Local Transport 1870-1940 – Kirklees

Kirklees Camera 1 – I like this collection of photos a wide spread geographic and thematically, good quality prints. £5.00

At Your Service One Hundred Years of The Huddersfield Corporation

A 72 page booklet (not illustrated) published late 60’s. I worked for Kirklees in the 70’s and recognise many of the departments described, but I am sure that one of my colleagues when I was a councillor, Peter McBride, will remember the whole of this history. There are copies of this available on the net, but not as cheap as the £5.00 I am asking.

County Borough of Huddersfield The Tolson Memorial Museum Publications. History of the Huddersfield Woollen Industry

Crump, W.B

Published 1935 132 pages with illustrations, soft cover £9.00


THE TOLSON MEMORIAL MUSEUM Handbook Angles, Danes & Norse in the District of Huddersfield W.G.Collingwood

Published in 1921 soft cover 64 pages with illustrations £7.50

SPEN VALLEY – Local History

I do have a decent collection of Spen Valley, and Yorkshire, local history books. Because they are so difficult to get hold of I have been reluctant to list them so I have decided to compile a reading list and to mention when I have copies for sale.

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.
I currently have a very good reprint for sale for £10.00

THE CLECKHEATON BRANCH – Mirfield – Heckmondwike – Low Moor

Branchlines of the L & Y R No. 4 Author : Dilnot, John Publication Year : 1986 publisher : L&Y Railway Society Binding : paperback 33pp, photographs, drawings, diagrams, map, track plans, tables.

I have one copy for sale for £12.50

A History of Hartshead 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

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.

A Short History of Hartshead Church by Mabel Ferrett 1993

A 16 page booklet with line drawings £2.50

Christ Church Liversedge 1816 – 1966 (£2.50)


Huddersfield Norman Culley, 1939. Blue cloth with printed title to front cover. Not dated, but the drawings are dated 1938 and 1939. With 25 pencil drawings. The collage distorts the illustrations as most are landscape format. A nice tidy copy for £10.00

Slavery in Yorkshire

 This new collection of essays based upon a conference at the University of Huddersfield, generously supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, explores the links between Richard Oastlers extraordinarily influential campaign against child labour in Yorkshire after 1830 and the remarkably successful campaign to abolish the transatlantic slave trade led by Yorkshire MP William Wilberforce before 1807. With contributions from D. Colin Dews, Dr John Halstead, Dr John A. Hargreaves, Dr Janette Martin, Professor Edward Royle and Professor James Walvin, it evaluates the distinctively Yorkshire context of both movements and offers a re-assessment of Oastlers contribution to their success. It reveals how Oastlers associations with both evangelical Anglicanism and Nonconformity, especially Methodism, stimulated and sustained his involvement in the ten-hour factory movement and examines the role of the regional press, local grass-roots organisation and Oastlers powerful oratory in helping to secure a successful outcome to the campaign. In a foreword, the Revd Dr Inderjit Bhogal, a leading figure in both the regional and national commemoration of the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade in 2007, commends this wide-ranging historical study with its broad perspective as an important contribution to making us all more informed on the whole theme of slavery today.

238 pages very well illustrated.

MY REVIEW ; I did enjoy most of it, one essay was a bit of a struggle, I don’t think I will loose sleep not knowing what date an individual joined a campaign group over 150 years ago. But I did learn how the campaign against slavery was originally driven by the Quakers and it did make me realise the importance of BLM (not that I ever have any doubts about). I have always thought we should have been taught much more about “The Factory King” rather than Royalty, he did much more for my class than years and years of Kings and Queens.


Dalesman Publications

I now have 1,101 “Dalesman publications” catalogued (large numbers of “Cumbria” yet to do) please contact me if you are looking for anything in particular.


A 70 page well illustrated paperback published in 1979 full title “Leeds the back to front inside out upside down city” £5.00

I have other Leeds titles if you use the search button you will see some I have listed

Leeds United the Revie Years

In Splendid Isolation

Leeds – Ivan Broadhead

Old Inns and Pubs of Leeds

Church Guides


Ferrett MabelA Short History of Hartshed Church£2.50
Hamilton-DalrympleA New Guide to Helmsley Parish£2.50
UnstatedChrist Church Liversedge 1816-1966£2.50

The Cleckheaton Branch – Mirfield – Heckmondwike – Low Moor

Branchlines of the L&YR #4 The Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway Society

Only a 33 page booklet but very hard to find. An Australian dealer is offering a copy on ABE for £11.39 but he is also asking for £27.50 for p&p (I don’t know where he is getting that price from must be personal delivery). Amazon list it as “currently unavailable”.

As the line is now the Spen Valley Greenway and I frequent the excellent café, “The Sunflower Pot” located on the site of Liversedge Station I found the book fascinating, even though it was obviously written for Railway Enthusiasts with great details of gradients and signal boxes etc. The line was opened to passengers in1848 and closed (by the short sighted doctor) in 1965. It did have a reprieve when it was used shortly for a main line diversion, but one track had been lifted and the Stations had been demolished. The County Council bought the stretch from Heckmondwike to Low Moor and later the WYTM sold the line to Sustrans.

I frequently cycle to Low Moor, from Heckmondwike and just to illustrate how hard the return journey is; ” In 1882 when carriages where being shunted at Low Moor ran back down the branch, they gathered speed all the way through to Mirfield. Where they came to rest at Cooper Bridge.

%d bloggers like this: