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Dorothy tells the story of another soldier who died towards the end of WW1. "Reported missing August 30th 1918 aged 19 years." He was Private Arthur Hindle Carter - also known as -Whiteley. Remembered in St Mary's Elland, on the Hullenedge War Memorial and in our churchyard. Because of some confusion about his surname, he even has two War Casualty records.

As the memorial stone is being carved, ready for laying in mid-May, Ian looks back 170 years at what Ann Walker's funeral might have been like. He emphasises that it is a speculative exercise as there is no known report of the event. The article is based on accounts of funerals at the time, details of Ann's aunt's mourning and knowledge of the church itself. We know, for example, that the service itself was conducted by the Vicar of Halifax, Rev Charles Musgrave. So do read it but remember it is just a possible account.

As we often find, so many of the families in Lightcliffe were interlinked over many generations. Investigating one family often leads to another. Here, starting with the Carter family who were tenants of Giles House quickly brought connections to the Nicholl family and that of the Radcliffes of Smith House. The latter family were related to the Radcliffes of Milnsbridge who, in turn, sold a large piece of land to Ann Walker in 1836. Dorothy has researched these families in detail and Ian has written a short history of Giles House and of Smith House. The Radcliffes have the impressive chest tomb to the left of the main Wakefield Road entrance. If you follow the link to the Carters, you'll find the other stories in the same section.

It may have been wet but our wildlife is flourishing. I've never seen so many spring flowers right across the churchyard. Marjorie's Early Spring report is here and it has a wonderful collect of photos of flowers, insects and birds. Over the last few days we have had a couple of hundred visitors to Lightcliffe, the churchyard and the tower. We opened to coincide with the Anne Lister Calderdale events and this encouraged a good number of our neighbours to pop-in. Ian guided three groups round our village with a focus on the life of Ann Walker. It included visits to Cliffe Hill and Lydgate. Each tour had 30 participants from all across the country, several European countries, USA, Canada and New Zealand. Everyone enjoyed the history, many were impressed by Lightcliffe itself and, despite the forecasts, everyone stayed dry. We have benefited by the generosity of our visitors. The photo shows one of the groups outside the main door of Cliffe Hill. We don't need to identify Ian - it is rather obvious! Our hosts, David & Janice kindly pass their donation to Overgate Hospice.

As you may well have seen, a number of the bird boxes have been repaired and 3 that had fallen down have been put back up. We wait for some happy new residents! Recently Dorothy & Ian met Paul Wormwell to look at some deeds regarding properties near the Hove Edge end of the Coach Road. We also found out that Paul had done some research into Harold Roberts who survived both a very difficult childhood and WW1. Dorothy added some additional research and this is now posted as Private Harold Roberts.

Having looked at the deeds (which included the family of Titus Salt selling off part of the Crow Nest estate) is leading us on to the history of the Carter family who lived in Giles House and to some properties owned by Mary Ann Sunderland (of Coley Hall & Thornhill House) which takes in Lower Green and the triangle of land by Spout House Lane and the main road including The Dusty Miller. Watch this space...in due course.

An update of one of Dorothy's first articles that of Sergeant Major Fred Mitchell. Lots more has been discovered and the story rewritten. He seems to have been unlucky to have been one of the few killed in a minor battle during WW1 in Southern Africa.

We asked the Council's Bereavement Services, back in Autumn, to restore a few of the fallen or damaged headstones. The work was delayed because of the weather but is now underway. One of the first to be restored was this fallen Angel. She was off her pedestal, dirty and had lost her head. We'd had a poem sent to us written by a former schoolboy of Rastrick Grammar School. He'd written it soon after the church was demolished. Dorothy has now linked the headstone, its restoration and the poem under the article Three Little Angels. A fascinating read. And congratulations to Ian from the Council's team for this beautiful restoration.

Before and after. 

Several years ago we found a dedication to a Fred Booth who was buried in Cornwall, New York State at the bottom of one of our headstones. Fred had worked in Firth's carpet factory and, when the company began to manufacture in the United States, the company made an offer to some of its workers. 'Move to our factory, we will pay your expenses and, if you don't like it there, your old job will be available back here'. Fred moved and stayed. The company prospered and established a thriving community next to the mill named Firthcliffe! We've had more information and Dorothy has updated the original article. Click on the link to read the success story of Fred Booth and why his relatives remembered him back in our churchyard.

The vast Walker estate was sold off, primarily from 1860 to 1890, as Evan Charles Sutherland Walker bought and transformed Skibo Castle in Sutherland, northeast Scotland. It also brought financial ruin to him. The article on the disposal has been updated giving more detail on the 1890 sale, thanks to information from Chris Helme and Dave Lister.

Not just the Hemingways but their relatives introducing the Appleyards and some Turners. As we've noted before, in small villages before a lot of movement, many families intermarried. You'll see with Dorothy's latest articles, that one of these families lived at Laverock Hall. We think this was a small farm just off what is now Laverock Lane in Hove Edge. There are additional family links with the surnames Ward and Wilkinson.

And even more Hemingway family details. These include establishing a brewery in Leeds (eventually taken over by Tetley's), a fire in a Bolton theatre and the purchase of a house from the Ripley estate in Holme House. The direct link to the first of these stories is here.

We've several Hemingway families and this branch has links to a Tomlinson family and a Mosey family. Abraham was a tenant of Anne Lister at Southolm(e) Farm in Southowram. Actually in the Walterclough Valley and near to Sutcliffe Wood Bottom. Rev Sutcliffe Sowden, who would have been a neighbour, officiated at a Hemingway family burial. It's rare that an officiating priest wasn't the curate at St Matthew's which suggests a friendship. Dorothy's latest research can be found by clicking this link to go to the first of 4 articles.

A few years ago, Ian began looking at the Walkers of Crow Nest owned property all around Halifax and beyond. From the Shibden valley, Queensbury, Ovenden, central Halifax, Greetland, Stainland, Golcar, Lindley, Birchencliffe and as far as Honley. His article, Elizabeth and Ann Walker's Inheritance, summarises what he has found so far. There is likely to be more to come.

Ian has done quite a bit of research at the West Yorkshire Archives and this has included taking information and transcribing it. Most of it has appeared in articles but he wants to make some available in case someone else is looking in the same areas. For instance, there is a recent transcription of a document showing how part of the Walker estate was divided up in Ann Walker's favour. (thanks to Diane Halford for locating it). It gave, amongst other information, clues to where 3 properties were. Ever heard of Cordingley Green? Or Han Heys or Stone Styles? His updated version of the enormous Walker estate will be published soon. The specific article is on https://www.lightcliffechurchyard.org.uk/attachments/article/137/Research%20articles%202.pdf.

We've had a busy few weeks including several 'openings' and just when we thought we'd closed for the season, we get another special request for a visit. In amongst so many other things, Dorothy has pieced together an entwined family story featuring at least 4 different families. As always, in a small community, one story leads to another. These 5 new articles range across a number of families, some centred on the village of Norwood Green but stretching across to a Moravian Settlement in Derbyshire. Some of the stories are very normal but there's a tragic story of a suicide and of abuse by husband of his wife. Do follow the link to go directly to the first of the articles on some more Sucksmiths.

As many of you will know, our poet-in-residence, Bob Horne, has been very busy researching and writing the history of Lightcliffe's memorial Stray. [this is available in Lightcliffe Tea Rooms and Hipperholme News]

He has now given us a poem evocative of memories from Crow Nest mansion. It is called Absence and can be found in our poet's section. It is the second poem down.

We are always pleased when other people do the research! Michael & Carolyn Charnock were investigating their family and came across an ancestor buried in the churchyard. The story appears in the usual People of Interest spot.

The latest of our family stories relates to the Sucksmiths who lived in Hill End Farm in Norwood Green. Perhaps if you know the people who live there now, you might alert them to this story. Dorothy has done an amazing job sorting out who was whom. Ian, however, is recovering from digging out more of one of the ledger stones so that it could be read in full. When we first located this gravestone it was a few inches below the surrounding turf. Enough was cut away to give the details of who was buried there but no more. Over time it had slipped at an angle and was covered in some of the debris when the church was demolished, including some glass. It was uncovered, photographed (as shown in Dorothy's article) and filled in for safety reasons. The article is in the People of Interest section.

Dorothy now has access to the 1921 Census which allows further family research and gives added detail. This will result in some updates to existing articles. The first such are Private G P S Brown (the Brown's family headstone had been toppled and the Friends paid for it to be righted as a sign of respect for a soldier who died in WW1) and Private James Smallwood. James Smallwood lived in Roydlands Farm on Wakefield Road. Dorothy now adds 4 articles linked to the people who lived at the farm over several generations. These can all be found on our People of Interest section. We continue to entertain visitors from our neighbourhood and across the world. Many give generously towards the work of the Friends. Just in the last week we found three folk from the Gold Coast of Queensland just wandering around and this week we have three researchers from Italy, in Halifax for a week, working in the Archives and learning more about Anne Lister and Ann Walker's Halifax and Lightcliffe.

The wildlife in the churchyard this Spring and early summer has been amazing and is beautifully captured in Marjorie's new wildlife report for May and June. You can find it on our 'What to see' section of this website. A whole new insight into the lives of aphids!, plus lots more.

We've been busy, though mainly Dorothy. On Friday evening (19th May) we had our Bat Watch evening led by Chris Sutcliffe the Council Countryside Officer. The weather was so much better than forecast and 60 people turned up, about half were children. Many first visited the tower before moving on to Chris's walk. It took a while until the first bat was seen and then we all saw several. A lovely evening.

From our records we knew that we had not found several graves. We thought they must be buried then we had evidence that most had been removed to make mowing easier with no formal process. Fortunately something that would be very difficult to do do these days. We had sufficient information for Dorothy to trace their stories. We feel this is so important because their memorials should never been allowed to be removed. Without Dorothy's research, their memories would have disappeared. You can start this thread by going to Some Missing Memorials.

Our latest project has been to update the Walker folder. Firstly Dorothy has updated the over-arching article on the Walker family and Ian has added an article on John and Fanny Walker. Both contain additional information that we've only just become aware of either through our own research or through other individuals such as David Glover, Diane Halford and Deb Woolson. Two websites, insearchofannwalker.com and packedwithpotential.org and Jenny Wood and Steve Crabtree at West Yorkshire Archives always provide valuable assistance. What we find amazing is the small pieces of information about people, from our area, who lived and died 200 years ago, for example John Walker suffered badly from gout and his sister, Mary, had a bad fall at Cliffe Hill breaking bones in her thigh and dying soon afterwards. The 20th article in this series includes Elizabeth Priestley and her family which included Edward who was engaged to Elizabeth Walker.

We've had a busy few days helping to host the Anne Lister Birthday event. The churchyard and tower had over 100 visitors from the UK, Europe, Australia and Noth America. The new handrail provided by Friends of Friendless Churches meant a better and safer experience in the tower. We were joined on Friday by two local councillors interested in the increase in tourism caused by this interest. Ian has recently updated four articles relating to the immense Walker estate. In particular 'A tour of Ann Walker's estate' links in with entries in Anne Lister's celebrated diaries as the two toured Ann's properties and met some of her tenants. Benjamin Outram, a tenant of both sisters and living in Greetland, had been experimenting (like Titus Salt) in using alpaca wool and sold scarves and a shawl to the Ann(e)s. The other articles give information about the entire estate and its eventual sale from 1860 onwards. If these estates, especially around Hipperholme and Lightcliffe, had not been sold, much of our older houses would not have had the land on which to be built.

Whilst helping Bob Horne research the background to The Stray as a war memorial, Dorothy came across another soldier who died in WW1 and was buried in the churchyard. We know where the grave is but there is no memorial. Next step is to ask the Commonwealth War Graves Commission if there is a reason that there isn't a headstone. This soldier was, after all, buried with military honours. His story is under the heading of The WW1 Wolfenden soldiers. Another soldier, Private Benjamin Crossley, served in the Boer War and was injured. After what seems like a difficult life after he was discharged, when he died he was buried in the same plot as the Wolfendens.

A few years ago, Ian published an article about Ann Walker's properties. But he knew there was some information missing. He's found the details of the purchase of a large piece of land (and farms, cottages etc..) stretching from Stoney Lane down to Bradford Road. This was bigger than he'd expected. He's written a new article which summarises all of the properties that Ann bought in the period from 1835 to 1847. It contains some detail about our villages at the time. 

At the start of the year, we published an article by Helen Shields relating the sad story of Betty Kershaw. Dorothy has now done more research into her family and this is now available.

Our Friend Daphne Eyres from Rutland has found out yet more information about here distant relatives the Manns and the Batemans. We've now 4 articles on this family under the heading 'An early Lightcliffe family - the Manns of Mann's Farm.'

Our latest family saga that has been researched by Dorothy starts with an early benefactor of the poor, includes an England cricketer, a number of highly suitable marriages and even tells of a recipient of the Victoria Cross. Slead Hall, just as Hove Edge becomes Brighouse, is a common theme for much of the family stories. As there are 5 articles in this story, we suggest you go to the People of Interest rather than a series of direct links. This is the extended story of the Gibsons, the Firths and the Macaulays with additional information about the Ashworths who owned parts of Hove Edge.

Happy New Year to all our readers. You'll notice that the Ann Walker charity appeal reached an amazing £2600 with donations from all over the world. Out of the blue, we received an article written by Helen Shields about a tragic death of a woman, Elizabeth Kershaw, known as Betty. It involves domestic abuse, a court case and a prison sentence. Betty was buried in the churchyard near to the Till Carr Lane boundary. I suppose some authorities would issue a trigger warning! I'm not doing that but it is a very sad story.

We have written in our book about several charitable bequests that are recorded on a board now stored in the tower. All were closed in the latter part of the last century because the amounts involved were so small compared with the initial values. Inflation over the last 200 years is well over 110%. It was a real pleasant surprise to learn that our friends, the 'In Search of Ann Walker' group had revived Ann Walker's bequest. It has supported local foodbanks for the last two years and, this year, is making a large donation to Brighouse Central Foodbank. The initial target of £1000 has been easily reached already. The story of Ann Walker's charity can be found in our usual section, People of Interest together with an update on the total raised - well over £2600.

Dorothy has completed another marathon family research,  for families called Sherwood, EmpsallMarsden and Longbottom. These are all stored under  The related Sherwood, Empsall and Marsden families as are the Pinders and some Harrisons. You might be better to go to main People of Interest page to see the full list of 7 articles. Dorothy has now found out about two more soldiers, one who fought at Waterloo and another who enlisted just after the Crimean War. There were also accidental deaths including in the stone quarrying industries which were all round our area including both sides of the road between Hipperholme and Hove Edge.

 

The final (for now) story about the Walker family has just been added. It uses the information available on the death of Ann Walker senior. It has enabled Ian to clarify which properties this Ann owned in her own right which was then left to her niece. She also left around £2 million in today's money. This came as a surprise to Ian who'd thought that she would have little of her own. For anyone with a deeper interest, there is a link in the article to a different website run by InSearchofAnnWalker which is discovering a great deal more about Ann Walker and, by association, our area in the 1830s and 1840s. This link will take you to the article.

In the late 1840s Hipperholme and Lightcliffe changed dramatically as the railway came through, opening in 1850. Most of the land for the route was owned by the Shibden Hall or Walker estates. The purchase of the land is described in the article 'The development of the railway, the Walker and Lister estates'. This can be found in the Ann Walker section.

Ian has been doing further research into the Walker family. In the first case, this is in the form of additional information done by others into the lunacy of Ann Walker. There is a link which takes you to the full story. In today's context 'an Inquisition' brings to mind the infamous Spanish version with very unfortunate consequences for some.

Though Dorothy always starts her research in the churchyard, it often extends far from Lightcliffe and uncovers other unexpected links.

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

appears in People of Interest and involves a fatal accident (the doctor attending was Dr Charteris, a previous article - his house, Amisfield House on Leeds Road, is currently being refurbished), links with Norway and Sweden (the Brookes company) and even the Travellers' Inn in Hipperholme.

Ian has just updated an article on the inheritance of the Walker sisters, Elizabeth & Ann. Part of the reason was that a transcription of their father's will of 1818 had read 98 as 90.  John Walker had inherited two rooms in the Piece Hall, 98 & 118. If very interested, you could devise a car tour round their estates taking in Lightcliffe, Shibden Valley, Tesco in Queensbury, the centre of Halifax, Stainland and even out to Golcar and Honley. To find the article, go to People of Interest, Ann Walker, family & friends.

An unlikely name for a pub? The Patent Hammer Inn was in Low Moor with connections to Lightcliffe. How did it get its name and what was the relationship to it, to the Smith family and to Judy Woods. To find out, you'll need Dorothy's final article on the Smith family. With many additional thanks to Mary Twentyman, an expert in the history of Low Moor.

What must have been a major challenge, Dorothy has been unravelling a history of one group (of many) of Smiths. There are 250 at least buried in the churchyard. The articles cover lots of information about these families. If you are a Smith, you'll have to read through to see if this is part of your history. Ian's wife, Carol, is a Smith and despite living in the Low Moor area of Bradford, we've found there is no link to these Smiths.

It is a pleasure to publish Marjorie's latest wildlife report covering the last two months. There are, as usual, lots of wonderful photos and a detailed description of what Marjorie has seen over the many hours that she spends recording the wide variety of life in the churchyard. So much that we just take for granted and so much to enjoy for those who walk through or sit for a few minutes.

Several years ago, as we were carefully removing turf from parts of the flat ledger stones, we came across an ownership inscription for Hannah Denison of Northowram. Such inscriptions are relatively rare in Lightcliffe. Intriguingly the owner, it stated, died in Akron, Ohio USA. It has taken some time before the mystery rose to the top of Dorothy's research list. Here, then, is Hannah's story. Look for People of Interest, as usual, for her story.

Dorothy and Ian would like to thank everyone who has bought our recent book and, even more so, for the positive comments that many have fed back to us. We are getting further information about many aspects which we will be adding, over time, to the story. But, rest assured, there will not be a second edition! We have covered our costs and surpluses now will be given to the Friends for the upkeep of our very special churchyard. Thank you.

 

The latest family history starts with the grave of Frances Hird, nee Hale. She married Lamplugh Wickham Hird and they became tenants of Ann Walker at Lidgate House just as she moved to Shibden Hall. The tenancy agreement for this substantial furnished house was to last for ten years, though Frances died before this period was completed.

Lamplugh subsequently changed his name, dropping the Hird and taking the family surname so he became Lamplugh Wickham Wickham. He was a director of the Low Moor Company which had mineral rights in Norwood Green - the area known as Upper Rooks.

The latest wildlife report has been completed by Marjorie. Beautifully photographed showing all of the wildlife in our churchyard. To have a look, please visit here, Late Spring Wildlife.

 

As promised here are three more articles about the Ellis family, Sugdens of Bramley Lane, Hudsons and Broadleys of Norwood Green. Some great detective work uncovering soldiers fighting in the Crimea, India and WW1. Connections to Saltaire and much more. You've five articles to read.

The book 'In the Shadow of Lightcliffe's Old Tower' is selling steadily and we are very pleased with the positive feedback that we are getting. People are enjoying learning more about Lightcliffe, Hipperholme and beyond and the people who lived round here. It is on sale locally - The Sun Inn, Lightcliffe Tea Rooms, Hipperholme News and Hipperholme Post Office or contact us through this website.

Dorothy was determined to sort out the Mordechai Ellis family. It must have been one of her most challenging tasks so far. Sometimes it can be the little bit of extra information that she gleans. In this case, for me, it is that another soldier from Lightcliffe was in the Crimea; I find it amazing that the small community here had 4 men fighting so far away. Please go to People of Interest for more details. These are the first two instalments. 3 to come.

The return of the nuthatches! Marjorie has spotted the nuthatches as they return to their nesting box and we are delighted to include her latest wildlife report showing beautiful photos of spring. You can find her report in the What to see section.

We will be welcoming many visitors to the churchyard next weekend (April 2nd for a few days) as part of the Anne Lister Birthday Week. Halifax and the valley are likely to have several hundred people visiting for this event and some will have travelled from the USA, Europe and other parts of the UK. We hope they enjoy their stay.

The main reason for many to come to Lightcliffe is its association with the Walker family, in particular Ann. Dorothy has found an interesting story of how a family sold their cottage to Ann Walker and were allowed to stay for the rest of their natural life, rent free. It is on People of Interest, look for The Day family and their Lightcliffe Cottage.

With the change of the seasons and the churchyard showing new colour and growth, it is a pleasure to post a poem by one of the Friends. Nancy Wilson is the daughter of john and Marion Stennett who was a well known local policeman. You can find this and enjoy reading Nancy's poem, Awakenings! under Miscellaneous Stories.

Despite getting ready for the launch of the book, Dorothy has managed to complete her stories of the Hanson family of Norwood Green. They were butchers, farmers, innkeepers and vets. They first came to notice as 'cow doctors' tending cattle at Cliffe Hill. The next generation had moved on to be veterinary surgeons and established a family tradition. If anyone has any further information, please let us know. Follow this link to People of Interest and look for The Hanson family articles.

 

We've a new poem to add to our collection. I think it is very evocative and matches what we are trying to achieve in the churchyard. Do have a look following this link.

The launch of Dorothy's and Ian's book, 'In the Shadow of Lightcliffe's Old Tower' is on Wednesday 23rd February at 7.30 in St Matthew's church. You are very welcome to join us. The book tells the history of the Georgian and Victorian churches, families associated with them including founders of the churches, the Walkers and the Fosters and many more including the real people from the Gentleman Jack series. We hope to see you there.

There's a collection of press cuttings from the past 50 years in the Old Church archives section.

 

Best wishes for a healthy and enjoyable 2022. We've created a new set of articles in the People of Interest section to lodge articles which aren't easily classified. For want of a better title, it's called Miscellaneous Stories. The first article relates to a travelling communion set and its connections to Southowram, Lightcliffe (very loosely) and the Ripley family in Shropshire. The second is an informal look at what people in our villages did from 1840 to 1910 based on the census returns quoted in many of Dorothy's articles. You may find it highlights many occupations that are now lost. If you are old enough to remember a TV programme called 'What's my Line?', there are number of challenging job names.

Here's the latest in Dorothy's research into the Pearson extended family, making 5 separate but interlinked family stories. It's available at the usual place, People of Interest. Looking through this very extensive section we have now covered the stories relating to 55 families - the vast majority researched in great detail by Dorothy. It really provides a treasure trove for anyone looking into the history of Lightcliffe, Hipperholme and neighbouring villages.

Ian had come across the fact that two prominent families, the Johnston Fosters and the Henry Ripleys had both bought large estates in southern Shropshire around 1880 and begun to sever their links here. On a recent holiday, he had the opportunity to visit both houses, the neighbouring churches and churchyards. This story can be found under People of Interest, The Foster family, Shropshire Connection. The article could not have been written without Dorothy's ability to find additional information.

Marjorie's latest spotlight on the wildlife in the churchyard and includes a couple of new species. Click on the link for 4 pages of autumn interest.

Not surprisingly, there have been updates to the Pearson family articles - with more expected. As you read these, you may be interested to see the very large range of occupations that are mentioned in the census extracts. Anyway, do have a read through. Two more episodes of the Pearson families have been updated, that makes 4 with a final one to come.

Here is another family saga from Dorothy. This time the Pearson family with connections to Denmark Farm and Shibden Hall in the early 1840s. As usual, this can be found under People of Interest, About the Churchyard. This article includes some extra detail about when Ann Walker left the Hall for York. It is amazing how much additional research is being done which has links to Lightcliffe in the first half of the nineteenth century. It's also amazing how many stories Dorothy is 'unearthing'! We need to remember that there are over 11,000 people buries in our churchyard, so she has a few more to do!!

We knew that the Walker family by the 1830s and 1840s owned a large estate both within our immediate locality but much wider. This has now been brought together in an article called 'Elizabeth and Ann Walker's Inheritance'. It can be found under Ann Walker, family and friends in our People of Interest section. Hopefully this article will be updated as further information comes to light.

Two more family histories have just been published. These, the Greaves and the Greenwoods, have connections with the Pickles family and that's where you'll find them. The more families that Dorothy researches, the more family connections are to be found. This isn't surprising really when you think how small our villages were 150 years ago. Again Dorothy has found another connection to New York State.

Marjorie's wildlife surveys have been very well received. She will be taking a break for a while but has produced a summary of all of that she has seen over the past few years. We're very grateful to have this especially as we said that we'd do this in our bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund. It is a great resource for visitors, neighbours and students. Thank you, Marjorie. Well worth reading and an eye opener to find how many different species can be found in the churchyard.

Occasionally we are in a position to post a family history which has been researched by a descendent of the family. A lot of research has been done by one of our Friends,Daphne Eyres, and it is pleasure to publish the family history back to her 4 x great grandfather. So please visit People of Interest and go to William Rushworth. It brings back memories to me of our early days restoring the churchyard as we began to uncover ledger stones in the old part of the churchyard. Carefully edging round the turf and slowly pulling back the turf which had grown over the grave. Not only were we seeing the inscriptions for the first time in many years but also, on the reverse side of the turf, we often had a mirror image - created by the grass roots - of the inscriptions. Magical moments. Find William Rushworth by following the link.

 The latest articles from Dorothy relate to a branch of the Pickles family. There will be more to come. Just publishing this has brought additional information.

Marjorie's June snapshot of the wild life is now available in the usual slot. (just follow the link a few paragraphs below). Ian is leading a walk around Lightcliffe for Calderdale Heritage Walks on Sunday which is already fully booked and is meeting a group from Brighouse Tangent on Monday evening. For those of you living locally, the churchyard is now back under control - the Council have cut the front part and the volunteers are now winning in the rest of the area. We've had problems with PayPal which has taken 4 weeks to sort out but we're now back in action and had 3 donations yesterday - brilliant. Coupled with 2 other generous donations, we are coping well with our expenditure. Thanks to everybody.

 

Dorothy's latest piece of research is about Sapper Roff who was accidentally killed whilst in this area during WW2. You'll find his story under People of Interest.

The tour of the churchyard by Brighouse History Society was well attended and a generous donation for our funds and those of Friends of Friendless Churches received.

What a glorious few days it has been. The only downside is the rate that the grass grows. For the next few weeks it will be a challenge. We are carefully leaving large clumps of flowers for both wildlife and humans to enjoy. We are tackling the new burial ground where work has been delayed by an abundance of daffodils and primulas. Just on cue is Marjorie's report for May. Follow the link that is shown 4 paragraphs down and read about the thriving wildlife.

On Wednesday 9th, Brighouse History Society are visiting the churchyard for a guided tour including a memorials commemorating a soldier who died from his wounds received during the Charge of the Light Brigade, former headmasters of Heath and Hipperholme Grammar Schools, a former owner of Smith House who entertained John Wesley and left money to the government to fight the rebels in America and the mason who built the church. Let's hope it is a dry evening.

The last two articles on the Wood families are now posted.

Andy Ellis contacted us recently regarding Moravians in Lightcliffe (around 1740 to 1750). He then sent us an article about his 3 x great grand-uncle, Sidney Ellis. Sidney was a wool comber, parish clerk, sexton and Sunday School teacher. The article is now on our People of Interest page. I think that a paragraph about Sidney will be in Dorothy and Ian's history of churches and churchyard.

We hope that you are following the Wood family saga. The latest part, John Wood and family, has just been posted on the People of Interest page.

The latest wildlife report from Marjorie shows a lot of activity in the churchyard and tells us of the new occupant of the bird box built by a neighbour and repaired by her father.

We now have another article about another branch of the Wood family. All of this research started because we are including a chapter on soldiers in our history of the churches and churchyard. We knew somewhere we had a holder of the Military Medal (Alfred Wood) and its grown since there.

Two pieces of news. Firstly we will be opening the door of the tower every third Sunday (2pm until 4pm) coinciding with our working parties. as the tower is quite a small volume, we can not allow visitors inside so they will be restricted to the first 2 steps.

During Dorothy's extensive research of the Wood family she became aware that Herman Wood was a well known artist. Many of his paintings are of local scenes and two were bought in the 1930s by Leeds Art Gallery. The selection that we have accessed, mainly from Mike Wood (a stalwart Friends and volunteer) and his brother Chris, include the church, a stone quarry and the golf club. There is a new article alongside the Wood family on People of Interest. Local golfers, can you recognise where this green was?

Spring is here today - but may be not for the next few days in April. However Marjorie has captured the many signs of new life. So follow the link just below and look for the March update. What is really encouraging is that a neighbour repaired a bird box that his daughter had made a few years ago. Within a very few days prospective occupants were trying it out - even before the 'To Let' notice had been put up. What you'll also find is the latest instalment on the extensive Wood family. This one includes the story of Herman Wood who was a painter of some standing in 1930s. Two paintings were acquired by Leeds Art Gallery including a fascinating one of a stone quarry which operated alongside Crow Nest park. We hope to get permission to share this with you. You'll find this in the usual People of Interest slot.

Spring is just about here! Read about the signs of new life in Marjorie's snapshot.

Ian is a guide for Calderdale Heritage Walks. He had planned a walk around the Lightcliffe that Ann Walker would have known for last year's Anne Lister's Birthday Week events. It didn't, of course, happen. Hopefully he will be able to do this later this year and this will include a visit to the tower. If you live locally, or when restrictions on travel ease, might like to try it as part of your daily exercise. Or you can follow it on Google Earth! We've placed it on the What to see page as an attachment at the foot of the page.

 

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The postcode for the churchyard (for sat navs) is HX3 8TH.

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