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 andoccupied 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 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.
114 Church Street is adjacent to the war memorial and the rear of the old Queen’s Arms pub would have backed into it.
West End is on the right as you leave Towngate for Meltham. Number 152 was better known as Nether Cottage.
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 next house is Knowl Bridge Farm on the corner of Knoll Lane. The photograph shows the ‘pond ‘ which was added about 10 years ago.
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 .
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.
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.
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 wasthe 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 cadetsat the service. The second photograph shows Clare sounding The Last Post.
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.
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.
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.
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. Julie 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.
Anyone for tea? As the photo shows the Brownies took part in a national tea challenge and raised £15.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.”
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.
The photograph below shows Batley’s joinery premises when it was located in Giles Street. Dates from 1910s.
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.
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 belowis 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Witnesses: George Sykes, John Mallinson.
Netherthong, Sept 8th 1841.
There is reference to two inns in Thongs Bridge in 1853 – the Rose & Crown , publican Hiram Earnshaw and the Royal Oak with publican Ellen Bray. By 1857, the Rose & Crown had closed and Hiram Earnshaw had moved and taken over the Royal Oak. In 1870 the publican had changed to Walker Fenton and in 1901 it was being run by Maria Esther Walker. That was the last recorded reference. We do know that the Royal Oak was closed in 2004 and converted into flats.
The final mystery relates to the Cricketers. There are no references to it by name in any of the Directories other than that there was a beer house in Deanhouse . However there was an unnamed public house shown in the 1932 Ordnance Survey map in the building where the current Cricketer’s Arms is located. The building is dated as being early C18. In 1853 there is reference to three beerhouses in Deanhouse owned respectively by Thomas Crook, John Littlewood and Charles Wood but in 1857 there is just the one reference to Thomas Crook. However in the Huddersfield Weekly Examiner for November 1881 there is a reference that ” a supper was provided by Mr.Stanfield of the Cricketers Arms for the members of the Deanhouse Cricket Club”.There is no further information until 1936 with Arthur Sykes being listed as a beer retailer. It doesn’t need much imagination to realize that there always must have been a beer house located in the building and somewhere along the line a decision was made to finally to make it “ respectable “ and give it a name. There is a report in the Holmfirth Express of April 20 1889, that Deanhouse Cricket Club had been recently revived and the old field had been re-formed. When they came to give the pub a name what more natural than to call it The Cricketers. A public house , ph, is shown on the site of the “ Cricketers “ for the first time in the 1932 OS map. In 1936 Arthur Sykes is referred to as a Beer Retailer and it is likely that the sign would have been erected by then.
I have been researching the history of Netherthong for about ten years and thought I had found all the pubs that existed in the village. Lo and behold in May 2016, whilst I was reading through all the copies of the Huddersfield Examiner for 1871 , there was a reference to a Public House called the Butcher’s Arms in Deanhouse. First and only reference I have ever come across and the details of the report were as follows : There was an alleged assault in a Public House in November when Daniel Woodhead, sizer of Netherthong, appeared at the County Police Court in Huddersfield to an information charging him with having, on October 21, assaulted Mark Woodhead, weaver, also of Netherthong. The complainant said he was at the Butcher’s Arms in Deanhouse when the defendant came in and charged him with something of which he was not guilty. Shortly afterwards some other person made a remark to him and he said ” Are you as ill as Daniel?” Upon that the defendant struck and kicked and knocked him down. A witness was called but he said he knew nothing about it. The defendant denied having assaulted the complainant and called a witness who said both men shook each other but no blows were exchanged. The magistrates dismissed the case.
In 1849 there were three breweries listed in the District. Two were in New Mill , Bentley & Brook were called New Mill Brewers and Highfield Brewery was run by Seth Senior. The third one was owned by Josiah Helliwell of Wood Bottom, Wooldale.
So far the only information that I have been able to get on the landlords of the three local pubs and The Cricketers was from the early Directories and occasional references in the local paper. Both Moses Sykes ( Rose and Crown ) and John Bates ( Queens Arms ) in the 1851 census gave their occupations as Inn keepers and John Littlewood , a widower aged 78, who lived in Town Gate gave his occupation as a beer house keeper.
Rose and Crown.
1848- 1853 — Moses Sykes – see also 1851 census. He passed the licence to Thomas Woodhouse in 1854.
1854 — Thomas Woodhouse Sykes.
1866 — Alfred Gill
1870 — Noah Woodhead
1881 – Taken over by the Co-Op and closed.
1848-1853 — John Bates see also 1851 census
1857 — Miss Sarah Gill
1866 — James Woodhead
1873 — Ann Woodhouse
1879 — Thomas Woodhouse
1901-1904 — Fred Charlesworth. Mrs.Rachel Roebuck ( see photo )
1912 -1920 — Richard Russell
1927 — Mrs.Ellen Wood
1932-1937 — William Brook
1937 — Purchased by the Co-Op , closed and sold as private accomodation.
1822 — Jonas Mallinson
1848-1857 — Uriah Hobson
1866 — Elizabeth
1870 — Joseph Ashworth
1871 — George Henry Beaver
1873 — John Mallinson – died October 1873
1895 — Ann Senior
1898 – 1904 — Mr.& Mrs.William Broadbent
1922 — John Moorhouse
1931 — Chas. Edward Carter
1943-57 — Frank Silverwood Hampshaw
1979 — Derek & Sylvia Schofield.
I am indebted to the patrons and the current proprietor, Sue, of the Clothiers for an informative chat on November 2014 and for them delving deep into their memories to supply me with the following lists of landlords after Derek Schofield. They were less sure of some of the exact dates.
1987? — When Derek Schofield died, his wife Sylvia took over on a widow’s licence for one year.
198 ? — Derek Lander
1991 — S.Whittle – for about 10 months. During this period he also owned the Cricketers
199? — David Greenside
199? — Thwaites , the brewers, bought the freehold and installed Linda Gledhill.
199? — Graham Hoyle – he ran it for seven years.
2000? — There were a series of caretakers, one of the names was Paul.
2012 — A couple, Sue & Chris, residents of Netherthong, took over until the summer.
2012 .. Ian and Karen Morrison took over and ran it until March 2016.
2016 — The new ownerswere Heather Krasner, GillianHolden andGraeme Hoyle.
1871 — Alan Woodcock
1881 — Mr.Stanfield
1906 — Mr.& Mrs. James Taylor
1910/1920 ? — Mrs. A.Sewell
1914? — William Sewell
1927 — Alice Swallow
1928 — Norman Goldthorpe
1936 , 1978 — Arthur Sykes. ** see report on his death below
1983 — John & Judith Beardsell
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
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 andJames Horncastle ( 28), a farmer at Beech House was summoned for consuming stout. None of them appeared but sent their apologies via their representative. Hampshaw said he had been the licensee since June 1943 and this was his first conviction – he pleaded guilty and was fined £3 on each of the three summons. The three drinkers were fined £2 each for consuming.
The first record I have come across involving the Queen’s Arms was in March 1873 at the County Police Court, Huddersfield. Ann Woodhouse, the landlady, was charged with having, on February 14, kept open her house for the sale of intoxicating liquors during prohibited hours. The excuse given was that the three men observed drinking by P.C. Booth were helping the landlady with her accounts but no books or pens were seen. The Bench said that they were of the opinion that the making of the accounts had been feigned because the parties had been caught. They fined the defendant £1 and expenses but did not order that the licence should be endorsed as this was her first offence. It was almost 60 years before the Queen’s Arms was reported again, this time in April 1932. William Brook, licensee, was summoned for serving intoxicating liquor to John Winder, a scourer from Honley, and F.Williams, a tile fixer, also of Honley, during non-permitted hours and the two men were summoned for consuming drinks. On Sunday, June 12th. about 11.30pm., Inspector Wilde and PC Jones went to the Queen’s Arms entered by the back door and, when they went in the tap room, they found both men with a pint of beer. The landlord was standing in the doorway and when the Inspector asked the landlord what the two men were doing there , he said he had been fairly caught. Inspector Wilde said that they had kept the Inn under observation for some time and they had seen a man coming out wiping his mouth. All three defendants admitted the offence. The Chairman fined the landlord 30/- on each case and fined the other two defendants £1 each.
In April 1934, William Brook, the landlord of the Queen’s Arms, once again pleaded guilty to supplying intoxicating liquor during non- permitted hours and Arthur Dyson, piecener, was summoned for consuming intoxicating liquor during non-permitted hours. Supt. Crockford stated that on Sunday, March 10, about 10.30pm, Inspector Cooper and P.C.Jones, after making observations, entered the Queen’s Arms and found Dyson in the bar with a pint of beer in his hand. When P.C. Jones was taking away the glass, Brook struck his hand and some of the beer was spilt. The police asked the landlord if he cared to give an explanation and he did not reply. P.C.Jones, in evidence, said that when he looked inside the bar he saw a number of beer glasses with fresh froth adhering to the sides and there were six men in the tap. Supt. Crockford asked Jones if the landlord gave any explanation for the men being there. Inspector Cooper replied no. Brook said he did not serve any drink after 10pm. He had not sold the beer to Dyson but had given it to him. He said he had been playing the piano. It was stated that Brook had been fined for a similar offence previously. The Chairman informed Brook that he would be fined £5 for supplying liquor. He added that Brook had taken over a house of good standing without conviction for a long number of years and here in two years there were two convictions.
The 4th. of a series of Harvest Home was held by Mr.W.Babb in the Clothiers Arms in aid of the Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen’s Families Association and £8 was raised. There was a large turnout for the services when harvest songs were sung by George Earnshaw and Corporal Will Wagstaff. The licensees were Mr.& Mrs. Hampshaw.
Harvest Home was regularly held in the Cricketers Arms and in November 1951 there was a very large array of produce on show – after the appropriate hymns were sung , £15 15s was realised and this money was handed over to the Holmfirth UDC for distribution to the Old Folks’ Clubs at Holmfirth, Honley and New Mill. The final Harvest Home of the series was held in aid of the Holmfirth British Legion’s effort for the Earl Haigh Poppy Fund and generated £16 14s.
In September 1967, the Holmfirth Round Table organised a Medieval Fayre and Tavern Tournament and more than 30 hostelries in the area journeyed back a few hundred years to take part in the Tournament. There were five competitions which consisted of tossing a sheaf of corn, climbing a rope, tug-of-war, jousting and drinking of a yard of ale, with a prize of 100 guineas going to the winning team. It was won by a five man team from the Clothiers’ Arms and the achievement of the team was marked the following week with a presentation of the yard of ale glass to D.Scholfield, the landlord. The glass was hung on a silver chain in the bar. The Harvest Home in the Clothiers in October 1968 raised £21 and the money was handed to the treasurer of the Village Feast Committee. The Rev. Frank Lord conducted a short service.
The Express in March 1969 published a full page listing many of the local pubs. The advert for the Clothiers was as follows.
Dinners – up to 20 book in advance
Sandwiches – anytime
Pie and Peas – Friday Nights
Buffet Parties catered for
Telephone – Holmfirth 3480.
A pile of old pennies collected at the Clothiers were cashed in on D-day ( decimal day) in July 1971 and the proceeds from this and a raffle were handed over to the Scout Group. The pile had been started by Mr.& Mrs.D.Scholfield the previous November and, with the help of a raffle to guess the number of pennies, £11 was raised and a cheque was presented to Mr.J.Jackson, chairman of the Scout Group Council. Later that year in September, the Clothiers paid host to the Village Feast harvest home which realised £31.50 with the proceeds going to the Village Feast fund. The fruit, flowers and vegetables were auctioned by Mr.H.Brook who was assisted by Mrs.A. Harrison. The Rev.J.Capstick officiated and Mrs.A.Shaw was the pianist.
The Senior Citizens Club benefitted by over £1,000 from collections at the Clothiers Arms from 1974 to 1979. The money was raised by a bottle on the bar, holding raffles and using half the proceeds of the harvest home. A cheque for £201 was presented by the landlord, Derek Schofileld , to the treasurer, Raymond Hall, of the club in August 1979 taking the total to £1,100. The photo shows the handover of the cheque.
A team from the Clothiers was one of 12 from various local hostelries that took part in a Farmers Knockout pub tournament at the 1978 Pennine Show. Each team comprised four lads and two lasses and the first prize was £30. The Clothiers were not in the first three but all the entrants did compete in the grand finale – ‘Old Mother Giles’ Corset race’.
In January 1979, Derek Schofield of the Clothiers Arms was among 100 publicans nominated by their customers for regional and possible national awards in recognition of their contributions to the local community life and to charity.
A total of £122 was raised for the School Feast and Old Folks Treat at a harvest home in the Cricketer Arms in September 1980. Honley Silver Prize Band provided entertainment for the visitors and a short service was conducted by the Rev.J.Capstick. The auctioneer was Stanley Dickinson, a customer at the pub. Three years later another similar auction was held, organised by John and Judith Beardsell, landlord and landlady.
In December 1982 Derick and Sylvia Schofield, landlord and landlady of the Clothier’s Arms, decided to part with their collection of 700 ex- juke box singles which covered every variety of pop music from the mid- sixties. They were auctioned off and the sale was very well attended and just over £70 was raised with the proceeds going to the scout group to help their funds.
The Huddersfield Examiner printed the following photo in November 1983. It shows Derick and Sylvia Schofield and customers in the Clothier’s Arms. The licensee, Derick Schofield, was born and brought up in Netherthong and had run the pub since 1966. In his youth he played for the village football team and said that at that time there was a football field and tennis courts where the Netherfield estate now stands. He helped rebuild the local football team 10 years ago and it had since grown to three teams.They met at the pub but played their home matches at a football field in Thongsbridge, In 1981 in recognition of their community work he and his wife earned them the village’s nomination for a Brewer’ Society Local Life Award.
The photograph below shows the Rev.John Capstick outside the Cricketers in disguise.
Apparently the occasion for the above festivities was the Queen’s Jubilee in June 1977. Steven Gledhill, a plumber and a well know local character, dressed up as the vicar and John Capstick reversed roles.
Below are three photographs with an age difference of 119 years all featuring the Clothiers. The first photograph is one of the earliest photos taken in the village and shows a line of villagers ready to celebrate the Jubilee in 1887. The second is titled ” a group of villagers set off in a char-a-banc on a big adventure from The Clothiers”. Date is not confirmed but likely to be the 1930s. The third is dated 15 September 2000 and shows the athletes passing by the Clothiers.
The following photograph shows the barn adjacent to the Clothier’s Arms which would have been used for a large range of activities.
The following photo is an advert in the Holmfirth Express in May 1986 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.
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.
Below are two interesting comments by inhabitants about the role of the public houses in the village.
The first is by Mrs. DB. “ The Clothiers was the centre of village life. My father spent all his social life there, much to the wraith of my mother who was a strict Methodist. I was brought up to regard it as a den of iniquity and was very nervous when I first crossed the threshold to collect the infant granddaughter of the landlady for the day. Every Autumn a Harvest festival was held in the pub, the fruit and vegetables were sold and the proceeds donated to the annual school feast funds. My mother was only persuaded to play the hymns there when she was told the vicar would be present. However I was not allowed in. “
The second is by ML whose memory is of “ a tradition of hymn singing on Sunday nights at the pub in Deanhouse. I went there in the mid-60s and they had all the words to the hymns written on large oilcloths so that everyone could join in. The atmosphere seemed to be more about singing than having a religious slant and, indeed in my parent’s generation, the churches and chapels were the basis of most of the social activity, in particular the choir. I only went to the pub there to capture something I’d heard about, having been brought up not to go into pubs – they were more the affair of the working man.”
April 28 2015 was definitely a Red Letter Day for Netherthong and the Clothiers when The Bengal restaurant opened its doors in the left hand side of the pub where the pool table used to be located. It is very tastefully decorated, creating a good ambience and the menu is extensive covering Bengal Specialities, Tandoori Dishes plus the Old Favourites. The head chef is Ali , originally from Bangladesh , who is well known and respected in the area and mixes all his own spices to his own secret recipes. The Head Waiter, Maz, is equally well known in the area. My wife and I visited for the first time at the beginning of May 2015- she had a fish Coconut Curry and I had the Tandoori Mix Delight. As Arnie says – ” we will be back” – many times. The Bengal celebrated its first anniversary in April 2016 and has proved to be a success.
And now for a piece of trivia : In 1960 there were 500 ‘Indian’ restaurants in the UK and, by 2015, this 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.
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.
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-operativeSociety, 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.
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.
I include below some photos and ephemera from the shop – apologies for the quality and poor trimming.
The August edition of the Express for 1928 had the following advertisement.
For Good & Reliable Furniture
John Batley & Sons
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 following front page advertisement appeared in the Express in October 1938.
For Boot Repairs
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.
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
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.
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 ( Ican 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.
The Rev. Henry Solly ( 1813 – 1903 ) was an English social reformer of the Victorian period and he set about establishing the Working Men’s Club and Institute Union in 1862 and became its first general secretary. The aim of the Union was to encourage the formation of clubs for working men “ where they can meet for conversation, business and mental improvement, with the means of recreation and refreshment , free from intoxicating drinks “.
A Working Mens Club was formed in Netherthong in September 1874 and was intended to be a social club open to all the male inhabitants in the village to meet and play games and it is more than likely that its formation was influenced by the Rev. Henry Solly’s ideas. Thomas Mellor, solicitor and clerk to the Burnley Board of Guardians was elected the 1st. president and Jonas Mallinson and William Dickinson were elected treasurer and secretary. The following were elected to the committee. Wm. Wimpenny , Alfred Dearnley , John Dearnley , Edward Hallas , James Horncastle , James Dyson , Ben Hoyle , George Platt , Alfred Platt , Joe Platt , Joseph Woodhead and Joseph Armitage . The club had its premises in St.Anne’s Square and the furniture and fittings at the start of theclub were hand- me – downs and some of the movable benches, which were used as free sittings formerly in the church, were called into requisition for use in the club and several were kept in the club. A shut-up small bagatelle table was lent by the proprietor of the Rose and Crown public house, NoahWoodhead, and in 1876 the club were able to replace it with a new one. Bagatelle ( from the Chateau de Bagatelle ) is a billiards derived indoor table game, the object of which is to get a number of balls ( a set of nine in the 19th.C ) past wooden pins, which act as obstacles, into holes guarded by wooden pegs. The balls are struck with a cue and penalties are incurred if the pegs are knocked over. By the end of the 19th.C it had developed into bar billiards.
In November 1876 a friendly bagatelle match was played at the Club between eight members of the club and the same number from the Honley W.M.C. It was played on the new table and the visitors won by 20 points. The Netherthong team were T.Dearnley, W.Dickenson, G.Senior, M.Dearnley, A.Wimpenny, T.Woodhead, H.Buckley and J.Armitage. The following year in March, six of the members played at New Mill WMC against six of their members and were victorious. The team was Tom Woodhead, Herbert Buckley, Reuben Fisher, Robert Heap, Wm.Dickenson and John Heap. A return match against Honley WMC was played in January 1878 and this time Netherthong easily won the match by 223 points to 125. The team were R.Eastwood, J.Dearnley, R.Heap, J.Horncastle, G.Senior, J.Heap, T.Woodhead and W. Dickenson. Friendly games of whist and bagatelle continued to be popular and in February 1879 , Netherthong once again played Honley WMC. There were eight members in each team and the village were easy winners in both games. The members of the bagatelle team were W.Dickinson, G.Senior, R.Fisher, J.W.Heap, D.Bease, T.Woodhead, R.Heap and J.Dearnley. The whist players were J.Eastwood, W.Dickenson, J.W.Heap, G.Platt, R.Heap, T.Woodhead, E.Hallas and J.Wimpenny. In February 1880 they entertained members of Newmill W.M.C. to games of bagatelle and whist.The bagatelle team were J.Armitage, R.Fisher, W.Dickenson, J.Horncastle, J.Heaps, F Shore, R.Heaps and G.Senior and they were comfortable winners by 325-167. The whist match was closer with Netherthong the victors. The pairs were : J.Wimpenny/ F.Shore : E.Hallas/ J.Armitage : R.Jagger/ T.Charlesworth : W. Dickenson/ J.Eastwood : G.Fitton / R.Eastwood ; Jas Eastwood/B.Lindley.
In January 1876 the Club organised a concert in the National School featuring the New Mill Church Choir assisted by D.Eastwood, D. Coldwell and Mr. Sidney Learoyd, a comic from Huddersfield. There was a full programme and an excellent attendance. T.Mellor, president, proposed a vote of thanks which was seconded by Mr.Jackson.
In February 1878, 35 members of the Club sat down to an excellent supper in the clubhouse with the food served by Mrs.B.Hoyle and Miss Eastwood. After the removal of the cloth, Thomas Heller was called to the chair and songs and toasts were given by Messrs. Eastwood, Filton, Jackson and Dickenson.
A special general meeting was held in October 1886 with Mr. Dickinson in the chair. Alterations had been made at a cost of £12 adding much to the comfort of the members. The chairman announced that he and Mr.Jackson had obtained subscriptions to pay off the balance owing of £7.
In 1889 the club made extensive alterations to the premises with the upper rooms being re-floored so as to incorporate a large billiard room, a reading room and a snug. The members held a very interesting ceremony for the opening of the billiard table. A large attendance saw Mr. Henry Harold Wilson, the president, open the proceedings by calling for the singing of the National Anthem. He then called upon Mr.J.Jackson to uncover the table and join with him in the 1st. game. For several years they had a team in the local Billiards league without achieving any success.
The most difficult period for the club took place when the County Franchise was confirmed and this change caused a considerable falling off in membership owing to the establishment of both a Conservative Club and a Liberal Club in the village. However thanks to the president, Mr.Wilson, Harry Sykes and others the club survived and prospered.
In addition to the bagatelle table, cards, draughts and chess were played. Among the older members of the club were several characters including George Fitton and John Haigh. John was known locally as “ Golcar “ and when he got seated comfortably before the fire with the newspaper spread out used to say “ Nah then , lads, ah can see, so ah’m suer yo all can “. John Jackson popularized chess and draughts.
In June 1915, the Club held a ceremony for the opening of a new billiard board which, although not new, was a useful accessory to the club. There was a large attendance and the president, Henry Harold Wilson, opened the proceedings and with Mr. J.T.Jackson played the first game. he also gave particulars of the Club since its formation in September 1874.
At the 41st. AGM , ten letters, that had been sent by members of the Club who were serving at the front, were read out. They were from Corporals Hubert Hobson and Harry McQue , Privates Wm. Barrowclough, T.Newall, Chas.A.Hudson, Norman Smith, H.Dufton and Ronald Sykes, Drivers Norman Haigh and E.A.Ward. The letters always gave thanks for the gifts of penknives and periscopes.
The 42nd. annual meeting of the club was held in the billiard room in January 1918 with a large attendance and Mr. H.H.Wilson presiding. Mr.Arthur Wimpenny presented the Annual report which showed an increase in the number of members with the club assets standing at £60. After the report the electionswere held and Mr. Wilson was re-elected as president with J.Jackson and A.Hobson as vice – presidents. A.Wimpenny- secretary. H.Hudson – treasurer. The committee were H.Long, J.Eastwood, J.Dyson , F.Bray, A.Denton, N.Ricketts, A. Buckley, I. Hobson, G. Marsden and G. Charlesworth. The following members , who were serving with the armed forces, were re-elected . H.Sykes, J.Russell, H.Kenyon, H.Horncastle and H.Roberts. A roll of honour of the 31 members of the club who had gone to serve was received and ordered to be hung in the club room.
They organised a whist drive and dance in the Church school in November , James Eastwood was the MC and the music was by C.Wood on piano and Fenton Walker on violin.
The Netherthong Working Men’s Club sponsored a memorial to the fallen in the war which was unveiled and presented by Capt. C.S. Floyd of Rose Leigh in the Church School. The memorial embraced the photographs of the “ lads “ from the district who had laid down their lives.
The photographs were of : Privates Woodhead, David Wilkinson, Abel Scholfield, Walter Bray, John Hoyle, Leonard Buckley, Hubert Hobson, Ben Senior, Frank Swallow, Ben Roebuck ( Austr ), Brook Sanderson ( Austr ), Harold Brackenbury, Jack Webster, Stanley Gill, Willie Haigh, Norman P. Ricketts and Sergeant Edgar Taylor.
Captain Floyd said about 130 men had enlisted, 21 were killed, at least seven were wounded, four had been wounded and taken prisoner and three had won decorations, one DCM and two MM.
The memorial was presented to Mr.H.Wilson, the president of the WMC. Mr.Taylor read a report and said that the memorial had been subscribed for entirely by members of the club. The cabinet photographs were enlargements of photographs taken by and sent by the gallant lads while on active duty. They were enclosed in two large fumed oak and gilt frames executed by Messrs. Bamforth & Co. 14 of the lads were native born and received their education in the church school under Mr.Jackson and staff.
The 50th. AGM was held in January 1925 in the reading room with Mr.J.Jackson acting as president. He said that putting the billiard table into thorough repair at a cost of £30 was to the credit of the committee and he hoped that before long the installation of electric light would be carried out. The election of officers for 1925 took place and all were unanimously re-elected. Mr.Woodhead, JP, gave an account of his experiences and a description of the Empire Exhibition which took the form of a lantern slide lecture with over 60 slides. Two months later they held a Whist drive and dance in the Church School in aid of improvements to their building. The dance music was provided by H. Preston’s Band.
The 1928 AGM took place in January with Mr. H.Wilson in the chair. Once again he was re-elected as was Mr.C.Hart – treasurer and Mr.H.Roberts – secretary. Mr. Walter Dyson was elected as the new trustee in place of Mr.Jackson. The treasurer reported that the club was in a fair financial situation. The committee decided that , to honour the 50th. anniversary of the club, they would organise a social evening. ( There is some discepancy in the dates as the club was reputedly opened in 1874). The jubilee was celebrated in February in the club-room when 34 members sat down to a repast prepared by Messrs. Challenger and Hulme. Selections of music were rendered on the gramophone which had been kindly lent by Mr.W.Dyson after which the evening finished off with a mass singing of popular favourites.
Such was the popularity of playing music on the gramophone that in February, the WMC held their first ever gramophone record contest in their club which attracted 39 entries and provoked keen competition . First prize went to J.Lawton with “Black Knight” , second was H.Kenyon with “Wounded Friend” and the same music gave W.Kaye third place. The judge was Harold Preston.
They decided to hold another gramophone contest the following month with H.Preston and A.Sanderson as judges. First price went to Tom Dollive with “Phillide” , L. Barnes was second with ” Old pal, why don’t you answer me? ” and G. Charlesworth was third with ” Minstrel Boy “. There were no reports for 1929 but in February 1930, the club held their AGM with Mr.H.H.Wilson, the President, in the chair. There was a moderate attendance and the balance sheet showed £19 in hand. Mr.Wilson was re-elected President, with H.Kenyon and J.Taylor as vice-presidents. H.Wilkinson succeeded R.Hoyle as trustee, H.Preston remained as treasurer and H.Roberts, who had held office for over 20 years, was re-elected secretary.
I have doubled checked the editions of the Holmfirth Express from 1931 to1943 and February 1930 would appear to have been the last report that the paper printed. The Club must have closed sometime in the early thirties after more than 50 years as an important part of the village social life. What hastened its closing ? As it was a properly constituted club, there would have had to have been a final meeting which had to decide what was to happen to their clubhouse, what to do with any surplus funds and what to do with the Roll of Honour hanging in the club of its members who had laid down their lives in WW1. I can’t believe this was never reported.
It raises the question in this centennial year of the end of WW1 as to what happened to the ROH of the fallen as well as the earlier ROH of the 31 names of members who were serving.These are important items and surely would not have ended up in the ” proverbial ” waste skip when the property was sold.
All Saints’ Church in Netherthong occupies a prominent position in the centre of the village where the three approach roads meet. In the 186 years since it was built it has played a key role in the life and development of the village.
All Saints’ was referred to as a “ Million Act “ church. After the end of the Napoleonic Wars , there was a movement in England for the building of new churches to commemorate the War victories. There was particular concern of the shortage of places for worshippers in the growing towns of the West Riding of Yorkshire, so on 6th. February 1818 in the Freemason’s Hall in London, a meeting chaired by the Archbishop of Canterbury formed the Church Building Society ( CBS ).
Parliament passed the Church Building Act in 1818 and voted £1,000,000 to the building of new churches and the Act became popularly known as the “ Million Act”. In 1824 Austria repaid off a £2,000,000 war loan and the Government put another £500,000 into the coffers. Voluntary funds helped to give a total of over £3,000,000 and resulted in the building of 612 new churches, 106 of which were in Yorkshire, mostly in the West Riding. These churches became known as “Commissioner Churches“, “Waterloo Churches” or “Million Act Churches“.
The first foundation stone of the Church was laid on Wednesday, January 1829 by Mr. Benjamin Wilson, cloth manufacturer, in the presence of most of the villagers.
The second foundation stone was laid on the 13th. March 1829 , by the Rev. Lewis Jones, Vicar of Almondbury. The inscription on the plate is as follows.
“ This Foundation Stone of a Church to be called All Saints’ Netherthong, in the Parish of Almondbury, built under the direction of the Honorable, the Board of His Majesty’s Commissioners for building new Churches, has been laid by the Rev. Lewis Jones, Vicar, this 13th. day of March A.D. 1829, being the 10th. year of the reign of His Majesty King George the Fourth”.
R.D.Chantrell – Architect
John Woodhead – Churchwarden ( Donor of site )
Geo.& Wm. Heywood – Builders
It appears that this plaque was lost when the chancel was thrust out.
The building was completed in 1830 and the total cost was £2,869 12s 2d.
The Church was consecrated by the Archbishop of York , the Right Rev. Edward Harcourt, on Thursday, 2nd. September , 1830. In 1847 plans were made for the heating of the church. A report in October 1852 from the Huddersfield & Holmfirth Examiner makes for interesting reading. 22 years after the church was completed, the ‘ customary annual sermons for the repairs of the Church were preached in the morning by Rev.W.Tatlock of Huddersfield and in the evening by Rev.C.Wardroper, incumbent at Farnley Tyas. A full and efficient choir was in attendance and the collections amounted to £8.
The Huddersfield & Holmfirth Examiner for October 1854 ran the following article about the church bell and I repeat it verbatim. “The villagers experienced a serious drawback on their rejoicing for the victory of the Alma. In common with other practices, the good people have manifested their joy by ringing their only bell which was unmercifully clattered about for hours together. Not content with the noise it made by pulling the rope, a number ascended the belfry and belaboured the bell with stones and hammers to such a degree that in ‘ stoning the bells’ they cracked it. The bell was taken down for repair by a neighbouring smith at a cost of £2 and was replaced in the belfry. However it made a most distressing sound, harsh and disagreeable to the ear that the inhabitants cannot bear to hear it and public feeling favoured the purchase of a new bell.” The same month two sermons were preached in the church by the Rev. G. J. Mallinson of West Haughton of Lancashire, formerly of the village. Attendance was excellent and collections were made at the door at the close of each sermon.
The addition to the church, grounds on the South East side were probably purchased on the sale of the Woodhead Estate in 1857. At the Parish Church Sunday School in the September of that year, two sermons were preached to large audiences by the Rev. James Mallinson of Manchester. A new harmonium , provided for the use of the church, was also inaugurated that day. Master Albert Lister Price presided and members of the Holmfirth Church choir were present and sang several pieces of music. The collections amounted to £9 13s 2d.
On Whit Monday in May 1861 the scholars, teachers and friends of the Church and Wesleyan Sunday Schools met at All Saints and marched in procession, led by the parochial constables and the Holmfirth Rifle Corps Band, and visited Sands House, residence of Mrs.Floyd : Helm Wood – Thomas Dyson : Thongsbridge – Mr.George Greenwood and Hagg – G.Nelson. At the above places they were treated liberally with ‘the good things of this life’. They returned to Town gate and sang several hymns. The scholars of the two schools separated to have tea in their own classrooms which the rest of the people assembled in a field and partook of a first rate tea. A meeting was held in the church with the Rev.james presiding and a variety of entertainment was presented by the scholars. Various addresses were made including by the churchwaedens, T.Dyson and G.Greenwood. After the usual votes of thanks the assembly dispersed.
The following month the Sunday School teachers and scholars visited the Model Farm of C.H.Jones, Harden Moss, They were accompanied by the Holmfirth Rifle Corps Band and many farmers in the neighbourhood had lent them conveyances to carry everybody to the premises. They all enjoyed themselves in one of the large pasture fields by playing in a variety of games. They stopped for a picnic tea and continued with games until they were well – tired and, after thanking Mr.Jones for his kindness, they returned home.
By 1865 the Huddersfield & Holmfirth Examiner had changed its title to the Huddersfield Examiner &West Riding Reporter. In the January 14 issue it reported that the Annual tea meeting of the Church School had been held in the Old School. There was a large attendance and the Rev.J.James presided. Addresses were given by Rev. N.Lloyd of Miln – bridge, Rev. G.Lloyd, Messrs. R.Mellor, G.Nelson, G.Hinchliffe and G.Greenwood. A party of glee singers added greatly to the pleasure of the evening. In March an entertainment titled ‘ Chairman in a Fix’ was put on at the school under the auspices of the Band of Hope. The attendance was large and the 17 performers did very well.
The following is copied verbatim from an account written 142 years ago – “ The turret, having been damaged by lightning on April 29th., 1867, was rebuilt in its present form “.
Extensive alterations took place in 1877, when the galleries and three-decker pulpit were removed, the Chancel built and the Conacher organ installed. The church was re-opened on 3rd. December by the Bishop of Ripon.
The following Notice issued by the Rev. T.James of the Parish of Netherthong dated September 1st. 1866 makes interesting reading. The key paragraph is ” To all whom it may concern, that henceforth no Marriage between parties resident in the aforsaid parish of Netherthong can be legally solemnized at the Parish Church of Almondbury, or at any other Church than that of All Saints, Netherthong. ” The final paragraph details the boundaries.
The following photograph shows the front cover of the Church monthly dated July 1895.
The next photograph is the front cover for the hymns to be sung at the Sunday School Festival in June 18 1899.
The first record I have been able to find about the Annual treat for the children associated with the school was in the June 1852 issue of the Huddersfield and Holmfirth Examiner. It reported that on Whit Monday about 250 children were involved. A procession was formed and, headed by Holmfirth Old Brass Band, they first went to Sands House, the residence of C.S.Floyd, where they received refreshments. They returned via Thongs Bridge, Hagg and Deanhouse to a field belonging to Mr.Wilson where a meal of tea and buns was provided. Afterwards they were presented with a large cake and dismissed. About 200 teachers and friends enjoyed repast in the school room.The Rev.James took the chair and gave an excellent speech and Mr.Wilson spoke about the prosperous state of the school. The meeting was also addressed by Mr.Heap, the superintendent of Oldfield school, Mr.G.Woodhead, Mr.Nelson, Mr.Allen and Mr.Robinson.
In June 1854 the teachers and children associated with the Church school assembled in the school room when the the reward books to the more diligent during the past year were distributed . A procession was then formed and headed by Beaumont’s celebrated sax-horn band it proceeded to Holmfirth calling at the residencies of several gentlemen on the way. They were afterwards regaled with tea and buns and, after the children were dismissed, the teachers and friends took tea in the school room which was decorated for the occasion.
Two months later in August saw the re-opening of the church which had been closed for a few weeks during which it underwent a thorough renovation on the interior in painting, whitewashing, decorating etc. At the opening the sermons were preached by Rev. Joseph Hughes of Meltham in the morning, and in the evening by the Rev. D.James, incumbent of Marsden. A full cathedral service was performed and the choir was conducted by Matthew Rollinson of Kirkburton. The collections totalled £8 15.
The Annual tea party for the benefit of the Sunday school was held in the new school in February 1871. The trays were supplied by Mrs.Chas. Mellor ( Newlands ), Miss Dyson ( Elmwood ), Judith Mellor ( Hagg ), Miss Dyson ( Hawroyd ) and Miss Dickenson and Miss Chappell and a concert was held after the meal. The previous month on Wednesday 11, a grand concert was held in the school room with the proceeds in aid of the Sunday school. The programme consisted of a selection of songs, duets and glees performed by Miss Twig, Miss Renshaw, Messrs. J.Mellor, J.Dyson, J.B. Mellor,D.Caldwell,R.Hirst, B.eastwood and C.Hobson with Mr.Sandford at the pianoforte.
June 1872 was the occasion of the Sunday School anniversary feast. About noon, the scholars formed in procession and proceeded by their large banner marched to the strains of the Netherthong Brass Band to the residence of Mr.Josiah Mellor, where Miss Emmaline Mellor, assisted by the Rev. A.Jones, the curate, and the Rev.G.Hay, curate of Holmfirth, presented each of the young folk with a new penny for 1872. The scholars then called at the residences of Mrs.G.Mellor and Mr.Fenton Walker of the Royal Oak. They returned to the school where coffee and cakes were available to the children and a knife and fork tea was provided for the teachers and friends. A few hours were spent in an adjoining field and the day finished off in the school with singing and recitals. The Annual Festival for 1873 was celebrated in June and proved to be one of the most successful school feasts that had been held for years. 150 teachers and scholars formed a procession headed by the Netherthong Brass Band in their splendid uniforms, and walked through the village and proceeded to the residence of Mrs. G.Mellor when oranges were distributed to the scholars. They continued to Sands where Mr.C. Stephenson,J.P., presented them with a small bun and a one penny coin. On their return they were served with their usual fare and the teachers and friends partook of a knife & fork tea. The evening was spent in a field playing games with music provided by the Brass Band. The Annual festival for 1874 followed an almost identical patter and a highlight, when everyone went to the field for fun and games, was the sending of balloons up at intervals. The paper reported it was one of the most successful festivals ever held in the village.
In August of that year Mrs.James, the wife of the Rev.T.James, the vicar, died suddenly in the vicarage. She had appeared to have been in perfect health up to an hour before her death. Mr.C.J.Trotter was called in and gave his opinion that the cause of death arose from an epileptic fit and no inquest was deemed necessary. August 1879 was the very sad occasion of the funeral of Rev. Thomas James, 31, who had died earlier in the month on August 3 .For 33 years he had been the incumbent and vicar of the church and new parish of Netherthong but, during the latter part, he had been laid aside from active duty in the church and parish by paralytic affections and the shock received by the sudden death of his wife. They had only been married just over a year. The following month on September 6, the Rev.J.Prowde of St.Johns College, Cambridge ,who had been curate at the church, was publicly inducted to the vicarage of All Saints by the Rev. Canon Hulbert, vicar of Almondbury. The church was handed to the Canon by the churchwardens, Messrs. Cookson Stevenson and Turner and he , in turn, gave it to the Rev. Prowde.
The choir together with the teachers and scholars of the Sunday School, totalling about 200, were entertained to a substantial tea in the large room belonging to the day school provided by Miss Dyson. She was the only daughter of the late Thomas Dyson, Elmwood, and had organised it to commemorate her marriage with Lieutenant Buchanan of Gloucester. The tables for the scholars were presided over by Miss Dickinson and Mrs. John Williams. In November 1873 a concert was given in the Church school room on behalf of the school. Vocalists were Miss Rowbottom, Mr.D.Caldwell and Mr.R.Eastwood who were accompanied by Mr. William Sandford on the pianoforte. The Holmfirth Temperance Hand-Bell Ringers also provided entertainment and tendered several of their prime selections.
The anniversary services for the Sunday School were held later that year in June 1874 when the Rev.W.Flower, vicar of Upperthong, and the Rev.G.Madden, vicar of Armitage Bridge, both preached and the collections amounted to £7 7s. On the following day the annual school feast was held when the scholars and teachers met at the school and, after a service in the Church by the Rev.J.Prowse, a procession was formed which paraded round the district headed by the Netherthong Brass Band. C.Stephenson presented each child with a new penny. On returning to the school, coffee and buns were served and afterwards all adjoined to a field where amusements were kept. The number of scholars on the books was about 130. There were no reports of the feast for 1875,1876,1877 and 1878 although there was no reason to suspect that they weren’t held as normal.
For the Annual Festival of the Sunday Schools in late June1879, the children and teachers assembled at the school and walked to the church for a short children’s service held by Rev.J.Prowse. Afterwards, headed by the Netherthong Brass band, they proceeded to Deanhouse Workhouse and from there to Oldfield, Deanhouse, Hagg, Thongsbridge and Crodingly before returning to the village where they were regaled with milk, buns, nuts etc. The band played several selections of music. A public tea was held in the large room when over 200 persons sat down to an excellent knife and fork tea. Everyone adjourned to a field and spent the remainder of the evening dancing and playing games. At intervals several balloons were sent up and fireworks set off. In late July special services were held morning, afternoon and evening to celebrate the completion of the reredos. The Reredos was from a design by Mr.Barber of Halifax and the work was carried out by Messrs. Con & Co, London. It was of richly-carved oak with croquets, terminals and illuminated panels with emblems representing the four Evangelists, the Agnus Dei and cross occupying the central position, the whole being further enriched by the frequent use of fleur de lys. The dade was richly illuminated on zinc. The cost was about £130 which was defrayed by subscriptions and collections.
On Sunday June 20 1880, sermons were preached on behalf of funds for the Sunday and day schools and there were large congregations for both the morning and evening sermons and the collections totalled £8. Monday was the annual school feast and the procedure was similar to previous years but on this occasion the procession was led by the Honley Brass Band. 200 people partook of the public tea. The Superintendents were Rev.T.Prowse , C.Stephenson and the secretary, Mr.T.Woodhead. The schools had 86 male and 65 female scholars with 18 male teachers and 12 female teachers. The average attendance was 120 and the report added that there were 140 books in the library. Later in the year in September was the annual picnic of the Church choir and 29 members, accompanied by the vicar and several friends, travelled in three wagonettes to Wortley and Wharncliffe Rocks. The same month members of the choir took part in a choir festival at New Mill with other choirs from the district. The annual service on Whit Sunday, June 1881, for the Church Sunday school in aid of funds was held with large congregations attending both the morning and evening sermons. The annual school feast was held on the Monday and the procession, headed by Holmfirth Voluntary Band ( was this the Netherthong Brass band in disguise ? ), were pursued by heavy bouts of rain forcing everyone to keep seeking shelter. Fortunately the weather improved so that fun and games could be held in the evening. The number of scholars were 93 male and 62 female. There were 13 male teachers and 12 female and the number of books were 205.The superintendents were C.Stephenson, Rev.J.Prowde and Mr.A.Mellor, Thos. Woodhead was the secretary and B.Eastwood and E.Dyson the librarians.
Members of the congregation met in August 1881 to present Mr. & Mrs. Wm. Dickenson with a black marble timepiece and ornaments, a dozen silver teaspoons and a dozen ivory handled and electro-plated forks as a token of the esteem they were held in. The Rev.J.Prowde made the presentation referring to the service provided by both of them to the church and schools. C.Stephenson , the vicar’s warden, also spoke about them in high terms. The annual services were held on Sunday June 18 1882 in the morning and evening in aid of the church schools. Special hymns were sung by the choir and the Sunday scholars and £8 was raised. The annual school feast took place the following Monday and the procession was headed by the Netherthong Brass Band. The format was as in previous years with a public tea followed by an evening of Yorkshire Games. There was no report for 1883 but in 1884 there was a detailed report of the Feast in its standard format. Before breaking up in the evening after games each scholar was presented with a large bun, a new penny and an orange. Total money raised for the school fund was £33. There were 80 boys and 70 girls on the books with 14 female teachers and 14 male teachers. The number of books in the library were 220. On Sunday 20 June, special services were held in the morning and afternoon in aid of the Sunday and day schools. The scholars sang a special selection of hymns and the choir, under the leadership of Mr. Jonathan Hirst, also contributed. On the Monday all the teachers, scholars and friends, formed a procession and headed by the Netherthong Brass Band proceeded round the village. When they returned the children sat down to a tea and a public tea was also held at which 200 partook. As was the custom everyone spent the evening playing games and listening to the Band. The proceeds amounted to £30 which was divided between the two schools. The Harvest Festival was held in October and the morning session was conducted by yje vicar and in the evening by the vicar of Newsome. The offerteries of £4 17s 11d were in aid of the Ripon Diocesan Church Building Society. The flowers and fruit were distributed to the poor and sick and the tomatoes were donated to the hospital at Deanhouse Workhouse.
In 1924, electric lights replaced the gas mantles on the standards and extensive alterations were made to the organ. In 1967 the church was designated as a building of special architectural and historic interest.
The Vicars of All Saints
The first incumbent was the Rev.J.M.Evans. He resigned in 1834 and was followed by the Rev.J.N.Green- Armytage who left in December 1835. The Rev. G.D.Grundy, M.A., who built the Vicarage , was there from 1836 to 1839 until he moved to Hey, near Oldham and remained there for 63 years. When he died he was the oldest clergyman in England.The vicarage was located up a drive in Miry Lane and faced the Deanhouse Workshop and remained in use until Wakefield Diocese sold it in December 1996. Below is a recent ( 2010 ) photo that I took during my wanderings.
The Rev.D.Meridith was in charge for only a few months before being succeeded by the Rev. D.Hughes who stayed from 1839 to 1842. The Rev. J.Tidemore remained until 1846 and the Rev.P.J.Manning and Rev. J.Rogers were only there for very short periods before the Rev.Thomas James, M.A.,L.L.D., F.S.A. took up the post. He served from 1846 to 1879 and was a noted Welsh scholar and one of the founders of theYorkshire Archeological Society. He was assisted by the Rev.E.A.Jones, B.F.Crouch and John Prowde, M.A. The Rev.James’s grave , which has celtic lettering, is by the church door. ( for more details about him see the report at the end of this paragraph).
I have included below a notice that was issued and signed by the Rev. James
John Prowde succeeded him as vicar and on his death in 1907 he was interred adjacent to Rev. James. The accompanying photograph must have been taken at the turn of the 19th. century and by looking at him you wouldn’t realise he was the vicar because his long white beard obscured his collar.
The Rev. Hind , M.A., was appointed vicar in 1907 and had a long ministry of 29 years, leaving the village in 1936.
He was succeeded by the Rev. S.S.Black who served for 21 years from 1937 to 1958. After being widowed he married Helen who was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs.J.Floyd. He is also buried in the church grounds. He was succeeded by the Rev.E.Asquith, who stayed until 1966. The Rev. F.Lord’s ministry was tragically short from 1968 to 1970.
Rev.J.N.Capstick was the final sole incumbent of All Saints Vicarage from 1970. He had been vicar of St.James Church, Codnor, from 1961-1963. At the formation of the Upper Holme Valley Team in 1992, he also took on responsibility for St. Andrew’s Thongsbridge until his retirement in 1997. He issued a superb booklet on the history of All Saint’s and I have included much of that information in this History.
Rev. G.A.Banks M.A. joined the Upper ValleyTeam in 1998 and was the vicar for a period. At the time of writing this article ( 2013 ) the Rev. Nick Heaton is the current vicar.
The following article gives a very detailed history of the life of the Rev. Thomas James. It was titled The Druid Curate of Netherthong and was written by the Huddersfield historian, Alan Brook, for publication in the Huddersfield Examiner.
The Yorkshire Archaeological Society, originally the Huddersfield Archaeological and Topographical Association (HATA), began life at a meeting held in the parsonage at Netherthong on 1 April 1863. The host of the meeting, the Rev Thomas James, was well qualified to promote such a venture. He was steeped in the history and folklore of his native Wales, prominent in the Cambrian Archaeological Association and an editor of the Cambrian Journal, a pioneering archaeological periodical.
The Rev. James, born in 1817 at Manordeifi in Pembrokeshire, became ‘perpetual curate’ of All Saints Church at Netherthong in 1846. He was one of a group of Welsh clergymen in the area, which included his brother David, the curate of Marsden, the Rev. Lewis Jones, vicar of Almondbury, and Joseph Hughes, curate of Meltham. In 1852 they began meeting as the ‘Association of Welsh Clergy in the West Riding of the County of York’ to discuss matters relating to the church in Wales.
But the Rev James’ interests were not limited to the Welsh church. He was also an enthusiastic supporter of the Bardic movement which sought to encourage a revival of Welsh language and culture by holding Eisteddfodau, competitive festivals, where prizes were offered for music, song, poetry and historical essays. The highpoint of the festivals was the Gorsedd of the Bards, a procession supposed to be founded on ancient Druidic ritual. The Rev James adopted the Bardic name Llallawg, an alias of the Bardic-Druidic figure Myrddin, (better known as Merlin of Arthurian legend), and served as an adjudicator at Eisteddfodau as well as donating prize money.
In 1858 he became embroiled in a dispute which scandalised the Eisteddfod and set him at odds with fellow bard and cleric, the Rev Joseph Hughes, curate and historian of Meltham. The Rev Hughes, from Newport in Pembrokeshire, used the bardic name Carn Ingli, after the hill fort outside his native town. In 1858 he was one of the organisers of the Llangollen Eisteddfod at which Llallawg was asked to judge the history prize. Although the topic was the discovery of America by the twelfth century Welsh price Madoc, the best essay by far argued that this was merely a legend and had never happened. Carn Ingli disqualified it as irrelevant to the theme, Llallawg resigned as judge in protest – and there was uproar at the Eisteddfod.
As his role in establishing HATA shows, the Rev James also loved the heritage of his adopted home. He wrote a paper on ‘The early Antiquities of the District’ and was for a time editor of the ‘Transactions of the Yorkshire Archaeological and Topographical Journal’, which became the still surviving ‘Yorkshire Archaeological Journal’. He also helped the publication of the Rev Hughes ‘History of Meltham’ left unfinished by the author’s death in 1862.
In 1870 Thomas married Jane Hammet of Plymouth but she died two years later of a seizure said to have been brought on by a thunderstorm. Thomas himself became increasingly infirm and was described by the Rev Hulbert in his Annals of Almondbury as ‘a recluse’. However he was still involved in the Eisteddfod movement.
In 1873, as the ‘archdruid of Gwynedd’, the Rev James offered the prize for the best ‘peithynfaen’, wooden books with verse written in bardic characters known as ‘Coelbren y Beirdd’. It was not then known that this alphabet, which was supposed to have been devised by the druids over 2,000 years ago, was less than a century old. It was fabricated in the 1790s by poet and folklorist Edward Williams, known as Iolo Morganwg, who was one of the driving forces behind the revival of the Eisteddfodau.
The Rev James died in 1879 and his enthusiasm for the Bardic past, imaginary or not, is celebrated on his grave cover. The cross shaped grave lies just by the church door at Netherthong. The inscription is in the Bardic Alphabet. This has been kindly deciphered and translated by Mr Owain Rhys of the Museum of Wales. One side records the birth and death of Thomas himself and the fact he had been curate for 33 years, the other the death of Jane. The carved symbolism also speaks volumes about the man. There is a leek representing Wales, a harp reflecting his Bardic personality and, perhaps strangest of all in a Christian graveyard, the druidic symbols of oak leaves and mistletoe. Equally strange is the fact that the Yorkshire Archaeological Society may owe its origins to the druid curate of Netherthong.
The history of the church, its role in the village its parishioners and their activities is detailed below.
The clock in the church was given by public subscription in 1887 to commemorate the Jubilee of Queen Victoria. The Jubilee celebration was fully consummated by the starting of the turret clock which had been placed in the spire by Mr.Pitts of Leeds. The clock cost £75 and was described as a “ pin-wheel striking clock 2’9” in diameter. It struck the hours on the bell and was reputed to be heard in BerryBanks, Wooldale and Oldfield. It was a boon for the villagers as up to then the only way they had of getting an idea of the correct time was to stand at the top of New Road and watch for the starting of the train from Holmfirth Station.
The church choir was an important part of the church’s activities and one of its highlights was its annual outing. A number of these were reported in the local paper and, considering the condition of the roads in the early years, the journeys in themselves must have been exciting events.
1891 – trip to Baslow and Chatsworth houses.
1894 – outing to Castleton in the Peak District
1908 – excursion to West Kirby via Liverpool and Birkenhead. Whilst they were crossing the river they saw the Lusitania.
1909- they visited Worksop. They met outside the church and walked to Brockholes station to catch the train. Among the party was Mr. C.Wood , the choir master, with 24 years voluntary service, Miss Dickenson, the organist, with 30 years and Tom Wood with 21 years.
1910 – outing to Chester via Liverpool and Birkenhead,
1912 – the annual outing in May took them to London. They left Huddersfield at 11.30 pm on the Sunday night and arrived at 5.20 am in London. The report detailed what they did and what they saw. It is not unreasonable to assume that for many of them it was their first trip to the ” Big Smoke “.
1913 – the excursion in July was their 34th and they went to Llandudno and Liverpool. They left Huddersfield in a splendidly appointed L & NW saloon carriage at 6.30am
1915 – 25 members were conveyed by Mr. Beaumont’s motor char-a-banc to Harrogate and Ripon.
1916 – trip to Knutsford. They travelled in 3 motor charabancs supplied by Messrs. Kilney & Brook ( Honley ).
1918 – the choir left Thongsbridge station for Dewsbury and took the train to Wakefield. After dinner they went by car to Leeds and returned home by train at 8pm.
The 39th. annual excursion for the choir was taken in August 1919 when they travelled to Selby and York in the commodious and comfortable motor char-a-banc from Kilner & Brooks of Honley. Their Annual Outing in 1920 took them to Congleton.
1921 – in July 60 members and friends took part in the 41st. annual outing and the 6th. by charabanc. They visited Doncaster and Worksop and made a visit to the renowned ” Magic Oak “. They met a choir party from Halifax who were also on an outing and, as people tend to do, they had a competition to see who could get the most individuals inside the mammoth trunk. Netherthong ladies managed to squeeze in 18 which was 4 more than Halifax.
1922 – they filled two 28- seater charabancs and travelled via Leeds, Headingly, Harewood and Harrogate to their first stop at Ripley. Their objective was Grassington.
1951 saw them travelling to Redcar and Saltburn-by-the-sea.
1953 – they visited Skegness stopping off first at Lincoln Cathedral.
In the January 1st 1887 issue of the Holmfirth Express, it carried a large advert :
Holmfirth Parish Church
New Year’s Tea Party
Concert & Meeting at 7p.m.
Members of the Netherthong Tea Party will entertain.
The report said the party had been held in the large classroom and 150 sat down to an excellent tea. The chair was taken by the vicar and the choir , under the leadership of Mr. Jonathan Hirst, rendered a choice selection of music.
In June of the same year the Parish Church Sunday and day Schools held special services in the church in aid of the schools. A procession was formed and headed by the school banner and the Netherthong brass band marched to Deanhouse and the Workhouse continuing onto Oldfield where they had refreshments. They went to Hagg ( Capt. Beardsell’s residence ) and then back to the village.
The Lord Bishop of Wakefield, Dr.Eden, paid his first official visit to the church in February 1904. He preached to a large congregation in the morning and , in the afternoon, conducted a confirmation service which was believed to be the first of its kind in the Netherthong parish. During his visit he was the guest of the vicar’s warden, Mr.J.Watkinson of Sands. Later in the month there was a Parochial Tea and Entertainment with the tea provided by the married ladies of the congregation. The newspaper reported that it was a very good tea consisting of ham sandwiches and various “ tantatlins “. Over 200 people enjoyed the varied concert which had 39 items. The evening finished off with a social and a feature was the rendering by the children of some of the local singing games eg. “ What is Mary weeping for? “ and “ On yonder fair mountain “
In April the Sunday School gave their operetta “ The wreck of the Argosy “ to a large audience in theNationalSchool
Each year in April, All Saints held its annual vestry meeting at which elections were held for various church positions. In 1904, James Dyson was re-elected as the people’s warden. J.Watkinson was re-appointed as the vicar’s warden and T.Turner was re-elected as his sidesman. C.Floyd was appointed sidesman to the vicar’s warden and J.Mallinson and H.Wilson were elected sidesmen for the people’s warden.
In March 1905, the Church resuscitated the annual tea party and entertainment which had not taken place for several years and it was held in the large room of the National school. There was a good gathering and after the tea, the 1st. part of the performance was by the choir and the 2nd. part was a dialogue titled “ Wanted a wife “.
In May the churchwardens wrote to the District Council saying they would be glad if the Council would defray the cost of winding and the upkeep of the clock. They said it was of benefit to the district and they considered it be kept up by the rates for the advantage of the district. They wanted 20/- pa and Mr. H.Gill would have charge of it. The Council said that as it was a public clock and had been bought by public subscription they would approve it.
In 1907 there was no change in the positions at the annual vestry meeting. In the same month Wm.Sykes & Son held a sale of furnishings in the Vicarage and got some excellent prices. A Sheraton armchair sold for £34 10s.
The annual vestry meeting for 1908 was held in April with the Rev. Hind presiding. Mr.Turner was nominated as vicar’s warden, Mr.W.Batley as vicar’s sidesman and Mr.Dyson as people’s warden. C.Floyd, J.Mallinson , J.Russell and H.Wilson were elected as sidemen.
The Sunday school held a social evening in February 1911 . It was combined with the junior sewing class to raise funds to buy teaspoons for use at public teas etc.
In 1912 the report for 1911 was issued on the Annual return of subscriptions to the Wakefield Diocesan Fund for maintenance and work of the Church Restoration Society, Spiritual Aid Society and Diocesan Education Society. All Saints contributed £7 11s 3d.
The 1913 Annual Parochial tea was held in February. There was a splendid tea and entertainment by the choir. The following month saw the Annual vestry meeting. Mr. Turner was once again re-appointed as the vicar’s warden. Mr. J. Woodhead was re-elected as the people’s warden with C.Floyd, W.Batley, J. Mallinson, J.Russell, B.Butterworth, H.Wilson and J.Harper as sidesmen.
The Church had formed a Mother’s Union. In August 1913 about 45 ladies had a meeting which started with a service in the church ( Rev.N.Hind ) , followed by a tea in the school at the invitation of Mrs. Floyd, their president.. In the evening they adjoined to Fairfield. The following week a party of 86 went to Langsett by waggonette.
In February 1916, the Church Sunday school organized a public tea and entertainment. The room was packed to witness the performance of an operetta “ Zurika the Gypsy Maid “ which was of a very high order. Miss Battley gave a short account of how the money raised was to purchase a valuable piano for use by the school.
Special services in connection with the National Mission of Repentance and Hope were held in the church in October. Rev. Hind said the matins and evensong and the choir, under the leadership of Mr. C. Wood with Mrs. Jackson on organ, performed the musical part.
Also in October Mr.& Mrs. Buchanan celebrated their golden wedding day. They were married in All Saints on October 24 1866 by the Rev.J.James.
Miss Judith Ellen Mellor of Hagg Cottage died in November 1916 at the age of 80 years and was laid to rest in the family vault at All Saints. She was one of the oldest native born citizens and was heavily involved in fund raising for the Church school in the 1860s and in 1888 to enlarge it. She was a loyal churchwoman.