Colne Valley: A History of a Pennine Landscape

"Colne Valley: A History of a Pennine Landscape" by Rob Vincent Our latest publication — Colne Valley: A History of a Pennine Landscape by Rob Vincent — is now available to purchase via our website.

This book is a tribute to the visual strengths of the Colne Valley’s landscape and a narrative of its development. It is inspired by the author’s experience of living for over 30 years in a house whose built form reflects the Valley’s centuries-long dual economy of domestic cloth making and small-scale farming, and whose stones were quarried from the hillside where it stands. From affection for his family home at Harts Hole grew a wider understanding, and a deeper appreciation, of the landscape as a whole. The book shares both the enthusiasm and the learning that developed during that journey.


Issue 32 of the Society’s Journal

journal cover Issue 32 of Huddersfield Local History Society’s Journal is now available.

Current members of the Society receive a free complimentary copy of the journal. However, if we can’t tempt you to join today, you can order a copy of the journal. There is also a downloadable PDF version which has the exact same formatting as the print edition but incurs no extra postage costs.
Continue reading “Issue 32 of the Society’s Journal”

Journal No. 32

Huddersfield Local History Society Journal No. 32 (2021/2022)


  • The Peaker Sisters (Beverley Norris)
  • Lindley’s ‘Coal Master’ – Edward John Wood Waterhouse (Christine Verguson)
  • Marsden 1851 – A Year in the Life of the Corn Miller’s Daughter (Steve Challenger)
  • “Riders on the Silent Steed”: Cycling’s popularity in early 1890s Huddersfield (Richard Hobson)
  • Setting up home in 1933 (Mavis Curtis)
  • Two Letters from the West Norfolk Militia in Huddersfield, 1812 (John H. Rumsby)
  • The End of the Empire – Stile Common to Karachi, and back again (Don Gardiner)
  • Tom Johnson of the Huddersfield Fire Brigade (Chris Smith)
  • The Booth Factory Fire 1941 (Richard Heath)

Paperback (excluding postage)

£1.00Add to basket

PDF Download

£1.00Add to basket

return to the Journal Archive

Christmas Special Journal 2020

As a festive treat to our members, our Journal Editor Rob Piggott has compiled a Christmas Special issue which brings together a selection of archive articles and a tinseled treasure trove of Christmas Past from the local area.

A limited number of print copies are now available for purchase.

Introduced from Cyril Pearce

We took the decision that, in the absence of our regular monthly meetings and Study Days, we should explore the possibility of a special Covid Christmas edition our Journal. Here you will find pieces with Christmas and New Year themes which colleagues have unearthed from well-known local sources. An account in the Huddersfield Chronicle for Christmas 1873 describes in Dickensian detail – not easy reading for the vegetarian – the rich variety of meat and poultry on display in the town with only a passing reference to a fruiterer. There is writing here from Linthwaite’s Suffragist Florence Lockwood’s autobiography describing New Year Eve in 1902 and 1907 with ‘Guisers’ and ‘Mummers’ singing for their suppers and, on Christmas morning the sound of ‘Christians Awake!’. There are similar stories from Ben Turner’s autobiography of door-to-door ‘Mummers’ and carol singers in Holmfirth and in John Sugden’s account of Slaithwaite at Christmas in 1905. Mrs Jagger’s reflection on Christmases in Honley in times past has the nostalgic feel of a memory of things lost – and scattered throughout are images of historic Christmas cards and mementos.

Interspersed with all of these are pieces that appeared in very early Local History Society journals. Most of them are available on-line through our website but this is Rob Piggott, the Editor’s, selection. Since he has chosen to publish one of my early pieces, I really ought not to comment further except to say that all the pieces he has chosen are well worth seeing again.

I hope you find this ‘Bumper Christmas Edition’ a really good read and up to our usual standard. My thanks to Rob Piggott and to all those members, past and present, who have made it possible.

To all the members of the Society and to those non-members reading this, my very warmest Christmas greetings and best wishes for a Covid-free New Year. Do take care. I hope to see you all in 2021.


  • Notes for a Covid Christmas Special 2020 — Cyril Pearce
  • Recruits for the Haver-Cake Lads — John H. Rumsby (1984)
  • Extract from The History of Honley and its Hamlets — Mary A. Jagger (1914)
  • Lascelles Hall — Keith Brockhill (1985)
  • ‘Never was there such a time’; Huddersfield Suffragettes in 1907 — Joyce Stevens (1989)
  • Extract from, An Ordinary Life, 1861-1924 — Florence Lockwood (1932)
  • Buying a Station — Clifford Stephenson (1991)
  • Extract from: Slaithwaite Notes: Past and Present — John Sugden (1905)
  • In the Picture (Longley Woods) — Patricia Ann Dyson (1997)
  • The Christmas Market In Huddersfield — Anon. (1873)
  • The Local Historian as Activist — Cyril Pearce (2000)
  • The Frost, the Snow, and the Wintry Woods — Cid (1895)
  • Christmas — Emma Battye (1874)
  • Yorkshire Sings: A musical and social phenomenon — Angela Griffith (2000)
  • Who’d a Thowt Theda Been A Farm Baht Osses — Ernest Beaumont (2002)
  • Christmas Fifty Years Ago — Ben Turner (1923)
  • From Builder to Architect — Brian Haigh (2009)
  • Bookshelf — Keith Brockhill (1999)
  • Book Review: Power in the Land — Christine Vergusson
  • Afterword — Robert Piggott

New Book on Highfields

Society members will undoubtedly be familiar with — and probably own a copy of — David Griffith’s well-received The Villas of Edgerton: Home to Huddersfield’s Victorian Elite (2017).

Huddersfield Civic Society has now published a companion book…

Press Release

The story behind the development of Highfields, Huddersfield first suburb, has been told in a new publication, written by one of Huddersfield’s most knowledgeable local historians, David Griffiths, and published by Huddersfield Civic Society.

Highfields – a Most Handsome Suburb has been written as a companion to The Villas of Edgerton and author David Griffiths again paints a picture of a distinctive and architecturally significant area, acknowledged today by its Conservation Area designation. The text has, once more, been complemented by the photography of Andrew Caveney of Creative Digital Photography, and a variety of images, maps and photographs, sourced from local and national archives.

The book traces Highfields’ development which, in the early nineteenth century, became the favoured residential location for Huddersfield’s business and professional class. Their handsome Georgian houses were followed by the architectural showcase of New North Road where, amid a wealth of Victorian residences, significant educational and religious establishments, some by distinguished architects, were constructed. The architectural quality of the area was recognised nationally by the 1860’s and poet laureate, John Betjeman was, similarly, impressed when he visited the town in 1964.

David, author of several books and contributor to many other local publications, has previously led guided tours around the area about which he says: ‘Highfields is a stone’s throw from the town centre and deserves greater recognition. Its streets and lanes offer up rich rewards, and the book includes numbered maps from which individual buildings can be discovered on foot’.

The book is available to purchase online on the Huddersfield Civic Society’s web site:

New book: Power in the Land

Press Release

How Huddersfield bought itself!

Huddersfield made history a hundred years ago this month when its Corporation agreed to buy the Ramsden estate, which included the whole of the town centre and over half of the land within the Borough boundary, for £1.3 million.

The Ramsden family’s association with Huddersfield began in 1542 when William Ramsden bought his wife’s home at Longley and ended in 1920. To commemorate the centenary of the purchase of the Ramsdens’ Huddersfield estate by the Corporation, Huddersfield Local History Society has brought together a series of original essays on the family’s role in shaping the town, resulting in an extensively illustrated new book, Power in the Land, published by the University of Huddersfield Press.

Edited by Edward Royle, Emeritus Professor of History at the University of York and a long-standing member of the Society, the seven essays by local historians not only explore the relationship between the Ramsden family with the town and its people, but also throw new light on the somewhat mysterious circumstances surrounding the purchase of the estate in 1920.

Huddersfield Local History Society is also pleased to announce that, while it is not possible to provide its 2020-2021 season of monthly talks in the usual way, it will instead be presenting a series of recorded virtual talks on the Society website ( It seems only appropriate that Professor Royle kicked off the series of monthly lectures with his talk, ‘The town that bought itself’? New light on 1920. This is available for viewing from Monday 28 September, the eve of the centenary of the purchase of the Ramsden estate by Huddersfield Corporation. Please keep an eye on the Society’s website for information about future talks.

And while this new publication is a joint venture between Huddersfield Local History Society and the University of Huddersfield, other organisations in the town also plan to commemorate the centenary in different ways, details of which will be made available on a dedicated website (

Edward Royle (ed.) Power in the Land: The Ramsdens and their Huddersfield estate 1542-1920 is published by the University of Huddersfield Press on 26 September 2020. ISBN: 9781862181762. For those who would like to purchase the book and are not able to get to the Pop-Up Shop, it can be purchased through for the RRP price of £30.

Huddersfield Local History Society is a membership organisation for anybody and everybody interested in the history of the town. Find out more at

The press release is available as a PDF document.

Public Lives: The Woodheads – A Notable Family of Huddersfield

We are pleased to announce that a newly revised edition of Pamela Cooksey’s Public Lives: The Woodheads – A Notable Family of Huddersfield is now available to purchase for £1.00 as a downloadable 74-page PDF e-book.

The work was originally published by the Society in 1999 as a paperback booklet.


  • Introduction — page v
  • The Woodhead Families of Pog Ing and Ridings — page 1
  • The Newspaper Proprietor: Joseph Woodhead — page 11
  • The Medical Pioneer: German Sims Woodhead — page 27
  • The Editor: Ernest Woodhead — page 33
  • The Medical Officer of Health: Herbert Miall Woodhead — page 40
  • The Businessman: Arthur Longden Woodhead — page 42
  • The Sportsman: Frank Ellis Woodhead — page 49
  • Additional material on the family of Joseph Woodhead — page 51
  • Additional material on the family of Catherine Woodhead — page 53
  • Sources — page 58
  • The Family Tree — page 61

Issue 31 of the Society’s Journal

journal cover Issue 31 of Huddersfield Local History Society’s Journal is now available.

Current members of the Society receive a free complimentary copy of the journal. However, if we can’t tempt you to join today, you can order a copy of the journal. There is also a downloadable PDF version which has the exact same formatting as the print edition but incurs no extra postage costs.
Continue reading “Issue 31 of the Society’s Journal”

Names, Places & People (2019)

Our latest publication, Names, Places & People: a selection of articles from Old West Riding, is now available to order for £6.95 (+p&p).

This 160 page paperback book, which is edited by Cyril Pearce, will be launched on 23rd November 2019 at our Annual Study Day.

Old West Riding published 23 editions from 1981 to 1995. It was a joint venture by three local historians – Jennifer Stead, George Redmonds and Cyril Pearce. This collection of over a dozen articles is dedicated to George Redmonds, who died in August 2018.

ISBN: 9780992984120


  • Introduction
    • Selections from Old West RidingCyril Pearce
  • Language and Local Topography
    • Huddersfield and Yorkshire Dialect — Stanley Ellis
    • Surnames and Settlement — George Redmonds
    • Turf Pits — George Redmonds
  • Local Customs
    • Ringing Adam Bells 1 — Jennifer Stead
    • Ringing Adam Bells 2 — Jennifer Stead
  • The Textile Industry
    • Foundlers at Marsden — Philip Charlesworth
    • The Uses of Urine 1 — Jennifer Stead with Arthur Saul
    • The Uses of Urine 2 — Jennifer Stead
  • Two Historic Houses
    • The Bradley Family and their Newhouse — Edward J. Law
    • Woodsome Hall, Some Estate Correspondence — Edward J. Law
  • Going to America
    • West Riding Emigrants 1843 — George Redmonds
    • Emigration of the Scott Family and Friends 1842 — Jennifer Stead
    • John Broadbent (1795-1856) and the Vegetarian Colony, Kansas — Helen Broadbent
  • Early Modern Morality
    • Archbishop Neile’s Primary Visitation of the Huddersfield District, 1633 — John Addy

Issue 30 of the Society’s Journal

Issue 30 of Huddersfield Local History Society’s Journal is now available.

Current members of the Society receive a free complimentary copy of the journal. However, if we can’t tempt you to join today, you can order a copy of this issue of our journal. There is also a downloadable PDF version which has the exact same formatting as the print edition but incurs no extra postage costs.
Continue reading “Issue 30 of the Society’s Journal”