Re­flect­ing on sac­ri­fices of or­di­nary men and women I

Huddersfield Daily Examiner - - FRONT PAGE -

COLIN Secker, who is 87, has thrown light on ques­tions about Beast Mar­ket and Rose­mary Lane in Hud­der­s­field that have been asked re­cently.

The name of Rose­mary Lane was lost with the ring road and devel­op­ment of Kirk­gate.

It used to be the stretch of road from Lord Street down to South­gate, but has be­come part of Kirk­gate.

Beast Mar­ket branches off to the left from Lord Street at the Boy and Bar­rel. Many years ago, Colin says, on the left of Beast Mar­ket was Tay­lor Broth­ers, a com­pany that made fish and chip ranges.

The chim­ney that was part of the works is still there.

Then came the mo­tor garage of Al­bert and Frank Jessop of Lep­ton, who were vague rel­a­tives of Colin. Up­stairs were the com­pany of­fices STARTED re­search­ing with a trip down Prim­rose Lane and got lost in Hud­der­s­field his­tory for three hours as I went back to when cav­alry charged pro­test­ers down King Street in an echo of the tragedy of Peter­loo.

On the hud­der­s­field­his­tory.org. uk web­site, I found the mem­oirs, first pub­lished in the Ex­am­iner, of busi­ness­man J W Rob­son.

His fa­ther was a tea dealer from Liver­pool who bought a busi­ness in Hud­der­s­field at the junc­tion of King Street and Vic­to­ria Lane. The fam­ily trav­elled here by coach in 1938 dur­ing one of the bit­ter­est win­ters of the cen­tury.

As there was no rail­way link, they sent their fur­ni­ture by canal. It was trapped for a month at Stand­edge by ice.

His new home over­looked The Sham­bles and the stocks – “where the drunk and dis­or­derly were laid by their heels to re­flect on their evil ways”.

The prison – The Towser – was at the back of the Sham­bles near the Pig Mar­ket and three con­sta­bles were em­ployed to keep or­der in the town.

When the rail­way did ar­rive, third class trav­ellers were packed into open boxes, with no roof and no seat­ing, that were called standups.

One of his vivid mem­o­ries was of the cav­alry charge in 1842 that had shades of the Peter­loo Mas­sacre in Manch­ester 23 years ear­lier, al­though this one did not re­sult in and an elec­tri­cal en­gi­neer­ing works.

“My brother learnt his trade there as an elec­tri­cal en­gi­neer and started in 1942. Two weeks ago, he was 90.”

He added: “Next is a small shop that is now a lock­smiths. It used to be owned by an Ital­ian called Fer­rari who was a knife grinder and scis­sor sharp­ener. I was told he sharp­ened the scalpels and scis­sors for Hud­der­s­field Royal In­fir­mary.

“Then came God­dard’s fish and chip shop, that also ad­ver­tised tripe and cow-heels in its win­dow. Then a ra­dio shop.

“Across the road at the bot­tom was a pub (The Bulls Head) and at the top was the Boy and Bar­rel.”

Down Rose­mary Lane was Dar­went’s French pol­ish­ers and the West Rid­ing Ed­u­ca­tion of­fices. death. In Manch­ester, 60,000 men, women and chil­dren had gath­ered in St Peter’s Field for a peace­ful protest to de­mand Par­lia­men­tary re­form and vot­ing rights.

The au­thor­i­ties over-re­acted, mili­tia charged, 15 died and hun­dreds were in­jured.

Mike Leigh’s film, Peter­loo, will pre­mier next month in Manch­ester. It’s mes­sage, of dis­af­fected peo­ple and a gov­ern­ment out of touch with re­al­ity, re­mains rel­e­vant.

Cam­paigns for bet­ter con­di­tions con­tin­ued and in 1842 strik­ing fac­tory work­ers would pull the plugs on the steam boil­ers that drove pro­duc­tion. Beast Mar­ket in Hud­der­s­field, one of the lo­ca­tions fea­tured in the book Beer­houses, Broth­els and Bob­bies by Hud­der­s­field his­to­rian Pro­fes­sor David Tay­lor

Rob­son’s ac­count is vivid but dis­pas­sion­ate, re­flect­ing a com­fort­able mid­dle class point of view of his time, and ac­cept­ing the pos­si­bil­ity of es­tab­lish­ment in­flicted vi­o­lence.

“There was a good deal of plug ri­ot­ing in Hud­der­s­field. A lot of half-starved Lan­cashire peo­ple came over here and pulled the plugs out of the boil­ers. I could not see what they ex­pected to get by it. There was some com­mo­tion in the town and the mag­is­trates sent for the mil­i­tary from Leeds.

“A troop of Lancers came over and I re­mem­ber see­ing them charge down King Street, which was much steeper than it is now, at

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