Header image  
line decor
line decor
Page 2
Past stories and reports from The Northowram Historical Society

Notes from Northowram History Society Presentation held 15th March 2012.
March. 2012
This particular evening saw the return of Malcolm Jones as the principal speaker. Malcolm was back by popular request as his previous talk about his childhood in Northowram filled the evening. This time Malcolm had time to fill in more facinating facts and experinces from past times in the village and then go on to tell of his successful career in building management. Finally Malcom showed some of the many charitable building projects he was involved in to help poor communities in Africa, Cyprus and other parts of the world. After refreshments Mike Beecham gave a talk illustrated by cuttings from the Halifax Courier from the year of 1875. The background theme to this was the opening of the then named Northowram Mechanics Institute, later to become the Northowram Junior and Infants Sciool. Other amusing and interesting facts from the 1875 period were also given. The evening ended with a vote of thanks by Mr Mike Beecham to Mr M Jones.

Notes from presentation held 16th February 2012. Members Memory Evening and Quarrying in Northowram.
February 2012
The forward planning for this evening was difficult an extensive as it had to flow easily with a blend of memories coming from the speaker and pr
esenter Mike Beecham, and the audience. It worked out well with some great feed back from the audience at the end of the evening as members and guests contributed during the evening with their own personal pieces of knowledge. Memories were taken down from various older residents previous to the evening and then interspersed with pictures relevant to the subjects. There were memories of farming, places, flooding, heavy snows, Whitsun treats, trips, school life and church players together with a piece of special interest on Northowram pantomimes, which were evidently some quite spectacular events, supplied by Pat Holcroft. A special slot was given to John Hoggard who did a brilliant piece on the war years at Northowram School.

Following on from refreshments George Bowers MBE gave a faciating and informed presentation on Quarrying in the Northowram Township. George had some extensive research supported by some new finds in images of the quarying within our area. A vote of thanks was given by Mike Beecham.

Notes from Northowram Historical Society Presentation on the Northowram Turnpike, held 17th November 2011.
November 2011
It was a big turn out for the illustrated presentation given by Mike Beecham on the construction of the Northowram Turnpike and Godley Cuttings. Over 95 people turned up for this popular subject which was commenced with a history of North Bridge, the boundary of the old Northowram Township and the start of the old turnpike. From there the history of Newbank and the old routes that cut across the top of old Godley Lane and then took the route that carried on behind Shibden Hall. A facinating insight into the making of Godley Cutting and where the old road would have led on towards Northowram was described before a break for refreshments. Later the talk explained the history of Stump Cross and quickly looked at Upper Brear and Quarry House that were on the turnpike route into Northowram village. The introduction to the presentation was given by George Bowers and the vote of thanks by Doug Brill.

Notes from Northowram Village Society Presentation held 20th October 2011.
September 2011
It was a different evening than expected with the cancellation of our speaker Mr Tony Sharpe at the very last minute. Mike Beecham stepped in with a presentation of images from the Historical Society collection a nd a number of articles taken from Anne Listers diaries and cuttings from the Halifax Courier and Guardian from the 1830's. The audience obviouslly enjoyed the evening as only 2 guests left due to them wanting to hear the scheduled Shibden Hall talk. This will hopefully be re-scheduled for next year. The evening was commenced by the annual AGM of the Society with Mr George Bowers taking the chair. All previous officers were voted back in, an outline of the past year was given, which showed what great progress the society had made in its plans to publish a new history of Northowram.An appeal was given to those attending to help introduce some younger members to the Society. Mike Beecham was thanked for his presentation by Vice Chairman Mr Philip Gibson.

Wondered why we formed ?

It took a few phone calls in Feb 2009 from founder member George Bowers around a group of like minded individuals and a couple of months later the first meeting took place at the Northowram Methodist Chapel on The Green at Northowram. This was well attended by residents and others interested in starting a history project. It was at this meeting we were introduced to the model that Midgley village used to help publish a new history of their village.

This model is based on putting together a group that have various interests in their village history, this can be anything from old houses,textile production, religious influences or even inns and pubs of the area! All these research areas were turned into chapters for the book.

From the first meeting it was an easy step to having an Open Day in October 2009 where pictures and artifacts were on show to visitors. Also it was a chance for those who were interested to contribute any pictures, stories and artifacts, besides registering an interest in joining the new Northowram group.

open day

The interest and attendance were both massive. It was an east step then to organise a programme of events and sign up those who were interested in being an active part in moving the society forward.

Now we are at the start of 2011 we have achieved a solid start to meeting our objective of producing and publishing a new history of Northowram. In answer to our many walks, talks and presentations 2011 will be just as exciting.

Why not join us, whether you're young or older all you need is a specific interest in history.
If you want to publish or if you want to do your own research for fun, it doesn't matter, enjoying history does!

northowram lumbrook

January 2011
One of the ways the society has been working is to mirror the model of the Midgley Historical Society who had published a book of the history of their area, this was to hold a number of tutorials led by Alan Petford a lecturer in local and regional history at Leeds University and Ian Bailey the founder member of the Midgley group. A series of 10 lectures were given every Tuesday night and finished last week, these were held at the St Matthews Church School rooms at Bradford Road. These were so successful that the group have now planned new ones to start next year in January. Some of the group found them useful for researching history and some just found it fascinating just to learn more about the village as it was in the past. It must be said that Northowram village boundary stretched from Boothtown and Claremount right up to Queensbury and included Shibden Valley. The group will be starting a new series of lectures in January 2011 and would like to attract more people interested in history from these wider areas of the old Northowram boundary. Although there is a small charge for the sessions they work out at good value overall.

Thursday January 20th 2011 will be the first AGM, held at The Northowram Methodist Church, The Green, Northowram. A full management committee will be elected and plans for future events will be launched. Everyone is welcome as the positions on the committee will be decided and membership to the society can be paid for which will allow people to come to all events at a reduced price.

Looking forward to next year the society will try and make a structured bid to the National Lottery Heritage fund to help in furthering its plans in getting a new history of Northowram book published. It will be a long process and it is expected that it will take a further 3 years to accomplish the mission but if this last year is anything to go by it will be worth the wait.


Report from the Northowram Historical Society - Analysing the 1841 Census
April 2011
Tuesday evenings at the community centre have been the focus for the dedicated group who enrolled to help in promoting a better understanding of how to research historical records. In this second series of seminars the subject has been the Enumerators Census of 1841, this is one of the first census carried out in Britain. The enumerator walked specified routes to record who lived at the property and what work they were employed in doing. There are 29 different districts that make up the old township of Northowram. Just to give you and idea of what one district consists of, district 12 description is: “All that part of the Township of Northowram which comprises Spa House, Hall Houses, Upper and Lower High Sunderland, Hagstocks Lane, and the side of the road leading to Slack End as far as and including Cold Harbour.
When looking at an entry for each property it becomes difficult at times to both read the handwritten descriptions and also to understand exactly where the property referred to is as names have changed inbetween the time of the survey and now. One property on the map of the time referred to it as Grasshopper farm, where today it is known as Holly Leigh, situated on Lee Lane. The entries expose some interesting facts about our village ancestors in that it can be deduced which occupations were the most prevalent. It seems that 505 were working in textiles, this was mainly domestic textiles produced in a cottage industry environment, worsted weavers, wool sorters, wool combers being some of the main occupations. 10% worked in stone related jobs named as Delvers and Stone Masons, another 4% worked in coal mining. Children’s ages and occupations are also recorded, 12 year old Factory Boy or 10year old Silk Piecer, ages as low as 7 recorded as working! One thing is certain and that is there were a lot more people living in the property that was available at that time. Trhe example below shows Gerorge Law 11years, Coal Miner, the dittos after for Thomas and John seem to point to them also helping in the mine at a very young age!

Also looked at was a slightly earlier document called a Valuation Book and map of 1837. This noted down in a book all the owners of the properties in our area and most importantly who lived in the property, the owner more often than not didn’t live there. The value of property including all fields are listed. The interesting part of this survey is that all the fields are named.

When looking at a field name at Pule Hill one field was called the Stoops Field. This is a direct reference we think to a field that was used in the late 1600’s by John Mitchell of Scout Hall who held a series of horse races over ’stoops’.

If anyone is interested in joining the group a new series of seminars looking at old building and architecture is about to start this summer

Report on the talk by Malcolm Jones.
July 2011
Another historical society event which attracted a large audience, who came to hear a talk by an old resident of the village, now living in Lancashire. Malcolm talked about life in the village when he grew up in the 1930's and 40's, giving some facinating insights to how the village had changed in not only the landscape but the customs and everyday life. It was a talk that could have gone on longer if time had permitted. After refreshments a small show of images from the societies collection of old images of the village was shown.

Our first AGM set the foundations for the future
January 2011
20th January 2011 the Northowram Historical Society held its first AGM. This was a landmark in the organisations own history as it marked the proper formation of the society as officers were elected and the agenda promoted for its second year of moving forward to meet its objective to write a new history book of the Township of Northowram.
This meeting was well attended with at least 50 members and prospective members showing their support.
A talk was given, at the end of the obligatory general meeting business, by Rev Mark Earnshaw. Mark shared his experiences of his time at Lumbrook Mill when as a young boy his father, and grandfather, were managing the mill, its workers and the production of some of the finest worsted cloth in the area. We hope to get a copy of the notes Mark used and add these to our archive as they are valuable to future generations.
Some members joined in with their own personal reminiscences of times at the mill and the people who worked there. Finally the meeting closed with refreshments and time for everyone to get together and enjoy exchanging some history knowledge.

Chairman - G Bowers
Vice Chairman - P Gibson
Secretary - P Turner
Treasurer - J Faulkes
Arcivist - M Turner
Programme Secretary - D Brill
Publicity - M Beecham
Committee Member - W Baxter
Committee Member - A Petford
If you couldn’t make the meeting then but feel you want to be invoved in the society then please feel free to contact us, any services offered will be greatly appreciated.
The new season of history seminars at the Northowram Community Centre on Tuesday nights for the next 12 weeks at 7.30pm has now started. Please turn up and find out how to join us.
Also look out for our presence in the new Northowram web site; Northowram.org. The plan is to publish our notes together with a list of archive material we have collected. In the future it will also be a place to buy images for personal use ( publication by special agreement only).


Notes from Northowram History Society Presentation held 19th January 2012.
January 2012
A presentation of images supported by an interesting and enlightening talk by Alan Petford was given to the members and other guests on the diaries of Cornelius Ashworth. The speaker was introduced by Mr George Bowers. Ashworth was a farmer and congregationalist at Square Chapel during the late 18th century and early 19th century. His farm was Walt Royd at Wheatley, near Halifax where he left a number of diaries that gave insights into life at this period. Mr Petford was co-author of a book recently published that has all the extracts from these diaries. His talk was seeded with lots of relevant information of people and working life in that time, keeping the audience enthralled for one and a half hours. The evening ended with a vote of thanks by Mr Mike Beecham and refreshments for all.


    Advertising Rates and Details