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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39. The old Britisb School, Cleckheaton.

Built in 1835-36 at a cost of n,102 ISs 4d, this was a Nonconformist school which catered largely for factory children. It was demolished in 1888 to make way for the Town Hall, and replaced by the new school in Whitcliffe Road. The idea of a town hall was not universally popular; Scholes ratepayers held an opposition meeting in 1889 to protest that their rates were increasing from 2s to 3s 6d in the pound to finance the building. Mr. Robert Sellers said that if the Cleckheaton people wanted a town hall, they should pay for it themselves. 'Can anyone teIl me why Scholes is tied to Cleckheaton at all? I would give El├╗ tomorrow to get clear ofthem.' Perhaps as an economy measure, part of the old school was kept as the caretaker's house and can still be seen today.

40. Gomersal Hall.

This is thought to be the onIy surviving picture of the oid Gomersal Hall. Information about this building is scant. The old hall was at the centre of the hamlet of Great Gomersal, and the pump in its grounds was used by the public. It was nearer to the road than the present Gomersal Hall, and was surrounded by cottages and stabling. It was at one time owned by the Sigston family, and later had as oecupier Henry Horsfall, who kept a school there in the 1830s.

41. Lower Chapel, Heckmondwike.

A disagreement among members of the Independent congregátion in Heckmondwike led to a split in 1786. Those who had Ieft Upper Chapel quickly built this new chapel in Westgate, and it was opened the same year. It came to be known as Lower Chapel, This photograph was taken about 1880, shortly before the chapel was demolished and replaced by the Westgate Congregational Church. The site is now vacant again, though some of the gravestones have survived, The row of shops opposite is also still standing.

42. The Shears lnn, Hightown.

In 1812 the Shears, then one of the most substantial properties in Hightown, was the scene of a meeting between Huddersfield and Spen Valley croppers. These men, who cropped the surface of cloth to give it a smoother finish, used the kind of shears pictured on the pub sign here in 1895. Their livelihood was threatened by new machinery, and they met to plan the attack on Rawfolds Mill. The pub then contained a passageway, with the bar at the rear on the right-hand side. The club room was upstairs at the front, and the eroppers often met there in less troubled times. The landlord, James Lister, was a sheriff's officer and seems to have been ignorant of the purpose of the fateful meeting in 1812.

43. Rawfolds Mill.

This turn of the century photograph is entitled 'Hollows Mill', the name given to Rawfolds Mill by Char!otte Bronte in Shirley. The Luddite attack on Cartwright's cloth finishing mill in April 1812 made Rawfolds nationally famous. The building shown here was later burnt down and little remains of the flourishing industrial community which surrounded it. Rawfolds was a hamlet which included an eighteenth century woollen mill driven by water wheel, some wiredrawing, a small chemical works and a number of cottages and farm buildings as weIl as the finishing shop. Cartwright had not been long in occupation of the shop in 1812; in fact it was up for sale at the time of the Luddite attack, and Cartwright bought it the year after.

44. The Swan.

In 1804 there was no building between the Mil!bridge corn mil! and Healds Hall. The Swan Hotel had appeared by the 1840s, and ether building followed, so that when this picture was taken the crossroads had become built up. The Swan is at the junction of the 1764-65 Birstall and Huddersfield turnpike wad, and the later Cleckheaton-Mil!bridge turnpike, opened in 1806. The old Swan pub had to be demolished in about 1980 when it was found to be structurally unsound.

45. Swan Crossroads.

Taken in October 1929, this photograph illustrates the importance of the Swan crossroads. Tbey are criss-crossed by tramlines, with the power cables forming a netting overhead. The lorry has stopped for petrol; the garage sign reads 'Fill up with Shell'. The Swan Hotel and the shops on the left have all been demolished. On the right is the corner of part of Cooke's mills, still standing though no longer used for carpet manufacture.

46. Taylor's Chapel, Gomersal.

This building, for many years a house and workshop, was visited by Charlotte Bronte when still a chapel; here she heard remarkable singing which was described in Shirley. The chapel was called Briar Chapel in the book. It was built by J ohn Taylor of Red House, who was bom in 1736, and who was also responsible for the construction of Hunsworth Mill. Taylor was a close friend of John Wesley, who lodged at Red House when he visited Gomersal. He was not a folIower of Wesley, however, but had his own supporters and built the brick chapel for them. Fourteen people are buried in the vicinity of this former place of worship; inscriptions on the gravestones suggest that the congregation was made up of disenchanted former Methodists.

47. Haigh House, Hightown.

Haigh House (or Hall) was already 200 years old when this 1889 view of its three gabled front was taken. It has been suggested that this was on the site of Liversedge Place; certainly the house contains a medieval timber arcade. Quaker meetings were held here from 1688 until the Quaker House was built c1699. Thomas Green built Haigh Hall, then called New House; he died in 1714 and was buried at the Quaker House. In 1756 the Haigh family bought New House and changed its name. In 1811, officers and soldiers sent to put down the Luddites lodged in the house and in the massive tithe barn behind. This aisled seventeenth century barn was demolished by Spenborough Council in 1971. The hall has survived.

48. Littletown.

From Liversedge Church tower in 1905 can be seen the oid settlement of Eddercliffe, top left. Next to it is Littletown school, and in front of that, Upper Carr Mills. The late Victorian terraces sprawl along Bradford Road; but nearest to the camera are the much older cottages in Knowier Hill, showing that raad to have been built up in the eighteenth century. On the skyline to the right is Little Gomersal.

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