A Gift From The Boss

I like burial grounds, – no I am not morbid, wierd, obsessed with death, or a goth, I lke wandering in graveyards – they are usually very tranquil places, but most of all I like reading the gravestones,  each one gives you a small piece of history, and sometimes sparks a bit of curiosity. Bearing this in mind, having read about an interesting inscription on a headstone I set out to Pole Moor Baptist Chapel on the outskirts of Huddersfield.  Pole Moor is a small settlement ( village ?, hamlet??) after you go through Outlane  on New Hey Road towards the dark side  – Lancashire ! – or Greater Manchester  as they prefer to call it now ( when I was a lad Manchester was in Lancashire). Pole Moor consists of a few cottages, Small farms ,  a former baptist chapel – now converted into dwellings and a pub or two ( Lower Royal George and The Jack  o’ Mitre) Lets  have a quick look at Pole Moor.

Former Baptist Chapel
Former Baptist Chapel

Headstones ln the garden and maybe a crypt ln the cellar . Across the road from the chapel is the other part of the burial ground, now very overgrown and neglected.

Neglected burial ground
Neglected burial ground

Another few views

Pole Moor burial ground
Pole Moor burial ground

Again

Very overgrown
Very overgrown

Surprisingly at the top end there are some quite recent internments . as recent as 2008! . Must be family owned plots with some spaces left.

Recent internments
Recent internments

This small part of the ground is kept a little tidier – probably friends and family of the bereaved.  Anyway lets search around, – not easy in such an overgrown place, some of the stones are barely visible – never mind legible. After pushing my way through waist high vegetation to get to stones , I decided to give up the search. Making my way back to the gate I thought  ” I could perhaps pick my way through to a few stones  near the side wall”  so thats what I did and  BINGO there it was!!!

The elusive Stone
The elusive Stone

Magnify it – can you read it?  Here is another view

A bit closer
A bit closer

I will transcribe– John Edward Haigh . Nettleton Hill Longwood. He died January 28th 1879 aged 38 years.  from the effects(?) of an accident at Parkwood Mills  longwood While in the discharge of his duty this stone fell upon him and crushed him.  in token of their respect for his faithful service his employers have caused this stone to be set up. (!!!) Well thanks boss – the stone that crushed  poor john was donated to be made  into his headstone; most people get a gold watch as a leaving gift. I  have no details of the accident apart from the fact that the stone was something to do with the mill chimney which was under construction or had just been finished. It had “a square tower for the first 80ft or so with a parapet round which one can walk, and then an octagonal chimney of about 70ft”.

Parkwood mill chimney
Parkwood mill chimney

If the bottom bit is 80 ft then the top bit doesn’t look 70ft to me. Now then, casting my mind  back I have  a vague memory of reading an  article about this incident, my memory of it could be completely  wrong so do not quote me on this but , I  remember reading that the mill owner was also a quarry owner and used stone from his own quarry for building work on his mill ( nearby longwood edge had plenty of quarries in the 19th century). I also get the impression that John was actually a delver ( quarryman) possibly transporting stone for the chimney build – This could also be complete rubbish!. Lets see whereabouts John lived  – Nettleton Hill- nowadays one would say Scapegoat Hill not Longwood.

Nettleton Hill Road  junction
Nettleton Hill Road junction

On the right is an old Mile post – worth a look

Milepost Roundings
Milepost Roundings

Of course we don’t know which house john lived in – or even if it is still there but you get the impression that there hasn’t been much change in the last few hundred years.

Nettleton Hill
Nettleton Hill
Nettleton Hill
Nettleton Hill
Nettleton Hill
Nettleton Hill

See what I mean, and incidently Nettleton Hill is about halfway between Pole Moor and Parkwood Mill. Lets go down to Parkwood Mill now, fortunately it is still standing, the majority of it converted into apartments, with a bit of “new build” blended in quite well.

Parkwood Mills sign
Parkwood Mills sign
Another one with the chimney
Another one with the chimney

Part of the mill is still derelict.

Parkwood Mill
Parkwood Mill

And part of it now lived in

Parkwood Mill
Parkwood Mill

I am of the opinion that it is better to convert the old mills rather than demolish them. I have fond memories of passing the Mills in the early 1980s going up Stoney Lane, seeing the girls sitting on the window sills at break time , chatting and catching a bit of sunshine, happy memories, I don’t ever remember it raining.Now a quick look round on a plesant autumn day.

Windows need a wash
Windows need a wash
Parkwood Mills
Parkwood Mills
From Parkwood Road
From Parkwood Road
Bottom of Dod Lea Lane
Bottom of Dod Lea Lane
DodLea Lane
DodLea Lane

Thats just a quick post with very little effort, hope you enjoy.

Further research made 2015  John Edward Haigh  WAS a quarryman, working at Broadbent’s Quarry, Lower clough , Longwood; along with other workers he was winding up the stone ( His later headstone) when the crane slipped and the stone crushed him against another block of stone. His left leg was broken , and he suffered spinal injuries, he died approximately four hours later at 8’o clock in the evening.

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