Netherthong Local Boards and Councils.
The first time that the inhabitants of Netherthong were able to have a significant role in the running and development of their village began on July 3 1862 with the formation of a Local Board which had nine members. The Board remained in place until February 16 1895 when it was replaced by the Netherthong District Council made up of elected representatives. In 1912 the County Council made an order adding Netherthong and Deanhouse to the district of Holmfirth. This order provided that they would constitute the Netherthong ward of Holmfirth District Council with 3 members and came into effect on March 31 1912.
Local Boards were local authorities in urban areas from 1848 – 1894. They were formed in response to cholera epidemics and were given powers to control sewers, clean the streets, regulate slaughterhouses and ensure the proper supply of water. The first ones were created under the Public Health Act 1848 and could be formed in one of two ways :
- By petition of 1/10 of the inhabitants rated to “ relief of the poor”.
- By the General Board if the death rate exceeded 23 per 1000 head of population.
The 1848 Act was replaced by the Local Government Act 1858.
Unfortunately to date, I have been unable to find any records of what controls and authorities were in place in Netherthong up to the formation of the Local Board. However I have now (2015) come across the following report in the Huddersfield and Holmfirth Examiner for January 1855. ” The surveyor of Netherthong was summoned before the bench in Huddersfield for neglecting to repair certain portions of the roads belonging to the township of Netherthong. The complainant, Mr.Joseph Hirst, said that no one was more regular in collecting his rates than the surveyor of Netherthong and no one neglected the roads more. The surveyor was fined £5. I need to find out who appointed the surveyors, who paid for them and what controls there were on how they spent the rates. In a case of deja-vu the Huddersfield Examiner & West Riding Reporter reported in October 1870 that a complaint had been made that one of the local highways within the district of Netherthong Local Board was so thoroughly out of repair that it was almost unfit to travel on and Mr.John Sykes, a solicitor of Huddersfield, brought the matter to the magistrates at Huddersfield County Police Court. Mr. Abbey, surveyor of the borough of Huddersfield, had been to look and had prepared a report which said that due to the fine dry weather it did not appear to be in a very bad state but he could see that a few days rain could render the road impassable. He said he was assured by the defendants ( the Local Board ) that all attempts were being made to make the road passable for winter. The length of the road was 2,200 yards and in conclusion he suggested that another inspection should be done after the first few days of rain. The hearing was adjourned to November but in typical manner there was no follow up report.
On March 27 1862, a petition was presented by the Rev. J.James, incumbent to the Church, stating “ We, the undersigned ratepayers of the township of Netherthong in the West Riding of the County of York, beg most respectfully to request you to call a Public Meeting of the ratepayers thereof for the purpose of considering a resolution for the adoption of the local Government Act 1858 in the said township of Netherthong.
There were 22 signatories : G.Mellor; U.Hobson ; J.Wilson ; J.Mellor ; J. Jagger ; T.Mellor; J.Woodhead ; J.Rodgers ; J.Beaumont ; H.Mellor ; D.Dyson ; J.James ; R.Wilson ; B. Woodhead ; B.Gill; J.Woodhead ; B.Dyson : J.Mallinson ; B.Wilson ; G.Woodhead ; E.Hirst ; G. Wimpenny.
A notice was placed in the Huddersfield Chronicle and on the principal door of the Parish Church informing the townspeople of a public meeting. The meeting was held on Thursday, April 3 1862 at 10am in the Town school. 24 ratepayers voted for adoption with 2 opposing.
A notice was forwarded to the Secretary of State for the Home Department, the Rt, Hon Sir George Grey, on Apr 22 1862. Further notices were placed in the paper and the church doors for three consecutive weeks. On April 26 1862, the notice that the Government Act 1858 had been duly adopted within the township of Netherthong was signed by Sir G. Grey.
The first meeting of the Local Board was held on July 3 1862 at the Gas Works. T.Dyson was appointed chairman for the current year, T.Mellor as treasurer, J.Mallinson as collector and surveyor. J.Mellor was the clerk on a salary of £5/year.
This Local Board remained in place from 1862 until 1895 when it was replaced by the District Council. Minutes of all meeting were recorded in two Minute Books ( 1862 to 1882 and 1882 until closure ) which are kept in the archive section at Huddersfield library.
Various items and events of interest during that period are given below.
In the sixties there was an ongoing effort to improving and maintaining the roads and the subject was featured at most meetings. The stone was taken from various local quarries and Wolfstone quarry in particular. In March 1865 the paper reported that the long pending question as to the desirability of having a public road from the village to Bridge Mill had finally been settled. “Mr.Littlewood had surveyed the ground previous to preparing the plans. The route is remarkably good and it will be a great boon to the inhabitants of Netherthong but, if the Local Boards of Lesserthong and Netherthong could have been amalgamated and arranged for it to have passed out on the road on the back of Holmfirth’s Town Hall , the incline would have been less and advantage far greater than coming out at Bridge Mill. We trust the suggestion will be attended to as it is well worthy of consideration.” Interest in the road continued and a report in the Huddersfield Examiner & West Riding Reporter for February 1866 gave the following information – ‘the new road from Bridge Mill has been in agitation for a considerable time but like every new project it has its opponents. A public meeting of the inhabitants was held in the Town’s School with the chair being accepted by Mr. Rodgers, the chief-constable. After a long discussion with Mr.Godfrey and Mr.Mellor on one side and Mr.Foxton, Mr.Jagger and Mr.Dyson on the other, the opponents of the road were greatly outnumbered with a large majority being in favour. The Government enquiry into the subject would be made later.’ At the annual meeting of the Local Board in July of the same year, three elections of gentlemen to the Board took place. The contest was between those in favour of the new road and those opposed to it. The ‘road’ party were elected and consisted of Mr. Alfred Beaumont, Mr.Richard Wilson and Mr.John Mallinson. The defeated candidates were Mr.Thomas James, Mr. J.Mellor and Mr.John Taylor. The first meeting of the new Board was held and Mr.Jagger was elected chairman and Messrs. T.Mellor, A. Beaumont and James Jagger were appointed to the nuisance committee.
The Huddersfield Chronicle , in its issue of 3 March 1866 reported on the Government Enquiry into the proposed New Road. Mr.Robert Morgan, the Government Inspector, held a court of enquiry at the house of Mr.Jonas Woodhead, the Queen’s Arms Inn, as to the necessity of a new road from Netherthong to Bridge Mills in lieu of the present steep and almost inaccessible road known as Thongs-Lane. The Court was crowded by inhabitants of the village , among whom were many of the largest ratepayers of the township. The great majority were working men, all of whom appeared anxious that the road, as proposed by the Local Board, should be made. The newspaper report contained lots of legal arguments for and against along with technical details and costs. I have condensed it just to include key points and personalities.
Mr.Fenton, on behalf of the Local Board, said the proposed road was about 1,000 yards in length, was of a much easier gradient than the present Thongs-Lane and would reduce the distance between the village and Holmfirth by more than 1,000 yards. Thomas Dyson, manufacturer and ratepayer said the existing road was very bad for carriages and it would have to be a good horse to bring 15 cwt up the present route, whilst by the proposed route 30cwt could be brought up by one horse. The present footpath was very dangerous there being eight styles on it. He continued that he was at the meeting called by the constable of the inhabitants, the majority of whom decided in favour of the proposed road. He added that there were four grocery establishments in the village, some of them fetch their goods from Huddersfield and Thongsbridge but would not have to do so if the new road was made as goods could be delivered to their own door. He believed the poor people would get groceries and coal cheaper by the new route.
James Jagger said he was a ratepayer and the present Thongs-Lane was a very bad one. His horses and carts often brought goods from Holmfirth and usually went by way of Upperthong. Mr.Tom Turner, manufacturer, spoke of the wretched state of Thongs-Lane . His rating was about £150 and the proposed road would be a great improvement to the village. John Hinchliffe, manufacturer and ratepayer, gave similar testimony. Mr. Chas. John Trotter, surgeon of Holmfirth, spoke of the inconvenience he frequently experienced when called to attend patients in the village or at Deanhouse Workhouse. Mr. Joseph Platt, tailor and draper, said inhabitants would have coal and other articles cheaper if the new road was made. Jonas Woodhead, farmer and inn-keeper, said he often lent horses to help bring carts up the road.
George Woodhead, grocer, farmer and resident ratepayer, got heavy goods from Holmfirth and took them round to Deanhouse. He was a contractor for supplying coals to the Workhouse where they burnt a ton a – day. Mr. Berry, surgeon of Holmfirth, had frequently felt the inconvenience of getting to Netherthong by the present route especially in the night time. Considerable time was taken up by Mr. Joshua Littlewood, land surveyor and valuer. Mr.Wilson, clerk to the Local Board, said the rateable value of the township to be £2,921 11s 9d. There were 362 separate ratings and 1,007 inhabitants. The enquiry continued for two days and ,after criticisms of the details of the report from the surveyor, was concluded.
The Board had occasion to write the following letter to one of the inhabitants :
Sir. Complaints having been made by two resident householders that you are in the habit of throwing the refuse from your house and shops onto the highway adjoining situated in Giles Street. The said refuse filling up the drains and causing injurious to the public health. The nuisance committee do hereby give you notice to discontinue the practice or further proceedings will be taken to enforce the same.
In 1873 there was a meeting of representatives of several Local Boards to discuss the question of appointments and action of Medical Officers of Health for a united district. The Netherthong Board on September 4 1873 agreed to pay a contribution to a Medical Officer of Health and Inspector of Nuisances.
In 1874 Netherthong adopted the following bye-laws.
- construction of streets
- erection and drainage of buildings
- regulations of slaughter houses
- prevention of nuisances
- cleaning of footpaths
- common lodging houses
The Health officer reported in 1875 “ a case of pigeons being kept in a local room used by the inmates of a house occupied by Daniel Woodhead “. Also in 1875 Thomas Miller was appointed clerk at a wage of £10 pa. Joseph Rusby , the rates collector, received a commission of 10d in the £ but four years later irregularities were found in his accounts and a new collector, Ramsden Mallinson, was appointed. The May monthly meeting was held in the Boardroom. Present were the chairman, Mr.C.Stephenson, J.Taylor, W.G.Dyson, John Hinchliffe, Walter Middleton, James Jagger, T.Turner plus the nuisance inspector, Mr.Cuttell, J.Rusby the Clerk and J.Mallinson the surveyor and collector. The collector had received £6 2s from the Highway rate and £7 11s 5d from the general district rate. The following payments were made : Day labour £2 16s 3d, Contract work 19s 6d, Materials £1 19s, tradesman bill 1s 4d and interest on the loan £9 8s 5d. Among Mr.Cuttell’s report was that Mr.R.Wilson had been ordered to remove manure heaps in the village. Mr.Joseph Moorhouse, South Lane Holmfirth, had two cottages at Dock Hill without privy accommodation and the Board had viewed them and ordered the owner to provide suitable conveniences. Mr.Preston had an old drain in Dock Hill which was in a foul state and was ordered for it to be remedied at once. Mr.Turner proposed and Mr.Dyson seconded that the Board repair the fence in Brook Road at once. The Clerk produced a new Highway rate of 10d in the £. At the next meeting in June, Mr. Stephenson and Mr. Thomas Mellor were appointed to represent the Board at the meeting of representatives from various local Boards to discuss the appointment of a medical officer for the Holme Valley Sanitary Authority. The AGM was held on July 17 and the Chairman reported at the start of the meeting that the Local Boards had agreed to appoint Mr. Jonas Wimpenny a surgeon from Huddersfield to be the medical officer of health for the whole district. He would be on a salary of £100 pa for two years and Netherthong’s share would be £7. C.Stephenson Esq. J.P. was appointed chairman for the ensuing year and J.Jagger as treasurer. J.Jagger, J.Hinchliffe and W.G.Dyson would form the Highways Committee and J.Jagger and Hinchliffe the Finance Committee. Joseph Mallinson remained as collector and Joseph Busby as surveyor. The surveyor was empowered to arrange the getting and breaking of several stacks of stone at the Child o’ th’ Edge and Wolfstone quarries.
The Medical Officer’s report for 1876 stated that deaths were 25.6 per 1000 of population with scarlet fever responsible for 50%, zymotic disease and consumption accounted for the remainder. At the Annual meeting of the Board in April 1876, C.Stephenson was re-elected chairman and James Jagger was re-elected treasurer. Mr. Thomas Arkwright was appointed as sanitary inspector at a salary of £12pa., Joseph Busby was re-elected to two positions- clerk at £8pa and surveyor at £12pa. Joseph Mallinson was re-appointed as the collector of rates for which his remuneration would be 10d in the £. At the July meeting a letter was read from the clerk to the Trustees of the Huddersfield & Woodhead Turnpike Road declaring the intention of the Trustees to sell the toll house, shop and adjoining land at Thongsbidge. Also at the same meeting the members were informed that a number of poor persons had applied for exemption from paying the rates and the Board agreed on the exemptions.
The elections to the Board took place in March 1878 . There were three retiring members, Thomas Mellor – manufacturer ; John Hinchliffe – farmer and Alfred Turner – gentleman of Wolfstones. They were nominated for re-election along with Fenton Walker – innkeeper, Thongsbridge and Walter Middleton – railway company agent. C.Stephenson , the chairman of the Board, was the returning officer.The results with the number of votes cast for each candidate were : A.Turner 116, J.Hinchliffe 104, T.Mellor 90, F.Walker 55 and W.Middleton 54. The first three were declared elected. At the annual meeting of the Board that followed Mr.Stephenson was re-elected chairman, Mr.Turner was elected as treasurer. Thomas Mellor was the Clerk on a salary of £10pa. and Joseph Rusby was appointed Collector on a commission of 10d in the £.
In 1879 the surveyor, John Redfearn, was paid a weekly wage of 21/-. Also in the same year the Nuisance Inspector made a complaint that horses and conveyances were allowed by the Church gates which caused dirt to be made. The February 1879 meeting of the Local Board was presided over by C.Stephenson,JP, the chairman. Also present were John Hinchliffe, T.Beardsell, J.P.Floyd, A.Turner and W.Middleton. Ramsden Mallinson was appointed collector, and a district rate of 1s in the pound for buildings and 3d for land was made and approved. In March the Sanitary report for the year ending December 31 1878 was presented by J.Wimpenny, the Medical Officer of Health. There had been 68 births, 42 males and 26 females , and 17 deaths. He expressed concern that sewage from some cottages near the public wells was getting into the channel which conveyed the water to the wells. There had been 13 cases of measles, none fatal. One scarlet fever, five cases of enteric fever and whooping cough had prevailed in the latter part of the year. The Annual meeting was held in May and C.Stephenson was re-elected chairman as was Mr.T.Meller, clerk, R.Mallinson, collector, and A.Turner, treasurer. J.Redfern, the surveyor was given a salary of 24s/week for the eight months left for 1879 and 21s/week for the remainder of his 12 – month contract. Messrs. Dyson, Hinchliffe, Beardsell, Floyd and Middleton were elected to the Highways Committee and Floyd, Dyson, Woodhead and Turner to the Finance Committee.
In June 1879 the committee appointed to look out for a new Board- room reported that the most suitable place was a cottage at Bastille belonging to John Hinchliffe, a member of the Board. It was agreed to take the cottage at a rent of £4 10s per annum starting July 1. Mr.Hinchliffe would provide coals, light and attendance. Messrs. Floyd and Beardsell were appointed to procure the necessary furniture for the room. At the meeting in January 1880, a resolution was passed continuing the employment of Mr.Wimpenny for a further three months from March. The surveyor was directed to obtain 100t of broken stone from the Deanhouse Workhouse for putting down on the main road and the new road. There were seven applicants for the office of the clerk made vacant by the resignation of Mr.T.Mellor – Mr. H.Lomax was appointed. In the report read by the Medical Officer for the quarter ending December 31st. 1879 had only one adverse comment which concerned a very serious outbreak of enteric fever at Robin Royd. There were five cases in the house – mother, three children and father. The mother died, the children were seriously ill and the father was removed to Crosland Moor. The house was in a very bad sanitary condition with an impure water supply.
The rate for 1880 was 1/- in the £ for buildings and 3d for land. At the monthly meeting in January a resolution was passed continuing the employment of Mr.Wimpenny as medical officer for a further three years from March 1880.The surveyor was directed to obtain 100t of broken stone from Deanhouse Workhouse for the purpose of laying it on the main road and new road. There were seven applicants for the office of clerk vacated by the resignation of Mr.T.Mellor – Mr.H.Lomax was appointed. In the report read by the Medical Officer for the quarter ending December 31,1879, his only adverse comment concerned a very serious outbreak of enteric fever at Robin Royd. There had been five cases in the house – mother, three children and father. The mother died, the children had the disease very severely and the father was removed to Crosland Moor. The house was in a very bad sanitary condition and the water supply was impure. Later that year an application, received from the United Telephone Co. to fix poles for the telegraph wires, was finally approved at a cost of 1s per pole for five years.
The Board were concerned about the suspected water quality and instructed the surveyor to make an opening from the village wells to the source whence they are supplied to check for fouling. He found that the water was pure before entering the well. A sample of the water was fully tested by analysts and the report stated “ I am of the opinion that this water is wholesome to drink. It is soft and suitable for all domestic purposes “.
In 1882 the Board received a notice from Messrs.de Jersey & Co. London and Gulcher Electric Light & Power Co. that they had applied to the Board of Trade to supply electricity to Netherthong. At their annual and monthly meeting in May, C.Stephenson was re-elected as chairman , George Woodhead was to continue as treasurer and the committees for the new year would consist of the same members. The clerk was instructed to write to the Board of Guardians asking them to repair the road between the old town school and the Workhouse gates due to the damage done by the carriage of materials used for the building operations to the Workhouse. Later that year in July the Board agreed to accept a quantity of stone from the Workhouse as compensation for the road damage.
The report from the Inspector in 1884 on the water supply said there were 3 public wells about 200 yards from the centre, a further well in the wall below Rawcliffe Spout and several smaller wells. The Board resolved that a reservoir be constructed at Well’s Green to retain the supply of water found there and convey the water in 2” iron pipes to Towngate. They also resolved that the road roller be lent to Deanhouse cricket club for the year for 5/-. At their November meeting the Board resolved that notices against loitering in the pumphouse be affixed there at once and that any persons found loitering there and causing annoyance or obstruction after the publication of the notice be summoned by the police constable. The Board had that year written strongly to Abel Hobson, farmer, to request him to prevent the flow of manure from his farm into parts of the village. Hobson had said he would not comply with the request. The Board were left with no option but to bring the case to the County Court. They summoned him under 96th. section of the Public Health Act 1875 and the Town Clerk informed the Court of the details. The defendant owned a farm in the village and, from his mistal, liquid manure flowed and went through a garden and into an underground tank which was connected to a pump. It also went near a house occupied by Wm. Hinchliffe and entered a drain causing smells in the house. The Local Board wanted pipes to be laid so the manure would empty into a public sewer but the defendant had said that he would not carry out any order made to him. The Bench made an order for the defendant within one week to lay down pipes sufficient to prevent a re-occurrence of the nuisance.
At the final meeting of 1884, the Board received a letter from Holmfirth stating that they intended to apply to the Local Government Board to extend their district to include Austonley, Holme, Scholes and Netherthong. The letter detailed all the benefits etc that Netherthong would get by the amalgamation. The Board replied in January 1885 stating that they were not in favour of being included. However in March they did resolve to combine with Austonley, Fulstone, Hepworth, Holme, Holmfirth, Honley and Scholes to appoint a joint Medical Officer for Health for these Local Boards for three years at a salary of £100 pa. They further resolved to combine with Austonley, Holme and Holmfirth Local Boards for a joint appointment for an Inspector of Nuisances for three years at £ 90 pa. Four vacancies for the Board were filled by Charles Eyrs – a farmer from Wolfstones, John Taylor – also a farmer from Wolfstones, George Woodhead – gentleman and Thomas Woodhead – grocer Thongsbridge
As a further indication of the Board’s independence, the Honley Gas Co. had applied for a provisional order to supply gas within Netherthong and to increase their mains but the Board declined. A letter was received from the Board of Trade that they had decided not to include any portion of Netherthong within the limits of supply proposed by Honley Gas Co.
The Huddersfield Examiner had sporadically given details of some of the monthly meetings and, in April 1886, it reported that the last day for nominations was April 1 and by April 2nd. 11 gentlemen had been nominated for the four vacant seats. C.Stephenson,JP. John Batley, John Taylor ( retiring member ), Benjamin Dyson ( Moorgate farm ), Joe Lancaster, Wm. Hinchliffe, Henry Brooks, Fred Woodhead, Charles Mellor and Fenton Walker both from Thongsbridge and Harry Mellor of Hagg. The four members elected were John Batley, John Taylor, Joe Lancaster and Wm.Hinchliffe and they were welcomed to their first meeting in May.
With the first issue of the Holmfirth Express on December 11 1886, more space was given to events in the village and the meetings of the Local Board were regularly reported.
At the December meeting a district rate of 1s 8d /£ was approved and the surveyor was directed to request Miss Mellor to have her trees lopped where they overhang Calf Hole Road.
Mar 1887. Births were 25.65/1000 and deaths 17.08/1000. The Board resolved to purchase 3 dozen pound tins of Calvert’s carbolic acid powder for use in the public drains and for free distribution to ratepayers.
In April of the same year Batley Corporation waterworks were prepared to supply water to Thongs Bridge. Their surveyor produced a list of about 20 owners, at or near Thongs Bridge, who were willing to take a supply of water from the mains of the Batley Corporation. The price would be 1/3 per 1000 gallons in bulk with a minimum quantity of 700 gallons a day for a 10 year agreement. The Board declined to accept the offer. In July the Board had a public notice put up in the pump house in the village cautioning consumers of the Board’s water that if they were not careful in the use of it, the supply would run short and persons guilty of wasting water were liable to be summoned.
Present at the meeting in January 1888 were J.P.Floyd ( chairman ), W.Hinchcliffe, Joe Lancaster, John Taylor, George Whitehead plus the clerk, H.Lomax, and the surveyor, collector and inspector. Isaac Sykes, Nuisance Inspector, congratulated the Board on the village pump which brought water to a more convenient distance for those dependant on it. There were 130 recorded instances of nuisances and 120 had been remedied. He said he had been on the look-out for hawkers of various foods and had caught two, one with plums and one with apples. He had let them off with a verbal warning after they had destroyed the fruit.
In February a meeting of ratepayers was held in the National School to consider the proposal of Holmfirth Local board to include Netherthong district in the forthcoming Local Government enquiry. It was carried unanimously to oppose amalgamation.
March 1888. In the Sanitary Conditions report for 1887, the population was 996 with 31 births ( 9m and 22f ) . There were 21 deaths with 2 from typhoid fever and 2 from diphtheria. The sanitary state was not satisfactory due to cases of scarletina. The zymotic death rate was much higher than in any other division of Holme Valley. The report added that 173 nuisances were reported and said that the large empty dam at Dockhill should be drained and people prohibited from throwing refuse etc in it.
At the Local board elections in April, three were elected – George Woodhead, Henry Hirst and James Lancaster.
In June the clerk wrote to H.Swallow, G.Buckley, C.Ricketts, A.Wimpenny and J.Wimpenny to attend the next meeting as to their trespassing and loitering in the Board’s pump house and annoying people who fetch water from the pump by their rough and noisy behaviour. They attended the next meeting and apologized. They were reprimanded by the chairman. In September of the same year the Board charged the National Telephone Co. 1s p.a. rental per pole in the district. Plans were also approved for a new wooden barbers shop for J.Booth. William Roebuck the landlord of the Queen’s Arms was allowed to alter a trap-door in the pavement in front of his pub for barrels. He was charged 6d p.a. for the privilege.
At the November meeting in 1899, the clerk read out the duties to be performed by lamplighters for the public street lights in the course of erection. Several applications had been received and it was resolved that the following persons be engaged to clean, light and extinguish from the time they are to be lighted until next March 31 – William Higginson ( Dean Brook ) for 8 lamps in or near the village for 3s/week and William Bower ( Croddington ) for 13 lamps on main road and 1 on Thongsbridge road at 6s/week.
At the February meeting in 1890, WM.Berry was re-appointed Medical Officer for Health at £5 pa and Isaac Sykes as Inspector of Nuisances. 40t of unbroken dross for the repair of New Road was approved. In March, the Nuisance Inspector gave a weeks notice to three people to stop throwing sewage into the highway at Dock Hill.The Board resolved that the Surveyor remove into the tipping ground at Dock Hill all solid house refuse thrown on the highway at Well’s Green and publish placards ordering all ratepayers to deposit solid house refuse in the Board’s tipping place.
Work continued on a new reservoir and in June a contract was drawn up between the vicar of Woodhead and the Board for the sale of land at Crabtree and Thong Moor. It was resolved to continue the drift in the top end of the old close at Brownhill and search for a spring of water. They would also obtain 70 yards of best earthenware pipes and 15 junctions. It was resolved that 30 yards of 6” drain pipes be purchased for extending the sewer at Dock Hill.
The population in August was given as 936.
A letter from the County Surveyor in September directed the Board to join in placing stones of certain dimensions and patterns at the junction of townships on the main road along with adjoining local authorities. A circular was received on the Public Health Rating of Orchards Act 1890 that stated that after October 1 1890, owners of orchards must be assessed to district rate at ¼ value.
The Board resolved in November “ that plans and estimates now submitted by Mr. Barrowclough for a covered service reservoir at Crab Tree to hold 294,280 gallons of water and for mains to be laid at a total cost of £3500 be approved and that application be made at once to the Local Government Board for their sanction to this Board to borrowing the £3500 for this purpose to be repaid in 30 years.”
The Board members in July 1891 carried out the annual inspection of roads under their jurisdiction by waggonette drive. The route was New road, Huddersfield main road, Hagg, Dean Brook, the village centre, Moor Lane, Wilshaw, Wickens Bridge, Wolfstones and Crabtree. They also went to see the reservoir under construction and had a taste of the water. The following month they received a certificate from Mr. Jarman of Huddersfield giving the results of the analysis of water from the spring in the land at Brownhill … “ This is a pure, wholesome and soft water. It is very suitable for a domestic water supply. “
In July a Local Government enquiry was held at Netherthong to look into the subject matter of an application by the Local Board for sanction to borrow £3500 for the purposes of water supply and construct a reservoir to hold 800,000 gallons. Colonel Charles Luard RE opened the enquiry. There were lots of witnesses and discussion and the Inspector closed the enquiry by saying that it seemed to be the general opinion that Netherthong ought to have a better supply.
The existing supplies were :
- The Towns’s well at Wells Green
- Messrs. Hinchliffes’s well at the same place
- Rawcliffe Spout
- Pump supplied from Wells Green
- Well opposite the Royal Oak
Nos. 3,5,7 were outside the township and 2 and 5 were private.
At a special meeting of the Board in February 1892, a letter was read out from the Local Government Board enclosing a formal sanction for borrowing £3500 for the water supply. The meeting resolved that the engineer proceed with quotes and tenders. In April , Joe Lancaster, chairman of the Board, cut the first sod at the site of the reservoir at Brownhill. The spade was supplied by D.Bilson and inscribed “ Presented to Mr. Joe Lancaster, chairman of Netherthong Local Board, on the occasion of cutting the first sod of the reservoir at Brownhill, April 29 1892.
The Board held its annual meeting in May and Joe Lancaster was re-appointed as chairman. A motion to lay a 9” sewer through the village at a cost of £200 was passed. The tender was awarded to George Naylor of Denby Dale for £135 17s.
In January 1893, the water was formally turned on by Joe Lancaster. The key was presented by Mr. Barrowclough and Joe Lancaster went to the culvert and turned on the water to service the mains. Harry Mellor photographed the members of the Board and their guests. ( where is a copy of this photo ? ) 50 adjourned to the Royal Oak as guests of Joe Lancaster and there were lots of toasts and motions of thanks on what was a very important day in the development of Netherthong.
In February Joe Lancaster presented Mr. Lomax the clerk with a very handsome and real solid gold albert , a hall marked gold watch chain and an enamelled jubilee coin pendant in appreciation of his extra duties during the previous year in connection with the waterworks and sewage and winding up the rate collection accounts.
A public meeting of ratepayers was held in May to discuss what should be done about the proposed new burial ground in Netherthong road for the Wesleyans. There were many speakers and a large number of the ratepayers were against it saying they had worked hard for the water supply and if they were to have a burial ground planted in their “ flower garden “ not many people would want to build there. The motion to oppose was passed with only one vote against and a committee was appointed to act in the matter.
The Health report for the year ending 31 December 1892 was read out at the Board’s AGM. The population was 965 with 20 births and 22 deaths. 275 nuisances were recorded. 7 new privies erected and 3 houses specially cleaned and disinfected. Nearly all the houses were limewashed or stoved. 534 inspections were made. 103 houses were supplied with water. 5 wells were cleaned, 1253 yards of new drains laid, 93 yards of old drains repaired and 4690 yards of water mains laid. The report concluded by expressing concern over the level of smallpox in the area.
At the same meeting Joe Lancaster was re-appointed chairman. It was resolved to fit padlocks to the two valve boxes at the reservoir and build walls round to keep out trespassers. Placards would be posted in the district cautioning consumers about wasting the water. A new rate of 1/8 in the £ was approved.
The Board resolved in September that T.Dyson & Sons be allowed to take a supply of water from the mains into their mill yard at Deanhouse on payment of £1 pa for workpeople to drink.
In March 1894 the Board advertised for a new surveyor to replace Henry Roberts who was taking up an appointment as surveyor to Drighlington Local Board. John Cookson Woodhead, who had previously worked for the Board under Roberts ,was appointed surveyor for a period of two months.
The most important event in the year was the impending change from a Local Board to a District Council. In December the ratepayers held a meeting to consider the position of the District and the changes that would arise through the Parish and District Bill. The Local Board was formed in 1862 and always had 9 members. 16 nominations were received for the election to the new Council. They were :
John Batley – joiner
William Dickenson – commercial traveler
James Dyson – farmer
Ben Eastwood – woolen manufacturer
Arthur Hirst – gentleman
John Floyd – woolen manufacturer
Joe Lancaster – cloth finisher
Robert Landrum – woolen manufacturer
Harry Mellor – gentleman
Wright Mellor – mill manager
John Silverwood – insurance agent
Walter Middleton – farmer
John Taylor – gardener
James Hinchliff – mill foreman
Elihu Hobson – farmer
Fred Woodhead – tailor
The total on the register eligible to vote was 207 and 117 voted ( 7 of whom were illiterate ).
The first meeting of the Netherthong District Council was held in February 1895 and J.P.Floyd was elected Chairman. The AGM was in May and a new rate of 2/6 in the £ was approved. A letter was received from the West Riding Sanitary Commission for the Council to put into force the Sale of Food and Drugs Act and the Margarine Act. A request from Meltham to add a portion of Netherthong district to its own area was opposed. In July a County Council Enquiry Committee sat at Meltham to discuss Meltham DC’s application to annex portions of Netherthong , namely Wilshaw, St.Mary’s Court and Lower Greave.
The District Council elections in April 1896 generated little interest. There were 9 candidates for 5 vacancies. Frank Greenwood 41 votes ; John Batley 35 votes ; Fred Woodhead 32 votes ; Harry Mellor 26 votes and Elihu Hobson 25 votes were elected.
At the AGM in May , John Floyd was elected chairman and H.Mellor as vice – chairman. Total receipts were £817 9s 6d with expenditure of £530 4s 2d. The clerk produced copies of an order, dated April 15 1896, made by the West Riding County Council for the extension of Meltham Urban District by transfer of portions of the urban district and townships of Honley and Netherthong. Honley had resolved to petition against the decision but Netherthong decided to take no action.
A letter from Holmfirth UDC requested Netherthong to have joint outfall works for sewage with Honley, New Mill, Thurstonland and Holmfirth. At the Council meeting in June it was agreed to join in the scheme for the disposal and treatment of sewage.
In 1897 the Local Government Board sent a letter referring to the order for the transfer of parts of Netherthong to Meltham. The clerk in April had written to the solicitor for Meltham Council informing that the Local Government Board had not inserted into the confirming order a clause providing for payment of a proportion of the Netherthong mortgage and debt. In May the Council received a certified copy of a map showing the boundary alterations. At the same time Meltham had still not resolved the waterworks debt of Wilshaw but finally agreed to settle the problem in August.
In August the Huddersfield Corporation and Waterworks were planning to extend their mains from Deerhill to Shepley and the clerk wrote requesting a meeting to discuss a supply to Thongs Bridge and District. Later that month Huddersfield authorized a branch to be fitted to the new main and laid through the Netherthong district.
At the end of the year a letter was sent from Lord Dartmouth’s agent saying that he wished the Council to stop tipping in Hagg Wood and have the fence made good. In December Isaac Sykes, who had been the inspector of nuisances for more than 20 years, died suddenly.
At the February 1902 meeting of the District Council , the Council wanted to put clean water into all houses but the Medical Officer, Dr.R.H.Trotter, said that if a property had good water from a suitable source the Council could not force them to accept. Later in that month the Annual Medical Report was given to the Council.
13 births registered ( birthrate 18.38 ) and 11 deaths ( rate 15.53 ) with consumption being the main cause. No new houses had been built and the whole village, except for a few houses, was drained to the public sewer system. There had been a big improvement in the removal of night soil and the system is that anyone requiring a closet to be emptied sends a notice to the surveyor who has a list of farmers willing to supply a horse and cart for the work. The Council’s men clear the closet and the farmer takes the night soil onto his land. House refuse had also improved – covered dustbins have been provided in convenient locations and they are cleared by the sanitary staff and the refuse carted to a tip. The water supply to the 153 houses in the district is drawn from the Council’s reservoir and is good quality. During the long drought of the summer the supply failed totally for one month and recourse was had to the wells at Well’s Green. 49 other houses are supplied by wells or private sources. There was 1 slaughter house, 2 workshops and 14 cow keepers registered under the Milk shops order.
There was a Public meeting in May to discuss how the village would celebrate the Coronation. After lots of discussion they arrived at the standard solution by electing a general committe to come up with a programme. I have a note that Netherthong had its own brass band at the 1887 Golden Jubilee Celebrations but not at the 1897 Diamond Jubilee.
In June, in response to public demand, the Council reached an agreement with W. Hinchliffe in which he let to the Council a portion of land for the purpose of public use or recreation grounds for the inhabitants of the District Council. The tenancy would be year to year at a rate of £5 pa. Complaints had been received that householders had been depositing objectional and offensive items in the bins. It was agreed that the clerk should draw up a short and forcible form of placard to be placed on bins and in the village.
The following month the Clerk read a letter from Mr.J.Heastie, the Master at Deanhouse Workhouse, asking the Council for a temporary supply of water as they were completely without water. The surveyor said that as water was flowing into its own reservoir they could afford to supply some. The Workhouse was supplied with 80,000 gallons at a price of 1/3 per 1000 gallons.
Other items from the year were that the Council passed a plan for a pigsty at West End for Mr. Hinchliffe, and the provision of an urinal at the recreation ground generated lots of discussion but was not approved.
In 1904 the Council received a letter from the West Riding Solicitor enclosing copies of bye-laws made by the County Council with reference to spitting in certain public places which came into effect on November 27 1903.
The population was estimated at 620. There had been 13 births and 15 deaths but the heavy death rate was due to the number of aged people who had died during the year.
In February the Council received the Medical Report for the year 1903. 8 infectious diseases had been notified, 3 were Scarlet Fever and the other Brysipelas. Whooping cough was epidemic in June, July and August but no deaths resulted. Influenza prevailed at the beginning and end of the year. Sanitary conditions were good and all the houses, except for a few in unusual positions were connected to the public sewers. There are pot pipes, ventilated by open gratings over manholes. Nightsoil removal is satisfactorily carried out on notice to the surveyor and closets are cleaned by the Council’s men. House refuse and street cleaning is also done by the Council. There is an excellent public water supply. There is also 1 slaughterhouse and 5 workshops in the register – 2 tailors, a joiner, a brush maker and a cobbler.
At the County Police Court in Huddersfield in early April the Magistrates clerk said that Netherthong was the only township in the Huddersfield Union which had not obtained an order from the Local Government Board for the purposes of appointing overseers. The list of fit and proper persons had now been sent in , a duty that was neglected last week. Arthur Sykes and Wm. Hinchliffe were appointed.
At the Annual meeting in April , Cllr. J.Peel Floyd J.P. was re-appointed as chairman – he had been a member since 1876 and chairman from 1886. The Council passed a new district rate of 2/1 in £ for the next 6 months.
At the September meeting the Council discussed lighting times. The lamps were turned off at 10pm in the village and Thong Lane. Cllr. Alsop had had complaints about them going off early and request that the times should be extended to 11pm on Saturdays, 10.30 pm during the week and 10pm on Sundays. He said he had heard of females waiting for company at the bottom of Thong Lane because they were too frightened to go up in the dark. Cllr. Eastwood said the same remarks applied to New Road. The new times were approved.
By mid- October there was concern that the water level in the reservoir was down to 2’ 9” due to possible leaks although the flows to the reservoir were very slow. A notice had been put in the Express asking people to use less and it was passed that the supply would be cut off between 9pm and 6am.
A special Council meeting was convened in November. The Clerk had written to the Huddersfield Corporation waterworks urging them to grant an immediate supply of water as the Council’s own reservoir was nearly empty. The Corporation had replied by saying that it would furnish a temporary supply of water at a price of 1/3 per 1000 gallons under the proviso that all works and materials needed to make connections would be paid for by the Council. The meeting resolved that these terms be accepted. The following month the meeting was informed that that the water level in the reservoir was 4.5 feet and that they had purchsed 375,850 gallons at a higher rate of 1/8 per 1000 gallons.
In February 1905 the Medical Officer produced his health report for the previous year. The estimated population in the middle of that year had been 669. There had been 14 births ( 5 boys and 9 girls ) but 2 of the children had died before reaching the age of one year. There had been 10 deaths ( 9 female and 1 male ) with one from respiratory disease, 2 from consumption, 2 heart disease, one cancer and one accident. There were only two cases of infectious diseases and the only other infections were from the flu epidemic in the December. All houses were connected to the public sewer and during the year a new branch sewer had been laid at Dockhill to connect the four new houses being built to the main sewer. There was one slaughter house, 5 workshops on the register – 2 tailors, a joiner, a brush maker and a cobbler.
With the water level in the reservoir down to 2 foot 9 inches, the Council agreed in March that the Chairman should approach the Huddersfield Corporation Waterworks for a further supply. At the same meeting the Council passed plans for four new houses at Fearnought.
By April all the taps and service pipes in the village had been checked for leaks and 10 new taps had been fitted and many repaired. The Council decided to give notice to all owners that they must replace defective taps or else have their supply cut off. The Cyclists Touring Club wrote to the Council offering to replace the two warning notices ( Beware Cyclists ) with two of a more modern type.
At the Annual meeting of the Council in April, Cllr. Floyd was re-elected and a new rate of 2/1 was approved. The height of the water level in the reservoir was 8 foot , down almost 6 feet, and the flow into it was 10,080 gallons every 24 hours. It was resolved to discontinue public supply for one month between 9pm and 6 am.
The Churchwardens of the Parish Church wrote to the District Council to say they would be glad if the Council would defray the cost of the winding and up-keep of the clock. It was of great benefit to the district and they considered it right for it to be kept up by the rates for the benefit of the district. It would cost 20/- per annum and Mr. H.Gill had charge of it. The Council approved the amount as it was a public clock paid for by public subscription.
The Council received a letter informing them, that at the statutory meeting of the West Riding Rate Committee on 14 June, it had been decided to alter the proposed County rate basis for the Netherthong township from £3.380 to £3,061 which was the annual value of the buildings. The minutes noted that ” the Council were pleased.”
At the December meeting the Council were informed that the reservoir was full to the top – a depth of 18ft 9 inches.
The Medical officer, Dr.Trotter, gave his report for 1905 to the Council at their meeting in February 1906. There had been 10 deaths, 5 of each sex, which gave a rate of 15.19 on the population of the village of 658. There were no deaths from zymotic diseases or respiratory diseases but there had been four cases of infectious diseases, three of them being scarlet fever. There had been a widespread epidemic of chicken pox in November. 6 boys and 2 girls had been born.The rest of the report was similar to the 1904 report. At the same meeting the Council approved the purchase of 110t of granite for repairs to the main road, 40t of hard blue rock for Towngate and 10t of hard blue rock for New Road.
In March, as a result of the recent epidemic of scarlet fever in the village, the Council arranged for the school to be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. At the Annual Meeting the following month, Cllr.J.Peel Floyd was re-appointed as Chairman with Cllr. Woodhead voted as vice- chairman. A new rate of 2/6 in the £ was agreed. The Council received a request from Alma Mills, Thongs Bridge, for a supply of water for their gas engine and for drinking. It was approved at a rate of 16/- pa
The Holmfirth Police Court in April 1907 approved a new rate for the village of 3s 4d in the £ for buildings and 1s 8d on land. The rate was estimated to bring in £539 0s 9d.
Later that tear in June , the Council approved plans for a proposed slaughter – house at Dock Hill for the Netherthong Co-operative Society. In September four boys attended the Council meeting on behalf of a team of juvenile Association football players to ask the Council to place goal posts and bars at the recreation ground. The Council agreed.
In November they approved a new rate of 2/1 in the £ to produce £317 1s 2d. Of the last rates £18 2s 3d was irrecoverable due to empty property and 12/6 through poverty.
The Council received the Medical Officer’s report for 1907 at their Council meeting in February 1908. There had been 9 deaths, 5 male and 4 female, and 2 had been from heart disease, 2 from consumption and 1 from respiratory disease. There were 12 births, 6 male and 6 female but 2 had been premature deaths. 7 cases of scarlet fever were notified. The house accomodation was adequate but 2 or 3 were borderline. There was still an effluent problem which the Council were trying hard to resolve. Nearly all the closets were midden privies but two houses were entirely without any closet of any kind, in another case one closet was used by twelve persons living in three houses and in a further case a closet was used by 90 people, 18 of whom were adults, living in five houses. There were 2 slaughter houses and 7 workshops, one of which was a bakery.
The nominations for the District Council – 9 positions to be filled – were as follows.
John Floyd – woolen manufacturer – Roseleigh Thongs Bridge
Benjamin Gill – builder and contractor – Dock Hill
William Hinchliffe – farmer – Wells Green.
Fred Moss – general store manager – Town gate
Joseph Settle – engineer – Miry Green.
Joseph Woodhead – yarn manufacturer
Arthur Alsop – fulling miller
William Batley – joiner – Myra House.
James Dyson – farmer
Abraham Eastwood – publican Royal Oak Hotel.
Ben Eastwood – brush manufacturer – West End.
The election was held in April and Joseph Settle and William Batley were not elected.
Cllr.J.Floyd was re-elected as Chairman at the annual Council meeting in May. The new general rate was set at 2/1. The West Riding County Rate Committee had fixed the county rate basis for Netherthong at £670 on agricultural land and £3,317 on buildings.
At the end of the year the Council reduced the new rate from 2/1 to 1/8. 1/3 was to be allocated to general purposes and 5d for repayment of their loan. The Clerk reported on two new County Council bye – laws. The first was that vehicles must show a red light at the rear and the second was that it was now prohibited to throw orange peel and banana skins on footpaths.
The Council were very concerned about the dust nuisance on the main road caused by cars when the road was dry and they agreed at their July meeting that the road section from Thongs Bridge to New Road be swept. There was also a discussion on the speed of the cars and the Council suggested that a speed restriction of 10mph be imposed on the same section.
At the first Council meeting in 1909, the Clerk reported that the lighting had been improved in New Road by changing the oil lamps and burners. The Council would loan Messrs. Dyson & Sons watering cart when it was needed to dampen down the dust on the highways. They approved the issue of the following Public Notice ….” take note that the Urban District Council of Netherthong intend on or after the 10th. day of May 1909 to commence the construction of outfall works for dealing with the sewage of the district of Netherthong at Hagg Wood,in the Parish and Urban District of Honley and the construction of a line of main sewers from such outfall works along the side of Hagg Dike and under Calf Hill Road and Dean Brook Road to the southern corner of Deanhouse Mill.
The Health Report for 1908 was given by Robert Trotter the Medical Officer. There had been 20 births, 8 boys and 12 females, and 11 deaths, 7 female and 4 male, which included 3 former natives of the district who had died in Deanhouse Workhouse. 4 of the deaths had been from heart disease, 1 respiratory disease and 2 from Phthisis. 9 cases of infectious diseases had been reported. The population was 640. Nearly all the closets are midden privies but there are about 12 water-closets. There were 2 slaughterhouses and 8 workshops including bakehouses. A new surveyor, Fred Boothroyd, replaced Fred Hobson who had moved to Kirkburton.
At the Annual meeting in April, Cllr.Floyd J.P. was re-elected as Chairman. A circular had been received from the West Riding County Council on the subject of milk contamination and it was agreed to print 1000 copies, at a cost of 4/- , to inform the townspeople. The dust problem had returned to the Huddersfield Road and the Chairman said that there was scarcely 10 minutes without a motor vehicle passing on the main road. It was agreed to apply for permission from the County Council to apply the carbide calcium.
The Council had applied to the Local Government board for sanction to borrow £2,500 for the purposes of sewage and sewage disposal. A Board Inspector held an enquiry in May at the National School and after the meeting the Inspector visited the proposed outfall site, There was continuing discussion on the sewage scheme and in November the Inspector was keen for Netherthong to join with either Honley or Holmfirth. The Council were equally very keen to remain independent.
The Council approved the erection of four new houses at Fearnought for Mr. R.Turner.
The Medical Report for 1909 was presented to the Council at their February meeting in 1910. There had been 16 births, 3 boys and 13 girls, but 3 had died before reaching 12 months. 10 deaths were registered, 6 male and 4 female, 2 of the deaths had been of former residents who resided outside the district. There were no deaths from consumption and only one case of an infectious disease, Scarlet Fever, was notified. There had been a few cases of measles early in the year. There were enough houses but quite a few needed repairs. Nearly all the closets were midden privies but there were still about 15 water closets. The great majority of the houses were supplied with water from the Council’s reservoir – it was of good quality and its slight plumbo-solvent action seems to have no deleterious effect. There were 2 slaughterhouses, 1 elementary school and 8 workshops. A letter was read out at the meeting from the Census Department giving particulars of the Census to be held in 1911 and in it they suggested that streets should be numbered and named.
In March the Council decided that public notices be given to all milk sellers in the district to register their names on the Council’s list in accordance with the Cowsheds and Milkshops order.
At the Annual meeting in April Cllr.P.Floyd was re-elected Chairman once again. In June at the Holmfirth Police Court, the Magistrates signed a new poor law for Netherthong of 3/4 in the £. There were discussions about converting to electric lighting as a substitute for gas – other local Councils were also involved.
The meeting in October set the new rate for the 2nd. half of the Council year at 1/8 in the £. The Clerk read a circular from the County Council asking what had been done regarding allotments. It was explained that there had been no demand for allotments in the village. The Council resolved to send a notice to the house owner to lop trees from his property overhanging the Child o th’Edge road.
The first meeting of the Council in 1911 was held in February. The Medical Officer, Dr.R.H.Trotter, presented his report for 1910. He had estimated the population at 700 and that conditions had been satisfactory ( no further details were given).The West Riding treasurer wrote saying that the County Council would pay 2/3 of the cost of spraying tar on the main road. Along with the Councils of Holmfirth and Holme, a deputation from Netherthong Council held a meeting with the Huddersfield’s Corporation Tramways Committee to discuss extending the tramways to Holmfirth and eventually Holmebridge.
Elections to the Council were held in March and 11 nominations were received for 8 positions.
Arthur Alsop – Fulling miller – Newlands View
William Batley – joiner – Miry House
James Dyson – farmer – Giles Street
Ben Eastwood – brush manufacturer – West End
Benjamin Gill – contractor and builder – Dock Hill
William Hinchliffe – farmer
James Jackson – gentleman
Fred Moss – store manager – Glen Holme
Joseph Settle – engineer – Miry Green
Joseph Woodhead – gentleman – Green Cottage
Joseph Edward Woodhead – yarn spinner – Newlands, Thongs Bridge.
Ben Eastwood received the highest number of votes with 78. William Batley, James Dyson and Joseph Settle were not elected.
The Council received a quotation from Taroads Syndicate Ltd. for 1 and one eight penny per super yard for tar spraying the main road with standardised refined tar but as the firm had not taken any action, the Council cancelled the order. Mr. William Taylor, the Council’s lamplighter, had died and his son Harry had stepped in to do the work and was keen to continue and the Council confirmed his appointment.
The Coronation festivities for King George V on June 22 were a great success. The village was decorated with banners and bunting and, on the eve of the Coronation, 500 Coronation Mugs were presented by Mrs. Floyd of Rose Leigh. After a service in the Parish Church a procession was formed in the following order : District Councillors,Boy Scouts,Gardener’s Friendly Society,the Sunday and day scholars of the Parish and then the general public. They were accompanied by the Netherthong Philharmonic Band and hymns were sung at various stages on the route. At 4pm there was a public tea in the Church school for children and adults up to 60 years whilst the over-60s were entertained in the United Methodist Free Church. During the evening there was a programme of sports and the entertainment concluded with a bonfire on Wolfstone Heights thanks to H.Mellor and the Boy Scouts.
The possible amalgamation of the Council with Holmfirth was a major discussion point among the villagers and in July a hastily convened meeting of residents was held at the top of New Road to consider the proposed amalgamation. There was a large attendance and the meeting went on for such a long time that the Chairman had to strike a light to read the resolution. The Co-Op wagon served as a platform and Mr. J.Dixon, a well-known socialist, climbed the wagon and occupied the chair. The final outcome was that the people of Netherthong did not want amalgamation and it should be opposed at the enquiry.
The relative merits of gas and electricity created a great deal of discussion in the whole district over the plans to extend the use of electricity. A vote taken in Holmfirth showed that 1283 people were in favour of electricity with 582 opposed against.
The Amalgamation Enquiry was held in the National School and a committee of officers from the County Council of West Riding opened an enquiry respecting a proposal for extending Holmfirth Urban District by adding Netherthong and a portion of the township and urban district of Honley which included Deanhouse, Dean Brook, Lower Hagg and Holmroyd Nook. It was a very long meeting and had to be carried over. A further meeting was held at which sewerage formed an important part of the discussions with Honley and Holmfirth. The next meeting was held in the offices of the Holmfirth UDC and lots of witnesses were called to give evidence. Yet another meeting was required to hear the evidence and Mr.C.Marshall appeared for the Netherthong ratepayers who opposed the amalgamation. At the final meeting, Alderman Clay declared the enquiry close and said his committee would report to the Genral Purposes Committee of the County Council in September.
In October at a meeting of the West Riding County Council an order was issued to extend Holmfirth UDC by adding the township and urban district of Netherthong and a portion of the township and urban district of Honley. The Committee said that they had carefully considered all the evidence and arguments at the enquiry but concluded it was desirable to extend the Holmfirth UDC.
It was not altogether suprising that at the November meeting of the Council the amalgamation question involved lots of discussions.
At the first and last Council meeting in February 1912, the Clerk read the draft of the order made by the County Council adding Netherthong and Deanhouse to the Urban District of Holmfirth. The order provided that Netherthong and Deanhouse would constitute the Netherthong ward of the District with 3 elected members. The order would come into effect on March 31 1912 and the first elections should be completed within 10 days of that date. The Council agreed to have gas lamps installed at Dock Hill and Giles Street.
Due to the amalgamation of the Councils, the Annual Report of the Medical District of Holmfirth no longer gave detailed specifics for Netherthong.
At the Council meeting the clerk read out a letter from the Local Government Board transferring Deanhouse voters from the Honley electorate to Holmfirth electoral division.
A meeting of the Netherthong Ward ratepayers was held at the Methodist school when Cllr. W.Hinchliffe presided, supported by Cllr. Rogers who had called the meeting. There was a moderate attendance. Cllr. Rogers discussed his ideas at length and said he would be standing for no creed of party. The meeting approved support for him. At the same meeting a resolution was passed opposing the introduction of electricity.
The results of the local elections held in April were :
James Rodgers = 80 votes Fred Moss = 70 votes Harold Wilson = 54 votes James Jackson = 40 votes. Rodgers was elected for 3 years and Moss for 1 year.
A public meeting of the ratepayers of Netherthong was held in June in the United Methodist school to protest against Holmfirth Council’s Electricity scheme. Cllr. Hinchliffe was in the chair. There were long speeches by Cllrs. Rodgers and Moss. The resolution that the meeting opposed the electric light as a lighting agency was passed with one dissenting vote.
It was then resolved to form a ratepayers association to oppose electricity.
At the September meeting of the Holmfirth UDC the Netherthong councillors requested that, for the convenience of the Netherthong and Deanhouse ratepayers, the collector should attend at Netherthong twice a year. This was agreed and he would be at the United Methodist Church who would receive 2/- per night. It was also decided that for the safety of the collector he would be provided with a cab for his return journey. The HUDC also dicussed the question of a telephone system in the village. The Postmaster General had written that he had proposed a telephone call office in the village but the matter was still under consideration and no arrangementshad yet been made to install a call office.
In April 1914, the Magistrates had signed the new Poor Rates for Netherthong at 8/9 in the £. The gross rateable value was £6,898 6s 10d with buildings £2,718 9s 6d and land £870 6s. It was estimated this would produce an income of £813 5s 1d.
The opening ceremony of the Electricity Works for the Holmfirth District Council was performed in July 1916. At that time there were 81 consumers connected to the mains and the street wiring was fully connected for use in the autumn.
At the Holmfirth UDC meeting in February 1935, Cllr. Lockwood expressed the view that something should be done by the Council towards building development in Netherthong. Some of the best families had left the District and the village was becoming more or less derelict. He mentioned a site near Moor Lane and others that could be available for building purposes. No decision was made.