PATHWAYS PRODUCTIONS’ NEW FILM
THE SHIBDEN VALLEY
On the 12th December a preview of the film will be shown at the Northowram Historical Society Christmas Social Event. 7.30pm start at Northowram Methodist Church, The Green, Northowram
£3.50 INCLUDES A PIE AND PEA SUPPER!
The FULL DVD is available now and is available at £12-99 Films can be ordered through our website by clicking this linkwww.pathwaysvideo.co.uk
Local film production company ‘Pathways Productions’ have just released their latest DVD ‘The Shibden Valley’ which will be the first in a series of films ‘The Valleys of Calderdale’ which will celebrate
the picturesque landscapes of those many valleys which
branch off from the main Calder Valley.
Producer and cameraman Peter Thornton from Northowram says, ‘ We found that the Shibden Valley has not only a great deal of natural beauty but contains many stories from a fascinating past. These are brought to life from the lips of local historians, George Bowers reflects on its industrial legacy –clay and coal mining, stone quarrying and worsted mills and describes the horrific working conditions for children which seemed no less than slavery for many of them. Mike Beecham relates the continually changing transport developments through Stump Cross and the Godley Cutting.
Ancient houses such as Field House, Simm Carr and Staups House are featured, as is the intriguing history behind the imposing edifice of Scout Hall, former home to the libertine John Mitchell who shocked the local populace with his wild ways. Now a new chapter is beginning as it is being developed into a family home.
The many identities of The Shibden Mill Inn are recounted as it grew from being a medieval corn mill to upmarket inn offering accommodation and fine dining. No film on the valley would be complete without a visit to Halifax’s ‘jewel in the crown,’ the impressive, medieval Shibden Hall. David Glover gives us our own room-by-room, personal tour highlighting the changes made by its owners, including those of its most famous one, the notorious Anne Lister. We also discover all that its wonderful surrounding parkland has to offer from dry stonewalling to miniature railway, from boating lake to vast area available for picnics.
Later, in the Walterclough Valley, author and historian Chris Helme relates the story of Sunny Vale Pleasure Gardens known locally as ‘Sunny Bunces’. It had the reputation as being the ‘Alton Towers’ of its day,’ attracting thousands of people to its doors in its heyday. Presenter Ray Riches says, ‘Like so many other areas in the film Chris brings the story to life through the use of old photographs.’ The lower valley allows us to wander through more stunning scenery before the journey ends at Brookfoot and an account of its industrial past. After all your efforts on the trail you might like to avail yourself of refreshment at the Red Rooster Public House.
DVD’s will be available in Tourist Information Centres in Calderdale, Harvey’s in Halifax,
Just Books in Brighouse, or from our website www.pathwaysvideo.co.uk
REDISCOVERING THE HISTORY OF NORTHOWRAM TOWNSHIP is now holding individual sessions at 7.30pm.
This will been running from September 2013. These sessions are for those who are want to research a history subject to include in the publication of the new Northowram History Book, or just for personal pleasure.
HELD AT HEYWOOD UNITED REFORM CHURCH, HEYWOOD CLOSE, NORTHOWRAM, HX3 7DJ
See the Calendar of Events page for full details.
NSPCC its work in the past in Northowram.
Here are two stories published in the Halifax Guardian at the turn of the 20th century. Both are sad stories but I think illustrate the positive part the N.S.P.C.C. was starting to play in its approach to child cruelty and child welfare. The N.S.P.C.C. had been formed in 1895. These stories from 1899 illustrate some of the conditions that were possibly common at that time due to poor people trying to exisit in very hard conditions. In the second of the two stories the evils of drink are obvious, the temperance movement becoming more and more popular.
NORTHOWRAM CHILD’s DEATH - Coroners Enquiry
At the Stump Cross Inn, on Tuesday afternoon, Mr E.H. Hill, coroner, held an inquest relative to the death of Harry Banister, the four year old son of Edward Bannister, brick maker, Lane Side, Thornton, which occurred on Sunday.
The father was originally from Hipperholme and had lots his wife so decided to put his two children with a Mrs Jagger who lived at 10 Brow Lane, Northowram. The elder boy was still with her. He also goes on to say that he came over every week to see them. He had three children, besides the boy who had just died another had died at Mrs Jaggers house at about a year and seven months previously. He paid 7s a week for the keep of the two children, and found them clothes. Mary Jagger tells the inquiry that the lad had complained of pains in the lower part of the body, and became ill. She sent for the doctor, but the lad died last Sunday. She also says she knows nothing that would cause the illness.
When questioned by the coroner she told him that she had had fourteen children and the longest lived 14 months. The corner then says: Do you think if you could not rear your own children you could look after those of others?
Besides the Chief Constable present there was Inspector Robb of the N.S.P.C.C. present who kneew Mrs. Jaggers children had died in infancy, and therefore he visited Bannister’s children frequently. He found them nourished and well cared for. Dr. Charteris, of Hipperholme, said he had been called and found the deceased suffering from inflammation of the bowels and there was nothing suspicious about the case at all. Death was due to exhaustion consequent on inflammation of the bowels.
NORTHOWRAM CRUELTY CASE - Parents Imprisoned.
At the Borough Court, yesterday, before the Mayor, Alderman Brear, Messrs. R W Evans, F Patchett, and T Scarborough, Henry and Lydia Minshall, of Baxter Lane, Northowram, were charged at the instance of the N.S.P.C.C. with cruelly neglecting their children, all whom were under the age of sixteen years. Both defendants pleaded not guilty.
The officer from the N.S.P.C.C. had visted the family and states that there were four children, one a baby nine months old who had since died. He describes what he found on his visit. He found three children upstairs in a bed on a sacking and straw mattress, covered with some old rags but had their clothes on. He found vermin on their clothes, the babies feeding bottle had sour milk in it, also there was no food about the house so he had to purchase some. At a later date he followed one of the parents home after he had visited four public houses, by the time he got home he was drunk. The day after the officer took Sergeant Binns and P.C. Robertshaw to the house where he says the room resembled a barn, the children lying on some straw in a corner with a rag over them. They were in a filthy condition. It took another twenty days for a Dr. Wright to visit the house and certify it unfit for habitation. The parents were sent to prison for two months, the husband with hard labour.
Report from A Peep Inside Shibden Hall presentation held 17th January 2013.
Tony Sharpe gave a presentation based on his vast knowledge of Shibden Hall, having worked there for a long number of years. Tony supported his talk with many illustrative slides that showed various places and artifacts inside and outside the old hall. Members and guests who had braved the snow to listen to Tony were rewarded with some hidden facts dating back to Anne Lister and the families who owned the hall back into the 14th century. An introduction was given by George Bowers and the thanks were given by Mike Beecham.
The first Northowram book is a real success.
The Northowram Historical Society made a big contribution to its fund to produce a new history book of Northowram by selling a smaller book called; Northowram Village. A Collection of Past Images with Brief Histories. 1000 books were printed just before Christmas 2012 and nearly all have been sold, which has now added a considerable sum to the fund to produce a bigger and more comprehensive book. If you require a copy of the smaller book please contact Mike Beecham via email; firstname.lastname@example.org the price is £6.95 and postage is £1.20 for UK delivery. Prices for postage to the rest of the world by request.
Calderdale Folk Lore presentation held 20th Sept 2012.
John Billingsley gave an entertaining talk and slide presentation on all aspects of Calderdale Folk Lore stretching back to the time when Halifax got its name and the different stories surrounding this, right through to more modern stories that included 'Bogarts' and other ghostly characters. Mr George Bowers introduced the speaker and Mr Mike Beecham gave the vote of thanks.
Latest History Walk, Chelsea Valley and Westercroft areas.
For once the weather was kind to a big group who met at the walk start point at 22 The Square. Mike Beecham the walk leader, gave the group a short history of St Matthews church followed by the old Crown Brewery, now the defunct Booths furniture shop. This was followed by memories of the old barbers and newsagents that both stood on the corner of Westercroft Lane. The walk then went down Hedge Top Lane to stop a Only House farm for further information on this and Quarry House. The photo below shows the group on their way down to Brian Scholes farm.
From there the walk went along Bird Holme Lane, stopping to explain the history of this lost area. Next, onto Lumbrook mills, and finally to Westercroft house where Philip Gibson the owner, and a fellow society member, valiantly gave a history about the house in a well lit area outside as the light had completely gone by then. Everyone enjoyed the evening and a vote of thanks to Mike Beecham was given by George Bowers.
URGENT REQUIRED NOW
CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE NEW HISTORY OF NORTHOWRAM BOOK PROJECT
MEETING FOR THOSE INTERESTED WAS HELD
18th January 7.15pm
An informal discussion was held on the above date to help understand how interested parties could be involved in contributing a written piece for the new History of Northowram book project. This meeting was held at:
HEYWOOD UNITED REFORM CHURCH, HEYWOOD CLOSE, NORTHOWRAM, HX3 7DJ .
We have now completed a series of courses that have introduced these participants to various aspects of local history, covering areas of the old Northowram Township. Whether you have been involved in these or not it’s not a problem, as it is now time to register your interest if you would like to produce, either individually, or to be part of a group, an article for future publication in this proposed book.
This first meeting was a time to register an interest but there is still penty of time this year to get involved. Questions can be answered and hopefully resolve any reservations you have by getting in touch with the Northowram Historical Society.
Certain parties have now declared a specific area of study. New areas have also been proposed to help make the book a more comprehensive historical representation of this large and diverse township. If you feel you would like a view of the proposed chapter headings for the book then please contact us as the time has come for us to conclude a timetable to meet this commitment and publish this long awaited book. A representation of all areas of the old township would be welcome, whether it be Claremount, Boothtown or Queenbury. You don’t have to live in the area to be involved.
Please email or call for more information:
Call Mike Beecham 07930 388 713
2nd AGM for Northowram Historical Society held 20th October 2011.
Previous to the presentation given by Mike Beecham who was standing in for Tony Sharp, who was ill, the 2nd AGM for the Northowram Historical Society took place. A welcome and address to members was given by the acting Chairman George Bowers, this was followed by the voting in of all existing committee members. No new nominations recieved. The report on the accounts was given by John Faulkes and the meeting was quickly concluded for the following presentation. The society was shown to be in a healthy position as it had grown not only in funds but had increased it activities in line with its clear plan to publish a new history of Northowram within a three year plan.
Latest Committee Meeting Report from Northowram Historical Society.
Committee meeting held on the 14th September 2011. Present: P Turner, M Turner, M Beecham, I Bailey.
Apologies for Absence: P Gibson, A Petford, G Bowers, D Brill
New course is now ready to start and all arrangements have been made for the commencement. Application forms distributed for the Calderdale Industrial Museum Association, a meeting of which P Gibson had recently attended, & urged members to support this, the museum & contents being in good condition, at the present point in time.
Membership : 67 membership cards have been issued giving a total of 90+ members.
Course filling up well for the next one launching on Wed 21st, more people required.Posters not put up in some businesses around the village for presentation.
Publicity:Business Cards in “Cafe at 18” but they didn’t seem to be moving very quickly. The website is attracting a high number of regular visitors. He had received two mailshots; a “taster” session by WY Archives at the library on Monday, 19th September, & an allocation of 5 places on “Local History Networking Day” on 19th November, also at the library.
People are emailing us at “info” with requests to trace ancestors. It takes approx three hours of work. It was acknowledged that this research is a saleable commodity & Ian will enquire of the Hebden Bridge Soc how they go about this.
AOB: No need to be asking for subscribers to the book, at this stage.
AGM to be 20th October 2011 preceding Tony Sharpe’s talk.
Date of next Committee Meeting: Tuesday 11th October – 7.00pm at Northowram Club.(Please note revised day & time)
Northowram Historical Society gains it furtherest member!
The beauty of the worldwide web is that it puts the name of Northowram throughout the world. An interesting email was recieved from Rachel Adamson in Austrailia who told us that her Great-Grandfather lived at Saville farm on Towngate and emigrated to Aus’ in the early 1900’s. This is what Rachel had to say about her ancestor:-William Hughes was quite successful in Australia, although he died around 10years or so after arriving. He was a town councillor of Swan Hill and integral in having irrigation set up in his town for the farmers. With bad health (most of his siblings died at very young ages probably because of working in the wool mills) he moved to pioneer the opening of a “desert” town, Ouyen, and has a street named after him for his efforts.
Rachel kindly offer to join the Historical Society and now holds the honour of being our most distant member.
Research help for members required, world wide help required!
We have various research projects going on now we are in full swing, with members focusing on various aspects of Northowram history. The beauty of the world wide web is that hopefully we can come to the attention of those out there who have some gems of knowledge or artifacts that can help add that extra value to our finished projects. Areas of research that have some gaps or have come to a halt with local searches are:-
Quarry house. Certain facts seem to contradict earlier ownership in the 17C. We have the name Mellin and the name Northend overlapping. We also have a name that was attributed to possibly being Quarry House and this is 'Quarlers' or 'Wharlers'. Has anyone got any facts on these points or any photographs or illustrations of the old property?
Godley Cuttings. There is a reference on the Malcolm Bull site to a contractor called Rhodes and Ledbetter being the people who excavated the cutting. We have no other source than this, is there any help to uncover more on this major Halifax event? Does anyone know of any other material (other than West Riding Archives) that shows maps or plans of the 1827-30 period of this area.
New Bank. Any information to its construction and when?
The Merry Boys Inn/Public House. At Cave Hill Northowram, any photographs existing anywhere.
Report on the Shibden History Walk led by Philip Gibson.
Although the rain tried to halt the walk the few small showers didn't deter above 30 plus hardy souls from turning up and enjoying a thoroughly good evening history walk in the Shibden Valley.
On Thursday 16th June the group met at the Shibden Mill upper car park and were led by walk leader and local Historical Society member Philip Gibson on an uphill start towards the now demolished Lower Hagstocks. On the way the group were introduced to some old and new mining information as it stopped by the recently opened and reworked clay mines. Mr Gibson then went on to explain using some old photographs together with his own memories and records, the history of Hagstocks. Hagstocks as it was in the past is shown below, it came to be abandoned due to the access becoming impossible other than a horse and cart being able to traverse the winding road from the hill top.
The group then walked on towards Ouzel Hall and across to Lee House, from here they decended to Scout Hall(shown below)for another facinating history of the hall and the Stancliffe family that lived in that area for over 400 years. The weather threatened again but delayed long enough for the group to carry on to its final building, Water Scout. This building was in ruins but the pictures shown to the group illustrated that it was once a thriving farm house and offered teas and refreshments to the many Victorian and Edwardian tourists in the area.
The walk ended back at the Shibden Mill Inn with a well earned drink to help relax a few tired legs.
Report on surveying Historical Buildings. Brian Scholes farm group invited to find out about the building and its construction.
Saturday morning on 18th June the members of the Northowram Historical Society who had enroled for the Historical Buildings Course were treated to a special session to help them increase their knowledge of old buildings in the Northowram area. The owner of Brian Scholes farm kindly let the group take part in an anaysis and measuring of the old farm buildings and property. This building dates back a long way in time but has had numerous alterations and re-builds. The objective was to measure and record the various features of the external and some internal features to assertain what had happened over time and help understand the possible date of the building.
The group at Brian Scholes Farm are shown above. More information on the findings will be given as the work goes on, please watch out for this on the web site.