HELP Required

Chris Wood - Death bed confession of Ann Gill - 9th August 2019

Chris Wood is seeking information about the death bed confession of Ann Gill who died in 1892 :-

I wonder if you may be able to help.

I am currently researching the 'final words' spoken (or written) prior to death. I was recently made aware of a death bed confession from a lady named Ann Gill in Norristhorpe, way back in 1892. She had apparently poisoned her husband to death in October 1871 as she wanted to marry another man........

Any information would be hugely appreciated.

If  you can help please contact us by email at

Giles Wilcock - Death of Hannah Haigh - 31st July 2019

Giles Wilcock is seeking information about the death of Hannah Haigh in 1883 :-

Hannah Haigh was found in a boiler at Clough Mill, Clough Lane, Liversedge on 30th September 1883 she had links to both Batley and Skelmanthorpe.  She is buried at Christ Church, Liversedge.  Giles is seeking information about both Hannah and also about Clough Mill.

Here is a link to the first part of the story.

If  you can help please contact us by email at

Dave Dickinson - J Hainsworth Stationers - 7 November 2018

Dave Dickinson is seeking information about a Stationery shop in Liversedge :-

I wonder if you have any information about J. Hainsworth Stationers in Liversedge.  I bought a piece of Arcadian China, and it is stamped with this name.  Possibly from 1903. I would be grateful for any information.

If  you can help please contact us by email at

Martin Webster - West End Park - 13 July 18

Martin Webster is asking for any information about West End Park:-

I am one of the Friends of West End Park (est 1885) and we are always looking to expand our record of the history of the park. This is particularly since the hot weather has revealed a range of parch marks that speak of athletic activities and earlier structures. The aerial photo of 1925 shows some paths and many strange marks that may be either the remains of WW1 practice trenches or pens for animals in the great agricultural show of that year. A ring of dried grass on the old photo was shown to be the site of a bandstand mentioned on the 1905 OS map. A large round domed mark near the top entrance is said to be an air-raid shelter (but round would be unusual?) and we are very keen to find the site of an underground water-tank on the Whitcliffe site which seems to be still overflowing into the park and making it boggy in strange lines!

If  you can help please contact us by email at

Richard Grylls - Samuel Law - Family Members - 21 Nov 17

Richard Grylls is seeking help with the following:-

Does anyone have knowledge of the family of Samuel Law (founder of Samuel Law & Sons)?  I am particularly interested in Samuel’s father, the thrice-married Joseph Law a card-maker who migrated from his native Bowling (Bradford) to Scholes in around 1790 and founded a grocery business there! I know that Samuel Law was born from his father’s third marriage in Bowling and Samuel only came to live in Scholes in 1840 five years after his father’s death. The question is, did any of Joseph Law’s three marriages produce other sons who were also card-makers in Scholes?

If  you can help please contact us by email at

Enoch Haythorne - Leeds General Infirmary - Bed Plaques - 2 Sept 17

Ronnie Walsh who is an archivist at the LGI is seeking help with the following:-

Leeds General Infirmary possesses several old "Bed Plaques" which previously were positioned over a bed in the hospital when generous persons had endowed a sum of money to the hospital years ago. These have been in storage more recently as wards have been modernised and it is now felt it is time for them to be given back to the families where possible.

One such engraved bed plaque has connections to Heckmondwike.  The plaque reads "In memory of Enoch and Emma Haythorne 1941 of Heckmondwike". They lived at Wesley House, 37, Cemetery Road, Heckmondwike and he was a Coal Factor or Agent. Emma died in 1939 and Enoch died in 1941.

The evidence shows that they did have an adopted daughter, but she never married nor had any children.

Enoch had several Earlsheaton based brothers and sisters so it may be that one of their descendants may be interested in applying for this family momento.

If  you can help please contact us by email at

Common [area] around Heckmondwike in the early 1800s - 29 May 17

Mark Grace is seeking information related to the Popplewell family:-

I am interested in the regional knowledge and expertise of society members who may be able to help identify a particular place in the immediate vicinity of Heckmondwike, that would have had a name valid in the 18-teens.

I am the 4xgreat grandson of one David POPPLEWELL who was born in Heckmondwike c1791. While I have extensive trees for the area, I cannot fit David in, i.e,. no baptism found. He was a cordwainer and also a gunsmith once he settled in Birmingham. He married there in 1812, and there is an extensive descendant family in Birmingham. What is interesting is that 2 of his 4 children are baptised in Birmingham and recorded in the church as having been born in Heckmondwike. These are the clearest indications of David's origins. Only one other child survives into the census period in Birmingham to repeated indicate Yorkshire origins as "Leeds Common".

I have been unable to find that specifically named place in Heckmondwike, however I do note that there was a Leeds Road in Heckmondwike and historical areas known as "Commonside" and "Top of Common". Indeed, the Cholera Survey on your website indicates a William POPPLEWELL in Top of Common in 1849.

The birth place is probably a childhood memory when she resided most of her life in Birmingham, based on what her father told her. He died ahead of the 1841 census. It is possible the Leeds Road and Common coincide in a particular area of Heckmondwike?

If  you can help please contact us by email at

Hirst's of Cleckheaton - 20-Feb-17

Peter Hirst is seeking information on the following:-

I have undertaken some genealogy studies recently and have established that my paternal great grandfather was called Harold Hirst and was born in Cleckheaton. His father was a Chemist also in Cleckheaton and his father in turn was the publican/owner of the Boot and Shoe Public house which used to be situated at Bence Lane End Darton.

I appreciate that it is a shot in the dark as there are many Hirsts in your area but I wondered whether any of the information I have provided rings any bells with anyone?

If  you can help please contact us by email at

Air Raid Shelter Gomersal - 17-Nov-16

Geoff Judge is seeking information on the following:-

I was wanting to enquire as to any knowledge amongst your group of an air raid shelter for what was the school at Gomersal Hill Top.

The school was demolished some 35 years ago to become Bronte Close (next to Sainsbury's)  and apparently there is an air raid shelter there.

At the bottom of Bronte Close you can enter the field ( with permission of course ) and keeping the wall to your right hand side head to the corner where there appears to be the entrance.

If anybody has knowledge of this Capacity layout etc I would be interested.

If you can help can you please contact us at and we will pass the information on.

Neville Family of Liversedge - 29-Aug-16

Steve Burt is seeking information as follows:-

The Neville family of Liversedge owned substantial land in Hunslet and Holbeck in the medieval period and beyond. I am struggling to find any information on them other than the family tree and wondered whether you may be in a position to help?

I know that their main residence was in Liversedge but they did have a substantial hall and private oratory at Hunslet. This building was long ago destroyed and there is no record of what it actually looked like. I have no idea where their hall was in Liversedge and whether any of their archival material has survived in the area.

If  you can help please contact us by email at

Beck Lane, Heckmondwike - 27-April-16

Alan Hodgson is seeking the following information:-

I wonder if you can help me?  I am trying to find out when Beck Lane, Heckmondwike, was first used as a rugby/football ground.  I believe it may have been as far back as the 1870s but cannot confirm this.  Any help would be much appreciated as I am doing some research into local soccer.

If  you can help please contact us by email at

Doctor in Cleckheaton - 01-Feb-16

Mary Taylor is seeking help in finding the name of a doctor:-

I am looking for the name of a doctor in Cleckheaton in the early nineteen hundreds.  My Grandfather worked for this doctor.

Grandfather Robert Berry worked for the doctor first as a horseman driving his horse and trap and then as his gardener.

Robert would begin work for the doctor about 1901 or 1902, I don't know when he gave up.

In 1911, he said he was an Assistant Cemetery and Parks (probably looking after the flower beds and mowing the grass, and possibly be doing this at the same time as looking after the doctors garden)

His address in 1911 was 4 Leopold Street, Cleckheaton, which I think no longer exists.

Roberts wife was Mary both born in Ingleton, the eldest child Lily was born in Ingleton and their other daughter Annie, my Mother was born in Cleckheaton in 1902.

If  you can help please contact us by email at

Butts Mill - 06-Oct-15

Geoff Dewing is seeking information about Butts Mill, please see information below. If you are able to help in any way please contact us at at the following email address

My partner, Marjorie Brooke, was named after an aunt who tragically died at the age of four years after falling into a pail of hot water in a wash house in Gomersal in 1925.
In the absence of coroner's reports for that period, we have copies of the local newspapers which were sent from the Local Studies Centre which make reference to her living at Butts Mill Cottages and a neighbour living at 236 Butts Mill Yard.
Using her Death Certificate, Birth Certificate and the 1911 Census we have concluded, rightly or wrongly, that the young Mary Marjorie Brooke was born and died at 234 Spen Lane after being rescued and brought home by a neighbour who lived at 236 Spen Lane.
The two properties that I believe are 234 and 236 Spen Lane currently stand on the site of a property referred to as Broom Hill on early maps, about a half mile to the west of Butts Mill, but I can find no actual reference to Butts Mill Cottages or Butts Mill Yard.
Were the properties at 234 and 236 Spen Lane ever called Butts Mill Cottages or Butts Mill Yard ?
I am hoping that one of your members may be able to provide the answer.

Spen Valley's Industrial Heritage - 12-May-15

Richard Grylls is seeking information about companies that existed in the Spen Valley, please see his request for information below.  If you are able to help in any way please contact us at the following email address

I hope to be able to accumulate sufficient information about at least TWENTY of the following thirty companies to add their histories (textual and graphical) to the Spen Valley’s “Industrial Hall of Fame”:

1.     Brayshaw & Booth

 Iron founders / Millbridge

2.     Abel Blackburn

 Engineers / Cleckheaton

3.     Pitt Brothers / Alma Machine Tool & Engineering

 Engineers / Cleckheaton & Millbridge

4.     William Atkinson & Son

 Worsted Spinners / Cleckheaton

5.     Herbert E. Aykroyd & Co.

 Worsted Spinners / Littletown

6.     F. W. Birkett & Sons

 Brass founders / Cleckheaton

7.     Blakelock & Co.

 Rope & Twine / Rawfolds & Chain Bar

8.     Enos & Al Smith / British Ropes

 Wire / Cleckheaton

9.     Edward Brooke

 Tanners / Cleckheaton

10.  Thomas Burnley & Sons

 Yarn manufacturers / Gomersal

11.  George Carver & Sons

 Engineers / Cleckheaton

12.  John Collier & Co.

Soap Manufacturers / Millbridge

13. Co-operative Wholesale Society / Heckmondwike Boot & Shoe Works

Boots & Shoes / Heckmondwike

14. George Crossley

Engineers / Cleckheaton

15. Robert Crossland

Card Clothing / Scholes

16. Dawson Brothers

Bottle washing machines / Gomersal

17. Hearl Heaton & Sons

Engineers / Millbridge

18. William Isherwood

Wooden “beadings” / Cleckheaton

19. Fairfax Kelly & Sons

Blankets & Carpets / Heckmondwike

20. Samuel Law & Sons

Card Clothing / Cleckheaton

21. Lion Confectionery Co.

Confectionery / Cleckheaton

22.  Marsden & Co.

Engineers / Heckmondwike

23. Samuel Reeve

Manufacturing Chemists / Cleckheaton

24. Saunders & Saunders

Manufacturing Chemists / Cleckheaton

25. George Hirst / Spen Valley Brewery Co.

Mineral Water Manufacturers / Roberttown & Cleckheaton

26. Israel & Benjamin Umpleby

Boiler makers / Cleckheaton

27. T. F. Firth & Sons

Carpets & Furnishing Fabrics / Heckmondwike

28. Joe Hey Green

Rope & tarpaulin manufacturer & tar distiller / Cleckheaton

29. Elymas Wadsworth & Sons

Worsted spinners / Cleckheaton

30. Firth, Holdsworth & Co.

Worsted Spinners / Scholes

We seek any information from the descendants of the founders, employees, customers or suppliers of these companies. We know, from a pilot project, just how much information still exists in attics, garages, bottom-drawers, scrap-books and photo-albums. Please help

Burial Ground (Fusden Wood - Gomersal) - 16th August 2014

Harry Dywer is seeking the following help.
I'm trying to find out if the Taylor graveyard is still
located in Scotland (Fusden) Wood which lies between Spen Lane, Fusden Lane
and Cliffe Lane, Gomersal.

This is stated on Wikipedia, 'Gomersal was heavily wooded up to the late
19th century with Swinley Great Wood, Lanes Wood, Scotland (Fusden) Wood
containing the Taylor family burial ground, and Church Wood between the Hill
Top and Monk Ings.' -

Were the Graves moved, re-interred at St Marys Church? I know there are
memorial stones at St Marys for Mary Taylor.

I am intrigued; I am running and administering a History Page for The Spen
Valley, and one of my Members recalls Taylor Graves with iron railings
around them; they were located in Fusden Wood, this was in 1962.

Can anyone help?

Many Thanks
Harry Dwyer

If you are able to help, Harry can be contacted through the Facebook link above
or we can forward any information on to him by email.