Spen Valley in old picture postcards

Spen Valley in old picture postcards

:   Gillian Cookson
:   Yorkshire, West
:   United Kingdom
:   978-90-288-4624-1
:   80
:   EUR 16.95 Incl BTW *

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Fragmenten uit het boek 'Spen Valley in old picture postcards'

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19. Oldfield Naak, Scholes.

This much altered house is said to date in part from 1739. The site of Oldfield Nook is of both religious and industrial significance; it was for two centuries home of the Crosland family who were prominent Quakers. They moved to Oldfield Nook in 1697 and were among the first to organise card-making in the district, in 1717. This was then a domestic industry, setting wire teeth in a leather backing by hand. Crosland's were at the forefront of new technology in the 1830s; they built a mil! near their house in about 1830, introducing steam power and their own wire-drawing machinery there in 1840. Theyare credited with being the first business in the valley to mechanise card-setting.

20. Cooke's Mill.

Dominating the Millbridge skyline is the range of mills belonging to Samuel Cooke. Most of the complex still stands, though it ceased carpet manufacturing in 1980. The mills were founded by William Peabody Cooke about 1795, and he gave them to his son, Samuel, thirty years later. Cooke's speciality was Brussels carpeting. The original mill was built around during the last century, then demolished and thrown in pieces out through the windows of the new structure. In 1834, Cooke had an eight horse power steam engine and employed 27 people in spinning yam. There were also weavers and winders working for hirn, but they were paid by the piece. Carpets were entirely produced on handlooms until 1850.

21. Cooke's Mil!.

When this office block was built around 1870, the company of Cooke, Son and Law, manufacturers of carpets and carpet yams, employed 500 people. They consumed 146 million gallons of water and PTOduced 800,000 Ibs. of goods valued at f83,SOO each year. All the liquid refuse, including that from their dyeworks, was discharged into Spen beek. Yet Cooke's complained to a parliamentary commission in 1873: 'Fifty years ago the beek was a pure stream, and fish were plentiful in its waters, but now it is a sluggish, idle, polluted strearn, rendered practically useless for manufacturing purposes. '

22. The old corn mill.

Millbridge derives its name from the old corn mill which stood ne ar the Globe crossroads and which had existed since medieval times. The mil! in this photograph is not the original one, but appears to be a late eighteenth century rebuild. The block by the roadside was pulled down in about 1920. A map of Liversedge in 1804 shows a sizable mill on this site owned and run by Abraham Thompson, who lived nearby. It was powered by a steam engine. It appears to have run as a corn mill until1884, when it was closed down by the 83-year-old Samuel Cooke who had been running it as a hobby since his retirement from the carpet trade in 1866.

23. Stubley Farm.

Frank Peel found a deed dated 1232 which referred to William, nephew of Richard of Stubley, and took this as evidence that a farmstead had existed there since that time. In 1531, John Stubley lived at Stubley. It is clear from docurnents unearthed by Peel that weaving and cloth finishing were then taking place at Stubley. This photograph taken in 1888 shows a fragment of the building which John Stubley may have inhabited. On the right is part of a gabled house, with wooden framework standing on stone pillars. The aak beams, bath inside and out, were said to have been beautifully carved.

24. Red House, Gomersal.

Brick buildings were rare in the district in 1660 when Red House was built - hence the name. lts builder, William Taylor, was described as a yeoman and the Red House was very much a workshop. Cloth weaving took place there; an inventory taken at Taylor's death in 1689 recorded looms and materials in the house valued at f25, a considerable sumo Various extensions and alterations have been made to the house. In this picture of 1896 the front has been rebuilt, though the extension which now occupies the left-hand side ofthe house has not yet been added. Joshua Taylorbuilt a bank in the garden of Red House, the Gomersal Bank; it crashed in the financial crisis of 1825 though Joshua managed eventually to pay his debts. The bank building did not survive.

25. Taylor Burial Ground.

Perhaps because they did not belong to an established chapel, the Taylors of Red House had a private graveyard which was used for family burials throughout the nineteenth century. Surrounded by rusting iron railings, the graves sit like stairs down the hillside in Fusden Woods. The nearest grave is that of the Joshua Taylor who knew Charlotte Bronte, the Hiram Yorke of Shirley. The description of Hiram Y orke was said to be entirely that of Taylor - 'A Yorkshire gentleman par excellence' and 'one of the most honourable and capable men in Yorkshire'. He and his son insisted on paying all the creditors of their failed bank, even though it took thirty years.

26. Millbridge.

At the turn of the century Halifax Road in Millbridge was called Station Road as it led to Liversedge station. This picture looks down towards the Globe crossroads. The tram is passing the Black Bull, which is on the right out of view. In the 1840s this pub was renowned as the local meeting place for Chartists. The Black Bull was known as Tommy Marsland's, and Peel said that 'the rafters ofthe club room in that old hostelry have echoed to much wild talk at times when some of the fiery orators of the Chartist cause happened to visit the locality'.

27. Cleckheaton from Hightown.

Lower Blacup occupies the foreground of this turn of the century view which is otherwise dominated by mills. The largest mil! in the group on the right is Clarence Mill, built for worsted spinning in 1874. It survived for a century; its site is now a housing estate. In its heyday, Clarence Mill and the neighbouring Brook Mill were occupied by W. Blackburn & Co. They employed 500 people and 15,000 spindles. Most of the mills, some of the houses, and all the mill chimneys in this view have now disappeared. Clare Road and Richmond Street, th en newly built, are still recognisable. Note the open fields between Westgate and Whitcliffe Road.

28. Lower Hall, Hightown.

Lower Hall was built in 1660 by William Green, one ofthe family who were responsible for seven halls in Liversedge. It was certainly the finest residence in Hightown but became delapidated, was divided into tenements, and demolished in 1939. This photograph was taken in about 1900. It shows a three gabled Gothic hall with projecting porch containing stone seats. The sundial on the porch bare the date 1660 and the initials WMG were carved in the stonework. The rooms were panelled in oak wainscotting, with the upper panels painted with scenes of landscapes and animals. The plaster ceilings were very fine, some with coats of arms, !ions and fruit.

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