Here, to start with, I am not relying on my memory or what mum, dad and others passed down to me from their memories. I have collected births, deaths and marriage certificates. So at least there are some facts, if the information given to the registrar was accurate. The earliest information comes from 1813. Between then and the end of the century, Britain underwent a massive set of changes – industry, transport, population increase and the growth of towns. This is history and is mostly reliable. Our ancestors were right in the middle of it.
There can be confusion when generations overlap so when you think things happened in sequence they actually happened side by side.
Early 1800s – The Walkers
The furthest back in the family tree I managed was Eli Walker and Eneas Bailey, born just after we’d beaten Boneparte at Waterloo in 1812. In the town centre library miniaturised records, Eli is described as a clothier and woolhand, living at Yew Tree Road. Eneas was a farmer, woolhand, loom weaver and journeyman from Cowrakes. Both in Lindley, a village two miles north west of Huddersfield. Eli might have originated in Golcar, so he must have moved to Yew Tree. It’s all an urban sprawl now, but then it would have been distinct from the town centre which, in 1812, would have only just started to grow. I don’t know any more about them other than Eneas’ daughter, Harriet, married Eli’s son, William. I struggled to get this far back. To do more meant going to parish records and, and, to be honest, I was happy with what I had found. Harriet and William were one side of my dad’s grandparents.
We have to be careful with the information. Parents can say anything to the registrar of births. For instance, a clothier refers to someone connected with cloth. A loose title that might apply to anyone in the wool trade. More specifically, a clothier was a businessman who commissioned lengths of cloth from a number of small holdings, providing finance and raw materials. He sold the cloth at the local market. In West Yorkshire, the man of a small-holding more often would bypass the clothier, buying and selling at the local market himself. It’s impossible to say what sort of clothier Eli was, but I would like to think the latter. By 1881, in his 70s, he was married to Ann Cockroft, who was born in 1825 in Huddersfield.
In contrast, Eneas was a journeyman. This title only applies to a well qualified worker who had served an apprenticeship. A skilled man. A title that would fit a weaver who worked a hand loom on the top floor of his cottage. Eneas was also a farmer. A bit of a stretch? Not really because making cloth was a family occupation that went with having a few sheep, a mule and growing crops. Life was like this, changing little, from the fourteenth to the eighteenth century. Wool was Britain’s largest industry in the sixteenth century, shared between Yorkshire, Lancashire, E Anglia (trading with Flanders) and Devon. The Yorkshire way was as follows. Arriving home with a few stones of wool from the market, the clothier and his family opened out the bundles and spread the wool on hurdles or on the floor. The wool was then beaten and tossed with sticks to open out the fibres and any pieces of twig or dirt were picked out by hand. Sometimes the the wool was dyed in a vat which stood outside in the yard, or it was left in a natural state to be ‘dyed in the piece’ after weaving. Spinning and weaving followed. Some employed others to prepare the wool for weaving and it was estimated that to make a kersey (a piece of coarse woollen cloth) in a week took the labour of one weaver and five others who spun and carded the wool. Roy Brook, in his History of Huddersfied, quotes from the inventory of a clothier who died in 1712 – one old cow, a heifer, a stirk (one to two year old heifer or bullock) and a calf, eight sheep, some bees, one little horse with pack saddle, farm implements, a cheese press, two looms, cards, a pair of tenters, a dye vat, and a weigh beam. It’s not difficult to imagine these small holdings up the hills outside Huddersfield and Halifax. The families were proud, independent and self-sufficient – this rings a bell somewhere.
So Eli and Eneas lived at the end of the pre-industrial period. Experts differ, but roughly, industrialisation got going between 1760 and 1830 and was a piecemeal process. During this time the old and the new worked side by side until the new took over, producing lots of quality cheap goods. One example of overlap was weaving, performed by men in the cottage’s or small holding’s top storey. Spinning, cleaning and carding was women and children’s work. When these jobs went into the new mills, weaving stayed at home until mechanised looms were developed in the middle 1800s. In 1750, eighty percent of the population lived on the land. The nobility and landowners were at the top of society and ran everything, either from Westminster or locally as Justices of the Peace and benefactors. At the bottom was the mass of labourers who often earned less than the amount needed to survive. In the middle was a layer of free men: businessmen, teachers and vicars.
From 1733, inventions in the Lancashire cotton industry enabled more and more yarn to be processed ready for weaving. These innovations soon crossed over the Pennines for use with wool. The new machines were powered by a water-wheel at the side of a mill which was built either next to a river or had water in a reservoir with a ‘race’ down to the wheel (rivers can dry up). By 1790 factories were replacing mills and steam engines were replacing water-wheels. By 1835 there were over 100,000 power looms in Britain. Similar changes occurred in coal mining and iron manufacture.
1850s -Walkers and Addys
The next generation of Walkers and now including the Addys came along in the 1850s when the transition from a cottage industry to steam power and factories was well underway. Towns were growing and, for the first time, there were more people here than in the coutryside. In Huddersfield, Ramsden, Thornhill and Kaye were the large landowners. As the population expanded and towns grew, lots of amateur entrepreneurs organised land, labour, material and capital for small scale developments. In the town centre building was haphazard, filling in the space between existing properties and creating overcrowded insanitary courtyards where living in the cellars was normal. The Walkers in Lindley may not have felt these pressures, still living in a relatively rural area. George Addy in Hillhouse lived closer to the centre and might have been aware of these hazards. My first house on Willow Lane had a cellar dwelling and a backyard communal washhouse for improved hygeine.
The next stage was segregation of the classes, initiated by the class conscious middle, supported by a planning process that excluded cellar dwelling. From 1850, the elite, headed by the merchant manufacturers moved to Edgerton, the so called lower middle class people, shopkeepers and small businesses and maybe skilled workers, moved to Hillhouse, whilst the workers lived in monotonous rows of back-to-back terraces constructed in Fartown, Birkby, Moldgreen and Dalton.
My information on the Addy’s begins in 1845 when George was born. He became a railway porter and lived in Kirkburton. Where did he work? Don’t know. I imagine locally. Kirkburton was the end of a local line from Deighton, through Kirkheaton and Fenay Bridge and took passengers, opening in 1867. When we lived at Waterloo in the 1950s and 60s, me and my pals roamed around a lot and crossed the line regularly. A goods train went through once a day. Called Kirkburton Dick. The line closed in 1965. Buses and road trucks took over. George married Mary Booth in 1867. She was born in Kirkburton in 1842. By 1881 they were living in 11, Laurel Terrace, Hillhouse, and then 33, Laurel Terrace East in 1890. Opposite Willow Lane as part of Willow Lane East. George was said to have died 1939 when he would have been 94. I’ve no evidence for this, apart from a photo which could be him.
The railways were part of the transport revolution which helped industrialisation take off. First, road building was greatly improved though pack horses and carts could only move a certain amount of stuff. Then the canals on which a barge, a man and a horse could move lots of goods and material. Last, the railway which was a must-have for every town and village. Jobs were so highly prized that George will have edged himself out of the labouring classes.
Going further down the Walker tree. Eli and Ann had 4 children, the one we are interested in being William, born 1854. He worked as an engine tenter at Sykes’ mill. This job confusingly also had other names such as stoker, boiler firer and steam engineer. Tenter was the most important role in the mill after factories moved to coal and steam engines. He kept the boiler going, fed and watered so speak. The high priest of the engine room. In his hands an oil can and a wad of waste, on his head a greasy cap. His ear attuned to the slightest change in note or tempo, his fingers sensitive a to the temperature of each bearing. Without him the factory would stop. I wonder if he was actually an unskilled labourer – later he is described as a joiner’s labourer in a card clothing works. Card clothing was a series of combs which straightened fleece into the same direction before going for spinning.
One side-effect of the factories was the discipline needed to keep to time. William and George were only two to three generations away from subsistence-living in the hills where time was measured in seasons. Monday was often a day off following a weekend of excess. Vicars and magistrates were safely in the local town. Weaving remained in the home in some places well into the nineteenth century and here the old rhythms persisted. No shifts so they could easily adjust their schedule to accomodate choir or cricket practice.
Another side-effect of factories, because many men were still at home, was the need for women and children to work long hours on the new machines for little pay. This was a scandal. Richard Oastler was the land steward for Thornhill and campaigned for reform. An act of Parliament limiting work to a 10-hour day was passed in 1847.
1880s – Walkers
Unsurprisingly, mainstream religious practice did not suit independent workers. Methodism especially became popular. A direct approach to the people, simple services and music, and a free choice of where to worship. Harriet and William were married at the The New Connexion Chapel, Lindley, in 1882.
Her dad was Eneas, the farmer at Cowrakes, Lindley. Harriet was one of 13 children all of whom survived – my research doesn’t suggest otherwise. 3 millhands, 3 woollen weavers, 3 piecers, a winder, a fettler for a carding engine and and a feeder. One son, Teazer, had no job specified so he might have died. Surprisingly one of the weavers was Harriet herself.
Harriet and William had two addresses – West St, Lindley in 1883 and 33, Weatherhill, Lindley where Harriet died. William died of chronic endocarditis (heart failure). Harriet died of labio-glosso-pharyngeal paralysis. This sounds like pseudo-bulbar palsy and is a form of stroke.
They had 2 boys. Arthur died at 9 years of meningitis, and Frank born in 1883. He married Annie Whitaker in 1912 at St Johns in Birkby. In 1914, they lived at Clara St, Hillhouse. Then West St, Lindley, and Thistle St, off Leeds Rd where he was described as a master grocer. Prior to that he was a cloth finisher at Pat Martin’s mill. I don’t know much else about Frank Walker, but he was abroad during the first world war, Quite what he did their is unknown.
Annie Whitaker, born 1884, was one of 7 children. Her father was Jessie who was said to come from Halifax and worked as a master joiner at Hopkinsons, also a journeyman. Another skilled worker who had served an apprenticeship. They lived 307 Leeds Rd, Bradley and Lumb Lane, Liversedge.
Frank and Annie had a boy and a girl. Your greatgrandad, Reg and Gladys. Reg was my dad. He married your greatgranny, Joan Addy, in 1940.
The next Addy in line was Edward, George’s son. He is described as a teamster. Mum said he was a Coop coalman, so that would fit. He had to catch his horse every morning before getting his coal round organised at Hillhouse sidings, just down the road from Willow Lane East, next to the main line to Leeds. Whilst this was a domestic business, it is a reminder of the importance of coal as the fuel that fed the boilers that generated the steam that drove the new machines. Along with transport, the availability of labour, raw materials and finance, and a ready market, coal was a key factor in industrial progress. Coal mining is integral to the history of West Yorkshire.
Edward worked alongside Douglas Clark who owned a coal company. He was a Cumbrian who moved to Huddersfield to play for the local rugby league side, known as Fartown. He was a star with Harold Wagstaff and Albert Rosenfeld in ‘The Team of All Talents’ who won all the trophies in the pre-war era. He was an international who travelled to Australia and played with a broken arm in a game that came to be known as Rorke’s Drift. Edward and Douglas were said to be close pals. Whether Edward was rugby daft before or after he met Douglas is not known. He would have been in his twenties when rugby union clubs in the north left to form their own competition in 1895, a disagreement over money. What must that have been like?
Watching rugby – I’m pretty sure looking at photographs, that Edward, my grandad, never played – resulted from workers getting paid enough to enjoy leisure. Wages had gradually increased during the late nineteenth century. Things to do had expanded enormously during this period. Soccer and cricket thrived as well as rugby. Music societies grew and grew, from the more elite Huddersfield Choral to the village choir. Many other interests were pursued through the efforts of local people in a widespread self-help movement.
Joan’s mum was Mary Ann (b1880, d1970). Her parents were from Ireland. Emigrating or eloping. Middle of the nineteenth century was a time of famine and land clearances and many Irish people left to make a new life. So Patrick Malone, born 1856, and Mary Ann, born in 1855, (Doolan, Dillan or Dowling) came to Huddersfield around 1870 and lived intially in Upperhead Row with other Irish immigrants in the town centre. They moved to Turnbridge and had a family, one of which was Mary Ann. The birth certificates again let us down a bit, because gran Malone’s maiden name was Dooan, Dooland or some other Doo. I’ve checked it out at Clifden Library over on the west coast of Ireland, and there is no record of this family name. The librarian told us she would only have spoken gaelic and wouldn’t have written, so the midwife would have made it up as best she could. He also took some pleasure in showing us some living conditions in nineteenth century Ireland. Very basic bare footed. .
Patrick was a chemical labourer, possibly at the aniline dye works in Hillhouse or more likely Hollidays at Turnbridge. In pre-industrial times, colouring for cloth came from nature. To support expanding cloth production a sophiscticated chemical research and development was needed. In the mid nineteenth century, Read Holliday, with the help of a French chemist, established a dyeworks in Turnbridge for just that purpose. It’s easy to imagine Patrick getting a job there. Legend has it he left Mary Ann. He’s said to have died a workhouse death in poverty, maybe Manchester way. They had 10 children, one of whom was my granny, Mary Ann above. She married Edward Addy (b1875) in 1901. They had three daughters, Joan, your greatgranny, Norah and Mary.
Mary Ann Malone married Edward and became an Addy, living on Whitestone Lane, Hillhouse. The Kirkburton Addy family and presumably George on Willow Lane East were tee-total. Drinking and agricultural subsistence went hand in hand. They were all home-brewers. Public drunkeness was not unknown. Not a good thing if you had to be at work on time in the new factories. The temperance movement was at its height in the 1860s in partnership with The Salvation Army. They encouraged sobriety for its own sake, whilst mill owners were keen on a fully fit, committed labour force. Edward kept his whisky in a jug, shaped as a brown cow, safe high up on the mantleshelf. Granny Addy in her later years on Blackpool trips could be seen in Yate’s Wine Lodge where even the champagne was on draft. ‘Moderation is True Temperance was the company motto.’
My mum grew up here and he had his first Christmas Days here. I was the smallest and youngest of the grandchildren, tagging on, at the end of the line. Sitting in the wicker armchair next to the blackout curtain was a prize worth fighting for, but on Christmas Days and holidays I’d not chance against the likes of cousins Colin and Pat who were really old. I suspect older brother would have come third or fourth. Fifteen years later I had the chair to myself. I used to go for tea and do my homework before walking on Bradford Road to the bottom of town and catch the trolley bus home. It was a short cut, no need to go to the bus station. It’s part of the ring road now.
I remember Grannie Addy very well. In 1953, when we moved house, she was seventy three, and looked it, skinny, NHS specs, round wrinkled face and hair in grey braids wrapped up around her head. I didn’t recognise her one morning, with her hair down, younger somehow. Whatever the weather she wore thick stockings and a hat and coat. And her toast was like eating a crisp biscuit. Mum worked, so granny looked after me when I was ill or during school holidays. She was a widow a long time – 30 years or so.
The house on Whitestone Lane was a terrace surrounding a yard on three sides, no more than ten minutes from us on Willow Lane. The Hillhouse sidings, where Edward worked were just across the road. Noisy coal regularly delivered down schutes, even at night when the shift worked under strong electric light. Granny Addy had a back kitchen. It was dark and damp with bare stonework and a permanent smell of gas. You didn’t go in if you could avoid it. Her real kitchen was the one downstairs room, lounge and dining included. One window still with blackout curtains from the war. Upright piano sounds a bit grand, but a lot of people had one. Mum could play. There was also an amazing ornate, floor-to-ceiling, mirrored, pillared, theatrical wooden sideboard, like a fairground organ, and a range with fire and oven and a sink in a cupboard. Two bedrooms and gazundas (chamber pots), so the rooms smelled permanently of urine. The proper toilet was part of a toilet terrace down the yard. It had its own key threaded on a bobbin, kept behind the front door with newspaper scraps, a candle and a match. Only ever one match. Granny would have been in her eighties when mum and dad threw most of her things away prior to moving her nearer to us at Waterloo. They discovered £500 in the piano. She wanted to be ninety before she died and she did so peacefully in Mill Hill hospital in 1970. A good catholic who never went to church, she was buried with the wrong name, Mary Jane on the coffin. Mum was mortified.
Edward and Mary Ann Addy had two daughters prior to the First World War, and my mum came along in 1919 when granny Addy would have been 39. Granny Walker had dad when she was was thirty-three. She was a bit servere and had facial hair. Mum and Dad were the youngest in their families and both had older sisters. Mum was 28 when she had me. So fractures in family building brought about by war.
Dad, also known as Reg-o’-Frank’s, was born in Lindley in 1917. Frank, a cloth-finisher at Pat Martin’s and Lidell, Wellington Mills before becoming a greengrocer, died at 60, a year after big brother arrived (1942). Dad would have been 26. Dad’s grandad, William, was an engine stoker at Syke’s, Acre Mills, Lindley, behind and around the Globe and he died at 73 when my dad was 10.
There are lots of photographs of mum and dad as children growing up. Plenty of smiles. Mum left Longley School with shorthand and typing qualifications. She worked for Brian Tunstall, business manager, at Hopkinson’s valves where dad must have also worked for a spell.
After the World War II
Mum an dad got married in 1939, aged 18 and 20. Big brother was born in 1942. Dad then went to India, 5 years as a corporal in The Pay Corps. I arrived in 1947. Dad was grumpy. I realise now that England after the war must have been a disappointment to him. Mum and older brother were probably wrapped round each other. He wasn’t qualified to do anything, having left Hillhouse technical school at 15 with a skill for figures and maps. Nothing out of place in his paperwork when me and older brother sorted his stuff out after he died. But he was special with wood. He could tell you which tree a lump of wood came from, and where the tree was growing if it still was. And he made things. Tables, bookcases and wardrobes when we couldn’t afford to buy them and coffee tables for gifts and carvings when he retired. He said he worked for Elliot’s timber people, before the second war, and in accounts, at the Electricity Board after. He wanted things to be better. They bought a house, had a car, and encouraged older brother and me to go to college.