SPEN VALLEY – Local History – Cleckheaton – Heckmondwike – Liversedge


Cleckheaton Rugby Union Football Club

20 glossy pages of photographs and facts A4 size. Through the post to UK address, or delivered by hand in the Spen Valley. £8.00


Rail Centres: Leeds/Bradford by Stephen Batty

The Usual Ian Allen Quality 160 pages well illustrated well written and well indexed. Quality paper and quality reproduction of photographs. A fine hard back and a fine (clipped) dj Through the post to any UK destination £9.00


I have collected books and ephemera of Spen Valley, and Yorkshire for many years. A number of these publications are difficult to find. Some I am more than reluctant to part with so I have decided to compile a reading list and to mention when I have copies for sale.

Times Past In The Spen Valley

A4 size 16 pages of snippets of Spen Valley History Posted to UK address £2.50


Heckmondwike Grammar School – Speech Day – 1940 and 1941

Both are just 8 page pamphlets listing prize winners and Honours lists – just lots of names really but must be of some interest to someone. Through the post to UK address £3.00


The Brightest Star – A Century Tribute to Leslie Heward – born in Littletown 1897

A Century Tribute to LESLIE HEWARD b1897 d 1943 born in Littletown, Liversedge West Yorkshire 1897 – 1997 by Margaret Mitchell. A 32 page booklet published Christ Church Liversedge 1997 Price includes UK P&P


Reflections on the Brontes in Spen Valley & District by Chris Sumner

The author traces the literary connections between the Brontës and Yorkshire’s Spen Valley, in particular Charlotte Bronte’s novel Shirley. 64 pages spiral bound. Published by the author in 1973 with illustrations and photographs. In the shop £5.00 Through the post (UK only) £6.50


Heckmondwike Urban District Official Handbook 1967

46 pages of adverts, photographs, history and facts and stuff


Heckmondwike Urban District – Official Handbook 1973

42 pages handbook. Adverts, photographs and official information


Heckmondwike in Times Past – Margaret M Wood

Heckmondwike in Times Past – Margaret M Wood. Undated Countryside Publication 48 pages of very interesting but poor quality illustrations. £5.00 The Price below includes UK Postage


Images of England SPEN VALLEY compiled by Norman Ellis

First printed in 2001 by Tempus 23cm X 16cm a 128 page soft cover book with two illustrations per page and accompanying text. Obviously as the images of the title are photographs the history it covers are mainly from 20th century. Though it is crammed full of photographs, many of which I have not seen in any other publications, there are copious notes that add much to the illustrations. A well put together addition to any Spen Valley collection. The Price below includes UK P&P In the shop £10.00


A Short History of Hartshead Church by Mabel Ferrett

A 16-page booklet undated but well-illustrated with line drawings. A good very brief, but comprehensive local history start. I have a copy available for £2.50 through post to UK address £4.00


A History of Hartshead by Mabel Ferrett

Printed in 1967 by Huddersfield Examiner this small (but perfectly formed) little booklet, has photographs and line drawings. Only 14 pages but covers Robin Hood, Hammond Roberson, Patrick Bronte, Luddites, Chartists and World Wars. This can be delivered by our privatised Post Office (National asset sold off for private profit) for the modest sum of £4.00 (That is the total cost not just £4.00 delivery cost)


History of the SPEN VALLEY 1780 – 1980 – Douglas Hird

Hird Douglas - History of the Spen Valley

An essential book for any Spen Valley collection. Published in 1985 written by Douglas Hird who spent 25 years as a reporter in the Spen Valley.  Up until being nine year old he attended Brighton Street Junior and Infants School, but moved out when his family emigrated (to Dewsbury).

The book is well illustrated and has an index. Overlaps a bit with Peel but brings us well into 20th century. Unlike Thompson, this is a very entertaining read (written by a journalist and not a Librarian, not that I have anything against librarians that is). It does have many interesting facts that you will not find elsewhere. Not as detailed as some of the SV personal memoirs, but in some way more entertaining for that.

It is getting much harder to find. I only have one copy for sale, at £30.00

SPEN VALLEY – Reading list

The SPEN VALLEY a local History by Thomas William Thompson

Published in 1925 it originally appeared in the Heckmondwike Herald in column format, the deal done was to not take payment for in cash, but the type should be used to publish a limited edition in book form. That is why the book has very wide margins.
Thompson was the Librarian in Heckmondwike Library I don’t think he had any formal training as an Historian. The book is 355 pages long and usefully has an index but no illustrations. Overfull of lists of men, in some cases with questionable merit as to the reason for inclusion. The book for the most part looks to the History of the Spen Valley through the lens of the History of England with not a great deal of real “local” content, unless you count the lists of men.
I must admit I didn’t get off to a good start when he seemed to imply that prior to the Roman Conquest the Valley was inhabited by tribes of Hunter Gatherers, he seems to have missed the Bronze and Iron age altogether. I must excuse a lot of his opinions as writing in the 20’s the “Dark Ages” were still dark. He is very skimpy on two themes that are very much of Spen Valley History, the Luddites and Chartists.
Whatever my views, if you are seriously into Local History you need to read this book. If you are building a Spen Valley Book collection you need to own one.
I currently have a copy for sale for £45

SPEN VALLEY in old picture postcards by Gillian Cookson

Published by European Library, Netherlands written Gillian Cookson in 1988 this a 8”X6” hard back is much more than it says on the tin. Yes, it is based on 76 postcards, but each is backed up by research from a highly skilled professional historian who adds commentary to each card that is readable informative and interesting.

The Gate Hangs High – Mildred Coldwell

Published in 1987 by Kirklee s Council an account of her growing up in the Spen Valley between the Wars. Well written illustrated by Barbara Ellis.

The Brontes in the Spen Valley – Mabel Ferrett

Originally published as Shirley Country in 1973 revised in 1997 102 pages Illustrated by Stanley Chapman with an index. My irrational antipathy to the cult of the Brontes has prevented me from reading this but having read other works by Mabel I have no doubts about readability.

Spenborough Official Handbook 1947/48

96 pages, water damage to the bottom of all the pages, does not obscure text or photographs just distracts from the booklet. Price includes P&P for UK destinations


Borough of SDpenborough

Borough of Spenborough – Souvenir of the Charter of Incorporation 1955

40 pages printed on quality paper with descriptions of Spenborough, illustrated with photographs and line drawings of places and people. I have never seen another copy.


BBA Digest October 1955

48 page 10X8 on quality paper with photographs of the factory, people, process, history and products including motorsport. Price includes postage or delivery within the UK


BBA Digest October 1953

48 page 10X8 on quality paper with photographs of the factory, people, process, history and products including motorsport. Price includes postage or delivery within the UK


Garnett – opening cleaning and carding machinery

36 page 11X8 booklet with illustrations and descriptions of machines produced in Cleckheaton by P & C Garnett Ltd. Undated but does say the firm is over 100 years old and the phone number is 3306. Mailed (or delivered) to UK locations £5.00


Reet Champion – The Development of Health Care in the Heavy Woollen District

Post and Package to all UK addresses included in this price


Engravings & Prints

Any books shop that has been open for a while accumulates Engravings and Prints saved from books past saving. Most second-hand book dealers have a problem with throwing anything away and are convinced that whatever the object, there is someone out there (touch of the X Files) who would just love to own the object in question and would be willing to pay a token price and postage to own it.

William Mackenzie, London, Edinburgh, & Glasgow

27 Victorian Engravings of Famous Men & Women

Albert Edward Prince of Wales – Henry VIII – Richard Cobden – Washington – Cromwell – Lord Bacon – Napoleon III – Lord Palmerston – Robert Peel – Luther – Elizabeth – Shakspere – Gladstone – Charles I – Charles II – Salisbury – William III – Cranmer – Prince Albert – Clyde – Drake – Disraeli – Victoria – Mary Queen of Scots – Wellington – Napoleon I – Through the Post to UK Address £12.5


York Cathedral (York Minsters Sunday name, second biggest Gothic building in the world)

York Cathedral – set of engravings

2 external views, 4 internal views, a plan and the text. Sorry but I have forgotten what book they came from. Price includes post and packaging (or local, bicycle delivery) to UK addresses.


Canterbury Cathedral – Engravings

1 external view, 2 internal views. Sorry but I have forgotten what book they came from. Price includes post and packaging (or local, bicycle delivery) to UK addresses.



On the Trail of the Luddites by Lesley Kipling & Nick Hall Illustrations by Eric Richardson

56 page illustrated booklet published by the Pennine Heritage Network in 1982 Through the post to any UK destination £7.50


Yesterday’s Yorkshire Series No. 8 – West Yorkshire Collieries by Norman Ellis

West Yorkshire Collieries by Norman Ellis

A selection of picture postcards (62) featuring scenes from the past century, with informative captions. In this copy a previous owner has made some mysterious notes next to the introduction text, the postcards though are untouched and the reproduction excellent. This seems to be the hardest to find in this series, I am asking for £10.00 this includes UK postage.


Tramways in West Yorkshire

Tramways in West Yorkshire by H Brearley – Locomotion Papers No. Thirteen

44 page illustrated booklet. Price through the post in UK


The Beautiful and Historic Villages of Yorkshire (1907)

Published by The Leeds and Yorkshire Mercury, Albion Street, we think in 1907villages of Yorshire090

. Hard back binding in publisher’s original black paper covered boards, gilt title lettering to the front cover. Landscape 8vo. 6½” x 8¼”. Contains 119 printed pages with map, captioned monochrome photograph to every right hand leaf and good descriptive text opposite

Villages of Yorkshire

Hard back binding in publisher’s original black paper covered boards, gilt title lettering to the front cover. Landscape 8vo. 6½” x 8¼”. Contains 119 printed pages with map, captioned monochrome photograph to every right hand leaf and good descriptive text opposite


Walking Drinking and Local History (Huddersfield & Yorkshire)


Colne Valley – Official Guide and Industrial Handbook 1973. 36 page illustrated with fold out map £5.00

FLYING EGGS AND THINGS More Pennine Tales – Henry Livings  126 page hardback with dj £2.50

THE DRINKERS GUIDE TO WALKING – Yorkshire and Humberside 128 pages with illustrations and maps. You must know someone for whom this is a perfect present, though I would have thought the answer to the title is “Don’t”. £SOLD

Through Highways and By-Ways with Bonaventure – Country walks around Huddersfield by Arnold Brook. Published in 1949 by The Huddersfield Examiner, 80 pages with illustrations and maps, small enough to slip in your pocket. £2.50

YORKSHIRE Past & Present ; Baines

Yorkshire Past & Present: A History And Description Of The Three Ridings Of The Great County Of York, From The Earliest Ages To The Year 1870; With An Account Of Its Manufactures, Commerce, And Civil And Mechanical Engineering. By Edward & Thomas Baines.


The tops of the spine and a couple of the hinges need some attention, but this is not an ex-library copy it is not littered with stamps and stickers like many copies of this prestigious book that are on offer. All the plates are intact and most still have tissue paper protection.

A fascinating  collection on ‘Yorkshire, Past and Present’ by the English journalist and historian Thomas Baines. An informative history of the historic county of Yorkshire in Northern England from the ‘earliest ages’ till the text’s publication in the late nineteenth century. Baine’s comprehensive study not only explores the topography of the area and its points of interest, but also details an account of its manufactures, commerce, and civil and mechanical engineering. This two volume set written by Thomas Baines was published in four parts. Volume I division I and II, and volume II division I were published approximately in 1870. Volume II, division II, detailing the history of Yorkshire to a later date than the other volumes (1875) was published later than the earlier volumes due the author’s state of health, as explained in the errata slip inserted to the volume.  This copy also features an ‘Account of the Woolen Trade of Yorkshire’ by the author’s brother, Edward Baines junior, a nonconformist English newspaper editor and Member of Parliament. All volumes are undated. Illustrated with engravings of Yorkshire scenes, individuals and buildings.

On offer for £150


DALESMAN – 1939 The first year

I have 974 “Dalesman” titles in stock and have ambitions to get round to listing them all. I have decided to use calendar years rather than the volume years (that the “Dalesman” use). They do make excellent birthday or anniversary presents for Yorkshire folk (or even non Yorkshire folks come to that, we can’t all have been born in Yorkshire). I am asking £50 for the first issue (Though I do have a copy with a partial front cover that has been repaired for £10) I am asking £15 for all other 1939 issues. 

APRIL Dales Folk by Ella Pontefract, Historian wanted for Kettleswelldale by C J Cutcliffe-Hyne, A Yorkshire Climbing Nursery by Godfrey Wilson, The Man of the Dales by W Riley, Past and Present in the Dales by M’Duke Miller, Do you know the Hill Brunillo? by Lettice Cooper, Adult Education in Craven, What Town Planning Means by F R Birkhead, It was still raining by Leonard Cooper, The Vacant Wine-Red Moor by Donald Boyd, The “Three Peaks”, Stories of Craven‘s Grand Old Man by Norman Thorner and Public Access to Mountains by A Creech Jones MP.

MAY I work in the Dales by Phyllis Bentley, Over the Green by Joan Ingilby, Coverdale to Colsterdale by A J Brown. The Ilkly Swastika By Leslie Barringer, The Red Squirrel by Phyllis Kelway, An Old Dales Account book By Ella Pontefract, Lord Ribblesdale: “The Ancester” By Norman Thorner, The Legacy of the Monks By TC Calvert, Fishing in Airdale By Winifred Birkbeck and The Revival of the Village by HSE Snelson.

JUNE Mr James R Gregson Makes a Sad Confession. Silence in the Fells by Florence Bone. The Three Peak Walk by Frank S Smythe, Wild Garlic in Wharfdale by Phyllis Kelway, A Kyrielle of the Dales by Stanley Umpleby. Evolution of Yorkshire Dalesfolk by J Fairfax Blakeborough, In Never Rains by Leonard Cooper, Where Swale is Born by W Riley. Open Pastures by Ella Pontefract, Adam Sedgwick: A man of Dent by Norman Thorner, Home to the Dales by Kathleen Binns, A Farmers Hymn by EBA Somerset, Refugees in the Dales, Young Farmers Clubs in Craven by J Robb

JULY The Ship Model by Dorothy Una Ratcliffe. The Common Whitethroat by Phullis Kelway, Epitaph for a Dalesman, Where Yore is born by W Eiley, John Hartley the Yorkshire Dialect Poet by W J Halliday, Journeys into other Dales by Ella Pontefract, A Motor Run through the Dales By Ben Wade, Canoes in the Dales by Ernest Roylance, Haliwell Sutcliffe; A man of the Moors by Norman Thornber, A dales Farmer Keeps up with the Times by Norman Thornber

AUGUST Dalesfolk by Florence Bone. The Musical Owl by Phullis Kelway, Barns and Laithes of Craven by James Walton, In Praise of Yorkshire by William Harebutt Dawson, Memories of Auld Swaledale by E Greenwood, Norway and the Dales by Ella Pontefract, A Hack from Dale to Dale By Alfred Vowles,Tom Twisleton: The Craven Poet By Norman Thornber, Crafts in the Dales by L M Douglas

SEPTEMBER Dale Life and Myths by Fairfax-Blakeborough, Doremouse in the Dales by Phyllis Kelway,Evening in Dentdale by Charles Bragg, Recording Yorkshire Dialects by Bruff, Another Dales Motor Run by Ewbank, Norwegian and Dale Farming By Ponefract, Some Mythical Yorkshire Characters by CL Wood, Harriet Byles a Yorkshire Preacher, An Unconventional Fisherman by Birbeck, Kettlewell Holds its Show,

OCTOBER Newcomers to the Dales, The Harvester by John Earl, Owd John the Cobbler by Thos. Thirkill, The Hedgehog, More “Daft” Villages, Henry Harrison: Cave Guide, Through the Gateway of Northumbria, Yorkshire’s part in Poultry Industry

NOVEMBER Churches and Chapels, Two Yorkshir Novels, Nidderdale in November (verse), The Water Shrew, Children and Neighbours, Susan Peacock, Lighter side of Dales Life, Dances of the Dales

DECEMBER Garsdale and Dentdale by W Riley – Poem by Q Nicholas – Guilty or Not Guiltu By D U Ratcliffe – Christmas in the dales by Pontefract & Hartley – The Yellow -Knecked Mouse By Phyllis Kelway – An Unchanged Dale by Percy Robinson

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