revitalise rural communities and to encourage women to become more involved in producing food during WW1. The aims were then broadened and it is now the largest women’s voluntary organisation in the UK. It celebrated its 95th. aniversary in 2010 and at that time had approximately 208,000 members in 700 Women’s Institutes. Re-reading this chapter in September 2016, I realise that it has just had its 100th. anniversary.

The WI movement originally began in Stoney Creek, Ontario, Canada in 1897 when Adelaide Hoodless addressed a meeting of the wives of members of the Farmer’s Institute. WIs rapidly spread throughout Canada and the first WI meeting in England & Wales took place on 11 September 1915 at Llanfairpwll on Anglesey.

In August 1962, at a meeting in the Day School, a Women’s Institute for the village was formally inaugurated by two voluntary County Organisers for the Yorkshire Federation of Women’s Institutes. It was in fact the 624th. to be formed in Yorkshire. Miss J.Grainger of Wilshaw was in the chair and 83 members were enrolled and the following officers were elected by ballot. Mrs. A.Stangroom – President. Vice-presidents – Mrs.R.Stephenson and Mrs.E.Mosley. The secretary was Mrs.W.Wood with Mrs.W.Lax as treasurer. Committee members were Mrs.D.Binstead, Miss S.Brook, Miss E.Dickenson, Mrs.A.Fallas, Mrs.A.Swallow and Mrs.R.Whittaker.

The monthly meeting for March 1963 was held in the Day School with Mrs. W. Stangroom in the chair. 65 members were present and they listened to a talk and film on different types of nursing. After light refreshments, Mrs. Hartley of Holmfirth judged a display of bulbs grown by members. At the next meeting 66 members listened to a talk on “The part played by the Secondary Modern School”. Mrs.Turner gave a report of a Tupperware party and supper held in the home of Mrs.Swallow which raised £3.

There was an excellent attendance for the June meeting when final arrangements were made for the trip to York. Mrs.Pike gave an account of her visit to Russia and the subject by the  guest speaker, Mrs.G.Houghton of Holmfirth, was “Yorkshire Humour”.

At the July meeting, Mrs.W.Stangroom said that members of other local WIs had been invited to the meeting in order to hear the  report on the Annual Conference by Mrs.Mosley, who spoke very highly of David Attenborough’s address on ” The Preservation of Wild Life “.  The final item was a talk by Mrs.Mason of Ilkley on cheese making and cheese tasting.

Members at the August meeting stood in silence in memory of Mrs.T. Wyke and Mrs.B.Rodgers who had passed away during the year. Knowing that many members were interested in forming a drama group, Mrs.Elsworth of Wilshaw gave a talk titled ” Producing a Play “. After tea and biscuits three members spoke briefly on their holiday experiences – Mrs.N.Swallow on Germany, Mrs.Allan on Scotland and Mrs.E.Turner on Southern Ireland.

At their first AGM in 1963, Mrs. Creig who had helped in the inauguration of the  branch was the guest. There were 67 members present and Mrs. Stangroom, the President, demonstrated the use of a brass bell which Mrs.A.Wood, the secretary, had presented before she left the district. In the Annual Report, membership had risen from 93 to 117 with four on the waiting list and the average monthly attendance was 70. They had formed a choir, were running a Keep Fit Class and there was an active Produce Guild. The following officers were elected : President – Mrs.Stangroom . Vice-presidents – Mrs.N.Swallow and Mrs. A.Fallas. Treasurer – Mrs.N.Lax. Secretary- Mrs.J.Mosley with assistant secretaries Mrs.A.Alan and Mrs. N.Stephenson. Committee members were Mrs.G.Bailey, Mrs. J.Falkingham, Mrs.Whittaker and Miss B.Brook.

The October meeting was held in their new headquarters at the Zion Methodist School. The November meeting focused on demonstrations of Christmas cookery. Mrs.S.Gledhill and Mrs.H.Lockwood agreed to form a social sub-committee to work in conjunction with the elected committee.

The first meeting in January 1964 saw 70 members listen to a talk by several Yorkshire Electricity personnel titled ” Winter warmth the unit way.” The second Annual party was held in February and took the form of a whist drive, a tasty supper and a fancy dress parade and, if that wasn’t enough, they rounded up the evening with party games and competitions.

The “normal” February meeting occured a few weeks later when 69 members listened to an amusing talk on visits to London by Mrs.R.Mason, the president of Brockholes WI. Prior to the talk, there had been a short business meeting at which Mrs.H.Hobson was elected to attend the County meeting in York. After tea and biscuits members voted for the best exhibit in the bulb display which was won by Mrs.B.Whittaker. Mrs.P.Bray won the competition for the oldest English coin with a half-penny dated 1700 and Miss Hirst, with a coin dated 1745, was the winner  for the oldest foreign coin. They held a very successful coffee evening in March which they combined with a “shilling parcel ” store and a cuttings store which realised a profit of £6 15s 6d. Four members, Mesdames. E.Hobson, A.Fallas, D.Horncastle and Maud Turner delighted the rest of the members with a reading of a one-act play ” A Dish of Tea “.

Not suprisingly there was a good attendance at the April meeting, when a Mr. Pickard gave a talk on wine-making with particular emphasis on Port, Sherry and Madeira.  His samples were much appreciated!

60 members attended the June meeting and stood in memory of Mrs.Agnes Smith, a member who had died since the last meeting. Details of the fete to be held in July were discussed. Mr.E.Cole, the drama teacher at Holmfirth Secondary School, spoke on the Gondoliers and brought a party of past and present pupils, who had taken principal parts in the opera when it had been staged in March, and musical numbers from the opera were given. Mrs.E.Fox read her prize winning essay ” My Society ” and the choir sang items that they had given at the Grimethorpe Rally.

They were very unlucky with the appalling weather conditions on the day of their first fete in July and had to  transfer everything to the Zion School classrooms. Mrs.Jan Mackensie of Oldfield opened the fete and various stalls were very quickly sold out. There was also a fortune teller and a “pennies in the bucket” competition. Teas were served to 160 people, after which members of the Thongsbridge Keep Fit Class gave a display. The first part of the evening was a film show of the British Isles by Mr.& Mrs. Allan. Hot dogs met with a steady sale and to round off the evening there was miming to “pop music “, and George Preece gained the prize for his miming of ” You were made for me “. The day’s efforts raised £50 towards the funds.

At the July meeting, members stood in memory of Mrs.E.Lockwood and Mrs.K.Gledhill who had died in a road accident since the last meeting. A demonstration was given by Miss Smith, a representative of a margarine company and members were able to sample various sandwiches.

A team of ambulance men from Huddersfield were the main attraction at the August meeting when they gave a lecture on mouth-to-mouth resuscitation more commonly known as the “kiss of life “. Miss Janet Lax judged the entries for the plain and fancy buns made by the members and awarded the prize for the plain buns to Mrs.Susan Turner and for fancy buns to Mrs.J.Mosley and was herself presented with a spray of roses by Mrs. Stangroom.  There was no information available for the whole of 1965 as the issues of the Express were not put on microfilm.

The first meeting in 1966 was a Whist & Beetle Drive which raised £5 for the ‘Meals on Wheels ‘ services. The MC for the whist was Mrs.E.Hobson, and the prizewinners were Miss E.Brammall, Miss M.Wimpenny, Mrs.E.Horncastle, Mrs.L.Woodcock and Mrs.M.Parker. For the beetle drive the MC was Miss E.Parker and the prizewinners were Mrs.P.Bray, Miss Sandra Day, Mrs.M.Robinson, Miss B.Trueman, Mrs.J.Hellawell and Mrs.E.Hart. Prizes were presented by the president, Mrs.N.Lax. February was the occasion of the Annual bulb and handicraft show and Mrs. N.Lax welcomed members from neighbouring WIs. Mr.Smith of Huddersfield Parks Department judged the entries in the flora and plant classes and Mr.Eastwood of Thongsbridge judged the cookery and handicrafts. At the March meeting a film show was given by Mr.Stead of a tour of Norway which was followed by the story of the making of Hovis bread and Robertson’s preserves. All the members present received a free sample of marmalade. The following were elected at the Annual meeting in October 1966. President – Mrs.N.Lax.  Vice – presidents – Mrs.Speake and Mrs. Mosley. Seretary – Mrs.A.Allan. Treasurer – Mrs.J.Hoyle. The committee members were mesdames, P.Bray,A.Fallas, S.Gledhill, E.Hobson, D.Horncastle and Miss Robinson.

At the AGM in November 1967 the following members were elected – President – Mrs.J.Mosely. Vice – Presidents – Mrs.H.Stangroom and Mrs.J.Swallow. Secretary – Mrs.M.Speak, Treasurer – Mrs.J.Hoyle. Committee members were Mrs. Bailey, Horncastle, Hobson, Helliwell, Stephenson and Fallas. Their Christmas Fayre in December gave a profit of £167.  At the March 1968 meeting , Mr.G. Grimwood gave a talk on beautiful gardens of Britain and the winners of the ‘miniature gardens on a dinner plate ‘ competition were Mrs.Zatarski, Mrs. Mosley, Mrs. Bailey and Mrs. Mudd.  Mrs. Kenyon of Denby Dale was the speaker at the June meeting and her subject was ‘Playing, Speaking and Acting’ and, to demonstrate, she was accompanied by four members of her drama group. The president informed the meeting that the subscriptions for 1969 would be raised to 10/- and that during the month members had visited a nursery garden at Highburton and the Group Rally at Emley. 

The 1971 Christmas Party took the form of a whist drive and social evening. 65 members attended and the games were organised by Mrs.Helliwell and Mrs.Hardy.  Mrs.Hobson ran the whist drive and Mr.Jackson was responsible for the quiz. The evening closed with carols led by Miss Dorothy Shaw  accompanied by Mrs.Shaw. A session of crazy whist was arranged by Mrs.J.Allen at the start of their Christmas party in 1978. Winners were Mrs.Caldwell, Mrs.Hobson, Mrs.Hollis and Mrs.Mosley and after a buffet supper the Second Harmony Group for Netherthong entertained with songs and led the carol singing. Mrs.Joan Henderson presided, Mrs.Hardy won the prize for the best cracker and the yearly prize went to Mrs.Sandford.

Short reports of most of the meetings of the W.I. appeared in the Express during the 70s. They gave the topic/talk of the meetings but little more. I have only included those meetings which were a bit more informative. At the 1972 January meeting Miss Nita Valerie told a large group of members about her life in the theatre and thanks were given by Mrs. Allan. The competition for the oldest programme was won by Mrs. Sykes with an entry dated 1902. 31 members visited Hope in Debyshire in July to see the traditional well dressings- there were three dressings all depicting Biblical scenes and they were made of flowers, petals, leaves, lichen and dried material set in clay. The Group’s monthly meeting was in the form of a flower demonstration by Mrs. Thornton of Honley. A competition for an all-green arrangement was won by Mrs. Hardy. The Autumn Show in October was held in the Day School and there were 142 entries spread over 19 classes. These were Handicrafts ( 3 classes ), Knitting ( 2 classes ), Crochet ( 2 classes ), Plants ( 2 classes ), Floral Art ( 4 classes ), Cookery( 4 classes ), and Preserves ( 2 classes ). Over 60 members and friends were served with afternoon tea.  The winners included Mrs.King, Mrs.Wilkinson, Mrs. Sandford, Mrs. Lawton,  Mrs. Kaye, Mrs. Speak, Mrs. Allan, Mrs. Wilson, Miss Wimpenny, Mrs. Hobson, Mrs. Lockwood, Mrs. Sykes, Mrs. Shaw, Mrs. Hardy, Mrs. Lax, Mrs. Parker, Mrs. Mosely and Mrs. Robinson. The last report for 1972 was for the AGM, when highlights of the past year were recalled. Mrs. M.Peak was elected President, Mrs. J.Mosely as Secretary and Mrs. M.Sykes as Treasurer. Entertainment was provided by Mr. & Mrs. D.Ball who played zither music.

The guest speaker at the February 1973 meeting was the chief sub-editor of the Huddersfield Examiner who said that 150 staff were employed to produce 50,000 copies of the paper six days a week. In December 1974, 50 members attended their Christmas Party and were entertained by nine young music pupils of Alfred Boothroyd, who brought their instruments and played  carols and old favourite songs. After a traditional supper, card-bingo was played. Mrs. Dearnley won a competition for a Christmas cracker.

At the AGM in October 1975, Mrs.Hardy was elected president for a further year along with the secretary, Mrs.Parker and treasurer,Mrs.Speak. The elected committee members were Mrs.McKenney, Mrs.Stangroom, Mrs.Mosely, Mrs.Sandford, Mrs.Lyle, Mrs.Hobson and Mrs. Dickinson. All the members were given a report of the autumn Council Meeting at York and afterwards Mrs. Hellawell organised games. Mrs. Parker was elected President at the 1977 AGM. Mrs. McKenna was elected secretary and Mrs.Speak the treasurer.  At the 1978 AGM, Mrs.Margaret Parker , the retiring president, was replaced by Mrs. Jean Henderson and Mrs. Audrey Allan replaced Mrs. Rita McKenna as the secretary. Mrs.Mary Speak was re-elected as treasurer. The committee members were Mesdames Farrell, Gething, McKenna, Mosley,Pitcher, Sandford and Stangroom. 

There was a well attended meeting in March 1979 when members listened to a talk by a Bailiff Bridge Chemist on Pills and Potions. No free samples !! Afterwards there was an exhibition of unusual bottles.  The following week a party of members travelled to Barnsley by coach to see the Town’s amateur operatic society’s production of The New Moon.

After the conclusion of normal business at their meeting in March 1980, Mr.Biltcliffe of Pennine Nurseries gave a long and very interesting demonstration on the making of a bottle garden. The competition for the healthiest plant was won by Mrs. R. Jones with Mrs. J.Henderson and Mrs. Pitcher 2nd. and 3rd. In July, Mrs. J.Henderson, president, reported that she had attended the funeral of Mrs. Alice Wilkinson, who had been one of the founding members and the meeting stood for one minute’s silence. Mrs. Lyth, cake, and Mrs.Speak, hanging basket, both took their items to display at the WI stand at the Yorkshire Show, In September, in celebration of the Diamond Jubilee of the inauguration of the Yorkshire Federation of WIs, the members decided to hold a dinner party on September 18 at the Travellers Rest , Brockholes.

The Women’s Institute held their Spring Show in May 1991 in the J and I School and cooking, flower arranging, handicrafts and photography were all displayed and judged. The photograph shows from left : Audrey Allan, Netherthong WI president, Lynne Clark, secretary Marianne Wilson, Sheila Gledhill and Joyce Rothwell.

WI members at Spring Show May 1991
WI members at Spring Show May 1991

Deaths of local inhabitants- 1930 to 1944 incl.

The first reported death in 1930 was of Benjamin Dyson, 79 years, who passed away at his residence, Moorgate Farm. Although he was a native of Meltham Mills, he had resided at Moorgate Farm for 70 years and for 60 of those years he had run a milk business supplying to Netherthong and district. He was also a trustee of the Wesleyan Methodist Chapel. The Express later reported that he had left an estate of £13,065.

March saw the death of the oldest resident, Mr. Fred Hobson, aged 85 years. He was born on November 5th. 1844 at Moor Lane and lived there for 20 years, afterwards residing at Oldfield and Deanbrook. He became a hand loom weaver and his last place of employment was Vickermans at Thongs Bridge. At one time he was one of the best swimmers in the district. With his death he was  succeeded by Benjamin Eastwood as the oldest resident.

Later that month, Henry Wilkinson of Deanhouse, who was out walking on the outskirts of Honley with a young woman, became ill and died before medical assistance could be secured. His sister, Miss Lily Morley, said that about 10 years ago her brother had had an accident at work when he fell off a ladder. He had served in the war and had not had any serious illnesses. On the Tuesday he worked to 5.30 pm and, after having tea, went out. Miss Evelyn Hoyle of Deanhouse said they went out for a walk about seven o’clock in the evening. As they walked along he complained about feeling unwell and, as they were going up Bradshaw Road, he suddenly fell forward to the ground. She could get no response so she went for assistance. Dr. Smailes said he saw the departed and, in his opinion, death was due to atheroma. The Coroner recorded a verdict that death was due to natural causes viz. atheroma. Harry had worked at T.Dyson & Sons  Deanhouse Mills and was very well known in the area as a football player and sportsman and was involved with the WMC and the Gardeners’ Society.

The early death of Edna Smith, aged 19 years, occured in June after she had suffered with a serious illness for several months. She was the daughter of Mr. & Mrs.John Smith of Chapel House and had been employed at Messrs. T. & J. Tinker, Bottoms Mill, Holmfirth. She had been a scholar at the Wesleyan Sunday School and a member of the Deanhouse ladies cricket team.

Mrs. Charles Hobson of Wood Street was one of the oldest ladies in the village when she died in March 1931 aged 86 years. She was a native of Netherthong and had lived there practically all her life being closely involved with the United Methodist cause.

In the same month, Mr.Frederick Lewis, who had been the Master of the Deanhouse Institute  for some time, passed away at the Institute. He was 42 years old and had been ill for a fortnight.

One of the characters of the village, Ben Eastwood, died in his residence, Westfield House, in July at the age of 86 years. He was known far and wide for his physical appearance and happy genial temperament. By trade he was a brush maker and, up to a few months before his death, he was one of the oldest commercial travellers on the road. He was a staunch churchman at the Parish Church and had an active role in most village events such as Peace Rejoicing, the Coronation Festivities, Old Folk’s Treat and the Netherthong Sing.

Edwin Broadbent of Honley, but formerly of Deanhouse, died in February 1932 aged 79 years. For many years he had been employed at Messrs. Thomas Dyson and Sons, Deanhouse Mills and was a director of the Netherthong Gas Light Company.

There were no recorded deaths in 1933 but in February 1934, Mrs. J.P.Floyd died at her residence, Rose Leigh, on the anniversary of her birthday, aged 83 years. Her husband had been  a leading member on the local scene and she was active in many local activities. She was leader of the Netherthong branch of the Mothers’ Union, Vice- president of the local branch of the Women’s Unionist Association and a regular worshipper at the Parish Church. During the war she was president of the Holmfirth Military Hospital . ” Fairfield” New Road , which belonged to the family, was often placed at the disposal of the public.

Mr. C.A.Hoyle died in March at his residence in Giles Street, aged 62 years. He was one of the oldest employees of Messrs. Dyson & Sons, Deanhouse Mills having worked there for 52 years since the age of 11. He was a cricketing enthusiast, played for Netherthong Cricket Club and later became an umpire. Like so many in the village he was involved in the Gardeners’ Friendly Society.

The same month, Miss Elsie Chambers, 22 years, of Cliffe View died after a short illness. She was involved in the many of the village activities namely Church Sunday School, Parish Church Choir, Girl Guides, Lawn Tennis Club and the Junior Imperial League.

1934 was proving to be a bad year because in May, Miss Emma Beaumont, 38, of Lidget House, died. She was well known as a contralto vocalist and, besides being a member of both the Parish Church and Holmfirth Church choirs, she was a leading member of local operatic societies.

The next month Harry Horncastle, 46 years, died at his home , Beech House and his death came as a big suprise to everyone. He worked as a joiner for Ed.Holdroyd & Sons of Honley, having learnt his trade at J.Batley & Sons in Netherthong. He was a committee member on both the Co- Operative Society and the Gardeners’ Friendly Society and an active worker for the Old Folk’s annual treat and the Holme Valley Memorial Hospital.

The first month of 1935 saw the death of Mr. Thomas Turner who passed away at his residence, South View, at the age of 71 years. He devoted his attention to shooting and fishing and was a familiar sight walking through the district with his fishing tackle over his arm and dogs at his heels. He was a former churchwarden at the Parish Church and President of their Operatic Society, a vice-president of the Tennis Club and vice- president of the Male Voice Choir.. For many years he was the secretary of the Batley Angling Club.

Mrs. Joseph Woodhead of Croft House,  a native of Netherthong, died at 84 years  in April. She married Joseph Woodhead who had been a grocer and provisions merchant in the village and lived in Green Cottage. When her husband died in 1925 she moved to Croft House.

Although not a resident of the village, Mrs. Mary Anne Jagger of Honley died  in October aged 86 years. She was the most widely known resident of Honley and famous for her writings , particularly her ” History of Honley ” published in 1914. I readily admit to using some of her details of the recorded life of people in the early 1800s in Honley which would have applied  equally  to life in Netherthong.

The last death of the year was of Miss Hilda Woodhead at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary following on from an operation. She was 44 years old  and employed at Albert MIlls. Her leisure time was occupied in sick nursing and she was a V.A.D. nurse at Meltham.

Mr.Tom Sykes of Giles Street died in May 1936 at the age of 48 years. In his youth he attended the Church School and was a member of the Gardeners Society. He had been a soldier in WW1 and was a member of the British Legion. For many years he worked in the scribbling department at Deanhouse Mills. In the same month the death occured of Joseph Hobson, aged 80 years, who at the time was the oldest resident. He was born at Mossley and moved to Netherthong 45 years ago where he farmed.

In  1937 there was a report on the death of Mr. J.Goddard under tragically  sudden circumstances on July 28th. He was a leading Holme Valley musician and lived at Holly Bank. He had been a guest at the residence of Mr. Albert Robinson of Honley along with 30 other guests among whom were members of the Holme Valley Male Choir. Dinner had been served in the marquee and Mr.Goddard had stood up to make a speech but, just after he had started, he collapsed and fell. A doctor was summoned but by the time he arrived, Goddard was dead. He had not been very well for about 18 months. He was an accomplished organist and one of the founders of the Holme Valley Male Voice Choir. He was a freemason and had married Hilda Whipp, a well known vocalist.

The first death in 1938 was of Miss Sarah Renshaw in February at the age of 80 years. For many years she had been a Sunday School teacher at the Wesley Chapel as well as a member of the choir, class leader and missionary secretary.  She  was a dressmaker of her own account and afterwards became the lead dressmaker for Hinchliffe, Whiteley & Knott of Holmfirth.

The next month saw the death of Fred Whitfield, who was a well known and respected figure in the district, at the age of 79 years. He was by trade a Tailor and initially carried out his business in Netherthong but later on moved to Holmfirth. He was a member of the WMC and active in the Holme Valley Beagles.

The same month and very much in contrast to Woodhead’s death, a young lad, Albert Edward Farmer, at the tender age of 1 year 9 months died at the Huddersfield Royal Infirmary whilst undergoing an operation. He was the son of Mr.& Mrs. Brook Turner of Dock Hill.  At the inquest, conducted by Mr. E.Norris the coroner, Dr. Copeland, who carried out the post-mortem, said death was due to heart failure from the anaesthetic with status lymphaticus a contributory cause. The Coroner recorded a verdicy in accordance with the medical evidence.

Two more deaths occured in March. The first was of one of the oldest ladies in the district, Miss Emma Dytch of Deanhouse who died  at the age of 87. She had always been involved with the Zion Methodist cause. The next death was of Arthur Fielding Sykes of Towngate aged 76. Up to his retirement 12 years earlier he had been employed as a designer by Messrs. Dyson & Sons, Deanhouse Mills. He had been a member of the Zion Methodist Choir, served on the committee of the Co-operative Society and was  an overseer of the poor for the township.

The next month, April, saw the death of Sampson Horner of St. Anne’s Square aged 80 years. He was a native of Clayton West and when he was 50 years old had moved to Hinchliffe and became the landlord of the Miller’s Arms. He next moved to Holmfirth before finishing up in Netherthong.  Until the age of 72 he was a  familiar sight on his bicycle cycling from the village to Holmfirth and back and he was involved with the Old Folk’s treat  and a member of the Wesleyan Chapel.

Mr.Edward Dyson of West End, aged 75 years, died in July. Up to his retirement a few years previously, he had been employed as a scribbling engineer for Messrs. Dyson & Sons Ltd. of Deanhouse Mills, his uncle being founder of the firm. He was a member of the WMC, the Gardeners’ Society and Holme Valley Beagles. As a young man he was a cricketer and footballer and a member of Netherthong Rugby Club.

November saw the death of Mrs. Benjamin Gill, aged 63 years. The family had emigrated to the Antipodes several years previously and her husband , Benjamin, had been a local  builder and just before he emigrated he was engaged in the erection of new premises in New Road.

The final death of the year was of John Hobson of Outlane aged 84 years who had been blind and deaf for several years. His parents had been living  in Thongs Bridge when the Holmfirth Flood occured and damaged their home which caused them to move to Netherthong. At the early age of 8 years he began working in the mill as a half-timer and at the age of 25 years he joined the staff of Prudential Assurance Co. as a district agent. He had a lifelong connection with  Zion Methodism and was involved even before the church was built. For 24 years he was the honorary choirmaster and retired on January 17, 1904. He had moved to Meltham in 1888 and in all sorts of weather could be seen wending his way from Meltham to the Zion Church. He was the honorary secretary of the Victoria Jubilee Celebrations. A few years before his death he moved back to Netherthong

A death with strong cricketing connections occured in January 1939. Mr. William Lancaster, a former well known cricketer, died at the age of 65 years after a long illness. He was a native of Thongs Bridge and began playing cricket there before League cricket came into being. His ability improved and he played 10 innings for Yorkshire. The Rev. S. Black conducted the service at All Saints. Three former England and Yorkshire cricketers, Wilfred Rhodes, Percy Holmes and George Hirst were among the pall bearers.

As a break from recording deaths, June saw the Golden Anniversary of Mr. & Mrs. Alfred Mallinson. They were both born 74 years ago in the village, they attended the village school together and were in the same class. They were both employed at Deanhouse Mills and were married in All Saint’s Church. Alfred retired at the age of 71 years after having completed 57 years service. They had a married son and two daughters.

The end of the year saw the death of Mr. Charles Ricketts of West End at the age of 69 years. He was an old volunteer and served both in the South African War and WW1. He was a member of the Holmfirth branch of the British Legion and of the South African Veteran’s Association in Huddersfield.

The first death in 1940 was of Mr.Tom Booth, aged 75 years. He was a native of New Mill but became a well known resident in Deanhouse where he carried out a greengrocery business. He had a long association with the Wesleyan church and was a trustee of the Chapel. Although he moved to Brighouse 15 years previously, his funeral was held at the Netherthong Wesleyan Chapel.

Mr. John Donkersley of School Street died at the age of 83 years in April. He had been a very keen follower of the Holme Valley Beagles Hunt for 60 years. A cortege was led from his house to the church by Mr.Barnes, the Beagles present Huntsman, in his red coat, and a whipper-in, Thomas Dutton, who wore green hunting dress. They each had charge of a pair of beagles.

The final death of the year was of Miss Ellen Elizabeth Mitchell who died on November 12 aged 74 years. She was the daughter of the late Mr. & Mrs. Richard Mitchell, residents of Netherthong. For 29 years she was in business as a confectioner, which in layman’s terms meant she ran the sweetshop in Towngate and she retired in 1926.

No deaths were reported for 1941 and 1942 but in December 1943 Mr. John Mallinson whose family had been in the butchering trade in the village for several generations died aged 76 years.

February 1944 saw another Silver Wedding celebrated. 60 guests attended a social function held in the Zion Church Sunday School to honour the silver wedding of Mr. & Mrs. H.Hobson both of whom were devoted workers for the Methodist cause.

In the same month Mr. N.Smith the headmaster of the Netherthong Council School died. There was no further information. His death was followed in March by that of Mrs.Sarah Wilson Jackson aged 92 at her home, Manor House. She had been the voluntary organist at All Saint’s Church for 75 years and was reputed to be the oldest official church organist in England. When she was in her eighties she became so deaf that she couldn’t hear what she was playing but insisted on continuing in office saying she knew the psalms backwards. She was the widow of Mr. J.Jackson who for many years had been headmaster at the Church School.

Dr.Hugh Steinberg, the Resident Medical Officer of Health at Deanhouse Hospital died of natural causes. He came to England from Vienna and a few months before his death he married Sister Edna Bentley, a member of staff at the hospital.

Scouts, Girl Guides, Cubs and Brownies

  In 1906 and 1907 Robert Baden-Powell, a lieutenant general in the British Army, wrote a book for boys about scouting. In the summer of 1907, he held a camp at Brownsea Island in England – this camp and the publication of ” Scouting for Boys ” are generally regarded as the start of the Scout Movement. During the first half of the 20th.C , the movement grew to encompass three major age groups for boys ( Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and Rover Scouts ). Robert’s sister, Agnes, was very much impressed by the movements’ popularity and felt that something similar should exist for girls. In 1910 the brownie guides ( originally called the Rosebuds, a name which didn’t catch on ), girl guides or girl scouts and ranger guides were formed with Agnus as leader.

The village boasted of Boy Scouts, Cubs, Girl Guides and Brownies and the Netherthong Boy Scouts were known as  the XI Huddersfield Troop. In July 1978 a new Venture scout unit met for the first time.

The scouts played a football match against St.Andrews Reserves at their ground at Crodingley, Thongs Bridge in February 1911.They won 4-2 and the best player on the field was Corporal H.Matthews who scored a hat-trick. In December, five scouts with their Hon. Scout master journeyed to Leeds for the review of the West Riding Scouts by Lord Baden Powell. On December 30th. the Scouts held their 2nd. annual entertainment in the National School. H.Mellor was the honorary scoutmaster of the troop.

On November 22, 1913 many of them attended a great rally and inspection at Bradford by the Chief Scout, Lt. General Sir Robert Baden Powell.

The following scouts and ex-scouts of the Netherthong troop served in HM Forces in WW1.  J.Battye, N.Coldwell, E.Crookes, C.A.Hudson, R.Horner, J.Marsden, V.Mosley, H.Matthews, G.Hoyle, B.Earnshaw, E.T.Sykes, A.Lockwood, R.Lee, H.Hebblewaite, J.Wadsworth and H.Lawrence. For further information please read the chapter on World War 1.

Lt. H.Matthews was born in Holmfirth but joined the Netherthong Troop in 1910. He was the first scout in the Huddersfield area to obtain a commission in the army and the first to make the supreme sacrifice.

The Express in the 1910s/20s published a column in most editions titled Scout Notes covering all the various Groups in the Valley. In November 1926 they printed a table of the Holme Valley Scout Association Football League. There were six teams, Netherthong, Meltham, Lane, Holme, Brockholes and Wesleyans and after five games Netherthong were unbeaten with ten points.

The Girl Guides had their colours dedicated at Wesleyan Chapel in April 1927 and the service was conducted by the Rev.W.Salisbury. They were known as the 20th. Huddersfield Netherthong Girl Guides and in July 1933 they presented three short plays in the open air at Fairfield lent by the kindness of Mrs. Floyd. Other attractions were a cake stall and side shows and over £4 was raised. In March 1940 they joined with the 1st. Holme Valley Scouts to run a whist and beetle drive, supper and concert. £5 was raised which was sent to the Finnish Council in Leeds towards the Finnish Appeal Fund.

The Holme Valley Boy Scouts ” Gang Show ” , presented by Mr.Powell was staged in the Netherthong National School on May 1943. The proceeds of £2 7s 6d were given to the Aid to China Fund. The following year the Gang Show was held in March at the Wesleyan Church Sunday School.

 

10th. anniversary celebrations
10th. anniversary celebrations

 

Scouts celebrate a £5,000 lottery windfall.
Scouts celebrate a £5,000 lottery windfall.
Cubs and their banner. Could have been made by the ladies in the front of the group.
Cubs and their banner. Could have been made by the ladies in the front of the group.
Certificates for Annual Sponsored Walk
Certificates for Annual Sponsored Walk
Article on the retirement of Peter Tempest and Jackie Whiteley
Article on the retirement of Peter Tempest and Jackie Whiteley
Celebration of the re-opening of the Scouts Giles Street base.
Celebration of the re-opening of the Scouts Giles Street base.

In September 1950 the Holme Valley District Girl Guides held their second annual Parents’ Day at Netherthong. Guides, from all companies, competed in the afternoon for the District Guides Shield. A picnic tea was supplied in the Day School and the Shield was presented to the Netherthong Guide Company.

The following month was the 21st. Annual Parade of Girl Guides and Boy Scouts. It was held at the Wesley Chapel for the Harvest Festival services and Mr. J.W.Green of Fleetwood ,who for many years had been the organist at the Chapel, returned to that position for the day. Ian Mackensie, a cub, gave a reading as did scout Cedric Wakefield.

Miss Joan Brook, the Captain of the Netherthong Guide Co., made a presentation in November 1953 at the Council School to Mrs. D. Borwell, until recently a lieutenant of the Company, who was moving abroad.

In October 1960, the Guides, Brownies, Rangers and members of the Trefoil Guild gathered at the Day School to make a presentation to Mrs.R.Mason of Brockholes, who had resigned from her position of District Commissioner. The gift was a stainless steel tray suitably inscribed.

Miss Judith Fawcett of Broomy Lea Lane, a member of the Girl Guides, was presented with a Queen’s Guide badge by the Divisional Commissioner in July 1962. She had been awarded the Badge for Fortitude almost two years previously for her courage under physical difficulty

.A report in the paper for April 1975 said that that year  promised to be one of the most exciting years since their formation in 1969 for the 7th.Holme Valley ( Netherthong ) Scout Group. On April 20 they were to be host to the Holme Valley District Scout Association at their St.George’s Day Parade. Glynn Taylor, a member of the Group, was awarded his Chief Scouts Award at the AGM at the School on April 30 and it was hoped at that meeting to finalise plans for new premises.

In February 1971 Sally Elizabeth Taylor of “Oldfield ” , Cooper Lane, Holmfurth who was a member of the Netherthong Unit became, at the age of 13 , the youngest ever Guide to receive the Queen’s Guide Award. 11 other Guides from the Unit had also in previous years achieved the distinction.  She was presented with the award by the Huddersfield Divisional Commissioner, Mrs.Fowler, at the Primary School. Sally, a pupil of Holme Valley grammar school, also became the youngest-ever holder of the Queen’s Guide Award in the Holme Valley.

The Scouts held a Sponsored Litter Collecting Campaign in May 1971 when about 20 cubs, scouts, parents and helpers combed the area around the village, Wolfstones Heights, Deanhouse, Mark’s Bottom and the Netherfield Estate for litter. The sponsorship was on a weight basis with each stone of litter counting as a point. They collected 1,742 pounds of metal and 1,492 pounds of scrap paper which raised a total of £30. A bonfire was built from all the rubbish and the UDC took away the non-combustibles. In November a district guiders training evening was held in the Day School when guiders from units in the Holme Valley were given practical and theoretical help in running their units. Mrs.Jean Lockwood was responsible for the Brownies section with  Miss Christine Brown responsible for the Guides. The last activity of the year was in December when the Brownies held a Christmas Concert as their ” Christmas Good Turn.” The concert included items by the whole pack, by smaller groups and solos, duets and recorder recitals. The refreshments were served by the Guides.

At the annual camping competition for the Holme Valley District Scouts held at Wooley in May 1974, 8 patrols took part and the Fox Patrol from the Netherthong group took 1st. prize with 401 points, New Mill Eagle Patrol came 2nd. with 357 points and the Otter Patrol, also from Netherthong, came 3rd. with 356 points. The Cup was presented by Derek Crossland the Asst. District Commissioner.

The sun shone for the 7th.Holme Valley Netherthong Scouts’ Autumn Fair held in September of that year. The Honley Scout Band and the Scouts led a colourful procession of children, many in fancy dress, round the village. Besides the many side shows there was  tombola, archery and pony rides. Fancy dress prizes were won by Simon Alderson, Kim Helliwell, Peter Mackay, Sally Wilson,Janette Haigh and Andy Capstick. Prizewinners in the handicraft competition were Jonathan Whitaker, Kim Searby, Frazer Ball, Lisa Rowe and Tracy Hobson. The two winners in the decorated bikes were Catherine Hobson and Tracy Hobson.

The St.George’s Day Parade in April 1975 went down in the annals of Scouting in the Holme Valley as the day there assembled in the village the biggest gathering for this occasion ever known in the history of local scouting and it was the first time it had ever been held in Netherthong.The parade assembled in Leas Avenue  and, led by the band of the 6th. Holme Valley ( Honley ), the cub-scouts, Scouts, Venture and Rangers with their drums sounding, trumpets playing and flags flying marched up New Road to the village, turned down Giles Street and up Outlane to the Church watched by a very large crowd of villagers, friends….. The church was packed and the service began with the “Battle Hymn of the Republic “. When the service was over they marched round the new Deanhouse estate and halted in St.Mary’s Road where the colours were marched off and the parade dismissed.

St. Georges Day Parade April 1975
St. Georges Day Parade April 1975

220 scouts from the various Holme Valley Scout Troops along with 30 leaders held a successful 3-day week-end District Camp in the village in September. The programme included special water events such as canoeing and sailing in dinghys, thanks to  In Slaithwaite Angling Club and the owners of Feins Mill who allowed the use of their dam in the village. There was also a model aeroplane display as well as a fire-fighting display.

 Sarah Whitaker received her Queen’s Guide Award on her 14th. birthday from the District Commissioner for the Holme Valley at a ceremony held in the Junior School in October She was living in Miry lane and was a member of the 2nd. Holme Valley Company and had worked for over three hours to attain the award. The 

A surprise presentation was staged at a Holmfirth disco for Mrs.Lesley Taylor who was leaving the Scout Group after 15 years. She had been a member of the group since its formation, Akela of the cubs for most of the time and she became group scout leader three years ago. During her years in scouting she had seen her three sons gain their chief scout awards and one was awarded the Queen’s Scout award. To mark her retirement, the parents’ executive committee commissioned a painting of Netherthong from Mr.Martin  Holroyd of Brewers Fine Arts. Mr.John Marshall, the former scout leader, was appointed group scout leader and Mr.Brian Parlor took over as scout leader. In the photograph,  artist Martin Holroyd presents his painting  to Lesley Taylor whilst John Marshall and Terry Irving look on.

The Annual meeting of the 7th. Holme Valley Scout Group was held in April 1976 and Mr. Tempest, Group Scout Leader, reported on the group’s achievements for the previous thelve months. N.Taylor won the Richard Leach Memorial Trophy for Scouts ( indoor cooking competition ) for the 2nd. year running. Alan McKenna’s last act as temporary leader was guiding the team to 5th. place in the Brow Hike at Sowerby Bridge which was an improvement on their 9th. position the previous year. He thanked all Patrol leaders and Scouts for their assistance but did ask for extra help in running the Scout Group. Mr. J. Jackson, chairman of the Group, welcomed the largest attendance of parents and friends in the Group’s history and told of the current situation on the much needed Scout Hut. The Cub Scout report came from Akela, Mrs. L. Taylor, who told of the large number of badges that had been gained and the boost they got from winning the District Cub Scout Competition. Mrs. Ball, the group treasurer, said the accounts showed a healthy cash balance from a satisfactory year of fund raising.

Lesley Taylor presentation.
Lesley Taylor presentation.

A  report in March 1977 was headlined ‘ Recent revival of the 7th. Holme Valley Netherthong Scouts’ and went on to say that in November 1976 the future of the group was grim and a closure seemed imminent. But, thanks to the loyalty of three boys, the group did not fold up but continued to prosper and these three boys, Richard Kitson, Fraser Ball and Mark Tempest, were awarded the highest award in the scouting world, The Chief Scout Award.  Mr.John Marshall was appointed the new scoutmaster.

 In the same month the 2nd. Holme Valley ( Netherthong ) Brownies held a special party to mark the 21st. anniversary of their formation. They were formed on March 12, 1956 and since then have had six Brown Owls. Miss M.Foster lives in Bath and along with Mrs. J.Booth now resident in Australia was unable to attend but the others Miss F.Warren, Mrs. J.Rothwell and Mrs. Helliwell were present.  In December as part of their jubilee venture the Brownies entertained residents of Greenacres Old Folk’s Home, Meltham. Under the direction of Mrs. J. Edinboro and Mrs. J.Hellawell they sang a selection of songs and carols and presented a play. Solo items were given by Rachel and Rebecca Pearce, Catherine Booth, Helen Ballantyne, Susan Middleton, Heather and Claudia Jackson and Sarah Clegg. The musical accompaniment was provided by Mrs. D.Redfern, Sarah Whitaker, Denise Edinboro and Deborah Peebles. A new Netherthong Venture scout unit met for the first time in July 1978 under the leadership of policeman Lloyd Edwards of Honley. They started with eight members  but hoped to add more and the meetings will be held in the Scout HQ in the Zion Chapel.

The following photograph shows scouts,cubs,guides, members of the church choir and villagers in Towngate at the remembrance service in November 1978. The following month the Scouts celebrated their 10th. anniversary in the School. 130 guests joined the members.

Remembrance service November 1978
Remembrance service November 1978

A total of £128 was raised when the 2nd. and 8th. Holme Valley Brownies held a bazaar at the school in October 1979. Proceeds went to the children’s ward at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary. The photo shows the Penine East Division Commissioner with brownies at the bazaar.

Brownies bazaar October 1979.
Brownies bazaar October 1979.

For the 1979 Remembrance Day service a contingent of cadets from the 1466 Holmfirth Air Training Corps marched from their headquarters at Thongbridge to attend the service. The Squadron padre, the Rev.John Capstick, conducted a short service in the church followed by a parade round the village with scouts, cubs and guides to the memorial. After the two-minutes silence “The Last Post ” was sounded by Clare Robinson. The first photograph shows the Church choir, scouts,cubs and Holmfirth Squadron air cadets at the service. The second photograph shows Clare sounding The Last Post.

They remembered November 1979
They remembered November 1979

 

Clare Robinson sounds The Last Post 1979
Clare Robinson sounds The Last Post 1979

Kim Helliwell, 15, of 12 St.Mary’s Road, Deanhouse , a Holme Valley Guide received her Queens Guide badge at a bring and buy sale at the County Primary School in April 1979. She was presented with the award by the Holme Valley District Commissioner, Mrs.J.Rothwell.

April 11 1980 was a very special occasion when the Netherthong Brownies flew their new flags for the first time. Members of the two village packs had decided that they wanted flags instead of pennants and a concert was arranged to raise money.  Each brown and yellow flag bears the name of the pack in yellow and they will be on show at guiding events. The two packs, known as the 2nd. and 8th. Holme Valley,  have 35 members between them aged between 7 and 10 years old.

In July, Claire Robinson of St.Mary’s Drive, became a Queen’s Guide. She was presented with her certificate and badge by the District Commissioner, Mrs. Joan Marsh, at an International Evening held by the Netherthong Guides, of which she had been a member for four years. 14 year old Claire had attained 22 badges and had helped with the cub pack as part of her work towards the certificate.  She was also a keen swimmer, played cornet in the high school band and was a member of the Kirklees Youth Band.

The Harvest Festival later that year in October was a grand occasion as the following set of four photographs show. In the first one  Group Scout leaders Peter Tempest and Ian Clegg lead the parade up Outlane from Zion chapel. The second shows the Holmfirth guides set out on parade to Holmfirth. In the third the Honley Scout and Guide Band head down New Road after the service. In the final photo one of the cub packs joins the parade.

4 photos for the Harvest Festival parade October 1980
4 photos for the Harvest Festival parade October 1980

Dozens of cubs and scouts took part in a St. George’s Day parade in the village in April 1982.  Honley Scout Band led the parade to the village church for a service of re-dedication and the  parade from the church was led by the hosts, the 7th.Holme Valley ( Netherthong ) pack carrying the district St.George’s Flag which they would keep for the following  year. Three of the local scouts, Jonathan Whitaker, Sean Taylor and Mark Tempest travelled to Windsor to attend a St.George’s Day parade for Queen’s scouts.They joined about 2,000 scouts in a parade led by the Welsh Guards to Windsor Castle where for an inspection by the Queen.

Cubs parade for St.George's Day April 1982
Cubs parade for St.George’s Day April 1982

An army of little Compos and Nora Battyes invaded Sid’s cafe, Holmfirth for a special drink of tea. The young stars were Netherthong brownies ( eighth Holme Valley ) in fancy dress who were taking part in a national brownie tea-making contest. The competition was for brownies to find the most unusual place to drink tea with a first prize of a VIP trip to Paris.  The brownies chose the last of the Summer Wine programme for their theme and dressed up either as Compo or Nora Battye. The girls took it in turn to make tea and serve drinks.

The following day they decided to invite parents along  for a meeting and about a dozen mums took part and dressed up with brownie caps. A special birthday cake was made to celebrate the 70th. birthday of the national brownie movement. The evening was organised by guiders Mrs.Betty Tempest and Mrs. Stephanie Darby and parent Mrs. Sarah Baxter. The photo shows the brownies with some of the parents.

Brownies and parents May 1984
Brownies and parents May 1984

In July 1978 a new Venture scout unit met for the first time under the leadership of policeman Lloyd Edwards of Honley. They started with eight members and hoped that more would join and they agreed to be named the Netherthong Sherpa Venture Scout Unit.. The meetings would be held in the Scout HQ in the Zion Chapel. Two months later they raised £96 at their Autumn Market. The attractions included  children’s fancy dress, a pet show, mini auction, children’s races, market stalls and a talent competition. Music was by the 6th. Honley Scout and Guides band.

The Brownies were still very active in the 1980s and, in December 1984, they raised £21 for the Ethiopian Appeal by giving a concert in the village Zion Chapel schoolroom. It featured musical items, poems and readings and a small presentation was made to pianist Mrs.Olive Davidson. Mrs. J. Hellawell, who was giving up as Brown Owl, received a thank-you gift. Thanks were also given to Mrs. June Edinboro and Mrs.Dorcas Shuttleworth. Several months later, in February 1985, they paid a special tribute to their former leader, Mrs. Judith Hellawell, at a presentation night in the Zion Chapel, as seen in the photograph below.

Tribute to Mrs. Judith Hellawell, February 1985

Anyone for tea? As the photo shows the Brownies took part in a national tea challenge and raised £15.

Brownies November 1985

 In  December 1985, the Netherthong B team were the winners of the Holme Valley Scouts Winter Competition. They were James Booth, Gareth Senior, Mark Rockett and Jack Fancy.

The husband and wife team of Mr.Richard Green and Mrs. Nicole Green received their scout leaders awards at the same time in a presentation at the village school. They are pictured receiving the warrants from Mr. Laurie Minney , the District Commissioner of the Holme Valley Scouts.

Award to Mr.Richard Green and Mrs. Nicole Green
January 1986

In 1986 all over the country, cub scouts celebrated the 70th. birthday of the movement formed on 16 December 1916. The photograph below from May  shows the cubs wearing a special Rainbow Year badge.

Cubs with special Rainbow Year badge May 1986

Guides and Brownies from the Holme Valley enjoyed a successful sports day at Holmfirth Cricket Club in June 1986. 8 Brownie packs and 5 Guides took part and the 8th. Holme Valley ( Netherthong  pack )  were the winners and received a shield from Ann Taylor

8th. Holme Valley ( NT) receiving a shield June 1986

In November 1986, present day members of the 2nd. Holme Valley Netherthong Guide Company got into the spirit of the Diamond jubilee celebrations by dressin-up in the old guide uniforms of the 1920s & 1930s. Charlotte Malthouse, Helen Wilkinson, Vicky Owen, Alice Farecy, Sally Horne  and Kate Irving feature in the photo below.

Guides in disguise

In January 1987, a Fancy Dress Rainbow Party and competition was organised by the Cubs.  Jonathan Redfearn, who was dressed as a rainbow, was the winner. The party was held to celebrate 70 years of Cub Scouting and the day of the party was the actual day when the movement was founded. Holding the cake in the photo were Cub Scout Leader Nicole Green and Asst. Cub Scout Leader, Claire Robinson.

Cubs fancy dress rainbow party.

Political and non – political parties, organisations, associations .

  In the early days in the village there was always support for the various political  parties, the Liberals, the Conservatives and Labour. There were also many other organisations  and  associations  which attracted members.The ones in this chapter are listed below as they appear.

1. Working Men’s Club.

2. Band of Hope Union.

3. Ratepayers Association.

4. Liberal Party.

5. Conservative Association.

6. Labour Party.

7. Women’s Unionist Association.

8. Fascism.

9. Men’s Fellowship.

10. Women’s Institute.

11. Civic Action Group.

12. Junior Imperial League.

13. Economic League.

14. Community Association.

 The Working Men’s Club ( WMC ) was established in the village in 1874, and its main function was as  a social club without any political connotations. For more details please read the chapter in this history on the WMC.

  The Band of Hope Union was a Temperance organisation for working class children which was formed in 1847 by the Rev.Jabez Tunnicliff, a Baptist Minister in Leeds. Its objective was to teach children the importance and principles of sobriety and teetotalism. In 1855 a national organisation was formed and meetings were held in churches. The Movement grew to nearly three million by 1935 but, by the early 1950s, it had all but succumbed to changing habits and it transformed itself into Hope UK. In August 1915 an open-air summer campaign by the Holmfirth & District Band of Hope Union was held in Netherthong where Mr.Chas. Smith, secretary of the British Temperance League, delivered an address.

Ratepayers Association

The most important people in the village were the Ratepayers and although they elected members  to various  Councils, there were instances where Ratepayer Power was needed. The first instance was in February 1866 when a number of Ratepayers in the Township of Netherthong, who were opposed to the projected road to Bridge Mill, wrote to the Chief Constable for him to call a Public Meeting. In compliance with the Requisition he called a Meeting to be held in the School on Wednesday , 21st. February at 7.30pm. A copy of the notice for the meeting is given below. I still have to find what the outcome of that meeting was but  eventually  the road was built and called New Road.

 

Copy of Public Notice for Meeting on 21st. Feb. 1866
Copy of Public Notice for Meeting on 21st. Feb. 1866

 

The Huddersfield Chronicle reported in February 1871 that a vestry meeting of the ratepayers had been held in the Parish Church for the purpose of making out a list of persons qualified to serve the office of parochial constables for the ensuing 12 months. The following persons were selected and put on the list for approval by the Magistrates – Jonas Mallinson, farmer and butcher of Netherthong. Edward Eastwood – whiskmaker of Hagg. James Turner – clothier of Greave and John Hinchliffe – farmer and cow jobber of Netherthong.

The Netherthong  Ratepayers Association held a meeting in November 1913 in the Methodist schoolroom. Mr. Harry Mellor was in the chair and local councilors, County councilors and many women householders attended. The meeting was about the education rate and the wish of Wooldale, Scholes and Cartworth that there should be a uniform rate for the whole of the Holmfirth education area. Cllr. Hinchliffe moved that the meeting protest against any extra education rate on Netherthong and this was carried. After further discussions the meeting decided to ask for repairs to Moor Lane and that the houses in Netherthong to be numbered. It was also approved that women ratepayers be admitted to free membership of the Association.

Liberal Party.

  I found a reference that a Liberal Club was started in the village in 1880 but the first report in the local paper was of a Liberal meeting held in October 1887 in the Methodist Free Church school to elect members to the Holmfirth Division and to the local District Council. Ramsden Mallinson, George Dearnley and Ben Eastwood were elected for the Division and Joe Lancaster, Jonas Hobson and John Hobson for the local Council. The next report was of a campaign meeting in January 1888. However I have since come across an earlier report in the Huddersfield Examiner for 1885 which  said  that the Liberals had had a very successful field day in January. It had consisted of a substantial knife and fork tea with an attendance of just over 200, which was followed by a  ball when  both young and old enjoyed themselves singing and dancing until 11pm. The sum of £8 9s was handed to the treasurer in aid of furnishing for the new room.

In February 1890, a lecture entitled “ The land questions from the standpoint of Lloyd George “ was given to the Netherthong Liberal Club by Edmund Crosland. Another reference I found was of a Liberal Association in 1891 which was located at No. 11 Outlane which was  named Whig Cottage. There was also a report of them buying property in Giles Street.

In March 1908 there was a Liberal meeting at the United Methodist Church with Mr.B.Dyson presiding. He said that the Conservatives and Labour had held a number of meetings in the village and this was the first Liberal meeting since the General Election.

Conservative Association

 The first reference was in the Huddersfield Examiner for April 1887 when it reported that J.H.Turner and John Wilson  of the Netherthong Conservative Association were elected to be the representatives on the Central Council of the Division for the Holmfirth Conservative Association. The next report  was in December 1888 when a  lecture, under the auspices of the Association, was given at the Clothier’s Arms by F.Turner of New Mill. It was entitled “ The political career of Mr.Gladstone “

 In November 1907 about 20 members of the Conservative & Unionist Association had an outing to Clayton West at the invitation of their Conservative Association. They had a great tea, followed by a tour round the village and finished off with songs and talks. In March 1908 it was the turn of Clayton West Conservatives to visit Netherthong, and the meeting was held in the Clothier’s Arms. There was a lecture on “ Land Agriculture and the Land Laws” which provoked lots of discussion.

The Netherthong Conservative & Unionist Association held a meeting in the National School in September 1908 and Dr.Eastham, the party’s prospective candidate for Holmfirth, was the principal speaker. In December they held their 2nd. annual tea, concert and meeting at the National School and about 120 partook of a sandwich lunch. Captain Boyd-Carpenter, the prospective candidate for Colne Valley, was present and  the president of the association, E.G.Floyd, was in the chair. It was reported to have been a very long meeting with lots of discussion.

The Conservative Association organised a very successful smoking concert in February 1909 in the National School and  December of the same year was the occasion of their annual tea and concert when 200 supporters attended. The superb concert was rated as one of the best in the school for a long time. Mr.T.Wood introduced Mr.G.Ellis ,their prospective candidate. The next reference was not until December 1927 when they held a very successful whist-drive and dance with music by Harold Preston’s band. 

In November 1930 the Church School was well filled for a Conservative meeting followed by a whist-drive which was the opening event of the local branch of the Colne Valley Association for the winter season. Much discussion was given to the “failings ” as a result of the 18 months of Socialist Government. Mr. Harry Horncastle was the MC for the whist and the secretarial duties were performed by Mrs.T.Wilson. The following year they organised another well attended whist drive. A speech was given by Mr. R.Steele, who was introduced by the chairman, Mr.C.S.Floyd. Music was by the aptly named Imperial Dance Orchestra.

The next recorded meeting of the Association was in October 1933 with Mr.R.Ricketts presiding and members listened to a talk on the History of Conservatism.  The following week they organised a whist- drive, supper and dance in the Church school with music by the Imperial Dance Band.

Labour Party

 An Independent Labour Party ( ILP ) meeting was held in Netherthong in June 1907. John Penny was the speaker and Comrade George Castle presided over a very large meeting. The only other report was in May 1955 when Mr.Glenville Hall, the Labour candidate for the Colne Valley Division, spoke at Netherthong and among the items he discussed were guaranteed prices to farmers, exporting difficulties, education and the standard of living.

Women’s Unionist Association.

The Netherthong branch of the Holmfirth & District Womens’ Unionist Association held their first meeting after inauguration in November 1912 in the Church School – it consisted of a whist- drive, supper and dance. There was a large attendance and Miss M.Buchanan was the secretary. The following year they held their second annual social in the Church schoolroom when 166 sat down to eat and the entertainment was a whist-drive and dance.

 In May 1914 they held an open-air meeting in Netherthong to discuss Home Rule and housing, and the following month, 25 members had their first social outing and  went to Harrogate and Knaresborough, conveyed in a luxurious char-a-banc.

A whist- drive and dance was promoted in October 1926 and held in the National School. After the whist, agents of the Colne Valley Unionist Association addressed the gathering and hoped that members would continue their efforts to send a Conservative to represent the Colne Valley Division at Parliament. Dancing to the music of Harold Preston’s Band followed supper.

They held a gypsy ball in January 1931 which took the form of a whist-drive,supper and dance promoted by Mrs.T.Wilson and held in the National School. The music was played by the Philharmonic Five Dance Orchestra. 

The first sentence of this section refers to the Netherthong branch of the Holmfirth  District Womens’ Unionist Association, but in the Express report for February 1931 ,they were referred to as the Netherthong branch of the Colne Valley Womens’ Unionist Association. ? It reported that the Association had held another of their monthly whist- drives as well as their AGM. Mrs. Thomas Turner of South View, Mrs. Thomas Wilson of West End and Miss H.Floyd of Roseleigh were re-elected. The new committee members were Mrs.Wimpenny, Miss Saunderson ,Mrs.Chambers, Mrs.Jim Mallinson, Mrs.Goddard, Mrs. Richardson, Miss E.Brook, Miss M.Eastwood, Miss Davies and Mrs.E.Dyson. Mrs.Davies of Manor House and Mrs.Hampshire of Deanhouse were elected as delegates. To add further confusion, the Express reported in April that the Women Unionists and Empire League had held a whist- drive, supper and dance  with music by the Imperial Dance Band.

 

Fascism

 Mr. P.N.Ricketts of Netherthong was one of the speakers at a public meeting held on February 1938  at Victoria Street, Huddersfield under the auspices of the British Union of Fascists.

Men’s Fellowship.

At an inaugural meeting in September 1954, it was agreed to form a Men’s Fellowship in the village. It would be non-political and non- denominational and membership would be available to any man living in the township. The meeting was well attended and the Rev.S.Black was in the chair. The following officials were elected . Chairman – Mr.W.Wood ( a solicitor in Holmfirth ). Vice – chairman – Mr. Stangroom ( administrator of Deanhouse Hospital ) . Treasure – Mr.W.Lax ( worked at Midland Bank). General Secretary – H.Webb ( Headmaster of the local school ). Programme Secretary – Rev. S.Black. A committee was also formed. The intention was to hold monthly meetings during the winter season.

Women’s Institute.

In August 1962 ,at a meeting in the Day School, a Women’s Institute for the village was formally inaugurated by two voluntary County Organisers for the Yorkshire Federation of Women’s Institutes. It was in fact the 624th. Institute to be formed in Yorkshire. Miss J.Grainger of Wilshaw was in the chair and 83 members were enrolled and the following officers were elected by ballot. Mrs. A.Stangroom – President. Vice-presidents – Mrs.R.Stephenson and Mrs.E.Mosley. The secretary was Mrs.W.Wood with Mrs.W.Lax as treasurer. Committee members were Mrs.D.Binstead, Miss S.Brook, Miss E.Dickenson, Mrs.A.Fallas, Mrs.A.Swallow and Mrs.R.Whittaker. The WI played an important role in  village life and I have given it its own chapter.

Civic Action Group

At a meeting of a group of villagers in March 1975 it was unanimously decided to set up a Netherthong Civic Action group and various officers and members of the executive committee were elected. At the meeting, held in Westfield House, it was stated that one of the main reasons for creating such a group was because of the concern felt by most of the residents of the village about the amount of development. It appeared that there was a plan approved for 70 bungalow type dwellings and it was understood that a further 80 houses were being contemplated and 24 acres of land was earmarked for residential developement  bringing the total to over 400 houses. The Group felt that the influx of such a large proportion of residential property would completely wipe out the existing village. The action proposed by the Action Group was to send a letter to the Department of the Environment with a copy to Kirkless Council, Kirklees Civic Society and the Civic Trust for the North West.

At a meeting of the committee held in October the main topic was the tidying up of the village. Targets included the surrounds to the well at Wells Green and the footpath from Deanbrook Road to Deanhouse Chapel. They were also being active in seeking information about a possible weight restriction being imposed on vehicles passing through the village. They pledged their full support to the efforts of the steering committee set up to investigate the possibility of having a village hall.

Junior Imperial League

The National Junior Imperial League was formed in 1906 with the objectives to encourage practical political work and organisation among young people. They were set up in each Parliamentary Division.

The first social and dance of the newly formed Netherthong branch of the Colne Valley Junior Imperial League was held in January 1931. Miss Thelma Sykes the divisional vice – chairman referred to the great growth of the League throughout the Colne Valley. The music was provided by Oswald Collins. 

At their monthly meeting in May, Mr.Gooch was the speaker. He said the Socialist Party had no Empire policy and they were a heartless fraud on the people of the country. He finished his talk by saying that the whole country was languishing for Conservatism. The first half- yearly meeting was held in the National School when Mr.R.Garside gave an address titled ” Present day politics. Why we need a Conservative Government”.

At the meeting in November with Norman Hampshire in the chair, Mr.Ricketts, the secretary, announced that Col. Lascelles had consented to open their forthcoming Christmas Fayre. No report of the Fayre appeared in the paper.

The annual meeting was held in January 1932 and Captain Apperley , president of the Colne Valley Junior Imperial League, gave an address and traced the history of the JIL throughout the country and the Colne Valley and the great strides it had made during the past five years. The following officers were elected for the ensuing year. Chairman – Mr.C.S.Floyd, Treasurer – F.Butterworth, Secretary – R.Ricketts, magazine editor – Miss Ricketts. A further six members were voted onto the committee. A few months later they held a successful dance in the National school to celebrate the winning of the Baldwin Cup. Music was by the Roses Band. They held a Recruiting Ball combined with a fancy-dress competition in October with music by The Majestic Dance Orchestra. Earlier that month many of their members attended a meeting of the Netherthong Unionist Party.

The  monthly meeting in December 1932 was addressed by Mr.D.Graham on the subject of ” The Crisis, the Election and Afterthoughts”. Mr.N.Hampshire presided and F.Butterworth reported a handsome profit on the recent Christmas Fayre. They organised a ‘cinema’ entertainment in the Wesleyan school in December 1936 and the films were shown by Mr.Preston of Honley to a packed room. They were ‘ The White Hell of Pitz Palu’ and ‘Across Alaska’ and were followed by a Mickey Mouse cartoon ‘ The Haunted Hours ‘ with the ‘Pathes Gazette’ finishing off the evening.

Economic League.

This is  the first and only reference that I have found about this League.

In December 1930 there was a large attendance at a whist- drive and rally that the League organised in the Church School. Mr.Walter Brookbank was the main speaker and Mr.Butterworth presided.

Community Association.

Over £800 was raised in December 1986 from a Grand Christmas Draw organised by Netherthong Community Association which was raising money to provide a Community Centre. The winner of the draw was June Edinboro, who won a video recorder and the presentation was made at a family Christmas disco held in the schoolrooms. The Association plan to build the centre next to the school and they have raised about £3,000 and need £100,000 to build it.

Community Association
Disco Dec. 1986

 

Mixed Photographs of Netherthong.

This chapter is devoted to all sorts of photographs that I have  been given and which don’t necessarily fit  into any of the other chapters. Having said that, some of them are duplicated in other chapters.

I have not been able to find very many photographs showing the growth of the village or  the major events that occured throughout its history. It would seem that only a few  villagers had cameras and those that did were more keen to use them for family snaps or, as is shown below, taking photos of snow. If only they had had digital cameras at the start of the 1900s it would have been a completely different  picture, no pun intended. But of course they would also have needed computers and printers – dream on.

 

Clearing snow in Moor Lane 1937

 

Old folks snowed in at West End March 1937

 

Clearing snow at West End 1937 – look who’s watching the women work!

 

Moorgate in the snow.The lady leads the cart whilst the man rides.

 

 

Holme Royd farm in the snow

 

 

New Dam in the snow 1936. This dam supplied the water to Deanhouse Mills

 

Wesleyan Chapel in the snow. Note the gravestones.

 

 

Local bus in the snow at Moorgate

The following photograph is from the 1900s/1910s and shows the road leading from Towngate down to the Clothier’s Arms. The buildings on the left ,called Rose Cottages, are still there today. The edge of a barn with a Danger sign and a gas light can be seen  on the right hand side. It was demolished at some stage and replaced with a head high wall. It was part of the property known as Holmleigh.( In 2018 extensive modifications were made to the grounds and the long drive.)

Rose Cottages 1910s/1910s

 

The following two photographs are of very old farm buildings that can be seen on the right hand side of Moor Lane as you exit the village. Both are dated 1910 but the buildings date back to much earlier.

Sands Farm 1910 with pigs

 

Holm Royn Nook showing the two farmhouses 1910

 

If you stroll all the way down Outlane you will come to Dockhill Road but be very quick as it rapidly changes to Miry Lane .When you reach the bottom, Miry Lane continues to the left, past the St.Mary’s Estate on the right  and  up the very steep hill to Oldfield.Turn right and it changes to Deanbrook Road which  goes down to Deanhouse and Hagg Lane at the junction. If you happen to carry on to the main Huddersfield and cross over to Thongsbridge you will see a road sign on the Post Office wall for Miry Lane.!! 

This photograph is dated 1910 and shows a muddy road and in the background  the imposing buildings of Deanhouse Institution . Dockhill was on the right just after the brick wall and at various times had been the location of the Co-operative Society abattoir and the local council refuse dump.

Dockhill leading down to Miry Lane 1910

The following photograph must date from the 1900s but I’m not sure of its exact location. It is marked Miry Netherthong.  I think the Deanhouse Institution must be on the left but what is the building on the right? Where is the road coming from? Helen Walker added the following information on March 7 2017.” I am pretty sure that this is an image of Giles street with the wall to the Methodist church to the right and the wall to the left is the gate to 33 Giles street (you can see the tree which is till there and which has grown substantially!!).  The buildings to the right are the Dock Hill House.  There is a straight joint evident in the gable end of the building so I think the building has been altered to suit the widening of the road at some point and the gable taken at a chamfered angle to suit the road.”

 

Very early photograph, 1900s. Institution is on the left but what are the other buildings?
Very early photograph, 1900s. Institution is on the left but what are the other buildings?

The following photograph was taken in 2010 and shows part of Miry Green Terrace. The corner houses were the site of the very first school in the village. The next photograph shows a copy of a letter sent by the Clerk of the Netherthong District Council in September 1900 to John Batley, who ran a joinery business, allowing him to extend his property in Miry Lane. The letter goes on to say that it is in exchange for his land in Giles Street which he gave to the Council for street improvement. 

Modern photo, 2010, of Miry Green Terrace in Miry Road.
Modern photo, 2010, of Miry Green Terrace in Miry Road.

The photograph below shows Batley’s joinery premises when it was located in Giles Street. Dates from 1910s.

Batley's joinery premises in Giles Street, 1910s.
Batley’s joinery premises in Giles Street, 1910s.
Letter from Netherthong District Council granting John Batley permission to extend his property
Letter from Netherthong District Council granting John Batley permission to extend his property

 

This photograph shows two ladies working on looms. It was given to me among a number of Netherthong photographs but I can only assume it might relate to Deanhouse Mills in the 1920s.

Ladies working on looms?
Ladies working on looms?

The whole village loved events such as Coronations, Jubilees, War Victories as well as the Annual Sunday schools’ processions as it gave them a chance to forget their problems and to dress up and have lots of fun as as the occasions  invariably involved bands, bunting, banners, lots of food, games and dancing and singing.

The list of Royal events that  would have been celebrated to a lesser or greater degree were : The Coronation of Queen Victoria on 28 June 1838, her Golden Jubilee in 1887, her Diamond Jubilee in1897 and the sad occasion of her death on January 22 1901. She was followed by King Edward V11 who was crowned on August 9 1902 and died on May 21 1910. He was succeeded by George V, whose Coronation was on June 22 1911, and he reigned for 25 years before dying  in 1936. We all know about Edward V111 who became King for a short period , was not crowned and abdicated in 1936. George V1 succeeded him and his Coronation was on May 12 1937 and he reigned until his death on February 15 1952.  The last occasion the village celebrated a Coronation was that of our reigning Queen, Elizabeth 11, who was crowned on June 2 1953.

Victory in many of the wars that England fought was also a time for  celebration with the most memorable and emotionable  being for WW1 when so many of the village lads gave their lives for their Country. The Crimea War ended in 1856 and the next overseas war was The Boer War which ended on the last day of May 1902. The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918 was the armistice of WW1 with November 15 being called Victory Day. WW11 had  two endings, VE day was on the 7 May 1945 and VJ Day was three months later on 14 August 1945.  If the carnage of that war was not enough the World Powers decide to have another war and the Korean war started in June 25 1950. An armistice was agreed on July 27 1953.

Reports of many of the celebrations are reported in the appropriate chapters. What I have done below  is to show  photographs of events with some guessing at the dates. I have numbered them so that if any of you can put  a more accurate date to them , please let me know.

  

mm26.Fancy dress procession outside church - Golden Jubille 1897 or Coronation 1902 ?
mm26.Fancy dress procession outside church – Golden Jubille 1897 or Coronation 1902 ?

  

Coronation celebrations June 1991at Deanhouse Hospital
Coronation celebrations June 1911 at Deanhouse Hospital
United Free Church & Wesleyan Joint Sunday schools procession 1907 in Town Square.
United Free Church & Wesleyan Joint Sunday schools procession 1907 in Town Square.

 

mm27. 1st. Oldfield Sing 1933.
mm27. 1st. Oldfield Sing 1933.
mm 28. 1st. Oldfield Sing 1933 plus dog.
mm 28. 1st. Oldfield Sing 1933 plus dog.

The following picture shows children in fancy dress passing the Clothiers on their way to Towngate as part of the June 1953 Queen’s Coronation.

mm29. Procession passing the Clothiers celebrating WW2 Victory 1945.

 

mm30. Deanhouse Victory group 1945.
mm30. Deanhouse Victory group 1945.

 

mm31. Netherthong WW1 Victory Group 1945
mm31. Netherthong WW1 Victory Group 1945
mm32. Group of ladies marked Netherthong Field Day ?
mm32. Group of ladies marked Netherthong Field Day ?

 

mm33. Field Day parade coming up Outlane ?
mm33. Field Day parade coming up Outlane ?

 

mm34. 1953 Coronation group in Outlane ?
mm34. 1953 Coronation group in Outlane ?
mm35. Deanhouse Feast 1953 ?
mm35. Deanhouse Feast 1953 ?

 

Crowds gathered in the rain in Towngate to celebrate the Coronation of Elizabeth II in 1952 with bunting and balloons

 

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

In a farming community such as Netherthong, cows were almost as numerous as the inhabitants and the following two photographs from about 1901 show a few of them grazing with local landmarks behind them.  In the first photograph the large buildings of Deanhouse Institution can be seen in the background. The second photograph is of New Dam which supplied the water to Deanhouse Mills and in the top left hand corner is one of the farms at Royd Nook.

 

Deanhouse Institution in the distance. 1901.

 

New Dam with Royd Nook on the left. 1901.
Haigh Lane, Deanhouse circa 1910.
Haigh Lane, Deanhouse circa 1910.

The folowing are two photographs I took in 2010 of the first water reservoir in the village which was near to Brownhill’s farm.The first photo shows the grassy sides of the reservoir ( long since filled in ) looking up from Wells Green with the original supply pipe to the village clearly visible in the front. The second photograph was of  the  top of the reservoir  with part of its ” tower”  protruding out. This tower has level indicating marks up the side.

 

The old water resevoir seen from Wells Green.
The old water resevoir seen from Wells Green.
The old water reservoir showing its measurement tower.
The old water reservoir showing its measurement tower.

I have just received ( December 2013 ) this lovely old photograph of the barn next to the Clothier’s Arms . The car should help to date it and I’m guessing the 1930s. I’m sure this barn was used in later years as a venue for local organisations to hold meetings and parties.

The barn adjacent to the Clothier's Arms. circa 1930s
The barn adjacent to the Clothier’s Arms. circa 1930s

 

Rob Roy, New Road, 1950s
Rob Roy, New Road, 1960s
Parish Church, 1947, in heavy snow

 

1947 Fox House, Moor Lane. William Batley in foreground.

 

View of a Thongsbridge Mill and dam.
c.1910s

The sepia photograph shows one of the mills in Thongsbridge with its tall chimney and dam. There looks to be another mill chimney behind it and to the far left there is a very large building.

Public Houses and Inns

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.However in the chapter, a  Brief History of Deanhouse – a hamlet that shows the change of time, there is the following reference . ”  At that time, 1838, 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’. “

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.

Jonas Sykes.

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.

Moses Sykes
Moses Sykes

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.

Queen’s Arms.

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.

Clothiers Arms.

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

1979 — Derek & Sylvia Schofield.

1987 — When Derek Schofield died, his wife Sylvia took over on a widow’s licence for one year. A tribute was paid to Derek who had died suddenly on Monday , April 13, aged 57. He left a widow, Sylvia, daughters Ann and Jane and grandchildren, Amanda, Ryan, Heidi and Lucy. The Rev. John Capstick said he was not just the landlord of the local inn  but an involved and very thoughtful and caring member of the community. He grew up in Netherthong and was regularly involved in fund raising for the village Senior Citizens and the annual schoolchildren’s procession and feast. A service was held at All Saints on April 17.

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.

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.

 

Cricketers Arms.

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

1986 — Stuart & Margaret Whittle

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

 

Rachel Roebuck, owner and landlady of the Queens Arms
Rachel Roebuck, owner and landlady of the Queens Arms

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.

Prop. D.S.Scholfield

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.

Derek Schofield handing over cheque to Raymond Hall
Derek Schofield handing over cheque to Raymond Hall

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.

Mrs. Judith Beardsell, auctioneer and Rev.J.Capstick Oct 1980
Mrs. Judith Beardsell, auctioneer and Rev.J.Capstick Oct 1983

 

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.

Clothier's "Record "sale
Clothier’s “Record “sale

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.

 

Derick & Sylvia Schofield at the Clothier's Arms 1983
Derick & Sylvia Schofield at the Clothier’s Arms 1983

The photograph below shows the Rev.John Capstick outside the Cricketers in disguise.

Rev.John capstick in disguise outside the Cricketers
Rev.John capstick in disguise outside the Cricketers

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.

All aboard for an adventure – 1930s

 

Start of the Netherthong 10k race – 15 September 2000

The following photograph shows the barn adjacent to the Clothier’s Arms which would have been used for a large range of activities.

The barn adjacent to the Clothier's Arms. circa 1930s
The barn adjacent to the Clothier’s Arms. circa 1930s

 

The following photo is an advert in the Holmfirth Express in May 1986 for the Cricketers Arms.

1986 advert for the
Cricketers Arms

In September 1987, the Clothiers entered a team into the local Pram- Push. Derek Schofield , all 14.5 stone of him, put on his bonnet and climbed into his pram at the Bridge Tavern in Holmbridge. Then the team of pushers took him all the way back to Netherthong, calling in at every single pub on the way. The pram pushers included Susan Kenny, Marion Hird, Pamela Widcock, Robert Gate, Robert Scholfield, Geoffrey Sykes, Graham Porritt and Phillip Morris. The aim was to raise enough money to buy an electric wheelchair for Dougie Greaves, who suffered from a rare ageing condition. Derek squashed the pram about three quarters of the way round the course but, despite the mishap, managed to raise plenty of money. See photo below.

 

Derek Schofield and
the Pram Push

The Clothiers Arms continued with their fundraising and, by November,  helped to raise a massive £1,575 to buy the electric wheelchair for Douglas. It had held many sponsored events with the help of the Cricketers Arms and, when the final total was totted up, they had raised not just the £1,575 but £2,673. The balance would be donated to village organisations. In the photograph below are Douglas Greave and his wife Maria, Derick and Sylvia Scholfield and the Cricketers landlord and landlady, Stuart and Margaret Whittle along with some of the regulars.

Fund raising group for electric wheelchair

In the Holmfirth Express issue of  17 April 1987, tribute was paid to Derick Scholfield who died suddenly on Monday,13 April at the age of 57. He left a widow, Sylvia, daughters Ann and Jane and grandchildren, Amanda, Ryan, Heidi and Lucy. The Rev. John Capstick said that Derick was not just the landlord of the local inn, but was an involved and very thoughtful and caring member of the community. He grew up in Netherthong and was regularly involved in fund rising for the village senior citizens and the annual schoolchildren’s procession and feast.  A service was held in All Saints on 17 April. 

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.

Advert for the Bengal
October 2015
Advert for the Bengal
October 2015

And now for a piece of trivia : In 1960 there were 500 ‘Indian’ restaurants in the UK and, by 2015, this number had increased to 2015 with some 65% of them 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.

Deaths of local inhabitants up to 1930

  In the old days, when local communities were very close knit , there was always an interest in the deaths of their citizens and when the Holmfirth Express started publishing in 1886 it allocated space to report deaths that occured in the Holme Valley.  The  more important  the deceased, the greater the coverage.  In this  chapter I have not only recorded  natural deaths but also  other deaths involving people in Netherthong and District.

Any deaths arising from the two World Wars are dealt with in their respective chapters.

Some of the  deaths are also replicated in the Chapter on the Deanhouse Institution.

During the period when  Netherthong had its own Urban District Council , the Medical Officer, in his annual report, would give details on the number of deaths for the previous year broken down by gender and cause. These are reported in the chapter on the history of the Council before its amalgamation into Holmfirth when unfortunately these details were no longer given separately. The Huddersfield and Holmfirth Examiner reported in June 1862 on the death of Mr.Elihu Hobson at his residence at Miry Lane Cottages at the age of 85 years. When he was 70 he married the present Mrs.Hobson after which he retired from business. For his last two years he had been blind but he died peacefully. The August 1857 edition of the paper reported on the sudden death of two of the oldest inhabitants during the first week of the month. They were Mr. Benjamin Wilson and Mr. John Jagger, both aged 82 years. On the Saturday they were in the barber’s shop ( which shop and where ?) together conversing freely about their age and the topics of the day and the next day they were taken ill and died within two hours of each other. John Jagger was well known and had been a member of the Wesleyan  Methodists for 60 years and was a pious and faithful leader of that church for 40 years. On a very sad note the same month, the wife of Jonas Allen , a poor man residing in the village, was safely delivered of three children. They were fully grown but unfortunately were dead when born.

In 1867 the newspaper reported on four deaths during the year. The first one was in February when Mrs. Martha Bates, a widow, who lived with her son-in-law, Mr. Joshua Woodhead a farmer, suffered an accident which led to her death. On the Monday night, about 8.30 pm, she went to the cellar to fetch some bread for supper and missed  her footing and fell down ten steps. Her grandson was in the house and gave the alarm. Her father and some of the neighbours came in and carried her back upstairs but she died almost straightaway. She was 87 years old. The next death was on June 21 of Mr.John Schofield who was only 47 years old. He had been a principal in the choir at Wesleyan Chapel for nearly 30 years, as well as being a teacher at the Sunday School. Mr. William Horncastle of Towngate died suddenly in October at the early age of 45 but he had not been in good health for a long time. His wife, who had risen from the bed, heard a noise and turning round saw blood issuing from his mouth and he died a few minutes later. Mr.Moorhouse a surgeon was called and he stated that the deceased had died from a disease of the heart. The final death which occurred in November was very freakish. Joe Miller aged 21, a joiner and son of Mr. James Milner, joiner and cabinet maker, died under very unusual circumstances. It appeared that on October 17 he was amusing himself by tossing a penny in the air and catching it in his mouth but unfortunately on the last occasion  the coin slipped and stuck fast in his throat. He went to Mr.Berry , a surgeon in Holmfirth, who tried to get the coin out but only succeeded in pushing it further down the gullet. He next went to Dr.Trotter who was also unsuccessful. He returned to work but a few days later went back to Dr.Trotter to try again but again with no success. A few hours later a blood vessel ruptured and he died immediately. On April 14 1869, an old man named Matthew Taylor, a farmer of Hope Grange in the township of Netherthong, was on a haymow in his barn and a ‘lightness’ came over him and he fell to the barn floor. He was 68 years old and was rendered unconscious by the fall. When he came to, he yelled for his wife, who was in the cowshed, and she came to his assistance finding him lying in a pool of blood. He was taken into the house and attended by Mr.Haigh, surgeon of Meltham, but he died the next morning from his injuries.

Mrs. James, wife of Rev. Thomas James the vicar of All Saints, died suddenly on July 27 1872 at her home in the vicarage. She had visited  Holmfirth in the afternoon and had returned home apparently in her normal health. At 8 pm she was seized with a fit and Mr.Trotter, surgeon of Holmfirth, was sent for but she died before he arrived. Mrs. Trotter pronounced death to have been the result of an epilepctic fit. Mr. & Mrs. James had only been married about 18 months and the Rev. James had been suffering from the effects of a paralytic fit which incurred ten months earlier.

In December 1876 an inquest was held at the Clothiers on the death of George Henry Moorhouse, labourer aged 34 years. On November 14 he was at the Clothiers and, in going down some steps leading out the back way, he fell and received such internal injuries as to cause his own death some days later. The jury found a verdict of “Accidental Death “.

 The first reported death  in the Express of September 1887 was of George Henry Wood, a well known musician , who had been the leader of the Netherthong Brass Band. He was buried in All Saint’s Church.

 In March 1888 there were three deaths at Deanhouse Workhouse, Betty Lodge 82 years, Jemima Gregg 85 years and Ann Kendrow 86. All were due to natural causes.

A few months later Nathan Hobson died at the age of 71. He had worked for 40 years as a woolen spinner and had been involved in  village life including being a superintendent of the Sunday School.

 In June that  year a woman named Ellen Walkdon, 63 years, who was returning to the Deanhouse Workhouse after 4 days leave of absence, dropped down on the highway and died five minutes later. Mr. W. Barstow JP, the District Coroner, presided over an inquest held at the Clothier’s Arms. The verdict was death from natural causes.

In August a little child, Mabel, who was only 23 months old, met with a shocking death. Her mother, from Outlane, had left her five children in bed whilst she went to fetch some milk. In her brief absence , the attention of her neighbours was drawn to the house on hearing screams. On entering the house it was discovered that the child had set its clothes on fire and, in spite of assistance, she died a little later. When the mother returned  she found Lucifer matches strewn on the floor but none had been struck or had been alight. The inquest at the Clothier’s Arms gave a verdict of Accidentally Burned.

 Benjamin Sykes of Deanhouse who had been the secretary of the Netherthong branch of the Co-operative Society since its formation in 1881 died in March 1889.

Two more deaths in that year occurred in September and October. The first was of Benjamin Wilson, aged 78 who was the oldest representative of one of the oldest families in the township and district. His family had been owners of property for many hundreds of years and had occupied a prominent position in the area. Charles Woodhead, 73, died very suddenly in October. For 50 years he had been the class leader in the Wesleyan body and one of the major stays of the local chapel.

The next report in the Express was not until Christmas Day 1893 when PC Farr, who was stationed at Netherthong, was informed that a man had been found in the reservoir at the rear of Wellhouse. The body was later identified as William Chaplin, aged 63, a groom. The inquest decided that the deceased had probably drowned himself.

Mr.Dytch of Deanhouse, who had been the treasurer of the Co-operative Society died in August 1894. He had been involved with the Methodist Free Church since his youth and he was one of the superintendents and a trustee.

In May 1895, John Hinchliffe , a schoolboy, had a traumatic experience when he  found Trevor Hobson, a joiner, dead in a field at Well Green. Later that year  November saw  the sad death of the local lamplighter, Benjamin Hirst who had died from injuries he had received from doing his duties. He was carrying a ladder and lighting the lamps along the footpath but as he turned into the road he was knocked down by a horse and trap.

An inquest was held in the Conservative Club in Netherthong in 1896 under Mr.Barstow J.P. into the death of Alice Buckley 2y 5m , daughter of Mr. Rockley Buckley, weaver. She had been badly burned and later died. The verdict was accidental death.

1897 saw an inquest  held under Mr. Barlow J.P. concerning the death of William Wimpenny 57, shoemaker, who was found dead in bed. Verdict was death from natural causes, probably heart failure.

At the end of the year the Chairman of the Council asked for a minutes silence in respect of the sudden death of Isaac Sykes who, for more than 20 years, had been the Inspector of Nuisances.

In October 1899, Ben Fitton, 44, who was well known as a musician and a tenor singer at the Parish Church and laterly its organist died.

Another suicide was reported at the end of the year. A Honley man was found drowned in New Dam which was owned by T.Dyson of Deanhouse Mill.

Although obviously not a resident of the village, a full day was given to honour the death of Queen Victoria in February 1901. Memorial services were held in the Parish Church which was completely full.

In October 1903 there was a major tragedy in Netherthong Lane resulting in the sad end of Sam Laycock , a labourer of Scholes Moor. He was employed to assist in the work of the threshing machine and as the traction machine was drawing the machine down the lane, he  attempted to jump on the draw bar between the engine and machine and fell under one of the wheels. An inquest was held and the jury returned a verdict of accidental death.

A sudden death occured in June 1905 when Mrs. Emma Wimpenny, a widow, was going upstairs to dust when she fell to the bottom of the stairs. A niece, residing next door, went to her assistance and called for medical aid but Mrs. Wimpenny died soon after the doctor’s arrival. An inquest was held and the neice, Edith Alice Wimpenny residing at Wilson’s Square said her aunt was 80 years old and the widow of John Wimpenny, shoemaker. The doctor said she had a weak heart and bronchitis. The jury returned a verdict that death resulted from a fracture of the skull, caused by accidently falling downstairs.

September 1908 saw yet another drowning in Netherthong. A man’s coat was found on the embankment of New Dam and the discoverer reported it to P.C. Barker. In one of the  pockets was a card with the name Thompson Jagger who was 31 years old and from Oldfield. The dam was dragged and his body recovered.  At the enquiry the verdict was ” Drowned himself without significant evidence to show the state of his mind”.

In October 1911, Mr.William Taylor, the Council’s lamplighter died. His son Harry, who had been helping him do the work,  was keen to continue in the job and the District Council confirmed his appointment.

Three deaths in 1914 were Tom Bower, 83, in February : Joseph Wilson, 65, in May and Mrs.Dyson, 79, in August.

1915 saw a major upset in the village  when Mr. William Hobson, a master painter and a well known and respected tradesman, was found dead in his workshop in Giles Street. He was 51 years old, in good health and lived with his family  in Haigh Lane. His body was found by his son and it appeared that he had hung himself ,as a leather belt was attached to his neck and  the banister rail of the staircase. The inquest was held at the Wesleyan schoolroom and the jury returned a verdict of “ Suicide from hanging”. The most publicised death at the beginning of the year was of Mr.A.Sykes J.P. The Express devoted two full columns to his funeral listing all the people , from all walks of public life, who attended.  A further measure of the important role he played in the District  was that  Memorial Services were held both at All Saint’s  and St.Andrews ( Thongsbridge ). His participation in local affairs would be perpetuated by a standing monument in St. Andrews Church School.

January 30 saw yet another death , this time of John Beaumont of Fearnought at the age of 72 years. He was a familiar figure in the district and was very popular and for many years had been head gardener at The Oaklands. He was also remembered as a cricketer, a medium pace right arm bowler who had  played against W.G.Grace’s All England Eleven 30 years previously. The remains of the late Benjamin Jagger Littlewood were interred in the Wesleyan Chapel in the grave of his grandfather, John Jagger, who had died in 1857. Benjamin was the second oldest native born citizen- he was born on April 6 1829 and died on May 1 at the age of 85 and was a resident all his life. He was a member of the Free Gardeners, a shareholder in the Gas & Light Company, an able musician and a regular member of the Wesleyan Chapel.

There were  further deaths that year. Elizabeth Parrington, daughter of Tom and Betty Crooks,  was born on October16 1825 in residence, which formed part of the Deanhouse  Home of Rest, and died on September 25 1915.. Her husband, William Parrington, who was the first Station Master at Thongsbridge L&YR,  had died in April 1912 aged 83.  Elizabeth Shore , daughter of John and Susannah Broadbent, was born in April 1835 and  died in October 1915 aged 80 years. Her husband , John Shore, was the manager for over 20 years at the Deanhouse Gas Light Company’s Works and he had died on 15 April 1888. The death in October occurred of one of the oldest native born residents. James Dyson, who was born on 18 March 1837 died at the age of 78 years. The son of Mr.& Mrs. John Dyson of Harroyd Farm, he was a frequent attender at local cattle fairs and markets and was a respected judge of horses. He had been a member of the original Local Board and the Urban District Council as well as being the Parishioners’ Warden at All Saints.

Miss Judith Ellen Mellor of Hagg Cottage who was born in September 1836  died aged 80 years in November 1916. She was laid to rest in the family vault in the churchyard at All Saints by the vicar, Rev.H.N.Hind. She was one of the oldest native born citizens and for nearly 50 years had resided at Hagg Cottage. She had been a Sunday School teacher, a loyal churchwoman and had a major involvement in fund raising for the Church school in the 1860s and also in 1888 for enlarging it.

 In January 1920 Clemence Shaw , 23 years old and  a discharged soldier, died under startingly sudden circumstances. He had served in the Northumberland Fusiliers and it appeared that while in France he contacted frost bite and lost 4 toes on his left foot. He was discharged medically unfit on April 1917 and in November 1918 began to suffer epileptic fits. He was employed at Albert Mills and worked until 7.15 on Thursday. He made no complaints during the day and was last seen alive as he left the Mill. About 8.50 pm on the same night he was found laying in New Road at a point about 10 minutes from the Mill. An Inquest was held in the Working Men’s Club and the verdict was that death was caused due to hemorrhage on the brain caused by the deceased knocking his head against a wall when in an epileptic fit. The funeral took place in the Parish Church,

February  saw the death of one of Netherthong’s most well known inhabitants. Mr. John Peel Floyd J.P. passed away in his residence, Roseleigh Holmfirth , aged 73 years.   He was born in the Parish and for many years was the Chairman of the Local Authority and then Chairman of the subsequent UDC until its amalgamation with Holmfirth. He was closely associated with the Netherthong Gas & Light Co. for over 40 years acting as Chairman of the Board and Treasurer.  He was a member of the Huddersfield. Board of Guardians representing the Netherthong township and played a prominent part in the affairs of All Saint’s Church. When the Netherthong National School  became a Council elementary school he became a member of the first Board of Management and up to  his death was the only original surviving member. He was also a member of the West Riding Branch of Magistrates and acquired a reputation for fairness.  After leaving school he went to the firm of Messrs. Dyson & Sons Deanhouse Mills and in 1875  became a partner with the late Captain Dyson. At the outbreak of the war, two of his sons, Charles Sykes Floyd and Eric Gaskell Floyd, joined the forces and later on a third son, Cecil Peel Floyd, went into training but due to the state of his health was discharged medically unfit and subsequently died. His oldest son, John Harold Floyd, remained at home to help his father run the business. He was twice married, his first wife was Miss Ruth Barber followed by Miss Ellen Gaskell Sykes.  The internment was at All Saints and his remains were laid to rest in the family vault. There was a comprehensive report in the Express on the service including a list of all those attending and details of the floral tributes

 In March Mr. John Thomas Hinchliffe, a farmer of Wells Green, passed away at the age of 35 years. At the inquest, Dr.Trotter said he had seen Hinchliffe a month previously and had been  told by him that he was in perfect health.. However when he examined the body he found a fairly large tumour in the brain which would have been the cause of his death.

Joseph Armitage, 77, died in February 1921. He was closely connected with the Wesleyan Methodists and was one of the first Sunday School teachers. He was very interested in the Working Men’s Club and for a while had been its caretaker. For over 50 years he had been a member of the Gardeners’ Friendly Society and was one of the founders of the Juvenile branch. His trade was as an oat-bread baker.

The following month Luke Roebuck of Ludgate House died aged 52 years. He was an active member of the Methodist cause, being a society steward and trustee of the Wesley Chapel. He was also interested in Temperance.

The first death in 1922 was on October 23 when the Rev. John Prowde, who had been vicar of the Parish from 1874 to 1908, died in the Vicarage at Rawcliffe, aged 70 years.

Mr.John Armitage, Deanhouse , was the oldest resident in the village when he died , one week after reaching  his 84th. birthday  in December 1922. He had had a long connection with the Methodist cause having been both a Sunday School teacher and a member of the choir.

In April 1923, after a search by the police, the dead body of a Deanhouse resident, Willie Cartwright 38 years old who was an assistant engineer, was recovered from Snape Reservoir, Upperthong. The deceased, a married man, had been in a depressed state of mind and, during that period, had made remarks which had caused distress. It was reported that he made a personal statement to his wife, left the house in haste, locked the door and left the key in the lock. This was about 12.30 at night and it did not appear that he was seen again that night. Charles Armitage of Snape Farm found a blue smock and cloth cap on the reservoir embankment which was clearly identified as the property of the deceased. The following morning a search revealed a body in the reservoir. At the inquest, P.C. Smart stated that the body recovered from the reservoir on the Thursday morning of April 19 had been identified as W. Cartwright. He said the water had been about 14 ft. deep. The coroner recorded a verdict that the man had drowned himself.

In June 1924  Mr.Evan Hughes, 45 years old, died after having been in poor health for several months. He  had been the manager of the Netherthong Gas Light Co. for 4 1/2 years prior to which he had been a stoker at Holmfirth Gas Works. In the same month the death was reported of Mrs. W.H.Hobson of Brook House aged 83 years. She was especially interested in the United Methodist cause and was much respected in the district.

Martha Armitage, aged 79, an unmarried woman was admitted to Deanhouse Institution on July 15th. and died a few days later apparently due to senile decay. Her death was reported to the District Coroner who deemed an inquest unnecessary.

Another death in 1924 happened in September when  Mrs. Bower died just short of her 91st. birthday. She was a daughter of the late Mr.& Mrs. Dyson who had a grocery business in the village. During her youth she took a great interest, just like her brothers and sisters, in the Parish Church and Sunday School. After her marriage she went with her husband to live in Southport where they stayed until the late 1890s before returning to live in Netherthong.

The same month also saw  the death  of Mr.C.A.Wood who was a noted musician and a useful Netherthong resident. He died at his home in Wilson Square aged 55 years and up until his death he was one of the busiest people in the District being employed at Deanhouse Mills. He was secretary to the local Co-op Society and the Netherthong Gas Light Co. Ltd. and for nearly 40 years he was a member of the Netherthong Parish Church Choir, 22 as a chorister and 18 as the choirmaster. In addition he was a member of Holme Valley Male Voice Choir and conductor of Thongs Bridge  & District Amateur Operatic Society.

Mr. Richard Russell, 63, who for many years had been ” mine host ” at the Queens Arms Inn, in the centre of the village, died in February 1925. As a young man he had been employed at Deanhouse Mills and showed athletic prowess playing cricket not only for the old Deanhouse cricket club but also for the Honley 1st. eleven. He was survived by his wife, two married sons and a married daughter.

Two months later Mr.R.Mitchell, one of the village’s oldest residents,  passed away in April at his residence in Towngate  aged 81 years. He was born in New Mill and, as a growing man, he entered the employ as a master fulling miller at Messrs. Booth, Pitt and Co. He remained with them until they shut down in 1890 and then moved to Saddleworth  and worked there for seven years. He moved to Netherthong and was associated with Wooldale nurseries. He was a member of All Saints and a committed Liberal.

July 12 saw the sudden death of Mr.George Marsden, aged 53 years. As was his custom he had gone down to the Church School about 9 a.m.Sunday to open it. Having done this he returned home, went into the kitchen, sat down on a chair, took off his boots and fell to the floor. His wife and daughter went to his aid and the Rev. Hind, who had just called at the house, assisted them. Dr.Galloway was called but Mr.Marsden passed away in the afternoon. News of his death came as a shock to the residents as he was one of the best known people in the village. He was born at Outlane on September 1871 and went to the National School. He had a retentive memory and easily passed the standards and  went to work as a half-timer at the age of 10 years as a piecer at Joseph Mellor & Sons, Thongs Bridge.  At the age of 15, he joined Thomas Dyson & Sons, Deanhouse Mill in the finishing department and worked there until his death. He was a member of the C of E and attended the Parish Church and Sunday School up to the time of his death. For 28 years he had been the caretaker and a member of the Parish choir. During the war, he became a very succesful allotment holder and turned half of the girls’ playground into a productive holding.

  The sudden death of Herbert Hoyle occured in December. As a boy he was educated at the National School and after leaving school  went to work at the mills of T.Dyson & Sons Deanhouse and he remained there until the time of his death. As a youth he was an enthusiastic football player and was a member  of Netherthong AFC and then  captain of Argyle AFC. He was a member of the Church Sunday School Operatic Society and belonged to the Working Men’s Club.  The funeral arrangements were by J.Batley of the firm of Messr. J.Batley & Sons, Undertakers of Netherthong.

Joseph Woodhead, 77, died in September 1926. He was well known in the village as a grocer carrying out his business in his shop in Giles Street. He was involved with the Parish Church and the Memorial Committee and after he retired he lived at Green Cottage

In March 1927, Mr. William Hobson of Outlane died at 77 years after an attack of pneumonia. He was the son of the late Nathan Hobson who was one of the founders of the Free Methodist cause and he had a llife long connection with the church having served as a trustee, choir member and a member of the United Methodist string band. In addition he was a member of the Netherthong Philharmonic Band and was a familiar figure with his cello. He had been employed at Deanhouse Mills.

Mr. James Turnstall Jackson of Manor House died in May of the same year  aged of 73. He was born in Keighley and, at the age of 19, was appointed headmaster of the Netherthong National School, a position he held until his retirement. As a staunch churchman, he was involved with the Parish Church having been choirmaster and a teacher in the Sunday School. He was a member of the Working Man’s Club, sat on the Memorial Committee and the Holme Valley Memorial Hospital. Because of his teaching reputation, he was a member of the Board of Government of the Holmfirth Secondary School. His name appears a number of times throughout this History.

The dams in the village claimed  yet another victim when in September the body of Miss Sarah Gill, 50 and single, was recovered from New Dam. She lived with her brother but had been depressed for some time.

In the January 2 1928 edition of the Express it listed the names of the principal people who had died in the district during 1927. In addition to William Hobson and James Jackson whose death are reported above  there were two further names – James Leach,76, and Arthur Sanderson, 71.

Mr. Hugh Swallow was an emloyee at Deanhouse Mills and died in April 1928 at the age of 55 years. He was deeply interested in athletics and sports, especially cricket, and was a prominent player in his day with Deanhouse Cricket Club being known as a bowler of ability.

In May, Mr.Reba Hirstle formerly of New Laithe Farm, Deanhouse, and also Lower Hagg died aged 76 years. He was well known in the district as a farmer and regularly attended the local cattle markets. He had been identified with various industries and over the years had farmed at places including Deighton, Upper Heaton, Lower Hagg and Deanhouse. He also found time to father 10 children.

Two months later, Jonathan Lockwood Hirst died in his residence, Horn Cote, aged 71. He was well known in musical circles and for 40 years had been a member of the Parish Church choir and their choirmaster for 5 years. He had been employed by Messrs. Thomas Dyson for 45 years. He left a widow and 4 daughters.

The first reported death in 1929 was  of Mr.J.Settle of Miry Green Terrace who died in May.He had been employed as an engineer at Deanhouse Institute and had had a long and honourable connection with the Sons of Temperance, was one of the trustees of the Wesleyan Chapel and had been caretaker for a period.

 Harry Mellor, aged 64, also died in the same month at Homeleigh. He had been a loyal churchman with the Parish Church and a superintendent of the Sunday School and a teacher of the young men’s class. He was manager of the National School, a leader in the Parish Church Operatic Society, a keen cyclist and a member of both the Netherthong Music Festival and the Hospital Day Committee.

The Express often printed details of people’s wills. In July 1929 they reported that Jonathan Lockwood Hirst of Horn Cote, who died the previous year ,left a gross estate of value £1,218 3s 9d. The same month they gave details of Harry Mellor’s estate – he left £5,142 13s 3d.

 In August , Mr. and Mrs. Nathan Sandford of  Deanhouse were out walking when Mr. Sandford became ill and collapsed near Holmfirth Technical Institute and died within 5 minutes. He was 51 years old and well known in the District being a vice-president of the Co-operative Society. He was a woolen spinner, had worked at Deanhouse Mills for 30 years  was attached to the United Methodists  was on the management team for the Holme Valley Memorial Hospital and was a member of the Gardener’s Friendly Society. The coroner held an inquest. His wife said he had not been in good health for the last 12 months. Dr.Davy, who attended the deceased, said death had taken place before he had arrived. During the post-mortem he had found signs of previous diseases and death was due to cardiac degeneration. The Coroner recorded the verdict that death was due to natural causes.

Shops and Stores in Netherthong and the Mills

An excellent pamphlet ” 150 years of the History of All Saints’ Parish Church ” makes reference to a number of shops that existed at one time or another in the village. These included a Whitesmith, a Blacksmith, a bakery in Outlane, a tailor in St.Annes’s Square, a Brushmaker on the West End and a coalman near Polly Dam. In addition there was a cobbler, a man who sold lamp oil and a treacle – making enterprise in the little square off Outlane  not forgetting a fish and chip shop ( there might have even been two of them.) Unfortunately very little additional information is available. The two old photographs of Towngate show a shop on the junction with Outlane, which I believe was very popular because it sold sweets. Data taken from the various Directories, that were issued during the 1800s, gave the following names listed as shopkeepers, some of whom, as can be seen, appeared in numerous editions.

1848- David Hobson & Dutton & Mary Hobson – shopkeepers & dealers in groceries and sundries. Also Susannah Roberts – shopkeeper.

1853. John Dyson ; Chas. Hobson & Dutton and Mary Hobson ; Susannah Roberts : Geo. Woodhead ; Grace and Ann Woodhead.

1857. Chas Hobson & Dutton Hobson. Geo. Woodhead

1870. Miss Broadhead ; John Dyson ; Dutton Hobson and Mrs. E. Hobson. Chas. Woodhead and Geo. Woodhead.

1888 Miss Ellen Mitchell ; Whitfield Preston. Joseph Woodhead , grocer and Post Office. There was a report in the Huddersfield Examiner for February 25 1886 that a new post office opened in the village  at which stamps etc would be supplied and parcels and registered letters accepted. There was one despatch to Huddersfield at 6pm ( except Sundays ).  Mr.J.Woodhead was appointed sub-postmaster.

  The Co-op or to give it its full title, the Netherthong Industrial & Equitable Co-operative Society, was set up on February 11th. 1881 in the premises which up to then had been the Rose & Crown public house. It remained there until January 27th. 1968 and at present is now a Londis. The Co-op played such an important role in the village that it has a chapter of its own.

There is a rumour that there was a small shop just behind the Co-op in Outlane. It should  not  be confused with the ” sweet “shop that was on the opposite corner to the Co-op and which can be seen in the early photographs of Townsgate.

 The other store and shop, which had been in existence from at least the early 1800s, was located in Giles Street  and boasted an impressive frontage – see photograph. I was able to find some details of  the various owners from Nancy Millican. She said her father was Raymond Hill and he had been born in Deanhouse  in 1908 and was educated at school in Netherthong and Holmfirth Technical College. After school he had worked for H.Wilson who owned the grocers, Post Office and corn merchants in Giles Street.  In 1881 it was owned by Geo.Whitehead and Sons  and as far as I know this shop was probably one of the first in the Holmfirth area  to have a telephone fitted and it was given number 58 . It was sold  by Joseph Whitehead to H.Wilson, who had been his assistant, in 1912 and he obtained a PO franchise. Nancy Millican thought that her father had bought it in about 1945 from H.Wilson’s widow and apparently he stopped selling corn some time after.  When her father retired  it was taken over by John Armitage who in turn sold it on before it became a Spar sometime in 1960.  Margaret Teremetz wrote to say that the shop in the 1950s was known as Woodheads and this would make good sense as the Woodheads had a history of being shop keepers in the village and did own it in the 1880s.The next reference I have is that it was then taken over by Geoffrey Scholfield in 1982 who in turn sold it in 1996 to its present owner, Brenda. It would now appear( 2013 ) that it could lose its PO franchise due to the cut-backs. This did in fact occur.

 

A superb early photograph of the shop in Giles Street with customers and carts.

 

To confuse the situation, the photo below, with the man holding a sack, states that it is Mr. Raymond Hall  the village postmaster, corn merchant and grocer so where did he fit in ? My best guess is that he rented the shop from the Wilsons in the 1930s.

 

Photo shows on extreme right Raymond Hall the postmaster and grocer. In centre is Frank Dickinson of Manor House.

I include below some photos and ephemera from the shop – apologies for the quality and poor trimming.

 

Coloured view of the interior of the Spar shop.

 

Colour photo of the interior of the Spar shop showing the staff behind the counter.

 

Memorandum to Woodhead for barrels – August 1884

 

Memorandum to Woodhead June 1884 for wire nails

 

Memorandum to Whitehead for the costs of carriage of grain. August 1881

 

Memorandum from G. Woodhead dated February 1884

The August edition of the Express for 1928 had the following advertisement.

For Good & Reliable Furniture

try

John Batley & Sons

Netherthong

Also stock of second-hand chairs, dressers, tables, beds etc. The previous month  they had celebrated their 50th jubilee since the early beginnings in 1878. They also carried out many important under-takings ( as the Express put it ).

The two photographs show the inside of Batley’s workshop. The first one is dated 1911. The second shows Harry Roebuck, 1st. on the right, serving his apprenticeship and the 2nd. on the right is Arthur Charlesworth.

J. Batley Workshops
1911

 

J.Batley Workshop with B.Roebuck & A. Charlesworth

The following front page advertisement appeared in the Express in October 1938.

For Boot Repairs

W.G.Butterworth

West End, Netherthong

& 64, Huddersfield Road, Holmfirth

The same month the employees of Ben Lockwood, builder and contractor in the village, enjoyed  an outing to Blackpool provided for by Lockwood. 23 set forth in a luxurious coach supplied  by Baddeley Bros.

Tom Booth, a well known resident of Deanhouse, where he had a grocery business, died in December 1940.

Miss Ellen Elizabeth Mitchell died in 1940 aged 74. For 25 years she was in business, running the very popular sweetshop in Townsgate. It was taken over by the Mallinson family.

In 1983 the Friday Examiner issued a Feature Extra titled a ‘Cheerful Village full of character and friendliness’ and it included two photographs of village shops.The first one showed Geoffrey and Julia Schofield with assistant Beth Coxhead and customer Mrs.R.Rostron in the grocer’s shop in Giles Street. The Schofields had been running the shop since 1975

Grocer's shop, Giles Street 1983
Grocer’s shop, Giles Street 1983

The second photograph showed Kenneth and Marion Hird in their newsagent’s shop which was the original Co-op. It had been a newsagents and general store for several years before the Hirds moved in.

Kenneth & Marion Hird in their newsagents 1983.
Kenneth & Marion Hird in their newsagents 1983.

In the same report, the Examiner said that the former Co-op butcher’s shop was also in private hands and for the last 12 years it had been managed by Mr.Robert Crosland for the owner Mr.Thomas Jackson of Hepworth.

The village fish and chip shop was the only other remaining shop and was run by two “new ” villagers, Mr.Russell Fulton and Mrs.Jacqueline Jones. 

Sharon Clifton wrote ( 2014 ) to say that her mother had lived in Outlane and her parents had run a bakery called Rose Cottage Bakery in the 1920s to 1930s. Her mother’s name is Marian and she is a sprightly 94. Her brother Frank worked in the bakery alongside three other employees. Sharon thinks the former bakery is now two stone cottages called Rose Cottage. Her grandfather was Ernest Oldham and her grandmother Ada nee Shaw.

Nancy Nagle  wrote to say she was born in Holmfirth 85 years ago but had many friends in the village. She remembers Thomas Dyson who married Mary Challenger. Mary kept a shop in the village and was a talented confectioner.  

   Margaret Tremetz ( nee Lax ) wrote to me  on her memories of shops and shopping in the 1950s. She lived at 41, New Road which was built just before the war and was in a small private development surrounded by fields about a quarter of a mile from the village. ‘ In the village there were a newsagents, a sweet shop and the Co-op grocers, drapers and butchers as well as another butcher further down the road. There was a Co-op greengrocer who travelled in a van selling fruit and vegetables door to door including cucumber sold by the inch. Holmfirth was a mile away and there were many more shops including a shoe-shop and a saddler, a chemist or two, two clothes shops including Dainty Dots, a stationery, at least three butchers, a baker, an ironmonger ( Kayes ), several sweet shops, a cobbler or two, a printing work for the Holmfirth Express, a couple of banks, an electrical dealer and a garage. We had a weekly order delivered by Gledhill and Brook. In their shop you could see butter in the form of the barrel it came from : many things were not branded but you knew that granulated sugar came in a mid-blue bag, currants in a dark-blue bag and raisins in a dark-pink bags.The biscuits were in  large tins. The grocer only sold one type of cheese, Cheshire. There was a hugh bacon-slicer ( I can remember seeing those ). Bread was delivered by the baker and there were fish sellers who came round in  vans and sometimes butchers as well. In those days everyone had a milkman and ours had a herd of Jersey cows above Holmbridge. The farmer himself, who wore leather gaiters, came with the milk which was very creamy and not pasteurised just ‘tuberculin tested’ and had a more nartural flavour than now.  It came in bottles and was so rich one never needed to buy cream. Some villagers also had a laundry and dry-cleaning deliveries.’

After 49 years service at Netherthong P.O., Mr.Raymond Hall of 17 Giles Street retired in October 1971. He had started work in the P.O. at the age of 15 and after 27 years service was promoted to the position of postmaster and was also put in charge of the grocery department. He had been a member of the Hepworth Silver Prize Band, treasure of the Netherthong Gardeners’ Society before it was disbanded when the National Health scheme came into operation, and was the vice-president of Holmfirth C.C. Mr. John Armitage, who had worked with Mr.Hall since he left school, succeeded him.

A large number of the inhabitants worked in the local mills and Dyson & Son who owned the Deanhouse Mill organised a party for 200 of their employees in February 1912 in the Church School. In September 1913 their holiday club paid out over £400 and the firm donated £25 to that total. The mill closed down for one week for the employers to take their holidays.

The workpeople were given a party in January 1920 on the occasion of the recent marriage of Mr.C.S.Floyd. 160 employees plus 70 friends and retired workers  sat down for a knife and fork tea and. after the tables had been cleared, a whist drive was held with 30 tables. Prizes were given to the winners and Mrs.Floyd , on behalf of the firm, presented £5 each to Charles Hudson and Albert Alsop as a memento of them distinguishing themselves in the war by winning a Military Medal and Meritorious Service Medal respectively. In September 1938 Long Service Awards for 50 years were presented to Mr.Tom Wilkinson of the twisting and warping departments and Miss Mary Scholfield, a burler. They both received a handsome timepiece with Westminster chimes.